December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve with Steven and his family!
Hey look! I can go running in Antarctica! Great presents from Mom & Dad!
More presents! Check it out! I am ready for battle!
My Christmas Morning...

What's up? I loved it here on Christmas. It was really different than I thought it would be but it was like 150 percent better. I envisioned being home sick with freezing cold miserable nights, but it was not like that at all. I just loved every second of it. I will do a brief run down of Christmas Eve and Christmas and why it was soooo great! Christmas Eve and Christmas we worked a little and we also had lots of fun. We watched a church movie and did all the fun stuff that we should do to celebrate the holidays. We did some visits to some people. Christmas Eve we went to visit Steven de La Cruz, my buddy and recent baptism. He is doing super good and we ate and played wii. Then I got to call my parents and that was super super good. It was super short, only 40 minutes. I think I might have gone a few seconds over, but I have since repented for my 30 seconds of sin! Ha Ha! Then we stayed up late talking. That is the first time I have done that on my mission. I am usually too tired and just go to bed on time every night. It was good to get to know the other elders better. Then we woke up and opened presents, read letters and watched the videos my parents sent me. It was really really good. The best part was after. I studied the stories of the gospel that talk about the birth of Jesus. It was amazing! The best thing I have ever done! It was so great to really focus not on gifts or anything. I was just alone in my own little world just pondering and praying about it. It was just sacred and spiritual and really amazing. Plus, I got sooooo many gifts from everyone. Thanks to everyone! It was just great and I loved them all. We are playing with all the toys that all the elders received on their mission. It was great. We went to see some members during the day and then at night we went over to Bill Malone's (recent baptism). His two kids came from Ireland and he gets to see them for the holidays. It was great! We played with them a ton on Christmas day and played Trouble and that was fun. I will never forget it. It was great and then they took us home.

Christmas continues...I was doing so good not eating sweets, then guess what? My mother's package got here yesterday and I just loved it all. She sent all the homemade candy and cookies that she makes at Christmas. I ate them all in like one day! I have been in a food coma since Christmas Eve!

Sunday, we went to church and I was ready to translate and then all of a sudden the Bishop says that due to the storm we are only going to have Sacrament Meeting. Pretty much the whole city of Boston shut down for 24 hours! We got a "red dot" which means we couldn't leave our house for basically 2 days! That was P-day so that is why I didn't write on Monday and am writing on Wednesday. We spent our night Sunday playing this awesome board game and played for like two days and we renovated our house with a deep cleaning. Gosh I hate elders they are soooo sick! I cleaned the stove for like an hour straight and the walls and stuff. We tried to take advantage of the time we had to spend inside.

On a more serious note, we have been visiting 2 sets of people. One is a family of all members except for one woman and the other is a set of investigators. They both have cancer. I gave both of them a blessing and after the blessings, Elder Still and I both felt as if they were going to die. It has been really hard and so sad. I know that God is with them and we have had some spiritual blessings for being part of their lives.

I know my Savior lives and we have been sent to bless the lives of these people! My scripture of the week is in Isaiah 9:6. I love the wording! Yes, my Savior is Wonderful and that is His name!

Peace and Blessings!
Elder Phillips


December 20, 2010

At the top of the tallest building in Boston!
Doing Service!
At the Science Museum!

The work is going great! We are still really focusing on giving out Books of Mormons. Sometimes we give out so many and sometimes you just don't. It is weird. We are still super busy doing tons of service. Sometimes we don't stop all day. It is awesome. I love it. I really love the city. Iam getting along really well with it, so that is even better. I love it during the winter...still no snow, but it is supposed to snow this week. That will be good. I would like a white Christmas because that is all I've ever known.

Last Monday, we got the opportunity to go to the science museum for a couple of hours. I sure loved it. It was really cool! We got in free because we were missionaries. Then we just had a normal Monday. Christmas on the mission is so different. It doesn't really feel any different than any other time of the year, except I get to open presents every day! I love the 12 Days of Christmas that you sent! Thanks!

Tuesday, was super cool because I went on exchanges with Elder Loper. He is this tall skinny kid and boy can he eat! He is super cool. He was born into a Mexican family, so he can eat a ton of spicey food. He speaks English, Spanish and Creol and is learning French. He is a stud and a really good listener. He got lots of stuff out of me that I don't usually talk about much. We had 2 dinners...one was this really good Haitian spaghetti and the other was deep fried hotdogs! Not so good! The people don't have much money, but they still want to take care of us. I am learning to eat anything.

Funny story: I was lifting weights with no one spotting me in the night. I was benching and lost my balance. One side of the weight fell and then the other and then I fell! Ha Ha! No injuries, just really funny. It was sad that no one recorded it!

Thursday, we got up early to go unload a truck of food for our service. We taught all these lessons and then went to the hospital and gave a blessing to someone I knew in Chelsea. It was good to see her and talk a little. Her little girl had surgery for 6 hours! Then, we taught this great lesson, but it didn't start out so well. We get to this members house where they have invited a nonmember friend over for a lesson. We start out teaching, but the lesson isn't going very well. We can't feel the spirit at all. Then all of a sudden the member we were with just said, "Can we start with a prayer?" Well, of course, we always start with a prayer, but we forgot this one time. After the prayer everything changed and it was great! Afterwards, I thought, I am a missionary and gosh, I just got out played by a member missionary! Ha Ha!

Saturday we did service all day! We painted this guys house, this is after we fixed the whole house up trying to get it ready for him to move in. Then he took us out to eat at the top of the hub which is the tallest place in the city. So cool and good food!

Sunday, we had a special Christmas program at church. It was very spiritual. We sang and stuff....really good!

I love you guys a ton! Have a good Christmas. Peace and blessings and thanks for the prayers and support! Elder Phillips


December 13, 2010

The lights at Quincy Square!

WOW! What a great week! We had so much to do. I am very content even though our numbers are really low last week. Being a missionary is really fun. We are really trying to promote Christmas by giving out gifts of Books of Mormon to all the people we see. We are really making a push to give out Books of Mormon and to get them out in circulation. We are trying to do things that really get people in the holiday spirit. I cannot believe we are already in the middle of December. I really enjoy being a missionary during this time of the year. The spirit of the calling and service and being a personal representative of Jesus Christ is really good and I love it.

It is really getting cold and I don't want to get sick again this season. I am trying to bundle up really good and do all the things necessary to not get sick. Last Monday was really fun. We went and saw some of the decorations in the city in a place called Quincy Square. It was really cool! Today, we are going to the Museum of Science and next week we are planning to go see the big tree at Prudential. Christmas is a big deal here, there are tons of decorations and festivals all in the downtown area. It was really fun to see how cool it is and how even the hard hearted Bostonians kinda open up there hearts to us.

Last Tuesday, we got the amazing opportunity to go to the temple as a zone and have a little party for Christmas. It was really great to get into the temple again and just really thing about Jesus Christ. We also got the opportunity to get our presents from home. I have too many all ready! Thanks, by the way! We got the opportunity to testify of our testimony. One thing really struck me hard the other day and that was: What if Jesus Christ somehow missed me when he suffered all the pains of the world. I know that it is not possible but just saying...would he come back and suffer for me again? I know with all my heart that if he did forget, he would do it all over again for me because that is how much I love him and how much I know he loves me.

A lot of people bailed on us this week, which is not fun. But, we got the opportunity to walk around in freezing Boston weather trying to get into less active members houses. We walked around for three hours in weather that was in the 20's. It was colder than that with the wind. The wind is not fun folks...it is like you are naked in the weather because it just goes right through what you are wearing! But it is still fun. I have been living off hot chocolate when we get back at night to try to warm me up!

Thursday was sweet because we got to teach a ton. We were just running from appointment to appointment and just taught like crazy. I think we got rewarded for being out in the cold the night before!

Friday and Saturday we did service. We did manual labor and it was gnarly. I hung dry wall on the ceiling and moved huge radiators. It was good but I was pretty tired for Sunday. Sunday, we had the Primary Christmas program and that was great! It is still my favorite Sunday. There were only 10 kids in the program, which is way different than home. We also confirmed Steven last week which was supper, super good!

Well, love you all. Peace and blessings. I hope you like the pictures as much as I did.
Love, Elder Phillips


December 6, 2010

My week has been super amazing and great! Yesterday was my first real baptism! WOW! What a day and let's say kinda rough. We are expected to do a lot...well everything! We made a program with a person that doesn't speak Spanish...not fun. I made cupcakes for refreshments. Steven showed up 45 minutes late. I forgot a change of underwear. The font didn't have enough water in it. I was so nervous, that I couldn't speak Spanish. His pants got air in them, and I had to redo the baptism 4 times! What a great day!

I had to translate for someone in a temple recommend interview yesterday. How awkward! The questions are pretty personal and I am only 20 years old and in with the Stake President and a member and they are talking about the Law of Chastity. AWKWARD!

Saturday, we were able to go to the temple with Bill, our recent convert! He was so excited to go and the spirit was so strong. The spirit was different, something that I have never felt before. It felt like gratitude that God was giving me for helping to be a tool and bringing Bill closer to Him! It was very interesting. The spirit of the mission is very different. It is hard to explain.

Friday, we got to meet all the new elders in the district. It is really weird. The spirit is so different in every elder and everyone has their own talents and abilities to bring to the meetings. Things change so quickly that you do not have too much time to get to know people or what they have to offer unless they are your companion.

It is really starting to get cold here now and it is supposed to snow this week. It is fun and sacred to be on a mission during Christmas. I have two dinners set up for Christmas, so I will probably end up in a food comma like during Thanksgiving.

Funny story of the week: We have these big ole radiators to heat our house. There is one in our bathroom to help keep the bathroom warm while we shower. Well, I was getting ready to shower and I burned my bare butt on the radiator! HaHa! Good stuff!

Sunday, we watched the Christmas devotional. It was super great and really brought me back to the real meaning of Christmas. What exactly is the spirit of Christmas? Let me know what you think? I have thoughts but I would like to hear others thoughts, too!

Peace and Blessings.

Love Elder Phillips


December 1, 2010

The "Flour Game"
District Picture
Turkey Bowl--Football Game!

Wow! Another transfer and guess what? Nothing happened! We thought that Elder Still was going, but he is staying right here where he is supposed to stay! I have 6 more weeks with Elder Still and the other same guys in the apartment which I enjoy. They are a lot more mellow than me and it is nice to be around that. We have so much work to do here and I love it!

So, Turkey Day in the mission was awesome! Thanks mom for praying so hard that I would have a place to go for dinner. I blame you for gaining all that weight on Thanksgiving Day! God always does answer our prayers. Next time, don't pray quite as hard, okay? We went to 3 houses and we ended with the hispanics. We are so stupid! I have never ever ever eaten so much in my entire life! It was not so fun.

I have been sick the last 2 weeks but is is all good. I have worked every day. You can't keep me out of Boston and doing the work I love. We are busy and tearing it up! We are looking to have some good baptisms, too. I am very excited. The work is coming along. In a few days, we are going to the temple with the ward and then the day after that we have my first baptism and he asked me to baptize. I am so happy! He is also talking about going on a mission. So that is even more exciting!

Elder Still and I were talking about our names. His middle name is Ammon and my name is Aaron. Ammon and Aaron were missionaries in the Book of Mormon...so Ammon and Aaron are working together again! This is why we are doing so good together! HaHa!

Saturday was super fun. We helped paint Bill's house all day! He took us out to eat after. That was great....the stuff you do on missions! I love it!

Monday, I found out that Nick, my investigator, and my dad talked. He loved it and dad pretty much gave him a lesson and that was super cool! It was a really good lesson! This is a kid that is doing all the normal stuff that kids my age are doing and he has stopped it all because of a prayer and some lessons from us. It was just awesome and so spiritual to see how happy he is! It is just amazing to see people change their life for the better!

Love you all! Peace and blessings!


November 22, 2010

Christmas Ornament?
Handing out Thanksgiving Dinner's for 150 people!
Things are going great. We are preparing for Thanksgiving and it seems like it should be good...I am not expecting anything special because the last holiday was so lame! So, if I keep my sights low....I won't be disappointed.

Yesterday, I was humbled with my Spanish...a lot! I was asked to translate again in front of everyone for a hispanic member. His talk was kinda weird and he didn't give it to me to look over it before the meeting. I guess I did fine, but I just was forgetting small words. I know this happened because I was starting to get cocky with the language. It is pretty funny how things happen and how the Lord can humble someone.

Tuesday, was a good day. Steven, my first baptism is progressing great and I am so happy like he gets everything. He had his interview for baptism and we were complimented and told he is very well prepared. I was so happy and content to be apart of something bigger than me and that I could do something to help someone. I also learned how to make papusas and they were good! We learned how to make them with a person that used to make and sell papusas in Salvador. They are like my favorite thing in the world and they were homemade...amazing! People have been mistaking me for a hispanic person! I don't know if they are lying, but it makes me feel really good about my spanish!

Wednesday, Wow! We started to teach this kid my age! He is twenty two and knows the Book of Mormon is true. He just really, really likes his lifestyle. He is amazing and he has been talking to friends. He reads more in the Book of Mormon than me! Wow! I had this prompting for him to read Moroni 7. He read it in the library at school and started to cry cause he could feel the spirit so strong and he knew that he had gotten an answer to his prayers. Some people are just ready. He is just worried about how his family would react to him changing religions. Gosh, reminds me of my dad! I might have him call you dad!

Friday was a cool day. We gave out free turkeys at the service...150 turkeys! It was a sight and we got one too. We are going to do an activity tomorrow with our missionaries and the other people in our ward and investigators.

Saturday, we ended up sanding a floor all day for a member! What a huge mess. He had to leave because he had family coming in town. We were so tired from sanding all day, but it was worth it when he came back and gave us so many compliments and was so grateful! It felt great to do some manual labor!

I hope you all have a great week and a Happy Turkey Day! Read President Monson's talk on gratitude. It was amazing...that is my challenge to be more grateful! Peace and Blessings! Elder Aaron James Phillips


November 15, 2010

Elder Phillips and Mr. Hollywood

Elder Mecham and I

I feel like this week went by really, really fast and it was really, really fun!

I found a fantastic scripture this week. It just gives the best reason to be out on a mission. It is in 3 Nephi 18:32 and it states, "Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them." This means that I am the means that God can bring to pass salvation to others and I need to preach the gospel to somebody that needs to have the gospel in their life. This is just a great scripture and it was so great to find it.

Tuesday, I taught someone from China that doesn't believe in God or Jesus Christ. He made all these commitments and then we stopped by the other day and he had left a note that told us that we can't expect him to do all the things that we asked him to do. We left him a Chinese Book of Mormon. Then our investigator that was supposed to get baptized this week postponed because his mom couldn't do it. We will have to wait a little longer. I hope that I will be here when does get baptized. Today, he asked so many questions about the Word of Wisdom. He said that he doesn't think that drinking alcohol and smoking are bad for you. Then the next visit something hit me that I forgot about when the Word of Wisdom was revealed to Joseph Smith, he didn't think tobacco was not bad either. Then we explained to him that as technology advanced we found out how bad tobacco was. That is why we have a prophet to guide us and that when we listen we will be blessed. It was awesome. He was so much better after that. I love it when God helps you explain things!

Two Sundays ago, I met the coolest guy in the English ward. He is from Mexico We are good buddies because I talk Spanish. This guy is such a gentleman. He is a VIP butler and he loves me because I gave him a blessing in Spanish. Then he took us out to this Chinese restaurant and we had this ginger duck. Then we went on exchanges on Saturday and he took us out for lunch. He is the coolest guy ever.

We went on changes this week and I went with Elder Mecham. He is a small country, southern boy. He loves to cook and is going to open a restaurant after he saves enough money working on the oil rigs after his mission. I sure never thought I would meet someone like him. I thought they were extinct! It was just awesome to go with him. We went all over but it was weird that we went to a place of all white people and all the people were rich! I spoke very little Spanish. His dad is a chicken farmer and he talks more than me!

Sunday was great! I am getting better at translating. I am still talking a lot of Spanish, so I am still getting better. I am really happy to be here! We teach lots of Spanish people. I love this work. This is the place for me, in the city! I don't know what I would do without the Hispanics or the city. I will do great where ever the Lord sends me. I just love it!


November 7, 2010

Wedding at the church.

Playing Risk with my roommates!

On the Harvard University campus!

Thanks for all the support and the letters and stuff.  Last week, we went to Harvard University, which was really cool.  It was just like in all the movies.  The campus is just gorgeous and the houses are really amazing.  We looked so out of place, even with our white shirts and ties, we stood out!  I could really go to school there!  I am thinking about if for my MBA.  We will see.  It would be amazing.  The people are amazing and the teachers too.  There are a few that are LDS, so that would be cool!

Tuesday was an amazing day.  It was very rewarding because we are teaching this 19 year old kid that is part of a part member family.  We talked about prophets and why we should listen to the prophets.  I show him this tree metaphor and he like expounds on it...it is just amazing when your investigator teaches you!  It was awesome and the spirit was strong.  He has a testimony of the church and is planning to be baptized in 2 weeks.  Then we went over to a guy who was recently baptized.  I had never met him before and he was asking about when he could have an interview and is taking notes in church.  It seems he is a better member than me and I am a missionary!  What the heck?  Some people are just ready for the gospel...you just have to find them.

Wednesday was the zone conference.  We are learning the new method of teaching that the church is coming out with.  The new method really focuses on making the individual's testimony strong, including the missionaries testimonies.

The only problem with this area is the awkwardness of having to knock on doors by your house to people that you see everyday that other missionaries have knocked on before.  It is terrible, but you have to do it.  It is so lame!

On Saturday, my friend in the ward, Anne, took us to the best sushi place in Boston!  It is called JP Seafood.  WOW SO GOOD!  I miss that kind of food.  I have been eating all fried food and it was so nice to get a little sushi in me.  It was delicious.  I loved it so much!

Last night we had church!  Let me tell you folks, it is starting to get cold!  It was really really really cold!  It is time to pull out the winter gear!  But I love it here, it is beautiful.  After church, we ate dinner with a family from Barbados.  They are really cool and they are all members except the cousins.  They love the missionaries.  We are going to eat over there a lot.

The church is true!  Peace and blessing.  Love you all.


November 1, 2010

Boston Temple

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.    It is nuts that we are already writing emails again.  My new area is amazing and the new companion, too.  We are really, really different but still get along great!  He is very quiet, so I will help him come out of his shell a little bit.  The new elders in our apartment are great!  I love them lots.  They both have just over 6 months left on their mission and speak creol.  It is really fun.  We are always talking and playing games together.

Just so everyone knows, my boy Brock goes to the field tomorrow and he needs our prayers.  He has some mixed emotions and we need to pray that he will chill out!  Good luck Brock!

Halloween is really lame in the field.  We did nothing!  I decorated my little corner of the apartment.  The ward party did not have a great turn-out which was sad, but it was fun.  The ward is really great.  It is a good mix of Spanish and English people.  I get to translate all the time.  It is really, really fun.  It is a new skill that I need to work on.  Some people are hard to translate for and others are not.  I just translated for a sister that used lots of slang in her talk.  I spoke in church on Sunday on "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy".  Someone else translated for me.  I made sure to talk slower and clearer and didn't use jargon or slang.  I now understand why they talk they way they do in conference...it is because they are being translated.

I love the new ward.  We have a few baptisms coming up.  I helped confirm our recent member of the church and then I had to go to teach the Sunday School class.  The people really rely on the missionaries here.

Funny story before I go.  I have been trying to loose a bit of weight.  I feel sososososo much better!  I am doing so good and then all of a sudden we have investigators that live on the side of us that are Dominican that sale food outside of their house.  We talked to him and he says that he is cooking.  I told him that I love those fried plantains that you are making and he was like, "Do you want some?"  So he gave us some plantains and some other stuff too.  Everything is deep fried!!  even the cheese and eggs!  He gives us two huge plates of food.  I went back over and then he gives us pastries...which are more fried stuff!  I went to bed pretty sick!

Going to Harvard today!  Peace and blessings!


My new companion

My first baptism in Roslindale... sorta. Brother Malone

October 25, 2010

My new apartment
For my last p-day before my transfer we went downtown, just in case I went out into the boonies somewhere! Now, downtown is my area and I can go there whenever I want! Which is awesome! The day before I got transferred, we experienced a miracle. We had two people cry as we were talking about the Book of Mormon. Then I had to leave Chelsea. I felt cheated that all of my hard work in Chelsea was finally paying off and they have lots of people that are really really interested in the gospel and I had to leave. But then I got to my new area, and we have already had a baptism.

I already love the people here in my new area. I live on this main road and I hear the train all night, but I am too tired from walking all day to care. So, I am walking again...hopefully no more fatness and I am gonna get skinny! My new area is a lot bigger than I am used to. I have to translate for the Sacrament Meeting which is good news that my spanish will not get lost and I will get better. We teach more than 50% in spanish, mostly Dominican, and I just love it! I was so relieved that I went to the city. It is so cool how God is watching out for me. In the city, the work is different. We have to use all the public transit, so we wait a lot.

I met a guy on a bus that was gay and spoke spanish. He was a mormon, but now lives with gay people. He still has a very strong testimony. I told him how we all have our weaknesses that we can't control but that we still have to obey God's law. Anyway, he was really receptive.

We had a baptism on Sunday and I got to participate even though it was not really mine. But, I got to meet him and teach him before he got baptized. He is an amazing guy (Bill Malone) that just loves the church and I think he will always be an active member.

I am living with missionaries that speak Haitian, which is cool. I love them all and I am doing so good. All stress seems to be gone. I love this new place and am excited to meet lots of new people. Love you guys. Peace and Blessings.


October 20, 2010

I am getting transferred! Everything that I know about Boston is going to change! It is exciting and scary at the same time. Sometimes the mission feels like an eternity and sometimes it feels like it is going so fast. I am just trying to enjoy all that God has for me and take advantage of the time I have here on the mission because it is just for a short time.

My week was fantastic! Monday we met this amazing kid who has a relationship with someone in the ward. We have had daily contact with him and he is just ready for the gospel in his life. Yesterday we went to talk to him and they were reading the Book of Mormon together. He cried when he prayed about the Book of Mormon. It is just amazing! You just can't explain the high that you feel when an investigator develops his own testimony.

Tuesday we went to see our recent convert Maryse who needed help moving these ancient gigantic TVs. They were so big and heavy, but we have Elder Dawe who is a TANK and so strong! The look on her face to see if we could do it was amazing. To see the change in her family and attitude is just amazing. It is just crazy what a little service does for people. It is awesome!

Wednesday, we had a miracle happen. We were visiting people less actives who are struggling with life right now because they don't have much money. Literally two seconds later someone comes up and gives us a ton of food! They work at a restaurant and when they close for the day, they give the food away. It was just amazing to see the hand of the Lord and how missionaries are such a tool to help others. Later that day, I gave a blessing in Spanish to a member who was sick. She told us how grateful she was for the blessing because she was healed 20 minutes later.

Thursday, some people gave us some cereal and food and we went and gave it to the families that are struggling! It is amazing the miracles that are all around us!

I fasted and prayed last Sunday that an investigator woud come to church and one came!!! I was so happy and he was excited! I then participated in two blessing of kids that are in our ward. I gave another blessing of the sick at dinner. It was awesome. It was so cool to really bless other people with the authority that I have and to know that God really does answer our prayers.

We have been reaping the harvest of our hard work. So far this week, we have taught 10 lessons and found 5 new investigators, three of which are looking to be baptized! It has just been a miracle! Last night, my adoptive family, the Campos, took us out to dinner and gave me a gift. They call me their son and their brother. I love them more than anything. They took care of me in Chelsea and it is sad to leave them.

That is my week. That is my life and I love it! Peace and blessings to all!


October 12, 2010

Boston Temple

We had a killer week! We are just working so hard and doing well. It is great!

The first thing was last Tuesday. I had this feeling to talk to this guy, so I talked to him. It was super awkward and I kept feeling like I needed to keep talking to get all the steps in. When we left I felt like something was missing but there was nothing more that I could say. It was weird. It was the first time it has happened to me. That night we are at the familia Reyes. It was so good and sooo fun. They are the best family. He was the bishop for a long time and we talked about his mission and how we can be better. This guy is awesome. He is a spiritual giant!

Wednesday, I discovered that I love boiled plaintain! They are so good. You take big bananas and you boil them with cinnamon and then at the end you put sugar with the excess water and cinnamon and it is soo good.

We had a miracle on Friday. I see little miracles every day in this work. This guy that I have completely lost contact with called us to come visit him. He had not answered phone calls for the whole transfer. It was a little miracle.

Elder Dawe and I finally found the swing of teaching together. It is awesome. We are teaching well and man has his spanish improved! He is a stud!

Saturday I ate something funky! It is a palm which is a veggie that basically looks like a squid. It is fried or boiled in egg and then you cook it with this tomato sauce. It looks like a bloody squid, abut it was dang good!

Sunday, we met with the ward auxiliaries and the ward finally seems to really want to get involved in missionary work! It is making a difference!

On Monday (pday) we got to go to the temple...which was sooo great! Then we went into the city of Boston! I love it there! Tonight we are going to eat with this family that I must eat a lot! Yeah...They will be stuffing me and preparing me for Thanksgiving!!! haha!

Transfers next week! Peace and Blessings. Love you all!


October 4, 2010

General Conference weekend is like Christmas to missionaries and Christmas was really really good! Conference was sincerely just truly an amazing experience. I watched all sessions in Spanish. It was so great. I loved every second of them. I got a lot out of them even though I am not fluent yet. Many of the General Authorities gave there own recorded version in Spanish and those were the best ones. You could here their voice and didn't have to hear a translation. I know that they are all men of God. The underlying message that I received was about agency and how we are the masters of our own lives through the little things we do every day. We can't control every thing in our lives but we can choose how to respond and our attitude about what does happen and how day in and day out our decisions create who we are.

Monday was fun. We played soccer with these young kids and since we have some pretty good players and we are so much older we smoked them. The next day, we gave a lesson to one of the kids we played soccer with. He was supposed to bring all his friends, but he was the only one that showed up. It was a good challenge and a good lesson. The kid looked sincere and it was fun. Then that night we taught a little English to some investigators we that have. They think I am a freak because I can talk Spanish and I learned how to speak in Boston. They are surprised that I learned it so fast.

Saturday and Sunday we spent listening to conference. We spent the whole day at the church and in between sessions they just fed us! I feel like a hog that they are getting ready to kill so they are fattening us up for their enjoyment so they can kill us later! HaHa!

I am here to stay. I love this work, with all the up and downs. I love you all! I am great and happy!


September 27, 2010

What is going on? We went downtown and did some shopping! I got some new things and felt really happy after! I know that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings true happiness, but shop therapy was pretty great! While we were shopping, we lost Elder Haggard! I felt like a parent running around trying to find him. I was worried sick! I can imagine how a parent feels to some degree! I could have killed him!

We went on divisions and I was working with another elder who was really struggling. I asked him a lot of questions and finally I got everything out of him. I found out that he has a little anxiety. I think I helped him get through it! We talked and worked everything out for like 3 hours! I guess it was worth going through all my anxiety, because i was able to help him out and this is just another testimony for me of why I am supposed to be here in Chelsea.

Thursday, I was just really praying hard about what I can do to help my investgators progress and get them to come to church. The thing that really kicked me in the face was when I was reading in 3 Nephi 11. The first thing he does when he gets to the Americas is testify. I realized that the people of Chelsea don't have a problem understanding about God or their beliefs in God. What they need is for me to explain more clearly and to testify what we need and I think it is working. I need to remember to teach what the people need not to what they already know.

Sunday was so cool! I gave another blessing to one of the members of the family that Elder Ririe found. Blessings are difficult to give in Spanish because there are so many more rules that you have to follow. I get really nervous to give them, but the Lord helped me so much. It was awesome and felt good. Then we had Fast and Testimony meeting and one of the members testified about a blessing that I gave a little girl and how it healed her! Oh my gosh! It was such a testimony builder for me! I also taught a class at church in Spanish with only 2 hours of notice. I know that I was called to Boston, MA for a reason! I am growing so much!

I am so excited for General Conference this week. It is kinda funny, but the missionaries talk about conference like it is Christmas! We will have a couple of activities and then everyone watches it at the chapel. I think I am watching it in Spanish and I am super excited! It will be so great!

Peace and Blessings...


September 20, 2010

Whatttt uppppp? Elder Dawe and I are dying football season has started. The best thing about serving in a Spanish area is that no one cares about football and we don't get reminded about what we are missing!

Pray for Elder Dawe not to be stressed and to help him learn Spanish. He wants to learn so bad. I am doing my best to serve him and teach him. In the process, I am getting a better grasp of Spanish, that is great and really fun.

We are doing great, but we have no serious investigators and no investigators that have a baptism date or that are coming to church. We are working diligently.

I decided that General Conference for the missionaries is like Christmas, at least we talk about it like it is!

Monday, we taught someone in the ward that we have never met before. It is the Maza family and they are part of the huge family that Elder Rire baptized when he was here. I always look forward to our dinners with the members and their conversion stories. It is really really special. We shared a cool activity with the family. We taught about how faith is like a seed and I had them draw a flower and what you have to do to make it grow. They loved it!

Wednesday was the most productive day on my mission. We went from lesson to lesson to lesson to lesson. Everyone was home.

Saturday was amazing. I tried fasting all week for the International Dinner activity. It was so fun. I ate till I exploded. Everyone brought food from all the countries that they were from. I made brownies since the United States stole everything from other countries!

Sunday was really spiritual. I gave another blessing to a baby. I still get nervous to give blessings in Spanish, but the spirit guided me me through it.

This was a good week. We taught 15 lessons. It was just amazing. God loves us! I love this work!

Peace and Blessings.


September 13, 2010

This past week, we had changes. The final p-day of the transfers is always crazy. We are running around trying to do everything the people that are leaving want to do. Thursday, we had a transfer meeting and I got a new companion. His name is Elder Parker Dawe from Pleasant Grove, UT. We played against each other in football. He played on the line, so he probably destroyed me! He is a player and got scholarship offers from all over Utah. He is cool and we have so much in common. Our favorite movie is "Remember the Titans ". We love all sports. We talked and talked and shared a lot of experiences with each other. He is a good guy. He served in an English area so he is lacking on the Spanish skills. So, I am teaching Spanish again. I never knew how tiring it is to teach a language. I am staying in Chelsea for at least six more weeks, so that is awesome!

Friday was my "bump" mark which means that I am 1/4 done with my mission. That is crazy that already came. Before I know it I will be home, I am sure. I am trying to serve the Lord the best I can. I almost killed my new comp on Friday! We went on a run (he has had a car) and I am a lot smaller than him so I can run faster. I made him run with me. He was determined to run with me, but he was real real tired!

Saturday, I went to Fenway Park. I have the best pics in the whole world! The President approved us to go to Fenway and help with a blood drive. I am so converted to the sports in Boston! It is so awesome, we have to go here for a game! I am totally obsessed and just loving it!

Sunday we started changing the whole ward mission plan! It is crazy how much responsibility 20 kids have in a language that they are just learning. That was my week! Love you guys!!!


September 8, 2010

It is weird to be one fourth done with my mission already. I feel like I started yesterday!

It is transfers this week. I am staying in Chelsea for at least another 6 weeks, but my companion Elder Standage is leaving. My Spanish is going to come along very very fast. I hope I will have it down cold before I leave Chelsea. I am going to work hard at it.

Monday we made tortillas at Irma Sanchez's house. She is the nicest lady from Guatamala and the coolest person ever. She taught us how to make tortillas. Monday we had a miracle happen. Do you remember Carlos Ramirez? Well we lost contact with him. He moved and we couldn't find him. We were walking in the middle of no where because someone had given us a fake address. As we were walking, we see Carlos and get his address! It was just wonderful! Here we had this fake address and we find Carlos. You can just see the Lord's hand in our work, always!

I am super stoked because we have a really serious investigator. He is coming along really well. His name is Ricardo and he is totally going to get baptized. I am super excited. Last week, Elder Standage and I did really well with our last week together. We taught 19 lessons, helped with 3 moves, and did service at the Rock. We worked hard and had so much fun. I got the "Go Hard Like a Bear" award which means our district leader, Elder Castro, acknowledged my hard work this past week.

I am emailing at the Apple Store at Prudential Mall, so I don't have much time for emails today. I am super excited...we finally found a serious investigator and we are having serious success with the less active members. I am just loving life right now. Elder Standage and I have gotten along great and are teaching well together....now he is leaving tomorrow. The Lord doesn't let you get comfortable out here. Things are always changing to keep you on your toes and doing your best. I am loving life and love getting involved with these people out here. I am trying to do everything right; trying to be obedient and having fun doing it.

Love you guys!

Elder Phillips


August 30, 2010

WOW! Shout out to the best friend in the whole world, Annie Eichers, who sent the most perfect package! I needed it all!

Monday was just fantastic! Because of the rain, we had a relax day which is weird cause that never happens. I got caught up on my letter writing. I wrote 15 letters! Then the guys came over and we ate our immense amount of food our service gave us.

Tuesday was the double meal day, and I dominated. I have developed some serious eating skills here. You just shut up and eat then all the members will love you!

Wednesday, I went on splits with the District Leader, Elder Castro. He is great and taught me how to teach to the needs better and not to worry about lessons. We had a great day and my buddy Emirico took us out to eat. He has changed and he seems so happy and different. He reads like every day and always goes to church. He is just happy. He has an aura about him. It is amazing. I just learned a ton from Elder Castro and we worked super hard. It was great!

Saturday was sooo busy. We did service at the Roca and my friend Keith gave us a mountain of food again. I love that man and the service and relationships that you can make on the mission.

Sunday was an amazing day. I gave my first real talk in Spanish. I was a jokester just like I always am in my talks. I have a personality in Spanish now. I can speak in Spanish like I do in English with grammar errors. I didn't read my talk; I just talked and it was totally awesome. I love it and I sang too! I just want everyone to know that the gift of tongues is real and that it is awesome cause I have learned this language so fast. It is so awesome what the spirit can teach you. I was assigned to talk about a person in my ward that helped me come out. I wanted to talk about my uncle Jayson, because he helped me the most. But it had to be someone from my ward, so I talked about Todd Wolfenbarger. He didn't do anything big, he just hung out with me and helped me out. I said by little things great things can come to pass which it says in D & C 68:30.

I had a great week!


August 23, 2010

It is weird, I am so accustomed to being in this area, I know people when we walk down the street or go to the store. I am kinda sad that all the kids in the ward that are our age left yesterday to go to school. But life is great and just flying by. I love all the people in our ward. It is sure different out here, it is like a family and I just love them. Yesterday, was great, we had a lot of fun at the bishops house. He is super into the mate, a drink from Argentina, and he gave us a ton. He has a little business and he gave us a ton of supplies. My Spanish is getting better. I find myself talking too fast and that is when I make mistakes. Yeah, it is like every thing that I have ever done. I want to do it fast. I want to do it perfect. And I want to do it the best, which has been a good thing and bad thing in my life.

Monday, we went to this families house and had noche de hogar and that was great! I found out that this family are all swimmers and that was so great. I also figured out that the only fear of Elder Castro, one of the elders that I live with, is the water! So that was pretty funny!

Wednesday, we taught my buddy Emerico. He has been inactive for 6 years and he came to church yesterday and it was just great! I was so excited to see him there and he knew all the members and everyone just like embarrassed him. I was so so happy. Like I can't describe how happy. I was helping to change a life. He has changed so much. I am just so happy. I gave him a tie and everything and he was just so happy at church.

Friday, I made cupcakes for the district. Everyone is just loving that I have taken over the mom role of the district! HaHa. I love my district, we only have 2 more meetings together before transfers, which is kinda weird.

Saturday we did our service day and the guy that we work for cooked us a whole bunch of food to take home. Since we got all this food we are having over the missionaries to help us eat it all. Later that day we got together for a BBQ and sports. It was kinda thrown together at the last minute and everyone showed up late with too much food. It was still way fun even though we weren't the champs this week.

Peace and Blessings. Love you All!


Elder Aaron James Phillips


August 16, 2010

This week has been labeled the week of prep. We are going great and trying to get our numbers back up. We are working so, so hard and going like crazy. Elder Standage is still getting past the timid stage, so I do most of the talking. It kinda works out because I like to talk.

Monday was rough day with a family that we go visit a lot. They are struggling and we continue to be marriage counselors. We are expected to strengthen relationships and the way we do that is to talk about Jesus Christ. I don't know much about marriage, but I do about my relationship with Jesus Christ and we can apply those things to the families that need help. One thing I have learned is when it gets too complicated is to take it back to the basics and then you will be all right.

We were on our way home that night and a guy stops and is asking all about us and our beliefs. So we teach him a bit as he is rolling a joint. So, I say I will only teach you if you put that down while we are teaching. Then we told him that we believe in no drinking, no drugs and no sex. He was like dang dude, I have done all that today!! So, so funny!

Tuesday we talked to this guy with a Catholic background and he is really really strong in those beliefs. The one thing I really like about being a missionary is that all we do is teach a message and invite people to pray and read. We don't argue or anything, that is not my job and that is why people like us because we are different from other churches that want to argue.

Wednesday we went on exchanges and I was with the new guy Elder Hagard from Australia. We talked a lot about him and I found out that he is really really poor and is having a really hard time with the mission. I feel super bad. He is having trouble with his trainer and everything. But, the spirit was really helping us...this kid knows nothing in Spanish but we taught this great lesson about baptism and the person was really receptive to our message.

Then we had dinner with the Rudencindo family who are from the Domincan Republic and the people there speak lightening fast and it is super hard to understand for people that are learning Spanish. But, I could talk to with them! That means that I am improving and can talk with Jordan Fletcher's dad! That is a victory that I had today!

Thursday, we got up at 3:30 am and drove 100 miles to zone conference!I learned a ton about following the spirit!

Saturday we had a ward activity. We had a BBQ and played soccer! So fun! We really got into it and my team was the champs!!


August 9, 2010

It's time already for the weekly email...I feel like I just did it. I am just loving it out here!

Monday was great! We had Family Home Evening with this family that we are trying to get to go to the temple. They are really strong members but we are still working with them trying to get them to go to the temple. We got to play soccer and chilled with the Elders that speak Portuguese. I love them...they are fun. One is from Portugal. We are really good buddies. He is really into working out, so it is a match made in heaven!

Tuesday was the slowest day for lessons on the mission. We worked and walked a ton.

Wednesday, all I know is that I am going native! We are having so much fun. I love spicy foods. We made chipotle salsa and home made corn tortillas. Elder Castro (from Mexico) says he is very proud of his white friends! I want to travel all over South America when I finish my mission. I don't want to go to Spain anymore.

Friday was a good day. We found a new inactive member. He is our friend. We teach him English and the gospel and in return he reads the Book of Mormon and goes to church. He is learning English through the gospel. How great! This guy is so fun. His name is Emerica and he just watches out for us, gives us food, wants to hang out and work with us. How great!

Saturday was another service day. We volunteered serving food again. It is great because we get free food. The people are awesome. We always get to teach there. It is a great opportunity. We also had a life lesson that I will never forget. We were eating with members in the night and I was telling them how I feel bad about eating people's food because sometimes it seems like they can't afford it, which is so sad for me. She explained that they love the opportunity to exercise faith and to have the missionaries in their homes...so you got to eat even when you are full. Then she said you don't know poor until you have been out of the U.S. This was a shock because I thought I was in a poor area. No way she said. It is way, way worse. I want to see it someday after my mission.

Peace and Blessings. I am loving life out here!


August 1, 2010

I have been super sick for about 5 days. It started last Sunday and I went home and just passed out. By the way, Grandma's first aid kit saved my life. Wednesday was p-day so we went to watch the sunrise again because it is a tradition on transfer week. I was super sick and there was no where to go to the bathroom, so I had to run into the forest to do my business cause I had no choice!! Yah, life is good! I had to go clean up when I got home....Good mission story!!

Thursday, we got our new companions in the morning. Yeah! Yeah! for me! I got Elder Standage...the little turd knew that he was getting moved to me for three days! Dang him! I almost killed him...haha! He has been in my apartment so he just moved a room over. Then we got a new kid living with us from Australia and he can't speak a lick of Spanish. Standage and I are doing great! I was worried about two things: (1) that we wouldn't be able to talk to anyone because of the language barrier. He is super shy and doesn't talk to anyone in Spanish...but I never shut up so we are totally fine. The Lord is blessing us. I am learning a ton faster because we get to study together. I love it that we are working hard. (2) When I was with Elder Molina, I thought my gift of being able to get along with people was gone, but it isn't. I am just loving serving with Elder Standage. I am doing so much better. We are really different . He was home schooled and likes music not sports. He looks kinda nerdy, but he is the coolest kid I have ever met in my life. We get along great and are having so much fun.

I know that the Lord is watching out for me and answers my prayers. I got the best comp in the world and I got my confidence back in getting along with people. I get along with just about everyone. I have officially been out for longer than my other mission which is totally sweet!

Keep it real! Peace and Blessings!