Monday, March 24, 2014

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

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