Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Blessing

Wow, what a week!!! The days at the MTC are long but the weeks are short.-You wake up early, go to bed late, and every second between is filled with something, and if it isn't then you should re-evaluate and ought to work a little harder.

Secret to starting the day out right: Wake up at 6:20 instead of 6:30 and you beat everyone else to the showers which means you get to take a shower as long as you want without waiting. (Insert Goal Post Hand Emoji Here) .

The MTC has been such a blessing, more than I ever thought it would be! The purpose of the MTC is to review the doctrine/gospel of Jesus Christ and then practice teaching it, over and over and over again. What a humbling experience it was to give my first lesson with Elder Brisk and prepare and plan so much to give the lesson we thought was best and to have it go completely wrong because we didn't invite the Spirit or teach by it. I learned awfully fast that it doesn't matter how much you prepare or how much you know or what you say, if you don't invite the Spirit to be with you, there will be absolutely no effect on those you serve and "teach". I was devastated and miserable by the results of our first lesson but it was truly the greatest blessing in disguise to learn and recognize this truth because every lesson we have given since then has been leaps and bounds better for us and the investigators. 

Love-other than exhaustion, that's about all you feel as a missionary. Love for your family and loved ones back home, love for your companion, love for your district, love for the other missionaries, love for God's children especially the ones you are going to serve, and most importantly, Love for Heavenly Father and His son, our brother, Jesus Christ.

I have been able to learn so much in classes and devotionals this week and I would encourage everyone to read Preach My Gospel because it is so amazing and teaches everything you will ever Need to know. Our purpose, as missionaries is to: Invite others to come unto Christ by helping, them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. What an incredibly profound yet simple purpose and statement!!! That is the doctrine or gospel of Jesus Christ and we all need it, we can all improve it and that is why it says to invite Others and help them receive these things because it isn't just non-members and investigators that we need to invite, we have to invite everyone. Prayer is the most powerful tool we can have and our Heavenly Father will answer our prayers when we ask with a sincere heart but only in the name of Jesus Christ for a righteous purpose.-If you aren't asking in Christ's name, in His will, then you probably won't ever receive the answer. But hey, don't take my word for it, I don't want you to take my word or believe my testimony, find out for yourself because that is the only way to truly know the truth.

It is so crazy busy here and I've loved the classes where we learn and practice teaching, the devotionals and talks given from many individuals, the testimonies and spirit of other missionaries, the food, and of course messing around with my district like staying up talking or just goofing off when you've studied for hours and everything becomes the funniest thing in the world!
Elder Brisk (Companion)-Hurricane Utah going to Oklahoma
Elder Bohne-Montana going to Texas
Elder Ludlow (District Leader)-Utah going to Texas
Elder Hays (roomate)-California going to Oklahoma
Elder Terry (roomate)-Utah going to Oklahoma
Elder Brinkerhof-California going to Texas
Elder Futrell-Utah going to Texas
Sister Garner-Idaho going to Oklahoma
Sister Franklin-Utah going to Oklahoma
I'm not sure how many of us are in the MTC going to Oklahoma but we leave to go there on Tuesday!!:D:D:D (Waking up at 3:30am to leave though...). We aren't called to a place but to a people and I am soo excited to go meet them, be with them, and serve them for the next 2 years!! 

The work is hastening, I am loving it and learning so much and I am so thankful I get to serve a mission. But you are all in my prayers and I am grateful for the prayers in my behalf, I can truly testify the power of prayer is real and I have felt it since I left. Thank you, have a wonderful week! 

With love,

Elder Ricks

Checkout 2 Nephi chapters 31-33. My favorite of the week!!:) Tell me if you can figure out what it is talking about: hint, I talked about it in the email.

Friday, July 24, 2015

All is well, I am safe! (First Email Home)

My foreign language is still as bad and I'm still grateful I am speaking English!:)
The days here are long but the weeks are short. We wake up early in the morning and go to bed late and the whole day is just filled with classes, the spirit, and eating. These first two days have been so great and felt like a week already because it is like you are trying to drink out of a firehose. You try so hard to get it all but there is so much coming so fast and so powerfully. But these two days, already, have made me so excited to get out to the mission field to serve and teach the amazing people there!!
I have an amazing companion, Elder Brisk! We really clicked from the very start and have been such great friends out here. I am definitely learning from him and love the spirit he invites at all times. Everyone here is so friendly and loving!! Elder Brisk and I were challenged by another companionship to only pray for others at night and I have really enjoyed being able to do that, it helps me to be so much more loving and kind to all those I am with and helps me feel love and compassion to all of our Heavenly Father's children, our brothers and sisters.
It's also been so fun to see people I know from home! Elder Wright, Elder Hinkley, Elder Yeck, and Mr. Bertasso's dad! 
Everyone in my district has been so great and I have learned so much from them! The only sin I have seen them commit is saying I should be the district leader or zone leader which thankfully, I am not, they made those callings last night!:) But now they are calling me "AP" and saying I will be the Assistant to the President as one of my first callings.-So rude. That should not be wished upon anyone and I would prefer to not have those callings so I can spend all my time and energy just serving, worrying about, and teaching the people in Oklahoma. So karma will come and they will all be given those callings, Heavenly Father has such a sense of humor.:D
Anyways, the work is pressing forward and I am so thankful to be apart of it. All I have felt here is love. Love for the gospel, you (family), my companion and district, other elders and sisters, and of course God's children, whom we have come to serve.
Just know that all is well, I am safe, and the light of Christ grows stronger within me by the hour. 
Love you all,
Elder Ricks

Entering the MTC

July 22, 2015
What an exciting day!  I got up early, finished packing my bags and we were off to Provo!!  My brothers were headed to Boise to go to Youth Conference with my Uncle so I had to say good-bye to them before we left.  We had lunch at PF Changs along with several other families with new missionaries!  After lunch we had an hour before my scheduled time to enter the MTC so we went to the temple grounds to walk around (along with everyone else who was doing the same thing!)  I ran into Silas (Elder Wright) and that was fun.  Then we drove to the MTC, I gave my family one last hug and I was off!  We were told 700 New Missionaries entered the MTC today!
Last family picture after being set apart as a Missionary!

See you in Two!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Opening the Call

March 8, 2015

My mission call came in the mail two days ago!  My family was in Boise for the 
State Basketball tournament so when it was over we drove home and gathered all 
my friends and family together for my opening!  It was exciting.  
I am headed to the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission and I leave on 
July 22, 2015.  I was not expecting Oklahoma but I couldn't be more excited!!