Guten Tag!! Wie gehts Ihnen heute?? I love being able to hear from everyone!!! And I’m so jealous you all get a whole week off of school!!!! Dad thanks for your thoughts on Tithing. I'm sorry I didn't tell you last week but we had a member of the MTC Administrative Directors give a fireside all about tithing and what he had to say I thought you'd really enjoy. Brother Heaton said that as missionaries we have to teach the principle of tithing, not money. We have to help our investigators understand the purpose of paying tithing because if they don't have a testimony or understanding of just that principle they will not stay active. Tithing is something that is often taught from parent to child and so as missionaries we have to create a tradition with our investigators that is moveable from generation to generation. Last he taught us how to study principles of the gospel with four questions: What has the Lord said about Tithing?, How does the Lord feel about His children living the Law of the Tithe?, Why should an investigator want to commit to pay the Law of Tithing?, and How do I feel about it? I've been answering these four questions in my personal studies and my testimony of various principles has grown immensely. I'd suggest to anyone who’s not sure how to start studying to begin with this. It’s wonderful!!!
Last email I said we aren't allowed to listen to music and some people were confused so I shall explain. In the MTC, specifically this week, there are 2080 missionaries. They don't want us all to be able to play music at the same time because then it would be a chaotic mess and noisy. So no music in the MTC. Also depending on your missions, they have different rules to what you can listen to.
Now time for odd stories throughout the week :) On Tuesday night we have devotionals and the man conducting the meeting got up after the opening hymn and said, “Thank you Elders for that wonderful singing." Yes, I am a man now because I wear a tag and don't have two X chromosomes. And another Elder told me that you have to take your fiancé hiking through the Appalachian trail to make sure your marriage will work. So Mum and Dad, Lyndel and Mike, Andre and Ellen get hiking because you're a little late!! ;) Sister Stowell, a Sister that I room with and whose is in my district, took a shower the other night. Many girls like to sing in the shower and so Sister Stowell thought she'd join in on Beauty and the Beast songs and this one Sister told her to stop singing. Sister Stowell explained that she liked to sing and just didn't have a very good voice and the other Sister told her, "No, you're just trying to be obnoxious." Lesson learned: the showers for some people are sacred time and do NOT sing unless invited to. Sister Stowell ran out of the bathroom before the other sister could find her. She was afraid for her well-being.
So Sister Noyes and I had a fabulous lesson with Ming this past week, actually two fabulous lessons. We got him to pray for the first time which was adorable. Apparently we forgot to explain that you can pray out loud so when we got him to pray we all folded our arms, bowed our heads, and waited. But nothing was being said.....I looked up and saw Ming with his hands pressed together like the Japanese do when they bow to greet people and his lips moving because he was praying, we just couldn't HEAR him :) I laughed, which is definitely not the best idea to do but it was just too cute and too funny. Afterwards we told him he could pray out loud and he thought that was funny but did it in our next lesson, so we're doing pretty good. Anyways, Sister Noyes walks out of our lesson with Ming into our classroom and there was the biggest stench of fart you've ever experienced. I turned to the Elders in the room and they said it wasn't them, that Elder Hemsley or Hanson did it, so I went out to find them. When I found them Hemsley pointed to Hanson and I told him, “Seriously, take it to the bathroom next time." Yes, I am everyone’s mother here too. Here’s a way you can tell you're on a mission with boys: Elders Hemsely and Hanson told us that they do their planning in the bathroom," assume the position", and then proceeded to tell us who was in the left stall and who had the right. Apparently Sister Noyes and I planning in the classroom isn't productive enough :) And last, the Elders told us about the "pine cone of fertility." When you hold it in your hands, ponder on it, you will receive letters from girls in the mail. Kinda sounds like Aladdin and his magic lamp. One of our Elders swears by it. He got three letters from girls after holding it and thinking about it. HA HA! :)
It snowed this past week!!! Sister Noyes got some pictures so I’ll be sure to send it. It was neat to see all those missionaries who had never seen snow run around and play in it. So I'm a bad companion, Sister Noyes’ Mum sent her a Willow Tree statue of a mother, father, and baby as a gift. Sister Noyes put it next to her on the air conditioning unit in our room. I was reaching for the area book and knocked her statue off the vent and beheaded both the mother and the father. I felt really bad and told sister Noyes to expect a gift from me once she gets off her mission. She wasn't upset, more laughed than anything but that’s how you know you're a bad companion when you break their gifts, two minutes after opening it.
This Sunday for Relief Society Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, Second Counselor in the General Primary Presidency came and spoke to us. She said that if we take care of the Lords children he will take care of ours (or our families :). We get to watch Music and the Spoken Word before and it’s the most wonderful time of the year because we get to hear MUSIC!!! If you can, watch last week’s episode where they sang "Come Thou Fount", AMAZING!!! Some of the singers were even emotional.
Last fun stories: Sister Stowell, when teaching a lesson told the investigator that the Indians from India gave us Turks from Turkey to eat for thanksgiving. And our speaker last night said he told an investigator that he knew Christ milked the apostles in his last days, instead of saying ordained, and bore testimony of it!! Too funny, hopefully nothing that bad happens when I teach!!! KNOCK ON WOOD!!!
I love you all! Hope you're enjoying your wonderful week off and I'll talk to you all next Monday! Happy Thanksgiving family!! Love you
- Ariel Nell