Monday, March 28, 2016

The Blessing- Week 35

Wow, another incredible week has come and gone! Two apologies: It has been brought to my attention that I forgot to include the name of the restaurant that we ate at for St. Patrick's day so I apologize for that but it was IHOP. Second, I'm sorry this week's post is so wordy and lengthy! That being said;

The greatest blessings of this week has to do with our goal as a mission and as a district and as a companionship. The mission has a goal of 60 baptisms for the month of April, the district has a goal of getting at at least 9 of those 60 and Elder Morton and I have a goal of getting two baptisms this upcoming month. District meeting is great every week but this week was particularly motivating to go out and really find those people that are ready to get baptized this upcoming month! 
Of course we are always trying to work hard to invite others to come unto Christ by being baptized but since Friday when we came up with these goals it has been our only focus and point of action. We wake up and ask each other, "Who can we find that will get baptized today?" We are praying earnestly and talking to everyone and asking all we meet to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and receive the glorious gift of the Holy Ghost.
Though most people respond with "We are already baptized" we have been able to witness miracles by doing this. On Friday, we were biking from our apartment complex and a man from our complex asked us to come by later to share a message with him and his girlfriend(she is a member, he is not). We came by that night, had an incredible lesson centered on Christ and His Atonement and Resurrection that was guided by the Spirit and at the end asked Bobby to be baptized and Laurel to come back to Church. They both said "yes". For different reasons we weren't able to set an actual date for the baptism but they want to work towards it and learn more. I am so excited to see the Lord work in their life and see them enter the fold. 
We had a lesson with an investigator, Rosalind, on Saturday. Her granddaughter who is a senior and lives in Texas, asked if she could join us for the lesson and we talked with them also about the life, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and invited the granddaughter to be baptized. She said she wants to and is looking for a Church so we got her information and will be giving that to the Dallas Texas missionaries. 
Miracles are flowing and God is answering prayers. I testify that the Hallelujah initiative was put into effect by the leader of our Church, Jesus Christ and because this is the way He wants us to share the message of His Resurrection and Atonement, we are seeing so many miracles from it. 

I look so forward to hearing from the Prophet this coming weekend. What a glorious time to be on the earth! When the Christ stands at the head of a Church and has called modern Prophets seers and revelators to lead and guide us in the ways of truth and righteousness in these days. 

Keep the faith my dear friends and family,
Elder Ricks

Once upon a time. Two little missionaries (well, one little missionary and then Elder Morton) were biking to deliver a special blue journal that was handwritten and worth more than anything else these two young ones possessed. 
As they journeyed to their destination they passed through the woods and one said to the other "whoo whoo". The little one turned back and said "No Elder, you can only be excited like as you ride a thrilling roller coaster, take off in a plane, propose and she says 'yes' or when you baptize a convert." 
The other missionary looked very confused and said "What, under the heavens, could you possibly be talking about? I didn't say anything. You're crazy(Nacho Libre style..)". 
So these two young Elders begin their search to who could've said such a thing and inform them that they could not express such excitement biking down a 4 foot hill and they must repent because, it just is not right. 
Well, after a long and hearty search, they found the culprit!!! He was kinda boring to talk to and didn't seem too happy about us declaring him to repent but at least we accomplished our job and can stand blameless at the last day. And they lived happily ever after, amen.

We were able to have an Easter egg scavenger hunt with the Helgenberger children this weekend which was so fun and special! Immediately following the activity we had a lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the kids taught us everything. They are the greatest kids and are going to progress so well in the gospel and be lights and examples to so many people! I am so grateful for the spirit each of them has and for the change of heart and true conversion that has been wrought in them. It is glorious to be apart of!
Chas and Micrain

Ian Skinner    Omara      Micrain      Elder Morton


At the very end of November, we went to Sonic for lunch after a district meeting. Allison happened to be working that day and we sparked up conversation with her, found out she had family who was LDS, left her with a Book of Mormon and got her contact information. We found out she lived in our apartment complex and taught her. She asked me to come back this weekend for her baptism and it was absolutely incredible. Lance, a stellar man that I was able to see become truly converted to the gospel and come back into activity, spoke at her baptism about the gift of the Holy Ghost and shared kinda his life story especially the last 4 months since we were able to first meet with him. The Spirit was so present and my joy is full!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Blessing- Week 34

What a great week! Sorry for keeping it so short this week but I hope each of you will take a look at the Easter Video: "Hallelujah" and read Proverbs 17:17 and I will share my thoughts and feelings about this next week. With great love and admiration for each of you, Have a wonderful week and I hope you remember the spirit of the season. Christ is Risen so that will each be resurrected as well and we can be with our families forever. 

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

 After weekly planning this week on Thursday (St. Patricks Day) we all decided to meet together for brunch for their $1.00 short stacks! Thanks to gifts from some of you I had stellar St. Patties Day socks, a tie, and a mustache. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Blessing- Week 33

I feel like I am being completely disobedient right now because I'm convinced it can't be Monday yet. That was definitely just a day or two ago...

The work is always great but this week it even stepped up and was absolutely wonderful! We had an all around incredible missionary week. We found new investigators, worked with progressing investigators, made contact with and worked with many less-active members and were blessed by the strength and support of many active members. Weeks like this are always the best and most ideal for missionary work. I look forward to this upcoming week and hope for similar results!

It was a really busy and crazy week filled with many miracles and blessings!

To start off, we are teaching the foreign exchange students of a family in our ward. Tessa, from Germany and Hiedi from Ecuador (pronounced Haiti). They are incredible young women who are really progressing in the gospel but because of the rules they are obligated to follow as foreign exchange students, they cannot join religious groups during their time in America so they can't be baptized. But Tessa asked if missionaries could teach her family who lives in Germany. So we sent the referral and the missionaries made contact last week and set up an appointment for today. So Tessa invited us to come over today so that her family could Skype for the lesson. It was incredible! The missionaries there ended up showing up an hour late so before they got there we had a lesson with Tessa and Hiedi about Jesus Christ and His Resurrection. Being from Germany, Tessa hasn't been exposed to religion and consequentially hasn't been taught to believe in God and doesn't know what will happen after we die. As you and I can imagine it would really be devastating and fearful not knowing what will happen to our bodies and spirits after we die but this lesson was really incredible and absolutely led by the spirit. The missionaries came soon after our lesson ended which was a really neat experience being able to talk to missionaries serving in Germany. My hopes and prayers are with them that they will be led by the Spirit and that Tessa's family will be open minded and receptive to this glorious truth we enjoy.

We met Demonte about a month ago and tried to see him twice since that time and actually met his girlfriend one of those times but missed him. We tried him once again this week and were able to contact him. He came out and said "Either this is a really good time or a really bad time.. I actually just got out of prison this morning." So of course we told him it was a really good time and were able to talk to him about the redeeming and enabling power of Christ's Atonement. He had been in prison for a minor thing for 3 weeks but during that time found himself deeply divulged in religious study. He is very sorry for his transgressions and it was such an incredible experience testifying of Christ and of His miraculous Atonement. I am so grateful for Christ and all He has done for me and each of us.

We rode the bus down to the City for an appointment with an investigator, Chris. We have set many appointments with him and many of them have fallen through but this week we were able to actually meet with him for a lesson. We found out that he had been in the hospital for the last two days with heart problems and that he had just been released that morning just in time for him to go to dialysis which he has had to do for the last 14 years. We went on to have what became really one of the most up and down, spiritually powerful and scary lessons I have had my entire time serving.. That is another story for another day though.:) Our lesson went well though and ended with a priesthood blessing. Anyways, we only expected to be at his house for a half an hour but were really there for about 55 minutes. So we took off running from his house back to the state capitol building to try and catch the last bus going back to Edmond for the night. We rounded the corner, only 100 yards away from the bus stop, to find the bus come screaming right passed us.. We tried calling several members to ask if they could come pick us up but not one answered. So I turned to Elder Morton and said "Well. Think of the story you will be able to tell your kids.." He caught the direction I was heading and we started off again running knowing full well that our apartment was 13 miles away from where we were. Several miles into our run a woman pulled us over and asked if she could give us a ride and we tried explaining our rules as missionaries and not being able to ride with a woman without another male and the sweet old lady just couldn't understand why an old grandma couldn't give us "sweet young men" a ride. She was so cute and sweet and we left her with a Book of Mormon and took off again. 2 hours and 20 minutes, 13 miles, sweat, cramps, and many deep breaths later we arrived at our apartment. I can now say I ran a half marathon on my mission! Hahah


 The Helgenberger boys, Roxbert and Micrain were interviewed and found worthy to receive the Aaronic Priesthood this week. That family is progressing so well and doing all the right things. I am so grateful to be apart of their conversion and to see how the Lord is working in their lives! They taught us the message of the restoration this week and it was such a touching and powerful experience for me. They truly taught with power and authority by teaching by the Spirit. They are going to be incredible missionaries:) It was so cute when Chas, the youngest at 10 years old, turned to Elder Morton and I and said "We are blessed with families by God and Jesus. I love my family and am so grateful for them." She then proceeded to ask "What does that mean to you?" haha What a sweet and tender moment that I will forever cherish!

Keep the faith,

Elder Ricks

We get to work with these incredible people from OKFD (Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled) each week. We have been teaching them for the last month how to run so that they can compete in the Special Olympics this spring. I can't tell you how much I love each of these guys and just how special they are to me. They say some of the funniest and sweetest things! It certainly has been a great opportunity and experience for me to be able to teach them. They are so excited to compete and want us to come when they do it! Such a neat and special relationship I will cherish forever:)
 ​Scott He will Only run with "My Man" and he wins every time and says "Got you!". 
(I'm his man haha he is so funny!)
  Kimberly and Lamar! Two of the coolest cats you'll ever meet. They are so funny!
  Golfing again for P-day this morning

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Blessing- Week 32

Hello my dear family and friends!

Yet another wonderful week has come and gone. 

I am running out of time today but I want to share just one miracle and blessing this week.

We went to see a member who has not come to church in quite some time. He has a wife who isn't a member and has children that come to church every once in awhile when their grandmother picks them up. We arrived at his home just in time to see Jared just leaving in his suburban. We decided to go up to the house anyways and found his wife on the porch. We talked with her for several minutes and had a wonderful conversation with her. At the close of our discussion we asked to leave with a prayer and in that prayer we asked for a blessing over her children with their education efforts and pursuits. Following the prayer she mentioned how grateful she was for that in the prayer because they have a daughter who just took a test to be placed in advanced placement classes and things and will receive the results in a few weeks. Then this morning we received a call from another set of Elders telling us that her mother in law (who is a member) had called and thanked them for stopping by her house because the visit and the prayer left such an impression on her daughter in law. These missionaries were confused at first but figured it all out and gave us a call to let us know just how appreciative this mother was. It is yet another testimony to me of just how well God knows each of His children, how much He loves us, and how He is hastening His work to bless the souls of many. I am not sure what may or may not come from this miracle as far as the family coming back into activity or being baptized but I do know that they were touched by the Spirit of God. 

Little miracles such as this happen each and every day! I am so grateful for my call to serve!

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks