Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Ups Far Outweighed The Downs

November 22, 2015


My last Sunday at the branch in Alto Hospicio was special because we had more people there than in all my 6 months. We filled two whole rows with investigators and less actives we were working with. It was beautiful sight.

Saying goodbye to the family we baptized was a very powerful moment for me. We talked a little bit about their experience entering the gospel.  The husband began to cry, thanking me for bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to their home. We all cried together.  They promised to send me photos of when they get sealed in the temple.  And to think 4 months ago he didn’t want anything to do with us. The Spirit changes people.

Well, my first week in my new city (Arica—a nice city in the most northern part of Chile just below Peru) was interesting with lots of ups and downs.  Arica has palm trees, less dogs, and our apartment has four missionaries in it.  My new companion is from Temuco, Chile, and he is a convert with lots of energy—which is exciting.  We don’t have anyone to teach, but that can be changed.  The members here are so wonderful—they gave me a warm welcome with gifts. And the mamita who cooks for us is a great cook and I love feeding her chickens every day :P

On Friday night we all began 14-hour bus ride for a conference meeting with Elder Cook (an Apostle) who was visiting in our mission.  I was excited to see missionaries I hadn’t seen for a whole year, like Elder F. from Copiapo during the flood, and Elder A. my old companion.  Another Elder told who was in my first area after me told me devastating news about golden girl—that she had gone inactive.  It broke my heart. But later I found out from more recent sources that she is coming back to church!!!!!  Emotional ups and downs.

About 11:45 pm the bus broke down in the middle of the desert--a bus full of missionaries.  The Phillips family curse remains! I knew it was my fault haha They transferred us to another bus. Then another until we got to a city to wait. At 4 am another bus came but didn’t have room to take all of us.  We had to decide who would go and who would miss the conference.  I felt really bad getting on the bus, but my companion had a special musical number to sing at the conference so we had to get there.

We arrived in Antofagasta, and ran to catch a taxi to the church building. Because we were late, we missed the mission picture and shaking hands with Elder Cook. We were all a little bummed, but we were able to hear him speak. God made it up to me because it was one of the most powerful moments in my mission, and I received an answer to a lifelong prayer.  Elder Cook talked about us being church builders, how we need to be lively, inspire the young men to go on missions, and build the kingdom of God.  It made me think of my last night in Alto Hospicio when the second counselor thanked me for helping make the branch stronger during my time there.

At the conclusion of his talk, Elder Cook bore a testimony that strongly impacted my soul. He said," In a recent conference at Stanford the students questioned the reality of modern day prophets. They mentioned that the General Authorities rarely give details of our spiritual revelations. Be assured we still have them even if we can’t express them fully for their sacred nature.  But I have decided to share my testimony a little differently today."

The testimony he shared was a life changing 10 minutes.  I know he is a special witness of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ leads and directs His Church through His prophets.  His testimony was worth the 30 hours on the bus and the discovery of no food when we got home due to the electricity going out and everything spoiling in our refrigerator. The ups far outweighed the downs.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everything is awesome,
Elder Phillips

On the bus to the conference
Reunion Continues
30 hours on a bus = punchy missionaries

No comments :

Post a Comment