Monday, June 12, 2017

The Blessing- Week 98

What a blessed week in Oklahoma!

This week we were so fortunate to have a visiting General Authority Seventy and his wife come to our mission for a mission tour and then after that he actually presided over our stake conference this weekend as well! It was truly a week of edification, sanctification, renewal, inspiration, spiritual confirmation, and testimonial growth. I loved each and every minute!

Ashanti is still progressing so much and making decisions that are propelling her to true conversion and eternal life which is such a miraculous process to witness. I will never grow weary of seeing the Lord's hand and power in my life and in others lives as He guides us on the paths of eternity. There were so many other people we got to see and other miracles we were blessed to witness and be apart of but primarily today I wanted to share a couple of the things that I learned from this week of ministering from on High.

Elder and Sister Echo Hawk are both converts to the church and speak with such love, respect, and reverence towards the missionaries and the members who played such an influential role in their conversion. As they bore testimony of this conversion they experienced, they invited the Spirit in all that they did and said particularly as they testified of the power of the Book of Mormon and as they said something that will forever echo in depth of my soul. In speaking of those missionaries that taught them and helped them in their conversion Elder Echo Hawk said "I would like to be a witness for my two missionaries at the judgement day." This one line, I feel, will have changed my life forever more. The Spirit bore witness of it to me and in a flood of thoughts and emotions I began thinking of those who have played such a profound role in my life, namely my parents, and thought to myself, "I would like to stand as a witness for my mom and my dad at the judgement day." That thought continued to develop and I thought more of others who played a role in the conversion of my life to this point and I realized I want to stand as a witness for each of them and my thoughts on the subject concluded with the realization that I hope and pray that I can live the kind of life that those around me will be able to see and witness a very real, physical and spiritual change, that they can see my life from the beginning, see the flaws and weaknesses and shortcomings and witness the desires of my heart and my nature begin to change into a character of pure love and discipleship, a truly Christlike life, countenance, and reflection permeate my entire being so that others will be able to stand as a witness for me at the last day that they have truly seen and witnessed a mighty change in me to the point that I have no more desire or disposition to do evil but to do good continually because I will give all my sins to feel the power of the Holy Ghost that I may know the Almighty, my Heavenly Father and my Savior and Friend.

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks

PS: Hannah was in Texas this weekend and went to church down there. She looked on LDS tools and learned that the ward meets at 1:00 so she arrived, ready for church, and walked into a chapel where there was seemingly nothing going on because there were just a few people standing and talking. She thought maybe she had seen the wrong time or went to the wrong place and knocked on one of the doors where a couple of Priesthood leaders were standing and talking together. She inquired about the meeting telling them she had just recently joined the church a couple weeks ago and it was her first time there and they informed her that she was at the right place and the right time but it was stake conference that day for them so it was over now but that there was someone she needed to meet so they walked her into another room where she met Quentin L. Cook and was able to sit down and talk with him for 15 or 20 minutes. She recounted her conversion story to him and she was struck at the love and brightness and genuineness of that man. Two weeks as a member and she meets an apostle and is able to have a sit down conversation with him, I promise you with how miraculous this whole thing has been that the Lord is preparing Hannah for His great and eternal purposes and we can't wait to see what those things will be!

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