Monday, December 5, 2016

The Blessing- Week 70

We, of course, had a Turkey Bowl Thursday morning! As a group of us were mingling together before the games started we looked toward the parking lot and one of the missionaries said "Hey, is that Elder Sitati? We all looked and said "Nah, there's no way, but they do look pretty similar!" To our dismay, Elder Sitati came walking up in his sweats and sneakers ready to play "American Football, haha okay." (He has the cutest accent, it is so neat!) So we got to play our turkey bowl with Elder Sitati from the First Quorum of the Seventy for his first ever game of "American Football". Haha he ended up falling twice and left with this big brown dirt patch on his bum, it was really enjoyable to have him there with us. We still played like mad though so don't ever think that football isn't spiritual because I can testify that one of the most spiritual guys on the earth was there ready to play and have a good time!

Service! We were graced with an opportunity to go to the UCO campus and help with the "Edmond Community Lunch". Anyone from the community could attend and we got to clean dishes, take people's plates and dishes as they finished each portion of their meal and even serve them with their food. It was so neat and the Spirit was so strong as so many people united together with one cause, to "go about doing good" in the "service of (their) fellow beings. ..." The greatest part was being able to see the faces of children and adults alike, light up and illuminate the whole place brilliantly. I really believe I was able to see the glory of God manifest in such a setting. I loved it! 

We received a request on Thanksgiving by a member in Lawton to go to the hospital to give her non-member son a blessing. We accepted the request right away and the next moment we got we headed for the hospital. We got up there and Elder Dean gave Matt a blessing of such beauty and power and love that I have rarely, if ever heard and felt-which is saying a great deal because I have heard and felt my share of divine blessings pronounced upon others by the power of the Holy Ghost in the authority of the Holy Priesthood of God. Sister Smith thanked us emotionally as did Matt's non-member father. As we were heading for the elevator to leave, a woman in the lobby area of the elevators exclaimed, "Hi Elders!" we talked with her for a moment and she asked us to give her cousin, in ICU, a blessing. So we went marveling and thanking Heavenly Father for these opportunities and privileges He had given us seemingly out of nowhere. Once again, Elder Dean offered a most powerful and touching blessing on Rebekah's head. I am always in awe when I consider the timing of the Lord, particularly within the hallowed walls of these sacred places of care and support, and often the loss or saving of loved ones.
On Sunday night we were called frantically, again, someone from Lawton, to go to OU Children's Hospital to give their daughter a blessing. We did it and had another really powerful experience. It was the extended family of a family I knew well and loved in Lawton so that was special for me being able to be apart of it.
Friday, later in the night, I got a call from President Mansell who gave me the phone number of my Aunt Cammie saying that she and her family were in town and he told me to give them a call the next morning and set something up to see them for lunch or something like that! Well, the next morning we pull up to our apartment after having played some sports with a bunch of other missionaries and my poor family stood outside bearing gifts and warm, loving, friendly smiles:) They sang me happy birthday and took Elder Dean and I out to breakfast! It was so fun to be with them and to remind me just how much I love my family and all that all of my family has done for me over the last 20 years in supporting and loving me in all that I do. It sure did make for a special birthday:)
I could go on but suffice it to say that we had an amazing week filled with fun and miracles by the good will of our loving and merciful God!
Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

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