Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week 2 in Barrerio!

Dear family and friends,

I love Portugal. The people, the language, the weather, and the food are better than I ever expected. It's hard, but I expected that. First off, Barreiro is across the way from Lisbon. The weather has been Sunny and in the 90s since I got here, but there is always a breeze so it is lovely. This week has been a week of trying new Portuguese foods! One of my favorites bacalhou, which is this very salty fish that they put in lots of foods. Yummy! Also they have Pastel de Nata, which are eggy-pie things. Also very good. As far as food goes here, we often just get fruit and bread from the fruitarias that are on every corner. Food here is very cheap. Usually Sister Williams and I can buy a whole meal for less than 2 euros, which is like 3ish dollars.

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We have three investigators right now, Paulo, Cristiani, and Manuella. They are all marked for baptism right now and I absolutely love teaching them. Teaching is the one situation in which I am able to understand the Portuguese and reply with an understandable Portuguese! Woot! I am already beginning to catch more and more Portuguese every day, mainly because we have the same conversations with people on the streets. 

Members here LOVE to feed the missionaries lunch! Culturally, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and is often a 3 course meal. Earlier this week we had two lunch appointments and I thought I was gonna die and the sisters would have to roll my bloated body out the door. 

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​Our area!

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​Our fancy food we made. Salad is made with a bit of vinegar and salt. It is an aquired taste... haha!

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​We walk past this area every day and get a whiff of maple syrup. it's super weird... turns out this plant smells like maple syrup!

Something I have learned this week is about patience. Patience with yourself, patience with others, and patience with Heavenly Father. I was reading in D and C 6, which is now one of my favorite chapters. My favorite two verses are verse 34 and verse 36 when is says "Fear not, little flock.... Doubt not, fear not." We have no need to fear or doubt, because when you're following the rules and doing what you're supposed to , your circumstances will work out according to the Heavenly Father's plan. You always have your agency to choose to be happy!

Love Yall!

Sister Ellsworth

Monday, August 8, 2016

First Week in Portugal!

Ola de Portugal!

Wow... it has been one crazy week! I don't even know where to begin. First, on Tuesday we went to the temple for the last time really early in the morning. I met a lady who had a daughter out on a mission and I gave her a good long hug. I also got the opportunity to sit in the temple by myself for twenty minutes which was so perfect. Afterwards we quickly finished packing, cleaned our room, and dashed off to the buses by 830 am. We were loaded onto a bus and dropped off at the airport. I was able to call my family and have Cafe Rio for the last time! Unfortunately our plane was delayed about 10 hours in Salt Lake due to some parts needing replaced. Our group of 10 missionaries met and talked to everyone on our flight! We also met a lot of missionaries coming home, going to MTC's, and headed out to the fields. 

The flight to the Netherlands was great, I tried to sleep for most of it. We landed in the Netherlands in the afternoon and since our first flight was delayed for so long, we had to be re-booked. They split our group up onto two airplanes and I was in the group that would fly from the Netherlands to Porto, and then Porto to Lisbon. We had to run to catch our Porto flight, which was delayed after we got there, and then we had to run to our Lisbon flight, barely making it onto this tiny plane with pretty sketchy looking propellers but tudo bem! I talked to the gentleman next to me a tiny bit in Portuguese but then he told me that he spoke English. I left a Book of Mormon with him!

Once we landed in Lisbon, we were in the airport for an extra few hours trying to find our bags, which had been lost. Only 3 of the 7 of us had one or two bags show up. We met up with the second group and eventually decided to leave without our bags. Our Mission president picked us up and took us to the mission home and fed us lasagna and soup at 2 am. We showered after almost 36 hours of traveling and crashed hardcore. The next morning we met our companions! My new companion is Sister Williams! She speaks English and Portuguese and has been so patient with me and my jetlag and limited language. 

The first week in Portugal was a lot of smiling and nodding but I did get to help teach a young man about the Plan of Salvation and taught a woman about how much Heavenly Father loves her. I am serving in Barreiro, which is right across the river from Lisbon. It's been so fun to get to know people and go to Church! The food is strange, but good. We made mini hotdogs and cinnamon biscuits which would have been cinnamon rolls except neither my companion or I knew how to say yeast in Portuguese.

Also apparently I speak Portuguese with an Australian accent! How neat haha. Also people here have a VERY hard time saying my last name. Like most can't even try! Half the sounds in my name don't exist in Portuguese so what comes out is something along the lines of el-sh-wohtch. Close enough I guess! I'll make a nickname for myself or something.

Loving every day more and more! Tudo Bem! I can't get pictures up right now but hopefully I'll send some later today!

Sister Ellsworth

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Last day in the MTC!

Holy moly... This time tomorrow I'll be on a flight to Portugal! Whoop!

I'm so excited. This week went by so fast that I can barely remember what has happened! First we went to the in-field orientation which emphasized the importance of building relationships between Missionaries and members. I hadn't really realized how big of a difference it is when members are actively involved in missionary work! So my first challenge to all of you is to invite the missionaries over and introduce them to people! Anybody and everybody!

The second thing I've learned this week is the importance of family history work. I have a few stories of ancestors (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!!)  and was able to explore my family tree and look up more stories and I felt like I already love those people so so much. 

Thanks to everyone who wrote me or sent me a package! It seemed like our whole district received massive amounts of food. Saturday night we compiled everything, which was probably 50 pounds of junk food, and watched a marathon of Mormon Messages and played hangman in Portuguese. It was basically netflixing missionary style. :)

I was glad for the opportunity to go through the temple one last time before I headed out to Portugal. I'm so excited that the Lisbon temple is being built in my mission! I love the temple so much and I want the every person to know how 

It was sad to say goodbye to the people in my district. We are closer than family! I'll also miss my teachers and my lovely companion. I'll probably miss American food but at the same time I'm excited to meet the people I've already fallen in love with. 

I'd love to hear from you guys! For now my address for letters is 
Apartado 40054
1500 Lisbon

I'll update you with a new address as soon as possible! Love you all so much! Thank you for your love and support!

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Muito amor,

Sister Ellsworth