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