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!