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

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