Monday, April 3, 2017

one..... BLAST OFF!!!!!!

one..... BLAST OFF!!!!!!

What a week this was! I think it was one of the most uplifting, insightful weeks of my mission and I didn't even have time to blink before it passed me right by. There were lots of highlights but I want to share some of the most important ones with you all.

First off, I had the opportunity to converse with and visit several of my recent converts and pass a little time with them and WOW, I just can't even explain how wonderful it was to see how these people I love so much are learning and growing in the gospel. They are serving as leaders, some by calling but all by example, they're preparing to soon make and keep sacred temple covenants, serve missions, and begin their own eternal families. They are continuing to nourish their faith and testimonies, keep their baptismal covenants and are inviting others to do the same.

What a sacred and marvelous feeling I felt blossom bigger and bigger in my heart as I saw and heard and testified of the blessings of conversion and obedience to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord truly has a perfect eternal plan for each of us to return to His presence and what a special privilege and blessing it is to be a part of the eternal plan of such wonderful people.

I have felt the words of John 15:6: two years ago when I was submitting my mission call I didn't choose to serve here, the Lord chose me. He ordained me to serve to bring forth fruit, and truly because of the things I asked the father in the name of the Son, that fruit has not only remained but flourished. "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" How great is my joy!!!

These truly have been the most challenging, inspiring, miraculous, joyous, incredible, blessed 18 months of my life. I have not only learned more about my Savior, but I have truly come to know Him. I have learned to recognize His voice and trust in His words, trust enough to act on them. I didn't just learn more about my purpose here on earth, I came to know with a surety who I really am: a beloved child of a loving Heavenly Father who truly does know and love each of us perfectly and individually, who yearns for our eternal success and happiness.

I have seen time and time again that God truly has not ceased to be a God of miracles, that faith and prayer are principles of power, and that when we ask in faith with nothing wavering with the disposition to act on the answer, the Lord shall make it known unto us, every time.

I know that Jospeh Smith was called of God to be a prophet and restore His church here on the earth in these the last days. I know that this is that church, the only place that has the keys necessary for us to one day return to our Father in Heaven and live there with our families forever. I'm so so so grateful for this gospel, for the Book of Mormon which is truly the word of God, for modern day Prophets and apostles and for continuing revelation. I know that these things are true and invite you to ask God, in faith, nothing wavering, if they really are and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will confirm the truth unto you.

I love you all and am grateful for your continuing support and hey guess what.... SEE YA SOON!!!!

-Sister Kenzie Curtis
(Missão São Paulo Sul, A Melhor Missão do Mundo!)

Monday, March 27, 2017

TWO

Bom dia fam!!!

The time is passing so fast, everything is like a blur and I honestly can´t even remember everything that happened this week haha. I don't have much time this week to talk but something that I did remember was thinking about when I was praying in the temple some three months ago asking the Lord to help me do my utmost in my last months and to know and feel that I was really helping people and doing his work. I have felt that be confirmed to me so strongly here in Bristol Park, Not only with investigators but with members and my companion as well.

This week I spoke with a recent convert and she shared with me some amazing experiences that she had recently, and that her mother is taking a preparation classes to go through the temple soon, and how she´s gonna get her young women´s medallion. I can not even explain how happy I am for her. The mission is so incredible, I get more grateful every day to be able to be here in Brazil helping all these incredible people!.

Love y'all lots and don't worry, my next email's gonna make up for this one haha.

Love,
Sister Curtis

Monday, March 20, 2017

THREE

THREE

Well this week was an interesting one. Even here on the tail-end there are still lots of first experiences to be had! For example I got a bad cold and went to the doctor for the first time in Brasil and wow! So many sights and sounds and needles being wiggled around in my arm and waiting for 3 hours to receive a prescription for... TYLENOL AND COUGH SYRUP. Incredible. (I'm fine now, it really was just a cold). Also we made the Brazilian equivalent of a GIGANTIC key lime pie, and while it wasn't very visually appealing, it turned out delicious (#JáPodeCasar hahaha).

But back to the good stuff:
So the first 2 weeks of this transfer were pretty tough, with people pretending not to be home, not doing commitments, parents who didn't wanna let their kids be baptized, etc, etc ...  nothing new for missionary life, but I was feeling the pressure from myself to meet all of the goals I had created and was a little disappointed to not be able to meet all of them.

BUUUTTTT, after much prayer and some very great Sunday school classes, I was feeling better this week and on Thursday we had interviews with President which helped me so much. Despite not talking much about how I had been feeling, he already knew and told me that he knew that I love the Lord and that I wanted to show my love for Him by working hard, and that both he and Heavenly Father know that I am doing my best even when I don't achieve everything I want to and that they accept and are happy about with what I have to offer. Wow, talk about pep-talk of the year! I left so light and happy and energized!!

We also taught one of our golden investigators and we thought she was going to have to get married. but she told us that she and her boyfriend believe and keep the law of chastity and she is already quitting coffee and will be baptized in two weeks !!! And our convert Rosângela took her sister to church and she is loving it and is gonna be baptized too!! AND we marked the date of the wedding of an eternal investigator and she will finally be baptized (the week after I come back of course haha) !!! What miracles !!!

I know that like President said, no one is perfect and no one is going to achieve 100% of everything that they want too, but that's not what the Lord asks of us. He asks us to give Him our everything, to do our very absolute best and then He promises to take care of the rest. If there´s one thing I've learned over the past 18 months, it's just that. God is a loving Father who delights with us in our progress and picks us back up when we fall down so that we can try again and again until we get it right. I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us, and that because of He who was perfect, we don´t have to be yet, but that by Him and through Him we one day can be.

Love y'all lots and hope ya have a great week!!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, March 13, 2017

T - Minus One Day

T - Minus One Month

Well fam, the inevitable countdown has officially begun now that we've arrived at the one month remaining mark (No I don't know how many days or hours there are left nor do I want to).

This week was another toughy but a goody since we gave it our all and learned a lot through the ups and downs. After conversing with the grandma of one of our investigators for almost 2 hours, we finalllyyyy got her to give permission for her granddaughter to get baptized and we were so excited but then our investigator decided that she didn't really wanna be baptized yet and wow talk about a bummer.

Sometimes even when we do our very best and work our hardest things don't work out exactly how we want them too. It´s difficult sometimes to accept the fact that we can´t control everything, especially things that involve the agency of other people. But our agency is a precious gift granted to each of us and wow, how Im grateful for it. God does't force anyone to Heaven; He lovingly-if sometimes firmly-invites us to follow His example of our own free will.

Although this is a great comfort and important truth, it´s still hard to accept sometimes and Sister Wright and I were a little down and out about not being able to meet all of our goals this week. But then Sunday came and wow, what a day of spiritual enlightenment. After 2 wonderful classes at church, we went to our fast and testimony meeting and who got up to share their testimonies but Ingrid and Carol, two of our recent converts. Ingrid told of how grateful she was for her baptism and how much she has been learning in Young Women's and how she feels like she changes for the better a little more every day because of that. Afterwards, we ended by singing "Come Come Ye Saints" and I felt the spirit whispering in my heart that All Is Well, and that Heavenly Father accepts my best efforts even when I don't always meet all of my own goals and that He really does have a perfect plan for each of us.

I know that these things are true and I´m grateful to have the right to choose my own path, to be able to choose the path that the Savior laid out for me to follow. We´re not perfect but we can choose to be better every day, to accept the sacrifice that the Lord has made for us and to become perfected in Him.

Love y'all oodles and oodles,

Sister Curtis

Monday, March 6, 2017

Ain't Life Grand

Well after 6 weeks just breezin on by, this week was a good ole fashioned kick in the teeth! Haha, opposition in all things was our lesson, but I was able to have some important insights through the tough days.

All of our youth came back from camp this week and were talking about how amazing it was. I was thinking about all our young investigators and recent converts and how amazing they are. One is 10 years old and almost lives alone because her mother works in the street to support her addictions but she goes to church by herself (and takes her sister and some neighbors too) every week and fulfills all her commitments and helped her mother to stop drinking. Another young girl who is going to be baptized prays for her father to stop drinking and wants to be baptized to be a light in his life. One young woman's mother left her for drugs and her father isn't much better, but she also goes to church alone and takes care of all her cousins. One young lady's mother is deceased and the father drinks too much but she is finally happy because of the gospel, when we found her, she had a dark cloud above her but now she shines. Another friend has physical disabilities but is finding self-confidence through the gospel.

We had stake conference yesterday and President Mendes said something that really struck a chord. He told the parents to look at their children and think about how these children are STRONG, they are not weak, they lived with heavenly father for millions of years before they lived here and they are better able to endure challenges than we can imagine. It was incredible and I know it is true for both youth and children.

This week was the hardest week I've had in a long time, almost everything went wrong but we kept on truckin. We went out with our friend Vitoria and took her to have an ice cream with us and see what she really thought about baptism and the church and everything because she does not open easily and just let the grandmother send her. We talked to her and she told us that she really wants to be baptized but her grandmother does not like the church and even living with her mother, grandma is a legal guardian and does not want to let her. But we´re gonna do our best to help her see the blessings that come from the gospel.

As Sister Wright and I sat listening to conference a little sad on Sunday, a little girl ran up to us and gave us a big kiss and a smile and ran away, I looked at Sister Wright and smiled and said "That was a kiss from God, He Is still happy with us." It was a very sweet moment, and I could feel the Savior's love for me, for us, and for his children. He is helping us and will continue to do so forever.

Love y'all lots and hope ya have a great week!!!
-Sister Curtis


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

THE BEGINNING OF THE END (but forreals this time)

THE BEGINNING OF THE END (but forreals this time)

This week was INCREDIBLE, and sadly I Don´t have time or capacity to share everything that happened sufficiently. I've never had so many moments where I thought "well I think our luck has run out, we've used up all our miracles" and then BAM, MIRACLE!!!!!! I think that happened about a million and one times. Example one: a member passed a referral for us the other week and we visited her last Sunday and taught her real quick and when we came back a couple days later and asked her if she had prayed and what she liked about what we had talked about and she said "Yeah, I loved when we were talking, especially about baptism, I love to learn about baptism!!" and I smiled really big at her and said "Hey, we do too!!!", and we invited her to be baptized and she accepted very happily! (along with 3 more amazing people that the Lord literally put right in our path.)

We also had the baptism of Carol this week and it was wonderful. She and her family were so happy for her to enter onto the path to the eternities! And she's already started her member missionary work by bringing her sister and neighbor to church (that are also going to be baptized! Woohoo!!!)

This week was such a testament to how much the Lord works with us. We were just trucking along trying to find new people to teach and serve, not really knowing where to find them, and it was amazing to see how as we were working the Lord just put the people we needed to find literally right in our path. I'm so grateful to be a servant of God, and to do not my will but His, because I know that's how miracles take place. Love y'all lots and hope ya have a great week!!

- Sister Curtis

pics- baptismo, RAINBOW AFTER THE BAPTISM, weird fruit that I love (pinha do norte)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Baptism X 2

What a long week!! We both got a pretty bad flu (Sister Wright was worse) and it was a crisp 100 degrees pretty much every day. BUT, with a LOT of help from the Lord, our plans worked out and we had 2 very special baptisms this week. On Saturday it was Cristina's. She is a very special woman because she has some disabilities, but even so she is very friendly and lively and happy. Regiane (Vinicius' mom) has basically adopted her and she was always there when we taught her kids and family. We never invited Cristina to be baptized because we did not know if she needed to be, but she spoke to us after a few weeks of hearing the lessons and said "I want to be baptized because I know that's what Jesus wants me to do." What a sweet moment that was. She goes to church every week and to all the activities, and we talked with her dad and some ward members and with the mission president and she was interviewed and president said that if she really wanted to then she could be baptized. Her baptism was very spiritual. You could feel almost palpably that Heavenly Father was happy with her earnest and sincere desire to follow Christ and do what is right.

On Sunday it was Rosângela´s, a young lady that we met the second week of the transfer. I made contact with her aunt my first day in Parque Bristol at 9:25 p.m. on the way home. She is an incredible girl, has 8 siblings and a ton of nieces an nephews that all live together, but she has very strong faith and is a person truly humble of heart. She even got one of her sisters to come to church with her on Sunday!

The Lord truly has so many people prepared for us to find, people who are just ready and waiting to enter onto the path that leads to eternal life, the path of happiness here and in the world to come. What a privilege it is to be His servant, and instrument in His hands, and to help His children come unto Him now and forever.

Love y'all lots and hope this week is a great one!!!

-Sister Curtis