Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ringing in the New Year--2016

January 4, 2016

Hola from down below (unless you’re my friend Grant--Elder Klingler, who is reading this from the bottom of the world haha),

On New Year’s Eve watching from the fourth floor bathroom window, I saw a chaotic world of illegal Peruvian fireworks shattering the crystal night, the sparks shimmering down to piles of old furniture burning on the street, supposedly a ritual to cleanse the old year of its bad memories.  I think it’s just a great excuse for pyromaniacs to make more space in their houses haha.

So a year has come and gone.  According to the latest general conference report, baptisms in Chile have been increasing, and I’m hoping for a lot more these next 9 months.  A good year best fitted with a quote from some lovable Biblical vegetables (Veggie Tales), "I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob."

Our unexpected investigator, an 18-year-old young man came to church again this week and went to Institute (a young adult church group).  During our lesson with him in the church he asked, "Since I could remember, I’ve had a mental picture in the back of my mind. Could you explain it?  I’m standing in rows of people dressed in white with three people in front of us. The one in the middle is sitting down with the other two standing, explaining something to us."

“Ummm, that would be the great council in heaven before we came to this earth, with Jesus and Satan both offering to be our Savior.  Jesus was willing to fulfill Heavenly Father’s plan, and Satan presented his alternative plan, which was contrary to Heavenly Father’s plan.”

Amazing moment.

“Oh. Wow”, he said.  "And one more thing, can we walk in the sacrament room again. It’s just so peaceful."

So it broke my heart when he told us he’s leaving for a month on vacation...but he is going to read the whole book of Mormon while he is gone. A tender mercy for this missionary.

Well, good luck with your New Year goals. We still have a couple of good days before we forget about them and go back to our normal life. :)

Everything is awesome,

Elder Phillips

Feliz Navidad 2015!

Cool Watermelon

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas Magic and Miracles

December 28, 2015


It was a hot magical week here in the world’s driest desert.  It’s SNOWING! Oh, no it was just the flock of pigeons flying overhead leaving their Christmas jollies :)  Did I mention there are lots of pigeons here? haha

This week we went to a hospital to sing Christmas carols to the patients and lift their hearts.  The hospital during Christmas is a clash between sterile white and bursts of colorful rejoicing brought in by small nativity scenes and mini blinking trees.  Some of the people were initially bothered by the joyful disturbance. but after a song or two they were singing along.  I’m pretty sure we were in the newspaper :P

My companion and I are staying here in the area for another transfer and two new sisters are arriving today.

On Christmas day we had a wonderful surprise.  A young man had given his friend a Book of Mormon with our number on it of which he read a couple chapters and wanted to learn more.  Christmas day we received his phone call with shouts of joy drowning out my end of the line. and once it was again calm, we arranged an appointment in the chapel.  He is 18 and super awesome with lots of biblical knowledge.  He loves our doctrine because "we have answers to everything”. Well, that’s what happens in the true Church of Jesus Christ!

He then came to church on Sunday, met some other youth and is going to institute this week.  The bad thing is he is going on vacation for a month but whateves.  It was truly a tender Christmas miracle to an undeserving missionary.

The Christmas call home was great.  It gets easier every time, especially since I realize how fast time flies.

I wish you a wonderful New Years.  My year of being a missionary, 2015, has come to an end.  Well, nothing is forever...except for this gospel and my family. And how grateful I am.

Everything is awesome,

Elder Phillips

Singing at the Hospital

Missionary Ornament!

Singing at the hospital