Monday, December 31, 2012

Greetings from Chattanoog​a!

Hey Andre!
 I love that you surprised Ellen by driving past the exit for church, haha. That was cheeky. I hope you two have a great time on the old river boat.  Sister Dean and I took a boat of our own this week but It was out into the middle of the north sea and I did all that I could to keep from puking. I survived and it was wonderful. We visited Helgoland, a little island in our area. Definitely some place worth visiting on vacation in the summer.

    For New years Germans get VERY drunk by 6pm most people are. They all eat Berliners (jelly filled doughnuts) at midnight and just have fun with friends and family I believe. We all have to be home at 6 pm unless we're out with members then they have to drive us home. So we just made it easier on the ward and told them we weren't going to go out. We bought pizza and apfel schörle (apple something) and plan on putting together the puzzle that Mum and Dad sent to me for Christmas and plan on going to bed. We will most likely be woken up at midnight by all the yelling and fireworks. The fireworks here are the type we have to drive to Alabama to buy, big rockets. The people have been shooting them off the past couple of days. When I was in Celle last year, I remember waking up to the sound of fireworks at midnight. There were so many it sounded like rain.

    Our investigators are doing great. The alcoholic is actually one of our most progressing investigators. He is waiting for his doctor to come back from the holidays so he can get the approval to enter into a rehab clinic. Other than that he comes to church each week, studies the scriptures like crazy, and meets with us twice a week. He is starting to make friends at church finally which takes a load off of us to have to worry about him all the time. He is treated just like a member here.

        Sister Dean and I are both staying in Bremerhaven this transfer. I feel very blessed to not have to be in any other crazy cold city for the winter months. The next transfer is on Feb. 11th and we will get the call on the 9th. Crazy how much time is going by. I'm feeling great health wise. Always exhausted by the end of the day but what else is new? My knee is doing better so that's good.

   Have fun on your vacation with Ellen! Love you Both. Geaux Tigers!

-Ariel Nell

New Years Eve

Hey Dad!

Don't worry, I know I can see a dentist or a doctor if I need to. Sister Dean had to get a cavity filled a couple months back so we traveled to Hamburg to get that done because the Stake President in Hamburg is actually a dentist. Handy huh? My knee is doing better but still very colorful and sore. This week, while climbing up a hill with my bike in the rain I slipped and fell twice, each time landing on my bad knee. I was very irritated with myself about that but the knee seems to be holding up okay. It always does better the more I sit down and don't walk around. Kind of hard to avoid on the mission but we manage.

I'm sorry you and Mum both got sick. That is no way to spend a vacation. I think its fun that you and David get to tag a long with Eli and Claire on their little dates :) That must be fun and add certainly a new twist to your relationship with the Alders. We also had big lessons on missionary work and our Branch President basically called everyone to repentance and invited them all to suggest names to us (Sister Dean and I) as well as streets that they have prayed about that we could door. I know you love me Dad, no worries. Sorry hearing my voice was so hard. I felt like I had just talked to you all and it was no un-ordinary thing to be calling you all and talking to you all on the phone. A couple nights ago I read the journal entry that you wrote in your journal entry and scanned in for me to have. I really love reading it because it helps me understand just how much I care to you, how much you love me, and what I have to look forward to one day. You are a wonderful example to me Dad.

Well this week Sister Dean and I received even more referrals. We had an eating appointment with a new couple in our ward. We taught them our message about consistency with prayer = results and then invited them to spend time as a family and pray about someone we could visit who would be interested in hearing about the gospel. They agreed to do that but before we even left they gave us the name of the only other person they know in their new dorf for us to visit. Sister Dean and I are trying hard to get into contact with all these people, it is just difficult when they're not home because the majority of them live in far away in boonie towns. We're working on it though. I'm hoping some new investigators will come out of it.

We visited XXXXXXX yesterday and she told us how she has been handing out the Plan of Salvation pamphlet to her friends at work. We brought her a Russian one and she asked us for an English one as well. She is so converted to the gospel - it is amazing. We will be finishing the Restoration lesson with her this week and inviting her to baptism. I told her the possibility of me coming to Germany with you, Mum, and Eli and she said that we MUST visit her. She has a sister who lives in America so she can speak English but we speak German with her. She told me I wasn't allowed to laugh at her English. Her Mum was there when we visited yesterday. We gave her a Book of Mormon previously and then yesterday her Mum invited us over to her house for tea and cookies. We're super excited!

On Friday we traveled to Helgoland. An island in our area in the middle of the North Sea. As you can imagine it was VERY windy and cold but so very beautiful. Helgoland has these beautiful red rocks that form a cliff at one end. Sister Dean and I put our card in every house on the upper end of the island and then toured the edge and then got back on our boat. Do you remember when we were in Scotland and I got sick on the Ferry's? Well it seems I haven't grown out of it. I got really motion sick but managed to keep everything down. Sister Dean was fine until we got home and then right before we went to bed she puked. We're doing good now though :)

I hope you have a great week Dad! Try to get better! Love you!

-Ariel Nell

Map of Helgoland
Sister Dean in Helgoland

 

Monday, December 24, 2012

NOLA!

Hey Lyndel,
   I love that you guys are having a blast in New Orleans and that you all visited the New Orleans 1st ward. I went to that ward for Mardi Gras my freshman year. They were the one hosting all the YSA peoples. I'm glad you loved the crawfish étouffée.  Mmm, I was just telling someone the other day how wonderful crawfish is and they thought I was crazy.

   It's neat that you all rode Amtrak there. It's a taste of what Sister Dean and I do every week. In Germany everyone travels by train and only by airplane when they're going super far away. They are usually shocked when we explain that we don't have a bahn system the way they do here.

   XXXXXXX is doing great. The JW's visited her this past week because they found out she was meeting with us and basically tried to tear down her faith and our religion.She was such a boss though and told them that she prayed to God that he would send her angels and ''Who did he send? The two sisters, not you!'' Haha. She completely defended the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the plan of salvation pamphlet that she holds so dear. Basically XXXXXXX has the best testimony of the gospel ever! She asked us if she could say she was a Mormon. She said her friends and co-workers were asking her what was different about her because she is so much more happy now, and she told them ''I'm a Mormon''. Neat huh? I love her to death and wish I could bring her home with me. Sister Dean and I helped her set up her tree and decorate it last night. She made us potato salad because here on Christmas eve or Heilige Abend they eat potato salad and bockwurst (like a hot dog). She told us we had to take this tradition home with us and do it with our families.

    Sister Dean and I have been to the weihnachtsmarkts. That's where I got everyone's gifts. Things as in Christmas decorations are very expensive here. I only bought an ornament for Mum. I would have loved to buy more but it was all just too expensive. I bought myself a hat from Manuel's stand this week because it has ear flaps and has fleece on the inside so its super warm.  Manuel also made me a bracelet for Eli. I need to send that to him this next week.

   Have fun today and I can't wait to talk to you all tomorrow. Love you!
-Ariel Nell



WHO DAT? Live from NOLA

Hey Mumma!
    I'm so glad you have enjoyed New Orleans so much and that Preservation Jazz hall was open. I miss that place. Just down the road from Oak Alley is a Creole plantation called the Lara plantation. It's a beautiful plantation as well and very different from all the white run ones. If you guys have time and it's open you guys should take a look. The Oak Alley plantation has a lovely little restaurant that's sells yummy gator bites. Mmm I hope you guys have fun there!

    Well this week has been busy and way fun. We have and will have a total of 10 eating appointments in one week. It seems like everyone wants to do something nice for the missionaries and that includes feeding them. It's really nice of everyone but very hard for us to pack all the food away. We have gotten into eating small breakfasts and then not eating again till the appointments. It's the only way to clean our plate without offending anyone. Wednesday we got a call after our eating appointment from a lady who had previous contact with missionaries and wanted to meet with us. Sister Dean and I had both never heard of her or knew that we had her information. Well last night we went by and she said that she was raised in Islam but Christ visited her in her dream the other night and blessed her family and her home and she is thinking that maybe Islam is not the right way to go and that she needs to be a Christian. She said to us,'' I want to know more about Jesus. Can you tell me more about Jesus?'' It was so cool. Definitely a blessing that just fell into our laps because of the hard work we have been doing.

   XXXXXXX's dog ate a bit of rat poison this week but because my trusty companion is a genius she knew the antidote and we went on a rescue mission to buy vitamin K to save the dog. Needless to say we saved the day :) We helped XXXXXXX decorate her Christmas tree last night. Germans usually don't set their trees up until 24th during the afternoon and then at 5 o'clock that's when everyone turns their tree lights on. I think she is busy today so that's why we helped her yesterday. It got way cold again this past week and snowed which was gorgeous. But then the snow that was falling melted and froze and turned to ice on top on the snow. It continued to rain and freeze all day. On our way home we just got to the street we live on and I realized that the road was like an ice skating rink and then my bike fell out from under me and I hit the pavement and skidded on the ice a bit with the bike on top of me. As I was falling and skidding I looked behind me to see Sister Dean falling and skidding too (companions can only do things together). Sister Dean is a pro at tai-kwan-do so she knows how to fall without hurting herself but I hit my left knee pretty hard. I got some road rash on it and it's still pretty swollen but going down. It's a lovely blue/green/purple color now. It's numb on the surface of my knee but I think that's due to all the fluid that's sitting there. Sister Dean is excited to see if the swelling and bruise moves to my foot. So it was a little scary experience but we were kept safe and no one was too badly hurt. I have been taking pictures each day but we forgot the card reader today so I'll have to attach pictures next week.

    I mailed out the packages last Monday so you guys should get them when you all get home. It was the biggest burden lifted to get those mailed but I managed to fit everyone's gift into the one box. I hope you all enjoy them. A little taste of Germany in Amurrika :) I can't wait to talk to you all tomorrow!! I'm so excited! Don't forget I'll be calling at 5:30pm my time so I'm guessing its 10:30am Louisiana time. If for whatever reason I can't get through in 10 minutes I would suggest you guys calling me. But I bought a calling card so it should work. I'm just nervous. An hours time is so precious!!! Have a great Christmas eve or as they say here Heilige Abend! Love you!
-Ariel Nell

Merry Christmas from Preservati​on Hall


Andre!!

   thanks for all the pictures! I can't wait to go back to that beautiful city. Its my home away from home, or atleast the whole state of Louisiana. Its just such a fun creole/cajun culture full of happy artsy fartsy people. If there is a cool LSU shirt that would be nice. But other than that just enjoy yourself. I can't wait to talk to you all tomorrow. I am more excited to talk to you all then open my package ( but presents are good too :) ) Well yesterday at church we were just bombarded with presents from all the members. We went home witha box full of gifts. They are so generous and really caught us off guard.

Theres a family in our ward whose son just returned home from his mission in poland and gave his home coming talk yesterday. It really made me recognize the phrase it takes a village to raise a child. One person from a ward going on a mission is as if the entire ward just sent their son on a mission. The blessings that come from missionary service not only impact the direct family but the ward family. It made me think of you and when you came home and just how joyful everyone was because you offered your time, talents, and service to build up the Lords kingdom. Thanks for being such an amazing example to me!

   I mailed off your birthday package this week and then the family christmas package too. I hope you love your gifts! I tried to give everyone a taste of Germany and some of the cultural things here. In germany, Christmas is really celebrated today. Tomorrow is just a day where they eat together in the evening but today is when santa claus comes and the tree is set up and the presents are opened and everyone takes baths or showers to clean up for the evening. What was christmas like in Brazil?

     Have fun today Andre, I can't wait to talk to you tomorrow!! HALELUJAH!!! Love you bunches! keep working on the patience. It'll come :)

-Ariel Nell

Here in New Orleans

Dad,

Thanks for all the pictures!! I loved seeing everyone on the train. It was just too funny. It sounds like you all are having a wonderful time. Have fun at Oak Alley plantation today. I told Mum there is a creole plantation called the Laura plantation just down the rode from Oak Alley and that is also worth a look if you all have time. I can't specify where I withdraw money here on the ATM machines. It just takes the money out if there is any in the checking account. I'm sorry.

I'm really excited to talk to you all tomorrow! We will be going to a 92 year old members house to sing to her today as everyone celebrates Christmas on the 24th in Germany and then we are going to a a members house for dinner with Bruder XXXXXX. I'm excited to celebrate this German Christmas with the members. Last night we got to decorate XXXXXXX's tree and it was just so fun. I didn't realize how much I missed doing that. Can't wait to talk to you tomorrow!!! LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One more week until Christmas!​!

Andre!!!
   Get excited cause your birthday package/Christmas now is going in the mail today! Woo hoo :) I'm doing good. The snow has melted and its warmed up which means no more snow and more rain :( I like the colder weather better cause it means we get snow.

   I ready for christmas like the world is ready for the second coming. MAN!!! I'm so excited! I'll be calling at 10:30 am Louisiana time and we only get to talk for an hour, poopy. But, that means I only have four months left and then I can talk to you everyday for as long as I want!

   I am way excited for you and Ellen to have a piano now that you guys get to babysit. I for sure will come home and play it. The only Christmas music performance I have been a part of this season was on Friday Sister Dean and I traveled to Oldenburg to do Christmas caroling with the Elders in our district and hand out Joy to the World dvds and then on Saturday at our ward Christmas party I sang Joy to the World while Sister Dean did this incredible tongue clicking beat boxing with me. The ward just loved it and were blown away with what she could do.

    Make sure that you all take a lot of pictures while in New Orleans and be safe and have fun. Will Preservation Hall be open when you all go? I hope so.Yes, we for sho' need to see Les Mis when I get home too. Are you keeping a list of everything I need to do?

   Thanks for all your love and support Andre. Have a fabulous week. Talk to you soon!
-Ariel Nell


Monday, December 17, 2012

A rainy night in Georgia... raining all over the world

Hey Mumma!!!

   Guess what in one week and one day I get to talk to you all on the phone!!! I just bought a calling card and will be calling the old house number at 10:30 AM Louisiana time (that's 5:30pm my time). . President Kosak said we were only allowed to talk for 1 hour :( Na ja (no worries), I'll talk your ears off when I'm home. I'm so very excited to talk to you all. Are you excited for your train ride to New Orleans? I'm excited for you all. It's so funny the reactions we get from people when we explain that the main mode of transportation is not trains in the United States. It'll be fun for you all. I have been getting the Christmas package for you all together. I'm sorry you will all get it late but it'll help extend Christmas out a little more. I did get my Christmas package this past week. President Kosak was very concerned for all the missionaries who had yet to receive their packages. He said he had a list of everyone's name and about 40 missionaries had still yet to get packages. But I got mine! Sister Dean was about to open hers and I told her she wasn't allowed to. We luckily had exchanges so I took her package home while she went to a different city and then I hid her package in our apartment. I don't think she has found it yet so that's good :) In Germany they open their gifts on the 24th but I'm holding out to the 25th. It's funny, as kids we always begged to open them early but now when I have no one watching and world around me telling me to do it early I have the biggest desire to hold out till the 25th. Don't worry, I won't open it early!

    So on Wednesday we got to meet as half a mission for a zone conference in Hamburg because Elder Kent F. Richards came to visit our mission. He taught us for 4 hours straight and it was great. He knows the scriptures like nobody's business! They told us a few days before that he would be conducting random interviews and on Wednesday after the meeting they told me that I would be getting interviewed. It was a neat experience to sit down one on one with Elder Richards and to talk to him about my mission, my goals, and the things I have learned thus far. He is a very nice man who brings the spirit so strongly with him. At the beginning of our meeting he asked me to kneel with him and say a prayer. It was so hard to pray in English because the words just would not come in English, all the German words came to my mind, but also because the Spirit was so wonderful. I just wanted to sit there and bask in that moment.

   I am so shocked that Eli is growing facial hair! BAh! Why do you want all the doors in the house painted white? Even the front door? I had a dream we had to sell our house last night and move into an apartment. It was stressful. I didn't like it.

   I kind of think its hilarious that you told your supervisor that the new thing was a bunch of crap. It probably was very accurate. Haha! I'm glad she is so understanding though.

    This week Sister Dean has been pretty sick with the stomach flu. On Friday we went Christmas caroling with the Elders in our district in Oldenburg and handed out Joy to the world DVDs. It was very successfull and the people all enjoyed hearing us singing. It sure was cold but way worth it. On Saturday we had our ward Christmas party in Cuxhaven. Bruder XXXXXX and Bruder XXXX came. Bruder XXXXXX has not celebrated Christmas in 29 years so it was a new experience for him but he really enjoyed the time he got to spend with ward members. Bruder XXXX is set to be baptized now in January  if all goes well with his eye (he has been having some problems) and Bruder XXXXXX told us he chose a new baptismal date in January so we are staying busy for sure preparing people and helping people understand the gospel.

   This week we are already packed with appointments which is good cause that means it'll fly by and then Christmas will come before we know it and then I get to talk to you all!! I love you bunches mum. Just one more week until you can have a wonderful vacation. Thanks for all your support!

-Ariel Nell

5 More Days before New Orleans!

Hey Lyndel,

  Yeah, I missed your email from last week because we had to email way early in order to get to Bremen. Last Monday we wandered around the Bremen Weihnachtsmarkt and I managed to get presents for everyone there. I just finished putting the packages together so I`ll mail them out this week. If you're not counting I sure am! I will be calling home 5:30 pm my time which should be 10:30 am Louisiana time. We're only allowed to talk for an hour but I figure it just means I'll be talking everyone's ears off when I'm home to catch you all up on fun details.

   We have met with XXXXXXX a bunch since that first time. We are actually going to her tomorrow for lunch and then the 22nd since she is super scared the world is going to end on the 21st so the first time we met with her we made out an appointment for that day and then one of the Christmas days (Germany has Christmas over 3 days) we are going to her house to eat and celebrate. XXXXXXX is probably my favorite person in the whole world here in Bremerhaven. She is just so funny and so cool.

   I'm not sure when I will get the package you sent but I would guess sometime in January, since we have a meeting every month. We just met with the mission president on Wednesday and thats when I got mum and dads package. Thanks for sending me something for Christmas!

   No worries about Bruder XXXXXX. He showed me his calendar yesterday and the day that he picked to be baptized again, January. He is very excited and not giving up on this goal. I was able to talk to him this week on the phone and he said he was grateful for Christ. I asked him why, and he said because Christ died for him and gave his life for him even though he is a sinner and Christ made it possible for him to have an eternal joy. What an amazing testimony coming from someone who had no testimony of Christ before. We're making progress!

   I hope you're staying relatively stress free. I can't wait to talk to you next week! I love you bunches!
-Ariel Nell

Happy "week before Christmas" from Dad

Hey Dad!

Nat King Cole is my new best friend on the mission. We listen to him ALL the time. I especially love his horrible German on "O Tannenbaum", it makes the song very eclectic. I like it. Way to go for inviting all the members to bring people to church. I hope you guys get to keep the Elders and the surprise you guys will be getting is a three-some companionship and the other two stay. Why is Sister Wall in a wheel chair? Did something happen that I forgot about?

I'm glad you have been finding more time to practice the piano. I miss our lovely Kawaii. Andre and Ellen are so lucky to be housing a Steinway for Jonathan. I'll house a piano for him in Louisiana if he wants :) I think it's neat that you get to work with him rebuilding and restoring them. I do still have my Germany ornament hanging from the Eifel tower I have sitting on my desk. I gave Sister Stewart one and Sister Noyes the other. I love the country in stained glass.

It is way weird to think how much time has been going by. I was just talking to Sister Dean yesterday about how crazy that it is Christmas next week and she said "Yeah, and we're done in 4 months." That's so soon! Does it feel like it has been that long for you? I'm down for a milkshake at the OK Cafe. Mmm, what yummy food. Oh, and to tell you all about what I learned on my mission.

My card is working fine but I have no option at the ATM to choose money from the checking or the savings. I think it just takes from the checking. I think I'm done spending so much money for now after I mail all the packages today. Thanks for getting my card to me and organizing everything.

This week is gonna be busy but that means I get to talk to you all sooner. Travel safely to New Orleans. Will you all be going to church there? I hope so. I love you Dad. Thanks for all your love and support!

-Ariel Nell

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Hannukah week from Dad

Dad!
I love looking at all the pictures of the tree! I told Sister Dean Happy Hanukkah yesterday too. I got the Nat King Cole CD and my face wash and my debit card. Thank you so much for getting it to me. I called the office on Monday and asked if it came and they said it had and I asked them to forward it to me. I think they may just think I'm high maintenance or something but I told them I couldn't wait any longer. Sister Dean and I are headed to Bremen today to go to the Weihnachtsmarkt. I'm excited to get you all some fun traditional German gifts.

Last Monday, before we headed to do emails we walked through the Weihnachtmarkt in Bremerhaven and met a man running a booth from Equador. He was so pleased to meet us he asked if he could buy us tea. We said we had to go but that we would be back so we went back on Wednesday and we bought us some hot chocolate and we sat with him in his booth and taught him about the Book of Mormon and prayer. He said that he prays everyday and the other day he prayed to meet nice, good people and then we showed up. His name is XXXXXX and Sister Dean really loves being able to teach him in Spanish. He can speak great English and German so we tend to have a very international conversation. He is super cool and way interested in the Book of Mormon. I think it is way neat to teach someone about their actual relatives. So COOL!

Nat King Cole has been playing non-stop since he arrived. I really love the song ''sing sweet and low the lullaby''. I had never heard it before but I really love it. Thanks for sending us a CD full of uplifting songs about Christ for Christmas! Sister Dean says Christmas music really does make everything better.

I hope you and Eli have a great day today and don't get up to too much trouble. Love you dad!

Eli!
It is wonderful to hear from you. I was just telling Sister Dean last night about when you were little and saying your prayers you prayed for all these random countries and we all had no idea how you knew the names of them and then we peeked and you were reading your map and asking God to bless all these nations. It was too cute. Do you remember doing that? Your survival campout sounds way neat! Sorry you're home sick today but a vacation from school is always nice huh? Do you like Frau Alexander? I had her when I was in the 7th grade too. It's neat that Mr. Hite, Mr. Donegan, and Mr. Coile remember me. You can tell them all hello and thanks for me! You definitely should try out for the football team. Andre and Lyndel couldn't stop telling me how great you are at football. I am so proud of you Eli. I can't wait to come watch your games when I come home. I do know what the Heisman trophy is. I believe a football player at LSU got in trouble after making a touch down once because he did the stance of the Heisman trophy in the end zone. The ref wasn't too pleased so he gave LSU some penalty points. He's just a party pooper. My PE teachers at Chamblee, Ii was a man, but I can't remember his name....Who are your PE teachers? Have a fabulous week Eli and get better soon! Love you! Schönen Tag noch!
-Ariel Nell
Ferris wheel in the middle of the Weihnachtsmarkt

Sister Dean and me

Weihnachtmarkt stand

Ten days, but I'm not really counting!

Hey Mumma,

   I'm counting :) I dreamed last night of going home for Christmas instead of calling home. That would be fun huh? I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you! This year is almost done and then we get to vacation together over the summer!

   I like your mannequin lady lamp. She's fun. I think it's neat the man was able to turn her into a lamp. What a great idea. Your head board looks great by the way! I'm always impressed by the things you manage to create. I love that you give things a new life as a new object. A sort of object reincarnation. Just wait till you get to create worlds. I'm definitely going to be visiting those!

    I hope Eli begins to feel better and that none of you catch what he has. Is it the flu? That's so great that Jared was ordained a deacon! I am really bummed I missed Eli being ordained but I can't wait to come home and watch him exercise his priesthood.

    Bruder XXXXXX didn't end up getting baptized. He had his baptismal interview on Thursday and all went well. An hour or so later we got a text from him saying sorry. He has had a very hard life and suffers now from a lot of what has happened in the past. We met with him again on Saturday and Sunday evening. He is slowly doing better but he sees he needs more time before baptism.

   I got my package on Friday with my debit card, nat king cole, and face wash. Thank you all soooo much! I was able to use my debit card and took out €80. I thinking that will allow me to buy you all some fun traditional German things today in the Weihnachtsmarkt in Bremen and then send everyone the package. I really appreciate all that you guys have done to get the packages to me. I'm sorry it has been so stressful. Packages get to the office a lot quicker than they do to us because the customs has a better relationship with the church than with every set of missionaries. If it isn't here on time, no worries. Christmas is going to be wonderful because I get to talk to you all! I don't know anything about the phone number or how long we can talk. Right now we've planned that I will call you guys at 5pm here which should be 10am in Louisiana. We're not sure how long we are allowed to talk so I'll let you guys know next Monday. I'm pretty sure I can buy a calling card and call you guys so don't worry about calling me. Sorry I don't have all the details yet.

   We've been getting snow everyday this week. Last Monday it began snowing and has been off and on all week. I LOVE it. A white Christmas season is wonderful. I love looking outside at the snow and listening to Nat King Cole. I've attached pictures of me and Sister dean, a view from our apartment, and one from the church balcony. I've got on tights and socks today. My feet are nice and toasty so no worries :)

    I love you very much Mumma. I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! Have an awesome week this next one! Miss you!
-Ariel Nell
Sister Dean in the snow!

Me in the snow

A view from our apartment

Balcony at church

Pictures!


Mmm bratwurst :)

A booth selling lanterns

Weihnachtsmarkt
Große Kirche
 
Ferris wheel in Weihnachtsmarkt
 
cold toes
 
snow, view from church balcony 1
 
view from balcony 2
 
Christmas tree at church

 

Monday, December 3, 2012

December from Dad

Hey Dad!

I love how you all seem to manage to get the strange missionaries. It just made Sister Dean and I laugh :) I'm doing very well health wise and so is Sister Dean so no worries there.

Bruder XXXXXX had a rough week at the beginning but we ended well, with him picking out who was going to baptize him and be witnesses and the hymns for his baptism. He is so very excited. We started a little project in the ward to get the members to invite him to lunch appointments instead of us so that he can get to know them and start developing relationships with them. The Branch President met with him yesterday and as I left church yesterday the Branch President had his arm around him as they stood with a few more members and talked excitedly about how he is going to be baptized and how he looks already like a ''Brother''.  Bruder XXXXXX came with us to a lunch appointment yesterday and he had an amazing time. I think it helped him to see that we are all normal people working together to live the gospel. Bruder XXXXXX told me that he is trying to find a new apartment so he doesn't have to live so far away from the church. He is ready for this step and I'm excited for him. The ward is doing a great job taking him over so he doesn't rely so hard on us.

I haven't gotten the packages yet but I still have to call the office today. I told the secretary already to forward a little package from you to me because it has my debit card in it. I will get my Christmas package on the 12th when we all come together as half a mission to meet with Elder Richards.

I'm way proud of Darcy that he figured out how to open the door. Way cool! I'm glad Margaret got my letter too. I had been thinking of her and felt to write her one. It's good to hear she is doing well. Here is an amazing experience that happened to us this week: This week was amazing! So probably the most amazing experience of my mission happened this week that just showed me that I really have been an instrument in the hands of the lord and that he really does answer prayers. So on November 13th Sister Dean and I were dooring and the last door of the night we met XXXXXXX. She immediately invited us in and we got to know her. She is super friendly, probably the funniest German I know, and very humble. She shared with us that she didn't know why she was here, so what her purpose on earth was. We shared with her a brief introduction of the plan of salvation and left her with the pamphlet. She was terrified that the world is going to end on the 21st of December so we told her we would come back the 22nd. She doesn't like fest appointments at all so we were careful not to push our luck thats why we said we would come back December 22nd. Well I couldn't stop thinking about her and have just been really excited to be able to go back to her. On the 26th, so last Monday. All our set appointments fell out that normally don't so Sister Dean turned to me and asked me what we should do. I thought about the area for a second and then said we should stop by XXXXXXX's so we did. We klingeled and she answered the door and again told us immediately that we should come inside. She said she had to tell us something as soon as we sat down. The evening of the 12th, XXXXXXX prayed for the first time in a long time to God that he would help her know what her plan is in life. She told him that she felt as if she had no plan or direction, and she asked him to send his angels to her to help her find her way. Well we showed up the next day and talked to her about ''the plan'' and she told us she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when she read the word ''plan'' on the front of the brochure. We left and she said she read the pamphlet EVERYDAY since we left. She said everything she read was things that she just knew to be right and she had thought her whole life but other people had said she was crazy and had devil ideas. Well she loved the brochure so much she let her Mom read it but her Mom never returned it to her. She knew her Mom would never give it back so the evening of the 25th she prayed again that God would send us to her again to give her another plan of salvation pamphlet and that if we were the right church to send us. And when her door bell went off the evening of the 26th and she opened it to see us standing there in the rain she about had a heart attack. She said it was too crazy and couldn't be a coincidence and that the Lord really does listen to her prayers. She told us that she had to have every book that we have and she has to listen to what we have to say. She is so ready for the gospel.

 I had recently been feeling down because my spiritual promptings come differently than other missionaries and so sometimes it just makes me feel like either I'm not paying attention or I'm just not receiving any. Well I prayed the night of the 25th that I could really be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. That he would show me that I really am doing good and helping and the fact that XXXXXXX prayed us there twice was the biggest answer to my prayers that I do follow the promptings the Lord sends me and I really have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring perhaps one soul to repentance. And let me tell you, it has been my greatest joy. I shared the story with President Kosak and he had tears in his eyes and said I had to send it to him today so he could send it to the area presidency. We met with XXXXXXX again on Saturday morning because she had to cancel our Friday evening appointment so she invited us over for breakfast because she just couldn't wait to meet with us.

I love you Dad! Stay warm and safe! Be good!
-Ariel Nell

December is Here!

Hey Mumma,
  Just keep your head up. It's gonna go by fast. And yes, be understanding. As missionaries we are stuck with someone ALL the time. If you're ready, your comp may not be and they may be the reason why you're late to every appointment that day, or it could be me. The point is, we all have harder times and easier times and as companions we learn to help each other through them and be understanding regardless of the situation. It is difficult but it definitely makes life a whole lot better.

    I'm so glad Eli got everything organized to decorate for Christmas. I was a little worried that you all may not get a tree this year since ya'll are going out of town. I kind of felt like if you guys had no tree then I didn't have a tree. I live vicariously through that tree you bought. The Christmas trees here don't smell. That makes me sad but oh well. I'll get a real smelly one next year. Sister Dean and I rode through the Weihnachtmarkt this morning so that we could get pictures for our families of what Christmas in Germany looks like. There is definitely a different atmosphere here. I love being able to sing Christmas songs and hum them and not get looks of doom from others :) Sister Dean and I will buy a cup of kinder punch today. As we have been told, It's Christmas in a cup/drink. We're excited.

    I have been to the Spelman Morehouse college Christmas concert once. It was the best concert I've ever been to and most certainly changed my life. We get to watch the Christmas devotional next Sunday after Bruder XXXXXX's baptism. I'm so excited and nervous! He is ready lets just get him there. And heaven help the devil if he comes between Bruder XXXXXX and his baptism. I'll personally beat him up...several times.  How are the Aspers doing? I'm glad you and Babs still got to do visiting teaching even though things got crazy. Glad you were safe! Being fed is a wonderful thing on the mission. There are very few occasions where we get to sit down and eat, especially food made with love. I'm glad you had them over and that the Elder told you of his appreciation.

    This week was amazing! So probably the most amazing experience of my mission happened this week that just showed me that I really have been an instrument in the hands of the lord and that he really does answer prayers. So on November 13th sister Dean and I were dooring and the last door of the night we met XXXXXXX. She immediately invited us in and we got to know her. She is super friendly, probably the funniest German I know, and very humble. She shared with us that she didn't know why she was here, so what her purpose on earth was. We shared with her a brief introduction of the plan of salvation and left her with the pamphlet. She was terrified that the world is going to end on the 21st of December so we told her we would come back the 22nd. She doesn't like fest appointments at all so we were careful not to push our luck that's why we said we would come back December 22nd. Well I couldn't stop thinking about her and have just been really excited to be able to go back to her. On the 26th, so last Monday. All our set appointments fell out that normally don't so Sister Dean turned to me and asked me what we should do. I thought about the area for a second and then said we should stop by XXXXXXX's so we did. We klingeled and she answered the door and again told u s immediately that we should come inside. She said she had to tell us something as soon as we sat down. The evening of the 12th, XXXXXXX prayed for the first time in a long time to God that he would help her know what her plan is in life. She told him that she felt as if sh had no plan or direction, and she asked him to send his angels to her to help her find her way. Well we showed up the next day and talked to her about ''the plan'' and she told us she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when she read the word ''plan'' on the front of the brochure. We left and she said she read the pamphlet EVERYDAY since we left. She said everything she read was things that she just knew to be right and she had thought her whole life but other people had said she was crazy and had devil ideas. Well she loved the brochure so much she let her mom read it but her mom never returned it to her. She knew her mom would never give it back so the evening of the 25th she prayed again that God would send us to her again to give her another plan of salvation pamphlet and that if we were the right church to send us. And when her door bell went off the evening of the 26th and she opened it to see us standing there in the rain she about had a heart attack. She said it was too crazy and couldn't be a coincidence and that the Lord really does listen to her prayers. She told us that she had to have every book that we have and she has to listen to what we have to say. She is so ready for the Gospel. I had recently been feeling down because my spiritual promptings come differently than other missionaries and so sometimes it just makes me feel like either I'm not paying attention or I'm just not receiving any. Well I prayed the night of the 25th that I could really be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. That he would show me that I really am doing good and helping and the fact that XXXXXXX prayed us there twice was the biggest answer to my prayers that I do follow the promptings the Lord sends me and I really have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring perhaps one soul to repentance. And let me tell you, it has been my greatest joy. I shared the story with President Kosak and he had tears in his eyes and said I had to send it to him today so he could send it to the area presidency. We met with XXXXXXX again on Saturday morning because she had to cancel our friday evening appointment so she invited us over for Breakfast because she just couldn't wait to meet with us.

   Be good Mumma. I love and miss you. Thanks for all your love and support! You got this.
-Ariel Nell

More pics of Christmas in Germany

more Weihnachtsmarkt

Santa drinks beer in Germany
love you all! have a great week!
-ariel

Christmas in Germany

Hey guys!
Here are some fun pictures from this morning before emails.

Booths

Me and Santa

Sister Dean and I in front of a potato booth this morning, because we need potatoes at Christmas right?

Weihnachtmarkt








Vacation Days

Lyndel!
   Its fun to  hear that you are having so many vacation days. I'm glad you're forcing yourself to take them. I too am waaaaay stoked for Christmas. I keep looking at my calendar on the wall to see how many days I have left until I get to talk to you all. Your Johnny Lingo lesson sounds good :) Don't worry, you'll have a lot more opportunities to teach people about their self worth, especially the girls. Sending things to the mission home is better seeing as I have been having a lot harder time getting packages. I will get it after Christmas though because we are having a meeting on the 12th with Elder Richards and that's when we will all get our Christmas packages. I'm not sure when the next meeting will be but sometime in January. If you send it right to me you may have more of a chance getting it to me in time but also the risk of it getting stuck somewhere. Its up to you, but I would recommend the mission home.

    This week was amazing! So probably the most amazing experience of my mission happened this week that just showed me that I really have been an instrument in the hands of the lord and that he really does answer prayers. So on November 13th sister Dean and I were dooring and the last door of the night we met XXXXXXX. She immediately invited us in and we got to know her. She is super friendly, probably the funniest German I know, and very humble. She shared with us that she didn't know why she was here, so what her purpose on earth was. We shared with her a brief introduction of the plan of salvation and left her with the pamphlet. She was terrified that the world is going to end on the 21st of December so we told her we would come back the 22nd. She doesn't like fest (planned) appointments at all so we were careful not to push our luck that's why we said we would come back December 22nd. Well I couldn't stop thinking about her and have just been really excited to be able to go back to her. On the 26th, so last Monday. All our set appointments fell out that normally don't so Sister Dean turned to me and asked me what we should do. I thought about the area for a second and then said we should stop by XXXXXXX's so we did. We klingeled and she answered the door and again told u s immediately that we should come inside. She said she had to tell us something as soon as we sat down. The evening of the 12th, XXXXXXX  prayed for the first time in a long time to God that he would help her know what her plan is in life. She told him that she felt as if sh had no plan or direction, and she asked him to send his angels to her to help her find her way. Well we showed up the next day and talked to her about ''the plan'' and she told us she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when she read the word ''plan'' on the front of the brochure. We left and she said she read the pamphlet EVERYDAY since we left. She said everything she read was things that she just knew to be right and she had thought her whole life but other people had said she was crazy and had devil ideas. Well she loved the brochure so much she let her mom read it but her mom never returned it to her. She knew her mom would never give it back so the evening of the 25th she prayed again that God would send us to her again to give her another plan of salvation pamphlet and that if we were the right church to send us. And when her door bell went off the evening of the 26th and she opened it to see us standing there in the rain she about had a heart attack. She said it was too crazy and couldn't be a coincidence and that the Lord really does listen to her prayers. She told us that she had to have every book that we have and she has to listen to what we have to say. She is so ready for the Gospel. I had recently been feeling down because my spiritual promptings come differently than other missionaries and so sometimes it just makes me feel like either I'm not paying attention or I'm just not receiving any. Well I prayed the night of the 25th that I could really be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. That he would show me that I really am doing good and helping and the fact that XXXXXXX  prayed us there twice was the biggest answer to my prayers that I do follow the promptings the Lord sends me and I really have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring perhaps one soul to repentance. And let me tell you, it has been my greatest joy. I shared the story with President Kosak and he had tears in his eyes and said I had to send it to him today so he could send it to the area presidency. We met with XXXXXXX again on Saturday morning because she had to cancel our friday evening appointment so she invited us over for Breakfast because she just couldn't wait to meet with us.

    People do get way cranky in the winter but when we've got smiles on our faces it helps. Bruder XXXXXX has his baptismal interview on Thursday and his baptism on Sunday! He picked out who was going to baptize him yesterday. He is so awesome and is going to do this. He is so excited to take this step in his life, a little nervous but he knows its right and that the church is true!

    I hope you're doing well. I miss you and love you bunches!
-Ariel Nell

Sweet Reminders

 Lyndel sent the following message:
Today during sacrament meeting , a few rows in front of us, I looked up and saw a thick, full lovely brown ponytail that looked like yours. My heart skipped a little beat when I thought it was you :)

Hope your Sunday was lovely as well :)


love,

L


Ariel responded with:
Sometimes I think I see you and bout wet my pants but then it's not. Someday soon my friend!

My Friday night

Lyndel sent Ariel pictures of hers and Michaels' Christmas tree. Ariel responded:

Aww Lyndel! She looks great! I've been keeping my eye out for beavers. I thought I saw one today but they were seals. Close but not... 

Happy December! Christmas music of B98.5!! Your favorite!

My life does depend on sharing the Gospel!

  How you doing Andre Nicholas? I spent the morning sharing pictures of you with sister dean. She likes your beard :) I'm so jealous you guys went to the Spelman/Moorehouse College Christmas concert. Next year, I'll leave school just so I can hear that concert. I've only ever been once, and it changed my life!! I wanted to go to Spelman just to sing. Too bad I can't sing that well.  I like that all your Christmas decorations are up. Please do send some pictures.

   As for Christmas gifts. Tights are always handy. I seem to go through tights like toilet paper. They certainly aren't made to be worn everyday all day like we do on missions. Cardigans are always good too :) Well its' December and 1°C outside and plummeting but its just lovely. We rode to Innenstadt this morning to take pictures of the Weihnachtsmarkt for the family. I'll be sure to send another email to everyone of pictures. It is just lovely and fresh outside and there's a love and feeling in the air that wasn't there before. Sister Dean and I made friends with a man who works a Weihnachtsmarkt booth from Equador this morning. He wants to buy us a cup a tea and talk about the Book of Mormon so Weihnachtmarkts are great places to find people to talk to! :)

    Sister Dean and I got a dryer this week! It is CHRISTMAS for sure! I can't tell you just how exciting it is to have a dryer when it is freezing outside.  Our transfer call is December 29th, so no one got transfered. I already made my new planner with pictures from the flowers from the Biltmore that you sent me. I found words in an old Liahona that said 'Grow up unto the Lord' and put it on there as well.  So thanks for the pictures! I'm not sure where I will train but it'll definitely happen.

   So here is an experience that happened this week that I'm sharing with everyone: This week was amazing! So probably the most amazing experience of my mission happened this week that just showed me that I really have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord and that he really does answer prayers. So on November 13th sister Dean and I were dooring and the last door of the night we met XXXXX. She immediately invited us in and we got to know her. She is super friendly, probably the funniest german I know, and very humble. She shared with us that she didn't know why she was here, so what her purpose on earth was. We shared with her a brief introduction of the Plan of Salvation and left her with the pamphlet. She was terrified that the world is going to end on the 21st of December so we told her we would come back the 22nd. She doesn't like fest (planned) appointments at all so we were careful not to push our luck thats why we said we would come back december 22nd. Well I couldn't stop thinking about her and have just been really excited to be able to go back to her. On the 26th, so last Monday. All our set appointments fell out that normally don't so Sister Dean turned to me and asked me what we should do. I thought about the area for a second and then said we should stop by XXXXX so we did. We klingeled and she answered the door and again told u s immediately that we should come inside. She said she had to tell us something as soon as we sat down. The evening of the 12th, XXXXX prayed for the first time in a long time to God that he would help her know what her plan is in life. She told him that she felt as if sh had no plan or direction, and she asked him to send his angels to her to help her find her way. Well we showed up the next day and talked to her about ''the plan'' and she told us she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when she read the word ''plan'' on the front of the brochure. We left and she said she read the pamphlet EVERYDAY since we left. She said everything she read was things that she just knew to be right and she had thought her whole life but other people had said she was crazy and had devil ideas. Well she loved the brochure so much she let her Mom read it but her mom never returned it to her. She knew her mom would never give it back so the evening of the 25th she prayed again that God would send us to her again to give her another plan of salvation pamphlet and that if we were the right church to send us. And when her door bell went off the evening of the 26th and she opened it to see us standing there in the rain she about had a heart attack. She said it was too crazy and couldn't be a coincidence and that the Lord really does listen to her prayers. She told us that she had to have every book that we have and she has to listen to what we have to say. She is so ready for the Gospel. I had recently been feeling down because my spiritual promptings come differently than other missionaries and so sometimes it just makes me feel like either I'm not paying attention or I'm just not receiving any. Well I prayed the night of the 25th that I could really be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. That he would show me that I really am doing good and helping and the fact that XXXXX prayed us there twice was the biggest answer to my prayers that I do follow the promptings the Lord sends me and I really have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring perhaps one soul to repentance. And let me tell you, it has been my greatest joy. I shared the story with President Kosak and he had tears in his eyes and said I had to send it to him today so he could send it to the area presidency. We met with XXXXX again on saturday morning because she had to cancel our friday evening appointment so she invited us over for breakfast because she just couldn't wait to meet with us.

    I love you Andre! Thanks for your love and support! Be good and have a great week!
-Ariel Nell

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taught the primary children about Christ's Ascension into heaven....​this was one of their drawings

(This is the picture that I sent Ariel, she thought was cute)
Andre,

Thanks so much for your email. Man I really needed to hear from everyone. A week without contact makes me way homesick. I hate that. Thanks for being so inspired when you write me! I'm glad you and Ellen have been including Christopher in prayers for meals and things. If anything he will see that Heavenly Father has a hand in your marriage and he blesses you guys because you put him first. I'm glad the home is dedicated. I can only imagine the crazy experiences you had in Brazil. Sister Dean and I went into this ladys apartment the other night and it was interesting to notice the difference. Not that the spirit was completely gone but that it was different. It felt off. She told us she had done a lot of stuff with black magic and vodoo so that probably could add to it! I haven't really had an experience where I say something and I don't know why I'm saying it. Usually I know why I'm saying everything. I feel like the spirit just influences me in other ways. When I feel like I need to say something or a question comes to mind then I just say it or ask it because I know it was a prompting. One time in Halberstadt we were teaching this man and it was really hard to ever get a word in edge wise. Sister Openshaw had been teaching most of the lesson and the only time I piped up to say anything was to explain our relationship with Heavenly Father and why he has that title. Well the next lesson we had with him thats all he could talk about, my answer, and how interesting and logical it was. It showed Sister Openshaw and I that the things that we don't think are the most important are usually the thing that that person needs most and will walk away from the lesson with.

     Bremerhaven won't be shut to sisters but HALBERSTADT. Halberstadt was shut for sure. We have Christmas zone conference tomorrow in Hamburg so it'll be interesting to talk to the Elders who are there now. I have no idea who is serving there but I'm sure it won't be too hard to figure out. You are right, I need to practice the oboe and the piano. Its just hard to find time. Usually by the time we run all our errands on p-day we have no more time left. We have a ward christmas party on the 15th of december and they asked sister Dean and I to do something for it so I'm going to see if I can put something together for my oboe. 

    I look forward to coming to play at your house too! Its weird to think you all have your own homes. I had horrible dreams last night of trying to find an apartment at school. I don't know why my brain decided to freak out about something so far in advance even when I prayed before I went to bed that I could focus on the work and less of getting home. Time is flying like  space craft and I want to make sure that I continue to work hard up until the very end. 

   I love and miss you Andre.  Have a great week!
-Ariel Nell

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy early Turkey week from Dad

Dad, Thanks for all the Pictures!

I loved seeing the one of my room. I love those kitty cats! I'm glad they're enjoy a good sleep on my bed :) Thanks for all the pictures from Thanksgiving. It's great to see that the whole clan was there. Glad you and Mumma had a great vacation just a few days before.

Bruder XXXXXX is doing great. He is in the hospital this week due to some stomach problems he has been having but he will be out on Wednesday or so. He really takes the gospel to heart. We left him to read the plan of salvation pamphlet before our next appointment and when we came back he had studied the pamphlet and marked it up and had questions for us and everything. Normally we have to teach the plan of salvation in two go's because the people just have a hard time swallowing all the information but we were able to teach Bruder XXXXXX everything. He had questions about if everyone would be resurrected. We said yes and he said that meant he could shoot me and that he would still be resurrected. Sister Dean told him he could kill all the little babies in the world and he would still be resurrected. I told him that was true but lets not do that. It was way funny but it got the point across. He used to be Jehovah's Witness and so this doctrine of resurrection is new to him. It's helped him see how much is made possible through Jesus Christ and how much love he has for everyone.

There was only old older lady in Halberstadt, Schwester Munke ( the one who loved raisinettes) , and Frau XXXXXXX was an investigator. Frau XXXXXXX is the blind lady. It's just very hard for her to let other people do things. She has a horrible fear of being controlled and so when she thinks that is happening or will happen she lashes out. The branch there has fellowshipped her a lot by driving her all over the place. She had only missed a few Sundays the whole time I was there but as soon as I left she kind of just stopped coming to church all together.

I'm glad you're all healed again! We also will be having our branch Christmas party on the 15th but we will be doing it in an old school because one of our members is the Hausmeister for the building so we get to use the space. It'll be in Cuxhaven, another city an hour north of Bremerhaven that we take care of. We also visit all the dorfs in between. I made sure to have Nana's birthday marked in my planner. I didn't forget, no worries. I haven't gotten your package but we have Christmas zone conference on Tuesday in Hamburg and then on the 12th of December Elder Richards will be visiting us in Hamburg. Those are the two dates that I can possibly receive any Christmas package so I'll let you all know when I get it.

The weather has been okay. This past week its been really cold, rainy, and windy. I got really sick from Tuesday to Thursday, spending all day inside Wednesday but now I feel much better. Sick days on the mission are no fun. It just makes you anxious because you know there is something else you could be doing but you're too sick to do it. Congratulations on the new missionaries. Make sure to feed them and help them in any way that you all can!

Love you dad. Have a great week. Thanks for all your support and love and for writing me. Can't wait to talk to you soon!
-Arie Nell

Back to the grind

Hey Mumma!
   I love that Brother Maycock asked if you were expecting. That's too funny! (Mum told Ariel that Brother Maycock overheard her speaking with Brother & Sister Garcia about Ariel and heard her say that Ariel was going to be coming home in May. He said, "Are you expecting?" Mum thought this was quite amusing and said to him, "Haha, yes - I have 6 more payments to make and then I can get Ariel off lay away!")

No, I haven't heard any Christmas music outside of our apartment. Sister Dean and I lovingly listen to Christmas music everyday. This week I was home sick for a couple days and so we managed to get our apartment all decorated for Christmas. We found a baby Christmas tree and then later in the week we bought lights. I'll attach a picture. They are from last night and this morning. In Germany it's a BIG no no to sing Christmas music before its December 1st. So we have not sung any Christmas music, but I of course have it running through my head 24/7.

    I'm glad you and Dad enjoyed your getaway. I loved hearing the blow by blow of what everyone brought for Thanksgiving dinner. Especially the unidentifiable green food dye cool whip concoction. I don't think I would have eaten it either. I really loved that talk from Elder Eyring about mountains to climb. We read it with XXXXXX in Halberstadt because he has a lot of mountains it seems. I'm way proud of Heather for making that connection. She is right, that was a mountain for her but boy did she accomplish the hike! Thanks for sending me a Christmas package! I'll be sure to get one out to you guys as soon as I am able to. Honestly, I got to wait a bit for the weihnacht markts (christmas market) to get into full swing and then I will be able to get some very traditional German things that you all will enjoy.  The picture of your head board didn't attach so maybe next week. I'm excited to see what it looks like finished. oh, When did you buy that funny prop lamp in the big room? I saw it in the pictures Dad sent of Thanksgiving. 

   This week Sister Dean and I were way busy riding trains and our bikes all over captivity. We have a lot of contacts in Midlum and Dorum (baby dorfs in our area). We were able to contact a few, set up new appointments, give out some Books of Mormon, and give people our cards. It was way cold on Saturday when we were out there. I couldn't feel my feet. It's a 25 minute bike ride from Dorum to Midlum as the train doesn't go to Midlum. When we finally got off our bikes I felt like I was walking on nubs or something. We have had some AMAZING appointments with Bruder XXXXXX this week. He is really doing his part and studying the gospel and coming prepared to our lessons. It's a big difference compared to other people we teach. He had some concerns about what will happen after his baptism ( he said he wants to be an ''adult'' in the gospel) and we explained that we will continue to teach him and that he will receive a home teacher, etc. Sister Dean and I then announced in Relief Society that a way the members can help us with the hand off is to invite him to their homes for a meal without us so he can see that they love him and care about him. A lot of them had no idea he wasn't a member because he comes to church in a suit with a brief case. Super cool! Not good though that they didn't know, but we cleared that up.

    We are headed to Hamburg tomorrow for our Christmas zone conference. We will be having a white elephant exchange so it should be funny. I'm excited to see Sister Curtis, a Sister I haven't seen since we all split up 11 months ago. It's only going to be half the mission though so I won't get to see my other companions.

    I love you Mumma. Thanks for your love and support. I really missed you lots this week. I can't wait to talk to you soon!!!!
Me!

Me and our baby Christmas tree

Our baby Christmas tree!

-Ariel Nell

Home again, Home again

Hey Lyndel!

  It's so fun to hear from you. I love your idea to read through the scriptures with Michael and to discuss them. That's a great way to learn from each other. AKA comp study in the mission field. Comp study has probably been my favorite part of any companionship. I look forward to it every morning with all my companions and mostly because of the discussions we would have and the things we would learn from one another. Each one taught me something different. I'm really proud of Michael for getting such a sick DJ gig at the BILTMORE MANSION! way cool. I'm glad that you all still go antiquing and find wonderful treasures here and there. Way to go for making so much for Thanksgiving. I like your response to mums' comment about Thanksgiving dinner. It only tastes the right way because it's made her way. I made the squash recipe a month or so ago and you can tell mum it didn't taste like hers at all. But I would say that's cause of all the German ingredients and that we had to use zucchini instead of yellow squash.

     Our Thanksgiving feast on Monday was way fun. The senior couple that threw the party stopped at the commissary on their way home from one of their temple trips so we had a sweet potato casserole, and stuffing ( from a box), and mashed potatoes, and then they ordered two butterball turkeys. Those beautiful birds. It didn't taste like Mummas thanksgiving at all but it was the thought that counts. For dessert we had cherry and pumpkin pie. Mmmm yummy. Our entire zone was there, so thats 16 missionaries. After dinner we all sat around and had a discussion about our missionary work and how we can help one another. It was fun just to be with everyone.

    That's fun that you're the ward camp director again. It will be fun for you and the girls. You did such a marvelous job last time. Maybe I can tag along this time? :)

    Nothing too fun or new going on. Sister Dean is doing great. She has been taking good care of me as I was way sick this past week. It suck when you're stuck with a comp because that means you have to stay inside too. But she was really patient with me and then we were able to go back out to work and had a REALLY successful week. I haven't gotten my debit card yet and I'm seriously hoping its not in postal prison otherwise no one will get a Christmas gift from me until January or later.

     I love you big sister. Have a great week. LOVE YOU!
-Ariel Nell

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Emails

Hey family,

We are headed to Bad Bentheim tomorrow for Thanksgiving lunch so Sister Dean and I will be emailing Tuesday. Love you all. Have a great Sunday!

Ariel sent the above email Sunday night... being the awesome family that we are, some of us forgot to email her again on Monday. Below is the follow up email her slacker siblings received on Tuesday.

Hello?

Hey guys,
 I hope you all aren't dead cause I didn't hear from anyone. Please write me emails. It's my only way to hear from everyone. Have fun this week and be good.
-Ariel Nell
 
Don't worry. We all wrote her emails that she received today.

One more thing

Mum and Dad,

 I forgot to tell you all that we got a lot of referrals last week so we contacted half of them and told the family the results and then had a dinner appointment with them on Sunday and they gave us 5 more! Following up is probably the most important part of giving referrals. It was really neat. Now we have 8 that we need to contact this week!

-Ariel Nell

Greetings from Asheville from both of us!

Hey Mumma and Dad!
   It's good to hear that your vacation is going well. Make sure to take lots of pictures. I love pictures! Sister Dean and I had a really good time in Bad Bentheim with our zone yesterday. It was fun to sit down and eat a turkey dinner and just enjoy everyone's company. It's a family away from family. It took us 3 1/2 hours to get there and another 3 and 1/2 to get home, that's why we got permission to email today.  I've attached a picture of my plate. I won the drawing to receive a drum stick and so that's why I got the whole thing sitting on my plate. I also attached a picture of the thankful tree we made. All the leaves have things that we are thankful for written on them. One of the elders wrote ''girls'' on one of the leaves. Ha ha! And the last picture is me in front of a windmill built in 1857 in Midlum, a tiny dorf in our area. Sister Dean and I have been working hard on contacting all the less active or inactives on our ward list to find out if people still have interest in the church and if they mind receiving contact or visits from the church. Anyways we rode the train to Dorum and then biked the 6 kilometers to Midlum to contact 4 people and then went back to Dorum to contact some more people. It is such a lovely bike ride through lots of fields. We get to see lots of cows and goats and sheep and duckies. Not the most pleasant smelling as you could imagine but it's just lovely and fresh.

   Thanks for sending my packages. I'll be sure to call the office sometime next week and see if it came. I already talked to the office lady and she said she could forward it to me when it arrives. The Christmas package I will get on the 12th of December because half the mission will be coming together in Hamburg to meet with Elder Richards of the 70 and that's when mail from the office will be there. So thanks a lot! You all will get Christmas gifts, it just may be a little late but I'll do my best to get things there on time. I'm glad you didn't listen to Dad and bought a fatty turkey anyways. I missed your stuffing this year.

    Well this week we had some fun experiences. On Tuesday we went to Hamburg and visited the dentist. Sister Dean had a cavity filled before her mission and it seems that the filling didn't do the best job because she had a cavity under the filling. The doctor couldn't see anything on the surface of her tooth and was going to send us home but then decided to take an x-ray just in case and that's when he saw something funny he said. So she got a big shot of novocaine and I got to see that big needle. It made me think of Michael's experience on his mission when he had to get a root canal without any medicine and both he and his companion were crying. Ha ha! Sister Deans tooth is all better. We had transfer call on Saturday and Sister Dean and I are both staying in Bremerhaven. Merry Christmas in Bremerhaven. We saw trees for €9,99 in Bad Bentheim so if we can find them like that here we're gonna buy ourselves a big real tree. Sister Dean also has never had a real tree and that just can't do. We got to get a tree of some sort. Halberstadt was officially closed to sisters. Sister Tidwell has been transferred to Dresden where Sister Dean started her mission. I think she will like it so hopefully all goes well.

    Sister Dean and I were doing doors the other night when we decided we probably needed to end soon because it was getting late and people tend to get angry so she said we had to go to the 1st floor and door it (we were on the 6th) and then we could go. I thought okay? But didn't really think anything of it. So we went to the first floor and met some interesting people but nothing really turned out. Well the last door we got to a mother and her daughter answered. We talked to them about their faith and the Book of Mormon. The mom said she wasn't interested so we asked if they knew anyone who was and the girl said, ''Yea, me'' so we talked to her longer, explained the Book of Mormon and got her contact information to pass along to the missionaries in her area. It was way neat and just a good lesson of how important it is to listen to promptings. I'm glad Sister Dean heard it and followed it.

    President Kosak announced that starting in March till May we will receive 36 new sister missionaries which means we will be opening 19 new areas. How neat is that!? He said all sisters that are in the field now will be training. That's crazy but so cool! It more than doubles the amount of Sisters we have right now. I'm glad there are so many sisters who are willing to serve.

    Well the tail end of this last week I seem to have come down with a cold of some sort. Today seems to be the worse of it so hopefully it'll go away soon. Do you guys know why no one emailed me? I only got one from you two. Thanks for emailing me. I hope everyone is doing alright. Enjoy your weekend and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I miss and love you guys.
-Ariel Nell
Me in front of a windmill built in 1857 in Midlum, a tiny dorf in our area.

Thanksgiving dinner!

Our Thankful trees