Monday, October 31, 2011

MTC Week One

   How are ya'll doing? Being here at the MTC is difficult and not a walk in the park that I guess I thought it would be. There are definite up and down moments but it's good. My companion is Sister Noyes (pronounced Noise) and she is from Mesa, Arizona. She is super nice and knows lots of German already so that helps when we're studying together and attempting to talk to one another in German. My district is super fun! You can absolutely tell that the Elders used to be 19 year old boys but over the past five days we have all watched as they grow into Elders really fast. It's really cool. So for Sister missionaries in Germany they don't call them Schwester, or sister in German because Germans think of krankenschwesters which are nurses or nuns so we're just Sisters. So pretty much we spend all day in our classroom with the ten of us for planning, classroom time, personal study, and even breaks! Yesterday was church and it was funny how everything is spread out throughout the day. For Relief Society Elaine S. Dalton came to speak to us! They let us watch 'Music and the Spoken Word' before and while I was listening to the music I saw this lady on the stand and thought, "hey, she looks like Sister Dalton." Sister Noyes didn't know what she looked like so we couldn't make a definite decision until she was introduced! She said that she felt like our moms and she had one last time to impart a bit of knowledge before we go. Most of the sister missionaries here have grown up with her in the General Young Womens Presidency. It was really touching. She told us to never turn around when we're in the middle of the hill and to always remember who we are. I felt like that was really helpful advice just because being here made me question everything. It is not easy but I do think it's worth it.
   So I thought you'd appreciate this story. Yesterday at lunch I was sitting next to an Elder who told me that making dinner on Sunday was work. I turned to him with a puzzled face and said, "that's the Law of Moses, we don't practice that anymore." He's a funny kid (funny peculiar). But Lyndel can be sure that I'm not becoming a robot and am speaking my mind. Sister Noyes was concerned cause she wasn't listening to my conversation but all she heard was me say "what?!" across the table :)
   Our instructor is Bruder Hill and he served his mission in the Hamburg mission that doesn't exist anymore.There are only three german speaking missions: Berlin, Frankfurt, and Alpine (which includes Switzerland,Austria, and the lower bit of Germany.) Bruder Hill is really nice and VERY patient! He taught us how to pray in German already and bare our testimonies. The first time I prayed it was with my eyes open but now I can safely do it with them closed. Although I have just a few phrases that I know for sure are correct and everything else is just guessing :) We have an investigator that we're teaching. His name is Marcel, but he is actually our other instructor Bruder Peterson pretending to be someone he taught on his mission. Our first lesson with him was okay but Saturday we were able to teach him again and I think we did a great job! It's surprising how much words return to me that I totally forgot about. He was saying that life is hard and he doesn't know how God can help him through trials and I told him (all in German) that God answers our prayers through people or events to help us and sometimes he doesn't at all so that we can learn and grow from our experiences! Cool huh? I can sort of speak German :)
   Our p-days are Monday so we are all really excited to just have a break, do our laundry, and go to the temple! For emails they are serious when they say 30 minutes. We have a timer that is sitting at the top of our screens that count down. My address has just changed by one number, so instead of us leaving on December 27th we're leaving on December 26th, Merry Christmas!! On my address its GER-BER 1226. Sister Noyes and I are going to the book store today to buy pictures and paper so we can decorate our classroom. Since we'll be stuck in here for 9 weeks all the foreign students decorate the walls to make it a little more interesting.
   Thanks for being supportive of me. I know I need to forget everything and get to work but that is a harder concept than I have ever imagined! Dear Elders are fun during the week and I've been able to respond to everyone who sent one so if it hasn't come yet just know they're out there. It seems that snail mail and packages take a while to get here. Know that I love you and I miss you incredibly much and any words of wisdom are always welcome! Anyways not a lot of time left! Love you!!!!!!

-Ariel Nell

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