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 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