Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Navidad!

So I love Christmas! Yep, it's true! I love the spirit of Christmas through the Christmas songs, Christmas movies, Christmas lights, and ... presents! I still remember the joy I had during Christmas when I got my first Barbie (which was a boy Barbie with a monkey!), my cutesy purple bike, even a trip to Disneyland! I know that loving presents makes me a bad person and furthermore a bad missionary but it's the truth. And this year I received the best Christmas present ever! Are you ready...I finally got my flight plans to Argentina. Yep! That's right! I'm on my way! On Jan. 4, I will be boarding a plan to fly to Argentina, with a layover in Fort Worth, Texas. (Shout out to Al! And Chase who can't read this...) Anyways, I'm pretty dang stoked! Don't get me wrong, I love the MTC but everything has its expiration date and I think the MTC is starting to smell a little sour...Anyways, enough about my sinning ways of loving Christmas presents... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas without me. I have had an exciting week leading up to Christmas. Here's a quick summary for y'all.

"Week Review of Christmas in the MTC" by Hna. Ellsworth
1. Sunday Fireside with MTC Director Bro. Allen, Talk entitled: "Happiness in commercial form." Okay, the talk wasn't really entitled that except by me. Basically the fireside was us watching an hour of those cheesy Mormon commercials and then somehow relating them to our missions. Some of them were kind of a stretch, but it was one of the funnest Sunday firesides ever.
2. Tuesday Devotional with Elder Andersen, Talk entitled "Looking back and Looking Forward." I was very excited to hear from another apostle but I think my favorite part of the fireside was when his grandkids got up and sang "Picture a Christmas." It made me think of the good times and the Nativity Pageant. It was a tear jerker.
3. Christmas Even Devotional with the MTC Presidency and their wives, Talks entitled "Gifts of Hearts, Music, Service, Eternal Life, and Jesus Christ." We had a whole two hour program full of talks, musical numbers, testimonies, and good stuff.
4. Christmas Morning Devotional with Elder Perry, Talk about the Story of Christmas. I love Elder Perry! He brought his family along and they all read the different Christmas stories. It was a great way to celebrate Christmas morning.
5. Christmas Evening Devotional with ???. Okay, so I realize it hasn't happened yet but we're all anticipating who is coming. I have heard a lot of rumors and have ever started a couple myself. My favorite being that the prophet is coming with Donnie and Marie Osmond being the musical number. Some people will believe anything.

Anyways, it really has been a wonderful Christmas. I love seeing the true meaning of Christmas around. I spent my Christmas Even dinner at a table filled with Spanish speakers and I couldn't understand a single word but I absolutely loved it. Every time someone else would join the table, we would all stand up, yell "Feliz Navidad," and hit our glasses together. It was one of the coolest things ever. I wanted to be with my family but then I realized I was with my family. We are all brothers and sisters of our Heavenly Father. We had elders and sisters from Guatemala, Peru, El Salvador, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and of course the United States; and even though I couldn't understand everything, we still felt like a family. And just seeing the examples of the Christmas spirit around me has made me so happy today. I admit I was feeling a bit home sick this morning, but then an Hermana from Spain came up and gave me a hug and wished me a Merry Christmas. I sit with this girl at meals but we can't hardly understand each other. It was just so sweet and I could feel her Christmas spirit. It's just contagious! So I hope you all are feeling it too and just know that I love you! Merry Christmas!!

Hna. Ellsworth

Friday, December 18, 2009

En serio! con Hna. Ellsworth

So we´re just going to flashback a little bit to the days where I tell a story... because it´s just too hard to figure out what to tell you from week to week. So... this last week, my companion and I have decided to make a goal to sit with Spanish speakers at every meal. This has been really helpful in our Spanish. We sit with about 20 Spanish speakers from South and Central America who we like to call the nativos. So imagine with me, if you will, an entire table of South Americans and two white girls. En serio! It´s a beautiful sight.

Anyways, during a particular meal, I sat by an Elder from Mexico. I talked mostly to the Hermanas but decided to try to start a conversation with this Elder. Just a simple Cómo está? So that´s exactly what I did. And he replied with the usual Estoy bien. But I usually repeat everything they say to make sure I understood it right and that I can also say it right. But I mixed it up a bit and apparentely said something back that meant I was hitting on the poor Elder. I had no idea what I said but he started laughing and then the people next to him started laughing until the entire table was laughing. Apparently, the only thing I can understand in Spanish is laughing. En serio! Anyways, I was pretty embarassed and felt pretty down on myself. How am I going to be able to speak and understand Spanish when I can´t even get a simple greeting right. En serio!

Well, i was feeling down and got back to class and the opening hymn was ´Tengo gozo en mi corazón.´ En serio! I felt like the world was mocking me. I had never felt so frustrated and discouraged with the language or even in the MTC and they throw this song in my face. I couldn´t even sing. And then I got to the middle of the third verse and I started to remember a little bit about humility and patience and started to really listen to the words. I was seriously thinking to myself, Ellsworth, you can probably learn a lesson from this. (Because I usually speak to myself in third person)

So I did learn an important lesson. Spanish is hard. and it´s kicking my trash. But getting discouraged about it won´t help anything. I will fail at times and make a fool of myself but all I can do is laugh at about it and tengo gozo en mi corazón. I was really grateful for that experience and for that hymn. At first I thought Heavenly Father had a sense of humor and was making fun of me, but then I realized it was a tender mercy. And it taught me an important lesson about being happy through frustration.

Well I love ya, Hna. Ellsworth

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the MTC, "weeks are like days and days are like weeks..."

So another week is gone and done and I'm excited to report that I am now teaching lessons completely in Spanish. CRAZY!! Especially because I can't speak Spanish. We have our 'big tests' every Friday night aka tonight, so I'll have to teach the Restoration for the first time in Spanish to someone who actually knows Spanish. I've been practicing all week but it's really hard. Yesterday I was trying to bear my testimony about how Jesus Christ suffered for my sins but accidentally said, "Yo sé que Jesucristo surfrió por mis pescados.¨ I´ll let you figure that one out... I'm pretty much really nervous but I'm just trying to remember to do my best and put my trust in the Lord and he can do the rest.

Well, the devotionals were superb this week. Sunday was fast Sunday so we had mission conference which was amazing! All of the MTC Presidency and their wives spoke. It´s hard to pick a favorite but I´m going to have to go with Bro. Brown because he compared our missions with growing a garden. You know how much I love our garden back home. (Just a tad bit of sarcasm in that last sentence.) He mentioned five things a missionary, and farmer, must do to become a successful missionary. First, we must 'prune' our lives by removing all impurities that would prevent the light of Christ from coming into our lives. Second, we must 'thin' ourselves from the outside world and forget ourselves. Third, we must 'irrigate' our deep roots by personal and companionship study. Fourth, we must 'weed' in our missions which he compared to diligence and work. Be diligent, steady, energetic. I still remember our early morning field trips to weed the garden, so I appreciated this analogy the best. Lastly, we must 'spray' the garden which he compared to faithful daily prayer, fasting, and keeping the commandments. I'm a big fan of the analogies so I really appreciated this talk and it taught me a little more about being a successful missionary.

Tuesday night devotional was one of my favorite devotionals I've heard thus far. It was Elder Costa on the importance of planning and teaching by the Spirit. He was very funny and still taught important principles. I think my favorite part was just about putting yourselves in the hands of the Lord. It made me think of Sis. Ellsworth's (aka Kris) email this week in her Tender Mercy. I just have to remember to put all my trust in the Lord and then I can be an instrument in his hands.

Anyways, Christmas is coming!! I'm excited to spend it in the MTC! I'll be excited to know what we will do for it, but whatever it is, I know it will be great! I'm glad to hear all is well! Thanks for the Christmas tree! It pretty much made my week! Okay, well, there are way too many exclamation marks in this paragraph, so... k... bye!

Hna. Ellsworth

The District

Hermana Ellsworth seems to be the 'white sheep' in the the district

Friday, December 4, 2009

i went to the MTC for a month and all i got was this lousy t-shirt...

December 4, 2009

Today I have hit my one month mark aka my halfway mark of the MTC. Can i get a woot, woot?! Time flies when you're having fun! It really does feel like I just got here yesterday. Crazy! Anyways, since it has been exactly a month, I feel it is time to do an inventory. A sort of "Top Ten Things I've Learned in the MTC" (Not at all comparable with David Letterman) This should be interesting but here we go...

10. After being one of the only Hermanas that plays basketball during gym, I have learned to beat every Elder in my gym in the basketball game Speed.

9. I have learned how to tell the story of "La Princesa de la Bolsa de Papel" in Spanish, sorta'. Our district made this goal to talk Spanish all the time and I wanted to tell one of my roommates that story. It took me a while but she understood the most part. It was muy bien.

8. And to continue on the lines of Spanish, I have learned over 500 vocab words, how to conjugate verbs in present tense, preterite, present progressive, and command. I have learned direct objects, indirect objects, and reflexive verbs. And I can pray, testify, contact, and teach someone how to pray in Spanish. Miracles do happen in the MTC!

7. I have learned patience to deal with thousands of 19-year-olds boys. Need I say more?

6. I have learned to sit in class for over three hours without falling asleep. Definitely never learned that in high school/college. ;)

5. I have learned that I look forward to 1:00 and 6:00 aka Mail time. I'm embarrassed by it, but I succumbed to the temptation. Highlight of the month - Letter from Dad and Grandpa in the same day - Happy Day!

4. I have learned the most valuable time of the day is personal study and/or companion study. I never have been able to use my study time so effectively and efficiently before, and I am grateful to have that time everyday to study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel.

3. I have known and learned more about the Restoration of the true Gospel. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and I am grateful that a humble, young boy came across the scripture James 1:5 and decided to know for himself which one of the churches was true.

2. I have already known but learned more that I am a child of God. He loves me and has a perfect plan for me for my happiness. His ultimate goal is so that I can return to live with Him someday and be with my family forever.

1. I have already known but learned more that Jesus Christ is central to that perfect plan and that He came to this earth to atone for my sins. He overcame sin and physical death so that it is possible for me to return to His presence. I know and feel His love ever so strongly while I am here in the MTC.

Well, I hope that wasn't too 'David Letterman' for you. But I am really grateful that I am here in the MTC and learning what I am learning. This really is an amazing place, and I'm glad that I'm here for another month; and I just hope that I continue to learn as much as I possibly can. I love you all!!

Hna. Ellsworth