Letter from Carsten - December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011
The week of Christmas
It's ALMOST Christmas!
Well, before i forget mentioning it, we get to go to the temple tomorrow! YAY! So I'm super excited. We don't get back till like 4, its gonna be nice. It will be a good little half day field trip.
And so far our Christmas plans are, dinner with the Hernandez family! We have dinner with them every Sunday night ha ha. but this time its Christmas, and we are gonna bring our investigator Rafael with us.
Christmas morning we have church, and then probably just hanging out with a few other missionaries and making phone calls home! it'll be real good. Ill try and take pictures - promise mom!
This week has been a good one for sure. Its been REALLLLLY slow the last couple of weeks, so the weeks were dragging on. But this week flew by, which means we were busy - pretty great.
We have this couple were teaching named Gabby and Francisco, who are reallllly nice. I'm super excited to teach them, Gabby was talking about how she just doesn't have faith anymore and doesn't know where to start to regain it, and we were like, "oh don't worry were good at that, its what we do". So were gonna teach them Tuesday. They are both are very receptive and like to talk. They always seem like they feel a giant whole in their lives. Like they aren't really happy. Which is where the gospel comes in, so I'm excited about helping them.
Were also teaching Rafael and Manual a lot, they live in the same apartment. Rafael is disabled and has is working on an alcohol problem, but is always positive minded. He is struggling lately cause he sits around at home all day alone, so temptation comes strong. But i think he will be okay. And Manuel is very nice. His work hasn't called him in a few weeks so hes working on making ends meet, its sad. and his mother died Saturday. But he has expressed interest in us and wants help, and he came to church with his little daughter Blanca, so i hope good things happen.
So i love you all and i wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Con Amor,
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011
The week I ate Beef Trip!
So have you ever heard of beef tripe? Well, tripe is like sheep stomach, so i guess beef tripe is like cow stomach. I'm glad i didn't know what it was until after I ate it, because that's super nasty! I took one bite (i thought it looked like squid tentacles) and i didn't even know what it really was. I almost threw up. So i wont lie, i definitely hid the rest of it under some lettuce leaves on my plate.
Yesterday we went to the Coleman's house (as per usual) and had a lunch thing with some members and some of the district. Its been pretty good lately, been moving up with the success! we can actually find people in their homes these days! And we have managed to schedule a ginormous amount of appointments this week, so that will be awesome.
Some notable things this week were we went to find our investigator Rafael, he's super cool. He had 2 strokes a while ago and is pretty crippled, and forgot how to write in English. But he's off crutches now and has a dream to run. Last night we went to his house and he wasn't home, but his roommate we always say hi to was and invited us in. We talked to him and set up an appointment. He has no friends so we are gonna get him to church to make friends. He's a year sober from alcohol, its cool. But then Rafael stumbled home, and we knew something was up. He told us that he drinks and he really wants to stop, so we are gonna visit him tonight and help him out, i feel like it will be a good opportunity for him to see the power of the Book of Mormon.
We also found a really cool couple, Juan and Julieta, who were really nice and let us in. we were gonna share about Jesus' birth and all, but she brought up the BoM so we were like okay, restoration lesson time.
And we got to teach the Reyes family again! they are the 3 kids that want to get baptized, but their dad is super Catholic and wont allow it. So were gonna keep teaching and waiting for a miracle, we've got some ideas.
As for Hugo and Rosa that I've talked about before, Rosa is the super old lady that was really solid and almost got baptized. But her mom who's 102 years old is against it, and so Rosa has been super avoiding us. I see her every time we go by, and she pretends shes not home. its pretty sad. And Hugo is doing OK. The "Virgen Guadelupe" is still "his mother" (we tried to share about not worshipping anything other than God, didn't sink in) and turns out he doesn't like our church. But, we had a great lesson about his relationship with God and talked about church.
I also got to go on splits with Elder Suarez. He was sick so we didn't get to go out and work till 3pm, but we still had a good time. I really enjoy being on bike, although days like this when its pouring rain all day I'd rather be in a car!
President Martin showed up at the church yesterday which was cool. He's so great. I don't remember if i told you, but i wrote him in my weekly letter about my Dear John, and he called me a few days later and made sure i was doing alright and to see if he could do anything for me. Hes super great, i love the man.
And today we played some hardcore free for all dodge ball with some 30 missionaries for 1 1/2 hours. It was crazy. Elder Ely brought his investigator, Nefi, and he played too.  BTW - Nefi is Spanish for Nephi, as in book of Mormon prophet. Legit right? His parents used to be Mormon, and now he is investigating the church, he's really awesome.
Well, that's all. Thanks mom for the Christmas gifts! I'm super excited to open them all up on Christmas.
I love you all, have a good week!
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011
The week my companion Elder Ely is sick
La Vida,
Well, this weeks been a  roller coaster, and really fast and slow all at the same time. The highlight was definitely Wednesday, we had a zone conference with lots of other missionaries, and then worked from 4 till the end of the night.
Yeah, guess who got 5 baptismal dates set in that small window of time? WE DID! yeahhh! it was a suuuuper awesome day. Sadly tho, 3 have already fell through. The Rey's kids who want to be baptized had to ask their dad for permission, and he is super catholic and said no. Were praying for miracles.
I don't really remember much else, it's been such a long week. I didn't get to go to church cause Elder Ely was suuuper sick, so i stayed with him while Elder Troy took Elder Suarez to church so they could take care of all our investigators there. It was fine, i read the book, Our Heritage, watched church videos, and then read the P90X manual and now want P90X haha. It was funny.
Anyways, not much else to report, we have a ridiculously high failure rate lately for finding people when they say they will be home. Maybe its just the season! Either way, no worries. Nothing we can do but work our butts off!
Anyways, sorry that wasn't the best email, but it's all i gots!
Have a great week i love you all!
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011
The week of Rocky


Well happy belated thanksgiving y'all! 'Ill just answer every ones many Thanksgiving questions here, since they are all the same. It was a great day! We couldn't go out proselyting, which was good and bad, but we had lots of fun. In the morning we had a big breakfast with our zone at the district leaders apartment and this really awesome guy named Rocky. It was legit! i made super awesome pancakes and we had bacon and other assorted delicious food items. And then we played hardcore scrabble
with Rocky.

And let me just devote a whole paragraph to describing Rocky. He is my  district leaders investigator, but hes basically like the missionaries best friend. Hes huge, like super jacked and strong. And one of the nicest guys and most charismatic people i know. He was dangggg funny. He has some legal stuff to fix before he can be baptised, but he has expressed lots of interest in the church and says he wants to be Mormon someday. And he thinks the missionaries are all really awesome. He told me that i would be a really funny cop too, so i guess when i get home I'm growing out my mustache and training to be a cop. Rocky said so. Hes pretty dang awesome tho, and deserved an entire paragraph.

So that was a good start, then we had a lunch with a sister from he ward, who brought her non member son, so we taught them a lot and hopefully can teach them more. And then we had dinner with this family named the Coleman's. They are from Peru, and estan loco! Its pretty awesome. We had lots of good food and fun. It sucked a little bit looking at my watch and knowing that all the Ellsworth's were at my house right now. But that's okay, i had a good day.

As far as missionary work goes, it was a rough week. We always have lot of super fixed appointments, and 90% of them always fall through, as well as all of our mega backups. So that's a bit of a bummer but, theres nothin you can do but keep workin your tail end off! So that's what we do. Work. And we enjoy doing it. Except knocking - i still hate knocking doors. But we find lots of really prepared people that way, so we probably wont stop any time soon. But that's okay cause this week will be fantastic! we have a lot of people we are right on the edge of setting baptismal dates with, so no worries.There aren't really any investigators that are more notable than the rest right now, so it sufficeth me to say that all are doing well. Ill update when theres more exciting news.

And today was awesome, all the missionaries got together and we played some soccor, which i actually enjoy! I aint bad fer a gringo! Its pretty awesome, my favorite part is stealing the ball from people and weaving around people, mostly cause everyone expects me to suck, but for some reason i can usually get it around them LOL. So that's wayyy fun!It's nice having good guys to be super active with.

Anyways, i have a timer ticking at me, were at the library today, so i gotta go! Keep writing me lots of letters everyone! its better that way cause then i actually have time to really reply. Okay, love you all, have a good week!

Elder Ellsworth

Still waiting for more pictures from Carsten - in the mean time, here's a picture of Carsten with Bella on the day she joined our family!
November 2009

Letter from Carsten - November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011
The week I was named 'John'
Well, I was 'Dear Johned' this past week. Tis the life of a missionary indeed LOL.  Its a rough thing to deal with, but i believe that all things happen for a reason. I'm doing fine thanks to the scriptures and lots of prayer, so no need to worry about it. Life will go on.

Other news, I'm sorry i didn't write an email last week! I waited too long then got rushed outta here and didn't have the chance to write it.

Highlights were that I was prompted from El Espiritu Santo (the spirit) to turn around after being almost home at the end of the night, and found a really awesome guy named Rafael! and he basically invited himself to church, so it was pretty dang awesome.

Another day we were knocking, and there were lots of people that didn't speak Spanish and super hated on us, so we got outta there.

We were about to the car, when a lady called after us. She had chased us down, and wanted us to give her dying mother a blessing, which we did. We set up a time to meet with the daughter for tomorrow! so that might be a really good lesson. The mom was Mormon once and wanted a blessing from the elders, and we happened to be there so she chased us down! pretty cool if ya ask me. And the best story, we were driving and i got a prompting to knock a building, but ignored it. And then decided i ought to follow, so i crazy u-turned around and we knocked one door, and during the middle of this door approach another lady wanted to talk to us so Elder Troy went and talked to her while i finished talking to the lady at the door (in spanish, by myself, without Elder Troy to back me up :D! I'm getting better at Spanish -  its great) Well this other lady, turns out she was baptized 14 years ago and went inactive. She has 3 kids ages 8, 11, and 13. She's concerned for them and the bad influences around them. so she prayed for help and we showed up! Well we taught them Wednesday, and they were super awesome kids. So were gonna talk about that more and teach the plan of salvation on Wednesday. Best thing ever. And turns out Elder Troy had the same prompting to knock that building, but he just didn't say anything out loud. That was the best story.

We also met a nice old man that doesn't want to be told that for 70 years hes been in the wrong religion, so didn't let us in. but we did get to know him, and turns out he taught over in Boston (where Troy studied) and at NAU! so he thought that was cool. Then we met another guy(these were both not Latino English speakers) who was suuuuuper nice, but was convinced that Jesus was not crucified, and that the bible is mega corrupt and all these conspiracies, so he was fun to talk to as well haha. Idk there has been lots of good stuff. Lots off struggles having people be there for our appointments tho.

I'm gonna go to the Surplus store today for fun, and to have man time to further overcoming being Dear John'd - it will be sweet!

So that's about all i got for now! hope it makes up for the lack of mail last week! love you guys, have a good week.

Elder John - oops, I mean Elder Ellsworth

Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE! My companion and I have several dinner plans on Thursday, so we'll be nice and full the entire day!

No Letter from Carsten this week - November 14, 2011

Hello everyone!

This is Carsten's Mom. Carsten wasn't able to send his usuall family letter this week. I did get a quick e-mail from him and he's doing great, so no worries.

In the meantime I'll post a favorite old picture of him taken a few years ago  - waiting for more pictures of him in California. He's finding it a bit harder to take pictures, so we'll just have to be patient.

Letter from Carsten - November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011
The week I drove the car
Well, lots has happened this week, and i cant remember any of it. LOL. Hopefully it will start to come back as i write this.

Well, the first thing was that i started driving the car! so pray for some extra safety for me lol. I hate driving. Cause i hate other drivers. So i guess this is just a way the Lord is using to teach me more patience. it isn't effective yet. But that's okay.

Our car is pretty nice too, so that's fun. I only go 0-60 in 5 seconds every OTHER day ;) just kidding I'm responsible. Elder Troy probably hates my driving cause I'm suuuuuper careful.
This week we found a really nice lady named Dores who was super open to us, and is a great investigator, and we hope that things will keep working out with her! but her house is suuuuuper infested with bugs, which is disgusting, but it made for a LOT of fun laughs during that lesson. We're trying to get her to move in with our other investigator, who is trying to get someone to move into a room in her big apartment, so that would be awesome.

We could teach Alba, her son Darwin, and Dores all at the same time! triple baptism BAM. We've had lots of other fun stuff like that happen, and this Tuesday we have a breakfast appointment with our other awesome investigator Irene. Shes cooking some stuff and I'm making pancakes, and then were gonna teach her about Jesus.More specifically his gospel. But that will be way fun! I'm excited.
Not much else. Hugo is still blind and progressing. Our golden investigator Rosa is still in New York and didn't get baptized yesterday as planned (darn it New York) so yeah. pretty normal mission life lol.

I'm happy and healthy :) and now that this mail address mishap is figured out maybe ill start actually getting letters! its been pretty bleak lol. we will see!

That's about all i can think of for this week :) I'm still working on pictures! but its tougher that the MTC, here your actually busy and real people see you 24/7 so i cant look like a tourist!
Okay i love you all! have a good week :)
Elder Ellsworth
Carsten and his companion are having a plant growing contest

Carsten says he's in the lead - what do you think?

Stay tuned!

Letter from Carsten - October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011 - AKA HALLOWEEN
The week my Spanish gets better

Hello family!

Well, its Halloween, which just means that tonight people are too busy trick or treating to feed us or listen to us, so we don't have anything planned today. Basically we have the whole day to ourselves. Which is kinda nice. I got plenty of stuff to clean at the apartment. And later today a bunch of us missionaries are getting together in Halloween costumes and playing kickball somewhere, so that will be fun hahaha.

As for me, life is going great - Elder Troy and I are having a plant growing war, and i am dominating him. we bought seeds at a store last week for some flowers, and put them with some dirt in plastic water bottles we cut up, so were professional gardeners now. But mine are totally dominating! i have a bunch of big huge sprouts of my flower, and his is all tiny! but, they are different types so i guess you cant judge. but were gonna have one of our member family friends judge which plant is better in the end. I know, were pretty cool like that.

But planting flowers isn't all we do as missionaries! believe it or not we actually work a lot too. The last couple of days have been awesome (except yesterday, which was a little tougher) but we don't go knocking anymore. we just go finding. Almost without fail, every time we went knocking to find people to teach, the first door we knocked on let us in right away and we taught them awesome first lessons and got return appointments and all that jazz! so that's WAY awesome.

We found tons of people this week to teach. And we found this awesome guy named Steve who was the only white guy in the neighborhood, and he ended up being super interested. he quit smoking 7 days ago and is working on quitting alcohol, so we gave him a picture of Jesus to hang up to help him overcome his addictions, and he even said the closing prayer for us, he was awesome. 

We keep finding the BEST investigators, and they are either not in our area or speak English, and we take care of the Spanish speaking, but that's okay cause we have lots of pretty solid investigators so far. things are going well there.

And my Spanish is greatly improving, now I'm really working on understanding what people say to me perfectly cause if i can do that i can reply faster and not look stupid cause i have no idea what they just said. but some people here are REALLLLLY hard to understand. i don't think i would understand most of them if they were speaking English either. So that's a struggle, but ill get better at it. I'm getting a lot better at expressing better what i have to say tho, and that's really fun. so life's good, Spanish is good, the people are good, I'm resisting the temptation to be lazy, and its awesome!

Well, that's all i got, i love you all have a good week :)
Elder Ellsworth

(Carsten with his companion Elder Maxwell from the MTC) 

Letter from Carsten - October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011
The week we were stopppd by cops

Hello family!

Hows life? Same old same old I'm sure. Thanks for all the  letters I've been getting and your emails too.

Things are going well in  California. We have had some amazing days and some pretty downer days.
But we don't let the loser days get us down! Ya just gotta keep at it,  and not give up.

We had some fun experiences this week tho, one of  which was we were getting our backpacks out of our trunk to go to an  appointment, and these two cops in a cop car pulled up right next to  us, stopping traffic behind them, and started talking to us. One of  them was a member, and had family in Mesa last name of Larson! (mom) they were cool. They first pulled up and said "hey, you guys
 got a permit to be doin what your doin" trying to intimidate us or  something. But we were like well, yeah actually we do! cause we have a  little card that proves that we are representatives of the church and  have the duty of preaching and proselyting and its all legal and  stuff, so we busted em out and showed him, it was cool. He was a  member tho so he was just messin around :)

We met plenty of cool  people too. Especially Hugo and Rosa, they both made it to church with
us this Sunday which was amazing! Hugo is temporarily blind, but we  taught him twice this week and hes super great. He wants to learn  more, and Rosa is like 76 and is getting baptised November 6th :) shes  super great too.

We found this amazing lady named Erika, who's  husband died 5 months ago, and shes having some trouble. But shes  soooo interested in the gospel, shes super golden. We taught her a  little of the first lesson and answered some questions, but the sad  thing is we wont get to keep teaching her, shes not in our area so we  had to give her to other guys in our district, sad day.

We saw Pedro for a few minutes, the supppper  intelligent catholic guy, and he actually read some in the BoM! Which  is rare lol. So he is progressing, and he had a tomato plant, so he  picked some and handed to us so we would eat them, and i HATE  tomatoes, but i sucked it up and ate the whole thing right in front of  him so he wouldn't think i was just some picky white kid. It was  disgusting. But i did it! HAHA.

On Sunday we gave 2 people  blessings, my first time. i didn't even know what to say in English, so  i failed pretty bad on my part. but ill practice.

We are working with a lot of really incredible people and I'm having a good  time. I cant wait for Wednesday, we have a bunch of awesome  appointments set up then!

Well, I'm not sure what else there is, so ill just say that i love you  and i miss ya! But I'm glad to be here serving the lord and the city of  Van Nuys :)

 Love ya all!
 Elder Ellsworth

(picture from the MTC with one of our Spanish teachers Amanda Nelsen)

Letter from Carsten - October 17, 2011

Elder Carsten Ellsworth
7057 Haskell Ave Apt. 222
Van Nuys, CA 91406
October 17, 2011
The week that time goes slow then BAM it's another week!
Hola mi familia!
Hows life? Every body still sick of the heat of Arizona? I'm sure all is well in the desert.

How's the mission you ask? Well its fantastic! Time is so weird here, it goes really slow each day, and then all of a sudden its the next week. Which is nice, we get a lot done that way and it doesn't drag on, i guess 2 years really wont be that hard at all.

I'm still enjoying my time here a ton, and iv made lots of friends. The missionaries around here are great, we just played a bunch of basketball and stuff in the gym.
And the members are awesome too! I had my first real church meeting (my first one we just had a stake conference) So i got to meet more of the members which is great. And i am really good friends with a couple of the families, cause they feed us regularly. Gooood food too.
And we have met so may awesome investigators and potential investigators! Were finding tons of people all the time. Its not the easiest thing knocking doors, but every now and then we find some really prepared people.
Yesterday we were walking after having been shut down again (happens a lot) and this guy asked us a trick question about faith as we walked buy him, and Elder Troy answered it perfectly with an analogy and everything, so that got his attention well. and we stood there and talked to him for an hour about the first lesson, and then went and sat in front of his house with some water for another 45 minutes. He was this super intelligent catholic guy and the best part was he basically taught us about the apostasy and lack of authority and all that stuff, so he really understood a lot, and then we taught him about the restoration, and he seemed interested, so we gave him a BoM and a commitment, hes super awesome!

And theres this old lady named Rosa that we are teaching that is about to get baptized! Shes super great. My 4th day her we taught her and i didn't understand a single word she said she talked too fast for me, but we taught her the other day and i understood all of it this time! So that was really awesome, I'm getting better at understanding Spanish, no i just need to learn how to speak intelligently and be able to respond faster and i will be alright! but there is definitely a lot more improvement when your immersed which native speakers, i have no choice but to learn really fast ha ha ha.
So things are awesome. We've had a lot of great experience this week, i wish i could just call you and tell you every single one, but that's okay. The start of our week was really hard, we taught almost no one because every appointment bailed and no one would let us in and it was a little discouraging, but then Thursday to Sunday have been great, we found a lot of fantastic people and taught some really awesome lessons, i love it.
The work isn't easy, and I'm still terrified before i teach or knock, but it always works out and i am having a blast. And even though i haven't received a single letter this week from anyone (they are probably at the mission office), it was still a great week.  Anyways, i love you and i cant wait to hear back from you all.
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - October 10, 2011

Elder Carsten Ellsworth
7057 Haskell Ave Apt. 222
Van Nuys, CA 91406

October 10, 2011
The week I arrived in Van Nuys CALIFORNIA

Guess who is in California! I am! Its amazing here. I love missionary life. Wayyyy better than the MTC!

We get fed by members amazing Mexican food, and get to teach tons of people in
Spanish. The Spanish part is kind of terrifying, but if i ever get in
a bind my companion comes and saves the day, hes an awesome teacher.
His name is Elder Troy, and hes been here a little under a year.

We have a car, so we don't bike around places, which is good and bad. Good
because a car is suuuuuper helpful and convenient, and bad because i
don't want to get fat. And if your in a car, you don't get recognized as
missionaries as easily. But that's okay, ill get to use my awesome new
bike eventually I'm sure.

Teaching people is so much fun! We always have lots of appointments,
and its really scary, but its so exciting. I hate it when m companion
turns to me and says okay your turn, or when hes like okay you get to
knock this door.

But the more i do it the faster i will be, so its really a blessing in disguise. I'm sure i
will grow with my Spanish soon. I'm able to basically communicate well
enough. although the other day we taught this really intelligent guy named Berto,
and it was just sooooo over my head! he was wayyyy smart and i kept up as well as i
could hahaha. We didn't teach what we had prepared for him, so i was
like oh my goodness now what i don't know the words for this lesson
well enough yet! but that's okay, cause as usual, Elder Troy came to the

Anyways, my time is almost up, but in short i love it here and
Cali is amazing! I look forward to more mail from everyone too :) Mom,
ill send my new address to you in an email, but ill write you a real
letter in a little when i get home. Oh and i would like Mackenzies
mailing address so i can write her, i have a story for her. :)

Anyways, love you all! Bye!
Elder Ellsworth

Last teacher in the MTC - Time to go to Calfornia to serve my MISSION!

CALIFORNIA here I Come...

Carsten's ON HIS WAY
October 5, 2011

California San Fernando Mission
23504 Lyons Ave   #107
Santa Clarita, California 91321
(mission office)

My boy is on a plane this morning to the place he'll be serving his mission. He called early this morning,
before I was up and had my phone on, but he left me a WONDERFUL message
how excited he was to arrive in California and said to say hi to Gabrielle
and all his family and friends!

As bummed as I am about missing his call, I'm actually pretty excited I get to hear his message over and over as often as I want!

His voice sounded different - more mature I suppose, and yes, it's still very deep! I know my boy loves me, but I'll tell ya,
it was SO NICE to here him say -

Then he reassures me he's doing great and so excited to get to California to
start his mission.

(Carsten's MTC district of Missionary's)
Such a GREAT boy I'm blessed with - he's one of 3 actually, but today I'm thinking
of him and his willingness to go on a mission having really no idea
what to expect - but loving each minute as it comes!

LOVE YOU like CRAZY TOO Carsten!!!!!

Letter from Carsten - September 29, 2011

September 29, 2011
The week I'm leaving the MTC

I'm almost done with the MTC!

Well, its true. I am super close to getting outta here and heading out to California! only 6 days left! I'm pretty stinking excited. so yeah that's pretty awesome. 
Something less awesome, we don't get a P-day because of general conference, so we have to figure out when were gonna pack and do all that preparing for the field thing. but esta bien! things have been working out fine so I'm not too worried about it, we will get done whatever needs to get done.
In other news, my throat hurts. so i just saw a doctor, and he basically told me to take benadryl and suck it up, which i expected. i know, super exciting ;) tis the life of a missionary haha.
So, i don't have much more time, so this is just to say that I'll email you again for real, but next time it will be in the field! :D hurray! so wish me luck :) love you all, ill let you know if anything extra exciting happens!
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - September 23, 2011

September 23, 2011
The week I got my travel plans to CALIFORNIA

Hola mi familia!
How are things? anything new in Mesa and Queen Creek? Thank you for the continued letters and packages, its super awesome being able to get lots of mail. Unfortunately i don't have much time, so this will have to stay kind of short, but ill do my best.
First of all we had our 3rd Apostle come and speak at another devotional!!! So now we've had Elder Holland, Elder Ballard, and Elder Nelson! Its been so cool, were super lucky. I figure we just need all the extra help or something lol.
So it turns out that Elder Maxwell and I are Zone Leaders now! Pretty cool huh???! Were the oldest district now, and we were called to be Zone leaders! Its pretty awesome :) there are a ton of responsibilities, but its really fun and i like being able to serve my zone. So that's really cool, and then also yesterday and Wednesday we got to help the new district that just came inn we gave them a tour and taught them how things work here in the MTC and it was really cool! And here's the crazy part....we were being filmed! the MTC president wanted a training video for new branch presidents, and we were selected so i hope we did well. they filmed the whole thing it was crazy!!! so that was pretty cool.
Oh and one other thing before i go, we got travel plans! i leave on October 5th to California! pretty awesome :) so yeah that's all i got time for!!! i love you allll!
Oh and I have a somewhat strange request :) i would like you if you have time (both sets of parents if you want) go to the DI and buy some more ties! cause i don't have too many, and more importantly i want more for the tie trade! We trade ties here like all the time its super fun. So even if they aren't that great, i might be able to trade em! hahaha :) So buy DI ties and send em to me if you can.
Love you!
Elder Ellsworth


Birthday Letter to Gabby...

Today is Gabby's 16th Birthday!
Here is my letter to her - it's the best I can do for now!
(although I'm pretty sure Mom has a present from me too - right Mom?)

September 21, 2011

Dear Gabrielle,

Hopefully you waited to read this till the 21st, though I'm pretty sure you'll open it early! But hey, no one can really resist a letter from me right? Ha ha ha!

Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Be sure to fill me in on your first date and how "awkward" the guy is - especially that part!

And go get your license.

Enjoy this birthday, cause this is the ONLY exciting BIRTHDAY YOU'LL have!


17, you can see R rated movies alone - but who cares, your not supposed to anyway! Resist the urge to see "Paranormal Activity" - really though, if you do watch it, it has to be at night and it's best
if your alone!

18 doesn't really matter either. You can sign for yourself and buy dry ICE - whoohoo!

And 21 is no biggie, cause you shouldn't drink anyway!

SO really, this is the best birthday your gonna get so ENJOY IT!

Love ya SIS,

Letter from Carsten - September 16, 2011

September 16, 2011
The week I'm fluent in Spanish

Hello family!

Well, The MTC still hasn't changed, still the same exact schedule every single week. But we love it. I'm MTC fluent in Spanish (which means if a native were to talk to me i would look ridiculous, but here in the MTC i look like I'm fluent!) So that's cool! Just workin on grammar and what not, and soon im gonna focus on talking faster and using more Spanish every day! But the language is sooooo cool! I love it.

(learning to pronuciate our Spanish - ha ha ha)

Classes are awesome too, the other day we had a substitute teacher teach us, and it ended up being one of the best lessons iv been taught here so far. We practiced how to approach doors, and how to teach the gospel more simply and quickly. He did a demonstration and taught us in Spanish in 1 minute and 30 seconds the entire 3rd lesson about Jesus' earthly ministry! And we understood every single word. So we are working on leaving out all the crazy details and really getting to the basic doctrine when we speak.

Its so cool being able to teach our teachers as "progressive investigators" they pretend to be someone from their mission and we have to teach them as if they were a real investigator! Its basically the best learning tool ever. So we struggle through it here, and hopefully wont be horrible when we get to the field! But we will see how that goes lol! I've heard lots of horror stories that the people that speak Spanish in the real world talk so fast it doesn't even sound like the same language. Not that I'm nervous about that at all.....But that's okay, i know that the Lord will provide a way. Even if i have no idea how to talk, I'm still gonna try and get to know every person i see. Its not gonna be easy, but that's what i gotta do.

(hug of encouragemnt from my teacher - Brother Davis)
My district has been kinda sick. Elder Bradford got knee surgery Monday and i got to go with to the clinic! I saw the outside world for the first time! I saw a Wendy's, college kids, an Inn and Out  Burger, a hospital, a porche, a mall and all these things that i totally forgot existed it was cool! And the driver had this thing called a cell phone, and i was like what the heck is that thing?? I don't even know anymore iv been so cut off lol. So me and my companion had some good laughs about that :)

Elder Maxwell and I still get along well, we often finish each others sentences cause were basically always on the same brainwave. Its pretty cool, especially on teaching people.

So awesome story of the week, we had another Apostle come and speak in another devotional this week!!! M. Russel Ballard spoke to us Tuesday, and it was so stinkin awesome! lots of good notes. It was cool seeing the difference between his talk and the talk we had by Elder Holland the other week, they are very different speakers. But it was a really cool experience!

Anyway, my time is out, so ill say what i need really quick and then get outta here :) I need contacts, i don't have anymore. Just need em sometime before end of the month please :) and i also need lots and lots of family and friend pictures reallllly bad! my district wants too see what people in my life look like! So yeah :)

love you all, until next week!
Love, Elder Ellsworth!

Letter from Carsten - September 9, 2011

September 9, 2011
The week we all have colds
Dear Family,
Well I'm sorry that this letter has to be a little shorter than usual, I don't have much time today. Every computer lab in the entire building was completely full today, so there isn't as much time to write. You know how i love crowds...ha ha

But that's okay, cause today was an awesome P-Day! i still didn't do everything i wanted to, (you never do - its not long enough) but i got plenty done. i wrote 6 letters today and worked out and shaved and ate and just relaxed, which was reallllly needed.

(yes - I'm still totally goofy, even in the MTC you can't shake that outta me)
The last couple of days me and my roommates have been kinda sick with colds, which was really making life difficult there for a little bit. But then we realized that it was just cause we were sleeping really badly cause its an icebox in our room at night, so we put cardboard in the air conditioner  -probably not the best idea, but its extremely effective. We all slept super good and are full of energy today, I can breath through my nose again, life is just great ha ha. Gotta love breathing! But yeah, now its perfect in there and we will get a lot more sleep now, which will improve just about everything in our lives. I'm pretty happy about it.

Other than that class is still super good! our new teachers are great, and the language is coming along really well. I'm still working on past tense and a bunch of stuff, but I'm starting to sound semi intelligent when i can talk, and i can say certain things pretty fast and with the right pronunciation and everything! I cant wait to talk to people in Spanish when i get out in the field and home! So the learning is going by really fast.

(new MTC haircut)
I cannot believe that iv been here for over 5 weeks! Does that even make sense? I feel like I've been here for  a week, while at the same time I feel like I've been here for like at least 4 months. Its the MTC time warp, its totally real. Time is warped here. Does it feel like its gone by fast or slow for you guys? I mean, I'm sure your world completely stopped when i left and things just aren't the same, but whats it like there now? Ha ha! just kidding, I'm sure life still goes on, even with out me there!

I absolutely love my district. there's 8 of us and we all get along so well. And now there are 3 districts younger than us so we are 2nd to oldest! which is super weird! But really cool :)

Oh yeah, I hope I remember to write everything i need now. Here's my attempt. Pam could you somehow mail me the base thing for my razor? the big difficult thing with the liquid on the bottom, it might be a pain but it would be greatly appreciated. Other than that, I would like to request - darn it I totally forgot. I'll work on writing it down so I don't forget, theres other things I need I just cant remember lol. Oh well!

( Brother Davis - my instructor)
Oh and mom thanks for the pictures of your new business stuff, it all looks pretty dang sweet. Keep it up!

Alright, sorry its short but times up!
I love you all! bye!
Elder Ellsworth

PS: tell Gabrielle i got her letter but not till today so i didn't have time to reply to it, so ill have to reply next week. But i did send her a letter recently that should hold her over lol.

MTC Mission District Picture

Mission District
September 2011

Here is a picture of Carsten with all the guys and leaders in his mission district. Looks like
a really nice group! I can see why Carsten is having so much success
in learning Spanish and making friendships!

My Special Tie

My Special Tie
September 2011

So here's the story behind the tie
 A few days before Carsten left on his mission he and I were talking about something he could do if he was missing me...
something that wouldn't bring about a bunch of attention, just something that he could
express without using words.
I bought this tie for him when he was about 14 years old - it's a tie he's always loved. I told him to wear this tie when he's missing me or wants to feel me close to his heart.

LOOK there's our special tie and my sweet boy wearing it! 
LOVE YOU Carsten!

PS: I also recieved a letter from him today - I don't post his personal letters to me on here, but I will tell you
he's doing so great and LOVING being on his mission!

Letter from Carsten - September 2, 2011

September 2, 2011
The week I saw Jefferey R Holland

Dear Parents,
Hi there family! Hows life? Whats new with the business mom? Do we know what was wrong with the jeep yet dad? I appreciate the letters i keep getting from you guys, please continue to send them :)

Nothing much to report here at the MTC, except for the fact that, oh yeah, I WAS IN THE SAME ROOM AS AN APOSTLE! MMMMMMMhmm...
On Tuesday we had the usual devotional like every Tuesday, but this time it seemed a little off. There hadn't been an apostle speaking in a few months, and they wouldn't show on the big screen while we were waiting to begin who the speaker was, like they usually did.

And then one of the men who always sits on the front stand got up and told us some stuff, and then that it was expected that when an apostle or prophet enters the room, we stand. And obviously by now were like... this is gonna be the best devotional ever, who's it gonna be!

Just then Elder Jeffery R. Holland walked out and sat down on the stand! Then he gave one of the best talks I've ever heard in my entire life. It was so powerful and helpful and directed perfectly for the missionaries. He is one of my favorite speakers!

He talked on alot of things, I wouldn't really be able to tell you everything, but I took 4 pages of notes on it haha, that's how intensely good it was. Everything he said you just had to write down, and he was really funny too. Definitely my favorite part of the MTC so far, it was an amazing experience. So that was really cool.

Other than that life is still the same...lots of hard work and study every day from 7 am to 10:30 pm, and i love it. I'm slowly progressing with the language, and its super fun. Its very hard, but i realized that i couldn't complain. I found a Cambodian dictionary and wanted to cry it was so intense, so now I'm very grateful for Spanish. And then this guy spoke Cambodian to me and my companion, it was a humbling experience. (Justin Delong if your reading this....your gonna do great with Cambodian!)

Anyway, Its been really fun. I absolutely love my district, were all super close and hang out in each others rooms together on p-days like today and at night. And we do fun stuff together at gym like sand volleyball and softball, so fun.

Oh and another awesome thing, I'm basically half way through the Book of Mormon, and I've only been reading it for 4 weeks! And the best part is i actually comprehend it now! its so cool, i used to think it was the most boring book ever, turns out its super entertaining and helpful for lots of life challenges. Who knew right? So I'm loving that!

And we teach investigators every day, its really just our teachers pretending to be investigators, but its cool. We teach them as if they really were investigators, and we learn how to teach them all the lessons, in Spanish of course. its extremely helpful. I've learned not to stress about the words or the lesson and plan, but teach with the holy ghost.
(Carsten teaching Brother Bananna...Ha Ha Ha)

The best lesson we had we were teaching Pablo, our investigator, and we ended up teaching something completely different from what we had had planned, and it was my favorite lesson. They teach us here to teach people, not lessons. and its extremely true. Our current investigators are Adin and Pablo, and they are both pretty cool. They have different problems so we get to learn how to teach different types of people.                                                                                       

Oh, and something funny from my companion, apparently his mom reads my blog and finds out stuff about Elder Maxwell, like pictures and stories i write, which is really funny. So if your reading this, Hi sister Maxwell! oh and your son says hello as well!

Well, that's all i can think of for now. Until next week...
I love you all!
Elder Ellsworth
(sure enough...there's Elder Maxwell on the right!)
PS:  Mom and Gabrielle, can i please borrow that label maker Gabrielle has?! I want to label everything around me with it in Spanish to help me learn! Ill give it back in 2 years! If i can, please sent it in a care package asap... love ya!

Letter from Carsten - August 26, 2011

August 26, 2011
The week of the AMAZING fireside

Hola mi familia, como están?

Life here in the MTC is goin well :) Were FINALLY starting to learn how to do past tense, and just learned how to do future tense. That will be really nice when telling stories, its been pretty tough having to tell all of our stories in the present tense. But i love the language, its really fun. I cant wait till we are more fluent, as soon as we can we will be speaking all Spanish all day long. Our current goal is to only speak Spanish at lunch and during gym, so we will increase it more and more each week or so. Soon it'll be full immersion. I cant wait.

So last night was like the most beautiful night ever, we went out and played district softball, but there were tons of clouds in the sky and rain all around us and a double rainbow, and the sunset was amazing, it was a pretty night. We definitely had a great time.

Then the other day we had this amazing fireside, it was soooo good! He hadn't originally been scheduled to speak that day, but felt prompted to speak that day instead, so he called the MTC and they said our speaker for today had to cancel so it would be perfect if you spoke a week early. So he prepared a talk, and then once he got there to speak to us he felt impressed to share something else, so instead he told us a bunch of cool stories about missionaries and why you shouldn't do stupid things, and he was just a super funny guy. You couldn't help but pay attention to every word of his talk. He said that someone in the audience must have really needed to hear his stories on why you shouldn't do stupid things on your mission. It was pretty dang cool.

And iv realized how much i love the book of mormon! I "read" it when i was a kid, just cause i had to. But now i have this awesome scripture marking system and i learn so much from it all, its nice being able to actually comprehend the book, so I'm gonna read all of that as well as all of preach my gospel before I'm out of the MTC. I'm pretty excited about it :D

Today was p-day, so we spent the day writing letters and studying and relaxing, which was amazing. But we got dressed up and took the best picture ever! So you know the first presidency picture? the one with President Monson sitting and Uchtdorf and Eyering are standing behind him? We replicated that picture, ties and all, and it looks pretty awesome i wont lie :) Its on my other memory card, ill get it to you. I'm Presedent Eyering haha. Some people made fun of us in the halls while we were doing it, but it was totally worth it.

Unfortunately, college is starting back up and Saturday will be the last day our teachers, Hermano Davis and Hermana Nelson get to teach us before they go to college, so we have to have new. I'm sure our next teachers will be pretty cool too.

Thanks for the care packages from you guys, and all the letters :D keep em comin!!! Tell everyone i love to get letters. Well, off to the temple now, until next week :) love ya!
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - August 19, 2011

August 19, 2011
The week Elder Winward yells things in Spanish in his sleep

Dear Parents,

I've decided that this is my new way of filling you all in on my life on the mission. I now write my emails in the nice computer labs instead of the stingy laundry room, and its quiet in here so i can actually think of what i have to say. So every Friday expect one of these. Ill try my best to send letters too, but i got a few letters still backed up lol. The day just isn't long enough i tell you!

But anyway, life as a missionary is still pretty great. I'm loving the  MTC, the foods still pretty good and my district is so fun. Were now into playing croquet, so we all go out to the field at gym time and play croquet together. Its pretty crazy i know. I'm getting to know a lot of these guys really well, and its fun. We all get along perfectly, and we work well in class together too. There is always a bunch of amazing spiritual insights to be shared. We have a good time. And my companions are doing well too, i  love em. Apparently my companion Elder Winward yells things in Spanish in his sleep, and its pretty hilarious.

I think I've finally gotten used to the schedule now, and things seem pretty normal day to day. class is as good as ever, and we learn a lot. We were promised that if we were to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish out loud every day for a year straight, we would be able to call someone on the phone and make them think we were a native speaker with how fluently we spoke, so in one year ill be able to speak like a native :D! Its pretty exciting. And we've already learned the equivalent of 2 years of high school Spanish in 2 weeks, its fantastic. So the language is doing really well, and iv started to actually enjoy speaking only Spanish.

Other than that things are same as always :) just taking it a day at a time. With the MTC time warp (where weeks feel like days and days feel like weeks) we get a lot done and are able to learn a lot at the same time. And yesterday we went to Training Resource Center, where we taught someone a lesson who was a member, and had been speaking Spanish most of their life. So we talked with her (in Spanish) and taught her a lesson, and it went soo well! She wrote on the feedback slip good things about us and said that we definitely brought the spirit. I know i could feel it, it was really something.

I just cant wait to get out to California already! I love it here but it cant come soon enough.

So yeah, i think that's it! I will write again in a week :) love you all!
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011
The week of letters

So, emails are a pain cause its crowded in here, so im gonna be sending mostly letters. But i found out that my friends and stuff can write me emails i just cant reply. i can reply to friends emails with normal letters. so put that on the blog and ill be able to respond to them too :)

I'll go write your letter next mom, i love ya! miss ya

Please send me the second memory card so i can still take pictures, im sending the other memory card with some pictures in the mail today. love ya!
Elder Ellsworth

Letter from Carsten - August 5, 2011

August 5, 2011
The week of arriving to the MTC


The MTC is amazing! its an amazing experience, and a bit of a whirlwind. We have been here 2 and a half days but it feels like its been here at least 2 weeks. We work nonstop basically every day, and its a lot to take in, but we get it done with a smile! We take every extra minute we have to study, and I'm basically always reading.

Me companero es Elder Froerer, and hes a really cool guy. We get along really really well, we might as well be best friends. Basically everything he struggles with i am good at, and everything i struggle with he is good at, so we learn a lot together, and get along well.

The language is amazing! i cant believe how much i have learned in  only 3 days, its amazing. The gift of tongues definitely has helped everyone in my district immensely. The teachers haven't spoken anything in english, its full immersion, and its stinkin hard. They claim that anglais no existie. (however you spell English) Its tough, but its a lot of fun. And my district is amazing, we have so many amazing guys here, and we have a lot of fun. We all play basketball together on gym time and study together, its great.

Anyways, gotta keep it short cause I'm low on time today, but i love you all and look forward to your replies, keep me posted on what goes on in the outside world!

My mailing address is:
Elder Carsten Michael Ellsworth,
MTC mailbox #391
CA-SFER 1005
Provo, Utah 84604-1793

Please share this with everyone possible so i can get some mail! (mom, i assume you will blog it haha)
hasta luega!

MTC Address

MTC Address
Elder Carsten Michael Ellsworth
CA -SFER 1005
MTC Mailbox 391

2005 N 900 E 
Provo UTAH 84604
United States

(Carsten with his Dad & Pam)

(Wiser Family)

(Carsten's last wave goodbye)

Elder Carsten Ellsworth

 My name is Elder Ellsworth
as of 8pm
August 1st, 2011

Carsten was set apart as a missionary this evening. It was a really special night for him.
He does not leave till Wednesday morning, so he'll be living
as a missionary in our home tomorrow.
What an honor that is!

Tonight I'm Official

I'm a missionary as of TONIGHT
August 1, 2011

Tonight I am being set apart as a missionary by my Stake President...after today I will be an official Missionary sooooo....my Mom will be in charge of my Facebook page and blog while I'm gone.

She will post pictures and parts of the letters I write, so check in often to see what I'm up too!


Missionary Farwell Talk
July 31, 2011

Thank you everyone for coming to my farewell talk today...it was so nice to see you all there! 

Missionary Hair Cut

Missionary Hair Cut
Kelsey Havig
July 28, 2011

Today I got my missionary haircut from my Big Sister Kelsey!
Thanks Kels...now I'm ready to go!

Farewell Talk & Open House Information

My Farewell Talk

Where: LDS Building on Crismon & Brown
When: This Sunday, July 31, 2011
Time: 11:00am
Directions: If your heading E on the 60 take the Crismon exit and head North. Go to Brown and you'll see the building on the NE corner...you can't miss it!

My Missionary Open House

Where: At my Dads house - 9251 E Golden St Mesa AZ (Ellsworth Heights)
When: This Sunday, July 31, 2011
Time: 1-3pm
Directions: My Dad's house is on Ellsworth & Brown - if your heading north on Ellsworth, go just past Brown and take a right on Golden St.  (There is a sign that says Ellsworth Heights).
The house is on the right side of the street about half way down.

Hope to see you there!


Mesa, Arizona Temple
July 16, 2011

Today I went to the temple for the first time because I'm leaving on my mission in a few weeks.
Here are a few pictures from my day!

This is me with my Dad & Grandpa Ellsworth

Me & my Dad

Uncle Ken & Aunt Jessica Ellsworth

My sister Kelsey & Alex Havig

My Grandma & Grandpa Ellsworth

My Dad & Pam

My Mom & Steve
Don't forget to come to my mission farewell talk on July 31st @ 11am. It is being held
in the LDS building on Crismon & Brown in Mesa, Arizona -
Everyone is welcome!
More info to come about my open house later that day - so stay tuned!

Temple Session

I'm Going to the Temple
July 16, 2011

I'm getting ready to go to the Temple for the 1st time. I'll be going on
July 16th @ 1pm - Sweet!

Got my missionary hair cut the other day - and clothes for my mission - you like?