Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Week 32: Up the hill...

Well, I GOT TRANSFERRED!!!! I am super excited to be serving in a new area this transfer, but I will miss the people in the Walnut Park Ward that I have come to love so much. Funny story: last night our zone leaders called us and told me I'm going to be serving in Rancho (Cucamonga)...
Or that's at least what I thought they said over the phone.
Turns out I was going to be serving in the Ranchero ward haha. Either the zone leaders told me the wrong info over the phone, or it's because of my partial hearing loss in my ears. 

So children, the lesson here is that you should wear earplugs when you are with the drumline or playing the drums. 

The Ranchero ward is "up the hill"... so now I'm in the DESERT, woohoo!!!! Aghhhhh I am so excited to be here, I can't even put it into words!!!! My second companion Elder Jessee is in our district too, so I'm happy about that! The desert is almost a different subculture than that found "down the hill" in the valley haha, and I can already tell that the people here are different than the people in the valley, but I like it; it gives variety for me to experience. My companion is Elder Hulet who's from a little town outside of Parowan, Utah (southern Utah). He's down to earth, and seems to have a good attitude about the work, which I like to see in missionaries. This is his last transfer in the mission before he goes home, so I hope to help him make the most out of it. Our ward covers Hesparia and I think a little bit of Oak Hills. We drive a Nissan SUV, and part of our area is dirt roads, so to me that adds a little bit of excitement to my time that I will be here haha! 

I know that this work that I do, that all missionaries do, is the Lord's work. He works through us "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." And as you try your best to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, you can be an instrument in the Lord's hands too. We can all make a difference! The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored, and I know that to be an absolute fact. I defend that truth with all my heart. 

I have much love and appreciation for all of you and for the influence you have been in my life. I have learned something from each of you in one way or another, not matter how small. Thank you. 

Choose the right, live the gospel, and let the gospel change you into the kind of wonderful person your Heavenly Father would have you be. He loves you all, so very much.

Have a good week y'all.

-Elder Ruiz

Here are some pictures of me while I was still in Chino last week. Sorry I didn't get a photo of my new companion and I. I'll make sure to get one by next Monday though haha.

Brother Rodriguez (who served with my uncle in Colombia), and his mother, who knew my grandpa back in the day. Small world when your'e LDS haha!

Remember when I first came to Chino I told you about the recent convert that has tattoos all over him...well here he is, the one and only Brother Pierce! He went through the temple two weeks or so ago and received his endowment; it's amazing to see the progress he's made and how much he has grown in the gospel!

​Interesting picture I took of Elder Morton and I weekly planning on Friday. 

Alas, we must go our separate ways. Till we meet again Elder Morton!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Week 31: Mission Mormonaries

This last week was great! We were blessed with 3 new investigators that want to learn more, so I'm very happy about that! My companion went to the Los Serranos Ward in Chino Hills for exchanges on Saturday, and Elder Robbins from that area came to our area for the day. We had a great exchange! We were able to teach Jose. He didn't read the Book of Mormon chapter that we asked him to read last time. He told us he doesn't like to read. At that point I was feeling a little fired up because we've been trying to work with him for a while now and he hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon since our third lesson back in February. So I decided to be fearless with him and tell him that we don't come to his house to hang out or simply talk about God and Jesus. I explained to him our purpose as missionaries, and how if he doesn't read, then we can't progress in the lessons. And wow, I felt the Holy Ghost put power behind my words and give me the words that were meant to be said to him! I could see that Jose understood what I was trying to tell him, and because of that we were able to clear up some misunderstandings. Bottom line is that Elder Robbins and I heavily emphasized how important it is to read the Book of Mormon, for it is the only way one can know whether or not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Jesus Christ's church, if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if the priesthood really was restored to Joseph Smith by heavenly messengers. It truly is the keystone of our religion. 

Other than exchanges and our lesson with Jose, nothing big happened last week. Elder Morton and I are still trying to work our hardest finding people to teach and inviting everyone to come unto Christ! This is the last week of the transfer, so I'm more sure that Elder Morton or myself are leaving. 

Love you all, have a great week! Make good choices. Strive for humility, for it is when we are humble that we can learn the most. The greatest leaders are the greatest followers. 

-Elder Haven Ruiz
Only the finest (donuts): I thought I'd get some donuts from this doughnut shop that I've been to before around the corner, since this is the last week of the transfer and I might never partake of this manna from heaven. They are made fresh every morning! It's hard to say whether or not they're better than the donuts at Day's Market in Provo haha. Also, what's the difference between donut and doughnut? I don't know

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Week 30: The 909

Hey happy Mother's Day (yesterday of course haha). I hope you all had an enjoyable Sunday yesterday. I enjoyed being able to talk to my parents; but it is strange to think that I only get to see their faces twice a year haha. 

The weather last week was great; it was cloudy with a slight breeze, so most of the week it was cool temperatures. I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the Spanish elders in their area, and I learned a few Spanish words, and I even learned how to bear my testimony in Spanish, which I am super happy about! There is a convert of about a year and a half named Jerry that went to the Redlands temple on Friday and received his endowment, which all of us were really excited about. He has long hair with a beard and mustache, but it was weird seeing him with short hair and no facial hair haha. I'm so happy for him.Our investigator Jose finally came to church again after weeks of not being able to meet with him. And the new investigator we  picked up last week we ended up dropping yesterday morning because he said he is good with where he is at in life right now, but he appreciated us teaching him and caring about him. Oh well, maybe now is not his time to meet with the missionaries haha. All of the brethren in the ward sang "I am a Child of God" in sacrament meeting during the Mother's Day Primary Program, and I'd say we weren't too shabby for only practicing during opening exercises for Priesthood meeting haha.

Well, two more weeks left for this transfer! I'll be trying to live it up while I still can here in Chino if I get transfers! I love you all, thank you for the love and support that you have expressed for me! Have a great week!

-Elder Ruiz
Thing  1 and Thing 2! We are twinners today haha.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 29: I.E.

Hey everybody, this past week was great! 
Monday was crazy. It was cloudy and windy all day, and then right as we got to a member's house for dinner, it started to sprinkle. And as soon as we stepped onto their porch, it just started POURING!!!! And it kept on pouring all during dinner, and then it stopped just minutes before we left their house. Crazy experience! 

On Thursday Elder Morton and I biked a mile or two out of our area ( don't worry, we had permission haha) to the stake center in Chino Hills to assist with the Red Cross blood drive that took place there. It was pretty cool being able to see how they do the donating of blood and stuff. 

I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with one of our zone leaders on Saturday in our area! There were so many miracles that happened, and we even picked up a new investigator and had a lesson with him about the plan of his garage! We also were able to set a return appointment with a potential investigator, and we also obtained 2 other potential investigators! I gained valuable insight as to how I can do better at street contacting, it was awesome. I could feel the Spirit strongly several times throughout the day. 

Well, nothing else major has happened, but I have a feeling that great things will happen this week. Remember that the future is as bright as your faith! So have faith! Love you all!

Elder Ruiz