Monday, March 6, 2017

The Blessing- Week 84


Richard will be baptized tonight and is thrilled for that experience! He will receive the Holy Ghost and be confirmed tomorrow and having already met with Bishop, will also receive the Aaronic Priesthood tomorrow so he can go to the temple in the next week if at all possible.
One of our dear friends whom we have been working with decided, without us ever even talking about the word of wisdom, that this week he is going to stop using all tobacco substances. To do this he has been preparing to fast not eating anything and only drinking water this whole week in an attempt to cleanse his body and also, and more importantly, fast and pray and increase in faith and spiritual strength to faithfully endure and overcome. As we were talking with him last night we spoke of priesthood power and giving blessings by that power, through the authority and in the name of God. He said he would like a blessing and continued by recalling an experience some time ago where he and some buddies had used a weegie board and had evil and negative and frightening experiences then and since because of that practice. He said this evil spirit has plagued him since and he has wanted, for a while now, no part of it. He told us that he was beginning to be really upset and angry and was heating up inside and felt as though he would pass out or wanted to get up and run away. Through all of this, we straightway stood and placed our hands on his head and gave him a blessing. If only everyone could have felt the love that filled the room, the matchless spirit of mercy and grace that was extended, the relief that was wrought and the peace that entered his heart and complexion and entire demeanor, all would know that, in very fact, God is real, the Priesthood is His power, has been restored by Heavenly Messengers sent by Christ and it is on the earth today being exercised by His servants in His Church for the blessing and salvation of His children throughout all the world.
I feel so blessed because I have been able to teach a lot throughout my mission and here on OU but this week we taught even more than usual on campus so I was especially grateful for those opportunities and had so much fun each time we were placed in a situation to be able to teach and testify of the reality of Christ and His Atonement and how He and His restored Church and Gospel have not only changed my life but shaped it and guided it and bless me daily with hope, joy, love, gratitude, happiness, trust, and in all a greater relationship with my Father in Heaven. At one point, we stopped to talk with this girl who we learned was named Grace and had a wonderful conversation with her which was followed by a man, named Michael, who approached us saying "You are Mormon right? Confession, there is a group of us in the engineering department who secretly love Studio C." We had a brief conversation with him and he left but it was so neat because he went well out of his way to come talk to us about that haha and then, Immediately after that we were approached by Helen who informed us that her friend is living in Rexburg, attending BYUI and just submitted her mission papers and began asking us questions so we went to the institute building and answered her questions and taught of the Restoration of the Gospel and it was such a powerful experience. There were three separate instances this week when someone that we had found and set a return appointment with asked if they could bring a friend so that was amazing and so fun as well. 
The list of miracles and opportunities goes on and on, etc. We saw and experienced so many blessings and tender mercies throughout the week and it makes me sad I can't share it all with you but know that God hears my prayers and He hears your prayers and He answers them. I know, with confidence and certainty that many of the experiences I am blessed to have and to witness are in response to your many heart felt prayers on my behalf and the missionaries all around the world and I thank you for them and promise they are felt and answered. 

I love the Lord, I love you, and I love this work.

Keep the faith,

Elder Ricks

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