Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Transfers, Service Projects, and being in the right place at the right time

Alô!

​This week we went to Sintra andI got to see Sister Ribeiro! She's one of my best friends from the Algarve. We got some cool souvineers. On Tuesday we had the "funeral" for three of our elders that are going home this week. We made brownies, cookies, drinks, and salsa! Afterwards we found a lady named Olinda, this older lady who has been through lots of hard times in the past. When she opened the door she said that she didn't want to talk to use because she believed that God was punished her and she was in the middle of a 40 year long silent treatment since her 3 children and husband died leaving her alone. We were able to kind of talk our way in and she sat down to listen about how the Atonement of Christ can help her overcome the bitterness that she feels. She gave us a little twinge of a smile and I know she felt something there. 

This week I also found a little thing of Crab Salad... If you know me you know I really LOVE crab salad. I got so excited and I bought it. We got home for lunch and I opened it and you know what it was? It was freaking coleslaw. Sigh. Some days you just can't win. Haha

We also went to a members' house for dinner and their two year old threw up all over. Awkward. But we put our hair up and helped clean up while the little boy got tossed into the bath. 

I hit 15 months this week too. Whoa. 

On Saturday we spent 5 hours cleaning a house that had been growing mold for the past ten years. It had mold about an inch thick  

And Transfers are here! I'll be going back to the other side of the river to Coasta da Caparica to serve with............ *drumroll*

SISTER SELMAN!!! I served with her last transfer here in Póvoa! Haha it's going to be awesome!!

Week of Miracles

This week was a blast! The October chill of 75 degrees left and it was back in the 85-90s! Whoop! I have seriously forgotten what cold is like. On Monday Sister Selman and I went to Belém with Sister Carr and her greenie, Sister Bleyl, and Sister Brockbrank all of which are from my MTC group. We joked around about the good old times in the MTC and when we thought we knew what we were doing. Granted, a year and  a few months later I still have no idea what I'm doing but that´s okay! There's still two more months to learn! In Belém we went to this awesome restaurante called Pão Pão Queijo Queijo (bread bread cheese cheese... weird I know) And had some awesome food. Then Sister Selman and I rode the riverboat up and down the River Tejo.

We found two families this week!! One is a family from Brasil and they have a little two year old boy that is literally the cutest thing ever. He loves to steal my planner and draw in it while we´re teaching lol. 

On Tuesday the Elders bought our District Pizza before a Workshop that we had with the AP´s and  ZL's. (Deus vos-abençoe) Then we had a day where we had 10 appointments marked with a few of them being double booked and every single one fell through. It was sad but the next day we set out to find new people. While we were following up with  old contacts and ex investigators this drunk guy comes staggering up to me and introduces himself as Charlie. Surprisd, I asked him where he was from because Charlie is not a portuguese name and he said he was from outer space and that he was stuck here on earth for 3 years. Trying not to burst out laughing, we pretended to be very concered and asked him what space was like and how he got stuck here. He said that his parents were Priests and Nuns from the Catholic church. Oh man. I love drunk people. We gave him a card and told him to pass by the church someday and we could help him figure out how to return home. hehe. #planofsalvation

The next day Sister Selman and I decided to go break in a reather untouched area called Charneca. After about an hour of contacting and visiting some old contacts and less actives, we were walking past an old abandoned lot that had this cat sitting in the middle of a dirt path just staring at us. Sister Selman looked at me with a grin and said "Do you want to go on an adventure?" I was like heck yeah! So we start following the cat. We walked and explored until we found this huuuuuge white mansion. Like you know the old English estates on Pride and Prejudice? Like that. I looked at Sister Selman and I said "I dare you to knock it." She looked and me, scoffed, and said "Is that a challenge?" She marched up to the door and knocked and an old Portuguese man opened the door. We smiled at him and started talking. I asked him about the history of this old house that apparently the Portuguese Salazar had built it as like a vacation home. Then he gave us a tour!! It was awesome! #makingfriends

Later that day we were back in our main area and we got a phone call from this guy that went something like this:
Dude: "Hey I'm here!"
Sisters: "Oh.. hi... uh... great! Who are you?"
Dude: "I'm miguel, You're the missionaries right?"
Sisters: "Yes...."
Dude. "I met your friends in  Angola. They gave me this number. I'd like to meet with you to talk about your church."
                                 *exchange of surprised and excited looks between the sisters*
Sisters: "Great when can we meet with you?"
Dude: "Well I'm getting off the airplane from Angola right now. I'll be in Costa da Caparica in an hour. Does that work for you?"
Sisters: "Sure!"

Then an hour later this guy gets off the bus with his suitcases, sits down with us on the closest bench and says, "Teach me everything you know. I want to be baptized." We were like... YES SIR. Now he's marked for baptism and eating up everything we teach him. WOW!!

The thought that I can count how many weeks I have left on two hands.... I've entered into the phase of denial. So I might not come home. The only way I'll go down is kicking and screaming.... Sorry fam. But that's life. It's not fair ;)


Giant ice cream cone

Sister Selman is a babe! This is her last transfer and we are killing it. Everything. MUHAHAHA!


Including me. I died in the park. Actually I was just chilling while we were waiting for the Sisters on Pday and Sister Selman stole my camera.

Love you guys!
Sister Ellsworth  <-- forever

Another thing that happened that i wont include in my weekly email lol

THEN!!

Saturday morning we were on our way to an appointment when we got stopped by a companionship of missionaries from another church that is well known.... (Jehovah's Witnesses). The two guys thought we were Catholic nuns and cornered us. Now Portugal is basically the Bible belt of Europe so we've gotten pretty familiar with the Bible but our mission president said that we can not bible bash under any circumstances. So we listened to the two missionaries patiently explaining that we were from another church. I was itching to go all REPENT YE REPENT YE on them but we didn't. Then one of them asked us what made our church different and my companion (who is usually the calm, patient, not conflictive type of person) responded "Our church is the Church of Jesus Christ." haha the JW's got super pissed off and started the whole what is God's name and the kingdom of god and jeovah thing that they always do. After they were red in the face and had used all their scriptures I smiled and asked if I could share my favorite bible scripture with them. They said yes and I asked them to open to Mark 11:26. Now in the JW's bible this scripture is deleted, it's just a dash but it talks about forgiveness. Then we had another 30 minute discussion about the pure love of Christ and forgiveness. They gave up with the whole "we have another appointment, we have to go now..." We laughed and we were like go ahead, run, go and study the bible some more.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Hey yall!

This week was pretty great! We had interviews with my Mission President. He cracked a couple of jokes about going home. I got my trunk call this week too.... But I survived because I got a package with the best present ever. Two jars of peanut butter! I think my companion and I ate a whole jar the night I got my trunky call lol. Sister Selman and I made a pact to die kicking and screaming!

The next day we woke up without water in our house. Turns out the main water line to the city exploded during the night and there was a giant sink hole the size of a car. We had to use some bottle water to cook and do sponge baths for a while lol. Thanks dad for the camping trips! 

We also taught this cooky girl from England. Apparently she is investigating the church in England and we talked to her about the Plan of Salvation. Sister Selman and I learned that our English is horrible. 

Other than that it was a week of a lot of work. We're ready for another!! WHOOHOOO!


Sister Ellsworth

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

GenConf in Costa da Caparica!

This week was NuTs!! Sister Selman and I hit the ground running... literally. We had to run to put my suitcases in the house so we could get to our first appointment. Since then its been go go go go and then you pass out at 10 pm and do it all again. 
 

Costa da Caparica is one of the prettiest areas I've served in! It reminds me a lot of Portimão. We live right on the beach.... Like you leave the house, walk over a little sand dune and it's the beach. I still haven't seen any whales but maybe later... ;) Just kidding. They don't have whales here but they do have a TON of Brazilians! One of the first guys I talked to was this Brazilian with a brand new blacked out arm tattoo smoking weed next to a panda mural. We're like BFF's now. One day he sent us a message that said (in English) "I'm high as kite. Tired. Wedding today.... booooooring. Can we talk about Jesus?" We responded yeah sure, but it would best if you were sober. We're gonna teach him this week! #makingfriends #everywhere

One day our plans had fallen through and we decided to knock doors of the neighbors. We knocked the first door and this guy opened it. He had this huge BBQ going on with a ton of people inside. He invited us in enthusiastically and we started meeting all the people there. We got 8 people marked for appointments and taught all of them about the Book of Mormon. It was fantastic!

Another day I was touring our church for the first time and all of a sudden this little bird dive bombs us from inside the building. We spent a good 30 minutes trying to catch the little sucker with cups and bowls. Eventually he hid in the supplies closet and we had to take everything out very carefully so we didn't squish him. Then we let him go outside and he flew away. It reminded me of the general conference talk that was given this weekend about how sometimes we freak out about accepting help.

General Conference is always the best on your mission... I was taking notes furiously and I noticed that in every single talk (that I've seen until now) the speakers talked about service and coming to know Christ. It reminded me of a scripture in John 17:3 which says 

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

In Portuguese the word "know" can mean  two different things. They two words to express "know". They are "saber" and "conhecer". Saber means to know something factually such as to know math, to know how to do something. Basically it's information in your head or like computer coding. Conhecer is more personal. It means to be familiar with something and means "to get to know" like with people to to be familiar with a route.  In the scripture I shared above, the word "know" is translated to conhecer. To know God and Jesus Christ is more that to just have a bunch on information and facts in your head. It means to be familiar with them; to understand them.

I think that the prophets are asking us to become more familiar with Christ so that our testimonies aren't repetitions of what we've heard other people say. Instead, our testimonies should be rooted deeply, personally, and uniquely in us. My mission has been teaching me this principle. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve and to come to know my Savior.

Love ya'll

Sister Ellsworth

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

AGUINHA!!!

This week our cute little friend Elsa was baptized! It's been kind of an adventure with her. It seems like all of us passed threw tests of faith this week. Elsa talked to the missionaries last year for a few months and then the Sisters were whitewashed and Elsa thought the Church had closed. We were walking through the area and she saw us and got all excited. We talked to her and she was ready to be baptized!  But we had so many problems with her work schedule and the schedules for the bishopric that the only day that worked for her and us and everyone else was a Tuesday night at 8:45pm. Here in Portugal we have to be home at 9:30 or 10:00 at the latest so we ran to her baptism and dunked her faster than a major league baseball player at a dunk tank.



We also went to Sintra for Pday! You can't come to Portugal without seeing Sintra and I had to take my baby there for the last Pday of the transfer. 




While we were there we met up with one of my best friends here on the mission, Sister Ribeiro. She's going home next week so we hung out and messed around. Here's a picture of her being sacrificed by her greenie in a mock isaac and abraham thing. It was actually raining a ton so all of us got soaking wet.


Cute little Portuguese veranda... oh i love this place so much!!!

Have a great week!

Sister Ellsworth

10th Transfer Povoa Photos

Link to Paige's Google Drive