Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year 2015! The Year of Elder Phillips, the Missionary

December 29, 2014

It was a Chilean Christmas down here in Vallenar.  Most people celebrate the holiday at midnight (Christmas Eve) till 5 in the morning.  But a family was kind enough to move their dinner to 9 pm for us.  Meat, meat, meat, rice, tomatoes, running to the bathroom because I am going to throw up, more rice, Santa hats, presents, going back to our apartment at 10:30, and not sleeping because all the kids are screaming about their gifts at 3 am.  Overall, it was a blast. :)

Talking to the family on Skype was weird.  This sounds dumb, but sometimes I forget I am on my mission.  There is so much written about the crazy things you can do on your mission--baptizing people in the rivers or causing mountains to move, but actually daily missionary life is pretty...ordinary.  Its just normal life with a shirt and tie, a lot more walking, less sleep, and an overwhelming presence of knowing that God is always with me.  There are moments of AHHHHH and WHAT IS THAT and THIS IS AMAZING, but most days its: walk, SLAM, walk, teach, walk, eat, walk, laugh about something, go to bed, repeat.

My brothers gave me some inspired advice (as always). Bryan told me to have more fun with the members, gaining their trust and respect.  Matt said that the second I loose faith that people can change is the second I need to go home. Forceful, but true.

I won’t lie and say I always love the people. But if I don’t believe we can all become better than we are now, I just lost faith in the Atonement.  And it’s not us as missionaries changing people.  All we do is slowly help turn their gaze to the one man who in glory stands with his arms outstretched, waiting to receive all of us.  And if they don’t accept it now, at least I did my part.

Now that I am not drowning in the language, I can get a few words out before they shove my head back under the water.  Many times I think, "This would be so easy in English!"  Then I think (in Spanish), "Of course dummy!  And it would be 20 times harder in Japanese!"  The two languages in my head are literally battling each other... haha

Enjoy your New Year's Eve!  I have to be in the apartment by 9, so have extra fun for me :)

Here’s to changing the world one heart at a time!  I see great things ahead in the year 2015, the year of Elder Phillips as a missionary.

Everything is awesome,

Elder Phillips

Christmas Eve Skype!

Merry Christmas!

Presents :)

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