March 13, 2009
Thankyou for all your letters. I hope you know that they do not make me homesick, and I like to know what's going on. Say hi to everyone for me, and give them my love. How is everyone? Is there anything new in beautiful Burbank? How's Matthew enjoying his own room?
This week we taught our first lesson entirely in spanish. It was hard, but we did well and we felt the Spirit. From now on we will teach the gospel only in Spanish for the next two years. We're working hard to improve our spanish, and we sit by the nativos at lunch. They have to learn english, and we need to learn spanish, so we talk a lot. In class we have covered almost all Spanish grammar and I can understand much of the scriptures in spanish.
This week's speaker was Elder Hamula of the Seventy. He spoke on the Plan of Salvation and our true purpose as missionaries. It was a good talk, and very powerful. Also, in another large group meeting, we learned about baptizing. I want you all to know that "the field is white" not just in a few missions, but all over the world. Sometimes in the church we say that some missions have little hope of baptizing people, but I want you to know that the prophets disagree. These are the latter days, and the Lord is gathering his elect across the face of the Earth. It is not incorrect to want a lot of baptisms, in fact that is a missionary's primary purpose. I also want to baptize many people so they can have the blessings I have recieved in my life.
Also, we go to the Temple every Friday. There is one family who went to England and found records and names of 70,000 people, I want to go back to England after my mission is over to see the rest of my family again, and also to see if I can do some family history work. But that is for later, and to every thing there is a season.
I want you all to know that I love this work. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve and help others come unto Christ, even if it is very hard. I testify that this church is true, that the power of God is again on the Earth, and that there are living prophets to guide and direct us today. Most of all I bear testimony of the redeeming love of our Savior and the infinite power of his Atonement. That all may be clean and stand blameless if they only obey the commandments and repent. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
With lots of love, Elder Rickords