Monday, September 28, 2009

Our God is a loving God of miracles!

Hello lovely family!

It is so great to hear the good news about Mia Vera, Nora Jane, and Cosette. And I´m happy everyone´s been having such a great time!

Thanks Aup for fixing up the email and blog thing. I owe ya!

So, this has been a great week! The baptsim for Vanessa Alexandra Regueiras Ruivo went very well. It started late, but better late than never, right? Since there is no baptismal font here in Carregado, we went to the Church building of Alverca and used their font. We had a good number of members there, and our wonderful Brazilian investigating couple Ivan and Sorene with their adorable little boy Lucas went, and the Alverca Elders had a Portuguese investigator couple there as well. I gave a talk on baptism, Elder Sagebin baptized Vanessa, and a young woman of the branch named Brenda gave a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost. But rewinding a bit for our other miracle - before we left for Alverca to prepare the baptismal font, André (boyfriend of Vanessa´s mother) sent us a text saying he ´was no longer part of our family´. Confused and worried I called to see what was the matter, and he said Manuela (Vanessa´s mom) was kicking him out. I pleaded for him to try and stick around so we could talk to him again, but he didn´t go to the baptism. Right after I hung up the phone Elder Sagebin and I offered a kneeling prayer and straight up asked God for a miracle and the intervention of His angels, seen or unseen. We don´t know what happened, but God answered our prayer and André was at church the next morning sitting next to Manuela holding hands, and we´ll be visiting with them again tonight. Yay!!

Well, life is great. I´m very happy for everyone, and always eager to receive news! Keep it coming! Oh, and Rachel - that picture of you in front of the hotel was awesome. Elder Sagebin and I managed to take some cool pictures too, one in particular being each of us in front of a bill board political advertisement that says ´chegou a hora da verdade´ -- the Hour of Truth has arrived! Haha, so ya´ll will get to see it soon enough. Anyways, that´s the main hunk of news. We´ve got zone conference tomorrow, and are figuring out how we´ll watch general conference this weekend. I´m excited! Have a great week everybody!

--Elder Ellis V

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I lack a good subject title, but it´s better than nothing!

Hey beloved Family!!

This has been a great week! Thanks Mom for the package of the Apple Jacks and the dvd of Aunt Becky. I got that last Thursday morning - it was pretty funny, we were walking on the streets and we were rounding a corner when a mailman we´ve seen before stopped and looked at us. Quite the inquisitive look he gave, too. Then he opened up the trunk of his car and whipped out said package from Mom and gave it to me. Quite the pleasant surprise! And I just watched it today before coming here to do email. Unfortunately the sound wasn´t working so I couldn´t hear anything, but it was a pleasure to see that slideshow. THANKS! And Kit, you look great with your haircut! Sadly, I haven´t seen any pictures of Em´s haircut or the newborns, but Cosette has a mighty small diaper!

One quick change ya´ll might want to take into consideration, my preparation day is being moved to Mondays, just like Rachel´s. So this is the last of the Wednesday ones, and starting Monday the 28th P-days will be on Monday.

Rachel -- THAT is your mission president?! That is awesome! Such a small world!! I had forgotten that man´s name, and it turns out he´s your mission president! Wow! And whatshisbucket from that stake ´track meet´ thing. He could be a number of guys, but if he´s the same guy I´m thinking about, he´s a big one.

Anyways. Life is great!! Finally THIS Saturday, September 26, Vanessa will be baptized! With Sebastião we´re not so sure. He is busy trying to save money to move back to São Tomé soon, and he said he hadn´t received an answer yet, and he wants more time to read and pray and get his answer. With respect to that essential need, we will also have a kneeling prayer with him tonight and continue to work with him before he leaves. But moving forward with Vanessa, everything looks great and all systems go! She selected Elder Sagebin to baptize her and she wants me to give one of the talks. Always a pleasure bringing people to Christ!

Thanks again everyone for all of your support, love, and prayers. And I echo Rachel´s words -- keep being awesome parents! I wish all these parents here could see your great examples of parenting! Keep it up! Love all of you, and have a great week!

--Elde Ellis V

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blasted public services

Hello beloved family!!

In explanation of the subject title, today I am using a public library computer, which frustratingly has not allowed me to see any of the photos ya´ll sent. So I will await and see the beautiful pictures of Kit and Em´s haircuts, the twins Cosette and Nora Jane, whatever pictures Natalie sent, and everything else next week. I haven´t seen them but I know all of them, including Kit and Em with new haircuts, are wonderfully beautiful!

Ah, so good to hear from everyone! But to keep the good emails coming, I need some HELP right away! (MOM -- will you copy the emails and purge them from my myldsmail account asap? I´m at 94% and I don´t want to miss any emails from anybody! THANKS!)

So we found out yesterday that Elder Sagebin and I will be staying together here in Carregado for atleast another 6 weeks! Yahoo! We´re really excited to keep working hard and especially focusing on preparing and baptizing Sebastião and Vanessa on the 26 of September. And every other elect we find too!

Well today was pretty fun! Elder Sagebin and I made the trip over to Caldas da Rainha for Elder Bell´s very last Preparation day before going home, and we went bowling and also squeezed in a game of pool. I´m terribly rusty in both games, but we still had fun.

Well I love all of you! Have a great week and I hope to keep hearing wonderful news! Tchau!

--Elder Ellis V

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

take 2

Wow, technology is really frustrating when it doesnt work. If this is a repeat I apologize but I wanted to make sure something got sent out to all ya´ll.

Mom and Dad - thanks for the package with the memory card, camera case, etc! I got it last Thursday at interviews, and am enjoying it! Curiousity, what happened to the other memory card I sent you at the beginning of the year?

Em -- please add Grandma Turtle, Joy, and anyone else who knows me on my Facebook. And if you could announce the blog post thing that Aup is fixing up, I´d appreciate that too! Thanks!

Aup -- Thanks a lot! Once it´s all rolling I´d be fine with keeping my blog open Thanks again!

Well this is gonna be short and sweet. We marked Sebastião to be baptized on the 19, and we want to get a 12 year old girl Vanessa, daughter of an inactive, marked for the same day. We´re trying to focus on them, and keep the other work going too. Well, I love you, and I´ll keep praying for all of you, especially Laura and the twins to be healthy and strong. Have a great week everybody! tchau!

--Elder Ellis V

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hello wonderful Family!!

Thank you everyone for your updates, emails, pictures, prayers, and love. What happened to my nephew Warren?? I just saw some pictures where some huge stud must have taken his place in Cedar Park. Call the police and arrest that giant! Mom and Dad - I got the package with the wallet on Friday (you did NOT send the SD memory card, right?) and the letter ya´ll wrote on August 22nd yesterday (September 1). Matt and Nat, I´m SO HAPPY to hear everything went perfectly, and Nat and lil Mia are well. Unfortunately I could not see those photos you sent on the email, but I´m sure Mia looks beautiful just like her mom! Thanks Uncle Kelly for the news and everyone else´s comments about Becky. I am happy that she is released from her pain, and even more so for the great life she lived and the great work she accomplished. If possible, I would love a copy of that slideshow also.

Well, buckin up and movin on, we had another great week in Carregado! The greatest so far in fact. We are doing our best to follow the Spirit and give our best efforts and leave the rest to the Lord, and He has blessed us with new people to teach, lots of opportunities to teach them, and even in members´ homes! QUE COISA BOA! For example, Monday night we had a Family Night in the home of an inactive woman who wants to come back to church, and her boyfriend wants to investigate the church, (her daughter, who was not present that time, was close to getting baptized a couple of months ago) and an active woman and her teacher-aged son participated also. It went great! And last night we had another family night in another member home where a not-yet-member nephew and his girlfriend and Georgian friend (with the cool name Lasha) all wanted their own Book of Mormon before we left! LIFE IS WONDERFUL!!

Well, time is up and I gotta go, but I love all ya´ll and am praying for you. Please keep the emails and updates coming. Tchau
--Elder Ellis V