Monday, November 28, 2011

MTC - Week Five!

I got t-minus 27 minutes to write here. But know that I’m VERY grateful you wrote to me!!! My German is coming along. I'm feeling really good about speaking it. My grammar is in no sense accurate all the time but you can understand what I’m trying to say. Our instructors called us to repentance Saturday night because they said we haven't been speaking a lot or enough of German throughout our day and we should be speaking it all the time so that is something Sister Noyes and I are going to work on this week and till forever.

Tuesday night Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and spoke to us at our devotional. I really enjoyed hearing him. He explained to us that we are companions with the apostles and that being missionaries has an apostolic duty that we are fulfilling. I had never thought of how serious or how high our callings are until then. He also told us when we come home from our missions to not say to the Lord that he owes us since we served him. We need to come home and say, I owe HIM even more; I will serve him all my life. The last point he made is something I really have a testimony of. He said, “Any trial we have on our mission will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ. It will be as nothing because we have learned of the Joy of Jesus Christ. Give your heart to God." Being here at the MTC has definitely made me recognize places in my life that I needed to change, repent of, or fix. As I have studied the Atonement I have come to know the immense love that our Father in Heaven really has for us and the sacrifice he offered, his Son, can enable us to accomplish anything in this life. Preach my gospel talks about us coming or being sent to this earth to find joy. I know that Joy in this life is recognizing the Joy in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If you haven’t ever studied it or come to know it I really encourage everyone to answer those four questions that Brother Heaton said about tithing and do it for the Atonement, or any principle for that matter that you don't quite understand. It’s really cool :)

So for our Thanksgiving we got to have a morning devotional from Elder Russell M. Nelson. Pretty cool huh?? Two apostles in ONE week! His wife spoke to us first and it was amazing! She told us to serve our missions after the manner of how the Lord will show us and not after the manner of men. In 1 Nephi is the story of the Lord instructing him to build a boat. Nephi explains that he didn't build it after the manner of men. When I read that it just made me want to see what kind of boat he actually did build. And then Sister Nelson talked about that very phrase. Kinda cool :) Elder Nelson first and foremost told us to tell our parents that he is very thankful for our families and to not forget to tell them! He taught us about the word Hallelujah which really means praise to the Lord God, Jehovah. It was fun to get a nice history lesson. He then played the Men of MOTAB (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) singing this song titled "Alleluia". I recommend you all listening to it. The accompaniment is really boring but the singing is wonderful! After our devotional we had thanksgiving lunch. And it was really good. I was really grateful for all the MTC did to give us a taste of home that day. My tray was full of good food. The pumpkin pie wasn't anything like Mum's but I ate it anyways and pretended that it was :) After lunch we had a humanitarian program where a man spoke to us about the humanitarian project we were going to do that afternoon. We put together 8,000 injury kits for the people in Sudan. It was fun being little assembly lines. So what do you get with extra supplies for these kits and a bunch of Elders?? Airplanes and bombs made of splints and wood and wraps for your arms. They were quite entertained! In the evening we got to watch the movie 17 miracles. They even gave us kettle corn!!

My district has begun to call me Sister Hollywood because I get at least one dear elder or letter from someone every day. I have to tell you all thank you so much for those letters. You have no idea how helpful they are to all of us. Even if it isn't from our own family. We all love sharing our letters and packages and such. So thank you family and friends!! I'm grateful for you all! So last Sunday we had 480 sister missionaries in the Provo MTC, an all-time record. Cool huh?

For our service assignment on Saturday, Sister Noyes and I cleaned bathrooms again like all the other times. Sister Noyes and I always set up our mop bucket, cleaning supplies, and broom outside the bathrooms and prop the men’s and women’s doors open so that people know they're being clean and are inhabited. Well....I was going from the women’s bathroom into the men’s to clean the urinals and toilet when I walked in on an Elder standing at the urinal peeing. I've quickly said sorry, ran out of there into the girl’s bathroom with Sister Noyes and proceeded to go red in the face while wetting my pants in laughter. Of all the places that would happen I would have never guessed it'd happen in the MTC.  I have learned here that elders don't always think through their actions like one elder giving his testimony saying he was grateful for all the missionaries there in the room except the sisters and proceeded to OOOO like he dissed us. Yes, Elders don't think through their actions but I'm learning to love and appreciate the work they do and look beyond their weaknesses. That has been a hard thing to learn but a good thing! :)

One of the Elders in my district received a Christmas tree with lights and ornaments to decorate it. We spent Saturday morning setting it up and put it in our classroom :) In our room I’ve set up the Christmas tree Brenda sent. It’s our little night light when we go to bed. I really like it. Oh Brenda! Thanks for the ear plugs! I've been sleeping like a dead man ever since!  The weather is getting worse with how dry it is and i believe my body is in retaliation to being here. It is constantly itchy with lovely rashes on my sides. I got Sister Stowell to scratch my back for me last night because it’s moved to my back now. Sister Noyes and I are going to go to the store and get lotion today so I can stop being so ashy!

Real quick! Sister Noyes and I committed our first investigator to baptism this past week. His name is Ming! It was such a thrill and it’s been a really fun experience to teach him. He's getting baptized December 17th, happy birthday Camilia :)

WELL..... I love you all! I'm sorry this email isn't full of even more funny stories but it’s been a great week full of devotionals and firesides and lots of learning.
 Love you Bunches and Bunches!
-Ariel Nell

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