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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Three Homeless People, Dog-sitting, and Displeasing that Lady... 08-17-2015

Welcome to the last week of the transfer! And ... this last week was weird. Plus, it was my year anniversary for getting my mission call! 

But first, let me tell you how I love Morro Bay so much. 

We have a new investigator named Dave that I would like to tell you about today! He was referred to us from his Inactive girlfriend a few weeks ago, and he was just able to meet with us this week. He is not a Christian, but he has a strong belief in God and he knows that God is smarter than him. We were able to explain the difference between justice and mercy to him, and he was able to see a need for Jesus Christ, but he told us that he would need to ponder it and feel it. He also told us that he needs to read the Book of Mormon in order to find out if there is a need for Jesus Christ because it is what differentiates us from other Christian religions. He is very smart, but very humble! I am so excited to work with him. Hopefully I get to stay another transfer here!!! 
The ward is also doing amazing. The bishop has a lot of trust in us and we had the best ward council meeting I have ever been in in this area yesterday. We really feel the ward is gaining a lot of trust in missionaries, and because of that, a lot more are willing to join in the work! Bishop is hilarious. He always talks to us about the crazy things going on in his yesterday at church when he showed us his homemade stitching job on his knee that he fell down and busted open... he said, "I didn't need to go to the doctor. I looked it up on the internet!" :) 

So we have been doing a lot of weeding this week! There is a lady that owns a flower garden and is friends with some members that live here. The big rain storm we had made a ton of weeds pop up, and now she is over-loaded! So we have been going with the Elders and weeding our little hearts out! 

We also had three nights in a row of double desserts... BIG desserts. I almost didn't even have a dessert spot in my stomach anymore, dad! 

Then, the weird day. Sunday. Three homeless people came to church...none of which knew each other before hand. One of the lady's brought her dog, but obviously couldn't take it inside. So we ended up dog-sitting during sunday school so that it wouldn't bark outside the door. Good thing the dog was cute! She reminded me of Okie, but much thinner. Then to top it off, during the week an older lady in our ward called and asked us to bring a bible to church so she could give it to her friends. Well, in the midst of crazyness, we totally forgot it. Bit luckily the elders had a New Testament in their bag! So we gave that to her. All was well. Until she realized it was just the old testament...she was NOT happy. Awkward!  

On a more spiritual note, I have gained such a strong testimony of prayer this week! I have been studying revelatory prayer, and what it means to allow Heavenly Father to inspire the words that you say during a prayer. After studying it, and pondering it for many days, yesterday as we were at a member's home and she asked me to say the prayer, I felt my words being guided by the spirit. After the prayer, the member looked up and said, "Thank you. You might think that was a normal prayer, but you don't know how personal that really was to me, and how much I needed it." It was such a cool experience, and it is now my goal to have each prayer I say be like that. I want to be able to be a vessel for the blessings on these member's homes like Alma was on the home of Amulek. I encourage you all to develope these kinds of prayers, and strive to live after the will of God and not your own will. This will begin as you allow him to direct what you pray for. 

Have a WONDERFUL week! I love you all! 

<3 Hermana Ricks 

La Familia DiCaprio 08/10/2015

So this week we went and knocked on a potential investigators door. A man answered and intorduced himself as Leonardo. We talked to him for a while, found out he had been taking the missionary lessons like 4 years ago, and he has a son named Jesus with special needs. We talked to him about coming back and about what we will be teaching him, and then we asked if we could say a prayer with him before we left. He said yes and asked us to pray for his son. Hna. Young went to say it, but by this time, she had forgotten the name. So she asked him what his name was, and he told her, "Leonardo." I told her it was, "Como Leonard DiCaprio! He said, "Si!" And then she started praying and prayed for, "La familia DiCaprio y su hijo Jose." Well... not only was their last name not DiCaprio, but their son's name was Jose! But we didn't know his actual last name, and we needed to know it! So I asked him what his last name was, and he told us it was ", DiCaprio..." hahah he started laughing and told her that his son's name was also Jesus. But that the prayer was beautiful anyways! Luckily, Hna Young has a great sense of humor so she laughed along with me about it. :) 

We also had such an incredible miracle this last week! I think I told you last week about how one of the families we have been teaching in the ward decided to bring their family friend's over for the lesson as well! And that the mom, Kelli, was having complications with her pregnancy. At the end of the lesson, the member explained the priesthood to her, and asked her if she wanted a blessing of healing. We had to leave, because we were on our way to the spanish group, but the members texted us afterwards and told us what a beautiful blessing it was. Well, we went back over this sunday for the next lesson, and Kelli told us that she had another ultra-sound, and the doctors couldn't find what was there before. All of the problems were just gone, and the doctors were really surprised. But we knew it was because of the Priesthood blessing that she received! And it is so amazing to know that she has the faith the be healed. She doesn't even have a religious background, but she is humble enough to allow that to happen. She also told us how cool the blessing was, because things were said that she didn't even realize she needed to hear in order to comfort her! I told her how every single time I receive a blessing, I am able to feel the love that Heavenly Father has for me. It is incredible how perfectly He knows us. I am so grateful for the Priesthood, and the fact that we live in a time where that power is available to us! If any of you are going through a hard time, or any sicknesses, or problems of any kind, a Priesthood blessing can truly bless you! 

I have grown a testimony of the love of Heavenly Father this week. I am grateful for the weakness that he has given me so that I can rely on him and be more humble. Sometimes I forget how weak I really am, and I think I can do it on my own, or in my own way, or in my own time. And then I am kindly reminded by Heavenly Father that I need to remember Him and His son in all things, and rely on them instead! :) 

I love you all! I hope you have had a wonderful summer! I realized the other day that it was a year ago that I was waiting for my mission call... that is just so crazy to me! I am so grateful I was assigned to come to this wonderful place to learn such a wonderful language, and serve such wonderful people! Have a great week! 

<3 Hermana Ricks

Monday, August 3, 2015

Life is Good on the Bay. 08/03/2015

Morro Bay is just swell. I love serving here! We have seen so many miracles this week. As I've already written about, we have been really focusing on using the members and gaining their trust. Hna Young and I have spent a lot of time visiting each member of the ward council and sharing our testimonies of Jesus Christ. We have been teaming up with the Elders to teach different families in the ward the missionary lessons in order to strengthen their conversion. We have only been doing it for about two weeks I think, but last night one of the families we are teaching decided to invite another family over that they are friends with. We taught them the restoration and they were so excited! The members bore very powerful testimonies, and the spirit was so strong. We committed the family to take the lessons after, and they said, "Yeah we would love to, but probably in this setting. We like coming over to our friends house because we know them and everything." Which is perfect, because that is the perfect setting that we want! 

We also challenged a member that supports the Spanish group a lot to share her testimony in sacrament meeting (in the English ward) of missionary work. (This was inspired by the zone conference with Elder Grow.) Her testimony was very powerful, and inspired many others to get up and share their thoughts about missionary work. We ended up having more people at the Spanish group that night there to support the Latino members than I have ever seen before in this area. There is still improvement to make, but we are seeing so much progress just from a few weeks of focusing on working with the members! 

Hna. Young is awesome! We are working hard and enjoy studying together every day. She is really smart, and I always learn a ton from her! She loves the people here so much, and invests so much love into each person that we meet. She really has charity for them, and for me!

I have grown such a strong testimony of the family unit this week. I have been able to study and see the different roles that each individual plays. I have learned so much of the importance of being married in the temple. It is the reason that we come to earth! Without it, the earth, and the very atonement of Jesus Christ would be "utterly wasted." We come here so we can prepare to gain eternal life. And that is possible through the incredible gift of being able to be sealed in the house of the Lord. I challenge you all to have that as your goal! And if you don't know what I'm even talking about, ask the missionaries! They can help you. :) 

So here's one of the funny stories I can think of from the week:

So first off, a few weeks ago, the Elders and we were helping a family in the ward move. The family is super awesome! And they are a little off.. So we were packing up boxes in one of the rooms. All of a sudden, this HUGE EXPLOSION occurred. We all turned to Elder Pace, where the explosion came from, and stared in silence. Then, we all busted out laughing in realization that his pants had just totally busted open. Like 5 inch long hole...The Sister we were helping didn't realize what had happened and she said, "What did you fart or something?" (It actually reminded me a lot of Graham because he had an impeccable reputation for having that same kind of luck with pants.) Anyways, fast forward to this week. We were now helping the same family move. They were loading up the Elder's trunk, and the Sister shoved her plunger and toilet bowl scrubber into the back. Right into their box of copies of the Book of Mormon... When they lifted it out, and lovely pool of toilet water covered the tops of them. Ga-ross! 

Anyways, I hope you all have a fabulous week! Remember to go to church, say your prayers, and read your scriptures! (CPR!) :)

<3 Hermana Ricks