Monday, December 19, 2011

Almost the last Email from the MTC! - Deutschland in ein Woche!!

Hello beautiful family!!
   So this will be the second to last email you will be getting from me. Since we leave on our P-day, next monday, they are giving us p-day on saturday so I'lI get to email you all then too! On Thursday we all got our itinerary so I shall let you know how my traveling will be. They have made me the traveling leader and put me in charge of everyones tickets and getting everyone to Germany. I'm not sure if I like all this responsibility.... Anyways for our flight plans: We leave at 9:54am from Salt Lake City  to Minneapolis, MN arriving at 1:37pm. Then fly from Minneapolis to Amsterdam, Netherlands arriving at 6:35am on the December 27th. The last flight at 8:00am from Amsterdam to Berlin arriving at 9:25am. It's going to be a long day of traveling but we're all very excited. The Alpine missionaries will actually be stopping in Atlanta on the 26th, so lucky!

    On Tuesday for the devotional we got to hear from Elaine S. Dalton again. She talked to us about three gifts: gifts in unfamiliar packages, spiritual gifts, and gifts we give the world. I really enjoyed her inspiring words. She told us that we have the grand priviledge to do here on earth what we did in the premortal world: to share our testimonies of Christ. Yesterday with my district we watched a talk given by Jeffrey R. Holland about the miracles of a mission. He explained that the same battle we fought in our pre-existence, whether to choose to follow Heavenly Father and Christ or Satan, is the same battle we are fighting here on earth. We're just in a new arena. It's interesting to me that everything we do here is because of what happened there. It just shows how extremely important understanding the plan of salvation is.

    My district was interviewed by a Swiss radio station, Schweizer Radio DRS. The reporter said it was the equivalent to NPR but in Switzerland. An MTC PR man found me a few days before the interview and said that should the Swiss reporter want to interview one-on-one with someone they chose me to be the Sister representative. When we actually got to be interviewed he didn't pull any of us out, but he did go around asking questions. He wanted a Sister to respond in German and asked if anyone would be willing. My whole district pointed to me and so I responded to a question of his all auf Deutsch! Cool huh?! He asked what our daily schedule was so I explained some of the regular things we do each day. It certainly was no where close to good grammar but it was a neat experience of being a representative of Jesus Christ. The MTC people told us that normally the European missions only get 1 VIP interview a year, and now they've had 5 in the past 3 months, our district participating in two of them! After interviewing us the Swiss reporter was so intrigued that he has decided to write two articles instead of the planned one. One about the church and one just about the MTC. The MTC PR man said that if it is published they will send it to our missions so we can see the articles. I sure do hope so!

    On Thursday we had our last appointment with our investigator Ming. He got baptized on Saturday. It was such a bitter-sweet thing to have our last lesson with him. We taught about temples and eternal families and committed him to prepare himself to enter into the temple once he is baptized. I had the opportunity of baring my testimony of how grateful I am that one day I may be sealed forever to someone in the temple, so that we can be good examples to our children and raise them in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  So to all of you who are married, I hope you realize what a blessing the temple is and that you see it in your lives each day!

    Daniel and Rebecca Winters are both in the MTC now and last night they did a vocal duet together of The First Noel. It was really cute to see! I saw Daniel a few days earlier and said hi and he asked if he knew me. I felt a little awkward but explained I grew up with Rebecca and am friends with Aubree Stoddard. Today since the temple is closed we don't get to attend a session but we have the opportunity to clean it. I'm really looking forward to it!! I'll tell you all how it goes on Saturday when I get to email again!

   Sunday was a really hard day. Realizing how close Christmas is made me really home sick. In Relief Society, I think they tried to make us not homesick but having the daughters of the Relief Society Presidency talk about Christmas in their missions, that just made me a balling mess. It's like I want to be in the mission or at home for Christmas, just not in the MTC. Its a learning experience for sure.

   OH!!!! you'll all love this! In Relief Society they said "a wonderful company gave us make up for Christmas, please don't throw it away." Too funny :) All the Sisters in my district turned and looked at me when they made that announcement.

    I'm out of time, but I love you all so very much. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. It's such a blessing to know so many people are behind me! I love you all! Have a fabulous week!
-ariel nell

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