Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

And a Happy New Year!! 12/28/2015

This week has been so crazy! Saddest thing first: I am being transferred. :( I am so sad... I couldn't believe it when they called us..I just got here!! And I love this area. It is one of my favorite areas that I have ever served in. But I know I will love my next one just as much! I am going to Santa Maria with Hermana Hurley! There will now only be 4 Sister Training Leaders in the whole mission, so that is why they had to move me I think. Because they shut down the other STL area, and Hna Griffes has already been companions with Hna. Hurley, and Hna. Cueves has already served twice in Santa Maria. I'm sure there are other reasons too...the Lord always has a plan for us even if we can't see the big picture like he can! My new address will be

220 E. Grant St. #95
Santa Maria, CA 93454

Other than that news, this last week was great! :) 

Shout out to Shay's birthday on the 22nd - I hope it was great! :) 

On the 23rd we helped Pedro's family make Tamales! They turned out pretty good for us being white girls...we are professional tamal makers now. I will have to make you all some when I get back! 

Christmas eve we were able to spend some time at the mission home with a bunch of other missionaries. Pres. and Sis Felix had family come visit, and their grand kids performed the nativity for us! It was super cute. We also went caroling as a district on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. 

Christmas eve, Hna. Griffes and I pulled our matresses out to the living room and we read Luke 2 (and the cute little book you sent us mom!) and sang silent night and slept in front of the Christmas tree in our new fuzzy pajamas. :)  

CHRISTMAS I got to talk to you all and it was so good! but holy cow was that the fastest phone call or what?! I don't even know what we talked about. We also went and "Angel attacked" the Mission Home. We cut out a bunch of little angels and had all of the missionaries in Ventura write on them how President and Sister Felix had been angels to us. Then we had dinner with Maria and Salvador. (Maria was baptized the transfer before I came, and Salvador is going to be baptized right after I leave!) They were so fun. The power went out in the middle of the dinner, so Maria went and grabbed her oil lamp and said, "Oh now we will have a romantic dinner!") haha. :) 

Thank you everyone, for all of the cards and presents you sent! Christmas was so fun! It was so fun to be a missionary at Christmas. It is a little bit better than every other time of the year because everyone automatically is thinking about Christ. They are so much more open to us sharing a message about Christ and his birth! It was awesome to be able to focus so much on the true meaning of Christmas, and be able to share that with others. With the new year coming, try to make every day like Christmas. To remember HIM every day and the purpose of why we are here. 

Also, our ward mission leader bought the elders these super fancy ties and told us that what he bought for us hadn't come yet. We went over to their house yesterday, and he had ordered us these super cute new bags! He is the best. Seriously, I will miss the Hernandez family so much! They told me I could come back and live with them after my mission. :)

Like I said earlier, I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us, and that everything that happens - every trial we go through, every test we are given, every happy moment, it is all out of God's love for us. Christ was born so that he could come to save us. From the beginning, God's purpose is to bring about the salvation and eternal life of man. Sometimes we are given trials and times of testing to bring about the same thing - because God has a bigger plan for us. To bring us home to him. In everything that happens, try to ask God what lesson he is trying to teach you, because there is always a reason.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can't believe it's already going to be 2016... 

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks

last elf on the shelf!

angel attack!

our candle lit Christmas dinner! :)

Ask dad what it means...

just kidding...THIS was the last elf on the shelf attack. :)

makin tamales

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We're Famous!!!!!!! 12/21/2015

Okay I am running a little short on time this week, and there is so much to say!! Good thing I get to call you this week, right?! :)

So first thing's first. HERMANA GRIFFES AND I ARE FAMOUS!! We have no idea how...but we were at the branch christmas party, and then a member came up to us and showed us a picture on facebook of us together next to our christmas lights that say, "He Is Born." I don't know how the LDS missionaries page got it...but it was pretty exciting! Then sunday in ward council everyone asked us if we knew about it and they were all so excited. Dad informed me today that we have around 3000 biggie ;) hahaha 

So last week was crazy! On wednesday we got to go to the temple finally for my birthday! We went with the Hernandez family whose son is our ward mission leader. It was so amazing! The spirit is so strong in the temple. I miss being able to go there as often as I want! But it makes going there a little more special. We also got to meet the Hermana that first taught Pedro in the visitor's center (the man that got baptized at the beginning of the transfer.) She was really excited. 

Then thursday we had zone conference and holy cow I think it was all just for me! I got so much out of it. I learned that God really is our loving Heavenly Father, and he desires for us to have a relationship with him and to seek his help in things. President and Sister Felix did so much for us, and it was just so cool and fun! And then they gave us all gift bags that included a Book of Mormon, and they challenged us to read it by the next zone conference in march, and to mark everything it says about the gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, and enduring to the end.) I have been doing it and it is a really cool way to read the BOM! 

So two funny quotes from this last week:

On our way to the temple Martin (the ward mission leader) was talking to his mom about calls home from his mission and he said, "You always cried what I called home, huh?" And she said "Yes. And when you didn't call." hahahaha I thought of you mom! :) 

And then we were teaching Pedro and he is just the best. He said the closing prayer, and he always prays for the people that are sick or without food and he said, "bendice los ninos que no tienen comido - dales un taco senor. (Bless the kids that don't have food - just give them a taco, Lord)." hahahaha how cute. :) We love Pedro! 

Well, I am SO EXCITED to call you on Christmas!! I love you all, and I'll talk to you in a few days!!!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks 

the elves got me back....

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

ZOOM! 12/14/2015

Wheeere to even start. This week was weird!

It started off last monday when we had to cut our p-day short because we are going to go to the temple this week! It was worth it, because we are super excited to go to the temple (we are going on wednesday!), but we basically forgot how to be missionaries as we tried to proselyte on monday!
Tuesday we were sent on a wild goose chase around Ventura trying to look for service. We had some planned with this random man we had met who was going to let us paint his fence, but then he wasn't there. We were in pants so we tried to look everywhere. We basically ended up driving for like an hour from one end of the city to another. We tried Catholic Charities, and it had a sign that said, "Closed Dec. 8th" and then we tired every member we could think of.
Wednesday was cool! We had exchanges, and it was really interesting because when we went to switch companions, the hermana that I was going to go with was being rather grumpy and rude... I could tell she hated exchanges and didn't really know how to handle it. But it was so cool to see how the spirit guided me to help this hermana, and by the end of the exchange we had seen SO many miracles, and we both ended up having a really good experience and enjoying the day together! (I think it helped that I was able to sympathize with her because I never was very fond of exchanges either - it just throws off your groove!)
Then friday we went to do service at a nursing home. We always go as a district to sing to them and the last room we went to the guy was so loony! He would yell random words at us. We asked what his name was and he spilled out this super long name that ended with P! H! D!...UC!... LA. He had gotten his phd in conducting... so of course he started conducting us as we sang and screamed at us telling us to sing slower and screamed at us when we sang well... and then at the end he asked where we were from and so we told him we were from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! He said, "OH the MORMONS!!!" Well, we don't agree with you, but we'll accept you. ZOOM! *waving his hand to tell us to leave*" hahahaha I couldn't even sing I was laughing so hard!!
Saturday we had another exchange! Weird random things kept happening to us all day as well, but it was such a good exchange! I went with Hermana Peterson. She came out with Hermana Donnelly! I have learned so much from going on exchanges with these hermanas. I think one of the biggest things is how much heavenly father is apart of this work. Right down to who he inspires us to go with, where we go, and what to share with them during companionship study or exchange review. I know that he is a part of each one of our lives, and has such a perfect plan for each of us.
One example of that is our ward mission leader. His grandma passed away this last week and it has been really hard for their family. He told us that he was asked to be the ward mission leader almost 5 months ago, and he didn't understand why they were taking so long until this happened. He said he now knows that it is because he needed this calling now to help him. There family is so amazing! All four of us missionaries ate dinner at their house last night, and we were able to help clean the kitchen a little, and sing hymns to them. It was such a simple thing, but it was able to bless them so much. I love being a missionary and being able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. He uses others to answer prayers. Be the answer to someone's prayer this week! When things are hard, turn outwards and help someone else. That is the true character of Christ.
I love you all!! I am so excited to talk to you next week!! :)
P.S. mom, the elves you sent us have been attacking Hna Griffes every single time she showers!!!!! They are pretty funny, I gotta say. I'll send pictures.

They decided to do something nice on Sunday in order to honor the sabbath

Monday, December 7, 2015

First Exchange! 12/07/2015

What a week! This transfer is seriously flying by so fast. I can't believe. It is true that every transfer gets faster and faster. I can't believe how fast my mission is going!

Last Tuesday, we recorded the song! They are going to use it for some surprise in the Christmas zone conference.
Saturday I went on my first exchange as an STL and it was so fun! It was with a missionary that is on her second transfer, and we were in Oxnard! (Not the same area that I was in though.) It was really weird being on the other side of the exchange, but it was a really cool experience to be able to learn from her! It also took me back to the beginning of my mission when I was super frustrated about spanish and just wanted to be a perfect missionary! And now I realize that I still don't know spanish and I am never going to get this whole missionary thing right...but I sure have learned a lot since my first few transfers, and especially since before I left. I cannot thank my loving Father in Heaven enough for giving me this opportunity. I just think everyone should go on a mission. it is the most amazing thing I have ever done! 

The area here is awesome. We had a really great church tour this week, and have had some really powerful lessons. We are finding a lot of people with potential as well. We also got a new ward mission leader and he is AMAZING! He returned from his mission a year ago, and he is so fired up about the work. He made us pass-along sized cards with an explanation of how to pray on it (they have it inside all of the pamphlets that we give to people, but he made us little pass-along cards for it for them to keep in their Books of Mormon - genius...), he filled up our dinner calendar with recent converts and less actives to eat with, he had ward missionaries come to correlation and used ch. 13 of PMG to teach them their responsibilities, he found members to come to lessons with us, he us coming with us tonight, and he has us report to him something that happened at the end of every day. And he was just barely called last week to be the WML! We are so excited.
Okay I am finally going to tell you the story about Pedro who got baptized my first week here! So he has SO MANY health problems. He was in the hospital and going to die, and he told Heavenly Father that if he would lead him to the right church, he would join it, be a faithful member, and he would serve God for the rest of his life. Then his care-taker (who is a member of the Oxnard 5th ward) started telling him about our church, and she ended up having her brother (Who is actually Hno. Nunez - the one that called you all on mom's birthday) give him a priesthood blessing. He then saw miracles, and was able to walk and eat again which he hadn't been able to do for a long time, and wasn't suppose to be able to do again. They then took him to the Los Angeles Temple Visitor's Center where he had a really powerful experience, and he told the missionaries he wanted to be baptized. They referred him to the Ventura hermanas, and they set him with the date he could soonest be baptized on. And then he got baptized! Every time they would teach him, and the few lessons I was able to teach him before his baptism, he literally already knew everything. I don't think he stops studying. He is the most faithful man! He can only come to church for sacrament, because he can't physically sit up long enough, but he comes every week, and yesterday he bore his testimony. He is so amazing! Seriously, every time we call him he's like, "Oh I'm just reading in the Gospel Principles Manuel" or book of mormon or bible or watching a dvd we gave him.. Ah! He is incredible.
I love you all! I know this gospel is true! Discover why Christ was born for YOU during this Christmas season.
<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks

And here is an avocado we found on the piano in the church...

Here's a picture from exchanges: Yes I took her to get ice cream because I still am Hermana Ricks and I still love ice cream. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Holidays have begun!! 11/30/2015

What  a week! So first off, I got to go to my first MLC (Mission Leadership Council) meeting this week and it was SO AMAZING!!!! Holy cow. Basically we get to be with the mission president all day and discuss the needs of the mission. And man, do we have an amazing mission president! On tuesday, Sister Felix asked me to accompany a song for the Christmas zone conference we are going to have on the 15th/17th. I said yes, and then she told me we were going to record it on December 1... so all week I have been practicing like crazy! But the cool thing is that they offered for us to come to the mission home to practice. So every day we have been able to go and hang out at the mission president's home. I told Sister Felix that I have never practiced the piano so much and that my mom would be proud. ;)
Also at the mission home! We got to eat Thanksgiving dinner with President and Sister Felix and a few other sets of missionaries! I was so glad. Sister Felix makes such good food. For the dinner, they had wrapped little paper in tin-foil and placed them inside the rolls so we could open then and answer the questions after dinner. Mine asked why I was grateful for my companion. Hermana Griffes and I get along great! She is such a patient person and so good at communicating. It makes it really easy for us to have unity and I have seen it really bless us in the lessons we teach. She is super fun too!
Basically, it feels like this week has just been filled with MLC, praciting the piano, and eating way too much food everyday. But! We did also found I think 4 new families to teach that are all solid! We found one man sitting outside and started talking to him and found out that his wife had passed away and he has three kids. We talked to him a little more and then asked if we could teach his kids a song. We had to sit outside the front door because we can't enter into a house without another woman, but the kids all gathered in the walk way and we taught them, "I Am a Child of God" and then how to pray. At the end of singing the song the little boy, Jose, just started clapping like crazy because he was really excited about the song. :) We then asked if we could come back and the dad said to the kids, "Do you want them to come back?" And the kids screamed, "YEAH!!!" So we are going back. :) All of the families we found are really awesome - we are stoked.

I also got to see Emily again! And her dad and brother. :) And it was while we were waiting for the branch president to sign a baptismal paper so we got to talk for a little while! It wasn't as weird this time, so we actually could talk like normal people rather than just hugging and saying "this is weird!" hahaha :)
Also mom! Thank you SO MUCH for the Christmas decorations and CDs!!! We have been decking out for Christmas all week. I will send pictures. You da best. If you haven't watched, "A Savior is Born" yet - WATCH IT!!! It is so powerful.
So I was reading general conference talks and I read President Monson's. It is SO GOOD!! I was too worried about him while he was giving it that I didn't really understand what he was saying, but I definitely recommend reading it. It is so good. :) And I read President Uchtdorf's about Great Aunt Rose and holy cow that one is so good too. I know that we have living prophets today, and I am so grateful for their guidance.
I love you all! Have a great week!
<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks

This is PEDRO!!!! I totally forgot to tell you the story again... But he is AMAZING!!!! Hopefully next week or in a letter!

weekly planning on Thanksgiving with our turkey legs and pumpkin bread!