Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm still here El Guapo!

Hello beloved family!!

What a week! I´m happy everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! It wasn´t the usual feast, but we managed to do what we could. On Thursday we met with some other missionaries at our chapel in Linda-A-Velha and had a semi-potluck thanksgiving. We brought the mashed potatoes, and we were all supposed to bring our own meat, and since properly prepared turkey could not be found, we stuck with spicy grilled chicken from the nearby grocery store. But hey, it´s the thoughts that count, right? And no worries, because tomorrow we´ll have all the right fixings with an American family in our ward. (It was also postponed because of waiting for the turkey!)

Anyways, it´s been a good week. We´ve worked a lot with Rosália and she is ready to be baptized this Saturday, December 5. (Here´s the heads up Dadio -- Rosália Maria Coelho Ferreira Rebelo.) And we´re fired up to keep working with those who are ready, and find the ones we haven´t met yet! Thanks everyone for the updates and well wishes. Have a great week! Love,

--Elder Ellis V

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello beloved family! Happy Thanksgiving!

Alas, Thanksgiving is not a Portuguese Holiday. However, just because we don´t get the usual big feasts (and tournaments, games, and watching Scrooge) like back at home, we can still be thankful to God for the countless blessings we have, every day! I want to let all of you know I am thankful for each of you and the good example and influence and support that you all are to me. And I´m thankful for a knowledge of the gospel, that Jesus Christ is my/our Savior, and that I can be preaching that gospel here in Portugal! Yipikiyay!

Thanks everyone for the great emails. Kit, those little quotes from the girls were hilarious, especially about the crackers and ´raise the roof!´ Good times. Life is great here in Linda-A-Velha. Last Monday night we had a great lesson with the couple Carlos and Rosália, and David Hinckley, our ward mission leader, came with us (and his 8 year old daughter Ema). It was a nice lesson, the Spirit was there, and we invited Rosália to be baptized on this coming Saturday (Nov 28), and she accepted. They like to talk and we ended up going overtime, and we were late for our usual Family Night appointment with the bishop and his wife. Haha, then Celeste (the bishop´s wife) called and said they had someone there, which made us feel bad for being late, and we booked it over to their house. Ricardo, the 20 year old Portuguese man who was there, was a nice fellow and we had a good dinner and lesson. Friday we had another lesson with him, watching the Restoration DVD, and he said he felt something powerful and different when he read Monday night and during the movie. I love being a missionary! After that lesson we took the bishop with us to an appointment with Emileine, a Brazilian woman whose 12 year old daughter is a member but she is not ... yet. We´ve found out she hasn´t given up coffee yet, so we played a game (Pit) and a long story short we rigged the game so if she tried to go for coffee she would lose - just to make the point - and she did. Then we read D&C 89. And lo and behold, at sacrament meeting on Sunday she came, and the main speaker gave a really big talk on a subject none other than the word of wisdom! She kept on looking at us during the talk and afterwards joked around saying we were planning all of this stuff just for her. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not...

Anyways, life is great! We´re also excited to be working with a recent convert family in getting the other members, who are the husband and the two sons, on board. Bruno, the older son, seems to me most prepared. Well, that´s a bit of the highlights! Keep the emails and updates coming everybody! I love you all, and I´m thankful for you too! Have a great week!

--Elder Ellis V

Monday, November 16, 2009


Hello beloved family!!

Happy Belated and Early Birthdays to Aup, Ethan, Rachel, Grandma Turtle, and Joy! I´m thankful to have each of you as a member in my family, and I hope you had a great birthday!

This week went well. I´m learning more and more about how we shouldn´t worry about things we can´t control, because we can´t do anything about them! Therefore, we should do the very best we can and focus on what our part is, and leave the rest to the Lord! Unfortunately the investigators we were hoping on baptizing soon have been dropping off the face of the earth. Busy schedules, and not answering our calls. But hey, ´some will, some won´t, stop whining and start working!´, right? They might not be the ones who are prepared right now, so we´ll focus on finding the ones who are ready. But we are still working with and excited to be working with a less active named Carlos and his not-yet-member wife (YES, THEY ARE MARRIED!!). There´s also another couple who were a reference from the wife´s aunt, who is a member who lives somewhere else, and they have two little boys. So life is great!

Well I love all of you! Thanks for the updates, emails, pictures, etc. Have a great week and I will hear from you next week! Much love,

--Elder Ellis V

Monday, November 9, 2009


Hello beloved family!

Wow, congratulations to Rob and Christa for the Marathon! That sounds intense! Parabéns! Elder Rich and I went runnning a couple of times this week and one morning we were going up this gradual hill which didn´t seem so bad looking at it but it proved to be quite the challenge when we were actually running up it! Congradz again, that´s one huge accomplishment!

Well, this week was awesome. Last Monday I successfully retreived my box and nothing was lost or damaged. Woohoo! This week we´ve had our times working with recent converts along with everything else. There is an Indian family (the parents have legitimate Dalmuti accents, it´s always a pleasure to listen to them) with 3 kids (they´re accents are not near as strong), two Brazilian young women Cirleide (she turns 19 next Monday) and Jessica (17), and a Portuguese mother and daughter Maria and Vânia (22). It´s great working with them and doing what we can to help them be constant in living the gospel!

We´re also excited to be working with a man named Jorge who is quiet but has enjoyed our lessons and feels good when he´s read and prayed. And yesterday we contacted a member referral from outside our area which turned out great. When we came to their floor the husband opened the door and asked if we were looking for 2ºA (their apartment) and I had gotten mixed up during the walk up the stairs and thought we were looking for 2ºB so I told him ´No, we´re looking for 2ºB´. Then we talked to the lady at 2ºB and she said there was no Rhaissa (spelling uncertain) who lived there. We were kind of bummed but then I remembered that we wanted 2ºA, NOT B, and the husband opened the door again and said `I think you talked to my wife yesterday on the phone, we´re right here, come on in.´ What a blessing we get to work with people smarter than ourselves! And that lesson went great! Fernando (the husband) and Rhaissa have to little boys ages 7 and 5 and one more due on November 27 (comind up soon!). They were happy to visit with us and excited to keep going. YAY!!

Thursday was absolutely awesome! We had zone conference and were blessed with the company of Elder Erich Kopischke, president of the Europe Area. It was an amazing conference and I learned a ton and was corrected likewise, all by the Spirit. After the leadership meeting Elder Kopischke interviewed me and one of the office elders, which was a great boost. I don´t know if he contacted you Dad, but he said he was gonna say hi and all is well, which it is! :D

Well life is great. Keep on keepin on everybody! I love you and I hope ya´ll have a great week! Tchau!

--Elder Ellis V

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stop the press!

Hello beloved family!!

Well, there´s been quite the bit of changes and surprises this week! Last Monday, after my internet time was up and while I was getting one more haircut from Sorene, President Torgan called and informed me that I was being transferred to the area of Linda-A-Velha (Beauty the Old) to be district leader. And on top of that, I had to leave Tuesday, the following day, instead of Thursday as transfers normally run. So it was a bit of shock, but luckily I was able to have the last family night with Ivan and Sorene and also Adriana, Brenda, and Samuel. I packed Tuesday morning and Elder Sagebin and I went to mail off some stuff and it turns out the post office (here at least) doesn´t accept credit card so I was unable to mail off a package with surplus stuff that I wanted to send home (in a box). We headed off, and en route while we were on a metro I forgot to pick up said box and left it at the metro station. So today I will recover that box...

Linda-A-Velha (LAV) is a big area with huge potential. My new companion is Elder Matthew Sterling Rich, a good hard working Elder getting the language down. We have a lot of recent converts to work with, and we´re trying to help some other investigators push through and overcome whatever barriers are holding them back from being baptized, be it smoking, getting married, or recognizing a testimony that the restored gospel is TRUE!

So yeah, life is great here at the Pretty Old Lady! Just in case anyone´s interested, the apartment address here is:
Avenida Bombeiros Voluntários de Algés
1495-019 Algés

Thanks everyone again for the emails. John and Mark, I found your blogs especially amusing. Rock on Johnboy! Anyways. I love all ya´ll, keep on keepin on! Tchau!
--Elder Ellis V