Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last Emails From MTC - The actual last one

Merry Christmas Family!!

   So the MTC just let us know this morning that we would be able to email our families for Christmas! How fun! Es ist ein Weihnachten Wunder as we like to say (a Christmas miracle). So this morning I woke up at the normal 6:30, showered, and then got dressed and opened my Christmas gifts! Thank you all so much! I love it and I love seeing everyone's pictures inside! That's something the mission has definitely made me appreciate so much more, pictures!

   How was your Christmas morning? Did you get to take lots of pictures?? I'd love to see! This morning we got to have sacrament meeting as a whole MTC together, all 2,120 missionaries. It was really impressive to see how they were able to accomplish it. Elder Bednar also came with his wife to attend our sacrament meeting and talk to us. He and his wife did a fantastic job! Elder Bednar talked to us about turning towards others instead of focusing on ourselves like the natural man. He explained that Elder Neal A. Maxwell said once that "There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ." Elder Bednar said that the character of Christ was in the midst of affliction he turns outward to help others instead of focusing on himself. Cookie monster, he said, is the perfect example of the natural man. And Elder Bednar proceeded to talk like cookie monster," me want cookies now,  me want baptisms now, me want investigators now!!!"  while pounding the podium. It was quite funny but it got the point across. Something interesting about German is the word to repent means to turn around or turn back. Elder Bednar was saying that when we repent we're turning back to God so that our focus can be on others. He challenged us to lose ourselves in the work of serving others before we can work on ourselves to have the character of Christ more upon us. when we do that we tend to find ourselves in the service of others without intending to. Then at the end he gave us a blessing and said that according to our desire and diligence we will increase in our understanding of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ, and with that will come every gift of the spirit that we will need for the rest of our lives to never fall away and lose this gospel from our lives. It was really a wonderful spirit and he said so much more but I'll share with you all some more through letters! Having him speak to us was like drinking from a fire hydrant but it was WONDERFUL! I really learned a lot about Jesus Christ today and what kind of person I need to be. I am really far from there but I'm excited to change my focus onto others and be a better disciple of Christ.

    We just had our Christmas lunch of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. It was fun to eat a semi-homey meal. We then walked up to the Provo temple one last time, took some pictures, and now I'm emailing you all! I'm pretty much all packed. I got all of it done yesterday and right now I'm under on both bags. One is 45 and the other is 48 lbs. (When flying, if their luggage goes over the weight limit, they have to pay extra) I did not count in the fact that I have used a lots of things that won't be coming with me to Germany.  I miss you all very much and hope that y'all have a really fun Christmas filled with love and smiles and laughter and perhaps a fire!  Dad make sure you play "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" on the piano . I was thinking about that the other day how I used to sit with you and sing along while you played. Mumma I'm sorry I'm not there to help with cooking. Dad said you're having lamb for christmas! I hope you all enjoy it and fill your bellys with wonderfulness. Be sure to share with me all your Christmas stories and all the events that have transpired between today and tomorrow morning when I get to talk to you. (Missionaries can get to call their families from the airport when they are going International. Ariel plans on calling from the Salt Lake City airport before her flight)

I love you all. Have a fabulous Christmas day! Remember Christ today and I'll talk to you all TOMORROW!!! Oh meine gute, I may just wet my pants with excitement!

Love you all,
 Ariel Nell

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