Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thanks Aunt Mari for this post!

Annie Dean Ellsworth is an incredible woman that I have yet to meet, but feel incredibly close to. It is her name that I carry and feel determined to live up to. She is my great grandmother, my grandpa Georges Mommy and I love stories about her, so when I saw this post this morning on my Aunt Mari's blog I had to steal it for my own. It was a story I'd not heard (the tea pot part) and I wanted to keep it for my own children to read. I feel that all to often we forget about our ancestors and what they did so that we might have the gospel in our lives. Enjoy!

Aunt Mari wrote:

Several times in my life my father George Dean Ellsworth told me this story. I remember his smile as he remembered the incident as well as the tears in his eyes and the emotion in his voice as he spoke of his dear mother's conviction to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Annie Dean EllsworthJune 26, 1884 ~ Sept. 6, 1960

Young George ducked just in time. A commotion from inside the kitchen window had startled him. His mother's angry voice had sounded just before the object came hurtling past him...
Annie Dean lived in a tiny village called Flaunden in the county of Hertfordshire, England in the 1880's. Her family was very poor having 12 children to feed and a father who worked only long enough to buy his liquor. The children all worked binding hay, helping with harvests, selling acorns they had gathered in the woods, and picking rocks from farmer's fields. They would often live on fruits and nuts they and scrounged from neighboring orchards.
When she turned eleven and had finished fourth grade she had to leave home to become a housekeeper's apprentice. Annie had always wondered about religion and was never quite happy with any church she attended. none of them felt right to her. At the age of 18 she was confirmed into the Church of England. She said it was one of the darkest days of her life. When she was alone in her room she felt surrounded by gloom so she thought she might try to read from her prayer book. As she touched the book a cold chill ran through her body. She laid it down and asked herself, "How do I know which church is right?" Then, for the first time in her life, she knelt down and prayed in her own words. The darkness and gloom left her but her feeling of restlessness remained. Soon she was invited to the home of a friend to listen to the preaching of two boarders living there. They called themselves Mormons.
Every word they spoke rang true to Annie's heart. Within three weeks she was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In another two weeks she was working in the mission home as a cook and housekeeper. Eventually arrangements had been made for her passage to America. She went back home to visit her family and tell them of her happiness. Her father, upon hearing her mention the name of Brigham Young stood and left the room. This was very hard on her because she knew she would likely never see him or any of her family again.
Thus it was with great courage and faith that she left her home and country in 1907 to make a new life for herself in "Zion". In the following years she became a registered nurse, married, gave birth to twin daughters, and lost her husband to cancer when the twins were only 2 months old. She eventually found her way to Mesa, Arizona where, among other nursing jobs, she worked caring for Caroline Ellsworth, a a very ill woman with a young daughter. Carries' condition eventually caused her passing away, leaving her husband Frank alone with little Ruth. He soon began to court Annie and it wasn't long before their two families became one. The twins Lora and Dora, along with Ruth were joined in the following years by George, Naomi, Joseph, Martha, and Robert.
Annie and Frank filled their life together with joy in their family and service to others. Living just across Main Street and up North Hobson St. in Mesa they could walk to the new temple. They served in the temple for many years. Annie was filled with compassion nursing many ill people and helping to bring many babies into the world as a mid-wife. She never turned anyone away during the Great Depression, sharing what food the family had with those in need.
Through all of her years of devotion to her God and service to others there was still one temptation that nagged at her and caused her much annoyance. She had never gotten over the desire for afternoon tea every day when the time rolled around. Not that she would ever succumb to it but it troubled her that the temptation was still there. And so it was on that particular day she determined to rid herself of the desire once and for all. On her stove was a tea kettle she used for heating water. She seized hold of it and cried out in a voice that came from her very core.

...when he lifted his head out in the yard George was puzzled. There in the grass lay the object that had nearly hit him in the head...his mother's tea kettle!

Annie would later tell him the story and how she was never bothered by the want for "tea time" again. George grew into a fine man and loved to tell the tale of the tea kettle and how proud he was of his mother, her faith, courage, and determination.


JAY- JEWEL -DAD said...

I never got to meet her either but I am told that she was a great Lady. Sharon spoke of her often and always something good.

Gena said...

I also remember Daddy talking about Annie entertaining him by putting on her old English accent. He said it always gave them the giggles. Here's a good one to try: She had painted some rocks bordering a flower bed white on the top to make them more attractive. Grandpa's sisters complained of being bored (he and his brothers didn't get to complain because they had all the farm work to do!) and she had them go outside and turn all the rocks over to give them something to do. They didn't complain too much after that.