Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sorry I couldn't write last week. We had a baptism so we lost a couple hours of our p-day, but it was worth it. Monserrat, the other daughter of the family we baptized a month ago, decided to get baptized and the service was great. Her family was so happy for her and now her dad is the only one who hasn't got baptized yet. He is a pretty hard one though.

Things are going great here. The mission is growing like crazy. In these last six months a total of nine or ten Elders have finished their mission and about 60 have arrived. We have having to open up new areas and there are about ten wards in the mission who have two companionships. It is a great thing to see so many missionaries come out, but that doesn't mean that it is easy here in the offices. It is goingg to be a crazy couple weeks. Wish me luck.

With halloween and dia de muertos this week we haven't been able to teach a whole lot because nobody has been home. Tomorrow should be a great day though.

It is crazy how fast time is going. I only have three transfers left and it scares me a little bit. I hope I can take advantage of every second here in Mexico. I hope you are all ready to come visit here one day.

I love you all and I hope you are doing great. Be happy!!! D&C 31:13. Be faithful to the END!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Whole Bunch of Pictures!

I haven't been great at keep this blog updated with all of Taylor's letters and pictures as of late. So hopefully this bunch of pictures will make up for it. Enjoy!

Letter from October 15

This week was great. On Sunday Angel got baptized. Angel is a 12 year old kid who lives with his grandparents. His grandparents are members, but they hadn't been to church for about ten years. We got to know them and they are great people. They started coming to church again and we baptized their grandson. He is going to be a great missionary one day. We also had another baptism just this last Wednesday. His name is Javier. He is a thirty year old guy who has been though a lot in his life. He is separated from his wife and he has two kids. I had been teaching him in one of my old areas about four months ago and just a month ago we got a referral from the elders there and they told us that Javier had moved and now lives in my area where I am right now. We started teaching him and before you knew it, he was baptized. It was a great week. I will send pictures.

The mission is going great. It is growing like crazy. In these last three transfers seven Elders have finished their missions and 45 have arrived. Next month two Elders and going home and 22 will be arriving. We are starting to put missionaries all over the place. The mission is so small and we are running out of run. It is such a blessing though.

I love being here and I know that this is the work of the Lord. I know that Christ lives and this is His only true church. I love you all and I miss you. Keep smiling for me.

Elder Ricks.

Letter from October 7

I have some amazing news!!! Tomorrow Presidente gave me permission to go to the temple to attend the sealing ceremony of two families that I baptized in my first area. It has now been a year and they are entering tomorrow!!!! Can you believe that! I am so excited. I don't know if you remember, but it is the Deseusa Family and the Rangel Tellez Family. Elder Carreon, my first companion is the assistant in the new mission and he is going to be there as well. It is going to be a great day.

We are going to be baptizing this Sunday and also the Wednesday that follows. Things are looking great and I can't wait to explode these next five months. General Conference was great. I learned so much that I need to put into practice. I decided that we need to go the the conference in April together because I will be home you know. You should all start planning it.

Yesterday Presidente came to our area with us and taught with us. We had a couple amazing lessons and I learned so much from him. He is such a powerful teacher. I want to be able to teach like him.

I love you all and your faith keeps me going. Thank you all for your examples. I know this church is true and that Christ lives.

Elder Ricks

Friday, September 9, 2011

We are finally in the new house. We have been sleeping six in a tiny little house for the last three weeks and just this last Monday we got to move into the new house. I will send pictures later. Anyway... That was a highlight of the week. Things are going great here like always. President invited us to chinese food today in the centro (center of the city). It was a lot of fun. It wasn't as good as snow dragon but the fact that it was a buffet made it worth it. Next thursday is the Mexican independence day so the city is filling up with people. Elder Jessup bought a huge mexican flag today and we are going to hang it up in our room. Haha we are mexican at heart.

The work is going good. Like I said the other day, we baptized most of our investigators so right now we are busy putting dates or goals with a lot of people. We have so many people that are so ready but because of problems with working on Sundays and getting permission from their husbands and families, we are just playing the waiting game. There are a few people who will be getting baptized this month and I am way excited for them. One of them is an older lady named Estela. She is the grandmother of another family we are teaching. She can't read of write. Although we have been teaching her family for tthe last month or two, we just met her last week, and this Sunday she showed up at church and she loved it. She says that she has felt so good lately. We went to teach her yesterday and we talked about repentance and forgiveness. When we first got to her house she told us that after we were done talking she was going go travel to Xochimilco, which is another part of the city that is about two hours away. We asked her why and she said she was going to go find a man that she lived with for awhile to forgive him for what he had done. This was before we even started teaching. She is an amazing lady and she is going to bet baptized on the 17th.

I still have a few pictures I need to send you of baptisms. I will try to send them next week so you can see these amazing people who have decided to change their lives and take their cross. I am so thankful for this chance to be on a mission and I can't help but feel bad that you can't all be with me to see and feel these life changing moments. I can't wait to tell you all about it. I hope you are planning a few hours just to talk when i get home. I love you all so much and I hope you all know that.

Friday, September 2, 2011

How is everything going? Things here are going great. Like I mentioned last week, we just had another three baptism just this last Saturday. The service was amazing. I think I already told you a little about Norma, Sophia, and Leticia. They were all so happy and the changes in their lives have been huge. Leticia used to be the most timid lady I had ever met, and now she loves coming to church and she is makes so many friends with the sister in the ward. I am so happy for all of them. With Norma and her husband, Victor (who is going to get baptized on the 24th), I have now married five couples (sorry if I have used a lot of money Dad). I love seeing families make these commitments to follow Christ.

We finally found a house for the mission. It is huge too. We will be moving in on Monday. That, of course was a big highlight of the week. I don't know If I had told you, but we have been living six in a little tiny house for the last three weeks. It is horrible. I am glad to get into a new house. The house is just a little smaller then our house there in Fairview. It is going to be great. Elder Jessup and I were actually the ones that found it. We were lead be the Spirit. I will have to tell you the story later. haha

It is crazy how fast the time flies. I feel like this mission has been my whole life. It is going to be so wierd to be hame again. Maybe I will just stay out here. I love you all so much. Smile for me and forgive me for my short letters. I know this Church is the Church of Christ. I know that He lives.

Elder Ricks

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bueno pues... This week was a great one just like any other. On Monday we had to go pick up the new missionaries at the MTC here in Mexico and that whole day was filled with instructions. President, Elder Jessup, and I talked to them about the vision that we have here in this mission. It was great to see the excitement that they had in their eyes. Everytime I see the new missionaries it makes me wish that the whole mission had that kind of spirit and excitement. We also had the chance to give a small instruction to the english speaking Elders. It was very hard and I realized that returning home is going to be quite a challenge. President also speaks english so of course he was making fun of us. Tuesday we have the transfer meeting and Wednesday we have another day-long instruction for the new missionaries and their companions. It has been a busy week, but I love it.

Tomorrow we have another three baptisms. Theirr names are Norma, Sophia, and Leticia. Each one of their stories is a miracle. They have been in teaching for the past four months and have had a lot of doubts. We have had to teach slowly with much patience to be able to help them understand. With Norma and her daughter Sophia, I learned something that I had learned before, but had forgotten. I guess you could say I remembered something. Ever since the first appointment that we had we them, they had been praying to know if this message was true and if the Book of Mormon was true. Everytime we asked them how their prayer went they said that they didn't feel anything and were still waiting for their answer. After a few times of them telling us that they still hadn't recieved an answer, I asked them what they thought about the book and our message. I said, "I don't want you to focus on what you have felt or haven't felt right now. I just want you to tell me what you think about all this. Do you think that this book is true?" Norma kind of paused and then she looked at us and said, "Yes". We then turned to D&C 8:2 and talked about how the Spirit talks to us by feeling and thoughts and that she shouldn't ignore the thoughts she was having. She understood very well and she and her daughter are now one day away from being baptized into the church of Christ.

This lesson really made me think. Many times we ingore our thoughts because we are waiting for some kind of feeling. However, I am almost sure that almost all feelings from the Spirit come by meditating upon the little thoughts that He puts in our minds. If you think about it, what was the most important revelation of this last dispensation? Many people would say it was the first vision of the prophet Joseph Smith. That is not correct. I believe that the most important revelation was when the young Joseph Smith read James 1:5. He relates that he meditated many times and that he came to the conclusion that he had to ask God. The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times was all started because of a thought. The Holy Ghost comunicates to us through our thoughts, and the feelings come when we meditate, ponder, or act upon these thoughts. I invite you to pay close attention to your thoughts and to have faith and act upon them.

I love you all and I hope you are doing great.

Elder Ricks

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Major Picture Update

Here are pictures from Taylor's last couple of emails.

Another Seven Baptisms!!!

This week was great. This last Sunday the Perez Martinez family got baptized and it was amazing. They were so happy and almost half the ward showed up (which is really good). Just about four hours ago the Ortiz family also got baptized. What a great p-day right? There is nothing like starting off a preparation day with three baptism. We had been waiting a long time for this family to get baptized. Let me tell you the story... It all started about three and a half monthe ago when I wa in this area for the first time. We got a referral from the Elders who were working in one of the neighboring areas. We went to meet them and that is when we got the chance to meet Aaron Ortiz for the first time. He was this chubby, short friendly man who worked as a taxi driver. We got to meet him and he told us all about his life. He was born a Jehova´s witness but said that he never liked the religion. He and his family have been through a lot of hard times and he said he has always been looking for the truth. We got to meet his wife as well, who is a wonderful women. We started teaching them and then I was changed. I returned three weeks later to continue teaching them with Elder Jessup. Just two weeks ago their son, Didier (who I told you about a couple weeks ago), was baptized. Aaron and his wife, Alejandra, were married the next week and baptized the next. This man is amazing. He is learning so much and just a couple weeks ago he told us that we will see him speaking in a large church conference before we know it. I have not doubt about that.

We will be starting the changes, or tranfers, this next week and we have to find place to put 16 new missionaries. The mission is growing like crazy. The last transfer only one went home and 23 arrived. The transfer five are going home and 16 will be arriving. I hope we can keep all of this under control. It is going to be another fun week of little sleep. You got to love it though. When I get home I am going to be the best driver in utah. Driving in Mexico City is quite an adventure, but it is great to get to know the city.

I hope you are all doing good. I was studying something the other day and I want to share a little bit with all of you. In the Zone conferences, Elder Jessup and I get the chance to teach the elders. Yesterday we talk about the persistence. To start, we shared a scripture that I have always liked, but I have always overlooked parts of it. I am talking about 2 Nephi 31:20. " Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." In spanish, the words are just a little different which help us see and meaning that a lot of people have never noticed before. While the english version says, "...having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men...", the spanish version says, "...having a perfect brightness of hope and love for God and for all men...". Do you see the difference? I used to think the scripture was saying that we must have hope and then love for God and all men. It is actually saying that we must have hope and love for God and all men. We don't just need love for God and all men, but we need hope for them as well. How can we have hope for all men? I want you to think about that. Do you have hope in all men? Do you trust that everyone is a good person? Do you give everyone the same chance to be part of your life or to be your friend? Or do you just trust want to trust a certain few and the rest are just "hopeless"? Nobody in this world is hopeless. Never give up n anybody. Have hope in all men!!!! We have taken the name of Christ upon us. We made a covenant Him in which we said that we would try to be like Him and His father. Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father never lose hope in us. How many times did God have to talk to the people of Nephi, gathered in their ruined city, before they understood Him? How many times, or dispenations, has God put the gospel on the earth once again? How many times have you prayed and asked for forgiveness? Christ and our Father have had more hope in each one of us them we will ever be able to have in them and the people around us. I invite you to have hope for all men. If you do, you will come to find that the world is filled with trustworthy people.

I love you all and I know Christ lives and this is His only true church on the earth.

Elder Taylor Ricks

Sunday, August 7, 2011

So it has been a great week so far and it still isn't over. This Sunday the Perez Martinez family is getting baptized and I know it is going to be great. They have come so far. They have had to stop smoking, dricking, and have had to change so many things in their lives. I know they are going to be strong in the church. Yesterday we went with another family, the Ortiz family, to watch them get married. It was amazing. They will be getting baptized on the 12 of August. They were running a little lot on cash, so I lent them 500 pesos(that is why I withdrawaled from my card Dad). They are the coolest people and they are learning so fast. The Dad told us the other day that on we are going to see him talking in a large church conference. I don't doubt it. He is such a smart guy.

anyway... Life is good and I am learning so much. I am so sorry that I don't have much time to write you all, but you all know that I love you so much, and I miss you all. Keep smiling for me and learn to love everybody. I love you. The Church of Christ is on the earth once again!!!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hey everyone!!!!! So this week was pretty good. Just two days ago we had an amazing baptism. A lady named Maria del Carmen, her daughter Laura, and a young kid named Didier. It was great. A whole lot of members came and the Spirit was so strong. We have another baptism of four this mext weekend and another of five the next. Things are going really good.

Just the other day this elder got hurt playing soccer so we had to drive him to the hospital. We went and picked him up from where they were playing at about 11 in the morning and we got home at about 10 at night. We were there all day. It was such a long day. I guess these are just things that we have to do as assistants. The next day there we special changes and a few elders never got the news about their change, so once again we had to go drive around the whole city to pick up and drop off missionaries. We started at about seven o'clock in the afternoon and got home at about 11. Another long day. But the baptism on wednesday made up for all of that.

So I want to tell you the story about Didier. My companion and I started teaching his parents about three months ago when I was in the area for the first time. When I left the assistants, Elder Jessup and Elder Carreon kept teaching them. Then I got changed back to the area with Elder Jessup and they were still in teaching and were really close to getting baptized. One day we went over to visit them and the mom, Angelica, tells us that their 17 year old son, Didier, was watching the movie we left them about Christ and said that he would like to get baptized like Jesus got baptized. Elder Jessup and I were pretty excited because we had never met this kid, because he was always working, and he already wants to get baptized. We set up another appointment to talk to him and left. When we went to the appointment, he was happy to see us and we started talking. We asked him about the movie and he said he really liked it. We then asked him if he would like to get baptized like Jesus got baptized and he said yes. We then asked if he would get baptized on the 27th and he said no. We were both kind of confused because he had just said yes like two minutes ago. So we asked him why not. He said,"Because nobody baptizes like that. They just sprinkle water on your head." We kind of laughed and told him that in the Church of Jesus Christ we baptize just like Jesus got baptized. He smiled and said, "Oh, okay then. I will get baptized." This next friday his parents and going to be getting married and baptized the week after. They are such an awesome family.

Well, I hope you are all doing great. I love you so much and I know that this church is true and the only true church in the world. I know because the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead has told me so. Smile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Ricks

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How are you all doing? So this morning we had to do the changes. It was a ton of work. There are 23 new missionaries that will be arriving in just a few days and we had to find room for all of them. It was great to see how President can relay on the Holy Ghost and know exactly where everyone needs to go. It was great to be able to help him and be his assistant. With so many new missionaries getting here we are going to be opening a lot of areas and right now we are trying to figure out how we are going to get all the beds, colchones (I forgot how you say that in english), irons, fridges, tables, chairs, and everything else that a house needs. We are actually opening a total of nine houses in the mission. It is going to be a crazy weeks. On Monday we have to go to pick up the new elders and we have an instruction with them. On Tuesday we have the changes meeting. On Wednesday we have a leadership counsel. On Thursday we have another instruction for the new missionaries and their trainers. like I said, it is going to be a crazy week. It should be fun though.
We actually do get to work a lot in our area and we are seeing a lot of success. Right now there is a family of four that are going to get baptized on the 23rd, another of four that are going to get baptized on the 30th, and another family of five that are going to get baptized on the 6th of Agosto. And there are a few more that are really close.
So how is life going. It sounds like it is getting more and more interesting everyday. I hope you all doing great.
I wanted to share something with you that I have learned these last few days. A testimony without knowledge is selfish. We are never going to be able to help others without knowledge. Although someone can feel the Spirit be listening to a testimony of another, it is very rare that we will be able to share a testimony powerful enough to be felt if it is not backed up with knowledge. In 2 Nephi 18:20 (Isaiah 8:20) it says, "To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." As members of the Church of Jesus Christ we need the "law" (knowledge, doctrine) and we need the "testimony" (spirit, confirmation). We have to have them both or "there is no light in us". Study the scriptures every day so that God can use you to advance His work. A true testimony is the knowledge of the law obtained by study and revelations by the Spirit.
I love you all. I know Christ lives!!!
Elder Ricks

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hey! How are you all doing? I know you probably think this is kind of weird that I am writing on a Friday, but as assistants we have our dia de preparación (p-day) today. So now you all know that for the next little while I will be writing you on Fridays. So what is going on? How is summer going? I hope you all having a blast.
Things are going pretty good here. As you all know I am now in Coyoacán again so the whole area change wasn't that bad. I actually know the area better than Elder Jessup which makes everything a lot easier. Right now I am writing you from the new mission offices that that we are renting until the other new ones are built. The Mexico City South Mission has officially been split. That is why we had too move to other offices. The three secretaries and us are all living in a tiny house because we haven't been able to find a house for us yet. I hope we find one soon.
Here in Mexico City it finally stopped raining. Well, at least for a few hours. It has been raining non-stop for the last two days now. We got soaked yesterday and my scriptures got ruined. I actually just bought some new ones today. This is the third pair I have had so far thanks to the rain. It is great to be back in this area because I already know all the members and a lot of the investigators. I know we are going to have a lot of success. It still hasn't hit me that I am assistant to the President, but I am sure it is going to hit me real soon. I am way pumped. On monday we have to start taking care of the changes so that should be fun and on Sunday all the zone leaders some in to report. I know I am going to learn so much.
I am so glad to be a missionary. I know this church is true and the only true church on earth. I know Christ lives and that his Atonement is infinite.
I hope you are all doing great. I miss you all and I can't wait to hear from you. Keep on smiling for me!!!!! Talk to you next friday. I love you
Elder Ricks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hey, so how are you all doing? I hope you are doing great. Just yesterday we had an amazing baptism. Her name is Susana. She is about 23 years old with two kids. He ex-husband has been in jail for the past two years and she has had a really hard life. Her baptism was so powerful. Everyone was crying by the time it got over. I am so happy for her. I will send pictures.
So I have some other news that I should probably tell you before I forget. I have been called to be assistant to the President. He called me today when we were playing ball and asked my to take the spot of Elder Carreon who is going to the new mission. I will now be moving back to my old area, Coyoacàn, with Elder Jessup as my companion. ha ha just like the MTC all over again. I am way nervous but way excited. I know I am going to learn a lot. I hope I can complete with what Gad wants me to do.
I love you all and I preach your faith every day (Romans 1:8). I am sorry that I don't have more time to write, but you should know that I am doing great and I have never been happier. I love you.
Elder Ricks

Monday, June 20, 2011

Alright well... this week was pretty good like always. We found some amazing people and a lot of them came to church. One of them is this 45 year old guy named Edgar. We found him in front of a cathlic church drunk out of him mind. He said he wanted to talk to us so we went over too his house the next day. He was drunk again so we didn`t teach him much. He told us that he wants to change his life and that he has lost everything because of his addiction. He said he has tried everything but nothing has worked. He said he has drank from 8 in the morning to 10 o'clock at night every day for the last eight months. We put another appointment and he was drinking in front of his house with his friends again. We just invited him to church and left. The next day we got to church and he was sitting on the back row with a nice shirt and all cleaned up. He was great as church and he loved it. He has a date to be baptized on the 9th of july. We are so excited for him.
We are starting to see a lot of miracles and we have the goal to start baptizing every week starting this Sunday. We already have the first three weeks covered. God is blessing us so much. I love being here and feeling this spirit. I know this church is true. Christ lives. I hope you are all doing great. Sorry I can't write much. I love you.
Elder Ricks

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hey everyone. So I thought I would start out this letter with a funny story. We just barely got to our house on saturday and after we had unpacked, we went out to work and we locked the keys in the house. My companion gave me a boost and I squeezed through this little hole in the roof that le into the bathroon. The plan we to get in the house and open it from the inside. anyway... When I lowered myself into the bathroom i thought all of our trouble was over, but no. Our bathroon just happens to lock from the outside. I was now trapped in a little 4'x4' bathroom with no way to get out. It was about ten o'clock now. for the next hour I tried to take the door apart, I tried to open it with a wire hanger that my companion found outside, and everything else you can imagine. When I finally realized that i wasn't going to be able to get out through the door, I started to think of a way to get back up the hole. The adrenaline helped me jump a good 40 inch vertical and with one hand I pulled myself back through the hole. That night we slept in the house of a couple missionaries there close. The next day we went to church just how we were and at about nine o'clock the next night the owner finally got home and he came to open the door for us. haha It was a crazy weekend.
Things are going great here. We are working hard and starting from scratch. It is going good though. We already have a couple baptisms planned for this next week. Elder Peacock is one of the funniest kids I know. We sure are enjoying the mission with a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. This is now the second time I have trained a new zone leader and like it a lot.
How are you all going? I hope things are going great. I miss you all and I can't wait to talk to you again at christmas. ha ha I love you. I have learned this week that prayer is sooo important. It make all the difference. But, we need to have a preparation and a follow up. I invite you to find out how you can have those two parts that are forgotten a lot of times. I love you

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hey!!!! How are you all doing? So tomorrow Elder Oaks, Elder Rasband, and Elder Johnson are coming to the mission. I am way excited. The spirit is going to be so strong. Maybe they will let me translate for Elder Oaks. ha ha I don't think so. I will let you know how it goes.

Things are going great here. We found 21 new investgators this week and 12 of them come to church. We are going to be seeing a whole lot of baptisms. I am so pumped. They are all such amazing people. While we were in sacrament meeting this random guy came into the church so we ran out to meet him. He told us that he has always passed by this church and never entered. He told us that he doesn't have a religion. we invited him in to sacrament meeting and when we started to sing he broke down in tears. He told us that he is passing through a hard time in life and he needs God's help. It is amazing to see how God works. We are going to be passing by with him this week. I know he is going to get baptized really soon.

I miss you all and you are always in my thoughts. I know this church is true and that Christ lives. Nothing can make me deny it. Anybody that is in touch with the spirit can know that this is the true church of Christ. I love you all so much. Talk to you next week.

Elder Ricks

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hey, it was great to talk to you all yesterday. It is really hard for me to speak english. So... it made me happy to hear all the cool things you are doing. It is so crazy how fast the time is going. I am going to be home before you know it.

So... about the mission. Things are going great. The area presidency is now asking us to baptize every week. We were on a three week roll, but we couldn't baptize this week. We are going to be working hard to be baptizing every week. I know we can do it.

with the mission moving around, the mission home and the offices are now going to be moving into our zone. President asked us to look for a few houses for some missionaries and the secretaries and the offices. We have a lot of work right now. It is cool that President is going to be living in our zone, maybe even in our ward. I am excited to see what happens with all these changes.

I miss you all and I loved hearing your voices yesterday. Just think, we are only going to be able to talk one more time and I will almost be home. It is going too fast. I want you all to know that this is the true church of Christ. It is so obvious, and the Spirit has told me. I know Jesus lives!!!!! I love you all!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

How are you all doing? I am sorry I couldn't write last week. We had no time. We had to go marry a family so the husband could get baptized. This last week we baptized three amazing people, and the week before we baptized one. Their names are Erika and her little eight year old daughter, a lady named Rosario, and the kid who got married, Carlos. They are all so amazing.
This new area is great. It is about five times bigger than my last one, but I love it. We do a lot of running between appointments. We have been working really hard these past two week and we are already seeing the fruits. Elder Rodriguez is great. He is from Chiuahua. He has the same time as me in the mission. We get along great.
So I am excited to talk to you all on sunday. Are you ready for the call information? haha The number is (0155)56198955. Please call on Sunday the 8th of May at 2:30pm. That is 2:30pm in mexico city time. I am pretty sure we are an hour ahead of you so it would be 1:30pm there. But please check. You still might be in church, but that is the only hour I can do it. Sorry. Sunday nights are filled with meetings and reporting. haha If someone answers in spanish just say my name, Elder Ricks. Cool?
I love you all. if anything changes, I will let you know during the week. love you. Christ lives!!!
Elder Ricks

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pictures and a Letter

Alright... sorry about last week. I honestly had no time. That is life as a zone leader. I don´t know if I told you, but las week we went to these amazing waterfalls. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. We had to hike about four miles, and it was pretty much straight up. but it was worth it. I wish you all could have seen. I will send pictures. I am not going to lie, it made me miss Fairview Canyon. We will have to go visit it later.
So just last week we baptized an 81 year old lady and it was so amazing. When we first met her about four months ago, she told us that she was never going to change her religion and that she would never get baptized. And four months later... what do you know. She is such a funny old lady. Her name is Josefina
Well, we just got told our changes last night. It looks like I am going to be heading to Churabusco as zone leader with Elder Rodriguez. I am pretty excited. I have been in this area for six months now. I got to meet some amazing people and make some amazing friends, and best of all, I had the chance to help people start on the path to eternal happiness. I am so glad I got to be here so long. I learned so much. I promised a lot of people I would come pack to visit, so, Dad, you better be getting ready.
Isn´t it pretty crazy that in less than a month I will be talking to you all again on the phone. Crazy how time flies right? I am so glad to be on a mission. I still have a lot to improve and a lot to live out here. I am glad for that too.
I hope you all are doing amazing. Let me know how life is treating you all. I love you all!!!!!
Elder Ricks

Monday, April 4, 2011

This was a great week. General Conference was amazing and what topped it all off was the baptism we had between the two sessions on saturday. It was so amazing. I have always wanted to baptize between sessions and I am happy that it happened this week. Things are going great here. I am so ready to be better and to work harder. The messages from General Conference really helped me. I feel like I have another chance to start over and really take advantage of every second of my mission. I realized that I still don't quite understand the importance or the greatness of What Christ did and His church. I have so much to learn and so much revelation to recieve. Did you all like Elder Bednar's talk on revelation? About the three types and how he compared them to light? He actually gave the exact same talk about four months ago in a special stake conference for a few stakes here in Mexico City. I love it!! I am pretty sure that is going to be one of him classics. Did you hear the talk by Elder De Hoyos? He is in the area presidency here and I gat to meet him and shake his hand just a few months ago when he came to my zone. He is a great guy.
We just got news this last week that Elder Dallin H Oaks and Elder Rasband are going to be coming to our mission on the 17th of may. It is going to be great. I can't wait.
So how are things going in Utah. I sure miss it, but I don't really want to go back. haha Seeing the Conference Center and Temple Square really mad me think about home. Ha ha. I hope you are all doing amazing. This week I realized that a lot of us are failing with our baptismal covenant. Like what was said in conference many times, we really need to help other people more and show them our love. I love you all. Keep smiling and share that smile with everyone.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hey family!!!! This week was pretty great. To start out the week we had two baptisms planned for Sunday, but one was going out of town for the weekend, so we had to move her date to the 9th of April. We were a little sad because we put two as our goal for baptisms for this week and now we were only going to have one. Then, on thurday, out of no where one of our investigators that we hadn`t been able to talk to for a while, calls us and says he wants to talk to us. The next morning we met him in the church and he said he wanted to get baptized this Sunday. It was so amazing. I know God is helping us in this work, and when we work to show him our faith, he always blesses us in one way or another. The baptismal service was great. Enrique and Teresa are their names. I will send pictures next week.

The area presidency made an invitation that we baptize every week. I know we can do it and I am so excited to try. I love being here!!!

Things are going good and the work keeps coming and coming. I am so excited to General Conference this next weekend. What a blessing it is to have a prophet.

So how have you all been? I hope things are going great back at home. I can't even begin to explain how greatful I am for all of you. I am so glad that I have the chance to be with you forever. But this all depends on this life. We need to keep working and improving every day. I love you all so much.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey everyone. Thanks again for all your emails. It is always great to hear how you are all doing. It is so crazy how life just keeps going on. One day I am thinking about the mission I will serve, the next I am entering the MTC and the next I am halfway done. I am so glad I still have another year to improve. So I am guessing that the snow is all gone now. Que triste. That is one thing I miss a lot. ha ha
So life is great here in Constitución, Iztapalapa. We have two more baptisms this weekend and so far three with date for April. I am way excited. I have now been in this area for five and a half months. It is going to be hard to leave all these amazing people. We are finding some very chosen people here as well. We just came from an appointment and I know she is going to get baptized in April. Her name is Silvia and she is so ready for the gospel. Did I tell you that my campanion has a huge fear of dogs? It is so funny because there are soooooo many dogs in the streets here. His fear has caused him to jump on to walls, run screaming down the street, pushing me into a car because a dog barked. It is so funny and it makes the days very amusing.
I want you to read a scripture for me. it is in 1 nephi 11:1. In this scripture you will find what we need to do to be able to recieve revelation. If we are not recieving personal revelations, it is because on iniquity (moroni 10:24). We need to search for personal revelation every day. I love you all. I know Jesus lives and this is the only true church on the face of the earth. Be happy

Monday, March 14, 2011

One Year!!!!

Can you believe that in just a couple days I will have one year? Time goes by way too fast. So how are you all doing? How is life back at the ranch? It sounds like you are all doing amazing. Just two days ago we had two more baptisms. An older lady and her granddaughter both got baptized. Their names are Maria del Carmen and Dayana. The change in this sister was one of the biggest I have seen in my whole mission. When we first met her she didn't really take anything serious but now she is in second Nephi in the Book of Mormon. She has become so much happier too. Right now we are working on her son and her mom. It was such a great service. I will send pictures!!
So life is amazing here. There is a ton of work but that is what makes it fun. There is never a dull moment. The people we meet every day are so great. People still stare at me all the time, but I kind of like it. Here is mexico they stare forever and don´t even care, so when I see someone staring at me I just stare back. They don´t look away for anything and pretty soon it turns into a staring contest. It is so funny.
About a week ago I bought another set of scriptures in spanish and I am now going through them and marking them good. I have so many new things and I love it. I love the scripture. I have a goal to finish the Book of Mormon, D&C, PGP, and the New Testament before I finish my mission. I am so excited. It is so amazing how we can find every situation in our lives in the scriptures. If any of you want to take this challenge with me go right ahead. I would love the company.
I love you all. The thought of you keeps me working hard and keeps me close to the love of God. Be happy. Querer es poder. Look those works up, then go read Helaman 3:27-29. I love you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How are you all going? All your talk about snow is making me miss skiing. The weather here is pretty mild. Right now we are just entering the hottest months, then comes July and August which is just a lot of rain. I am excited for those months. I love the rain. It actually rained Saturday night and it was great. The smell reminds me of Washington.
So how is life? Everything is going great here. I am still with Elder Leon and we have a lot of baptisms coming up. We are both excited to start a new change together. Things have been pretty tough in this area, but I know things are going to get better. We have a lot of new goals and plans to try to pick up the area. I got to interview a little nine year old kid Saturday and it was great. It is so amazing to see how muture some of the kids here are. It is kind of funny because in Iztapalapa you find the most stupid kids that don't have a clue about life or anything, and then you find nine year old kids that pray with more faith than most of the adults. I am learning so much.
It is so great to here about all the amazing stuff you are all doing. I am now getting to the point where everything here is normal. All of my thoughts are in spanish. I actually struggle trying to speak english. Crazy huh! It feels like my life before the mission was just something I say on TV once. It doesn't feel like I actually lived it. I can't even imagine being home. I love it here. I am learning so much and I never want to stop. It is a good thing I still have a year.
I love you so much. I will send more pictures. Life is great isn't it?! Make someone smile every day. Christ lives!! I know it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

How are you all doing? Can you believe that I almost have a year? Crazy right? Thinks are going great here. I can`t believe I have been in this area for four and a half months. I have a feeling that I am going to have changes but I don't know. Changes are this next week, so I guess we will see. Berenice and Allison recieved the Holy Ghost yesterday and it was amazing. I felt so happy. I want to tell you the story of them and their family. Are you ready?........

One thing we do in this mission, is we believe that angels are actively engaged in this work, so at night when we are done planning for the following day, we leave our planner open on the desk so the angels can come down and see our plan and prepare our way for the next day. So one night about for months ago, we put in out planner that at one o'clock the next day we would find a family to teach. The next day we went about our work and when one o'clock rolled around we started to look for this family. After a lot of contacts and no success, my companion told me that he needed to use the bathroom so we went to the house. When he was in the bathroom, I decided to look some old contacts the missionaries had made. One name called my attention. I told my companion and we decided to call them. A lady answered and asked if we could come over right them. We said yes and went over. Her and her grandson started to progress and the next week she invited her daughter-in-law and granddaughter over to listen to us. The lady, Leticia, and her grandson, jeffrey, got baptized January 23. Her daughter-in-law, Berenice, and granddaughter, Allison, got baptized February 21, and Berenice's mom got baptized yesterday in another ward. It was a miracle. I love this work. I am so glad I still have a year left. I love you all. Keep smiling.

Monday, February 21, 2011

So guess what!!!! just about two hours ago we baptized Berenice and allison. They were the ones that had problems with their dad/husband. But things worked out and they were so happy!! At the end of the service, Berenice said the closing prayer and she thanked God for the happiness that she was feeling, and then she started to cry. They are going to be amazing members and enjoy the blessings all their lives.

Live is going pretty good here. I just got my suit, so thank you. We have zone conference coming up this Thursday and I am pretty excited for that. You should be getting letters in the mail pretty soon. Sometimes they take up to a month or two so be patient. ha ha In the baptism today we had problems with the font, and we had to fix it, so I don't have a whole lot of time. I heard about Parker's baptism and that is so cool. I am so happy for him. He should be just about ready to leave on him mission by the time I get home. I can't wait to see him.

I love you all. Keep trusting in God more and more every day. You will notice the difference. I love you :) :) :) :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hey, isn't it crazy how fast time flies? I can't believe that in a month I will be halfway done. crazy right? So how are things going back in the hometown? Things are going pretty good here. We have either baptized or stopped teaching almost everyone we had, so right now we are working really hard trying to find more of God's chosen children. I feel like every other day is monday. It is going by so fast and I know it is just going to get faster. Just a couple days ago we went with an investigator that we are teaching named Arturo. We talked about how his prayer went and he told us that when he said his prayer and asked God if the Book of Mormon is true he felt a great peace and that he almost started to cry. Then he told us that he saw a light, and felt even more peace. Right now he is asking God when h should get baptized. This guy is great, and way smart. He is 38 years old with a wife and two little kids. Right now he is about two months away from getting his doctor's degree in chemistry. I can't wait for him to get baptized.
Mom, I miss you too. Satan knew the scriptures too!! The difference is that he didn't understand them. That is the key. We have to study with the spirit. I am so excited for Parker. Tell him that he is making one of the best decisions in his life. I love you.
Dad, how`s it going? You better keep me updated on how North Sanpete does in the playoffs. I miss you and love you
Hailey, how's the job going? What are you doing exactly? Any kids on the way? love you
Nia, you are playing rugby? that is so crazy but awesome. You better send me some pictures. I love you
Shayla, so are you going to be the prom queen? I hope so. I am going to need a lot of pictures. ha ha Love you girl
Matthew, Mom told me you are tearing it up in basketball. Keep up the good work in everything you are going!! I love you
Sorry for the short letter. You guys have now idea what I have to do with this hour they give us. I will try to write more every week. I love you. oh, I would love some peanut butter. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How are you all going? I am pretty sure I start every letter the same, but that just shows how important it is to me that you all doing good. So... this week has been great. We found a man named Uriel and he is very chosen. He has had on of the hardest lifes I have ever heard, but I know that the Gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ can erase all of that. Now we just have to help him know that. We found another great family, and when we taught them for the first time they loved it. It is so amazing to see the spirit work the hearts of the people. Just a few days ago we went with a family and taught them about the restoration. When we got done the mom said that while we were talking, she felt hands on the top of her head and an amazing peace run through her whole body. In the next appointment, another sister that we are teaching said the exact same thing. She said she felt hands on her head and warm feeling in her back. It is so amazing. I love being a missionary. You are all missing out. haha just kidding. You all have chances to be part of this amazing work. So don't lose any chances.
Nia, I miss you. How is college going? Are you keeping your grades up? you want to know something funny, you are now ahead of me in school. ha ha. Keep working hard girl. "The saddest words of tongue and pen, are those that say, 'it could have been'. Don´t you ever have any regrets in life. And if you do, give them to Jesus and move on working harder every time. I love you
Shayla!!!! Wha sup my girl? haha How is school going? Your junior prom is coming up soon. You are so old. I still remember when I would yell at you to "take a sink or I´ll bust your head off!" Good times. How is life? Are you being nice to everyone? Remember that you can never be too nice. Live your life in such a way that those who don´t know Christ, but know you, will want to know Christ because they know you. I love you girl. :)
Bro!! How´s it going Matthew? What sport are you in right now? How are your grades? Are you being nice to our sisters? Sorry for all the questions, but you have a lot on your shoulders. I know all your friends look to you as a leader, so you need to make sure you are leading them in the right direction. Work hard and live every day as if it were your last. Make people feel good. Be nice. Help everyone. Live free. Die hard. ha ha jk. I love you brother.
Bueno... you all know that I wish I could write more, but you also know that you are all in my prayers. Time is short and road is long. I love you all. Remember that our purpose in life is the same as the Book of Mormon. We invite people to come to Christ. Read the Book of Mormon every day and I promise you as a representative of Jesus Christ, that you will feel a deference in you daily life. Smile! "Men are that they might have joy." LOVE YOU