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!