Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello beloved family!! Life is great! God lives, He loves us, Jesus Christ is our Saviour, the Church was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and I love all of you!

Kit & Kev- thanks for the Christmas package! It arrived in the nick of time - December 23, but I picked it up from the post office on Christmas Eve. Whew! Thank you very very very much!

Joy & Darrell - Congradulations! I´m so happy for you! Boy or girl, this baby will have two fabulous parents and four awesome big brothers!

Well life is great in Portugal! We had our zone conference which went great, and we had a great time passing by people, investigators and members on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. It was wonderful to feel the Christmas spirit, and I´m excited to start a new year and better my efforts as a representative of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Thanks again Dad for your advice on the Christmas phone call. I´ll work hard to remember and apply it.

One quick funny story. Yesterday we went by a less active´s house and left taking out their trash for them. I was carrying a really big back of trash, and when we came to the dumpster I started to swing it to toss it into the dumpster without using both hands to lift it up and over. `one ... two...´ SNAP! the bag snapped from the weight of the trash and much of its contents spilled onto the road. Once we were done laughing we cleaned up what we could and moved on.

Anyways, I love all of you and wish you a happy new year! Looking forward to more emails and news... tchau!

--Elder Ellis V (from Tribe 2)

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Greetings to one and all from Portugal! How is everyone? I am so happy to have this time again to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas - celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - and feel His love. I love all of you and pray for all of you. Thanks again for all the packages and well wishes. I love all ya´ll!

This week has gone well. It has been really fun to share candy canes as we pass by less actives and potential / former investigators, and keep looking for those who are prepared, and even watch the Joy to the World dvd. I echo Hendel - Hallelujah! The joy of Christmas simply is the joy of the gospel. I feel that same excitement when people finally progress, come to church, etc. A lady named Rhaísa who just had her 3rd boy at the end of November came to church and brought all 3 boys (the other two are 7 and 5ish), enjoyed sacrament meeting and was warmly greeted by the sister who teaches the gospel principles class. Yay!

Well we´ve got a fun week ahead. Today is only partly a preparation - we are doing email and groceries and then keep working, and we´ll have the usual Pday (freed up from internet and shopping) on Christmas day! And we have a big Christmas zone conference in Oeiras on Wednesday. Well once again, I love all of you and wish you a Merry Christmas! In addition, if you are not already planning on doing so, I invite everyone to prayerfully consider what you can individually give as a gift to Christ, and write it down on a paper and maybe put it in your stocking. Maybe further developing a Christlike attribute, giving up a bad or not-so-worthwhile habit, giving greater service in general or to specific individuals... anything that you feel prompted to give of yourself. Love you, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

--Elder Ellis V

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Hello everyone!

This week has flown by yet again! On Tuesday I set Elder Rich off at the Sete Rios bus station for the Algarve and went to the mission office to meet up with my new companion Elder Michael James McFarren from Stockton, California! That makes the in-the-field companion count: 4 for Utah boys and 4 for California boys! He is a great guy and a convert to the church, and we´re ready to tear it up!

Thank you Mom and Joy for the Christmas packages! Mom, I believe I received package #2 - big rice crispy cookie, another wrapped present (which I didn´t open yet) and a belated letter from around Mother´s Day. Joy, everything looks delicious and was intact. I´m saving a bunch of the goodies for closer to Christmas time, and thanks for the pictures of your fantastic 4 boys! (There´s a Halloween costume idea... maybe.)

Another really cool thing - last night we went to Oeiras to see the (re)broadcast of the First Presidency Christmas devotional and there was a young Brazilian woman there from Bahia who met cousin Zach - ahem, Elder Ellis! She noticed my nametag and did a little double take and said she had met him a month and a half ago... or so. Small world!

Anyways, that´s the biggest news. The weather outside is not as frightful as other places gifted with snow, but it has gotten nippy. Not only have I been using my sweaters, but I´ve also busted out the long (ski) underwear Mom got me before going into the MTC. So I´ll confess to everyone - Mothers are always right! (I didn´t think I would need them, but they make me so much more comfortable!) Thanks again Mom!

Well that´s the news from the Farol da Europa. Thanks again for the packages, emails, letters, etc. And I will echo Rachel´s words for getting into the true Christmas spirit and sharing the gospel with others! Go get ´em everybody! Have a great week!

--Elder Ellis V

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hey everybody!

Thanks once again for all the great stuff! That was a great picture of Grandma Hazel and Grandpa Big Dad. Thanks for the news and updates!

Speaking of which, (or typing thereof) here´s my bit of news! Last week I forgot to share that John Caravela (sp?) paid a visit at church last week! Not yesterday but the week before... It was a pleasant surprise to see him! Anyways, this week. Unfortunately Rosália was not yet baptized. When she said she was going out of town I had assumed she would be back sooner, and we only got in contact again a few days ago. She should be back this week, and hopefully everything will go well so she can be baptized this weekend, or at least soon.

Oh, the belated Thanksgiving feast with the Hinckley family was amazing. We still haven´t finished the leftovers. Irmão Hinckley is a great ward mission leader, really diligent on helping us with lessons when he can and trying to focus with the bishopric and other ward members on strengthening the recent converts, getting them hometeachers and callings, and working on finding more people. It´s great!

Well today I got a haircut. It´s back to the very short look. I told the barber what I wanted, 3 on the sides and 4 on the top, and he said it would be short, so I went ahead and got it over with since I don´t have the patience to tell him how a ´missionary cut´ should be. I do miss Mom, Sis Parker, and Sorene´s good haircuts. But oh well. In other news, we´re planning on going to the zoo today and when I called President Torgan for permission he acquiesced to our request but also let us know that Elder Rich is being transferred to the Algarve, so he´ll need to be back in time to start packing his bags. Nothing is as constant as change, right?

Well, that´s the bit of news, I hope everyone is having a great time and enjoying the holidays with the focus on the real meaning of Christmas, celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! Have a great week! Much love,

--Elder Ellis V