Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Day!

The anticipation was building. The suspense was painful. Whispering could be hard throughout the entire gym. Bets were being taken to wager which apostle was coming. I placed my bet of a candy bar on Elder Andersen due to my sources. Ever eye was watching the "chosen door" that would soon be opened for an apostle of God. Bro. Angus (a very ominous looking man) kept walking through that "chosen door" just to torture us. While waiting, guesses had been eliminated to two choices. Elder Oaks or Elder Andersen? The suspense was killing me. But then, as we were singing the last verse of "O Thou Rock of Our Redeemer," Elder Oaks in all his apostle/supreme court judge majesty walked through the doors. Apparently my sources were faulty, but it was worth losing a candy bar. My favorite part was when every Elder and Sister in the room stood a little taller and sang a little louder for an apostle of the Lord. It was truly power or shall I say... AMAZING!

Elder Oaks and his wife spoke to us. Sis. Oaks was so cute, I love her sense of humor. Speaking of humor, did you know that Elder Oaks is a shoulder laugher. I never knew. And he also quoted "Wicked" in his talk. Oh the irony! Anyways, I loved Elder Oaks' talk. I have never taken so many notes in all my life. I just want to tell you my favorite part because there's so much more to report of the week. My favorite part was the three different challenges we would face as missionaries and in life in general. Face the challenge to change, to achieve, and to become. To become a missionary, I need to have a "mighty change of heart" and be converted. Elder Oaks had trouble describing it but he said "To become a missionary is to get something to happen within." I may not know exactly what that means, but it gives me something to think about and work on.

Two days later, the anticipation and suspense was back. Well maybe not so much suspense. It had already been confirmed that Elder Holland and his wife was coming for Thanksgiving. I feel so blessed to have heard from two apostles in less than three days. I love it! Elder Holland's devotional was a question and answer forum that was very enlightening. But I'll just share my favorite part again. He describes that all of us missionaries are diamonds that need refinement and pressure. Life is hard but we need it to be, so we can become disciples of God. He shared a poem that basically said, we needed to push to the edge. Even if we are afraid to fall, we need to continue to push to the edge. And then when we get there, the Lord will push us and then we can fly. I'm not sure if I explained that clearly enough, but let me just say that it was great. I also loved it when Elder Holland testified. His testimony is so strong and I always love hearing it.

Anyways, that was pretty much the highlight of my Thanksgiving. We also did humanitarian service and I studied Spanish for a few hours. Oh and there was the whole Thanksgiving dinner part, but it just wasn't the same without family. But it was still good. I was grateful to be in the MTC for Thanksgiving.

Well, that's basically it. I'm still just working on the Spanish and Preach My Gospel. We lost a few Elders in our district this week. Not lost, they just headed out to the MTC in the Dominican Republican. They have a few more weeks there and then they'll be in Puerto Rico. Now there's just seven of us left and we're all heading to Cordoba Argentina on January 4th or 5th (i forget which one.) I can't wait! But I know that I have tons more to learn before then.

I love you and miss you and hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving!

Hna. Ellsworth

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Kingdom of God or Nothing!

I have had another amazing week but I think my favorite days at the MTC are Sundays. I absolutely love the schedules and being constantly busy with meetings. Last Sunday was amazing in that I got to hear from Sis. Oaks (yes, the wife of Elder Oaks) and Sis. Sheri Dew. It was (can i say it again?) amazing!

Sis. Oaks came and talked to us in Relief Society. I never knew about Sis. Oak's story in that she was single all of her life and then married an apostle at age 55! She was such a sweet lady. The title of her talk was "The Kingdom of God or Nothing!" and she mostly talked on the five points of a testimony and then gave us a testimony glove, an idea from the Primary "Friend." I'm excited to use it in one of my lessons.

So tender mercy of the week. Sis. Dickey and I loved Sis. Oak's talk and loved getting to know her story about being single so long and we started talking about it and then Sis. Dew's name came up. We both went on about how we loved Sis. Dew and how amazing she is, not knowing that she was giving that night's devotional. And then that night we had a devotional with Sis. Sheri Dew. I love when we recieve blessings like that. Anyway, her talk was one of the most amazing talks I've ever heard. It was on how to become a greater follower of righteousness and seeker of greater knowledge. She gave us three ways to do that. 1. Learn who you are and that you are a child of God. 2. Come to understand the Savior's Atonement and what it can do for you. 3. Learn to hear the voice of the Lord and recieve revelation from Him. It was truly an (just one more time) AMAZING talk! I love being here at the MTC and hearing talks like that.

Well, the Spanish is still coming, slowly but surely. I did my first door contact in Spanish. It was pretty shaky but I can definitely see the improvement from just two weeks. I have a test tonight where I need to get to know an investigator (they're pretend investigators aka volunteers usually from BYU) and talk to them in Spanish for about fifteen minutes. I'm really nervous about it but I know I can do it if I put my trust in the Lord. We then get to teach the first lesson in English. I just love the MTC and everything we're learning!

Love ya, Hna. Ellsworth

Friday, November 13, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun...

It pretty much feels like I wrote you yesterday. This week has literally flown by. You would think that spending my days in class for about twelve hours would seem like forever, but it almost feels like there's not enough time in the day to get everything done. There's just so much information to learn and I feel so inadequate to learn it. But I've learned that if I try my best and then put my trust in the Lord then everything works out.

The language is going great! I love learning Spanish! We've been working on vocabulary and conjugations and how to make a door contact all in Spanish. It's coming slowly but I'm starting to form sentences and understand some of the Spanish that is being. Today we have our first test to see if we can have a full out fifteen minute conversation in Spanish just meeting someone in a park and then testifying to them. I just can't believe how much Spanish is being taught in just one week! It is the definitely the gift of tongues promised from Heavenly Father because I know I couldn't do it myself.

Although Spanish is going great, I'm struggling with teaching Preach My Gospel. We had our first run through of the first lesson and it was way harder than I would've ever imagined. They told us that we needed to teach the person not the lesson. So I obviously have a lot to learn but I'm not too worried about it. I won't give up. I just figure that I was doing too well in Spanish so Heavenly Father figured he needed to humble me a bit with teaching.

I'm still loving the MTC and everything. My companion Hma. Dickey is amazing! We have a rock solid companionship and I'm so grateful for it. She gets me up for 6 am aerobics and talks me into doing the Referral Center. The Referral center used to terrify me because I didn't have the confidence to just talk to complete strangers on the phone but now I love it. I had an hour and half conversation with someone on chat. I had to get to class but she still wanted to hear more. I just love the MTC!

Shocker of the week... I joined the MTC choir. I'm pretty much tone deaf but they let me in anyways. We sang for the Tuesday devotional which was awesome. It was a statistical update on temples. I really enjoyed it but the devotional review was even better. We have about an hour to review the devotional with our district and the Spirit was so strong. We have a great district.

Well, I'm just kind of blabbing on now. But I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as a missionary. I love this gospel and I'm so grateful for the knowledge that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me. The Church is true!!

Hma. Ellsworth

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bring it! (1st email from the MTC)

I'm finally here!! It has been a crazy couple of days in the MTC. There is just so much going on around here and so much to learn. I absolutely love it!! Let's see what I can tell you... first of all, as you can assume I got to the MTC safely thanks to Jeff and Al. I'm sorry if i was boring for them. They wanted to do something special for my birthday but all I could think about was getting to the MTC. Thanks for trying though and I'm sorry I was a bum, but I had a great time with you all.

I reported at around noon and was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all these new things to learn and remember. And i'm pretty sure I got lost about a dozen times just in my first day. But I've decided that my motto is "Bring It!" There is a lot of new stuff happening but I know that Heavenly Father won't give me more than I can handle. So just keep it coming because I'm ready for it!

Anyways, my companion is pretty much amazing! Her name is Hermana Dickey and we immediately clicked. We've decided that we probably met in the pre-mortal life and broke out into song. (Sorry! Last time I ever allude to Saturday's Warrior ever again!) We have a lot of fun together, probably too much fun but we 're going to work on that. She is definitely helping me to strive to be better in everything that I do and I am so grateful to have her as a companion.
I absolutely love my classes. We have already started studying the gospel and learning Spanish.

I can pray, testify, and do the door approach in Spanish already. I'm pretty sure that I've learned more Spanish in the last three days than in my entire two and a half years of school Spanish. The MTC is truly an amazing place and miracles are happening everyone.
Speaking of miracles, I am definitely getting up at 5:45 in the morning to do an optional aerobics class for the sisters. I know that you prolly don't believe I am capable of getting out of bed before 9 am, but it is true. It is a lot of fun and helps me to wake up for the day. I love it! I'm definitely working on my six pack. but i digress...

I probably should tell you that I have an amazing district. We had our first Branch Presidency Meeting and the Spirit was so strong. Our Branch President is Pres. Shumway and he is great. He taught us a few things about obedience, diligence, patience, and other key attributes to being a good missionary. I'm very excited for our district and branch.

Well, besides studying the scriptures and learning Spanish, there's not much else to say. Just know that I have a testimony of the gospel that I know it is true. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a missionary and that the Lord blesses His missionaries with the Spirit and the gift of tongues. I am going to work as hard as I can and be obedient.

Thanks for the all the letters and package! It was exciting to have a whole pile waiting for me yesterday. And thanks for writing that you don't miss me. It really helped me stay focused on my purpose knowing that my family is glad that i'm out of the house. jk. I love you and miss you! k bye!

Hermana Ellsworth

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Setting Apart and Airport Pictures

Entering in at the gate

Ascending up

Stacy & Hermana Ellsworth

Rachel is excited to have her own room again

Mission: Possible

Hermana Ellsworth & President Bradshaw

Sunday, November 1, 2009

See ya in 18 months!

I am very happy to share that the countdown to reporting to the MTC is down to three days. Can I get a woot woot?! I feel like I have been waiting for this day forever. I thought it would never come. I am just so excited to serve and teach the gospel to the people of Cordoba, Argentina. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to serve the Lord and learn the beautiful language of Spanish.

This week I decided to memorize one of my favorite scriptures and my new mission motto in Spanish. The scripture is D&C 82:10 - "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." I figured it won't matter what trials happen to me in Argentina, as long as I obey all the mission rules. Obedience is the first law of heaven. Of all the advice I have recieved from returned missionaries, every single person had one thing to say in common - Obedience.

Moral of the Story - Thus I will go and do and obey!

Mission Address:
Sister Noralin Ellsworth
Argentina Cordoba Mission
Gay Lussac 5270
Apartado Postal No 49-X5009 ZAA
5009 Villa Belgrano, Cordoba
C.C. 17 Suc 9
Cordoba, Argentina