Monday, December 30, 2013

A SPANISH POSADA & CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

Before Christmas our Branch celebrated with a POSADA, which was our Branch's Christmas Party. But it was way different than any Ward Christmas Party that I have ever been to. It was focused on investigators and the whole Spanish speaking community!!! As always, my branch is the greatest at missionary work! We had over 200 people!! We used EVERY SINGLE CHAIR in the building and had to put up more tables in random rooms. Lots and lots of miracles happened that night. IT WAS AMAZING! We are meeting people everyday and hope we can bring the gospel into as many lives as possible.


FOUR SPANISH SPEAKING SISTER MISSIONARIES
AT THE BRANCH POSADA!

To celebrate the Season, Hermana Quinn and I treated ourselves to a fancy dinner at this place called the ONION. From the first day I came to the mission, I saw this restaurant and wanted to go. So we went! I got to have a Monte Cristo sandwich! Sad thing, Hermana Quinn and I ordered only things that are fried (I guess we were tired of all the healthy food we always eat). And...it was kinda overwhelmingly greasy!


AT THE "ONION" ~ EMMA LEARNED TO LIKE  
 'MONTE CRISTO' SANDWICHES BY EATING THEM AT 
THE BLUE BAYOU IN DISNEYLAND WITH HER FAMILY!

At the Posada the Young Men went to the Forest and cut down trees to put on all the walls of the Cultural Hall. We stole one of the trees at the end of the party and took it home. This meant we had a 35 minute car drive with the windows down in 7 degree weather, but it was so worth it. We don't have a Christmas stand, but our kitchen pot is working perfectly!! Haha! Christmas on a mission is an adventure!


CHRISTMAS ON A MISSION IS A "GREAT" ADVENTURE!

At the POSADA, we enjoyed being with the Ramos family. Alicia and Michael (the 16 year old) are members, but the rest of their family is not. We saw such Amazing miracles with that family last transfer. They now are in the Elder's area and the Elders are continuing to see miracles with them!


ENJOYING A CHRISTMAS POSADA WITH THE RAMOS FAMILY


SEE ALL THE TREES LINING THE WALL ~ BEAUTIFUL!

Well, Things are amazing! I Love hearing from you! 
I hope all your holidays were wonderful!
Love, Hermana Phipps

Saturday, December 28, 2013

GREAT GOALS FOR THE WORK!!

If you think your New Year's Resolutions are Lofty...
Try these goals!!

   We are working really, really hard to keep the goals and vision for this Mission. It takes A LOT of work to set up 3 lessons a day, make sure 4 investigators come to church, work on baptizing weekly, and 'finding everywhere.' This week they asked that to 'find everywhere,' -- we need to talk to 20 people who we have never met -- EVERYDAY (10 people for each missionary)!! I'm excited/nervous for that part. But I know the Lord is going to help Hermana Quinn and me!

   I feel that by the end of my mission everyone who reads my letters will think the only describing word I know is MIRACLES. And they might also be sick of the word because they hear it too much. But what else can I say? It is as it is!!

   We have been praying so hard to find those who are in need of the gospel. SO HARD. We have seen miracles everywhere! I feel like this week we have met more people who are opened to the message than we have had the rest of my mission. I know it is because the Lord is directing us.

      Many of the leaders here have been telling us to "Expect Miracles." At first, I thought that meant everything would go as I wanted it to! (Let me tell you, I was really wrong in thinking that). I thought the miracles would be that all the lessons we planned would go through perfectly, that people would take the steps I thought they needed to take, and that everything would be pretty easy. What I learned is that the Lord's will still really, really, really matters, which I should have known from the beginning. All the miracles I could have wished for could not be better than the miracles the Lord provided. He brought miracles I didn't think of and could never have dreamed of, but they were perfect and needed in every way. 

   I've learned a lot about how to trust in the Lord and not depend on myself. As we try to set up all these appointments and try to accomplish all these goals, sometimes I get caught up in thinking it is all dependent on me and I have to make it happen. This week I learned that I was very wrong in thinking that way. Last Tuesday, Hermana Quinn and I planned the perfect day, full of lessons and what we thought were great plans. But as the day went on, everything fell apart. All our lessons fell through. I became pretty frustrated. The next day we had no sure plans and I was feeling pretty pessimistic. I couldn't see how we could have lessons on a day where we had no great plans. Hermana Quinn was trusting though. 

   Then miracles happened. We let the Lord guide us and miracle after miracle happened and we had 3 lessons! And all of them felt like it was what we were supposed to be doing!

   *** We were told today that next month Elder Neil L. Andersen will be visiting our mission to ask us how we are doing at living up to our goals each month! It is a huge deal!! The goals are keeping us working ALL THE TIME! Which is perfectly wonderful. It feels good to be tired when you know you have done all you can. 

   I love hearing from you! I hope all your holiday happenings were amazing! 
Remember to be kind and loving to everyone you meet!
Love from, Hermana Phipps

EMMA SENT A CHRISTMAS CARD GREETING TO YOU!!


[Mama Phipps note: It was delightful chatting with Emma on Christmas Day. She glows!! 
She loves being a Missionary at Christmas Time, 
it was easier to talk to her 10 new connects
by wishing them a "Merry Christmas"!
Mama Phipps also apologizes for taking so long to add to the blog. 
Working in Retail @ Christmas was a workout! 
I will do better at keeping up Emma's wonderful BLOG!] 



HELP FROM HEAVEN -- BEING TAUGHT BY A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER

I love being a missionary so much! I'm learning a whole lot from my Savior.

I know Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ are both watching over us and supporting us in our trials. At times we face a difficulty so immense, we know we can't go on without His help. I've learned He always offers His aid in three ways.

1st Way He Helps:
   He, at times, takes away our challenge for us. He, in a moments notice, heals the sick, raises the dead, or defeats our enemies. History is full of miracles like this. While often I think we on earth ask for these types of miracles (help from heaven), they are not the ones that helps us grow the most. It also doesn't provide the lasting faith we need to develop.
2nd Way He Helps:
   At times, He strengthens us so we can face our challenges. We see these with Priesthood Blessings, where the person still needs to take the time to heal but because of the power of God, received through a Priesthood Blessing, they have a miraculous new sense of endurance, patience and joy. This is a wonderful type of miracle (help from heaven), but also it doesn't have as lasting of an effect as we could wish for. We heal, we finally overcome that mountain, and that power we needed from heaven is put aside, like a crutch used to help someone with a broken leg. After we have become well enough again, we survive on our own level of endurance, patience and joy. 

   With both of these first two types of miracles, we can look back and remember the experience with gratitude, but we often keep it as only a memory and we don't allow it to change us. That is why we need the third type of miracle more often than we expect, or sometimes think we need. The third kind of miracle at first looks like something that isn't a blessing, but truly it is...

#3
   This miracle is the miracle explained in Ether 12:27. It is the miracle that brings us lasting change, growth and faith, which are the greatest miracles of all. In our moment of struggle, we ask for the Lord to remove the mountain, but He doesn't. He can't because He loves us too much. We then petition for Him to give freely the abilities to overcome. Again, unexpected to us, He waits and gives us something greater than just handing us the power to overcome. He give us the gift of His confidence and the gift of the chance to overcome in a more building way. He helps us to be forced to our knees every moment to rely on Him. Not be given the strength like miracle #2 and then go on our way. He helps us to depend on Him moment to moment. He humbles us by teaching us that we can do all things, but only when we RELY on Him.

   In this 3rd kind of miracle (help from heaven), we learn so much more. We learn that He is there for us, helping us in every moment of need, but also letting us have the struggle, and having the inability to overcome gives us the lasting faith that we do need Him EVERY HOUR!

   I'm still learning about the 3rd kind of miracle. It's something beautiful. I know I have seen each type of miracle in my life. I know that Heavenly Father lives, that He loves me and He loves you. He is helping us grow and He knows that struggling is what we need at times. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. In every moment He knows how I feel. His Atonement allows me to have His strength. I am grateful to my family for helping me lean on the Lord! I Love You!!                                    --Love, Hermana Phipps

[Note from Emma's Mom... The week that Javier Fernando Lopez was to be baptized, an unbelievable tragedy ripped through the family. For a moment, Javier wondered if he should postpone his baptism. With loving counsel from the Branch President and tender caring from branch members, Javier went forth into the waters of baptism. He is such a strong convert and a wonderful missionary, doing much good. We are amazed at his faith and his ability to press forward and enter the waters of Baptism. He is an example for good in all he does. The tragedy touched Emma and Sister Quinn. They love the Lopez family deeply. We invite you to pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen them.]

Monday, December 2, 2013

BAPTISM INVITATIONS & TESTIMONIES

    I wish I could list off every reason why Fernando is so amazing! He keeps on asking us if we can print off more and more invitations for him to give to everyone he knows! He is working so hard to help his friend, another of our investigators, to get baptized! He might be the greatest missionary I know!!
    His testimony is so strong! When he wrote his testimony on his invitation, he wrote double the space allotted. Hermana Quinn and I had to devise a way to get it all to fit. I know that through him MANY others are going to Come to Christ.

AN EMMA MOMENT:
What more can I say than just to let you know that I thank you for leading me to Christ in my life so I can now help others find their way also. I am so blessed! 
I love you to the Moon and Back!
Hermana Emma Rose Phipps 

THE TESTIMONY OF FERNANDO:
In my small time that I have been reading the Book of Mormon, I have come to realize that it is true. My testimony is to give thanks to the missionaries for helping me to study the Book of Mormon and for helping me to realize how I am changing day to day the way I am to be, and to leave behind smoking and drinking. Also the things I have been learning I know I feel. It is so nice to know I feel this peace and tranquility in my heart. I like that, for myself, I am changing and by the help of my Heavenly Father, I am going to be baptized. 


THE TESTIMONY OF JORGE:
My testimony is that if we keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, 
there is, and we will see, good in our lives.
I know these things because in the small time that I have tried to act well,
I have seen the change inside of me. 
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

    Jorge was baptized Saturday! My heart is rejoicing. His faith is really inspiring to me. I'm so thankful to have the blessing of being a part of Jorge's journey to Christ. I read a quote this morning about how Heavenly Father has a plan devised to save all His children. I know that is so true. I feel so blessed to be part of some of Christ's children's way home to our Father in Heaven.
THIS LIFE IS A MIRACLE!!
    Watching Jorge receive the Holy Ghost has been the greatest experience on my mission so far. That and watching Fernando smile so brightly during the whole baptism service of Jorge. He was glowing with excitement.
    Now Jorge is a member and he is "acting well his part." I know he is essential to the future of this Branch. His testimony is so BRIGHT!

JORGE ENTERS AT THE GATE OF BAPTISM!

On November 18th Emma sent the following letter:
   First of all, I want to tell you all about Jorge.  Jorge is 23 and is friends with Fernando. Jorge has been taking the missionary discussions since March of this year. The Lord has been preparing him to receive the gospel for years though. He had made many huge changes in his life before he even ever met his first missionary. It is amazing to know his story.
    I am so grateful for Jorge. He has made all the difference in our lessons with Fernando. They would discuss the gospel together to help each other understand. I know the Lord's hand was in all of it.
    Also, I cannot give enough thanks to Amado Lopez and his family. They are always willing to let us come over and teach any night we need to. Fernando has commented on how he can definitely feel the spirit in the Lopez home. We were happy to tell him he can feel it always, wherever he goes once he is confirmed and receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
    One of Jorge's favorite principles of the gospel is "Endure to the End." In Spanish "Perserverar hasta el fin." He loves to testify of it to his friend Ramiro. I know the strength of his testimony will change his life and those around him forever as he 'endures to the end.'
    I must tell you about a miracle we saw! Last night we had a lesson with Fernando at a member's house. In our plans we decided we would ask Hermano Diaz (the member), to share a story about a time he shared the gospel. The great thing is, right at the moment when I went to Brother Diaz to share an experience, Fernando asked us if he could share the experiences he has had sharing the gospel! The members and the missionaries were so impressed and the Spirit was so strong at that moment. It was amazing. Fernando is sharing the gospel with all his family. Now his Mom is taking the lessons! He took all of them to church when he was in Seattle and made them stay all three hours!
    "Oh how great is your JOY when you bring one soul unto Christ."
    I am so thankful for Jorge and his testimony of the gospel. I know it has strengthened mine. I am thankful for Priesthood Blessings that helped him carry on with the strength of the Lord as his strength. Most of all I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ who has done all for us.
    In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.   Love, Hermana Phipps

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GOALS & M.I.L.A.G.R.O.S

On November 18th Emma wrote: The Lord is Hastening His Work and we are going to rise up. This week at Zone Conference, we committed to new mission goals. Hermana Quinn and I are fully committed to keeping these goals. We know they are the Lord's vision for the Washington Spokane Mission. We get to teach 3 lessons every day, have four investigators in every Sacrament Meeting, find people everywhere, and (the most exciting part), baptize every week!

I know these goals are from the Lord. The Lord has asked all to "Come Follow Him." We are the instruments in helping others to hear those 3 simple words and help them start their path of following Him back to our loving Heavenly Father.

When we first opened this area I remember getting excited when we had 7 lessons in a week. When we were told we are to have 21 lessons every week I knew we would need some Heavenly Help! I thought it would maybe take some weeks to work up to 21 lessons per week, but I prayed and told the Lord I would do all I could to make it happen now. With the assurance that the Lord helps us as we do our best, we went to work.

Looking back at this week I know it was the Lord's hand that made it all possible. Somehow, through His help we had 21 lessons, 4 investigators at church, and a baptism! I can hardly believe it. This week was a LOT of work, but it was also guided by the spirit. I know that each lesson we were able to have was what the Lord wanted us to be doing! I can see it on the faces of those I teach when they feel the Spirit and when they learn the Truth. To have been able to have that happen 21 times this week is a miracle beyond all other miracles.

M.I.L.A.G.R.O.S (Spanish for Miracles) That is the only way I can explain this week.

Miracles are happening here! President Oaks visited our area and told of the miracles that would be coming. I saw it on Sunday! 97 people at church!!!! When, before they split the branch it was a huge day when they approached 60. MIRACLES!

I can't wait for more and more miracles to unfold. I wish I could tell you all about them! But it would take hours upon hours. Please pray for me that I may concentrate all my time to help others receive the boundless joys found in the Gospel of Christ.
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!! THANKS FOR CHEERING ME ON!

BAPTISM :D

Oftentimes I daydream about the Baptisms of my investigators.  It is hard for me to call them my investigators, because deep in my heart I know they are truly and completely the Lord's.  I can see the joy bursting from their hearts!  I remember the JOY I felt on my Baptism Day and the undeniable power I felt come over me while being confirmed.  A power that only can come from a Divine Gift from God. I remember the days when Kezi and Erika were baptized.  Without a doubt, I knew that they were feeling the exact same feelings from their Heavenly Father.

On November 18th Emma wrote: This Saturday I get to watch Jorge enter the waters of Baptism. He has been preparing for this day for months! And the Lord has been preparing him even longer. I wish everyone could watch my investigator's conversion process. I wish everyone could see the miracles I have seen in the eyes of my investigators as peace was restored and their joy was expounded by the Gospel. It is simply breath-taking and my heart is racing.

I now am counting down the minutes and miracles until I get to watch Jorge's baptism. Then the next week Fernando will follow the same path. I can't wait to share with them the amazing experience they will have of making their first covenants! I can't wait for them to receive the Holy Ghost as a constant companion to bless their lives in every moment. To be able to help others to receive this essential strength in life is something I am so humbled to be part of.


JORGE IS NOW A MEMBER OF
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST 
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS

I really do not believe I could feel much happier and blessed.  When he received the Holy Ghost, the Spirit was so strong. I can hardly believe how blessed I am to be a missionary! His journey has been amazing and I feel so blessed to have walked a bit of it with him.

Fernando had the BIGGEST smile in the world during Jorge's baptism.  As I taught the Gospel lesson his smile reassured me.  He is so supportive!  He is working so hard to help his friend Ramiro take the steps of conversion too.

Jorge was Baptized.  That is what really matters! He was so happy and so grateful. On Sunday we taught a lesson to Jorge, Fernando, and Ramiro. Jorge was our member at the lesson. Best moment of my life. They were all giving the best of answers and sharing their thoughts about the Gospel. How can I explain to the world the essential value of Christ's gospel? I wish I could show the world the blessings it brings. Watching others grow closer to Christ and learn His teachings is the greatest miracle there is. It is indescribable.

What a completely perfect and beautiful and wonderful in every way week!!

BAPTISM DAY MIRACLES:

EMMA DID WHAT???
At the baptism I got to do a WHOLE LOT MORE than I ever thought I could do. Let me say, I depended on the Lord that day. Because of some confusion, the pianist for the baptism was told the wrong time... So, guess who was the pianist?! Hermana Phipps! WHAT?!?! I know, I never in my life would guess I would play the piano at a baptism. Wait a second, you are probably wondering how I played the piano... Must have been the Gift of Piano Interpretation or something? NO...it wasn't. I actually only played the first note for each song and the rest was acappella! All is well. Then, somehow, and I really am not sure how, Hermana Quinn decided it was a great idea to have me and her sing a song. UM WHAT? I don't do that! When was the last time I sang in front of people! Well,... she signed us up for that and then we only practiced 5 times (CRAZY WEEK). Then suddenly, it was time for me to be up in front of everyone singing harmony which Sister Quinn had written to "Come, Come Ye Saints" in Spanish. Again, I only practiced that 5 times! Well, that is one place where the Spirit really did help me. I couldn't have remembered the harmony without it. We hadn't even practiced it the day of the baptism! Well, I don't know if we sounded good, but I actually hit the notes I had not been able to hit! So that is something. Then... some other things happened that I had to depend on the strength of the Lord to get me through, (like having to impromptu teach the whole Gospel of Christ to everyone in Spanish at the Baptism). Whelp... I know that without the Lord, I AM SO WEAK!  

LOVING AND SHARING -- DO IT!

On Sunday, we went to Yeimi, our 12 year old friend who is part of a part member family.  We came to bring her English Scriptures to help with her Personal Progress.  When we got there, her family table was jam packed with every Personal Progress and Youth Church material you would ever want and need!  I LOVE THIS BRANCH!! The Scriptures just topped it off.

In other news, go help those who are less active.  This is my simple plea.  Because of the great love of one Visiting Teacher in our Branch, we are seeing doors opened that would be sealed shut without her.  I can testify of Member Missionary work.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

MIRACLES!

I am starting to realize just how much MIRACLES are part of every day of a missionary's life.  It is amazing.  I have no doubt that the Lord's hand has been guiding me and Hermana Quinn daily.  It is amazing!!!

Let me share with you one small but definitely stellar MIRACLE that happened yesterday.  One of our investigators left for Seattle for the weekend and so we weren't able to see him for several days.  We called him yesterday and he told us the most wonderful news I have ever received.  While in Seattle he found the Spanish Speaking Branch and invited, and then took, some of his family to church.  He told us this story with more excitement in his voice then I have ever heard.  And let me tell you, Hermana Quinn and I were equally excited to hear every word.

This is no small MIRACLE to me!  This is a manifestation of the Lord's way of guiding them and changing them forever.  I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!  I am humbled by the idea that in some small way I might have helped our investigators on their way.

In other news... I gave a talk on Sunday, along with all the 8 other missionaries in the Branch. Whoooeee. I do not think I will ever be scared to give a talk in English ever again.  I am still praying that those who listened could understand me!!

I have a lot to do to be better.  But I'm 100% okay with that fact.  That is what this life is for, to be more like my Savior.  And it is "poco a poco" that we get there.  I LOVE YOU!!
Love, Hermana Phipps

TEMPLE TIME IN SPOKANE!


SPOKANE TEMPLE


I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!

On Tuesday November 12th Emma sent the following:  This morning I went to the Temple.  It was the perfect day to go too!  While in the Temple I remembered that it was my 5 month Temple Endowment Anniversary!  I loved going to the Temple.  It has been four months since I have been in an English Session. But after doing it all in Spanish, I know I didn't need to worry much!  The Temple here in Spokane is REALLY small.  But I love it so much!  It is a beautiful and powerful temple.

   

Saturday, November 9, 2013

ZION GROWS!!

My first Sunday I arrived in the Branch they announced the splitting of the Branch.  I will never be able to forget that moment, that is when I first began to realize that the Lord has some amazing plans for this area.  In the eight weeks since that Sunday so many amazing things have happened!  I know the Lord is preparing this area for some amazing miracles and somehow I AM LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE PART of them!!

On Sunday, I was able to attend the dividing of the Branch.  The Spirit was so strong.  This coming Sunday each of the 9 missionaries left in the Indiana Branch will be giving talks on how we can answer the Lord's call to help His work grow here in Spokane.  There is no doubt that He is expecting us to rise to this call.  He has made it apparent in so many ways.  He has given us members who are undeniably excited to do their part.  Every activity they plan they have a focus on how it can help each member be stronger and how it can build the branch by inviting others to join in.  He has placed 13 missionaries who do full time Spanish work where only 2 months ago, there were only 4 Spanish speaking missionaries and only 2 of them did purely Spanish.  Where there used to be only one Branch the Lord has called for two!  (Which is a very rare act indeed.  Rarely ever do they divide a Branch, they would rather have it turned into a Ward.)  I know these are all signs that these Branches are bound to GROW!  Can you feel the Power?! I know I can.

During the dividing, the Stake President gave us a statistic that I could hardly believe.  In 2004, the Mission President at that time had the thought to invite 4 Spanish speaking missionaries to his mission.  This is when the Spanish work all started!  The Branch wasn't even established until a few years later.  The Branch began less than 10 years ago!  I had no idea!!  It has become so strong and grown so much in such a little time.  I doubt I could ever dream of just how much more it is going to grow!!

Well, I am humbled.  And oh, so very excited.

[Emma sent us two links with the message to "Please Watch This Video!" I did and loved it and cried.  It reminded me of a favorite phrase that Rob Smith in our Ward says, "This Is Who We Are, This Is What We Do!!"  Yes, some of us do not do these things, but as a whole, many do and much more.  It is the goal of most Mormons to be part of this Great Work in any way that we can.  Enjoy Emma's Video Link!!]
http://www.mormonchannel.org/introduction-to-the-church?v=2639016663001

[Emma wrote: "Here is a Talk I LOVE!"  Emma has a favorite speaker and talk that she has loved for several years.  She even bought his book!  "Yearning for the Living God."  Who is this wonderful speaker? F. Enzio Busche!  There is a YouTube video of a talk he gave that has the best steps for growth and goodness that is all encompassing.  Emma used to share it with me.  Somehow Emma found this other talk of his. It was given in Emma's birth year. You can link up to this address below.  I love the title: "The Joy of the Penetrating Light."  I think that Emma is thoroughly enjoying sharing the Gospel Light and watching as it penetrates into the lives of others!! Enjoy this talk and search for his 10 (maybe more) Steps on YouTube if you get a chance.  GREAT STUFF!! (These bracketed paragraphs were written my Mary Phipps to share added info.)]
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1984/10/the-joy-of-the-penetrating-light#watch=video


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Harvest Picture of Emma

EMMA AMONG THE FALL LEAVES IN THE FIELD!


Winter is coming, but it was nice enjoying a walk in the leaves!!
Wonderful to be in the Mission Field during Harvest Time!

HARVESTING SOULS!

[As Emma's Mom, I decided to make an editorial decision since I do all of these blogs. Emma is busy being a Missionary, so I do the blog site.  I decided to go back and re-print here all the comments Emma wrote about Fernando so we could watch his progression on the gospel path.]

FERNANDO'S FAITHFUL STEPS TOWARD BAPTISM

On Monday October 7th Emma wrote the following to us:
Want to know how amazing of an adventure I am on?  First, I get to see the miracles of conversion unfold right before my eyes!  Fernando, after saying His first vocal prayer on Sunday Oct. 29th has been growing so much!  I feel so blessed to watch him change.  The next appointment we had with him was Tuesday and he had kept all his commitments and even gone back and completed ones he hadn't fully finished.  He is gaining a testimony and is ACTING on it!  He is helping one of our other investigators keep the faith!  It makes me want to cry and pray to Heavenly Father with all my soul giving thanks to Him. Being part of this process is CELESTIAL.

On Monday October 21st Emma wrote:
Well, Fernando is doing amazing!  We are teaching him and his two Friends, Jorge and Ramiro too.  They are all on different levels and all have very different personalities, so we are trying to find ways to let them all feel the Spirit and help them all on their way to CHRIST.

On Monday October 28th Emma wrote:
Fernando is AMAZING!  Sometimes I wonder if he is a member in disguise!  I sometimes find myself suspecting that the MTC might have sent him for me to learn how to be a missionary with such a golden investigator.  He has accepted the baptism challenge!  His testimony shines.  He really takes seriously all his learning in the Gospel.  He inspires me.  I know the Holy Ghost is truly teaching him.  After all Hermana Quinn and I have said and done, it would be nothing if it was not for the Holy Ghost.  I know he has been guided by the Spirit on every step of his journey.

We have also been teaching his friend Jorge for the last few weeks.  Jorge has been taking the discussions with missionaries multiple times each week since the beginning of this year.  He comes to many of the Church activities too.  He is so great!  He has learned every bit of the discussions and understands them all so well! He was actually the one who referred Fernando to the missionaries and now they both live in a member's house in our area!  We are so lucky!!  Things couldn't be better.  I know the Lord's hand has been in of all of this.  Fernando and Jorge have been helping each other on their way to discipleship!  It is so amazing to watch.

Then one day out of nowhere, Ramiro walked in!  He seemed to know bits about our Church.  We don't know how long he has lived with Fernando, but he came into a lesson and has been joining in ever since. We are now teaching 4 people at the Lopez home!  I am convinced that we just need to live at the Lopez home and teach all day!  Investigators appear out of nowhere there!  I know that those who live at the Lopez home feel the spirit and watch the examples of the members.  They can feel the truth of the restoration so strong in those walls.

On Monday November 4, 2013 Emma wrote:
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with two of our investigators.  They both expressed their desires to be baptized and they both put themselves on date!  Jorge is preparing to be baptized November 23rd and Fernando will be baptized the following week, November 30th.  I have seen the Lord's hand in their lives as He has walked with them on their road of conversion.  I have seen the light grow in their eyes as they find the truths of the Lord. There is a reason why the Lord is calling to "Come Follow Him."  As we live His gospel we will find a life more beautiful and rich than we could ever believe.  He is moving His work forward and calling us to join with Him and His teachings.  Come be blessed by all He has to offer.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

FALL DAYS IN THE FIELD!

On Monday October 28th Emma wrote:
Well, I am a bit miserable...But only the tiniest bit!  I tore a ligament or tendon (I can't remember which one), in my foot last night.  Tripping over a rock!  As always, I hurt myself in the most ridiculous ways!!  Walking has been quite...well, let's say odd the last 24 hours.  But walking is overrated anyways!!  I have decided that I am just going to fly everywhere this week.

But in reality, don't worry!  There are so much great goings on that I hardly care about my silly foot.  And the doctor said it should be getting much better over the next week.  Each week here just keeps on getting better and better, so in spite of my bad foot and all, this week is going to be the BEST WEEK EVER!!


We met a new family about a week and a half ago, and I am not sure why or how but from the moment I met them I LOVED THEM!  I want them to have the Restored Gospel so badly!!!  (Now we just need to let them know how many blessings Heavenly Father has for them on the earth right now!)  They have a pet rooster named Cornelio (Spanish for Cornelius) that lives in their house!  I got to pet it!  Even the red hangy down part!  The children are precious.  I asked one if I could teach her how to pray, and she responded, "You want to teach me how to purr?"  So sweet!  The parents only speak Spanish, but the kids speak English.  As we left their home the last time one of the children said, "You guys should come around more often, PLEASE!"  I quickly responded, "Podemos! We can!"  WE REALLY WANT TO!  Well, I can't wait to work more with the Lord and work with the Spirit to get the Gospel into their hearts!

Well, I love you all so MUCH!!  Thank you for all your support and love.  I can't wait to tell you more and more each week!  Hermana Phipps

Monday, November 4, 2013

FIRSTS!!

Monday October 21st marked the last day of my FIRST transfer out in the field!  Um... that went by way too fast!  It is crazy!  I have had a lot of first experiences... which are always fun, a bit awkward, and amazing!

Here are some First Experiences I had this week:

FIRST time I had someone give me a commitment back.  As a missionary, if you haven't committed the person you are teaching to do anything, then that is the only way you can fail.  Success is in the inviting.  We preach this and we live by this.  Well, one of our member families really took this lesson to heart and gave US a commitment back!  They challenged Hermana Quinn and myself to invite 60 people this week!  We had challenged each of their family members to invite 3 people.  Well, we took the challenge they gave back to us.  IT WAS HARD!! But it was the biggest blessing!  So many miracles happened this week because of this challenge!  Including the fact that we ran into one of our potentials and invited her to do something.  After we invited her, she reminded us that we had met her before!  Then we set up an appointment to see her again.  We have an appointment with her on Wednesday!  And...we wouldn't have met her and talked to her if it had not been for the challenge from our member family!!

FIRST confusing of an investigator! :( ... We confused one of our investigators in a major way for the first time.  We asked her to read Moroni 10:3-7.  But when she went to read the scripture she got confused and read Moroni 9:8-10!!  These are probably the most intense verses in the Book of Mormon...(read it and you will understand how scared we felt when we learned she read that as her FIRST introduction to the Book of Mormon).  Not exactly what we wanted her to start with.  But she admitted that the Book of Mormon is still beautiful and interesting and she is excited to be reading it some more!  She also says she knows it is the Word of God!!     [This is a Mama Mary comment:  The Book of Mormon is for our day...are there not people and organizations that feed on others and their weaknesses?!! But still, what a way to be introduced to the Book of Mormon!!]

FIRST transfer calls!!  Transfer calls are scary!  So Scary!! At transfers they let you know if you will change companions and if you will change your area.  You worry about what the next chapter will be.  Luckily I am so blessed to be staying in the same area with Sister Quinn!!  I AM SO HAPPY!! Also, transfer calls mark the time for a fresh start!  I have learned a lot these last six weeks and I know lots of places where I need to be improving! And now is my chance to do it with the people and area I LOVE!!


LUCKILY EMMA WILL BE ABLE TO COME HOME EACH NIGHT
TO HER FUN FRIENDS FOR SIX MORE WEEKS!!

Oh, and Emma had another FIRST...Her FIRST SEAFOOD MEAL!!  Read on to enjoy the story!!


More Festival Pictures & Emma Ate WHAT?!?

The FESTIVAL was wonderful 
and we keep enjoying the rewards 
from working diligently to make it happen!


EMMA AND THE COUNTRY FLAGS!


BEAUTIFUL LATIN AMERICAN DANCING!


MORE DANCING -- AND EMMA DID NOT HAVE TO DANCE!!


This RED & WHITE flag has a Llama on it!  It is the PERU flag!  
I love Peru because they love Llamas!!

I ate "SHRIMP" -- No Big Deal!
   I ate Shrimp! Make sure Lisa hears about this!  She has been waiting for the day.  We were fed by this wonderful member family in the branch.  Sister McLauchlin is from Peru and she made us a homemade Peruvian Soup with big pieces of Shrimp!  Not only that, she left the outside shell thingy on it!  With the legs and all!  But I saw how much work she put into it and I knew it must be wonderful.  So I prayed that I could eat it.  Only problem, I am so clumsy at eating it!  I have never shelled any food before except for peanuts! Brother McLauchlin ended up laughing at me as I splattered soup everywhere for the ten millionth time. 
   Well, it has happened.  I have eaten my first seafood meal!  Only the gospel, loving members, and beautiful looking Peruvian soup could have persuaded me to do so.  I really am thankful for Sister McLauchlin and her loving meal she served us!! 
   Also, I NOW LOVE PERU!! Sis. McLauchlin told me all about the Llamas there!  I WANT TO GO SEE LLAMAS IN PERU!!  I love Llamas.  Peru has a beautiful culture.   

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gathering Israel!!

Being out here I get to experience MIRACLES every single day!  This week I got to hear three different people say their first prayers out loud.  An apostle once compared these moments to the investigators own sacred grove experiences.  The spirit is so strong when they say, in FAITH, their own prayer.  Sometimes it is a bit of a leap of faith to pray for their first time.  But when they do, I know they feel the power of it.  I could feel the power of it while listening to them.  It is beautiful.
 
So as missionaries we are Gatherers of Israel.  I think this is my favorite title ever for missionaries, well that and Representatives of Christ.  When things get a little tough or things seem to be not going exactly as planned I just picture myself as a Gatherer of Israel.  All I need to be doing is going around and gathering. Something about that thought comforts me and motivates me!  I cannot really explain it, but it is really an inspiring thing for me to envision!  So, in every interaction I have I try to imagine how I can help someone as Christ would help them.  As I treat them as Christ would treat them, I am helping them to be gathered by His love, which has the strongest power to draw anyone into Israel.

I shared my testimony IN SPANISH!  In Sacrament Meeting.  I guess it should be obvious that it was in Spanish, but still... It is a HUGE thing!!

Also, cooking on a mission can be quite an adventure!  I was missing some ingredients for something that I was making, so I improvised...  Yeah, I don't think I should improvise again!!



SNOW??


SNOW?!?


I couldn't believe what happened at the start of my day.  Guess what happened this morning!... Hermana Quinn came running in saying, "Hermana Phipps, Hermana Phipps!  Look at all that snow!  It is Crazy!!  There is So Much Snow!!"

So, I looked out the window and what did I see?  (Sorry, not popcorn popping on the Apricot Tree).  But it also was Not Snow!  It was FROST!!  So I laughed and told her that she was crazy!  I then turned to one of the other sisters who lives in our house and told her what Hermana Quinn had said.  She looked out the window and turning said, "But there IS Snow outside!?!"   ...She is from California... and I just guess that the world does not know what snow is. 

This fun story comes with a shout out to Valerie Buckhoff who told me that people in Georgia look at frost on the ground and start freaking out that there is "SNOW."

Monday, October 21, 2013

LOVE WORKS!!

On October 1,2013...Emma wrote:

So while I have been out on my mission I have been so touched by the countless acts of love that have been offered to me.  Some of these might sound of little importance, but really, each of these acts of service have made me feel more grateful than I could ever explain.  When I first got out in the field Hermana Quinn informed me that Costa Vida offers missionaries half-off all their meals!  For a missionary, nothing could be more amazing.  And, five of the Subways in Spokane let missionaries eat free once a week! That means they are feeding countless missionaries every single week.  How amazing!!  I seriously am awed by how kind and Christlike and generous people are.  Now, if this isn't enough, when Hermana Quinn and I had a jammed packed day and were miles away from home we decided to grab some Costa Vida.  When we went to pay for it, one of the customers before us had already paid for us.  They don't even know us!! I seriously couldn't believe it!  People are amazing!!  I have seen just how wonderful people really are.  I felt like I couldn't let these kindnesses go forgotten by me.  So, this act of kindness sparked an idea.  In my little missionary memory journal I carry around with me I added a section called  the "ANGELS LIST" and I put the name of every person who has lovingly helped some missionary on their way.  And guess what? My first page is almost full already!  I am so astounded by the kindness of people.  It makes me want to be more loving in every way I can be.

DEFINITELY ON THE "ANGEL LIST"...


Brigham 23rd Ward Young Women and Leaders

This week I was surprised by the greatest gift ever!!  The dear Young Women sent me an AMAZING package!!  I do not believe I have ever smiled so big in my life!!! :D  It was absolutely adorable!! They definitely made themselves onto the Angels List!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hosting a HUGE & WONDERFUL FESTIVAL!

[On Monday, October 14th Emma sent the following.  My apologies to everyone, between a horrible illness for Blaine & myself and a trip to New Mexico to see a beloved 92 year old Aunt, I fell behind :(  ~ I will work at not letting it happen again!!]

Emma writes...
This week has been a very BIG week!  We had lots of training and lots of Big Things to do!!  I have so much to catch you all up on!  On Saturday we had a HUGE Latin American Festival.  We have been working on it ever since the day I arrived in the Valley.  We have been spreading the news about it like CRAZY!!   It was the members idea to help unite the Latin American community and find more people to talk to.  IT WAS SUCH A SUCCESS!!  My branch has the greatest group of members in the world.  I am sure of it.  I have lots and lots of pictures to send you of the event.  Unfortunately I left my camera at home on accident, but no worries, Hermana Quinn is letting me send you some of her pictures.

I am pretty sure that was the funnest party I have ever been to!!  It was so much fun!  The decorations were amazing and I got to set them up!  There was dancing and songs from many different countries, amazing food and a big dance party at the end.  I didn't have to be pressured to dance either, because I can't...I am a MISSIONARY!!  How perfect!  All the people who came LOVED IT!!   Plus, there were SO many non-members and we talked to all that we could!  It was all around perfect.  I am still worn out from it though!!

If that wasn't a big enough thing to end my week with, my entire week was full.  Here is the list of the BIG things I did this week!
1 - I tried to figure out how to teach English pronunciation.  Let me tell you something!!  English pronunciation is impossible to explain simply...But we did our best!  I studied it for hours during personal time and it still is so hard to figure out how to explain it.
2 - We now have 10 missionaries serving our single branch!!  2 Elders, 6 Sisters, and an elderly couple!  Only Hermana Quinn and I, the elders, and the Senior Companions attend our branch each Sunday, but still that is a lot of missionaries serving one Branch... But that leads to the next big point:
3 - It has been officially announced that our Branch will be split on November 3rd.  I am serving here at an amazingly exciting time!
4 - We are teaching the sweetest little girl.  She LOVES US!  Let me tell you, when an investigator screams at the top of their lungs out of excitement because you are here, THAT IS THE BEST FEELING EVER!!  LOVE TEACHING HERE!!

Thanks always for your prayers!
Love you,  Hermana Emma Rose Phipps

The LATIN AMERICA FESTIVAL was a HUGE SUCCESS!!


LATIN AMERICAN FESTIVAL
(flags from the countries represented)


DANCING AT THE FESTIVAL
Emma did not have to dance...she is a Missionary!!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Hermana Si (Yes) - TOTALLY Fits!!

RAIN!!
Today it RAINED!! The rain came out of no where and came down very, very hard!  It has been rainy off and on the last few weeks, but the rain here is usually very, very light.  Sometimes it is so minuscule I wonder how gravity even pulls it down!  I love great big ol' rain storms.  I always have.  One of my favorite childhood nicknames will forever be "gutter girl" ... and jumping into gutters is something I think I will be doing even when I am 90 (even if it means I have to jump into a puddle with a wheelchair, I will figure it out!).  As I watched the rain just pour down, I finally figured out why it is that I love rain so much.  Rain is a message from Heavenly Father.  It helps us remember that He knows that we live. By sending rain He reminds us that He wants to support us in our living.  Isn't that amazing!  I know there is a reason why God sends us water from the sky and doesn't just have it appear from the ground.  It reminds us that He cares, it reminds us that He is above.  It reminds us, that we are HIS!

At the beginning of October, the Lord sent us many messages in an even more amazing way!  Through our Prophet and Apostles, he gave us His direct words of love and guidance.  I hope you all listened!!  This General Conference was heightened in its power for me.  I received answers and comfort not only for myself, but many, many, many times for my investigator.  It was amazing. There is not one talk that I did not feel that the Lord had a specific part for me to use to help others.  I cannot wait to use the words of the Prophet and the Apostles for the next six months.  I will update you on how the words have changed me as the months go by!

Want to know how amazing of an adventure I am on?
First, I get to see the miracles of conversion unfold right before my eyes!  Fernando, after saying His first vocal prayer on Sunday, Oct. 29th has been growing so much!!  I feel so blessed to watch him change.  The next appointment we had with him was Tuesday and he had kept all his commitments and even gone back and completed ones he hadn't fully finished.  He is gaining a testimony and is acting on it!! He is helping one of our other investigators keep the faith!  It makes me want to cry and pray to Heavenly Father with all my soul giving thanks to Him.  Being a part of this process is CELESTIAL.

Second, doors are being opened for us.  We are becoming great friends with Loordes and her novio (boyfriend).  When we first spent time with the two of them we had a wonderful time.  Loordes' novio joked with us a bit but then he started to ask sincere questions he had about missions and what we do exactly and why we choose to come on one.  He was very interested to know!  Ever since then we have met with them and talked about missions some more.  He loves to joke with us! I have to tell you about my favorite funniest moment with them!
A little background first:
Everyone struggles saying my name.  1. Because "ph" is not used in Spanish words, they use the letter "f".  2. If that wasn't hard enough, the "h" in the Spanish language doesn't really make any sound ever.  So I usually just go with however they say my name.  It is a hard name!  Well, Loordes' novio when first saying my name called me Hermana Zits ... ZITS!! Like those things I am usually blessed not to have!  That is the craziest pronunciation I have heard so far!  He knows what Zits mean in Spanish so he thought it was HILARIOUS!
Hmmm...yeah!  Funny right?  Also, now he calls me Hermana Si.  This is because I always say "si" and not a whole lot else. [si means yes.]  I am working on Spanish though.  I do speak it, but fifty percent of my wards are "si."  Ha Ha!  Well, through all the laughs, it is a miracle the relationships we are building here.  I know God knows His children and knows how to reach them.  Cannot wait to tell you more as more of the story comes.
LOVE YOU ~~ I Hope You Feel It!
Love, Hermana Emma Rose Phipps







Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beautiful Missionary Pets!!

[The following messages were sent on September 23, 2013.  It has been a big week for me (her mom), and I have been slow getting her blog caught up!  My apologies!!!  Today marks the two month anniversary of her departure.  The time is flying by!! Hermana Emma Rose Phipps has only 437 more days to serve!]

HERE ARE TWO PICTURES OF ME AND MY ANIMAL FRIENDS!!
My FAVORITE ones are the Brown Llama and the Emu.


I HAVE NAMED THE EMU "KING DAVID!" 
HE LOVES PEOPLE!!


They grow tall Pine Trees in Spokane!

Week Two in Spokane!

Hello Everyone!
I want to tell you more about my area out here and how I go about doing what I do.

Am I biking or riding?
I definitely have a car.  We are actually working in the city but they haven't found an apartment yet that they want to purchase for the area.  So, until then we are temporarily living on the farm which is 20 minutes away from most of the people we are currently contacting.  So we definitely need to use our bikes.  We have a limited amount of miles and when we start to run out, we will use our bikes to go to places that are close to one another.

The area we have been opening has never had Sisters in it before!  So that is exciting!  There are lots of people with potential and I can't wait to find more and more investigators.

Are there any Spanish Speaking people in Spokane?
I get asked this question A LOT by people in Spokane!  There are tons of Spanish speakers!  My view might be a bit biased since I mostly am looking and meeting with people who speak Spanish... Also, our Mission Branch Leader said there are 22,000 Spanish speaking people in the greater Spokane area.  That is more people than live in Brigham City!  So, all I really need to do is find the amount of people in Brigham City and talk to them ALL while I am on my mission!  There are only eight Spanish speaking missionaries right now in Spokane.  There used to be a ton more, but when the mission was split, about 57 missionaries went to the Kennewick Mission, because there is a lot more need there.

In other news about the amount of Spanish speakers here.  Our Branch just announced last Sunday that it would be split!  Which is great because the Branch is quite far away from many of the members.  Now the Branch will be closer to many.  I can also tell it is really a bit sad for the Branch because the members are very close to each other.  I definitely came to this mission at an exciting time!

Also, Spokane, in general, is very diverse!  We have talked to people who speak Russian, Indian, Albanese, and lots of Marshallese.  In fact, there is a Marshallese Branch here and a Chinese group too, with missionaries working for both groups!  Plus, we just received two missionaries who can speak Russian!! Which is a blessing, because there are a ton of Russian language speakers!

How do we go about finding?
So, you might be wondering how we go about finding Spanish speakers, right?  I know I was definitely wondering about that before I came out here.  No worries!  There are lots of ways to find people!  First of all, we ask everyone we talk to about the people they know who speak Spanish.  The Church also offers free English classes so we tell them about that sometimes and ask who they know that would be interested.  Also, we have a HUGE festival our branch is putting on for the whole Latino-Americano community in the greater Spokane area.  So we have been spreading the news and finding people that way.  Also, there are other ways too!  And we are always trying them out.

How do I watch General Conference?
I am so so so so excited for General Conference!  I just finished reading all the talks of the Prophet and Apostles from last Conference!  Each talk has helped me out so much and I can't wait to hear more!  I get to watch every session in our meeting house!  That is where most of the members watch it here in Spokane!  I think I will be watching it in English, but I am not very sure... so... we will see next Saturday during the RS General Meeting.

Did I eat Any of That TUNA???
Did I eat any fish?  NO!... And I am completely okay with that!! They haven't offered any to us.  They told me that they give many of the cans away to friends who love getting some every year.  They did give us fresh eggs from their chickens on Saturday!  Those are fun to eat!!

I will send pictures!  Bye for now, Love from...Hermana Phipps

BEAUTIFUL!! ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!

[As parents we, and even some ward members, have used technology to STALK Emma by computer.  It is absolutely beautiful in Mead, Washington where Emma is serving.  Tall pine trees and beautiful rural landscape.  Lucky Missionary!!]


I Wonder if they Clear the Pine Trees to have Farm Land?!?


A Beautiful Clear Day in Washington doing the Work!




Sharing the Work:

We now have four progressing investigators!  Which is wonderful!! We are really trying to focus on their needs and helping them with anything they need.  We are teaching English to one once a week!  We taught her some English last Thursday.  She knows a lot but says she struggles with pronunciation.  So we are trying to teach her that, but pronunciation in English is so much harder than Spanish.  In Spanish it is almost always the same.  In English we have funny little rules!  I try to remember mom's reading program she uses to help.

I have a lot more amazing stories, but I will deep them for next time!  Don't worry, they are safely waiting in my heart.  I will never forget the experiences I am living here each day.  Love you Lots, Hermana Phipps

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First Week in WASHINGTON!

Emma's P-Day is on Monday so we finally heard from her on September 16th -- 450 day mark!
We had not heard from her since September 8th -- it was a L-O-N-G wait!!

Emma writes:
Washington Spokane is perfect for Hermana Phipps.  Seriously, so many times a day I think to myself, "Wow, this place just matches you perfectly!"  I love all the trees everywhere! I believe President Mullen has already told you where I live.  It is called Mead and it is an area North of Spokane.  For the month I will be living at the members Fallstrom's Farm.  I LOVE THE FARM so much!!  It reminds me of a mix between 280 East (Grandma Connie's Farm House) and the fruit highway in Perry and Willard!  The Fallstrom's love their farm and work from sun up to sun down on it.  They also love fishing!!! (More is coming about that!) They built a little fruit stand and I can't wait to buy some fresh corn from them.  The farm is so cute.  And the best part is: there are LLAMAS AND EMUS AND ALPACAS AND GOATS!!!!! Whoever said you can't have pets on your mission obviously didn't live on the Fallstrom Farm.
Yes, I feel like the luckiest Hermana in the world!!! 

 If that wasn't enough for me to be the luckiest girl ever, the Lord gave me the greatest companion in the history of missions.  She is the perfect trainer for me!  She pushes me but is always so kind.  I just hope I can one day be a missionary like her.  All the members in the branch LOVE HER!! And they are right to do so!  They tell me how lucky I am, and I tell them I already know I am the luckiest.  She is from Texas, and this is her sixth month out on her mission.  Her Spanish and accent is amazing!  She helps me out a lot and knows all the best tricks.

Also, I feel so lucky to have her as a companion because we are OPENING A NEW AREA! It takes A LOT of work and A LOT of diligence, and she has got all the skills needed!  Also, we are the only companionship that only teaches Spanish lessons.  The three other Hermana Companionships teach both in English and Spanish. I feel so blessed to be speaking just Spanish.  It will really force me to rely on the Lord's strength as I try to teach.  We have been working hard at finding investigators.  Right now we have gotten four who are considered "new/progressing."  Two of them have been meeting with missionaries previously.  I will tell you about one of our investigators, from the first time I heard about him I felt something really good inside about him.  On Sunday I had the greatest experience thus far on my mission.  I got to ask him, Fernando, if he would prepare to be baptized on the 13th of October.  This was my first time extending a major invitation to anyone out in the field.  It felt so amazing!!  I cannot wait to ask more and more of Heavenly Father's children to follow the example of Jesus Christ.  The spirit that comes when you ask that question is greater than anything else I have experienced.  I feel so blessed to be asking people to follow their Savior, the greatest question I could ask people for the next year and a half.

THE FUN:
So ready for what I think is a delightful and hilarious story?  I hope you enjoy it!
My friend at the MTC would always say, "God has a huge sense of humor."  I never quite understood this phrase, well, at least until this week.
     [A little background info for those who do not know everything about me.  I have only eaten fish maybe three times in my life (and it was under coercion)! All were awful experiences.  I do not like fish!!  Not from the river and not from the sea.  While growing up, if my parents ever cooked fish, I would freak out and demand that I live outside until every particle of the smell had evacuated my home.  This silly action continued into my teenage years...sorry parents for being a silly pain sometimes!]
     Well, ... this week the Fallstroms went FISHING! And caught 600 pounds of TUNA!! That is a lot of fish!  One day I walked into our part of the house, which is the basement, and an overwhelming smell of tuna engulfed me.  They were pressurizing nearly all the tuna that day and had put 4 pressure cookers in the basement because they ran out of counter space upstairs.  Very Fishy Smelling!!  This is when I decided that Heavenly Father does have a sense of humor!  He knew that at home I would have freaked out a whole lot.  But since I was in a new place and did not need to keep up my freaking out tradition, I soon came to find out that fish smell isn't as bad as I have always made it out to be.  It didn't bother me at all!  So parents, I am sorry that I always threw a fit when fish smells were involved.  I really could have survived inside!


For other news: There is a restaurant that is a reclaimed train!  I think my brother Jon would absolutely think it was so cool!  Jon, have you ever been to Spokane?  I think you would enjoy it!  It is like a mix of city and forest all in one.  It is really neat!!  
I love you all!  I wish I could share every moment with you all!    Love, Hermana Phipps


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back in the USA again!

We have not heard from Emma since she touched down in Spokane on Monday September 9th!
Her Mission President did contact us though and sent a picture of her with her new Senior Companion Sister Quinn.  President Mullen said, "Our great desire is that her time here will further establish her on the path of righteousness, as well as bless the many people she will serve."

Emma's current address for the next six weeks is:
Sister Emma Rose Phipps
16904 North Day Mt. Spokane Road
Mead, WA  99021


 
TWO BEAUTIFUL MISSIONARIES SERVING IN SPOKANE!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Farewell to Mexico!

Six weeks have flown by and Emma will hold every moment deep in her heart! This is the last picture we received of her in Mexico.  Starting Monday, it is HELLO Spokane, Washington!


Emma in front of the Mexico Temple.

458 DAYS TO GO

On Sunday, September 8th, Emma enjoyed her last full day in Mexico.  Emma will head to the airport at 3:00 a.m. Monday morning to fly into Phoenix and then on to Spokane!

Emma was allowed to e-mail us.  She was not packed yet, but said, "no worries!"

Emma wrote the following to us:
Dear Daddy asked me to share my favorite experience here at the Mexico MTC.  So here I go!
I would love to tell you about my greatest experience at the MTC!
My favorite experience at the MTC started at 5 o'clock July 31, 2013 and continued until 3 o'clock in the morning of September 9th. ENSERIO (Spanish Translation: Seriously)!
Every moment has been so amazing.  I have had to GROW and LEARN a whole lot!!
I loved seeing all the birds take refuge at this oasis.
I loved becoming so close with 11 missionaries who I get to call my district best friends.
I loved hearing their testimonies.
I loved learning how to be a better person and companion.
I loved teaching five different investigators.
I loved the moment when three of the dear investigator's thoughtfully said yes to the all important invitation to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be Baptized!
I loved being scared to death every sacrament meeting and listening to hear if my name would be called out once again.
I loved receiving letters.
I loved reading emails.
I loved relying on the spirit when my own efforts were not enough.
I loved coming to know that we truly need to walk by faith not by sight.
I loved relying on my Heavenly Father when I needed advice in my life.
I loved learning how to love more like how the Savior would love.
I loved meeting members from a culture so much more different than mine, but with testimonies just as strong, if not stronger than I have seen before.
I loved feeling your love all these miles away.
I love standing in the crazy rain they have here and just feeling completely that I was exactly where I need to be.
I loved every moment.
And I love everyone of you.
Love, Hermana Emma Rose Phipps

Dirty Dash 2 ... in Mexico

Emma thought these pictures should be called:  "Dirty Dash 2"  Or... Dirt on my Skirt!


Emma does have a dilemma with staying upright!


Emma's mother believes it should be called: "CHARITY SHOULDN'T FALLETH!!"


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Get Ready to Go! 461 days left.

[It is September 5th and Emma is getting ready to leave the Mexico MTC.  She will fly out next Monday to Spokane, Washington, USA!!]

   Thank you for sending the ward newsletter.  I so enjoyed it!  I like keeping up with my dear ward friends.  I am so sad to hear about the hardships in our ward right now.  My heart goes out to those families. 
   The biggest smile came on my face when I heard you did the pancake breakfast with the grandkids! I am glad they liked it. 
   I have been thinking so much about you all lately!  I couldn't ask for a better family than the one I am blessed with.  So, I am feeling pretty ill right now, so instead of stressing and writing a whole lot, I am just checking in and sharing a few things. The day before I leave, I get to e-mail again. So on Sunday I will write like I usually do.  NO WORRIES about me being sick.  I am doing well here, and I am sure that I will be feeling fine again in no time.
   I am so excited to be heading to Spokane!  But also, oh so nervous!!  Last week we met another girl who is heading to Spokane!  We spent five weeks at the MTC without crossing paths!
HOW CRAZY?!?
   I really love this MTC so much.  I couldn't have asked to have it any better.
   I couldn't be more thankful to be learning Spanish.  Seriously, I love this language!  Even more I love the people.  I have had a lot of random experiences with natives this week.  It is so much fun but also very scary 'cause I am not at all good at talking Spanish yet. On Sunday, I went to a meeting with the wife of the President of our branch.  They do not speak English a speck.  But I actually was able to understand them!  Reading and listening are my strongest points right now.  I FAIL at speaking... I am working on that though!  Speaking Spanish went a LOT better this week!  Which makes me so happy!
   Oh, one more thing.  Funny story time!  I told everyone in my district that I would be the first person to fall here.  Last Thursday, I fulfilled my prophecy!!!  Ha..Ha..Ha.  Hermana Taylor and I were doorbell ditching a note and some treats to some girls in our district when I slipped majorly on a mud patch.  I'll send pictures of the results sometime.  Ha Ha, I laughed SO HARD!!
[Note from parents: Emma had quite an issue with staying upright her first year at BYU...she worries about falling and it happens way too often!]
I love you ALL! Hear more from me Sunday! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Week 4 & 468 days to go!

Hola Everyone!
I just really am loving life right now.  I do not think I have ever been so constantly joyful in my life! Even when things get a tiny bit hard, I can't help but be excited for everything I am experiencing!  Guess What? I have been here a month! And it doesn't even seem like I have been gone for long at all!  Does it seem short to you or is the MTC a time warper?

At the end of next week I will begin my sixth week! That means next week is my last full week here in Mexico! Then I head off to Spokane.  I fly out the morning of September 9th :D I am so so so excited.  I can't wait to go out and meet the world!  I am so excited to be able to know these people!  Really, my heart is just so happy thinking about it.  I am also a bit nervous, cause well, it is a BIG thing!  Speaking Spanish and everything will be a huge leap of faith for me.  Keep praying for me, I know you do and I know it helps! :)

So my district has been asked to speak continuously in Spanish.  Like from SUN UP TO SUN DOWN!  Which is really, really, really hard.  But when I put all my effort into it, it totally works.  Write me encouragement to do this even if others are not and even though it is hard. And since I won't get to hear from you until next Thursday, I am saying this for each of you every day: "Hey Hermana Phipps, I (enter your name here) expect you to use your Spanish to the fullness of your capability. I would be so very disappointed to know that you weren't trying all you could to speak it and be ready to do what the Lord has called you to do.  You know you need to speak the language, so DO IT!"

Ahhh guys, thank you!  I can't let you or the people of Spokane down so I am going to do all that I can to speak every word in Spanish.  I promise!  I need to act and not be acted upon.

I really love reading the scriptures in Spanish!  I am actually understanding SO MUCH OF IT!  It is so amazing! And when you read it and know what the English version says, each word means so much more.  I think sometimes I get so used to the words used in the English scriptures, I don't think through the meaning of all the words.  But then I read it in Spanish and the words are just so meaningful because I can compare the two words and the meanings they have.  IT IS AMAZING!


I love hearing about the Sister Missionaries that have come to the BC 23rd Ward. How Awesome!
This week I received letters from members of our ward!  My heart just feels so sparkly...haha... it is the only word I could think of!  So yeah, it feels so sparkly and shiny with happiness!  Thank You Ward Family!!

This week has been lots of fun!  I wasn't called to speak in Sacrament!  Not that I am excited about that..., I am just stating a fact.  The first district to ever be part of Branch 13 left on Monday, so many of the leaving missionaries spoke.  It was really amazing to hear them!  And it will be us in a week and a half.  Our dear Sister Trainers left.  It was hard to know they were leaving!  I looked up to them so much.  Hermana Taylor and I have been called as the new Sister Trainers.  I know Hermana Taylor is PERFECT for this assignment.  She is such a natural leader.  I am looking for how we can magnify our calling.  We need to be doing more especially since we have only 2 weeks to help the Lord in this way.  I am looking for ways to serve the Hermanas.  They are just so sweet and they deserve the WORLD!  But there are so many ways I need to improve in looking out for them.  I will work on that.

Amy sent the most perfect pictures of Kezi and Erika and Karson.  I actually used my picture of Kezi, Erika & Karson with an investigator.  He really loved it!  And I LOVED SHARING IT!! Now I carry that picture with me everywhere I go.  It brings a smile to my face every moment I see it.  I love this work, I love my family, and I love telling you all about it!  I can't wait to hear more from you all next week!  LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!
Love,
Hermana Phipps

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Snail Mail Letter

When it comes to mail, Mexico really does Snail Mail, it took 13 days for Emma's letter to get to us.  She has warned us to not write letters to her in Mexico as they may not get there in time.  We can begin to send things to Spokane and she will get them when she gets there! Emma sent the following:

So, it was my second day of teaching our investigator, (who is actually another teacher at the MTC, but we did not know that). I was sharing my testimony that I know that this church makes you better.  But, when talking to my investigator, I said one small word wrong and ended up telling him that, "The gospel of Jesus Christ makes you a girl." Bah! What a great thing for a Sister Missionary to tell a guy! Best news, that 'investigator' will be my evening teacher next week!!  Can I say awkward?! Actually, I am glad I messed up like that.  It is so funny, it makes me laugh all the time.

You were wondering if I have hot water and a washer and a dryer.  I was wondering that the first day.  I took a shower my first morning and it was ICE COLD!  No warmth at all.  A few days later, one of the Hermanas discovered the hot water for the shower!  We have yet to figure it out for the wash basin though.  Oh, and our room is the only room in the house with hot water working in the shower!!  LUCKY US!  As for the washer and dryer, we are the first missionaries to use this house, so we have a dryer and a washer, but they were not hooked up! Some of the girls in our casa had P. day yesterday and they got it all hooked up! So lucky us, dodging another bullet again.

Our house is full of bugs! Crickets, mosquitoes, and cockroaches.  One of my closest friends here, Hermana LuBanc, is a crazy pro at killing the bugs.  The bugs do not bother me much.  The birds here are awesome! They are so happy and I hear chirping all the day long. 

I must tell you about my fellow Hermanas! Hermana Taylor (my companion), Hermana Blankenship and Hermana LuBanc are so funny! I really enjoy spending so much time with these wonderful girls.  They really live a quote I read by one of the apostles, "This isn't missionary work, this is missionary fun!"  I am really having such a grand time.  The guys in my district are super great also.  We are all friends and we do everything together even when we don't have to.  They have shared why they decided to go on a mission.  It was powerful. 

Guess what happened! It was 9 days before we would have a P-day and be allowed to use the computers.  I was getting pretty impatient to get a message or note.  Waiting until Thursday was the longest any group had to wait. (I had flown out on Tuesday and we did not get a P-day until the next week.)  But on Wednesday morning, I went to put on my skirt with the pockets and I found a surprise! Charlotte, Mariah, and Laura had somehow put notes in the pockets!  And I opened them the morning I was needing them the most.  It helped get me through my communication drought.

I am growing a lot here! And, I dried my clothes on the clothes line.  My friend thought it was weird, but sun dried clothes smell great!!   Love you, Hermana Phipps