Monday, April 24, 2017

The Blessing- Week 91

Well I can’t believe I am here on the computer writing up this email on another p-day, again. The time between Mondays is getting shorter and shorter, I’m certain of it!

It always is, but this week was such a fun week! I absolutely love Elder Burrows, I absolutely love Edmond, and I am absolutely loving the miracles being given to us by the merciful and loving hands of the Lord.  

President Mansell wants everyone to be able to have an opportunity and experience to try sharing the gospel on the college campuses around the mission so there are always missionaries coming to campus with us and this week we got to work the booth with Elders McVey and Smith and it was so much fun! We talked with soo many people and just loved the opportunity to learn about others and to help them and teach them about the gospel in such a quick and powerful way. Serving on campus really is such a different experience than I have had at any other time as a missionary so it is helping me to grow and become better in so many different ways and I love it. Being able to talk with people my own age about the things that mean the most to me makes some of the most powerful, spiritual, and fun experiences I have ever had. I love this work and I love the Savior!

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Blessing- Week 90

Milagros por los dias (miracles for days...and eternity).

Miracle #1: Queen
We received a media-referral Thursday for a lady who was asking for a Bible and we delivered it that night. As we were walking up to her house we there was a boy in a doorway of another home we were passing. We kept walking and delivered the Bible and they weren't interested in the Book of Mormon so we turned back and felt really strongly that we needed to stop at the home where we had seen the boy who was no longer out. We knocked and long story short, Queen, a lady I met in January was at the home visiting her friend and she recognized me and I her and we were able to talk about the hand of the Lord, of His timing, and of His plans which are not coincidental, meaning we had met then and been enabled to cross paths again for a reason. We, all together, promised God that we going to take His sign and, needless to say, we are excited to see her again.

Miracle #2: Maynor 
We were met by a man, 26 years old, named Maynor, at church yesterday. He came with us throughout our meetings and we were able to visit with him for about 45 minutes after church was over. He is in the depths of humility and wants nothing more than Christ's help to change him and make him a better man. It was a truly magnificent experience being able to testify and promise, with Elder Burrows, to our new found friend of the glorious power of God and of God's loving and merciful and enabling nature. We feel so blessed to have encountered such a humble and penitent seeker of truth and know that the Lord has been working in Maynor's life and wants him to be near to Him.

Miracle #3: Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, the greatest miracle that ever has been and ever will be. I am so grateful for the opportunity to remember and worship the promised Messiah, the Holy and Anointed One, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Prince of Peace, my Savior, my Redeemer, my King, my Friend. I love Him. I know that He came to this earth in a fashion that could be done only by the power of God but in the most humble and lowly of circumstances. I know with that He lived a perfect and sinless life, being tempted above what any other would ever be tempted with, going about doing good, performing miracles, displaying the most pure and perfect love that exists and taught as one sent from God for truly He was. He was left completely and utterly alone in Gethsemane as He met the sins and the sorrows that the world and its inhabitants would ever know. He was persecuted and rejected, despised and beaten and He walked the rugged road, baring the very cross that He was destined to hang from, to Calvary on Golgotha's hill. There He hung and suffered and took upon Himself again the pains, and afflictions of the world until His dying breath, willingly giving up the ghost. His rugged and worn body was laid in a tomb. In the greatest manifestation and display of power, glory, and love, the words "He is risen", echo in an empty tomb because Jesus Christ won the victory, overcame the world, and triumphed over death. He left the tomb and never returned and because He did, we will leave or graves and never return also. His matchless life has allowed us to receive mercy, and love and redemption and salvation. I know of these things for myself and as one of His witnesses, I will forever stand in awe and desire to sing the song of redeeming love and testify to the world of the things that I have seen and believe and know to be true. Hallelujah, praise to our Father in Heaven for the matchless gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Blessing- Week 89

As always, it was truly a blessed week filled with miracle after miracle and tender mercy after tender mercy.  
We were on campus walking around and talking with people and we met a man named Alex who is really intelligent. We walked and talked with him for about 5 minutes and learned that he had not only heard about the Church but actually has a Book of Mormon and is currently reading it simply out of his own curiosity, he had never been offered one or given one by a missionary or a member. We were shocked to say the least. He said he is busy and not interested yet in meeting with missionaries but agreed to continue reading (he expressed that he hasn't been able to read it as much as he would like) and accepted an invitation to take a Prince of Peace pass-along card to watch the video. We parted ways but someone heard us talking about the Book of Mormon and about the initiative and he approached us, introducing himself as Kenny, and began asking questions to learn more. We were able to sit down with him and have a great lesson about the Restoration of Christ's Church. 

I loved and cherished the time that I had to partake the Sacrament yesterday and was so grateful for the opportunity to sit and reflect and admire and adore the Savior. I love Him and would be struggling without Him but I'm not struggling at all, it's magnificent and marvelous). The ward is incredible and I am so excited to be here and to be able to work with all of them. I recognize and know so many of them and was able to make so many connections, it was fun:).

Gray invited me to his Melchizedek Priesthood ordination yesterday and that was such a special and sacred experience for me to witness and be apart of. I love him dearly and am so grateful to have been able to witness and be apart of his miraculous conversion. He is one of my dear friends! It was wonderful to see him and everyone else in the Village ward yesterday:)

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Blessing- Week 88

Wasn't General Conference just remarkable? I absolutely love the time we get to spend admiring the Savior, the Mighty Prince of Peace our Brother and Redeemer every six months as fellow Brothers and Sisters who have been called of the Master, honor Him and share the things with all of us that He has revealed to them and that are so sacred and full of love and everlasting.

I absolutely loved serving with Elder Hays on OU last transfer and already miss him and Ou and the countless, incredible people I was so blessed to serve and learn from there but I am having a blast with Elder Burrows here on UCO. He is from Sandy Utah and has been serving for about a year and a half and is just fantastic! I'm so excited to be with him and to learn from him this transfer! We are seeing so many miracles and it is fun for me to back in my familiar home away from home, Edmond.:)

After Priesthood session on Saturday, Elder Burrows and I were able to go, as were a few other missionaries, to Braums (the best place to get ice cream that you will ever find, with the one exception of Reeds Dairy...) and while there I was able to talk with one of the employees, Keiyona, as she took my order. We talked about her life, what she is doing, about her plans, how she wants to be successful, I was able to share my simple testimony of the gospel and how it would help her with everything that she had shared with me and she smiled and seemed to find a great glimmer of hope at that promise. Before we left, I gave her a card and as we walked out, another employee saw this interaction and came following after us quickly and said "I love talking about Christ. I am a bull rider and I get down and pray before every rodeo." We continued talking with him and invited him to join us for conference to listen to the voice of a Prophet and Apostles on the earth today and he lit up and it seemed as the very windows of heaven had been opened to him. He excitedly accepted and gave us his phone number and informed us that he would actually be having a rodeo that next day. He ended up not being able to come but gave us a call and is so excited to meet together Tuesday night. 

This is the Lord's work and He reaches out to His children with great love in so many different ways. I never would have thought that by talking with Keiyona that someone completely separate would be touched by the pass-a-long card depicting the Savior and a humble testimony of power of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty, our Father in Heaven. I love Them and was able to feel of Their love by the power of the Holy Ghost this week and particularly this weekend with conference. 

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks