Monday, January 27, 2014

Chinese New Year!

                                           Pictures are from our P-day trip to see Big Budda

Dear Friends and Family,

I know I just gave you an update a few days ago, but here is another one real quick.  Today for P-day, we are going to eat burgers somewhere on the island.  Elder Falk was companions with my previous companion (Elder Woodburn), so we are going to go catch up with him and some other missionaries today.  This past Thursday we got an opportunity to go to the temple.  Fun stuff.

Upcoming this week is Chinese New Year!  It is on January 31st this year.  Every Chinese New Year, missionaries have a day to deep clean their apartment (exciting way to celebrate :) Our day will be this Saturday.  I just bought some cleaning supplies today so we are all good to go.

I think the work is a little less productive around Chinese New Year because everyone is celebrating.  I know most people in our ward are going out of town.  In fact, next week of church is only Sacrament meeting for an hour, and then everyone leaves.  Normally, an hour-long church would excite me.  But as a missionary, it means I just use that time to go street contacting! Yaaaayyyy.

In all actuality, I am pretty excited for the New Year.  I could be moving this coming up move calls.  They happen on February 13th, I think.  I really love the Butterfly area, but we will see what happens.  We are trying to have every missionary be in their area for an average of 6 months.  There is a lot of wisdom in that.  President Hawks compares this to the story of Ammon who said he would serve to death in the land of the Lamanites if necessary.  Our mission president's only warning was not to marry the Bishop's daughter if he offers us! Teehee :) ... (Alma Ch. 17...tells the story of Ammon)

Elder Phillips

Friday, January 24, 2014

Missionary work in Butterfly :) Update on the last two weeks.

Dear Friends and Family,

I have had a great week.  Things are as normal in Butterfly area. The biggest change is our new ward mission correlator.  He is a boss.  He is so anxious to do missionary work, so I think he will be able to help us a lot. 

Yesterday at church, one of our investigator came up to us and said he decided to be baptized.  He was very certain.  But later that day he went out to lunch with his younger brother and he called us afterwards saying he doesn't want to change his life right now so he can't get baptized.  It was a bummer, it can be a struggle for sure sometimes.

Today we are going to "Big Buddha" for P-day.  It should be great!  I will send pictures next week!

Mom, Thanks for the picture of my new nephew Levi... I had no idea it would be so fast!  Whose baby is it? I know that they were all pregnant at the same time so I'm really not sure.  He looks so cute!
Please let me know which of my siblings are Levi's parents:)  Love you!

Elder Phillips

Dear Friends and Family,

This week has been a long one!  Our P-day was not until Thursday so I didn't write this past Monday.  I will write again this coming Monday, also.

This past week we went on exchanges.  I went with Elder Passey and Elder Falk went with Elder Siebach. All four of us live in the same apartment so it makes exchanges pretty easy.  The exchanges were great.  You can learn a lot just by watching another missionary.
I got sick this past week.  Mom, when you read this you don't need to freak out.  I was in a pretty pitiful state on Sunday night but now I feel pretty well recovered.  I lost my voice for two days so Missionary Work was pretty interesting.  It was still great, though.
Here is an interesting story from this past week.  Elder Falk and I decided to go finding for 20 minutes because we had an awkward hour between our appointments.  We ran into a lady named Joyce. She told us she had prayed all that morning that she would walk along this park path and see or hear an answer from God as to which church is true.  She talked to us and told us this, but she also said that the timing was wrong.  She said it wasn't supposed to be a "person" to convince us.  Then she walked off.

Afterwards Elder Falk asked me: "What just happened?"  I said: "She prayed all day for an answer, and she denied it when it came."  I still consider this encounter God's appointment.   I know now, that God brings about the miracles that are necessary to happen, first.   It was necessary that we told this woman that this is the church of God.  She will remember that.  It is all worth it.  

Elder Phillips

Monday, January 6, 2014

Without love and Charity all is for naught...

Hello Everyone,

I feel like Butterfly had a good week this week. The sisters are doing great, especially. Elder Falk and I had quite a few disappointments, but despite them the week still ended very well. Here are some of the sadnesses of the week first, and then I will describe the good stuff.

We met a lot of people on the street at the beginning of the week. We rescheduled three of them who all seemed to be pretty solid. On of those three actually called us himself and asked to meet. But we had all three scheduled for Saturday at various times, and they all fonged (didn't show up). 

The other event that happened on Saturday was our first real lesson with two investigators, a mother and her 9 year old son. They had already come to church. As I said last week, the mom had no real interest but our hypothesis that she wanted her son to explore our church was confirmed in our lesson when we asked why she came to church, and she answered so that her son could see how it is. Her son is 9, and he was great. He liked church, and when we taught them yesterday he was very responsive. Mom on the other hand wouldn't participate when we asked her to read things. When we asked her questions she just answered in a yes/no format. But her son was great. He really understood what we taught. We only taught a very basic lesson, but he grasped onto it. He has great potential. Sadly, his mother has no interest. But still, the lesson was great. We had a Sister from the ward and her 9 year old son come to fellowship. It seemed like a perfect situation to us. Anyway, near the end of the lesson,  the sister from church asks the mom if she could come to church tomorrow. She answered very abruptly, no. Then, the sister was being nice and said:" Oh that's okay next time, next Sunday." The mom said: Not necessarily. Then we asked why. She said because she doesn't believe these things, and she's not coming back. Then she said to her son: Walk, boy. Then they left. Her son said goodbye to us. It was a real heart breaking moment. 

I personally feel like this experience softened me. I felt a little sad, but in the end I had a feeling of humility and acceptance come over me. I think it was important for me to have that. Elder Falk and I have been focusing a lot on how to get baptisms lately, but in that I have not paid as much attention to Christlike Attributes, mainly love and charity. I realize now I can have as much fire in missionary work as I want, but if I don't have charity it's all for naught. And I do believe this type of charity will bring about more "success" than anything else will. 

Now on to the bright side. Our new ward correlation member is on fire. He has called us multiple times already, and he is so anxious to help us. Our first correlation meeting was a great success. He got all the ward missionaries together and all contributed in the meeting. He invited us to start attending Priesthood Meetings. I feel that he has a lot of trust in us, and I definitely trust him. There are good things to come from that. This year is going to be a remarkable year for Butterfly.

At Church we received a referral from the Young Men.  He is a nice guy, and has a bit of interest. We taught him, and it wasn't as if we were blown off our feet by his preparedness, but I think there is good opportunity there. A Mandarin woman whom we invited came to church also. She is an interesting person, but she hit it off with a less active who helped fellowship her in a lesson the sisters taught after church. It was a good week, all in all. 

Love you all!
Elder Phillips