Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello from OHIO!


   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

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!


  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!

Upping and Upping and Upping until we come to the top of the hill.........

Hey Mumma,

Surely Germany has to get warmer soon but it seems that stubborn Ariel went to stubborn Germany. We had beautiful weather last Monday and Tuesday and then it just dropped all of a sudden and then Saturday afternoon it started snowing and has yet to stop. There is lots of snow everywhere. I'll attach some pictures that I took this morning.

It is a shock to hear about Brother Robins. I had made sure to pray for him this week and his family as Dad had asked me to. I'm glad to know that although it was a tough situation that Nyla and the family are continuing to do well and that they really understand the meaning of that sealing covenant they made. I never knew he was a champion ice-skater! I just remember him being Bishop when I was little and being a little intimidated by him as all little people are of authority but also remembering that he was a really nice man. I really liked him.

That's great that Annette has found a place to live. I don't mind when the lease starts. I'd think July or August would be good. I'm not sure when school starts but I'd like to be able to move in before it does. Seeing as I have two more years left at school I'll probably be there for the next two years. If you feel better about one month than another then you can choose.

I'm glad you took Eli and Jared to Margaret Abernathy's. Is the ward doing anything for her birthday? Be sure to tell her I said Happy Birthday. I'll look for a card or make her one today. What is going on with her health wise? I love how you, Dad, Karma, and Stefan are just a fun wild bunch. That band (The Zombies) sounds really neat. Did you know of the band before? We didn't have day lights saving today. I'm not sure when Germany does it but I know we fell back so we have to spring forward sometime, right?

Don't worry about not getting the Book of Mormon stories at deeper levels. I feel like some people when trying to just understand the stories the first time read too deep and then miss the whole concept. These past two weeks it has just become really apparent to me how we are still in a battle and that when we arm ourselves with our covenants and the armor of God we can fight those armies of temptation and Satan that try to bring us down and take us over. I am excited that we are inching closer to third Nephi. And that we get to learn more about the awesome missionary duo or Lehi and Nephi, those two are my favorite. This past week I had been studying a lot about the plan of salvation. I came across Alma 42:5 that talks about if Adam hadn't transgressed then he would have had no space for repentance. I really like how that is put. It really just helped me to be so very grateful for the fall and that we do has this space or in German ''Zeitraum'' (time period) to repent. Heavenly Fathers plan is so very perfect.

So XXXXX , Holger's wife, was supposed to have been baptized two weeks ago. From what I've heard everything went through. How awesome is that! I'm so very excited for them.

Thanks for all your support Mumma. It's hard pushing through the weeks but by the end I realize that they had just been flying by. Thanks for supporting me to go on a mission. This was the best decision I could have ever made for my life. I love you! Make sure to have a great week!

-Ariel Nell

Marching forward

   That was such a funny story from Auntie Isobel. Haha! (I shared with Ariel the following stories: Earlier this week I was sleeping peacefully in bed up against mikes shoulder while he was laying there reading scriptures on his ipad mini. He sleepily let his ipad mini fall toward him, except it hit me in the forehead! I woke up abruptly in tears and Mike grumbled something about everything being fine and to go back to sleep. It was a horrific experience. I posted about it in Facebook and Aunt Isobel said this: "Many years ago, having an nap on my then to be husbands single bed (without him) his alarm clock fell from the headboard. I subsequently got a black eye. Boy did I have a hard time explaining that to my Mum.") I can only imagine what Grandma would have said about Isobel's black eye. Sometimes I wish I could meet Grandma and Papa sooner than later. I really look forward to getting to sit down and talk to them about everything they lived through and all their life experiences.

   I'm glad you enjoyed a supervised ''date'' with the Elders. Ha! I'm sure Dad was a little confused about that one. (This experience was shared with Ariel: We fed the Elders on Tuesday night. Took them Wild Ginger actually. Anyways as we were leaving Dad called them and Elder Romero goes, " Hi Bishop! We're just finishing dinner with your daughter. (Pause) Oh! And your son in law too!" Haha - It didn't really click until after he added that last bit, that it sounded like I had taken them on a date. Haha.) 

 Kylee (Sister Openshaw) would always dance for me when backing me up in the car. It always made for an entertaining time driving the car. I hope no missionary has ''accidentally'' hit their companion. If he did he better watch out for some lightening because backing up into a missionary is like trying to kill an apostle, that's a no go roger. (There is a missionary rule - worldwide I think - that says that one missionary must stand outside of the car and direct the other out of parking spots. For safety reasons maybe, so they don't hit anyone?)

    Well last Monday and Tuesday we enjoyed glorious weather as in it was maybe 8°C. That's a big deal people! Well then, it decided it didn't like being so hot and has significantly dropped to where Saturday afternoon is begun snowing and hasn't stopped. There's lots of snow outside and wind that likes to blow it all around. Todays p-day activities include staying inside where its warm because we're allowed to. We had a lot of appointments fall out so we ended up doing a lot of doors Saturday. One lady we met said that she felt bad that we had to be out even in this weather. Na ja (No worries), as long as you keep moving you collect funny stories with every person you talk to. Its supposed to continue snowing until Thursday. We heard there was a big snow storm in Washington D.C. How is everyone there?

    This week has been good for us. Time is flying. I feel like we just had p-day and here I am again at the computer writing emails. I've started to anxiously sleep. You know, like when it was Christmas eve and we all felt like we were going to pop out of our skin if Christmas didn't come soon enough and then Andre would wake up at 4 or 5 am because he just had to check out all the presents first? Well I keep anxiously sleeping thinking its time to go home but its not. I need to psych myself out of it so my heart can just have a rest!

    Sister Jensen is getting more and more accustomed to the area each week. She klingeled ( door knocked) her first entire building this past week. She isn't a fan of talking to strangers so she still has the shy factor but she is growing and expanding her horizons each week :) She does a really great job of asking questions in our lessons. She always seems to know what to ask to get the people to open up. Her German is a lot better and she is getting more comfortable sharing experiences with people.

    XXXXXXX picked the end of April to be baptized. We are having a bit of trouble getting her to come to church and so this past week we have taught lots about church and the sacrament and our baptismal covenant. She said she is getting a bad conscience about not going to church so the spirit is working in her to get her to come. She's just got to do it on her own time. No, there aren't any old ladies as fabulous as Schwester Munke. We do have older ladies here but shes the best of the best. We have an Italian family in our ward, like straight born and raised there. Every time I get to spend time with their family I feel like I'm home. Especially when they're all yelling in Italian :) And the lasagna and pasta they make tastes like I know it should taste. They're fun.

    The picture is of me walking to the church just two hours ago to do emails. I look like a fat Michelin man :( The second one is the path through the woods we take to the church. Have a great week Lyndel. I love you bunches! Remember to have some fun!

-Ariel Nell
Michelin man Ariel on her way to do emails

Their path through the woods to the church

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 3rd 2013, Goodbye CDC


Kylee will be getting married in the Oakland temple, and her family lives an hour and a half away from San Fransisco. I'm not sure where I will be staying but I can ask Kylee if it is possible to stay at her parents or something. I just got the email from her today about which temple. Kylee is the one I was with for 6 months in Halberstadt and she is an Elementary school teacher.

I really love the Romans 1:16. Its one of my favorite scriptures and really motivates me to keep spreading the good news. Some people try to make us ashamed of what we do or what message we bring but then I think back to Paul writing to the Romans and other times throughout the new testament where he says ''I'm not ashamed''. It's kind of become my inner motto, ''I'm not ashamed so why should you be?'

It was amazing to read your story of helping the investigator out with her concerns. There is nothing better than a great relationship between the missionaries and the Bishop so that we can keep the missionary work going. Sister Jensen and I have been studying this past week how we can work better with our bishops and branch presidents. The work you have in the Dunwoody ward is only going to keep progressing as you and the Elders continue to work together. This past week we got to meet with our branch President, President Daniel. At the end of our meeting he asked us if there is anything that he could help us with. We explained that we need to get more referrals. Over the past 4 months we have been averaging about 3 a month. He made a note about it and said he would talk about it on Sunday and then gave us a referral and told his friend that we were going to stop by. We were able to teach his friend about the Book of Mormon and invited them to read in it. At church on Sunday, President Daniel announced in Priesthood about their responsibility to spread the gospel and then got up and bore his testimony about giving referrals. Something he mentioned, is that we often make the decisions for our friends whether or not they'll accept the message or not. He said we have nothing to lose and it is not our choice to make but theirs. After Church we received two more referrals so now its our job to contact all of them ASAP. I just wanted to let you know thanks for all your missionary work and the example that you are to our ward.

Would you share with me your experiences of meeting with the missionaries and what you remember about the lessons? I loved hearing about how you came to know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and how that truth was restored to you.

I'm shocked that you're no longer going to be at the CDC. Are you sad about that? Will you be working at the Veterans Hospital? Where is your new office. I'm excited that you get to move onto something new and that you'll be able to use your MBA skills more fully. I'm sure that will be very rewarding. I'll be sure to keep the Brother Robins and Sister Russel in my prayers. I hope everything gets better for both families.

We are down to less than a month before the man that we have been preparing to go into the temple gets to go. It is so very exciting and he is really looking forward to be with his wife for time and all eternity. It is such a pleasure to meet with them and to help them both grow in their testimonies of the temple. This last week we got to talk about D&C 128 about doing work for those who have already passed on and this week we will talk about D&C 132 about the sealing power and the blessings that come from it for our family. XXXXXXX informed us on Friday that she will be getting baptized. Sister Dean and I had invited her many times but it wasn't until she received that confirmation from the Spirit could she say '' I want to get baptized'' instead of ''I should...'' I am really excited for her. She asked me if all her sins would really be washed away and I told her they would and she was just so excited. She said she had been feeling the spirit all day so strongly because of this decision she has made. We have a bit of a ways before us but because SHE has made this decision she will have more conviction to prepare herself for baptism.

Thanks for all your love and support Dad. I miss you and love you and so thankful that you're MY Dad! Have a wonderful week and enjoy starting work at the Veterans Health Administration!
-Ariel Nell

March comes in like a lion...


You're funny! When is spring break for you all?

I had no idea my audition got waived until I got to your email, woo hoo!! Danke Schön! But I am working hard on practicing and getting back into shape. I'm excited to come home and practice lots whenever I want. Kylee (Sister Openshaw) is getting married to a friend of hers she's known for the 3 years before her mission. She came home, they started dating and she fell in love with him. I'm not sure where I could stay but I can ask Kylee. She lives an hour and a half away from San Fransisco. I'm not sure which temple they will be sealed in but she said California. I'll get all the details. Thanks for helping me to go to Kylee's sealing. Thanks for the help mum.

That's crazy Hannah is moving to L.A.! This week reading the war chapters really hit me how much of a battle we truly are in right now. It is essential to gird ourselves with our spiritual armor so that we can protect ourselves. Moroni's armies were always better than the Lamanite armies and it was due to their preparation. If we don't prepare ourselves we can't expect the Lord to help us with the rest. Also it talks about how Moroni supported those cities in a manner that was unlike anything before. It was unlike anything before because he was directed by God. If we listen to the guiding of the Holy Ghost we will know exactly what to do to strengthen our fortifications against Satan in the manner that God will show us. I could also do without all the blood and crazy men wanting to drink blood. But we can learn from it.

We had a really neat lesson with a girl that we met at a bus stop during Sister Deans 2nd to last week here. She did an exchange for a year in Utah and lived with a Mormon family. She went to church with them each week and really loved that the church really emphasizes helping others and doing good to one another. Saturday as we met with her she had a lot of questions about what it's like to be a Mormon here in Germany and other questions about the doctrine. It's interesting because she knows A LOT, like she even said she has felt the Holy Ghost a lot as she was at church. Her concern is that she doesn't know if God exists and that Jesus is his Son. She has a hard time with the science and faith balance. It's an interesting concern to have and something I haven't come across too often in my mission. She said she will come to church next week and bring her parents. Cool!

We talked to XXXXXXX on the phone friday night and as I was going to end our conversation she tells me that she is going to be baptized. It became clear to her that is what she needs to do as she was reading in the Book of Mormon that morning. She had the question in mind as to what she should do and the answer was as if someone was saying it in her head,''Baptism, you need to get baptized.'' We were way excited and way shocked. Sister Dean and I had talked to her lots about baptism but it wasn't until the Holy Ghost confirmed it to her that that is what she needed to do did she decide to take this next step. It just is further evidence you can't convince anyone but have to allow the Holy Ghost to be there to work within the people to help them come to understand the truth and what they need to do. We have no better tool that the Book of Mormon.

I hope you have a great week and I'm so grateful for the love and support you offer. I won't be able to go to the temple before I come home so that is something I'd like to do together when we have those three days together. I'm working hard! Love you!
-Ariel Nell

Winter in March

     That's crazy that it snowed in Dunwoody. Like that was possible or something. And a mini-thanksgiving sounds AWESOME! Why didn't we ever think to do that before. I miss Mummas stuffing and yummy green beans. Green beans aren't a big thing here but when we go over to the Italian family's house for dinner we always get green beans. Mmm.

   Make sure that Michael also gets some sort of spring break fun too like going for a run and fun things like that :) That'll be fun for you two to work together on the home. I can't wait to take a tour of it. How weird is that - I've only seen the outside. You guys bought the house when I was in the MTC.

   I'm excited to come home and help the missionaries out again. I loved doing it before my mission and I'm excited to keep doing it afterwards. I got up yesterday and bore my testimony too. It's really hard to not get choked up when talking about how much you love the people. I remember saying my goodbye testimony in Halberstadt and looking at Schwester Munke crying as I was crying. Those people have the deepest part of my heart, they're my second family. I had a dream last week that I was going home at the end of my mission and I was just sobbing. Saying goodbye to these people is going to be hard. I try not to think about it.

   Sister Jensen is doing great. She s getting more and more acclimated each day and doing a great job teaching. She is a little shy and I think has it in her mind that she can't understand what others are saying and so feels she has to always look to me for a translation. At XXXXXXX's house, she forbid me to translate and it really helps Sister Jensen to build up the confidence to speak and carry a conversation in German as well as her confidence in her own comprehension. The members do like her and are all very helpful with her. Kylee (Sister Openshaw) got home in November. She is marrying Ben, a guy she knew for three years before her mission, and then got home and fell in love with him. Super cool!

   I'm excited Colleen emailed you! I've wanted her address for the longest time now. Colleen had a baby in December and I haven't been able to congratulate her or anything. I'm glad that she is still in Louisiana and is excited to see me again. As well as Elder Parker -  I think about him so often and really look forward to coming home and getting a chance to sit down with him and talk to him about my mission when he's not too busy running around being an area seventy.

    Exciting news from this week: We called XXXXXXX Friday night just to see how she was doing and she said she's getting baptized. WHAT!? Yeah! She said she had been reading in the Book of Mormon that morning just with the question in her mind ''What should I do?'' She said it was as a voice talking to her, ''Baptism, you need to get baptized.'' When we spoke to her she said she knew it was a good thing and something that she really wants to do. SWEET! She chose April 28th to be baptized. Keep her in your prayers so that she can accomplish this goal she has set forth!

   Have a great week Lyndel. I love you bunches and keep having fun and working hard! Thanks for feeding the missionaries.
-Ariel Nell

A park this past week (note the blue skies, can we say spring people?)

My cute companion! Sister Jensen

Hip Hop Against Nazis, I thought that sounded fun :)



  Thank you so much for organizing everything. You can just be my personal organizer from now on :) The classes that Cassandra said I need to take look normal. I just want to make sure that if I do get into the orchestra and a band that my schedule is set up in a way that I can do both. I'm really excited to get back into school. I know I need to take Biology and I'm fine with that. I am used to taking 19 hours per semester so if it is 19 or 20 I'll be fine.

   I've been thinking about you and Ellen lots. I am really excited to spend time with both of you and get to tour y'alls house. That'll just be so fun! Our week went really well. We have just received a lot of new referrals and so we'll be working hard to contact all of those. We are trying to find the house numbers of this less active family that our branch president has asked us to help out with. We have all the street names but no numbers. It makes for a fun game. We are trying to find new investigators. Its hard to find them but I know there out there. XXXXXXX told us she is going to get baptized and picked April 28th. Sister Jensen and I are stoked to say the least! We just got into contact again with XXXXXX, the man who had a hut in the Christmas market, and we have an appointment with him today. I hope that we are able to re-flame his interest and set him for baptism too.

    I am working hard and trying to give my all. I find it a little difficult to have a balance so that I don't drag Sister Jensen around and that I help her have a good start to her mission so that she is prepared to keep working hard the rest of her mission. Any advice? How is your bathroom coming along? Any new pictures? How is work for you and Ellen?

    We had an awesome lesson with a girl we met at a bus stop who lived in Utah for a year. She had lots of questions about being a Mormon in Germany. She said after living in Utah she came back to Germany and was just disgusted with the people and how some of them live their lives (with alcohol, smoking, poor language). It was interesting hearing her point of view. We taught her how to pray in German because she learned in America how to pray in English so she wanted to know how to do it in German. She said that she would pray this week and bring her parents to church next week. That was super cool. We also followed up on a lady who we gave a Book of Mormon to last Saturday and she said she had read in it and that she found many things that she believed also in the Book of Mormon but she found the Book of Mormon a lot more intolerant than her bible in that it was more strict. I think she was making reference that it says Keep the commandments or be dammed. Yeah, in that sense it is strict but Heavenly Father established laws, they make sense. Keep his commandments or stop your eternal progression is what he is trying to explain. Hopefully she'll keep reading.

    Have a great week Andre and thanks again for all the work and time you've put in to organizing my school stuff. Make sure to serve Ellen in some way special. Love you!

-Ariel Nell