Sunday, January 31, 2016

Never Give Up

(This letter had both Doug and I in tears.  The tender feelings you have as a parent to a missionary are hard to explain until it happens.  You wonder if you've done what you needed to in order to prepare your child to serve.  And when you are answered with a calm yes, yes you have done enough and you have loved enough, you can't help but feel like you're understanding this whole parenting thing after all.)


Sorry for not responding on Monday, my email decided that it wasn't going to receive any emails until Tuesday. Fortunately, I got permission from Pres to email today because the problem I had with my email actually came from Salt Lake, not my iPad. Just so I don't forget, THANK YOU FOR ALL THE FOOD!!! I got the package last night and Elder Hannesson and I love it! He's a Mountain Dew fanatic, so the 12 pack made his night. I know you sent a package with my ball and patriarchal blessing, but I haven't received it yet. I am so glad that Heavenly Father has been blessing you guys back home, and I know that the missionaries you feed are grateful as well. We have to pick up packages from the mission office, and since Elder Hannesson is the district leader, we can go whenever our schedule allows. I'm glad everyone is doing well and that Sam is doing great. After getting to know Elder Hannesson more, I found that he is VERY good at math, like, his major is physics. I was sick last week, and while we were in the apartment, he taught me how to solve the entire Rubik's Cube in like, 4 hours. He's pretty awesome. He was born in Canada just outside of Toronto, and moved to CN when he was little. He loves snowboarding and airsoft, and just outdoors stuff. He's super awesome. 
This last week was sorta rough. I got really sick towards the end of Wednesday, and we tried to go out Thursday but Elder Hannesson said I looked pretty ill, and we went home. By noon I was running a fever and slept most of the day, but that's basically what happened this week. On the upside, I was able to do a lot of studying! yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! I'm not running a fever anymore though, so I'll be fine. Yesterday we had a really cool experience, a 'miracle moment' if you will. SO yesterday we had 'new missionary training,' and afterwards we went to drop off 2 Elders that didn't have a car to an appointment they were late for. During the drive back to our area, Elder Hannesson got a text from our Zone Leaders asking for his district report. However, we needed wifi to to send off the report, so we headed for the nearest church building. After being at the church for around 15-20 minutes, I felt prompted to look out into the hallway. when I did so, I saw two men standing outside the church. I went to go let them in and when we became acquainted with one another, I learned that they were both named Mike. To help discern the two, we'll refer to them as 'Tall Mike,' and Asian Mike.' Both tall and asian Mike, were desirous to learn more about the church and had made plans to meet another set of Elders. Tall Mike is fluent in Greek and can read Hebrew, and had a copy of the oldest codex of the Bible in Greek. Asain Mike is very knowledgeable in church history. He loves the 'King Follett Sermon,' and even called it Joseph Smith's 'Magnum Opus.' I was super pumped that Asian Mike knew so much, it's rare to find and investigator like him who isn't confrontational. Tall Mike was very sincere in wanting to know the truth. We talked about the sacred Grove, the Pioneer's trek to Utah, baptism, and the difficulties of translating from Hebrew to English. We gave them a tour of the church and when we got to the chapel, they asked some questions about talks and if nonmembers were allowed to give them. We told them that about Fast Sundays and they seemed pretty excited about being able to speak. After the tour we found that the missionaries who were supposed to meet them totally stood Mike and Mike up, and we were there at just the right time. Isn't that cool?? Anyways the Mikes are planning on coming to a service in our area the next fast and testimony meeting, which Elder Hannesson and I are PUMPED about. Our other investigators are pretty close to baptism. Like, REALLY REALLY CLOSE. I will let you know when we have them on date.
So, I have a ton of pictures on my iPad, but it isn't sending out emails at the moment. When the problem is solved, I will send them all.
Please know that you are never forgotten. Pdays are an opportunity for me to let you know that all the hard work you put in, the YEARS of parenting and countless nights of worrying, is paying off. I love sharing these experiences with you. I do my best to email you every week, and would do so more often if I was allowed. Thank you so much for not giving up on me. 
Elder Phipps 

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