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Monday, November 23, 2015

LOOK WHO I SAW YESTERDAY!!!!! 11/23/2015

"And it came to pass that as Hermana Ricks was journeying from the relief society out the door, behold, to her astonishment, she met with Emily, journeying to the land of the nursery. Now, Emily had been with Hermana Ricks at the time she was preparing for her mission, therefore she did rejoice exceedingly to see her BFF. And what added more to her joy was that they were still BFF's in the Lord; yea, they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were girls of a sure understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God" (Slight adaptation taken from Alma 17:1-2).

Okay that was weird. I was just standing in the hall and then out walks EMILY!!! After we both ALMOST cried, we just looked at each other and said, "Well, I don't know what to say to you!" It's kind of like a dream, and the only reason I'm sure I actually saw her is because I have picture evidence. But if it made me realize anything, it made me realize how short time is on a mission. In the short time we had to talk to each other, everything was the same. I fake punched her in the face for not writing me letters, we talked about all the crazy things going on in the world of everyone we knew from high school, and we still loved each other and treated each other just the same! Same personality, same relationship, same people. So I realized that I have the rest of my life to hang out with all of my family and best friends and the thing that won't ever be the same again is the fact that right now I have the wonderful privileged to spread the gospel and I have been called by a prophet of God specifically to do so. The time is so short, and then after, I just go back to normal life... I love my mission!! 

Okay heads up: the church is locked this week because they are fumigating it so we had to come to the library and the computers are super slow. So the rest of the email might be cut short! 

But... I love Ventura! The people and investigators here are awesome. We have already seen so many miracles. We had a really awesome lesson with our investigator and her daughter this last week. We asked them to close their eyes as we told them the story of Joseph Smith, and then write down afterwards when they felt the spirit. They both said they felt it when we had said the first vision and they knew it was true. They both came to church the next day and stayed for all three hours!

Hermana Griffes is so amazing and has taught me so much!! Especially about effective use of time. She really makes the best use of her time, and because of that we have had so much more success with teaching people. We are having a ton of fun together too! 

Also, we had a baptism last week! I only taught him 2 lessons, but he is AMAZING!! I don't have time to tell the whole story, so I'll just have to write it next week or in a letter. But the church is true! Heavenly Father really does prepare people!! 

HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!! I love you all!!!!!

(Doesn't Emily just look like she could have a name tag on too and be my companion? I think that's a good idea. Someone should tell her.)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Friday the 13th proved itself to be true... 11/16/2015

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes!!! I had a wonderful birthday. However, my companion did not have such a great day...

So we went tracting with the english elders again looking for service, and we had this super awesome experience at the first house we knocked on. But on the way out, Hna Pirir didn't see a step and twisted her ankle. Luckily the elders were right there so they carried her to the car (As they said, "This is the most I've ever touched an Hermana before!!!"). To the ER we went! And of course it was super busy so we were there for the rest of the night. Our branch president and his wife had made me a birthday dinner, but we weren't able to go, so they came to keep us company at the hospital. :) Hermana Pirir is a trooper though...she just keeps crutchin along! :) Everyone asks if she was playing basketball to hard. We say, "Nope. Just tracting too hard."

However, earlier that day, we had district meeting! E Gaylor and E Lallaton made me a cake that had 20 candles and also cake pops. 20 is a gross age. There is no birthday age to look forward to after this... But oh well! At least I made it through the terrible teens!

Aaaannndd as for transfer news! So as we were sitting in the ER, we got a call from President Felix. He talked to me for a good 10 minutes about Hna P's foot, and then he says, "Well, I also called to talk to you Hna Ricks. Your assignment is being modified and you will now be a Sister Training Leader." Because the branch president and his wife were there I just started crying because I knew that meant I was leaving Lompoc...but the next morning I found out I was going to Ventura and that made it a lot better! I have always wanted to serve in Ventura! It will be such a great opportunity to serve around some amazing missionaries and so close to the mission president. I know I will learn a lot from it! So I am super excited! AND I will be companions with Hermana Griffis!!! I lived with her my very first transfer in Oxnard and I have always wanted to be companions with her! She is soooo funny and such a good missionary! (She was Hna Jeronimo's companion.) SO! It will be a good transfer. :) 

Well, I will miss Lompton. I sure have learned a lot here! Now that I'm leaving I will tell you mom... it definitely is a SkEtChY town. I wouldn't recommend living here... But don't worry, I made it out safe! :) 

 I hope you all have a wonderful week! The gospel is true! Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church! Life is joyous in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any trials you are going through can be lifted through Jesus Christ. You don't have to go through it alone! 

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks

Finally had dinner at 10:30 after getting home from the ER... Tator Tot salad from Hna Rosales!!! mmmmm :)

Poor Hna...

Burro grande, y burro - ito. jajajaja

Monday, November 9, 2015

Milagros! 11/09/2015

Quick fun fact: this week I graduate from the terrible teens and turn 20. Yes, letters would be appropriate to send me, thank you. ;) 

So this last week Hermana Pirir ended up being stuck in Solvang during dinner time! There were only a few places open because they all close at 3, so we went to this chinese restaurant. It ended up being like 20 bucks, but it was good. :) 

We have seen a lot of miracles this week in Lompoc. Last monday evening we ran into a former investigator that we had also run into a few days earlier. The first time we saw him he told us he wanted to set up a lesson with us, and the second time was right before we were having a family home evening in a member's home. We invited him and he came! At the FHE everyone bore testimony of the Book of Mormon, including him, and it was so powerful. He is now reading on his own, and is praying about a baptismal date! This was just one of many miracles that we saw. 

We also went "service tracting" (knocked door to door offering service) with the english elders so that if they ran into a spanish family we could talk to them, and if we ran into an english family we could refer them! We felt inspired to go to a certain street. Well, the first house we knocked on said it was a bad time but to come back later. The first house they knocked on ended up being a part member family in their ward that they didn't even know existed. The son has cancer and they want the missionaries to come over to help bring peace. The second house we knocked on told us that we could come by and help her with her garden, and the second house the elders knocked on spoke spanish. So we went and talked to them too! They were really excited and the mom wants us to come teach her english! We set an appointment and then talked more and found out they are former investigators from a few years ago! And then they then invited us in to eat tacos. Which were SUPER good I might add. :) Miracles! 

I have gained a testimony of prayer this week. It is something that never ceases to amaze me. Everything that is said about it is true. Prayers really are answered! It is so simple, yet takes so long to get it. I still don't fully understand it, but I learned more and more about it every day! I know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me, and wants me to be happy. He has a plan just for me, and he wants me to reach the potential he sees in me! Sometimes I am stubborn, but I am learning how to rely more on His will than my own. I am learning how real the Holy Ghost is, and I am becoming more and more grateful for that wonderful gift that I have. As I learn to recognize and follow the promptings of the spirit, I realize more how much God really does love me. And that makes me realize how much he loves all of his children. So pray to him! He wants to talk to you. :) In the bible dictionary it says something about ( I don't have it with me so you might have to look it up yourselves it's under "Prayer") how Heavenly Father has blessings just waiting for us, but they are conditional upon our asking for them. I know that that is true! 

I have also gained such gratitude for the opportunity to take the sacrament and receive strength and forgiveness from Jesus Christ. 

Another thing I learned this week. I really like this quote: 

"Our words, like our deeds should be filled with faith hope and charity. With these words, spoken under the influence of the spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, and confidence can prevail."

It made me think, Do I speak words that show I have FAITH in my savior, Jesus Christ? Do I say things that are hopeful? - Optomistic, enthusiastic, patient, and with confidence in the Lord? Do I say things that are charitable? Loving, and uplifting to others? Or am I negative, self-conscious, grumpy, and chismosa? (A gossiper. :)) Brothers and sisters, speak words of faith hope and charity.

I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week!! 

<3 Hermana Ricks 

I saw Hermana Eames at zone meeting! When we lived together we used to always wear the same thing on accident every day. Guess some things never change. (The weirdo Elder in the back is E Gaylor...) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Burnt Down the Apartment... 11/02/2015


Okay I actually didn't burn down the apartment, but we did see this apartment on the same day that I almost burnt down the apartment! I was making oatmeal on our gas stove, and it was FREEZING that morning, so I had a blanket around me. Well, I didn't realize that the blanket had fallen super close to the flame, and it burnt a hole through my blanket...moral of the story: don't wear a blanket while making oatmeal. 

So last monday on P-Day we carved pumpkins! I'd love to show you a picture, but I forgot to take one before the pumpkin went all nasty. But it said "HLJ" (Haz Lo Justo). Today we were going to go take pictures at the beach, but it is raining finally so we aren't! Maybe that means I'll have time to write letters!

Also, Mom! Thank you for all of the crazy Halloween stuff! It made weekly planning a lot more exciting since that is what we did Halloween night! We got to use crazy fingers and lips. :) Everyone thinks you are the coolest mom ever - I think they are right! 

We had a good week in Lompoc following the spirit. We have a two investigators that we have really been focusing on, trying to have daily contact, and it is working really well! I have never successfully just stopped by an investigators house for 3 minutes before to quickly follow up, say a prayer, drop a spiritual bomb, and then leave, but we did this week and it was awesome! I really want to focus on having daily contact and involving members with that daily contact. Pray for the Ramirez and the Hernandez family! And that we will find more people to teach. :) 

We had a really good turn out at our ward's trunk or treat - an investigator that we hadn't been able to get a hold of, a random person we invited, and an in-active member that know one really knew about. I feel more urgent about time and about teaching people than I ever have in my mission, and I am really grateful for it. I am starting to see just how short and precious time really is. My mission is going to fast! So I need to make ever second count. 

Hermana Pirir and I are teaching better together. We struggled a lot following the same line of thinking with everything, but we are working on it, and I can definitely see a difference in our lessons now than from at the beginning! We are both trying really hard to just follow the spirit, and I feel like we are beginning to have the same goals for the area. She is such a great missionary!

I have gained a testimony this week of the power of the Book of Mormon and of the power of the Holy Ghost. I am working on teaching with the Book of Mormon, and testifying frequently, and I feel so different now walking out of a lesson. Rather than being worried if I said something wrong, I am able to know I said everything I needed to, because the spirit was there. I also feel such a desire to share this message with everyone, and to help them regardless of if they actually accept the message or not. I really love the people here so much, and desire the salvation on their souls! (That is one of our mission focus'.) 
I know that Heavenly Father is so mindful of each of us and of every little situation we are going through. I am so grateful for the relationship I am forming with him and his son Jesus Christ. They both love us so much. And they have a plan for me and my life. And for your's too! :) 

I love you all! Have a great week, and say your prayers so you can know God loves you too! :) 

<3 Hermana Ricks