Update on Aaron's Contact Info

Hi There... Aaron was able to email today. I guess that means his Preparation Day (P-Day) is Monday. For those of you that don't know what P-Day is... that is the day he gets to do laundry, write home, check email, go grocery shopping, and perhaps see a little of California. For now, the best way to reach him is email. We'll update the blog when we get an address for him. He is able to receive pictures via email now if you'd like to send some his way. He sounds great!


October 11, 2009

I have been getting ready today for leaving the MTC. I am so excited. I have worked hard and feel the Lord is pleased with my mission so far! I have learned so much here: doctrine, language, and I think most of all about myself. It is crazy, I didn't know this much change could happen to a person.

By the time you get this letter, I will be in Anaheim, have a comp and have been tracting probably. I am excited to leave the MTC. It was hard at times to know you were so close. Going to Cali will change that. I love you guys so much, the world cannot describe.

Love, Elder Phillips



Just went to the temple for the last time at the MTC, crazy how fast my time has gone here. I am so excited to go to Anaheim. It is coming in less than a week. So excited for General Conference this weekend.

Grandma made me my favorite cookies, those dark ones! Gosh they were great! Everyone loved me cause I gave them to them. I was very popular! HaHa.

I feel more comfortable talking in Spanish to native speakers, but I still have a long way to go, but if the spirit is with me, I know I can do it. The spirit continues to be strong for me, I love it. I learn so much daily in the scriptures, it's like I have never read them before, HaHa! Just crazy different than before in so many ways! I am older, wiser, and a missionary. Just so much cooler in how I understand everything so much better.

Well, I love you guys! It is gonna be good to get out there. No worries about me here. Keeping busy! Love you and thanks for everything.

Love, Elder Phillips


Wow! Everything is going great! I am having so much fun!

Ok, so I have a great funny, funny story about my buddy Zobrist! Ok, so he never could roll his r's... ever, in like 3 years of Spanish and here. He always tried to roll his r's and this awful sound came out that sounded like chewbaka. I always made fun of him and asked if he was calling his mate! haha, but this past week he finally did it and it was amazing. He was so so happy. This was great for him cause he has been having kinda a hard time and we all cheered so so loud he had like a chariot of fire moment, haha! He ran in slow mo with that song playing da na na na na na na...then he ran around the room and gave everyone a high five. Wow so so great! I guess the spirit helps with everything! Do your best and God will do the rest!

Wow! I am just so happy today, I can't tell you. I got another answer to my prayers! Gosh, God just seems to be looking out for me! It is great, I am not sure if it is just because I am a missionary, but I know it is cause my increased faith of Jesus Christ and his atonement and how he can help us do all things if it is his will. It is the coolest thing. My life has been changed so much for the better all ready! I have no clue what 2 years is going to do for me, but it is exciting. I am so so glad to have this opportunity.

Well good luck with everting. I can feel your prayers. I love you very much! I pray for you as well. Love, Elder Aaron James Phillips


Flying on a Jet Plane...

Elder Phillips is flying to Cali early Tuesday morning! He gets to call home to talk with my parents... and boy are they excited! This is a post to simply remind all of you that you'll have to start emailing Elder Phillips at ajpsports@myldsmail.net until we get an address for him in California. The LAST day to use DearElder.com will be Monday morning {BEFORE NOON} or else he will NOT get your letter!

Thanks for your support of my little bro thus far... he loves it... appreciates it... and is doing fabulous!



This is us being not focused on Saturday. We struggle on Saturdays because it's hard. I am trying to work on it. Our short ties look funny.
I thought the lighting was way cool last p-day.
The one time I almost ran away from the MTC! Ha ha... Just kidding I love it! Thought this picture would be funny!


I know know why missionaries get fat in the MTC! It's not the MTC food after all! It is because everyone's family and friends send so many goodies! Thanks it's great!

A funny story: Okay, so again we lost focus on Saturday, so we decided to do service to still be productive and still have fun, but before we did we tied our ties way short, with huge knots (picture included). We thought it was so so funny! Then we went and emptied the trash in our building in like the top 2 floors! So fun and productive but the best part is that I forgot my tie was short and people would stare at me. I was so confused till I figured out that I was just being a goof! haha! I love these guys they are great fun! I could not imagine the MTC without them!

I read my dad's conversion story this week. I think my dad's handwriting is in Hungarian, it is terrible! I needed the urim and thumin to decipher it! haha Mom's story was written like a book, for real! But that was really special, I waited all week to read those on Sunday! It was like my reward for a good weeks work. I also had to wait for a good time to be alone and read it, so I waited. I was so so touched by both stories. I began to cry!

Holy cow! I got so much mail this week! I love it! Thanks! I also got the mail from Aunt Kath. That was such a touching story about my Mom and Dad. I plan on sharing that with my Mom and Dad's conversion story when I am teaching the people in California. It was so great! I love her to death!

You know how I call people at the referral center? So cool, I talked to someone in Spanish! Like way hard, but I did it. I still have a long way to go but I talked to them!

I am excited to get letters and stuff this week. I love you guys so much!

Love, Elder Phillips



Wow. Gorgeous. This is just during personal study. I had to have someone take a pic. I love it. This is just right out side the MTC doors. It was a great day. Personal study is my favorite time.
My first haircut at the MTC. How do I look?
Aaron being silly with the other missionaries, trying to run up the walls.

I can't believe I'm 1/2 way done with the MTC, it has been so fun!

Ok, on the spiritual side, I was really wondering a lot and thinking about who to fast for on Fast Sunday. I asked so many people, still didn't know so I pulled a James 1:5--["If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."] and I prayed about it. I asked God if I should fast for my mom and dad not to have too hard of a time, or if I should pray for the people in Anaheim cause I really do think about them often. Guess who I felt I should pray for? Not my friends, not my family, not the people of California. ANYA, I know the person we look up to. I would have second thoughts myself, but I had such an overwhelming feeling to fast for her. I don't know why, but the Lord told me, so I did. Let me tell you, it was the easiest fast ever and the longest. Because I knew what I was fasting for and I thought about her whenever I got hungry or thirsty! It was a great experience. I hope she felt it!

A funny story....we joke around with the nueros (new guys) if they have their missionary goggles on. I will explain, when you have been here a while you start to think the sister missionaries are cute, we call that missionary goggles cause they are not. Granted they do have very sweet spirits. But, lets just say my comp has his on. And with a couple of guys and tells them all this stuff and always has to look for them and talk to them. So we tease him and talk to him in spanish and tell him his missionary goggles are too tight, HaHa!

Another funny story, I was playing volley ball this week and it got intense! We are getting good so it was getting really intense and physical. Then, oh my gosh, two kids charged the net and since one was Elder Lew, and he is only like 5'4" when they jumped one of their knees went right into his XXXXX! He moaned for so long and like if you can imagine an Asian person moan in pain, that was what it was. So funny, WOW!

I love you so much, thanks!

Elder Phillips



Hi to all!

We had an awesome speaker last night. A man and his wife came and spoke to us about their conversion story and it really made me think of my parents a lot. I want to know both of your story better. Give me tons of details. Anyways, she spoke on passing along the gospel and that is really why I came on my mission cause I wanted to pay the church back for making me and my family so happy! I love you guys so much, it made me realize that more than ever.

My advice for this week is to write in a journal and to study it cause you get so much more revelation. I think it is cause when we write it is saying thanks for giving me this revelation, then he gives you more and more. Also, when you write in one at night it is like therapeutic! It makes the days go faster.

I do love it here, but I can’t wait to get to Cali. One reason is for the weather another cause I know the people need me. I want to get out there fast!

I have a story for you guys! We get over-worked sometimes so we loose it….we think weird stuff is funny cause all we know is church stuff now! We were talking about how the word of wisdom was revealed in 1833 and how they were probably really worried about drunk drivers with their horses and buggies. Then we thought about that image. It is funny to think about…at least here. I laughed for a good 20 minutes!

Love you guys so much, thanks for everything. Keep writing lots!


Elder Phillips


Half Way!

Elder Phillips is half way through his MTC experience! He is loving the MTC, but is anxious to get to California where "the people need him!" We love you Aaron...
good luck in your second half!



Last night together as a full zone. Guatamalens go down to the MTC there after 3 weeks.
1/3 of the laundry room. It's huge. So many machines. It is crazy.
One of my first friends (Elder Woodward). He was a farmer and the only kid willing to go against me in a push up contest! Ha ha!


sorry to disappoint everyone but there is no tree of life anymore. everyone gets there own shower. i am still loving it here so so much and there are so many fun times. half of our district left which was really hard. i have now taught twice in spanish the first lesson i am learning so fast it is so so so great. it is crazy. i know so much already and i am being spiritually fed it is way good. Elder Richard G Scott came and taught us mainly about the spirit. He said who cares if it is the spirit or not it does not matter if it is good. just do it, be a good boy. that is the key. also my advice for this week is: to be truly happy we must always be changing. never be idle always be doing something to prepare for the next and we will always be happy never be idle, it is not good. always be learning to better yourself. keep sending letters i love to get them. and it is so fun here. some of my best friends left this week from our zone. it is sad but cool to have them go even thought i will probably never see them again. but it is cool anyways. it is great here. the message is the same. the atonement is the key to everything. repent and we will be happy if we follow the example of Jesus Christ. i love everyone. love elder phillips



Check out my sweet set up. B-ball and I sleep on the top bunk.
Being a goof ball on my p-day with my companions Elder Shipley and Elder Harder

This is Aaron's email dated 8/19/09:

i am just loving it here. it is totally great. my advice for this week is to really think about the atonement. because it really does everything for us. try and think about it cause that it what our church is all about. i love it so much. i am doing so good. those letters you sent were perfect. and the best way to reach me now is dear elder. keep it up i love getting letters. some funny things that have happened are i yelled temple in my sleep and that same night me and (Elder)ship(ly) kept elder harder up like all night. it was so funny to hear about it after. Next, they think we have what we call harry potter passageways here. it is totally nuts to think about. and i think it is true. because there are like hollow places everywhere it is totally crazy. also someone wrote a fake dear john letter to this kid but he knew about it he showed people and fake cried it was so so so funny. oh my gosh. i also get really hyper when ever we get ice cream which is every wednesday and sunday it is great. oh yeah i forgot to tell everyone about the food i am eating well i usually just eat salad and cereal and fruit which is all good. but when i do eat meals they are pretty good. but there is one large problem that they put fillers in it to make you full. so because of this it makes you fart tons and tons it is terrible. and it is probably cause you are with guys all day. but it seems like alot of farts. and i guess you sit alot to so yeah. and i forgot to tell you. i am going to be here during general conference. and i will sing in preisthood. it is going to be totally sweet. dont worry about me there are very few hard times. and much more great times i am learning quickly and i love everyone. keep being amazing. ahaha i continue to love my companions.

well i love you. i would love to hear from you lots. cant write me enough love elder phillips


Elder Phillips' Email Address

This is Aaron's email address for the next 2 years! Keep in mind that he only checks his email once a week... and may or may not be able to respond to you via email. Some mission presidents have rules that the missionaries are only able to email their immediate family. We will hopefully have more specific rules when he actually arrives in California in 2 months. However, for now, feel free to email him at the following address:



wow what a great first week it has just flown by. i love it so much the typical day for me at the mtc is to get up twenty minutes early. shower with no one there cause i am up so early. do my exercises alone cause there are not many who work out in the morning. then it goes into service one day a week. and devotional on monday. then we always have personal and companion study for a few hours. and you eat every time. i am actually eating alot better and alot less here. my new favorite food is grape nuts with honey. it is amazing. (i am missing jolly time popcorn. kettle or butter) We also learn all day, more about the gospel than anything else. i love it so far though and have learned a ton in spanish. i have 2 companions we are in a trio it is fun one is elder shipley from san antonio and the other from springville elder harder. they are both great and we learn alot from each other they are fun. i have a principle that i am going to share with everyone it is in Alma forty nine i believe about how awesome moroni is, he made his army strong where they were weak and then there enemies didn't know what to do and lost. so that is what we need to do make our weaknesses strong holds and then Satan wont know what to do. my teachers names are hermana wall and hermano penaillio. penailillio went to la cali on his mission and is from Chile Santiago i believe they are both awesome i have learned so much. the branch presidency is way cool too. i have learned a great deal from them as well. they are really wise and really really smart. they all have alot to say. our district is really cool. and don't worry i will send some pics soon. it takes a while to get used to how everything works but i think i have it figured out i will tell you more about my district later. i only get thirty min love you bye love you guys.



Dear Mom and Dad-
I love you so much. Man this place is great. Everyone is so happy. You guys are the best for letting me go on a mission. My companions are Elder Shipley and Elder Harder. We are a trio and get along well. I like it so far here. The spirit is so so great. We sang "Hark all ye Nations" and it was overwhelming, it was really great. I feel like I am already growing.... I love you. Love, Elder Phillips


Missionary Training Center Drop Off

Well, this was it. The day had come. It was time to say goodbye. I wasn't on the ride down to Provo (45 minutes) but I am sure it was a quiet ride... or maybe it wasn't. Aaron drove down... mom in the front... dad in the back. When they arrived at the MTC, they were directed by missionaries where to park. Then missionaries opened their car doors, popped the trunk, and took out Aaron's luggage. A older sister missionary was there to give my mom a card with Aaron's address, a final hug was exchanged, and off he went. Mom says that it almost felt like you were in the Disneyland parking lot being directed and served. It took less than a minute to get the bags out of the car and to say goodbye.

Before Mom and Dad dropped Aaron off, they went to the Provo Temple to walk around. There they were able to talk to other families dropping off their missionaries. It was fun to see where everyone was from and where they were headed on their missions.

Aaron talking to some missionaries already in the MTC. These were the missionaries helping the new missionaries with their bags. I think Aaron fits right in!
A goofy "Aaron" smile with the peace sign... symbolizing the fact that he will see us all in "TWO"!
Dad, Elder Phillips, and Mom at the traditional MTC sign!
Aaron sure looks happy, don't you think?

Breakfast at Original Pancake House

The morning Aaron went to the MTC, the whole family went to eat at the Original Pancake House. It was fun to have everyone at breakfast before our final goodbyes to Elder Aaron!


Want to send an email to Aaron and have the MTC print it and put it in his mailbox for free? There is a great service provided by dearelder.com. Go to www.dearelder.com, register for an account, and click on the link on the left side that says "Provo MTC (Free)". Then use Aaron's full name {Elder Aaron Phillips} his mailbox number {226-1007} and his departure date {10/07}, write your email and push send. Why is this cool? Well, in the MTC there are a limited amount of computers. Missionaries who want to use their email to write home only can do this on Preparation Day (P-Day, which we think is Wednesday) and have to wait in a line for their turn for a computer. This way, you'll know that Aaron will get his letter from dearelder.com the same day in his mailbox!


Elder Phillips' Address {MTC}

It's official... Aaron's at the MTC! It was a sad goodbye for my mom and dad... but my dad says that Aaron was extremely happy to be there and ready to get to work!

You may write Aaron at this address while he is in the MTC. He will have a church based email address as well. We will post as soon as we know what it is. Pictures of the last few days and the MTC to come very soon!

Elder Aaron Phillips
MTC Mailbox# 226-1007
Anaheim California Mission
2005 North 900 East
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Being Set Apart as a Missionary

The night before Aaron went to the MTC, he was "Set Apart". This basically means that he received a special blessing from our Stake President to have him become a missionary. It was a very spiritual and special night. We sang Called to Serve, prayers were said by Anya and Dad and everyone was able to share a few things with Aaron. Those in attendance were Mom, Dad, Aaron, Ali, Jake, Anya, Scott, Grandma and Grandpa Haskell, President McQuinn, President Goodman, President Bateman, and Bishop Bollinger. Among things shared were bearing testimony, giving advice, and sharing words of encouragement and love for Aaron. It was emotional to say the least. Aaron will be an amazing missionary. He will work hard and then work even more hard. The people of Anaheim will be lucky to have his smiling face around.

Saying goodbye to Jackson

Before getting set apart with Mom and Dad.

Tidbit of Information: After Aaron was set apart, he was officially a missionary and therefore had to abide by mission rules. One of those rules is to never go anywhere without a "companion". Aaron's companions for the night were Mom and Dad... so what did Aaron do? Sleep in their room on the couch for his last night at home. Amazing kid, eh?


The Haircut

Aaron was determined to not cut his hair this summer until the day before he left. Well, he met that goal. Here he is getting his hair cut for the mission:


Happy 19th Birthday!

Lucas is waiting patiently for his piece of ice cream cake from Cold Stone!
Aaron and Mom
Happy 19th Birthday, Aaron!

Mission Farewell

Aaron and his good friend Jordan Aste at his farewell open house in our backyard!
Mom and dad take a much needed break as the open house winds down.
Look at the cute cookies of missionaries, the state of California, the California flag, palm trees and suns.
Aaron, Katie Bagley, Annie Eichers, and Brock Aiken at the open house.

Echo Triathlon

Aaron finishing up his bike segment and going into the transition area to ready himself for the run.
Aaron won his age group and took 7th place overall! Not bad for his first sprint triathlon!
Aaron and his dad as they prepare for the race start!


Mission Farewell

Aaron's Missionary Farewell will be held on Sunday, July 19, 2009 from 11:00 am-12:15 pm at the church located at 6710 South 2522 East, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Mission Bucket List {Lake Powell}

This past week we went to Lake Powell. This is a yearly family tradition and on Aaron's bucket list. Aaron had fun "cutting the glass" in the morning, riding the tube, playing cards, and eating dutch oven.
Aaron, Mom, Dad, Ali, Jake....and Jack! The photographer cut out the little tike!
Aaron is tubing with Ali and having fun laughing at his sister!
Aaron is "cutting the glass" at 6:00 am.


The Temple

Aaron was able to go to the temple this past week. He chose to go to the Draper Temple. I had never been to this temple before, and it did not disappoint. It's a smaller temple, but oh so beautiful. We all had a good experience, especially Aaron. I am so proud of him. He is going to be such a fabulous missionary!
Grandpa & Grandma Haskell, Dad, Aaron, Mom, Scott and Anya
{don't mind the blurriness of this picture.
we apparently asked the wrong person to take the photo}
The Draper Temple


Congrats GRADUATE!

I thought we'd post some more events leading up to Aaron's mission! 

Aaron... we are so proud of you graduating from High School! Not only did you excel in football and swimming, you excelled in your studies as well! I am going to have mom help me list all of your achievements for journaling purposes later... just know that everyone is so proud of you! Your potential is endless... go out and get whatever your little heart desires! 


Mission Bucket List {Triathlon}

The first weekend of May Aaron and our parents went to St. George so Aaron could complete his first Triathlon. Aaron hadn't really "trained" officially for this event, but no one was really worried about him. He did really well, and even surprised himself by how fast he ran! {Why didn't I get the running gene's?} The only bad part about the day was that the swim event was cancelled due to white caps on the lake! Dang, Aaron's best event. But, don't worry he did it off the clock at the end of the Triathlon. Everyone had a great time!


The Call...

After much anticipation... the call came and was opened in front of a large crowd of friends and family! Elder Aaron James Phillips will serve in the...

{Spanish speaking}
Reporting to the MTC on 
AUGUST 5th, 2009

Aaron seemed really excited about his call! Especially about learning Spanish! Hola, Como Esta?!! He has always LOVED California. He has joked with my mom before that he was born in the wrong state because he loved California so much! Congratulations Aaron! We are so excited for you!