Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Blessing- Week 102


Edmond is Zion, heaven, the courts of glory, paradise, etc. I am convinced that this is the best place and these are the best people under the heavens! As always, there are more miracles and blessings than I can count or that I can recount, especially by way of email but this week, the greatest miracle of all has been conversion and excitement in myself and Elder Van Alfen and in the lives of nearly everyone in the ward and in our area!

What a spectacle it has been to witness the last two months of Ashanti's stunning and miraculous conversion. She has been one of God's elect and it has been such a blessing to be able to see her excitement and love of the gospel grow and flourish until she has been brim with joy and overflowing with excited anticipation for her baptism. She was baptized last night and was so calm and at peace and full of gratitude and joy for all the Lord has done for her throughout her life and especially the last couple of months. Conversion is the most incredible, uniting, and beautiful miracle to witness.

I know this is the Lord's work and I've been able to feel an ever increasing abundance of God's love and Spirit this last week. I know of the power of the Sacrament and of prayer and study and faith and repentance and baptism and other covenants with the Divine and of the power which is in Christ.

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks


 Elder Van Alfen, Ashanti's mother, Ashanti, Elder Yamane, and Elder Ricks

Six months ago I was so blessed to serve with Elder Yamane and now I receive the special blessing of being served by Elder Yamane as he is now my District Leader! I love him so much and was grateful that he was the one who was able to talk with Ashanti personally, on Friday before her baptism yesterday, in the way the Savior would in seeking out her story of conversion and being able to witness that she truly is repentant and prepared to be baptized into the Lord's Church and Kingdom here on the earth. With such a sacred experience, Ashanti asked Elder Yamane to baptize her and it was such a spiritual evening!

The Blessing- Week 101


The field is white, already to harvest, I can see it and I know it and I believe Christ in every word and promise He has ever made. In John 4:31-38, Jesus taught this truth and promised that we aren't here to sow now and reap in four months, but that instead we are sent to reap now and in the process of reaping, naturally and immediately sowing becomes a byproduct. I know that there are still people that the Lord, in His infinite love and wisdom, has prepared personally and through others of His children for Elder Van Alfen and I to bring into His harvest of souls. A couple weeks ago, Elder Van Alfen and I prayerfully sought the Lord's will and felt encouraged by a heaven sent thought that we knew of one individual, Ashanti, who is coming unto Christ through faith and baptism unto repentance and that there is one other individual, currently unknown to us, who is also prepared to come unto Christ this month through faith and baptism unto repentance.

We have been able to see God's mighty hand in so many ways and be the beneficiaries and witnesses of so many miracles. One particular miracle that touched me this week was our experience with John. We felt impressed to go to an apartment complex and try a few people we had previously met and talked with, the first didn't answer and we walked out to go to the next and casually began conversation with John about his hair and how long he had been growing it out. Without more than a three sentence conversation, he said "Do you want anything ot eat or drink? I am getting my mail right now but you are welcome to meet me back at my apartment to talk." Frankly, I was shocked and I'm sure I looked as dumbfounded as I sounded when we stumbled with a response that we were going to try one of our friends from our congregation and then we would be happy to meet him at his apartment. We tried this young couple, again to no avail, and with a prayer of thanksgiving went to John's apartment where we were able to have a 45 minute conversation about where his faith and relationship with God are at and he inquired about the one thing he had heard about Mormon's, being baptized on behalf of the deceased. After an explanation about prophets and temples and about that glorious doctrine and piece of God's plan for each of our salvation, he was nodding his head in absolute agreement and told us it just makes sense. "...the Lord is preparing people to receive you and the restored gospel. He will lead you to them or He will lead them to you." Preach My Gospel ch. 9

This really is the work of our Heavenly Father, the field truly is white already to harvest, and I am grateful to be on His errand.

Keep the faith,
Elder Ricks