for those of you reading this blog, you are not going crazy! I posted some of the letters out of order. Basically I posted the 14th before the 7th. If you read October 7th 1st, then October 14th will probably make more sense.
I am still trying to figure out how to post some of the pics she has sent. Basically I am saving them to my computer when she sends them, but then I can't find them to post. I will keep working on that.
Hope you are enjoying her letters as much as we are!
Thanks for all you love and support!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
HELLO FAMILY!!! Okay so we had the first exchanges this week! let me explain what this is. So the STL are assigned a group of sisters. Each week we pray about who we need to have exchanges with. One of us stays in our area and the companionship comes to our area. One of us leaves our area and goes to a different companionship's area. All for 24 hours each week. So we are split up with two different companionships. IT WAS AWESOME!! oh my goodness i absolutely loved it! I went to the sisters area. They were having a really hard time and all of their investigators were dropped in the last week and the trainer has only been out for 6 weeks and they were so stressed! But it was amazing. I have never felt the spirit work through me so strongly before. One sister would ask a question and then all of a sudden my hands would be flipping through PMG and then I would share a story or a quote or something and i literally was like how are these things coming into my mind!! IT WAS ALL THE SPIRIT and i just sat back and watched! it was such an amazing experience.
Okay so we had a really good Sunday! we had 2 investigators at church!! that is really hard for us. We have investigators that read the BOM and pray but wont go to church....it is the hardest commitment for us right now!! But we had two!! one is a 17 year old boy! the missionaries have been working with his family for over a year. The whole family wants to be baptized but the mom is legit like no. she is super nice and loves the missionaries but she has a problem with churches in general so it is really difficult. But the boy came!! and it was awesome and he loved church and wants to come very week and he was in a shirt and tie and we were just so happy!!!!! Also, e*** came with her 3 kids. it was awesome except in class she told us she wants to wait to get baptized because she wants to wait for her husband to be on board.... here's the problem.. the husband wants nothing to do with church!! but it is really sweet because she just wants him to know how good this gospel is and how much it is helping her and the kids. Hopefully he will be able to recognize that sooner than letter!! She is golden and her kids are adorable and loved primary! it was a great Sunday!
We had noche hispana friday aka the best night of the entire year!!!!! so two wards get together and everyone brings clothes and pictures and trinkets and best of all FOOD from their countries and it is amazing!!!!!!! and we ate so much good food and then there was a talent show and the youth from our ward preformed a couple numbers of this Mexican dance and they all looked so beautiful and i LOVED IT! and they filled up the entire cultural hall there were so many people there! and a less active came and it was incredible!! We had such a good time!
OKAY listen to this miracle. One night we were in the car and we parked and this big scary dog ran out of the apartment so we jumped back in the car and sat there until the dog left. it was legit scary! and then we were just sitting there and we were like okay lets go out and work but then we both felt like we needed to suit in the car and we were like no this is lazy what are we doing so we waited for like 3 minutes just sitting there and then A LESS ACTIVE WHO WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND FOR WEEKS WALKED AROUND THE CORNER! it was a miracle we jumped out of the car and ran up to her and she invited us in and she has 4 kids and they aren't baptized and we taught a lesson and it was incredible!!! we are coming back next week! I love being a missionary!!! I can see the Lord's hand so much in this work,. I feel blessed to be here a serving the Lord!
there is a quote we heard in relief society this week i want to share from Lorenzo Snow "The thought that I am between four and five thousand miles from the home of my childhood and all of my early, fond associations, very naturally prompts the question, why am i here? I am here because God has spoken, and raised up a Prophet, through who He has restored the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, with all its gifts, powers, ordinances, and blessings; with a proclamation to all peoples 'Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.' In the providence of God I have been called as an ambassador, to bear this message to the nations of the earth, which i realize devolves on me a great responsibility which I cannot discharge without the aid of the Almighty." O love that quote!! and i love all of you so much!!! Keep reading your scriptures and saying your prayers. We cant do this alone, we need the Lord with us! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH
CON MUCHISIMO AMOR,
HELLO EVERYONE I LITERALLY DONT KNOW WHERE TO START. WAIT UNTIL YOU GET TO THE END OF THE EMAIL YOU WILL DIE.OKAY investigators first.so we have found 4 families!!! and i am dying and there was this cute lady walking with her three kids on the side of the road and she was Latina and in our area so we like slam on the brakes and pull over and get out of the car. she was probably scared for her safety lol we started talking with her and she goes to church but said we come share a message and we have had two lessons with her and her kids and she has a baptismal date!!!! yes it is amazing she is just like yup i like this and her kids want to go to primary and the only issue is the dad he doesn't even come out of the room when we are over there and so we have to work on that but the other day the 6 year old girl said. can i learn how to pray and we were like of course you little angel!! she was so cute!! and the mom prays every time we are over there and i love prayers!!!!we went over for dinner at a member's house and her nephew was there. he just got out of prison and he starts telling us how he was in prison for a year and a half and he decided in prison that he wanted change in his life. so when he got out he decided to leave everything in his old life behind and start again and so he wanted to learn about the church of his aunt (Aka the member who we had dinner with) and so we had the first lesson with him!! and he is just soooo amazing! he is timid but he wants change in his life and he knows god is the way to get there.. it is amazing! we can see the desire to change in him and it is such a blessing.okay this one is the craziest!!! so we have been meeting with b** for like 2 or 3 weeks and he goes to church every week for all 3 hours and he prays and reads the scriptures and he is basically a member EXCEPT he said he has prayed to God but hasn't received that answer that this is the way to go. and he doesn't want to commit to baptism. so we had a GREAT lesson with him last Monday and we read in 2 Nephi 31 and we talked about having the faith to take steps (like baptism) and then our faith will grow more but we have to act and not just sit and wait for an answer and i copied something mik said in her email about a story in the bible with Jesus and the disciples about faith and asked him "what would the savior think of our faith?" (thanks mik i owe you!))) and he loved that and we just had a great lesson and so then we asked him to be baptized..again.. and he was like well no. i don't know enough and so then my companion says. B** pray right now if this is the path for you and if you need to get baptized and i am looking at her like what in the world are you doing?!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm like oh no he isn't going to receive an answer and this is going to be awk. but he said okay so we all bowed our heads and we al prayed silently. i've never prayed so earnestly in my life!!! i was juts like please pleasssseeee give him an answer!!!!!!!! and it was like legit 6 minutes and i was dying and then all of a sudden he looked up and i could just see it in his eyes. HE GOT HIS ANSWER and he said. i feel warm. did someone turn up the heat?!!! lololol it was so cute and he was just in shock and he said. wow. i got my answer. and then we set a baptismal date and it was literally the most spiritual experience in my life! it was amazing! GOD answered him. right then and there. what an amazing experience.okay so conference was amazing!! i loved it!!!!! Sunday morning was my favorite!!! and the music in all of the sessions was BEAUTFIL!! seriously every one was amazing. also you know how we can always find someone that sings like Jim sheet?!! there was one in the choir this time I SAW HIM! i was dying laughing it was awesomeokay crazy how there were 58500 before the announcement (missionaries) and now there are 80000!! Like what?!! crazy cool!!!it was so cool how everything was about missionary work. seriously everything. and every prayer blessed the missionaries. that was so sweet to recognize. that gives me so much comfort. i know members are so important in missionary work!!read or watch if you didn't see Ballard's talk on Saturday! it was amazing family do the challenge please!!!here are some things i likeddoubt your doubts before you doubt your faith-uchtdorf.an apostle said is there a safe place to raise your children in this awful world?? answer: yes in a Christ centered homea member of the 70 was talking about how people sometimes want hard evidence of the truthfulness of this gospel and he said that we are the hard evidence. our testimonies our faith our example are the hard evidence I LOVED THAT!they talked about how decisions help determine our eternity. i liked that a lot too
okay here is the craziest thing..... it is transfers this week1!!! so we were freaking out obvi. and then the president called us and we were like oh no.... i'm training and i was going to die!!!! so he called us and asked us to be Sister Training Leaders!!!! the new calling for sister missionaries! i'm like what?!!! i don't know Spanish or even how to be a missionary!!!!! a sister training leader is like a zone leader kind of. like we split up our companionship and we go on splits. and help the other sister missionaries and train them and go to lessons together and its for 24 hours like once a week!. that's a lot of time away from my area. sometimes i go to their area and my comp stays here with different sets of sisters in our area or vice versa... i can't believe it. its crazy the president was like sister ricks you are the youngest (in the mission) that we have ever had in this position but we know you can do it.... I'm like WHAT?!! I'm so excited for this opportunity. I'm freaking out but I am so excited. i know i will learn so much from the other sisters and to be trusted with this responsibility is such a blessing. I am so excited for this transfer we have so much work to do (we are staying in the same areas thank goodness!) and i am so excited to have this calling. i love being a missionary. it is hard. like really hard. but every day i am learning more and more how to rely on the Lord and trust in Him and that is making all the difference! I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!!!!!
okay hello everyone!!!!! this week was amazing so remeber last week when i thought we were keeping both the english ward and the spanish branch?!! well we found out the day of transfers that we just keep the spanish branch tierra rica!!it was really sad!! but its okay becuase we are still in the same area so we didn't have to move or anything!! now we have enough missionaries to have 2 spanish zones!!! it is so cool! this will be really good for my spanish becuase every meeting will be in Spanish!! I'm really excited!! we were sad to lose our investigator with a baptismal date but we are still in the area so we can still see him at church and go visit him! we were challenged by our mission president to read preach my gospel all the way through, this transfer!! what a great challenge!! family, i encourage you to do this as well!!! there is so much good stuff in PMG who knew??!! its super helpful for all member of the church! READ IT LOVE IT TAKE NOTES!okay so the mission now is officially on Facebook! they had a training and even the Elders now have facebook. We are asked to spend an hour a day on Facebook to proselyte!! it is soo cool at first i was like is this really going to help?? but here is what i've dicscovered. going through and hiding or deleting old pictures was like really refreshing and i felt like i was becoming even more focused. it was a really cool feeling. in the training one of the zone leaders said that it is like making an outward commitment to be inwardly committed to our Heavenly Father! i loved that. so i had to go through and hide everything (not delete just hide so people on facecook can't see) and now we can start preaching the gospel online!! we are encouraged to focus on specific people so if we are teachign a family maybe one day i'll post the family proclomation to the world on my page! its AWESOME and they see it and one day my comp did this and the person we wanted to see saw it and reposted it!! it was like exactly what the brethern wanted to happen! it was so cool!
we also had our first lesson over skype! there is this one teenage girl and it is really hard to meet with her becuase her house is legit chaotic and so its hard to get everyoone focussed but then we had a skype lesson so she just went into her room and put her earphones in and we had this incredible lesson!! it was so cool and the spirirt was so strong and i was like wow. i understand why the Bretheren are implementing these internet tools
Monday, September 30, 2013
We had the primary program this last sunday and it was so cute and I kept expecting to see dad and Madi up there making faces or somehting! this little crazy kid ran up to a microphone during the program and yelled boo!! lolo it was so funny! we had an activity with the primary about being a missionary! and they all had missionary tags and it was so cute and then this little girl came up and said I want to be just like you guys and be a sister missionary and I died a little bit inside because she was so cute!! we talked and practiced how to share a book of mormon or a primary song with a friend from school! it was awesome!
So we had a miracle last week! last monday we had an appt. at the visitors center to watch the joseph smith movie with an investigator. we couldn't reach him all day and we were really worried he wasnt coming. we called and his wife said he isn't coming. I was on the phone and I was like look, we made the appt. we would love it if he could be there and we will be there waiting. she said well don't get your hopes up and then hung up. we said we need to pray. so we knelt down and prayd then left to the visitors center and then guess what? 10 minutes later HE CALLED AND ASKED FOR DIRECTIONS AND HE CAM E AND FELT THE SPIRIRT SO STRONG AND LOVED THE MOVIE! it was amazing and truly testified of the power of prayer! how cool right?! he asked us why js had to die when he was doing so many good thigns for God. I've been thinkg a lo tabout that question. He was willing to give his life for the truth, for this gospel, much like Jesus Christ. It makes me think, what are we willing to give?
We went to 24 referrals this week and now we are taching two new families!! it is so awesome! we've only had one lesson so far so more on them next week but things are going really well with our other investigators as well!
Another miracle: we saw this man walk into his aprtment and he was hispanic and I was like let's go let's go, so we got out of the car ran over and talked to him! we had our first lesson with him last night and he already read the first chapter of the bom and the witnesses testimony, and the intro and we are just like he is so prepared and we are so lucky!! i love this area so much! we have members at almost every lesson because these members are sooo missionary minded and so willing to help! it is incredible!!
I went to the temple and it is gorgeous! omgoodness the inside is incredible!! i love it!! it was great!
EVERYONE PREPARE FOR CONFERENCE. my challenge for the week is to prepare a question in your mind and then write it down. then look for answers for the question in general conference. the lord will answer your question!! i know it! pay attention these are men of god and they are just so cute and i just love them so much!!!!!!
also this week i said "yo no oro", instead of "yo no lloro". The difference is that i meant to say i don't cry! and i actually said i don't pray becuase of the pronunciation... yes this dear family got a kick out of that one!!!! oops it comes with the learning right? I had a minor breakdwon yesterday because i just want to know everything about spanish all the time!!! I know this desire will help me grow. I am learning so much and i have to remember poco a poca. little by little and i will come to know. I am learning even ,more to trust and rely on the lord with all my heart! i am so grateful for this opportunity. i love you all so much and miss you like crazy but i am so happy to be here!!!!! Have a good conference weekend!! i love you all!!!!
ps last thing we talked in zone conference about the atonement and watched a video from president holland. he said, "this work isn't easy becuase salvation isn't cheap. he said that christ suffered so much, why would it be that we would be greater than him? and think we wouldn't have to suffer or work hard at all?? working hard and suffering helps us become more like Christ. This work isn't easy becuase the road to salvation isn't easy, LOOK IT UP IT IS SO GOOD! i love you all so much
Thursday, September 26, 2013
HOLA MI AMORES!!!!! umm so I literally can't believe it is Monday already.... its like where in the mundo did this week go?!! I'm serious. CRAY! and guess what GENERAL CONFERENCE IS COMING UP and it is like woah last year this time my life changed FOREVER becuase they released the announcement and just look at all the missionaries and all the people prepared and it is like WE ARE IN AN AWESOME TIME and i am using caps a lot and i am just so esxcited all the time.... so yeah! okay well first of all WHERE HAS MY BROTHER GONE?!! DIllON!! My only brother WRITE ME about your life!!!! i love you but every week i dont get a letter i give madi permission to attack/punch/hurt you okay??? okay!
So this week was reallt good just like every week here! and guess what?? the weather is cooling down!! yes the weather is perfect and now that i got that out of the way let me tell you about this amazing investigator. He is incredible!!! he is so perfect and just wants to learn so mcuh about the gospel and the memebers are amazing fellowshippers and he said that every time my companion and i walk into the room he feels happy and a light and the spirit. and im pretty sure he is just confused becase we open the door and the AZ sun shines through lololol but he is so sweet and he has gone to churhc every week for like the past 6 weeks! we are going to the visitors center this week to watch joseph smith movie. Also who knew that the visitor centers were so cool??!!! we use them allll the time!! it is such a good missionary tool! you have the whole theater to yourself and watch the movie and they just feel the spirit so strong because we are on templ grounds and it is just amazing! and i am so grateful to have that resource here!! So he prayed for us yesterday!! he was super worried about praying in front of people because he didnt think he would do it right but we told him no prayer was a bad prayer and that it is just a conversation with God and then he jsut shut his eyes real quick and started and it was amzing!!! and incredible and it was so humble and perfect and i just felt God smiling down on him!! and it was so cool!!!!!
So we though a meeting was two hours before it actually was and we met a member who has a red barn that is nrar the church and he said we could go look at it one day so we did on thursday and we went to this house just guessing that it was his and then this cute little latina lady answered the door and she speaks spanish and she said she was catjolic but let us into her home anyways and WE TAUGHT THE RESTORATION and it was just like woah and she wants us to come back this week! so we are going to and how weird but perfect is that?/1!! the Lord just puts amazing people in our paths and we are so blessed to find them!! and
i need allergy medicine because it is death dry here and i am apparently really allergic to cacti because that is legitamely the only plant here. ill buy some today! and i still havent seen a scorpian yet so that is upsetting but anyways
we had exchanges this week and that was fun to meet with some other sisters and learn from them!! they are in apache junction and it is a little sketch and we were in the neightborhood and liek 4 police cars pulled up and said girl what are you doing here sand then we explained and then they were like this isnt safe for youg girls get out of here!! so that was intense lol
We have been blessed with the knowledge of this restored gospel. Every time I think about that, it truly amazes me. We are so blessed to have the preisthood in our lives. The priesthood is missing in so many peoples lives. What a blessing we have. It brings so much comfort to me to know that I have a loving Heavenly Father and that he is there to help us succeed never to fail. We must put all of our trust in Him.
So my love for the scripture has grown sooo much on my mission!! like there is so much good stuff in them!!! i literally mark EVERYTHING! thereis so much on misisonary work and it is sooo cool because i am a msisionary and you all are missionaries even if you dont have a tag so read the scriptures!! i really like the chapter 7 of Moroni. i read that this week and it was really amazing and i loved it! Family, are you still reading togeter and individually?? PLEASE DO IT!!! it will help you so much. we tell our investigators if you read 1 verse a day because that is all you can do. the Lord will bless you. I know this. He will bless you. I have witnessed it in my life and the life of these awesome people here. I am so grateful to be on a mission and i hope to come closer to Christ each day I am learning more. I love you all so much and i knwo the Savior loves us.
OMG THIS WEEK!!!!!! i literally don't know where to start.... i think i say that every week.. first of all I LOVE YOU ALL and I'm so jealous that you, my dear family, got to eat with sharks and whales and sea creatures but guess what you should be jealous of what I am doing!!! becasue this work IS AWESOME and i love it and i am so glad I'm here. although the ocean does sound reallllly nice! anyways ummm I'll start with this crazy expereice. so there is this lady that comes to the church building to find us the new sister missionaries. she finds us and starts talking to my companion. then a memeber of the ward pulls me over and says sister ricks, be careful with that lady. He said that she beleives in this church but testifies that thomas s monson is not a prophet of God. one day in relief society she bore this crazy awful "testimony" about how he isn't a prophet. all of the ladies were crying and yeah it was no bueno. so he told us to be careful, so did the bishop and so did the old elders. They said she was harmless but just be careful. so we take a member with us and we go to her house for an apointment one night because she wanted us to teach her granddaughter. we showed up a little late but called and apologized and explained we were on our way from different lesson. so we meet her granddaughter and we start teaching and then we are there for like 40 minutes and we needed to go so we said okay thank you we have antoher appointment we need to go and then SHE WENT OFF. like seriously she started screaming at us! (IN SPANISH which is wayyyyy scary btw) and she is telling us how we are not disciuples of jesus christ and the prophet isn't thomas s monson and so then the member steps in and says we need to go and she says no you need to go! and she told the memeber to leave because she just wanted us missionaries to be there alone with her, at this point the spirirt was telling us to get the heck out of there! so we stood up to leave and SHE BLOCKS THE DOOR! she literally wouldn't let us leave and just kept screaming and talking about how we needed to answer to the justice of god and we weren't disciples of jesus christ and it WAS SO SCARY!!!!! we finally made it out of the house and we all start bawling!!! the member was just holding us and it was the saddest/scariest thing i have ever felt!!! and then we went over to the brazilians (just got baptized) and they just started hugging us and telling us about their day and what they read in the scriptures and then the dad prayed and it was just like WHO WOULDNT YOU WANT THE GOSPEL IN YOUR LIVES because the spirt was so differenty in their home then the crazy lady's home. We talked to the bishop and they took some action i am not sure what but yeah... #thelordprotectsus #itswascray. but serisouly i am so glad we have the spirit of god with us. and good spirt. ahhh it was intense anyways WE HAD THE BAPTISM THIS WEEK! ohh it was an expereince i will never forget! they were so prepared and so nervous and so cute and i will send pictures and i love them!! i led the music and just to look out and see all the members who had played a part it made me realize how important members are. When you see a new person in the ward, please make an effort to visit with them. each of our investigaotrs talk about how nmuch they feel the fellowship from the ward. it make such a HUGE difference when they feel welcomed! We had brazilian food at a memeber house afterwards it was DELICIOUS and i am pretty sure i ate a pigs eyeball...im not sure but it was soooo goood! i love mexican and south american food! and everyone makes fun of me because my face turns red all the time but you know what red is a good color on me lololol and the members try to talk about me in spanish really quickly so i wont know what they are saying and they think it is hillarious! and so i am tryning really hard to understand and become fluent in fast spanish... lololol we had an awesome lesson with a man named he is awesome and he feels like there is something missing in his life and he knows it is church realted and we are like here let us teach you and we taught him last night and he loved it and felt the spirit so strong and he said he likes the way we pray and that he wants to pray like that so he did and he literally asked for a book of mormon and so we taught him and he is so amazing!!!! and there is another man who wants to change his life for the better and he thinks this is the way and it is such a testament that the Lord knows us indviually because he knows and prepared people for us to teach, i KNOW i was called here to help be an instrument in the Lords hand and help these people!!! THEY ARE AMAZING and want me to become a better pesrson for them and I am so blessed to be here and to be a part of this incredible time in the church. I love this gospel and each day i love it even more. The days are rollercoasters with good bad and scary but by the end of the day i can't wait to wake up the next morning and do it again!!! my favorite scripture this week was one my friend pointed out to me at the MTC. it is DC 6: 34 and 36. it is so great!!! i love it for so many reasons! we need only to trust and rely on the lord and then we won't need to fear. I know this is true and i love it. AND I LOVE ALL OF YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!
hermana ricks akakakakaa JESSSSSS