(The following update is a condensed version of the letter Elder Phillips wrote to his mom & dad this week, he normally sends another update to forward on to friends and family. He must have run out of time this week to write both, so this is taken from the letter to his parents.)
Week 5 in the MTC
Cantonese is going pretty great. Our teacher just had a pow-wow with us. He said he was sorry that he's been slacking a bit on teaching and that now he is going to speak Cantonese much quicker and he'll never use English to help us. (He hasn't really been slacking, I think he is just warning us things are going to get tougher :)
To answer your question about mission President and Sister Hawks, they have been in Hong Kong for one year. I've talked to some of my teachers who are returned missionaries from Hong Kong and they say he and his wife are very very nice. I'm excited to meet them.
It's pretty funny though as I'm preparing lessons to teach "investigators," I realize that I can prepare all I want but God knows what I need to say and sometimes he won't give me that until I'm actually teaching. We try to ask good questions to the investigators so lessons can go in much different directions than we expected. But we can always tie it back to Christ and leave them with the Spirit and a commitment! Jp and Andrea emailed me and they gave me some great advice on a frustrating issue. It made me laugh. I will forward you their emails they were pretty inspiring. I got the message dad sent from Dear Elder.com and it made me happy! I love to get emails and notes from you all!
I hope your guys fourth of July was good! We watched 17 miracles here on 4th of July. Those poor pioneers. The fireworks we watched reminded me of the Chinese fireworks and Chinese New Year. It will be a crazy day when we are out there. I met at the temple yesterday some people from Hong Kong and I talked with them in Cantonese as best I could. They also spoke English well so we could communicate but it was pretty sweet. They weren't LDS or anything so these are much like the people I will see in Hong Kong. Most of them were actually investigators somebody told me.
I hope Dad's trip is going well. Be sure to share this email with him. I love you Dad! Let me know if you have any advice for me. I love you both so much. I had a weird thought yesterday when talking to the Hong Kong people. I looked at them, and in our church we believe all are able to become like God, we missionaries are all so young, and It's strange to think that the investigators first step to inheriting all that God has is hearing a missionary like me tell them about our message. It's a little bit intimidating of a task. But I'm definitely excited to share the message of Jesus Christ! I hope China becomes a great place one day. It already is a great place, but I have the feeling that the people of China will accept the gospel readily. One day the church's growth will explode because of the missionary work in China. I hope I can do my part now. Anyways I love you!
Bei Jeung Louh