Monday, August 14, 2017

Leon's baptism and fun p'day

This week was busy with planning Leon's baptism and interviews with President.  It was super fun though! 

The baptism was I quote "Among the best we've seen." -Assistants to the president.

We had some really inspired talks on faith and the Holy Ghost. They were perfect for Leon. 

I had quite the time preparing for the baptism. So the sister missionaries in our district don't have a font in their building so we had their baptism at 11am and ours was at 1pm. Friday night before the baptism we went over to clean the font out and prepare a few things. Well we filled the font up about 6 inches so we could wipe it all down and clean it up. It was SO dirty the water looked like a bad cup of tea with no milk. Rusty and gross. At the end we went to go drain it and the font pump didn't turn on to pump it out....... so it's 9:00 at night trying to drain some gross font water out.... didn't work. We had to leave to make it home by 9:30 and we left the font pump on over night praying it would drain. So we arrive at 8 am Saturday and I take a peak in the font and... it was full of the gross water still. Ahh panic. Our only option was to use the trash bins and scoop the after out and pour it in the toilet. Got it all out and mopped up with towels and it was finally clean! Hit the button and 50 min later the font was filled all nice and clean!  

Leon was helping haha it was so good we really enjoyed the day. 

Leon's baptism
Let's jump back to the actually baptism now. The service was all-star and really good.  We had some excellent music choices and like I said, best talks. So I've pondered how I can describe Leon's baptism the best to you all. I think the only way is to just tell you how it went. After the talks I said Leon let's go he said wait now!? Haha we walked from the chapel to the font and as we entered the toilets he was shaking and way nervous. We said a quick prayer and entered the font. It was warm and he was overwhelmed but I just said it'll be fine. Quick reassurance and I said I'm going to start. Nailed the prayer and the dunk was 10/10. He came up and said that was nice. 

Sitting during the rest of the meeting he leaned over and said, "I feel really really happy." I instantly felt so much love. I can't even describe how happy I felt. I love you all. I love the power I felt being able to baptize Leon and helping him make covenants. It's amazing the love I have been able to have with Leon and the spirit and my testimony. I felt so much cleansing as I baptized Leon. The love of God overwhelmed me. It was a pretty great day!

Today we went hiking. Man it was pretty. Good quality time with the district. One thing we discussed was that it seems like everyone is going on a mission, like girls and guys. 
Hiking Pen-y-Ghent in the Yorkshire dales.
It's about 2,300ft high haha.
 





Have a great week everyone!



Elder Pilling 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Step of Faith

Mates, there is a baptism in Keighley!!!

Leon Spearman will be baptized on Saturday at 1 pm.

This week, as always, has been really good. I continue to see blessings and miracles everyday. Leon our investigator is a walking, breathing miracle. He has received so many different answers to his prayers. He is an example of being prepared and he has accepted most things. A few were difficult for him to understand and difficult for him to follow. When we first met him he had an addiction to every single part of the word of wisdom. Teaching repentance has been a key part of his conversion. He knows his saviour loves him and he knows that through Jesus Christ his burdens can be made light. Only through Him can these blessings be brought forth. By taking a step of faith he quickly felt Heavenly Father's love and was able to feel the cleansing power of the Atonement. His mind was a mess and he was not in a happy place. But through the teachings of the Saviour his desires and thoughts became clear. We have put a temple focus on and he is quite close to having a family name prepared to take with him . Should be able to attend the temple quickly after his baptism, which is so exciting! Such a bummer we are not allowed to go with, but the members will take care of him. 

This week we finally began teaching a potential named Ingrid.  She is a Slovakia Lady and is so kind. She went to church in Bradford a few times but due to health she could no longer investigate. I was prompted to drop by one evening (Tuesday).  She accepted us with happiness and was over joyed to see the Book of Mormon in Slovakian for her. She thanked us and started reading right away. She is scheduled for the 2 of September and is so excited for it! She found her old Book of Mormon in a dresser and is now reading with her husband! She has the funniest kid named Patrick. Not to be stereotypical but many Slovakian kids are majorly overweight. Patrick is no exception. He's 5 and easily could pass for a 9 year old (minus his reading and writing).

We had the funniest first lesson with them. We got there early and started teaching before our Slovak Skype started. Patrick had a neighbour kid over and they were playing. He is 8 I think and so we were trying to talk to him but he didn't really understand. We tried to figure out what language he speaks.  Patrick didn't know and Ingrid didn't know haha. So we used google translate and didn't really understand any of the languages. Closest we got was Czech maybe? 

Oh I almost forgot. On Wednesday we had a visit from some general authorities and an Apostle. It was a mission-wide conference.  Specifically Elder M. Russel Ballard, President Patrick Kearon and his wife, President Johnson and his wife, Elder Nielsen missionary executive director, Elder Summet and his wife. Wow was it cool. Our mission had the most successful July EVER. Like ever recorded. In July, 40 were baptized, they had a record number of people at church, and most new investigators in a week. They really praised us for our efforts. Because most of them served in England they had noted that the Leeds mission had been struggling for a while and they were very pleased with the hastening that is happening. We had a question and answer time as well. Not much new stuff. My favourite was Elder Ballard or Sister Kearon. She's such a beauty - she did a little instruction to all of Europe and it was on how ward council is like an engine. All parts need to work. Super coolio.

Elder Walker from Calgary

My MTC friends 

My trainer goes home in a week!


Bye bye for now,
Elder Pilling
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Monday, July 31, 2017

Wellll...

It's a pretty day here in England... sorta hahaha. 

My days are packed with appointments and we are so busy. I admire those who when faced with the adversary turn to the light of the gospel. This has been a view our mission president has seen as Satan takes extra time to attack those preparing to be baptized. He makes things very difficult for them and yet we see how prepared people here are. Heavenly Father is sending us some extremely talented people to bring into the gospel. 

Over the last 9 months my testimony has grown and I have had many experiences where I have seen the hand of God in the work! My favourite part of this whole mission thing is seeing how our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are at the helm of this ship and he is looking after us all. He has a plan for each one of us and has given us what we need to be successful. 

In my mission life it is such a blessing to be able to assist in this great work. I have been able to follow the prompting of the Holy Ghost this week. Leon has had some really rough times this past week. It is not so much trials directly on him, but it is more that his friends have had some hard times.  Since he is so nice and caring (extra caring since we met him ;)) he has felt the pain and the suffering of all his friend's pains and it's been hard for Leon.  Leon is literally a friend for life. I feel like we have helped him out so much. He really likes the temple and is excited to go!  

It is hard to explain all these experiences and share all I want to share in just a short email.


We played some games and went bowling as a district today.

Byyyeee,
Elder Pilling
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Hey Fam Jam

Well it's a bit of a blur this week. Just keep swimming was a common thought I had as we worked. Nothing happened in terms of finding new people to teach so it was slow. I spent an awesome day in my DL's area with Elder Tsosie who was in the same district as me back in Beverley so we've been on exchanges before... it was some good times. We seemed to miss the bus every time we went to catch it so lots of walking. And it was HOT hahah so good. 

My favourites for the week have got to be another meal from Leon, our investigator. We got a strawberry fresh cream cake! Man I died and went to heaven. Leon is doing really really well. We have so much in common, it is quite crazy at times. Best part of all is that we learn the same way so I just give him all the tips that I use when studying and it works! He even eats the same breakfast as me.... Wheatabix :) 

Elder Davies is doing well. He is slowly getting used to this crazy ward! There's a member named Michael who I have talked about before. But we did some hard core bargaining with him last night haha he is funny. 

Our investigators are Leon and George who are the most solid (as in we see them weekly if not more). Leon has a date for baptism set at August 12. He is 33 and pretty funny.  He has had some seriously tough moments in his life. Just so many things have happened.  He was taught by missionaries a few years ago but the elder who he really understood and got along with got moved, so that ended. One day we were walking down his street when Leon was prompted to talks to us. We had a short 5 min conversation with him and carried on with our day. 2-3 weeks later we were walking down a street and he was on the bus.  As it drove by we waved and were kinda laughing haha it's Leon. Then sure enough 8 minutes later he popped around the corner. He said once again "I feels like I need to talk to yous".  We gave him our number and he said he'd call. 2 weeks later and nothing. We had some spare time one day by his house and decided to drop by. Well that was an interesting meeting. He unloaded his life story. We testified of the peace, direction, and happiness following Jesus Christ can bring. He really felt the spirit as we shared experiences with him. And that is Leon. Now he has a date for baptism and boy is he excited.! He loves how grounded and happy the members of the church are and wants that for himself!

I have given much thought towards the organization of a mission and the leadership and the opportunities to grow and learn. A mission is the foundation on which a life of growth and happiness in the church is built upon. I want to share something I've been thinking about - being happily obedient. If you look at the commandments that we have received as restrictions and regulations and you always have in the back of your mind that it would be better without, let me tell you the grass is not greener on the other side. Life has challenges wether you are a member or not. It is tough! Now the gospel of Jesus Christ is there to ensure that we as spirit children will be able to live with our Heavenly Father again. Although we have a loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ, it does not mean that God will make our lives a walk in the park. We are here to grow and to learn. It is up to us wether or not we take it as a growth period. We can be bitter or dull when trials come our way or we can choose to be HAPPILY obedient to God's commandments and love the things he HAS given us. Take a moment to say a prayer and thank God for all he has given you. I think you'll be surprised ๐Ÿ˜Š

I love all that you guys do for me. The prayers, the letters, the love- it all makes a difference to me!


A pic of my companion

Elder Davies (not sure what this is a pic of)
Love,
Elder Pilling
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Monday, July 17, 2017

New Companion

Fam friends fans,

Writing you from a loud double decker bus traveling to Leeds :)

Some stories of the week. Man, Friday I gained 5lbs probably. So there's a super nice 92 year old in the ward from Switzerland named brother Karl Kรคgi. Every 2 weeks he takes us to a Toby carvery.  So much food. So so much, but I can usually handle it ok. But Friday evening at 6 we went to our investigator's house for ๐Ÿ spaghetti. He gave me enough to feed a small family. It was crazy. After a quick lesson with him he said ah I hope you have room, I bought a cheese cake from the eggless cake place..... BEST CHEESE CAKE I'VE EVER HAD. So that's me gaining weight like usual. 

Let's chat a little about my companion. He's 6'2" and about 19 stone hails from a village named Sandwich in Kent which is down south England. He and most of his family were baptized when he was 14 which was about 6 years ago. He has 2 sisters I think. One moved to Whistler to work at a hotel 2 weeks ago. He has about 4 months left on his mission! He's had loads of companions but most importantly he's already had an Albertan! And he also lived in the same flat as Elder Walker :) His interests are rugby. He injured his knee pretty bad so that's a bummer. We are running once again! Love it!

I did some of my finest door knocking I've ever done this week.... met a lady named Hayley who answered and said I don't believe, don't go to church, there's just no point. I taught and testified about how the gospel will bless her. At this point I didn't know much about her but the Holy Ghost guided me to talk about families. I testified how families can be together forever and how it has brought me so much peace and happiness knowing that truth. After she said ya ok I see how it can help me. 20 minutes later she's our newest investigator and is reading a little blue book we gave her! 


Leon is doing so well. He really really wants to do the right thing after all the wrongs he has done in his life. He is excited to be baptized but at the moment thinks he won't be ready. I said well you won't be until we teach you more about Jesus Christ! I've attached a few pics of him!

Also, yesterday I had to say goodbye to Simon and Daz.  They are moving to Nelson which is out of our area and out of our mission :/  Hope the missionaries will treat them well.



Leon

Simon and Daz

Raspberries!
Off to Ilkley, Guisley, Otley, and Menston for exchange today tomorrow and Wednesday. I am excited!

I have heard it's been hot! That must have been nice. Weather here isn't too shabby either, currently short sleeve and sweating. 

Byyyeee for now,

Elder Pilling :) 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Transfers!

Hello everyone.

We had transfers and it was crazy. Our zone leader got called to be assistant
Thursday.  His name is Elder Peck. His companion Elder Buckoff can't
drive here because he has no license, so we drove him around and tried to make
all our appointments.  It was crazy fun.

So I am staying in Keighley and my new companion is
Elder Davies from England! Seems like a good guy. I am really excited.
Some good goal setting and some really good investigators too.

Found an old guy who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. He is still in
pain. He describes it as an elephant stomping on his foot (that isn't there)
while someone is stabbing his knee with a knife. So when we met him ( 3
months ago) he said I don't believe in God. Then over the past 3 months he
has began to accept that there is a god and that God has a Plan for him. He
said I think I need to take a step into the fog. He was referring to
step of faith. He said this on Saturday. His step of faith was church.
He attended sacrament and really liked it!

Also on Saturday we found a guy named Leon! He left the church a few years
ago but things have happened in his life that have lead him back to
church. Although he is going through some serious trials, he has looked
for God to help him! He loved church and stayed all 3 hours. Loooved
it.

Now the important thing is, I love this church. Reading up on the
mission presidents seminar I have noticed how important it is to
recognize that the work is hastening. It is not a next year thing, it
is now. Everyone needs to hear the restored gospel now. People are
more prepared than ever before. I have been called to serve. Assigned
to England Leeds Keighley area with President Turvey guiding us. The
Holy Ghost is my most important companion.  Reading the simple
but powerful faith that Joseph Smith had is what started this last
dispensation. Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer and he loves us.

Hope everyone enjoys the Stampede and summer. Catch ya mates next week!

Michael our member friend
 
Elder  Pilling 
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Time Flies

Well well well. There's one thing I sorta knew before my mission but didn't really take much notice to that I wish I had realised. 

Being a missionary is hard! By far the hardest thing you will ever do. I don't think it gets easier either. You reach some of your lowest lows out here AND some of your highest highs. All you future missionaries, do not go into the mission thinking it'll be 2 years without exams and without stress. It is hard, really hard so prepare yourself now. 

This week has actually been really enjoyable. I loved it. Met a really cool member from Saint Helena...  10 points if you know where that is haha. It's in between Africa and Brazil in the south Atlantic Ocean. He is really cool guy and worked on the American base in ascension so he loves American food and knows where to buy It as well! 

I had a really cool experience yesterday. We were visiting with a member who has always helped the missionaries she is like the missionary mom. She just makes sure we are alright :) Anyways, we got to reading her testimony book which starts in the 1970's which is when she was baptized. Reading a few here and there looking where they are all from then we saw.... Elder Spackman from Midnapore hahahaha! It was dated May 1987. That was a special treat. We followed up the lesson with our own testimony meeting. I love when I get to share my testimony of the restored gospel. We both were touched and the spirit was so strong. 

Let's see...the weather has been pretty normal. Not too chilly. Today is beautiful 


We had a new format for interviews with president where he and the assistants visited our district meeting. We received instruction from both and were able to learn how to increase our efforts with friends coming to church. Making sure they feel welcomed and at home! I love my mission president.  He is very in tune with the spirit as he counsels me in my work I can tell it is right from Heavenly Father. 

Got some free ice cream :) 



Met a professional musician. Apparently ukulele playing is really popular now so he is in a few ukulele bands and some rock bands. He's a Mike Oldfield fan ;) THE really cool part is he read the Book of Mormon in the 70's ! He is still interested and is just a happy 83 year old. Also met a bloke that was 100 1/2 years old! He still had a full head of hair too!!! I would have guessed 80's. 


These next few weeks are really packed and busy. Going on exchange with the traveling assistants tomorrow. Exchanges on Thursday and next week as well. 


My new favourite thing is post cards! So if you see one on your travels send it to me! 
My favourite little lad! We had matching hair! 




Elder P

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