Sunday, December 13, 2015

          November 16, 2015
Hey mom and dad!!
My first five days here have been really good. The spirit is so strong
and I've learned more about teaching the gospel in these five days
than ever before. My district is super chill. The elders in my
residence are Elder Hoopes, Elder Huntsman, and my companion, Elder
Dodge. I'm so grateful for them and the example that we set together.
As a district we set a standard of "100% exact obedience" and it has
helped us out a lot. We have 4 sisters in our district, but only two
are going to Chicago. Everyone in my residence is going to Chicago!!!
Isn't that cool?? Haha anyways thanks for the updates on everything
back home. It snowed today!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaas it was so cool! I'm learning
so much here it's ridiculous.  I caught up with sister Fritchin, sister Dowell and Elder
reidranoso. We all took a picture or two #stocktongang The food here
is pretty good, but I'm getting fat.I have a couple requests actually!
I need a laundry bag, but they don't sell them here. I know that you
said you would send a box to Chicago, but if you feel like sending
any sees candy or Mountain Dew, my residence and  I would love you
forever. All in all I'm having a great time, and I can't wait to teach
real investigators.

Elder Fa'afetai Phipps
Sent from my iPad

***Disclaimer***  We've noticed Tai likes to make a funny face when taking pictures.  This is not new.  Apparently, he plans to keep doing that while on a mission.  And one week we'll get a letter with how he's doing and the next we'll get answers to our questions.  I think it's going to be awhile before we get both at the same time.  

The picture below was sent to us from a friend, she saw it on facebook.  It was taken while in the MTC.

 I love these next 3 pictures-all friends of Tai's who were in the MTC together.

And I just don't even know.

Hey! this is me, President Woodbury and his wife, and my trainer,
Elder Baum!!! He's super cool!!!  We actually just got done talking to
this guy we met on the street named Paul. He's really cool and said
that we can come over and talk about the Book of Mormon. I'm super
pumped. I just wanted you to know that I am safe and that the work is
moving along. I won't reply to any further emails until Pday but my
Zone is awesome. There's an elder from South Africa who plays rugby
(so we will be playing that on Pday) and an Elder from Russia. I had
to laugh because mom and I love to do Russian accents lol anyways love
you, tell the fam I say hi and that I love them. Oh, WE GET TO LISTEN
TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!! I sooooo excited!! Hahaha alright love you, and
I'll talk to you on Pday.

Tai with his companion, Elder Baum, and the Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Woodbury.

The new missionaries in the area went to the mission office to eat and be instructed.

Hey Mom and Dad!!

This week has been pretty awesome! My companion is Elder Baum
(pronounced bomb) and he is pretty cool. He goes home next transfer,
but is teaching me a lot. There is a whole new set of missionary lingo
that I have to learn lol so I'll update you the more I pick it up. I
have a really good first area, and the the ward I'm in is the North
Shore Second Ward. So missionaries here like nerf guns, but they're
too expensive so they just buy the darts and some PVC pipe. THOSE
THINGS ARE DEADLY. Hahaha no joke they leave welts. The work is going
well. We are teaching this old guy named Brenden who collects old toy
soldiers.. It's kinda weird to be honest, but he really wants to take
all of the lessons so I'm excited. We are also teaching this Pilipino
family, but I don't know much about them yet. Tonight we are having a
bible study with a Chinese lady named nana, and the only other
investigator I can think of is this guy named Tim, but he's been
investigating the church for like, 2 years. There were 14 new
missionaries that came out to Chicago last week. 14!!! That's nuts!!
Of the 14, 3 of us are Samoan 😎😎😎 it's really cold here! I love it!
Also dad, you're right, the wind is crazy cold.

Studies are going well, I'm learning a lot. I'm reading Jesus the
Christ, and it is MIND BLOWING. It has really helped me gain a
stronger testimony of Christ's love for us.
Alright well that's all I can think of from this week. The days feel
like weeks and the weeks feel like days. Oh! The pizza back home is
better than out here honestly, and this guy gave us some white tail
deer sausages. They're suuuuuper good. I now weight 224ish... Fat gang
hahaha but I just look a little chunky so I carry it well. I love and
miss you all, and I'll send pics soon
-Elder Phipps

Just got this picture tonight from a facebook group.  After wedding clean up crew!

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