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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Eleventh Hour Miracles 06/20/2016

Holyyyy cow. I don't even know how to begin. How did that happen? I feel like I just closed my eyes and am about to wake up from the craziest dream of my life! Every returned missionary says that it goes fast, but you don't really believe them until you are about to be one of them. I am feeling all sorts of emotions. My mission has been such an incredible experience, and the lands of Ventura will forever hold a portion of my heart. 

The Lord is so loving and merciful. He has blessed me this last week with so many "11th hour miracles!" One of the biggest being that we found 8 new investigators. Well, the Lord placed 8 really prepared people in our path and allowed us to find them. :) This means that we met them on the street, they set up an appointment, we went and taught them, and they agreed for us to come back again. I have never had that many in a whole transfer, let alone one week! We prayed all transfer that the prepared people would be placed in our path and that angels would go before us to prepare them, as the scriptures promise. I am so grateful to have seen such a miracle to end my mission with! And to think, I was originally suppose to come home a week early. Man am I glad they pushed it back a week!!

Yesterday was also one of the most beautiful moments of my mission. Efren and Hernan were able to pass the sacrament. Another Hermano in the ward pushed Efren in his wheelchair as he did so. It was the best last Sunday of my mission present I could have ever asked for! We also went with Ursula to Young Womens (because it is in english, so we get to translate for her) and they were talking about the importance of sustaining people in the church or in our families. They asked each girl to write someone that they sustain on the chalk board. Ursula wrote, "mi papa." Then they asked in what ways the girls sustained them, and Ursula said, "Well, sometimes when my dad gets frustrated because of his illness, we give him the Book of Mormon or one of the missionary pamphlets to read, and then he is comforted." This family is such an example to me. They are already so strong in the gospel and teach all of us how to live it!

As I reflect on all of the experiences that I have had these last 18 months, I am amazed. My testimony is so much different than when I came here. I have so much more understanding, and have also realized how much I really don't know. I will forever thank Heavenly Father for the relationship I was able to build with him as He has taught me so many beautiful things here. It makes me emotional thinking about how I could not have done this without Jesus Christ. I have been changed so much, and I plan to continue to allow him to change me. I am so grateful for the gospel, and for the love of God that sustains me. It is very bitter-sweet. But so honored for the privileged I had to be here. I was no where near a perfect missionary, but my mission was absolutely perfect for me. Christ made up the rest. 

I love my Savior. I love following his teachings, and telling other people about the happiness and relief that can be found by following them. I am so grateful for the truth that families can be together forever through the restored power of Christ here on the earth. I will continue to serve him and fight for his cause.

I am excited to see all of you!! You'll have to help me stay busy! No asking me to watch any crazy movies or listen to gross songs. But I will say yes to going to Reed's Dairy, a snow cone shack (because they don't have those here for some reason), or having Pinterest parties. :) I'll try my hardest not to be an awkward returned missionary, but no promises. 

Love you all! See ya soon! :) 

<3 HERMANA RICKS 
 
We went to a restaurant with a member called, "Kyle's Kitchen." This is Kyle! He is a 12 year old boy with special needs. He is so cute. :) And the food is good too!

Ramirez family!

Thank you for the package mom!! The district loved all of the candy. :)
 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bubble Ball! 06/13/2016

Okay...this email may not be as exciting as the last couple. I don't even remember what happened this week. It is all going by so fast!!! I can't even believe it. But sorry if this is just a super random email... good luck following!

We had a really cool experience on Saturday night though. We had planned to just go contact people on one of the main streets in town at 8:30 until it was time to go home. We didn't end up getting there until about 8:50 and so we only had 10 minutes! We decided to say a prayer before getting out that Heavenly Father would place someone that needed to hear the gospel in our path. Well, the first person we talked to was named Lois! He is 22 and from Mexico. He started telling us all of these questions he had like, "Is there really a God?" "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?" "Why does God let bad people exist?" and a bunch of others that I can't remember..but the coolest part was that Saturday morning during studies, we had read in Preach My Gospel the part about how the Book of Mormon answers "questions of the soul" that are both temporal and spiritual. Each one of these questions that he had are listed in that section! The spirit is real. It guides us! So we told Lois about the Book of Mormon and  how each of these questions he has can be answered by reading it. Hopefully we will be able to teach him now too! 

I was also able to give a talk on the atonement yesterday in sacrament meeting. No matter what problems we are trying to help solve he atonement of Jesus Christ can always solve the problem! Hna Zurita (one of the other Hna's serving in the branch) and I had been asked to speak last minute because the other people that had been asked had cancelled. We weren't assigned a topic, but when we got to sacrament meeting, all of our talks had a common theme - that Christ can heal us and help up become better than we have the strength to become ourselves. It was really incredible to see how the spirit touched each of us to share something that everyone needed to hear. 

Also yesterday, we went to go to a "pass-off lesson" with the zone leaders, (that's when the person you met has to be taught by different missionaries because they would go to a different congregation..) and they totally backed into someone's car. They only left a little dent..but they had to leave a note because they couldn't figure out who the car belonged to. We told them to take a picture so that the lady couldn't claim more damage was done than actually was... good thing! Because this morning she called and said that they had knocked off the fender... awkward. Thanks for teaching me the ways dad! The elders are grateful. 

We also got to go to a quincenera for the branch president's daughter! That was cool. It is like a wedding! holy cow!

Oh! And last monday we played bubble ball...I will send pictures. 

I don't really know what else happened this week... we went to KFC with the Ramirez family, but I forgot to take a picture. (they're ones who got baptized last week) and they are just the cutest. Those kids are going to be such incredible missionaries! 

Pray for me this last week that we will have prepared people put in our path and that we will be able to use our time wisely! I know this message is so important, and that it is true. I am so grateful for the time I have been able to spend representing my savior, Jesus Christ. He is the way, and the only way to have happiness in this life, and in the life to come. 

Love you all!! 

<3 Hermana Ricks...



I promise it's fancier than you can tell in the picture... this is the quince!

And here is one of us at dinner last night. 



Ramirez Family Baptized!! 06/06/2016

Hello family!! This week went by so fast.

We had our family history activity where we all dressed up like our ancestors and shared stories together. That was really fun! There are a lot of pioneer decedents in the mission! It was really cool to hear all of the stories from everyone and about how much faith so many people had that came before us. 

I also got to go on exchanges to VENTURA!!! It was so good to be back! I loved that area so much. And I got to see everyone that I love! We first went and taught the Vargas family (Maria was baptized the transfer right before I got there and the Salvador was baptized the transfer after I left. They were the ones that Hna Hurley and I got to go see be married right before his baptism!) It was so exciting to see them and the change that has come upon their family. I love them so much! Something really tiny but that seemed really significant to me is that Salvador was speaking in spanish the whole time. Before he only spoke english and she spoke spanish. I don't know why, but it just felt like there was more unity in their home! They definitely have the spirit there, and they are progressing even more in the gospel. 

I also got to visit Pedro! He was baptized the first week I was there. He is the one that would always teach us instead of us teaching him. He had gone to the temple visitor's center in LA and decided he wanted to go into the temple. So he met the missionaries and got baptized three weeks later! He is still going strong and working towards his goal of entering into the temple to receive his endowments! He has already gone there to do baptisms for the dead, and took 9 family names. He is the cutest little man ever.

Then I got to visit the familia Hernandez!!! They are the best. Their son was our ward mission leader, and they were ward missionaries. So we got to know them really well. I missed all of these people so much!  I can't wait for you all to meet everyone!

Annnnd....THE RAMIREZ FAMILY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!! Seriously, one of the most beautiful baptisms I have ever seen. This family just glowed the whole. time. They are so incredible. I have never seen members be so supportive before either. The Ramirez family is bringing such unity and love into the Santa Barbara branch! Before the baptism, one of the hermanas in the branch took Ursula to buy a dress and shoes for her baptism, and then at the baptism one of the members gave Hernan the tie off of his neck. Both of the opening and closing prayers were so powerful as the members pleaded with Heavenly Father to bless this family.  Everyone looks up to them so much. I don't remember how much I have told you about them already, but they moved over to America because Efren, the dad, has a type of arthritis that is getting worse and worse. So they had to leave their mom in Mexico, and the two kids (both 14) came here with their dad to help him. They all are so humble and treat each other with so much love and respect. After they were baptized, we went into the bathroom to help Ursula, and there were two ladies in there as well just crying and talking about what good examples this family is for them. Yesterday, they all received the gift of the holy ghost, and Efren and Hernan received the aaronic priesthood. We asked them how they felt and they all said they felt so good! They looked good too. I tried to tell Efren in spanish that their faces were glowing and he said back to me in english in a super strong accent "what'd you say bout my face?" hahaha I thought it was so funny. 

Now we just need to find more people to teach! We are teaching another really amazing lady named Elida who will be baptized on July 9th. :) She is incredible. She is trying to get sundays off so she can come to church, so please pray for her! She was able to come to sacrament meeting yesterday. She really wants to be baptized! She has been taught since Hna Green was here last year, and said that she finally feels ready. So now she just needs her work to be lined up. 

Anyways, that is all I have for this week. But I have a lot of pictures to send you so I will get started on that. 

I love you all! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us. Keep being strong! Push forward with faith and patience, and the promised blessings will come. 

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks 

Catholic Mission in Santa Barbara. We went last week for P-Day to see the chalk drawings!

My companion decided to not look at the camera...but this is the only picture I have from the Family History activity. Sorry!

Maria and Salvador! 

And these are Mexican dresses that were given to Hna Frias for the family history activity. I've always wanted to wear one of these! :) Dreams do come true.

The Hernandez family still have the hearts on their door that Hna Griffes and I put there! :)

The Hernandez!

Pedro!!


After Baptism

birthday party for Ursula

Monday, May 30, 2016

I've lost my way...what a pity! 05/30/2016

Hello everyone!! happy memorial day! I have so many things to share with you from this week. Hopefully I will have time to type all of them. 

So on Tuesday, Hermana Green and I went to try and contact a few people in a neighborhood before we went to go do service. A lot of little things happened to put us right in the path of a lady named Ramona! She was walking her dog. We started talking to her, and soon found out that she had talked to missionaries before and had a Book of Mormon at home. She expressed that she was Catholic but had recently stopped going to church because she just didn't agree with some things, and she felt really frustrated about religion. We explained what the Book of Mormon was that she had, and how the true church of Jesus Christ had been restored in it's fullness! We testified to her that she could pray to Heavenly Father about these things, and promised her that he would answer her prayers. She said, "Oh! You're making me all emotional! I was just going on a walk and thinking about all of these things, and then I met you two!" Hermana Green then told her how whenever she feels emotional, or a rush of hope come through her, or a feeling of peace, or something that makes her want to cry, she knows that it is the spirit testifying that something is true. Romona is from San Fransisco, but she gave us her address and number and said the missionaries could come visit her. :) It was such a miracle! Then right as she walked away, Hermana Green told me that she was praying in her head and said, "Okay Heavenly Father, I really want to talk to Ivan (guy we met a few weeks ago that we were trying to contact, but he was awkwardly sitting in his car) so if he walks out of his car in 5 seconds we will go and talk to him." So she counted to 5 in her head, and then of course - out walks Ivan! 

Wednesday was also pretty crazy, but for a much different reason. The other Hermana's car had broken down Tuesday night, so Wednesday morning we were driving them to and from the mechanic and the towing company and everything like that. Then we went to the library so that I could do My Plan, and as we went to leave I had the weirdest feeling that someone had stolen something from me! I checked in my bag and I had my wallet and everything there, so I thought. Hmm. Weird. I must be making something up. Well. We got out to the car, and Hna Green was backing me up (cause we have weird missionary rules where we can't back up without a backer upper) and I went to grab my lemonade  and saw that it wasn't in the cup holder. So I looked up, and it was all dumped into the glove box! I thought,"Pues. Hermana Green definitely did not do that." Then I realized that everything was shuffled through and thrown around, and some hooligan had tried to rob stuff from our car! I hope they took of Book of Mormon. But the incredible part is that they didn't even see the credit card we have in the glove box for gas, or Hermana Griffes GPS that she is letting me borrow that was sitting on the dash... There must have been some ninja angels in there! 

Fast forward to Friday. We were out walking in the morning, and right before we got back to our apartment we heard this man yelling, "HELP! HELP!! I'VE LOST MY WAY!" We thought, oh no...a drunk person." But we looked up and saw this cute little Chinese man way down the road in a panic! So we went over to him, and he told us in very broken English that he was visiting from china and he had gone for a morning walk and gotten lost! He said, "I was hoping you could give me a lift! I thought I would know the way but then I lost my way - what a pity!" hahahah it was so cute. He knew his address, which happened to be right down the road from the church. So we told him we could walk back with him. He was SO grateful for us and kept telling us how kind we were. He asked us if we could bring him a picture because he wanted to remember us for forever. So of course we took him a Chinese Book of Mormon that has been kicking around in our trunk ever since Hna Green was here last time. Coincidence? No. He was really excited about that too and said he would start reading it that night. :) He also gave us his address in China so that we can write him when he goes back! :) Most productive exercises of my mission. For sure. 

Saturday Efren, Hernan, and Ursula all had their baptismal interviews! (Surprise - his name is Efren - not Efrain. We've all been calling him the wrong name for the next month...awkward.) They totally passed. They are so genius. We were teaching them Friday night, and they all remember all of the 10 commandments, the name of the prophet, and basically everything. And they've only been learning for a month. 

Yesterday we had branch conference. After church, the Obispo family had invited Efren and his kids, and us over for lunch. We were planning on teaching them about what they will be doing after they are baptized, and I had felt like we should invite the stake president to the lesson with us to help explain the priesthood to Efren and Hernan. But then I quickly decided that I didn't want to invite someone else to a member's house, because they were feeding us, and thought that the Hermano Obispo can just explain it! So, we went to lunch, ate a TON, and  then right as we were about to finish up eating, guess. what. The stake president knocks on the door! Hna Obispo answered and was so excited and surprised to see him! They invited him right in, gave him, and asked if he wanted a taco. He said, "Sure! Just one." So they gave him three! Then I asked him, "How did you know to come?" He said, "I just came!" We invited him to help us teach our lesson about the priesthood. He only had five minutes, so he explained his part, and after he left Efren said," Wow. He explains things really well!" I am still so amazed by it. Heavenly Father really does love us individually, and he sends people to bless us individually! I am so glad that President Houston was so intune with the spirit to make up for a lack of following that prompting! I found out later that Hna Green had felt like we should invite him to and did the same thing I did. 

Heavenly Father loves us all and has a plan! 

I love you all too. Have a great week!

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks 

Man from China

Efren Ursula and Hernan

Monday, May 23, 2016

La Cucaracha ya no puede caminar ay ay ay! 05/23/16

Hello Family!

I don't even know what happened this week. It just keeps going faster and faster. Like really I am sorry if this letter is super lame I can't even think of anything right now.

Oh I thought of something. We met a crazy guy! After we told him a little bit about the restoration of the church, he told us that he believed us. And in Aliens...and that he has super powers. He said that he gets a little freaked out because so many planes and helicopters fly over him and he thinks the government is watching him. We told him that it might be because there is an airport in Goleta... who knows. There's lots of crazies here in Santa Barbara. 

Efrain and his kids, Ursula and Hernan have baptismal dates! They are going to be baptized on June 11th. They are so awesome. Last night we had a dinner/lesson with them at a member's house, and they understand everything so well. The kids especially - I am so impressed! As the dad tried to tell us the story of Nephi and Laban, the kids kept correcting it haha. And we asked if they felt like they had felt the spirit, and Efrain said, "Well yeah! When I picked up the Book of Mormon I didn't feel like I could put it down!" :) 

We have another investigator that I met this week named Elida. She had an eye surgery, and so we helped her figure everything out. The office she went to didn't have translators so we had to help her read the paperwork. She ended up getting a priesthood blessing as well and she felt the spirit so strong! She said it felt like God was just right there and she could feel him. We went to help her make food the next day, and we read to her out of the Book of Mormon. Even though she was in pain and all numbed up, she understood everything! She has been through a lot of hard things in her life, but she is one of the most charitable people I have ever met. I can't wait for you all to meet these people!

I am sorry this is a lame email...this week just went by so fast. But I am so grateful to be here! Hna Green and I have been trying to contact as many people as we can, and we have met a lot of interesting people! We really like street contacting together. It is fun working with her. She goes home a transfer after I do. So on August 2nd. But I know that this is a true message that we share! I am so honored to be here, and I am excited to see all of you soon. :) 

Love you!

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks 


Oh... We also ran into a huge cockroach. And got to stand on a staircase by the ocean to take a picture. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Miracles!! Miracles all week. 05/16/16

It all started out on Monday - the last night I was in Camarillo! Hna Hemingway and I were going to visit someone, and we decided to try and go talk to some random person we saw. Well, that random person went back inside, but we ended up seeing someone else that was unloading bags of cement from their truck! His name was Hector. So we went to go ask if we could help, and he told us we could come help paint his house the next day. When we said, "Okay!" He was really surprised. We set up a time to come and then he said, "Do you want to come in for dinner?!" We excitedly accepted because we hadn't eaten anything, and we would get to meet the family! (P.S. I love latinos. Seriously, who else would randomly invite some strangers in for dinner?) So we got to teach him, and we soon realized that he was a super hilarious person. The whole family was all staring at us and he said, "These are the Hermanas and they want to eat! Seriously - make room for them!" He asked what church we were from and we said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." He said, "Oh good! We are from the First Days." haha except it was in spanish so it was funnier. Anyways, we ate tostadas with them, and got to know their family. They are catholic. Like everyone. But Hector is open to learning! As we left we talked about how perfect the Palma family would be for them who lived on the next street over. Then we got into our car, and there was a message from our dinner coordinator telling us that we had dinner with la familia Palma the next day! No way! So we called to ask if we could invite Hector to dinner too, and she said, "Of course! We can come help paint as well if you want!" MIRACLE. I don't know what happened after that though cause I left... I'll have to ask Hna Hemingway!

Now for Santa Barbara! We have a really amazing investigator named Efrain. He has two kids and they all love the church! They have been coming for a few weeks and are just the most humble people in the world. We taught them the Restoration last night, and they understood it really well. They are member referrals. He has a wheelchair, I'm not sure why, and his kids are 13 and 14. The last Hnas here said they read the BOM during lunch at school. :) You can definitely tell when an investigator truly desires to follow Jesus Christ! They are true seekers. We are hoping to set them all with a baptismal date next week. 

We are also teaching another person named Edgar who is a member referral. (He is the boyfriend of the branch president's daughter.) He is another person that really understands the docterine we teach him! We would have set a baptismal date with him last week, but didn't get to teach him a second time because he is grounded. This week. Other than that, we are just trying to get some more solid investigators! Hna Green and I are expecting miracles to happen this transfer. 

We had another miracle on Wednesday with service! We went to go visit a potential investigator, and we were just about to get into our car and drive to see someone else when we noticed a lady come out of her upstairs apartment and limp down the stairs with a crutch to go talk to the mail man. After the mailman left, we got out and went to ask her if we could come in and wash her dishes or do anything because we figured it was hard the way her ankle was. She started crying, and said that we could come do her dishes. She immediately took it back and said, "No it'll be fine - I just bought a stool so that I could do the dishes, so I can do it." But we were persistent and kept telling her we wanted to come help! She finally let us come in, and she was just crying the whole time. She eventually told us that she had just barely received a really rude text from a friend, and she was going through a really hard time. She was SO grateful that we would come and do that for her. We were able to testify to her of the love that Heavenly Father has for her and knowing that she needed that at that specific time. 

So on another note - my zone leader got me sick. He shook my hand at transfers without knowing he was sick..I found out a few days later when we both were sick! Rude. However, I ended up receiving a preisthood blessing because of it, and it was such a miraculous experience. On Thursday we had stayed in, and on friday I still felt really weak and unable to stand for long periods of time. After district meeting, the elders gave me a blessing. I had been praying that I would have the faith to be healed so that I could go out and work that day! Literally, as soon as they placed their hands on my head, I felt different. It didn't go away completely, but I felt strengthened. I was able to stand and walk around for the rest of the day just fine! I am still sick and congested, but it was such a miracle of the priesthood. I am so grateful for that. It is such an incredible blessing to know that the power of God really is restored to the earth today, and we have the ability to access it. God loves us so much. 

I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderul week! Expect miracles, and they will come! :)

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks 

Here is the only picture we took this week: we did service at a charity place and they have this on the wall. It basically explains the life of a missionary at all times. 


Friday, May 13, 2016

ey we just met you and this is crazy but, do you wanna play volleyball? 05/09/2016

Hello everyone! I don't have too much time left, sorry if this email is short. But luckily I got to talk to you all yesterday as well! :)

For all those I didn't talk to, here is transfer news!

I will no longer be and STL, but will be transferred to Santa Barbara to work with Hna Green for my last transfer! I am super excited. Hna Johnson will be coming here to take my place. State street here I come! ;)

It was so wonderful serving here in Camarillo with Hna Hemingway. It was a slower area, but it made us work harder and appreciate all of the miracles that we saw! The Lord really does have a plan. The new ward is on fire about missionary work.

We had a funny experience on Saturday.. So we are allowed to have a sports activity during the week once a week with investigators and or members, and so ours is Saturday afternoon. We had a lesson right before, and on our way to the lesson we met this 17 year old named Gilberto that doesn't speak English. We started talking to him and asked if he wanted to come play volleyball with us after we finished talking to his neighbor. When we came back outside he was all weird and kept saying weird things to try and through us off like, "I talk to the devil." We just ignored it and said, "So are you gonna come play volleyball?" Well, he ended up coming, and he followed us in his car. It was suppose to take 10 minutes to drive there, but there was a ton of traffic, and so it took about 30 minutes. I think he was annoyed about that...and then when we walked in, and other 8 missionaries introduced themselves. A all of them said, "I'm Elder ..." I just laughed because he was probably wondering why they're all named elder. Despite the fact that we were all super nice, I think he thought we were weird, and he just left... hahaha

Then we had to practice a the song, "We are all enlisted" so we could sing it for sacrament meeting, and I taught the elders how to harmonize! They were like little boys getting trucks on christmas. They were so excited. It was funny because we could hear them singing it down the hall, in the bathroom, in the gym..they loved it! And it's even funnier because the base line of that song has like three notes. But they were just so excited that they knew how to sing harmony. I even had a dream of that base and tener lines being sung that night. hahaha

The song went pretty well yesterday. All of church was really good! Ialso got to share my testimony with the ward, and that was really cool! I told them how I had started my mission in that chapel about a year and a half ago, and now I am going to SB to finish it off! I shared that I have had seen so many miracles, and experienced the atonement so much since then. I love all of them! I can't wait for you to meet them. :)

Obispo Nunez has been spending so much time getting everything in order with the new ward, and he still takes the time to tell us he wants to go with us to lessons. The last bishop - obispo Quesada is the ward mission leader. So basically, many miracles are yet to come! Maybe they'll have to split the ward again back to how it was. haha. But really it is so huge now!  

I learned so much from Hermana Hemingway! She is probably the most patient and humble companion I have ever had. She really leads by example. I will miss her! And I'll miss eating cereal on our beds together and telling each other stories. Cause that was like a weekly endeavor. It's weird - every transfer there is a food that I eat every day. This transfer it was cereal. Pictures to follow.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! :)

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks

PS sorry mom - I know you requested that I keep sending lots of pictures, but we didn't take like any this week... But here is our weekly cereal extravaganza on our beds!






Umm...You called us! 05/02/2016

Beware: this email is all over the place.

What in the world happened to this transfer?! It is already Monday of week 6. Which means it's the last week of the transfer. It is also May...how does this happen?! Time goes so fast.

I started something called, "My Plan." this last week. It is a program for returning missionaries. The first thing it tells you is, "Congratulations! You're almost a returned missionary!" Gee thanks. haha I am excited to see all of you though! It is just really weird. And this is the best thing ever. Plus I get to eat Mexican food every day and I just don't want to change that.

This week we saw such a huge miracle! We have an investigator who is married to a returning less-active. She took the missionary lessons like 3 years ago, but didn't want to get baptized. When we came into the area she had just started coming to church, and we began teaching her the lessons. We tried to set her with a baptismal date in May last week, but she wouldn't accept it because she wanted more time. The next time we went over we found out that she loooves coffee, so we asked if that was why she didn't think she could get baptized in May. She said that was one of the reasons. We still didn't know what else was keeping her from wanting to be baptized. But as we studied for our next lesson, we felt impressed to speak about the power of the atonement and how Christ can enable us to do things that we aren't able to do out of our own strength. We planned to share personal experiences. I ended up telling her this story of a time I was having a hard time forgiving someone, so I said a prayer telling Heavenly Father that I needed his help, and the next day I woke up and just felt completely at peace. I couldn't explain how, or where all of the feelings went - they just left. Jenny then began smiling and said, "You know - that's why I can't get baptized. Do you remember when I told you that I wanted to feel at peace before I got baptized? Well, I told my husband yesterday that I couldn't forgive this person, and that's why I couldn't get baptized." We then asked her if she had prayed about when she wants to be baptized and she said, "I want to be baptized when you said. On May 28th. Oh! And I didn't drink Coffee today - even when I passed it in Target. I just didn't look." :) It is so amazing to me how Heavenly Father prepares his children. This is an investigator who really understands that importance of the baptismal covenants she is going to make! She understands how sacred it is, and I am so amazed that she wants to make sure she is clean, ready, and prepared because she takes that step.

I was also so amazed at the testimony of the recent convert who they had come up in stake conference yesterday. She shared her experience of joining the church and said that she was reading the Book of Momron and praying every day. One day, she realized that she needed to overcome the anger she had towards her dad through the power of the atonement. She hadn't talked to him for months and decided to call him up the next day and talk. I feel like that testimony was meant just for our investigator! Good thing she's super awesome and came to stake conference to hear it!

Elder Richards ( I can't remember his first name) of the seventy also came to stake conference. It was so powerful. I felt like the overall theme was how Heavenly Father is an individual God. Which means he loves all of us and knows us each individually! Just about every speaker in the adult session and the Sunday session shared stories about God specifically showing his love to one of his children. I wish I had time to write all of them down. One of them though was of a girl who had recently gone through a divorce at BYU-Idaho and was really struggling to know if God really knew who she was. That day, she went in to Women's Health, and during that class, President Clark walked in, walked back out, and came back in with Elder Bednar. He stayed for an hour doing a "question and answer" thing with them. At the end, the girl was still wondering if God really knew who she was. Right before Elder Bednar left, he told them all, "Sisters - I want you to know that at 9:04 this morning, (I think that's the time they said...) I received the distinct impression that there was one of Heavenly Father's daughters here on the campus that needed to know they were loved. I told President Clark that we would start at the top of campus. We have been walking to every classroom, and president clark walks in to see what class it is, and then back out. We have repeated this until he told me we were at Women's Health! When he said this, the spirit rushed over me and I knew we had found the right place. If you don't think God is an individual God, you tell me why he would send an apostle all over BYU-I campus and to a small Women's Health class just to tell you he loves you."

 This is also one of the first truths that is taught to us through the Restoration. When Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in the sacred grove - they called him by his name. They answered HIS specific question. In the YSA broadcast yesterday it was said that Joseph learned more about the true character of our loving Heavenly Father more in those few moments that any religious person had since Christ was on the earth. This is the first truth that we speak of. For this reason, this transfer for our Hermanas, so have had the goal of making sticky note walls that have an evidence for every day of God's love for  us! We decided to make ours in the shape of the plan of salvation. I will send a picture at the end.

This week during studies we talked a lot about the tongue of angles referred to in 2 Nephi 32:2-3. It hit me that we are such a small percentage of people in the world that have the gift of the holy ghost, and we therefore have the obligation to speak the words the holy ghost would speak! If people want to find voices of sarcasm or ridicule or belittlement - they can find it easy enough in the world. When we use that kind of language, we may be confirming a lie that Satan has been trying to tell to one of our brothers and sisters. So we, especially as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who have made sacred covenants to take his name upon us, should be a voice that speaks the truth. What God would have us know about our divine nature.

One more story that is just super hilarious. So we called a potential investigator this last week that the Los Robles Hermanas had met, and he didn't answer. He called us back about 20 minutes later, and asked who we were! When we told him we were the missionaries he said, "Oh I'm busy! Can I call you back later?" hahahha I don't think he realized that he had called us that time... we laughed so hard. :)

I love you all! And so does Heavenly Father! Have a wonderful week and ILL TALK TO YA SUNDAY!

Con todo carino,

Hermana Trystan Ricks <3

You are here!

Me starting my plan...
Fun fact! Every Hermana that comes and sleeps in my bed likes to put potatoes in it. Today, by companion arranged my stuffed animals for me...


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DREAMS DO COME TRUE 04/25/2016

I have wanted to go back to Oxnard 6th ward my whole mission! It is like my home because it was my first area! I was secretly super jealous of Hna Young when she got called back to there for her last transfer, because that was also where she was trained! WELLLLLL... IT'S A DREAM COME TRUEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This last sunday they announced that the Oxnard 5th and 6th wards will be combined into one ward. Known as the "Camino Real" ward!!! I AM SO EXCITED!! And guess who the bishop will be....OBISPO ALBERTO NUNEZ!!! The one that called you both years for your birthday, mom! :) I am stoked. Now, we will see if I get to stay here for my last transfer in a couple weeks! :D

Awesome other side note: Hermana Young came to the meeting where they announced this and so I got to see her!!! And Pedro Morales (the man that was baptized by Hno Nunez in Ventura) also came! Too much excitement in one afternoon. I still am excited let's be honest.

This week was so incredible. And incredibly exhausting. We had 3 exchanges! I have never gone on that many before in one week...and I don't recommend it! We have another one tomorrow too, and then we will be done. BUT! All of the Hermanas I went with were so great. I wish I had time to write all of the stories down! I will tell you one that happened over the course of three days.

So on the first exchange I went on, as we were planning the night before we kept writing names down in our 4:30 slot of our planners. We probably went through 5 or 6 people and had to keep moving them to different spots because of different reasons. We concluded that there would be a miracle at that time because our plans kept not working! We then finally found a name we could write down. Well, the next day the elders gave us a slip of paper with names from our newly added Oxnard area (they decided that there are too many white people here in Camarillo so they gave us some of Oxnard) and the name we had finally written at 4:30 was on their paper too! That meant we had to erase the name again from 4:30 because we weren't going to be in Oxnard at that time. Well. Our 4:00 appointment then canceled, and so did the backup plan. So we tried to think of a bunch of other things we could do. It eventually hit 4:30, then 4:45, and we decided that we had to find this person before going back to eat dinner. So I took a bunch of random turns until I could find a spot to park so we could say a prayer. We said the prayer and were about to start driving when we saw two workers building a fence! We decided to get out and go talk to them. We first talked to Miguel, who was really nice but not really interested. Then his friend, Jesus, came out from the back and he was all, "Oh! Girl missionaries do exist! The Elders always said they did, but I had never seen them!" Turns out, he was a former investigator! Well, Hna Ames continued to talk to him and I continued the conversation with Miguel. We then gave them our number, and amongst all the confusion, we failed to get their number or address - we just knew which corner they lived on and that it was in the Elder's area. So we called the elders to ask them about Jesus, and they said, "We had an investigator named Jesus that was suppose to get baptized a month ago and he went MIA (missing in action) - maybe it's him!) So we told them we would go back to figure it out. (Luckily, Jesus and Miguel told us they had two other houses across the street where they were going to build fences.) SO. (Sorry this is long...hopefully it all makes sense!) Well, I soon realized that I didn't remember where we had met them, because I literally had just taken random turns until I found a place to pull over!

Okay. Fast forward two days later to the next exchange. We are driving to our appointment, and I still don't know if the GPS told me to, or if I was just making it up, but I turned onto this road and the GPS starts "re-routing." So I go to turn around, look to my right, AND THERE'S THE HOUSE WE MET JESUS AT!!!! This time I paid attention to where we were at.

The next day, I take Hermana Hemingway back to see the house and see if they are working outside. We turned down the street, but I couldn't find the house at first! I then realized I had driven right past the house because they had painted it! It used to have a bright ugly yellow, but they painted it white! If I had turned down that street any day later than I did, I would never have recognized the house where we met Jesus! So now we are on a mission to find him again. We will hopefully be able to on Wednesday... we will see! Pray that we can find him again!

Okay well, that story took up like all my time, but there were so many miracles that I saw this week. I got to go on exchanges with
Hna Ames (In Camarillo)
Hna Wright (In Camarillo) &
Hna Gonzlez (in Simi Valley)

Hna Gonzalez is in her first transfer and she's super cute. Reminds me of those days...the best of times and the worst of times! hahaha being a new missionary was a struggle. But it was also so miraculous!  

I am so grateful for my mission and for all that I have learned and am learning still. My testimony has grown of prayer a lot this week. It seems that I say that a lot, but it really does just keep growing! I have been trying to be extra conscious of really paying attention to what is being said and how I feel as we pray. It is so interesting, because even in the most simple prayers I am able to feel the spirit so strongly and clearly. Heavenly Father really is listening! I know we are His children, and he loves us so much.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! :)

<3 con todo carino, 

Hermana Trystan Ricks

(warning: lots of pictures and it only lets me send one at a time..sorry.)

HERMANA YOUNG!!!! 
 
 
Hna Ames (also trained by Hna Young!)

(warning #2: ignore the fact that I basically wore the same skirt all week. It's a struggle when you have one skirt that just so happens to match all of your shirts perfectly...)

Hna Wright

Hna Gonzalez!

Chilango

this is our "CHILANGO" friend, Victor Pacheco!

definition: someone who is from Mexico City, but wasn't born there. If I were to move to DL (distrito federal) I would be a chilanga and have to talk like a valley girl but in Spanish. :)

HERMANA YOUNG!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Don't You Worry Doc, I got this one. 04/18/2016

This week was so awesome! One of the best experiences we had was last Monday. We had a family home evening with our relief society president and a part member/recent convert family. We didn't think the husband was going to come because he has kind of been avoiding us (he is the one that isn't a member), but he did come! We taught a little message about the Holy Ghost, and then we went with the family to deliver cookies to an active member, a less-active, and a friend of the recent convert who wasn't a member. The person that wasn't a member invited us in and the RSP responded with, "We can't come in right now, but these two girls can come back and visit you!" And then the recent convert's daughter (6) said, "Yeah! They teach about Jesus!" So we are excited to hopefully be able to teach them. :) Also, yesterday in church, the active member that we had delivered cookies to got up in Relief Society and said, "I just want to tell everyone that I was having a rough day the other day and then Hna Leites and the missionaries came over and sang to me and it just made my whole day!" It was such an awesome thing. We are going to try and do it again tonight with another member!

Tuesday we had another MLC. We normally have one every second Tuesday. This time we basically just talked about what we are going to apply from what Elder Hamula taught us. I honestly can't remember much from it - all of these meetings lately are just running together in my head right now!

After that we went and helped the youth with a song they have to perform with the stake. Man...youth. Glad I never was one. (Matilda anyone?) But on the bright-side! We got to go to a place called "Frutti Hielo" and they sale a bunch of crazy Mexican snacks. I will send you a picture of what we got - TOSTILOCOS! They are chips with Valentina (salsa stuff), Jicama, Cucumber, Pinapple, Peanuts, a few other things, and these little candied chili things. One fellow missionary said it was like eating out of a trashcan, but I was a fan. We are definitely going there when we come to visit.

Wednesday we got to go crash DLC (District Leadership Council) because the Zone Leaders invited us! This was to plan for Zone Meeting. That was fun. I felt like I was crashing bro's night or something. They taught us a lot about how we can make exchanges better. Which is good because we have three this week. We also got to work on family history this day, and I added a story about Grandpa Ricks so you'll have to go read it!

We also had a cool experience Wednesday night. We were on our way to try and meet a former investigator, and on the way there we ran into this lady that was super excited to see us! We found out that she had run into other missionaries a lot. As we talked to  her, a car pulled up and yelled, "Oh! They have a Book of Mormon!" We found out that the neighbor was a member! She used to go to the Spanish ward, but they switched over to the English ward. We ended up going and talking to them afterwards, and it turns out that she had already given a BOM to the lady we ran into in the first place! This member (Hna Hernandez) is who we are going to have an FHE with tonight and go visit all her neighbors. What an awesome missionary!

Thursday we had zone meeting which is a bring-back of MLC which like I said before was a bring-back of Elder Hamula. Haha now you can see why they are all running together in my head!

Then on Friday and Saturday we got to help with this service that the California Dental Association was sponsoring. A bunch of dentists and orthodontists came together at the Ventura fair grounds and they set up hundreds of dental chairs where they offered free services. And they offered like EVERYTHING. They were making dentures, taking out wisdom teeth, normal teeth extractions - crazy! Between the two days they did it they had the goal of giving 2000 people that were low-income free dental care. And Hna Hemingway and I had the best job ever! We got to be the interpreters! Do you know how cool I felt being like, "Oh it's okay Doc, I can tell you what they said." However I must say, I never did figure out how to say root-canal or dentures in spanish. Some of it ended up being charades - welcome to my whole mission. hahaha But it was awesome! It is always such a humbling experience to help people like that, and to see so many other people come together to offer so much incredible service.

Anyways, I love you all! I know that this is the Lord's work. I am so grateful to be a part of it and to see his hand guiding everything. I have grown a testimony of prayer, and I know that Heavenly Father is always listening. If we offer specific prayers, he will offer specific answers! He really is our father, and we are literally his children. If you haven't talked to him in a while, repent and begin now.

Have a wonderful week!

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks 
 
And these, my dear friends, are Tostilocos.


CDA service!

This is the little girl that said, "They teach about Jesus!"
 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stupid stupid stupid! 04/11/2016

My testimony has grown so much from the experiences we have had this week. First off, a general autthorit - Elder Hamula - came to our mission! I feel so honored because we got to go to a Mission Leadership Coucil with him as well, and then we had the normal Zone Conference type meeting with him and all of the missionaries. And then I feel extra honored because he totally sat next to me at lunch! When he asked about where I was from, I said Idaho Falls and he said, "Oh! Have you been to Reed's Dairy?" Have I been to Reed's dairy..umm just every Monday night for family home evening! Oh how I miss Brown cow's with Mint Cookie. Anyways, back to all the awesome things he taught us. Something he said that really stood out to me was this: "If you could part the curtain and see just a glimpse of who you were before this life, you would crumble and fall to the ground. And once you got back up, you would have a whole new determination to serve the Lord and give him your all. Because this is what you love to do! This is what you live for! You wouldn't waste any time. You wouldn't be afraid of anyone. You would give it your all." He then talked about how every single time the gospel has been on the earth, the evil forces have over come it. But because we fought so valiantly before this life for the cause of Jesus Christ, we are selected to come here at this time - the one time in the history of the world - that Satan will not win. But goodness will win and Christ will reign for
We had an awesome experience this last week. So all of our lessons and backups fell through, and it was already 8 o'clock and we hadn't even taught a lesson yet that day. So we decided we wanted to finish forever! :)

We then had a question and answer session, and one Elder bravely asked a kind of random question that taught be a lot. He stood up and said, "Elder Hamula, I have never got a direct answer to this question so I hope it's not dumb but - I really like video games and I was wondering if it will hinder my salvation." Elder Hamula quickly said, "Yes. I hope that answers your question clearly enough." He then went on the explain that time is so precious. We are here to learn and build relationships and become like Christ. He said how we waste so much time being distracted with things that are selfish and not important. He said that we should enjoy ourselves, but we should focus on enjoying our time with our families and building relationships and learning. He then told us that him and his wife have a night every week that they play board games! aww. He also shared D&C 130:13 to answer this question. Look it up if you're interested.

So here's a cool story from this week! We were having a "bleh day" that ended up with a miracle! So prayed for direction on where we should go. We thought of three different people that all lived in the same area of each other. So we decided that meant that it wouldn't be those actual people we were suppose to visit, but someone that was put in our path. As we walked to knock on the doors of the people that had come to our minds, we were extra conscientious of anyone that was outside that might have been the soul we were suppose to talk to. We talked to everyone - even if they were a little further way that our comfort zone would allow - and we met a few people, but none that were really promising. Then, as we walked to the last house before going to our car, we saw two people walking. To be honest, I didn't really want to talk to them because again, they were a little out of the comfort zone of simply just talking to someone, and we had also just talked to a few people that were kind of rude. But right before we left their sight we asked them if we could give them a card. As we began talking to them, my heart tore as we listened to this 13 year old boy tell us how he wasn't accepted in school. I could feel the love Heavenly Father had for him, and I knew that he was the one Heavenly Father had needed us to talk to that night. Right before we got done talking to him, his mom ended up telling us that she grew up across the street from some Mormons. Her friend that was Mormon had since passed away, but she told us what a huge impact that family had had on her life. She had even gone to church with them for about four years, and she knew right where the church was here in Camarillo when her son said that he wanted to learn more. We were able to give him a Book of Mormon, and assure him of the love Heavenly Father had for him. Missionary work is a lot different when you are literally searching for a soul to save!

Also, heres a quote I liked from MLC that was shared from President Uchdorf:

"We don't discover humility by thinking less OF ourselves, rather thinking less ABOUT ourselves."

Hermana Hemingway is such an incredible example of that to me. She is not knit-picky, she sees the good in things, she doesn't get down on herself, and she just works hard - happily serving others! I want to be like that.

Also, random fact. I am an idiot... (don't worry I'm not actually thinking less of myself)
So you know that one time we were an hour late to zone conference because we read the text wrong and thought it was in Santa Barbara? Well...

We read our text wrong about interviews and thought they were on the 12th. But they were actually last Tuesday. So we were just happily on our way to do service at a member's house (I am teaching one of the young women piano lessons!:)) and we got a call from Sister Felix,
 "Where are you?"
 "uhhh...Camarillo?"
 "Are you not coming to interviews?"
*Me quoting Hna Donnelly* "Stupid, stupid, stupid."
So now we have interviews today with President.
:)

Luckily they take my stupidity well! At MLC and the Mission Tour with Elder Hamula Sister Felix said to me, "Hermana! I am so glad you could make it!" hahahaha

Love you all! Have a great week!
P.S. a member gave us CHOKIS this week... I haven't have these since the MTC!!


Exchanges!

Monday, April 4, 2016

OXNARNIA 04/04/2016

Hello family!! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! Everyone tell her happy birthday for me, okay?

Also, I heard the Elahny Garcia got baptized yesterday. I am so excited for her! I think I sent pictures of her last week...

So...here's the scoop from the NARD!

The work here is Camarillo is kind of slow - especially compared to Santa Maria. It's because the elders cover the Oxnard half, and we cover Camarillo (which is where all the whities live...). But the members really are amazing and they are so missionary minded! Every house we go to, the members are SO excited to see us. Especially because they didn't have Hermanas for a transfer. They love us!

 It is so good to be back in Oxnard too. I got to see a ton of people from the Oxnard 6th ward at general conference, and everyone remembered me! Even people I didn't remember...that really surprised me! I didn't think anyone would because I couldn't even talk to these people back then haha! But it made me really excited for all of you to come meet them too.

The most exciting of all though was seeing Selena and Regina again!!! They both now live in Oxnard 5th ward boundaries. I called Selena the very first day and we went the second day to go visit them! They live in the Elder's area, so we went to introduce them to eachother. It was so exciting!! They both remembered so much. I was so impressed! Selena said, "Being baptized was the best thing I've ever done in my life." And then she talked about how the Holy Ghost helps her with school and work and everything. Ah I am so proud of her! Hopefully they will both start coming back to church.
Hermana Hemingway is so amazing! I am so impressed by her humility and ability to follow the spirit. She really loves the Lord and leads by example. I am excited to work with her. She served for about 8 months in Honduras, but had problems with her knee and was reassigned to the states. She is from somewhere named Keller near Dallas, TX.  
I learned so much from General Conference! I realized that I want to be better at praying. That seems to be the key to everything! Heavenly Father has so many plans and blessings just waiting for us, and we just need to act and draw nearer to him. I loved Elder Holland's talk as well. It made me realize that so many times after spiritual experiences, I often get really down on myself and how imperfect I am. But rather, I can grow my testimony in the love that God has for me, and become humbled through amazement at how incredible Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really are.

I am excited for this week as well. We have so much in store! We have Elder Hamula coming for a mission tour. STL's and zone leaders get to go to an MLC (mission leadership council) with him as well on Wednesday (shout out to mom's birthday! Don't forget to tell her for me).

We also met this youth in our ward named Vanessa, and she taught herself how to play the piano. She is so good! She didn't even read music before. So tomorrow and Thursday we are going to go teach her piano lessons for service. :) I am super excited!

I love you all! If you didn't watch conference - go watch it.

Have a great week!

<3 Hermana Trystan Ricks
 
 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Maira Got MARRIED!!!! 03/28/2016

Hello family!!! The news you've all been waiting for:

I am being transferred to Camarillo!!!! That means OXNARNIA!!! It is in the Oxnard 5th ward! Right next to Oxnard 6th ward! I am so excited! And Selena, who was baptized while I was in Oxnard 6th lives in those boundaries!! 

We are running around like crazy people because we are white-washing out and Elders are coming in to replace us. That means we have to clean up all of the Hermana hair from the last 15 months... (seriously, that is how long Hermanas have lived in our apartment...we have so much junk everywhere!) But it's okay. There have been an exceptional amount of creepy men telling us how beautiful we are lately...so the Elders can deal with them. haha. 

I am going to go by a tote today and leave it at Tifanny's house! I am so grateful for her! It has been so fun living my her. That means we have to all travel back a few weeks after I get home and visit her. :) 

I am so grateful for the time I have been able to spend here in Santa Maria. We have seen so many miracles! The beginning of the transfer Hna Eames came in and told me that we were going to be preparing to have a baptism every week of the next transfer, and we worked so hard all transfer long to make that happen! We saw so many miracles from it. This coming Sunday, Elahny Garcia will be baptized. She is not technically counted as a convert baptism because she is still 8, but the branch president asked us to teach her and prepare her, because her family was less active and her dad is in jail. The week after, Maira Vargas will be baptized. She got married this last Saturday, and she is so excited to get baptized and prepare for a temple sealing. When we taught her about that she said, "Oh!! I like that better!" And she's already invited us to come to the temple when that happens. :) The week after the other Hermanas have a baptism with their investigator, Alejandro, and we are teaching his friend, Arturo. He is also very prepared, and we think he might be able to be baptized along side Alejandro! We are also working with a less-active family - la familia Lopez. Hno. Lopez has an interview this saturday with the branch president to see when he can get the priesthood to baptize his 9 year old son - Misael. We have another investigator, Samuel Cano who did have a baptismal date of the 9th, but we know he won't be ready by then. We are hoping he will be ready by the end of next transfer. There are so many other people in this area as well that are so incredible and so close to baptism. It was such a privilege serving here, and serving with a companion who had the faith the bring this goal into my life. I have never been so focused on preaching repentance and baptizing converts. This whole transfer has been a miracle! We are excited to leave our efforts in the Lord's hands as he works through the Elders coming in to lograr esta meta! 

Hermana Eames and I have become really good friends! We think very differently, but we learned how to work with each other in a loving way that assured the things we did were what the Lord wanted us to do. We saw so many miracles, and we had so much fun together! She has a lot of faith, and she loves these people so much. She is an incredible missionary! Fun fact: we were working on family history this week and Hna Eames looked over at my screen and was like, "Your grandma was a Hart? My grandma was a Hart!" So now we have to find out if we are related. :)

I have grown a deeper love for my Savior this week as I have studied about the last week of His life on this earth. I have learned a lot from the example of all of the people around him as well. From the story of Peter cutting of the man's ear, I learned that Jesus Christ can make the best out of everything we do - even our mistakes. As I learned from a letter from Hna Jeronimo - he takes our 5 loaves and 2 fish and multiplies them into what He needs them to be. 
 
Okay so a few people have requested more details about us driving to Santa Barbara last week for zone conference when it was actually in Santa Maria...

So we pulled in and once we realized no one was there and we had read the text wrong we called the mission president. I was suppose to be playing the piano and apparently he had just leaned over to Sister Felix and said, "Where are they - they live 5 minutes away!" I think he had just pulled out his phone to text us or something, and so he saw us calling he answered while seated on the stand in front of everyone. He whispered, "Where are you?" We told him we were really dumb and what happened and he just said, "Okay - see you soon." We sat by them at lunch but he didn't really say anything else about it. He did make a few jokes about it though later on to us though haha. But everyone knew because apparently one of the zone leaders had announced I would play the piano and then an Elder walked up. We had a couple stories we told people as our excuse. One was that we were saving someone from getting attacked by a bear, and the other was that there was a shooting around our apartment complex and so we couldn't leave. Our zone leader believed the second one... But don't worry, we told him the actual truth!

On Saturday we drove back to Santa Barbara for the baptism of one of Hna Eames' old investigators. Then we rushed back the Maira's wedding!! It was so awesome! And then we went to Women's Conference. What did you all think of it? I loved it so much! I loved the part where they told the story of the lady that did a huge service project and then the spirit told her, "You have done a great thing. Now go and serve your neighbor across the street." What I got out of Women's Conference was "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." The Lord really does magnify our efforts - just like Hna Jeronimo said!

I am super excited for General Conference this weekend!!! I encourage you all to prepare questions for it! You will get a lot more out of it. It is such a wonderful opportunity to hear the prophet's voice! I know the Lord speaks through his servants. 

Here's a picture from Maira's wedding and our new outfits! :) (Ignore the windblown hair of us all...)

Garcia family

Elahny Garcia!

This is Squirttle!

Maira and Raymond and her dad Fidel

Tiffany Rigby!