Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Feliz Natal!

Christmas in Portugal was beautiful! It was a lovely 50 degrees and sunny! (I bet all of you guys with snow are a little jealous, eh?) I took some pictures of the Christmas lights and other things that we found.
This week we had a division with the Sisters in Vasco de Gama which was a really pretty area. They had lots of lights and Christmas music playing in the roads! They have a lot of the same Christmas traditions here as well with lots of food and everyone is just a little bit happier and  more willing to hear about Christ.

We actually taught a lot this week, sharing the message of the First Presidency about the Birth of Christ. We met with Fabiana, who is the 14 year old granddaughter of my recent convert, Alda, and she is progressing towards baptism next month! She´s such a fast learner! She loves to study and hang out with us at activities. She´s a little quiet at first but once she gets to know you she warms up and loves to talk and ask questions. We´re also teaching the cousin of Amaral, who was baptized last week and she is sooooo nice. She went to Amaral´s baptism and really liked it. We taught her how to make chocolate chip cookies as well!
We had our Mission Christmas Dinner this week! It was crazy to see the other 10 missionaries who arrived with me 6 months ago. They are all speaking Portuguese so well! There was a talent show and a huuuuge lunch with a ton of food. All 150 missionaries were there and it was great to get to know more missionaries. I´m still in  my same area so I haven´t left a lot to get to know other missionaries, especially Elders. We do a lot of divisions with other Sisters. Yay for Friends!! Haha.
Christmas Eve we hung out at Amaral´s house in the morning at taught his 3 cousins and his aunt. We had a Christmas lunch with them, taught them English, and learned creole. Maria, Amaral´s aunt, taught us how to make shrimp pastries, which were so fabulously good. Afterwards she gave us more food than we could carry and we were forced to stop by the Elders´ apartments and leave half of it with them. (They didn´t complain, either.. haha) we had Christmas Eve Dinner with our Relief Society President, Madelena and her mom. They made awesome food and we watched a movie with them afterwards.
Christmas day we had a crowded sacrament meeting, the Elders had a baptism, we had lunch with Irma Bea and Irmao Nascimento. and we talked to our families! Yay! Best Christmas ever!!

Christmas in downtown Montijo!

Christmas lights in Vasco de Gama!
Christmas tree of our recent convert, Amaral. Can you see the "best Christmas present" Amaral received? It´s in the middle of the tree.... :D He´s so awesome!!
Santa Claus found our apartment. Everything in our study room was wrapped with wrapping paper XD
Christmas Eve dinner! Bacalhou com natas, salada, bolo dos Reis, and Guardaná!
Com muito amor,
Sister Ellsworth​

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Birthday Avery!! It's a White Christmas

Ola! Bom Dia!!

This week was awesome because through many, many, many miracles, Amaral was baptized!! WhooHooo! Sunday was probably the craziest day on my mission. We had 4 investigators at church and Sister Oliver and I were in charge of the music (as we usually are every week), so we were running all around the church making sure that they had members to sit with and they wer in the right classes, etc. Of the four investigators, we had two investigators who had been real pains about church in the past but they loved it and the other two are new references from members that are also taking lessons. Amaral just about gave us a heart attack by having a family emergency sunday morning but mangaged to come for the last 10 minutes so that he could still be baptized later on Sunday

The baptism was so great! The missionaries sang A Capela for the portuguese rendition of How Great Thou Art, which is the song that Sister Oliver and I were singing when Amaral stopped us and asked us to teach him about religion. We also had the best cookies and cinnamon rolls ever!!

Also....We had a rough beginning of the week. On our Pday we went to Lapa with our zone leaders and Elder Rosenkilde and Sister Oliver left Elder Crawford and I on the metro. There were so many people on the metro that we didn't realize until 3 stops and a half an hour later. Whoops!! Haha luckily Sister Oliver had our phone and Elder Crawford had their phone and we were able to meet up again. It reminded me of the one time when my dad left my at the train station in downtown Washington DC when I was 14. (I'm still a little bitter about that traumatic experience, Dad... haha)

One thing I thought about a lot this week was having love for others. Our president of our mission sent out an email about how to better love the people in this country. The Portuguese have a reputation for being stubborn, rude, very dramatic, and impatient. But they are also some of the most hardworking and generous people I know, once they get to know you ;) He sent out a challege for us to talk to every person and think about every person as if we had been raised in the same culture and had the same level of experience with religion. It was a great way to practice looking at each person as a child of God and to see them how Christ sees them.

Dum da dum! Scripture time:

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people accordingto their infirmities.
Christ chose to complete the Atonement so that each one of us, individually, could have at least one person who knows exactly how we feel. I like the scripture above, Alma 7:11-12, because it tells us what Christ did and also why he did it. He suffered for more than just our sins... in fact this scripture mentions pain and affliction before sin.  He knows how we feel and he suffered so that he would be able to succor his people or, in other words, to know how to help his people.

I hope you guys will take a moment to think and a look at the person closest to you and imagine all of the struggles they have, the sacrifice they chose to be here, or perhaps the invisable pain in their heart and try to show a little more Christlike love for them. It is Christmas!!

Selfie with Amaral fail.... He wasn't paying attention :/
Me, Sister Oliver, Amaral, and Luis!


​Love all of you tons!


Sister Ellsworth

Exact Obedience Brings Miracles.

This week our President of our mission challenged us to sacrifice something for the Lord for Christmas, which is Natal here, and my companion and I chose our own will. We left the house an exactly the right time, came come at exactly the right time, and tried to use our time most effectively at every opportunity. We saw an incredible increase of miracles that could only have been designed by Heavenly Father.

Right now we are working with three men who are progressing towards baptism soon. The first is Rafael who is developing a testimony so quickly I can hardly believe it. He's definitely an elect of the Lord's people here. We're also working with Amaral who is from Angola and before we met him he said he was sitting in his house thinking that he needed to better his life, especially with religion and his knowledge of God. Then we knocked his door looking for a contact who had moved away two years ago. He listened intently to our message about the Restoration of the Gospel of Christ and priesthood authority and his first question was "Am I allowed to come to church with you?" and his second question was "What do I need to do to be baptized?" Yeah. I know. Where in the world did he come from? haha. We're also working  with a guy named Ezequeil who we found the same way as Amaral. He's very friendly and wants to have a religion. He has two adorable dogs as well! 

My message for this week is John 3:16

 16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This is a scripture that you guys have probably heard a hundred and seven times but I was thinking about sacrifice this week and how so many of us and the people here in Portugal say"Oh, Christ suffered for my sins, I love Christ. etc" but once we ask if they know why Christ chose to give his life for a bunch of sinners each person has to think a little bit. This week I studied about this and the answer I found is that he loves us. If he had to die and suffer just for you, just to help you alone return to the presence of God, he would bleed at every pore and be crucified all over again just because he loves YOU that much. He suffered so that he could stand by our side on the day of Judgement and say, "Father, I know that they have sinned and deserve to be punished but I'm willing to suffer for them. Please accept my sacrifice so that they can have eternal life." And then, because the laws of justice are satisfied, Heavenly Father will smile and say, "I am well pleased." Christ has already suffered and felt every pain and hardship that each one of us has felt and the price he has asked of us in exchange for relief and rest is that we believe in Him. That we believe Him. 

This Christmas, try to have More Christ. Sacrifice something for the man who sacrifice everything for you. There are some ideas on lds.org or mormon.org with a video that is called Light the World, or in Portuguese, Seja A Luz Ao Mundo.

Awkward moment when your investigator's door has been bricked over. "Gosh dang it, foiled again..."

This is probably the most demented looking statue ever. it looks like someone sat on his face....

Have a great week!
Sister Ellsworth

Also one of the Elders in my district have me a riddle that i need help to answer... There are 3 men who stay at a hotel that costs $30 for one night. They pay in dollar coins, 30 coins. Each man pays $10. The owner of the hotel liked the three men so much that he gave 5 coins to a worker to give to the three men. The worker thought that he couldn't split 5 between 3 men so he pocketed two coins and gave each man $1. So each man paid $9. And the worker has $2. BUUUUUT $9 from each man is $27 and the worker has $2 which makes $29!!!! Where is the missing coin??

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Transfers, Rafa, and More Rain

Ola gente!

So transfers rolled around again and guess what....!! I'm staying in Barreiro with Sister Oliver for another 6 weeks!! WOOOOT! This place is my kingdom. I know all the members now as well as the recent converts, less actives, ex-investigators, and their birds. (More people have birds than dogs.) I'm so excited to be here for Christmas and New Years' Eve. We have done a lot of work here and I would have been devastated to leave. 

One of the people we are working with is Rafa, who is a 21 year old kid and the best friend of a recently returned missionary in our branch. He is so cool. When we first met him he didn't know about the 10 commandments or Christ but now he texts or calls us every day to tell us about the scripture he read or the prayer he said. He absolutely loved the lesson about the Plan of Salvation and has been studying it vigorously. He always has great questions and a desire to learn more. We are so excited for him!! I think my favorite moment since I met Rafa was the first prayer he said, which was so innocent and humble. He really made me think about how the gospel is so simple that a young child can understand that they are a Child of God but at the same time you can study each principle for the rest of your life and still learn something. 

We are also teaching Nelita, who is from Argentina. She's a teacher who works a lot just to get by and the gospel has changed her life too. She's been a great support and example for us and we absolutely love her endless love and charity for us. We've cried together, laughed together, and have become best friends.

It's still raining. The streets flood every day and you just kinda get used to being wet all the time. 
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​rain clouds... all the time... :)
picture of the main street after about 2 hours of downpour

Love all of you guys!!

Sister Ellsworth


Friday, December 2, 2016

Thanksgiving, Rain, and Someone thought I was Native

Howdy yall!
This week was one of those weeks where I have no idea what happened. It was Monday like yesterday... Anyway, on Monday we had a very chilly Pday and we watching a few movies like Meet the Mormons, and went to an all you can eat sushi bar for lunch. On Tuesday we had the best conference of our zone ever! It was one of those meetings where every word was meant for you. They challenged us to reorganize our areas and we've spent a good chunk of our free time sorting through our area book to make it easier for the next sisters that come in. On Wednesday we had divisions in Mem Martins with the Sisters there and I learned so much! We did two divisions in one day and by the end of the day I collapsed on the floor in the hallway and fell asleep immediately.  My companion had to wake me up so I could take five step to get to bed. On Thursday we had a super long day where all of our appointments fell through until our last one in which we taught this family of 5 for the first time. Turns out they had the lessons from Sisters in Cape Verde and are interested in hearing more so keep in tune! On Friday we had the craziest day where we ran from appointment to appointment the whole day. We met Rafa, who is the best friend of a member and marked him for baptism just before Christmas. Rafa has been through a lot but he believes that it was just preperation for that appointment where we all cried and testified of the power of the atonement. Saturday and Sunday we ran around chasing investigators and contacting like crazy. It's definately been a busy week. I blinked and it was over!
Our Thanksgiving was spent at a member's house with the rest of the missionaries in our district. I think I've forgotten what American food tastes like.... But the Portuguese food is amazing :) I think I'll keep it! They love their salad, fish, chicken, and soups! I do too!
It rained. A lot.
And someone thought I was native! Haha. They said "I've never seen a real portuguese redhead!" That was probably the best moment of the week. I reached 5 months last week so I'm glad to be making some progress! I've still got a long way to go but hey, progress is progress. I wouldn't say i'm fluent yet but it's close. Hopefully I'll serve with a native portuguese companion! I think that will help a lot!
Love all of you!
Sister Ellsworth

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


When You Can't Walk, Crawl

Hello everyone!

This week we had some more divisions, new investigators, and some baptisms in our District. It rained for most of the week and we basically had puddles in our shoes for most of the week, but it was actually really fun because you could jump in HUGE puddles and it didn't even matter because you were already soaked! Haha!

We got the chance to talk to our Mission president and his wife one on one and got to ask some questions and get advice from them. One quote I absolutely loved from Sister Tavares was when she said: "When you can't walk, crawl. Do absolutely everything you can to keep moving forward." We have been promised blessings from Heavenly Father but on a condition that we will do everything we can to do our part. I remember one of my investigators said that they will make the changes to live the gospel when God wants them to. I remember thinking that good grief... God already wants you to follow Christ. Just do the things! He just wasn't willing to work for those blessings that come from keeping the commandments! He just gave up that quickly.

I made a resolve to have the kind of diligence to just keep going even when I can't walk. It reminds me of the talk given in general conference a while ago that said "When you can't do what you've always done, only do what matters most." We've been practicing teaching the lessons in less than 2 minutes, which is quite difficult because it forces you to teach the bare minimum, the bones of the doctrines of the gospel. I really learned what is important through these practices!

Heavenly Father loves each one of us and he has given us a plan so that we may be able to return back to him with our families. We have the scriptures and modern day prophets to guide us and teach us how to grow our faith and repent. We can show our willingness to follow Christ by keeping the commandments and our covenants.

I challenge each of you to read the talk (I can't find it right now...) and to try to find something in your life that you used to be good at  but have been slacking on recently and work harder. We don't have a commandment that we can't follow! (1 Nephi 3:7)

Thank you for all your support this week! Have a happy thanksgiving! Love all of you lots!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Avery's Primary Program

Giant Mangos, Divisions, and Lapa!

It always seems like PDAY comes around way too fast and I have no idea what happened during the week. There's always so much to do and not enough time during the day to do it all. It was a good week. We found some new investigators who are really cool (I know I always say that but it's true. They are all fixe "feesh" which is Portuguese for cool). We've been working really closely with our members and other missionaries in the area and the work here is progressing quickly.  It's really exciting to see and help these people! WOOT! Haha. 

We had divisions this week, next week, and the week after. My companion is the Sister training leader which is basically the leader for the sisters in our area. It's been so fun to get to know more Sisters and learn new ways to teach. We taught a variety of people this week as well from a 13 year old boy to a 19 year old mom to a 85 year old grandma and her grandkids. It's been truly humbling to see some of the sad situations some of these people are in yet they are still smiling and eager to learn. I think one of the most exciting things we did on our divisions was we found this guy who we knew was a drug dealer or something but he was always really nice to the missionaries since he was raised by a God fearing woman. He told us he wanted to change and that he didn't want to be sad or angry with God anymore. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and how faith is a choice. He asked us how he could change and we told him that faith is a choice. It's a hard choice and sometimes it's difficult to know if you are acting on faith but one way to know if you are acting on faith is if you feel good. If you feel the warm whisperings of the Holy Ghost in your heart. He thought about it for a while and then asked if he was allowed to come to church and to pray and clearly we said yes. No one is unworthy to pray! It was a great experience.

We also went to Lapa this week which is the touristy area of Lisbon. It's old  winding cobblestone streets and cathedrals for miles and miles. We just wandered around and talked about life. If any of you guys want to visit Portugal... visit Lapa!!


Also Lapa. At the very end of this street is the Rio Teijo and across the river is Barreiro!

Portuguese people are very short. I'm 5 foot 5 and I smacked my forehead on this door.

This is how the decorate old abandoned buildings.

They have mangoes here that are bigger than your face. This is only half of the mango.

Ate Logo! Amo vocês!

Sister Ellsworth

Ok It's Cold Now

First off, nothing really crazy or cool happened this week. Lot's of little strange things but mainly we taught and looked for new friends :) We met a young lady named Alicia who has a huuuuuge family. They are from Africa and there are more than 15 people living in this big house. We found them because her brother had gold painted tennis shoes and I thought they were super cool, but turns out they had already been taught some lessons by the missionaries and have records in our area book. Hopefully a miracle will come around and we will be able to help and teach them. We spent a lot of time with our recent converts this week too. Manuela and Nadia are doing super great! Nadia is working for a member in our branch and is helping us teach every week. Manuela loves to make us Portuguese soup,  which is the best thing ever. Alda is also doing well. She's going to get married in two months to her fiancee, who is very nice. All of them are also introducing us to their friends and we're working with four investigators because of them. WOOT!

The Elders in our area had three baptisms this week which is AWESOME! It was a really great little party afterwards too. Of course, we made cookies. One of the members in our branch told me afterwards that the Sisters can get everyone to come to the baptisms because of our cookies. They love chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon cookies! 

It's gotten quite cold here. I was really grateful for the breeze in the summer but it's probably the worst thing ever now. But that's more motivation to have lessons inside! It has also been kind of nice because it's really easy to find our investigators and members in their houses. No one wants to be outside!

Overall It's been a great week. Lots of ups and downs, lefts and rights, forwards and backwards. This isn't really something new in the life of a missionary though... In one day you can teach and have a thousand appointments and then the next day you prepare in a similar way but absolutely everything falls through and you have to pick up the pieces and start again. Perspective and patience are two things I thought I had before my mission but I realized that those things are so much more complicated than I expected. 

Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us. We have such a small understanding sometimes and it's hard to trust in that plan. I'm so grateful to have the knowledge that I have about where I came from, why I'm here, and where I will go in my life. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in Portugal, land of the bolos de Belém and bacalhau. I'm grateful for the support I have from my family and everything else! I hope all of you have a super great week!! 

Be happy and the world smiles with you :)

Here's a poem for you:

I wish I was a glow-worm
a glowworm is never glum.
Because how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum?!

Be a happy glowworm. 

Love you,
Sister Ellsworth 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

3rd Transfer Barreiro Photos

Here is a link to 3rd Transfer Barreiro Photos:

Halloween, New Companion, and an African Lady gave me a dress

We had a crazy week this week! It started off with a companion transfer and I have a new companion named Sister Oliver. She's from Washington State and has been in Portugal for one year. (Yeah she's old...) Haha. I made it to my four month mark this week! Can you believe it? Whew. Some days it feels like I've been here forever and some days it feels like it's only been a few days. My companion is from the United States but we only speak Portuguese. I haven't spoken any english for almost 5 days (besides a couple of specific vocabulary words). Wooooooot! She's a really fun companion. We love to mess with the Elders, as seen in one of the photos. That was after they had scared us during lunch at the Chapel and caused us to drop our lunch all over the floor. We printed out pictures of them and left them all over their door. The sticky note says "tomem cuidado" which means take caution. Stay tuned for more pranks....

Also, weird thing happened this week. We were talking to this big ol' mama African lady, you know like one of those ladies from the deep south except Portuguese style so a lot more sass and attitude, and I wanted to be nice so I told her I absolutely loved her African dress. She invited us into her house to talk, sat us down on the couch, disappeared into another room, and came back with african dresses for the both of us. So now we have legit African dresses! Haha! Her son is marked for baptism in a few weeks.

One thing about Portugal is basically everyone is learning English and so sometimes people will ask us to teach them English words and such. Manuela was being all sassy with us and the Elders, teasing us about random things and I tried to teach her the word sassy. She thought about it for a second and responded in a thick Portuguese accent: "I am sexy?" All of us missionaries were doubled over in laughter. Then she tried to correct herself and asked: " I'm saucy?" We spent 5 minutes trying to help her say sassy but it just wasn't quite right every time. 

A few of you were asking for my address and here it is:
Rua Jorge Barradas 14C
1500-370 Lisboa
I WOULD LOVE LETTERS! We only get mail once a month or so, basically whenever someone goes to the mission office, so it's a real treat to get mail.

As for Halloween, they don't really celebrate it here like they do in the States. They will buy costumes and such but don't go trick or treating or carve pumpkins. We have an activity tonight to teach the members how to make caramel apples and carve pumpkins.

Don't mess with the Sisters.... ;)

Our authentic Halloween costumes!​

Sister Ellsworth

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Transfers, Baptism, All You Can Eat Pizza


Transfers are this week! I'll be staying in Barriero but my beloved trainer is going to Cais Cais! My new companion will be Sister Oliver and I'll meet her tomorrow. 

Alda was baptized this week! It was an awesome baptism. She's already proving to be an awesome new member and is helping us teach two of her friends right now. She's such a spunky portuguese lady!

It rained all week long... I loved it but i suspect in a few week it won't be so fun. It gets quite windy so an umbrella is pretty much useless. 

As an end of the transfer party we went to Pizza Hut (yes they have that here!) and our Zone crowded out the restaurant and ate a grand total of 32 pizzas. And we had a compatition between the elders and sisters and the sisters ate more pizza than the elders! HA! 

The quote of the week comes from Manuela, our recent convert. We were over at her house for lunch and we were talking about how difficult it is to eliminate distractions long enough to sit down and read scriptures. She said: "I figured it out, Sisters! I just hide in the bathroom!" Whatever works right?? She also taught us how to make Portuguese soup, which is very similar to cream of potato soup or something like that. 

Also our good friend Victor got a cat! Probably the most cuddly thing I've ever held in my life.
Churro break! The have churros everywhere for really cheap. It's one of those things where if you have a really good day... CHURROS! Or if you have  a really bad day... CHURROS!

Beautiful Alda!!

Our daily confiscation of cigarettes from our investigator who is going to quit smoking. XD

Sweet is the work! Portugal is the best land ever, Portuguese is the prettiest language, and the people are awesome.

Love all of you!
Sister Ellsworth

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mission Photos

Pre-mission photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B1E_UbADdu_BdEcxa2o1MkZydDg?usp=sharing

MTC photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B1E_UbADdu_BdEcxa2o1MkZydDg?usp=sharing

Barrerio 1st transfer photos : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B1E_UbADdu_BTVNNOExEMnpNMXM?usp=sharing

Barrerio 2nd transfer photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B1E_UbADdu_BelRaMVV0T1VaVkk?usp=sharing

It's Finally October Here!


How's it going? This week was probably both the longest and shortest weeks so far. It's difficult to describe really... Or maybe I'm just forgetting my English! Haha.

It's starting to feel like October! In other words, it's not wickedly hot and we need a long sleeve shirt. Maybe a jacket at night... It's been beautiful!

I had to buy a new bag this week because my bag from the MISSIONARY MALL like blew up. Turns out a $30 camera bag works 100X better! Advice for future missionaries. Also, don't bring hangers because every missionary apartment has a bajillion hangers everywhere. Also, invest in good watches. I've already gone through three and each has broken or stopped.

We dropped a lot of our investigators this week because they were more interested in talking rather than making changes. It was really hard to let them go but we made sure to keep records of them so missionaries later on can find them. But we have two friends right now! Sanida and Alda! Both are fabulous women who are so humble ad receptive. We love them with all our hearts!

I studied the history of the church this week, from the time that Joseph Smith was instructed to restore Christ's Church until now and those early saints had such courage! They suffered every difficulty and trial with such faith, though i can only imagine how difficult it was. I learned the song Come Come Ye Saints in Portuguese and it is so pretty. It put our perspectives in place and helped us to work harder.

Transfers are next week!I've been here like three months I think... can't really remember honestly. The only bummer thing is that I'm not fluent yet! Still working hard at that. I'm able to translate in church and even take the lead in lessons. While I can have basic conversations and understand at about 90%, I've been focusing on trying to get rid of my accent. It's better to speak a little bit really well than a lot of gibberish!

We were studying portuguese on the beach overlooking the Rio Tejo and Lisboa.

Sanida! This woman is awesome. We have been so blessed to be able to work with her!

Alda is a missionary's best friend. She is an awesome cook and always sends us home with food and happy hearts! She's tried to marry us off to everyone too, but tells us that she's just sharing the gospel.Uh huh, Alda. We know what you're trying to do!! She doesn't want us to leave, ever.

I love you guys! Miss you tons! 
Sister Ellsworth

Tuesday, October 11, 2016



This week was a week of some pretty crazy stuff... hold on to your pants.

First off, Natividade was baptized! She's been a long term investigator of the Church for almost a year and we started reteaching her and she was baptized the next week. She's such a sweetheart who loves Christ so much.They don't have much in their home but her family are humble servants of Christ. She taught me that even if you have nothing, you can still be happy and loving towards absolutely everyone!

Next, we have four brothers from Sierra Leone that are investigating as well. We actually met two of the brothers and their father on separate occasions and didn't know until we started teaching them! Crazy! These four brothers range in ages from 15 until 22 and are eager to learn. They have fiery testimonies already and love to talk to all the missionaries about their questions. And the fun part! They speak fluent English! Whoo hoo! We made them cookies for Daniel's birthday and the said: "These things are the best. I'm going to move to America. Do they have these in California?" They are some great guys.

There is also a young man named Rafael who said his first prayer with us the other day. We had been working for a while to try to talk to him and finally we found him outside his house and he couldn't run from us!! Haha just kidding. He has a member friend who has been a great help as well. 

The last person we met was this world class body builder named Fabio and holy-moley, this guy is huuuuuge... a huge teddy bear! Haha. See what I did there? Anyway, he's got a cute little girl and a cute little boy and we actually met them because the little boy said "Chão, meninas!" on the bus and it was so dang cute we just had to talk to him. 

One scripture I was really pondering this week that was mentioned in General Conference was 2 Nephi 25:26 which says: 26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
One thing I noticed about General Conference was the simplicity of the talks. Each one talked about the basics of the gospel and I could have checked off all the points of the restoration, plan of salvation, and the gospel of Christ by the end of conference. Really, it's the little stuff. Go to Church and read the Book of Mormon for goodness sake! I'm so glad for the opportunity to teach the little things and rejoice in Christ, preach of Christ, and help  others come unto Christ.

Love you all!
Sister Ellsworth

Miss Natividade! She gives the best hugs!

Goofy Africans... We had to holler in order to get them to smile XD BTW, the guy next to me chose that hideous shirt to embarrass us in public. But joke's on them! Missionaries have no concept of awkward!! 

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Natividade and our Elders, Elder Rosenkilde from Norway and Elder Nogueira from Brazil.

The first time we found out our member had a bird was when it landed on my head. It's a nice bird though, don't worry! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Happy Birthday From Lisbon!

This week was good! We had divisions and were running all around Portugal swapping companions and going to meetings. Not much else happened...We went to Lisbon for P Day today and saw some really cool parts of the city! You can pretty much walk anywhere and find  amazing views and  ancient buildings.
One thing I studied this week was the relationship between faith, agency, and blessings. I was reading in Ether 12:12 which says that we will receive blessings after a trial of our faith. I think the relationship between  blessings and faith is that when we choose to have faith, we are accepting help from Heavenly Father. He wants to help us but he can't impede on our agency. The Atonement has already happened... Christ has already paid for our sins, felt our sadness and frustration, and lived our  joy. We just need to use our agency, our faith, to accept Him in our lives.
Love all of you!
Sister Ellsworth

Happy birthday Madison!

Walking around Lisbon

The local starbucks. We bought hot chocolate with pumpkin spice there!
​The besties! They decided to wear their hipster glasses and i missed out on the memo...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week of the Full Moon

Ola! E Tudo bem!

This week was probably the most insane week so far. Every day was so busy and crazy weird things happened every day! We blamed it on the full moon....

Monday we found out that one of our long time friends who has been coming to church for the past couple months was never baptized! Her name is Ester and she's married to one of our recent converts. She doesn't speak Portuguese very well but she speaks Hindi, Norwegian, English, and a couple others. We taught her the lessons and she was baptized on Sunday!! Woot!

It really cooled off this week and we've started wearing jackets at night. 

Also Sister Williams and I got to use our medical knowledge this week when we saw an elderly man fall outside our Church. We helped call an ambulance and get him to the hospital. I don't know what happened to him though...

Miracle at Church! It's very hard to have people attend church but we had 3 of our investigators at church this week! I was looking around and counting and was dumbfounded. 

We have 4 missionaries for one branch... which is crazy!! There's about 40-ish members that come regularly but the branch member list is much much more. We spend a looooot of time visiting less actives. The young people are pretty involved with us and we almost always teach in Portuguese. Though I am very good at accidentally contacting people who only speak English!! For those who speak English too we still teach in Portuguese. There is one girl we teach who talks to us in English and we respond in Portuguese... my brain hurts after those lessons.

I love the language!! Portuguese is so fun for me. My zone leader said I speak Portuguese at a 4 or 5 month level right now. My trainer has been here for 8 months! I still make a lot of mistakes but I really try to listen and ask questions to the members a lot.

This week I really learned a lot about patience and that some things come in the timing of the Lord. Heavenly Father always answers prayers but it might not be in the way you want, when you want it, or the answer you want. I was reading in D and C 121, where Joseph Smith is pleading for God to help the saints. In verse one he says; "O God, where art thou?" It's such a desperate, heartbroken plea that I think many of us have.

The answer given to him is found in verses 7 through 9. 

 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.

Have patience! If things are hard, just wait a bit. It will get better. And if things are great... wait a bit. Things change :)

I love you all and I have never been so happy. I hope all of you turn towards Christ in your times of struggle.

With love,
Sister Ellsworth

Portuguese sunset

Old Barreiro!

Sergio, Ester, Sister Williams, and I! It was a great baptism!

​Our act of service one day was helping a fisherman pick up little crabs. He would haul a bucket of them up, dump the crabs on the sidewalk, and frantically scoop them up. He taught us how to pick them up without getting pinched. Reminds me of all the days we went crawdad fishing!!