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!