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

Sent from the land of lads

Monday, June 19, 2017

Here a little, there a little


It's pretty warm here. I didn't even know England got this warm. It has been nice and sunny the last 4ish days I think. Everyone here goes crazy when it's hot like this. They sit out, drink alcohol and sometimes barbecue.... it's not bad though.  People are really friendly and happy (occasionally you get an old grouch). 

Last week I was sick and it wasn't great. I then gave my cold to my companion so we are both coughing and sneezing all day. He's much worse than me though. For the most part we have just worked through the sickness. 

We met some genuinely nice people, you know those people who are happy and look for the good in the world. I don't want people to think English people are all sad but you don't meet too many really nice people. Like genuine caring people. The work is a challenge. We have a few Slovak investigators and I don't speak any Slovak but I am already developing a love for them.  Then there's our little bit of a challenging friend, Jackie. The atonement is what we teach to them all. It is something I am growing to love the more I learn. 

Funny picture of the week

Our Slovak family

A members dogs. It's the weirdest breed ever. German Shepard mix thing. It's so short and long with a massive head. 

I have been really enjoying seeing the good that people do. I read a little snippet on called How I learned what it means to lift where I stand. 
It talks about how the small and simple things we do every day add up and build us into the followers of Jesus Christ that we are all striving for. 

We gain a testimony line upon line precept upon precept. Here a little there a little. And the hardest part is if you don't use it or continue to grow it you're gunna lose it really fast. You cannot sit idle in life. The kingdom isn't building itself. There is always something more you can do. Heavenly Father always challenges us so we can continue to build up or testimonies. I have been that idle person, going through the motions and not really trying to do better. I call it coasting. You may be the person who sits idle and really thinks of ways to improve your efforts, but the hardest part is changing those thoughts into action. What is motivating you do do better in this life? It may be your family it may be the knowledge you have of the plan God has for us. Whatever it may be, use it to push you to really use all your potential to grow your testimony. Maybe even find your testimony. 

I love this work, especially when it's sunny and hot out ☀️  

Hope you all have a fab week. 

Love E. Pilling 
Sent from the land of the lads

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thank you!

This week was interesting because we spent lots of time traveling which is unfortunate. We have an investigator who is really struggling with addictions but does see that she needs to change her ways. There are a few challenges with this friend. She lives 25 min away by bus in a place called Haworth, it's the worlds first fair trade village. Mostly touristy things. The famous literary Bronte sister lived there so people from all over the world visit. Our friend lost her phone so the only way to contact her is by knocking on her door! We seem to rarely ever catch her home but it is all ok. 

Wednesday we had a special experience being sort of survey video interviewed. They called it a focus group. Brother Glenn from Salt Lake City came and videoed a few missionaries. He asked us questions ranging from family history work and missionary work to how the ward interacts with new members as well as asking what church headquarters can do to improve the efforts in missionary work. His son, Elder Glenn was able to attend which must have been super weird. I can't imagine my dad coming and asking questions. I had some very interesting thoughts come to mind but at the end we all agreed that the church has already created many things or programs that can easily take care of all the issues we have noticed. A few I will share with you. Home teaching and visiting teaching is so so so incredible, it really is inspired of God. But also embracing the gospel in our own lives really makes the biggest impact. Becoming converted to the gospel means not only knowing the gospel and its teaching but living it! Don't just know God answers prayers, say your prayers. Don't just know Jesus was an example to us, actually live the teachings of Jesus Christ and be an example to others. 

Thursday we spent a lovely day in Huddersfield at zone conference. We received instruction from President and Sister Turvey. What a blessing it is to have them both.  We were instructed on church attendance and how we can make the new visitors feel welcomed. We had a few examples of when president Turvey would travel for business to California. When he attended church there, not a single person welcomed him or said hello to him. He attended all 3 hours. We received many different ways we can help our friends feel welcomed and at home as they attend church. We are all brothers and sisters so why not make them feel like it. Inviting them to FHE or a meal are some excellent ideas. 

I am sick. I have a horrible cold and it just won't go away. Aches, stuffy nose, cough, headache, chills.  You know the whole works :) I am pushing through though. 

So not many people actually know what my new area is like. I have mentioned how hight the population of Muslim people is. But that's about it. Here's a picture from my flat window.

My area is called Keighley (Keithley).  it is in the middle of three valleys that join together. The aire valley as it is called. Very hilly but also very pretty. There are quite a few council estates which are government funded housing. This is where all the chavs live :) In our area there are a couple really nice villages. Haworth, Silsden, Steeton, Riddlesden, Oakworth. The ward is shrinking. There are about 50 active members. 25 of them are related to each other. Many people are moving out but not many are moving in. The missionary work is completely different than Beverley. Some may know but we didn't do lots of teaching in Beverley. In Keighley we do lots of teaching. We have 5 friends who are scheduled for baptism. With a total of 7 friends who are learning about the church. Now a common issue in England is smoking and alcohol. So I have taught lots about repentance and addiction recovery. Turning to God for strength and seeking the good to over come the bad. 

I really am happy. It is a mission though, it's not easy but I am loving serving the Lord. I can not believe I am actually a missionary. Growing up in the church I always knew I'd eventually have a black badge. Now it's actually here and I don't even know what to do. 

I thank all of you who support and give me encouragement.  I really appreciate it. I promise I will at one point write a letter to those who have sent me something. At the moment I send about 1 letter a week. 

The famous Malham Cove

A beaut of a bike

Love Elder Pilling :) 

Sent from the land of lads

Monday, June 5, 2017

Open the door

Well I'm not really sure what happened this week. I'm not sure if it's
because of all the cleaning fumes I've smelt today or what.. we spent
5 hours deep cleaning our flat. Like it's perfect now. But I also have
a headache :)

I do remember we went to Piano Guys. Unfortunately our investigator
was not in the right state to go, so we left her behind. It was really
good though. They shared their testimonies and played some music. I
now have a stronger testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.
This last week I've studied the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, 
reading about Jesus Christ and his ministry. It's so powerful when you
can recognize the good he did because he loves us. He completed the
hardest thing ever done. He sacrificed his will and ultimately his
life for us. He felt ALL of our pains, trials, afflictions and struggles.
He knows us and loves us.

Some of you may have served a mission, some may not have, but
there is one thing evident. There is no way I could be doing what I
am doing without the Saviour. He is my strength and my light.
It gets so lonely and dark on a mission. All you have to do is open the door.  

He will lift and lighten no matter how dark and lost you feel. I love my Saviour. I love this work and I love this gospel. I encourage you all to open the door. Let his light fill you, it is a glorious feeling. 

Things are good.  We are teaching loads. We have 5 people scheduled
for baptism in June. The sun has been out tons. I saw Elder walker yesterday and Elder Thompson. It's good to catch up
with them.  

Some of my friends.

We did a lesson with the young women, there only 2 active girls. 

Some advice for my brother (who's getting ready to serve his 
mission in California) is something that I have been learning the last little
while.  Prepare yourself to change. Let the change happen. It's so
hard and change is often uncomfortable but it's what the Saviour wants.
Change is what the gospel is. If we allow the gospel to change us, we
are truly converted to it. The mission is all about sharing your testimony in
a way that will influence others to act. It's about helping them find God in their own life.

Until next week...

Love Elder Pilling 
Sent from the land of the lads