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. https://www.lds.org/youth/video/because-of-him?lang=eng 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, humidity...you 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 clothing.....hmmmm....do 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 sing....so, 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