I slept alright last night...we have AC, so...I might have froze, but that's alright ;) I was up at 12 and 5...but I don't think 3, who knows! I am doing well overall though, life is crazy, but that's something that doesn't really end ;) Oh my goodness, that was a great picture of Jacob! I am so glad to hear he is doing well with Frisbee, that's exciting for him :) I'm glad he was able to participate on a team. I think that can be something that is super beneficial, I learned a lot about who I am and what I can do by being on teams in high school, both Athletic and Academic. I am so grateful for those opportunities I had to push myself and learn endurance and learn not only to depend on others, but to become good friends with those I work with regardless of whether I liked them at the beginning or not. It has helped me a lot being out here on a mission. I'm not going to lie sometimes it is hard, and I wish I could just go sleep for a few hours, or not have to deal with silly people. It's at these moments that I just have to keep swimmin! I remember that I can do hard things, I can push myself to the limit physically and mentally and emotionally really, and I will be stronger because of it. With the Savior, there really isn't a limit. Anyway, good for Jake, i'm glad he is having fun. That's good that you were able to visit with Eric, his mom, and Carmen. I'm glad they are doing well. Kade and Nadene are going on missions?! Say what? I could swear Kade is still 14. How crazy is that? That is so exciting though! The world sure needs more good missionaries. There is a lot of work to do! It has been neat to see how we as missionaries each have very unique missions. My experience on my mission is very different from my companions, or any other mission, it's different from all other missionary's experiences. (wow that was a mouthful, I hope it made sense at least remotely!) I have had different challenges than my companions, but they are challenges meant just for me. They are challenges that allow me to grow. Missions are hard, but they are hard in different reasons for everyone! They are so great though :)
We had a really neat experience this week with Ajulu and Odonga (the mother and her daughter who were baptized just over a week ago). They were baptized on Sunday after church, which was a really spiritual experience. Ajulu (through a translator) bore her testimony about how blessed she was to live here, how she could see how she had been guided and protected by God. She had been allowed to come here to live safely. She talked about how she hadn't seen a few of her kids in nearly 15 years, and how hard that has been on her. It certainly gave me a bit of perspective. It was really neat. Then on Tuesday, Sister Callister and I along with the relief society president went to visit them. We were planning on talking about the auxiliaries of the church, but started out by talking about how their baptism felt! Ajulu said that she felt whole, she felt complete. She talked about how she felt a healing and a peace in her life that she has been missing. That reminded me of something that our mission president had said a while ago. He talked about how baptism completes repentance and healing. We can't fully be forgiven, or be healed without making that covenant to follow Christ. It made me think more on the importance of baptism. It truly is crucial, and really does bless people's lives. Then Odonga shared a neat story. We talked to her about praying every day a few weeks ago. She said that she didn't pray at night because she was scared, well after her baptism, she wasn't scared anymore! She told us that she now prays every morning and every night. It is neat to see the miracles that come from Baptism! Our friend Evans from Kenya is getting baptised this week, we are so excited for him!
Back to your letter ;)
I'm glad the family reunion went well. That sounds like a fun hike, it is one I will have to do when I get home! When are Valarie and the kids going to Missouri? That is going to be humid! But an adventure, good for them. I'm glad you were able to see great-grandma. I will definitely have to write her soon. She is a very neat lady. It sounds like everything else is going well. Crazy, but good. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.
We got a new mission president this week, that was rather interesting. We haven't met him yet, we will next week. It is a good opportunity for me to reflect on what I have learned, and to remember to learn from change.
Well, I hope that you all have a great week! I love and miss you all.
Sister Christina Trickler