Monday, July 17, 2017

We saved someone and we are hearing voices

Sister Tavares and the gimpy missionary
This week was good.... I feel like I say that a lot. I bet ya´ll think a mission is a party all the time. And I´ll let you in on a secret... If you choose to dance when there's no music then it´s always a party! I think The beginning of the week was one of those dancing with no music days. Sister Selman and I talked to everyone, smiled, laughed, and came out on top. One thing I really love about serving with companions who have been on the mission for a while is that they understand that the success of a mission is inviting everyone. That is what you can control and if you do it then you have success! But it's also really awesome to see someone accept your invitation as well!

On Monday we got invited to family home evening with a little widow who was one of the first members in Lisbon. We ended up staying and helping her do random things and watching Christ videos and listening to her talk. She told us about her life and the difference that the Church made.

On Tuesday we went to Catia's house. She and her family are the coolest recent converts ever. We had thirty minutes before our visit with her so we decided to play contact-every-single-person (one of my favorite games....) and we got rejected for 29 minutes! But both of us felt like there was one person close to Catia's house that we needed to talk to. Desperately I ran to talk to this young woman that was walking in front of Catia's door and said "Hi! We're the missionaries! Can we talk to you about the Book of Mormon?!" The girl looked at the card I gave her and accepted. WHOOO!!! Reminded me of one of those 4th floor last door experiences.

On Wednesday we had to go to Lisbon for interviews with President. Of course the Elders in the office didn't tell us until the night before..... (patience)..... In the interview President asked how we were working with the moon boot. I told him we were working our butts off again. I showed him that the tread on the bottom of the boot was wearing off and the padding was wearing out. He looked at me and didn't saw anything for a minute... Then he said "We're going to have to get you a lead boot." I laughed and told him that my foot is almost at 100%! 

That same day on the way home at the train station I saw this drunk man walking along the platform. It was like 12 am and the poor guy was too drunk to put one foot in front of the other. I kept my eye on him because he was walking really close to the train platform. Then... In slow motion I saw him put one foot in the air over the edge of the train platform and fell down on the tracks. I jumped up and sprinted over to him.  I hollered at him to get over here and give me his hand, because I knew that the train was going to come soon and drunk people can be difficult sometimes. He sat up and looked at us all dazed and Sister Selman and I each grabbed an arm and hauled him up. #morningexcersies. He was okay, we gave him a couple of band-aids to help with the cuts. I did my neuro check on him and he got up and stumbled outside. Never saw him again....

On Thursday we invited all of our recent converts to the church (we have 11 and it's been really hard to teach all of them and have time to find new investigators) and 6 of them showed up. We taught all of them the Plan of Salvation and had an awesome discussion and fellowshipping at the same time! One of our recent converts told us that he had been taking pamphlets with him to work to study. When I asked him which one he took today, he pulled out a chastity pamphlet! I almost died laughing XD Who do you know studies about chastity on their lunch break? LOL!! Also we were teaching about the Celestial kingdom and I asked the same recent convert (a recent convert of about 3 months) a question. I said "Do we have to sit and home and eat potato chips all day to get into the celestial kingdom?" He replied no. I asked "Do we have to shower every day to enter the Celestial Kingdom?" And he replied "Well.. I think so... because no dirty thing can be with God so we have to  be squeaky clean and shower every day."  I was like... Lol okay you've got a point!

The absolutely weirdest thing that happened this week was that we were knocking doors inside this 9 story apartment building and in the stairwell we heard someone whistling "Now let us Rejoice". I looked at Sister Selman and she wasn't whistling. I wasn't whistling. And that song is a song that our members know! But there wasn't any member that lived in that road.... So we ran up and down the stairs looking for someone that was whistling. We found no one. Then we knocked every single door in that building and not one member.

Conclusion? Angels are messing with the missionaries again! Haha it was so weird!!!

The Church is still true!

Love you guys!!

Sister Ellsworth

4th of July, New companion, I CAN WALK

Okay... I formally apologize for not writing long emails. After hearing a few complaints I decided to write about every possible little thing that happened this week. Prepare yourself for an email of rambling.

First off, we starting this last week with a transfer! Surprise surprise Sister Baker left  for Setubal after just 2 weeks in Póvoa..  I miss her but she's doing an awesome job there! Now I have my fantastic new companion Sister Selman! This week has been a blast! We nerd out about the same things and she is a fantastic missionary. The Elder's area closed so instead of 4 missionaries in Póvoa, now it's just us! It has been CRAZY! We have 11 recent converts plus our investigators and the investigators of the Elders. AND our bishop told ALL of the members to invite the missionaries over in the next two weeks. It's like there's been an awakening in the members and I think its gonna be good! 

We found this girl named Helena this week. She's our age and she's pretty religious. We found her down by the train station when we were on a division with some members and Carla, who is awesome as well, stopped her in the road and asked her if she knew any Mormons. Helena replied and said that she had talked to the Sisters in the past but they got transferred and she never heard from them again. Carla grabbed my arm and was like "HERE ARE THE NEW SISTERS!!" So we taught the first lesson to her and answered her questions about prophets and such. 

We also found this super cool family! Ricardo and Jací let us in their humble house and we taught them sitting on their son's bed because they didn't have chairs to sit on. We taught them about God and how believing in God and going to church can help their family be more unified in hard times. One of their daughters said her first prayer. I absolutely LOVE first prayers! It's the best thing in the whole wide world. 

We also took over teaching Joel, the friend of the Elder's recent convert. He was confirmed on Sunday. Their family has been passing through some hard times as well but while we were there teaching about how God fulfills his promises to bless his obedient children, Joel got a phone call offering him work. Everyone was nearly in tears and Joel got his answer that God is aware of him and that God approves of his decision to follow the example of Christ.

We also started teaching this guy named Pedro (this week we found a lot of new investigators). Pedro is a guy who believes in God but doesn't believe that God is good. Pedro had an accident a few years ago and now he's in a wheelchair. Despite his wife being a doctor, he chooses to live in a trailer home because he doesn't think he deserves anything better. We taught him that God does in fact love Pedro very much and that's why he was here on the earth. Pedro thought a lot about what we said and gruffy said: "Okay... you guys can come back next week..." We laughed and promised him that it would be worth his while.

In a lesson with one of our investigators named Bruno, he also said his first prayer. When we found him he didn't know who God or Jesus were. We taught him that he can come to know who God is through prayer and he asked if he could try to pray. We were like.... YES!!!! We gave him a Book of Mormon. Unfortunately later that day his mom called and said that we couldn't teach her son more.... But hopefully Bruno will remember us and accept the missionaries in the future. 

4th of July. We did nothing. Sorry America... I'm Portuguese now :D

On Friday we can an AWESOME missionary activity! We hauled all of the youth down to the train station, set up a stand about family history work, and set those kids to work. They stopped everyone and we got lots of contacts!! We found that it was mostly jovens who stopped to listen to us with curiosity about who they were, why they were here, and where they came from. 

We also taught a very successful English class! Normally we had 1 or 2 people show up but this week we had a whole lot more! We played games in English and taught people the difference between "tree" and "three". 

The other day I was reading my journal about everything that has happened since I came on my mission. I feel like time has flown by so fast! My trainer went home this week.... She sent me an email about taking her name tag off and I realized that the last year has not lasted long enough. I think I'll stay here forever. Sorry family and friends... I'm staying here FOREVER!!! Muhaha!  Just send me money and peanut butter please. 

I hope this was long enough for those who were not satisfied in the past.... I can't think of anything else XD Being a  missionary is awesome! I would highly recommend it ^_^

Love you!

Sister Ellsworth

Friday, June 30, 2017

Gimpy foot

So... Here's the low down.

They decided not to get a second CAT scan. They thought it was unnecessary. They sent the x-rays and such to the church's German doctors to get a second opinion and they said that I could use a walker's boot (one of those pretty massive concrete boots) for 6 weeks with a bit of therapy instead of going home. They think that might work.

I still take ibuprofen like a drug addict and we stay inside every once in a while when it hurts too much. 

So for now they're going to wait 6 weeks to reevaluate and for now I'm staying here. 

As for the blessing I've already gotten two from the elders and I don't think it would make much of a difference to get one from president. Same priesthood and he's busy....

I talk to the mission presidents wife lots... We're like best friends now. She asks if I've added any new bedazzling or painted the boot lime green XD She wants me to start therapy next week. So i'm gonna do that...

This whole thing kinda sucks.... Its really frustrating to see 0´s in your numbers because you cant go out walking or to have investigators lose interest because you didn't pass frequently enough. Sigh. I do not recommend breaking your foot on your mission... arm? collarbone? Sure but the foot sucks.

Love you!

New companion and Pranks!!

So this week we had an emergency transfer because another sister went home and my companion went to serve in Barriero and I got a new companion! Her name is Sister Baker! She´s been serving for 6 months so far and she´s so darn cute! She´s works really hard. 

When she got here we found a member on the road by the train station but Sister Baker didn't know he was a member. So I nudged her and told her to contact him. She stopped him and started to talk to him for 15 minutes about church and families and God's plan for him but this member was being really tough XD Finally she gave up and I stepped in and was like, "We have church tomorrow. Do you want to go with us?" And he was like sure! Sister Baker´s mouth dropped open when she found out he was a member.

Other than that we had a lovely week of cloudy days which was so much better than the 100 degree sun.

Love all of you!

Sister Ellsworth

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sintra, Baptism, And I´m Melting

Hey guys!

This week was quite the adventure! Almost every day was about 107 degrees WITH humidity. We had to knock apartment buildings because it was so hot. On Saturday we got stranded and a member came to rescue us. On the way back her car broke. Apparently there is a rubber thing that holds the exhaust pipe up and it MELTED. We had to wait for a little while until another member came to rescue us again XD I'm tanning... and my hair is bleaching. A member told me that I don't even look american anymore and my hair is almost blonde now. But that's okay... :)

Also I don´t know if you guys saw but there was this massive fire in Coimbra that killed more than 60 people when the fire trapped people on the freeway...  It was really far away from any of the missionaries but it was really sad to watch the news reports as more and more people were found in their cars or that had died from breathing smoke. Remember them in your prayers....

Last Pday I didn't get a chance to write because we had to to a CAT scan of my foot again (they still haven't decided what they're going to do about the fracture) and then we went to Sintra afterwards. The castles in Sintra are so cool! There are huge underground tunnels and churches made from bones. I brought this painting from a cool African guy on the side of the road and its hanging up in my room!

Waterfall in Sintra

Riboleira Castle 


Look at her.. so darn happy. She was so excited to be baptized! She brought 15 people with her that weren't members so....references!! Haha! We´re going to start teaching her daughter this week. 

I'm still walking on crutches. It's super annoying to be a missionary when you walk as fast as an old lady with hip problems. But we´re making it work. When you can't do what you've always done just do what matters most!
This week we also had a ward activity! They put the missionaries in charge so we bought 300 water balloons and had a massive waterballoon fight! After the waterballoons were gone people started dumping huge buckets of water on each other. And I, the poor sister who ca't run to claim revenge, was the primary target of the drenchings. I think I was drenched 5 or  times in less than 2 hours. But with the 100 degree heat it was a welcomed blessing! The members have also started calling me Sardinha, which means little fish. Apparently it's a reference to Ariel from the Little Mermaid because I can't walk too well. Even the Primary children were calling me Sardinha!

Sister Ellsworth

Friday, June 9, 2017

8th Transfer Póvoa


My companion is awesome. Shes from Brasil and makes good food and loves to joke around. She calls me her "cuitada" which is like "loved one" or "poor thing" depending on the context. Most of the time I'm not sure which XD

The ward in Povoa is pretty awesome. The members are cool and in general all of them love the missionaries. Most of our ward is Portuguese which is really weird XD  My other areas have been mostly African and Brazilian. The area is not touristy at all but we are about 15 minutes away from the temple site!! We're going to pass by today!  The area is a richer area than I've been to.. pretty similar to the area that you guys live in. Lots of families too!! We've already found that knocking doors doesn't work as well as my last two areas so we've been working with our recent converts and members every day. 

I kind of doubt it will be my last area.... I have 5 more transfers and its pretty rare to stay in an area for more than 3 transfers as a sister. President likes to move us around and he puts us in areas that the Elders have killed. We're actually working the old area of Elders. President told us that he was thinking about closing our area for the two companionships and just have one but apparently the day before transfers a few weeks ago he decided to put me and Sister Nogueira there. The first week he called us and said, "Sisters, You guys have to find 2 people to mark for baptism and teach 10 lessons with 6 investigators, okay?" And then hung up. We were like.... okay.... So we found Domingos and a boy named Soni, we taught 11 lessons and had 6 new investigators. President called us again and said, "Well, I decided that you guys can to better. Prove me right." And hung up. So this week we marked Soni and Joana, taught 12 lessons, and found 8 new investigators and had 5 of them at church. 

I'm kind of nervous that he'll call again XD  

But its been a good week :) I looked at the calendar the other day and realized that i hit 1 year in a week or two... It made me so sad. I wish that I could stay in Portugal forever and that you guys will just move here..... I really understand why missionaries love their missions so much... why they love the people and to serve. 

Love you,
Sister Ellsworth