Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Blessing- Week 79

It was, as always, another wonderful week!
Elder Yamane is absolutely incredible. He is one of the many great companions I have had that knows the scriptures better than I do and I am always so, so grateful when I am blessed with a companion who is filled with a wealth of knowledge and recollection of the scriptures because I learn so much from them about the scriptures and the doctrine found within them-that has been one of the many ways I have loved learning from and with such a spiritual giant, Elder Yamane.

We met so many incredible people this week and had some truly remarkable and spiritual conversations and experiences with them. A few, among the many, were Del, Shelly, Shandon, Ryan, Rebekah, Linda, Buster, Meghan, Katelyn, Mark, and a number of people who's names I have no idea how to spell because they were from Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, India and one or two more that I can't remember...:)

Elder Yamane and I found great success in our area this week in finding a few more investigators who want to learn and progress, Travis, Mark, Shikuna and Jabon and having a number of spiritual and impactful experiences with others. I love my Father and His Son. I love teaching. I love serving. I love learning.-In summation, I absolutely love the gospel and the work of sharing it!

We met Shikuna a few weeks ago when we were out biking from one appointment to another and offered him a Book of Mormon, sharing with him how it has changed and influenced or lives and how much it meant to us and he started reading it as he walked away but when we went back to see him for our scheduled appointment he wasn't there. This week we were in the neighborhood and thought we would just try stopping by and he answered and asked his uncle if we could come in and let us in. His family recently moved here from Ethiopia so his parents and uncle understand but don't speak English. He and his three siblings all speak English really well, however! We learned that he had never been taught how to pray and didn't know how to pray but how he frequently asked his friend to pray for him. We then taught him how to pray and related prayer to each aspect of the restoration. It was such a precious experience watching his expressions of joy and excitement overcome him at different times throughout our conversation as we could almost tangibly feel the Spirit in the room touching Shikuna and teaching him about how he was like the Prophet Joseph Smith and how he too could pray. We were able to sit together as he prayed for the first time and it was such a tender moment. After he prayed and we were about to leave, his uncle, who had been sitting through the entire lesson, thanked us in his native language for teaching Shikuna about God and how to pray and was so grateful and sincere, Shikuna translated for us. He and his brother, Jabon, both came to church with us yesterday and had a magnificent experience. They loved it so much and when we asked Shikuna what he had learned he simply said in his humble and sincere accented English, "I learned that I need to be baptized to go to heaven." We had never mentioned or talked about baptism with him but the Spirit is the real teacher and we promised him we would talk about it more when we come to visit with him again on Tuesday.

Keep the faith my dear family and friends,
Elder Ricks

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