Thursday, May 28, 2015

Zone Hike/Activity

The Camarillo and Newbury Park Zones met for a hike and training.

Their focus for the activities was that they need to be lead by the spirit as they find and teach.  They spent some time with partners on a trail and one being blindfolded.  They also tied their legs together and had one partner blindfolded to learn that listening and working together in unity is a must.   It looks like Elder Ruby got a new "California" shirt.  I'm positive he didn't have that shirt when he left Wyoming:)

They were each giving a bandana for their blindfold.  Sister Felix said that it was quite funny that they had lots of BYU fans and they thought they were being handed a University of Utah bandana.  It actually says Salvation University and Wise Men Still Seek Him.

After their hike, they drove to the Stake Center where their cars were inspected, they had lunch and finished their activities. 

Elder Ruby is standing with Sister Felix and humming for an activity.

Stephanie's baptism

I apologize for the late blog post.  I have been sick a few days this week, so I didn't get to post Elder Ruby's letter until today.  He gets transfer calls on Saturday.  He is pretty sure he will not be in a tri-pan any more, but he doesn't know if he will get transferred or not.  I will know more on Monday.  Here is his email:

Stephanie's baptism was really special for everyone. The ward and her family was so supportive. Her mother, Tonya, continues to "progress."  She is more open and curious every day.  We are working with a really awesome part-member family, the Bakers.  Laura (member) has already told us that she knows that this church is true.  Her husband, Todd, is so humble and kind.  They have two boys, ages 8 and 9, who live with them half the time.  Laura and Todd told us that the boys kept asking when we were coming back! 

Having three opinions has been something to get used to, and is difficult sometimes, but I have really enjoyed being Elder Agle's and Elder Du Plessis's companion this transfer.  This assignment was definitely inspired because each of us played very critical roles in helping Stephanie.  She needed these two. 

My testimony in being lead by the spirit as we find and teach has grown.  This week we had two neat experiences.  One day we stopped by a part-member's home, but they didn't answer.  We felt impressed to visit an active family down the street.  We invited them to the baptism. They had just gone to a Strawberry stand and picked up the best strawberries in the world! They gave us some to take home.  Before we went home for lunch, we drove to a member, Sister Burns, who has a less-active teenager.  Long story short, we felt impressed to give her those delicious strawberries for the picnic they were having.  We felt good to be the means of answering a prayer and sacrificing something good (strawberries) for something better (charity).

The second experience deals with Stephanie's mother.  I fasted for Stephanie's parents on Sunday, that they would feel the power of the Holy Ghost and would know that what Stephanie was doing was good.  That morning I was impressed to study the Holy Ghost.  I made a list of scriptures from the Bible and Book of Mormon about the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  I had the idea to write, on a note card, scriptures that may help answer Tonya's questions about the Holy Ghost.  I did, and after sacrament meeting, which both parents came to, I handed Tonya the card.  I told her that there were some scriptures from the Book of Mormon on there and that she might have Stephanie read them to her.  We got a text from Stephanie this morning which said she had read the scriptures with her mother and her mother was "very moved" by them, especially Acts 8:12-17.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Life is Good!

Life in Camarillo is great, as usual.  I have two really good companions.  They are both pretty funny and they like to make me the center of their humor.  I like it because the humor helps me laugh at the silly mistakes I make or things I say.  Elder DuPlessis wants to come work on the farm, seriously.  Granny and Papa will/would love him!

I am doing well.  Life is so good.  I am in sunny California, being fed by members, with only the magnification and fulfillment of my calling and commission to worry about.  I'm not saying it's easy, because it's not.  The mission is probably the hardest thing I've ever chose to do.  There is so much to think about and work on and decide and discern.  It's easy to read our purpose: "Inviting others to come unto Christ and helping them receive the restored gospel", but it is much more challenging to put that into action and to be who God needs/wants me to be.  I'm working on it, and I'm still trying to get over my fears of talking to people. 

Sorry the picture is so small.  It turned out really fuzzy when I made it bigger:(  Hyrum is the elder on the top right, behind the elder with the green tie.  This is his Camarillo District of missionaries.

The work was really slow in the beginning of the week.  We adjusted our attitudes, humbled ourselves, and planned more purposefully.  The talks in our district meeting about consecration and forgetting ourselves were just what we needed.  Stephanie is so excited to get baptized! From the moment she tried on her jumpsuit, she has just been a ball of anticipation. Her family is supporting her too.  We know they will feel the Spirit at her baptism.

 We need faith in Jesus Christ, and faith requires humility (Moroni 7:43-44).  I have been learning about Christ and then doing my best to exercise faith in Him.  Studying the Atonement has helped me feel of Christ's and Heavenly Father's love for me.  That is the most pleasing feeling to the soul. I want others to feel that love, so I pray for charity.  I need the charity so that I care enough about the people around me to share this love with them.  It's been working.

God continues to work miracles.  I have seen how God has been preparing and softening Stephanie's parents' hearts after all the prayers that have been offered in their behalf.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day!

I had such a wonderful Mother's Day!  Blaine cooked me a tenderloin steak omlette, the talks and lessons in church were sweet, our extended family gathered for a meal and great conversation and our missionary called home!  Elder Ruby doesn't get out of church until 5pm our time.  Then he let his other two companions call their mothers first.  That is so like him, to put others first.  He called us at about 8:20pm and we talked until a little after 9pm.  We put the phone on speaker and the five of us sat around the table and talked and laughed with him.  He asked us to share any miracles we have seen, no matter how small.   We shared a few stories and spoke of times where we were in the right place at the right time.  Those experiences are seldom just a coincidence.  They are miracles.

After a visit with the family, he was counseled to spend some time talking just to his mom.  That was so precious for me.  He shared all kinds of things he has learned from me over the years and many of my personality traits.  I had no idea he knew me so well!  Speaking to him was a special treasure. 

Then he asked if he could have family prayer with us.  We all knelt on the floor and he said family prayer on the speaker phone.  His prayer was so humble and genuine.  I know he prays many times a day, but that was the first prayer I have heard from him for eight months.  It was a most wonderful Mother's Day!  

I am so grateful we get to speak to him twice a year.  I am also so grateful for technology that allows us to communicate with him every week.  The early missionaries that traveled to England in the 1800's didn't have the means of speaking to their families like we do.  As a mother of a missionary, I think of technology as a precious gift to families of missionaries.  I love Hyrum and I love what he is doing - teaching people about Jesus Christ, the Plan of Salvation, Christ's Atonement for us and how families can be forever.  If you are interested in knowing about these topics and what we believe, let me know. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Prayer of Faith

This week has been amazing.  President Felix has put an emphasis on being led by the spirit as we find and teach.  Our zone goal to accomplish this is by using the prayer of faith.  So, at the beginning of this week, I studied the prayer of faith from Preach My Gospel and read from the Book of Mormon.  Elder DuPlessis also studied the prayer of faith.  One morning, when we said prayer as a group, Elder DuPlessis prayed that we would find a new investigator that day, and we all meant it.  That morning we walked a lady's dog for a bit longer than ususal (one of the many acts of service they do).  We had plans to go to Leisure Village (a retirement community) and visit a referral from the bishop.  We gave a member a phone call who knew this potential investigator.  She said that the referral wasn't interested in the church.  We decided that our plans for Leisure Village would be unproductive.

At that moment I felt a stupor of thought.  Nothing was coming to any of us.  Elder DuPlessis got out a paper cover Book of Mormon and did the "Book of Mormon Baseball" with me.  We ended up at Alma 23:3.  It spoke of going forth to preach the word.  Interesting.  Well, I didn't want to leave the apartment without a plan, such as names of people to see.  We said a prayer, then came up with some names of people.  I didn't feel anything from the spirit.  Finally, we left the apartment.  We didn't even make it to our car before we ran into Kathrine.  She is a lady who just moved in from Boston.  (She has the accent to prove it).  She was a Latin teacher and she knows Greek.  Kathrine learned these languages so that she could read the Bible in it's original Greek.  She had lots of questions and we answered them.  We introduced the Book of Mormon and her first question was how many times it was translated.  Only once! by the power of God!  She was definitely prepared!  Why else would God cause a stupor of thought and plans falling through for us to find her!  Who knows what other events had to happen on her end to have us "pair" up.  Kathrine is retired and she happens to live in our apartment complex.  She did mention how beautiful/gorgeous my eyes were/are about 3 times, so I'm not sure what to think :) haha.  Hopefully, she just saw Christ in my countenance.

I love my new companions!  We all have totally different personalities, but it works really well.  Those two, Elder Agle and Elder DuPlessis, love to tease me.  They are both really funny.  They like to work and I believe that our combined faith and diligence has brought about the miracles that we've seen.  Actually, "brought about" is probably not the correct way to say it.  We are shown miracles after, not because of our faith. 2 Nephi 25:23, Ether 12:6,18

I am doing well.  Don't worry about me.  I'm in God's hands.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Red Light :( and Tangarines

This week has been great.  I love my two new companions.  One of them, Elder Agle, has been out 20 months.  He's served in Paso Robles also, so we have fun talking about the people there.  He was actually trained there too.  Elder Du Plessis has been out for 4 1/2 months (came out with Elder Campbell).  They both like to work hard and are engaged.  President Felix assigned me as the senior companion.  He told me at transfer meeting that he needed me to stay in Camarillo and he needed me to be the senior companion.  We'll see how it all works out.  This place has so much potential, and I feel like we are the companionship to tap into it.

This whole week has been awesome.  We have followed the spirit and have been lead to some really neat people.  One man we met spoke seven languages.  He was Hindu and believed in Karma.  Maybe someday he'll receive the gospel, but not that day.

Stephanie's baptism date is May 23! (same day as Lily's and Addison's baptism in Buffalo)  We had an amazing lesson at her house.  Her mom has lot of hidden concerns that I think she feels like we'd think she would be silly for asking them.  Thankfully, we have the spirit and as we spoke with her, the spirit revealed her concerns to us and gave us the words and scriptures to address them.  That lesson was so cool/special!  We taught from the Book  of Mormon, and she felt that the few verses we read aligned with what she believes is true!

Guess what . . . I ran a red light!  I didn't get caught, but I was pretty shaken up about it.  It was totally unintentional.  We were safe.  God is watching out for me.

Yesterday (April 26) was our Stake Conference.  Elder Call of the Seveny spoke to the stake.  He was also there on Saturday when we did a large Helping Hands/Just Serve service project.  The three of us helped glean in some tangarine orchards.  Did you know that tangarine trees have large spikes on them?  Yeah, they hurt :)  It was fun though.

We are having a pretty bad drought here, but I am not directly affected by it.  People are getting paid to change their lawns to drought resistant vegetation.

Elder Ruby and his companions recently ate dinner at the home of Elder Gary K. Wilde (an Area Seventy)  He emailed us a picture and wonderful letter.  Here is what he wrote, "My wife and I just had the pleasure of having your son, Elder Hyrum Ruby, in our home for dinner.  What an outstanding young man you have raised.  I was so impressed with his maturity and spiritual depth.  He seems happy, healthy and hard working.   What a great young man!"

I am doing well.  I love my companions.  We laugh, we work, we listen to the spirit, we love the peopel we serve.  I know God knows and loves me and you.  No doubt about it!  I LOVE being a missoinary!  I have sacrificed two precious years because I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families and makes me happy!

P.S. A member has a license plate that says RULDS2?  Pretty cool.