Monday, June 3, 2013

Map of Ariel's readers

This is a map of where everyone who accessed Ariel's blog lived or visited from. It's credible that her message was worldwide.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Missionaries Who Finish

These pictures were taken from the Germany Berlin mission blog. Ariel on her way out of the mission
Finishers in the mission home - May 2013
E/S Johnson, Sisters Dean, Abamonte, and Curtis,
Elders Stovall, Sullivan, Whitehead, and Fullmer
Sisters Curtis and Abamonte
Leaving May 1, 2013 - WE WILL MISS YOU ALL!

Tracking Ariel's Flight Home

May 1st Ariel arrived home. We all woke up and immediately began tracking her flight home. It was like little children waiting for Christmas as we eagerly refreshed the flight tracker website all morning. This image was taken at 9am EST.
Ariel's plane flying across the Atlantic Ocean

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Final Countdown!

Hey Andre,
  No, we shouldn't do anything for my arrivals. I'm kind of sick of eating so maybe not eating. That would be nice. Lots of people like to say goodbye to me by feeding us. I keep telling them that if I go home fat my Mumma won't recognize me. They just respond by saying it's too late for you to get fat before you go home. Ha! How was choir rehearsal? Are you enjoying it? I miss you Andre and sooooo look forward to seeing you soon! Have a great few days at work! Love you!
-Ariel Nell

So close

Hey Lyndel,
It's been way weird to say good bye to everyone at church. Because it was my last Sunday they got me to say a lot of the prayers for the meetings. And everyone after church were giving me hugs and telling me thanks for the work I did here and that I always have a place to stay when I get home. Some even gave me gifts which I wasn't expecting at all. And three in-actives came to church because I am leaving. Man, if I only told everyone that I was leaving each week they all probably would be coming to church!

I really am going to miss these people, this culture and this country. In relief society we were discussing a talk that Elder Perry gave about good parenting and families and the first question was what we could remember about our moms and then I just broke down crying. I think because it finally hit me that I get to see my Mumma again as well as everyone else. This truly has been the best experience and most worth while thing I could have ever done. Many people talk about missions being the best two years and worst two years but I think they're all smoking something because there is no way I'd ever describe it as the worst 18 months of my life. It was the best decision I have ever made for my life.

Today we will be running around like a chicken with our head cut off. We have 6 appointments in 6 hours to say good bye to people. three of which are eating appointments. I am really sick of eating food. I think I'm not going to eat food for the rest of my life. We don't have time to go to the U-boat which I'm a bit sad about but I'm not done packing and we have all these appointments.

This past week we had a lot of teaching appointments as well as a lot of finding. We were doing some doors before an appointment when a lady let us in. We talked to her at her door about the importance of families. She shared with us that she has three kids and families are extremely important to her. We mentioned how as families we can pray together - "Yeah we pray every morning and night as a family." As families we can read the scriptures together- "Yeah, we read the Bible together as a family." And as families we can go to church together - "Yeah, we go each week to church. I even put my kids in a Catholic school so they learn more about God." What?! Where have you been my whole life? We taught her about the Book of Mormon and it made complete sense to her. We extended the commitment to read in it and pray about it. She said she would absolutely do that and even talk to her husband about it and asked US when we will be coming back. SOOOOO cool. So the appointment with her is for this next friday. I won't be here but I am so excited to hear what happens.

Sister Jensen is training here in Bremerhaven. She won't be traveling with me to Berlin. I'll be alone. She is coming to Bremen with me and the Elders there will babysit her until she meets up with another sister who is training. I haven't been having trouble getting things packed but getting things underweight. Dad said not to worry about it but the overweight fee is €200 per bag. That's ridiculous. I've been going through my things trying to get rid of things I don't absolutely need but books weigh so much! I've got three bags of clothes already gone but my suitcase is still filled with clothes. I'm not sure. I just wish I could talk to someone. I bought myself a Luther bible from 1900 that is like a brick it is so heavy. That's my treat to myself. As well as all the pictures I've ever taken.

I miss you like crazy. I can't wait to see you. I love you. Keep your head up. You got this Lyndel. See you soon!!!!
-Ariel Nell
Me & Sister Jensen

Sunrise in Bremerhaven. I took this picture from our apartment window

Me this morning


April 29 - Making our week

Hey Dad!
I would be more than happy to do the work for Helen Blanch Taylor. What a neat experience you have had with that photo and trying to link this family together for eternity.

Church was good this past week. After sacrament meeting everyone was shocked that I could play the oboe. So many people said that it was a blessing they had tissues with them because my playing made them cry. One older lady was so impressed but also on the verge of giving me a whack on the side of my head for not playing sooner. Haha. It was certainly not the best performance because I am way out of shape but it definitely brought the spirit to our meeting. That's most important. I made sure to bake Yan some brownies as payment. He was excited for those. Sister Jensen also gave her first talk in German and I was able to record both her talk and my performance. She did such a good job talking about commandments and how God really has made it easy for us to stay on the path.

Sister Jensen will be training here in Bremerhaven. She won't be traveling with me to Berlin, I'll be going by myself. She will come with me to Bremen and help me get on my next train and then the Elders in Bremen will babysit her for an hour until her temporary companion arrives who will also be training. Sister Jensen will pick up her new companion on Thursday.

I spend some time thinking about what is to come but right now its mostly getting to Berlin and getting on the plane. I talked with Sister Kosak last night and she explained that the over weight fee is €200 per bag. I certainly can't afford that. I think I'm just going to have to put packages together and mail them home because there is no way I can afford €400 euros. My bags should be booked all the way through. I weighed one bag last night and it was 26 kilos and it's only allowed to be 23. And the other bag is heavier so I'm thinking I'll take the books out and mail them? I've gotten rid of as much as possible, things that have simply just been worn out or I won't need again and another Sister could use. I'm not sure. I'm just super stressed about it and wish more and more than I could just teleport home with my things and not worry about money and fees.

Dad, of course I'll feel like talking. You'll just have to be patient when I can't remember the word in English or a German one slips out. I'm having a harder time remembering bigger English words now. I can't wait to see you on Wednesday and get to hug you! Thanks for all the support you have given me my whole life but most importantly these past 18 months. I love you! Have a great week!
-Ariel Nell

Mumma ooooo ooo a ooo!

Mum,
Your email was soo hilarious I sent the part about the little boy to Kylee. I just died laughing here in the internet laden and Sister Jensen goes,'' what are you laughing about?'' I read her your email and then she died laughing too. I love little people. They are so funny and say the best things. I still think about Ben saying ''Don't they mean right side up'' about Martin Luther King. What an amazing question.

That's crazy that the two new sisters are so young. I feel ancient. I hit my half way to 23 a couple weeks back and I'm not so sure how I like that. I never thought getting older would bother me but it did. I'm excited to work with both sets in the ward. How awesome it is that you all have 4 missionaries. So cool!

The strengthening families activity at home sounded fun. I'm glad Drake came over to play. He is such a sweet little kid. Probably a little man now. I like that he was saying yes mam' to you. Don't you just love the south?

I am so excited for Tami and Quintiss. Where is the baby coming from, Georgia? Aww... I can't wait to see Tami's baby! I love that Quintiss is already wanting to put the baby seat in the car. He is just gonna be the best protective daddy. What a perfect name they chose too. She most certainly comes from God as an answer to their prayers.

You can tell Eli that I'll probably cry or wet my pants. One of the two is bound to happen. In Relief Society we were talking about our Mums and I just broke out into tears thinking that I get to SEE my Mumma so soon! I am very sad to be leaving this wonderful place and all the many people that have changed my life but I am soo excited to come home to the family.

Our week has been super busy and will continue to today. We have appointment after appointment. I feel so bad that Sister Jensen doesn't really have a P-day today and heaven knows what time I'll be going to bed tonight. I've got to mail things home because the over weight fees are ridiculously high. They just raised them to €200 per bag. Not a joke and not funny. I'm feeling stressed trying to get everything done before I have to travel to Berlin. Luckily we found a member who was willing to pick us up and drive us to the Bahnhof early in the morning tomorrow. That's ridiculous! THAT'S TOMORROW!? Bahh!

Grey hairs, here they come! Love you Mumma! Have a great week and try to have less stress and more good laughs with your awesome students. Love you! See you soon!
-Ariel Nell

Monday, April 22, 2013

HEYYY

Andre!
   I'm super stoked for you and Ellen to come to Death Valley for a football game. You think UGA is crazy. You don't know crazy till you come to the good ole' Baton Rouge! Man! I'm excited for that. And even more excited that LSU is playing UGA at UGA. Maybe I'll come home for that game. Thanks for organizing everything. I haven't looked at the other two emails yet but I will in a few minutes.

     I'm glad you're enjoying your new calling and that you are being a great example to all the young men in the ward. Going camping with them will certainly be fun. I remember going on a father son camp out with you and Dad and Eli cause Mum and Lyndel were at girls camp and I was too young. That was fun.
   Things are becoming green here. The flowers are starting to bloom as well as the trees but its still pretty chilly. We're working on it. I was able to go one day without tights or a coat. That was a first in a very long time.
    Work this week was good. We were able to get two new referrals this week and contact them both, get two new appointments with random people. We're preparing XXXXXXX for baptism on May 5th. He is so stoked and so ready. The Spirit was so incredibly strong as we taught him on Saturday. I asked him why he thought God tested us here on earth and he said that God wanted to get all the snakes out of his garden. I thought that was an interesting answer and something I for sure didn't expect but I think it was a good answer. It's not so much that God is getting rid of people but that he is cleaning his garden of habits and replacing them with flowers and grass and good things. We all have the snakes in our lives that either tempt us or keep us back from progressing. Its our job here to clean our own gardens to get back to him and be prepared to go back to him.

   Thanks for all you love Andre! I hope you have a great week. I can't wait to come home and hang out with you again!
-Ariel Nell

TEN FREAKING DAYS!

Lyndel,
I'm not so sure how much of my bum I can work off this next week because members like to say goodbye with eating appointments. I'm just not going to be eating between appointments. There is no other way that I can do it! Sorry Michael won't be there to pick me up from the airport. Will he come later in the evening to our house? When is he done with school? Are you excited for girls camp? I am! I don't think I've ever been excited for girls camp, Haha! But this year is different and I think its cause they can't tell me what to do, I'm a big person ( or so I like to think).

This past week for Sister Jensen and I was good. We decided to save some money and bike the 21 kilometers out to an appointment only to find out upon arrival that the lady forgot and was another 30 minutes away by car. That was a little frustrating! Especially cause we were riding hard for an hour and 20 minutes against the wind. Needless to say we have wonderful legs now :) We weren't able to meet with XXXXXXX this week. We plan of meeting with her Tuesday and Saturday. We are going to have to have a pretty rough heart to heart with her. She has to understand who missionaries are. She did at the very beginning but it has disappeared somewhere. We also need to find out what it is that she wants.

Our transfer call will be this Saturday. We're pretty sure Sister Jensen will have to be training. 17 new sisters arrive in our mission and only three of us are going home. And 12 were new last transfer so something crazy like that so basically everyone is training or being trained. I'm way excited for you guys to get sisters! I can't wait to joint teach with them!

We did a bunch of doors yesterday and we had the opportunity to talk to this older lady. Our conversation was really interesting and good until I realized maybe the third time through that we were having the same conversation over and over and over again. I'm pretty sure she has dementia or Alzheimers. The problem is, I couldn't let her have the last word if it wasn't correct like when she would kept saying but no one has seen God and then I would have to say yes! People can see God and Joseph Smith saw him and so did Moses and Stephan and Adam, etc. Oh heavens, I just have problems cause I like to testify and I can't let false doctrine have the upper hand. It took us 30 minutes to get out of that conversation. I had to tell her several times that we had to go. She didn't really get it until we started backing away. Ha! Oh the things we experience....

Make sure to have fun at work this week and find time for just you and Michael. I love you Lyndel and can't wait to come home to spend time with you!
-Ariel Nell

TICK TOCK

Hey Mumma!
I have to say this week probably more than any other I have really felt the power of the prayers. I've been able to stay really focused and Sister Jensen and I have been able to do a lot of good work. Thanks for putting our names on the prayer roll (in the temple) and helping that awesome lady from Germany receive her temple ordinances :) I've seen the name Fock a bit so that's kind of neat. I AM way grateful that I came on a mission. There is nothing in life that compares to it. It is so hard to describe all the lessons you actually learn and why it means so much but it does. Thanks for supporting me to come on a mission and helping me grow through these 18 months.

So my plans that I know are as follows... a bajillion eating appointments this week so members can say goodbye and then somehow manage to get packed. Then next Tuesday I will be taking a train from Bremerhaven to Berlin, I'm supposed to arrive in Berlin around noon. Once I 'm there we leave our suitcases in the office and then go through exiting interviews with President Kosak, turn in our emergency €50 as well as a letter to President reporting on our mission and a letter to yourself that they will mail back to us in two years time. I will also be sitting down with the financial clerk to make sure everything is in order. I believe we will be eating dinner at the Kosak's and having a testimony meeting and then early Wednesday morning (usually around 5 or 6 am) missionaries catch their flights home. Kind of weird knowing all this stuff. Sister Jensen likes to remind me that I'm finishing in 8 days.

This week we also had nice weather. I even went one day without tights AND a coat! CRAZY! But it's back to being cold again so I had to pull my scarfs out again and wear my heavy coats. Are you making a quilt for Tami, the one you work with?

 A scripture that really gave me more strength this week in Doctrine and Covenants is in 64:33 which says,'' Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.'' Missionary work can be tiring work but the Lord specifically told me to not get so worn down when we don't see the results we want right away because from these little things we do add up to building up his kingdom here in Germany or Bremerhaven. And I'm little and great things have come because of my well-doing. It's just something I need to keep remembering to push me until the very end.

We were given two referrals last week and so yesterday we finally had the time to contact them. Both were not interested but we continued to door the two streets they were on. We approached this one house with a garden and saw a sign on the gate that said watch out for free roaming dogs. We opened the gate and shut it behind us and then approached the door. As we rang the door bell we saw this lady's dog just hanging out in the yard. He looked at us and we said hi to him and then he went back to eating his treat. The woman came running to the door yelling is the gate shut?! We said yes and then she was really relieved. She said normally her dog barks a lot when people come into her yard but he barely barked and so thought he got away. She said he must like us and that was a good sign as to who we were. I thought that was pretty neat. The lady held a nice conversation with us but was cooking at the time so we made out an appointment for this week. We're both excited to go back.

Have fun with CRCT testing this week Mumma. Thanks for all the love and support you've offered me. Love you!
-Ariel Nell

April 21 - Wonderful Weather

Dad,
Thanks so much for the pictures. I laughed out loud at the one with Mum mowing the lawn :)  I'll be more than happy to be a ward missionary when I come home. One of my favorite callings. Sarahy and I were companions before I left for my mission and she went to school. Will she be serving a mission?

This week I was also blessed to give a talk. Late Saturday night I received a call from one of the branch presidency members. He asked if I wouldn't mind giving a talk on Sunday. I said sure and afterward wrote down four ideas that came to mind and then went to bed. In the morning we went to the church early so I could print off a talk from General Conference to use in my talk and then finished preparing it. Well during the sacrament meeting the first two speakers and the intermediate hymn were over and I had 30 minutes left to fill. As I approached the stand President Daniel said I didn't need to worry about filling the whole time, that if I got to 20 minutes that would be fine. Well I managed to speak for over 30 minutes. I never would have guessed I'd be able to do that in another language and the talk wasn't written out, it was just a few bullet points I wanted to make. Many members came up to me and thanked me for the talk and one even said it was the best talk she heard that day. I really loved being able to share my testimony with the ward one last time and give them the spiritual strength and food that they need to continue to grow in their faith and testimonies.

That is sad that Elder Romero will most likely be transferred. Everyone writes about him in my emails so I thought it would be fun to meet him. Oh well. I will be returning to the mission home next Tuesday. I wrote Mum out the blow by blow that I know so far. Monday is my last day here in Bremerhaven and then Tuesday I take a train to Berlin and have interviews with President and the financial secretary and then we eat with the Kosak's, have a testimony meeting, spend the night in a hotel, and then leave early early Wednesday morning for home.

Sister Jensen and I had a great experience this week with members as a joint teach. We asked a member if she could come with us to our appointment and she said that instead she would call the investigator (who lives across the street from her) and invite him over for abend brot. Well he accepted and it was probably the nicest appointment for us because the members did the teaching and we were there just to testify that what they were saying was true and to add more to the discussion.

Each Sunday we go into priesthood and relief society and share a missionary experience from the week previous. We shared this experience and how that's how missionary work really should work. The members are the ones who should be teaching and the missionaries are there to facilitate. I think it was a good lesson for them all to hear and a new idea for others.

Next Sunday I will be playing my Oboe in sacrament meeting. There is a young man in our ward who can play piano pretty well so I asked him maybe a month ago to help me and we were able to meet up this week to practice. So far it sounds good. I'll be sure to record it so you all can hear when I get home.

XXXXXXX's baptismal date has been pushed back a week but he has his baptismal calendar and he is doing strong in quitting smoking and preparing himself. He is really excited to be baptized. XXXXXXX can't be baptized next week. We were never able to get past the commandment of coming to church. She has a lot of issues with it. We weren't able to have a lesson with her this week but tomorrow we have the chance to meet her and we plan on really laying out what our role is as missionaries and getting her to voice what she really wants. Pray for us in that appointment! We got a few new appointments this week that we are excited for. The work keeps on going!

Have a great week Dad! Love you!

-Ariel Nell

Travel

So I will be leaving Bremerhaven 6:56 am on Tuesday to travel to Berlin since we have to be there by 12:00pm. I am already tired thinking about it! Not to mention I have to change trains four times. Buh!
Anyways. Love you all. Have a great week.

-Ariel Nell

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 14th - Off to Work I Go

Hey Dad,
I have to say you keep me laughing throughout all your emails. You are always able to find these amazing hole in the wall places of adventures that others don't normally find. It's a neat talent you have. That's so cool you got a old fishing captain to help you all fish. I remember going fishing with Andre. I never used to fish, just watch him, but it's really relaxing and entertaining. That was the same with whatever he did. I just liked to be near by. I remember sitting on the couch watching him play video games. I hate video games, but I enjoyed watching Andre play.

I'm all for the beard again Dad. Our branch president has a really nice beard here. He shaved it once and Sister Dean and I immediately told him how saddening it was. He said we were the only ones that noticed. But now its back again so all it well. If people keep giving you funny looks you should just tell them to check out the prophets of old. I like what you did with the primary kids. I don't think I would have come up with that idea to all run around in the crowd. I like how you also connected it to them, to be aware of their peers in school. You do a really great job of connecting with all groups in the ward.

XXXX didn't come to church this week and we haven't heard from him. Maybe we will go by again sometime soon. We did a lot of finding this week and actually met several people who knew about Mormons. One old man had visited Salt Lake with his wife and wanted to go into the temple but said you had to be Mormon to do that. He asked if I was allowed to get married after my mission and I said yes. He then asked me if I would marry him and I told him I was pretty sure he was already married and then He said I was smart. Ha! We talked to another man who has sat down twice with Elders and heard the lessons. I was impressed that he had done it twice. He was nice to talk to, not mean or slamming the door in our face but he also wasn't interested to meet with us.

We decided to go by on XXXXXXX. We were way nervous about it the whole day. When we got to her apartment we said a prayer before ringing her doorbell. She answered and was happy to see us like nothing had happened. She asked us why we looked so scared and explained because she told us to never to come back. She said she didn't really mean it. We got to sit down with her and hear the real problem why she told us not to come back. It comes down to her misunderstanding me and thinking that I said her apartment was possessed by Satan. We tried to clear things up, it just depends on if she listens to what we said or not. We did ''how to begin teaching'' with her all over again and really explained what our purpose was and asked what she wanted. She said she was going to think about it. We have a lunch appointment with her on Tuesday so we will be able to talk more then. Hopefully she chooses to continue on this course. Otherwise we will have to spend less time with her and more with those who are seeking the truth. Did you ever have problems with people getting too connected to you as a friend and not recognizing your responsibility as a missionary? It's hard.

Would you suggest that I send a package home with books and things so that the suitcases aren't over weight or no? I plan on throwing away things I definitely don't need and leaving clothes that are worn out but I'm just anticipating the what if.

Thanks for all your love and support Dad. Love you!
-Ariel Nell

Just a note to Dad

I just remembered, as I was reading in the Book of Mormon this past week Mosiah 8:11-14 really stuck out to me as a great example of King Limhi asking Ammon for referrals. I thought that was cool :)

Home again, home again , jiggedy jig!

Hey Mumma!
I love how relaxed spring break made you. And I am glad that you're not a stoner. And I am even more glad to go to the Temple! I might just pee my pants, but then the church members won't be happy that the office smells like pee. Make sure to take lots of picture of the blooming Atlanta. I am excited to come home to warm weather. I was telling Andre, I have a hard time not wearing a cardigan or coat outside. Like I'm breaking the rules or something but today I think its warm enough that you wouldn't need a coat or tights but of course I have both on. Maybe I should shave the legs and get rid of one. My Gs do look really scary. Remember that white bra you bought me so that I could go through the temple. Yeah...it's not white anymore. It's like a dark silver. The washing machines do that to your clothes here. I bought a white blouse a few weeks ago and I've worn it only once so that I can wear it and wash it at home. Ha!

I'm sorry the missionaries baptism didn't go through this past week. If they need any sympathy or empathy I can offer them a lot! Just keep telling them to push on and these people will take the steps to be baptized if it is really their goal. I am excited for Sisters to be in the ward again so that I can go on splits with them. That was always fun. Maybe we can find some German people and I can teach them :)

I thought about reading Doctrine and Covenants in chronological order but decided not to. Maybe next time I'll do it that way. I've really been noticing how often the words repent/repentance/ repented shows up and also Listen/ hearken/ or hear. I think those two concepts are every important when we want to follow Heavenly Father. We must repent and must hear and listen the promptings we receive so we know what we can repent of and how we need to be living our life. You have an iPad now too? Mum, are you starting to fall in love with technology now? That's funny :)

Try not to be too stressed with CRCT testing this week and just support your kids in the horrible testing. I don't know why they have to be tested when it's too hard for them and they're not where they need to be.

We have a packed week this week already planned and I'm really excited. We found 4 new investigators this past week and I'm looking forward to find more. Sister Jensen and I are working better and better as a team and realizing how we can strengthen each others weaknesses. She is speaking up a lot more in lessons and talking to people at the doors. I am super proud of her. I went on exchanges to Osnabrück this past week and so she was left in charge of Bremerhaven. She did a great job and it really helped her have the confidence that she needed to know that she's a boss and she's got this.

Have a fun week and I can't wait to talk to you all again next Monday. Love you Mum!
-Ariel Nell

Lovely spring days ahead

Hey Lyndel!
Nope, my butt is still there so I haven't worked it off yet!  That sounds like fun to walk from Chastain park to the Temple. Especially with all the nice weather. Is this an activity where the kids will be dressed up like pioneers?

That's fun that you all got to plan a homecoming party. I like Andres input, what a good brother. Haha! (When asked what Ariel would like food wise, he said "Anything other than potatoes and pork chops" Um... I'm not a fan of cake so if there are things other than just cake then that'll be good. I haven't been really craving any sweets. I'm not the biggest fan. Although Oreos  (double stuffed) are always yummy. And peanut butter m&m's. Delicious.

Zone sport last week was way fun. We did play lots of soccer and I actually scored some goals. Sister Jensen and I got to teach a lesson for 45 minutes together at our zone training meeting this past week and that was really neat. Her German is so good and she did a really great job teaching our zone.
The exchange this past week was way fun. Even though it was raining the people on the street were still really receptive to what we were sharing and we had a really great time. I don't think I have ever taught so many Spirit filled lessons on the street as I did in Osnabrück.

NO new investigators have been coming to church but we got 4 new investigators this past week. We are praying that they will come to church this coming Sunday. XXXXXXX is still preparing for baptism. We gave him to read the gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet at our last lesson and when we met with him again he knew it like the back of his hand. We were teaching the lesson and he knew all the answers and was already making connections that we hadn't even made yet (like partaking of the sacrament is our we weekly are washed clean like during baptism). It was way neat. He is working hard to quit smoking and even called us when he slipped up and smoked one cigarette. He has such a strong desire to be baptized and follow Christ. It's really amazing.

Well the computer is being retarded and it will only let me attach one picture. Hopefully I can get more to you later. Thanks for all your support Lyndel. I love you! Have a great week!

-Ariel Nell

T-minus...

Hey Andre,

  I am quite jealous of the weather you all have been having. Although yesterday it was supposedly 16°C with a wind. It feels a little warmer today and we have blue skies. I seem to have a hard time dressing for this weather, like if I'm not wearing a coat to go outside I feel like I'm forgetting something so I just always grab a coat. I'm sure I'll get back to sweating in no time :)

     The Exchange this week was way awesome. They had no appointments planned so we just did finding the whole day. We were able to give away 3 Books of Mormon and a plan of salvation pamphlet. We were able to teach some really spirit filled lessons on the street. It was just wonderful. The sister I was serving with had only been out for three weeks and she was just fearless. It didn't matter the size of the group she would just approach anyone and everyone. I loved it! Sister Jensen did great here in Bremerhaven as the lead. They had a pretty crazy situation happen but she did a good job taking care of everything. I think with me gone took her crutch away to ask me what everyone said and helped her realize that she understands a lot more than she thinks. She liked it. I did hear about the new sister leadership positions. President Pimentel was already ahead of the game because he used to invite one set of sisters to every zone leader council. Sister Openshaw and I were invited once. It was neat to be a part of and President Pimentel really used us as an example to all the ZL's with things we were doing in Halberstadt at the time and asked a lot for our input.

    Work this week was good. We have been working hard and reaped the rewards this week by getting 4 new investigators. 3 are a family ( mom, dad, and daughter. they also have two more kids but they're too young). Sister Dean and I actually got to visit with them once but we were never able to make out a new appointment. Well we kept running into the dad throughout Bremerhaven so we finally went by and made out an appointment again and then got to teach them. They really loved the plan of salvation and the emphasis it puts on the importance of families. Last p-day we had a zone p-day and just played soccer. It was a lot of fun. I made a couple of goals so that was fun. Got whacked in the nose too but whats new :) We haven't been able to visit any WWII places but I'm hoping that we will visit the u-boat sitting in the harbor before I leave.

   Um... the restaurant that Dad takes us to across from Steve Lackley is super yummy. I have been dreaming of their grilled tilapia and friend okra my whole mission. That would be a nice place. If that's too far away you guys can pick. Thanks for getting me registered for classes this week. Have you heard anything about my scholarship being turned back on? Is it still there?

    I'm working hard and trying to leave everything behind but also build up this program here so that they can reap the rewards once I'm gone. Thanks for your support Andre. Miss you and love you!

-Ariel Nell



Monday, April 8, 2013

Yay for Conference!

Hey Andre!

  Thanks for all the pictures. It's fun to see all the things you and Ellen get up to. Unfortunately the satellite connection fell out during president Uchtdorfs talk so we only saw like 5 minutes of it. I'll have to wait to read it when I come home then. I agree though, He really knows how to connect with others at a very personal level.

    So on Saturday it was so warm at noon and by warm I mean maybe 11 °C. Anyways I got to sit out on the balcony and write in my journal. Today its back to being chilly. Last Monday we came to Bremen to got to a carnival that is set up here. It was a lot of fun but the lesson I learned it you can't eat lunch and then got on a ride. I puked. Not on the ride, in the bathroom afterwards :) It was still way fun though. Today we are in Bremen again for a zone p-day. We'll be playing soccer so I'm stoked. Hopefully I can catch some pictures and send them to you next week. For some reason the computer I'm on doesn't want me to send pictures, jerk.

   I took a German test when I was there for orientation and I didn't pass at all. And so that's why I took German already. I thought the classes I could have tested out I already did? I guess not? Did you ask about piano as a secondary instrument?

   The investigators are okay. XXXXX is doing great. We are having problems with Bruder XXXX again. He was making a lot of progress and then took like 20 steps back this week. People have to want to be helped before we can help them. Work with Sister Jensen is going good. Her German is improving everyday and just yesterday she piped up in a lesson and pulled out a scripture and started talking about it. She is a very shy person and has no problem sitting in silence so it was a really great achievement for her. I have been asked to go to another Sisters area and do an exchange which I will be doing this week so Sister Jensen will be in charge of the area. It will be a really great experience for her to be in charge. I feel like we'll go talk to XXXX before I leave but maybe we will do it this week. I need to stop fearing man and only fear God.

 Love you Andre. Thanks for all your help and support. Have a wonderful week!

-Ariel Nell

April 8 - Beach Bum - Atlanta coast of Florida - near St Augustine

Dad,

I'm so jealous of those photos of the beach and Eli in short sleeves and shorts!!! Oh man! I had dreams of being home last night so much I couldn't sleep. I was just too excited. I came into the kitchen and you told me I was late, that it was 10:41pm and then we laughed. And then I argued playfully with Andre and Lyndel and it felt good. Ha! It's funny the things you end up missing.

We did have a lot of success with people showing up to conference. XXXXXXX came to the priesthood session early sunday morning and loved it. Sister Jensen and I were able to catch the tail end of it and so we knew that President Monson really talked of missions and missionary work. As XXXXXXX came out of the meeting he had the biggest grin on his face and asked me how long I had been out on my mission. He thought I had to serve for 24 months but I explained for only 18. He seemed just so happy. He really loved it. Then during the Sunday morning session Utah time ( our Sunday Afternoon) we had a part-member family, Herr XXXXXX ( a previous imvestigator who sat next to me with a bloody nose the whole time), and then XXXX and his wife. So we met XXXX this past Friday. We went to visit Herr XXXXX and Frau XXXXXX, the couple we found who have a 8 month old baby and were super excited to hear our message. Well they were home on Friday and decided not to let us in so we doored the rest of their complex. The second to last building a Chinese guy spoke with me over the intercom but had a hard time understanding German so he let us in and we climbed the stairs and met XXXX. We stood and talked with him in ther stairwell for 45 minutes. He was soooo interested in our message. I happened to have the picture book on me so I whipped that out and showed the picture of the first vision and we had this great discussion about God answering our prayers and communicating with us. At the beginning of our conversation he said that he already had a Book of Mormon that he got from Elders in Hamburg and that he may come to church on Sunday. By the end he said he would come. Well Sunday rolls around and he comes with his wife! They had lots of questions but I think they liked it. They wouldn't make another appointment out with us but hopefully soome prayers will help them contact us again. It was way cool.

We haven't contacted XXXXXXX so she was not there at conference. I'm working on leaving us both struggling for breath each day. Thanks for the advice Dad. It was much needed.

I've been thinking lots this past week. Mum only told me that Kerri Wall had a stroke and from what it sounds she has limited mobility. I was thinking that if Ira needs help with taking care of Kerri or the house or running his younger boys ( I'm not sure if they can even drive already or not) around that I would be willing to offer my time this summer. Not as a job but just to help out because I feel that they could really use it. If you'd like to offer that to them if you think it's a good idea I'd appreciate it.

I think the best thing you learn on a mission is your own conversion. An Elder mentioned at our last zone conference that he told his friends that he would be different coming home but he didn't really understand what that meant. He said that change is conversion. I always knew that serving a mission was a good decision but I never realized that it would be the best decision of my entire life. If anyone is ever sitting on the fence about it they should just go. There are so many things that you learn about yourself and the plan Heavenly Father has but most importantly you come to know your savior. I wouldn't give up this time for anything.

Thanks for booking my tickets to California. I REALLY appreciate it dad. Sorry you're having to deal with all the annoying errands for me like trying to find a jobs and such. I love you Dad! Have a spectacular week at the beach and get a beautiful tan for me! I'm so white now you can see the veins all over my body ( Arms, Face, Legs = gross.)

Love you!
-Ariel Nell

Hello from Ponte Vedra, Florida

Hey Mum,

Thanks for all the details on traveling and apartments and getting released from my mission. I don't know why but it's more distracting to me when I don't know whats going on. Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I did enjoy the missionary spring break. I felt like every talk was specifically for me. Elder Packers poem was lovely and I was struck with Elder Perrys talk when he explained how the world has quite literally thrown 6 commandments out the window. I am really excited to watch the last session, Sunday afternoon. I have no idea what new responsibilities Sisters will have but Sister Jensen said President talks about it in his email so I'm excited to read what it's about.

I'm glad you enjoyed finishing the Book of Mormon. I was also disgusted with reading what a horrible people they turned into and how lost and fallen they really became. I started reading Doctrine and Covenants and plan to be finished before I come home. I really like a verse in section 24 I found. Christ explains to Oliver Cowdry that he was called to prune in the vineyard. The more I have been out the more I have seen that it really takes a whole crew of people to do the Lords work. Like that phrase it takes a village to raise a child. It's takes a workforce to raise Zion. Each one of us is called to do the work and depending where we are working in the vineyard depends on the different tasks at hand that we have ( planting, grinding up soil, watering, pruning, and harvesting). And not every plant grows at the same time and is ready to be picked or harvested at the same time. Everything and everyone has their time and season. We just need to make sure that we are helping and inviting them to grow in the right direction, towards the sun/son.

I'm excited to see Lara and Greg and Julia and the entire family! I had dreams of the family last night and kept waking up wondering if I was at home or in Bremerhaven.

This week I will be conducting an exchange to Osnabrück and then on Wednesday we are having a zone training meeting. Sister Jensen and I will get to teach a 40 minute lesson together in front of our zone on German. This will be a really neat opportunity for her to use her German. She can speak it really well but just doesn't trust herself and so sometimes struggles to speak in every lesson. I'm excited to teach this lesson with her and to really help her see how well she really is doing.
What's going on with North Korea? We went to an old ladies house in our branch and she explained that North Korea wanted to unify with South and then South said they were friends with America and so then North Korea wants to bomb the two of us. Yeah, that sounds smart. I ask Schwester XXXXX why North Korea was being mean and she said they were communists and confused. Ha. I like that. Certainly the signs of the times.

I've made it a goal to testify more this past transfer and the one before and it's neat how the Lord really provides the opportunity to do that. We were talking to a man, XXXX, this week and he was so curious how we came to know that God exists, that prayer works, etc. And we got to explain and testify to gim how we know and what we know. I life testifying. When we have testimony meetings as a mission its really hard to limit the time because as missionaries we all have the same hobby of testifying.

Thanks for the continued prayers and support. We are working hard and looking for the miracles each day because they are there. I'm grateful to be here. Have a great week at the beach. Love you!
-Ariel Nell

We're not on Spring Break

Hey Lyndel!
I love hearing all the crazy things that you and Michael get up to. It amazes me sometimes just how busy you guys are. I'm so glad you were able to feed the Elders. They sure do eat a lot huh? The list of food you made them - it made me laugh out loud. I am sooooo STOKED that Sisters are coming to the ward. Joint teaches anyone? Yes please! I loved working with the Sisters before my mission and I'm excited to continue doing it after the mission.

There is a lot of power that comes from the prayers offered in the temple. We will for sure go to the temple like ASAP when I'm home. I miss it so much!

Our week has been good. The investigators have had their ups and downs but we're pushing hard. Sister Jensen is doing great. She has a cold right now which is never fun but she is really pushing hard. Yesterday she whipped out a scripture in the middle of our lesson to teach a point that we hadn't even planned but felt she needed to share and then taught about it and bore her testimony about it. I was was impressed and proud of her. She is shy and so for her to do that was great! I am going on a tausch (exchanges) this week and so she will be left in charge of Bremerhaven. Its going to be a great opportunity for her and she is looking forward to it. She doesn't mind dooring now :) I love it. Its like playing wheel of fortune. You never know whats behind the next door. The investigator family decided to not answer their door for their appointment but we found another little family ( husband and pregnant wife). They didn't want to make an appointment out with us but they for sure came to church on Sunday and watched one of the sessions of General Conference. They enjoyed it and had lots of questions. Last P-day we went to a Carnival here in Bremen. I haven't been able to attach pictures today because the computer won't let me so I'll have to do it next week. Today we are in Bremen again for a zone sport. I believe we have planned to play soccer. I'm looking forward to it!

The plans for the rest of my mission: work my butt off! I really want to make sure to testify as often as possible and work on risking the awkward. Who cares what others think I got this awesome message and I'm gonna share it! Obedience is the key to miracles.

I love you Lyndel, Thanks for all the support and advice you offer each week! Have a great time with the coke people :) Love you!
-Ariel Nell

Monday, April 1, 2013

March 31st Easter Bunny Day & the Resurrection

Hey Dad,

Sorry switching jobs was so super stressful this week. Hopefully it'll get better the more you get acquainted with it. So XXXXXXX asked us to never contact her again and when people say that we usually don't ever contact them again. It's important to respect their decisions. With XXXXXXX I think she dropped us because she kept getting hurt each time one of us Sister missionaries would have to leave. She was really attached to us as people as well as the gospel. Every time we were there we testified of the truth she had been taught. She knew it was true and she told us often. She felt the Spirit every time we were there and she enjoyed reading in the Book of Mormon. I plan on contacting her one more time before I leave but I don't want to offend her more or make her upset because we didn't respect her words. It's frustrating and much more difficult than being stuck in a rock and a hard place. I haven't felt prompted to go back and usually I am. I'm not sure.

I'm glad you had a good birthday. I was talking with the Italian family in our branch yesterday telling them the Italian things that we eat at home and mentioned Uccileti. They knew exactly what I was talking about, calling them little birds! I like that you have all this awesome LSU gear now. You'll have to come to a game this next season and sport all your fun things. I was in H&M this past week and saw a purple cardigan for sale and then a yellow one so naturally I had to buy both :) Those colors are just so beautiful together especially when I think about adding some Louisiana cuisine to it.

I really don't care what kind of job I have. I figure I can't be picky but just take what the Lord provides.

I'm working on leaving Sister Jensen the legacy of how to do successful missionary work. She mentioned to me the other day how she hated finding and was just not excited to do the not so fun work but after receiving a blessing where she was blessed twice to find the excitement of the work its slowly starting to come to her and that she has learned by good example that when we don't have an appointment we find. I think the hardest thing for me is learning to work together with her. There is no way that we can be successful if we don't work together. We all work at different paces and even though I'm used to a faster one she isn't so I have to work at hers. I feel that I struggle with feeling that I haven't done enough work because it's not how I used to do it. How do I get over those feelings?

The people that we met and made our new appointments with are doing great. XXXXXXX has committed to be baptized on April 28th. When we asked him he said that baptism was the one thing that has been burning on his heart lately. The family we have an appointment with this Friday. I am excited to meet with them and see if they read in the Book of Mormon and what questions they have.

Have a great week at work and fun at the beach! Thanks for your love and support Dad. Love you!

He is Risen

Hey Mumma,
Okay, Next time there is horrible news about people the heading should be, read so and so's email first. I haven't gotten to Dads email but what I collected is that Kerri Wall had a stroke and she's lost a lot of ability to do things. I'm really glad that you were able to listen and follow the promptings of the spirit and be the mouth piece of the Lord to call up blessings through prayer for Kerri Wall.

Our last week was not a typical week either. We had snow pretty much everyday. Including Easter morning. I was disgusted. But I still love this place, I just need to call the weather to repentance. Hasn't the weather read the scriptures where it says there is a time and a SEASON for all things. Maybe I should copy Ecclesiastes for it.

I miss the temple a lot. That's neat you got to see Britnee there. I miss you guys. Just right now I want to come home and be with the family and see if I can work anywhere around there.

It's neat that you were teaching about the Holy Ghost. We had zone conference on Wednesday in Hamburg. In the last meeting I was able to share my testimony of the Holy Ghost. I never really had a grasp on how much the Holy Ghost really influences us. As I left on my mission that was something I struggled with just recognizing when I was being prompted by the spirit. As I have been out I have really learned how it works with me and how often it truly does speak to me. It was so cool to see the picture of me receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I had no idea that that picture existed. But what a wonderful gift it truly is. As members I don't think we really understand how essential the spirit is in our work and how we need to better utilize it to be the instrument in the hands of the Lord. It's something that I'm still developing and look forward to continue developing it throughout my life.

Mum, you're so welcome for the challenge to read the Book of Mormon. I felt like I needed to ask you and Lyndel to do it and I'm grateful that you took the challenge. I'm surprised to hear that you love Ether. Maybe its because I read the end half this morning. I feel like I'm reading the book of Judges all over again. People are good, they get prideful, fall into wickedness, prophets are removed, their on the verge of extinction and then they remember God and repent and ask for help and he sends a righteous judge again to read the people. I like Moroni's comments as well. Its important that we all remember that we can learn from everyone.

I'm quite jealous that you all will be going to the beach. Soak up some sun for me. And enjoy conference. I am REALLY looking forward to conference. I need some spiritual food for myself. Conference is spring break missionary style.

Thanks for my Easter letter that I received in the mail. I sent you a response. There is nothing better than getting a letter in the mail from your Mumma :) Have a fantastic spring break and have fun! Thanks for all the love and support Mum! Love you!

-Ariel Nell

Happy Easter from Lyndel

Hey Lyndel :)
I'm not sure what is the problem that made XXXXXXX stop meeting with us. I think It comes back to her not liking that we change and move and she stays. She grew really close to Sister Dean and I and when Sister Dean had to go it just crushed her. She was used to the spirit speaking to her but for whatever reason she wouldn't follow it.

I love that Elder Romero loved Mummas pavlova's. Haha, they do melt in your mouth... from the sugar! They are magnificent things. Traveling last week wasn't too amazing, sitting on the train for 10 hours. We didn't get home until 10:11pm so we planned for our next day and then went to bed. We spread out our P-day hours by taking up the hours we didn't have anything planned each day for P-day because we had appointments everyday already and couldn't cancel them when we found out about the trip to Berlin Monday. So we did shopping one day at H&M. I needed some retail therapy. I bought a yellow and a purple cardigan. The other days we were just at home. I napped one day, and did a puzzle another and wrote letters another.

Thanks for telling me about my itinerary. I'm not sure why they didn't tell me. Probably so as to not distract me but its more distracting for me not to know. I plan on sleeping and reading my scriptures and writing in my journal on the plane. No movies, not yet. But for sure we will be watching Pride and Prejudice within the week that I get home. I miss Matthew McFadyen. :)

While studying with Sister Jensen this week she was sharing with me Thes 3:5 and said, ''Every miracle that's ever performed is...a freakin' miracle!'' I just died laughing. Aw man, I wish you could have heard it, It was too funny. She finally laughed when she realized how funny she just was. I got to talk to the family at church that went to the temple this past week and were sealed together. They showed us pictures of coming out of the temple. I spoke with Bruder Hochbaum and asked how his experience was and he said it was wonderful. It was so sweet to see him beaming about his experience.

I hope you have a fun week and that you and Michael find some time to hang out together. Love you! Thanks for everything Lyndel.
-Ariel Nell

Me playing with curlers and curled my hair. It was completely flat by the end of the day.

Curly hair

Kaki- AKA the forbidden fruit. The MOST delicious thing on the planet.

Me in the shadow on the wall 6:30am

Happy Easter from Ellen

Ellen,

Thanks so much for the email! I feel like hearing from you was just what I needed. I think the weight of the mission is hitting me hard today especially about it coming to an end. I'm just sitting in the internet laden crying after every email. Can you say emotional or what? Heavens! And the sister-in-law that doesn't wear make up thought it was a good idea to put on mascara today for kicks and giggles. WRONG! Ha! NA ja, we learn from our mistakes right?

That's so neat that you and Andre get to Usher for the FOX. You guys do so many fun and adventurous things. Are you enjoying singing in the Gladys Knight choir? Have you been to Gladys Knights chicken and waffle restaurant in Atlanta? There is one across the street from the FOX. If you've never been I'd highly recommend it. It's like the most southern thing you could possibly participate in next to LSU football games.

That's so exciting that Evan is coming home soon. I bet you're stoked. I've been day dreaming lots of coming home and getting to go to the temple. I'd really like to go with you when I'm home. I think it would be a good experience. So, If you're not too busy I'd like to go with you.

Do you want to get a Pitt puppy? Heavens, the things you have to deal with with Andre :) I'm most certainly going to work on getting investigators to point out the blessings they've received as they have kept commitments. I think that willl help a lot and something I haven't done. I'll also work on looking for miracles. Thanks Ellen. I hope you have a great week and find some time to yourself to relax! Love you!

-Ariel

April Fools!

Hey Andre,

   The family that we found we will be visiting on Friday so I'll have to let you know next week how they are doing. We haven't found any new people. XXXX , the one bruder XXXX introduced to us (by the way, Bruder XXXX is an investigator) he is on baptismal date for the 28th of April. No, I haven't heard anything more from XXXXXXX . I'm thinking of contacting her before I go but I don't want to over step my boundaries because she asked us not to contact her.

  Thanks for you prayers Andre. I remember to pray for you guys too. Thanks for the love and support!

Love you!
-Ariel nell



Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello from OHIO!

Andre!

   Congratulations on Tuesday to you two! Expect a letter in the mail :) I'm glad that you an Ellen get to do something fun together. John Mayer sounds cool. That's really good that y'all have been able to spend lots of time with her family. I think easter with her grandparents will be way fun. Her grandma is so sweet. I'm glad her dad got a job too!! I can go visit them when I'm out at school. I think Houston is only 5 hours from Baton Rouge, or one of those Texas cities :) Where is he working? Are they excited? I bet they are!

     XXXXXXX dropped us this week. A very traumatic experience that I don't really understand. It hurts because you love the gospel and want to share it with people and especially when we get to witness people coming closer and closer to their savior and the truth and then to turn away from it just breaks your heart. She asked us not to contact her or to call her. I'm not sure why or what to do but we have all been praying that her heart can be softened and that we can get back into contact again. She dropped us Tuesday night and so Wednesday after district meeting I asked my district leader to give me a blessing. In the blessing he said two times that the Lord was proud and happy with my diligent service. That meant a lot to me. I feel like XXXXXXX was just one of the many reasons I was called to Germany. With her dropping us made me question whether I had made an impact at all. It was so reassuring to hear from the Lord that He was happy with my work and that He expects me to keep doing good work. We did find three new investigators this week. We found a family ( mom, dad and 8 month old). They are Christian ( Roman Catholic) and had never heard of the church or the Book of Mormon. They were excited to read the Book of Mormon and meet with us again. Bruder XXXX then brought a friend to church on Sunday who said that he felt directed to come to our church and will continue to read the Book of Mormon to find out more. He has already read the first 3 chapters before coming to us. How cool is that?

    I won't get to visit any of my old areas before I go home. And no worries, I'm excited to come home too. Have a great week Andre. Love you bunches!

-Ariel Nell

Sisters in Berlin

All the Sister missionaries in the Berlin mission were asked to go to Berlin today, 3/25/13 to meet with Elder Teixeira and President Richards. This is a picture of all the Sister missionaries.
Ariel is on the first row, second from the left!

Love from Dad

Hey Dad!
I'm glad to hear that you had a wonderful farewell party from the CDC although it was so emotional for you. I'm glad that most of the family could be there to support you. Sorry I couldn't! Are you excited for your birthday this week? Do you have anything fun planned? I sure do hope so! That's neat that your birthday is so close to Easter this year.

Well the street display is a work in progress, we got our permission to do it two weeks ago and now we are working on getting a table and then we are good to go. The zone leaders offered to make it a zone activity which I think will be way neat. The English classes just have to have a flier put together and then they can get started too. There's so much to do and so little time to do it all! I'm excited to see who we attract to the English classes too. I think we will be able to connect with a lot of people that we have contact with on a regular basis that are normally not interested in talking to us about the church but at English classes there will always be a lesson taught at the end.

Well this week was particularly rough for me. After having a wonderful lesson with XXXXXXX Tuesday, she called us Tuesday night and said she didn't want to have any contact with us and asked that we not every contact her or call her again. I am still confused as to why. I was truly heartbroken. Poor Sister Jensen had to deal with me crying about it but the mission goes on. XXXXXXX called us while we were planning and so after our little break of crying and being confused as to why she said all those things we kept on planning. It was the strangest feeling because although I was extremely sad I was feeling the Spirit very strongly, as if encompassing my whole body. Sister Jensen and I were just talking about doing doors the next day. I told her I wasn't sure why but I was feeling the Spirit and she said she was too. So we grabbed a map, looked at the city and picked a place to do doors. The next day when we did doors we found a family! We've been back to teach them this week and they're excited to meet with us again and to read in the Book of Mormon. On Sunday an investigator brought a friend to church and so we got another new investigator. Sister Jensen said to me today about our crazy week that there really is opposition in all things. Amen. So rough and sad but bountiful in blessings as life is.

Last Monday, we went to antique stores on our P-day and I bought a beautiful Luther bible from 1900. It is absolutely gorgeous! I'm so excited to show you all! Today we got to travel to Berlin to be interviewed by Elder Teixeira (I'm not sure if that's how you spell his name) and President Richards. Elder Teixeira told me to tell my family warm greetings from him. It was neat to sit with him and to talk to him about my mission so far. The first question he asked was how long I had been out. I said 17 months tomorrow and he was thrilled. He said ''Oh good! Then we can learn lots from your experiences!'' They wanted to interview all 45 sisters in our mission now. It was so strange to meet all of them because I knew practically none of them! It was nice to see Sister Dean and Sister Tidwell again. Some Sisters said that their families already got their itinerary to come home. Is that true? Do you all have mine? If so I'd like to know what airports I'm flying through.

Thanks for the pictures of my baptism. I haven't looked at them yet, but will soon! I love you Dad. Have a great first day at work today and a WONDERFUL birthday. Love you!

- Ariel Nell

Letter for Mum

Hey Mumma!

I'm sorry you had such horrible dreams. PLEASE don't dream like that. I hate when I have those dreams where I can't talk. Its so unfair. Especially when I'm trying to tell someone something important. I wonder why that happens. I have been dreaming lots of the family lately. I'm excited to see everyone again :)

I'm glad that you all were able to go to Dad's farewell party. I think that would have been a neat experience to be a part of and neat to have walked around and said, " Yup, that's my Dad" :) It's funny how seriously protective the CDC is. I'm glad you and Eli got in okay. Did you guys have to show your passport? Are you enjoying your Strengthening Families class?

I liked reading the Book of Mormon too this week. I have also started the Pearl of Great Price....speaking of which on our way to church on Sunday the pearl necklace that George made for me broke :( I still have it. Anyways, what I was really impressed with was Moses 4:12. It's talking about Eve and her thought process before partaking of the forbidden fruit. What I loved is that it said,'' ...the woman saw that the tree was... a tree to be desired to make her wise...'' She desired wisdom. It made me think about how important it is that we acquire wisdom and knowledge as we study in all subjects. Then this morning I began Abraham and it says in 1:2 how Abraham desired to one who possessed great knowledge and wanted to poss even greater knowledge. I think I take for granted the knowledge that I have and the ability that I have to learn. From Eve and Abraham I have learned just how important it is to have our life's desires directed at gaining more knowledge and I don't just think any knowledge but knowledge that will really help us progress the Lords work, that will help our families, and that will allow us to develop our talents. Just thoughts I've been having this week.

So Friday night we found out that we needed to be in Berlin today so that's why we're emailing so late. We got to be interviewed with Elder Teixeira and President Richards. It was a neat experience to talk to them both and Elder Teixeira said to send warm greetings to my family from him. We did lots of doors this past week. One man after reading the internet site on our card said he wanted nothing to do with us because Mormons do terrorist racist things in Alabama. I'm not sure where he got that from but I asked him if he wanted to talk to members of the church and he said no. Well, that's why he thinks those crazy things. Doing doors really did pay off though because we have two new investigators ( a husband and wife) and then we have two other families that said we could come back at another time. Families are important to bring into the gospel so that was way neat.

Bruder XXXXXXXX, the man that we have been preparing to go to the temple will be receiving his own endowment tomorrow and be sealed to his wife on Wednesday. It was so neat to see him Sunday. He thanked us for helping him prepare to go to the temple. I'm excited for the XXXXXXXXs. What a neat experience that will be for them. We had a ward grünkohl activity on Saturday and it was way successful at getting less actives and non-members there. There was a couple that came that haven't been to church in over 10 years that we have been visiting about every two weeks. Way cool.

Do you guys have fun plans for Dads birthday? Hope so. How is work going? Have a great week Mumma. I love you and miss you!

-Ariel Nell

March is cold :(

Hey Lyndel!
   I'm glad to hear your week went well! This week was okay. XXXXXXX dropped us. We're not exactly sure why. I think it might have been many things but mostly so that she wouldn't keep having to get hurt when we (missionaries) leave. She asked us not to contact her or to call her. I really want to stop by her place but I feel I need to respect her wish. I don't want to annoy her or give her an image that the church can't respect peoples' agency.
 
   Sister Jensen and I got up at 5am this morning to go to Berlin. All the sisters in the mission were interviewed by Elder Teixeira and President Richards so we all had to travel to Berlin and then come back home. We are in Bremen right now writing emails and will keep on to Bremerhevn in a little bit. Our p-day hours will be spread out this week between appointments because we still need this p-day rest and go grocery shopping and whatever else we need.

    Actually I'll be back in America in 5 weeks and a few days. And that's actually less time than I spent in the MTC because I was there for 9 weeks. :) I'm excited too. All the sisters told me today that their families had already received their itineraries and I was like WHAT the?! My family didn't say anything so Mum just told me what airports I'll be traveling through. I think I'll be splitting off from the group in Paris because most are from Utah. Na ja, Lots of time to read the scriptures and write in my journal and SLEEP!

   I don't need anything between now and then end of April but thanks :)

   I hope you all have a fun birthday celebration with Dad and the Elders. Be sure to take pictures. Thanks for all your love and support Lyndel. Love you bunches!
-Ariel Nell

Monday, March 18, 2013

Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree

Well Mumma,
The snow this week just got even crazier! We woke up this morning to LOTS of snow. Spring is coming right? The head lines in the newspapers are quoting people on Facebook saying they're sick and tired of winter. Poor Germans, if only they lived in the South a little more they would have 4 different seasons.

I don't remember the apricot tree blossoms being pink. Were they always pink? Is the cherry blossom tree also blooming? I had dreams of Darcy last night. He didn't recognize me. I hope he does. I miss him. The Relief Society skit sounded funny and fun. I really like that song that you all sang together. I'm glad that you had fun with all the Sisters.

I really enjoyed reading the scriptures set aside for last week too. I had also been studying a lot about commandments and my mind was just blown by Alma 12:32. It says: ''Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death....''Okay, you ready for this? So in the pre-earth life, Heavenly Father explained to us all the plan of salvation. We know that. He made sure we understood it and in my mind I'm sure we expressed concern for how to remember what he taught us when we were to go through a veil and that's when God was like, ''Don't worry, I've put together these things called commandments. When you follow them you'll for sure come back to me. You'll remember these things that you learned here because they'll trigger your memory.'' And then we were all like, '' Sweet! Lets go!'' And so heavenly Father explained to us the plan so that we wouldn't have to make a blind decision but could know full well what we were doing. And he gave us commandments so that we would never experience this separation from him in this life or the one to come, also known as a second death. When we teach the gospel of Jesus Christ we explain that there are two things we need to return to our Heavenly Fathers presence: to be immortal and perfect. Well Jesus Christ took care of our immortality in that he took upon him our sins, died, and was resurrected so that we can all be resurrected. The next step is up to us. To become perfect we must exercise our faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, endure to the end. But something that just hit be so strong was how our Heavenly Father gave us to commandments to make us perfect. Keeping the commandments really are the cheat codes of life and we are REALLY dumb if we don't follow them. It was just so eye opening. I hope that makes sense. It just made me have such a stronger testimony of how merciful God is and how much love he has for all of us.

Yep I will be there soon. I can't think of anything that you have to prepare for me to come home. Unless it's some yummy veggies and fish :) I can't wait to see you all! I miss you all terribly. Have a great week Mummy. Keep your head up, Heavenly Father will open more doors for you! I love you!
-Ariel Nell

Hey hey hey

Hey Andre!

  I'm glad that you and Ellen got to celebrate two years at the beach and in warm weather!! How glorious! I think I will never feel the sun again before I go home. It snowed all this last week and dumped a lot more last night so we're all snowed-up. I'm glad that you got to go and visit people with the Elders. I am soooo excited for General Conference. General Conference is like spring break, missionary style! YES!

   When do you and Ellen have y'alls first concert with the Choir? How many people from Atlanta are also members in the choir? Will you guys be driving or flying to Columbus for the cousins wedding? That'll be fun to see that side of the family. I hope you guys have fun. Make sure to be of help to everyone there.

   XXXXXXX was like a roller-coaster this week. I got to talk to her friday night and she was so full of doubt about everything that she knows. She was beginning to feel that God didn't love her, that Christs atonement couldn't possibly cover every sin, and that it comes a point where God just has to say no to things that we repent of everyday. She felt like it was impossible for her to get back to Heaven when we're also judged from the things we think and say. It was so heart breaking that I was crying. I asked her what her hearts desire was and she said to simply be a good person. I asked her if she believed me and trusted that what I said was the truth. She said she did. I told her that God does love her an unfathomable amount, that Christs' atonement is infinite and covers all, and that baptism is the right choice. She felt better a bit the next day but she did open up to me and explain why she is scared to come to church. Then she made the resolution to come to church this past Sunday and right when she was going to leave the house it started snowing hard. She only has a little scooter so she doesn't ride in the snow. We called her after church and she said that next week she is going to get her mum to drive her to church. We have tried bringing joint teaches but she doesn't allow us. We ask if its alright to bring someone next time and she says no. What can you do about that? Get her to church!

   Everything else is good. We doing lots of finding. I'm glad Ellen got the postcard. I've sent her two I think in the last little while so I hope she got both. Or I sent a letter and a postcard, I'm not sure. Anyways, I love you two! Be good this week and please travel safely to Columbus, Ohio. Love you!

-Ariel Nell

March 17 - St. Paddy's Day

Dad,
I wasn't able to hear Mumma singing but I'll have to listen to it next week when we're at a less sketchy internet laden.

I'm glad the talk by Elder Eyring is getting passed around. It's wonderful. Every member should read it. I'm excited to read your talk. I told Lyndel in her email that with all the talk of the Pope it gives us great opportunities to talk about the Prophet and the Restoration and authority from God. Very neat.
That's crazy that a tooth infection led to Uncle Francis' hip. I hope that the antibiotics work. I'll make sure to keep him in my prayers. How is Sister Robins doing? Your farewell party at work will be fun. Make sure to take lots of pictures and make sure Mum goes! Thanks for all your help in trying to find me a job :)

This week was good filled with lots of time to go finding and door to door. We are working hard with our ward to get referrals. President Daniel, our branch president said that every month there will be a talk about referrals and every Sunday from the pulpit he reminds the members that they need to be giving us referrals. He gave a talk on Sunday about how we are responsible for the things we do and also the things we don't do in the sense that if we don't tell our friends about the gospel we're responsible. I love how dedicated he is to the missionary work. He is a great pleasure to work with and I trust that he helps us make the best decisions in our work. We just got our permission form from the city so that we can have a street display. We are working on also setting up English classes. Hopefully these two resources will help us find new people to teach about the gospel!

While doing doors this past week we met a man who had met with the missionaries 20 years before. I asked him how his experience was and he said that it was good that he still had a Book of Mormon and remembered where our church building is and that we teach about Joseph Smith. I asked him if he had time to busy himself with Jesus Christ and he said yeah. I asked him if he had time this week or next and then he said he didn't want to meet with us. :( It makes me wonder what changed his mind 20 years ago to stop meeting with the missionaries. On that same street we doored a man at his gate ( sometime the door bells are there so they can lock you out of their property). Well he comes out of his house so I yell to him who we are and what we're doing and he yells back that we can call him. I told him I didn't have his number and so then he yelled that to us too. Some people are really strange. Wouldn't it be easier to just come talk to us for 10 minutes then have a 10 minute yelling conversation? Oh well... :)

I hopoe you have a fun week Dad and remember, I love you! Have a great week at work and make sure you and Mum get to do something fun together! Thanks for all your support!
- Ariel Nell

St. Patty's Day!

Hey Lyndel!
   People are all saying stuff about the new Pope too. They ask for our opinions and then we say we don't really care and don't follow the Pope and then their eyes almost fall out of their faces sometimes. It gives us a great opportunity to talk to people about the Restoration and authority and Prophets. Love it!

   Our week was good. We did a lot of contacting and going door to door. The referrals are getting contacted but still no interest sparked. The most important I think, after we missionaries contact members friends, is that the members follow up. We have been blessed with a lot of wonderful conversations with people and have been able to leave them with the proclamation to the family or a Book of Mormon. I told Sister Jensen during weekly planning that one of my goals was to testify more. Well Saturday we spent A LOT of time contacting less actives and people on the street. We stopped this one man and he had some really strange ideas about resurrection and Jesus Christ and God. Good thing was it gave me the opportunity to testify to him like 4 different times that God exists, Jesus is the Christ, He was resurrected and that we too will all be resurrected. He thought I was crazy when I said that and he told us we were being pressured into say these things and that we were brain washed. Then we got to testify of the power of the Holy Ghost in conversion. At the end of the conversation I promised him that he would be resurrected and that we would meet up and I'd be able to explain everything better to him. I really hope Heavenly Father gives me the chance to teach this man again. He will love the gospel, he just needs a little time to open his heart.

   I'm glad you passed that talk on to the Elders. It's FABULOUS! It's like a hammer for referrals. Well, it snowed everyday this past week and this morning we woke up to TONS of snow. I don't think the Easter bunny will come with all the snow here. He'll think its too early! It makes everything look like tons of powder sugar was poured on everything. Sometimes I want to eat the snow but then think how unsanitary that probably is :)

  Yup, 6 weeks my friends! Let's work hard until the end! I'm super excited to come home to the family but I'm really motivated to work hard and not get distracted and keep building up the program here.

  Well I love you Lyndel, Have a great week and make sure to have fun! Enjoy the garage sale. Love you!
-Ariel Nell

An antique Caro coffee can I found. Caro is the equivalent to Pero.

Snowy Bremerhaven this morning 3/18/13

All 12 of my planners

 A sunset I caught on a train ride


Transfer Call

I forgot to mention we had transfer call and I am staying here with Sister Jensen. 7 months in Bremerhaven, 9 months in Halberstadt, and 7 weeks in Celle. What a crazy life! Love you all!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bachelor Party Weekend in Tampa!

Andre!

  I love that you got to spend a fun weekend with the Boys. Is Jacob getting excited to be a married man. You'll have to let him know sorry for me that I won't be there. I'm glad that you were the DD and helping everyone get home safe and in once piece. What a good friend you are! The weather in Bremerhaven is cold and snowy. It was nice at the beginning of the week and then saturday it started snowing and hasn't stopped and isn't expected to until thursday. Spring is coming soon... i hope :) Na ja, I'm sure I'll miss freezing my buns off when I come home so I better just get in all the freezing moments I can!

    Have you and Ellen had any rehersals for the choir or will you rehearse and perform the same weekend. Be sure to take pictures of all your trips and let me know what fun things you guys got to do. I'm assuming you two may spend easter with her Grandparents? That'll be fun. They're a fun couple.

   So new things from this week. We have been doing a lot of doors with some nice people and some not to nice people. Our ward has been doing a great job giving us referals and so we have been on the run just trying to contact all of them. I love contacting referals because it gives you an important purpose to find these people. It is so much easier once we find them to door them and say, hey we're friends of so and so and they said you'd be interested in our message. So often they are so much more nicer and will spend the 5 minutes to listen to our message so we can give them a Book of Mormon or a brochure.

   XXXXXXX did not progress this week. For the first time since we've met her she hasn't been doing what she knows she should. She has a really hard time with coming to church. She hasn't ever and it really is the thing that will seal the deal. If we can help her build her faith and really strengthen it with church attendance, then when we start teaching about commandments  and espeically things that may try her faith she will be prepared to challenge them. But she has such a problem with coming to church. She said she is afraid that if she goes then she'll like it so much she'll want to go there each week voluntarily and actually become friends with the people there. She is a funny lady but she can do it. I just need to remember to be patient and to work at her speed.

   This is aboslutely the best decision I ever made and I am grateful everyday to that 8 year old who knew she needed to go on a mission so much she couldn't ignore it. You really can't put it into words the priceless gift a mission really is. Thanks for serving one Andre.

   Make sure to have a fabulous week and to not get too stressed out. I love you and miss you! Give my love to Ellen too!

-Ariel Nell

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 10 - New Beginnings

Hey Dad,
I'm sorry to hear about Brother Robins. I have remembered him and his family in my prayers every night this week. I hope that they are doing well and that Sister Robins is holding tight to the sealing covenant that she has made with him. I've also been praying for Sister Russel so it's good to hear that she is also doing well. I'm glad that you and the Elders got to teach XXXXX about the gospel and help him resolve his concerns with his Dad's death. How did he receive the message of the plan of salvation? Did it help him have a better understanding on this life and why we are here and where we go? There isn't really any film that we show regarding the plan of salvation. There is a short 5 minute film about happiness that introduces the lesson but we don't have any films. So I've also never seen the film that you used to teach XXXXX. It's a good thing that the Elders also enjoyed it.

The picture of New Beginnings was crazy. I don't recognize any of those girls any more! Where did they all come from? I am so amazed that you bought each of the girls the Dr Seuss book of ''Oh The Places You'll Go''. I still remember reading that book to Ella Rogers and just being blown away at the spiritual message that Dr. Seuss teaches. I love that book and it most certainly changed my outlook on life. The church should attach it to the triple combination if they could :) What a great idea you had to give them all a copy. Thanks for passing its message on.

I think its funny that you and Eli are fighting with each other about who made who sick. I hope that you two both get better soon. Are you working right now or are you packing everything up until you start again at the Veteran Health Administration? I'm glad that you feel you will be able to use more of the talents that you have collected from these past three years and also from your MBA. It always feels good when you are able to use all the tools that you have to offer. I'm glad that you were able to receive contact from Kylee. Sorry that I'm not there to do anything and that you're left to organize everything. I really appreciate all that you have done for me and are doing. I'd be happy really to work anywhere that will hire. Again, I'm sorry you are left to deal with everything.

So Saturday night I received a call from our branch President. He explained that a speaker had fallen through and asked if I would talk in church. He said I could talk on whatever I would like but that it would be best to talk about referrals since the branch presidency has decided to have one talk each month about referrals and member missionary work. So I found this AMAZING article written by Elder Eyring in the January 2009 Liahona. It's called "Raising a Voice of Warning" I believe. Anyways Elder Eyring explains that one day all those that we know are going to know what we know about the gospel and they will know that we had it and whether or not we shared it with them. Elder Eyring shared some wonderful experiences about being a good member missionary and also not being such a good one and how the duty relies on the members to find the people and the missionaries are the facilitators to making covenants. It is a very serious talk and one that I highly recommend that you give the Elders in the ward so that they can share this message with members or that it is one that you just read to the ward. It is so important that we as members do our part and just invite. Something our branch president says a lot is that we too often make the decision for our friends without giving them the chance to make it them self. A statistic they shared with us in the MTC is that for 1,000 people that missionaries meet with or talk to, only 1 will be baptized. But for every 7 a member talks to about the gospel and introduces to the gospel, 1 is baptized. That is such a huge difference. If the members can just come to understand and know their roles we will be able to really build up these stakes in Zion. Our ward is doing really great with referrals these past two week. Just yesterday a member pulled me aside to give us a new name and information about someone to go by on. We've received 8 referrals in just this month. That's awesome. I'm really grateful for their efforts to help the work. We spent a lot of time contacting them this week. No one was really interested but we were able to give them Books of Mormon or a Proclamation to the Family pamphlet and just let them know a little more about the church and invite them to our services. We're planting the seeds!

On Tuesday we were riding past the intersection where I got hit by a car and saw a lady hit a man on his bike and then when she pulled up on the side walk she almost hit a pedestrian. I am not the only one on a bike who has been hit there! And the man was hit during the day time. The car drivers are just not paying attention unfortunately. Dad, if you have time next week, would you please attach a picture of me when I was 8 and getting baptized. I think there is one of me standing in the sun outside the church or one with you and me together inside. I'd really like to use it for a few lessons this next week.

I love you Dad. Thanks so much for all your support and love. I really look forward to coming home and just spending time with you. I keep seeing all these stained glass windows and think about how fun it'll be to work in your shop with you again. Make sure to make a great week. I love you!