Monday, April 4, 2016

The Blessing- Week 36

I love this place. I should actually be careful with what I say. Edmond is a great place but to be completely honest, I can't say I love the place because it isn't anything close to home with the mountains but the people, wow, I definitely love them. 

Elder Morton and I had a great week!
Tessa, the foreign exchange student from Germany, told us that she had a dream several months ago and in this dream, she was back in Germany with her mom and expressed to her that she wanted to be baptized into the Mormon Church. We are working to help her build her faith that there is a God who is our Father in Heaven and she is indeed one of His daughters which will help her progress to be able to be baptized. 

Michelle, my dear friend from Edmond 3rd, was able to go to the temple this week and receive her endowment and I was so fortunate and blessed to not only be invited but to be allowed to go and be apart of this monumental step in her eternal progression. I am so grateful for the temple and the sacred ordinances, spirit, and truths that take place and are learned and felt there.

General Conference this weekend was absolutely wonderful! I know that there is truly a prophet on the earth today and that he is Thomas S. Monson. Christ himself stands at the head of this Church and leads us through those He has chosen. I loved all of conference and every message was so powerful and evident in my life and I look so forward to being able to review them again and again. 
There were so many favorites I couldn't choose but one point that particularly stood out was the exaggeration on the fact that we are sons and daughters, children, of God our Father in Heaven. As I pondered this thing that so many of our leaders hit on, I realized the truth of it. I thought "Wow. When something happens in my life, in my service as a missionary, in my day to day experiences, do I ever say, 'Hmm. Well, I am a son of God. I know what I want and I know where I am going.'"
The simplicity is, for me, often deceiving but this truth brought a new and added increase of joy and fulfillment to my soul. 
I considered this scripture that President Uchtdorf touched on "Seek and ye shall find" (3 Nephi 14:7, Mathew 7:7) I also found in my own studies this powerful truth "God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). Am I always seeking joy and cheerfulness? If I am, I will certainly find it. I have been given much. I have been given the blessing of membership in this Church which brings knowledge of the Plan of Happiness and Salvation, the gift of the Holy Ghost, blessings of the temple, blessings of tithing and health and all of the commandments. I had to read a hymn and ask myself "Because I have been given much, I too must give. Am I doing that?"
It is my resolution to give with a new found spirit of joy and cheerfulness because there is really only one thing to find sorrow in-the idea of losing one or more of our brothers and sisters. Everything else should and does cause peace and joy. 
I am grateful for the Savior who, with our Father in Heaven, are the ultimate givers and have given or desire to give everything they have on our behalf.

God bless you and may we always keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

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