Hermana Tycksen was called to the TEXAS LUBBOCK MISSION, spanish speaking. She began her mission on April 22, 2015. She is currently serving in Carlsbad, NM.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I'm ALIVE!!!

Hello my dear family!

     I am SO sorry that this email is two days late! We had a HUGE blizzard on Sunday, and so we've been snowed in the past few days. It's really funny, but although it snows basically every year, Texas is never really prepared :) Gotta love it. So, to start off, on Saturday we got a call saying that we needed to go grocery shopping and run all of our errands and then get home as soon as possible because there was a blizzard coming in and our cars would be grounded until further notice. So, we hurried to the store and got all that we needed to--honestly, the urgency in the message made us both a little freaked out :Z So we get home, and get inside, and we kept checking the windows to see when the snow would start falling. It didn't happen. We went to bed, and then the next morning there was TONS of snow! You know how Heavenly Father warns us waaaaaaaay ahead of time when we need to prepare for things that are going to happen? This was one of those times.

         Bishop Voorhies had offered to let us come over to his house for a little bit, and so he came in his big tank of a car and picked up us, and the elders. We played games and had some fun for a few hours, but then the storm took a turn for the worse, and so we all hurried to get home.  So, yeah, the past few days we've just been stuck in our apartment or in the surrounding areas. 

        Transfers were supposed to be yesterday, but no one can drive because the roads are so terrible. So, Sister Harvey and I get another week together!
Oops, forgot to mention, we got transfer calls! On Saturday after we finished our errands, we were told to stay in the apartment, and so to avoid boredom, Sister Harvey cut my hair! ;) Don't worry, she is a licensed cosmetologist, and she did a fantastic job (It was just a trim!). We got the call that night, and we had just received word that they had started calling people, so we were freaking out a little bit. Our phone rings....it's President Heap! XO Cue the hyperventilating! Sister Harvey has been called to be a Sister Training Leader in Pampa, Texas :D I honestly had a feeling these past two weeks that she'd be an STL, and so I totally called it! She will be amazing. ANd then, President Heap asked for me! (:S) I will be staying in College Park and finishing the training of Sister Matheson, whose first trainers were Sister Turner and Sister Aviles (my former companion and Sis. Harvey's trainer!) So cool! 

       Last Wednesday the new senior missionary couple took us out to dinner. They are so sweet! Yesterday we went to district lunch with our district and we were all on foot! We were trekking through the snow :D It's really funny, but everyone says that it's soooo cold, but I don't really feel it. Thank you three semesters at Rexburg! :D And also my super warm coat :)
I love you all so much! To infinity and beyond! :D

Have a Happy New Year!
Love, Sister Tycksen

My Christmas dinner at the Harrington's 

Face masks :)

We woke up to snow

Sister Harvey venturing out

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas (but Texas is flat and brown)

Hello my dear family!

     Can you believe that Christmas is here already? Where did the time go? Also, today marks 8 months as a missionary for me! But who's counting? ;) Yesterday we had the Jingle Jam, which is our mission-wide Christmas party. It's a huge talent show! There's a gym segment and a chapel segment. In the gym is all sorts of talents, and in the chapel is more spiritual talents. Our zone did a skit for the gym part called "Rap-tism". It was a rap to the Fresh prince of Bel-Air theme song about an investigator at tech who gets baptized. It was pretty fun! There were a lot of silly talents and also  some really amazing ones. I did something too! I did the cup song from Pitch Perfect, but I did Book of Mormon Stories, Deck the Halls, and Jingle Bells. At first I was just going to do Book of Mormon Stories, but then I heard the story from the Harmon Christmas party about the girls doing the song with those christmas carols, and I just loved it! I have a picture from when I was done that I'll attach here :) Then we had the spiritual segment, and everyone was so great. The Spirit was so strong. I played Come Thou Fount, which I have actually gotten pretty good at  :). After, we showed the Heaps a slideshow full of pictures of all of us and why we love them. That was our gift to them this year :) Then, they had a surprise for us! We watched "It's A Wonderful Life"! I just love that movie! President Heap told us to think about it from our own point of view: to think about the impact that we have each had on those around us and how different the mission, and the world, would be without us. It was fantastic :)

     So I got to see Sister Russell again! She and her companion stayed with us the night before the jingle jam. She is so great! I missed her so much.

     I've been studying a lot about the Christmas story this past week. The thing that stands out to me the most is Mary, and the shepherds. Mary was such an incredible woman. I can't even fathom the kind of characteristics that she must have had to be worthy and chosen to bear the Son of God. Also, in the past, I've never really thought much about the shepherds. I actually didn't think that they were that important. I learned so much about them this week that changed that though. In the song "What Child Is This?" it says "whom shepherds guard and angels sing". There is an amazing comparison that goes on in the scriptures about Christ being the Good Shepherd, and also the Lamb of God. In Sunday School this past week, our bishop taught us that the shepherds were not ordinary men. They were priests whose specific role was to watch over the flock for the firstborn lamb, because those were the ones that would be used in the temple sacrifice. When the angel appeared to them, and told them of the Savior's birth, he shared  with them the very thing that they were waiting for: the birth of the Firstborn. We are all the sheep of the Good Shepherd, but in His early hours, he was watched over by those humble shepherds from the fields. I love the Christmas season! I love my Savior! And I love y'all! :D

Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad from your missionary in Texas!
Love, Sister Tycksen 

Hermana Russell and Hermana Tycksen
Talent show

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hello dear family.

Hello my dear family!

     I was so happy to hear about your escapades at the cabin this year, and although I am very sad that I couldn't be there, I am so happy that you all had a good time! The stories and pictures are priceless! First of all, announcement time, next week P-day will be on Tuesday instead of Monday because on Monday we are having the Jingle Jam, which is our mission-wide Christmas party. They have to try and figure out the best day for everyone, which I guess this year was Monday. 
     Okay! This week we did a TON of service. We helped out at the Food Bank assembling boxes of food that they give out to those in need, and let me just say, if you want a job done right and fast, you get a bunch of missionaries! We had an assembly line and we each had our own job to do, and it was a lot of fun! We helped out at Toys for Tots, filling orders and requests. It was so much fun! We got to go "shopping" in a warehouse for a bunch of families.
I was asked to instruct in district meeting on Bearing Testimony. It went really well! I was super nervous, but I felt the Spirit as I was instructing. I started it off with the question: "How do you get away with telling a lie?" We discussed this, coming up with things like body language, believing it yourself, keep it simple and easy to remember. My object in this was to say "If people can lie and pretend so effectively that others believe them (like actors in movies--they become their characters), why can't we testify of what is true with that same power?" Because they're telling a story, a lie, but as missionaries (and also members) we're telling the truth! I had fun preparing it, it gave me a lot to think about. 
     I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Affleck this week! It was just like old times, it felt so natural to be companions with her again and to teach with her. She goes home this transfer, and I'm really going to miss her. But, we've agreed to keep in touch! Here's hoping. :)
Okay, funny story time, yesterday in church we had joint second and third hours. Bishop Voorhies taught both. In sunday school we talked about the christmas story, which was really cool, and then in third hour we talked about traditions. Bishop asked us to share our traditions around Christmas, and I was going to, but I had already talked a lot :3 and so I decided not to.       But then, he asked one more time after a few people had shared, and so I thought "Why not?" So, I shared about the "Tycksen Family Restaurant". I'll put the rest of the story in dialogue:
BishopVoorhies: I think that's a fantastic idea. How do we become a part of the Tycksen family?
Sister Voorhies: I don't know....we have a son!
Me: **speechless! Open mouth surprised expression**
Sister Voorhies: Just got back from his mission, he's 20, good looking...
Bishop: about 6'3"...
Everyone: Laughing and laughing
Me: still speechless
Hahahaha funny right? I'm still not over it. Sister Harvey and I laugh every so often about it. That's what I get for serving in a YSA ward ;)
I love y'all so much! I am so excited to talk to y'all on Christmas, but for now I'll just send my love via email!
XOXOXOXOXOXOXO to the moon and back!
Love, Sister Tycksen

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hola Mia Familia!!!


Mi querida familia,
Hola! Voy a hablar a vosotros en espanol! Esta bien? Me entendeis? No? Okay. Haha, I can't write in spanish anyways because my keyboard is in english! 
So, so sorry, but I don't have very much time today :( I was writing an email, and it was going well, but then somehow it got deleted! I'll write a hard copy letter and send it though. I'm doing well, pushing through the holiday break! Campus is pretty dead this time of year. I love you all so much! One thing I want to share is the Christmas initiative video that came out this year. It's titled "A Savior is Born" and it is incredible! It gives me chills every time I watch it and it really brings the spirit. I love my Savior! I love this gospel! I love being a missionary! I love y'all and I miss you terribly. Keep those good-lookin chins up! There are brighter days ahead :)
Love y'all
Sister Tycksen

Letter in the mail:

Hola Mia familia

      I am so sorry that you got such a short email from me.  I feel terrible.  I don't know what happened--one minute I'm typing along., then I clicked on something else and POOF! My email was gone! So, this week is old fashioned.
      This weekend was the Lubbock Stake's annual community nativity exhibit. There were hundreds of nativities from all over the world. (Contributed by members in lubbock and the surrounding areas). It was breathtaking!  There is such a sweet spirit there. We were able to "host" a few times, which was basically just to stand there and answer questions and make sure nobody touched the nativities. There was a little girl that was just walking around and looking at the nativities and so I went up to her and said "Hey can I show you something?"  She smiled and her eyes got big as she said "yeah". So I led her over to some nativities that were snowmen and Indians and cats and she loved them!  That made me so happy to see joy on her face. I really miss working with kids. That's one thing that YSA doesn't have.
     So, we had an investigator drop us this week. :( we were really sad and honestly I was heartbroken because I don't understand how people can just walk away from the gospel!  It's so good and it can help them so much. CHRIST can help them so much, if they would just let Him!
     The atonement is as if, okay let me starts over. Imagine that all you want is to build a perfect house. It's perfectly suited to you, and you know that you need to build a house because you need somewhere to live, right?  Okay, so you're going along, trying to build this house --but not really succeeding--and one day, the Savior comes to you and He says "Guess what? I built your house.  It's finished, it's done, it's ready for you to move in. ". What would you say?  Would you say thank you? Would you accept it?  When we accept the Atonement, we accept the house He has built for us, and we live in the house JOYFULLY -- making it our own, adding little things that are ours, developing our talents. Not accepting the Atonement is as if we accept the house, but we nitpick and look over every inch of the place to find flaws or little things we can change or fix. That's not how it works. Christ has already provided EVERYTHING for us.  He suffered so that we could choose not to suffer.
     Okay, so even though our investigator dropped us, we were super blessed this week with two more investigators. One of them is Nina! (Whose name is actually Ana....oops :)). She requested missionaries to visit her, so the Spanish elders went over here-- we were so excited to see hem there!  But, turns out that she wants US. :D. We are so excited!  I am so excited!  I was practically jumping up and down when the elders told us. :). We haven't been able to visit her yet, but we will soon!  More updates to come.
     Our other investigator is awesome!  She was a referral from other sisters in Lubbock and we had set up our appointment with her, but then she asked us if we had Bible studies. We told her about institute, and that it had just ended,  but it was going to start up again next semester (this was all over text). She was super excited !  With that response, we invited her to church yesterday and ..... SHE CAME!!  She stayed for the three hours, and for break the fast afterwards. She really liked our ward and she's excited to meet with us this week. :)
     One more thing,  I LOVE YA'LL!!
Have a fabulous week! You're in my prayers!

Sister Tycksen

Monday, November 30, 2015

So much to be Thankful for

Hello my dear family!

       I hope you all had a fantastic week and a wonderful Thanksgiving! I missed you all more than I can say, and I am so grateful that I'm only missing ONE family Thanksgiving and Christmas. We were invited by our bishop to go over to one of their friends' houses for Thanksgiving and it was great! The food was delicious, and the company was great too. The house that we went to had a gorgeous baby grand piano, and I got to play it a little! That made me so happy. Thanksgiving morning we did service at Salvation Army, and we also picked up trash in a field by the meetinghouse. We found some wild squash growing there and they were the perfect size to play "squash-ball" with! It was hilarious! We had a piece of wood as the bat, and sometimes when we hit the squash they would explode! It was so much fun, and we even got President and Sister Heap to join in :) After dinner, we were able to take a nap. It was the longest nap ever! (really, just an hour and a half, but when you're used to a fifteen minute nap at the end of the lunch hour, you'll take anything you can!) Then, we went to another member's house for pie and then all of the missionaries in Lubbock got together and played sports! We played dodgeball, and it was the looooongest game ever! But, I loved it! It was really hot in the gym of the church and by the end I could almost wring out my hair! Gross! But it was so much fun. It was a really good day.
      So, we have a neighbor who is not YSA, but she's so cute! She's this little spanish lady named Nina and we started talking to her, just in passing, as she decorated for Christmas. I'll have to take a picture and send it to y'all because she goes all out! On Saturday, we were passing by again, and so we waved and I felt prompted to say "Como esta?" The look on her face was priceless! Immediately, she began talking in rapidfire spanish, and luckily I got the gist of what she said, but talking to her made me so happy! I am really excited to develop a relationship with her and eventually, hopefully, introduce her to the gospel. :)
This morning we had an adventure! We get a call from our vehicle coordinator that we needed to schedule a safety inspection for our car, and so we've been trying to do that for the past week without success. But, this morning, We ended up having to call General Motors to get the information we needed, and they had the greatest, most polite machine ever! We were impressed, and a little speechless! 
      This week I have been happier than I have been in a long, loong time. I didn't notice until Sister Harvey pointed it out, but since then, I've seen a huge change in myself. It all started about a week and a half ago, when I was having a hard day, and I was able to talk to President Heap. That morning, I had studied joy and rejoicing, and something he said to me brought that to my memory. So, I decided that every day, I was going to write down the things that gave me joy. I've been doing it ever since! I know that doing that small thing every day is the reason why I am happy more often than before. I've truly experienced joy while in the service of the Lord. Something else is that I've learned that joy comes in all sorts of forms. For me, I've experienced the joy where you want to shout it from the rooftops and share it with everyone, but recently, I've experienced a quieter joy. I would describe it as a contentment in the gospel and in the Lord. I catch myself smiling at random moments during the day, for no reason at all! The gospel is the ONLY way to everlasting happiness!! 
      One more thing! Kat was baptized on Saturday :D It was an amazing baptism and both of her parents were there, and they both had tears in their eyes. They're both Church of Christ and weren't really sure about letting their daughter join the "Mormon Church", but then yesterday in her confirmation, Kat was told that her example and her light would influence her family and her parents in marvelous ways. We'll stay tuned for what happens next!

                            I love you all so much and I am so grateful to call you mine :) 
Kat's baptism

I hope y'all have a fantastic week full of miracles and happy moments!
Love, Sister Tycksen
Purple cabbage --here we go...

p.s. Oh and one more thing! I made purple cabbage! It turned out great! :D

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Learning Heaven

Hello my dear Family!!

     Thanksgiving is around the corner, it's finally getting cold, and I just passed my seven month mark! Time is progressing way too fast! This week we were super blessed to be fed by members, even though our meal calendar didn't get signed up on. I am grateful that although we're in a YSA ward, the hearts of the members are so big and willing to help!
      We were able to do so much service this week! We went and cleaned the temple on Friday. We cleaned the granite out front and the flowerbeds and benches on the side. And then Sister Harvey and I got to paint a cabinet! Brother Adams and Brother Stubbs are so funny to be around. Also, I don't know if I told y'all, but my first day in the mission, there was a couple that took me to Hobbs on the way to Roswell. Their names are the Brother and Sister Griffin, and I absolutely loved them! I got to see Brother Griffin again! He helps clean the temple. We also got to help hang some new pictures that came in to replace old ones that are faded. We went up to the roof of the temple again, and this time we got to go up just a little bit higher! Don't worry, we took pictures. :)
     We did a lot of service at the Food bank this week too. On Saturday it was suuuper cold and so we were inside sorting cans and other food. They were all in these huge barrels, and so when they got low and it was hard to reach the cans at the bottom, one of the elders would lift up the barrel and dump it while we sorted the food. So, that happened with one of the barrels, but the cans were all in bags, so it was hard to get them out. I told the elder that they were all in bags, but he kept tipping the barrel more and more! To me it seemed like he just wasn't listening! Finally, the bags all fell out of the barrel and onto the floor. At this, he looked sheepish and said "Oh they're all in bags! I thought you said they were all in the back!" So, all of the missionaries laughed and both the elder and I felt pretty silly because of a simple miscommunication. 
     We've found a spanish speaking investigator! This was a wakeup call to me though because I have been seriously lax in my language study! SO, I studied in Spanish this morning for personal study and I actually learned a lot! It's amazing, but there are so many scriptures that mean so much more in Spanish than in English. One of them is D&C 88:25. It's actually the scripture I've chosen to ponderize this week, but I'm going to do it in Spanish! And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—
     For some reason, it means more to me in Spanish :) I love that it says "the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation". There was a conference talk this last October about filling the measure of your creation, and I thought of that talk as I read this scripture this morning. We are destined to be celestial beings, and the only way to reach that point is to learn the celestial law while here on earth. There's a quote from Brad Wilcox that says "We're not earning heaven, we're learning heaven."       That is truly what we're doing on this earth!

I love you all so much and I hope you have a fantastic week!
Love from Texas,
Sister Tycksen

Headed out to serve at  the food bank

Texas Lubbock Temple - setting our sights high :)