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