Monday, December 29, 2014

*side note:  I am missing my favorite kitchen knife and had some of the kids searching the large garbage cans and recycling bins when I was writing to Christina.  The good news is that it made her laugh.  The bad news is that I still haven't found it.

Haha that mental image definitely gave me a laugh...even zander is involved in the knife searching process?! Also, is it that knife that sliced me pretty good a couple of summers ago? I was thinking about that this week, how when I was washing dishes I wasn't as careful as I should have been, I sliced myself and blood went everywhere? Haha I remember running upstairs and crying for no real reason.....It didn't even hurt. Who knows, it must have been an off day! ;) Moral of that story, I wouldn't be devastated if I didn't wash that knife again in this mortal existence! 
I am glad that you got the pictures, I thought they were some good ones, just sayin ;). It really has been a good past 3 transfers. I've had a lot of smiles, and way too much fun! Of course there have been trials along the way, but so much beauty! I am so grateful for good companions who help me laugh when I need it, and are a good support. I have been very blessed on my mission with the companions I have had. Everything is so much easier when you have good support. Whether it be friends and family at home, or a companion out here in the field. Anywho.... I too am always very surprised when people tell me that they have read my blog. I have had a lot of members and people that I'm teaching read it! Haha so a shoutout to all of you out here in Minnesota, I hope you get a chance to go outside and enjoy the sunshine today! Or at least stand in a window near the is a beautiful day. :)
The Gospel really does bring light and happiness into our lives. I have seen it time and time again in my life, and in the lives of those who I have had the opportunity to teach. The Gospel makes us happy, that is why we share it. I just read Elder Bednar's talk from this last conference titled "Come and See". It talks about how when we as people in society find something that makes our lives better, or more happy, we are naturally inclined to share it. That's what happens with missionary work. :) I digress again, sorry! I just wanted to say to you mom: Even though I don't always express it, I do really value your opinions and advice especially when it comes to relationships. You obviously have a lot more experience than I do, and I need all the help I can get! So thank you very much. :) I am assuming the same goes for Jackie as well, just throwing that out there :) 
That is so exciting for Brennen, he is going to love it! I wish him the best of luck, I'll have to send him a letter :) If I send it to you, can you get it to him? I would greatly appreciate that :)
I am glad that you guys are taking time to go to SLC, that will be lots of fun for all involved I am sure! 
I know that having foster siblings has taught me some powerful lessons. It has taught me a lot about how important it is to be smart with boys, to get married, and to marry the right guy. It has made me realize how blessed I am to have grown up with a family who knows of the gospel, and lives it! Not to mention to have all the stability that we do have. And I think most importantly it has taught me a lot about love. Oh man, that sounds sort of cheesy....but you know what I mean. I love all 8 of my sibilings no matter how long they have been with our family, where they come from, or what challenges they have. I can honestly say that I love all of them! I don't always appreciate them....particularly when Matthew holds a snake to my face, but I do love them all. I think I have the opportunity to feel just a little tiny bit of what our heavenly father feels for us. He loves us all regardless of our situations, our background, or looks or our challenges. He loves us because we are His children, and always will be!! :)
I am glad that Christmas went well, they all sounded good Thursday when we talked to them! And I know you didn't cry, I was just teasing you  so I didn't cry! ;) Haha it has been a long 7 months though....I am pretty sure that is the longest time I will have to go without talking to any of you in this life! I am doing really well, there are always ups and downs, but the ups far outweigh the downs. It is truly a privilege to be here in Minnesota serving the Lord. And don't worry, we are being safe! Speaking of that, two cool stories. Well, maybe three....
Okay 1st. Last night, we had a really great day at church, and some wonderful lessons after church. We had a lovely dinner with a family in the ward, and a great lesson after that. After dinner, I started to get a headache. That is not too uncommon with me, but upon searching through my purse, I found out that I was missing my advil! Probably one of the two days in my mission that I didn't bring it with me. My head wasn't that bad so I figured I could make it through to the end of the night. After the appointment it got so bad! I seriously have never had a headache that bad in my life. My companion made an executive decision because I wasn't functioning very well that we needed to go home, and get me some medicine. We did so, and I crashed on the couch. Movement and light hurt, so I stayed there until 1 in the morning when the advil kicked in. Sounds like a depressing story, right? I was sitting, scratch that, laying on the couch, I had this thought that maybe I got a headache because we were suppose to stay in last night. I don't know what would have happened if we didn't, who knows, maybe nothing. All the same I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows and loves me, and the miracle of modern medicine :)
2.Yesterday at church, I mentioned that we had a great day. We have been sort of struggling to find new investigators lately. We have been doing everything that we feel like we need to, but things have just been a little slow. Well, after Sacrament meeting, we were taking a couple of our investigators to their classes, and we were stopped by a two sisters. One in her early 20's, and one age 17 or 18....I'm not really sure. We talked to them, and it turns out the older sister was baptised a few years ago in our ward then moved up to Duluth for school. Her younger sister is interested in learning about the church, and came to church! We were able to teach her yesterday afternoon, and she is really prepared. She said that everything that we are teaching her just fits into everything that she had thought, sort of like a puzzle that was starting to make sense! It was really neat :)
3. Last thought. This week I was listening to the face-to-face with Lindsey Stirling that the church put on. She tells a story about how she recieved inspiration for a song that she just wrote. Imagine a snow globe with a perfect ballerina inside twirling in circles around and around. AFter doing this for a good long while, she decides that she wants to really dance. To move and jump. As she starts to do so though, her perfect skin begins to crack. She stops terrified of what is going to happen, who she is going to become, or if she will shatter. After a moment she gathers her courage and continues to move and change. Her perfect skin shatters but then emerges an even more beautiful dancer who can move and really dance. I was thinking about this story, about how it relates to our lives. We often get stuck doing something, or even being someone, and it is often scary to change. We are scared to change, scared of what is going to happen, but so often the change leads to us being even better, it just takes a few moments of courage :) So that is the thought of the week!
Sorry, sort of a long letter, what can I say, the sun is out for the first time in a long time, life is good :) I hope and pray that you all have a great week!!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, December 22, 2014

We have a mini p-day today, just enough time to do our laundry, email briefly, and shop, which is good....we are out of water! ;) Good to hear that everything is going relatively well at home, that is crazy to me that the kids have school until Christmas Eve! But I suppose it doesn't feel much like Christmas without snow. I woke up this morning, and looked out the window. Much to my surprise, we didn't have any snow either! It has been raining pretty constantly for a while so it is all melted. I'm telling you, this is so different from the weather last year at this time. I am not complaining though! :) Haha Christmas will be fun, I am glad that the kids are getting excited for it! And that is good that you were able to get in contact with the little one's extended family. I am sure that is good for them...  
That is good that you are able to see more kindness and such during the christmas season. We are definitely fed more during this time of year, we hardly have to buy food we have so many left-overs! Which reminds me, this week our apartment got sick. For one of the days that I was stuck inside, I made bannannanna bread! We have a neighboor downstairs that doesn't appreciate all the noise we make, so I was going to make it and give it to her for Christmas with a little card or something. Well.....our oven is special. I finally figured it out though, got it cooked through and everything, then I pulled it out of the pan to cool, and a chunk of bread stayed stuck to the bottom of the pan! It was rather distraught, but it still was really delicious :) Unfortunatly I used the last of the chocolate chips, so the lady downstairs has not gotten any bread yet. Soon though ;) In other news, this week we watched frozen for the first time. It was so strange....not the movie, the movie was great, but the fact that we were watching it on the mission. I have heard little girls sing the songs so much, that I felt like I knew them already!
 Good spiritual thought. I sure wish that I could make every decision correctly. I suppose life would just be too easy then ;) As for Daniel, that is a great book :) You know,  a lot of times I think that it is much easier to defend my beliefs here on the mission than at home. I am out here talking to people that I don't know, who I don't have to see again if I don't want to. It's much harder to stand up to friends or family whose opinion you value. I always have found it harder to stand-up to my companion than to stand up to the world outside our door. It reminds me of the talk by Elder Holland, The Cost of Discipleship. We are all called to be disciples every day, wherever we may be. What crazy but wonderful days we live in today! 
Well, we were told not to write too much, or else we won't have anything to talk about when we talk to family on Thursday! is alright!;) . And why does everyone think that talking to me is so awkward? I just don't understand?! Haha Jackie said the same thing....skyping is just so awkward. Oh man, just wait until I'm an awkward RM. Then we really will be in trouble! Haha have a great few days until I see you all!!
Sister Christina Trickler

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hello!! Haha my companion was actually the one who wrote the message....we thought it would be best to inform you guys just in case! Yesterday we had our Christmas Conference. Missionaries from two stakes came together (over 60 of us) and we listened to our mission president and his wife, and......wait for it.....watched a movie! An actual movie that normal people watch ;) It was called A Wonderful life. Apparently it is a Christmas classic, but I had never seen it before. My companion and I realized that we had been out here for a really long time though. The world tends to desensitize you, the mission does the opposite! Haha oh China.
We also had the opportunity to go to the Minnesota Mormon Chorale Concert on Sunday evening. It was so great!! I was really impressed. They played lots of Christmas music, but they were really good. I've decided that if I ever come back here to live, I would love to play in the orchestra! And they are looking for more Violin Players...just sayin ;)  
I have been receiving my "envelopes" Thanks! They are so great, and I really appreciate the recipe! If we had time today I would probably make some bread! Besides the fact that we literally have a table full of cookies and treats.....I am so glad that you were able to go out on splits of sorts with the Sister, that is great! I am sure that she had a great time! And I'm glad that you both got to dance. It brings joy to the soul! Oh...Speaking of...we had another super great thing happen this week. We were invited to learn an African dance with the Young Women, and perform it at the ward party on Saturday evening! It was so much fun. We got to dress up in our Lapa's and headwraps, and sing and dance! I think someone got a video of it, I'll have to let you see it sometime. Oh goodness, way too much fun! I can not believe Christmas is going to be here so much to do so little time! Yes I got the box, but don't worry I haven't opened it yet! Yesterday I was able to see Sister Huang and talk to her for a while, she got her package as well....but opened it! She loves the ring, I send her thanks! 
Yes, I will let you know about a time. We should know by next Monday, but if something changes I will have a member text you....they are really good at doing that for us! I am glad that your lesson went well, it is good to have the opportunity to teach. Even teaching the same lessons that I have taught all my mission, I still manage to learn new things, recieve new impressions. I have stayed surprisingly healthy, knock on wood! I don't remember if I told you this or not, but Sister Huang was a huge believer in drinking hot water in the winter (I think it is an asian thing). I thought it was crazy, and didn't taste good, but I tried it a couple of times...and I am converted! I really struggle to keep myself warm, but I think drinking hot water is helping a lot, keeping me healthy longer :)
 How blessed we are that our God is a God of miracles though. I have seen people truly change drasticaly through the Atonement of our Savior. I know that change is possible. We all are children of a King.We all have potential to become great, to do great things with the Lord's help. No one is beyond the reach of His love. 
This week I had the opportunity to give a talk on the Restoration, specifically the first vision. As I was thinking about what to say, my thoughts kept coming back to a certain theme. That is that Prayers are Answered. That is one of the greatest lessons that I have learned from the first vision. God loves us, and he answers our prayers. Even with Joseph Smith, his prayer wasn't answered in the way he expected, but it was answered. God speaks to man today, this is one of the great truths that seperates our church from any other on this earth. God is our father, he loves us enough to answer our prayers. He knows our concerns, and fears. He know our doubts and worries, but he also knows what we need. He knows what mountains we need to climb in order to become strong. In order to become who he knows that we can become. He gives us the trials and struggles we need, but he never leaves us alone. Even in our darkest hour, when we feel like we have been abandoned by all, He is there. He is the light that we need to see just one more step into the dark, and another step, until the path is illuminated before us. Hope. That is what the gospel brings. Hope for change, hope for peace, hope for a better day. And the best part, is that change is real. We can recieve peace in our lives, a better day will come. All as we rely on the Savior. As we truly appreciate the gift that the Father has given us this Christmas season. :) #sharethegift. Oh man....I can't believe that I just used a hashtag, what is this world coming to!
Anywho, thanks for taking care of my dog, he needs attention;) ANd I hope that you all have a lovely week! And enjoy the snow ;)
Sister Christina Trickler!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hello, It is great to hear from you on this gloomy monday day! We are recieving sleet/snow right now, so the sky is rather gray. I have discovered that I function a lot better with sunshine, so I have moved my desk to the kitchen table where I can open the blinds and see the sun on sunny days. It is great :) It is rather warm though, in the mid-20's. 
Thanks for the package in advance, and yes, we will be smart. As for Sister Huang, she is still in St. Francis, and her first name is Yu-Wen. Speaking of her, I get to see her today at a zone activity!! I am very very excited. We are going to play Volleyball, and watch the best two years. I don't believe that I have seen that movie, so it should be interesting! Also, I have played Volleyball more on my mission than in my entire life, and I still have no coordination. Haha hence the reason I stuck to Swimming and Running. I digress. 
It sounds like things are crazy busy at home, as per usual. That is good though, I am glad all the kids are having fun.. Oh man, speaking of Kaycee's braclet....I sent something for Zander too, but it was "an odd shape" and so we got it back. I'll send something today for him...sorry! Oh man, I won't be home in 4 days....but will be able to see you all in less than 20! I can't believe that Christmas is here again, time just seems to fly. 
Speaking of Christmas, did you have the chances to watch the Christmas Devotional? It was really great. I always love the music, that is definitely my favorite part. If you didn't get to see it, I would highly recommend looking it up. So last night after watching the devotional, and making some necessary phone calls, we had a neat experience. It was 8:50, and we work until 9:00. I have learned that being obedient is the best policy....and I need all the help I can get ;). That being the case, we decided to stop by a less-active family that lives near to us. We pulled over, got out of the car, and realized that we didn't have their house number, just the street. After walking down the street for a few minutes, I decided that we needed to stop and pray. We did so, and after a few moments, decided to knock two houses, one that I would pick, and one that my companion would pick. We walked up to the first one, and.....they answered! The family that we were looking for! Not only did they answer, but they let us in, and we were able to share a message about the Christmas season. The husband spoke broken English, and the Wife only Spanish, but the spirit was still strong, and they said we could come back and visit them sometime. Walking away, I was reminded that obedience bring blessings.But having faith and obedience brings miracles. I think it is so important that we all try to recognize the little miracles that happen every day in our lives! A lot of times they are simple, such as having a sunny day or being able to see a good friend. But they are always enough to remind me that we are all loved. We have a Father who knows us perfectly well. 
Back to your email: That is really strange that Matt and Marshall are going to be home soon. There are a lot of missionaries coming home these next few months. Both friends from home, and friends from the mission. Crazy. 
Good luck with your lesson. Back in Austin we taught Gospel Principles the majority of the time, and Relief Society a couple times. Ever since then I have definitely had great motivation to listen, and participate in lessons!
Well, I hope that you all have a lovely week!
And yes, we will be safe. ;)
Sister Christina Trickler
Oh, p.s. Thanks so much for the music and chocolate milk!!! It came at a much needed time. Just one question though, was the piano guys CD meant to come with out a CD in it just to make me laugh? Haha if so, it worked! Have a lovely one :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

I am doing well here in my new area. I've only been here a few days, but it has been good so far. Shingle Creek has a reputation in the mission of being full of our friends from Africa, and that has proven to be true! Walking through Walmart, we Caucasian girls are definitely in the minority! I love working with people from around the world though, so it has been fun. I truly believe that the Lord sends them here so that they can learn about the gospel. It remindes me a lot of Austin, which is always a good thing :) It is interesting, I think that this area has the struggles exactly opposite of we'll see how things go. I have high hopes though! We live in an apartment with two Hermanas that work in Minneapolis. It has been quite the change, but it is fun. And...there are always dishes to do, which can be a good thing when I feel like I need to do something productive!
Last night we had a really neat experience. A sister from Laos invited us over to eat some food and visit with her. She fed us delicious asian stirfry, fruit, and steaming hot water (which I am currently addicted to, thanks to Sister Huang), then told us a marvelous story! Every day when she goes to church and work, she passes by a certain street corner. On this corner for the past year and a half, there has been a homeless young man in his 20's asking for money. Well, yesterday she stopped and talked to him for a minute. Please keep in mind that this sister is 5'1 at the tallest, and just tiny! In her beautiful asian accent, she asked him what he was doing, if he had family, and if he was cold. After responding, she told him that asking for money the rest of his life was going to get him no where, but she could share with him something that would change his life. (and keep him warm for a couple of hours) She told him to get in her car, and he came with her to church! I introduced myself to him during gospel principles, but assumed that he was a member or something because none of the other missionaries talked to him. After church, she took him back to the street corner, and told him that if he needed to change his life, and that the church is a good place to start. She gave him the elder's number, and after answering some questions he had about class, said Goodbye. 
Isn't that an incredible story? There isn't any excuse not to do missionary work! Our Stake President feels strongly that every member of our stake should be inviting at least one person to church each week. Either a less-active member, or a non-member. Can you imagine how many lives would be touched if everyone in the church did this? If we all invited one person to church each week? There are people all around us who are prepared and ready to hear the hopeful message of the gospel. :)
Back to your email ;)
My companion Sister Pead, is great. She is from Farmington Utah, so not too far away. Except our names don't go together real well....Trickler and Pead. Haha oh well! Thanksgiving was good. We ate with a part-member family, and then watched the restoration afterwards. I nearly fell-asleep....but it was good! Also, Happy December! I can't believe that it is here already. It seems like just yesterday that I was arriving in Andover....and that was in July!  
I am glad that Thanksgiving went well for you, and good for the men to do dishes! That sounds like a welcome change!. And I'm glad that the teens went to do baptisms. There is power in the temple. I can't say that I did too many things right the couple years before I came out, but consistently going to the temple when I was at USU was one of them. There is strength and peace in the temple....and It was an opportunity to lose the phone for an hour or so ;) 
 And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the twins!!!!! I can't believe they are so old! I guess I'll have to stop telling people that I have three 5 year old siblings now ;) I hope that they had fun!
This week I have been thinking a lot about progression. It is quite easy for us to "go with the flow" just do what everyone else is doing, after all they are doing good things, to just keep going. However. This is not helpful, in fact it can be quite destructive. I always like to think, if we are not moving forwards, we are moving backwards. We are beings that are constantly in motion. It's not enough just to be good people, or good missionaries, we need to be progressing people, progressing missionaries. It doesn't really matter where we are at on this life journey, as long as we are progressing, one step at a time. It is hard, but we need to be constantly reminding ourselves to be better. To constantly be setting goals, and striving to achieve them! I know for me, I have had to set little goals everyday, and work on them just for 24 hours. Anything longer, and I tend to get distracted way too easily! Anyways. Repentance is real. Change is a beautiful thing. That is the hope of the gospel. That we can change and become better. That we can put off the natural man, and come closer to Christ, so that one day we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.

And for our address : 4572 58th Ave N #276 Brooklyn Center, MN. 55429
I hope that you all have a wonderful week, enjoy the Christmas music, and spirit! :)
Sister Christina Trickler