Sunday, February 1, 2015

Shined Shoes and Other Memorable Moments

January 26, 2015

Hola family and friends!

Whoosh.  Crazy week.

Friday  (the 23rd) was my birthday.  It’s not as big of a deal on the mission.  I actually forgot it was my birthday until 11 am, and my companion never remembered.  But everything turned out all right, because we had an activity at the church and somehow the members knew it was my birthday!  They had cake, sang me Feliz Cumpleanos and gave me Snickers bars.  The most special part was when one of the really old members in the ward told me to sit down, and for 5 minutes shined my shoes.  I felt like an apostle getting my feet washed by Jesus!  It warmed my heart to have such a humble and old man do such a sincere Christ-like act.  It made the bad experiences I had that day (like getting yelled at) melt away.  It was definitely a birthday to remember.

Then on Saturday we had our baptism!!  IT WAS SO STRESSFUL… and yet GREAT.  No water, then freezing water, then spiders jumping out of the pipes and font, then no priesthood leaders to run the baptism, no programs, no person there to get baptized. But eventually we got everything pulled together and started an hour late.  The girl being baptized brought her whole family--it was a huge blessing that they all supported her in her decision.  And she truly has a desire to be like Christ.  As part of the program I sang the Primary children’s song I Like To Look For Rainbows (in Spanish) and everyone seemed to like it.  It was a good day.

All day Sunday we went around visiting people so Elder G. could say goodbye.  He even got a little teary-eyed bearing his testimony in church.  He worked hard until the very last day and I am so grateful for his example.  He said he had no regrets, and that’s how I want to be in 2 years and at the end of my life.  I sent him off to Antofagasta on the 3 am bus.

My new companion arrives tomorrow from the northern part of our mission (a 24 hour bus ride).  His name is Elder A. and he has been in the mission for a year.  Should be interesting this week as I try to navigate him through our area.

It sure was a week for the journal.  Do you write in your journal?  You should, it's fun to look back and see what you were saying 3 months ago.  Always productive to laugh at yourself.  You think you know everything at that moment, but when you look back you realize how dumb you were. Or maybe it is just me. Haha

Here’s to a fresh start in the wonderful city of Vallenar!  The mission is exhausting but worth it.

Everything is awesome,
Elder Phillips

An Act of Love (representative photo)

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