Monday, September 29, 2014

Time does seem to fly (at least for the most part :) ) The weather has been absolutly gorgeous here this past week, I am so grateful! Not too hot, but warm enough that only a cardigan was needed at night! Yay for Brennen!!!! He is going to do great :) Except I will miss seeing him :( I have a feeling it might be a while before all the extended family is in one place again....good thing we got the picture before I left! That is so exciting that Sara is on her way here! She is going to love it! She will probably leave Wed. the 1st of October, and then be here for transfers! It is crazy that they are just two weeks away, this one has gone so quickly!
Yes though, the temple was a major theme of the conference, to me I also learned a lot about obedience. I saw many areas in my missionary work where I could step it up! Sometimes I fall into the trap of just obeying rules because that is what I am told to do, not necessarily because it is what I want to do, or because I want to follow the Savior. The letter of the law verses the spirit of the law.
I am so excited for conference too!!!!!!!! It is definitely one of my favorite weekends on the mission. It is great just to soak up all the hope and spirit, and everything else good for 8 hours! :) The best pick me up, seeing how there isn't a Jamba Juice nearby ;) Good luck with the quilt, if you end up doing it. This week we were able to do some service for a sister in our ward. She is in the process of cleaning out her basment, and we were in charge of cleaning her sewing room. It was great fun! I don't think I have ever seen anyone with that much material though! I have decided that when I come back to visit I will have to stop by her house, and do a little shopping ;)
I hope the job goes well for Dad...that sounds rather stressful. 
It sounds like everyone else is busy, busy is good though! I hope school is going well for everyone?
Today we had district p-day, so all the missionaries in the Andover and Anoka ward got together. We went and played mini golf, laser tag, and ate at noodles! It was great fun. Out of the 8 of us, another Elder and I were battling for 1st place in mini golf the whole time, he got a hole in 1 the last hole, so beat me by two, but it was still fun ;) It reminded me of when we went and played mini golf in Providence, that is a great memory! We will have to do that again when I get home! 
This week we had a neat experience. We have been biking a lot lately, and had biked to an appointment with a less-active sister. We had to park a few blocks away, and just walked the rest of the way. We had a good appointment with this sister, then headed back to our bikes. On the way we met an elderly man who was in the process of mowing his leaves. We got talking, and told him we were missionaries and such. Somehow he got talking about the history of Israel. He was a Palestinian, and had immigrated here to the US after earning his degree in Baghdad. He told us all about the Jews and that whole history. It was something that I remember talking about in my international relations class at USU, but it was really neat to hear it from his perspective! Anyways, the next morning, I was reading in the Old Testament about the Palestinians and the Jews, and the history way back then. It was cool to see the connection, and how history repeats itself. Anyways it was great fun :)
Also, we had a cool experience at the women's conference. We got a ride from a Sister in our ward and her two daughters, who we are pretty close to. Her oldest daughter is 21, and has some severe disabilities. Her other daughter just turned 16. It was neat to be there at the conference and to be reminded that God loves us all equaly. We are all his daughters and that is never going to change! It doesn't matter what we do, or what we say...he loves us just the same. I am so grateful for that knowledge that we have!
Well, I hope you all enjoy conference, I am sure that it will be great! Have a lovely week!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, September 22, 2014

I received a text and picture of Christina from a dear sister in her ward yesterday.  I am so grateful for that act of service and her willingness to help Christina feel loved on her birthday.  i

It was great to get your letter :) Thank you so much for the package and such, it was great! Also, the dessert and flowers made my day! I'll get to that in a minute though ;) Haha I am getting quite old I suppose....It is funny to be one of the older missionaries, but still youngest age wise. Also, I can not believe it is the end of September. Where did time go?! 
So, before I respond to the rest of your letter, I have a marvelous story! This past couple of weeks, I have sort of just felt tired, and had gotten into a rut of sorts. Yesterday we had what is called president's fireside. This fireside is held in Bloomington, which is an hour away from us. Four or Five recent converts share their conversion story, and missionaries bring investigators to listen. You have to have an investigator and a ride from a member to come. It is at 7 o clock, which puts us getting home about 9:30. I have never been to this dealio because I always lived too far away in my other areas. Yesterday we really wanted to go though, so we made plans for one of our investigators to come and for a member to give us a ride. At about 3, the elders texted us, and said that the girl who we were going to take, and her dad could not come. The dad was too tired, and the girl was at a friends house, we didn't know when she would get home. We called everyone we could think of and no one was able to come. Finally at 4:55 (after a lot of prayers!!) Our friend got home, and we got in contact with her! She was still able to go! The only problem now was that the member couldn't take us anymore, so we had to get a ride, and we had dinner at 5. We were making calls, and I was driving to our dinner. We pulled up, and the Sister who you had give me a hug, and dessert, pulled in right behind us! She came up to the door, and gave me a card and brownies :) She asked how our day was going, and I said that it had been rather stressful. She asked why we didn't just ask her to take us and our friend! She was willing, and we made it to the fireside. It was a huge blessing! At the fireside, we had an incredibly spiritual experience! It was so neat. The stories were fantastic, and there was a couple of musical numbers that were amazing. I was definitely re-energized, and excited to do missionary work again :) After it ended, I stood up, and guess who I saw in the back? Sister Amis!!!!!! Oh my goodness, it was so exciting!! We were able to talk for 15 minutes or so, it was so great :) I can't even explain how fantastic it was! It had been nearly 5 months since we had seen each other! It was great :) Overall, a wonderful night, a birthday miracle. Moral of that story, Heavenly Father loves us, and is going to help us out when we need it. We need to do all we can, but miracles do happen. Just not always in our timing, or in the way we think they should happen! It was so great :)
Alright, back to your letter. I am glad you had a little rain, we seem to have a heavy storm twice a week on average, today is a beautiful day though :) We have taken lots of pictures of the leaves, it is great! I did enjoy canning, it was simple, I just washed and cut tomatoes to be blended up, but good to do something with my hands! The recipe was really good, I would just add a little spice though. But there again, I have quite a fondness for spicy foods! 
That is neat that you were able to attend the temple dedication, it is true...there are lots of temples being  built and dedicated. It is really neat :) I think that I will be able to go to the temple next month with my companion, I am rather has been far too long! I know I have said this before, but I didn't realize how much I took the temple for granted when I was in Utah, before my mission. I could go whenever I wanted, and did a lot during my year at USU....I am excited to continue going when I get back! It is such a peaceful place, away from the world.
Oh no. Jacob is getting you into Frisbee?! Haha oh dear, this could be a problem. I am thoroughly impressed that you can flick at all....I never could do that, and so just gave up :) I was doing good if I could get it to the person, but usually just make people run for it ;) Haha I would definitely love to watch you play...but I don't know that you will get me to join. I am not a huge fan of sports involving people running at bueno! I think it all goes back to the time that Camilla and I were at a football game, and nearly got trampled by High School Football players, people running at me, just scares me! Haha how about we join a Softball team or something instead? I think I could do that one! It is crazy to hear that Evan is home, a lot of people are coming home in the next little while. So crazy! That is alright though, all in due time. 
Good luck with your math homework, I hope that it went well! It sounds like things are going well at home, I hope they continue that way. Also, Jackie mentioned you weren't a fan of my dress...A sister left it in Austin, and all my African friends loved it, so I have dubbed it my African Dress. It is great :) Haha thanks again for the letters and such, I greatly appreciate them!
Have a lovely week,
Sister Christina Trickler
Also, one other thought....I am so so so so so so so so excited for General Women's conference!! It is so cool that all of us will be watching it at the same time, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! Have fun :) 

Haha hello! I don't know if you meant to send a letter....but if you did it didn't send! I trust that everything is going well at home! As for things here, they are good. It froze for the first time this week, we were able to see our breath running. It has come way too fast! We are into the season of tights, and fall jackets. That is alright though, there is a time for every season, right?
Well, this week has been good...we have been busy, meeting people, and such. The usual missionary life :) This past Saturday we had an interesting experience. We had 3 appointments scheduled, and 4 or 5 stop-bys lined up. Before noon all of them had canceled on us. It was just crazy! We decided to do some knocking, and some different stopbys. It was sort of a long afternoon, but that evening we decided to stop by a less active sister that we had never heard of. She opened the door and said "I am not going to come back to church, but you can come in!" Haha alrighty then. We did just that. We ended up talking to her for 45 minutes. It turns out that her phone just broke, and she was dying to hear from someone! She was almost in tears, and said that we had made her day! It was a really great visit. It reminded me of the story in the bible where Jesus leaves the 99 and goes for the 1. Sometimes in life we are led to the 1, no one else needed us that day but that sister. Even though it was sort of a long one, it was a success because were able to see the one! Miracles surely do happen! Other than that...nothing too exciting, just the same as usual! We are getting quite excited for general conference, it is seriously one of my favorite parts of the year! And, I am learning Chinese! Haha very slowly, but surely. My companion is a patient one, which is quite the blessing! 
Today I was looking through quotes that I had to decorate my planner with, and I found this one. "The gospel teaches us to be happy, to have faith rather than fear, to find hope and overcome despair, to leave darkness and turn towards the lights of the everlasting Gospel" By: President Body K. Packer. Isn't that a great one? I love the hope that is found in this gospel. It is hope that isn't found in a lot of other places. We are so blessed to know that there is hope, that things can and will get better. That because of the Atonement we can change! Change is real. I have seen it over and over again both in my life and in the lives of those who I come in contact with. The Lord wants to help us! He wants us to become better, and to eventually become perfect. It sure can seem like a long road sometimes, but it is a beautiful one.
Well, I sure hope that you all have a great week, and find some reason to laugh!!!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hello! We should have at least an hour today, hopefully two to email! Sorry, It has been a crazy past few weeks!!
So, My new companion is Sister Huang. She is joining me here in Andover. She is has been out on her mission for nine months, and is 23. She is from Taiwan! She learned English in elementary school, but didn't every have a chance to practice it, so she is still working on it :) Her last companion (whom she had for 7 1/2 months) spoke Chinese as well, so this is the first time she has had to converse only in English! I have learned quite a few Chinese phrases....oh my goodness, they are so difficult! It is interesting how each new companion brings new struggles, but new blessings as well. It was a good change :) We are not moving, at least not that I know of. It has been sort of crazy with our living situation, but for the next while we will be at the same location. I will let you know if anything changes. We did order some things fro Sister Nelson, but we just sent the packages to the mission home. I figured that might be easier. She was transferred to downtown Minneapolis, but will still be in the same zone, so I will see her probably 3 times a transfer. It is much easier to leave a companion when you know that you will see them soon. I haven't seen Sister Amis or Sister Callister since we were transferred.....If all goes well, I might see them on the 21st though! It would be quite delightful. I did get the package, thanks so much! Sister Huang likes to share her....authentic Chinese food with me, so it was fun to share some plums with her!! Today she asked me if I had ever had a wasabi pea. I said no, and so of course she told me to try one! I ate one, holy moly!!! My mouth was on fire! Only for a few seconds though, it was a strange experience. She laughed and said she only did it because she loved me, and wanted me to be able to experience different foods. It was fun :)
I am glad that the baptism went well, Grandma sent me some pictures, they look great! I love the family picture, with Sandy running in front of everyone, that is how it goes! Baptism is a great has been said that a baptism is the most spiritual meeting in the church. And that is so great to be able to get together with family. It is interesting, for the vast majority of baptisms I have took part in here, there isn't any family. It is very spiritual, but a different experience. Family is such a blessing! That kid does have a ton of potential. If he decides to go on a mission, he will be a great one. You know, there are a lot of missionaries that I have met that have great.....intellectual skills, but it is the missionaries who truly care, and have a love for both the lord in those they meet, that really make an impact. That is how it is in life though, being genuine and caring is much more important than material possessions, or intellectual strengths. (and trust me, I know that I am far from perfect in this category!) My past two companions have not had real great English skills, for different reasons. It has given me perspective though, a pure testimony is much more powerful than all of the convincing in the world can be! We can debate all we want, and fail. We can testify, and succeed! It happens over and over again.
Yesterday I realized it was my 11th fast sunday. Holy Moly.
It is interesting to study the story of Jonah. I am so very grateful that there are examples in the scriptures of prophets, and others who are imperfect, but who change and become better!!
School, school, school. I am glad that everyone seems to be enjoying it. Jacob is playing the guitar?! That is soooo cool! Just tell him that if he learns to sing while playing it, he will have all the ladies falling for him! Trust me, I've seen it happen time and time again! And Jackie, what a social butterfly! Isn't it so interesting how different we all are, yet how similar in certain ways. Haha one of us has to have a social life ;) I think when I come home I am going to just be by myself for a month or so....not talk to anyone!
17 Laps, well that is 17 more than I can do right now! And I do miss the garden, make sure to can all the best, so I can have some in the future! Fun fun.
Well, this week...hmmm...I have learned a lot.
I realized that lately I have fallen into the habit of asking what can the Lord do for me. What can my mission do for me. How am I benefiting from this, or that. Etc. Etc. I have learned a lot about what it means to serve the Lord. It is much more important to ask what can I do for the Lord. Every moment of the day (at this time in my life) That should be my question. How can I serve and help Him? I have change my perspective a little bit the past couple of days, and it has made a remarkable difference in my life. I am truly coming to see how my time here is so short that I have. I am so grateful for this opportunity, I have grown so much already, and learned a lot of lessons that I don't think I could learn any other way. Sunday Sister Huang and I had a interesting experience. We planned to stop by three less actives after church. We went to the first lady, and she was home! We were able to talk to her, it was great. We were driving to the next one, and I told Sister Huang that maybe we should just go to the third one since we had tried the 2nd one just the day before. She didn't have a preferrance, so we went to the third sister. She wasn't home. Walking back to the car I had the thought that we needed to try that 2nd sister. Just before I said anything, Sister Huang voiced the same thought. We decided to go back, and we were able to see her! This is a sister that we have stopped by probably 10 times, and never gotten in touch with! That is sort of confusing, but I am so grateful for the Spirit, and for having a companion who is doing her best to listen to the Spirit. As we do our best to serve the Lord, we are guided by the Spirit, otherwise it is rather unproductive!
Well, Sorry if this is sort of a confusing letter....I hope you can interepret! ;)
Have a great one :)
wo ai ni!
Sister Christina Trickler