Monday, July 30, 2012

"I'm praying for you" card to Lyndel

Bruder Lau and Schwester Munke both have REALLY fat cats. Schwester Munke gets upset though is you call her cat fat. They both have a bowl of cream out for their cats, plus dry food, wet food and Schwester Munke gives Philly (her cat) raw meat every day for dinner. They are like spoiled rotten children!

Sometimes Germans tell us we're little and ask if we didn't eat enough cauliflower when we were little and if our parents didn't give us enough water to grow. One of our investigators, Herr XXXXXX, has a laughing fit every time we visit because poor Sister Tidwell's feet don't touch the ground when we sit on his couch. He took a shelf off his wall so she could use it as a foot stool. He also thought she was Native American because she parts her hair down the middle.

Oh! We taught Thomas and XXXX a lesson on prophets this past Thursday using cookies. Each cookie has a name of a prophet on it. We explained that God always gives us prophets to give us the spiritual food we need and to lead us in the right direction. When the prophets die (or when the cookie gets eaten) Heavenly Father sends us another prophet. They enjoyed learning about the prophets and eating the cookies.

We also taught a lesson using balloons so a ballon is us. When it's just filled with air it's empty. When the devil (or a lit match) tries to bring us down  and tempt us, we pop. But when we're a water balloon (or filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ because Christ is the living waters) the devil can't penetrate us. We did this example for our two primary kids yesterday at our lunch appointment. They LOVED it! I can't wait to be a Mum and have fun FHE lessons.

The week that was


   Jack Daniels pulled pork sounds LOVELY!!!! mmm mmm mmm :)
   I love that we have to take every visitor to Atlanta to the varsity. Haha! Did Jonathan like the coke factory and centennial Olympic park?

   I like that you can't remember your week. That's like us. I can't tell you where our week went all I know is that its now p-day again and I'm writing emails. staying busy is the best.

   Ooo Occoee rafting sounds fun! Were you guys just exhausted after the braves game? Did anyone fall out of the raft? 6 flags?! Holy cow you guys had a busy week with Jonathan. 

   That's fun that you got to be there for the Petty's baby blessing! I didn't know that they had a girl. Did you guys eat sushi afterwards?

   Fast-forward is an amazing invention. I agree Ellen! Voldemort from Harry Potter? what? 

   Ooo gymnastics! Sad that Michael Phelps came in fourth. 

   I like your french. You should definitely develop that!

   Of course Bryan looks gorgeous! :)

   Well this week was fun. We did some finding Monday afternoon and this little girl saw us going from house to house. She just stood there and watched us and then asked, ''Why are you going house to house? do you always do that?'' I told her we try to talk to people about God and said I like her glasses and she was like, ''They're cool huh!'' It was funny. We visited the Dom, Liebenfrauen Kirche, and the martini kirche on Thursday because Sister Tidwell wanted to see some of the churches here in Halberstadt. Friday we went to XXXXXXX wedding in Thale. That was fun to be there with them. We were the only guests there.  Oh and I meant to tell you last week Andre that Aaron Schmaal, one of our two primary kids came up to me at church two weeks ago and told me what time and what channel the formula one races would be on. It was too funny!

  Well I hope you guys get to have a little more of a relaxing week this week! I love y'all bunches. Thanks for feeding the missionaries!
-Ariel Nell

Back from the Beach

Hey Mumma,
  I'm sorry to hear that the school board is dumb. I wish people would understand the importance of education. They want good leaders well they should focus more on the education of the little people. Your trip sounded lovely! This past week it was extremely hot everyday. It was just wonderful! Because no one has air conditioning, Sister Tidwell and I moved our mattresses to our living room and slept on the floor in there all week because that room has three windows and our bedroom is a stuff little closet with a hole in the ceiling for a window. It's been fun camping on the floor. Cold showers have also become a must and I have to say they can be quite enjoyable. I was never able to take cold showers and I think its cause of the air conditioning. Take air conditioning out of the equation (I'm not sure if that's how you spell it. I can't spell in English anymore) and all things are possible.

   Let me know how Eli's evaluations go for football. I'm so excited that he will be playing! This week seemed to fly by. It came to Sunday evening and I couldn't have told you where our week went. So how about all about Saturday? We went home early from our eating appointment with Schwester Munke Friday night so that Sister Tidwell and I could make the lunch that we were going to bring with us so we would have something to eat afterwards. We made a bowtie pasta with chicken, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and pesto and mixed it all together. It was something that could be eaten cold and still taste okay. We also brought some watermelon, some apples, water, and Sister Openshaw was in charge of cookies. Saturday morning we woke up at 5:30am to get everything in order and be out the door by 6:30am. We met up with Bruder Lau at 6:45am and picked up Schwester Munke and then President Pawelke picked up Thomas and Gernot and then we were on the road. Minus a few accidental detours we got to the temple pretty smoothly. It took two and a half hours to drive there. It was nice to not have to drive, to just sit in the back an relax. When we got to the temple Sister Bush (a sister that finished her mission a couple weeks ago who has been touring around with her family) was there at the temple with her family. They were able to take some pictures for us before we went into our session. When we got inside I told the reception desk man we were there to do a baptismal session and that we brought family names. He sent the group to the waiting room and scanned Sister Tidwells and my temple recommends so we could go back to the büro (office) to pick up the names. When we got into the waiting room Sister Openshaw was there and we sat for the temple man to come check everyone's recommends. He asked what we three missionaries were doing and we explained that we came with our group as support for their first time in the temple. He said that we wouldn't be allowed into the session because those were the rules but that we could talk to the Temple Matron. So we went and talked to her I believe and she said that only one of us was allowed to stay and be in the session and that the other two had to go. We explained our situation to her as well but I'm afraid they didn't quite understand the importance of why we came. She told us it wasn't a film, that we couldn't just sit and watch. So we deliberated and I was the one who ended up staying. Sister Tidwell left with Sister Openshaw and did an Endowment session. That was upsetting. In our Baptismal Session Schwester Munke did the women family names for Schwester Mußmann. As I saw Schwester Mußmann's mothers name come up on the screen I got up and whispered in her ear that that name and baptism was for her mom. She got very emotional and choked up. Later I went into the confirmation room with Schwesters Mußmann and Munke for Schwester Mußmann to do the confirmations for her family. I noticed the man saying the prayers getting choked up. The Spirit was very strong in the room. After the confirmations he asked whose names they were and then told Schwester Mußmann that those women were really happy and that they had just been freed. Schwester Mußmann kept giving me hugs and thanked Schwester Munke from the bottom of her heart for doing the Baptisms. It was really neat to see the effect it had on Schwester Mußmann. I didn't get to see Gernot, Thomas, or President Pawelke get baptized because I was helping in the changing room.

  After our session it was pouring rain. We were going to eat our lunch in the parking lot under some trees where we wouldn't get so wet but luckily a lady told us there were some table and chairs in another building across the way. We went there and began eating lunch. Sister Tidwell joined us about 10 minutes later and said that the temple wouldn't allow Sister Openshaw or her companion to come and eat with us. We just finished telling the group and they were all sad when Sister Openshaw and her companion walked into the room we were eating in. Come to find out that room is connected by a tunnel to the temple. It was really a joyous experience to be there with all of them and Sister Openshaw and her companion. I asked Thomas how his experience was and he said it was like his own baptism but better and when I asked Bruder Lau he said it was really interesting and he was enlightened and had a lot of questions more about the temple and other things we can do there.

 Yesterday Thomas got up and shared his testimony of his experience in Church. President Pawelke thanked us for putting everything together. This will only be the beginning of everyone receiving their own ordinances and going to the Temple often. I felt very privileged to be there with the group.

    Oh Mumma, I got my Fourth of July pillow case on the 27th in the mail. For some reason it had to sit in customs for a long while. The sticker on the outside said it had been ''freed'' from customs. I also got a package from Claudia and it said the same thing. Crazy customs. I don't know why they think it's necessary to hold my things for a month. Dad mailed it on the 26 of June! But so you know it got here safely and I've been happily sleeping on some American pride :) Thanks for making it for me!

   Have a great week and fun on Tuesday going back to school! Love you! Thanks for all your support!
-Ariel Nell
the Temple

translated: Holiness to the lord, the house of the Lord
Us outside the Temple

Excerpt from Lyndel's email

Hey Lyndel!
  I'm glad that you guys will get to have a full house with Bryan and Jessica! That will be fun! The temple trip was a lot of fun. It was really neat to see Sister Openshaw although I didn't get to spend more than ten minutes with her. I wrote mum the whole story so ask her for it.

  Sister Tidwell is the same age as me. Her birthday is October 1st even. She is just four foot 11, so she's little. I was proud of myself for my 9 month mark. I fist-punched the air in celebration as I woke up on Thursday. It was the first thought to run through my mind.

   I haven't gotten sick since being in Germany except for barfing or upset stomachs. I feel like my stomach is a lot more sensitive to the food here. Either because I have some bug in me or my body is not a fan of what I'm putting into it. It makes eating not the most pleasant experience like it should be. 

  Our FHE lesson this week was super fun. We sang the verse from Book of Mormon stories about Alma the younger. We made pockets from paper that we sewed together. We explained that each stitch are things that help us to humble ourselves and return to our heavenly father like Alma did so repentance, reading your scriptures, going to church, sharing your testimony, etc. Then when they do all those things they have prepared themselves to become missionaries for the Lord. We made them all missionary name badges like the Elders get to hang on their pockets and we hung them on their paper pockets they sewed together. It was cute and they all enjoyed the activity. This week we will be talking about Abinadi.

 Sister Tidwell and I ride our bikes everywhere everyday. So we exercise lots! We usually don't walk everywhere because it wastes time, we're a lot faster on our bikes!

   I haven't gotten the packages yet. We haven't had any big missionary zone meetings. This Thursday we have Presidents interviews and I should get them then. We have also been told that we will only be having Zone Conference every other transfer now so if you send things to the mission office I'll get them every other transfer (which is a 6 week period).

   Well I love you! Thanks for all your love and support. I've been praying for you lots. I hope all is well! Love you!
-Ariel Nell
Schwester Mußmann with her missionary pocket

Thomas with his missionary pocket

Hello from Dad

Dad, Thanks for all the pictures!
   From what I've heard our branch president said life would be better if they could just sit and watch TV for the whole next two weeks while the Olympics are on. The temple is only 2 1/2 hours away so its definitely do-able to go every month. I'm hoping that the ward will start going every month. If not we'll definitely be the ones to organize it.

   I love that you have a better appreciation for Dantes Hell as you were in Charleston. That made me laugh out loud. So on Monday we were going door to door and having a really hard time finding people who would just listen to us for a bit. Sister Tidwell said a prayer in her heart unbeknownst to me as we were dooring that Heavenly Father would bless us with something and then 10 minutes later we klingeled a lady and talked to her about faith and prayer. She said she was really interested and asked us if there was another time we could come by. It was really neat to see how the Lord wants to help if you just ask. We shared that with our ward as our spiritual thought on Sunday with Phillipians 4:6 to remember to always give thanks in all that you ask for and remember to give the glory back to Heavenly Father. It was a neat experience.

   We got to go to XXXXXXX wedding on Friday in the Rathaus, or city hall, and it was interesting to notice how there really is no eternal authority outside the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was such a strange ceremony. I'm very grateful that we can be sealed for time and all eternity.
-Ariel Nell

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hello from Dad

Hey Dad,

Sister Tidwell is from St. George, Utah and she is a blast to work with. She really is excited about missionary work and loves our little branch already. She was serving in Kiel for the last three transfers and now Halberstadt is her second city. She hasn't had to do a lot of doors because Kiel has so many people on the streets and they get a lot of referrals from members. She didn't realize there was such a different between the West and East so I think the first day of doors really shook her up. We contacted a lady on the street, gave her our card, and the lady put it down Sister Tidwells shirt. Not the nicest thing the lady could have done. Sister Tidwell is a hard worker so this transfer will be a lot of fun.

The only thing that we've been able to get out of XXXX is that it was moving too fast for him, he is scared of going underwater (but we already cleared that one up), and that he is too preoccupied on girls to think about God. Thankfully he decided that this one girl he was really interested in who wasn't interested with him is not going to be interested in him so he should just move on. That was a big step. I think he also gets hung up on his friends and doesn't really see that putting God first will help his life. These are all things we've addressed time and time again and I think its just going to take more time. He needs to come to the decision on his own. He said he was still interested in meeting with us and that he'll probably get baptized next year or the year after.

The Habitat for Humanity project sounds like a lot of fun! I'm glad that the ward got to participate in helping this family out. Way cool! I'm glad that you guys have the missionaries over often. We have a lunch appointment every Sunday with a different member from our ward and then every Friday with Schwester Munke. Thanks for feeding the missionaries. It sure does help the work a lot.

This week everyone has been busy finishing their genealogy so that they can bring names to the temple. Schwester Mußmann, Thomas, and Bruder Lau will all be bringing family names. Its been really amazing to see the Lords hand in Thomas finding information about his family. He was raised in an orphanage and knows very little about his family and he has really been blessed with finding a lot of information. It makes him more and more happy to know about his family. We will be leaving really early for our temple trip on Saturday but everyone is really excited. Sister Openshaw called and said her district is taking this Saturday as their temple day so that they can be there when we get out of our baptismal session. I'm excited to see her again.

This week has been a lot of finding and meeting with less actives. One was supposed to come to church yesterday but she didn't. We made her a come back to church calender instead of a baptismal calendar in hopes of helping her to prepare to come to church. We set a date and everything but it didn't work out. I'm not quite sure how to help her since we even have people who can pick her up she just has to call and ask. What do you do?

Have a great week Dad and I hope that you can sweat some more for me and that your arm, shoulder, and back feel better soon! I love you! Thanks for all your support.

Quiet Sunday Evening

Hey Mumma!
  You're too funny. Did you know that? Can you believe that nine months will have gone by Thursday? I'm on the down hill now. That's so weird to me. Some days I still feel so fresh on the mission and others it's like maybe I've been out for a few months but not 9! I keep thinking my birthday and my year mark are in two months, then Christmas and then I'll be home. WEIRD! I miss the family very much so I am looking forward to being with you all again but more looking forward to right now and who we can help here in Germany.

Sister Tidwell is from St. George, Utah and is really excited to do missionary work. She didn't realize there was a difference between West and East Germany. She began her mission in Kiel and Halberstadt is her second city. She just hit her 6 month mark this past week. I think she got a little scared as we did finding before an appointment on Thursday.  A lot of people shut the door in our faces, a man yelled at us for talking to people (he said we were a burden and bothersome), and another lady put our pass along card down her shirt. I'd agreed, everyone was a little more aggressive than normal. Maybe they all just had a bad day. She is really good and keeping happy and says that our rejections are like the movies, Hahaha! It's really interesting to see how our investigators really need her and how they all respond to her and her spirit and testimony. That's really neat. We have had the hardest time trying to get XXX to talk and be normal and with her he is really normal and talks bunches and even shook our hands! We haven't found our rhythm for teaching yet. That's probably the hardest thing. Sister Openshaw and I could read each others minds and knew when we should talk and worked really well off of our lesson plans. Sister Tidwell and I have been working and talking to see what we can do so she can know when she should speak or teach something.

The members take really hard to changes. They love every Sister missionary that ever comes like their own child but saying good bye to Sister Openshaw was like beating a dead horse. Thomas cried. It was hard to say good bye to her too for me. I didn't get a chance to hug her cause Schwester Munke just put her on her train before I got a chance. I wanted to cry. The good news is that Sister Openshaw will be at the Temple on when we get out of our baptismal session. The ward is excited to see her and to go do baptisms for the dead.
   It's weird to me that Eli is (living) downstairs now. I never lived in that room. I think its good for him because it helps him to recognize that he is an adult now. Andre says he wears a size 10 shoe! Holy moly he is going to be big Mum. 
   I really liked your relief society lesson and about the singing babushkas from Russia. They sound like a fun group!

    On our way home Friday night there was a beautiful rainbow. I'll have to attach pictures. It was neat to see. Gods little gift to us. Schwester Mußmann finally has electricity after 3 months so that's good news. XXXXXX is getting married on Friday and Sister Tidwell and I will be there. We are both excited to go and support him. He is really excited too. He is also down to smoking 12 cigarettes a day from 40. He was to start 10 a day on Sunday. Please pray for him that his health will allow him to be baptized and that he will be able to quit smoking for good!
   Thanks for all your love and support mumma. I love hearing what you all are up to.
-Ariel Nell

Saying goodbye to Sister Openshaw


Sister Tidwell

Happy P-Day

Excerpt from Ariel's email to Andre

    Our week was pretty good. It was filled with lots of teaching and going door to door. Its weird being the one in charge. I don't feel like I should have this responsibility. We are slowly figuring out how we like to do things together. Sister Tidwell is really excited to do missionary work and has a great testimony to share with everyone. I'm glad she is here.

     Temple trip is this week and everyone is hurrying to finish collecting names to bring to the  temple when we go. Its really cool to see how much work we will be bringing with us. We will be leaving at 7AM for Freiberg on Saturday. It's going to be a long day but going to be soooo  much fun. Sister Openshaw will be there with her district from Leipzig and will get to see us as we come out of our session. Sister Tidwell and I are not allowed to participate but we get to help so that will be good.

   Olympics start? cool! Is Michael Phelps going to be swimming? Please watch some swimming for me! That's my favorite and all the gymnastics stuff.

   Way to go installing the electric fence! Did you electrocute yourself. Haha! Poor Tripper and the wood fence. Why does he try to get out all the time?

      Pray for us this week as we do some more finding. We need to find some more people who are excited and have questions and willing to just listen to us. I love you both. Have a fabulous week and work hard!
-Ariel Nell

Hi ya!


 Sister Tidwell is really wonderful. She is from St. George, Utah  and is really stoked to do missionary work. She is in her fourth transfer and I'm in my 6th. She just hit her six month mark on her mission and I'm about to hit 9 months this week. It's weird being the senior comp. I still feel really new. It's also hard switching the way you teach. I feel like Sister Openshaw and I were so in connection with each other we would make a lesson plan and then go and wouldn't have any problems knowing when one should talk or another. We also both understood a lot of what was said, Sister Openshaw more than me. With Sister Tidwell we've had to figure out how we can teach together so that she actually teaches. Her German is pretty good and she gave her first talk ever in German yesterday. Welcome to Halberstadt! I thought she did a really great job. I am missing Sister Openshaw bunches. We have already talked three times on the phone since she left. Thomas cried when she left, it was so sad!
    I'm surprised that you and Michael got released as Sunday school teachers but I think it'll help you two be less stressed on Sundays having everything prepared. Don't be nervous about teaching in YW. You do a great job and all the girls seem to love you in there. I think it's neat how it just goes around. That you were once in there being taught and now you're the one teaching. 
     This week for FHE we started teaching them the song Book of Mormon stories. Each verse talks about a different Book of Mormon prophet. The first verse talks about the forefathers sailing across the sea. We talked about how Lehi and Nephi had a Liahona and that's what helped guided them. We got them to all say what is a liahona for them in their lives and then we all drew pictures. Bruder Lau wasn't able to pick up Frau XXXXXXX for FHE so she took a taxi so she could be sure to be there. Isn't that just crazy! She really knows what is important and loves the time she spends with all of us. 
   Bruder Schwabe rigged up the headsets for translation to a big microphone at church so Frau XXXXXXX could hear everything just fine without yelling at the people talking to speak louder. It actually came in handy for a lot of old people in our ward :)
    Well, I love you, Have a great week and keep up the amazing work. I'm working hard to come home to everyone. Oh, don't get upset for the letters I send to your house for Bryan. I'll be sure to write you more fun letters too :) Thanks for taking care of him and give him a big hug for me when you guys get to see him again. Love you Both!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Your missionary plaque

I love all the pictures you sent last week of your trip with Eli. I especially love the picture from the subway of the sign for Steinway street. I'd love to frame that.  It sounds like you and Eli had a blast! I'm glad you two got to spend so much time together and to enjoy such a fun trip.

Well we had our transfer call on Saturday and Sister Openshaw is being transferred to Leipzig and Sister Tidwell will be coming here to Halberstadt with me. I'm really sad to be saying goodbye to Sister Openshaw just for a little while. I got to talk to Sister Tidwell on the phone last night and she's really funny. I passed my driving test and got a go-between license until they make my real one. I'll be able to pick up the real one in August. The nice things about these licenses is that they never expire. Nifty huh?

We had a ward grilling activity this past Wednesday. It was fun to have everyone there, to eat together, and play some games with the kids. The rain luckily stopped enough so that we would be able to have some fun. Sister Openshaw and I enjoyed having 9 investigators there and playing soccer with the kids. They're all too funny. We went to Deersheim, another dorf in our area, this week for finding. We didn't have much luck finding anyone interested. We got to talk to a lot of people. It was neat to see how almost every building there was on a national registry for one thing or another. On our way home we stopped at a look out point and took a picture. The area of Harz is just gorgeous.

XXXXXX was really sick this week with an infection so we weren't able to meet with him and Herr XXXXX said we could meet with him next week. XXXX has decided to not be baptized on the 26th but is going to continue to meet with us. Hopefully we'll be able to help get him on the path to baptism again.

Well I hope you have a less stressful week this week. I love you Dad. Thanks for all your love and support!
-Ariel Nell

Can you feel the love tonight!

Excerpt from Ariel's email to Andre


     I love your singing, thanks for that :) Sleeping: it comes and goes, not sure why I'm not sleeping so well. I think it just depends on how much stress I am feeling at that moment. I'm tired i'm just not getting any rest. Thanks for sending me pictures. I love getting pictures. Thanks for making me pretty in the picture. Andre, I've been out 9 months next week. Come on :) Some sisters take stupid pregnant pictures but we don't. The Elders burn the same things you guys did. I'm glad you and Bryan are finally friends ;) 
   Everyone is stoked to go to the temple. As far as I know everyone passed their interview for their temple recommend yesterday. Bruder Lau showed us his so he has one.  
    P-day activities today include going grocery shopping, going to a thrift store, helping sister Openshaw finish packing and probably to go get an ice cream. Sister Openshaw has to pack because she is being transfered to Leipzig and Sister Tidwell will be coming to me. I'm sad to see Sister Openshaw leave me but she and I have made an amazing friendship and plans to hang ou afterwards so I look forward to being able to be her compie comp after the mission. She only has three transfers left. 
     This week Sister Tidwell will be coming on tueseday. We're going to be starting a project in FHE to learn about Book of Mormon Prophets, doing lots of finding, teaching lots of lessons, having district meeting, and probably having the best time of our lives :)
   Baptismal Dates that we have are XXXX, who will be getting baptized August 12th and Bruder XXXX who will be getting baptized September 2. XXXX decided not to be baptized but still wants to meet with us. He says its all  moving too fast for him. Its a blessing that we still get to teach him. And then we'll get twenty more this week.
   Baptisms per zone: I think its at least one baptism per companionship except that not every companionship baptizes so it evens out. Some baptize more than others. In our district we had 3 baptisms this transfer.

   When we go to the temple we will only be doing baptisms not the endowment so I won't get to hear the voice of Uchtdorf. Since Sister Openshaw will be in a temple zone she'll have to listen for it. 
   So this week in FHE we talked about faith and we planted seeds in a little window box. In sunday school yesterday the teacher asked what seeds had to do with the gospel and Thomas was like ''Seeds are our faith!'' It was so neat to see that he remembered and made the connection. Thomas also gave his first talk ever. He dictated to us what he wanted to say and we wrote it down for him and he did a fabulous job! It was neat to see and hear him give his talk. 
   Well I hope you two have a fabulous week. Love you!
-Ariel Nell

Home again

Mumma and Dad!
  It is soooo weird to me that Eli is a man. He's got a deep voice, he's doing his own laundry, going to live downstairs, do football, and wear contacts! What the heck! That's not the little boy I left in October. That's so crazy to me and so very exciting. I'm glad he enjoyed scout camp so much. Mum are you excited to have a sewing room all to yourself? It's funny to hear what you and Dad do with the house now that its almost vacant.

  My driving test went really well on Wednesday. The driving school instructor and the tester man just talked the whole time and the tester man would interrupt their conversation to tell me to turn, park, or do something else funny. It was nice to just have them talking the whole time. It felt more like I was being a taxi driver to two best friends than taking an important driving test. I passed and have an in-between license right now and will pick up the real one in August.

  Thomas told us on Monday that he was asked to give a talk on Sunday so we wrote down what he dictated and helped him organize his thoughts. He delivered his talk yesterday and did a wonderful job. Three people got interviewed yesterday for their temple recommends. I just have to call the temple tomorrow and then all will be set for our trip at the end of the month. Transfer call was on Saturday and Sister Openshaw is being moved to Leipzig. Luckily it's in a temple zone so hopefully she and her new companion will still be able to come on our temple trip. My new companion is Sister Tidwell and she will be coming to me from Kiel tomorrow.

  No, it's not getting any warmer. It was 12°C (53.5 degrees Fahrenheit) yesterday, has rained almost everyday here this week and I wore tights twice and a jacket everyday. Good thing I have tights and jackets!

Dad - that Steinway sounded gorgeous! I'd like to have a Steinway one day but it will probably just be a picture that hangs on my wall :) Thanks for the book report on Beryl. I really appreciate the time you take to look things up for me. It helps to understand the scriptures a lot better.
   I love you both, have a fabulous week!
-Ariel Nell
Harz, the land where I'm living

Our ward on Sunday


Hi there!

  Haha, I loved the picture of Dad asleep on the kitchen floor. (A picture of Dad asleep in a bean bag on the kitchen floor was sent to Ariel. He was taking a nap while waiting for dinner). I miss all the crazy things that go on at home. I can't believe Eli's voice is changing !!! Bah! I had a dream someone telling me that he is taller than Andre. I don't think that's true yet. It's weird that he's growing up.
  Glad you got my postcard! I'm becoming a big fan of postcards. I like trying to find fun pictures on the front and see how much I can write on the back. I probably won't get the packages from you and Dad until I go to presidents interviews which may be in two or three weeks. 
  So one of our investigators, XXXXXX is really sick and we haven't been able to meet with him this past week. Hopefully we can this week. Our Temple trip is so soon and EVERYONE is so excited. They all had their temple recommend interviews yesterday and they're all paying their tithing so I think all is set. I just have to call the temple tomorrow and make sure they remember that we're coming.  I wish I could go through and do an endowment or initiatories session. I miss the temple terribly. It will be really nice to be in the baptistry and to feel the spirit when we go. 

    A married couple that we're teaching bought us root beer so we could make root beer floats when we came over. IT WAS AMAZING! Who would have thought that treat that always irritated us in Young Womens hits the spot here in Germany. Sister Openshaw and I found the best Chinese restaurant EVER on Saturday. It's was probably the best decision we've ever made to buy some food. It's a shame we found it so late though. Sister Openshaw is being transferred to Leipzig and will be leaving Tuesday to go. My new companion is Sister Tidwell. I got to talk to her on the phone last night and she's super funny. I'm looking forward to meeting her just not to sending Sister Openshaw to Leipzig. 
   Sister Openshaw and I always write down funny things someone says each transfer. Here are some funny quotes from this transfer: ''This isn't funny. Go pee your pants somewhere else. I used to be pretty.'' ''His shirt looks weird. It makes me feel uncomfortable.'' ''Do you see that lady with the purple shoes? Is that her toe sticking out or a growth. It's upsetting really.'' They're all just funny things that happen :)
   Have a great week. I love you bunches! Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers!
-Ariel Nell

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hey Dad

Hey Dad :)
Thanks for defining the words for me last week. I have a new one for you: Beryl (Ezekiel 1:16). How has your week been? I'm thinking busy from the sounds of it. Did you enjoy the 4th of July parade? Andre said some people were being not so nice. I'm sorry that even in Atlanta there would be some not so understanding individuals.

We got to meet our new mission presidents last Wednesday and I really like them. Its going to be really fun working with them. We had a baptism in Celle on Saturday and Priscilla Stewart (Sister Stewart) came! It was so nice to see her again and to meet her Mum. After the baptism we had a musical fireside. It went really well and all the ward members in Celle were REALLY impressed.

Bruder Lau and Thomas received their Patriarchal blessings yesterday after church. Bruder Lau asked us to sit in on his and it was really a special experience. It really showed me how the Lord knows all his children and their worries most personally. Herr XXXXX fell out on our appointment yesterday. I hope that we will be able to get into contact with him. It's really heartbreaking to see him keep sliding backwards.

I'll be taking my Praxis driving exam on Wednesday after 4pm so keep praying for me. I love you Dad, Have a great week. I know Mum is really excited to get home to you, she missed you bunches. She got all lovey dovey about you in my email :) I'm glad I have the example from the two of you. Keep working hard and having fun! Don't forget to smile!
Love you,
Ariel Nell

Hey Hey , My my

For the most part you had a positive experience in the parade? Why would people be negative, silly willies.

  Haha! Did the sister missionaries come to your barbeque? I'm glad you enjoyed your barbeque! Its crazy to me that ya'll have been almost a whole month in your house.

  Zone conferece was really good. President and Sister Kosak are wonderful. They are really great teachers and really have a love for the work and excited to get started.  Did we celebrate 4th of july? No, we didn't have a chance to celebrate. Thomas, a member, really wanted to make sure we celebrated so we had cake and watermelon at FHE on Tuesday. Thomas also gave us gifts because he said it was our countries birthday which is like our birthday. I did sport some red white and blue and an American flag at Zone conference :) Mum has a picture of it.

  Our temple trip is scheduled for the end of July. Everyone is super excited and will be getting their temple recommends next Sunday after church. We taught everyone at FHE this week how to sing the first verse of "I Love To See The Temple". Frau XXXXXXX was there and so when we visited her later on in the week she said good things come in threes so we had to sing the song with her three times in a row. It was really cute.

   This Sunday, Thomas and Bruder Lau received their patriarchal blessings. Bruder Lau asked Sister Openshaw and I to sit in with him as he received his blessing. It was such a neat experience. It really showed me how the lord knows his children personally. The Patriarch didn't know Bruder Lau from Adam and the things he said were so personal and direct. Bruder Lau even asked us who told him some things that were mentioned afterwards and we told him no one. That Heavenly Father knows everything. It was a really neat and touching experience for us and for the two of them.

  Don't smack Ellen or I'll come back and smack you. :) People wear cardigans year round here. So a cardigan is always welcome :) Whats going on with me? Well, I'm doing missionary work. I'm having a hard time sleeping again and I'm excited for this next week to get some work done. I'll be taking the driving praxis test on wednesday so throw some prayers in for me bitte (please)!

  Sister Openshaw and I will be together until the second coming and when transfers roll around we won't ever leave :)

  Have fun with Jonathan on the 25th! Enjoy work this week and make sure to do good work :)  I love you both! Have a fabulous day!
-Ariel Nell

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hey Mumma!
 Sounds like your time with Jean and Gavin went well.  I'm glad to hear that you and Jean sat around knitting and eating chocolate. That sounds like heaven for the two of you!  The next driving test, the praxis will be on Wednesday so hopefully I can pass it.  Our lesson at zone conference went really well. We only had 15 minutes but I think it was plenty of time to help all the other missionaries understand how they can connect the restoration of the gospel to everyone. Our new mission Presidents, the Kosaks are wonderful. They're similar and a bit different to the Pimentels and we love them. They are both very involved, teach wonderful lessons about the gospel, and really feel like our parents out here in the field. President Kosak was excited to hear I wasn't from Utah. Haha! They are really wonderful people and will do a great job. 

   This Thursday, Sister Openshaw and I were able to go to the note change at the Burchardi Kloster for the John Cage orgel projekt. It was so surreal to hear the sustained note change. They said the first note we heard will not be played for another 400 years! It was really neat and I loved being able to be part of it. I took some pictures of the crowd waiting to go inside before the change. 

  Tuesday we had a tausch and I had Sister Thornton and Sister Child here in Halberstadt with me. For our lunch break I took them to H&M so that they could have a little fun shopping. It was too cute. They really enjoyed being here and the ward just loved them at FHE. Hopefully one day both of them will be able to serve in Halberstadt. 

  Thomas and Bruder Lau received their patriarchal blessings yesterday and it was AMAZING! Bruder Lau asked us to sit in with him. It was a really wonderful experience and really touched both of them. We've been teaching Herr XXXXXX since April. He is a little different and we just found out that he was an alcoholic which is why he is really slow sometimes. Anyways, we've been working since April to get him to pray and it started with us kneeling him saying "Dear Heavenly Father", 15 minutes of silence, "In the name of Jesus Christ Amen". And that was it. This past Saturday he said the entire prayer in two minutes and said thanks for the day, that he could talk with us, and that he was able to learn something new. It was really neat to see how far he has progressed and continues to progress. 

  I hope you fly home safely. Love you Mumma! Thanks for all your love and support!
-Ariel Nell
Happy 4th of July!

The crowd outside of the Burchardi Kloster

Letter to Lyndel

  Meeting the Kosaks (new mission presidents) was super cool. They will be wonderful mission presidents together. They have so much love for us already. They love working with younger people and both can teach about the gospel very well. They sang for us in Russian (they've been living there for the past 10 years) at the beginning of our zone conference. It was so beautiful. They speak Russian, English, and German. Our thema (lesson, spiritual thought)  for zone conference went okay. We only had 15 minutes which is no time at all. I think it helped everyone to understand how they can connect the restoration to EVERYONE they teach. 
  Our investigators are doing okay. Herr XXXXX fell out of his appointment yesterday. XXXX isn't really interested, XXXXXX is on fire, Herr XXXXXX said the best prayer ever on Saturday, Frau XXXXXXX is now in the middle of Alma and LOVES him, and XXX is thinking about baptism.
  We just had the lesson of Alma and Amulek two Sundays ago. I love the story especially about Zeezrom and how he turns into such an amazing missionary once he is truly converted. We also talked about what kind of sacrifices we can give to do missionary work. Amulek started with having to take care of Alma and in the end Amulek lost everything, his family, his wealth, his position in society so that he could preach the gospel and then Alma took care of him. 
    I really look forward to seeing your house when I come home. I look at the pictures you sent to try and get a better idea of everything. I have heard from Bryan since he has been in Italy (Bryan is there performing in an Opera for a few weeks). He writes me an email every week and then usually a letter too. Mail only takes two days between the two countries versus a week so that's nice. You should expect a letter soon. I can't remember when I sent it. 

   So when teaching XXXXXX this week he said about the Book of Mormon, ''It must be true, otherwise it wouldn't go with my life everyday!'' That was super cool to hear. Germans have to get married in the Rathaus (town hall) before they're married in a church and XXXXXX has invited us to the Rathaus (town hall) ceremony. It'll be at the end of this month and then he'll get baptized. Woo hoo!
Love you,
Ariel Nell

Monday, July 2, 2012

Letter from Oz

Hey Mumma,

  I feel stressed. So I got to email a bit this morning and was feeling good but then I had to go and have a two hour driving session with the driving school man. I did pass my driving test with no mistakes and when I went to pick up my German license the lady said that she told me I had to take the Praxis exam and the theory and I just took the theory. I'm pretty sure she only told us I had to take the theory. Anyways we called President Pimentel and told him everything that happened and he said since I had come that far that I should keep going. So the Praxis exam is a 45 minute on the road driving test with a parking requirement and some other strange things. It seems to be causing a lot of people trouble that I'm just going to have an automatic license and not a manual. The driving instructor has a car that I practice in and will take the test in. It's like driving a tank. Sister Openshaw says I'm a much better driver in our little Opel Corsa than that chunky Mercedes. I agree. Anyways it's stressful and annoying and I don't like it but it's what I need to do so I can drive legally.

  I miss the temple a lot. I usually put myself to sleep at night going to the temple in my mind. I don't like not going. It's not fun to be kept away. That's another reason why I'm so looking forward to this temple trip with our members. It's a great way to be spiritually rejuvinated. I'm glad that you got to learn something new when you went to the temple and that you've been able to go so often.

   I've had to learn to be more patient with a member in our branch. To show him love regardless or what comes out of his mouth.  Some days are better than others but as President Pimentel told me, charity wasn't meant to be easy otherwise it wouldn't have been a Christ-like attribute.

    Well this week was fun and busy. Our investigators went a little off the deep end just doing things they shouldn't. We met with Herr XXXXX on Saturday and he has gone A LOT backwards. He thinks now that work is more important than God and that not reading is better than reading for just 5 minutes in the scriptures. It's really upsetting because we know he has a testimony but he is physically choosing to ignore it. He was on the verge of tears in our lesson. Hopefully he decides to change his life around soon.

   We had 4 investigators at church! It was an amazing sacrament meeting and XXXXXX (who is like 6 foot 5 and 350lbs) got up and bore his testimony and just sobbed about how much the Gospel has allowed him to recognize the blessings in his life. It was really lovely. We will be meeting our new Mission president on wednesday, President Kosak, at zone conference. Sister Openshaw and I have to teach a lesson at Zone conference. I'm excited. It should be fun.

Have fun with Jean and John and give everyone my love! I love you and love hearing from you. Have a great week!
-Ariel Nell

Excerpt from Ariel's email to Lyndel

  The new mission presidents, the Kosaks came on Friday. We are having a zone conference in Hannover on Wednesday to meet them. The zone leaders called Sister Openshaw and I and asked to give a thema (topic/spiritual thought) on the message of the restoration. It adds just a little more stress for meeting them for the first time. We have to look good and blow them away with our teaching! I'm actually really excited to teach the whole zone. Sister Openshaw and I are a great team and love to teach so it'll be fun. Our temple trip is this month. I'm super excited and so is everyone else!! We will be going to the Freiberg temple and don't you worry there will be lots of pictures taken. We plan to go to the a baptismal session and then have a picnic outside. I can't wait!!

  So on Sunday we had 4 investigators at church. XXXXXX, who is like 6 foot 5 and 350 pounds got up and bore his testimony. He began sobbing talking about how the gospel has changed his life and helped him recognize the blessings he has. I was so touched, I got up and bore my testimony and was just over come with love for the people there I began crying. When I sat back down Frau XXXXXXX wrapped her arms around me to comfort me and asked if I was crying because my german is bad. It just made me laugh so hard. You just can't be offended by that. I found out when I get emotional I turn into speaking danglish. Note to self: don't get emotional.

  Thomas had a dream that Sister Openshaw and I were so fat that we couldn't fit through the door frame. We asked if he was happy in the dream ( he always says he's going to make us fat)  and he said no because it was all his fault. Haha! Yesterday we went back to Emersleben for our appointment with the really awesome guy we met last week but he didn't answer :( So we continued to door more in Emersleben. It seemed people were in not such a happy mood yesterday. This one lady we spoke to was interested and we told her about the Book of Mormon. She said she was skeptical and we told her thats why we invite people to read from the book and pray about it because we can't convince or persuade anyone of the truth but the Holy Ghost and that this is her chance to do that and then she said no. It feels like riding a roller coaster and slowly cranking to the top and then people push the stop button and the roller coaster goes backwards and doesn't get to go over that first hill. We have some finding time this week so hopefully we'll be able to find some more people. 

"Welcome to Earth!" - Independen​ce Day

Excerpt from Ariel's email to Andre

   Yes I listen to you out loud, we're not allowed to listen with headphones. We don't have internet laddens (internet cafes) here in Halberstadt. We come downstairs to the church for emails. Which makes it nice cause we can bring our breakfast with us if we want.

  I can't believe how hot it has been in Atlanta!! This week we had 3 days of sweating!! It was wonderful but all the Germans are not so happy and get upset. But now they understand why we have air conditioning at home because we told them its warmer at home than it is here. We've had a few people say air conditioning isn't good but I think this past week if they had some they would have been convinced of the truthfulness of air conditioning :)

Please video tape the Keswick park show or take pictures if you can! I miss that show. Some members were worried that we wouldn't get to celebrate 4th of July for some reason so we're having a little pre-fourth of July party on Tuesday at our FHE group. We will buy a water melon today and eat that as our snack. Then we're going to learn how to sing the song, I love to see the temple. On Tuesday we will also be tausching (doing exchanges) and two other sisters will join me here in Halberstadt. One of the Sister cities in our zone is a drit (companionship of three) so the drit will be here on Tuesday. It'll be fun.

The mission presidents switched up on Friday. President Kosak is now here and we get to meet him on Wednesday at our Zone conference. I'm excited to meet him. Time is going by really fast on the mission. I realized I have 3 months till my birthday which is also my year mark. Did it go by this fast for you!? Where is all the time going?

  This week it seems our investigators kind of stepped off into the deep end but we're helping them to all come back to normal and understand the gospel better. We got to visit the Dom on Thursday and I paid to light a candle. I figured I'd do it for the Martins :)

  We got to visit the John Cage Orgel projekt this week and at first I thought we wouldn't be able to go because we got out of an appointment late but Sister Openshaw said no that we should still go. So we went and ran into the lady in charge. She had just closed it but said she would open it for us and then we got to see the organ and then teach her about the restoration and invite her to church. Sister Openshaw asked if she liked to read and she said she read anything that came between her fingers so we gave her a Book of Mormon and she was super excited. It was a really neat experience and showed me that when we're doing what we're supposed to the Lord will bless us with someone to teach. I'm excited to see her this Thursday for the note change and ask about her reading the Book of Mormon.