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.

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 :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cast down and forsaken, but not destroyed!

Hello my dear family!

      Well, before y'all freak out about the subject line, I'll just tell you: I've been sick for the past few days. It's been hard because being sick isn't fun wherever you are, but as a missionary, yes you're sick, but you're also a  missionary...so, life goes on. I was stuck in bed all day Friday and I had a fever yesterday at church (yay!) but, I've caught myself from asking "Why is this happening? I don't understand." to thinking "okay, what am I supposed to learn from this?" And that has helped so much. To relate my emotions ;) I'll explain it in a way Sister Heap does:
      When you go running every day, it's hard sometimes, but it's especially hard to go when it's cold, or it's raining, or really windy. You don't want to go! It's so much easier to stay inside where it's nice and warm and comfortable. But, when you go out and you run in those hard conditions, you accomplish something. You can say, "Yes! It was hard, but I did it!" That's how I feel right now. Yes, I was not feeling well at church yesterday, but I did it :) "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."
       On another note, We met a TON of random different people this week! We contacted on tech for an hour an a half one day and we talked to SO MANY PEOPLE!! I've learned a lot about following the promptings that I receive from the Spirit. And also that although we are supposed to talk to everyone, we are supposed to follow the spirit and say the right words to touch their hearts. Not everyone receives the spirit the same way. 
        I've been studying a lot about God and who He is. My inspiration for this came from a quote in PMG: "When he prayed, you knew he was talking to the Lord. It wasn't a rote thing--it was a conversation." And so that made me think :How do I need to address God in my prayers? Because He really has so many titles and roles, it's hard to pick one. I came up with a list of names for our Heavenly Father, and I realized that we shouldn't say "Oh, today I'm speaking to the creator of the world" or "I'm speaking to my deity" or "I'm only talking with my Father". We don't get to pick and choose which titles He deserves, because they are ALL HIS. We are addressing our Supreme Creator, the Father of mankind, our King, our Majesty on High, our Heavenly Father. We are everything to Him, and He should be everything to us.
        There's a scripture in Acts 17:28 that says:

For in him we live, and move, and have our being. As certain also of your poets have said, for we are also his offspring. Isn't that so amazing? In him we live and move and have our being. Without God, we are literally nothing. This has been a journey for me and I feel like it has strengthened my relationship with Him immensely. And the best part is, there is so much more to come!

I hope y'all are having a wonderful week, and that it continues to be so :)

With Love from Texas,
Sister Tycksen

Monday, November 9, 2015

Change is good :)

Hello my dear family!

       Well, this week was something else! We had a table on campus in the free speech area where we were trying (but not really succeeding) to get people to come talk to us about "Mormons". It didn't work too well, but we're not giving up! The elders are really persistent and "gung-ho" to talk to literally ANYONE. It's fun to watch.
         It has gotten a little chilly here! It would be fine if there was no wind, but the Texas wind is RELENTLESS!! Last night it was 55 degrees, but Sister Harvey and I whipped out our winter wear anyways! I really like the changing seasons, but not so much when I'm caught unawares and unprepared to handle them! 
        This week we were able to go to the temple, and it was amazing. I haven't been since August, so I've really missed it! I learn so much every time I go, and this time was no exception. It's funny, but sometimes I can "sense" when I'm on the verge of making a spiritual jump--because everything gets really hard all at once, and my brain feels like it's trying to expand beyond my skull. :) It's such a wonderful time. ;) I truly am grateful for opportunities to grow and improve though. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today. 
        A really interesting thing that I learned this morning comes from Alma 7:25. Alma is talking about virtues to live and perfect, and how we can come closer to Christ by doing that. In this verse he says that as we do this, our "garments [become] spotless even as [the] garments [of the prophets] are spotless" and we come "in the kingdom of heaven to go no more out". How amazing is that? We can become spotless like unto the prophets and dwell in the kingdom of heaven with them forever! I want that! When we keep the eternal perspective in mind, it makes our trials and hardships easier to bear and to learn from.

I love you all so much!!! I hope y'all have a GREAT week!! :D

Love, Sister Tycksen

Monday, November 2, 2015

His Ways Are Not Our Ways

My dear family,

     Hello! Can you believe it's already November? Where did the time go? I hope that everyone had an awesome Halloween.

     Well, we had our "mission tour" this weekend! Elder Bradley D. Foster from the Seventy came and spoke to us. He and his wife are amazing! I learned so much from both of them and actually, after the mission tour, Sister Foster an Sister Heap came to a lesson with us! I was so nervous at first, but then I was so grateful that we had that opportunity. 

     Funny Halloween story: we were meeting with a recent convert in a building on campus, but he wasn't there yet so we were waiting for him in some chairs. All of a sudden, Sister Harvey points out a SPIDER that is coming down from the ceiling literally SIX INCHES from my face! The first thing that went through my mind was "Happy Halloween!" and then I froze. Usually, in a fight or flight situation, I'm flight, but this spider had me pinned in a corner! I was absolutely terrified! (Which is strange, because anyone who knows me knows that I am not afraid of spiders in the LEAST--unless, of course, they come at me when I'm unarmed! So, while I was frozen, not knowing what to do, Sister Harvey yanks my bag from my lap and pulls me along with it! So, she saved the day.(yay!) I am so grateful for her. She and I are pretty much the same person, but we also have different strengths and weaknesses, so we help each other out. But, on my mission, I've decided to accept the fact that my life is full of crazy embarrassing moments that happen when I least expect them!

      So, the scripture that I ponderized this last week was 1 Corinthians 9:24-26. I love this scripture! To me, it's a battle cry to focus our efforts and realize what we are fighting for.

 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery istemperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
       And then, this week, I've decided to ponderize the 4th and 5th verses from the hymn "How Firm A Foundation". I don't know if that's against the rules of ponderizing...? But I'm doing it anyway! I was challenged to read and study the verses of this hymn by a less active that we are working with--we give him commitments and he gives us commitments.

4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
   My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

       I absolutely love these verses, and for some reason, I've never read them before! The last two lines of the 5th verse particularly speak to me: The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design  Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.  The dross is all of the dirt and impurities that are in ore before it is refined into gold. When we are in "fiery trials" and we feel like we're at our breaking point, that is when we are being changed from sparkly rock into precious gold. Hang in there, it gets better, I promise. I am a witness that GOd has a plan for each of His children, and that none of our plans are the same! I know that He reveals what we need exactly when we need it, and all we have to do is to press forward with a perfect brightness of hope and endure to the end! What a beautiful promise!

I love you all so much! I hope y'all have a wonderful week! (I snuck in some Texan there)

Love, Sister Tycksen

P.S. whenever I meet new people, they find it absolutely hilarious that I'm a "Tycksen" in Texas!

Hermana Harvey and Hermana Tycksen (she cut off about half her hair. :) and LOVES it!!!