Monday, December 21, 2015

The Blessing- Week 21

Wow, what a wonderful week!

I feel blessed beyond what I deserve most weeks but this last week was especially a tender one for me. 

Last Monday Elder Hilton and I had a good time and were just getting ready to go out proselyting for the night when we get a phone call. Elder Hilton answered and then handed me the phone. It was area code 208... So, of course I jump straight to the worst possible scenario like some doctor somehow found out I was going to die and had to go home or something so my Stake President was calling to give me the news. But I was wrong! It ended up being my Uncle Ryan and my Uncle Kirk and their friend Lamar. They were in Oklahoma for business and asked us if they could take us out! 
What A Great Night! We went to this awesome hibachi sushi and grill place and just had a great time. I love my family so much and it was such a special time for me to get to see them Definitely a huge tender mercy of the Lord that I will forever be grateful for.-It really helped to give me even greater motivation and refocus. We talked a bit about how things were going back home, about the work, about Christmas, we laughed, we hugged, and we felt the joy and love that comes in family relationships. It is because of those feelings and because of my family that I am out here. Because this Gospel blesses all individuals and all families wherever they may currently be however good or bad the circumstances. It allows us to be together forever and experience the greatest feelings of love and joy and peace. If I can help another individual or family to come closer together and to take steps to come closer to Christ so that they can have all of these things and enjoy these feelings more fully in this life, then my joy will be overfilled.

The rest of the week was really really busy and crazy! We visited a lot of people this week and we had our Christmas Conference as well. 

The big miracle to talk about this week is this: Bishop asked us to go see a lady who we had just received records for so we went and did just that. We knocked and a young man opened the door, the lady we had just received records for had already moved but Mathew invited us in. We shared the message of the Restoration with him and gave him a Book of Mormon.-He is from Bangladesh so English is still a bit hard for him so we told him we could get him a Bengali Book of Mormon and he was really excited about it! So we got the Book of Mormon and went back a few days later and this time his dad answered! Jason had been investigating the Church while they were living in Michigan so he also invited us right in and we got to talk to him as well! We gave him the Bengali Book of Mormon and he was overwhelmed with joy! I thought he was going to yell or cry with joy. He said that he was a good reader and he wants to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year! He also said that he wants desperately to come to church with us after the New Year because his job has him working Sunday's until the holidays are over. Incredible blessings and miracles. The Lord is far too good to us and we truly are seeing more success/miracles than we deserve. 

I love this work, I love the Lord, and I love my family. Merry Christmas to all and may we remember the real reason of the season. Look for opportunities to show your love, to serve others and be filled with the Love of Christ. I promise you will as you serve other children of our Father in Heaven at this beautiful time of the year. 

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Blessing- Week 20

Hello everyone,
I apologize for my lack of diligence in getting out an email last week but I promise, we did work!!! 

It has been a really crazy and busy and wonderful season:) Christmas: Friday, December 25, 2015. The day we have set apart throughout the year specifically remember His birth and the significance of it. One little baby, born into this world, to change the world entirely and to redeem it in its fullness with His gospel and His sacrifice in His Atonement and Resurrection. As Christmas approaches I have thought about one of my new favorite Christmas scriptures, Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." I like this scripture not only because of Handel's Messiah, but because of the many names of Christ. We can learn much of Christ as we ponder His many names or Titles. Along with the names that Isaiah uses here are a few others that I have found: Messenger of Salvation, My Chosen, Son of Man, The Righteous, The Lamb, Creator, King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, Messiah, Son of Righteousness, Emmanuel, Just One, Holy One, Alpha and Omega, I Am, Only Begotten, Brother, Savior, Friend, Father, Lord of the Harvest, Redeemer, Mediator, King of Kings, The First Born, Son of Man, and Son of God. Each name or title conveys an aspect of the Savior and what he has accomplished for us. Enjoy the Christmas season as you grow closer to the Savior and share His message with others because it truly is a joyous and peaceful message of hope, happiness, blessings, and glory.

With that being said, the weather here is insane. We had a huge ice storm just a few weeks ago which has required much service during the days to members and nonmembers alike! We will also be helping to finish up a lot of this clean up this coming week as well. So, we went from an ice storm to having 70 degree weather with the sun shining in the middle of December.... That should be some type of crime right? Idaho is cold and has snow right now which is what I am used to but there are times it feels like summer here and it is December.... Talk about extremist. 

We have been working with a member who had fallen out of activity as a teenager and is now in his 50's or so. He lives in an apartment complex right next to ours so we would try to stop by whenever we had a spare minute and were near our apartment. We tried this guy 11 or 12 times and could never catch him. We met his roommates and talked to them on different occasions and, gave one a Book of Mormon but couldn't ever be there when Brother Batchelor was there. Finally, one Saturday morning we stopped by and caught him. We were able to just talk to him and learn more about him and his life and really just become friends. We learned that he is a scientist who has worked at several labs including Huntsman and OU (Where he is the head of a team now) researching leukemia to try and help people. He is very scientific minded and finds joy in being able to research to find answers and debate the data to find a resolve. He also, recently had surgery on his ankle where they put in a plate and he has to wear a boot and is unable to drive himself. Before the end of the visit we shared a message and set a return appointment for the following Saturday. We met the next Saturday and invited him to come to church and he agreed! We found a ride and rode with him to church then stayed with him throughout all of church. He had a great experience. We invited him to come to a baptism of an 8 year old boy on Saturday and he agreed again. Following the baptism, we asked him to read Alma 32 and pray about it. We saw him on Sunday morning before church and he told us that that chapter was exactly what he needed and he had a wonderful, spiritual experience as he read, pondered and prayed. We had meetings before church and couldn't ride with him this week but still had someone pick him up and he came and we stayed with him again and after church we went to visit him and he told us he would like to pay his tithing and desired to know what other next steps were to coming back into full activity. 
Brothers and Sisters, I wish I could give every detail about what has transpired with this incredible Son of God over the last few weeks but it suffices me to simply say that the Spirit has born testimony of truth to him as he desired to learn and seek answers and take steps of faith to find answers. He is truly being converted. Elder Hilton and I have had absolutely nothing to do with this conversion but in these few short weeks we have seen the faith of his testimony be established and grow immensely and in his countenance you can see the joy this has brought to him. I have never met a man as humble and sincere as this. What a blessing and a joy it has been for me to have witnessed this miracle as a mighty change in heart as occurred and we see the hand of God work in the lives of those we work with. There is no denying the truth of this gospel and of this Church because it is Christ's which makes it pure and good and true. 

How I wish I could express my joy and my love and my gratitude. All I can say is that God is good. He is loving. He is magnificent. He is glorious. All glory be to Him in this miracle, in this holiday season, and in all times of every year. 

I finished the Book of Mormon this last week and am so grateful for the faith, the strength, the hope, and the direction that we receive in it. It is truly Another Testament of Jesus Christ and bares truth of Him as well as the Restored Gospel and Church in its fullness through Joseph Smith. 
In regards to the Book of Mormon challenge which I am working on and challenged each of you to take part in, I am in Alma and am so grateful to be looking at this Holy Writ in search of the blessings and joy that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we live it. I look forward to having it completed again by Christmas.

There are so many miracles, each and every day! I love this gospel and have greater desires than ever to share it with all who will receive it because it will bless their life and increase their happiness in this life and more importantly, in the one to come. 

Jesus Christ is our Savior. He was born, lived perfectly, suffered, died, and rose again. I know this to be true.

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

This picture was labeled:   "Most recent picture we could possibly send you!"
They must be in the library typing their letters!
Eating at Sonic!
?????? Have not heard the story on Superman!
 Thank you Elder Hilton for sending the pictures!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Blessing- Week 19

We actually didn’t get an email from Elder Ricks again this week!?!  (I think he is spending his time responding to everyone who writes him, which is good!  We did email back and forth a little and this is what he said:

Elder Hilton and I are staying here together for another transfer!  It is going to be a great Christmas and I am so happy relieved and thrilled about it all!  We are doing great Mom, its amazing:)
I am excited to Skype with you in just a few short weeks/days!
The work is just amazing, the people are even better, and I love it! We have dinner's set for pretty much the whole month and I already know where I am going on Christmas day. It is the Morley's home. They are a new family in the ward with 5 kids and they are awesome!!!
Our Mission Christmas Conference is on December 17th.  We are really hoping we get our ipads then!

They bought matching Christmas ties for their ward Christmas party!

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Blessing- Week 18

I'm sorry I didn't get an email out last week but this week had enough excitement to make up for last week too I think!! 

Thanksgiving Day
-Turkey Bowl there were about 70 guys that showed up to play so we split into 6 teams and had 3 games going on at all times. SO FUN!!! 
-Pie shindig (we also had a pie shindig the night before as well)
-Lunch with Sandy, Michelle, and Justin 
-Lunch with the Grimes'
-Dinner with the Parry's
-Lesson with Mark (Investigator, his wife is a less-active member)
-Drove to Stillwater to stay the night so that we wouldn't have to wake up at 4:00 the next morning to make it for early morning sports with the zone and for the STM

-Early Morning sports with the whole zone, we played flicker ball at the church house. So fun!!!
-STM (Specialized Training Meeting) for the new Christmas Innitiative and the video the Church just put out with it!! 
-Lunch: I had lunch at Wendy's for the first time since I left (so good and lots of great memories!)
-Lunch and the cake we baked that my amazing, thoughtful, loving Mother sent me with Elaine, Carl, and Diane (Investigators) We also had a party with them using all the party stuff my Mom sent as well, so fun!
-We made two cakes out of the stuff my mom sent and also had one of those cakes with the Olmo's (members in the ward) because two of them had birthday's on the 29th!! We had a party thing with them too!
-Dinner and cupcakes with the Petty's
-Dinner and cake with the Jeffery's
-Presents sent from home in the traditional fashion of "Heavy Heavy Hang Over…"

-Freezing rain (only slightly cold)
-Beautiful to see all the ice on the trees and everything!
-Branches, limbs, and entire trees all over the sidewalks, streets, yards, everything! haha 

Christmas Initiative!!!
-At least one miracle for every time we have shared the video. (It only came up yesterday!)
-"A Savior Is Born"
~It was soo good! I love this video so much! I hope you will all take the time to watch it. The Spirit is so strong and you will feel an overwhelming sense of peace, joy, and excitement flood you as you watch it.

There was so much more too! We had lessons/made contact with people we have been trying to see for several weeks and saw so many miracles this week. I am so grateful for this gospel and the blessings we receive from it as we live it! Heavenly Father desires to bless us because He loves us so dearly. May we all express greater gratitude, love, thanksgiving, and the Spirit of Christ with this wonderful Christmas season ahead of us. 

Thank you so much for all those that wished me a happy birthday by email, on social media (my Mom sent me pictures), letters, and packages/gifts. 

I love you all, pray for your wellbeing and success and hope you each have a wonderfully blessed week. 

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks



Monday, November 23, 2015

The Blessing- Week 17

We got this picture on Wednesday with the caption:  "The Work Goes On"  that's it.  We could pretty much tell it was fake, but it was weird, scary at first and we have been "dying" to hear the explanation. Well here it is!
The dead picture was funny:D So for mutual on Wednesday night, a guy in our ward brought the ambulance because he is an EMT and talked to the teachers and priests about all of the equipment and what he does for his job so I asked to take a picture and he thought it was a great idea to be funny so we did it but I wanted to send it to Dad first because I didn't want Mom to get all freaked out and have nightmares so I hope no nightmares occurred this week on my behalf!! But I had the Book of Mormon so the work never stops, even when you are out of commission;)
We also got some pictures from Elder Ricks and his companion Elder Hilton this week!
Picture overload to catch us up the last 4 months!
This picture is so funny to me, I have not purchased any Captain Crunch, Ritz Crackers or Microwave Popcorn since he left 4 months ago and all three of them are on the counter!!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Blessing- Week 16

Once again, the week has come and gone. The work is going so well here and I am so excited about where it is headed! We are seeing so many blessings and miracles everyday and there is no greater feeling than that of the Spirit bearing solemn testimony and witness of truth in a lesson and when helping someone to progress to be closer to Christ. 
This last week we saw many many miracles but there is one in particular that I would like to share.

Miracle 1: A couple weeks ago, we were walking through an apartment complex and a man on the second level of the complex beckoned to us and started talking to us which is already a blessing because we are like always the ones that have to start a conversation with anyone... So we got to talk to him a bit and he very welcomely accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and we told him we would work on getting a copy in his native tongue so he could better understand. We stopped by this week to check in on him and tell him we had ordered an Arabic copy for him and we actually met his wife and her brother and the three of them invited us into their home. 

Their English is a bit broken so we would have to repeat most things we said and rephrase it so they could better understand but basically, we were able to talk about prayer, about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and about the Book of Mormon and they were so receptive and loved it all! They even asked us where our church was at and what time it started and really desired to go! We told them where and the time of 12:30 and they told us they would try to make it but if they could come they would be late because being Muslim, they pray to Mecca 5 times every day and one of those times is at 12:30. 

UCU (The college just down the street) has a huge foreign exchange program especially people from Saudi Arabia. Anyways, they were incredibly receptive of the message and sought us out and we are so excited to work with them in the near future! Plus they are really really kind people (not a new thing for people in Oklahoma. Everyone here is so kind!) Anyways, it was a huge miracle and blessing for us and we gained 3 new investigators out of the experience. 

Anyways, there are so many other things I wish I could share that are equally amazing and some even more amazing but let it be a testament that we are all God's children, and He wants all of us to have His gospel and when people are ready to receive it, he places the right people and the right tools to help us receive it. 

I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and all of the blessings, joy, peace, and happiness it brings to my very being. I am thankful for a loving Savior who knows us personally and individually and I am so grateful that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the entire world, not just a part of the world. 

May you all have a wonderful, miraculous, and blessed week and know that I know this work is true.

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Blessing- Week 15

It just amazes me how quickly the week goes by. I don't realize how fast it is going until I am sitting down writing this letter every week. 

This last week was another amazing one and incredibly busy! We were so blessed. We were able to talk to a ton of people as we were out and about and we had a lot of lessons this last week too which was great! 

As a missionary, we find people, build relationships, teach gospel principles, invite them to do things, follow-up and that continues on and on. Well, when those people begin to teeter on commitments their progression slows down or stops and it is at those times when missionaries have to go to them and tell them that we love them but we are going to have to come by less so that we can help others who are ready to progress do that. It is really hard because you have become such good friends and you love them so much and you wish so desperately that they would take those important next steps but they have their agency which is good and fair but at that point it is time for missionaries to continue doing what we have been asked to do and find those who are ready to take those steps and progress.

This last week we were on our way to a couple so that we could talk to them about this and tell them we love them and we would stop by every once in a while to check on them but we would have to stop coming by weekly so that we can carry on with our work. We knocked and she answered and before we could say anything she expressed to us how excited she and her husband were to come to church on Sunday. WHAT?!

I will go more in depth on this one next week but what I realized was we had an Abraham story. When we were willing to take the step to show Heavenly Father we are more willing to submit to his will than our own he blesses us. Instead of having to give them up, they took a step of progression by coming to church and we get to keep working with them as they continue to progress.

Miracles like this happened every day this last week. The Spirit is strong, the work is great, we are incredibly happy and successful! Heavenly Father wants to bless us and do everything He can to help us be happy.

Keep the Faith,
Elder Ricks

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Blessing- Week 14

 Elder Ricks enjoying some golf on Pday today along with some beautiful weather!
 This is what we sent him in his 100 day package!  He loved getting all your notes!  Thank you

Well, it was an awfully big and incredibly busy week! 

Sooo, I guess 100 days came and went this last week!-My amazing Mom, made a package celebrating this and it was so creative and fun! I really loved everything inside and am so grateful for all of the letters inside, thanks to all who participated in helping my mom! 

Monday night, a member hosted a going away party for Elder Balch and about 60 families, yes, families came. It was crazy! About 65 vehicles parked on the lawn, and about 140 people inside. It was amazing! And there were about 8 investigators and lots of less-actives who came also so it was a tremendously productive and successful missionary night!!

Tuesday night, Elder Balch's last night with me, we were able to attend the temple to support a young man who has received his mission call and went to receive his endowment. It was such an incredible, spiritual night and I am so grateful I was able to go for him and with my dear friend Elder Balch.

Wednesday was transfers!!! Elder Balch is home now and doing so great which is thrilling to me and makes me so happy!!! He really became one of my best friends and I am so excited to continue my friendship with him! And my new companion, Elder Hilton, is amazing!!! We are going to have such a good time and do so many great things together in Edmond 3rd! 

He came out at the same time as me, 3 months ago, and we are both just loving the mission and working hard! Together, in just 4 short days, we have already taught about 12 lessons and found new investigators and are just having a lot of fun and a lot of success!! 
He is from Cali and has graduated from BYUI and is a programmer! He is really smart and very analytical and we have so many similar ideas about how we can be efficient and plan to be the most successful so things are really going great! We also made a fun connection, he is a descendant of Levi Savage from 17 Miracles and I am a descendant of Thomas E. Ricks who is also in 17 miracles and my grandpa actually came to save his grandpa. How fun is that?! They were probably best friends and now they are up there nudging each other and pointing, smiling about all the great things they got to do together and now their descendants are able to be together and do the same thing!! hahah

Friday we had district meeting and afterwards we went to Pizza Hut for pizza and rootbeer because that was the tradition in my family and it was so fun! We paid with a gift card my mom sent and also set the table in Pizza Hut with a Halloween tablecloth and decorations from that package. It was really fun and people already think we are a peculiar people so I can't imagine what they thought when four young men are sitting in suits at Pizza Hut with all these fun decorations on the table. It was a good time!:) 

We had our ward Trunk or Treat party Friday night but it was pouring rain all day long so we had it inside! Elder Hilton and I were chili judges and I can't say that it was a blessing or a curse. It tasted so great but we paid for it later! It was so fun to be there and to meet new people that members had invited and to just be surrounded by all these people I have come to love and have such great relationships with! It was a wonderful missionary opportunity to visit with new potential investigators and to see less and inn-actives there.

Saturday we went on exchanges because Elder Hilton had a baptism he went back to Del City 
(where he was last serving) and I was able to stay and attend the baptism of an 8 year old boy in our ward. The service was so spiritual and powerful. His mom has been an investigator for 14 years and we are currently working with her and the whole thing was really just beautiful from the music to the talks to the very saving ordinance (baptism) and then receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and she said the closing prayer. It was a great morning to say the least!:)
Saturday night we went to a member's home because we couldn't be out passed 6:00 due to Halloween and all the things that could happen. So we passed out candy with pass-along cards to every child and played a game with them. It was so fun and there was one boy who pulled out the pass-along card which was a picture of Jesus Christ and the Articles of Faith on the back and he declared "Oh I love these!!!" He was not a member but just loved to see pictures of our Savior and Redeemer and it was really sweet and powerful.

The work is pushing on and I am loving every bit of it!!! 
Like I said, we have been able to teach a lot and have felt the Spirit so strong as we are able to declare simple truths of power that are so familiar to the soul.  I wish you could all come and be apart of or see some of these lessons, they are so powerful, it is the greatest feeling!
As you can tell, the weeks are always busy! We do a lot and are seeing so many miracles and fruits from our labors. Heavenly Father blesses you when you do what He asks and put your trust in Him! 

I love to hear from you and even though I am not always giving a great response, I love every word and every detail and soak it all in. I just don't have the time to send a big long response like I would like. But I do love you and appreciate you and hope to keep hearing from you all! Thanks again to my beautiful, wonderful Mother and all those that helped her.:)

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Blessing- Week 13

The Posts are BLUE!!! Congrats Skyline, keep up the great work this season.

Wow. Another week, gone. Another month, gone. Another transfer, gone. I can't believe just how fast the time is going by!

I am doing really well! I am preparing for the change and I am really excited for this upcoming transfer. Elder Balch is going to go home and do wonderful things with those he is associated with at home and I am going to be able to carry on the work here in Edmond 3rd! 
I am still learning from Elder Balch and love and respect him for so many reasons. He has been a magnificent trainer, companion and most importantly, friend. 

Things are going really well in the area and we are making progress in so many aspects of the work. I believe the members can see the work and the fruits and gain greater trust in us constantly and desire to be apart of the work we are doing which is incredible. We have such a splendid ward!

All I can really say is that I am really excited about where things are at and where they are going and I have been trying to prepare the best I can for Elder Hilton to come so we can become great friends and accomplish the work God has prepared for us here as we work in unity and love.
I am so grateful for the mission and everything I am learning from it and the people that have been woven into my life. Great is the work and great is my joy! 

So many things happen each and every week! We taught a lot of lessons this week and I am seeing the desire to come closer to Christ by keeping his commandments in the hearts and minds of our investigators and some of the less or inactive members as well as active members. It is important that we all strive to do an be better!

It is definitely getting chilly quick! Elder Balch is having a go -away party tonight at one of the members homes and there are about 60 families that will be stopping by including many of our investigators so tonight is going to be so fun and work is going down!

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

I love how in Jacob 4:6 it talks about scripture study and the blessings we will receive when we effectively study our scriptures. 
"Wherefore we search the prophets and have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy;" We are able to search (diligently and effectively study) the scriptures of the prophets both old and present! 
"and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken" If we take all of the witnesses we have from our current prophets seers and revelators and those of old then we will have hope which is an amazing feeling to have and brings peace and joy and excitement for the things to come. And we will also strengthen our faith as we study until our faith is so strong that it is unshakable!
"insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea." And with that unshakable faith we have the authority to call upon the power of God in the name of Jesus Christ to do any and all righteous things for the benefit and salvation of others. Christ worked by faith and we can do the same and all we have to do is be more efficient in our scripture study

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Blessing- Week IDK (12)

  PDay at the Zoo:

How is Ponderizing going for you? 

Doctrine and Covenants 58:2-4 
2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that isfaithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
I was able to Ponderize this last week and the application was tremendous. I was able to use it and apply it to others lives in 4 or so of our lessons this week.

I love Edmond 3rd, I love Elder Balch, I love the Lord and everything is going well. As far as the numbers are concerned we are "slow" but we are seeing and uplifting so many people everyday, particularly as we are focusing on less-active and inactive members and going down the lists we were given at zone conference.

Transfers are coming up and I will miss Elder Balch greatly but he has taught me so much and I am feeling good and excited about the road ahead. I know I am inadequate but I know the Lord will take care of me through the transition. I am so excited for Elder Balch and the journey that he has up ahead and the missionary work that will take place among his family and friends in Portland. He is a very special and strong missionary and representative of Jesus Christ, regardless of his physical stature.

We had a great ward conference yesterday and I am learning and progressing daily. I know I have so far to go but I am amazed at what I have learned already this far in the mission. I am so grateful for the blessings and miracles I see everyday and week and I have a greater desire to do more for the Lord. "Because I have been given much I too must give" I am grateful for the opportunity I have to do this as a missionary.

Elder Ricks

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Blessing- Week 11

Hello everyone,
Once again, another week has come and gone and I am left to wonder where the time went.

We had a couple of really cool experiences this last week. We have been going to the seminary class for the freshmen and sophomores of our area in the mornings from 6:00-7:00am. This has been a huge blessing! We are already getting so much closer with the youth of our ward and they are seeing us as genuine friends that care about them.

One of the youth in the ward plays volleyball and they had their district championship game this last week so we went with the family to support her and at the game, several of the youth from seminary had friends that came up to us and were asking us questions and three or four of these youth who are really popular in the school and good looking and everything started answering questions that their friends began to ask them and they started talking about seminary and invited their friends to come with them. It was such an amazing missionary moment to watch! We are full time missionaries but the missionary work really does rely on the members to be successful.

Some other youth in the ward play football and we got to go to the Edmond North football game at the UCO football stadium just down the road from our apartment. There, we saw several families from the ward. One of the mother's was by herself with her little boy on her lap and we went and sat on the floor by her because the two seats on either side of her were being saved. The people sitting there saving the seats invited us to sit on the seats instead of the ground which was so kind of them and then we got to talk all night! Elder Balch sat on one side of Sister Merkley talking with a young woman and her family and answering questions while I sat on the other side of Sister Merkley and talked with a father and his son. We got to briefly answer some questions they had about what we do as missionaries and talked a little bit about what we believed and it was amazing! It was so much fun being there at the game and the Lord provided us with numerous blessings and miracles that night.

It was fun to try going to those games and it is just amazing what missionary work Heavenly provided for us! Blessings and miracles like that happen to us everyday nearly everywhere we go.

I am doing really well and always finding imperfections that need work on so I have a lot of self improvement to be a better missionary so that I can accomplish the work Heavenly Father has prepared for me to do which excites me.

I love Elder Balch and am so excited and grateful to be his companion. He helps me tremendously and is doing everything he can to prepare me for the rest of the mission. There are occasional moments when he gets "trunky"(missionary term that just means you are getting really excited/anxious to go home) but they are few and short lived and he gets right back to working hard. I am excited for his next step in life in going back with his family and being a light for them.

I love this work and I love this people. I am so blessed and so grateful to be a missionary in the Edmond 3rd Ward of the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission.  

Have an amazing week everyone! I want to hear about what you ponderized:) I ponderized D&C 104:82 last week! Ask me what I learned?:) haha Have a great week!

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks