Elder Michael Ellsworth Arrives home on: December 20th, @ 3:17pm

Monday, March 28, 2011

How's it going...?

We were able to be on the computer the same time that Mike was emailing us, and here is some of the exchange.  Mike is doing well and progressing in his new area.
-Yeah. its really interesting being here. It's definitely a really interesting experience, A ton like my first area.(Miyako) We`re actually going to do some fun things today, so Im excited for that. Anymore questions?
---... I`m just feeling kind of odd because my good eating habits got thrown off for a few weeks. They`re getting back on track. I ate an apple and 19 eggs today, Im feeling really good.
-Haha, Im not leaving just yet. I really wish we could talk right now, I`d tell you exactly what happened right after the earthquake. I talked to nathan for a little bit, did you hear from him? Well when the earthquake happened I was like `GET OUT of HERE` to my comp in japanese and I grabbed my backpack that had my wallet in it and dashed out of the apartment. then after that there were like 8 people in the street 6 of which were construction workers working on a nearby building. I walk about 20 feet and see this huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge granite statue that had just towered over and broken in the street, these large unmovable pieces just spread throughout the street.
---My companion and I look at each other like, `Can you believe this just happened man?!` and we keep walking down the street. There is broken glass all over the street from windows and stuff. and as we walk down this alleyway, I see this cat that is freaking out, just like completely spooked. I saw a few animals like, this, I`d never seen an animal act that way before. We keep walking down the next street and too my left there is an apartment with a crack completely running down the middle of it. Doors broken of hinges, and as I walk a little bit farther, I notice this grandmother crying on the side of the road sitting on the curb and we go to help her but she`s completely hysterical, nothing we could do could help her. Kids are running through the street and powerlines are hanging down all over the place.
---Yeah, we were on the way to the church, and as I saw that grandmother and all of our attempts to help her were ignored, it started snowing.. Just randomly started snowing hard... We get to the church, hoping the sister missionaries think of going there as well and we met up with them,and we did.
---Here`s my address, Ill talk to you , next week. I`ll try and send a letter today.

Hokkaido sapporo shi
chuo ku kitani jo nishi 24 cho me 1-25
Japan sapporo mission

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Abashiri, Hokkaido, Japan...I hope he brought his winter gear...

   Michael has been assigned to the area of Abashiri on the island of Hokkaido.  Here is a link to the city: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abashiri,_Hokkaid%C5%8D
   It is on the north western border of the island, and known for it's iceflows in the harbor during wintertime, and its "alcatraz-like" maximum security prison, now a museum. Burr...
   I think it may take some time to get back into the grind of things, as all the missionaries have to come to terms with what they've been through.  We ask for your continuing prayers for Mike and all the missionaries affected by the earthquake.
Also, here is a link to a view of the area in which Mike has been assigned: http://www.maplandia.com/japan/hokkaido/hokkaido/abashiri/

Sunday, March 20, 2011

From President Daniels, Sapporo Japan Mission

Dear Brother and Sister Ellsworth,

We wanted to send you a quick message to let you know how excited we are to work with your son in the Japan Sapporo Mission. All of the Sendai missionaries arrived safely in Sapporo within approximately 24 hours of hearing the decision of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to relocate the Sendai and Tokyo Missions’ missionaries. It was a major undertaking with miraculous results to gather all of the missionaries in the Sendai area, charter buses, secure train tickets, purchase airline tickets and deliver them safely to Sapporo. Many of them arrived with only the clothes on their backs and their backpacks. Others brought most of their belongings. The last group arrived late on Thursday evening with President and Sister Tateoka and Elder and Sister Choi.
On Friday morning, the missionaries were able to gather together as an entire mission and say goodbye to President and Sister Tateoka. President Tateoka has the priesthood keys for most of the members in Sendai who were most severely impacted by the recent events. Elder Choi informed the missionaries that the priesthood keys for the missionaries have now been transferred to President Daniels and the Sapporo Mission. This will allow President and Sister Tateoka the ability to dedicate their full time attention to the extensive needs of the members.  We then had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with the Sendai Missionaries and quickly came to appreciate the strength of their testimonies, their dedication to the gospel and their musical talent. They will be great additions to the work in Sapporo.
On Saturday, we brought in all of the Sapporo Missionaries to Sapporo and had a Mission Conference. It was wonderful to have all of the missionaries together.  We discussed the missionary work in Sapporo, introduced the new missionary structure and announced each individual transfer.  Planning this transfer was another witness to us that the Lord is in charge of this work and continues to lead and guide our efforts – right down to the individual missionary. The two missions are now completely integrated with a Zone Leader from each mission leading the zones and actually more District Leaders from the Sendai Mission than the Sapporo Mission leading the individual Districts. We are excited to see the surge in the work as we prepare for the temple that has been announced for Sapporo.
We are sensitive to the intense love and feeling the missionaries have for the Sendai Mission, the members and their investigators. We do not intend to replace those feelings, but to built on top of them additional experiences that they will grow to love Sapporo and the people here. We hope that the missionaries will be able to return soon to Sendai but were instructed to integrate them fully into our mission. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all of the people in Japan that have been impacted by all of these disasters....
Please know that we will love and take care of your son just like one of our own children. We appreciate your love, prayers and sacrifice on behalf of your son and all of the missionaries.
With love,
President and Sister Daniels

Friday, March 18, 2011

We talked to Mike...Stay tuned

   As you all can imagine, there is nothing quite like receiving a call at 1:27am in the morning! Except, if it is from your missionary son who has been through a lot of choas over the last week.  He sounded 100% better than our first chat, and, he's very tired. 
   Many of the missionaries in the most affected towns, and cities around Fukushima, Iwaki, and Kariyama appear to have been all together in a zone conference, thus any of those stationed around the costal areas were protected; while many others were far enough away to escape injury and damage.  Some appear to have been protected from the mountain chain running up through the island, while others received promptings.  It appears Mike and the sisters and elders in the Sendai Zone, and the Mayagi area, underwent a different experience, and while we really were worried sick particularly when we found that some missionaries were still missing, including our son, we put ourtrust in the Lord that he would protect our son.
   We are so grateful that all the missionaries are safe, accounted for, and have been moved out of harm's way.  We continue to be concerned however,for the remaining members, and all the japanese people who have undergone so much, and continue to suffer all manner of privation.
   We hope that everyone prayes and contributes in some way to helping these suffering souls, and we can only hope that things get better-as things can only go up from here.  Mike has told us the following day they were to baptise an investigator from China, who went home, shortly after the earthquake.  Hopefully, he'll get the opportunity to get baptised in whatever area he is in.
   We also, want to thank our family, our friends, and all others who have been so kind in their concern, their words of comfort, and their offers of help.  It has been a very humbling experience knowing that the safety, and life in the Lord's hands, and we could do nothing for him.  We have been comforted by his Spirit, and those around us, and yes, by the words of our son, when we were finally able to communicate and talk to him.
Stay tuned.  I believe many wonderful things will come our of this experience. I only hope those who have lost loved ones, those who have had to depart their mission's early, and those who have been affected will be blessed and comforted, and receive the help they need.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mike's new missionary beard, Just kidding!!!!!

Elder Ellsworth's new home...The saga continues

   I'm the only missionary with a full on beard going. I was laughing so hard when I saw myself in the cracked mirror this morning. We travelled from Kamisugi in sendai to Aomori, in the northern part of Japan, then from Aomori [which by the way means Au (Blue) Mori (forest) "blue forest"] to tokyo. When we got to Aomori we met with a member of the Area presidency in the asia area elder "che" (wonder if Evan knows him... he's Korean.) After meeting with him and the missionaries that were going home, due to the Crazy earthquake, we left to Sapporo, when we got here we were greeted by the friendly... smiles of President "Daniels and his wife. I love this man!
    Anyway, my mission has gotten disolved into the Sapporo Mission, now there are 120 different elders here and we're trying to get everything figured it out and its complete chaos. I talked to... my mind forgot what I wanted to say and how.. I wanted to say it? that was a mix of lack of sleep, trying to say it in nihongo, and this other elder saying something in Japanese I tried to listen too. I'm excited to be here!! I'm sooo glad I'm out of the chaos of Sendai.. I found myself (in his mind) playing Beatles songs and singing along to Rivers of Babylon one too many times... anyways, we're having a meeting, I"ll be back in a bit.  The island of Japan moved 8 feet.. Thats what it sounds like.. I heard that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Moving at least temporily.

We jusr received word from LDS Church headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, from the East Asia Area Presidency that all missionaries currently serving in Japan are to be moved to the island of Hokkaido, Japan, in the Sapporo Japan Mission.  This is temporary until emergency conditions are resolved.

Church Reemphasizes Concern for People of Japan, Moving Missionaries Out of Affected Areas

Church Reemphasizes Concern for People of Japan, Moving Missionaries Out of Affected Areas

From Mike to his dad and mom:

Everyone 井s¥ is accounted for in the mission, they found the two sisters in ishinomaki, nobody is hurt officially, I heard them speaking. We're good now, This kid Elder Hildebrand has an interview with Dianne Sawyer tomorrow morning and I'm going to the nearby city of Yamagata, I have no idea whats going to go on, but I really want to just rest for four hours or something.... I love you guys and I"ll send you an email when I"m in a new area or something new has happened. The lord has helped us a lot, I saw a lot of miracles, wish I could tell you them all right now, but Ive got to go help out. talk to you later, love ya. Tell everyone I`m all good.

Just in from Mike

Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:51:37 +0900
From: Michael Ellsworth

   I`m good bro, I`ve rode my bike sooo freggin much in the last few hours... I rode back to my last area yesterday and salvaged all my stuff and made my luggage into a backpack using cut extension cords. After arriving back here, I helped for hours and didn't end up getting to sleep till one in the morning, only to wake up 4 times to the feeling of an earthquake, then at 6:30 to the sound of the zone leaders waking us up.
   We just went to my last area in search of gasoline, but we couldnt find any, we`ve rode like 15 miles today.  Couldnt do anything except bring back the rice we had in our apartments, and small food in the church. We`re all good now, I`m just extremely exhausted. I feel like I`ve had like 8 hours of sleep in the last three days.. On top of this we get a call from my Mission President, apparantly Dianne Sawyer (ABC News) is coming in tomorrow to interview an elder in our group who was where the tsunami hit. Isnt that crazy?! Apparently those two sister missionaries have been heard from. So everyone has been heard from as of now. Myself,(and my comp) and those two sisters, and the two sisters with me in my district were the last ones to be accounted for.
   Dang, I just want to sleep for a bit, I`m so exhausted.. You guys have fun, and just pray that this next earthquake doesnt come. I think the chances of it coming went down.. In my last area there was a line to go into a supermarket that was like... 3 miles long... crazy.. It was complete chaos there, everyone was trying to get food and stuff. K talk to ya later. Nobody worry about me, I`m not going to get hurt.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Michael's 2nd e-mail

   YO YO Yeah it was pretty wild. Yesterday I was out on the bikes with one of the other missionaries, and it was total chaos, sirens going off, people running, man Its like I{m right in the middle of a movie! Freaken insane. When the earthquake hit my comp that I were on the split with were like "Okay... This is cool.." Then it got a little bigger and I"m like "This is going to be a fun one!" Then I look over and the pictures and bulletin board on the wall start shaking a little and I{m like "Ohh shiz.." then the room starts moving horiziontally and mty comp and I run under the table, then the room started shaking VeRtICaLlY and then my companion was like freaking out and hes like "INORI INORI!!" "PRAY PRAY!!" So I started praying and then AS I was praying as if Jesus was saying "Peace, be still" the earthquake subsided... Well... not exactly... It kept going for like 20 minutes... (Though that would have been a good new era story) Once the earthquake subsided for like five minutes. I look around the room. EVERYTHING is destroyed NOTHING remains The sink is broken of the wall, every drawer and desk is completely positioned in this awkward way. All seventy of my precious eggs are strewn across the kitchen floor creating a nasty warm pile of see through eggwhite and pee yellow yolk. The room to my left is demolished. Book of mormon and bibles are strewn across the floor, Pamphlets of The new Japanese edition of the law of chastity are mocking my existence. I turn to my comp and say "We{re getting out of here, we walk outside to the sight of the stairs of our 2 floor apartment cracked in half. I dash down the stairs, dodging the 2 completely broken stairs, to see the startling sight of a large granite statue completely fallen over in ruins. Everybodys faces are completely white, and I"M like "Can you believe this just happened?!" |||On a side note my comp just came into the room saying that he just got off the phone with the mission president saying that Boyd K packed talked to him telling us to write down our spiritual stories||| We look down and see a fissure spreading thirty feet into front of us, and I start regretting the decision I made to leave my jacket in the apartment as it STARTS SNOWING. My companion and I run around seeing if we could help anybody, witnessing the destruction of the earthquake, broken down apartments, people crying, grandmothers sitting on the curb, power lines handing down from the lines. My companion and I are at a loss for words just looking at each other like "What... what..." as if on the verge of crying but being too shocked to give my concious mind time to feel emotion. We run to the church in hope that we can find the sister missionaries. We find them, and my companion and I try to go see what we can too. As this is going on aftershocks intermittently keep haunting us. My comp and I are like "when is this going to end?!" We then for the next day and a half ride around the city seeing what we could do, Nobody is accepting our help and around the convenience stores are hundreds of lined around waiting to buy some food... This is all I can write for now, I{m going to run back to my apartment and see if I can salvage some stuff for my  and get my bike then return back here. Dang this is insane, Tell everybody I"m fine, I suppose theres going to be one more earthquake that has a 70 percent chance of happening again so pray for that. Dont worry about me living though. I"m not going to die, I"ve yet to see the latest harry potter. Take it easy, I"ll write when I get back here in like 30 minutes, love ya, say hey to the fam for me.CRAZY!! We could really use jews horsepower right now.

Mike's first e-mail

Woah man, yeah dad, this was craZy! I`m perfectly fine. My apartment is completely destroyed! We were in the apartment as it went off! HAha, it was insane, I was on a split. We`re perfectly fine. Supposedly theres supposed, wow, I used that word twice.. To be more Coming? but they could never have been as large as the one that we experienced a few days ago.. That was scary as heck, My companion and I would have probably been crazy hurt if there was no desk. My stuff is all fine, and I didnt get hurt. there was also like a 10 meter Tsunami, tidal wave. But we`re all fine. Dont worry, I`ll call you if I can, I`m just afraid that I`ll get hugely punished if I call you, I wouldnt be surprised.. Man, It`s like a real life resident evil man!! Holy cow, chaos! I cant even describe what it was like. I`Pll talk to you in a bit maybe, I think I`m perfectly fine from now on, dont worry, electricitty and water are back I think its over.