Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 7, 2010
Dear Folks,
This week has been great. I did not get transferred. Elder Au and I will stay the same this transfer and I think I know why.
This week we had 11 investigators in the sacrament meeting, that`s my new personal
record! Of those 11, 8 of them will definitely get baptized this month, and we have
another family of 2 that will also be baptized this month. So that`s 10 investigators that will be our goal to baptize just in this month. In the transfer we want 16 baptisms, a goal that is rarely reached. We have plan A`s and B`s and we`re pretty sure we can reach it.
We had interviews with the president this week. He says I have done a great job with my companion, and then told me I was ready for my next assignment. He tells me I`m really obedient, and that`s why I`m one of the good ones. He told me some other stuff, but then when we ended and I was heading out, I just had to tell him something. So I turned around and told him that of all my areas that this is the first one where I feel I can reach the goals that we set each week. He told me I have another year to do what I need to do in the mission and that he was going to make a few changes in his plans.
I was pretty sure I was leaving and that I would have left if I hadn`t said anything. But now I don`t have to leave and I can stay and triple the number of baptisms in one transfer.
I love this place. Thanks to the party we had even more references this week. I feel like I can work here and finally get somewhere, something I haven`t felt like for my entire mission!
Edgar and Elizabeth, The husband that said he wouldn`t get married, are going to get married in the next few weeks, and also say they want to get baptized. We`ve seen a complete change in Edgar over the last month thanks to the power of our message. We also have a family of 5 people that have already come to church twice.
So everything is going great over here. I am thankful for the privilege I have of sharing the gospel. I do recognize that success is not just in the numbers and I apologize if I sound like that, it is just that the last few months have been tough and the numbers this week actually make me think that I am not failing my Father in Heaven.

Love you all,
Elder Rickords

March 1, 2010
Dear Folks,
Thanks for the letter, I haven`t read all the talk yet, but I`ll print it off and read it later tonight.
Things this week have been coming along very well. We had another baptism this
Saturday, getting the total number of baptisms this transfer up to 6. The problem is that we have have no baptismal dates at the moment, but we do have people coming to church, and they are all excited. We have 4 people that will definately get baptized this month, 4 that might be baptized, and three reference families. I was thinking last night, and if we do it all right, we could have 14 this next transfer. Hope I don`t leave.
We have a lot of references because this last Saturday we had a Luau at the church. We organized it with the 2 wards in the city and it came off great. To start off we had a talent show type presentation from members of the two wards, then this inactive member had his own little show for 45 minutes(he`s a professional singer). He got the crowd alive, but it lasted kind of long so they got bored again. The last part was the best because it was our part. Thanks to my companion we were able to learn the Huka and we four missionaries got up and did it for the members. Everyone thought that that was pretty cool and they still keep talking to us about it. So we got everyone excited and this week we will take out some more references. Also, we`re going to to contact these families and see what we got for this next transfer. Unfortunately, I have a feeling i`ll be leaving this transfer. I hope not, but I have to wait until his Sunday to find out.
Talk to you all next week. I couldn`t send pictures today because we left town to go see some big dinosaur fossil and used all our American dollars to buy stuff.
Love ya,
Elder Rickords

February 22, 2010
Dear Folks,
Yes, I got the tie and some candy, but I never got another package.
We had Zone conference this week. It was cool as we talked about the Book of Mormon. We have the compromise to read it before next month to strengthen our testimonies. The North Americans had to read it in English to make sure they understood everything. I finished it yesterday morning, and I can say I have a strengthened testimony of the Book of Mormon. I prayed after my personal study every day to ask if it was true, and although I never recieved a the great overwhelming feeling many wish for, the Spirit did give me the calming reassurance that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it now more than ever before.
So this week we had another 2 baptisms. They`re excited and really like us. Even though they don`t have much money we were humbled when they invited us all out to eat that night which was very kind of them.
I`m getting along great with my companion and we`re working really well. We found a lot of families, but the problem is that we contact them by surprise and they listen, but the next time we go to their house they send their little kids out to tell us that they`re not home. Most of the time we ask the kids when they`ll be back and they go to ask their parents(who are hiding in the back room). We do have some potential candidates for the next transfer, like 6, but we`ll see what happens. I`m pretty sure that I`m leaving anyway because the president kept telling us that we had three more weeks together. We don`t know who will leave this time, but we do have two weeks left to enjoy our time here.
About the journal writing...I do it sometimes, but I have a problem. I know the church is true and all that, but I get frustrated that I’m still not sure I have done much good here. My mission has been so full of issues and I struggle with that when I feel like I’m doing all I can to work hard and I am obedient in all the rules. There's something I have to learn, I know.
Tell Jacob if he really wants to prepare for the mission he needs to study for an hour each morning(half the hour with the Book of Mormon and the other half with Preach my Gospel) so that he can get a good basis. I would suggest starting with chapter 2 and then all the missionary lessons in depth. Take a lot of notes and get excited about it all. Follow all the advice from chapter 2, and memorize where the more useful scriptures are for each topic and the key points of the lessons at the end of lessons 1,2 and 3. And tell him to go on some appointments with the elders. That`s my advice anyway.
Tell everyone I said hi, especially Grandma and Grandpa, and Sis. DeVere, and all the Scrimshers (they sent me Christmas cards). I`m sorry I don`t write, but I`m kind of busy and pretty focused on right here now. I`ll see you all in another year anyway.

Elder Rickords

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