November 28, 2011

Going out to breakfast!
Thanksgiving dinner with the ESL class!

Wow! What a week! Let's just say that this Thanksgiving was something that I will never forget! We had like 3 different Thanksgiving dinners. I thought that I was going to escape that this year, but I didn't...we just had the dinners on different days. Here is the rundown:
  • The first one was a party with ESL class we help with. We have also taught a couple of them the gospel. It was mostly Dominican and Puerto Rican food. It was really good. They are so surprised that we like their food and stuff. It was fun to talk and eat!
  • The second one was a big party at a friends house with all the Puerto Ricans in town! There was turkey, but no one likes turkey in the Spanish culture. It is too dry and I agree! Ha Ha! So we also had a big pork leg and it was sooo good! It was really fun! There was music and we played dominos. It was pretty much like everything else in the hispanic culture...another reason to party! Ha Ha!
  • The third one was yesterday. We got invited by a nice family, that we love, to go and have Thanksgiving dinner. It was a typical Thanksgiving dinner...which was really nice. We also went to a birthday party of a little girl. We are teaching her family. Luckily, we didn't have to eat at the party!
I love the Spanish culture so much. There is always lots of food!

We are working very closely with a couple of investigators. There are two that are getting closer to baptism. We will have 2 more months of good hard work to get them prepared. The recent converts that I have and that I thought would strengthen the branch could be moving to New York. The work keeps moving forward and I love it!

Yesterday at church it was a mad house. I had to do so much. I helped with the Sacrament, conducted the music, and am helping to plan a service project for the branch. There are not very many priesthood holders, so they keep us pretty busy in this small branch.

I am excited that we get to go to the temple for Christmas in December. I love this time of year!

Have a magical day and week! Peace and Blessings.
Elder Phillips


November 21, 2011

Matching Companion Ties!
Our Thankful List!
This is me trying to contact a little boy...but he didn't talk back! Ha Ha!

Oh man, that is so cool that my dad did an IRONMAN! He is such a stud. I am super jealous. We will do one soon before you get too old and decrepit to do another one! Ha Ha! I am very happy for you and have been bragging about you all week!

This week was fantastic, filled with all sots of ups and downs and hills and valleys. I just love the mission. It is just the best thing I have ever done. My position as district Leader continues to be rewarding and keeps me very focused on all things that we should do toward our main goal which is to help people come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. A little family said to us, "I took it as a sign from God that you have an important message because you have come back and tried so many times." It is great and really inspirational to be a part of it. We are teaching lessons to new investigators and they are coming to church. God is really spoiling us here. There was about 40 people in our branch this week and probable 15 of those people we are bringing with us. It is really awesome. The branch is taking us seriously because we are working hard and trying to build up the branch. I know that I am sounding "cheesy" but the mission is just great and Elder Morris is like one of my best friends. He is very coachable and we just get along perfectly. We are into the same kind of things and we have fun talking to each other. I love teaching him because he makes it easy. He is a great great kid.

It kinda hit me how soon I go home...it is weird. Everyone is starting to do the math and tell me how much time I have left. I don't like it. I feel like I am just getting used to the mission and feeling comfortable with what I am doing. It is becoming part of my life. It seems normal to work from 8 am to 9 pm, 6.5 days a week...I will probably never work that hard again...but it seems normal now.

This week, we found some new investigators that are serious about baptism. We don't know when it is going to happen but they seem like they are serious and that they could be baptized before I go. We are just having great success and God is blessing us in the so called worst area for Spanish in the mission. That is just how it goes. Sometimes people need a certain type of missionary.

We have been invited to four different Thanksgiving dinners! I did that last year and I don't want to do that again! It was aweful...I felt so sick! We will chill with a great family!

Peace and Blessings!
Elder Phillips


November 14, 2011

In front of the Chihuly sculpture at a local restaurant.
Thanks for the Thanksgiving package!

WOW! I feel like there is not enough time to breathe anymore. It is just crazy how busy we are. My companion is awesome and he says, "I feel like you are dragging me along all day long!" I love it so much! It is great to work with someone who likes to work hard, too. He is always tired and stuff! Ha Ha! I am trying to do my best to inspire the other people around me to work hard too. It is pretty awesome. I just love my position as a District Leader and Trainer. I feel like I can help so many people...it is really really fun!

The branch that we are in is giving me more and more responsibility and the people are trusting me more. It is great! The Stake President came to our branch yesterday. We had a quite a few people at church. We had guest speakers and musical numbers. It was great! We get used to things like that in Utah, but not here. It was nice to have the Stake President speak Spanish. He is a great man with 10 kids. He is someone I aspire to be like some day. He is a great example and still has time for individuals. It is so cool. He goes out with the missionaries and is friends with the missionaries. I respect him and love him. He is working hard for the stake and guiding our little branch.

Recently, people have been talking to me about going home...I hate talking about it because I love this so much and don't want it to end at all. It will be terrible. I feel like I am just getting started and I feel like I want to keep going and do it forever. Maybe go home for a while and then come back. It is the best thing I have ever done in my life and the most fun too! I am with the best people that make me happy. I used to make fun of cheesy missionaries and now I am actually one of them!

This week we had a zone meeting in Worcester. All the missionaries kept asking me, "What did you do to make these people love you so much?" The people in Worcester gave me so much special treatment. It made me feel so good! It was fantastic! It makes me not want to come home even more! Ha Ha!

My new companion is just fantastic! He is like a sponge and we tease and have fun together. He has such a love for the gospel and for the people already. He was just so surprised about how much members and investigators trust us and love us. Anyway...I am fine and happy and having success. We are just doing what the Lord wants us to do and doing it how he wants. We are making good relationships with people. I know Elder Morris will be a good missionary. I see his desires and how he wants to help people. We have a couple of new investigators and we had 5 or 6 less actives come to church last week. That doesn't seem like a lot in a crowd of 500, but in a crowd of 50 it makes a real difference! It is fun to see results!

Peace and Blessings!

Elder Phillips


November 7, 2011

My new companion, Elder Morris and me.
Elder Barnhurst and I saying goodbye to his friends.

My week has been awesome and pretty crazy at the same time with so many changes. I got my new companion, Elder Morris from Park City, Utah. He knows Spanish pretty well because his dad is the Bishop in a Spanish ward in Park City. He is really cool and takes correction really really well and is doing great. This week was nuts for him. I forgot about all the changes that one must go through when you first get out on the mission, but he has a really good attitude about it. It is awesome just to be part of his learning. I am so impressed with the new Spanish program for missionaries in the MTC. He is an awesome kid and reminds me so much of Greg Mangum. I just love him. He asks me questions and reminds me of why I love my mission so much and why it means so much to me. I am just loving my mission!

We are getting more investigators and we have had great lessons this week, but I am not sure how close they are to baptism. We will see how that goes, but I sure love it and what I have to do as a missionary.

We had Stake Conference this weekend. It was awesome. The Stake Presidency here in the Providence Stake are studs! They are just tearing it up in this part of the world. I also got to get to know the ward in Providence. It is huge with so many kids! I think the Spanish ward here is bigger than in Chelsea! It is awesome. The church is growing so fast and I have a larger role in this branch. It is fun to be apart of it! We are teaching so much that Elder Morris is getting spoiled!

Saying good-bye to Elder Barnhurst was pretty hard. He cried while saying goodbye to some of his friends. I will miss him a lot, but I am excited with the new changes that are coming my way.

I hope you have a magical week!

Elder Phillips


November 2, 2011

Halloween costumes.....we switched name tags!
New England lighthouse and museum
Our most recent baptism!

What a roller coaster week with ups and downs. We even had snow which is not very common here this time of year. It has been good and hard, but worth it. First, I will give the news about transfers. The only change is with my companion, Elder Barnhurst. Elder Barnhurst is going home and the trunky bugger has been counting down forever! Ha Ha! I will be getting a "greenie" in his place from Park City, Utah. The changes will be good because I was feeling like I was just on a plateau for a while. I will continue to be diligent and help others follow the mission plan.

Next, I will talk about the snow storm that hit us and shut down the mission, except for me. I think my companion was going to kill me when the mission told us we couldn't drive but we went out anyway (walking) in the cool freezing rain! It was good fun, anyway I have been out in worse weather. The mission got shut down because Boston and any where close by didn't have any power. In New London, we only got rain and a couple of inches of snow, but 30 minutes north got 1 1/2 feet of snow! It didn't really stop us or put a damper on things...we just continued.

We had a Halloween party at the church and had some investigators come, which was really good. Elder Barnhurst and I switched name tags ...we came dressed as one another! Ha Ha! A couple of members gave us a ton of candy...so we gave it out to all the kids. They loved us! We hung out and socialized with the members. It was really fun!

The last story is about our baptism this week. We had these golden investigators that were scheduled for baptism. Well, we all know that Satan is really good at what he does, so he put a few roadblocks in the way. After their baptismal interviews, the decision was made that a couple of the family members were not quite ready for baptism because they still had a few issues that needed to be resolved. The family was very upset about this. In fact, they called me and yelled at me and said that we are just men and can't tell them when someone can and can't get baptized. I mean they were really upset! Oh my gosh! This happened Wednesday and the baptisms were scheduled for Saturday. A baptism requires a lot of preparation. We have to plan the program which includes music and talks. Anyway, we just continued to prepare for the baptism and had the district fast and pray for them. We had an appointment scheduled with the family on Friday to try to explain the doctrine to them. We were prepared to get yelled at again, but guess what? We started out with a prayer and they understood and accepted that some family members needed more time. The family members that were ready for baptism went a head and got baptized! It turned out wonderful and they were so happy! I have such a testimony of fasting and praying! I was so content and no one could ruin my week after that! After the baptism, my companion was just done. He turned the switch and he was done with his mission! I have just tried to keep plugging along. I love him so much and he is one of my best friends!

Peace and Blessings! Have a magical day!

Elder Phillips