Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello! It was so good to hear from you and to get a couple of pictures! Jackies dress looks so good! I love it :) And thank you so much for the package that I got this week! It fits me to a tee! You know me well. It's funny, lately we have been buying fruit and yogurt and eating that in the morning,  now I have granola to go on top! And dried plums are the best thing in the world. Thank you so much for the seeds, I planted them today! Speaking of that, we had sort of a crazy day, hence the delay in writing. So we got up and studied early, and went shopping in the pouring rain. It rained all night so hard. We got a call from one of our friends in the ward who lives in a nursing home. She asked us if we could come over and help wrap her legs. We said of course, and drove over there. After that adventure, we came to the library to email, and the computers were all being used! So we decided to go on a run at the nature center that is close by. We rode our bikes a half mile or so into the country, and parked them at the trail head. We started to run, but then realized that we were in Minnesota in March, and the trail was still covered in snow, and water! (by this point it was sunny out, not a cloud in the sky). We went anyways, and had so much fun. We didn't see anyone else, except for 5 deer about 20 ft away from us. I got some dirt to plant my seeds and we had a good, super wet walk! I realized after our adventure that I really had been missing nature. It's so important to take advantage of any opportunity we can to be outside! It is really beautiful. It is a different kind of beauty here, but it is wonderful all the same :) After that we came home, and I planted the flower seeds and some tomato seeds I bought today, I can't wait!
Oh man, I miss everyone!! I can't wait until we can skype's coming up soon! You know, this adventure of a mission is really flying by. Some days feel like forever, but it has already been over 5 months! Can you believe that? I only have just over a year! How crazy.
I did get my hair braided last Monday! It was so much fun...except it hurt my head a little bit ;) They started at the very back of my head and did a circle around my head so it was like I was wearing a head band, and they went around twice. It was a lot of fun, and I got pictures! We are visiting the sisters again tonight, so I may have a new hair-do ;) It is so much fun being here in Austin because of the diversity! This week we began teaching a wonderful mother and her daughter who are refugees from Burma, who live in Thailand for a while. It is such an adventure communicating, but the Lord helps so much. We couldn't do it otherwise! Sister Amis and I joke that if we each learned 3 different languages then maybe we could communicate with all of our investigators! Then last night we met this wonderful lady who just barely came here from Africa. She showed us some of her beading she has been doing. It was the most intricate stuff! I am always amazed at the talents different people have. It is a testament to me that we are all needed in God's kingdom. We each have different talents and abilities!
This week sister Amis got the flu and we had to stay inside for two whole days....I thought I might just  go insane! ;) It was a really long time, but we made the best of it. We had a lot of fun playing the questions game. It is interesting how we don't tend to really get to know those around us. I love asking people deep questions about themselves, and really getting to know them. Lets see...Oh yes. The Women's Broadcast!!! That was so good. It was so neat to know that you guys were watching it at home the same time we were watching it here! It was an excellent meeting. The Spirit was so strong, it's amazing to be united all over the world. I had an interesting experience though during the broadcast. We have a member  friend who is in her 50's. She is divorced and works so much, and helps out the missionaries like no one I've ever met. She is amazing. She doesn't really like social things though (sort of like me ;) ). She took us out to dinner the night of the broadcast, then told us that she had to work, but that she would make it to the broadcast. She asked us to save her a seat. We got there early for a desert thing they were having as a ward. It was just about to start, and we saw her in the hall. Then we sat down, and we didn't see her. It started and the first person talked. The whole time, I couldn't really focus, I kept wondering where our friend was. Finally I motioned for Sister Amis to come with me, and we went to find her. She was sitting in the chapel listening to the broadcast all alone. Just at this time we heard the part about how everyone needs a friend. We quickly decided to sit with her for the remainder of the broadcast. I didn't really get much out of the first half, but I learned something very important. As much as some of us may think that we don't need anyone else or any help, we all do. This lady didn't really need us to sit by her, but it was the right thing to do. There is strength in numbers in a sense. Anyways, I would encourage all of you to maybe go outside of your comfort zone a little bit this week and find someone to help uplift, to be a friend to!
I love you all so much, thanks for you love and support!!
Have a lovely week,
Sister Christina Trickler

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

 *My mother in-law thankfully pointed out that I never posted last weeks letter--it was a crazy week for me.  So here it is a week and a day late.  It was written the 10th of March

Before I say anything, I just have to say that today we found out about transfers......and I am staying in Austin with Sister Amis!!! You would not believe how relieved I am. We have not been able to sleep for the past week fearing what would happen today!! I am so so grateful that we are both staying for another transfer. We are getting spanish sisters in our area that is going to be an adventure and a half. We are praying for the best.
Lucky you that the snow is all gone!! We still have multiple feet...It was rather warm for a couple of days this week, but the past few have been below freezing, so the snow has stopped melting. Gotta love crazy Minnesota weather! :) It really is an adventure though if nothing else! Oh, super exciting thing of the week...for the first time since the 2nd week I got here, we have been able to wear rain jackets instead of winter coats! Thanks so much for sending me mine, it feels good to not wear black all of the time! I do think I need to go get me some heels though...I miss those things! ;) I am so excited to send interview questions!!!
Thanks for the recipe! And Jackies dress sounds beautiful! I can't wait for pictures :) I am so excited to sew when I get home! It is going to be great :) It's good to hear that everything is going well, busy but well :)
So this week, we were having a lesson with our investigator Sister Maddi. She is so neat, she is single in her late 20's and works as a speech therapist in elementary schools..
Oh my goodness, I miss everyone at home!! I finally got around to hanging up pictures on my wall above my bed...I miss you all! Don't worry, it's a good kind of missing :) It has been funny, this week Sister Amis and I have been particularly blessed to hear so much music! We teach mostly Africans, and music is huge in their culture. They always have it playing! It really does bring the spirit though, as long as it is not dirty music. Seriously though, it has been the best. I have heard Don't you worry child, Coldplay, Matt Kearney, The Killers, etc. Tender mercies :) Also you should look up Be Still My Soul by Kari Jobe. It just might change your life!
We have a baptism coming up on Saturday, Sister Nicole. We are so excited for her :) She is from Africa, speaks french and english and is an amazing person, we love her so much! One of the miracles of the week was with Nicole. She had a car accident a few months ago that was a result of a blackout she had. She went into the hospital to get checked out, and the found out that she had a genetic brain disorder....She got on meds, and it's okay now, but for a while she wasn't able to have a job because of debilitating headaches. She has been trying to get a job for the past couple of months, and hasn't been able to find one. She applied so many places, but was about to get kicked out of her apartment, because she still didn't have a job. We told her to pray, and we prayed as well so hard. This was a few weeks after she committed to baptism. Then this week, the day before she was to get kicked out, she got a call from an employer, and got a job!! It was such a miracle, and such a testament that God truly blesses us when we put our faith and trust in Him! :) Well, I hope you all have a lovely week, and party it up in the warm weather!!! And yes, I am so excited for the womens broadcast...I get to hangout with all of my sisters at home, and here for a couple of hours! I can not wait. I will be thinking of all of you :) I love and miss you all lots.
The one and only Sister Christina Trickler :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

This is her favorite picture taken in St. Cloud after being outside for hours in -15 degrees.  Her scarf is covered in ice from her breathing.---the original is better, I need to clean my scanner.

It's so good to hear from you! And thanks much for the letters and pictures, they were wonderful! We will have to all go to zions when I get home! It was crazy though, I swear the kids have already grown so much in the short time I have been gone! Crazy Crazy stuffs!
 The other day I really wanted to make something productive, so I handsewed some curtains for our apartment haha oh the joys of missionary life! We work all day long, and do so many things, but we never really finish anything if that makes sense so it is hard to feel like we have been productive at all because we don't have anything to show for our work! It's great though, we love it lots :)
Lately I have just wanted to plant flowers or plants at our apartment! I really can't wait until it is warm enough to put some out on our porch! It has snowed three times the past week, or else I would have already bought seeds ;) Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most enjoyable!
Haha oh Kaycee, what a funny girl! I loved the picture you sent of her in her braids, it was great! We have two african teenage girls that we visit twice a week, and they do braids in their hair, so they told us that this week they would braid our hair for us while we taught a lesson! Haha it is going to be crazy for sure, don't worry we will take lots of pictures! Haha and good job Zander! My hair is definitely the longest! ;) It is pretty long though, it's time to get it cut...either this week or next week, it needs a trim ;) We can have a contest, me Jackie, Kaycee, or Tessa, who can have the longest hair when I get home, we have just over a year to grow it out! ;)
I am glad that your RS dealio went well, it sounds like it was a party! I am sure it went well :) Good for dad for getting you flowers. Flowers fix so many things. It is interesting to me to study the feeling of failure. We so often as humans feel that we are failing at different things. In a sense though, that feeling doesn't really come from God. We were sent here to learn from our mistakes and part of that learning is feeling sorrow, but I really think that is different than feeling like we failed. It is very hard for me to separate the two though! It has been a life-long work in progress for me. Another thought on that note. We had a training from our mission president's wife a few weeks ago regarding Eternal Truths half-truths and lies that we tell ourselves. It was very thought provoking. I have realized that I tell myself lies sometimes! Things like I am not as good as my companion, or if I did this than that would have gone better. Stuff like that. She recommended wearing an elastic on your wrist and snapping yourself whenever one of these thoughts come into your head. It has been good for me to become more aware of what I'm telling myself, and realizing where these thoughts come from. If we are giving 100 percent, then Heavenly Father is more than pleased with us. He accepts our 100 percent, even if we fall far short at times. It's an interesting topic of thought. :)
Thanks for your thoughts on Miracles. They haven't ceased, you are definitely right! Every week we are suppose to write a letter to our mission president. In that letter we are asked to write about a miracle that happened. It is a great opportunity to reflect on the week, and see the Lord's hand in the work here! This week, I wrote about two African sister who we have been visiting twice a week since before I got here. The 18 yr old sister is a member, and her 16 year old sister is investigating, waiting on parental approval for baptism. They have been going to seminary and church for well over a year. Something happened causing both of the girls to....shut down in a sense. They wouldn't communicate with us or open up at all. It was so hard for me and Sister Amis, because we knew that something was wrong but we had no idea what it might be. They don't have a father or father figure in their life, and they rarely see their mom, so they hardly have a relationship with her. We have been praying and trying to do anything we could for them since the first few weeks that I came here to Austin. This week we had a lesson with them on Monday night (so a week ago). We had something planned, but at the beginning, it just didn't feel right, so I said hey, I don't feel like I know you two girls very well, tell me something about yourselves. Then Sister Amis said hey, lets play the question game. (the game where you ask a question and everyone including your self has to answer it). We all promised to be completely 100 % honest, and started the game. At first they still didn't talk much, but after a few questions, they began to open up and by the end, they were laughing and talking with us, it was such a miracle! I am so grateful that we went that way with the lesson though. It was definitely not a traditional lesson at all, but we talked about gospel things in the questions, and really got to know each other as daughters of God. Sister Amis and I both shared some pretty personal stuff, and sort of helped them to see that we aren't just missionaries...we are daughters of God too. We make mistakes, we have lives at home, we have embarrassing moments, and love to have fun. It was a miracle to see how in being me, I was able to somehow help these two amazing girls. It was one of my favorite experiences of my mission so far. :)
Another neat experience we had was yesterday and Saturday, our investigator Sister Nicole was baptised and confirmed! It has been amazing to see the change in her life as she has grown in her faith and come to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ :)
All in all it has been a very crazy week, but a good one. I can't wait to talk to all of you soon! :) I hope and pray that you have a good week, and learn lots. I love you lots, and of course miss you!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, March 10, 2014

It is warming up! It is the craziest thing!! I am wearing my raincoat today instead of my winter coat. Saturday was the first day it was warm enough, and it was so exciting. We wore coats yesterday after church, but that was mainly because we weren't feeling well. :P It is exciting to see sun again though, and be able to actually feel it! :)  It is warms up to 30 degrees, and we are rejoicing! People walk around in shorts and's quite amusing. That sounds like you guys had a really fun trip, I wish I could have been there! Is there still snow on the ground? We have multiple ft. but it has started to melt, resulting in lots of puddles. It reminds me of the flooding we had Mendon last year. I was telling Sister Amis I remember that one night that Jackie and I were driving home from something, it was quite late at night and the flooding was so bad that the road going to our house was was the only one though, so we went for it. We turned up the music super loud, and drove slowly but steadily through it. Haha I remember so much water, but we made it! Good times, good memories. It's funny, here in Minnesota they can always tell if you are from Utah if you say thank you for the moisture in your prayers, because they have so much, they do not need more! I'm glad Matthew's contest went well, that sounds like great fun. Jackie got asked? By who? Would I approve? Can I send you some interview questions to ask him? That's quite exciting, I hope it goes well. What does the dress look like? I wish I could help you make it....someday ;) I already told Jackie that I am making her bridesmaids dresses when she gets married, whether she wants me to or not! I hope May day goes well for her as well....I'm sure it will be better than when I did it ;) Flowers?? I will have to admit, I am very excited for that day. Last year they had a snowstorm in May involving multiple feet of snow, so we might not see flowers for a while, but i'm sure they will come eventually. This week I have been reading about when Christ comes to the American continent in third Nephi. 3 Nephi 17 is my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon, just sayin. As I have been reading that though, I have also been studying Christ's ministry in Jerusalem after he was Resurrected. I have read lots from Jesus the Christ, and it has been very interesting. I have learned so much. I love reading that book though, because it makes it come alive for me, it adds a lot of detail that I struggle to find in the scriptures. It is interesting to see the difference in the way Christ ministers to the Nephites than to the Jews. It's quite thought provoking. p.s. Mom, why did you name me Christina? Just curious.
On Saturday of this week, we had a ward was so much fun! We had Hawaiian haystacks, and there was a dance afterwards. We were sort of nervous going into it, because we didn't really know what to expect, but it turned out to be lots of fun! Sister Amis and I even danced a little bit...don't worry, only line dances, nothing against the rules ;) It made me excited for the day I can come home and dance in the kitchen with the kids again! Oh, another sort of funny story, Friday, Sister Amis and I got up and went running because it was pretty warm. We ran a couple of miles, then got back and were cooling down and such. It was 6:58, and we were ready to go back inside. All of the sudden I realized, I didn't have the keys, and we locked the apartment! We didn't have keys or our phone or anything! Luckily one of our members told us recently about breaking into someone's house with a credit card. We didn't have a credit card, but we had a metal rake! We got in, and it only took us a few minutes! That was a funny moment.
This week we spent a couple of days up in Rochester which was crazy. It was good to get back home!  Haha and I'm glad you're friends with Sister Register. She is a gem! We eat over there multiple times a week, and study there on Sundays. She is very kind. Oh, could you either send me or her the recipe for creamed eggs? She said she would make it for us. :) Well, I hope you all have a great week, and that all goes well! You are all in my prayers.
Sister Christina Trickler 

Monday, March 3, 2014

We don't get a lot of pictures but love the ones we do get.  This is Sister Amis (her companion) a Vietmanese brother who was just baptized and Christina.

Once again it is that time of week, fantabulous Monday!! It is a great one, just sayin :) Thanks for your email, it's so great! And letters, and your package! I loved it, we went and played the piano yesterday for an hour (during our lunch hour at a members house, because it was fast sunday ;) ). We have the CD and listen to it everytime we are in the car, so it was so easy for me to play. I am grateful that my piano skills haven't seemed to suffer too much due to my lack of playing! It is a tender mercy of the Lord. :) I loved the pictures too!!! They made my day :) I have an awesome family, just sayin! Cute as ever ;) It really is neat though to see you guys. And the letters were so great. I will try to respond as I can! (and yes, feel free to post pictures if you want :) ) Speaking of my blog dealio, I have to say that I had totally forgotten that I had a blog up, I just write my letters! This week though, I got a letter from Chantel saying that she enjoyed reading it, that it was increasing her desire to go on a mission, and I got letters from Jamie's family saying they used one of my posts for FHE, what the?? Haha it was so funny to me to realize that people might actually be reading what I write! Don't  get me wrong, if they help anyone that's great...or even make people smile that would work. The world needs more smiles and more laughter. Life is hard, but it is so good too! I wish  everyone could know that :) But truly thanks to everyone who has written me, and has kept me in their prayers. I appreciate it more than I can express! There is no way that I am able to do this on my own, it's only through the strength of the Lord, and the prayers of others that I am able to keep doing work! It's so much fun though. That is one thing that I have learned, there are a lot of missionaries who do what they are suppose to and work hard, but never seem to really be happy. It is so important at least for me to smile and to laugh at everything (of course when it's appropriate ;) ) and to just enjoy myself. We can work harder when we play harder, and laugh the whole way! I think it is true in life as well. Enduring to the end doesn't mean finishing, but being miserable, I think it means to enjoy the journey! I had to pray for that a lot at the beginning of my mission, but I really am able to enjoy every single day! I honestly can't think of one day here in Austin where I had a miserable day. I have had rough moments often, but they are just moments. Not days or weeks! :)
Anyways, to respond to your letter....I think that is a brilliant idea to had the kids index before they use the computer of ipad (except for homework I'm assuming) It has become more apparent to me while on a mission how much time is wasted using technology! It is a blessing don't get me wrong, but it can be such a huge waste of time! Think of how much more the world could get done if they weren't wasting time online! It is also sad to me to see how a lot of people don't really know how to function in society....As in hold a conversation, or be creative without their phone or ipad. That is one thing I am going to be better at when I get home, going out and doing things instead of being on the computer or my phone if I don't have to!
I am so so so so excited to hear that you got to the temple! That is wonderful :) I really wish I could go! It is a wonderful place of peace, there is no place quite like it here on earth. Oh, random you think that we will have organs in our body when we are resurrected?? I was thinking that might be an interesting sight during the resurrection with donated organs flying through the air to find their body....haha just a thought. I am so glad that you and J and the little kids were able to watch a movie, those are some of my really good memories, watching a movie with J on my bed way too late at night, or watching one with the boys. Family time really is much as we didn't like it when it was labeled as such ;)
It was so good to hear about the family, I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well for the most part. Haha Jackie is so busy! Remindes me of when I was in high school, good but hard times! Matthew is taking physics?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? YES!!!!! That is so exciting, I love physics :) It makes me think! I'm so proud (tear wipe ;) ) I'm glad Jake and Colton are building forts and having fun, that sounds so good for him. Good for Tessa for being in the spelling bee and bearing her testimonyI bore my testimony too yesterday ;)! Haha Kaycee, what a funny girl! 5 braids, what a funny number ;) And I'm gad to hear she learned to wait to eat until after grating the cheese....that's the important part! Learned after her older sister :D Haha you will have to send a picture of Braxton! He is going to be a ladies man!
Thanks for your thought on music, it's so true. And yes, Please REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!!!!!! We forget that too often in this world. I was reading in the ensign, and it was talking about how we feel the spirit in different ways. Some feel it when looking at a picture or something beautiful, some learn it when hearing music, or inspiring words, some feel it in nature, etc. I think it is so important that we figure out how we feel the spirit most, and surround ourselves with things that will help us. It mentioned how this mother did just that with all of her kids. She played good music in the house, put beautiful pictures of the Savior and temples on the walls, and took her children on hikes to be in nature. It was a good article, one that made me think about our investigators. We have a lot lot lot of progressing investigators, and it is so important to figure out how they feel the spirit! Some we read with, some we sing to, and some we look at pictures with. It's amazing when we truly learn to love them and try to help them how the Spirit can work through us and work mighty miracles! Isn't the gospel wonderful? I have far from a perfect testimony, I struggle a lot with a lot of things, but one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt is that we all have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much! He gives us little tender mercies each and every day if we can just recognize them! He wants us to return to live with Him someday. We had a super neat experience this week with our investigator Sister Maddi. She grew up catholic, but is not currently attending. She is 26 and teaches speech therapy (working with little kids). She has loved everything we taught her, and asks the best questions! She just has struggled with coming to church, because she felt such a strong attachment to her childhood church. We took a member with us teaching who is the same age as her, and she invited her out to dinner with a bunch of members in the ward, and the awesome missionaries of course ;). She decided to come, and it was so good!!!! She got to meet members, and gain some friends. After that we took her on a church tour, and talked about temples and tithing, and so many things. The spirit was so strong! Then the miracle, she came to church on Sunday and loved it! We had so many members of our ward come up and get to know her, and to help her feel comfortable! Moral of the story: miracles do happen, just have faith and patience!
Well, thanks so much for the letters and support! I appreciate it so much! I'll tell you in person in 14 months! :) have a lovely week, you all are in my prayers! I love you all soo much!!
Love, Sister Christina Trickler