Monday, June 30, 2014

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Haha mom-thanks for adding your last name at the end of that letter, just in case I forgot what it was! ;) The rain was all sorts of crazy! A week ago actually we had a really bad storm. We were visiting our friend Toby in an assisted living center, when we heard the tornado sirens go off! Of course we ran to look outside, and the sky was green. Say what?! It was sooooo crazy! So we sat with 20 or so old people in the hall waiting for it to pass. A tornado didn't touch down in Austin, but there were a couple in the surrounding area. we had a couple other pretty severe storms through out the week, but no more tornados. Usually the day is pretty nice, the storms roll in during the evening, and hit hardcore at night. I haven't slept through the night in over a week due in part to storms! The things we call thunderstorms back in Utah are nothing! It's sort of exciting though :) One night, lightning was striking 100 times per minute for a while. That's a lot of lightning!! It just looks constant. Anywho, due to the exessive amount of rain, yes, there has been flooding. A lot of roads were shut down for a few days, but they are open now again. There is a park in the middle of the town that people play frisbee golf at, which has a few pavilions. One day the water was so high in the park that you could just see the roof of the pavilions! Haha the ducks and geese sure enjoyed it though. Rumor has it that the fireflies are out now...I'll let you know if I see any!
Weather wise it sure has been a crazy week. And elsewise as well. Two of our friends, Ajulu and Odonga were baptised yesterday after church. I never imagined that baptisms could be so stressful!! I got home last night and just collapsed on the couch I was exhausted! It was a really neat experience though. Odonga is 16 and Ajulu is her mother. They are from Sudan and Ethiopia. Odonga speaks english and Anuak, but Ajulu only speaks Anuak. Let me tell you, I am so so so excited for the millenium when we can communicate with each other without the use of a translator! Ajulu's cousin was there yesterday too though, so he was able to translate for her. It was amazing to hear her testimony. With all of the civil unrest in Sudan, it is a miracle that she made it out alive. Her faith in God is amazing. It has really strengthened my faith to here hers. She has had so many bad things happen to her, and instead of turning away from God she has turned towards Him. I think that is something I struggle with sometimes. For me at least it is easy to be bitter or upset, and just turn inwards, however that doesn't work. It is only as we turn to God and the Savior that we can be healed. (easier said than done sometimes though ;) )
So out here on missions, we have planners that we get for each transfer. A lot of us missionaries decorate them....we need some color in our lives ;) Anyways, for this transfer, on the back of my planner I found a picture of the temple, and wrote a quote above it on white paper. It ways "As individuals we are strong. Together, with God, we are UNSTOPPABLE." I believe it is from the most recent women's conference. It has been crazy though only two weeks into the transfer how much that quote has applied to me! We are strong souls, we were saved for these last days after all. And we can do whatever needs to be done. However, that doesn't mean that doing it alone is the best, easiest, or most effective way. As we accept other people's help, and turn to the Lord we will be able to accomplish far more than we ever could on our own. Sometimes at the beginning it is a struggle working with other people, but in the end it is far more productive. Especially for me right now, I don't have time to waste! Goodness Gracious, I only have 10 months left! There are quite literally souls to save, work to be done! (and then I will come home and hopefully get some much needed sleep!) Moral of the story, there is work to be done by everyone. There isn't time to waste, these are quite literally the last days....and there is so much to do. D&C 18:10. I know that if everyone prays and ponders on what they can do that they can help bring someone closer to Christ, and really help bring them to make the next covenant in their life. Whether it is baptism, or temple covenants, we all know people who just need a little help to get there, the time is now!
Wow. I sound like such a missionary....sometimes I sort of weird myself out!!
Also, check this out. I am very much obsessed. It is very well done, just sayin.
Okay, back to answering your letter. The humidity. Holy moly, we went on a simple 2 mile run today and I thought I was swimming!! It was just a joy. ;) It usually isn't too bad yet, but this morning was no bueno! My Knees have been bad too lately because I sit quite a bit with them crossed because I am in a skirt- don't worry, I am going to break that habit, and also  because of the storms. With such drastic pressure changes I think it makes them a lot worse. But yes, walk out into a shower!
That is crazy that Braden is going on a mission already, I feel like he is so young! Heck, I feel like i'm young, but I wish him the best. A mission is a crazy thing, it shows you the worst and teaches you the best. You know, I am a huge advocate of everyone, boy and girl, preparing to serve a mission. A lot of people aren't meant to actually serve one, but preparing for it is half the battle, and can greatly benefit youth I believe. What a crazy world we live in, youth and everyone really need all the help that they can get. AKA: they need the Lord's help, and need to learn how to turn to Him!
It sounds like life is crazy at home. Do you remember that country song that talks about enjoying life while it lasts, you won't get time back? Have Jackie look it up, it's a good one. Anyways that's what I think of when I hear about everything happening. It is crazy in the moment, but enjoy it while it lasts. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey ;) Haha a piece of you still have your straw gardening hat? That always made me laugh, you could take a pair of my high heels and make up some legit story about how in college you were walking down the street in those heels, and someone went to grab your arm, then you turned around and stabbed them with your heel? Haha I have no idea....good luck! That does sound like quite the....great itinerary, have fun! :D Grandma wanted me to send her something to read to everyone, if I don't get anything written, would you just read part of this letter or something? And I can never remember, is your birthday on the 22 or the 23? Just trying to remember.
Lets see, anything else...oh yes, we get a new mission president this week, that will be quite the change, personally I'm hoping for less strict music rules, but that's just me ;) I have this problem where every single morning on my mission I wake up with a song stuck in my head that I'm not exactly suppose to, I just jam out by myself, and my companion things I am muy loco!! Haha it's great. Also, the theme of last transfer was embrace it. If you have confidence and embrace any situation you are in, it works! Half of the time lately I pile my hair on top of my head, and embrace it. Somehow it works! A lot of times we are in super awkward situations, but if you just embrace it, own it, it works! Confidence. I'm telling you it works wonders. :) It doesn't mater how weird or crazy or silly or awkward or tired we are, if we embrace it it works for us, and life goes a lot smoother I swear!
Anyways, there you go. Half of this crazy girls thoughts!
I hope and pray that you all have a good week!!
Love, Sister Christina Trickler

What a crazy week from the sounds of it.  . I hope things are truly going well....the challenge of my mission for me (among others) is to be here, not able to help. There are lessons to be learned from that though, I am sure. I sure hope things continue to improve, and that you can keep finding peace The Savior will help :) I think I've shared this quote before, but I love it. "Everyone in your life will disappoint you (except the Savior), the challenge is to find those worth suffering for. " Everyone will eventually at some moment or another leave us, except the Savior. There is a real beauty in that trial. It forces us to either turn inward and bitter towards everything and everyone, or it allows us to fully completely turn towards the Savior. It allows us to become more humble, and to trust completely in the Savior. Once we have that complete trust, the trick is to never forget it, or never allow ourselves to rely on anyone or anything more than the Savior. I think that is something I have been trying to learn most of my life...I have gotten close at sometimes, but never fully there. Someday we will be perfect ;)
Happy birthday to Braxton!!! I sure hope it's a good one...those kids are going to be so big when I get home! Crazy.  Haha tell Kaycee I will alternate nights between her room, and Jackie's room ;) I'm glad you got the letter, and glad that you got the picture! haha i'm sure it was a funny one if nothing else ;)
This week was crazy. As per usual. We have lots of people that we are working with, trying to help them the best we can. Somedays go better than others ;)
Oh, exciting news, we have a couple of baptisms this weekend, our friends Ajulu and Odonga
 are going to be baptised. They are from Sudan, then Ethiopia, recently moved to the U.S. Odonga is 17 (as of the 2th of May ;) ) And her mom is quite a bit older. They are so much fun, it has been an adventure to teach them, due to the lack of English, but it has been good. Miracles happen, somehow they have been able to learn! Well, Sorry for the short email, I hope everything is going on well at home. I pray for you all often!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, June 9, 2014

Transfers are wednesday.....and I am staying with Sister Callister here in Austin!!!! Holy Moly, I can't even begin to tell you how nervous I was that I would be transfered! This means that I will be here for at least 6 months, how crazy is that? Miracles happen, i'm telling you! We have so much going on, and I was terrified that I would leave! So good :)
Anywho, Haha i'm glad that letters make Monday's good...Monday's are usually a stressful, but good day here on the mission. We have so much to do, but we manage to squeeze in a bit of fun as well ;) As my form comp. said, work hard, play even harder!
Random sidenote: With the humidity, my hair is curly enough that I just let it air dry today and didn't do anything with it! It's brilliant :)
Crazy stuff going on at home, it will keep you busy, that is for sure! And i'm with you on the whole being frustrated about being in a spiritual rut. That is probably one of the most frustrating things ever! When you feel like you really need an answer, but aren't receiving a clear one. I'll continue to pray, and send faith your way. And it's hard to do what is right for yourself, but there has to be a balance there. If you run yourself into the ground, you will be of no use to anyone. That is something that hit me pretty hard this past week. I have struggled letting my companion share much of the burden in the area right now. So much is going on, and I was doing my best just to keep things going! We were able to go on exchanges with the Sister Training leaders, one of whom I am really good friends with. She was the one who came down here to Austin with me for a day, while Sister Callister went up to Rochester. Sister Hesen (the one with me) blessed my life sooo much with that exchange! she loved me enough to tell me what I needed to do, and what I needed to change. She straight-up told me that I was wrong, which was exactly what I needed to hear! She even argued with me....which was a tad bit refreshing ;) It was good though. She said that I needed to make my companion my number one investigator. I needed to put her first, then my load would be lightened and everything would fall into place. She also told me I needed to humble myself...but that's besides the point ;) Friday afternoon, my comp. was struggling quite a bit and we were able to take some time to talk. I apologized, and have been doing my best to fix the problem ever since. Miracles have happened. Life is still crazy, but it's going better. And now we have another six weeks to get work done!! Moral of the story...I am so grateful for those people in our lives who love us enough to tell us what we need to hear regardless of whether we want to hear it or not!
In other news.....Sister Amis is leaving on July 17!!!!!!!! She has to get interviewed by someone with the state department, then she is out of here! I am so so excited for her, and excited for myself because starting July 17th I will be able to email her! :)
And...we went to Cresco, Iowa! It was life changing. Not really, but It was fun to go to another state, it was a fun little vacation ;)
Little Red Riding Hood sounds like lots of fun! We ride our bikes usually three days a week, because this girl needs some exercise in her day, or she feels like she is going to go mental! It feels so good, and so hot's fun though. I'm so glad Jackie got her dress, did she tell you the story about it? How my dear friend Jackie from Liberia gave it to me to give to her? It is authentic African dress. I'm glad she likes it. It is unique, but really a treasure. Good for Jacob, I'm sure he did a great job! And I hope that everything continues to go well this week! It's probably a good thing the kids like school, but that does make for a crazy summer! It will be over before you know it though.
I am at peace...I have work to do here, and I don't really have time to worry that much. As Sister Hesen helped me to understand, the Lord's timing is perfect. If we trust in him, somehow everything will work out as it is suppose to! I hope and pray you all have a lovely week! And have a fun fathers day!
Sister Chistina Trickler

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I'm glad that the two goons are doing XC! It's good to do a sport, and that one is a good one. I hope they both enjoy it. I need to start running again, one of the 1000 things to do ;) I can't believe Matthew is in HS....that is so crazy! I swear he will always be 13 in my mind! It sounds like things are crazy helping dad and such, I hope it is a positive experience though! Good for Jackie being able to do the drawers and hardware, hinges were always my favorite part! I felt like I was accomplishing something, and they seemed to go fairly quickly. That with the awesome music, you can't go wrong :) Haha I am going to have to send you all some Jolly Ranchers :)
Oh Tessa, I pray for that girl all the time, and for all of you., One of my biggest trials on my mission is learning to trust that what I am doing out here is more important than what I could do at home. It's a hard one sometimes.
Haha Matthew got a puppy, I didn't think that one would happen for a while, good for him though. I hope it's a good experience for all of you! Does the dog get along with the other two? I have decided that we live at an ideal location for having a dog, they have plenty of room to run and such!
I wish I would have gotten to know the Gordon's more, you know me, to prideful ;) They did seem like neat people. Haha Genesis 9:3-4 is a good scripture...vegetarian here I come! I did have a glass of milk last night at dinner with Sister Register, I knew you would be so proud ;)
So do you remember last week you asked me something about the role of women? Well, this week I had a miracle. I have been struggling with that question since I first got into YW. Well this week, I found the answer. We talked to Sister Register a little bit, and she said something about why Women don't hold the priesthood, and she mentioned Eve. This got me thinking and I had the best 2 hour study about it! I read the story of Adam and Eve in Moses, and paid particular attention to the role of Eve, and Adam. And the role of Eve before eating of the fruit, and the the role after she ate of the fruit. It taught me a lot about who I am, and why I have some of the challenges I do. I wish that I could go to the temple right now, but unfortnately I love to far away :( Anywho, read might help give you some ideas. We all know that men and women have different roles, I was able to understand more fully not only what roles I have, but why I have those roles. It truly is a blessing for us to have the role that we do. I hope that makes some sense, I have a bajillion thoughts about it, hopefully you can understand some of them!
I was told something by one of my Sister Training Leaders three transfers ago that has hit me a lot this week. She gave me a quote that said "Everyone in this life will disappoint us, it's a matter of finding those worth suffering for. " I like to take that a little further and add that everyone will disappoint us, except for the Savior. Everyone else will leave us at one point or another, they will disappoint and hurts us, no human is perfect. (and it seems to me that the closest ones to you can hurt you the most) However the Savior never ever will. He is always there for us. Even if we just need a little comfort. He can give us perfect advice, even if that advice is to just be patient and wait for the answer. Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need at what time we need it. He loves us, and sometimes that means that he is going to give us hard things so that we can grow and learn critical lessons in this brief mortality. As hard as it may seem in the moment, Heavenly Fathers plan is perfect. We each have individual plans, and they are perfect. The timing is perfect, the trials are perfect, and the tender mercies are perfect. It's a matter of us being able to align our will with His, and to realize and trust that it is perfect. I know, sometimes that is easier said than done, but somehow someday it all works out perfectly. I think we are going to get to heaven and look back on our lives and realize even more than we do, that His timing was perfect for us. That everyone we meet in our lives we were suppose to meet, we needed each and every one of them. That's my thought at least, take out of it what you will.
I had a neat experience yesterday. It was fast and testimony meeting. Out of the 7 fast sundays I have been out, I have shared my testimony I believe 6 times. I was planning on doing it again this sunday, but hadn't gotten up yet. Halfway through the meeting, one of my friends, Serious came over and gave me a note saying that it was from Ajulu, she wanted me to read it in front of everyone. Ajulu is one of our investigators, she is planning on being baptised in 2 weeks. She is an amazing woman, so filled with faith, she knows that the gospel is true. Ajulu is from Ethiopia, and speaks no english at all. So we teach through a translator (aka: her daughter) She had written down a note telling the ward thanks for all their prayers regarding her recent surgery. She has an amazing testimony of the power of prayer. I got up and shared her note, then added my testimony that I know prayer is real. That the Savior wants to heal us if we just let Him in. He wants to help us physically as well as spiritually and emotionally. Faith is a very strong power. It was a neat experience to feel of her faith. She comes faithfully to church every week even though a lot of the time she doesn't understand a word of what is being spoken. She comes for the amazing spirit that is felt there that is felt no where else. Sacrament meeting is important.
Well, I hope that you all have a great week. You are all in my prayers. I love and miss you lots!!!
Sister Christina Trickler

Happy Memorial Day! I sure hope it is a sunny one out in Utah, it is rather muggy and humid here ;) It is so good to hear from you, and thank you so much for the package! I got it a few days ago :) Haha everything was intact, thank heavens! And the Jam is quite delicious :) We do have several baptisms coming up. We have 4 people who are for sure getting baptised in June, and a possibility of another one. It has been so so so crazy busy! A mother and her 17 year old daughter (as of yesterday, how crazy is that?!) who came to the United States 5 months ago from Ethiopia are planning on being baptized on the 13th of June. A recently divorced 30 yr old man from Casper Wyoming is planning on being baptized on the 14th, and a single 30ish yr old man from Kenya is planning on the 20th! We have a couple of other people who are really close, so we'll see what happens! It is sort of stressful helping people make it to baptism the last couple of weeks because Satan seems to work extra hard on them, but it is such a neat experience to seem them when they are baptized! So yes, it is crazy crazy crazy here in Austin, but it's good. It's good to keep busy, stay out of trouble ;) I hope Jackie had a happy happy birthday! I'll be there for it next year! I actually have another present coming for her, from our friend Jackie that i've talked a little bit about. I got it Monday night, but couldn't send it until today....but I might actually have to wait another week because today is a holiday...dang it! It's on it's way though, ASAP ;) I'm glad that it's so beautiful at home! It has been gorgeous here as well. Minnesota is sooooo green! It's so crazy, but I love it. Just outside the widow by where I study there is a tree that is in bloom. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but it looks just like that song popcorn popping! It is the craziest thing in the world, so beautiful :) I love how the days are so much longer now as well. The sun is up well before we wake up, and it doesn't go down until 8:30 or so! This morning Sister Callister and I went to play tennis for our exercise time, it was so great. Even better is the fact that because we aren't really good, we got a lot of running in! ;) I can't believe the kids are almost done with school! I told Sis Callister the other day that I think my body feels like I should have a summer break too! This is the first year that I won't really have one! It's alright though, i'm just grateful to be makes knocking doors much more enjoyable :) relatively well, it is sort of weird to remember that everyone is growing and Haha in my mind everyone looks and acts the exact same as when I left...coming home will sure be a crazy adventure!
The faith it takes to have, raise and nurture children. Oh China, what a topic! I think it is a great one, but not going to lie it is probably the one I struggle most with! It is so hard for me, because I would love to have a career, to do something I loved, and to be really good at it! I would love to go into engineering, to be a patent lawyer is one of my dreams, but I feel that if I was ever to have a family that it would be highly unrealistic to have a demanding career like that. We (as young women in the church) are told that we can change the world by raising righteous children, and that being a mother is by far the most important thing we can do, but to be honest, it is hard to believe that sometimes. It is hard to believe that raising a good family is far more important than any change I could make in the world through my career. To be honest it is this topic that frusterated me most about YW's. I felt that as women our only purpose is to have families, and because of mostly pride, I struggle reconciling myself to that fact. There is a super good talk though that you should look at by Elder Christoferson from the October general conference I believe titled the Moral Force of women. In that talk there is a quote that says something like we have enough women of vanity, we need more women of virtue. We have enough women who are tough we need more women who are tender. etc. That talk made a huge impact on me. All in all, good luck!! I will write you with any more thoughts I happen to have on the subject.
This week was truly the week of the Rhubarb!!! We had that delicious plant three times, and I am slightly obsessed! It is the best flavor ever! It is really unique, but hey, we get along well :) Last night Sister Register made and gave us half a pan of rhubarb bars, my companion isn't a huge fan, but I may or may not have eaten half of them....they are soooo good! Anyways, I would highly suggest making some rhubarb dessert, if you have access to some! Lets see what else happened this week....I was quite sick for the first three days, just a really bad head cold, but that is mostly gone!
Oh, I have been learning a lot about pride lately/thinking a lot about it. There is a talk by President Bensen regarding pride, I would highly suggest that everyone read it. Pride is truly the universal sin, it is Satan's source of power. This morning it clicked in my head that the reason that Satan seems to have more and more power in this world is because the people in general are becoming more and more prideful! And as we learn in the Book of Mormon, Pride is so destructive. It is what destroyed the Jaredites and the Nephites. Pride is manifest in so many different ways, a few that stood out to me this morning were, disobedience, and being competitive for the praise of the world. When we are disobedient, or striving to do our will rather than God's we are being prideful. We aren't willing to submit to His will, or to accept that what He wants for us is truly the best. When we are competitive for the praise of the world, we are striving to put ourselves above others, to really put others down. Anywho, I have a lot to work on!! It's funny being on a mission, I think you really are able to see your faults much clearer, they are magnified. It is a blessing though...we are able to see all that we need to change! Well, I hope that you all have a lovely week, enjoy the nice weather, and the summer time!!!!
Sister Christina Trickler