Sunday, January 16, 2011

Getting lost

1/11/11  Did I tell you the story where Elder Davis and I left the mission on my third day here? If not here it is. So Elder Davis had leadership training in Carlsbad the third day I was here, so I was on an exchange while he was at the training meeting. But when we were driving back home, we were practice teaching, so Elder Davis wasn't paying to much attention to where we were. But as we are driving we got off the freeway, onto another freeway, then got off that one onto another freeway! So he was really lost, and I of course had no idea where we were. So we stopped in a neighborhood to call and get directions, when all of the sudden an airplane flies really close to the ground, and at this point Elder Davis realizes where we are and gets scared and nervous, cause we were close to the San Diego airport, which isn't a little bit out of our mission, it's way out of our mission. But we finally got home safe and sound, and first thing Elder Davis did was call Pres. Cook to tell him. So as he was telling President Cook, Pres. Cook was just laughing and laughing, so he wasn't angry, and was just glad we were home safe.
I enjoyed hearing about yours and dad's experiences with Shawn's parents. I wish I could have been there, but I'd still rather be out here. Tell them I said Ni-hao and biah suh (White? Black? what color is that?) Everything is going really awesome out here so far. We have three people with baptisimal dates, and one of them are for sure going to be baptized but the other too, either they don't answer their phone, or they might have a problem following the commandments. But we are praying and working hard to keep them commited to their dates. Thank you for the letters, it's like Christmas when I get letters out here. Anyways everything is great out here, I am still learning, but also learning more and more each day.  I also think it's awesome that you are studying preach my gospel. If there'e anything that has helped me learn more quickly, it's Preach My Gospel. I am going to send you a copy of my wards, ward mission plan. It's really awesome, and well thought out, and I think you will really enjoy it!

First week in California

1/4/11  I had a great time in the MTC for Christmas. Thanks for the hankerchiefs, they have come in handy since I've been out here. Not because I'm crying, but because like you said, it's rained a lot here so far and I've had a runny nose the whole time. The first day I went tracting, so on wednsday, it was raining pretty good, I got all wet, walking around. My companion is Elder Davis, from Idaho. He's a good trainer and I've learned a lot so far. I am also serving in the Ramona area, which I guess is the furthest east in the whole mission, but the ward, Ramona Oaks Ward is really nice, and way into missionary work, so that's helpful. There are a few investagators here with baptisimal dates, so that will be good to see how that works early on. This one investagator, the way she introduced herself to me was, "Hi, I'm Vanessa, and I'm getting baptized on Feb. 5th" so that was pretty funny. I also had my first exchange, but it was with one of the spanish elders. So I basically listened instead of talked the whole time. But it was funny, we were tracting and this one guy answered the door, and he spoke spanish. So he and the other elder were speaking spanish, and I was kind of zoning off, but the elder I was with said Logan, and then the man looked at me, and I thought he asked where I was from. So I told him Colorado. But it turns out he was asking what our first names were, and Logan was the elders first name, but I was thinking Logan, Utah, so I felt stupid. But now I laugh because I have a new name and it's Colorado Ellsworth. 

I'm happy to hear Christmas was good, and the whole family was there to enjoy it.  I didn't have any waffles or anything, but the food in the MTC was better than I thought it would be. Breakfast and lunch got old after awhile because it was the same thing over and over again, but dinner was always good. We had Elder Russell M. Nelson come and stay for two days, so that was cool.

I love it out here, the people are nice even though they don't want to have the truth in their lives, I still have a lot to learn, but that comes with time and experience. I'm starting to miss home a little bit, but I think I'll get over it soon.  My bike worked out just fine, but I haven't ridden it yet because we have a full time truck.

I am really glad we got to talk at the airport, cause I would have been sad if I got just the voicemail, but yeah, Heavenly Father is looking out for us. (Donna's note: Elder Ellsworth called early from an airport pay phone before flying to CA. He called Chris's business line so we didn't pick it up. Chris got the voicemail & I called the pay phone number back immediately, it was busy for several tries because all the Elders & Sisters were calling home. Finally it rang, but rang & rang, I was not going to hang up! A female voice answered, I asked if there were a group of missionaries nearby & she said, "I'm a sister missionary!". I asked her for Elder Ellsworth, but she said he was gone already, then said, wait, I see him. She ran to get him & we were able to talk for a couple of minutes. Like Kevin said, the Lord guided that experience!)

News from the MTC

12/14/10 Things here in the MTC are going good! The first three days were really bad though because they were so long and boring! But now that I've been here a week, it doesn't even feel like that, things are going fast and I would like to think that I am learning a lot. My companion and roommates are all from Utah, and only had to drive maybe an hour to get here, but they are cool. My companion is really homesick and talking of going home already. We are starting to get to know each other and talk more so that's good.  The days usually go, wake up, study, breakfast, class time, lunch, class, dinner, class. Thats pretty much it. But i think I am learning a lot I hope and my companion and I have a hard time teaching but it's all good, its only the first week. I am not feeling very homesick either (sorry) but the only thing that i miss is music, we can't have music here, so I am going pretty crazy over that. I think that's about it  i'll see you in 2 years! 
12/21/10  Well to start off my companion is packing up and heading home, because he is really homesick, he misses his girlfriend, and one of his cousins has cancer, and he said that if he stayed she probably wouldn't be alive when he got home. It's sad, I'll miss him, but I don't think there is very much I can do to change his mind. I am getting better at teaching, and this one lesson, the spirit was really strong and it felt good to have that feeling and teach with it. Oh we had Paul Pieper of the seventy talk to us, he was good. The  leaders say we will be surprised on Christmas for the speakers, so I'm excited about that.  I also saw Jessica Ogle Felt here not too long ago, she is a teacher here for the Japanese sisters I think, but it was good to see her. Everything is moving a lot faster not, I can't believe that I only have one more week before I leave, it's crazy! I still want to listen to music, but I guess it has gotten easier.  I am eating a lot more than I normally do, but I think I am cursed to be skinny forever, I haven't gained anything yet!

Monday, December 13, 2010

First letter!

I thought I'd use the time on my first night to write you guys and tell you how everything is going on my first day in the MTC. This place is awesome! Since I first walked in the doors I felt the spirit. It felt good to get my name badge and finally have proof that I am a missionary. My companion is from Utah and has a southern accent. He is a cool guy. He's feeling really home sick and wants to go home.  I haven't started to feel home sick or anything, because I know that this is where I am meant to be right now. I am a shy person, but during classes and stuff I have no problem talking about spiritual stuff, and I know Heavenly Father is blessing me with that. I think that's it for now, everything is new and exciting! I love you guys and thank  you SO much for raising me to be good. You guys are good parents, for reals. Tell everyone else I'm doing amazing and that I love them all! Bye! Elder Kevin Ellsworth.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And so it begins...

Dec. 8, 2010 was one of those bitter-sweet kind of days.  It was so hard to say good-bye to Elder Ellsworth there at the curb of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, yet felt so happy for the great service he will give and the great man he will become.  Chris, Donna, & Spencer were there for the send off.  As is our tradition, if doing an activity twice qualifies as a tradition, we drove away, found a place to stop and write letters of love, admiration, and encouragement, then put them in the mail so our missionary would have letters as soon they could be delivered. It seems to be a therapeutic exercise after that emotional moment :-)

When the call came 9 weeks ago it seemed such a short time to prepare, but as the weeks wore on, he just wanted to get going. In reality though, he's been preparing his whole life for this. He looked great and blended into the sea of 19 or 20 something year old Elders in dark suits. Actually, we thought he was the most amazing of them all!  We'll see you in 2 years Kevin!