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Monday, June 22, 2015

Zone Conference! 06/22/2015

Okay I only have a few minutes left... sorry if this email is short!!

This week was crazy! I was sick for a few days, and so we had to stay in. I had a head cold and it gave me an ear infection and everything. But all is well!  We have still had some great experiences!  We have a cute family we are teaching. The kids are always excited to see us! We are teaching them the Ukulele and how to sing I Am a Child of God. (I may have already told you this last week, I can't remembers. I may have sent the picture too, but just in case I didn't ...there is a picture of Luis! :)) We teach them in the park, because they are always there skateboarding. But this week, the dad started showing more interest, and even made us lunch. He invited us to come back next week to have a picnic again. We taught them the restoration, and the dad has a lot of questions. He is very humble, and allows us to teach him and his children. We are encouraging him to pray to know if it is true, and we are still trying to get them all to come to church. They were suppose to come yesterday, but didn't end up being able to. 

Hermana Young is doing great, and she is taking good care of her sick little companion! She makes me soup, and she is always asking me what I need. 

Our District leader, Elder Phillips, got sick and had to go home last monday. It was really sad! He was a really good elder. 
The new elder is an english elder, and he told me I have vampire teeth. It reminded me of the time the elder in the MTC told me I had a red nose when I was sick...

Oh man. My testimony grew in so many ways this week! First off, I received a Priesthood blessing from my district leader! (the Priesthood is the power and authority of God, to act in His name. In our church, worthy males can hold this power and authority, and one of the things they do with it is give blessings to little sick people like me!) Holy cow, I am so in awe of the Priesthood, and I have such a strong testimony of it that I don't even know how to describe it in words! But I am so grateful for it, and for the knowledge and testimony I have of it. I know this church is true because of the power of the Priesthood. 

We had a zone conference as well with Elder C Scott Grow! It was amazing! I will have to write more about it next week. But I loved it! 

Also! On our way home from zone conference, we had to stop and get gas in Arroyo Grande, and there was a worker there that came up the the sisters we had rode with, and told them that he could see a light in all of us. They started talking to him and we all found out he had a copy of the Book of Mormon that he had been reading. He could speak English, but was from Mexico so understood spanish much better. So we started talking to him in spanish, and I realized that he lived right down the road from Maria Santos (the one that was baptized in the wheel chair!) So I pulled out my camera and showed him pictures from her baptism, and he said that he knew them very well and was friends with them! So we were able to tell him that there was a reason we ran into him that day, and we invited him to take the discussions. He said the missionaries could call him, so hopefully he is now investigating! 

<3 Hermana Ricks 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Tale of Two Missionaries and Their Pet Spider 06/15/15

Morro Bay is great! We are finding lots of people to teach, and the members are starting to give us a lot of referrals. I am still trying to meet everyone and get used to the area, but so far everything is going really well! We have seen a lot of miracles and some people even just come up to us. We have been blessed! There was one family that stopped the Elders in the middle of the street and asked them where the church was. They told the Elders that they had been taking the discussions in Mexico and just moved here. So we went to go find them, and the lady they live with has a ton of potential as well! We haven't actually even found them yet because they are always working, but we are excited to find them this week.

Hermana Young is really fun to work with! We had a wonderful bonding experience this last week with our new pet, Silvestre. Don't worry, he is not our pet by choice. He is this huge hairy spider that comes back every night and sets up a trap to catch dinner right outside our front door. We called the Elders and asked if they could kill him, and they said they would the next day. (I'm normally not such a baby but this is a HUGE SPIDER PEOPLE!) SO we woke up the next day and he was GONE! We were so mad. And then there were spider webs everywhere..Hna. Young said, "AH! He made such a mess!" Then, that night he came back and set up his web again. We ended up seeing this moth fly straight into it, and Silvestre pounced on it, and it was the COOLEST THING EVER! So we decided that we needed to see it again and record it. So we got our cameras, and caught some moths, shook them up to knock their direction off, and threw them into the web. If I can figure out how, I will send you our video because we are hilarious geniuses.

We were also able to teach these two little kids, Alejandra and Luis, how to play the Ukulele at a fun. We also taught them the song, "I Am a Child of God." When we went back later in the week and Luis (who is 6) was playing basketball with these 3 shirtless college guys. He was super excited to see us, so he ran over and was ready to learn more about the Ukulele. He said, "Look I remember the song!" And he started singing "I am a child of God..." and then he decided he wanted to sing it for his basketball buddies, so Hna. Young and I ended up singing to all of them in the middle of the park with Luis...hahaha :) 

Anyways, this week was awesome! My testimony is growing every single day of how true this gospel is! Nothing else could ever bring me so close to my savior. I am so grateful for the understanding I have of Him, and for the relationship I have with him. All I want is for it to grow even stronger. I love my brother, Jesus Christ, so much! I am so grateful to kneel down every night and thank my Father in Heaven for His Son. 

I know this is true! If you are lacking in happiness or hope, turn to Jesus Christ. He is the only one that understands you, and he is the only one that can help you. 

I love you all! 

<3 Hermana Ricks

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Prepare to be Jealous 06/08/2015

Oh man. Prepare to be jealous. So here in Morro Bay, the Hermana's apartment is right on the ocean. We are a little ways away, but we are out in the country, and nothing blocks the view of the ocean. We can see the Morro Rock perfectly, and we can hear the ocean clearly. It is also right next to a national park. so we are in the mountains (well, "mountains" compared to Idaho...") with lots of trees and horse trails as well. The apartment we live in is the basement of vacation home of some people that aren't members of the church. They have a tree orchard with grapefruits, oranges, cherries, tangerine thingies, apples, and lemons, and we are free to eat them! Everywhere we go is basically right around the bay, and it is SO PRETTY! I'm convinced it is the prettiest place I will ever live. The only problem with it was the beds...super uncomfortable. But luckily for Hermana Ricks, they closed down her last apartment that is only like 20 minutes away, so she called and asked if they could bring those beds to the Morro Bay apartment and they said yes! So come Wednesday, I will be sleeping in Paradise. 
So basically, I am loving Morro Bay! Besides the fact that is the most beautiful place I will ever live, the people are amazing. The ward is very supportive, and they seem to be very involved in missionary work! A lot of the youth bring friends to church, and many members come up to us and tell us their missionary experiences. I am excited to be able to use the members in this area to further the work! We were already able to have a lot of member present lessons, and our district leader, Elder Phillips, is having us all do power hours (an hour where the members come out with us and their family stays and prays/reads scriptures for an hour) at least once a week. So I am expecting to see lots of miracles!

Hermana Young is awesome! We got along right away. She is the first companion I have known before I was companions with her, so it wasn't as hard to adjust! She was Hermana Huey's back-up trainer, and I had talked to her a lot because she is really friendly. We have been using music a lot in our teaching as well. I am really excited to work with her. She is very observant and does a lot of little things to serve me, like filling up my water bottle and sticking it in the fridge while I'm in the shower. I need to be better about doing that for my companions! 

So you won't believe what I'm about to tell you, but I am going to tell you anyways. This week, I tried Fish and Chips for the first time in my life, and I wasn't even forced to. So there was a restaurant right on Morro Bay called Giovani's that had their 30th year anniversary last Wednesday, and they were giving out free fish and chips. I figured after that time in Oxnard that I was fed a bowl full of muscles, crab, shrimp, and oysters, and after all the other times I have been fed sea food so far, that I could try it. So there you have it. I guess I'm not as picky of an eater anymore... But I still wouldn't try the bag of crickets Hna. Young had in the car...that'll take me a few more months. 

Also last Thursday, we went to a member's house for dinner. They are the seminary teachers here, and they were throwing an end of the year party that they invited us to! It was so fun. They had sent the students on a scavenger hunt around town where they had to do things like take a picture with a biker, and give out a pass-along card. Seminary is the best! Hermana Young and I decided we should do missionary work like that...just tell everyone that we are on a scavenger hunt and we have to take a picture of us giving them a passalong card. haha! Anyways, the family lives right on the beach and their house is so pretty! They also said I could come back and stay at their house when I come back to visit, so I will keep that one in mind. 

Anyways, I love you all! I am excited for this transfer! 

<3 Hermana Ricks

Welcome to an emotional roller coaster! 06/01/2015

Oh maaaaaan what a week!

So first things first...

MARIA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! Talk about biggest miracle I have ever witnessed in my life, preceded by lots of other miracles. Heavenly Father really must be in charge of this work, or that never would have happened! Thank you for all of your prayers for her, because holy cow. Best baptism ever. 

So how it all went down: We ended up using the bishop from Arroyo Grande 1st Pool! (He basically lives in a castle.) We sat her in a plastic wheelchair and then we got two missionaries, and two members of the ward to all dress up in white and baptize her! We had a member give a talk on Baptism and the Holy Ghost, and then Hermana Wallace and I sang. Shout out to mom! You know that song book you bought me before I left that had the CD accompaniment in it? We used that sense there wasn't a piano, and bishop had a sound system outside! We sang, "I Stand All Amazed" in a mixture of spanish and english. THEN MARIA WAS BAPTIZED!!! Her family didn't come, but her caretaker did! He is awesome. He wore basketball shorts incase he needed to jump in the pool and save her, but  he wore these super high socks and was like, "I wanted to cover up my tattoos to look nice for her baptism." aww. so sweet. And then after she was baptized, he jumped up out of his chair and yelled, "WOOHOO!!!" And started clapping, and then everyone else started clapping too cause it was just the most awesome baptism ever. Seriously, I wish I could have recorded it! 

On Sunday, Maria received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and afterwards she said, "I feel whole now." I love her so much. She calls us, "Hermana Rick and Hermana Wallet." :)

Sad part: I am being transferred. :( I totally got gypped! Only 6 weeks here. I am so sad. They are going to bring in a trio of spanish Elders to cover the english and spanish work, because there just isn't a lot of spanish work here. I know two of the Elders that are coming though, and they are awesome! Downfall: We have to have our apartment cleaned out because no other missionaries are moving in...and there was a TON OF STUFF. We're talkin 9 boxes of supplies and a whole car load to Goodwill. Oh and to top it off, Sister Felix called Saturday night and asked Hna Wallace and I to sing at transfer meeting. Great...

So funny story: Yesterday we were working on cleaning things out, and the zone leaders came over to get our 9 boxes of supplies. Well, right before they came, Hermana Wallace had thrown out this old broccoli and cauliflower...IT STUNK SO BAD. So the zone leaders came, knocked on the door, and the they went back to get there car and pull it up closer. While they were doing that, I ran and grabbed this perfume that had been in my closet for who knows how long. I have no idea who's it was. But it was like fermented or something. So now it smelt even worse. Luckily, the elders couldn't come inside - only to the porch where all the boxes were. Well, we were helping them take it to the car like 20 feet away, and I realized you could smell in all the way over by their car. So I figured, well, we better explain ourselves. So I told the elders what had happened. Elder Young said, "Oh man. I was wondering what that was. I thought it was like maybe a bush or something, but I wasn't sure. I'm really glad you explained yourself Hermanas, because I've corrected Elders on their apartments before but I just really wasn't sure how to correct you. Cause that was bad..." hahahahaha how embarrassing. Oh well. We ended up opening all the windows and doors and faced a fan outwards. We texted them 20 minutes later to report that it now smelled fantastic in our apartment and they said, "Well it couldn't have gotten any worse. That's for sure..." 

 Anyways, I don't have my next address yet, but I know I am going to Morro Bay with Hermana Young! She back-up trained Hermana Huey, and she also served in Oxnard at one point, so it'll be fun.

And the saddest news: I just found out the Hermana Price went home. She had been really sick and had gone to the ER a couple of times. I am glad she was able to serve with Hermana Brown through all of that, because I know she was well taken care of! But I am so sad that she had to go home. We had made a plan to be companions again! Hopefully she will be able to come back out.