Tuesday, June 16, 2015

this is the last update of my mission...

Elder Peacock and Elder Phillips

Brother Mak's baptism!

Dear Friends and Family,

As you all probably know, this is the last update of my mission.  Looking back on my mission, I am filled with a wonderful feeling--love.  All of the things that have happened while serving, have been a metamorphosis for me.  My mission hasn't always been filled with love.  There were times when I felt anger, frustration, jealousy, unsatisfactory, not good enough, weak, sorrow and the lot.  But I learned how to turn to the Lord in these times.  When I turned to him he always provided me a way to escape.  Then I look back and realized all those negative things were just temporary.  They passed before my eyes and melted away from my heart.  But the positive things have stayed and created an eternal impression in my mind.  An impression of love, glory, brotherhood, compassion, mercy, endurance, patience and more.  

The things that have happened here are sacred to me.  All of the friendships and people I met will not come to an end.  I absolutely was not perfect in my two years of service as a full time missionary, but I feel like I gave God my all.  I feel that He is proud of me, just as my earthly parents are proud of me.  I fully intend on continuing to make them proud through the rest of my life.  

Love you all,
Elder Phillips

Monday, June 1, 2015

...Christ has removed the sting of death...

Chan Kam Yan's baptism day

Dear Friends and Family,

Today I want to take some time to talk about one of my previous recent converts.  His name is Chan Kam Yan.  He was baptized while I was in Pok Fu Lam.  He is the sweetest guy I know, completely without guile.  Sadly, about a year after his baptism (this past week) he passed away.  He was 50 years old or so.  It was hard for me to come to grips with the fact that I will not see him again until I make it to the other side, but it is a good thing I know of a surety that Jesus Christ has removed the sting of death from the world.  This is not the end of Chan Kam Yan just as surely as the Crucifixion was not the end of Jesus Christ.  It is not the end of our friendship, either.  As I've said before, the gospel of Jesus Christ overcomes all.

I remember back to Chan Kam Yan's baptism.  After he was baptized he came and sat next to me.  The congregation was singing a hymn and I was interpreting it into sign language for him.  I then looked into his eyes and I could see something stirring deep inside his soul.  I knew at that moment that he had been touched by and filled with the Spirit of God.  

Yesterday in church all the missionaries gave talks and we did a musical number.  We sang the fourth verse and did sign language to the words.  There was one deaf investigator in attendance with her daughter.  The words were: 

"And should we die before our journey's through.  Happy Day!  All is well.  We then are free from toil and sorrow, too.  With the just, we shall dwell.  But if our lives are spared again, to see the saints their rest obtain.  Oh how we'll make this chorus swell. All is well!  All is well."  

Chan Kam Yan has obtained his rest, while my life has been spared again to tell everyone the great things God has done for us.  The last time I saw Chan Kam Yan I told him I may not get to see him again because I will have to fly back to America.  He made the sign which means "cry," symbolizing he was crying at me leaving.  Then he smiled like he usually does.  And my last memory is of him smiling because he had the peaceful assurance that All is indeed well.  I love this man.  I will see him again.

I love you all!

Elder Phillips