Monday, March 7, 2016

Week #7 - Smell of Miracles

Garden City, Kansas
Companion:  Elder Yardley

                                                                        Monday, March 7, 2016

Hola familia y amigos!

I am here in Kansas in a town of about 30,000 people, Garden City.
It's very far west in Kansas, about 3-4 hours away from mission home
in Wichita. We have had some incredible weather and smells wonderful.
It smells like "miracles"... Cow poop hahaha. My companion is Elder
Yardley, he is from a very small town Beaver, Utah. He is 6'7" and has
been out about 20 months on his mission. We have been okay, we are a
bit different from each other. He is Spanish speaking but hasn't been
in any Spanish speaking areas until now. Our ward is very missionary
minded and is half English half Spanish.

President Bell is so incredible. When we met him at the airport he
gave one of the biggest hugs ever. Also before leaving for Garden he
gave me a massive hug. He is very passionate about mission work and is
so inspired. I guess one of the members of the quorum of the 70 came
out and said that he's met every single mission president in the
world, and that we have the best one out of all the presidents he's
met. I didn't spend too much time with him, but he is pretty awesome.

I won't lie this week has been extremely hard. One of, if not the
hardest week of my life. Missions are no walk in the Lilly field. I
definitely knew that the mission was going to be hard, but I thought
that would be more from the rejection and the people , mocking us, not
finding success. Nope. There is a lot more to it. It's been hard to
feel at home and get comfortable, definitely not in the MTC anymore.
I've really been missing my family a lot this week. Which is odd
because I've never really struggled too much with at college nor when
I was in the MTC. It's really been hard. A big culture shock, people
here are so different than anywhere I've ever been. There are some
nice areas but mostly very very poor areas. We aren't speaking as much
Spanish as I was hoping we would. I'm trying to study my butt off but
you can only study a language so much. I'm trying to work on getting
Elder Yardley and other Spanish speaking missionaries to speak Spanish
with me.

Anyways, Sunday was exactly what I needed. We got 2 people on date for
baptism. We did get a family who dropped us, the parents were not
liking us coming over anymore. That was heartbreaking because the kids
were so ready. We did a lot of member visits and got a lot of
referrals. Being in members homes is such a wonderful feeling the
spirit that is there. I want all of you to know that life WILL be
tough and we will endure really hard things but they are all for our
experience and there are lessons for us to learn. The way we endure is
by getting down on our knees and wrestle with the Lord. Now sometimes
we don't always receive that instant peace and comfort but I know that
it will eventually come, with time. There are lessons that need to be
learned as we endure through the hard times, D&C 122:7, "And if thou
shouldst be cast into the pit...if thou be cast into the deep... If
fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness...and
above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide
after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee
experience, and shall be for thy good."

I testify this is true. There's a reason for all of our struggles in
life, they are there to help us progress towards becoming more like
our Father in Heaven. I know I'm here to serve the Lord with
everything I have. I am here to leave my family for a short amount of
time so others may be with their families for eternity. This church is
true, otherwise I would not be out here serving a mission for two
years. Please keep the missionaries I'm your prayers, they need them.
¡Les Quiero mucho!

Con amor,
Elder Pilkington

Mission Headquarters in Garden City, KS

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