Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 19, 2013

Hello mother dearest! How is everything back in the AZ? Did you keep pretty busy this last week? Hope everything is going great!
This last week was a great week for our district. A family got baptized into 1st ward which was awesome, a mother and her daughter! They are super awesome. I had the opportunity of doing their baptismal interview about a month and a half ago and then they went to china and didn't get back until about a week ago, so we held the baptism last saturday! It was a really great service and Sister wo and her daughter both shared heart felt testimonys afterwards. What an awesome opportunity to see a family accept the Gospel! I love being able to attend baptismal services, they are the best! Just seeing people light up and share their testimonys right after they are baptized is such a cool experience! The spirit is strong and testifies of the truthfulness of this Gospel.
Elder Washburn and I are doing really awesome! We are loving the work and time is just flying by, which is slightly startling. We have met so many awesome people are just loving being their friends and sharing our testimonies with them. It is such an a amazing opportunity being a missionary, you grow in so many ways it is hard to even describe! I love this work so much and I love Heavenly Father. and I love you! Thank you so much for your great example and love for me momma, Hope you have an awesome week! Stay sweet!    -Elder Ripley

Wow I know that face! That is exactly how she looked when she found out there were snakes in Dustins room!
Good to hear you are feeling abit better now! Get in some good work outs and I am sure you will recover quickly. You are getting out of shape!? I will have to whip you back into shape when I get home! We have workout time everyday besides sunday so I have been able to stay in shape pretty easily. I put on some weight in the MTC but up to this point I have lost it all and put on a little more muscle..not much though. My 8 pack is coming along nicely, but not quite as defined as yours! Haha :D
I am super excited for that package! Thank you so much Dad!!!
Thanks for your prayers and love, we can feel it strongly even though we are so far away! We are meeting tons of great people and are enjoying telling them of our Savior so much, I love being a missionary!! Love you dad and hope you have a super great week    -Elder Ripley

August 12, 2013

I will be sure and get a birthday card out to Aunt Alice today! I looked for one last week but the store only had lame ones so I will find a better one this week. Celeste kitten looks pretty cute! Haha and it looks like you are having a great time on that motorcycle! You are so dangerous! :D I would love to see those pictures of Blakes baptism! I got his invite the other week and was super excited! He is such a great kid. I am excited to see how much he has grown when I get back. What is cool is his baptism was on the same day as brother lin!

The highlight of the week for us was this last saturday, Our best friend, brother Lin, was baptized! He is the most amazing kid ever. He is 10 years old right now. His knowledge of the scriptures is fantastic! He had a very strong desire to be baptize, and whe we asked him why he wanted to be baptized so much he said it was because he wants to recieve the Holy Ghost! I was so amazed at this young kids maturity! He is a stud! I have grown to love him so much. While on my mission I made a few goals, or I guess you could say expectations. They are broad goals and require sub goals or smaller ones to help me achieve them. One of them is that I have a goal and expect to baptize people that I love. This last saturday was a taste of achieving that goal! I feel like one of the greatest accomplishments of my mission so far is learning to love people. I have learned to act out of love. These feelings of love come mostly when I am serving them, teaching them the Gospel, and when I am on my knees praying for them and praying to God that he will fill me with a greater love for them and allow me to feel about them how He does. This week while reflecting on Elder Hollands talk "The first great commandment" it really inspired me. Go read it right now! I love Jesus' call to arms to His apostles as well as Elder Hollands call to arms to us! The part that hit me the hardest was when Elder Holland gave a non scriptural description of what the Lord might have said to His disciples after His resurrection when He found His apostles once again on the lake fishing. He said "Children, Did not my life and my love touch your hearts more deeply than this?" This sentence has been a huge motivator for me. It reminded me of how deeply the Lords love has changed my life and has given me a great desire to not only love the people here but more importantly to help them come to know of the Savior's infinite love for them.

Well I love you mom and hope you have another fantastic week this week! Miss you!    -Elder Ripley

Hahaha I think I remember what goes first, your youth!
Thanks so much for taking such good care of my car dad! I saw it in the background of the picture of mom on the motorcycle and it is looking pretty nice! I cant believe it can fit in the garage now! And thanks aton for the packages too, I love them and so do all of the missionaries serving around me :) And no I do not have to pay any extra money ever.
Wish I could have been there for the baptism, I am sure it was a beautiful service! I was at a baptism on the same day as you guys! I am excited to see those pictures.
This week right before sacrament meeting starts the Elders Quorum president walks up to me and says hey you are doing the confirmation today ok? I thought..I have never even done that in english...but I said...Alright lets do it! What an awesome experience. I am so grateful that I am worthy and hold the priesthood so that when times like that come up I can rise to the call, and even more grateful for the opportunity I have to be able to be a part of the proccess of God giving one of His children one of His greatest gifts, His Holy Spirit.
Thanks for your love and support Dad, It means the world to me! I don't know what I would be doing today if it wasn't for your example, probably making a living off of selling dingleberry pies. Love you dad! Have a good week!   -Elder Ripley

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 5, 2013

Holy smokes looks like you guys had a super busy week! Montana and Dads birthday look like a blast, I am super jealous I couldn't be there! Thanks for all of the pictures though! I love to see everybody! I am sure Dad enjoyed getting to see everybody on his brithday, and I know what he enjoyed most was having everyone at church with him. Such a good birthday wish! That picture of all of the kids with Dad looks so empty without me :) Haha just messin you all look so great!
This last week our zone leader Elder Edwards finished up his mission, it was sad to see him go, but a great opportunity to serve with him for the last month or so of his mission. He has a such a huge love for everyone around him. That is something that I have thought about quite abit on my mission, love! Early on in my mission I noticed that in my mission call it refers to missionary work as a labor of love. I have been striving my entire mission to always allow love to be the motivator for all of my actions as a missionary. One sentence especially stuck out to me in the doctrine of salvation broadcast. I believe it was Elder Nelson who said it "The most effective missionaries always act out of love". I know that numbers are important, but one thing I have learned is that when we put too much of an emphasis on numbers, higher numbers starts to become a motivator for our actions, causing us to be less effective missionaries. One thing we are going to emphasize strongly in our district this move call is the "why" of missionary work. LOVE! Including love for the people around us, our areas, and the gospel, as well as Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ's love for all of us. When we love we are happy, successful and effective missionaries. The "How" is also very important and those basic skills of missionary work will also be trained on in our district, but we don't want anyone to ever forget why we are out here and the vision of our district. We would rather it be said of our district that we were strictly obedient, worked our butts off, and loved everyone and everything about our missions but didn't see alot of success, rather than half obedient, occasionally worked hard, and liked some parts of our mission but got tons of new investigators with baptismal goals every week or whatever it is. But I do know that as long as we do the former, the Lord will bless us with all of the success that He wants us to have, and that is the happiest way of life! We are happiest when we do what the Lord wants us to do. (Alma 50:23) He only asks us to do things that will allow us to be happy!
Peter is getting baptized this saturday and we are all super excited! I will be sure and send some pictures next week. Please keep him in your prayers as he continues to prepare for his baptism this week! Love and miss you so much!
-Elder Ripley

July 29, 2013

Hows montana?! Have you and Dad even been up there before? I bet the weather is pretty nice right now. You will have to go do some huntin and let me know how it goes! I am sure you guys will have a blast! Is there anyone left living at home while you guys are out? Celeste and Coty are still there right? And what is going on with Dustin and Heather? Dustin comes back when he gets off work right? You are so good taking care of aunt Winnie over there, I am sure she appreciates it aton!
You can keep saying all of those things you tell people when they ask about me, because they sure are all true! I am enjoying my mission so much, I am not really sure how to describe how much I love it. The joy comes when I forget about myself, forget about what I want, and let Heavenly Father change me. It comes when I develop christ like attributes, serve the people and missionaries around me and grow to love them and the places I serve so much that I just don't want to leave and everytime move call comes I am praying that I can stay in my area. But also comes when I leave an area and the people I love, just to find out that my new area and the people they are just as amazing and by serving I grow to love them just as much and do it all over again. As far as getting the language down, I like to think I am good but just like everyone I have plenty of ways I can improve. My testimony has grown more in this time than I had ever imagined it would before I left on my mission. I knew I would grow alot, but I didn't understand what that mean't until I actually experienced it. As for not wanting go home, I miss you all and love you so much, but to tell the truth the thought is a little bit scary. :D Missionary work has just become so much a part of me that it will be a huge adjustment going back, though I will always be a missionary. BUT.. I don't really have to think about that right now :) Thank you so much for all the support and love and prayers, it has made my mission the best experience it could possibly be! Love you mom and hope you have a fantastic week!
Your son,    Elder Ripley