Thursday, August 29, 2013

LAST LETTER FROM THE MTC

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 devotiona├▒ 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!!!!