Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan 26, 2015

Happy 2015!

Sorry I'm a few weeks late. I'm not doing as great as I would've hoped on getting these letters sent out. 

First of all, you may have seen the animal pictures already. [I love animals. They taste supa goooood (Not the eagle, that's illegal) (I'm a poet)] {Not funny, Thomas...}There is a bald eagle on the reservation in Mesa that we've taken pictures of. Another one was of me skinning a sheep. In Mexico, they have a tradition of eating sheep every New Years Eve. We went out to the sheep field that the church owns on the res and caught one for the ward party. That's all the detail I'll give. (You're welcome Mom ;))  {I, Jill,  asked him if the Sheep's name was to get a little guilt in there, right?  It didn't work. This was his response....}
Nope, but close. His name was SAAAAAAM (in a sheep voice)

After having spent the last year in Mesa in the Mesa Grande Ward, I've been switched to the mountains! Several things have changed actually. First, I'm now 100% in English work. No mas espanol. Hopefully I don't lose it too quickly. I'm still going to study as much as we have time for.
Second, I'm a zone leader again. I was kind of hoping the transfer long break they gave me would be two or three transfers long. It was great to have the entire day to work in the area. I really am glad to be able to serve in leadership again though. So many fun stories come from other missionaries that we're able to work closer with as zone leaders. Third, we are covering two wards. That will be a big change to adapt to. 

My companion is Elder Hinds. He is also from UT and lived most recently in Layton. He has been serving for about a year. More details on him will come. 

I'm in Snowflake. Luckily, there's no snow, but I was still asked to buy some warmer clothes and boots. The area is great! We cover two wards, Snowflake 1st and 8th. Our boundaries are pretty much east of main street to the county line. One half of concho rd is 8th and the other half is 1st. Our ward mission leaders are brothers. One of them is the city judge and the other is a guard at the prison. Both have some pretty neat stories. We go to meetings and church starting at 7 am and are gone until about 3, so it's not as bad as the missionaries covering 3 wards who are gone until 5. The zone covers all of Snowflake, Concho/St. Johns, and out to Eager. The entire part of the mission in New Mexico is one area and is in our zone. (I may be wrong on that, but we DO cover at least part of New Mexico in our zone.) It takes about 1 hour to get to the missionaries in Concho/ St. Johns and another hour from there to get to Eager.  I'm excited for the service we'll be able to do. I'll send pictures in the next few months. 

This is a big change for me, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to grow. I have faith and trust that the Lord will help me as I struggle with the language barrier for the first few weeks. I know that this IS part of His plan for me and that He knows my full potential. I'm excited to see how this change will provide me with a stronger ability teach in English and to figure out the best way to help this area grow. 

I know the Lord lives and loves us each. He truly does have a plan for us all. 

Until next week! (Or a few months... sorry ;))

Elder Pilkington

                                                                            Bald Eagle

                                                              Dead New Year's Sheep :(

Skinning the Dead New Year's Sheep...How is that a celebration?

                                                            Bald Eagle on Reservation

                                                      Elder Pilkington in Snowflake on P-Day

Monday, January 5, 2015

Jan 5, 2015

This Christmas wasn't as festive as last year. We had half decent tamales and tomatoes with feta cheese. I loved seeing and talking to you again :) Calling home has changed since the first Christmas, but I still love it! I'm feeling good about things. We just had interviews with President Sweeney and he gave me some different information that I'm a little nervous about.  In the interview I had, he asked me about going to English work. He think it will be a good change for me and I would have to agree with that. He also told me that big things were coming, which I translate into training again or maybe a zone leader or something of that degree. Other missionaries have been joking with me and saying I'm going to be the assistant, but I'm pretty sure that's not a thing. The zone leaders we have right now know something that I don't and won't tell me--haha. I guess I'll just have to wait. We get our news on the 17th.  The elders that I'm with are awesome! The ward is great, but I'll be sad to leave. I'm having all the members write in my little book, and everybody is saying I'm their favorite missionary because of how long I've been here. It'll be like leaving home probably!

I had a little surgery on my toe for an ingrown toenail.  It's feeling better now. I'm supposed to soak it every night and clean it in the morning. I got surgery with a different elder named Elder Walter. He is in the mountains now. He put like 4 shots in the toe to numb it and then just did it in front of me. It was nasty to watch, but I didn't feel anything. He just pulled back the skin and cut it out. I think it was straight down. Then he did something to it so that it wouldn't grow back.

Dad mentioned some things about following the promptings of the spirit.  I've found some great things about it. One of my preferred scriptures to share with members that also goes along with the Spirit and the Spirit of conversion is in Luke. I believe it's 22:32. It teaches us that once we've been converted, we are to turn to our brethren to strengthen them. I think there is a focus there on our brethren who have already joined the church but that are struggling. I look back before my mission and never once  looked around the congregation to see who was missing. Now, that is my entire focus and I'd like to bring that home with me. ALSO, a sentence I've come to hate when our bishop asks a member how another member has been, is, "That's not my family." Just because you aren't assigned to them means you can push their welfare and well being off to the side? Not in God's book.
The area is going ok. We don't have a lot of progressing work right now, but we DO have a date for THIS Saturday. O's son who is like 20 is getting baptized in our ward! We began to teach him when we were teaching his dad, but he is married to a native woman who doesn't speak Spanish so we transferred him to the English ward. They taught him the majority of the gospel, but he then decided to switch to Spanish again. I'm so excited, especially because I was one of the first teaching missionaries! Pictures to come. We'll have to come back to their sealing hopefully. It will likely be in January or February of 2016.
                                                                            P Day!

                                                              Had to have toenail surgery

                                                        Great baptism with family of 3

                                                         Elders Pilkington and Strike