February 27, 2012

Wow! I am just loving life and doing what we need to do. I am loving my life here but ready to start a new chapter. I am trying to prepare spiritually so that I will be able to take care of everything that I can before I leave.

We have had many miracles to finish my mission. We had another fantastic week with mission highs and records in the area for teaching. We have great investigators that are progressing quickly. We have a baptism date set for them on Sunday. It is going to be a really great week!

I gave my farewell talk and I bawled! I am not excited to leave this great place because of the tears that will be spilt by all the people, including me. I talked about the changes that I have seen on my mission. I told the miracle stories that make the whole mission worth it. I have to write a final letter to the mission president that includes a summary of my mission, my favorite things, my best day, the people that I taught and my testimony. It has been awesome to reflect on what I have done. I have been thinking about my successes and the heart breaks. I am still thinking of ways that I can get better. During my talk, I committed to working hard till the last day. The changes that have come into my life because of the gospel are awesome.

We have 5 investigators that are progressing towards baptism. Elder Morris will get to harvest all this great work. I am happy that I could help him and I pray that he will continue to do the work here. The people recognize the change in the area and the branch, which is great! I am not sure why I am so attached to the people here, but I can tell you that the best friendships are made doing spiritual things. Teaching, helping and serving others builds good lasting relationships. One of these relationships is with Elder Morris. He is one of my favorite companions. I love him so much and we have helped each other grow. He has gotten so much better! If you can remember the last time we gave talks in church, he spoke for three minutes and I had to fill the remaining 35 minutes! This time we split the time 50/50. He did so great and he is doing so well with his Spanish. Everyone is so impressed with him...but I knew he could do it! He is going to be the best missionary ever! We are doing our best to pass the baton. There is so much to do this week and all I want to do is work, but no one wants me to. They all just want me to chill and hang out with them. But, I love the work and I will continue. I love my mission. I love it with all my heart! See you all soon!

Peace and blessings and have a magical week!

Elder Phillips


February 22, 2012

Hello! We couldn't email on Monday because of President's Day and because we were so busy it was nuts! We had the opportunity to go to the temple, but we were too busy. We are working to get things done here. We are very lucky. We have 2 baptisms that are serious and that should happen before I go home...so we will see. We had so much success last week. We taught over the amount that the President expects from us. Again, I will say that I will not be coasting to the end of my mission, there is just no way this is going to happen. Elder Morris and I just love the mission more than anything.

We also had a good week at church because we had investigators come to church. It was very fulfilling. Then one of my good buddies that goes out with us almost every day got the priesthood this week! We are so excited for him. He has overcome so much and gives us full credit for helping him. I love him so much. He is changing his life. He is the first in his family to be a priesthood holder. It is so awesome! Everyone is so happy for him. We have a goal that before I leave that the missionaries won't have to help bless the sacrament anymore. We are hoping for enough priesthood holders that they will not need us. We are getting more and more priesthood holders and the branch continues to grow! I just never really imagined how well my mission would end. God really is blessing me with the gift of results and of the spirit. I just feel spoiled for all the things that he has blessed me with.

This week, I also finished the exchanges with all the missionaries in my district. It is good to have finished that early in the transfer. Because we finished early, we will have more time to work and get down to business. I am also giving my farewell talk here this week which is strange that everything is winding down. There is a scripture in D & C 123:12-14 that describes me. It talks about wasting in the service of the Lord. I love it! It is so cool to thing about all the people that we are teaching and to see the great things that are happening. It is hard to see people go through so many trials in life. I know that I have had such a fantastic life. It has been so nice, and I am not going to lie, mostly just easy and beautiful. I look back on the trials that I have had and they are nothing in compared to what I see daily here. I will give more details another day.

I love my mission and I love you all. Peace and Blessings. Have a Magical Day!

Elder Phillips


February 13, 2012

P-day Project!                                                    
Look how warm it is this winter!
Coast Guard Academy                                              

My week was good and busy with my District Leader responsibilities.  I have been doing exchanges since transfer week.  I have not been able to do exchanges for a while because I was training a new missionary.  Elder Morris' training is officially over and so I am back attending to my responsibilities as the District Leader.  I should have them finished up this week.  I am doing my best to push the missionaries and help them to get better.  Most of us have been together for so long that we are in our comfort zone.  A coach once told me that if you are not getting better then you are getting worse, so we are focusing on improving as missionaries.  I am focusing on improving all aspects of my life...as a companion, leader and friend.

We also had a Zone Conference last week and continue to work with our investigators.  Everything is kinda the same with the investigators.  I am trying to get them out of their comfort zone and move towards baptism.  There are no sure baptisms scheduled right now, but we have some on track.  I got some fantastic news that someone that I had been working with in Worcester, that had a baptism date schedule and it didn't work out, is getting baptized this week.  That was a little treat that I was so happy to hear about.

The highlight of my week was going to dinner at the Coast Guard Academy with one of our investigators.  He is awesome.  He and his friends that are members invited us to go eat with them on campus and to show us around the campus a little bit.  It was really pretty.  We had burgers and stuff.  It was pretty cool, I am not going to lie!  Even though he is Hispanic and speaks Spanish...he goes to the English ward with his friends.  I am fine with it and happy that I get a small part of helping him.  He seems like a good friend.

I am trying to stay focused which is hard because everyone, and I mean everyone from home, friends on the mission and friends in the branch keep asking me how much time I have left on my mission.  I think it is the Lord's way of preparing me to return home, otherwise it would be really hard to leave here.

Peace and Blessings.

Elder Phillips


February 6, 2012

This week was really, really good! As you know, last week we set a goal to teach 20 in one week. We knew this might be our last opportunity to reach this goal because of all the activities coming up. We worked very diligently and it was worth it because we reached our goal! The branch said that they have noticed our work. We have been working really closely with the branch teaching them to focus on the things that matter most. We have also been working closely with the kids and teaching them the things in the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Things are really different in Connecticut than Utah and we are really trying to be a positive influence.

We should have a couple of baptisms in a few weeks if all goes according to plan. One is almost for sure. It is awesome. This man has turned into one of my best friends. We had a lesson that was one of the most spiritual experiences ever. We talked about trials and experiences and how we over come them. It was the most spiritual and simple lesson ever. We just talked about how to get over trials with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was just incredible.

This week has been really busy. I have been going on a lot of exchanges with my position as the District Leader. What happens in an exchange, is that I have a missionary come and observe what we do in my area and how I run my area. We are trying to get these done before things get too crazy with all the changes that are happening with me! Ha Ha! We had good experiences. One missionary came with me and he loved how we ran around all day long and didn't take breaks. It was a good experience for him. Then we also had an exchange in my area, but the English speaking portion of my area. They don't have too many investigators, so I got to walk around and contact everyone and knock on a good amount of doors. This does not happen too often in my area so it was nice and refreshing to do some good hard missionary work.

We had to sit down and have a good apartment inventory because we had some rough times with missionaries getting upset. This is just part of the mission. We are all great now and working to improve.

It seems like a lot of my friends are finishing their missions. It seems weird. I am still not "trunky" and don't want to come home, but I think that I will need a break when the 5 weeks are up. I forget sometimes how tired I really am but I will just go until the end and my parents can catch me as I am fall off the plane from being so tired, because that is what I will need.

We did not watch a single second of the super bowl! That is pretty good for me..we all know my weakness is sports. That will be fun to do when I get home I am getting more and more used to the idea of coming home I think the Lord is preparing me to come home because he knows that it will be hard for me. I have been reading the General Conference talks in the Ensign and came across the talk for return missionaries. It is funny how the Lord prepares you.

I am loving life in Connecticut! Peace and Blessings! Have a magical day!

Elder Phillips