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

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