Monday, August 24, 2015

The Blessing Week 4

One Month!!! I am doing really well!
Where has the time gone?!  I can't believe it has already been one month since I left. We have been really busy and accomplished a lot already which sometimes makes it seem like maybe it has been longer than a month but at the same time, it feels like just a couple days ago I was saying my goodbyes to the loved ones and then walking into the MTC. I have truly been blessed!
This has been an amazing week! Our area seems to be doing as good about as it ever has been which makes me so excited and happy! The ward is amazing, all of the people are so kind, our lessons have been going great, our investigator poll has increased, and we just got a text this morning that one of our investigators, received his answer after years of investigating!  We had a really fun/cool ward party at a little water park this weekend as a back to school gig and it was so fun! Families brought friends/investigators and we even had I think 4 or 5 of our close investigators go. I have really high hopes/expectations for the Edmond 3rd area during my time here and am so excited the work is hastening on and at such a rapid pace! We are seeing the fruits of our labors and have been truly blessed by Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

Paul's girlfriend is a member of the Church and has two little boys (she actually goes to the temple quite frequently) and he has a little girl! He comes to church every week and sits in the Gospel Principles class that Elder Balch and I teach.  We have only actually taught him once but he has been investigating for several years and has refused to be baptized until he knew for himself (which is exactly what we want all of our investigators to do.) Anyways, we woke up at 6:30 this morning to a text from him that said something like this: "It has been a rough and rocky road but after a long night of no sleep, lots of prayer, and crying, it took me to just hold the Book of Mormon and I received the revelation that I need to be baptized." OH MY GOSH!!! WHAT A WAY TO WAKE UP RIGHT?! This made Elder Balch and I soo happy and excited! Our hearts truly rejoiced exceedingly because of him and this revelation/decision to finally be baptized! And it really goes to show me that there is a time and a place for all things because Elder Balch and I really haven't done a ton in helping him with this decision, he had many missionaries before us who did a lot more work, but when God has prepared you to receive the gospel, boy are you ready to receive the gospel! 

We have another investigator that we have been working a lot more with who has been investigating the Church for about 14 years. Her husband has received his endowment in the temple, her oldest son has been baptized and her only other kid is going to be baptized in September. She has had callings/responsibilities in the Church and attends church every week and knows this is the Church she wants to be associated with but won't be baptized or anything until she knows for sure that this is the one true Church on the earth. I really think she could have an experience like Paul and I look forward to building a stronger relationship with her and really just growing to love her more. I know that someday she will accept the answer that this is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today, we just have to help her see the answer to that prayer that I believe she has already been given! But again, all things will be done in the Lord's time!
There are so many stories and people I wish I could go into detail on because they mean so much to me but here is a little background on just two of the wonderful people we are working with. Hopefully I can share more every week! I am truly loving the people and the great work we have been given to labor. There is so much good here in the area between the people and the work and I look forward to only progressing and growing to become better myself and assist in helping the people better and this area better before I am due to leave.
Last week I challenged everyone to read the Book of Mormon before Christmas and if you can, try to look at it from this perspective: "How the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses our lives and makes us happy."
I have loved looking at the Book of Mormon through this angle because the answers are riddled all throughout so I am easily pulling out references, examples, and comparisons for myself and our companionship and even our investigators. I just finished 1 Nephi 10  and have already seen so many parallels and had so many inspiring thoughts of how living the gospel will bless our lives and how it doesn't just make us happy, but our family and friends and all others we come in contact with! We see this in Nephi's life with the influence he has on his family, Zoram, and Ishmael and his family. I have learned so many things but to put it all in a nut shell, the greatest lesson I have learned thus far is that: We must identify the will of God and His commandments and as we submit our will to His and are obedient to those commandments exercising faith in Him, and by His power, through our faith, all things can and will be done because he has already prepared the way for us and will take care of us just as Moses and Abraham were taken care of and just as Nephi was taken care of. All he had to do was see the will of God, to leave Jerusalem, go back to receive the plates of brass, go back again for the family of Ishmael, etc, etc, and as he willingly submitted to the will/His commandments, he was led, taken care of, delivered, and blessed in every way even though he had some affliction. I wish I could share everything I have learned because it just amazes me how much the Gospel truly can and will bless our lives as we live it!!!
I'm sorry for the novel but God, these people, this work, this gospel, it means so much to me and I want to share it with everyone I can!!! Thank you for the love and support, I love to hear form you all and how life is going for you. Good luck to all with school starting back up! Those of you in sports or other extra curricular, I wish you best of luck and safety and parents, keep working hard and loving all. Don't die of the smoke filled air that I keep hearing about... Don't people know not to play with fire?! LOL jk, But really, be safe.

You are in my thoughts and prayers, may God ever bless you in your lives and through your endeavors,
Elder Ricks

No comments:

Post a Comment