Sunday, July 26, 2015

Can I Change God?

Hola family and friends!

Another week has come and gone actually very fast. Did I say that? Yes!  It went by fast!! I won't lie, two years can seem like a long time because it is.  But it’s not nearly enough time to do what we need to do!!

We've been meeting lots of wonderful people who are hesitant to do much with their religious lives-- so they might take a little while to work with, especially considering the fact that many only can meet with us once a week. But I'm very grateful that people want to at least talk with us!

We have been teaching a woman who has been investigating the church for quite a while and hasn't been baptized, mainly because her less active husband needed to get a divorce so they can be married legally.  This is a common issue here for many reasons.  Well, this week it finally happened and they can get married in August and then baptized!  I am so happy for her.  An important commitment for baptism is following God’s laws, including husbands and wives being legally and lawfully married.

Last week we had a wonderful conference with an Area Seventy leader from our church, Elder Zeballos and his wife. He is from northern Chile, where I am serving.  It was also fun to catch up with my MTC companion and a few others from my group in the MTC that I haven't seen in a while.  One teaching from the conference that stuck with me is how the pain, long days, and frustration we face as missionaries will pass and fade. But if we don't do what we need to do, the weight of regret will always remain.  That principle is something I can carry forward in my life--serving God to the best of my ability so I won't have regrets. As I think back on my mission so far, I know I have tried my best. And one bright spot this week was hearing from one of the elders at the conference who was in Vallenar that golden girl, my first convert, is doing well--so great to hear.

As I was talking with a group of 30 year olds smoking on the street the other day, I finally found the response to the statement we get on a daily basis: "I believe in God, but in my own way."

Many people have it the wrong way around.  If we believe in God in our own way then we are assuming we have the ability to change an unchangeable being! Saying that someone is like this or like that doesn't actually change who they are. It’s the same with God. Our purpose in this life is to find the true nature of God.  To come to know Him and love Him for who he really is--through study, prayer, the Holy Ghost, and the blessings of His restored church.

Thanks for your kindness and love.

Everything is awesome,

Elder Phillips

Great to see my MTC companion

And this missionary from my MTC days as well!

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