Monday, September 14, 2015

The Blessing- Week 7

First Transfer is over...
How did that go by so fast?! I hope the mission doesn't come and go as quickly as that transfer. I could do this forever. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for all of the blessings I have received and for the opportunity I have had to learn and grow and progress by His hand. He has provided me with tools, scriptures, talks, etc. and people to help me grow in the ways He wants and needs me to. I am so thankful for my Dad/Trainer/Comp./A-Best-Friend, Elder Balch. He is such an example to me and has been huge in my progress in becoming the missionary I need to be.

This last week we were able to see and help a lot of people but the highlights for me was the time we were able to spend with Bob and with Elaine, Carl, and Diane. Throughout the week we were able to help Bob with his burn piles and with cleaning up the yard and we had many conversations with him and he was asking us lots of great questions and we got to go fishing with him at his pond several times. We are growing such a strong relationship with him! We run up to him and give him a big ole' hug every time we see him and he just grins from ear to ear saying "My Mormon sons are here!:D" He is a great guy and calls us his best friends and Elder Balch and I can both say that he is one of our best friends too. 

We had a lesson with Elaine, Carl, and Diane last night. We actually hadn't planned to see them but felt prompted and went without preparing any real lesson. We shared a short Mormon message, "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father", which invited the Spirit and the Spirit took over from there. We talked about our relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and about the plan of salvation, also known as, the plan of happiness. One of them was weeping while the other two were beaming at the things the Holy Ghost was telling them and confirming to them. 

This last week was amazing! We are so busy ALL the time. In fact, we get calls everyday from people asking us to come over or to help them and as a result we will need to start telling people not to call us before 10:00 because we couldn't even do our studies for like 3 days this week... In our weekly planning we realized we have now over tripled our investigator pool from 3 or 4 to 12. We also have about 25 others in our ward who are inactive, less-active, or are facing hardships and are in need of some help that we need to see. This was definitely a very humbling experience for me and showed me how much Heavenly Father has blessed us with this transfer! There are times where you wonder if you are doing enough as a servant of the Lord and a representative of Jesus Christ but seeing all of the people we have to see and help strengthen helps me see we are doing enough and as such being incredibly blessed. The mission is definitely life changing and is for Everyone. Everyone will learn and grow on a mission and will help others along the way. If you are having questions if you should serve or not, choose to serve. Heavenly Father has a way of blessing us so much more than we can imagine or than we can deserve when we sacrifice a little to show our gratitude to Him. He takes care of our needs and the needs of our loved ones at home and provides a way while on the mission and when you return also. If ye have desires to serve, ye are called to the work.

I am learning so much from Nephi about blessings of living the gospel and how it makes us happy. Every chapter is riddled with blessing when they are not just obedient but obedient with real intent. There is a big difference.. Laman and Lemuel were obedient but their intent was not real or aligned with God. That was the difference between them and Nephi and that is why he was so blessed. I hope to continue to work on that attribute and strive to have perfected it by the end of my mission. Not to be or do everything perfectly but to give a perfect effort and have real intent when I am asked to do something by the Lord in any way, shape, or calling. 

All in all, I am loving every second I am out here and look forward to further growth. The work is pressing onward at a pace that is extremely difficult to keep up with but with Heavenly Father providing such an abundance of work, He will also provide a way to accomplish it all. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here to learn how to live the celestial law to prepare myself but also to help others live the celestial law and prepare themselves also. 

Keep the faith, Brothers and Sisters,
Elder Ricks

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