Monday, March 23, 2015

*  Usually I edit out a lot of the personal stuff but sometimes we need perspective.  Last week was tough as we attended a burial service, had a child need stitches, and Jackie got her wisdom teeth out--among other things.  It sounds like Christina had a rough week as well.  It makes us appreciate the easier ones.

Hello! It is great to hear from you on this snowy monday. Last night Sister Dumas had the experience of shoveling snow for the first time! Haha it was great. :) Admittedly though, the stubborn part of me refuses to wear tights or leggings anymore. I have my coat, then a short skirt and bare legs....I hope it warms up again soon! :)
I definitely can relate to what you said about needing some room sometimes! Holy Moly, this week was one of those! Sister Dumas was sick, and down for nearly four days. This means that lucky Sister Trickler got a lot of studying in this week! I never thought I would need human interaction this bad, haha who knew?! I did learn a lot of super great things though....more on that later. 
That does sound like an interesting burial. I am glad it went well though. I was wondering, why was she buried there? Also were some of her other kids able to make it to the funeral a few weeks ago? I am glad that you all made it home safe and sane ;) 
Oh man, stiches again? Haha I hope he continues to do well! It sounds like Jackie has had a rough time....she emailed me, the poor girl! I had it so lucky. I swear I took some advil, had a jamba or two, and was back on my feet. I wish I could send some soup or a smoothie for her....I am afraid it wouldn't make it through the mail system though.
And Brooklyn got burned pretty bad? What was she trying to melt? That is awful. This year seems to be the year of injury so far! Maybe we are all just getting it out of the way so we can enjoy summer....that's my new theory :)
Speaking of Brooklyn, one of my favorite friends at church is about 4 and has a personality similar to Kaycee and Brooklyn- but red hair like Brooklyn. Oh man, she was telling me everything she knew yesterday at church. Did you know that we have skeletons, but our skeletons don't have eyes, only skin? Haha we went to leave and she grabbed my foot, and wouldn't let go. It was super funny, and definitely reminded me of home. Sometimes you are just so loved! ;)
It sounds like good things are happening at home, I can't believe that it is warm enough to be working in the yard! Playing in the sprinklers? In march, that is just not natural!! I am just happy that it is out of the negatives here, we can take a little snow. :)
That is interesting that all of Stake Conference was about temples. It reminds me of the thought that we have to prepare ourselves for temples. The early saints sacrificed so much to be able to have and attend temples, like you said the least we can do is to pay our tithing. Sacrifice truly brings blessings! (and obedience ;) ) On that note, I am so so so excited for women's conference coming up!!!!!! Oh man, the best time of year. :) These next few weeks are great ones out in the mission field. We get to see conference, listen to the Lamb of God, and celebrate Easter! There is no better time of year to testify of the Savior, that He lives!! I was thinking this week about Easter last year. I don't remember if I told you this story or not... Last year Sister Amis and I were serving together in Austin. We had a great build-up to Easter. I remember talking to Sister Register about the reality of our Savior, that He truly does live today. He loves us, the Atonement is real and it can apply to everyone! Either a few days before or after Easter....possibly that day, we were walking down the street in downtown Austin, Minnesota. We ran into a guy and began to talk to him. He did not believe in God or Jesus Christ, but was nice to talk to. I remembering testifying to him that He does have a Father who loves Him, and a Savior who lives. He could give us all sorts of evidence proving us wrong, but we knew without a doubt. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my mission. As we witnessed of Christ, the Spirit was so strong. We could not deny what we knew.
I am excited to see what miracles this Easter brings. :)
On a different note, my release date is May 13th. You should be getting travel information soon....
Back to missionary life ;) I had a really neat experience yesterday. So....not going to lie, this hasn't been the easiest week on the mission for me. Various events contributed to this, but by the time yesterday came, I was struggling. We went to church, and none of our investigators were able to come. It was just getting better and better, you know? And of course Satan loves to feed our doubts and insecurities, it was rediculous. Anyways, we were sitting in class and I had the clear thought that I needed to ask a certain member in the ward if he would give me a blessing. Now, for anyone out there who doesn't know me well...asking for blessings is something that I do not do easily. Usually I get the prompting, ignore it, it comes again and eventually I listen. ( I think it might have something to do with the whole I don't want any help thing....) Well, I could clearly recognize that I needed help at this moment, so I swallowed my pride and asked the brother if he could give me a blessing after church ended. He did, and my day was changed. Not only did I feel peace and love from my Father in Heaven, but I received some guidance and counsel that I desperately need right now. Questions that I had never vocally asked were answered. I know that it is truly a blessing to have the Priesthood power on the Earth today. God loves us and he hears our prayers. He will answer, it just may not be in exactly the way or time that we want. As Elder Wirthlin said "Sunday will come" After the darkest Friday in the history of the world, a glorious sunday came. A Sunday on which the Savior of the World rose. Sunday will come. :) 
I love you all lots, and hope that you have a great week!
Sister Christina Trickler
p.s. mom....i have a couple of requests if possible. Could you send me my backpack (if it can be found) and a spare watch if either you or Jackie have one that you could loan me for a month and a half? Mine is missing....and I really don't want to buy one at this point. Thanks much, you are the greatest! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Oh man, I probably will get the letter today. I'm sure more details will be in the letter. I am always so grateful for the Plan of Salvation when people pass on. I remember at Angelica's funeral, first knowing the truth of the Plan of Salvation. I was so sad, but knew without a doubt that she was happy and in a better place. What an amazing gospel this is. I am sure that great-grandma is in a better place, that she is happy and free from pains. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I hope that you enjoy the trip down to Arizona.....and make it back safely! 
This week was a crazy one. We had a African culture night in our ward. Due to a series of unfortunate events, us sisters got put in charge of a lot of it super last minute, so that took up a lot of our time. But funny story with that party. It happened Friday night. Friday morning we went to help our African mom make soup and fufu. Fufu is a dough....sort of like mashed potatoes made out of plantain flour. You eat it with peanut butter soup. Haha it was so much fun! Our soup had some seafood in it though....shrimp of course, and fish. As in the whole fish. We were driving the food to the church later in the day, and due to the craziness and the fullness of our car, I had the soup sitting on my lap as I drove. I kept thinking that someone was watching know that feeling that you get sometimes? Well, I realized why. I looked down, and the fish was staring back up at me! Haha it was delicious :). The next day a member made us some great shrimp pasta for was a seafood week! Who knew, living in Minnesota I would have the opportunity to try so much seafood? Craziness.
We had the opportunity to go to new missionary training this week on Wednesday. I haven't been in.....a long time ;). A lot of it was stuff that I already knew, so most of my focus was on keeping my companion awake, but there was a sister that came and presented information on depression and anxiety that was really good. These are things that a lot of missionaries struggle with. . I really liked the fact that we had the conversation though. Sometimes there is a tendency in the mission field (and at home I think) to pretend that depression and anxiety doesn't exist. There are resources that can help though! The sister kept saying that life (or the mission) is not meant to be miserable! We are suppose to have joy, and if for an extended period of time, we are not having joy....something needs to change! Don't get me wrong, everyone has bad days....and sometimes even multiple bad days in a row, but it's not normal to have multiple weeks of constant bad days! Anyways, that was good. 
Last night we had another cool experience. We were planning on going to President's fireside, but our investigator couldn't come last minute. I should mention that we have to have an investigator come with us if we go. Anyways, a sister in our ward called us asking if we were going, because she had a non--member friend going. We quickly decided that we would go! It was a really great program, great music. After the program, I was able to see and talk to one of my best friends....Sister Parke!!!! She served with me for nearly 8 months. I love that girl. :) She's a great missionary. While I was talking to her, Sister Dumas saw someone across the room that she recognized. It turns out that the sister she saw, served as a sister missionary in her home ward not too long ago! How crazy is that?! We talked to her for quite a bit, and received a text from her later that night saying thank you for the conversation, that she was struggling with the transition coming home and such. It was a reminder to me that God love us all! He answers our prayers, often through other people. It is such a neat experience to be able to be that answer that someone is searching for! The church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni is always on the ball. That's all!!
I hope that you all have a lovely week, enjoy the warm weather!
I love you lots,
Love, Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, March 9, 2015

 This picture was sent from a Sister Arrington, a Senior couple missionary.  They were having a zone service lunch activity.  It is nice to see an Aggie presence in Minnesota !
It is great to hear from you all! And don't worry about the scattered email, mine will probably be scattered to. I have lots on my mind! I am glad you were able to be with great-grandma though...I am sure that she appreciates it. (grandma too!) 
Exciting news of the day, for the first time since September, I am not wearing tights, leggings or socks!!!!! 35 degrees, it is a heat wave :)
Haha yeah, I did get my ears pierced 3 weeks ago today. It is something that I was considering fr a long time, and finally was convinced by Sister Pead, and a certain sister at church who was wearing pearls really well. I decided that I wanted  a pair of pearls...haha have to start small ;) I have really liked them so far....I've been pleasantly surprised. What can I say, Minnesota winters drive us to do crazy things! Also, that is so so great that Missy is coming to the greatest mission on earth! If she needs any dress tips..just let me know! A pair of nice boots as well as a winter pair of boots is crucial, just saying. And don't go for a big bag....a purse works just great for everyday use. Holy Cow, Jacob can't be old enough to go on a mission....and Jackie definitely isn't old enough to go to college! Good for both of them though! They will have a blast. :) Also, registration is super soon for school....I'm starting to get nervous! Oh china. Oh really quick, back to the earrings, I will switch them out 3 weeks before I come if you want to send a pair I wouldn't be opposed, if not it's not a big deal to wait until I'm done.
Haha Jackie looks good in that dress!!!!! Looks like it was made by an excellent seamstress! ;) Done, I will go into fashion design! What seam did you have to add?
I am glad you were able to be in the temple Wednesday, it was great. And wonderful miracle of the week.....Sister Huang was in the session with me!!!!!!!!!!!!! It definitely made my week. :) Possibly my month! I love that girl so much, she is one heck of a missionary! She might come home with me, which would be loads of fun. Otherwise it will just be me and two other sisters. I guess we'll see what happens.
"Life is a marathon, keep on running" AMEN!!! Haha gotta love those quotes that you find in the most unlikely of places. Haha Matthew is quite the baker? Good for him, and I am with you there. Lately I am finding it harder and harder to eat food that I have not prepared. You just never know quite what you are going to find! 
Good for Jackie, making a skirt for Kaycee, that's a lot of fun! I actually thought of that this morning. How I will need to do some sewing sometime! Haha and just tell Kaycee that we are down to less than 65 days. (at least according to Tori, I'm not keeping track!)
Miracle of the week: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS!!!!!!!! Holy China, I absolutely love the extra hour of daylight in the evening....the sun doesn't go down until after 7:00. It is the greatest thing ever. Yesterday evening our appointments fell through, so we decided to stop-by one of our less active sisters that we weren't able to see on Saturday. We did so, and not only was she there and wanting to visit, but her 19 year old niece was there as well. She is a member of the church, but just moved back here from Texas, and works Sundays so we hadn't met her before. She is great though!! Miracles Happen.
If you have any advice on school, that would be super helpful...other than that, I think I am doing well. I hope you all have a great one!
Sister Christina Trickler

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hello, Hello!! It is so great to hear from you. :)
We are surviving the cold, today it is actually in the mid-20's and sunny!! This calls for a light jacket, and shoes instead of boots. :) It is seriously so great. Due to the days getting longer, I have been able to find the perfect spot in our kitchen where I can sit in the sun for personal study! It has been one of the highlights of my days. Sitting reading the scriptures, learning about the gospel and feeling the warm sun on my face. It is a fantastic way to start off my day. :) Sister Dumas is adjusting quite well. The first few days were really cold, but she has done much better than she or I expected! I suppose it helps that we have been teaching quite a bit, so we are often inside.
Yes, I did hear about great-grandma. It sounds like she is struggling. I really hope she makes it until I come home. I would love to see her one last time. She is a great example. If I send you a letter today, could you read it to her if you go down and see her? Gracious is a wonderful word to describe her. She is always so happy and kind. Grandma T wrote me and said that she was surprised how much help you were when you came up, haha I am sure more help would be appreciated. Give them both a hug for me!!
I am glad that grandma is putting some of her fabric to use with that project! Haha it sounds like a great thing. :)
And I can't believe everyone is starting 3rd tri! Some of the people we are teaching are just finishing up with finals too. It is a crazy time of year. Haha sometimes I miss school, then I remember all the stress that it causes, and I don't miss it all that much!
I can't believe that it is warm enough to be transplanting berries?! We heard today that you just got lots of that inaccurate? I sure hope that you get water though that we are going to need! 
That is super great that you made french toast for everyone! I am sure that they really appreciated it. You know, it is the smallest things that make a difference. Taking time to listen to someone, writing a simple note, they are the things that can make someone's day. This week we got a phone call from one of our friends in the ward. She is struggling with a lot of things and sounded really depressed. After talking with her for a few minutes, knowing that there was nothing I could really do about the situation, we hung up and told her that we would be at her apartment soon with a surprise for her! Then came the tricky part, thinking of a surprise! (all on a missionary budget.) I thought of one of the things that will always bring a smile to my face, flowers. I remembered that at one of the grocery stores we go to, they were selling them for really cheap! After getting permission to leave our area briefly, we ran to the store to get flowers (beautiful white and purple ones), wrote a quick note, and took them to her! She was so surprised that we actually took the time to A. bring her something and B. come visit her! It was the simplest little thing that we did, but it made a difference to her, and made us feel like we had done good. I think the world needs more acts like that. Simple things, things that give us encouragement though. Like you said there is so much discouragement in the world. We get it all the time. We have the opportunity though as brothers and sisters to help lift others up. To shoot them a text, give them a call or write a note just being there for them! I love it :)
So, this Saturday was our miracle day. Let me just tell you what happened.
1. We had lunch with a wonderful family in our ward. They are a young couple from Guatemala, and so much fun to be with! The sister is going to have a baby in 2 weeks, so we stayed and helped her with the dishes. We had such a fun conversation, and laughed way too much! Also, we had tacos with avocado (which is my current addiction! )
2. We stopped by a sister who hasn't been to church since I have come here. Everytime we stopped by before she has seen us then told us to go away and call before we come. The catch is that her phone doesn't work....Anyways, we went and she saw us, and let us in! She invited us to sit down and we had a wonderful conversation with her! It was great.
3. We stopped by a part-member family in the ward. We have met the teenage daughter once, but that was about it. They invited us in! The mom had all the kids turn off the TV and their various devices, then we talked with them. They asked us what was different about our church, and where the Book of Mormon came from, so we were able to teach them about the Restoration of the Church. It was super great!! They are a great family.
4. This one is sort of....different, don't judge! So, our tire has had a leak in it for a little while. We have to refill it about once a week, and were just told by the mission to go get it fixed. Anyways, Saturday rolled around and we needed to fill it again. We pulled into the gas station, and for the life of me, I could not get the pressure gauge, to work, or the air to work on that tire. I don't know if something was blocking the valve or something, I have no idea! Anyways, we went inside for my companion to use the restroom, and I said a prayer in my head. I knew that we couldn't do anything that evening if we didn't get our tire fixed, and I had no clue what was going on! We went back out, tried one more time, and it worked! We were able to fill up our tire, and head out. 
It was a great miracle filled day, hopefully our coming week will be the same!!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Also, mom, if you happen to be free Wednesday morning (slim chance I know ;) ) We are going to the temple to the 10:00 session. It would be super neat if we were able to be in the temple at the same time! (just a few states apart!) If things are crazy, don't stress though!!
Have a wonderful day, and a great week!!
Sister Christina Trickler