Monday, March 4, 2013
Family & Friends,
Well this will be quick because Sister Hall and I have a tea party (herbal tea of course) to attend with the Eleven from Heaven!!!!!!!
But I wanted to leave you all with my testimony,
These last 18 months truly have been , "more precious than gold." I have been tested, tried, and molded into someone who God could use in this wonderful work. I know that Christ lives! I know that because He lives we can have the hope and assurance that we to will live again with Him. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be TRANSFORMED, if we will allow it. The atonement is not only for our sins, but our sorrows, our inadequacies, our heart break, and our lack of faith. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in these latter-days and that the power of the priesthood is here to make us a covenant people to return to God with our families. I know that at the age of 14 the young boy, Joseph Smith saw the Father and his Son Jesus Christ as he knelt down and prayed with real intent. I have come to know that the power of prayer is real and just as Joseph had the faith to pray, we to need can ask God anything and He will answer by the power of the Holy Spirit. I to agree with my mission president when he says, "The Book of Mormon is Magic!" It is the word of God and it will bring us closer to Christ than any other way. It is the greatest tool we can use along with the spirit to share the truth of the Restored Gospel around the world. This work is great. It is powerful. It is the most REAL thing we as mortals could ever be apart of. Serving the people in the Washington Tacoma Mission has brought more joy into my life than I ever though possible. It has stretched my heart, helped me overcome fears, trust in God, and come to Rejoice in Jesus Christ. I know that even when I am home this work will continue forward.. I will be a missionary wherever the Lord needs me. I will be his servant.
I leave these things with you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
The WA-TAC will forever be in my heart!
Sister Lakyn Marie Phillips
Posted by Lakyn Marie at 2:03 PM
Monday, February 25, 2013
Hello my sweet family,
This week I was blessed to be a witness of one of the greatest miracles.
Ryan and Conrad Julian was BAPTIZED on 23 Feb. Do you remember the Julian's? I taught them in Tacoma for about uuuhhh....SIX MONTHS and of course became one of my fav. families. Ryan and Conrad knew more about the gospel than most kids in there own primary class, so most nights we were there were to teach there dad. I remember countless of times walking out of there house frustrated, sad, happy, wanting to throw in the towel and give up completely, but every time the spirit would say, "DON'T GIVE UP". Anthony's hold up was that he had to quit smoking, so he could baptize his boys. Many people told us, "sisters, let the boys get baptized by someone else, they need it now." I had had a strong prompting as did our bishop that in order for this family to be sealed-Anthony needed to do it. HE needed to baptize them because for the first while that would be the only motive to become worthy. Eventually, he realized as did we that smoking was the heavy layer on top that if we were to skim that off there would be different underlining concerns. Many questions, concerns, and anti came into his life soon after. I believe that, that was a blessing in disguise to allow him to ACT in faith. Many times God puts us in situations that test us to see if our faith is sufficient for the blessing that lies ahead.
While teaching them for all those months I learned some much NEEDED lessons about the law of sacrifice and diligence. Morgan was a member growing up and fell aways during her high school years, but as they had kids she knew she needed it back. Morgan took the three rowdy boys to church every Sunday alone, but at the same time never giving up on him. I know that through the diligence and faith of sweet Morgan, Anthony was able to see the love of Christ. She exemplified it, she lived it, she gave it to him.
One year ago if your would have told Anthony Julian he was going to hold the Aaronic priesthood, baptize his boys and love being a Mormon- he would have laughed in your face and probably thrown out a few swear words at you. When we talk about the transforming powers of the Atonement, this is what we mean. Anthony Julian is living proof that through Jesus Christ ALL can be made fare, hearts can be healed, addictions made clean, and a heart can be changed.
As I stood in the back and watched Anthony baptize Ryan and Conrad tears of pure humility for the Lord flowed down my face. Like Alma, "What added to my joy, was he was still by brother in the Lord." (Alma 17:2). They asked me to speak and I was able to share my testimony with them about the "unspeakable gift of the Holy Spirit". As this family worked hand in had with each other and relied on the Lord the spirit was able to change them, strengthen them, and remind them to never give up. I know that it is through "line upon line, precept upon precept" that the spirit taught them and that allowed for this miracle to take place.
A miracle is the natural result of true principles applied.
Ok for the rest of the week....
(from sis. hall)
1. Do you remember me telling you about Shai? The cute little thug who was supposed to get baptized but dropped us? Yeah. We've been trying to get a hold of her for 2 weeks, but to no avail. On the day we started expecting miracles, we felt prompted to stop by her apartment, even though it was deviating from our schedule. She was there and we set up a return appointment with her!!
2. We invited one of our investigators, Jacob, to eat dinner at the church. He came, and the Young Men's basketball team just so happened to be practicing in the gym. Somehow Jacob started talking to the boys...and then gave them some drills to try...and before we knew it, he was full-fledged RUNNING the practice and the boys started calling him COACH!!! They begged him to come to their game the following morning and he did! We've now taught him a couple lessons and he's pretty much the Young Men's basketball coach now. :)
3. We're teaching this sweet old lady, Sister Olson right now. Her husband is a member and she's been taught by elders over the years, but just doesn't want to be baptized. This woman is the reason sister missionaries are so valuable! She needs sisters who can apply "girl talk" openness to gospel lessons. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon a couple days ago, and she had read like 8 chapters when we met with her on our "expect miracles" day! She was open and receptive in a way we haven't seen from her yet, and MAN the greatest miracle of all is a softening heart.
4. Throughout our ENTIRE transfer, Sister Hall and I have been praying to find and teach a 4-piece family. We pray for them every day. Well..a couple days ago we met these two ladies from Africa while we were out and about, and we gave them our number. Well THEY CONTACTED US and are interested in being taught next week! Not only that, these women are sisters and they both have husbands...we feel like this is the 4-piece family that God wanted us to find.
5. Sooo we knock on this door while we're tracting, and this mean lady is like, "I'm not interested, you can go now." (picture her being really sassy) I say, "Ok" in the saddest voice ever (haha that makes people feel bad for being mean sometimes) and we turn to leave. She closes the door, and then suddenly opens it again. She's like, "Hold on, would you ladies come back please?" (still sounds super sassy) And she goes into her house to get something. First we thought she might be giving us back a Book of Mormon she'd been given previously. And then we remembered we were EXPECTING MIRACLES. So I'm just praying mightily in my heart for a miracle, and what happens??? Out comes this woman's 30-year-old son, and he tells us he wants to learn more about Jesus Christ. He followed us down to the church and we gave him a church tour (remind me to tell you about what a church tour is sometime...they are SO powerful) and put him on date for baptism on March 9th! His name is Joe. His road to baptism might take a little longer than the date we originally put him on date for (his big barrier is that he's an alcoholic) but this man WILL change through the atonement of Jesus Christ and be baptized. I'm so excited to help him through that journey.
I would challenge each of you to EXPECT MIRACLES this week. When we live our lives in faith and obedience the Lord WILL shower us with miracles. Seek after them, recognize them, and glory be to God for them! Apply the principles of the gospel to your life and we can all have miracles!
I love you all,
Posted by Lakyn Marie at 3:23 PM
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
So Just a little update in the beautiful wa-tac...the weather has not been below 45 degrees this week :) Anyone want to move it Washington yet? Me! I am really going to miss this "winter" weather here. This winter is so bipolar to last, where it was mostly in the 20's and 30's with rain almost everyday and SO cold, but lucky us we haven't had a good rain storm in a couple weeks. Yahoo! Poor Sister Hall hasn't even experienced true Washington weather yet!
Sister Hall and I are working hard and continuing to find the elect. We are finally getting some of our investigators to progress and have starting teaching solid lessons. Our church attendance wasn't great this week :( Everyone was either sick with the flu or getting called into work...dang army! jk. But overall it was a successful week. Each day is so different than the last and you never know what will be behind the next door-that's why I love this work. It always leaves room for surprises and finding really good treasures, but I have learned to find those good treasures you have to WORK. So you- even as home town missionaries work hard, so the Lord can use you to find his elect that are ready and prepared.
This week I had one of the greatest moments yet.....I got to go to the TEMPLE!!!!!
Every transfer President and Sister Weaver take the departing missionaries to the Seattle Temple for the last time. It was almost a very surreal experience for me. I remember all five of us loading up in the Van with President and Sister Weaver as our pilots and on our way missionaries talking about how nervous they were. Side note-One of the main purposes of going to the temple is to ask the Lord if he will accept your offering of these last two years or eighteen months. Now you could see why they would be nervous. My problem was that I didn't think I was going home yet. :/ I'm pretty sure I was in total denial. YES- this has been a really hard realization for me to accept.
As we were at the temple I had the most peaceful feeling flow through me-I had never experienced anything like it before. As we were preparing to leave the temple I felt as though my little spirit was running the other way of my body. I longed to stay, to keep that feeling, to be safe, to be with God just a little longer. (missionaries with a temple in there missionaries are SO lucky!) After we had taken pictures, listened to president share a word of wisdom, I was so peaceful, so content, and finally feeling okay about coming to the acceptance that my time was up and I needed to start a new journey in my life.
On our way home President decided to take us the long way home. So we got to see the space needle and drive over lake Washington! It was so fun. Downtown Seattle is such a neat place! We then arrived home and on our way to tracting I felt so tired and a little sad. I couldn't figure it out-why am I sad? I just had one of the most amazing days of my life? Then I started talking to Sister Hall about it and something she said nailed it right on the spot. She said, "Sister Phillips you are homesick for heaven and it's okay to be a little sad." It was true. I craved to back in the temple, I wanted to have the feeling again. Who wants to go out to the big bad world after being in the temple? I know that the temple truly is a small piece of heaven on this earth. My spirit recognized it so clearly and so purely that it earned to return. Good thing the temple is only 10 min. from my house..feew!
I know the temple is the house of God and that we should prepare ourselves everyday to enter. The temple will build us as worthy Latter-Day Saints. It will endow us with power and strength to overcome the natural man. Nephi taught us, "Do not slacken your strength because of your afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say; O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation" (2 Nephi 4:29-30). Do not let the things of the world bring us down, we can do better and we are expected to.
I know that God truly is our father in Heaven. I know that our savior is near pushing us along this journey we call "life" and giving us a million chances to accept Him. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that as we read it, it will change our desires, it will change our heart and enlighten our understanding. As we have Faith is Jesus Christ and put our trust in him we will inevitably want to desire to be like Him (Moroni 7).
I love you all,
Posted by Lakyn Marie at 1:26 PM
Monday, February 11, 2013
This last week in the beautiful land of Steilacoom/Lakewood we...
Never saw the temp. go below 44 degrees Yea!
Saw the sun EVERYDAY
God seems it funny to continually teach me patience
Found some amazing people and not so amazing people
Got hit/stocked by some black guys
Committed someone to baptism in the font :)
Got to hear Austin sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for the last time.
Witnessed another drug deal
Almost died as people turned around in front of MOVING traffic on a freeway
Went into food comatose as we ate, ate, and ate some more
Witnesses an apocalypse during a 5-7 on a Friday night
This week was great and that's not even half of what really went on.
It's amazing to me how things can change so quickly. We went from having a teaching pool to having no teaching pool in the span of a week. Sister Hall and I have been working so hard everyday trying to find the "elect" that God is preparing. We find many people everyday, but as we continue to work I know and feel deep within me that we are working for a much greater cause.
Sister Hall has been doing great. She is someone who had prepared before she came on her mission and it has made the world of difference. We have been able to be more direct in our work and the unity came instantly. I consider this one of the greatest blessings on my mission that I was able to serve with her my last couple weeks as a full-time missionary. My mission means the world to me and as I prayed about worthy goals I knew it would take a companion who would want to see the same things happen. She has been more than supportive and like me, loves work! We may be a little crazy together, but it works. I mean what greenie will go tracting a whole extra hour on a p-day with you and LOVE it? She does! Yes I will put sister Hall in a frame when I get home, ha ha. jk.
This week I still have been on brain rest, which means no reading. So, sister hall reads the book of Mormon to me in the mornings and then we discuss what we read. It has been a lot of fun. Now I know why scriptures unite families so much. We discussed the power of Hope and came to the conclusion that Anxiety is the antithesis of hope. Isn't that brilliant?! HOPE is: Sure, unwavering, and active. When we have Hope we TRUST in the promises that God has made with us. You INCREASE in hope as you pray and seek for God's forgiveness. (Alma 22:16)
I thought that very interesting that for us to have hope we have to be continually repenting. How does that work? As I pondered more about this, it made perfect sense. When we repent and receive forgiveness from God it truly feels like He is letting light shine into our mind a little at a time, which in return gives us more Hope! Hope in the Savior's Atonement that it is working through YOU. Hope is evidence that Christ lives, that he is healing our wounded hearts and helping us become more and more like Him.
We all Hope in something, that is our human nature. But what are we hoping for? I want to testify that if we focus our Hope in Christ our Savior that like Nephi we to can: “Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." (2 Ne 31:20)
"The things we hope for are often future events. If only we could look beyond the horizon of mortality into what awaits us beyond this life. Is it possible to imagine a more glorious future than the one prepared for us by our Heavenly Father? Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we need not fear, for we will live forever, never to taste of death again.Because of His infinite Atonement, we can be cleansed of sin and stand pure and holy before the judgment bar.The Savior is the Author of our Salvation." President Uchtodorf
This week I pray that we can all pray to receive more hope in our Savior and in our selves. I want to express my LOVE for you all as this is the fitting week. I am grateful for all the love you have shown to me and hope that I in return can pay it forward, but most of all remember your Savior's LOVE for you!
I love you,
Posted by Lakyn Marie at 1:55 PM
Monday, February 4, 2013
Family and Friends,
|Sister Hall exhausted and fell asleep writing in her journal.|
That night as we were driving home we stopped by the house to pick up a coat and we immediately started tracting. As we were knocking doors I realized that I didn't have a headache. :D What? It truly was a miracle. I made a big seen and jumped up and down a couple of times and thanked Heavenly Father for strengthening me in my weakness. The strength to carry on continued day after day, after day. Everyday this last week I have been able to put forth my best effort into the work and feel good. I am still a little foggy, cant read any books, and get baby headaches, but its the greatest feeling ever to BE MYSELF AGAIN.
I found a new light in myself that I never felt. I was humbled and learned that by letting people help you doesn't mean you are weak. I had to let go of a lot of ego that was holding me back to do the Lord's will and try to see what the Lord was trying to teach me out of all of this. As I tried to change my attitude and humble myself, I truly felt as though I could call upon the powers of heaven and ask for the strength of angels. I will testify that, that was the only way I was able to put one foot in front of the other and have so much success this week. The scripture in Ether 12:27 has gone to deeper meaning to me;
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
|Smiling Through The Pain!|
Thank you for all the prayers that have gone my way. I felt them everyday heal me and remind me that I had many people back home that love me. I am still banned from any sport in the mission right now, he he. But I am grateful that I could learn eternal truth from this experience. God truly calls us in our weakness, but will ALWAYS qualify us. I am grateful that our Savior died and over came death for us, so that we could have that same hope of Eternal Glory. I know that when no one else knows how you feel, our Savior Jesus Christ does. That is one of the greatest gifts of the Atonement. He will know how to help us perfectly. Ahh...makes me smile every time I think of that!
D&C 35:13; " Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised to thrash the nations by the power of my spirit; 14. And there arm shall be my arm, and I will be there shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them."
|Feel better/Valentine's Flowers|
Sister Hall is outstanding! I cannot say enough about her. When I heard all the new missionaries bear their testimonies of the Savior at our training I felt so confident in handing over the WA-TAC to them. The Lord has prepared them well, they are confident and ready to work hard. I am so excited for anyone who is preparing for a mission. It will mold and change their life in ways you wouldn't think possible. He will help you become who he needs you to be as you work in your weakness and give your all to him, He will always make up the difference.
|Tierra's Baptism from last week.|
I love the WA-TAC, but even more I love my Savior.
Posted by Lakyn Marie at 3:20 PM
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Oh my goodness where do I even start. This week has been a roller coaster to say the least. I found out on Tues. that I did not just have a minor concussion, but that it was pretty bad. The doctor put me on strict orders to be pretty much brainless for the next week. They call it "brain rest". I couldn't tract, read-including Scriptures :(, watch TV (restoration of course), or write. It was HORRIBLE. I told the doctor, who is my bishop, that I wish I would have broken a bone because at least I could still think.
It's been a week since it's happened and it's gotten a little better, but not much. I tried to read the other day and that was a BAD idea I ended up having the worst headache ever. Concussion + Missionary do not mix well together. I am go go go and this has made me really give up my pride and realize that missionaries can have breaks too. It was sad at church yesterday that everyone commented that they knew Sister Phillips wasn't feeling well because her smile was fake :( I even got escorted out of ward council, ha ha. My bishop could tell that my head was hurting and I was annoyed with the situation that was going on. So during the middle of someone talking he said, "Sisters you probably could leave now." And my stubborn self, I said, "NO bishop we need to stay." Then he gave me the fatherly look that said, "you better get your bumb home right now and rest." I didn't argue after that. ha ha.
It was amazing this week to see the help of the Lord in my life this week when I was so down. Because I haven't been able to have my usual personal study which consits of the Book of Mormon and PMG, I had to find another way to study. So I found a CD player and have been listening to general conf. talks :). At first it was hard to listen so intently to remember what I had been taught throughout the day, but now I have turned into a pro listener. :D Each day I pray that I can hear the promptings of the spirit and that the Lord will bring things back to my remembrance.I told Sister Nanto I am convinced that God has a funny sense of humor. I needed to learn to slow down and she needed to learn to let people help me and she needed to learn to be more sensitive.She agreed.
We got our transfer calls and I am staying in Steilacoom and training :) Sister Nanto is going to the one place she didn't want to go, Tacoma, but I know she is going where she is needed. She will also be training and new little girl. We actually got them while we were eating dinner at Outback steakhouse. I was great! Our bishop gave us a gift card there for Christmas and we haven't been able to use it because there never open for lunch, so we went with them sat. night after our baptism. yum yum!
At the end of the week the Lord blessed us with an amazing Miracle. Tierra Smith was baptized!!!!! I have talked about her a lot because we have been teaching her for about five months and I am convinced she is my kindred spirit, ha! Her dad agreed that he would sign it-she did not want to wait until next week, so she did it that night. All the youth from her seminary and YW class came to support her. My heart is so full for this girl. I look at her more as my little sister than anything else. Her baptism was something that I will never forget and have been still pondering on the spirit that touched me there. I told Tierra before the baptism started that when she goes to sit down to sometime look back and see all the people that are standing behind her and remember that she is not alone. She did not have any of her immediate family there, but she had her ward family.
This has been a long journey for her, the adversary has constantly been attacking and throwing road blocks in her way, but she does not move. Her feet are planted in the Gospel, her testimony is in her Savior, and she knows that she is a daughter of God. As I look at her I see many opportunities that she will have in her future to change lives of others when she can share her story with them. The closing hymn that she chose that night was not chosen by chance. As we sang the Spirit of God I felt an overwhelming presence there and I knew without a doubt that there were angels there with us that night shouting for joy!
The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.
We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.
We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen
I know that the armies of heaven will be round about us as we are fighting for righteousness. As we go forward throughout the day remember that you are not alone and believe it. (2 kings 6:17-18). I have a firm testimony that is still flowing through me this day that God is a God of miracles and that he will always stand beside us as we are in his army. I know that trials are always an opportunity for growth and sacred experiences that help us become who he needs us to be. Even though I may feel scared to death to train because I am not as healthy as I should be, I know the Lord will make up the difference through his Amazing Grace!
I love you all,
Posted by Lakyn Marie at 8:24 AM
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Well I am writing you today recovering from a minor concussion. Yesterday (pday) we always play dodge ball with the Spanish elders. I am the only sister that plays with 15 elders who throw the ball extremely hard. I am actually pretty good and have almost won like 3 times. ha ha. But yesterday dang Elder Bryce who is 6'10 through the ball so hard and didn't see me. Well guess where is hit me????? Directly in the face! Oh man I swear my face is a gravitational field for dodge/volley/basketballs. Every time! My face swelled up like a cherry and my lips felt like I just received botox injections. Last night my R. eye was swollen and I have two little green/yellow eyes. Its awesome! My head hurts today and feels foggy, but my comp is a great care giver and makes me take meds.
Besides that the week was GREAT!
For the past couple days Lakewood has been really smoggy, which makes Western States (mental hospital) look REALLY creepy. I tried to get Nanto to walk around it with me in the dark, but she wouldn't. Probably a good idea! I'm ready for the sunshine to come back!
We had a great lesson with Isto, Cindy and Ameria last Tuesday. We found out that Cindy is actually a member (mom). She was baptized as a youth in Sipan and when she was split from her mom she never had the chance to go back. She also has a brother that she has been feeling like she needed to contact and he served a mission for our church. We are now helping her find him :) That will be a great reunion and hopefully he can help them come back. Isto came to church by himself this Sunday because everyone was at home sick. He is a great guy. When we taught the Resto. you could just see the light bulb come on when we talked about the prophet and twelve apostles.
This weekend "everybody loves Raymond" was baptized and confirmed. It was a great baptism. We had a lot of ward there to support and it was amazing to see this young family come together through the gospel. At the end of Raymond's baptism our ward mission leader asked if Debora, his wife, would share with everyone her testimony. There wasn't a dry eyes in the room after she finished. I was so proud of her. As a missionary it is so fulfilling to see them voice so confidently there own testimony of the restoration. I remember the exact day when we knocked on Debora's door and the promptings that lead us to her and eventually to her husband. My testimony is always strengthened when we decided to follow those still, small, quiet, sometimes unrealistic, but true promptings the spirit gives to each of us. I've learned to trust and follow. God promises us that if we will DO, the power will follow. I have to work on that everyday and be reminded constantly, but the knowledge and strength that comes from Acting to me is priceless. Always ACT. Be your own agent and not an object!
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught;
"That faith is the principle of Action and of power in all intelligent beings."
I hope that we can all remember that even though not everyone is set apart to be a full-time missionary or ward missionary, you are always a missionary!
I love you all and hope you have a great week full of spiritual promptings that you take courage and act upon!!
Posted by Lakyn Marie at 5:43 PM