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!!



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


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.


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


[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


(flags from the countries represented)

Emma did not have to dance...she is a Missionary!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hermana Si (Yes) - TOTALLY Fits!!

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