Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunny Day!

Hi all,

I haven't learned too much about Halberstadt, only that it was bombed really bad right before the war ended and that John Cages 639 year long piece is in the Dom here. Hopefully we will get to go see it sometime. I think Halberstadt is over a thousand years old, I'm not sure of what else. Halberstadt is definitely in the boonies. But it is beautiful. When we're in the city you can't tell that you're surrounded by farmland. Since we are though, that's why we have a car. A lot of the other areas we cover are about 20-50 km away. Driving to all the other dorfs is such a beautiful drive. There are rolling hills or ''mountains'' all over and fields of some grain all in the valley. Usually on the edge of the hills that's where the dorfs set up. On sunny days I often feel like Maryanne (Sense & Sensibility reference) wanting to run through the fields to catch a bit of sun. The roads here are very narrow through the fields and hills but driving is not bad. The church has a driving safe DVD that didn't really help for Europe but I watched it anyways and then our mission has made a packet about the signs we will see on the road and such and that was really helpful. After a couple days it was really easy to get used to. I am starting to be able to find my way around without our GPS. 
   Mum, I had no idea that it was just two families that made up your ward as a kid. That's really neat. Sister Openshaw says that everyone speaks a lot. As soon as I got here they asked if I would play a musical number but I don't have any music prepared or music other than hymns.
    On Sunday we had pfahl konferenz (stake conference) and it was a broadcast from Salt Lake City. It's funny to hear the broadcasts in German. The Church does a really good job of finding men in the 70 who speak German so they didn't have to translate over the speakers. Elder Uchtdorf didn't speak though and the man sitting next to me yesterday leaned over to me and said that he would of thought the church would have had Uchtdorf speak since he is German. Elders Nelson and Eyring spoke. Elder Nelson did a great job of talking about teaching our families to be firm in the Gospel. Elder Eyring shared stories about his Great Grandpa and Grandma but I can't tell you what exactly they were about. My language is still coming....
   Part of the reason I was sent to Halberstadt is because I haven't been in the country over 6 months hence why I can drive for free or without buying a German license which isn't too hard just costs a bit of money. Dad  - there is so much beautiful stained glass!! The building we live in has a cove that sticks out from the front of the house with green and clear glas windows and then going up the second staircase is a huge window of stained glass. I'll be sure to take a picture sometime this week! Your stained glass window for Elvira is looking wonderful! I have my little Germany stained glass hanging up behind me in our apartment.
   Every Tuesday we hold a ward FHE to help strengthen the members and just have an activity. It's so funny to interact with all the members. They all bicker like they're siblings. They love each other but they fight too, it's just too funny. Our spiritual thought was about patience and you would have thought we started a very controversial war or something with the way they started arguing. They're a wonderful group of people. I love being able to serve them.
Everyone asks me what kind of dog I have at home. They love dogs here and cats. A member last night pulled out a dog book so I could point out a picture of Darcy (he's a German Short-Haired Pointer).
   Have a great day! LOVE YOU ALL!
-Ariel Nell

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