Monday, November 13, 2017

Transfers, Baptism, And Holy moly it's cold

This week was good! We got a call from Miguel and he passed his baptismal interview and was baptized Sunday after church! He's a great guy. The way we found him was a miracle! We were having a few weeks where a lot of our investigators weren't progressing and a lot of appointments were falling through. Our faithful District Leader promised us that we found find someone that was prepared for baptism. The next day we lost even more appointments but then we got a call from a random number saying he was at the airport on the way home from Angola and wanted to talk to us. He got to Costa da Caparica and sat down with his suitcases to talk to us. We marked him for baptism and he was baptized two weeks later! It was an awesome experience. 


​Miguel and a random member lol

Tanya!!! She's a recent convert and we're training her to be the next sister missionary! haha!


​Rodrigo!! He's one of our super good friends. He's from Brasil!

As for my last transfer I'm going to stay here in Costa da Caparica! I'll be serving with Sister dos Santos. It's gonna be good!!

As I was listening to the testimonies during Sacrament meeting this week one of the members talked about how this week she felt frustrated about not receiving answers to her prayers and that she felt sick of always having faith. Then she shared an experience about how the Holy Ghost comforted her and reminded her that these experiences are what will help her grow. I smiled and remembered all the times I felt too tired. I think in my journal I wrote that I was exhausted more times than I can count but it's so worth it. I look back on the last 17 months and it's the best thing I've ever done. I learned so much, met so many awesome people, and really come to know who I am and who I can become. I love being a missionary!! Haha

Love,
Sister Ellsworth

Devotional, Talks, and other stuff

Alô ao todo mundo!!

Another week has come and gone. We had a blast with miracles! First off on Monday I brought my poor companion to the Mission Home and she died. Hehe. The next day I went with some other sisters to go get our new companions. I'm serving with Sister dos Santos now and she's awesome. She's from Porto so I'll finally be learning how to speak Portuguese!! Haha. She loves to laugh and have fun and has a super strong testimony. 

On Wednesday we went to a Devotional with Elder Owen and Elder Durrant. It was awesome! We learned a lot and we were excited to try new contacting and teaching techniques. During the week we starting contacting people using the new phrase they suggested which is: "Would you be willing to hear a brief message about ....." There was one day when we were walking towards the chapel and I looked to the side and I saw a woman sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car. She was older, about 50, and it looked like she was sleeping. I had the thought to go talk to her but thought, no she's sleeping. Then I was like.. What the heck am I doing?! Don't ignore spiritual promptings!! So I stopped in my tracks and ran back to tap on the glass. I told her that we were doing a project to help people have more hope. She gave a smile smile and declined. I could tell that something was up so I asked her what was going on and she gave me a surprised look. Then told us that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. I gave her card of Christ and she offered to let us come by and talk to her for a bit. #MIRACLES

On Sunday my companion and I were emergency speakers lol. It happens more often than you think... But we talked about prayer and scriptures. I realized that I while I was speaking you could see exactly who was reading and praying. You could see it in their faces... It made me think a little bit about our personal preparation for the Second Coming. Recently and ever since Adam the prophets and apostles have asked us over and over to have daily scripture study and to always have a prayer in the heart. 

Have a good week!


Sister Ellsworth

Monday, October 30, 2017

Puzzles, Sacred Cigarettes, CTMM

Hey!

This week was fun! Sister Selman and I went on another adventure. So here in Portugal they have Chinese stores that sell super cheap junk... Kinda like the dollar store and it's literally a missionary's favorite place. We went hunting to find something to help one of our investigators understand how the Restoration works and that being part of any church doesn't save you.So we found this little puzzle book with lots of little puzzle pieces. It worked out that we took one piece from each page to create a new puzzle that didn't make any sense at all. Kinda like this:

 

So on our way to our lesson we found two of our friends and one asked why I was carrying around a kid's puzzle book. I explained that the puzzle was broken and asked them to fix it. The Jose and Zé, two grown men started to try to put the puzzle together without 90 percent of the puzzle. It was so funny to watch them argue about where the pieces go. Then we explained how we created the new puzzle using parts of the old puzzle, in the same way how people created churches using parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then we gave them the rest of the puzzles and explained how God restored all the pieces of the Gospel. 

We also met with one of our investigators that has problems to stop smoking and we came up with the classic idea to make some celestial cigarettes. We took an empty box of cigarettes and decorated it with pictures of Christ and inspirational quotes. We passed Rodrigo by and told him that we had a surprise for him and we wanted him to guess what it was. He laughed and said... "Hm... What is the most ridiculous thing I can think of..... Something you guys would never do... I know! Sacred cigarettes!" We looked at each other and started laughing and showed him the box. He looked at us and was like.. Seriously? and then busted up laughing!

Other than that it was a week of lots of work! 

Love you guys,

Sister Ellsworth

Monday, October 23, 2017

BATISMOOOO!!!

WHOOOOO!!!!! 

We had a miracle baptism this week! 
One of our friends Elton who was marked for baptism next week called on Tuesday and said he was going to move to Germany on Friday. We were like..... what..... So we asked him if he wanted to be baptized before he left and he said that he wanted to receive an answer from God first. So we fasted like never before and on Wednesday we met with him and asked if he had received an answer and he looked at us completely distraught and said that he hadn't and that he wouldn't be baptized. I thought a little bit and asked him what he did to look for an answer and he responded that he prayed and then went to bed. I was like... did you read the scriptures..? Or listen for the Holy Ghost? And he said no. We smiled and explained how if we want to talk to God then we pray but if we want God to talk to us then we read the scriptures! Elton didn't even wait for us to finish. He dropped to his knees and said a long silent prayer. After he was finished he sat back in the chair, grabbed his Book of Mormon and let it fall open. 

It opened to 2 Nephi 31. He started reading in verse 13 which says: 
Wherefore, my beloved brethrenknow that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intentrepenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One oIsrael.

Elton start to laugh! He look at us and said "Well, I guess God wants me to be baptized in Portugal!!" So we ran to get everything organized, called our District leader for an interview and called President for permission to confirm him and on Thursday night Elton was baptized!!! 

WhOOOooOOHOoOOOO!!





My comp and I are also writing a song because both of us are going to stay here forever. It goes to the tune of Let it Go.

The lights glow bright on the airplane tonight, no companion to be seen.
14 hours in isolation, and for the first time, I'm in jeans.
You feel like crying when your mission bids goodbye.
They didn't let me extend, heaven knows I tried.
Don't let me go, don't make me leave,
I still haven't made it to AP!
Just 6 more weeks and then I'll see...
Family!

I won't go.
I won't go.
You can't make me pack anymore!
I won't go! I won't go!
I'm gonna stay here in Portugal!
And I don't care what President will say
Let this song be sung!
We were never gonna train anyway.

It's funny how the mission makes you gain 15 pounds
and the fear that now controls me is when the plane hits the ground!
Still some time to see what I can do
To teach some lessons to the foobs (foob = fubeca =lazy investigators in Portuguese slang).
No job no school no boys for me! I'm free!

I won't go! I won't go!
You can't make me pack anymore!
I won't go! I won't go!
I'm gonna stay here in Portugal!
And I don't care what my family will say
Let the mission roll on!

My faith is growing from my head until my feet!
My soul is reaching out to every person in the street!
The thought of going home is like a death sentance.
I'm never going back.. The mission is my life!

I won't go! I won't go!
You can't make me pack anymore!
I won't go! I won't go!
I'm gonna stay here in Portugal!
And I don't care what my boyfriend will say
Let the mission roll on!
We were never getting married anyway.

​Haha we walk in the street singing this song and duet it with the other sisters in our district. 

I love my mission... so very much... I'd love to say that it's the best two years but they're only going to let me stay for 18 months... I've learned so much about who I can be and who others can be and why we're here and why everything is so important. I'm so grateful for every day and I'm grateful for a companion who loves running. (I have never ran to so many appointments or buses in my whole mission... The people here in Costa know us as the Maratonas, the mormon marathoners.)

Love you all!!

Have a great week.

Sister Ellsworth

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.