Monday, December 9, 2013

Heyyyyooooo!!!!! Haha i'll be sure and answer your questions, then write other stuff, if that's alright. I haven't gotten the packages yet, but i'm sure they're on their way. :) I got some really good boots, they're rated to -25 degrees, so I should be good for a while. Between the boots, two pairs of socks, two pairs of leggings and toe warmers i'm doing just fine. Please don't worry. :) Another scarve would be lovely. I have to tell you, I wear the one you sent me, and the gray one Eric gave me every day. Since it is so cold, you have to wear scarves wrapped around your face, so that only your eyes are exposed, but I'm learning. :) A hat would be lovely, I wear the black one every day, but if you could find maybe an ear flap hat? If not, it's alright. I bought a bright pink headband thing to wear around my ears under my hat, and that has helped a lot. Thank you so much for the thermals! Those sound great. We have some wonderful ward members who have been helping us learn how to stay warm, it is possible. :) Layers. Lots and lots of Layers. I think I'm going to buy a fleece jacket to wear under my coat today...we'll see. ;) The mission president is great, he is very considerate of the cold, and has had us stay inside a couple of mornings this week. On Saturday he texted us and said to stay inside because it was -37, unless we were driving directly to an appointment. So yes, it has been mighty chilly! I haven't had to tract in anything colder than -5 though, so I've been blessed. It really isn't too bad as long as we are careful, and prepare well. Any ways, the cold is so fun ;) This has been a ccccrrrrraaaaazzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyy week! I love writing in my journal, and haven't missed a day since coming out. Well, I wasn't able to write all this week! I missed 7 days! It has been so busy. Monday was p-day which was  good, we were able to go shopping early, and buy me some boots and socks. :) We really were blessed though, because as soon as we got home, it started snowing super bad, and the roads were awful. It was quite scary, there were lots of wrecks. Don't worry though, we are super careful driving. We drive like grandmas....except with better eyesight. ;) Tuesday we had a meeting down in the cities, and so we left before 6 am. The roads were bad, so we were driving quite slow. We got halfway there, and our president called and asked us if we had brought clothes to spend the night. We said no, and he told us to turn around, go home and get clothes for two nights just in case.So it was a super long drive that morning. Don't worry, we had crackers and chocolate and chocolate and lots of chocolate to keep us awake. ;) Anyways, we got there, and I went on exchanges with Sister Smith, while my companion, Sister Hartley, went to her meeting. That was a lot of fun. I learned that Sister Smith lived in tremonton! What are the odds. It was fun to see her style of teaching though, and to learn a little from her. We were both new missionaries (she had been out for two months) so it was quite the adventure. :D We got a text that night saying that all cars in the mission were grounded, so we stayed with some sisters in their apartment just outside of the cities. Needless to say, It wasn't the best night of sleep I had ever had, but I was grateful for the rest anyways! The next day we went to new missionary training, which was really good. It was nice to see all the elders and sisters I came out with, and to see that they were all doing relatively well. I was able to learn a lot, and take lots of notes! That night the roads were a mess again, so once again all mission vehicles where grounded. So we spent our second night with those sisters again. Thursday morning we got permission to drive back to Saint Cloud. We had picked that day to we were sort of out of sorts all day. We have been struggling with figuring out how to help the members in our ward want to do missionary work, so the elders in our ward and sister  Heartley and I were all fasting. Anyways, The drive home was supposed to take 1 hour, but it took almost 4. It was crazy. We got home exhausted, and a slight bit frusterated. We got through the day though, even though it was crazy. Friday we had some sisters meet us at our apartment at 6 and then we drove down to the cities for zone conference. That was a lot of fun. It was great to see missionaries! Haha I saw Elder Calvin Rust ( I went to high school with him) and that was sort of funny. We learned a lot, and I accompanied a musical number which I really enjoyed. That afternoon as part of our conference we watched the movie Miracle. I remember watching it in is really good. I would highly recommend it! Random sidenote, I have played the piano at every meeting we have had, and at a lot of church meetings. It has been so much fun, and really good for me to be able to play. :) We came home friday with the sisters, and were on exchanges until Saturday afternoon. That was a good experience. It was different trying to teach with someone who I never had taught with before, it was a little bit frusterating at times but I was able to learn a lot. The sister I was with is 30 years old, but the age gap didn't feel like it was that much. It has been interesting to me to see the different personalities each missionary has, and how that affects everything they do. It was a fun exchange though. Then Saturday night when we finally got home we realized we had talks to write for Sunday! We were asked to give 10 minute talks introducing ourselves, then giving a thought. We were not assigned a topic. I didn't worry about it too much, except for the fact that we didn't have more than an hour to prepare for it. I wrote an outline for my talk, and ended up writing about conversion. Including the story of how I really got back into the church. As Sister Hartley and I were doing our hair Sunday morning right before we were to leave, we were talking about what we wrote about. We found out that we had both chosen to talk about conversion, and that our talks were really similar! It was so funny to me. We got to the church, and found out that we were the only two speakers. Say what?! Haha it was really just amusing. I was to the point where you either laugh about it or cry about it, and to be honest crying hurts my head, and makes my nose run, so I just laughed about it.....and prayed really hard! Somehow I was very blessed, and was able to talk for a whole 15 minutes, off of a half page outline. It was a miracle. I just hope and pray that it made some sense, and that people were able to feel the spirit. It is a topic that I feel really strongly about. It is so important to become truly converted. It is easy to have knowledge about a topic, but to become converted we need to act on that knowledge. We need to change through repentance and using the Atonement. I really can't say how important that is. We need to become Christ like, not just know how to. It is a slow process, but I know that as we work each and every day that we will be able to change day by day and be helped by the Savior to reach our true potential. I just wish I could sit down with everyone one on one and tell them that they are a daughter or son of God. They have a Heavenly Father who loves them more than they can ever comprehend. I know that this is true. It is amazing when I am able to feel just a little bit of the love He has for His children. When I am teaching someone I have never met before, and I can really love them. I really want them to listen, to understand that the Atonement will change their life. That the Gospel has been restored! It's so exciting. I just want to sing it from the mountain tops! But that would be too cold.....and we have limited miles to drive. ;) Anyways. Exciting news of the week, we have a baptism on Saturday!!!!!!! I think I have told you about Caroline, she is wonderful. We met her the first week we were here, and have had 14 lessons with her! She is 21 and the sweetest girl in the world. It was really funny though, on Sunday night we were teaching her, and mention the singles ward. She insists on calling it the "young and desperate group". Haha oh my goodness, we laughed so hard when she first said that!! It was so funny, it still makes me laugh everytime I hear it. :) She really is amazing though. She has been very prepared, and has an incredible strong testimony already. I am very excited for Saturday :) I wanted to share a scripture that we have shared with a couple of sister who have really been struggling. We felt like we really needed to visit both of them, so we did. They both ended up in tears talking to us about the struggles they have been having within their homes. It was a really touching experience to again feel of God's love for his two daughters. We shared Mosiah 24: 12-18 I think. I'm not sure about the verse, but you'll find out when you read it. It is a passage of scripture I have turned to over and over when life is hard (which it usually is). I would encourage all of you who read this to read that scripture and really ponder it, and to share it with someone who is struggling. Maybe send a text, or a note, just share it in some way. I know that we all need each others help. And that a scripture, or a hug can mean more than we would have ever guessed. I love you all, and hope that you have lovely weeks. I would encourage everyone to strive to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and ponder on all that the birth of Christ means. And I hope you all can find something to laugh about and smile about this week.....there is truly joy in the world!! :)
Sister Christina Trickler
p.s. thanks for the letters!!!!! They made my day :) I loved them all, and will respond as soon as I can, feel free to send me more ;) :)

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