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  

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Blessing- Week 10

And another week has come and gone. Of course it was wonderful, busy, and inspiring like always but even more so with the amazing conference we were able to witness where the Spirit bore powerful testimony of truth and light. We are so blessed Brothers and Sisters!

Once again, I have loved getting everyone's emails, letters, and packages and I thank you dearly for each one! It would appear that while life gets busier and ever better for me the same is happening for each of you and that brings me great joy and excitement. I love you all and pray for your well-being, spirituality, and protection from the adversary daily.

We had another great week! We were busy seeing many individuals and families. This last week, Chesapeak oil company laid off 600 employee's and 5 of which are in our ward. Please keep them in your prayers and as you fast. Pray for comfort, direction, support, and opportunities in the road ahead. 

Thursday we had a zone conference and it was so wonderful to receive instruction and training from my mission leaders to assist and excel our work. I am so excited to take the things they taught us and apply it in our work in Edmond 3rd. 

Elder Balch's wisdom teeth have been hurting him the last week and a half so he talked to one of the many dentists in our ward and asked if he could take a look. Friday morning he took a look and decided to pull them all out right then so Elder Balch has been high in heaven the last few days as he has been trying to recover. I'm not gonna lie, Elder Williams and I have had some pretty great laughs and we now cherish some memories that will never be forgotten at Elder Balch's expense.:D:P Things such as chasing a plastic bag because it was a "turtle" or wanting to propose to a girl within a couple days of going home to just wanting us to hold his hand and cuddle or putting all of our mattresses together on the floor because he didn't want to be alone at night or preaching to the dental hygienist about Jesus Christ and the Church to of course, trying to run away one night. It was a very eventful weekend and full of fun, scares, and good laughs. He is off the crazy medication now and doing much better! Still recovering and in some pain though.

Yesterday morning we got a call from President Walkenhorst. Another missionary will be going home due to medical reasons and was replaced by a missionary from the Edmond 2nd area so Elder Williams had to leave us this morning to replace him. It was pretty crazy and even difficult to get that news because Elder Williams has been a great companion and a wonderful addition to our companionship and he will be greatly missed!:/ 

Conference was this weekend and for all who heard it will agree that it was Amazing! I loved all of the talks but particularly these:
-Elder Anderson's from priesthood and Elder Hale's from Saturday afternoon. They talked about faith and making choices which is everything we talk to people about as missionaries when we are extending commitments.
-Elder Holland's from Saturday afternoon and President Nelson's from Sunday morning. They spoke on motherhood and women and their true value and importance. My mom is a covenant keeping woman just like Sister Packer and Sister Perry because she too displays characteristics and attributes of Love, Truth, and Pure Faith in the most divine ways. She is distinct and different in the happiest of ways and she is My mom. We need women like my mom. The love of a mother is the closest kind of love that Christ has and we are told to be like Christ and have Charity, the pure love of Christ. I have always needed my mom and I believe she knows I love her but I wish I would have done a better job of showing her my love and appreciation. I hope to find a wife someday that Loves as deeply as my mom, teaches Truth, and abides by Pure Faith. My dad married potential who is on her way to perfection and by so doing, helping my dad, myself, my siblings, and all those she corresponds with. I place my testimony with those of Elder Holland and President Nelson, women, mothers, are essential and have more importance and worth than any others in this life. I love my mom.
PONDERIZE haha this is the talk that has been ringing and being beaten around by everyone because it is just so good and a wonderful challenge! It has already been expressed to me from several people that they will be participating in this challenge and I would invite all others who have not yet made the decision to participate to suck it up and do it! The blessings will be profound in our lives. 

I learned so many things and felt the Spirit so powerfully throughout the entire conference. I am so grateful to have a Prophet on the earth today to lead and guide us in the ways of the Lord. He communes with Jesus Christ and directly tells us the things Christ desires of us to know. I will follow the Brethren and "their" (the Lord's) counsel and would heed you to do the same. 

I love you, pray for you, and love to hear from you. Have a wonderful week ahead and look for missionary opportunities, find greater faith in Christ and Ponderize. I love to hear your insights and want to hear about the things you all learned from conference, where you are at in the Book of Mormon reading challenge by Christmas and now your scripture verse to ponderize.

Keep the Faith,

Elder Ricks