Monday, December 12, 2011


I've got two weeks left until Deutschalnd day!!! How exciting??!! We're all getting really excited to finally get to Germany but upset to leave everyone. Half of my district will be going to the Alpine mission, which includes Austria, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. It'll be sad to say goodbye to all of them. The MTC wanted to let our families know that no packages will be accepted after the 23rd of December but I don't expect any coming because I think it's headed to Deutschland right? and in case you forgot I will not have the opportunity to call home on Christmas. (Missionaries usually only get to call home twice a year - Mother's Day and Christmas) I think they're will be close to 2500 missionaries here on Christmas so you can see how difficult that would be.

    Here are some funny stories from the week. Tuesday morning I heard someone's alarm go off so I dutifully got out of bed and on my knees and began saying my morning prayer. Mid-prayer Sister Curtis goes, "Sister Abamonte, it's 4:30 in the morning." So I stopped praying and got back into bed. Come to find out another sister in our room had set her alarm so she could get up and help Sisters in her district leave for the Peru MTC. I felt silly but how would I know what time it was. It wasn't my alarm clock! :) I had a dream this past week that I was reading in the Bible and the verses went something like," and God said to honor the Fleur De Lis and LSU is of God." I'm pretty sure that's not in the Bible anywhere but in my dream I was pointing it out to one of my Louisiana friends. I'm pretty sure it's blasphemy to be making up scriptures too. Oops! At dinner two nights ago I was explaining that I liked fried okra. In mid-chew of a tator tot (kind of like fried potatoes no bigger than your thumb) one Elder goes," You like fried OPRAH?!" and then I laughed and tator tot went up my nose. It is an unpleasant feeling to have to blow your nose because it's stuffed of tator tots. Elder Hemsley, one of our zone leaders, enjoys rapping about Gospel Principles or the various things we have to memorize in German. I asked him this week if he thought we could ever punch Satan and he goes," yeah, everytime someone is baptized." I thought that was funny. And last, I had an epic fail in teaching an investigator this week. Jose was curious about how it would be alright for Nephi to kill Laban. Sister Noyes told me I should pull out the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that the Lord explains why it was okay. Its in D&C 98: 24-32. I accidentally started reading from verse 14 which talks all about renouncing war and turning the Jews to the Prophets and the Prophets to the Jews. He was quite confused. And so was I when I realized I had no idea what the scripture was talking about that I was reading. Moral of the story: know your scriptures in German so you can teach them on the fly in German.

    We got 25 new missionaries in this past Wednesday. They make our group of the older missionaries look soooo small. There are only 4 new sisters so it was easy to learn their names and faces but I can't ever recognize all the Elders and certainly not their names. Thats something I've got to work on. This Wednesday we get to host which is where we open car doors and lead the new missionaries around to get the various items they need when they first get to the MTC. It should be fun and quite cold but we're all excited!

       Elder Snow from the Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy and his wife came this past Tuesday. Something that Elder Snow said that hit me pretty hard was that I'm a full-time missionary. Full-time missionary service will define me as a person. It made me think that I can't "check-out" as a missionary. I have to work full time and give the Lord my entire forcus and will. This is not my time, its the Lords'. In class this past week we got to watch a clip from a devotional that David A. Bednar gave several years ago in the MTC. He spoke about how to recognize that we're teaching with the Spirit. His suggestion: quit worrying about it! He said as long as we are being good boys and good girls, honoring our covenants, keeping the commandments, and doing our absolute best the Lord will fill our mouths with the words we need and put us in the places or with the people we need to be. He related a really neat story from his mission that Elder Packer spoke of in a talk entitled, "The 20 mark note".  He gave the talk to BYU-Idaho students. If you can, see if you can find it and read it. It was really interesting. And Elder Bednar served in Germany which is even cooler ;) On Sunday Sister Noyes and I sang in sacrament "Tochter Zion" a German Christmas hymn only in our German hymn books. I got one of the other sisters to record us singing and will be mailing Bryan the SD card so you all should be able to hear us! Sunday evening we got to have our fireside given by the BYU mens chorus. It was really nice to just hear Christmas music and not have to take notes. Nothing like Spelman and Moorehouse but the best I could get out here :)

   Please do tell me what happens between Alabama and LSU! Thanks for your emails! and letters! and dear elders! I love hearing from everyone and knowing what you're up to. OH!!! I was able to do an endowment session for another german today, Ottilie Kause. :) I love you all and I hope you are all safe and well! I pray for you always! Thanks for all your support. It means the world to me! Remember to be good boys and good girls, honor your covenants, keep the commandments, and do your very best!!! LOVE YOU!
- Ariel Nell

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