Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Why did I go on a mission?

Hey everyone,

   I've been asked this questions many times in the last year. And don't worry I've asked myself that same question sometimes. Why would I decided that leaving my family, friends, school, and work to go to a place I've never been and to knock on people's doors and ask them if they would like to listen to the message I have to share with them.
I knew coming on a mission that not everyone would want to listen to me. That doors would be slammed on my face, that I would have really hard days that I wouldn't want to get out of bed. I would probably cry myself to sleep, and that I would not be present for a lot of special events back home.
But I've really thought about this a lot recently. "Why did I, Aubrey Phillips decide to go on a mission?"
Here is my answer:
        Everyone told me I should serve a mission, that I would be great and learn so much from my 18 months of service. I thought it sounded like a good idea but I decided to put it on the back burner, it wasn't really a high priority for me. As time went on, it was as if God was screaming at me with different signs that I should serve a mission. The historical moment of the missionary age change, everyone around me kept talking about their missions, and than I just had this burning desire to get one of those Black name tags.
Yup, that name tag right there.
Now that sounds like a horrible reason for going on a mission. But for me I knew what that name tag would mean. That right there along my name would be my Saviors name. That was a big deal for me.
I also knew that as I grew up a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, because I was apart of His church that I was waking up everyday with a purpose. That there was more to life than just waking up and going to work. But that I am important, that even though I had hard days that my Savior Jesus Christ suffered every single one of my pains. That He knew what I was feeling, that I wasn't EVER alone. Every fiber in my body wanted to be able to give that to someone else. To watch as they came to know that their sins can be washed away FOREVER. That the Gospel of Jesus Christ can answer every question you have. I wanted to share that with everyone. I wanted to stand on a mountain and yell it to everyone.

3 Nephi 5:13
    13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Now, I can tell you all that it is worth it, every single day. (Even the bad days are worth it) because I have been able to share His message with people. I love being able to watch the Spirit touch their hearts.  I love that I have been called of God.
I know that Heavenly Father has lead me here. I'm so blessed. And I'm so grateful to be serving a mission.
I also have no doubt in my mind this is where I'm suppose to be. The people I've meet and continue to meet. My testimony as it increases everyday with the many different experiences.
Yes I've have missed some very special things back home like my little brother being called on a mission, or the birth of a niece. But I know my Heavenly Father is proud of my choice to serve. And I'm grateful he has given me this chance.
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hello everyone!

   Wow, I know it's been a while and the time is flying by faster than ever. I've been on my mission for a little over a year and I only have 6 months left of my missionary service. 
Today I wanted to take a couple minutes and share with you all my testimony of The Book of Mormon. While on my mission I strive to read from The Book of Mormon daily. Now I'll be the first to admit not everyday do I read it, sometimes we rush out the door before we have our studies and I don't end up reading it at all that whole day. But I've come to realize while on my mission how important it is to study the scriptures daily. As we read in the Bible, Matthew 6: 11

11 Give us this day our daily bread.
 Matthew 14:13–21, The loaves of bread used to feed 5,000 people
Now interpret this scripture as you will, but for right now I'm going to say our "daily bread" is to pray and read our scriptures.  Why is having our daily bread important? Well honestly that is how I've gained my testimony of the Book of Mormon. By everyday taking the time to read my scriptures. Before I start I'll say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father to testify or show me that this book I'm reading is true. I'm here to tell you, that He does that. I know Book of Mormon is true. 

We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah.

Because I've personally done what the Introduction has invited each and every single one of us to do, I Aubrey Phillips have gained a testimony of these things. I know they are true, and I cannot ever deny that. I'm so grateful for The Book of Mormon, it has changed my life daily. I'm so blessed to be here on my mission, to meet the people I have. They have been such an impact in my growing experience.  I know that if each one of us reads The Book of Mormon with a sincere heart and real intent. That you too can find the joy and happiness that it holds. I challenge all of you to take the invitation seriously, and find out for yourself what The Book of Mormon is all about.
I say these things so humbly in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Lord's Perfect Timing

The Lord's timing is perfect. I'll be honest for myself sometimes I really disagree with His timing. I always think I know what's right, that I'm more knowledgable then our Heavenly Father. That I know what's the best pathway to go down. Lucky enough for me, He still leads me to the point I need to reach in safety.
I've grown to the understanding that our Heavnely Father truly has a plan for each of us. And He knows how to get us there. Recently I've been reading Jesus the Christ written by James Talmage, "...He knows what each will do under given conditions, and sees the end from the beginning." (Chapter 3: The Need of a Redeemer) In these last few weeks, I have been able to recognize how true this statement is. I've seen the many times were the Lord is directing me to the exact place I need to be, at the PERFECT time.
When Christ came to the Earth to set the example for each of us, at the end of His life while in the garden of Gethsemane, suffering pains that none of us will EVER comphrend. He knew the importance of Father's beautiful, merciful, eternal plan.
 "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Luke 22:42
I'm in complete amazement when I read this scripture and realize that even Christ knew that the our Heavenly Father has an almighty plan. That we all should be willing to follow the plan that is set for us. Because ultimatley it is the better way. Yes for course we will fall short and have to learn the long way. But that's because we have been blessed with the opportunity to use our agency.
I just want you all to know that I know as we pray to our Heavenly Father that we will be blessed. He will guide us to were we can find happiness. I'm grateful that He is in control. Even though at times I'm completely losted and don't know where I'm going. That I can still trust that He has a plan. And He is getting me there. I know that He has the MOST PERFECT timing anyone of us could ask for. I'm meet the most amazing people because He was willing to have me wait and learn. I still have so much to learn. I'm currently learning how to rely on The Lord, and as I get down on my knees and pray sincerely He will answer me.

If you have a few moments check out this new mormon message. It talks about a change of heart that this man had and how the Lord truly does have the most perfect timing.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Even on the hard days

Hello Everyone,

I want to start off my post with a personal experience that I had recently while on my mission. I'm going to give a little background for those of you who aren't very familiar with how LDS missions go. Every six weeks we have potential of being moved to a new area of work, with a new companion. My first six weeks didn't happen the way I thought they would. I struggled a lot, even had a few moments where I wanted to go home because I knew I wasn't ready for everything the Lord needed me to do. Everyday I was falling short of what I knew I should be doing. I was being coming frustrated. And I even had a couple anxiety problems (again. For those of you who remember, before I came out on my mission. I was required to take therapy to help my managing my anxiety). I was so frustrated because I was suppose to know how to control my anxiety.
As I started my next six weeks (transfer) I was determined to make it the best six weeks of my life. The idea came from a recently General Conference talk by an Apostle President Uchtdorf "Grateful in any circumstance"  I'd like to share a short paragraph that helped me recognize the importance of being grateful in every situation.

     "Being grateful in our circumstacnes is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true. By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, "Not my will, but thine, be done."

The idea I decided was to make my situation the best I could. If something went wrong, I'd find the postive in the situation. Now, let me tell you this much, that was the hardest parts some days. You may wonder why I decided to make such an effort to find the best of every situation. As I did this I come to realize that in EVERY situation, EVERY experience, EVERY trail I come face to face with here on earth. The Lord was always with me. Those days I thought I was drowning in ocean Christ was caring me upon His back till I got my balance and realized the plan He has in store for me.

I can honestly say, I've learned a very valuable lesson that Heavenly Father wants me to be happy. He isn't trying to make me miserable or see how much I can handle in one day. But He is making me become the best I can become. I just have to depend on Him. How can you depend on Him? ... pray allow him into your heart. He will be able to help you face the hard days. I truly have a testimony of this, I know that wilthout a doubt he will help you. I'm still everyday learning how to rely on the Lord. But I know He will NEVER leave you completely alone. He will bless you. He loves you so much, and you are an amazing Son or Daughter of God.

Sister Phillips

Saturday, December 28, 2013


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Farewell Talk

Good morning Brother and Sisters,

I am beyond thrilled to have received my mission call to the Washington DC North mission, and I may even be more excited to be preaching in American Sign Language. I do have knowledge with ASL, because it is my major in school.  If I could multitask as well as I wish I could I’d sign my talk at the same time. But I’m not that good yet.

I’ve been told by Elder Colton Brimhall that I got lucky and I have been called to the best mission I could ask for. It will be nice to see a familiar face in the mission field. Well, the topic I was assigned to address is Isaiah 40:31 it reads, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles…” As I read this scripture I couldn’t help but giggle. It was as if this scripture was written for me. Knowing that I’d have to pick one situation where I learned this the best was probably the hardest part of writing my talk. How could I just pick one situation to tell all you here how I had truly learned this in the last year? At least half dozen experiences came into my mind. With much thought and prayer I decided what I’d share with you all today. I hope that this will shed some light on how I have truly tried to prepare to serve a mission.

My desire to serve a mission has been for a couple years. Of course before the big unforgettable Oct 2012 general conference announcement I always thought “well if I’m 21 and I’m not married I’ll go.”  My patriarchal blessing makes mention that if I choose; I have the right and privilege to serve a mission. This had never really impressed me till I was sitting alone in my apartment watching Conference and it felt as though the announcement was directly to me. Heavenly Father saying, “Aubrey you can’t say well if the timing is right I’ll go. Show me that you will make the choice to serve”.  Of course it’s been a long journey since the announcement was made last October. But in this last year I had to wait upon the Lord so that he could renew my strength. Show me first and for most, everything is on His time. Not mine.

A couple situations had come about that delayed my process to start my papers. But finally in February I started my paperwork. I later was informed that the mission department and the brethren had prayerfully received the answer to have me wait and not assign me a call. I was devastated. One night I was at the Provo temple doing baptisms for the dead. I had prayed, and prayed pleading to Heavenly Father asking why or to just send some comfort to me. As I went to go to the waiting room still no comfort, I was to the point of tears. When I decided to walk around the temple grounds in order to avoid having strangers see me crying.

                As I stood at the back of the temple looking at the words “House of the Lord”, with tears filling my eyes.  I softly whispered, “why me? Why are you doing this to me? I just want to serve a mission. And it’s a good thing but I am being punished for it.” At that sudden moment I was filled with the comfort I had been praying for. After taking a few deep breaths, the very calming voice came to me. An experience I will never forget. The words that I heard next, “Aubrey, you are not yet ready to serve a mission, and the investigators you are going to teach are not ready either.” Once I had realized what I had just heard, it was hard to accept that I wasn’t ready to serve a mission. That it wasn’t my time to go yet. But I thought of what was just said to me. I nodded my head in understanding and said these words back in a whisper. “For these next 6 months I will prepare myself. I’ll manage my anxiety by going to therapy, I will read my scriptures, and continue to go to the temple weekly. But while I do this, I need you to prepare those people that I will teach. I will pray for them daily, but please soften their hearts so that when I’m ready I can go teach them and they will accept the gospel.”

As everything has come together in this last month since I’ve received my call, I now understand why I was not to go when I wanted to. The Washington DC North mission has not had ASL sisters in the mission since 2005. I know that the companions who will be out in the field with me were not ready back in February but are ready to serve now. I know that I’m ready and I have no doubt that the people I will come in contact with are ready for the gospel. This brings me to the fine print in the scripture of my topic. “Wait upon the Lord”, as you go down to the footnotes. Wait has two other meanings. “Hope for, or anticipate”. I’d like to add two more words to those additional words. Patience and trust.

After that moment I had at the temple. I had to actively have hope, patience and trust in Heavenly Father that He would have those people ready when we both promised to be ready by. I want to first focus on the word hope. When you look hope up in True to the Faith it states, “The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty… In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active.” It’s easy to lose hope. But when we do hold onto the unwavering hope that is shown to us many times in the scriptures we become strengthen in the many other attributes of Christ like patience. In Preach My Gospel chapter 6 Christlike Attributes on page 120 under the bulletin of Patience it reads,

Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith—you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled.

It’s amazing how these few words hope, patience, faith, waiting can all connect together. It’s not always easy to be actively working on these attributes with flawlessness. But I know that when you are trying to have these or any other attribute that our Heavenly Father is going to bless you in ways that we don’t always feel as though we may deserve.

We all fall short. Heavenly Father was answering me when I was self-absorbed about serving mission. I was lacking these attribute. But he doesn’t deny us blessings because we are lacking in christlike qualities. Not always do we remember that when we wait upon the Lord he shall renew our strength. Personally throughout the summer I would forget that, but I know that our loving Heavenly Father has placed simple reminders in our day to day life. One thing that would give me hope as I was waiting for the day I’d be able to serve my mission was in Doctrine and Covenants 4:3 “Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;” without fail, that scripture would give me the hope to keep going and not to give up on serving a mission.

President Utchdorf says it perfectly in his talk April of 2010 “Every one of us is called to wait in our own way. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right so good to us that we can’t possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer… the answer didn’t come immediately. But eventually I learned that God’s promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways.”

I know that when we wait upon the Lord we will have the strength we need to overcome our obstacles. And be prepared for what is to come. I’m beyond thrilled to be going on a mission to serve Heavenly Father and bring the people of the DC North mission to make covenants that will bring them eternal happiness. I also know that President Thomas S Monson is the living Prophet here on the Earth and that he has very inspired men working with him. The Book of Mormon is true, and when you read it seeking truth you will find what will help you. I know this Church is the true church on the Earth. I’m so blessed to be a member and to bring others to its greatness.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Mission Call

Dear Sister Phillips:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Washington DC North Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in American Sigh Language. Your mission president maybe modify your specific assignment to the needs of the mission.

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel. You will be an official representative of the Church. As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandments, living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president. As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy host, and enduring to the end. As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.

The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His Children. We place in you our confidence and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary.

You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president. Please send you written acceptance promptly, endorsed by your bishop.

                                                                        Thomas S. Monson