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!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016



It's transfer weekend! Basically our whole mission exploded. There was 14 whitewashes, which is where both missionaries are taken out and new ones are put in. Usually there's like 4 or 5 whitewashes in a transfer.... BUT! Sister Williams and I are staying in Barreiro! Woot!! The rest of our zone is completely changed though.

This week the heat got up to 107 ish degrees.... It was definately motivation to tech lessons indoors! haha. Also this week we had a lot of success teaching and one of the days we taught for 7 hours straight. In our english class we taught people how to sing the Once There Was A Snowman song with the little dance and everything. They liked it!

I got to go to my first Portuguese wedding this week! It was a lot of fun! (As much fun as a missionary could have at a wedding lol) Lots of little cakes and pastries! I think the best thing about portugual is all of the little shops with cheap food.

They have McDonalds here! And it;s just as bas as it is in the states XD

This is my "Stop taking pictures and let me eat" face
Love you all!
Sister Ellsworth

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hottest Week Ever and Tender Mercies

Dear ya'll...

I think my face has melted off this week! It's been well over 100 degrees with high humidity and the Portuguese don't believe in air conditioning or ice. Ice is considered a bit of a luxury here.... Since it's been so busy there hasn't been many people out on the roads and most people are taking last minute vacations before school starts next week but nonetheless, we have had one of the most productive and dedicated weeks since I began my mission.

First off, apparently I'm very allergic to portuguese cats. We were at a member's house and her little annoying cat was chewing on my dress so I tried to secretly push it away in the middle of the lesson and it tried to chew on my hand. I had to take a couple doses of Benedryl that day and my companion had to drag her balloon handed, half-asleep greenie around for the rest of the day. 

Also this week has been a week of finding people who have had missionary lessons but got too busy to talk. We've had a lot of new investigators!

Miracle number 100000 on my mission... last week we had the baptisms of Manuella and Nadia. Well they are like BFF's now! Nadia has had some hard times recently and Manuella has offered to help her out. Total proof that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us.

We had our first divisions this week and I thought Sister Hansen and I were going to be lost in Barreiro for the rest of the mission. Turns out I still don't know much when it comes to my area and Portuguese! I'm so grateful for my companion XD I hugged her when she came back and told her to never leave me ever again XD

I remember one moment this week that was a tender mercy and proof that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. My companion and I were dying... it was blistering hot, probably 105 or so with NO WIND all day. Portugal is always windy. We were walking through a park and decided to take a five minute water break. We were laying on our backs and I said "Heavenly Father, we're really hot and tired. It would be really nice to have some wind." My companion gave me a funny look and echoed my thoughts when all of a sudden this rush of cool ocean breeze rushes through the park for a solid ten seconds. Sister Williams and I got up and started twirling in the wind, laughing at how much we loved such a silly thing, but at the same time I was like... wow. Some people might look at that as a coincidence but to me it was a tender mercy from our loving Father in Heaven.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to love this crazy place so much and to serve my God. I know he is aware of us and loves us perfectly. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses lives, especially when we are obedient and loving.

Love all of you so much!
The Gospel is our Anchor!! This was taken at an old Convent which is now a little cafe and hotel. 

Tudo Bem!!

Eu amo voces!
Sister Ellsworth

p.s. i found out redheads CAN tan!!


Hey yall!
This week was craaazy! First off we found out that two of our investigators are related. Apparently we were teaching a mom and her daughter and they didn't even know it! We only found out because the daughter, Nela, drove by as we were talking to her mom. Coincidence? I think not... haha. We also met an egangelical conspiracy theorist this week and if you think that stuff is weird in english, just try to listen in Portuguese!
I ate my first really gross and weird thing... We were at a little cafe for lunch with a member and she ordered me some fried fish... and brain... I didn't know what it was until I did some dissecting. It brought me back to my anatomy days.... Haha! We also met this guy because he hollered out "JESUS IS THE BEST!" in this really thick Portuguese accent, so of course we go talk to him! He had some interesting ideas and one of them is as follows... "The world is a monopoly, the only people who make money are the funeral homes." I think we've met every strange person in Barreiro this week!

We had a double baptism! Our investigator Manuella was baptized and the Elder's investigator was baptized as well! Best and craziest day ever! We walked 15 or more miles to get everything situated, took wrong buses, forgot white clothes, made cookies, and arranged the baptisms. WHOO!

This week I was reading about trials of faith and i found a few scriptures I liked. 1 peter 4.12, alma 1.25 and 1 peter 1.7
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" One of the most interesting analogies is the refiners fire analogy. the idea that our trials are meant to purify, teach, test, and help us learn  is much more appealing than the thought that sometimes bad things happen when we do things right. Sometimes things are hard.
Another thought. There was a missionary who died (finished his mission and went home to his family) whose last words for us were: "Do you believe in Christ?" of course all of us were like... duh... but then he asked a second question. "Do you believe Christ?" What a difference that makes.... Do you believe Christ? Do you believe that he is your Advocate, your Mediator, your Redeemer, your Brother, and your Savior? Do you believe that he suffered for YOU? Do you believe he felt your pain, grief, sorrow, and joy? I hope if the answer is no, then pray for opportunities to develop your testimony and then go out and do something because testimonies are gained through action. 

Change of altitude and too much dough and you get a cookie cake! haha
They have packaged cheeseburgers....?
Guess which one is wine and which is a juice box!! Vocabulary is a good skill to have when they're right next to each other....
Sandro, Sister Williams, and Manuella!! WOOOOT!!!
Elder Haws,  Nadia, me, Sister Williams, Manuella, Elder Thomas, and Sandro!
​Just going for a stroll in Portugal....

​Love yall!
Sister Ellsworth