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! :)|
|birthday party for Ursula|