Wednesday, May 13, 2015

First off I have to start off this email by saying something. Anyone who is considering going on a mission, or who is a member of the church, or who wants to come closer to their Savior.....GO. Go on a mission. There are not enough missionaries out in the field right now, we need everyone. Today we got news that our area is closing down. The past few transfers we have been drastically decreasing in size of missionaries and this one is no different. There are 17 missionaries going home, and only 3 coming out. WE NEED YOU!!!!!!!! Seriously, it is incredibly difficult to realize that the investigators you are working with, the less-actives who have made so much progress are not going to have missionaries coming over any more. So, make plans to go on a mission. Start preparing now. We need you, you need it and most importantly, the Lord needs you. Yes you.
On that note, it is so strange to realize that this is the last email home from Minnesota. I have loved it out here, I will always treasure the lessons I've learned, the people I've met. I don't feel like a different person, but a changed person. To any of you who are reading this whom I have met out here, thank you. Thank you to companions. Thank you to ward members who have helped me tremendously. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to have a long conversation with a member out here talking about things I was worried about or struggling with. Thank you for taking the time to listen and give advice. Thank you to all the people I have had the opportunity to teach. I am sure that I have learned far more from all of you than I ever could have taught! I am filled with gratitude. On the flip-side, thank you to all who are at home who have supported me the last 18 months. For the letters and emails, for the thoughts and prayers. I am excited to see you all again. :)
To respond to your email.....thanks. "As is the mother, so is her daughter" - Ezekiel 16:44. And I am glad I was able to call and get some things figured out! I am so excited to see everyone too, it is going to be great. And I loved what you said, "I imagine the tough time leaving is worth the opportunity to go"​ Absolutely, 100% I love that perspective!!! Thank you.
Sorry this is short, I have a million and three things to do in the next 24 hours, I will see you all soon though!!
Sister Christina Trickler

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thanks much for the music. It does seem do-able, maybe I'll run through it this week sometime.
This week was a good one. We got a lot of things done with our area, and were able to go to the temple! It is always such a privilege to attend the temple, there is something sort of neat about being in there with 7 other missionaries. It is definitely not the sort of thing that most 18-22 year olds in the world would be doing. Other than that not a whole ton to report on! Just being a missionary in the best mission ever!! Sorry it's super short today, I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Christina Trickler

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sounds good on the bike....yes I legitimately am attached to it, but I suppose I could sacrifice and let my sis use it if she wants to ;) Good that you got the papers, and I am glad you agree with me on the Skype! As far as a musical number, of course I would love to accompany them! Can you give me a heads up as far as what the song is and such? That should be great fun.
Oh man, I can't believe you cut your finger! Seriously, it is almost amusing the amount of medical problems lately, except it's not. I really hope that it heals soon!!
I am glad that you get to teach the general conference lessons in relief society! Those ones are always my favorite. Last conference, I got my own copy of the ensign and for the next two months seriously studied all of the talks in there. I was amazed at how much I had missed just listening to it the first time, and skimming over the talks. They are well worth some study time. I'm glad that you have decided to make scripture reading a priority. That is so important! I think of back when I decided to read the scriptures every day may 2012. Holy moly, I'm getting old. Anyways, I didn't miss a day for the first 6 months or so....even if it was just a verse a day, or I was half asleep, I decided to not miss. I know that it is because of this that I am out here on a mission, having the time of my life! There is a power that comes into our lives as we read the Book of Mormon, no matter how many times we have read it before, or how much we read a day. It changes us, helps us to gain an eternal perspective and gives us so many answers to questions we may have.
? And I am glad that Jacob did well on his talk, good for him! Man, they have him speak with the stake president? That is a high bar to live up to! I am sure that he did just great :) He is the only one besides me with glasses, right? Good for him. Classy. :)
Thanks for your thought about how we are sent here to be tested and tried. I love the example of the refiners fire. We definitely go through some fire sometimes. We are shaped and molded, the impurities are refined out of us (eventually at least). We become something greater than we ever could have been with out the fire. It isn't fun all the times, but the result will be well worth it....eventually we will see ;) I remember the first day in the mission field. President and Sister Clements told us that we were sort of like lumps of clay coming down the escalator. Not going to lie, I wasn't exactly sure how to take that one. ;) Then they told us that out in the mission, the Lord would mold us into something incredible. It wouldn't be easy, or fun all the time, but it would be worth it. All I have to say to that is AMEN.

This week was a really crazy one. We had interviews with our mission president, then cleaned up some garbage for zone service. It was a whole ton of fun to be with all the missionaries in the zone for a few hours. We laughed a lot, and got work done. I feel really blessed to be surrounded by such great missionaries right now! On Thursday I had the great opportunity to go on an exchange with my good friend Sister Kirkman. We have been in the same district for the past 6 months now. Oh my goodness, I feel like we were just laughing all that day! We had a meeting with our district leader and his companion, and from him received some words of wisdom that I feel like I should pass on to any future missionaries who may read or hear this! He told us that missionary work is just awkward a lot of times. We are awkward, we are in awkward situations, etc. Now here comes the words of wisdom, Embrace the Awkward!! Haha if you aren't awkward, no one else will feel awkward. So there you go, words of wisdom for the day! Later on in the exchange we had the opportunity to visit a really neat less-active sister in the Elm Creek ward. She asked us how long we had all been out. I told her nearly 18 months, and she proceeded to give me all sorts of fantastic advice about going home including telling me how similar the mission is to jail. Haha you finish up your time, turn in your nametag and they send you out into the world! You can do what you want, wear what you want, and choose what to do with your time! I think this means that I need a parol officer, I have decided to appoint Jackie....hopefully she is okay with that! ;) Haha it was a really funny great experience.
Anyways, I hope you all have a great week....enjoy the wonderful weather!!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hello! It is so great to hear from you, glad to hear that everything is going well! First off, yes, I did get my "trunky packet" this past week, talking about all that lovely stuff regarding going home. I need to figure out what to do about my bike. They will ship it home for me for 65$, or I can just donate it to the mission. I think I am going to have them ship it home. Let me know if you have an opinion otherwise. Other than that, I'm pretty set to see you all on the 13th. Holy china. Oh last thing relating to that before I go on, I have been thinking, and there doesn't seem to be much of a point skyping in 3 weeks just before I see you all in person, so I think I am going to skip that, unless you really want to talk to me for some reason. Thoughts?
Holy Moly, Taylor is home already? wow. I will have to write her, see what she's up to! Haha I can't believe that you brought home bees, and that you refer to them as your children! Oh man, that sounds like quite the adventure though. :) Wish Jacob good luck on speaking for me, I haven't received an email from him yet, so I guess he's not going to be able to just copy what I say like last time!
That is crazy weather, though stuff like that is normal here in spring! Haha Saturday it was over 70 degrees, sunday was cold, and today is in the 30's. Hopefully we can see the sun again before next week. But we too need moisture, so we can't complain!
This week we had a really neat experience. In july before I got here, Sister Robertson was baptized. Ever since I got here in November, we have been working with both her and her husband. After teaching them both for over 3 months, Brother Robertson told us one day in our lesson that he wanted to be baptized! It was so exciting! We got the elders in there, and Saturday he was baptized. It was really neat for both of them, for their family to be united in the gospel, and for them to be able to set a goal for when to go to the temple. This gospel really is meant to strengthen and uplift families. Families of any kind. Regardless of the number of family members, how many are members, or where they are...It will strengthen the family. And heaven knows that we need the family to be strengthened in this day and age. It's straight-up crazy out there. Relating to that story, Saturday morning we ended studies early and biked over to stop-by one of the part-member families in our ward. We have really struggled to get in with them due to the mom's crazy work schedule. Miracles happen though, and we got in with them! We were able to teach the 9 year old daughter, and 12 year old son who are not members. They both really want to be baptized, and the son asked us when he could start to pass the sacrament! It was such a miracle. I am grateful for the blessing that I have right now of being able to participate in this great work in Brooklyn Center, MN! 
Anyways...back to your letter. I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well, busy but good! Haha and that is hilarious that the duck egg exploded on you and dad. Typical 13 year old boys for you!
I liked that thought about preparing lessons and talks. I have definitely noticed that my lessons and talks go much better when I just write outlines, and don't read a script word for word. We never seem to have time to do all that preparation anyways on the mission, so I guess I don't have that much choice ;) When is your lesson in May, and what is it on?
Also, that is so true about scripture study. I have had to start thinking about goals that I am going to have when I get home, and scripture study is one that has really stuck out to me. It is not just enough for me to take 10 minutes at night to read the scriptures before I fall asleep. I need far more than that! Heaven knows that I need guidance from on high, and studying the scriptures is one of the best ways that I receive it. 
We had the opportunity to go to a fireside last night next to the mission home. A few recent converts shared their conversion stories and testimonies, then the two members of our mission presidency shared some thoughts. The theme of the night was the Book of Mormon. Just read it and pray about it. Don't take my word for it, don't take your friends word for it, just read it and ask if it is true! If it is not then you can go on your merry way, but if it is, it can change your live. I love that. All we are asked to do is to invite. Invite people to read and pray. We don't need to give them huge sermons, or tons of evidence. Just a simple invitation.
I am confused at what you are asking me about a musical number? 
Well, I hope you all have a great week, remember to see the miracles all around you!
Sister Christina Trickler

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What a glorious p-day it is today! Yesterday was warm but super windy, yesterday evening we had a fantastic thunder storm! Seriously, I absolutely love the storms here. :) After we had a great evening teaching, and running through the storm, we came home and planned quick. I changed into pajamas, grabbed my blanket and a chair, and sat on the porch for nearly an hour. Just sitting, feeling the rain on my toes, listening to the thunder and pondering about life. It was so great! If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend it! Anyways back to today. We woke up to not a cloud in the sky. We recently found out that there is a park right behind our apartment complex, so we ran there, played frisbee and worked out for a half hour. The birds were singing, the sun just rising, there is no greater way to start off your day! I had the best study this morning as well. I opened the window and studied in the sun-gotta get my vitamin d! Anyways, I read a couple of chapters in 3 Nephi this morning. I was reading about the time when Jesus blesses His apostles before He leaves. He asks them what they want Him to do for them after he goes unto the Father. As we know, most of them say that they want to "Speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom." But there are those three that want to stay here on the earth. In essence they want to be eternal missionaries. This is something that I always knew, but today it was the verses after those that hit me. The ones where the Savior says that their joy will be full as they serve Him in missionary work. I can add a second witness to that. As you are able to serve the Lord, give everything completely to Him for 18 months, or 2 years, you are able to receive a fullness of joy! A joy that at least I didn't realize was possible! I have been doing a lot of pondering lately on the past while....what I have done with the time I've been given, what opportuinities and what trials I have had. I am not going to lie and say that it has always been easy, or that I have been positive and super excited to knock doors everyday....but I can say that I have had so much joy. As Sister Stott said "The downs outnumber the ups, but the ups far outweigh the downs." Anyways, moral of the story....if I could just be an eternal missionary like the three nephites, I would be happy! ;) Haha I am sure there are great adventures up ahead, but life just doesn't seem to get better than when you are a missionary in the beautiful Minnesota spring! 
Now to respond to your email ;)
That story was so neat!! What a miracle! Heavenly Father definitely wanted you to teach that lesson. Those are the kind of things that we as missionaries pray for. It is sometimes a little nerve-wracking bringing an investigator to church for the first time. You never know what lesson is going to be taught, or what comments will be made....but Heavenly Father knows. He knows exactly what each and every one of His children needs in order to come closer unto Christ. It is super cool that you were living your life in such a way that you could listen to and understand the spirit, even when super sick. And like you said, the Lord makes everything possible, even when we can't understand how it is going to be possible. 1 Nephi 3:7. :)
Speaking in church, sigh. Lets do the 17th. Might as well speak while I'm still a little bit in the missionary talks has seemed to be much easier on my mission, maybe it will stick with me for a few days. ;)
 Mayday, hahaha.....I can't think about that holiday seriously anymore. Such a special experience I had. ;) I'm glad you two are busy, you'll have to send me pictures.....and have fun! Haha oh china, oh china. I hope that you get feeling better, it sounds like quite the sickness that you have. No good!
I'm trying to think.....nothing really crazy has happened this week. We biked a ton, enjoying the sun....met some awesome new people....and just did the things that missionaries do! Wait, I remember. So. I have a dear friend named Sister Parke. We served in the same zone for nearly 8 months, and the same district for three of those. We got super close. Well, she was transferred and became a Sister Training Leader for the Minneapolis zone. Lucky for us we live with Hermanas who are part of the Minneapolis zone. On Wednesday they went on exchanges meaning that Sister Parke got to come spend the night and next morning at our apartment. Holy Moly, we had way too much fun! We dragged all of our mattresses into the living room and had a sleep over! I haven't stayed up talking to a sister like that in.....a while. ;) I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed us to meet out here, she's one that has changed me for the better, and one who I am definitely going to be best friends with off the mission! Saying goodbye to her the next day knowing that we wouldn't see each other for 9 months was definitely a really rough experiences. I keep thinking that goodbyes will get easier, but they never do. Good think we know that goodbyes are just temporary! So that was the highlight of my week. :)
I hope that you all are doing great, I love you all lots! Have a wonderful week.
Sister Christina Trickler

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hello!! It is great to hear from you all!
Wasn't conference just great? It is the most wonderful thing on a mission....a great spiritual uplift, and a break for 8 hours. ;) It was interesting to me to note the themes that were throughout conference. Obviously family, but I noticed a lot about the plan of salvation as well. In my study of the Atonement this past month, over and over I realize that in order to understand the Atonement more fully, we must study and come to understand the Fall. Both fascinating topics that I could study for ages. :) 
Just some thoughts that I loved from conference (some my thoughts, some quotes)
-Do I make others want to be better by just being around me?
-Thee lift me, I'll lift me and we'll ascend together
-Fear paralysis us! Have faith and trust in God. :)
-Press on and endure to the end. Trust in what you know, don't get caught up in what you are questioning, or not sure of at the moment. 
-I can teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music!
-A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying
-Prayers are answered in the temple, peace is received that can be felt no where else. Also, how neat was it to hear those 3 temples announced, especially the one in the ivory coast!!!!! Oh man, I was so stoked for that one. :)
-Anchor your faith in the plain and simple truths of the gospel
-The brotherly hands and strong arms of Jesus Christ reach down and lift us out of the abyss of sin
-Average is the enemy of excellence
-Grace unlocks the gates of heaven and opens the windows of heaven....His grace refines us, helps us to become our best selves!
-Gospel perspective is essential in decisions made for eternity
-Joseph Sitati's whole talk! This one was definitely my favorite one. I have a testimony that if we go into conference with a question it will be answered! Sometime we have to watch 4 1/2 sessions before we receive our answer, but it will come! :) The church is true!
-And last but not least, How can I make the Sabbath day a holy and sacred day?

Oh man. It was such a great experience!! This world is getting crazier and is clear to see how following the council that we are given at general conference will bless and guide our lives! The only way to true peace and happiness is to follow the teachings of the Savior Jesus Christ. 
Now to respond to your email ;)
I am glad you got my letter....Yes, everything seems to work itself out....but not without a ton of stress, and prayer! I'm hoping to figure out my work situation fairly soon after getting home, that is the next major stress. Haha it'll be fine I'm sure.
I loved your thoughts about general conference. Marriage was a huge theme, and the 2nd coming was mentioned a lot. Eternal perspective is an incredible blessing that we have as members of the church! I feel like I definitely was called to repentance on some things, and received some great answers to prayers. Another thing that I thought about a lot was how I treat those around me. Someone said something along the lines of "it is better to choose to be happy than to always be right".....that is something that I can work on! Haha dang pride.
Haha Jacob is getting into Beehives? That is.....good for him! Haha sounds like a painful job, but what do I know! Oh man, aren't we an industrious house? ;) It is good to keep ourselves anxiously engaged in a good cause though. I was talking to my new companion about this just yesterday. I really struggle if I don't have a purpose. For example, spending more than 1 1/2 hours at a members house...even if it is on p-day or something is super hard for me! I get antsy and feel like I need to go accomplish something. Haha gotta love it. 
I am glad that you and Jackie were able to go out and have a fun little while the other day with hair cuts and such. Man, that is something I am going to need! I keep pushing it off thinking that it can wait a few more transfers, or months, or weeks ;)
Well, I hope that you all have a lovely week, enjoy the spring weather! Oh man, speaking of that....the first day that I had my new companion Sister Copithorne (who is from Canada, and has been out in the field for 3 months now) we encountered a crazy thunder storm! Oh man, it was so fun. I am going to miss these fantastic storms! Our appointments fell through, so we got to run through the rain going to stop-by individuals. We got back into the car and seriously looked like we just got out of the shower. Drop dead gorgeous as my former comp. Sister Callister would say. ;) Good times, goodtimes!
Have a wonderful week, I love you all!!
Sister Christina Trickler