February 24, 2011

Restaurant Depot
Sam's Club with Rob
Emailing at the Boylston Deli

Hello Friends and Family,

No changes during transfer week! DANG!! Everything is going to be okay. I will continue to do my best to keep working hard. One thing that I am going to be sad about is that I have made one of my best friends on my mission, Elder Jackson. He is going home in 2 days. We have had some similar experiences especially with anxiety and with missions. I have learned to love him so much. I have learned to not judge a book by its cover because I didn't think that I would like him, honestly. He is awesome. He likes to road bike and I want my dad to go out with him when he gets home.

I am writing today in the Boylston Deli. I went with Rob to Sam's Club and had one of those deep conversations. I have not had people to have one of those with for probably about a year. It feels awesome. I love him and he understands me and loves me. We are so similar.

This week we had the most spiritual experience. I felt like I am supposed to be here and I feel the Lord's hand helping me. I can't give all the details, but I will write an abbreviation We go see this guy, like just on an whim. He doesn't let us in his house. He is a member and just needs some help right now. We think everything is good. Anyways, we just keep going with our day and didn't think anything of it. We come to find out that he was about to kill himself and asked God to show him a sign not to kill himself, and then we showed up. WOW! Yeah...I feel like a tool and I love these things. I just know the gospel is true!

Sunday, we went to another church. I met a man that was a former member of our church. I talked to him for about an hour after church. He told me why he left our church. One of the things he said was that he was super hung up on the Bible. He said that the temple ordinances are not spoken of in the Bible. I told him that I have never felt so close to God in my life as when I have been in the temple. He wants everything to be proven, like in science. Many things in religion cannot be proven, you have to rely on faith and feelings. The purpose of the church is to be happy. God will reward me with happiness and joy if I am doing correct things. I must be doing correct things because my life is happy...not easier, but happier.

I love you all. Peace and Blessings. Elder Phillips


February 15, 2011

District Meeting
Tours with Elder Hall

I just really feel the love of the Savior this week. That is what I have really felt this week and how much he really means to me. I love Him more than anything in the whole world.

Yesterday for p-day we slept at the zone leaders house, on their idea of a couch. It was super, super fun. It made p-day a lot better. We also went to the restaurant depot to eat at the Boylston Deli. Then we had a little Valentines Day party with a family and just felt so much love. It was really great! I have come along way since the beginning of my mission. I just feel the healing power of the atonement make me mellow out and have more fun. I was just so high strung and stressed out. I have just really felt the savior's love and what He has done for me.

Things are going really good here. If I left this area tomorrow, I would have left it a lot better than when I came. When I got here, there was no mission program in the wards. Now, we have a ward mission leader and a plan! So things are actually going well. I also started a program to get the priests (16-18 years old boys) to come and go on splits with us. How cool is that? Sunday, there was a cool story! We are really getting the ward to participate in missionary work and follow the plan that we set up for them. Which is just awesome, because now we have so much work to do and there is not enough time to do it. Anyway, we got a name from a ward member and I just had a feeling about him all day. He was a less active member and so we went to visit him and he was not home. He is a truck driver and was all the way out in Texas so we called him. He had just happened to go to church there! He was so happy. He was like "I went to church today... of all days for you guys to call me." I am so happy. It was cool. I just really feel like a tool in the hands of the Lord. I also feel like a tool for a couple of other people that are having problems in the ward. I feel like the only missionary in the ward that could really help them, so I feel super great.

The investigators are hard to come by, but the work we are getting from part member families and referrals from the ward is just really driving the work. It makes the ward really excited about the work, too.

Oh my gosh, on service last Saturday, I just felt so loved. I saw the best people in the Chelsea ward and they were like "you speak Spanish perfect! You look so awesome and so happy!" I loved seeing them. It made me feel so good, like I was loved and I was actually doing something in the mission. It was great even though I have not had so many baptisms. It still made me feel good.

It is finally starting to warm up! I have been in Worcester for almost 5 weeks and love it. Not too many promising investigators, but we are working hard. I am starting to drive...that is weird. Transfers next week!

Love you all!


February 11, 2011

Matching Hats!
Our "homemade gym!"

This week has been super good. I am really starting to get along with my companion and I am finding things to love about him! It is really good.

I just got out of a great appointment with a member and he told me that there was a reason that I was sent to Worcester and met him. I can testify that that is true. I can't give details of what happened but I can tell you all that I know that I got sent here for a reason. I just love doing this work and helping people and being a tool here in Boston. I know this is my mission and that I was sent here for a reason. I know that with all my heart!

This has been a good week. I would have thought with the super Bowl, that it would have been the worst week...but honestly I did not miss watching it too much. We hung out with the coolest family ever! They have a the coolest story I have ever heard about how they met. One of the best parts of the mission is getting to know people so well here. The members are just the greatest and the strongest I have ever seen in my life. It is amazing to be here!

It is weird that life presses on boldly even when missionaries leave! I can't believe that Kristin is married and having a baby! I dated her! What in the devil? I am freaking out here! I am going to hold out for thirty before I get married!

I gave a great training on Friday on gaining a testimony of church attendance. That is really good because it seems like the make it or break it thing. If people come to church they will be baptized and that is so true!

Saturday, we did some major service at the Bishop's Storehouse. We did more service today in the storm, but it was just a little storm. I got to speak Spanish to the people on Saturday. The people love me because I can help out with the Spanish people. I helped the cutest family ever. I forgot to tell you that the Connecticut mission is combining with our mission in July! That is a really big deal. Like Huge! That is Monstrous! It is nuts! Our Spanish program will double. I am trying to maintain my Spanish here. I got the Book of Mormon on CD and we listen to it all day. I love it. It really does help me and I still look for people that speak Spanish.

I want to go work...but my companion is still writing. I understand what my parents said all these years "pick your battles!"

The weather is improving and the snow is melting and it is getting warmer! I hope the ground hog is correct! Love you so much! Keep being great!

Peace and Blessings! Elder Phillips


February 4, 2011

The worst storm in the history of Worcester!

I am sure my mother is freaking out because she has not heard from me, but I am alive and kicking after my snow vacation with the mission. It has been super great to have a little fun! We had like 3 p-days in a row. It has been hard in some ways...because I feel kinda worthless. Ha Ha! My whole life has seemed to be work and to not do anything for three days was really hard for me. We did a lot of shoveling though! We knew we were going to get a red dot (meaning we have to stay inside), so we planned to go over to the zone leaders house and have a slumber party! It was really fun! We played lots of games and shoveled a lot of snow. The zone leaders live with members that own a deli, so we helped them a lot. It was super fun! I feel worthless and fat because we couldn't go any where so we just sat around and ate everything in sight! Ha Ha! So, it's back to the drawing board trying to loose some more weight! Got to fit into the suit, right?

We did accomplish a lot of service during the blizzard. We unloaded a truck on Tuesday morning that was coming into the Bishop's Storehouse. The blizzard started when we got there so after unloading the truck we went straight to the Zone Leaders house. We didn't have a change of clothes or anything! It was also super cold. Usually when it snows it warms up, but is was colder than 10 degrees when it snowed. It was a nightmare! It is not fun to do service when it is that cold, but you got to do what you got to do! We spent the next few days at the Boylston Deli where they made us sooo much food! I feel so bad because they don't make that much money and they always want to feed us and they will not take our money. It is sad! I love them. They are so amazing! Our district is really close now because we spent so much time together the past few days. I got really close to Elder Jackson that is leaving next transfer. He is a biker and wants to train to do LoToJa with dad!

Something has been weighing on my mind. I hope that I am doing the work how the Lord wants me to do it. I am really trying to push to work hard, but I have to do things the way my companion wants because he is the senior companion. He wants to knock on doors because he thinks its easier and I don't know if that is the best use of our time. I have been able to make some changes for the better which is super good and we are doing a lot better now.

Anyway, we have had the worst winter in the history of Worcester. All the two lane roads are just one lane now and all the four lane roads are just two lanes. Traffic is a nightmare and it is just not fun at all. It is hard to do missionary work! I have to cut this short...got to go teach!

Peace and Blessings. Love, Elder Phillips