Monday, February 24, 2014

Hello! I hope all is going well at home, and that everyone is doing well! I heard that it warmed up a little bit.....lucky! Haha was a balmy 10 degrees this morning as we got into the car, warmer than it has been, but not that warm ;) I am excited though because it is suppose to warm up a little bit in March. Last Thursday we had a pretty crazy blizzard, it snowed over a foot....and the winds were absolutely terrible. The roads are still completely covered in ice, so our car was grounded for two days. We did a lot of shoveling, and a lot of walking! On Friday we got a call from one of our friends in the ward (Sister Olsen) who was working at the ymca. She told us that this elderly guy had called in and asked if there were any kids around who could come shovel his driveway. Of course we called him and asked if we could help. He was very grateful for the help, he reminded me a lot of great-grandpa Baker. Our car was still grounded, but we walked the three miles to his house (carrying shovels ;) ) and then spent 2 hours shoveling the heavy snow! Haha it was our workout for the week, i'm still a little bit sore. People driving by us gave us really weird looks, but that's alright, we just laughed and carried on! On Saturday we had an investigator get baptized! He is a refugee from a very poor part of Vietnam. He never was able to go to school, or receive an education of any sort. He doesn't speak English at all, and doesn't even really speak Vietnamese, just a dialect. It has been amazing to see how the Lord is preparing everyone. We have been able to communicate with him somehow. Through the Spirit. Anyways, Saturday was crazy. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did. The Brother being Baptized had to work, and didn't get off until after the baptism, so we had to postpone it, our car got stuck because there was so much snow, and we hadn't driven it since wed.....after 45 minutes of cleaning it off, there was so much snow around it that it couldn't move! Our appointments all fell through,it was just sort of a crazy day! Oh, and the funniest part, usually the baptismal font takes 2 1/2 hours to fill up. We went to the church and started it, the went to eat dinner, and came back an hour later. The font was nearly overflowing....and it was ice cold! We had to drain a little bit of the water, but the drain was on the bottom of the font, under all the water. It was exciting ;) But it was a crazy day. Satan really was trying to not let us go through with the baptism! Somehow, we made it though. The baptism was an incredibly spiritual experience. To see this brother who doesn't really understand us, but somehow understands the gospel, to see his incredibly strong faith in the Lord was amazing. The whole situation remindes me of a quote by Elder Holland. Something about how there are two teams, and we know which team is going to win, we just have to decide which jersey we are going to wear. Isn't it true though? We know that the Lord's team will win, it is up to us to decide to be in His team! And besides the fact, being on His team, will bring us happiness and joy. Everyday I see the great difference in people who live the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in people who don't. I think it is so very important that we are truly living the gospel. Not just that we are members, but that we are striving each day to increase our faith, and continue to repent and change daily. That we are keeping all the covenants we have made, and striving to have the Spirit with us at all times in all things and in all places. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy, and no one is perfect, but as long as we are always progressing, I believe that will be enough. That remindes me of a quote a super awesome sister shared with me ;) Fall 7 times, get up 8. The  8th time is the most important! The time when we are exhausted and tired and just want to go sleep, and maybe have some chocolate is the time we have to get up again and carry on! Crazy stuff. Anyways, I hope all is going well at home, and that you guys are enjoying the warm weather while it is there! I love you all, and miss you!!!!
I hope and pray you have a great week :)
Sister Christina Trickler
p.s. thanks so so so much for the is the best thing in the world! That and the letters are wonderful, thanks :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's so good to hear from you! I'm glad you guys had a fun trip, it sounds like it was a blast! I have to admit, I'm a little bit jealous of the warmth, but that's alright ;) We woke up this morning at 5:30, and ran in a blizzard! It wasn't super bad, we could see, but it was cold windy and snowing! Haha we felt super legit ;) It was good fun though. I don't remember if I mentioned last week, but I am the designated driver here, and we have gotten lots of snow in the past week, I am very  grateful that I know how to drive in snow! Apparently lots of missionaries don't know how, and there have been lots of accidents. Don't worry, I just drive like a grandma (a smart grandma) and we are just fine! California sounds like it was fun though...we will have to go when I get home so I can play his organ! I'm glad the kids had fun, and yes, I would love pictures! Thanks so much for the package! The jam is sooooosoooosooo good! I haven't tried the duck jerky, but I will soon! And I hung Kaycee's picture on my wall by my desk ;)
Oh, and could you send me a copy of my medical insurance card? Thanks :)
I love that you mentioned that we need to live joyfully. If you have time, look up the talk a word to the hesitant missionary by President Uchdorft. (sorry if that's the wrong spelling!) It is so good, and says just that. Our example is such a powerful tool! It is something I didn't realize until I got out here and began hearing so many people's conversion stories. Most people saw someone living the way they should, and were receptive when the missionaries did knock on their door. Right now we are teaching a man who let us in because he has an uncle who is a member, and he really looks up to him. He is doing so well! He is reading the book of mormon, and doing everything he should. And the other thought about how all is not well in zion is sooooooo true. It is sad how many youth leave the church. I wish everyone could go on a mission and see the huge impact the gospel really does have in lives. It is not restricting at all, it sets us free. It gives us joy we can find no where else. Through the Atonement we can truly find hope and peace. This world is a crazy crazy place and the gospel will bring us peace that can be found no where else. I could talk about that forever. It seriously brings us so much happiness!
Anywho, I love Austin! It is just getting better and better. My companion and I have way too much fun! Haha, we really do laugh so much, but are working so hard, don't worry! We had a baptism two days ago, and have another one this saturday! It was so good. The brother we taught is from Vietnam, and his friend who is also from Vietnam is getting baptized on saturday. One of them doesn't speak English at all, so it has been an interesting experience teaching him. It is another testament to me that the Spirit is the true teacher. I just have to open my mouth, and the Spirit will testify of my words. It has been such a miracle to be able to communicate with them, I don't even know how it is possible, but it works out somehow. It is crazy here, we teach all day long! It is so wonderful, but so different from St. Cloud. It is a good chance for me to improve my teaching skills though! We have had some super spiritual lessons in part I think because we have to rely on the Spirit so much when we are teaching people who don't understand English well. We were able to commit another brother to baptism, so now we have three coming up in the next few weeks! Crazy, but so wonderful. The work is truly hastening!

 Oh, and I did have SPAM this morning for breakfast at our friend SIster Olsens was.....not too bad. Haha and we are going to the SPAM museum today after we email, which should be quite exciting! Haha I hope all is going well at home, and that it is still standing when you arrive! I hope you all have a wonderful week full of moments of laughter, and missionary work! ;) Seriously though, have fun! I miss you all, and love you lots!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, February 10, 2014

It is so good to hear from you! (as always ;) ) How are things going at home? I am loving it here in Austin, and yes it is the SPAM capitol of the world! Haha there is a SPAM museum we are planning on going to later in the transfer ;) I am absolutely loving it here though, like it's pretty much ridiculous how awesome it is! There is a huge Hormel and QPP factory here, and so there are lots of immigrants who come to work here. There are mainly people from Africa, and they are so awesome! It's crazy, lots of them have degrees from universities in Africa, but they are not valid here, so they are going back to school. Most people from Africa are working here, and sending money back to their families at home so that they have money to buy basic necessities such as food. It sounds like there is very few jobs. They are amazing people though, so humble and willing to learn. The lord truly is gathering Israel! I can't believe I have such a wonderful opportunity to talk to my brothers and sisters from all around the world and teach them of the restored gospel! They are so so awesome! There are a few new challenges, but they are so worth it! Right now we are teaching to men in their 30's who are refugees from Vietnam. They are so spiritual, and so willing to do whatever God asks of them! :) One of them speaks English and Vietnamese, but the other speaks no english whatsoever, so we have to work through the one to translate. It is incredible though how strong we can feel the Spirit, and how we are able to communicate. It is truly a miracle! We are teaching two other people who are from a country in Africa. It is a similar situation in that one of them only speaks french and the other speaks french and english, so we have to work through her as well. Somehow though, we manage! It's truly amazing. :) We have 3 maybe 4 baptism coming up, it's so very exciting :) Yesterday we met a sister from Ethiopia who spoke arabic and a little english, which was neat. These people have such a desire to learn, and we are so excited to teach them! We have to teach very simply because of the language barrier, but the Lord really does help us. We are always taught that the Spirit is the true teacher, and that is so true! There is no way we could do it otherwise! I think we are being blessed with the gift of tongues in a sense. No, we don't speak their languages, but we can communicate and understand. And when we can't, there is always someone who is willing to interpret for us! It is such a contrast from my last area. St. Cloud was great don't get me wrong, but it's so different. We could tract all day and only teach one maybe two restorations, and here we taught two restorations within 20 minutes of tracting yesterday....and the people who we taught are both new investigators! We had 7 people come to church yesterday, which is about 6 more than we ever had in St. Cloud. ;) It is because these people are truly prepared though! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to work here at this time, helping my brothers and sisters come closer to the Savior Jesus Christ. My companion is the best! Her name is Sister Amis, and she is actually a visa waiter. She has been waiting for 6 months for her Visa to go to brasil. This means that we have an hour of language study everyday (while I study the book of mormon, or something ;) ) and that I get to drive!!!!!!!! You have no idea how excited that made me when I found out! I love driving :) Mainly because then I don't have to make phone calls....but that's besides the point ;) I really do love it though, it is so much easier to learn the area and feel in the loop when you are driving! I feel very blessed to be her companion though. It is very different than being with my last companion. She laughs and smiles too! :) In this zone/area there is a huge emphasis on being yourself...not just a robot missionary. I love it so much :) I was struggling with that in St. Cloud, I was trying to be myself, but it was very hard given the situation if that makes sense. It's great though...and we are so much more successful here as we use the talents we have been given and just do our best! I know that we are given talents for a reason, and that we should use them. That we should not strive to be the perfect missionary, but be the best person that we can be! :) It's great to be companions with someone who feels the same way I do. It was a little nerve-wracking getting transferred, but I am so grateful that it happened. Anyways....back to responding to your letter ;)
That is crazy weather at home! I hope that all goes well, and that it doesn't flood! I can't believe you are getting rain's well below zero here...I think the high in the past week has been maybe 10. haha crazy! Another wonderful thing about Austin is that they have lots of apartments, and my companion and I tract in them all the time! We have lots more success in them, and they are warm! I can seriously wear half the layers I was in St. Cloud. Life is good :)
You know, I think it is very important that we take time to socialize with people. I have learned that out here especially church is so important because it gives us a good uplifting social network! It is very different than in Utah, but still. I have learned that who you are with effects you so much! Especially being with different companions, It makes a huge difference. So.....choose good people to hang out with ;) Oh my goodness, I am so glad that you were able to go to the temple! Go as often as you can! I miss it so much. It's a little bit ridiculous probably how much I miss it. I just loved feeling the spirit that is there. p.s. :dear kids, go do baptisms if you can. It is a good thing to do. I'm glad you were able to go though :) You and I were both saving souls.....I was saving the living, and you were saying the dead! We make a pretty good team,  just sayin ;)
That is great to hear that everyone is doing fairly well, I love and miss everyone! It's so great though to hear about everyone :) I would love pictures.....and that package that you sent was fanflippintastic!!!!! I loved loved loved the pictures! Except there wasn't one from you.....hint hint. ;) The letters were wonderful, and the plums a lifesaver! I love those things so much. Man, if I could just live off goldfish, plums and kisses, (of the milk and white chocolate variety ;) ) I think I would be happy! Thanks again so much :) I'll have to write J a letter soon....I think I will have time today hopefully! :)

Have fun in California!!!! And take pictures please :) That sounds like so much fun! Just do something crazy, okay? Just for me? Random sidenote, we can't dance on a mission. It's hard, just sayin....I have to resort to spinning in circles, and making weird faces. Haha gotta love it!
Can I just say again, I am so happy here :) There is a very good song that says I feel like a weight i've been carried's been carried away.....brownie points if you can name that song Jackie! ;) But seriously, it feels so good. :) I am able to be myself, and love the people. I can do things my way, and it works so well. I can make mistakes, and it's alright. I can have fun, and be happy! Anyways. I love you all, and hope and pray that all goes well. DRIVE SAFE!!!!! Especially if Jackie's driving! Jk, I know all will go well :)
I love you all very much, thanks for your letters, and support, and pictures, and everything! Have a great week!
Sister Christina Trickler
p.s. yes, I would love that music!!!! And if you are sending that, could you possibly send the Paul Cardell piano music? We have been listening to his CD in the car, and it is sooooooo goood! I think I will play it as prelude at district meeting or something :) No rush, thanks though! Have a wonderful week :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

The exciting news of this week, can I get a drumroll please?!?!? Transfers! I am being transfered to Austin Minnesota! It looks like it is at the bottom of the state, just about as south as you can get! I don't know the boundaries of my area or anything yet, but I will send you more information as I receive it! I am really quite excited, except for the rest of my day just  got turned over to packing....soo fun. Haha it'll be good. I think Heavenly Father heard my prayers, and decided it was time I go south for a little bit ;) Thank you for the valentines, I am so excited to receive them! I love pictures, they are so great :) I can't believe it is February already! Isn't that crazy? I have been out for 3 months, 15 to go! Time is already starting to fly. Don't get me wrong, I have rough days that seem to never end, but the week fly by! It will be Valentines day, then in March, the bitter cold is supposed to be gone, then general conference, then May! My 6 month mark! So crazy. Anyways,  Haha yeah, cookies might be seems to take about 10 days to get letters and such here in St. Cloud, I would assume it would be about the same in Austin. I'm glad you guys enjoyed the pictures, it was fun to send them. There is just something about pictures, it seems to remind me at least that you guys really are there, and that you are doing well! I figured between all the kids I sent quite the variety, so you get somewhat a picture of what's happening! I'm so glad you were able to go running, that sounds wonderful! Isn't it crazy how warm 18 degrees can see? We haven't been able to run because it is way too cold, and icy, but we have been able to go to the church three times a week and work out in the gym. It's not super great, but it's better than nothing! That is exciting that the rodeo is fixed! I bet Jackie is excited! Is she driving it to school? Haha I hope that she's being safe! We have had a crazy number of accidents in the mission, like a record amount in the last month, but I haven't been driving, don't worry! We have designated drivers, usually whoever has been out the longest, so maybe I'll drive starting wed. but probably not. That sounds like it will be so much fun to see Great-Grandpa, I wish I could come! You will have to tell him I send him my love. I'm sure it will be a fun adventure! It's you, jacob, jackie and matthew going? Tell Jackie she will have to think of me when she is getting a tan, and it's well below zero here! That sounds like it will be a much needed break though. Take pictures for me :) That is a blessing that dad's hand is recovering, has he still been able to work? Crazy stuff.
I'm so excited to get Jackie's letter, I'm sure she did great! Haha good memories, getting soaked at swim meets, and swimming, pushing myself to the limit. It's interesting, I have learned to push myself out here on a mission, but it is a very different type of endurance. I have to talk to people when I don't want to, and learn to handle certain situations with ward members or investigators very delicately, which is not one of my strengths, but I am working on it. I know though that at the end of the "race" I am going to feel so good! Knowing that I pushed as hard as I could, and I will be satisfied, but ready to go home and rest! I have swam the first 75 of my 500! ;) Good luck with conferences, they sound stressful. You're not failing though, just sayin. Hey, look how I turned out! Haha okay, maybe i'm not the greatest example, but still ;) I think that the kids are probably doing better than you realize. I'm excited to be able to see all the progress everyone has made! Even by May I'm sure there will be great progress!
That is very interesting about Cain and Able, quite thought provoking....interesting. It has been really good to be out here and to realize that everything we learn always can have deeper meaning. Everything in the Book of Mormon has a deeper meaning, if we can find it.
I love that you mentioned Angels. I know without a shadow of a doubt that there are angels all around us guiding us and helping as much as they can. I will have to send you some neat scriptures on them, but they may not come until next week ;) And thanks so much for the recipe, I will hopefully use it today! It's going to be crazy with packing and such, but it will be good I'm sure. Thank you so much for all the wonderful letters and such, I really appreciate it! I love you all, sorry this letter is sort of short, next week will be better! I hope you all find a reason to smile everyday this week, if nothing else know that if I was there I would sing a silly song, or make a funny face until you laughed! Haha have a lovely week :D 
Thanks again, I love and miss you all!
Sister Christina Rose Trickler