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!!!!!!