Monday, August 27, 2012

Patriarchal Blessings

Hey Everyone! I hope all of you had a fantastic week last week, but it sounds like that was very much the case.
This past week has been a very different one for sure. One of the coolest miracles was my companion. Now, as you all know I have said very little of my past companion for the last 3 months. His name is Elder Call, he is from Kent, Washington, he LOVES video games and played generally for entire days at a time. He is the youngest of 5 children in his family and the second to serve a mission.
Just the other night on Tuesday, we stopped over to see Michael. Now Michael has a friend named Vaughn who was raised a member of the Church in Utah, but fell away many years ago. He is supportive of Michael's endeavors to come closer to Jesus Christ by being baptized. Vaughn was over at Michael's house at the time and sat in on the discussion. We had a wonderful time with the two of them and were about to leave when Vaughn said that he had a question which might surprise us a little bit. We urged him to ask and we told him we would try our best to answer. He let us know very clearly that this was not a matter of intelligence, wit, etc, but rather a "Right people, right place. right time" scenario.
After some thought, he finally said, "Tell me about Patriarchal Blessings."
(Through another series of amazing miracles, Vaughn had begun meeting with the Bishop just a couple weeks earlier to start some healing.)
Elder Call looks at him, said, "You know, when I walked in here today, I thought of my Patriarchal Blessing and didn't know why. I had a feeling that I would be talking about it today and now it makes sense." My companion then clearly explained and described to Vaughn what a Patriarchal Blessing is to the satisfaction of the Spiritually thirsty asker
What a great experience it was! For my companion, for Michael (who wants Vaughn to come back), for Vaughn, and for myself.
The Lord speaks to all! He gives liberally according to our wants, desires, and the heed and diligence we give to Him.
Elder Call was transferred to Katy two days later to serve with an Asian Elder as I had jokingly told him would happen.
My new companion's name is Elder Jimenez. He is AWESOME! He is from Spanish Fork, Utah, is on Reserve in the Army and wants to be a pilot as well. He is so cool and we have already had a blast from the past few days serving together.
God has watched out for me and protected me these many days among the people of Texas. I have been through much, I have seen much, experienced much, and hope to remain faithful and strong through the rest. What I cannot deny is that there is some plan which the Lord has for each of us, and those things that happen to us are part of His plan. We have weakness to become strong THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S LAWS AND THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, NOT TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR OURSELVES AND THEREFORE BE DEPRIVED OF LEARNING AND GROWING EXPERIENCES. How short is the time we have here to BECOME the kind of beings we will need to be in order to inherit all that the Father has! There is simply not time to be anything less than fully commited.
Being a perfect Being with love beyong comprehension for us, Heavenly Father provided the way- He sent a Savior to die for us and we now enjoy the Gift of the Holy Ghost- the constant companionship of a member of the Godhead to be with us always. I don't think we quite appreciate what that means! That is A MEMBER OF THE GODHEAD to be with us ALWAYS as we are worthy of Him. We we be found so worthy is my prayer, for we cannot come on inch closer to returning to our Heavenly Father without Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
                                                                              -Elder Ryan A. Bell

Monday, August 20, 2012

Talk about MIRACLES!!!!!!

Hello again everyone!
Not to haunt everyone but- ONLY 8 MISSIONARY MONDAYS LEFT!!!! ONLY 8!!! When I started my mission there were well nigh almost 50, but now there is only 8. CRAZY!!!! Enjoy having 2 out while you still can. Enjoy having 2 productive members of society before the one returns to his life of reveling, video games, and tax evasion in the basements of Northern Utah.
My week has been interesting. It's one of those- you know? Great, mind you; but also challenging for sure.
These past few weeks my companion and I have been so blessed as to have taken part in the teaching of a fine 58 year old woman named Georgia Burrough-Lacy. We call her Sister Lacy. She was baptized back in the 60's at the age of 13, but was never allowed to talk about or practice her religion. So she grew up with a HARD life, never able to speak of being Mormon.
Well, just recently, her mother passed away (Whom she swore to that she would never speak of being baptized), then her baptismal records were lost, and suddenly out of nowhere her son was baptized into the Church with no idea that his own mother was also a member of the Church.
Her son then married a member girl who found out that Sister Lacy was also a member and SAW SISTER LACY'S BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE BEFORE IT WAS LOST. So this woman that her son married was a witness that Sister Lacy was, in fact, a baptized member. Either way, her son is baptized with no idea of his mother's membership, and suddenly her records go missing. So, she needed to be retaught and rebaptized.
After a series of extremely spiritual and powerful meetings and lessons with my companion and I reteaching her, we were able to witness this mother by some incomprehensible series of miracles be baptized by her only son who became a member of the Church only 2 months ago!
Talk about MIRACLES!!!!!!
My time runs short, but this experience has taught me that God loves ALL His children, whatsoever place or circumstance they may be in! He is aware of all and provides miracles, tender mercies, and teaching opportunities according to our language, unto our understanding. We are set to be instructed from on High if we but have the Spiritual eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the heart to understand such priceless teaching.
Families are eternal. The Creator of the Universes has decreed that it is to be such and it is our responsibility to gain a testimony of that and then ABIDE THE LAW He has set to make it thus. This is my intent, that I may persuade all men to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him, being joined IN ONE for the everlasting eternities. This is my testimony and I know it to be true.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
                                                                  -Elder Ryan A. Bell

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cool Family from Cali!!

That family from California- YES! They are so COOL!!! We have met with them a few times in the last couple weeks. They are such a miracle family. Seriously, I love how they were found, but came to find out that the timing was nothing less than Celestial because of where each of them are at in their lives, the things that were happening. Basically, it's time that they came back and they know it. The Dad reminds me a lot of you- he is funny, seems just like a teenager, but he is also very responsible and is very straightforward in his journey back to full activity. He says "I want to hold a current temple recommend; what do I need to do to get there?" Then we tell him and - BAM! It comes to pass.
They have a 17 year old son who has natural, fantastic musical abilities. A lot like Ranger Jaregui where he will just teach himself to play piano and guitar and then jam like none other. Awesome kid! They also have a 15 year old daughter who was there for the first time last night. She is a delightful young woman! Then they have a little 7 year old girl named Lola who is very cool as well, although she doesn't talk much. She usually busies herself with whatever it is that 7 year old girls do. So she is constantly in and out of our meetings.
They came to Church on Sunday and looked great! They said that it felt so good to be there and to be back. Another amazing thing is that the ward just split so the time for an inactive family to come back with the least amount of awkwardness would be now since there are many, many new faces about.
So yea, they are doing great and moving forward in become a wonderful new addition to the ward! I feel so blessed to be here to have witnessed their return! It feels just as good as a whole new convert family!

                                         -Elder Ryan A. Bell

Monday, August 6, 2012

Miracles of Miracles

Sorry to be so short today, once again, I was a very unwise steward with my time-usage.
Who wants to hear a miracle from this week.... or last week.... can't really remember when exactly it happened, but it DID HAPPEN AT SOME POINT; I'm fairly certain of that.
So on one of those frustrating days when I am trying to keep our schedule full and things keep falling through and all anyone else wants to do is sleep and I am trying hard not to let that happen (See Jordan, I can do it too) somehow my companion and I ended up splitting up with two prospective Elders. With one, I went into some neighborhoods to find out about some of the last of the people on our ward list who no one knows exists. So we are going from house to house, talking to people on the street as we go. We knock on one door and a teenage boy answers. "Hello!" I say "is this the Goodman family". "They moved" he tells me. So I tell him who we are and ask if we can come back and teach his family. "I was actually baptized LDS" he says.
So a random family moves out and who else but an entire recent convert family moves in to the same house. We got his information and came back a couple days later to find out that his whole family had been baptized in California 2 years ago, they lost everything in the economic downturn, they move to Texas but have no idea how to contact the Church so they live for 2 years in this house unknown to the world. The boy said that his dad has been looking for the missionaries since they came out here and was stoked that we knocked on their door.
If that family did not live where they did, if things were not set up how they were at the time that they were, that family could have never been found! Or perhaps been found after YEARS AND YEARS of inactivity making it even harder to come back than it will already be.
What a magnificent miracle! It was amazing to go the Ward and tell them that we found this family! What a great surprise! I guess that it will be a tough thing to jump back in the Church after so long, but I am so excited to work with this family!
Experiences like this really make me love the Lord more and appreciate His tender mercies. It also makes me appreciate each of you so much more as I rejoice in our blessings and labor for more!
                                                                                    -Elder Ryan A. Bell