Monday, March 2, 2015

The Parable of the Kitchen Sink and Cracked Foundations

The Sink

March 2, 2015


Interesting week...still no lessons to report, but we were pretty busy.

We are in the process of fixing our apartment (see last week’s letter below).  The Bishop and his dad came over to work on the lights and sink as a service to the mission and to us—so kind of them!  The kitchen sink hasn’t drained since I have been here and I have tried EVERYTHING--acid, drain cleaner, drain cleaner that explodes with hot water, knifes, hangers, even kicking.  The Bishop’s dad put a little water in it and started pumping his hand up and down like he was giving it CPR.

"This is NEVER going to work. What is he thinking?" I thought to myself.  And....drip...drip...water flowing. Mouth dropping. Repenting.

What I learned from this experience is our problems seem so big and complicated sometimes that we try to find fancy, expensive solutions. Maybe we resort to ripping up our whole life because its ¨broken" when in reality the solution is super simple--we just haven’t thought of it before.  Think of your problems, take a nice walk and simplify your solutions.  They are usually staring us in the face.  It also pays to go to the source that has the answers--I could have had a working sink for 4 months!  More good news—I now have a functioning light in my bedroom  :)

We finally had 4 appointments set up for Saturday—very exciting.  And then the sister missionaries called from Huasco (1.5 hours away by bus) to have us do an emergency baptismal interview.  We did the interview and came back, ready for our appointments and…ring...ring.  "Hello? Hey sisters. What? You need us to come back because there is no one to baptize your investigator? Ok."  Back to Huasco on the bus. Cancelled our appointments.  Got there and it turned out that the necessary people finally came so we weren’t needed anymore...and that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

We are almost done with our after-baptism lessons with golden girl.  This week’s lesson was about chastity and modesty.  She told us she went to the store to buy a dress for church but they only brought her short skirts.  She asked for longer ones and they told her no, because she is "too young and pretty to wear old people clothes". So she left and searched all day for a long skirt--wow!!  We told her that part of modesty was having one pair of earrings, so she told us she would take her second pair out.  If the prophet said so--no questions asked.

What a great young woman.  I’m not thinking about marriage or anything (#nottrunkieatall) but someday I want to marry someone with those kinds of standards and devotion to the Lord.

Have a great week!  School starts here this week so we should get more people to teach. And who knows, I might be somewhere else next Monday—transfers are coming.

February 23, 2015

You know when you really want something and you work really hard and nothing happens?  That was a little like this week.  I´m going to blame it on the fact that it is still summer break.  We only had 4 lessons all week, which I guess is more than some places in the world, but I´m kind of a wimp and I like my stuff when I want it :)

But that doesn’t mean you can give up or lose faith.  Sometimes I think, "If this is the Lord´s work, why doesn’t it go more smoothly?"  I bet that´s what the pioneers thought when they were building the Salt Lake Temple.  Then the whole foundation cracked and they had to start over.  Does it ever feel like the foundations of our life are falling apart even when we are doing what we know is right?  It doesn’t mean that we are doing bad things or that we are bad people, just that we live in a world with real problems that we need to learn to solve.

We got a call from the mission office telling us that we can’t move to the new apartment we were planning on.  Instead, we get to take all of our preparation days to paint, scrub, and fix the plumbing and electrical in our 40-year-old place.  Whoo hoo!  I’ve never even changed a doorknob before.  Talk about problems to solve!!

Ok, not everything is as bleak as it sounds.  We found an older gentleman who just lost his wife.  He never cared much about God, but after losing her he has decided to find more meaning in his life.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and pamphlets to read.  He hasn’t had much time because of his job, but the two times we have met with him, it’s like watching a baby take that first taste of ice cream after only rice cereal--his eyes light up.  He has spent the last 73 years of his life ignoring a part of life that can open your mind and soul to a world of joy and enlightenment.  I still get that face sometimes when I read the scriptures.

Our golden girl was praying to know what to do with her boyfriend, since he likes to party and drink.  That night he came into her house, drunk, and told her it was over.  Yeah!!  She’s even happier now--after the initial shock of the break-up :)

Remember how much God loves you, because HE DOES—he is in the details of our lives.

Everything is awesome,

Elder Phillips

Gotta Love Missionaries!

Huasco--seaside town

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