Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 80: Bear!...No Bear!

Konnichiwa everyone! Elder Jeppsen and I are getting along great! We've been working hard too. We have been trying to find more investigators, and the least we can do is find potential investigators, so we have been tracting each day to try and meet new people. We met a lady last week who we think is a promising potential investigator, so we will try and followup with her this week. Since we don't have any investigators at the moment, we've got a lot of time to kill during each day, so Elder Jeppsen and I decided that we are doing to knock on the doors of every single house in our area! It may sound bold, but it has been done before, and we are going to do it. Whatever it takes to find those people who are ready to hear the message of the Restored Gospel!

On Thursday I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with one of our AP's, Elder Memmott, in Rancho Cucamonga. We had some cool experiences walking up to strangers and handing them cards. 

I have a question for everyone: Are you really converted? Conversion is not a one-time thing, but a continual process. If we do not seek to strengthen our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel, then we are allow our faith to be weakened by lack of spiritual nourishment and put ourselves in very serious danger of losing our faith.

In the words of a paragraph from the Mormon Channel website:

 President Hinckley stated, “Faith is like the muscle of my arm. If I use it, if I nurture it, it will grow strong. If I put it in a sling and leave it there, it will grow weak” So if faith is a principle of action, how we can act upon it? What are we doing in our lives to exercise our muscle, so to speak?  And are we exercising it daily to continue to make it strong?

We may have received a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God, but what are we doing with that witness? Are we acting on that witness and exercising our faith by continuing to read the Book of Mormon, to be able to feel the Spirit more abundantly in our lives, to learn eternal and valuable truths that we can apply in our own lives, to receive protection against our temptations, and to find peace and joy in this life? I know that all of us can receive these blessings as we read from the Book of Mormon each day and study its profound teachings. I have found these blessings in my own life as I have done so. I encourage you to check out this talk by Elder David A Bednar called "Converted Unto the Lord". 

Reading it for the first time changed my whole perception on having a testimony and being converted. I know that Christ lives and loves each of us, and that we have a loving Father in Heaven knows and loves each and every one of us and wants to bless us!

I really do love you all, and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Ruiz

 Me, Elder Jeppsen, and our AP's Elder Memmott and Elder Wilhelm
I couldn't resist taking a picture of this car while I was in Rancho haha!

Week 79: Page CXVI

Good afternoon everybody. A new transfer has arrived, and I've got a new companion! Elder Hirst got transferred to Rancho Cucamonga and will be serving as an office elder in the mission office. My new companion is Elder Jeppsen from Brigham City, Utah. He's a really nice guy, and I've got good vibes about this transfer. 

Elder Hirst and I knocked a lot of doors last week. We were diligent last week and tried to find people but we couldn't find any new investigators, but I have faith that we can change that this transfer! I feel that I've grown close to the Lord this last transfer though, because I've been seeking his guidance and help through sincere prayer and diligent scripture study as to how we can find new investigators, but also how I can be a better missionary. I know that our prayers our answered as we sincerely seek God's hand in our life. 
That sums things up for last week I think. Hope you have a good week.


Elder Ruiz

Week 78: No More Cadbury Eggs?

Howdy y'all!

First off, I hope you each had an enjoyable Easter Sunday yesterday, hopefully with many plastic eggs filled with candy that you found! 

Nothing too crazy happened last week. Elder Hirst and I attended MLC in Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. Much knowledge was shared, and the Spirit was felt, to sum it all up. For dinner that night we drove way up to a little town called Mount Baldy, where a sweet older sister of the ward bought us a bar haha.  It is so beautiful up there, all the clouds were gathering together in the mountains around us, and we were high enough in elevation that we could see the clouds moving through the trees, it was cool! 

We still don't have any investigators that we are teaching at the moment, but we are still trying to find people to teach in our area. We've been really gung-ho about sharing pass-along cards for the #PRINCEofPEACE video on If you haven't seen it yet, GO WATCH IT! It's really inspirational and powerful, probably one of the best videos that the Church has come out with recently. 

On Wednesday we started ripping up a huge tree stump at a member's house...with only hand's gonna take a while...

We had a funny experience where we were contacting people in the park and sharing pass-along cards. There were 3 mothers in a group, just talking to each other while they pushed their kids on the swingset on the playground. We asked them if we could give them a card about Jesus Christ, and instantly 2 of them said no thank you. However, the third mom was quiet for a few seconds, then said "hmmmm...oh well, why not, why not?" So we gave her a card. As we left the park there were 4-5 little boys sitting on the curb of the playgroung. Elder Hirst pulls out a few cards and says "Do you guys want a card with a picture of Jesus Christ on it?" They all turned around towards us and in unison said "YES, YES!" in excitement. We gave each of them a card, and I'm pretty sure one of the little boys said, "Oh wow this is cool!' That's right, Jesus is cool!

Another funny thing that happened was when we were reading 1 Nephi chapter 4 with a less-active who is kind of crazy. After we read the chapter we had some small talk with him and we got on the subject of modern technology. I mentioned the fact that the internet has advanced so much even in the last 10 or so years. Then Elder Hirst, implying the internet capability of this man's smartphone that was in his hand, said to him, "Now you've got the internet in your hand." The man's eyes went big, he looked up at us in amazement, dropped his phone on the ground, and said "Whoa! Wait, what? What things have these hands created?!" Then he looked over both of his hands. We realized that he took us literally, and then he too realized that we were not speaking in a literal sense. Then we all just laughed about it. Funniest moment of the weekend.

I love Easter Sunday, it gives each of us the opportunity to remember the sacrifice that our Savior Jesus Christ gave for us. Because of his death and resurrection, we too will be resurrected, with perfect bodies and a perfect state of mind, free from any disability, sickness, or pain. What a glorious day that will be! I know that God, our loving Father in heaven, really does have a plan that he has created to help us return to His presence, and to be with our families forever. 

I love you all, have a great week. Remember the Savior in your life!

Elder Ruiz 

 Elder Hirst and I at the mission office after MLC.

The forest and mountains surrounding Mount Baldy.