Wednesday, July 9, 2014


July 7, 2014

My Dearest Family,

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!! 

Congrats to Carlene and Larry on their mission call. I'm so excited for them to go to Nauvoo. We will for sure have to go and visit!!!

James and Dad. Feel better!

Well I did. I made it to age 22. It’s so weird. I haven't really been able to grasp it yet; I kind of feel like I was never 21. Ha-ha. But this year is going to be great. 

This week was nuts. Literally nuts, but so good at the same time. 

I think my camera card and camera reader were stolen. I lost them and my USB drive. I found my USB drive at the library lost and found (I accidentally left it there a few weeks ago) and think I might have left the camera card as well except it wasn't there with the USB. I'm still looking and hoping I left it somewhere else, but so far... no luck. 

The week consisted of a very powerful, very inspired Missionary Leadership Council (MLC.) Its a meeting with President, the Assistants, all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. Its once a month and was my first one. And just so happened to be on my birthday. It was probably one of the best ways to spend a birthday. We did our training on street contacting and I felt like it went well and that we did a really good job teaching what the Lord wanted. The meeting was so good. One of the new changes that we found out about, is the First Presidency has asked that we teach lesson 5 from Preach My Gospel before baptism now. It’s way exciting. I really feel like it will make a huge difference. Now it helps the investigator realize that the temple is the goal and baptism is just the gate. I'm stoked. Sister Landon told everyone at the MLC luncheon that it was my birthday, so of course they all sang to me. So embarrassing. But it was very nice of her. 

Well after the MLC we had planned to go to the Visitor Center with some of our investigators and then go to the temple with Sister Landon's convert. When we checked our phone after MLC, we had a text message from some of the sisters that we cover and they needed some help. Plus, our investigators had cancelled and couldn't make it to the Visitor Center. So back to Downey we went. I felt prompted that we should do an exchange. So we switched with the sisters and Sister Landon and one of the other sisters went to the temple and I stayed with the other one. Sounds like a terrible thing to happen on the birthday, but it wasn't. So I had a great birthday on exchanges. I did take some time and we went and got some of my favorite ice cream. It wasn't Persian. But it was still really good. :)

Also, I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but Sister Landon and I live with another set of sisters. Sister Hart and Sister Dopp. They are the best. For my birthday, while Sister Landon and I were running, they went and filled our car with balloons and streamers. We could barely open the doors. :) Then that night, they sang me T-Swift's "22" but changed the lyrics to be about a missionary. Literally one of the best things I've ever heard. Ha-ha

The rest of the week consisted of emergency transfers, miracles street contacts, and unexpected trips to the Visitor Center. 

We have these new investigators named N… and M... They are so great. And so prepared! We wanted to go with them to the VC on my birthday. It didn't happen. But they called us up on Wednesday and wanted to go. It was so cool. During the tour, M… started asking if he could still be a God Father for people in his family, if he became Mormon, because he wanted to become Mormon. I love those kind of questions. :) They really felt the Spirit and loved the Visitor Center.  

Then we had an awkward moment where another investigator told us that he would go to the Visitor Center with us. When went to his place to wake him up and then we left to go wake up his nephew at a different house, and when we come back he had left for Mexico. I never realized things like that could happen in real life. But they do. Ha-ha don't worry, he's back and we will find him and teach him. 

We tried to visit this same man last night, but they weren't available when we stopped by. But his kids were there and some of his nephews. So Sister Landon and I sat down to teach them. We sang, "I am a Child of God” with all of them and talked about how we felt afterwards. It was so sweet to hear their answers. We heard everything from good to comfortable. And then one of the super shy ones prayed for us. It was the sweetest prayer. He thanked God for all his house and food and then asked God to bless all those who didn't have a house to have one. 

I was really touched by his genuine concern for others. It was a powerful reminder that we need to be like submissive and meek like children. We can learn a lot from them. 3 Nephi 26: 14. 

I've got to go, but thank you all so much for your prayers and support. It makes a huge difference. I can feel them. 
Love you lots. Please keep trying to have missionary conversations and share the gospel. I didn't hear back from any of you if you had had a change to have a conversation, but keep praying for the opportunities. 

Love you lots.

Hermana Mik Pillar 

the cool graffiti wall next to our aparmtent. #notamodel
Happy Fourth of July! Sister Landon did not want to wear them. But as we can see I was victorious. 


June 30, 2014

My Dearest Family,

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It’s amazing to think another year has come and gone. I can't believe it. I opened the packages because I wanted to wear the new clothes on my Birthday. Plus, we like literally don't have time during the days. WE ARE SO BUSY! I've aged so much. Ha-ha, tomorrow we are going to the temple with one of Sister Landon’s converts and then plan is to go out to dinner and then get Persian ice cream!  It is like my new thing. We went all the time when I was in the YSA. I became friends with one of the employees and referred him to the Persian Elders "to help them practice Farsi." I don't think it went anywhere, but he went to the visitor center with them. Anyway Persian ice cream is better than the gelato I had in Europe.

Dad I hope your back feels better. And great job with the pen. President LOVED it. He just kept saying, "Wow, this is so neat! Wow!" And he said; "Now that's a man pen." Ha-ha so thanks for making that. 

 Ha-ha you can give the De Olivera's son the key. Tell him he doesn't have to wait till I die. I'm hoping it will be awhile. ;)

Editor's Note:  Mik's dad makes wooden pens and he made one with wood from the Holy Land for Mik's to give her mission president for Father's Day. Mik's dad one of his home teaching families a lesson on Priesthood keys and took a set of old keys, that belong to Mik as an object lesson. One of the little boys wanted to keep the key, but Mik's dad told them they belonged to Mikayla.  The boy asked if the could have the keys when Mikayla died.   

It sounds like Scout camp was fun! It’s so weird to think James is like growing up. I meet people his age and think, "wow they are so big." And then my next thought is "wow that's how old James is." Same thing goes for Maddie. 

It’s weird to think I'll be 22 tomorrow. I almost feel like I was never 21. Time was just kind of frozen on the mission. It’s weird to think how long I have been on the mission. In some ways I feel like I just got here and in other ways I feel like I have been a missionary my whole life. Crazy.

Please tell the Eliasons thank you for saving your lives. I’m grateful that you are all living. ;)

STL is crazy all the time, but its still the best thing ever. I have loved being able to get to know and work with more of the sisters in the mission. I might be a little biased, but I'm pretty sure that the California Los Angeles Mission has the best missionaries in the world. Miracles are happening here all the time, because our missionaries are diligently working hard to hasten the work. It’s the coolest thing to see. 

We went on exchanges this past week and I got to go back to my old area! I returned to Bell Gardens! It was so good seeing familiar faces and seeing some new ones as well. It was crazy seeing my handwriting all in the area book. Ha-ha

We didn't have a baptism this past Sunday like we were planning on it, but we are still working with S… and A…. It’s all going to work out and we are going to work harder to make sure they are prepared to make their first covenant with God. We did end up going to a baptism though. It was an investigator the Elders taught. And last minute they didn't have a pianist for one of the songs. I gained a huge testimony of the Holy Ghost bringing things back to our remembrance as I played the song for everyone. 

We also had interviews with President this past week. So good. I will be coming home in October! Crazy to think how close that is. I was also bragging about my companion during the interview and how good she is at street contacting. Shouldn't have done that.

Tomorrow we have a Mission Leadership Conference meeting, which is basically all day. The trainings we learn there are taught to the entire mission later on in the week in the separate Zone Training Meetings. Well, tomorrow will be my first MLC. And Sister Landon and I are training on street contacting. The things I get myself into.

Well I have to go, but thanks for all your support! I can't wait to hear about your missionary experiences next week. Remember the challenge? I've been praying for all of you. 

Love you so much!
From Downey,

Hermana Mik Pillar


June 23, 2014

My Dearest Family,

I can't believe Liz is leaving for her mission! How exciting! She is going to do great!!

Youth Conference sounds like it was a blast.

Okay I'm a little bumbed that I've been missing the world cup. Like not too much because you know what could be better than being a missionary, but EVERYONE is talking about the world cup. Ha-ha its been cool though because I've met people from like all over the world and they are all routing for different countries. But don't worry, I still have my American Pride.

So this week...crazy. Crazy busy. Crazy with miracles. Crazy with so much joy.
Okay so mom wants to hear more about the being a STL. I'm sure every mission does them differently, but here there are five companionships of STL for the mission. Four full field, and one in the Visitor Center. The sisters we are over are all in our zone, so they don't live very far. We are over five companionships and are expected to go on a 24-hour exchange with each companionship and make sure everything in their area is going well. Because this transfer is NUTS with a ton of meetings and everything we are having a hard time figuring out when to do transfers. We did two this past week.

Thank you for your prayers because I definitely felt them this past week, especially on Wednesday, when it was my first exchange ever! I got to go back to Bell Gardens though! It was a different area than where I served, but it was so fun seeing a familiar place and a few familiar faces. I was with a sister named Sister Jarman and she is just great. Here's a cool miracle that came from it...

The morning we were supposed to switch back Sister J and I went out to exercise. Sister J doesn't like to run, so we were just walking and trying to talk to everyone. We started a conversation with a girl probably in her late teens early twenties. Turns out she already knew about the Book of Mormon because she already had one... say what?! Some Elders gave it to her about a month ago. I asked her if she had had a chance to read it, to which she replied, "Yes, I'm about half way done." I just like paused for a second in unbelief. And then she said she believed the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. It was so cool. So cool!! We got her contact information, and hopefully those sisters have been able to meet up with her again!!!

Our second exchange was from Friday to Saturday. I stayed and Sister Landon left. I was with another sister named Sister Nottle. She is literally the sweetest thing ever and just so happy all the time. The day was stress because I still don't know the area super well and hadn't even met all of the investigators we were suppose to teach for that day, but we survived. We have a new investigator named F…, who just feels the spirit. And even though Sister Nottle doesn't speak Spanish, she did a great job reading in Spanish to help with the lesson. I was super impressed. And F… has a baptismal date!!! He didn't make it to church so we will have to push it back a week, but he wants to get baptized. He called us just a little bit ago to confirm the lesson we have with him and told us he is bringing us Tortillas. :) I love the people here.

Then the weekend happened. I cannot even describe how great this weekend was. There is this family that we have been teaching. One of their oldest sons was baptized a few weeks ago. And the rest of the family has been listening here and there. There are 9 kids and two parents. The mom S… has told us she would like to be baptized and we are planning her baptism for the 29th of June. The family is so great, and would reap so many blessings from the gospel. I'm so stoked for them.

But anyways, we have been trying so hard to get the P… family to the Visitor Center. We even fasted for it a week ago. And it finally happened. The dad and five of the kids were able to make it. There were some obstacles, but the Lord provided and we had one of the best tours I've ever been on at the Visitor Center. They were all beaming. Then both parents and two of the young boys were able to make it to church on Sunday and watch their son/older brother N… get the priesthood. It was so special to be able to watch. And we have a FHE set up with them for Tuesday. I'm so excited.

This family has helped me realize the importance of the Holy Ghost. We were having a lesson with some of the kids and the dad. The two younger boys (ages 8 and 10) have been reading the Book of Mormon with N…, their older brother. And they LOVE it. The younger boys love the book. They will even read it on their own, just for fun.

In one lesson we were talking about the Spirit and asked them when they feel it. The younger brothers said they felt it when they read the Book of Mormon. But then N… was like, I feel that good all the time. It was powerful and hit me hard. Because I was like... you know what... so do I. And that was when it clicked. I have the CONSTANT companionship of the Holy Ghost. There is a member of the Godhead with me ALL THE TIME. And not everyone has that. Not everyone has that blessing. Not everyone has the ability to live life with that constant comfort and direction. And I was just filled with gratefulness. I am so grateful to have that gift of the Holy Ghost.

And it’s making me work harder. Everyone deserves that gift and I've got to do my very best to let them know that! Please make sure you are working on your own missionary experiences. My birthday is next week and it would be so cool to hear all of your stories!!!

Love you lots!!!
Hermana Mik Pillar


June 16, 2014

My Dearest Family,

Okay so to answer your questions:
1) Being a Sister Training Leader is terrifying and rewarding all at the same time. It’s really giving me the chance to grow and learn. We haven't been on any exchanges yet. Our first one is Wednesday. I'm a tad bit nervous, so prayers would be nice that all goes well and we find the elect! 

I'm so grateful for my companion, Sister Landon. It’s her last transfer, so it breaks my heart that we will only have six weeks together, but I am learning so much from her. SO MUCH! She's a great example of being a consecrated missionary and trusting in our calling. Both things I am working on. 

2) Downey zone is great as always. Lots of people to talk too that are actually nice! It’s a different area than where I was before. Completely different ward, but the members are just as great.

I still don't know about the release date. There might be some changes with exchanges in the next few transfers. Its like really complicated. So I'll have interviews with President in two weeks and talk to him about it then. 

Miracle from this week because the computer is about to log me off…

We, also set three more baptismal dates. Two of them didn't come to church, so their dates will have to be pushed, but the third one was a really cool miracle! On Saturday morning, Sister Landon commented that she wanted to find someone to be baptized on June 29th. So we prayed for it. Later that day, we were visiting a recent convert and had a lesson with his parents (who are not members.) Right in the middle of the lesson, his mom started to explain how she has studied Christian faiths for 15 years, but its never felt right to be baptized. Now she feels like it is right, especially since her son was just baptized. She then set her own baptismal date for June 29. It was one of those moments, where I realized how mindful the Lord is of us. The church is so true!!! We have to work through her job and the fact that she works on Sunday, but we would love for her to be baptized at the end of this month. 

Also, I may or may not be playing a musical number in sacrament meeting in a few weeks. I'll have to explain more next week. Definitely a prompting from the spirit or else I wouldn't have volunteered.

Love you lots!! Keep praying for those missionary experiences. They will come!! 

From Downey!

Hermana Pillar 


June 13, 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Pillar,

Sister Mikalyla Jane Pillar has been called to be a Sister Training Leader in the California Los Angeles Mission.  This assignment has come to her because she has exhibited high qualities of leadership, demonstrated obedience, and gained the trust of all missionaries. 

As a Sister Training Leader, Sister Pillar will work with between 5 to 8 companionships of Sister Missionaries and be responsible for their training and welfare. She will also be a member of the mission Leadership Council, which helps set and carry out the efforts of our mission.

Sister Weidman joins me in extending to you our sincere appreciation for your fine daughter.  We realize that your example, training, and love have contributed in large measure to Sister Pillar’s success as a missionary.

Sincerely yours,

David N. Weidman, President

California Los Angeles Mission


June 9, 2014

My Dearest Family!!

First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I hope it’s a good one. I wish I could be there for it!!! Next year, for sure though!

Also, you all failed at writing me your missionary experiences. I prayed all week and nothing. Mom, you asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I decided what I wanted. Will each one of you pray for an opportunity to have a gospel-centered conversation with someone before the 1st of July?? It doesn't have to be anything elaborate or complicated. I pray for easy, simply ways to talk to people ALL THE TIME. And guess what, the Lord puts them in my path. So I promise you, that you will have those opportunities, if you sincerely pray for them. And when we take advantages of those opportunities, our own testimonies grow. So... will you all do that?   

I'm almost out of time, complications with a black out at one library and having to drive forever to find another. But just so you know, this week is transfers! And I'm leaving Lawndale. I'm a bit sad because it really started to grow on me and I had just started to really get to know the ward members. Oh well. That's life for you. Sister Diaz is staying and I know she will take good care of it. I'm off to the Santa Fe Springs Ward, speaking Spanish, and I will be a Sister Training Leader. I am so stoked to be in the Downey area again. Sister Olson always told me to go back there, because "its fertile ground." Ha-ha, but I'm really stoked for my new companion. Her name is Sister Landon. She is friends with my MTC companion and Kristine B... at BYU-I, and she's soooo cool! So I'm hoping it will be great. I'm a little nervous to be a STL. But I have to say that I am excited for the chance to grow. So just a lot of feelings I guess. We shall see how this will go.

This week was brutal. We tried so hard to find new investigators and nothing. I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but our area is huge and not a lot of Spanish people live in it. So the areas where there are Spanish people, know exactly who we are and see us coming. This man actually closed his blinds when he saw us walking up the driveway to his house. Obviously, I still knocked to make sure, and no answer. O well, hopefully he will find the church some other way.

So last night was the departing missionary fireside. Have a I told you about those? Anyways, all the departing missionaries bear their testimonies and invite all the people they served with. Investigators, Recent converts, less actives, members, etc. Well I saw a TON of people that I knew, one lady in particular. Remember when I served in South gate for like a week? Well she was in that ward and in that time had given the Sisters a textbook to help with Spanish. Apparently she LOVED this book. We had tried to give it back my first day there, but she was like "you are new. Do you want to use it” and was so nice that we kept the book to refer to.

Well I was there for a week right? So we have the mid cycle transfer, and I'm sorry the book was the last thing on my mind. I'm pretty sure we asked the Elders in our ward to return it to her. Well they didn't.

That was 8 MONTHS AGO!! She remembered my name and came up to me asking if I still had her book because she would like it back. I was like.... uhhh no. And then it was this whole big ordeal and I felt TERRIBLE!!! She was going up to all these Elders that use to serve in the ward asking if they knew where it was. But I feel like it’s my fault. I offered to buy her another one, but she said she bought it at a book sale and doesn't remember the name. And I'm like great... what am I going to do know? I feel so bad and wish I knew how to replace the book.

 We did meet this really cool lady named R... this week. She lives on the same street we do. We started talking to her because she has the cutest pit-bull I have ever seen. It’s still a puppy and it’s gorgeous! (Simple, easy conversation starter. Prayer answered!) Anyways, she told us that she was spiritual and believed in Christ. I shared my testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it had changed my life. She was interested. And had the English Sisters over the next day! Hopefully good things will come from that! 

Sorry this email is so short, I'll have more news to tell next week. The Church is true. The Spirit is real. Christ lives!

Love you all!!

Hermana Mik Pillar


June 2, 2014

My Dearest Family,

James!!! How come you don't write me anymore!!! Have you forgotten me?!?!  In case you have, my name is Sister Mikayla Pillar. I'm your older sister! I am currently serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints in the Los Angeles California mission. I speak Spanish to people. Do you remember me?!?! ;)

I hope this email finds you in great spirits! Mom, I'm just going to tell you again how proud I am of you and sharing the Book of Mormon. That book changes lives. Way to go!

Best news of this week: ELDER BALLARD CAME AND SPOKE TO US!!! Literally the best thing ever. I received so much revelation and was amazed with the fact that I was in the presence of an apostle of God. You could feel it. And the whole meeting was so sweet. It felt like a grandfather giving advice to his missionaries. I was truly grateful for that sweet spirit that was there.

In all honesty, this week started off rough. Things were just not happening in the area like I had been hoping they would. The potentials we thought would turn into great investigators started to disappear. Then after some prayers we decided to give our one baptismal date to the Elders. The investigator had asked before if men could teach him, and we finally decided that he would progress with the Elders. So we handed him over.

Well the Lord loves us. And so I think after a hard few days, we started to see his hand in the work.

1) Lets rewind to the YSA days, where I taught an investigator named A…a few times. He had tried to come one Sunday while I was there, but got into a car accident on the way. After I left, I later learned that he had been reading the Book of Mormon and was all the way into 2 Nephi. Saturday he was baptized. The service was great. He bore his testimony at the end, and it was literally one of the sweetest things I have ever heard. I'm so proud of him.

2) We met with our Bishop and all the missionaries this week. I have decided that he is one of the coolest people ever, and I'm really excited for the work that is taking place in Hermosa Liahona.

3) So we were at church on Sunday. Our ward mission leader comes up to us and is all excited about a referral that he has for us. He says the people are at church and he would like to introduce us to them.

Well this man walks up to us, and I was thinking to myself, "He looks so familiar. Why??"

The man has a smile on his face and is like "We have met before. Remember? You gave us the card."

Come to find out, Sister Diaz and I had street contacted this man and his wife our first week in the transfer, which was over a month ago. They had told us their daughter was a member and sometimes they went to church with her. The husband speaks English so we had assumed they were going to the English ward and being taught by the missionaries there.

Well, they want to come to the Spanish ward. And you know what that means!? Hopefully we will have some new investigators. We have been praying for weeks to have two baptisms in our area in the month of June. So maybe this is the answer to our prayers!

4) Please refer to the second paragraph in this letter, once again, one of the coolest experiences of my life.

5) After the meeting with Elder Ballard, we returned to our area to go to a baptism for J…, an investigator that had been taught by the Elders in our ward. E…, one of our investigators, was going to be there and we had invited our other investigator R… It was almost five and R… wasn't there. We called her, and we think she had forgotten about it. She said she would come. R… is older and doesn't have a car. She walks to the church building when she has come for church activities before. And I personally didn’t think about it again. I didn't really think she could make it on time.

So you know those times in movies where its literally down to the wire and you don't think they are going to make it, but then end up getting there without a moment to spare. I never thought that happened in real life. But it does.

During the baptism talk Sister Diaz was all of a sudden like "We need to go to the front and see if R… is there." It was awkward timing, but I felt like she might be right. She was having a prompting. As we walked out in the hallway, J… was standing up to walk to the font. My heart was racing. I was thinking, "We are going to miss it." We ran to the foyer. No R…. Sister Diaz ran outside and out of nowhere, R… popped up. Both of us were amazed. The poor woman had walked as fast as she could to make it in time for the baptism. We quickly (very quickly) walked back to the room where the baptism was talking place. Literally, she walked in the room, sat down, and J… was then baptized. I didn't even see it because I was a few feet behind her. But I was just stoked that she had been there to see it.

She stayed for the rest of the service and then we had a great lesson with her afterwards with our Bishop. Remember, he is literally the coolest person ever!

Anyways I was super stoked and hope that R… will decide for herself to be baptized some day.

That's what's happening in the great city of Lawndale these days.

One of the things that was focused on during our time with Elder Ballard was listening and teaching with the Spirit and walking with faith. Elder Ballard told us to brush off fear and open our mouths. So I extend the same invitation to you. Will you brush off fear and open your mouths this week? Pray for a missionary opportunity. And trust in the Lord to use you as a tool to hasten his work. People are prepared. Trust in that. And trust that you can make a difference. I will be following up with you all and hope to hear about the experiences. I too will be praying for ya!

This work is real. It’s the Lord's work. The Lord still speaks to prophets today.

Love you all,

Hermana Mik Pillar