Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day weekend in America, letter to Mum

Hey Mumma,

  It's funny you mentioned my pearls because Sister Openshaw just mentioned them a few minutes ago too that I wear them the most of anything I own. They just make me feel grown up and special :)
  I'm really impressed with the Sister Missionaries and how much work they have been able to do in your ward. We are allowed to travel throughout the mission to go to baptisms that we had a hand in preparing if we would like too. Sister Openshaw went back to Berlin for a baptism of an investigator she taught there. I'm glad that all the Sister Missionaries came back to support these people. What a wonderful thing that the ward is growing so much. Make sure you help them all feel welcomed and loved!

  I'm excited that Adriana wants to go on a mission too! I received a letter from Aubree a little while ago and she told me of her mission plans too. If all goes well I will miss her by a few months. I'm glad that they both want to serve missions. I really think it was the best decision I could have ever made. It is a lot of hard work but has taught me so much. Things I never expected to learn. 
   I don't have the miracle of forgiveness with me. Its not on the missionary library but I can ask president in my email to him today if its alright if I get it from you and read it and let you know next week. All I remember Andre saying is that it made him feel like he had a lot of repenting to do. As we all should every day :) Right now I'm working my way through the Bible. I'm almost done with Isaiah which means almost done with the Old Testament. I'm also reading the Book of Mormon in German. I have all the other missionary library books but I wanted to get through the entire standard works before I read those. I just have the New Testament and then I'm done. Isaiah is the most lovely book. I can't understand why other faiths can't see Christ written all over that book or the Book of Mormon for that matter or that there was a need for a restoration. It's ALL over the place.
  So Schwester Munkes cake is a German cake on the bottom, cream, cream puffs, cream, and then a raspberry jello on top. I believe she used one of those forms that you can unhook so you don't have to slide anything. She used to work in a bakery but she said she only dealt with the bread. I think some of the dessert making rubbed off though. I'll ask her for the recipe for you. Yeah, Thomas keeps pictures of all the missionaries that have ever worked with him. Don't be worried about that mum. Thomas loves the missionaries because they helped him change his life. He has so much faith and recognizes Gods hand in his life. He loves all of us because of the work we are doing. All the members here do. They can tell you about missionaries from years ago still that made an impression on them. 
   Thanks for the package! I should get it when we have zone conference again. We will be having two next transfer since the Pimentels will be leaving and the new presidents will come. This week we got to go to Zone conference in Hannover. It was really fun to go. I got my package from Jean so tell her that it got here safely. I'll be sending her a letter later this week to thank her. After zone conference we tauched, or did exchanges, and I rode back to Celle with Sister Bush. I thought Celle was beautiful in the winter but it is the most gorgeous place right now. Everything is green an blooming. Its just lovely! It was kind of weird to be back but so much fun to know my way around. It's my home in Germany. Since we're in summer now the sun didn't go down till 10:30 in Celle. I was so shocked. I kept looking at the clock thinking I was reading the time wrong. It gets light really early and dark really late. It doesn't it do it as late here in Halberstadt. It's super strange. 
   We had an activity as a ward and we were able to bring a less active family, and an investigators family. It was on the Jahnweise, this huge lawn on the top of Halberstadt. We got to wear pants since there are a lot of ticks around there. It was wonderful! We played soccer and baseball with the kids. Our ward members were impressed that Sister Openshaw and I are both good at soccer :)
   Today is another religious holiday that everyone gets off. Its called Finksten but I believe its Pentacost in English. Its funny how many holidays they have here and how they're all religious but no one is religious.
   Thanks for all your love and support and letting me know what you're up to. 
-Ariel Nell


 The pictures of us with bunnies are from a less active member who raises them to sell them for food. All the bunnies got out while we were there, so we had to run around chasing them. It was fun.The last picture is of my sick watch tan.
Sister Openshaw & a bunny
me & a bunny

me & a bunny
my sick watch tan

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hannover/Oldenburg Zone Conference

Week of May 21st

Excerpt from Ariel's Email to Andre
Transfer calls are june 2nd, we transfer the 4th. Except that we're not ever going to leave Halberstadt so no worries!
   Our week was good. We had lots of appointments. Our mission goal is to get 20 lessons a week and we set a goal to get 30 and we've been pretty successful at doing that lately. Frau XXXX and her friend came to church so that was really good. 
  I'm applying for my license this week. Cross your fingers I can pass the test! We have a ward activity coming up this next weekend where we will be running around playing games in a field and grilling so Sister Openshaw and I get to wear pants. I am so excited its not even funny!  
  We have zone conference this week in Hannover. I love going to zone conference. afterwards we will be tausching(exchanges) and I will be going back to Celle. That'll be fun :) 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hi again!

  It's now warming up but earlier this week it was really cold, to the point that I was wearing thermals. It makes sense why everyone gets colds here all the time. Its warm one day and then super cold the next. Every Tuesday we visit Schwester Mußmann. This past Tuesday it seems we caught her off guard and she wasn't quite ready. As we were waiting on her couch for her to get ready we noticed her teeth just sitting on her bookcase. It was too funny. I tried to get my camera out in time but she came into the room and goes,'' Oh, there are my teeth'' and left again. I love working with older people!

  We got to do a board display in Hameln this past Friday with the stake young women. Hameln is the city where the pied piper comes from. It went from 11-4pm. It was really amazing to see all the success the young women were having and how much joy they found from sharing their testimonies too. We brought a whole case of Books of Mormon and the girls were able to give the entire case away plus some. They said it was the best activity they had ever done and that it was more fun than anything they ever did with the young men. Lots of them expressed interest in serving mini-missions and going on missions. I'll attach some pictures of girls talking to people and Sister Openshaw too.

   We went to Schwester Munkes for cake and coffee this past week and she made us the most giant cake you have ever seen and gave us the biggest slices ever. I took a picture, don't you worry. Frau XXXXX came to church yesterday and she invited her friend! They both really enjoyed church and participated a lot in the combined Priesthood/Relief Society. Our ward does a really wonderful job of greeting people and being so friendly and loving. Everyone was so patient with Frau XXXX. I was really grateful.

   We have zone conference in Hannover again this week and then we will be doing exchanges after that. I'll be going to Celle for the day. That will be fun :) Thomas had us over for lunch last night and made sure to ask if I told you all that he said hi. He's too cute. His son in XXXX, the one who is planning on being baptized in August. I'm worried that he is losing his interest. We had a really wonderful lesson with his this week using a mason jar and rice explaining that when we put the important things first in our life then all the little things will fit. He promised us he would come to church for sure and then he didn't come and said that he wasn't ready. He also said that he wasn't sure if he'll be there at our lesson tonight because he'll be hanging out with his girlfriend. It's so frustrating! I don't understand how he can understand everything and then back away. I don't know what to do exactly with him. Sometimes, I think I'm ridiculous and just expect too much. But that's not true. If you set your expectations low you won't produce good results. High expectations leads to people finding and accepting the gospel. Why can' they see it? Bah! Sorry for that rant.

 Anyways.... I will be applying for my German drivers license today. I am required to take a theory test about road rules and have been studying this past week. Hopefully I can take the test sometime this week. President said he wanted me to try and if the Lord wants me to pass I'll pass, otherwise I'll try again in another city. Keep your fingers crossed that I can pass.

 Love you All!!! Have a great week.Talk to you all next week!

-Ariel Nell

Schwester Munkes giant cake!

Sis. Openshaw chatting with people

Young Woman chatting with someone, giving away a Book of Morman

Big scary portions of food!

Excerpt from letter to Lyndel

  This week was a lot of really big scary portions. I snapped a shot of some food that I'll be sure to email Mum and Dad. At church yesterday there were 7 members, 3 investigators, and 2 missionaries. The misionary work in this branch about doubles the attendance each week. Crazy huh? Could you imagine if that happened at home? They forgot the bread for the sacrament. Sister Openshaw and I ran out of bread, but we had a brötchen (bread roll) so thats what they blessed and broke up. Kind of funny :) 
   Well have a great week!!! Love you!! Time is flying by. I feel like I haven't been out long at all but we're at 11 months on Saturday!!! I love the work I'm doing but I'm excited to come home too! Love you!

Monday, May 14, 2012

So good to hear your voice

Hey thanks for all the pictures! No, I didn't get sad after talking to you all. It was just really refreshing to hear everyone's voices. It felt like that was something I do every week, sit down and call you all on Sundays. I wish!

   Dad, it was nice to talk to everyone at home to to just connect with the family. It seems for Elders they think its a bad thing to miss home. But missing home is a wonderful thing. I miss the family, and that's what this gospel is all about, families for the eternities. It was really wonderful to talk to you all.

  So I told you about our tea party with Schwester Munke so I'll include pictures from that and on Thursday we taught XXXX about Alma, Amulek, and Zeezrom. Sister Openshaw and I made some pretty fabulous head-dresses because we role played the story. It was super fun and they all enjoyed it.
 Love you all!! Thanks for all your love and support!

-Ariel Nell

Panoramic View

Tea party with Schwester Munke
Me & Sister Openshaw in our headdresses!

Letter to Lyndel

It was so nice to talk to you. I miss just being able to call you all up and talk!  (Ariel learned of the Girls Camp car wash fundraiser)Lyndel, I'm super proud of you and all the work that you guys put forth to teach these girls to work hard for the goals that the set. So many sister missionaries shared with me that the most influential person to them in the gospel was a Young Women's leader. Keep up the awesome work with them! 
   So at Presidents interviews I was standing the church pews waiting to talk to an Assistant about something and an Elder just went to sit down and totally sat on me. I'm so little even other missionaries can't see me. It was super awkward. Talk about feeling like people can't notice you! Sister Openshaw loses me in the store if I'm looking at a different rack than her cause they're too tall. That's my funny story for the week. Oh and our investigator accidentally got locked into the bathroom yesterday after church when everyone left. He was not too happy. 
   Sister Openshaw and I doored a random dorf on our way home the other day. The whole time we could her sheep baaahhing. It was definitely in the boonies. I'll attach some pictures.
Me and some chickens

a dorf

The scenery

Sign says "Drive Carefully. It could also be your child"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

President Interviews - Hannover Zone

Braunschweig District
Sisters Abamonte, Openshaw, Bush, Thornton
Elders Ott, Reeve

Monday, May 7, 2012


Hey Family!

  Yes, no air conditioning makes door knocking very interesting. You end up seeing a lot of people in their underwear. But no worries, it's only May and decided to be cold again. It was 6° C yesterday. We have begun wearing tights again and my wool dress is keeping me warm right now! Oh! I sent you a letter in the mail. I got my first grey hair! Talk about being stressed out! Man! I haven't been sleeping well at all lately. I've been dreaming very stressful dreams and Sister Openshaw said I've been moaning, groaning, and talking in my sleep. A prayer or two this way to help me sleep would be very appreciated. :)

   We visited Frau XXXX earlier this week and talked about how sometimes the Lord gives us trials or allows things to happen because we have something to learn from them. It's hard for her to see how the Lord is blessing her through her blindness. She prayed for all of us at the end to have a ''himmlische Einstellung'' or a heavenly or divine attitude. If only we could all look at life like that I think a lot more people would be less angry at God and more accepting of the trials that come into their life. Hopefully we can help her see how there can always be good in bad.

   On Saturday we visited Herr XXXX. We asked him about what he had read or studied the past week and he told us about his thought on Mormon 9:11-28. Then he brought up verse 23 and said that that is why people need to be baptized to show their faith and be saved. Sister Openshaw asked him when he was going to be baptized and he got really quiet. I suggested June or July and then he said September. So we picked September 2nd for his baptismal date. Thank you so much for praying for all our investigators. They all have made progress in their own way and for Herr XXXX to set a date is a huge step in the right direction for him.

   I'm working on being patient everyday. On Sunday we just had 1 investigator at church. I am so grateful he came but sometimes it's hard not to be upset at the other 7 that should have been there. WE will get through to them one day.

   This week we're headed to Hannover for Presidents interviews. I love getting to hear from President Pimentel and talking to him. I'm looking forward to it.

-Ariel Nell

Schwester Mußmann and Schwester Munke, two members in our FHE group.

The foot hills of where we live :)

Me and Frau Kluger. She reminds me of Nana. I showed her our picture and she said it was her mother.

Ariel last night in the cold rain riding home, waiting at the light to cross the street

Helllllooo​oo Dear (like Mrs. Doubtfire)

Excerpt from Ariel's email to Andre

The last day of the transfer is June 3rd and Sister Openshaw and I decided we will stay in Halberstadt until we both have to go home. We don't want to leave here and we love each other too much to separate. Last transfer in her email to president Sister Openshaw said that the Lord wanted us to stay together and she was pretty sure that's what he was telling president. And guess what? We got to stay together. It was funny :)
 The meat we get here is interesting too. I think most of the time it was canned or cat food-ish. They rarely eat beef here. You can get  it at the store but it seems that a lot of people are afraid to eat beef from the mad cow scare or something. We haven't been blessed to eat chicken feet yet so that's good. I have heard that someone ate dog lung before. 
  I'm excited to see your picture book that Ellen just put together. You guys are really good about taking pictures. This week our work was good but stressful. Both of us have not been sleeping well at all which makes work a little more difficult than normal. We went finding this week and found the Beverly Hills of Halberstadt. These homes were homes! They had two cars and two car garages and a swimming pool! I can't even begin to tell you how ridiculous that is. Some homes even had video cameras on the outside where you klingel. We were able to talk to a lot of people, teach a few lessons, and bear our testimonies a lot. Whether people are interested or not I'm always grateful for the chance to teach and bear witness of something. One man we talked to said he knew about Mormons and that it was an American church and then said how he didn't like George Bush. We explained that George Bush has nothing to do with the church and that this is Christ's church, not an American church, and that it is set up all over the world. Then he said " yea, but I'm not interested." But at least he knows the truth now!
     Oh! So yesterday at our eating appointment I asked a member if he watched car racing and his two kids (the primary) piped up and started yelling about formula one racing. I asked if they watched the most recent race and they had. They recorded it for their boys and fast forwarded to the end to they could see who won. Mark Webber is the 6 year olds favorite. He was excited that a German won though :) So yes they all know who Vettel is and they do watch formula one. Aaron even pulled out his formula one calendar that he has. It was too funny.