Monday, August 25, 2014

Hello, thanks for the email again! It was great :) Haha it really does sound like I am missing out! Well, I don't know....I am in downtown Minneapolis right now at one of the coolest libraries I have ever been in...besides the Library of Congress of course! It is district p-day, and we wanted to come explore the cities, so we got permission from president, and caught a train at 7:40 this morning! We have lots of exciting things planned, so once again I might be short on time! I have realized once again that I could live in a big city for a couple years. I will be a single woman, out there to save the world in my pencil skirt, and heels! That's the dream at least :) It has been really a lot of fun so far though, this is by far my favorite group of missionaries I have ever been with, I'll let you know how the rest of the day goes next week!
This week we had a really strange experience. Last Sunday as we were walking out of an appointment, a 20 year old Liberian man stopped us on the street and asked if we had a few minutes to talk. We said sure, and started to talk with him. He told us that he had met missionaries a couple of times and was confused about some of our doctrine. He said that he just wanted to understand. We had to leave, but he asked if we could set up a return appointment. We did so. Things came up and so we had to reschedule a couple of times, but finally Friday on exchanges we taught him. We brought a super awesome sister in our ward who is very blunt and bold. When we got in there, he started to ask us questions about the doctrine concerning becoming gods in the next life. Oh dear. We told him that as missionaries it wasn't our job to teach people about those deep doctrines. That we needed to start at the beginning, so that we were on the same page. He said that was fine, and started to "prove" to us (using the bible and the doctrine and covenants) that Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. We again told him that our job as missionaries was to talk to those who really wanted to listen about the church. We are not here to argue, or debate. (no matter how much I wanted to in the moment!) The member was super awesome, and backed up everything we said, having been a sister missionary herself. We told him that if he wanted he could come to church, and ask members those types of questions. We left, and quite honestly did not expect to have him show up on Sunday, but he did. We had almost a repeat of the earlier lessons, again telling him that we didn't have time to waste! I learned/remembered two pretty important things from that though.1st, my purpose. I am here to teach prepared people who want to learn, they are out there! It is just a matter of finding them ;) 2nd, Joseph Smith was a prophet. When he was trying to convince us otherwise, I felt so strongly that he was! He saw God the Father, and His son Jesus Christ. He was called to be a prophet in these the last days! That knowledge didn't always come easy for me, and I still have to continue to study and to learn, but it is something that I cannot, and will not deny! Anyways, that was quite the experience.
To respond to your letter: Haha oh china, you talked about me?! That's a tad bit scary....I hope it went well! As for public speaking, it is something that I use to really really struggle with. I remember in We the People, Mr. Rigby just telling me to talk! I knew what I was talking about, it was just a matter of having the confidence to open my mouth. Once I learned how to do that though, a lot of my fears went away! Now, it isn't even stressful to talk in church. Granted, I have spoken 5 times I believe, but still. It is all about confidence :D
I am glad to hear that you are finally feeling better, Grandma mentioned that you sound like yourself again! It is interesting how sometimes we do get on auto-pilot. That happens to me all the time. I just focus on getting through the next few days rather than really enjoying and learning from them. I inevitably "wake-up" though! Life, it's a roller coaster for sure!
That is so great that you were able to go to the temple open-house with the kids. It is something that I'm sure they will remember. And I'm so excited for Konnor! I can't believe he is that old already though, I remember the first day that he came to our house in Hyde Park. He was so quiet, and loved charlie. I knew that dog was good for something :)
Haha my birthday...oh dear. Could you send me some music? Lamb of God would be great....or Vocal Point Hymns...or anything that is hymns, or classical! I am going to go insane listening to the same 6 cd's that I have over and over ;) That's it though, I don't really need anything else! Thanks much. And yes, a hike or the temple would be quite lovely right now! I think if Sister NElson and I stay companions that we will be able to go to the temple next month!!! I can't even explain how excited I am :)
Well, I hope you all have a lovely week, and that all goes well! We are off to explore minneapolis! (I'll have to send pictures sometime ;) )
Sister Christina Trickler

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jacob's talk was so great! He emailed it to me.....I can't believe that he told the whole ward that I was weird though! Oh man, I should have known that it was coming ;)!  Isn't it crazy that we probably won't have everyone in the family there for a gathering for quite a long time, with kids being gone and such? It is interesting that you talked about how good it was to hear that everyone is facing challenges. I am a very private person usually as well, but I had an interesting experience with my 2nd companion. Sister Amis. For some reason we just clicked from the get-go, and we really opened up to each other. We told each other what was going on at home, in our heads, everything, and we were able to help each other so much overcome challenges and struggles that we were facing. It was a really great blessing, and so far the best 3 months of my mission. It is so helpful to realize that you aren't the only one struggling. People may have different struggles, but we all have them. Some may seem to be tougher than others, but they are all there! I never ever ever in a million years thought I would say this, but talking to someone you completely trust can actually be kind of therapeutic!
Man, I am sorry to hear that you are still feeling sick, that is no good!! When does school start? And have you given yourself time to heal? I swear that is usually my problem, I just don't give myself time or means to get feeling better. It's a work in progress ;)
That is exciting that you are going to the temple open house! That is sure to be a really great experience. I keep hoping and praying that I can go to the temple sometime in September. I now live close enough, but my companion went just before transfers, so we have to wait until next transfer. Sometimes you just need a spiritual uplift, I think! Also, if I time it right, I can see a few of my friends from Austin! ;) And the 16th of October. Wow, that one has been a long time coming, let me know how it goes!

Thank you for the packages, they are great! We got them last week, Sister Nelson is waiting to open hers until her birthday, it is so far her one birthday present, so I hope it's good! Jk, I am sure she will absolutely love whatever is in there. She really appreciated the letter as well, she said she is going to have to write down her story sometime and send it to you! As far as how things are going on that my friend serious would say "the struggle, it's all real". But you are right, we are given trials and weaknesses for a reason, I just think that usually it is easier to see the reason when we aren't actually in the situation! Lately I have been reading over the October conference talks from last year at night. They have been really great, and have taught me a lot. I read one last night about becoming a better teacher. It said something to the affect of: what sets us apart as teachers can really come down to two words. "God Speaks". If we have a testimony of this, then we can believe that he speaks to man today and therefore we can receive revelation for those we teach. If we don't strive to receive this revelation than we don't have anything special to teach really. It was an interesting talk, but I love that. God Speaks. He speaks to us today, that is all we need to trust in! Easier said than done sometimes though!
Oh yes!!! I knew that there had to be at least one crazy or interesting story from this week!
So, on my mission I have gone to lots of Chinese buffets. For some reason elders seem to really like them, so we usually end up going to them for missionary meetings. They are alright, but not my favorite. Something about buffets just gives me the heebie-jeebies! So, we are working with a Chinese Less-active member named holly. She wanted to take us out for Sister Nelson's birthday, so Saturday we went. To a Chinese buffet. It was the most hilarious experience of my life. She is so loud, and so funny! She was telling us all these stories of crazy things that happen when she goes clubbing in Vegas. (please keep in mind that she is in her 50's!) She told us that she never ever drinks alcohol, just water. She just loves to dance, so she dances for 4 hours every night when she can! One time she was dancing and dancing (by herself of course ;) ) And all of the sudden her teeth flew out of her mouth, onto the floor!! It was hilarious to hear her tell the story in her thick Chinese accent! We had a great time, laughed way too hard, then we got in the car. She turned up the music so loud, and started dancing to it in the car!!! We said "Holly! We can't listen to this!" But she couldn't hear I just decided to dance along! It was hilarious, definitely the type of thing I would do at home. Don't worry, it only lasted for one song, then she turned off the music, and began to drive.Oh man, everyday is an adventure!!
Well, I hope you all have a lovely week, enjoy the summer while it lasts!
Sister Christina Trickler

Oh my goodness, it sounds like you had an awful sickness! I hope it goes away soon. Two of our friends were sick this week with a similar sort of deal, they told us not to come so we wouldn't get sick!! Sleep always helps :) I haven't been sick for quite a while now, what a blessing! I'm hoping to make it at least 2 more months ;)
I saw the picture, haha that is quite amusing. I wish I could have been there! Matthew is way too tall.....did the beast ever get named? Good for you to buy a hog, I have to admit I saw way too many of them being driven to the meat plant in Austin, I have nearly lost my taste for any pork. Give it time, I'm sure that it will come back. That is really interesting that all the girls in our activity days group has gone on missions, but I would have to say that she is wrong. I can think of at least one who didn't serve a mission. (not in this life at least) Is Nadene on a mission? So crazy. I got a letter this week from Lexi, she told me that she gets to see Taylor Regen at zone conferences, that would be so cool! Speaking of that, there is a girl who is serving in my zone that I went to high school with. She is a year younger than me so we were never good friends, but we knew each other. I think it was really helpful for her at the beginning to see a familiar face....even if it was a slightly strange face ;) I will keep you posted as to the move, hopefully the beginning of September, but we will see.  Don't worry if you don't get the package right away, you need to get better! Have fun shopping with is when it starts to get hard to find clothes. That is probably the best part about wearing the same clothes all the time....I don't have to shop for more! That is probably one reason we change areas, so people don't know that we were the same skirts for 18 months ;)
I can't believe that school is starting soon, what day does it start? It is so weird to me that this will be the 2nd year that I haven't gone to school. It is going to feel weird to go back! Also, I have had a lot of interesting conversations with people lately about careers and what I am going to do when I get home. haha, we'll see what happens!
Starvation...the one time I remember going there, it was weird. But I hope you have fun! If you see the cousins, tell them hello from me! There are lots of scorpions? Gross. Guess what? I haven't seen a single living snake while I have been here, I think Minnesota might be the place for me! And, now we have the worlds largest concentration of dragonflies, so there are very few mosquitos! Miracles do happen, I'm telling you.
Thanks much for the advice on how to work with people who struggle. I quite appreciate it. Keeping your hands busy is a very good idea. I asked our Sister Training Leaders if they would ask president if we could have an extra hour of companion study each day, and he said we could, so we have lots of time to practice. We do mostly just role-plays, but I think if I had something to do with my hands, it would lessen the pressure, and allow me to relax a little bit. I think it is just a matter of time mostly. As my friend Sister Amis would always sing, "Patience is a virtue, the waitin never hurts you! So keep on cookin, you gotta keep cookin sloooowww!" There is an accompanying dance that I do sometimes as well ;)

Now for the miracle of the week!!!!!
So. This week was really quite a hard one numbers wise. We weren't able to teach many lessons, or find many people, and I was being really hard on myself, and just getting a little bit down! All of the people we had planning on coming to church fell through last minute, so we didn't have anyone there. Sunday night I was just ready to be done with the week to be quite honest. Then (drumroll) we remembered that one of the members had asked us to stop-by a less-active family in the ward. It was pouring rain, so we drove there, and ran from the car up to the door. Sister Falana answered the door! She said come in, come in!! We came in and sat down, and proceeded to talk to her, and her three teenage daughters (who are not members) for just over an hour! It was fantastic. And, one of the best parts. They are from Nigeria!!! I have really been missing my African friends lately, I feel like I can talk to them so much easier, and they don't get offended. Sister Falana had a very thick accent, but because I worked so much with people from Liberia and Nigeria in Austin, I was able to understand her! The two daughters who are old enough really want to come to mutual and seminary once school starts. How cool is that?! Moral of the story: There is a reason I am here, Miracle happen, and they usually happen in the last little bit of time you have left. We have to do as much as we can, then the Lord blesses us, and allows us to see miracles!
Other thought: This past sunday I gave a talk on spiritual gifts in sacrament meeting. It was an interesting topic, one which I didn't know much about. I was reading a lot, and came across one idea which I really liked. It was the idea that we are given spiritual gifts to help us combat all the crazy stuff in this world. We have the opportunity to obtain them in order to perfect ourselves. I also had always thought that there were only 10 or so spiritual gifts, but I learned that there are many more! One of the neatest ones that I read about was the gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he Atoned for our sins. I never thought of that as a gift, but it really is! I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to gain gifts, and use the ones we have been given!!
I hope and pray that you all have a lovely week. I love and miss you all!!
Sister Christina Trickler

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved"
-President Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I edited this to remove some personal stuff about her new companion.  I am hoping to get her companion's first name so I can keep sending her mail throughout her mission.  She aged out of the foster care system and has a very limited support network. Let me know if you would like her address.  Tammy

I am so glad that my letters got there, just in time for Jacob's birthday! is he 13? I sure hope so, I can't remember though! It is crazy though, time just seems to fly. I swear it was just yesterday that I was emailing last Monday. Thanks much keeping my companion in mind....she is going to absolutely love the cards! Here's my thought for a gift....the member that we live with has a sewing machine, and she said we could use it whenever we want. My comp doesn't have a ton of clothes, she has been given most of them, so they don' as well as they could. I thought maybe if you could send me some material, I could make her a skirt? Just a simple one like I made with Sister Amis? So, if you have time and happen to get to the store or something, her favorite color is green. 
We do service  with them once a week for 3 hours, district meeting for 3 hours, and church for 3 hours. It is usually a much needed break for me. I am discovering more of myself, and realizing once again how blessed I am. It is so weird how much I have had interaction with foster care, in my life, but more on my mission. It's super weird. Anywho.
I am so sorry you are sick, that is no bueno!!! We have had a bunch of people we are teaching get sick lately, thankfully we have both been healthy, I'm hoping for a good long period of health! It makes things so much easier ;) Also, speaking of health, I went on exchanges this week, and the girl I was with asked if I wanted to go running in the morning, I said yes, because it had been since last transfer, so we went. I was assuming it would be 2 miles or so, but no. We ran 5 miles!! In the super humid warm weather. I was so gross when I went back, but it felt so good. Unfortuantely I left my running shoes at their apartment, so I will have to wait for a week or so before I can run again!

And....thanks so much for the package and the letter!!!! I got it this past week, and it made my day :) The plums are already almost halfway gone.....haha thank you again so much!
I just sent some pictures, I hope you get them.....funny memories :) I stole Serious's shirt and wore it for our "impromptu photoshoot"!
I am so glad that you have that opportunity to serve that woman, that is super neat. It sounds like a very spiritual experience. Eternal perspective is amazing. It is such a blessing. story of the week.
On Saturday we were doing a lot of knocking. We didn't have any appointments and I am still trying to figure out the area so....yes. We drove into Coon Rapids, then got on our bikes and rode a few miles to stop by a less-active member in the humid heat. It was crazy. He wasn't home, and so we were riding back and saw a park. We were both sort of low on energy, and so we decided to take a 15 minute break to make some calls, and rehydrate. After that, we decided to knock some doors around the park. Very few people were home, and the ones that were, weren't exactly the nicest people I have ever knocked into. I was super low on patience and motivation at this point, but my companion wanted to knock one more street. I said sure, with little hope. The first door that we knocked down this street, we ended up talking to a lady for 45 minutes. She has been searching for a church, and never felt comfortable with any church that she has gone to. She said she had been praying for guidance in how she could strengthen her relationship with the Savior, and then we knocked her door! We taught her the Restoration and she agreed with everything, she practically taught half the lesson! When it came to the part where we normally invite people to be baptized, she said, she had never been baptized, but always had wanted to! She invited herself to be baptized. It was the most powerful restoration that I have ever taught, and a great miracle. It was a good lesson to me, not only to keep on going when the going gets tough, but also to listen to your companion! Even if you think she might be crazy ;) I know for sure that miracles happen! That is the theme of my mission lately. Miracles Happen. If only I could send a voice recording, you could hear how I sing it! I guess you will just have to wait though. Miracles happen and time just flies!
I hope and pray that you are all doing well at home, and the picture of Jackie and Kaycee was fantastic!! I can't believe that Kaycee is so tall! That looks like so much fun :)
Have a lovely week,
Sister Christina Trickler