Thursday, December 24, 2015

Feliz Navidad!


I can't believe it is my second and last Christmas on the mission--and it's been very special so far.

It’s a Christmas miracle! --I didn’t get sick from my companion!  That’s the work of a true germaphobe haha.

On Saturday we went to a giant market place to take free Christmas pictures with a humble nativity scene I assembled from scrap paper and cardboard boxes lying around the apartment.  We had people write on a paper what Christ meant in their life and we will deliver their treasured pictures this week to their houses!

It’s been interesting hearing people’s responses to the question: "Why was Jesus Christ born?"  Most say, "He died for me!" yeah, so what does that mean, I ask. "Ummmm...he died for me."

How glad I am for an understanding of my beliefs.  Almost all of our questions can be answered with the wonderful plan of salvation God carefully designed for us.  I lived with a Heavenly Father who made my spirit, an earth was made, I was provided a body to grow and be tested here for a short time, and in my life I would make mistakes due to my fallen state.  A Savior was lovingly provided to break the bands of death and sin so that one day I can live with my family and Him forever.

Christmas for me is a renewing of my faith in God, my faith in humanity, and a renewing of faith in myself.  God already gave me the best gift and now I must show my gratitude for his sacrifice.

More than ever the reality of Jesus Christ and his divine mission has been implanted on my heart.  I am eternally grateful.

Feliz Navidad.  I am thrilled you all are a part of my life.

Everything is merrily awesome,

Elder Phillips

My humble nativity
The missionaries were angels at the ward Christmas party

My companion and I

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Savior Is Born

December 14, 2015

Hola Familia y amigos,

I can see the future--I will be sick within 2 days tops.  How do I know? Because my companion is sick and when you live with someone 24/7 there is no escaping it no matter how many times I cover the apartment in antibacterial spray :)

This Christmas season we are sharing a message called "A Savior is Born" with cute little cards and a powerful video (  But it has been a little difficult since the majority of the people in the streets practice a religion that denies the idea of celebrating Christmas, or they don’t believe in Christmas...However, that didn’t stop us from putting on our Christmas hats and declaring what Christmas really is about. It is amazing what the hat can do with the hearts of people.  Now my companion wants to wear it all the time haha

Unfortunately our only investigator sent his wife to the door to tell us he wasn’t home when we went to see him.  We did perform some service this week—for instance, there was a blind man lost on the sidewalk. We guided him to the "green building" he was searching for...which turned out to be his favorite bar.  You can either laugh or cry.

Since I had more time this week to study while waiting for my companion to feel better, I decided to do some light reading by venturing into a 800 page book entitled "Jesus the Christ" to better understand the man I testify about.

We forget that for almost all of his life Jesus was much like us. Working, learning, doing chores, exploring the world--and as he grew older the depth of his purpose was slowing revealed to him.  He didn’t just wake up one day ready to save mankind, he had to be prepared.  It gives me hope in my life that even though I can’t testify or do everything at perfect level now, what is important is being prepared for those things. That’s the whole reason we are here, right? Preparation for something greater. Oh how I love learning about Jesus!

Well, enjoy the snow or cold wherever you are! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (as much as it can in the summertime lol.)

Feliz Navidad and Everything is Awesome,

Elder Phillips

Don't Ask

I Can Find Disneyland Anywhere

My Mamita

Our District--Most of Us
Our Adventure to Lake Chungara
I Finally Found Some Green and Snow

The World's Highest Lake

December 7, 2015


Not much time to write since we went a cool long trip today!

Week 3 in the cleanest city in my mission.  I finally figured out why it is so clean--no one walks on the streets!  They all hide behind their cement walls to avoid us.  They think they are so clever but we will see who wins!!

We did find one guy who met with missionaries before with his wife and wants to hear again, this time more seriously to fill the spiritual gap that remains empty in his heart.

We woke up at 4 AM for an adventure to the world’s tallest lake, El Lago Chungara.  I was fine until we arrived at the summit where it felt like air no longer existed.  My companion was worse off.  But we played with llamas, flamingos, and carsick elders!

Some other exciting news is that my two investigators in my other sector got baptized!  Sad that I couldn’t be there, but in the end that’s missionary work-it's never ever about me, it's about other people, which in turn ends up helping me feel blessed. Ah, its confusing haha.

Have a wonderful week.

Everything is awesome,

Elder Phillips

A Little Green Looking Below

High On A Mountain Top

Picture Perfect

Cute Llamas

Elder S's Selfie

Happy Llamas

Fun Times

Great Day!

Thanksgiving Surprises

November 30, 2015

Hola Familia y amigos y random people who might be reading this,

This week we ran a marathon!  Well, actually we just walked it.  Missionaries who have cars or bikes don’t know what they are missing. This is a real mission!! haha.  This new area is a hard one to work in with because half the houses are government centers, schools, or summer vacation homes that no one uses.  So it’s been a little difficult to find people to talk to.

But with fasting and lots of prayer we were lead to a less active lady and her son’s family who were interested. We celebrated with hot dogs and took a picture with a giant snake in the restaurant. Don’t ask...

On Thanksgiving I had no expectations of a dinner or anything but my companion planned a dinner with new converts, a real American feast with turkey, sweet rice, applesauce, and hush puppies!!  I was VERY pleased. Yeah!!!!!!

I love talking to people who were converted to the church.  During lunch I heard this story from an older couple:

"It was a 1975 summer day in Santiago.  We heard a big bang followed by a groan against our apartment door. We went to investigate and found two white teenage boys, with one of them lying down holding his head who mumbled 'would, like to hear a message of Jesus?'  We let the poor things in."

"We both liked their message but we weren’t convinced by it, until one night we received our confirmation by dream. In my dream I walked to my catholic church to pray to the virgin right outside.  I knelt down to pray to the statue and as I looked up the once beautiful virgin I saw it had transformed into the devil himself. I ran and ran until I entered a building in which the devil could not enter past the doors. Turning, I saw a sign identifying the place: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."

"In my husband's dream God read from a book of beautiful scriptures he had never heard.  He woke up and ran to the bathroom where he had placed the book left by the elders.  As he read it for the first time he found the scriptures were word for word what he had heard in his dream.  We were both baptized, sealed in the temple, and haven’t left the church since."

Wow, this work is full of miracles.

Speaking of miracles we taught an Evangelist pastor with our ward mission leader this week.  He is a religious professor (and so is our mission leader haha.) We made sure it wasn’t contentious and he liked it so much we are going back in two weeks.  But he kept saying, Well the Bible says...where is that in the Bible...we need no more Bible.  How close people can be to the truth but be so blind to see that God is more than the Bible.  It feels like I’m teaching calculus principles and someone says "well I already know algebra so I need no more knowledge."  How great is this knowledge! I believe in a God who STILL talks with us and guides us like before.  How can I be 19 and understand God’s nature better than a man who spent his whole life engulfed in the teachings of ancient prophets? Now I understand how poor Joseph Smith felt. :)

Everything is awesome,

Elder Phillips

Can't Believe I Did This!!

So Fun!

Look At This Beautiful Thanksgiving Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Most of Our District

Having Fun