Monday, January 27, 2014

Here is Christina's address in case you want to write.  It will be the same for her entire mission.  Mail should go through the US postal service because they will forward it.  Otherwise, it remains at the mission home until she goes in for meetings--which can take a long time for her to get it.
Sister Christina Rose Trickler
Minneapolis Minnesota Mission
5931 W 96th St
 Bloomington MN 55438-1715

hello! how's it going at home? It was so good to get your letter (as usual ;) ) And thank you so much for the package! The goldfish were delicious, as always! Random sidenote: I bought a big container of goldfish, and they were out of the whole grain kind, so I got the multi-colored ones. Yeah, bad idea, they taste like vegetables.....haha it was so great. Lets see, yes today is quite cold. It is only 10 below or so, but the wind chill is really bad. Yesterday our cars were grounded because of blizzard conditions, so that meant we got the wonderful opportunity to walk everywhere! We had church and dinner until 6ish, but were walking the rest of the evening. It wasn't too cold, but the wind was really bad. Haha it was an adventure for sure! I have decided that Heavenly Father thought I needed to be toughened up a little bit, so He sent me to a super cold place! We have learned to layer well so that really helps. I usually wear 8 layers, and lots of socks, so it works well. I have a new found appreciation for the pioneers. I can not even begin to imagine being in the handcart companies. I have also learned that gratitude is so important. It is by being grateful that we learn to be humble. It is such a blessing! (plus it just makes life seem a little better :) ) 

 I have been pondering today on friends and how important they are. It is very important that we have good friends that uplift us and that we can uplift. These types of friends are more valuable than anything. It is really amazing to be in friendships that I feel are mutually beneficial. I have struggled with friends for most of my life, but I am truly blessed right now to have some great ones that care about me, and want me to succeed. Those who push me to be better, and who I can push to be better. Especially in this crazy world that keeps getting worse, it is so important that we have solid friends! Family is wonderful don't get me wrong, but friendships are important too. We need to have friends who will help us get to the celestial kingdom!! Sister Hartley and I are learning to "stop and smell the roses". It is very hard, because there is always so much to do, and to change, but it is so important. We actually set a goal this week to do one fun thing a day! It has been great. Yesterday as we were walking on the sidewalk covered with 2 ft of snow, we stopped and laughed and took pictures, Sister Hartley ended up making a snow angel as well....but that's besides the point ;) We got up and walked on singing onward christian soldiers (in our not super great freezing cold voices ;) ) It is so important to have fun. That is actually something I have been praying for ever since I got out here. To find joy in the journey. It is hard, but it is something so wonderful! I can already say that I would not ever change my decision to come out here for a year and a half. It has blessed me so much! I love it :) One neat experience we had the other day, the other missionaries in our ward were showing the hour long Restoration at the church, and we invited an investigator to come. She did, and so we watched it with her. I believe that might have been the first time I had ever seen it. It was incredible. I absolutely love it! I have always felt sort of a connection in a way with Emma. I guess it is just easier for me to relate with her, and through her I have a strong testimony that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet. She was truly an incredible women. Someone who I really look up to. I would encourage all of you to watch that movie when you have a chance, maybe on a sunday or something! (plus it was sort of cute at times ;) ) After we watched that movie, Sister Hartley and I were talking about how the movie was so violent and scary at times! It was crazy. We then realized that since we haven't seen movies or violence really for a while, we have become more sensitive to stuff like that. It was so sad to realize how desensitized the world has become. It is so important that we do all we can to stay sensitive, if that makes sense. I believe it truly is much much easier to hear and follow the spirit when we are more sensitive. Anyways, that was a neat experience and realization we had.
Back to responding, sorry! Haha I love the scarf, it really is gorgeous. just sayin. I think I'll be fine without an extra hat, thanks much though :) It is hard because we really have to limit how much stuff we have, because of transfers and such, it would be nice to be able to have lots of warm stuff though! It's good though, I think I have about the perfect amount :) That sounds like lots of fun to have the Grandparents up, I have good memories of them visiting :) You know, I keep realizing more and more how important it is to keep standards and such. Satan is working hard. We can't let him win in any way! ! 
Thanks for the updates on the kids, I am glad to hear they are all doing well, and I wish them all luck!!!   It's amazing how much the Lord really does watch out for us. Life isn't made easy by any means, but it's made possible. Trials really do bless us, as hard as they may be. There's hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel!!! :) Sorry, this is sort of a unorganized letter, but that's what you get with little time ;) Oh my goodness though, the most amazing thing happened last week that I forgot to tell you about!!!!!!! Sister Hartely and I were having a sort of rough week, we were really struggling with an investigator and were super tired and drained. We had just finished weekly planning (3hours long......) And got a call from the office saying we had a delivery. We went downstairs, and someone had sent us flowers! They were gorgeous. :) They were to both of us, and someone just said to be happy because someone was thinking of us, or something to that effect. It was incredible how happy it made us. It made us smile, which we needed. We have no idea who it was, but whoever it was truly blessed us that day. They are dying, but still in our apartment because they smell good. :) Heavenly Father really knows us and is watching out for us. :) Moral of the story: There is still good in the world, and we recieve tender mercies often, sometimes we just don't recognize them! :) Well, i'm hoping to send some pictures today, so keep an eye out for some mail! I hope and pray you all have a lovely week! :) I love and miss you all lots, but know that it will be alright, that this the right thing for me to be doing right now, and that all of you are strong and will be good!
Sister Christina Rose Trickler
p.s. could you send me the recipe for pizza dough that I use to make? It was some good stuff....just sayin ;) Thanks a bunch!!!!! :D

Monday, January 20, 2014

*At Christmas we learned that Christina had gotten frostbite walking from their car into the church.  As a Mom, it was tough to hear and I felt rather helpless so I began knitting a double wool scarf for her--it is heavier than most of my sweaters. It was a small way to send her some support as well as love from home.  This week I had also been worried about her sleeping and would wake up in the middle of the night to find her on my mind and would pray for her to be able to sleep.  I marvel at the way I can feel what she is going through and am grateful for the opportunity and faith to be be able to pray for her and know that Heavenly Father will watch over her.

Haha I'm glad I didn't have to have the brussel sprouts....and no, I haven't found a good way to eat them ;) That is exciting that you guys have a fireplace now though! I'm sure it's well loved. Haha it's probably a sad thing when 7 degrees sounds really warm...Yesterday it actually got above 30 degrees, it was so warm we were only wearing light cardigans! (of course we weren't really outside much, just going into church) It's good to hear that everyone is doing fairly well, life sounds crazy, but that's the usual!  
 I know without a shadow of a doubt that Satan is attacking the family more and more everyday. He knows how many blessings would not come if the family is destroyed. He knows how important the family is, and how much potential children have. I really believe that the world is just going to get worse and worse, it will be a harder place to live in 10 years from now, and it is so important that children are raised in a good home. Not perfect by any means, but a good one. It breaks my heart to see children suffering because of their parents neglect and bad choices. I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday, and noticed that we have a lot of grandma's who bring their grandchildren to church. Our ward is a little smaller than the one at home, but we have 4 or 5 grandmas who bring their grandchildren every week because the parents won't. I have talked to most of the ladies, and they are really incredible women, it's so sad to see them have to essentially raise their grandchildren though. Sad for the children. Anyways, sorry about that long tangent! We were able to go to a strengthening home and family conference last Saturday with one of our investigators. It was put on by the RS and combined the two wards that meet in the building. It was a wonderful conference, it was very neat to be able to be uplifted by such incredible women! I was reminded of my potential again a little bit. I was reminded that I need to strive to be the best me. Not the best missionary, not the best friend, not preparing to be the best mom or wife someday, but just the best me. That is all that is expected of me. Sometimes I tend to lose sight of that, but I know that if we all try to just be the best people we can be that everything else will fall into place. We will be able to be the best we can at our callings, and in every other crazy role we play in life! Sister Hartley and I were also reminded that we need to have fun. It has been a very draining week, so we hadn't done many fun things. Our dinner canceled on us Saturday night, so I decided to make macaroni. She had never made homemade macaroni, so we made a video pretending to be on a cooking show making macamoni! Haha it was really amusing, I'll send it home sometime! I've learned that you just have to make yourself laugh somehow. (it's harder or somedays than on others;) ) 
Thank you so much for the package with the scarve and plums! It was wonderful, I don't know which one I enjoyed more ;) The scarve is really great though, it is long enough to cover my face and neck and is really pretty! My companion is pretty jealous though ;) Thanks for all the letters as well, I love them all....and will reply eventually ;) Thank you for the prayers. I really appreciate them. Haha ironically enough, I have not been sleeping well lately, but it'll get better i'm sure. I had an interesting experience saturday morning though. We were going to wake up early to go exercise at the church, and so we woke up and I got up with the worst headache I have had in a long while. I took some advil, then told sister Hartley that we could go, and I just wouldn't exercise. We decided to stay and sleep instead. I went to get up when we need to, and still had an awful headache. I felt like I was going to throwup everytime I moved! I told her I was going back to sleep, and slept for another hour. I got up and was just fine after that. I think it was almost a way of Heavenly Father telling me I needed more sleep, and making sure I got it! haha it was sort of an amusing experience. Well, I hope all goes well this week, thanks much for the picture, I love it! I love and miss you all!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sorry this is so fragmented, there was a lot of personal stuff that I didn't want to share with the world :)

It's good to hear from you! I am doing alright, I have my good moments and my rough moments, but that is to be expected. The good ones are really good though, don't worry. It has been an interesting week for me. I've had a lot of really powerful spiritual moments, and a couple pretty rough moments. Crazy stuff, but it's good. It is wonderful that it is a little warmer...anything above 10 degrees feels super warm! I only wore 1 pair of leggings yesterday, and it felt so weird! It was crazy. I'm so glad the kids enjoyed the letters, I wish I could do more. Jackie gave me the idea though, she sent me one of those. Thanks so much for the package and letters, I love them all. Please keep me updated on how it's going. How is the sewing and the piano going? I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job, you did a great job with me, at least I think so ;) How is the rest of the family handling her?. This. 
Haha i'm sorta glad I missed that dinner! That's good though that you are broadening your horizons. I hope matthew gets feeling better, that's no good to be sick. We've heard that the flu is really bad right now in someplaces. We have been blessed with pretty good health for the most part though. We just push through it and somehow make it through the day! Haha it's good though. That's great that dad talked, did he write it out? If so, could he send me a copy? Speaking of church, this week us missionaries sang in our ward....yeah it was sorta crazy. We practiced once, and chose to sing how firm a foundation. I'm not sure how well it turned out..I don't usually sing in front of people, but that was what I asked to do, so I managed. Needless to say, it was good to have done. I really do love that song though, especially the last verse. I had a thought about it the other day. It says "The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not I cannot desert to His foes" . I had it running through my head as I was walking to tract, and it just hit me that His foes aren't literal people but right now for me they are fear and doubt. It is the little things that occasionally I succumb to. (if that makes sense) It's a good reminder to sing that song everytime I'm struggling. Kaycee was adorable, I just got the picture! Thanks so much, I'll look forward to letters. :) I hope you all have a lovely week, and if you just happen to be in deseret book, and just happen to see a mormon tabernacle men's choir CD, and just happened to want to send it to me, I might appreciate it ;) Other than that thanks for everything. I love and miss you all much! Have a great week
Sister Christina Trickler

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hello! :) 
This is truly a crazy week! On Monday it is going to be below -50 degrees with wind chill, so we are not allowed to go outside at all. Apparently it's an "arctic freeze". Tomorrow will be quite bad as well, so we're only allowed to go to church if it's 5 minutes away or less (luckily ours is!). So, we are not going to be able to email Monday. Lest you worry, or anything like that, President asked us to email and explain the situation. :) Thanks very very much for the jacket! I'm wearing it right now :) and probably will wear it everyday until it warms up. It's perfect because it fits on top of my 4 different shirts, and under my coat! Haha I look like an eskimo, I'll send pictures, you will all get a laugh :) My companion and I had a lovely new years. We stayed up until 10:29! Haha gotta love the missionary schedule. We did have fun though, her mom sent us some noise makers and popper things that made noise and confetti fly everywhere, we took some crazy pictures and video :) The other very exciting news of the week, is that we have a new investigator! We haven't had a very solid investigator since our baptism, so we have been doing lots of finding (meaning lots of knocking on doors). It has been a struggle, but we found one! She is a wonderful lady with an 8 year old son. We have taught her three times, which has been really neat. She talks a lot though, so we really struggle keeping control of the conversation and getting out on time. It's good though, new challenges and struggles are always good, they keep me on my partially frozen toes! 
So funny story of the week, I have a new habit of waking up at 2-3 in the morning, getting out of my bed to pray, then looking at the clock,realizing that it is way too early and exclaiming "really? It's 2 o clock" waking up my companion in the process. Haha poor Sister Hartley, her companion is a nut! Haha it's great though, I'm only halfway coherent, so it's quite amusing in the morning. I have done it several times this week....I don't know what that says about my mental health! Just kidding, it's great fun :)
I talked last week about reading the Book of Mormon again. It has been such an incredible blessing! We read 6 pages a day, and it takes me a solid hour. I feel like I am receiving so much knowledge and insight. It's neat to read what I marked up last week, it's just like a spiritual journal. I was reading in 1 Nephi 21:15-16 and I just loved those verses! It's so true, The Lord will never forget us. He loves us, and always is there to help if we will just turn to Him. This morning I read 2 Nephi 9 and 10. They are incredible chapters. This morning I felt like my eyes were opened a little bit to the wonderful gift that Resurrection is. Our physical bodies are so important, they are incredible gifts that we have been given. Sometimes when I think about the Atonement I almost forget about the resurrection, but that is just as important as the suffering for our sins. It's an interesting thing to think about. I'm so grateful for the knowledge that we have. We truly are so blessed. Yes, life is quite hard sometimes, but we know that we can do it! We know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us. Anyways, that's my spiritual thought of the day. Thanks again for all the letters and pictures! They make me smile :) I hope you all have a lovely week, and good luck to the kids in school! Yyyyoouuuuucccaannndddoooowwiiittt!!!! (with the accent ;) )
I love and miss you all!!
Love, Sister Christina Rose Trickler