Tuesday, October 22, 2013


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!  

Monday October 21, 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
hermana Ricks

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Monday, October 7, 2013

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 awesome
okay 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 liked
doubt 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 home
a 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!!!!!!!

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Monday October 14, 2013

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
so we also day trained this week!! that is where people come from the MTC and a companionship takes that missionary out for the day and she sleeps in our house that night and then she find out who her comp is the next day! it was way fun! its like the first experience of a real mission so it is was awesome that we could do it!
okay we had a really good week!! we met more with that cute little lady we found on the street walking with her children! they came to the visitors center and we watched the Jospeh Smith movie. (each time I see that movie my testimony of Joseph Smith grows so much! every person is so surprised about the hard things he went through! it strengthens my testimony so much. He suffered so much for this gospel because he knew it was the gospel of Jesus Christ. What an amazing example for us!) anyway, her kids loved it and then we walked around the temple and they were like la casa del senor! which means the house of the Lord and i was like  YOU LITTLE ANGEL CHILDREN I LOVE YOU!! they were precious! they didn't come to church this week and we thought for sure they were going to so that was hard but i know they will come next week!!
we had the most amazing sacrament meeting EVER! okay so the brazilian family... THEY JUST KEEP AMAZING ME!! so the dad got the priesthood this week and he blessed the sacrament!! and he is so shy so this was a big deal and he did it in Portuguese and it was perfect!! well i dont know if it was perfect because i dont speak portuguesse but it felt so perfect and i was so happy!! and he kept looking over at us like rolling his eyes like why am i up here i am so scared!@@ ahhah it was awesome and then it was fast and testimony meeting and it was really good and then all of a sudden the wife got up to bear her testimony and i was like what in the world who are these amazing people!?!!!!!! she explained this expereince she had this week so before conference she prayed to learn more about the holy ghost. but she was really sad becuase during conference she didn't feel like the talks were for her. like no one answered her questions so she was really sad. she loved the talks but they didn't answer anything for her and then the next day this lady from across the street came over to her house. the lady only speaks english but is a member of the church. she showed up at the brazilians house with a transalator and said i felt like i needed to come over here and talk to you about the spirit!!!!!!!! WHAT?!!!!! YEAH i know its amazing!! she then bore her testimony about how the Lord answers our prayers and how she loves this gospel and she knows it is true and i was just literally in shock the whole time because she was so amazing and i just love that family!!!!
so it was an amazing week and i love this gospel!! when i see these people's faith grow it makes my testimony grow so much!! they are amazing examples and i just want to tell everyone about this gospel because i can see the happiness in my life and in the lives of these investigators!! i love it and i love you all!!!!! keep saying your prayers and reading the scriptures. these little things will make such a difference in your daily life. and like one of the apostles said in conference each decision you make will determine your eternity. i love you all so much and miss you like crazy!!!!
tenga una buena semana!
con mucho mucho muchooo amor,
hermana Ricks

Monday, September 30, 2013

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
hermana ricks

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Monday September 23, 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.

Monday September 16, 2013

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monday September 9, 2013

HI!! so mission life is crazy! someone asked me the other day how are you adjusting to mission life?? here is the thing!!! YOU DONT HAVE TIME TO ADJUST!!! you just jump in head first and GO! ahahah it awesome! serisouly it is incredbile. and i love it. the family we are teaching is sersiosuly golden. I am so grateful for them. They are amazing. they asked the other day if they could start paying tithing before they were baptized. LIKE WHAT??!! hi they are incredible! and the baptism is saturday and all in portugeusse! serisouly i am amzed every day when we teach them and we can communicate in two different languages. and there is a big party from the ward after and the ward members are amazing! serisouly amazing. they are so so special. i had know idea how important members are in missionary work.  and we are so blessed to have them! they cook us brazialian food which is definietley a plus!! lololol i exersize every mornng. i promise!! lololol another family the oldest sister got baptized and she wants her 10 year old twins to learn the gospel so we are teaching them and they came to church and they told us how the three of them prayed together and the girl said she felt the spirit and the boy cried and it is just like wow the gospel is amazing #itsalltrue and i love all of these people! that is the spansih branch tierra rica. now for the english ward it is just amazing as well! it is hard to balance spanish and ennglish ward and to balance members and investigators! it is hard but it is amazing and we are always working and i am always tired but i love it and it is so amazing! anyways the english ward this guy was being taught but not much happened with the elders but we have had really good lessons with him and HE CAME TO CHURCH! it was sersioulsy a miracle! he said he was scared but by the end of scarament meeting he said he wasnt scared anymore! it was so cute. he is this old man who wears shorts and unbottoned shirts lolol it is awesome! we are teaching another and he promised to go to church but he didnt. we were super bummed! we thought for sure he was going to go. we even went and knocked on his door in the morning but he didnt come. hopefully next week!  we are teaching a few others but this was a really awesome week and i am learning so  much! spanish is hard but everyone is so patient with me and i just serisoulsy have so much love and gratitude in  my heart all the time. ahh i miss you guys but i love doing this!! thank you for your prayers and i love you all

Monday September 2, 2013

Ok, so I totally apologize!!!!  I know there are a few of you who are following this blog, and I just realized I haven't posted that past couple of weeks!  I truly apologize!!!!  I am going to get things caught up! 
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!! sersiouly it is incredible.... it is also the hardest thing i have ever done in my life!!!! you need 4 lifetimes of training to be ready for a mission!!! seriosuly physically, mentally, spiritually and mentally draining. but i love every second of it. It is amazing to see the change of people's lives because they are coming unto Christ. I am so blessed to be able to witness the change. okay um where do i start?? UMM i am back in the USA! oh man did i miss it.... i am going to get a hamburger today,, I AM SO EXCITED! OKAY MY MISSION president and his wife are awesome!! they picked us up and let the girls sleep in the mission home! it was so cuet and they are so sweet and just love us so  much! the first day we didn't have anywhere to live!! it was so funny we were supposed to live in a members home but when we called they said umm./.. nope we dont have missionaries living here with us anymore! ahah soo for the whole day we were homeless but they got us an aprtment a little outisde our area but the apartment is so nuce!!! like seriously and we have a gym! so we go down and use that daily! it is beautiful and called the polo club. So my companion is AWESOME!!! she is from Honduras! and is this cute little beautiful thing! i will send pictures later. I had peolel tell me ohh you are going to work hard together!! and it is true we work soo hard and i love it!! i got really lucky!! She speaks perfect english but we only speak spanish together to help me practice and has been out for a year! I seriously love her! we work so well thus far together! so we white washed this area! that means that we are both brand new to the area! it is so difficlut because we want to meet all the memebers but focus on the investigators and there are serisouly soo not enough hours in the day!!! so something crazy she works at the visitors center and she got appointed like two weeks ago as like the ap for the visitors center but then president jenkins called her in and said i need to release you from that position. (usually you are in the position for like months!) he said that she needed to be a trainer and that the work that she and her new companion were going to do was so important and he was so impressed to change her calling. ISNT THAT INCREDIBLE!! how cool is that?? we were serisouly meant to be together for whatever reason and to help change peoples lives. It was so cool to hear her tell me that story and then president walked over to us later the afternoon and talked to us privately and said  yup we are going to do some amazing things. ahh it was so cool!!!! I AM LOVEING IT! it is incredible to watch people change their lives because they know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ! it is such a testimony builder to me. I have been so strengthened being here for only a few days. okay so first of all the memeber are awesome!! like serisouly so strong and love the missinoaries and just want to help us and it is surrel. Having member present during lessons are so incerdible. it helps so much! the lady you saw yesterday mom her dad was the first person baptized in the Domincan Republic!! crazy right?!! her family is awesome and she is the relief society president.  we are covering one spansh bransh and one english ward!! soemtimes when i am asked to pray in english i forget how to do so!! ahahah it is an awesome thing! I love it because i have never been able to teach in my native language and that is really cool to struggle and work hard to listen to the spirirt and figure out what to say in the right language! I love it! the sacraments are seperate but the classes and priamry are toegether so we are at church for about 5 hours on sunday! i survuved it on fast sunday so i am not too worried about the rest of the sundays! lololololol we bore our testimonies in both wards for sacrament and it was so amazing to look out at all of these opeople who have so much love in their eyes for us! it is an amazingly special and rewarding and diginified and incredible calling to be a misisonary. Especially when people drive by us and honk and wave because they know who we are!!! also i am in a car:) it is seriously such a  blessing and i am driving because my comanera is from honduras!! it is so lucky and we are so blessed to have a car! okay now most importantly. our investigators. literally i can say is wow. So we learn about this one family who have a baptismal date on the 14!!! they just committed the sunday before we got here! its a family of four dad mom a 10 year old girl and a two year old girl . want to know the crazieast part THEY DONT SPEAK ENGLISHOR SPANISH ONLY PORTUGUESSE!!! yup! how do we teach them considering i barely know spanish and neither of us know portuguesse?!! ITS THE LORD!! im serious its incredbile. SO they can understand most spanish becuase it is pretty close and it is amazing because we can understand their potugeuess.. THIS IS TWO DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AND WE CAN COMMUNICATE. serisouly incredible. I am so grateful for the lord and the gift of tongues. you guys... this family is amazing. They have so many questions and they are great questions and they just want to learn all about the gospel. They are the sweetest people i have ever met! The mom loves to fed us even if we have already had dinner!! it is the culture! she is like sad when we don't eat and we are so greatful!! it is always the best food!!! ever!!! the dad always wants to kiss us on the cheeks but we can't let him do that!!ahahahah it is so funny so now he shakes our hands he jokingly stands far away from us!! ahah it is so hillarious!! i love them so much and they come to church every week and are seriously golden amazing and a great example to me! the other night we were walking into an apartment complex and we were late and had another apt. cancel and it was this crazy turn of events. We walk by these two men who were drinking beer and they called us over. we went over and the guy says i am a christian but i know i shouldn't drink beer, why?? UM HELLO!! can you say perfect!! we have a lesson with him later! and it is so amazing to see the lords hand in his work. I am so in love with these people ansd this work and i can't believe how much my testimony has grown. The people here are teaching me. and i am so grateful for that. I love them and i love the iord and i love you guys so mcuh and miss you but i am so happy i am here!!
love jess

Thursday, August 29, 2013


HOLA! Este es mi ultima noche in el CCM!!! Esta muy loco y estoy muy animada pero nerviosa tambien!!! Well this week was crazy!! so umm where do i start?? oh i have kind of a parasite! well here is the thing. three girls around me got a parastie and i was suoper like stay in bed all day sick on wednesday and so i went to the doctor and there is no sign of a parastie but all the symptoms and the other results of my stool sample indicate that i have a parastie so i am on antibiotics! anyways besides a bloated tummy and uncomfortableness and a little more time in the bathroom than i am used to.... i am fine!!! basically I AM SO GLA I AM GOING BACK TO THE STATES"!!!!! LIKE SERIOSULY I MISS PEANUT BUTTER AND HAMBURGERS AND NOT TO HAVE COCKRAOCHES IN THE BEANS. yes that happened this week. A COCKROACH WAS FOUNFD IN THE BEANS!!! yup.... maybe that is where the almost parasite came from..... lololol so that was absolutely gross but despite that I have serisouly loved Mexico i would  Never trade the expereinces here for anything else in the world. anyways  this week was a roller coaster of emotions. First of all,, on the devotional on tuesday night i had to lead the musci. for the entire CCM. we had a specail speaker (it was AWESOME!!) and also our boys in the district performed a musical number (the muscial number was ABSOLUTELY INCREDBILE!! they did awesome and it was beautiful. they sang "homeward bound" look it up. it rocks) anyways so they had to sit in the front with us too. the entire time they kept telling me how i was going to mess up on leading the music and whatever. so then i walk up to lead the first song and guess what? i tripped!"!!!!!! yesss lolololo uit was not like fall on your face it was more like a little stumble but the y just started dying laughing  and i a m pretty sure the presidente did as well ,lolol i was dying laughing but anyways I led the song and it went fine but i am still not hearing the end of it"!!!!!! but as i looked out over the crowd when we were singing called to serve (in spanish!) i was just so overwhelmed by what we are doing here. It is incredible to me how many young men and women put their lives on hold to serve the Lord and to bring people unto Christ. It is so cool to me that the Lord trusts us to do so!!!! I am loving a mission. It is by far the hardest thing i have ever done and i know it will just get harder but i am trying to love every second of it!!! Last night alll the people that came the week we did (we are called the third generationers) went to the presidnets house and sand called to serve in spanish to him and his wife. it was so amaazing!!!!! IT WAS SO POWERFUL!! he was crying and you could just tell how much he loved us! his wife told ud later how he had a hard day but that havign us sing to him makes everything he does worth it! it was so inspired and we were so happy to bring them happiness after everything they have done for us! so basically all of these elders are like my brothers and i am sooooo sad to leave them!!!! we had a testimony meeting with our district and our companion district and it was so amazing and sad and i just love them so much!! i love being surrounded by worthy missionaries. IT IS AWESOME!! the spirit is so strong and incredible. Tonight we met together as a last time as a district. we sang God Be with you till we meet again. (in spanishlol) obviosuly we were all bawiling!!!! and then the elders gave us blessings and it was so awesome. They blessed that my family would be comforted and blessed anf i was so grateful to hear that.  I am so grateful for all of the amazing wonderful people that I have met here! We listened to a talk from holland (who is the bomb by the way) and he said that there are angels all around us whether spiritula or temporal and i am convinced that some of the people I met here are angelic. I am so greatful for the time at the CCm. I do not beleive that is has been six weeks but the calendar and my (almost) packed bags say differently! I have learned an grown so much here and will be forever greaful for th people who helped in that growth. My testimony has become strengthened and I know that this gospel is true. I know it because I have changed positively these 6 weeks wayyyy too much for it not to be true. I have grown closer to my Savior and I know that he loves me and knows me as an individual. I am so grateful for what the goespel has brought into my life. I am not gopiong to lie the field seems really scary and really hard and i am really nervous BUT"! i KNOWWW that the Lord and you all are with me every step of the way and that comfort is enough!! i love you guys so much!!
love jess aka hermana ricks
ps CUTE KIDS STARTING SCHOOL!!??' how is that possible that the school year is here again and that i have a junior as a brother and an eigth grader as a sister?!!!! NOT POSSIBLE! ans they are too dang cute!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday August 20, 2013

Hola mi familia y amigos!! Wow this week is officially my last week in the mtc!!! I seriosuly cannot believe it!! remember when i got my call? remember when i decided to serve a mission?? remember when i left for a mission? remember how I AM LEAVING FOR MESA LIKE IN A WEEK?!! anyways.... crazy stuff! there is not much crazy stuff going on here this week! just lots and lots and lots of studying and prep for the field! I am honestly freaking out!! because I feel ready for a change but I am not ready to leave these AMAZING PEOPLE! seriosuly I have made some amazing friends and you immediately bond and become family becauase we are all together for the highs and lows and everything in between! it is amazing! Today we went to the temple again and guess what I COULD UNDERSTAND A LOT IN SPANISH!! yes. all of it is in spanish and I KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON! it is way cool becuase i knew i was progressing but it is still hard to recognize it but when I was at the temple today i saw how much i had grown!! it was so cool!!! now don't get me wrong.... i couldn't understand everything but it was a HUGE step from 4 weeks ago! It is so amazing how true the gift of tongues is!! I can see it so much now! Anyways we had a really really bad lesson with Frances. She straight up was like I think you Mormons aren't going to heaven i am only listening to you because my son is a part of this church and i want to know why. it was hard and we tried to roll with her many many punches but it was hard but guess what? I LOVED IT! because we came back after the lesson and decided what to fix and then taught a good lesson the next day! it was such good practice!! I want to be as prepared as I can when I got into the field so i told the teachers/investigators to be as hard on us as possible. (my companion may not have appreciated that.....lololol) but it is awesome! our other investigators are progressing awesomely.. i don't think that is a word but... it will have to do because i literallty don't know english anymore... sorry. now i am incompotent in 2 languages!! lolol also one of the elders challenged me to take a drop of this imported spicy hot sauce. You know how the ghost chili is the like worst pepper in the world?? well this is 1.2 million times WORSE than that. So i said no right?? well..... that's where my competitiveness comes in. So he starts talking smack how I won't do it and no hermana has done it so I am like FINE! TOMORROW BE THERE AT LUCNCH! ahaha so that was today.. three elders did it before me. and they were all BAWLING LIKE LITTLE BABIES. I was like oh no this is not good... lol if they are crying i'm so in trouble! lolol so it was by turn and he pulls out this bottle... it is wrapped in a paper towel because IT CAN'T TOUCH YOUR SKIN!!! yes. it was that hot!  i had a piece of bread and downed it. I WAS DYING! it was the hottest thing i have ever tasted in my life and all the elders were just dying laughing and my face was bright red tears were streaming down my face it was so hot!!! ahaha it was a great time. even the teachers and the natives came and watched the hermana eat the infamous hot sauce! it was about 3 hours ago and my mouth just stopped hurting lol it wasn't like hot it was like i just ate fire and i am going to be sick hot!! ahaha crazy advenutres at the CCM! RIGHT? but anyways want to know that best part of the week?? on tuesday night it is devotional night and usually we watch reruns of old devos to the mtc in provo but THIS WEEK WAS A LIVE ONE!!! it was the first time ever that a devotionañ from the provo mtc was broadcasted live to other mtcs in other countries! awesome right??!!! so it was richard g scott.. not going to lie I didnt really know who he was but then HE GAVE AN AMSAZING DEVO and i seriously love him!!! He was so in love with the missionaries and tell us how we are prayed for constantly bby the general authorities. It was so amazing to have an apostle of God talk to me. He literally said things that were answers to prayers and things that I didn't even know i needed but I totally did! I don't have time to tell you everyhting but his main focus was prayer. Here are some things that I liked he said... Don't rush your prayer. The lord has given you this gift. don't rush through it. at one point he got really emotional and he stopped and stared at us and said, I am so emotional tonight becuase my wife is here with us (she died a while ago) and he said I just want to thank the lord right now because she is with me. it was so tender and precious and oh my goodness i just fell in love with this old man!!! want to know one of the coolest parts?? he said i want to speak to those of you who are learning a language. this makes things extra difficult i want to blessyou as anapotle with the preisthood of God to leaarn the language. and to have faith and to be hardworking. IT WAS AWESOME!! i am still on a spiritual high! He was absolutey incredible! and he didn't really bless anyother missionaries it was us. the ones learning a language... i was so comforted by that!! someday i will send you all my notes so you guys can see and read the amazing things he said. it was incredible. he told us theat greater faith brings greater character. he said to pray even when you have no desire to pray. and he said that that the Lord calls you to succeed and grow not to fail. All of these things were comforting to me because I have had such a huge testimony of prayer being here. I know that everything that happens that Lord will help me through it. Because you know if everything was easy, we would never need to call on HIm. We would be able to handle everyhting on our own! So I am so grateful for the trials He gives me becuase I know if I trust in Him i will make it through okay! well anyways the devo was awesome! I will send the notes at a different time probably when I am in az! well I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!! also sister greggerson if you are reading this your dear elder serisouly made my week!! ahahah I was laughing so hard and it just was so comforting and a great awesome amazing surprise to hear from you!! Hope you are doing okay with Mike gone! you both are awesome!! well anyways I love you guys so much. Les amo!
hermana ricks

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tuesday August 13, 2013

I can't believe Jessica has been in the MTC for a month.  2 Weeks to go, then it is AZ bound! :-)
HOLA!! wait i'm sorry have I been out on my mission for a whole month?? the answer is YES!!!?'!!!! how is that possible? great question! I promise I just arrived yesterday?!! I cannot believe that in 2 weeks TWO WEEKS!!! I will be out in the "real world". I am SOOO nervous!!! I literally cannot believe it is that close! I am excited and nervous and ahhh I have so many emotions!! the first generation to ever be at this Mexico CCM left today. It was so sad!! they were like our adopted older siblings! they all took care of us when we arrived and it was so sad to watch them leave! the CCM just has this amazing spirit about it. I love every second and am constantly growing and learning! it is awesome!!! So the CCM in brazil and (i forgot but some other one) are overflowed so they are sending them here to Mexico!!! it is going to be so crazy busy and exciting!! It is such an amazing time right now. This has never happened in this vast amount before!!!! the Lord is hastening the work and we get to be apart of it. It amazes me everyday. Also, I am so grateful all the time! I just think we are so blessed to have a loving family and live in America. It amazes me!! Okay so kids sounds like you did an amazing FHE! awesome!! we had a devo last Tuesday about temples from the CCM Presidente. It was so cool and totally tied in with yours!!! He said something that i really liked . He said "many people say that they cant wait to get married in the temple but we should all say I can't wait until we can attend the temple on a regular basis and make it apart of our lives." pretty cool right? I liked that! Oh before I forget I think i can call home sometime when i fly to AZ!   This week we are teaching people in the other district instead of our teachers, and we are being fake investigators! it is awesome to see how it feels to be an investigator! I can see so much better now how they feel! it is such a cool and spiritual experience! Also one of my friends here, hermana warner runs track for byu and she wanted to run one night for gym so I ran with her and I wanted to die. It was so crazy!! I never want to run again! hahaha it was so fun though! okay so coolest experience of the week is..... I TAUGHT WITH THE SPIRIT. okay some of you might be thinking isn't this your fourth week? shouldn't you have done that by now? but it was such an amazing experience i have to share. So I feel the Spirirt in our lessons but I feel like I have a hard time bringing the spirit for the whole lesson! I want to so bad and I am obedient and pray for the spirit all the time  but I could tell I was lacking. My teacher and I had a heart to heart and she told me to read some things in PMG. I did and it was exactly what I needed to hear.!! But I was nervous for our next lesson (yes we teach twice a day now! crazy!!!) So we went out to teach our next lesson and IT WAS AMAZINGLY AWESOME FANTASTIC!!!!! It was so cool. Literally everything I said, I felt the spirit. I was being guided and directed and knowing words and doing these things I never thought was possible! After the lesson, Hermana Maughan just hugged me and was like you have never taught like that before. She said that during the lesson she would look over at me and my face was just glowing. It was an experience like none other. And seriously I was so happy afterwards. I have never felt happiness as strong as that before. I was so amazed and I cant wait to share that happiness with others. Everyone deserves that pure happiness that I felt from the spirit. It was incredible!!!! Also Dad , what the heck about your crash!! STOP DOING THAT!!! hahaha serioulsy though! I thought a broken collarbone meant you were good from crashing for  like 5 years???! lol But i am glad you are okay and I am glad that you still showed everyone what was up at the race! you are a beast and I am amazed at every race you do! anyways Spanish is hard. like really hard. But I am learning so much!!! I love the knowledge I am being blessed with and the ability to just carry on a conversation with people (in very spotty and not grammatically correct but still good) spanish!!! It is so cool! I have learned way more here in four weeks than 4 years of spanish in high school! I loved getting the journal entry! it was so cute and made me giggle about the S.C. thing ;) It was awesome! Well I cant think of much more to write each week keeps getting better and better and I am learning so much!!Tonight there is going to be a devo from some general authority broadcasted from provo and I cant wait to find out who and what it is all about!! it will be awesome i am sure of it!!! Well I love you all so very much and I still love every email and lettter I get!!!! I am so grateful for such a wonderful support in my family and friends and I am so grateful for all of you! Te quiero mucho! y yo se jesucristo es mi salvador. Nos ama. Estoy muy agradecido por este oportunidad. y estoy agredecido ser una misionera de Jesucristo por su evangelio. Te quiero much! y en el nomber de jesucristo amen. Pues Te quiero mucho!!!! Y CHAO!!!!  okay love you all so much!!!
hermana ricks
aka jess :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday August 6, 2013

OK, so I haven't figured out how to post the pictures Jessica has sent.  Unfortunately I can't just copy and paste.  I will keep trying.  Until then, here is this week's email from our darling Jessica! 
HOLA!!! what did your favorite missionary get in trouble for this week you might ask?? DANCING! the native girls (who left on monday because they are only here for 2 weeks! soooo terribly sad!) wanted to know how to do some American dance moves! lol so we showed them the stanky leg, jerking, and the bernie (dill and madi can give you demonstrations.) they are not inappropriate at all but a teach came up to us and said "is that how a representative of the Lord would dance?) we agreed no. and ceased in our demonstration! we all got a good laugh about it! well this was a roller coaster of a week!!! i got my first wave of homeseickness!!!! yes, MADISON IT ISYOUR FAULT! so, i got madis letter before anyone elses. and i started to read it like 10 min before we were supposed to teach a (fake) investigator. and she said ADORABLE THINGS AND I LOVE HER and so yes i started to tear up! then we sang I Need Thee Every hour and that was just unfortunate because of course, I needed Him right then and there. so more tears came. all the elders were like what the heck? hermana ricks you are the one girl here who doesnt cry! i tried to cover it but it didnt work BUT i put my game face on and we went out to teach that investigator! then like 3 minutes into the lesson. MY COMPANION STARTED BAWILING!! i am like no?? are you serious right now? hold yourslef together!!!!! lololol so the teacher (faking investigotr) says um lets stop. so we do and he asks my companion if she is okay and they get sorted out and she just has such a tender heart it was way cool how he helped her and then he says Hermana Ricks are you okay?? then guess what I STARTED BAWILING!!! yup. it happened. right there. with the teacher\investigator. he was awesome and gave us different scriptures to read for some homework and then we just talked for 20 minutes instead of teaching. looking back it was kind of funny but so awful! lol like how did that happen??!! hahaa i guess we just needed to hear his words becuase after that we were totally better. But I love getting everyones letters and emails!! they seriosuly help me get through every day and every week! everyone in my district it super jealous becuase I get at least one letter a day! Mom thanks for emailing my letters from friends!! you are seriosuly the best. i have the best and most wonderful family and friends EVER! i am convinced. I am so grateful. Someone saud Sunday that she was never planning on serving a mission (much like me) but now that  she is one her mission she can look back and see how every person and event in her life helped her get to this point to be a missiomary. I totally agree. every thing in my life has guided me to this point and I love every second of it! so having that little homesick sesh ended up being a good thing. last week my companerawas sick.SO we just stayed at the house the whole day. (she is fine now and i keep washing my hands. honestly). then I hear this girl bawiling in the house. so i go and check in. She was homesick! and wanted to literally leave the mission- she was here for 2 weeks. so I shared my expereience with her and gave her scripstures to read and we just talked about our awesome families. and it was way cool becuase she really needed that and I had just experienced it! way cool! ao people here call me Hermana Manzana which means apple becuase i eat AT LEAST one apple every meal! the fruit here is so good!! watermelon and cantelope and pears and ALL DELICIOUS! so awesome. i love fruit. also i got locked in a bathroom this week!! the stall went all crazy on me and my companera had to climb underneath to help me break out! hilarious stuff!!! oh so i fogot to tell you guys that there are gunshots and firecrackers like all the time!!! it is awful!!! and whenever we ask the teachers what the noises are they get super sketchy and are liek ummm... its mexico dont ask questions lol!!! crazy! so Rosa our other investigator took a BOM! we are going to talk about the atonement next becasue we can tell that she feels guilty about something and we want to help her overcome that guillt. hopefully it goes well! so i have homewrok for you dear family! Mom this scripture I read whenever I am feeling overwhwelmed or frustrated. D&C 121:17-18.Daddy this is like top 5 favortie scripture and you get it! im sure you have it memorized or something! :) 2 Nephi 11:7 Dillon: i love this one!!! its like look little boys get up and be MEN!! it reminds me of something Holland or Daddy would say 2 Nephi 1:21 and 23 Madison this is also in my top 5 favortie verses!!! its is awesome! Moroni 7:48!! I love the verses you guys shared last week in family scripture study they were awesome ones! I love you guys and I feel like you def needed to be in stockton to help Derek make a major decesion in his life. You guys 100% needed to be there. but now you dont so MOVE! ahahaha jk the Lord has it all figured out and we just have to trust him! that is a mojor thing I learned trust in the Lord!! I am certainly relying on him way more than I ever have in my entire life! I love the Savior and all the blessings he gives to us!! Yo se que Jesucristo es mi salvador y nos amo. te quiere el mejor por nos. welll thats all I have time for... i will bear you more of my testimony in spanish sometime soon! i StilL LOVE it here!!! and I am so grateful for this opprotunity!!! I love you all and am so grateful for you support and prayers. you all are in my prayers constantly!! I LVOE YOU!!!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday July 30, 2013

Here is this weeks update!  Jessica sounds so happy!  That makes us happy!  She sent some pictures, so I hope I can figure out how to post them so they are the right direction :-).  Keep an eye out for them.  In the meantime, enjoy this week's letter:
HOLA!!!!!! OMG i love all of your letters and emails! seriously I want everyone to know how much they mean to me! even if I cant reply to them all in the hour I am soooo grateful for them!!!! they seriosuly make my week! I can print out the emails in the morningn then later that afternoon I can reply to them which makes things a little less hectic! So I do not know how to make this sound lady like but I got sick with diarrhea on Sunday!!! it was the worst experience of my life!!!! literally everyone here got it. it was some weird bug!!! I needed a constant trip to the bathroom lololol not fun! but I LOVE IT HERE!!! also WHAT THE HECK MY STUD OF A BROTHER???? that email made me so proud of you and Derek!!! Dill like holy cow dude!!! how is it you have more baptisms than me and I am actually on a mission!!! RUDE! aahaha no seriouslty bud i hope that experience stays with you for your whole life. There is nothing cooler than sharing the love of Christ with other people! I am SO proud of you and have literally already announced it to the CCM.elder Holland said "dont ever miss the opprotunity for every waking moment to build up the kingdom of God" I am serisouly so so proud!!!!! sothis week, yes, I did get in trouble agian for something!!!! the presidents wife calls me over during lunch and whispers in my ear, "your skirt in innappropriate."" I apologize and turn to lleave and she grabs me and says and i quote, "it cups your butt!" AHAHAHHAHAHAHHHAHAHA OMG!!! i almost died!!!! I put the skirt away forever now!!! I could no6 believe that happened!!! it was mortifying/hillarious/iamneverwoearingthatskirtagain lolol but anyways I heard a quote the other day that said "if you are just about obedient then you are just about blessed!" which I loved so yes that skirt is long gone! Okay so our group of girls have become freinds with the native girls that are here for two weeks! they are AWESEOME!!! we do yoga with them like every night and we eat tons of meals together! most of them want to learn to speak English better so I made a promise with them thatthey could speak english to me and I would speak Spanish to them!! every time we see them THEY GIVE US KISSES ON OUR CHEEKS!!! it is the cutest thins ever and I love them!!! they have such sweet spirits and just love us and the gospel!!! they tell us all the time how much they want to help us get better in Spanish! (I will try to send pictures if I can!) they are awesome!!! So we started to teach Rosa (teacher faking invesigatior) and we had a REALLY hard lesson yesterday! like way hard! she goes to our chuirch every sunday but wont read the book of Mormon! sO we asked her to try to read a verse that night and she said no! like literaly nope. every time we aasked!!!! ohh man it was so hard but I LOVED IT!! IT is such good practice!!! tomorrow we are going to go in just bold and hopefully it goes well!!! teaching investiagtors in spanish without notes was our goal this week and we are doing it and It is so hard!!! But awesome!!! It really makes you use all the spanish you know just from your head and have no crutch on anything but yourself and the Lord! So cool! So the most spiritual night of the week was on last Tuesday. We hada testimony meeting with our elders in our district and everyone was just bearing their soul and it amazes me that people can come from such hard and difficult circumstances and yet still love the Lord and His gospel so much! It absolutey amazes me  how strong people are!! And makes my testimony grow so much! Also beofre we leave for our house every night the elders say "hermans, lock your doors!" awesome right?? lololol oh also o ne of the manky miracles of the CCM is I can actually sing here.... like who knew that was possible??!! lololol it is awesome!!!! We got feedback from our last investiagtor and he said that we taught really well! like we were amazing teachers and he could feel our love for him! but we need to work on more bold challenges! so we are working on that for our next investiagtors! Ive realized I like hard and tough feedback so I can imrpove all the time!!! Our presiden tthe other day said that one reason we were called spanish speaking because we need to learn how to trust in the Lord and fully rely on Him." I loved that!! It is so true I have prayed more these last two weeks than I ever have in my entire life. like combined. like X4. LOLOLOL OH ALSO everyone here thinks I talk gangster lol so thats cool! ahahaha and what the heck about Folsom?? that Is hard and I am sorry. It all happens for a reason so we will just have to keep praying and wait to find out what that reason is! hang in there! i keep praying for you all!! Mom and Grandma, I loved the letters you sent! Ive only gotten those and the ones from my friends so far! cant wait to find the others!!!! i cant wait until I am in the us and writing letters will be easier!! Mom you can open my letter from my mission presdient! thanks!! umm what else?? Oh i love the scriptures you send me!! They are awesome!! GOOD CHOICES!  this week i liked 2 things Holland said in a n old broadcast "he asked how are we so lucky that we get to be missionaries at this time?'" he said that the Lords work is hastening and we are so luck to be a part of it! and also "if you only have one convert your whole mission, make it be yourself" I loved that!! we have to be fully converted before we can teach others to be fully converted!! Convert yourself! and know that the Savior loves you and I love you all so much!! well I love you all and I hate only writing once a week but it does help me when I get your letters and emails! It means SO MUCH! well I love you all and cant wait to speek next week!!! LOVE YOU!!!!
Hermana Ricks:)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday is the Ricks Family's new favorite day!!!!

While Jessica is in the MTC, her P-day is Tuesday.  For those that don't know what P-day is, it is short for Preparation Day.  That is the day that as missionaries you use to write letters, do laundry, do grocery shopping and anything else you need to do to help "prepare" you for the week.  It is not a whole day, so using time wisely becomes very important. 

Now you know why Tuesday has just become our family's favorite day.  It is the day where we will receive her weekly email. 

Jessica told me I could post this email.  She also said I could change anything that might need to be changed.  I didn't change much because it was "so Jessica".  Some things might be a little difficult to read, but I think that adds to the character of the letter. 

Hope you all enjoy this email as much as we did!  xoxo

HI!!! TODAY IS MY PDAY!!!!! so like check your email all day tuesday so I can get on and we can maybe talk! I only have an hour sooo like where do I even begin????Grandma Ricks, pats sister found me!!! she was eating in the caffeteria on sunday and grabbed me ( I was like oh know because I already got in trouble with the presidents wife because my earrings were too big! lol I was worried what was next!) but then she said i am pats sister and I hugged her because I was so excited!!! hahaa. She was such a sweetheart! also the SUNDAYS here are just TOTALLY AWESOME! except every week you have to prepare a five minute talk and you get notified during the meeting if you are guiving a talk and I got called to give mine!!! IN SPANISH! hard but so cool! also I have had to say like 12 prayers in spanish in front of hundreds of people so I learmed that fast! lolol THE MEXICO CCM ( MTC) IS AWESOME!!!! like you know how provo is all inside and you are like trapped? well here we have 90 acres to roam free in lush green palm trees, big tress, grass and like all the plants you could imagine!!! it is awesome like I am so happy to be in mexico!! So we went to the Mexico city temple today!!! can you say gorgeous?? it was actually one the prettiest outside of the temples i have ever seen! look it up. it like looks all aztec! but driving through mexico city (it is like a 40 minute busride from ccm to temple!) is the craziest thing you will ever experience. first of all there are dogs. everywhere!! shan if you are reading this you would hate it because the dogs are so skinny and mangy it breaks your heart! and even worse the people are not much different!! it is amazing how poor some parts of Mexico city are. but you know what is so cool? EVERYTHING is painted bright colors!! all through the city the house are blue and green and orange and it adds a little bit of happiness to the poverty. where we are in the CCM, we are at the base of a hill and houses climb all the way up the hill. Its like one house says to another "oh hey there is no more room on the hill so can i like build on top of you? k thanks!" I couldnt even imagine how many people live on this little mountain BUT it is gorgeous!!! EVERYTHING is painted! the houses are so colorful and stand out against the lush green hill! so cool and a great view. Mom dont be worried about me in mexico city because we have like a 20 ft brick wall with another 5 ft of like barbed wire fence surrounding the whole mtc! also guess what? I GET MEXICAN FOOD! like real authentic tortilla and rice and mmm its delicious. but they try to give the Americans comfort food sometimes.. for example there were panckaes one morning and the Mexican people knew that americans liked syrup on their pancakes so they got syrup... CHOCOLATE SYRUP!!!lolololo soo hilarious we were all laughing so hard about it!!! but the food is really good we havent had the same thing twice yet and I literaly live off of mazanas (apples) tortillas rice and whatever meat they have that day! but I am so happy I am going to the US for my mission because we cant even drink the water here!! we all have water filtered water bottles lolololol crazy right? and it still tastes like really gross lol like way gross so thank goodness I am going to Arizona!! So we are in rainy season here and it is like gorgeous like 77 all day then around 6pm it starts to pour! Like we are talking hurricane status!!!! its is so funny every night all the missionaries know when to find cover at the same time every night! thats why it is so beautiful! sorry I cant uploud pics yet I dont have a cord! but dont send it to me because mail takes 3 weeks here wait until I am in az! so the mexico mtc is slowly growing. we were the third generation. There were about 20 girls and our group brought it up to 400 missionaries in the ccm!!! by the end of my six weeks it will be the second biggest ccm (mtc) in the world! we will have 800 missionaries! so cool right? tonight we get new native speakers to live with us and that will be good for learning spanish"! oh yeah spanish... um its like WAY HARD! BUT WAY COOL! our teacher has literally only ever spoken spanish to us! even on the first day! (she is awesome by the way!!! so sweet and ahh i love her! hermana rivera) so i got here late friday night and we taught our first investigator in SPANISH ON FRIDAY! we watched  an old devo by president holland  and he said "oh you havent haad much time to practice? well welcome to the mtc thats how we do it around here!" aahaha its so true! our investigator is Franco (he is an actor he is actually another teacher) but we have taught him three lessons and he has come to church and best of all, we taught him how to pray yesterday and he prayed for us!!! that was a huge step!! we gave him a bom to read so we will see how that goes! he is tought and doesnt speak any english so we struggle so hard trying to get everything out! my poo compeñara doesnt know any (like literally any!) spanish so I have to translate the whole lesson from her to him and him to her and do most of the lesson on my own but it has given me wayyyy good practice! when someone speaks slow, I now can understand the jist of what they are saying every time!!!! so cool! and I can kinda say stuff back.... kinda! Thats the hard part! but its awesome! so since there are so few girls here we are all so close! like I love it. Everyone is actually way normal and way cute! and every night when we have gym time (for like an hour) this one hermana makes a workout for us like cardio and strength and then we do yoga afterwards! so hillarious! the boys all play basketball but they have told us that they secretly want to do yoga lol the guys are awesome! Most of them feel like little brothers because most of them are 18!!! MY compañera and I are the only two in our district (there are 6 in our branch!) so the boys sing us a song every night before we leave the classroom to go to bed! it is so precious!! at first I was like what the heck is this..... but now I LOVE IT! So when I was in the temple today I had this overwhelming feeling that I am supposed to be here. Like for my family, for myself, and for the people in az. It was amazing I just knew without a doubt that I was here for a reason and that I needed to be here. way cool! oh also my girls from BYU i saw HANNAH SCOW!! we like see each other every day and it was such a relief in the beginning to see a face I recognized! we literally ran across the cafeteria and we were screaming and hugging and were just so happy to see each other! It was awesome. oh and shan I flew here with savy nielson! crazy right?? we have become good freinds and we realized we both were at the masquerade party?? she told me she knew you and all of  our firiends! weird! she wants to have a party with everyone when we are back!!! lol oh and I miss you all like CRAZY! MIK YOU LEAVE SOON!!! AHHHHHH  umm I am trying to think what else to write! My compañera is great ! She is 22 and so she is much older than everyone here but we have had a really good time! but seriously I am so glad I am in Mexico because everyone here is literally mexican! so we have no room to use english! all the workers and receptionists and teachers and everything so we get lots of practice!!! well I love it here and I am so happy I am here. I am learning so much. I will write more about that next week but I had to share other stuff this week! well My dear family, I miss you guys so much and I show the picture of us at the baseball field to literally everyone! like yup my family is awesome! kiddos I hope you are taking care of mommy!!! Well i love you guys so much and miss  you like wayyy wayyy wayyyy much! I cant wait to write you again next week :) I LOVE getting emails they made me so happy!!! oh and jenna I told everyone about the president monson thing in my card and they  think it was so funny and so great!!! ahhaah love you! okay well I lOVE YOU ALL!!!! and remember the Savior loves you. Well until next week!!!! <3
Hermana Ricks!
aka jes :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

MTC address

For some reason when Jessica posted her MTC address to the right, it came out kind of difficult to read, so I am going to repost her information.

Hermana Jessica Leigh Ricks
Mexico Missionary Training Center
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A.
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

you can also email letters to her at:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


After a day of wondering if Jessica made her MANY connections, and wondering if she even made it to Mexico, we received this wonderful email from her...we all slept a little better last night knowing she made it safe!  Here is her email.  The Journey begins:
(you can post this) First of all the keyboards are different in Mexico so sorry for the mistakes! I also dont know where the apostrophe is sooo... sorry! MOMMMMYYY!!! I MISS YOU!! i made it safe :) where do i even begin??? I was okay until I got on the plane and then I started quietly but obviously bawiling! it just finally hit me how much I will miss everyone!! So this old  gentleman sitting next to me took my hand and said are you okay?? I managed to blubber out that I am serving a mission for my church and just had to say goodbye to my family for 18 months and I am very excited but also scared and sad! He then started to tear up and explain to me that he is not a member but works in idaho and utah a lot and is amazed at the dedication of the youth and our service! It was so cute! I needed someone to talk to me! haha we talked all throughout the flight about our church and what not. Then I got to salt lake city and had a toasted bage and cream cheesel! (sorry dad I needed comfort food!!!!) Then I found a big (very obvious) group of missionaries! already teaching people in the terminal LOLOL it was awesome!!!! I introduced myself and we all stuck together! some were in the provo mtc and going to LA t o get their visas others were just picking up there visas and not even on a mission yet and some were goint to the mexico ccm like me! So we all got a long and had a good time. In LA we had to take like 400 buses to get to the interantional termianl! I am so glad I had people with me....We were pretty lost as it was I could not imagine doing it by myself! we had to do security again and everything! Pretty crazy! But we made it.. barely... like they held the plane for us!!!I sat next to this couple that I talked nearly the whole 3 hours about the church! She has a neice that is mormon and asked me all different questions! It was fun trying to figure out to answer in Spanglish! The bretheren that picked us up from the airport immediately began talking spanish to us! It was crazy. there is a language barrier but they were great and we sang spanish hyms all the way to the CCM. loloo I was like well might as well join it if you cant beat it!!! ahahah So  Now I am in Mexico! First of all traffic laws in Mexico are like a suggestion.... or a guideline not a law!! There were like no divders in the road or lanes most of the time!! CRAZINESS but we got to drive by the temple because we had a special leader with us and he took us off the normal path so we could see it at nght.... CAN YOU SAY GORGEOUS! like serisously so pretty! and every other pday we get to go to the temple! way cool two of  my roomates (including companion) arrive at 1 am tonight!!! So I may not get as much sleep as I want unfortunatey! I guess let the tiredness began right??? Tomorrow is a welcome day.. maybe that includes naptime??? just kidding but I am so excited! and it says thursday we are going to teach our first investigator... my question is in english or spanish???? lolol WELLL I dont know when I will be able to write next but just know that I love you all so much. Family keep saying you prayers and thank you for including me in them!! I love you guys and miss you so much!!! LOVE YOUUU
Hermana Ricks (ps i got my nametag! cooool!!!)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hello everyone! I am getting ready to leave for my mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will be serving in the Arizona, Mesa mission and speaking Spanish for a year and a half. I leave July 16, 2013 to the Mexico City Mission Training Center, leaving all social media, cell phones and comforts of home behind. In the Mexico Training Center I will spend six weeks learning the Spanish language and becoming prepared to teach the gospel. I am so excited! I will send weekly emails to my family and my mom will post the letters on this blog for those of you who are interested in hearing about my weeks! I would also love to hear from any of you! My information will be listed somewhere on this blog. I can't wait to serve the Lord and the people of Arizona. Let the countdown begin!