Friday, December 11, 2015

Elder Ruby's 20th Birthday

Elder Ruby's 20th birthday was December 7.  Thanks to wonderful people in his ward, he had a great dinner.  I can't believe that I am 20 years old.  People still guess that I am 18, but that's okay.  I think it's the smile.  The older people get the less they smile? . . .

Happy 20th Birthday, Elder Ruby!

We saw a lot of miracles this past week. One of our returning less-actives invited two friends over for dinner and one of them is interested in coming to church! Also, we received a referral from two of our Elders. We called the number, expecting to talk to Dennis. Instead, a girl named Aliyah answered and she was willing to meet right that moment. We taught her about prophets and a brief overview of the Book of Mormon. She wouldn't take a copy, but she will be meeting with us on Tuesday and she said she would bring a friend!

As I have served with Elder Young, I feel like I have grown in my understanding of the nature of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Heavenly Father always has his hand stretched out to us. He doesn't want me, or anyone, to feel discouraged, hatred, or despair.  I had been listening to the wrong voices telling me that I failed.  As I have prayed and studied, I feel the Savior's love for me and for others. And though I make mistakes, and may be chastened by the Lord, He will always look upon me with love and hope. I testify that God answers our humble prayers and loves us more than we understand.
Elders Ruby and Young at a training meeting

Thanksgiving Rolls

View from Ventura
This week has been really happy.  So I went on two exchanges this week.   One with Elder Gibb (who I came out on my mission with) and Elder Dorius, my MTC companion!  On our exchange we met with a girl named Shannon and her member friends Kimmy and Justin.  We gave her a church tour.  We finished the tour by singing Nearer, My God, to Thee in the chapel together.  Shannon said that she had heard that song before.  We sounded good too.  Elder Dorius is good at harmonizing, so he did and it was great!  We also helped her recognize the spirit.  Kimmy, her friend, reminded Shannon of a spiritual experience that Shannon had had a year ago, which she shared.  Shannon said that the feeling was overwhelming.  She started to cry.  We pointed out to her that those feelings were the Holy Ghost testifying to her of the truth.  That moment was special for all of us.

MLC went alright.  Well, all that was taught and discussed was great.  I just forgot some papers that I shouldn't have which caused President Felix a little more hastle than needed.  I felt pretty bad, but it's all over now.  MLC was on Laws and Ordinances,  The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and being on FIRE!  Missionaries who are on fire have good attitudes, they are obedient, they have gospel knowledge and they have good work ethic.

Also, last Sunday we had a Stake Conference in Camarrillo.  We are a part of the Camarrillo Stake even though we serve in Ventura.  At this conference I was able to see many of the members from the Camarrillo 6th Ward, where I had served, who I hadn't seen for 6 months.   Most of them remembered me and were so happy to see me again.  Thankfully, I remembered almost every one's names. :)

Thanksgiving was great.  Sister Felix is a great cook.  She made a yam and apple side dish that was actually good, and the stuffing was probably the best I've had.  One neat thing she did was type up questions/statements like "What worldly possession are you most grateful for?" "Name three things you are grateful for", and "Over the past year, what changes are you most grateful for?".  She then cut them in strips, wrapped them in foil, put them in the middle of the rolls and baked them.  We then took a roll, opened it, read our questions, and answered it one by one.  I really thought that was a fun idea and I wanted to suggest it to you to try.

Our Truck
Being an Assistant is not a "bed of roses".  We do get a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment, so that's nice.  We do get to learn so much from President and we get to know a lot of people.  However, we have to deal with disobedience.  We act as the middle man to President.  Often we get requests from missionaries to leave their areas, or to do service at times when President Felix has said no (like on Saturdays, Sundays and before 10am or after 4pm), or to attend a baptism outside their zone.  These things we often don't need to bother President with, so we have to say no.  Sometimes missionaries don't like that.  Thankfully, it hasn't been too bad.  I am really happy serving where I do.  Some things do cause me some stress.  I worry too much about setting a good example and not being hypocritical.  I am learning to be patient with myself.

If you haven't already, be sure to watch A Savior is Born and share it with your friends.  This is a short video (2min) about the birth of the Savior from youth around the world.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Life as an Assistant

So, I read a lot from you that you want to know what things I do as an assistant.  Well, we have to do some work on the computer and make sure all the information that we have on the missionaries is correct (Area, companions, cars, . . .)  It's not the most exciting part, but I like to do that kind of stuff.  We do some training at MLC (usually an EDPEP: Explain, Demonstrate, Practice, Evaluate, Re-practice).  We help President and Sister Felix plan it out, type up the agendas, and help the office staff with whatever they need.  They are a lot of fun and I have really liked getting to know them better. 

I will be going on an exchange with Elder Gibb starting tomorrow.  He is a Zone Leader up in SLO ( he replaced me).  They, Elder Haines and Elder Gibb, will be coming down for MLC tomorrow, so we just do the exchange after that.  I will be staying in Ventura.  I am going to have to know this area and the people!  It is usually moments like this, when you have to put more trust/faith in God, that you see miracles.  Yeah, we go on exchanges with all the Zone Leaders.

We don't have a free day this whole transfer.  Each day we have a training, exchange, district meeting, Zone meeting, or weekly planning or devotional!  We are packed!  This month I should be able to go to the temple because it is the month of my birthday, but we'll see if I make it. . .

The weather here is perfect every day.  70 degrees with a 5 mph breeze and a few clouds.  They say that this year will be El Nino.  As far as I know, that means we are supposed to have a lot of rain and storms/flooding, but lately it's been pretty dry.

I want to share something that Sister Bramwell (Bishop's wife) said in her talk at Stake Conference.  She asked us if we had noticed that all the parts of the "armor of God" are defensive except for the Sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:11-17  In essence, our words are our only weapon (Alma 31:5Helaman 3:29-30)

I knew that my 20th birthday was coming up, but I hadn't really counted the weeks/days.  Wow!  Elder Ruby will be 20 on December 7th!  I can't believe it!  I realized that if all my children go on missions, they will turn 20 while serving their Heavenly Father.  December 7th is a Monday, so I will get to email him on his birthday!  One of the tender mercies of the Lord.

I love all of you and look forward to Christmas call-ins!