Monday, December 26, 2016

Feliz Natal (again)

What a week! While I can´t say that we had the most spectacular week in terms of how many people we were able to find at home, it sure was spectacular in many other aspects! We had so many unique and wonderful opportunities to remember the Savior with the friends and family and children of God that we are serving and serving with and the Lord absolutely made manifest His hand in His work this week.  

One of the many miracles of the week involved the reluctant husband of one the irmãs in the ward. We´ve tried several times to try and meet with him and teach him and plan noite familiares and we show up and he always ends up saying that he has to work at the last minute and the other week after one of these not so smooth experiences, his wife and children (also members) asked us with humble and pleading hearts what they could do to help their father soften his heart. Sister Rasera shared the experience of the conversion of her father with them and we told them that while we dont know exactly what they need to do, Heavenly Father does and through prayer and fasting and consistency, the Lord will do his part to soften his heart. 

So we showed up to church on Sunday and sat down and I noticed that the irmã had arrived yet but just accounted it to the Christmas season and thought she was traveling. As Sister Rasera went to start her talk she looked at me and motioned towards the back of the chapel and i turned around and lo and behold, the irmã had arrived and was sitting down... WITH HER HUSBAND!!!! 

I know that the spirit is even stronger at Christmas than at any other time of the year because people are really turning to Christ and remembering Him and His life and Sacrifice more than at any other time of the year. But I also know that it doesnt have to and shouldnt be the only time of the year when our hearts and minds are focused on the Lord. As we commit to put the Savior first, to remember the miracle of his birth, his life, his death, and his Resurrection, we will have the company of the spirit with us and we will follow the path that he paved. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that he was born for me, that he died for me, and that most importantly, for me he lives again. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

com amor, 

Sister Curtis 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016



This week was another one of those weeks where everything seemed to go exactly the opposite of what we had planned, haha. The good news is that because our plan is always going to be Plan B, even though we didn't accomplish exactly what we had wanted too, we were able to better accomplish what the Lord wanted us too. I don't know how many people we talked to this week told us, "How did you know that I needed to hear that?" or "I was praying for the Lord to send me help and I know that he sent me you two" or "Wow, I'm almost never home at this hour, I don't know how you found me but I'm glad you did".

One of these incredible people that we were able to meet knocking doors because our plans fell through is called Alzira. She's a little 80 year old woman who's been taking care of the every need of her bed-ridden husband by herself for the past 20 years. Even though she has a very difficult life, I've never met someone so humble and GRATEFUL in my life. She doesn't even have a bed to sleep in but she didn't stop smiling once from the minute that we walked in and kept telling us about how the Lord has blessed her with everything that she needs and she can't complain about a single thing in her life. She got so excited when we arrived and told us, "The doctor just left and look who arrived, the spiritual doctors!"

She told us as she stroked her husbands hair with affection, "I know that he's here because he still has a mission to complete, I just hope that I'm doing what the Lord would have me to do to complete my mission as well." It's in moments like this that I am overfilled with gratitude for the privilege to be a representative and mouth-piece of Jesus Christ and to be able to tell her with confidence, "Irmã, Heavenly Father is very pleased with what you're doing and he accepts the love and the service that you're offering him." It was a very humbling and sweet experience (and we all had a group hug and cried a little bit afterwards haha).

 I'm so so so grateful to be able to serve people the way Christ would have me to and to be able to pass along the comfort and the love and peace and hope that the gospel brings to each and every one of us. Even though I'll be passing my Christmas far from family for the second time, I wouldn't rather be in any other place doing anything else. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, I know that He died for me and that, more importantly, that He LIVES for me and for you.

Have a very Merry Christmas, I love you all oodles and oodles!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, December 12, 2016

Birthday Surprises!!

Birthday Surprises!!

Well this week was pretty neat if I do say so myself. There were ups and downs and several extreme downpours and some really weird, funny, and spiritual experiences, including:

- While we were knocking doors one day, we rang the doorbell of someone's house. As a little old lady opened the door to attend us, an old man crossed the street and asked where we were from and if we had an invitation for him. As Sister Rasera talked to the lady, I talked to the man and then another 3rd woman showed up with an arm full of flowers and without saying a word began distributing the flowers to all present, and then the old man left and the flower lady just stood by me and Rasera and listened as we talked to the old lady and she gave an occasional "Amen" and "That's true" and then wandered off on her own without saying another word.
- Soon thereafter, we rang another doorbell and yet another little old lady came out to greet us and I asked her if she had a couple minutes to talk with us and while Sister Rasera said she heard her say that she was making dinner for her husband, I definitely heard her say that she messing around with her husband and I was like "well okay then, we'll leave ya to it!"
- Went to my first ward Christmas dinner with karaoke and rave lights! #VivaBrasil
- Sunday was a very special day for 2 reasons: 1. SISTER RASERA TURNED 20!!!! 2. Brasil had a special broadcast from Salt Lake with Elder Holland and several other general authorities and it was incredible. One of the reasons that it was so incredible was because Sister Cordon was talking about the importance of sowing good seeds if you want to reap good rewards, and she began to share a story -familiar to me- of the conversion of the Father of a family in Curitiba, and I looked at Sister Rasera and we both began crying because it was the story of her family and wow talk about a spiritual experience.

Emfim (finally), it was an interesting and satisfying week here in Saúde, and we're very excited to be preparing 2 people for baptism in these next two weeks. What better gift can we give the Lord for Christmas than our hearts, amiright??

Love ya'll lots and have a great week!!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, December 5, 2016




And what a story I have to share with you all about this week- one of the most meaningful and memorable and miraculous weeks of my whole mission (and I'm not even exaggerating today).

Well the week didn't start out particularly well. In fact, it was one of the worst beginnings to a week I've had in quite some time. There was lots of rain and no one wanted to talk to us and the only people that did talk to us cursed us off their porches (that one was actually pretty funny, I thought Sister Rasera was gonna jump the fence and go after the lady for a minute hahaha).

So it had been a rough several days until Friday morning I studied Helaman Chapter 5 about Lehi and Nephi. They had gone to try and teach the people and got thrown into jail where they suffered "for many days in the prison". It was only moments before they were to be killed, literally at their lowest point, when they received divine intervention sufficient enough to convert an entire nation. The secret? "You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you."

So I decided to do just that and I kneeled down and offered a fervent prayer telling the Lord of the sincere desires of my heart and asking that as I do my part, that He would do His so that we could reach our goals and His goals for us as well. When I opened my eyes I looked at Sister Rasera and said "we're gonna find 6 new people today." But turns out we didn't find 6... we found 8!!! And everything went better than perfect for the following two days. We also decided to fast on Saturday so that we could meet our goal of having at least 5 investigators go to church on Sunday, one of our biggest struggles here.

Sunday morning arrived and as we were getting ready to leave for Church, I offered the prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for the many miracles that we had received and asked in faith, knowing that we had done everything within our power, for one more miracle: that we could have at least 5 people at church. As we said Amen, I felt the spirit so strongly in my heart testifying that the Lord had accepted the labor we had offered him and would fulfill His part as well.

Well we went to pick up one lady to go to church and ended up getting there late, and we sat down in a rush and started to subtly look around to see who all had come. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...people. I looked at Sister Rasera with wide eyes and she looked at me just as shocked. My heart swelled within me and I couldn't stop the tears of gratitude from rolling down my cheeks as I prayed thanking the Lord for his goodness and mercy.

And just when you think the day couldn't have gotten any better, we had Osvaldo's baptism!!! We had to use the biggest jumpsuit in the whole stake and it ended up being a little snug for him hahaha. But it was a marvelous experience and just as he was about to enter the font, his 2 children arrived to watch him be baptized and he got so happy that they came that he started crying and I don't think he stopped until he left to go home (like I said, gentle giant).

Im so incredibly grateful for the reality of the power of faith and prayer and fasting. When we are doing our best to do the will of the Lord He will always help us along. I know that when we ask, we shall be given and when we knock, it shall be opened unto us, even if we have to wait a little while for the response.
I love you all so much and hope you have a week even half as marvelous as mine was!!


Sister Curtis

Monday, November 28, 2016

Giving thanks on Thanksgiving

Giving thanks on Thanksgiving

Good News!!!
Now that we've passed Thanksgiving we can officially start the Christmas Countdown!!! ONLY 4 more weeks!!! Woo hoo!!! With the beginning of the most wonderful, miraculous time of the year, we also had some miraculous experiences this week.

So it started off (and continued) being a pretty tough week. We weren't finding anybody at home, some of the people that we did meet with who we had thought were going to be baptized in the following weeks broke up with us, and it was not very enjoyable. BUT the first miracle happened on Wednesday when we went to teach Marcos, and he introduced us to his nephew who was talking about how how hard it is in the world these days, and I told him that we can't expect to change the whole world at once, we have to start by changing ourselves by being the change we wish to see in the world and that will affect us and our families now and in the future. He looked at me and said "You're doing that right now by being a Sister." I almost cried right on the spot.

Later in the week we marked with Oswaldo and Deise to teach them with the Elders so that we could try to interview him to be baptized. Since nothing was going right in the week I was nervous about how it would go and decided to fast so that we could touch their hearts, and so that he would have the desire to be baptized as soon as possible. We taught them about the expiação and the sacrament and the power of repentance, and it was such a powerful lesson and we were all crying and the Elder told him and testified that he was ready and worthy to be baptized and he agreed whole heartedly and it was an incredible moment.  He's going to be baptized this week and he already invited everyone at church to his baptism and told us after Gospel Principles yesterday, "I don't know how to thank you two, you saved me, you brought me back."

It's moments like this that make everything worth it. We have to have opposition in all things so that we learn how to work with and trust in and rely on the Lord in all that we do, only then can we perform the miracles that He has called us to perform and fulfill our roles as disciples and servants of the most high God. "Not my will, but thine be done." I'm so grateful for everything that the Lord has given me, especially for my dear friends and family and for the wonderfully challenging and rewarding privilege of being a missionary here in São Paulo. I love y'all lots and hope you had a thankful week with bellies full of turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie :)

- Sister Curtis

Monday, November 14, 2016

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Well this week we went for a loop with the weather but the work was good!

I'm learning a lot about the importance of service!! After our lesson last week and the promise of helping him so that he could go to church, Oswaldo came to church with us on Sunday and made lots of friends and is super excited about the service project and getting to know everyone. He even found the church's youtube Channel and watched the Restoration all by himself. When we challenged him to stop drinking coffee this week he told us "I know I can't drink coffee, but that's all I have to do right? I"ll just go ahead and stop, it'll be easy. "Woo hoo!!! Oswaldo!!!

We also found Amanda, a young mother of a special needs son, Pedro. She let us in a little reluctantly because she told us she was going to have her family over for Pedro's 2nd birthday and still had to do everything by herself because she had been taking care of her son. We told her how she has a very special family and that Heavenly Father loves them and doesn't ever give us burdens greater than we are able to bear. We then offered to help her clean the house and prepare the next day's food, and we taught her about 3 lessons in one as we all worked together (and I totally fell in love with Pedro, he´s the most adorable thing I've ever seen, I didn't even feel it when he ran over my toes with his little wheelchair because I was so enamored).

It's so important that we serve those around us. It's an extraordinary way to show our love for our irmãos and irmãs and show our love for them and our Heavenly Father. When we serve, we show people that they can trust us and that we genuinely care for their well-being, physically and spiritually.

Love y'all lots, now get out there and serve!!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, November 7, 2016




But don´t worry, I´m not gonna start my countdown at least until Thanksgiving...

So along with the commencement of the most wonderful time of the year, we had a wonderful week here at headquarters! We heard some super imaginative excuses as to why people couldn't talk to us ("Can we offer you an invitation?" "No, I'm cold."), we passed by a 90 year old man´s house and he was outside with nothing but a t-shirt and a bucket covering up the most important bits (don't worry, he's a member hahaha), and i found out that melatonin is contraband in a country that sells energy drinks by the 2 liter. Radical!!!

Okay but back to the good stuff. So there were two experiences that were especially memorable for me this week. The first of which was our weekly dinner and lesson with Marcos! Sister Rasera and I were thinking okay, the time has come, what can we do to help put him on the right track to finding his own testimony. And inspiration struck in the form of the Book of Mormon.

We watched a mormon message about the story of the BOM and it invited the spirit so strongly that I immediately began to tear up as I thought about the precious hours we have every morning to study the scriptures and how much that they mean to me. Sister Rasera and I testified about how the Book of Mormon has blessed and shaped our lives and can do the same for Marcos if he gave it a chance. I think he was a little taken back by how emotional we were but it really touched him as we gave him a copy and told him that this was a gift very dear to our hearts that we were giving him, and he told us that it meant a lot to him and that he was very genuinely curious and was going to read it for sure. Woo hoo!!!!

We also had a great talk with Oswaldo on Saturday and he was all excited to go to church on Sunday and even with his disability he said that he didn't need a ride that he would just walk and get there just fine, and then Sunday morning came and he called us right at 9... Well Oswaldo's wife uses a wheelchair and the ramp to the house is super terrible and she can´t leave easily. His only day off is Sunday and his friend had marked to come over and help him fix it Sunday morning, so he couldn't go to church. Well, we weren't about to let that stop us!!

Sunday afternoon, we left with an irmão to go solve some problems and teach some eleitos. When we left to go to Oswaldo´s house it had start drizzling and by the time we were halfway there the water was up to our shins in the streets, and Sister Rasera and I were dying laughing as we trudged right through and the irmão was trying to keep his sneakers dry before he finally gave up. So we finally got there and we told Oswaldo not to worry because we were gonna call up the members of the ward and finish the whole project so that they could go to church worry free, and our dear gentle giant started to cry too (then his wife laughed at him and called him a crybaby lol).

Moral of the stories is, we're all brothers and sisters here! We have so many wonderful blessings in our lives, be it spiritual, physical, mental, and we need to use these gifts and talents and knowledge to bless the lives of those around us. That's why we're all here, to help Heavenly Father help His children. This work is sacred and it´s for each and every one of us. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity each and every day to wake up and serve the Lord and my brothers and sisters, and will strive to continue to wake up with this vision and goal every day of my life.

Love you lots and hope y'all have a great week and help someone else have a great week as well!!

- Sister Curtis

Monday, October 31, 2016



Talk about a jam packed week!! First off, I had to say my goodbyes to 2 of my dearly beloved companions, Sister Newell and Sister Bennallack. Yes I cried, but at least I didn't ugly cry! Small victories. Also to make up for the sadness of losing two amigas, I regained another. Sister Rasera (from Ribeirão Pires) is my new companion and wow is she incredible!!!

We worked ourselves to the bone this week (one night I fell asleep praying and woke up on my knees like 2 ours later lol), doing our very best to be worthy of the miracles that Heavenly father wants to do through us, and we found some seriously amazing people.One of these is a man called William. As we finished teaching him about the Restoration I felt like I had to make sure and leave a pamphlet with him, but I had given my last one out that day and knew Sister Rasera didn't have any but nevertheless, I looked in my bag and low and behold, there was a pamphlet right there inside! The Lord multiplies more than just fish and loaves these day, people!

And an even greater miracle occurred on Sunday night. It had gotten cold and started to rain and we were far from home and I asked Sister Rasera if she wanted to go home and grab a jacket, but she was like, "It's pretty out of the way and it's already late so let´s just try these last 2 people." So we kept on trucking and went to the home of a referral that we received several weeks ago. We had never been able to find Oswaldo at home and this was his last chance.

Well we rang the doorbell and what do ya know, but this gigantic man opened the door and asked us if we were the missionaries: OSWALDO!!! As we entered his home the spirit hit so hard and I knew that that"s exactly where we needed to be in that moment. As we talked to him about the gospel of Jesus Christ the spirit was whispering with increasing frequency "Invite him to be baptized!" So after meeting this gentle giant and talking to him for 15 minutes we invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized, and He accepted the invitation whole-heartedly.

He told us that he had sent a message to his friend that morning saying that he thought that it was going to work out cause we kept missing him at home and then we showed up that very night. I started tearing up and testified to him that I knew that we were there for a reason and that reason was to help him and his family receive all of the blessings that God has in store for them. It was INCREDIBLE.

I hadn't felt the spirit so strongly like that in a lesson in a little while. I know that obedience brings blessings but obedience in exactness brings miracles. Heavenly Father wants to bless us and others through us, He wants to give us all that He has, but we have to shut our spiritual umbrellas and let the blessings rain down.. "I you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

I love you all so much and hope you have a marvelous week!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, October 24, 2016

UM ANINHO!!! (First Birthday)

(First Birthday)

 Well, I have about 0% capacity to accept or comprehend the fact that I've been in Brazil for A WHOLE YEAR. THAT´S 12 MONTHS, 365 DAYS that I've been out here on the grind. I've had so many incredible experiences during this sacred time. I've seen more miracles than I can count (both in my own life and in the lives of those around me), I've laughed, I've cried, and I've learned. I've grown into something and someone completely different than the 19 year old girl that left last October, almost sick from anxiety in the car on the way to the airport haha.

I'm so grateful for everything about my mission. I know that I'm where, when, and with whom I need to be, without a doubt. I can already see that for the rest of my life I'm going to be like Elder Holland and tell everyone how everything that I have and everything that I am, I can contribute to my mission. I hope that in these next 6 months I can become an even better, more humble, consecrated, loving, powerful, patient servant of the Lord; that I may find who He´s prepared for me and learn to trust in Him and have the faith necessary to always do His will, and that by doing so, His will may become my will and I can be the best instrument in His hands that I am capable of being.

Love you all lots and hope you have a wonderful week :)

-Sister Curtis

Monday, October 17, 2016

"Tá bom. Tá ruim, mas tá bom."

As Sister Newell and I were passing an old man on the street recently we overheard him talking to his friends. One of them was asking how things were going for him and he responded, "It's okay. It's terrible, but it's okay." First I laughed a lot at that response because it reminded me of something my own grandpa would say, but then the more I thought about it, the more relatable and inspiring it became. Bear with me.

This week definitely wasn't the easiest of weeks, there was a lot of rain, a lot of doors  shut in our faces, and a lot of things that didn't work out exactly how we were hoping that they would. One afternoon as Sister Newell and I were talking about some of the most important things that we've learned on our missions, I told her how one of the things I'm most grateful for on my mission are the hard days and trials that we face.

 I also remembered a scripture that I recently read in Psalms 118:24 "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Every day that we have truly is a gift from the Lord and a new opportunity to rejoice and do something wonderful. It's our own responsibility to seek out the good and the beauty and the hope of a better tomorrow in the middle of our not so great todays.

I'm so grateful that I've learned to be able to not just say but to feel "It's great! Things are tough, but it's great!" I know that these blessings come from the understanding that true and lasting happiness is not derived from momentary, fleeting things. Lasting joy comes from the things of the eternities, it comes from obedience to eternal principals given to us for the SOLE purpose of making us happy, forever and ever. And guess what? NOW is a part of that great forever!!

Is life always easy? No. Is it always easy to find the light in moments of darkness? No. But is it there? Is it worth it to keep striving to find that pinpoint in the blackness? YES! ABSOLUTELY!!! "Men are that they might have joy" if they seek it out. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us beyond our grandest imaginings and that He is here to help us find the path to eternal life that we are seeking. He wants us to rejoice in THIS day that He has made for us and that He'll always help us to do so.

I love you all sooooo much and hope your week is fabulous!!!

Sister Curtis

Monday, October 10, 2016

Howdy Folks!!!

Howdy Folks!!!

Well I think that the week has finally come where I have a chance to catch up on some of the weird/hilarious stuff that's happened recently because if there's one thing there's no shortage of on the mission, it's strange experiences!

- Fun fact: there's a lady breast feeding at the computer next to me in this LAN house as she writes emails.

- Sister Newell fell on top of my foot a few weeks ago (I tried to give her a boost up to see if she could get something we couldn't reach. It was before 7 am, nothing before 7 am is a good idea) and my foot turned kinda black, but it didn't really hurt but then it stayed weird colors for a few weeks. Looking back, I think I probs broke something small and insignificant, but it's already almost back to normal now so tudo bem!

- We had a divisão this week and so many crazy things happened, it was great! First the Sister that I was with had it in her mind to eat all of the random fruits and berries that we encountered in the street, and she was so dedicated to this task that she literally climbed on top of a car to pick some!!! WoW!!! Also she kept asking people on the street what the fruit was as she was eating it. Incredible!!!

- On this same divisão Sister Newell saw a guy get shot by the police in the favela!! WOw!!!! (I got a little jealous that I wasn't there for that one).

-Sister Newell's foot swelled up from her shoe that's almost worn out and she was like, "My foot's really swollen, it's like the size of... a bigger foot!!" And I thought that was pretty funny.

- We had a Family Home Evening with a recent convert and her family and her husband totally made me eat NINE pasteis (you can google what a pastel is), but honestly he didn't even have to try that hard because they were delicious.

Okay that's all the stuff that I'm currently remembering even though I'm sure there was more hahah. Love you all lots and hope y'all have a crazy good week!

- Sister Curtis

Monday, October 3, 2016




I know I've said it a million times but I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!
There´s no greater or more concentrated way for us to receive direct, personal revelation from a loving Heavenly Father than by listening to His servants acting as His mouthpieces sharing inspired messages and good tidings of great joy!!

Sister Newell and I went into Conference battle ready with notebooks, snacks, and 5 questions that we wanted answers to. We took notes and were uplifted and edified and learned so much about the importance and necessity and blessing of constant sincere repentance, about how we are not agents of change but agents of love, and it's our job to love not just our neighbors but every son and daughter of God, and about how "All the Lord expects of us is to try, but we have to REALLY try!".

In the midst off all these wonderful messages, Sister Newell was like, "Hey it's just the first day and I've already had all of my questions answered!" and I was like, "Wuuutttt, how???" but as I've studied the notes that I took and thought more about the words that I heard, little by little, the spirit has brought to my mind all of the answers and counsel that I had been seeking.

I'm so grateful to have had yet another personal, humbling experience to show me that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me completely and perfectly and wants to answer my questions and doubts and worries. Literally all we have to do is ask!! He's ready and waiting to open the door, we just have to knock!! I'd like to invite each of you to study and ponder over and over again the words of the prophet and apostles, I know that as you do so in faith and prayer, your hearts and minds will be opened and you too will receive the personal revelation that you stand in need of, I testify of that.

Love you all and hope you have a rad week!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, September 26, 2016

As Famílias Poderão Ser Eternas

As Famílias Poderão Ser Eternas

I know that it's been a while since I've shared all the wacky stuff that happens in mission life but this week was a little sobering. That being said, it was an excellent opportunity to learn some very important and eternal lessons.

At the beginning of the week, we got to go to the temple which was already in and of itself a wonderful experience. Afterwards, we had a mini meeting with President and Sister Broadbent, and she gave one of the most beautiful testimonies about the importance of having the temple at the center of our lives. The spirit was super strong and I felt with such clarity the importance of having eternal families.

This truth hit me even harder on Friday morning when I received a call from Ribeirâo Pires letting me know that our dear Irmão Clóvis had passed away the night before. It came as a huge shock. I ended up crying for most of the morning, first from sadness but soon thereafter from gratitude. I feel so so so blessed to have been able to play a part in the eternal story of Clóvis and his daughter Yasmin and their family. Our Heavenly Father´s plan is perfect, I know that and I'm a special witness of that. I am soooo grateful that we can be with our family and loved ones not just here but forever and ever and ever. There's no greater blessing or goal that's more important than that.

Love you all so so so so so so much and hope you have a marvelous week!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, September 19, 2016

Do You Smell That?

"Do You Smell That?"

"Sister, are you smelling that?"
"Smells like... BAPTISM!"

It was a weird week because we had a ton of meetings, and I had to go renew my visa so they don't kick me out of the country and stuff, but there was some very excellent very rad stuff that happened that I don't have time to talk all about today, BUT this week we had the privilege of participating in something very very special: Natasha´s baptism!!! I just want you all to know how grateful I am to have the opportunity to help other people be with their families forever and ever.
There's nothing more lovely and wonderful than seeing people that you love and receiving some of the most marvelous and endless blessings that the Lord has to offer us. I'm so so so grateful for Natasha and her mom, Fanny and their family and for the immense love that they have for each other and for the Lord!

Love you all lots and lots and hope that you hug your mom or dad or sibling or whoever today!!

Sister Curtis

Monday, September 12, 2016

We Make Great Happen

We Make Great Happen

This week was super hectic and we basically spent the past 6 days running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but in a good way! So on Tuesday, we had yet another wonderful lesson with Aiêny about temples and how we have the opportunity there to make our families eternal and how we do vicarious work for our ancestors who never had the opportunity to be baptized or be married in the temple, so that they can be with their families forever too, and she got SO excited to be able to go and give that chance to other people!!

That night, when we were already super happy, we took her to an activity at the church where Fanny, the mom of one of our investigators, was waiting for us and basically jumped on us when we entered the room and told us that after 6 months Natasha had finally received the confirmation that she had been looking for and was ready to be baptized as soon as possible!!!! Talk about good news!!!!

So we spent the rest of the week running around and trying to get everything and everyone ready for Aiêny´s baptism on Sunday and Natasha´s this coming Saturday, and it was uma loucura! Lots of very last second running around and little miracles but with some divine intervention, everything worked out! As we were in the sacrament meeting before the baptism, the Bishop talked about how there are so many people just waiting for us to knock on their door and invite them to know more, and Aiêny leaned over, eyes shining, and whispered, "It was like that with me, huh?" And it totally was!!

I"m so so so so so so so so grateful to be serving as a representative of Jesus Christ, to have the privilege to find and invite these people who are literally ready and waiting to accept the gospel into their lives! Seeing the joy and difference that the gospel makes in my life and the lives of all these people that I love is the greatest blessing I've had the privilege of participating in in my life!! I love you all so much and hope your week is fabulous!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, September 5, 2016

Eu Sei Que Vive Meu Senhor

Eu Sei Que Vive Meu Senhor

Hey folks! Remember how last week was like the best week ever and almost everything went right and it was all rainbows and butterflies? Well this week was like the exact opposite of that! Woo hoo!!! :-)

Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some rays of sunshine (like we had a marvelous lesson with Aiêny, our pesquisador Newton is gonna be baptized this week, we ate waffles, the weather was decent, we ate some berries we found growing on a tree in the street, etc...), but I definitely won't be dwelling much on this week for too long.

The good news is that as always, there was a lesson to be learned here (or at least that's what I'm telling myself so that I feel better). So we got to church on Sunday and we were definitely in a broken-hearted and spiritually contrite state. While these days/weeks/trials are always hard for us to support, they are wonderful opportunities for us draw closer unto Christ. I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:6,8-10,
"6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."

I think I could write about 20 pages about these verses alone and how much I love them (but I won't today). This week we felt troubled and cast down, but we were not destroyed and we never will be. After Sister Newell bore her testimony and we began to sing I know That My redeemer Lives, I was overcome with the spirit. The words touched deep in my heart and I felt the Savior saying to me "I love you. I love you and I am here for you and I will never let you be overtaken." It was a very special moment and exactly what I needed to hear and feel.

 I know that my Savior lives and loves me. I know that this is His work and that we were born to succeed gloriously in what we're here to do, THAT is our purpose. I know that all of our struggles and trials are for our benefit if we let them be, if we go to the Lord in humility and meekness and ask Him to help us be refined. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that we have every week to partake of the atonement and to make Christ a part of us physically and spiritually through the sacrament, because without that power we won't have what it takes to face our challenges with the assurance that we're going to come out on top.

I love you all so so much and hope that you remember that you all make time to think about and feel how much Christ loves you personally and individually.

Sister Curtis

Monday, August 29, 2016

Kenzie Curtis: Sister, Surgeon, Street Fighter

Kenzie Curtis: Sister, Surgeon, Street Fighter

Okay so I almost titled this email "BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE", but I thought that might be a little presumptuous (even though it's pretty close to being the truth). But seriously, I don't have the means to convey everything that happened, or all of the emotions and excitement that was felt this week. We saw a lot of miracles, a lot of weird stuff in the street, and a lot of weird stuff in Sister Newell´s ear! But let's cut to the highlights:

- Apparently after turning 20 my body realized that I'm OLD, and I found A WHITE HAIR ON MY HEAD.
- Because I'm old and white-headed now, a man in the street asked me if I was Sister Newell's MOM. (Here are some other things people thought that I was this week: A clothing collector, Sister Newell's twin sister, a Russian, a veterinarian, a nun :-) )
- Sister Newell also had had an earache for like a week and it was killing her, so I took a peek in there and there was like a giant boil inside! So we sterilized a needle and I operated, and wow! It was super gross! But after some tears, blood, and other unidentifiable bodily fluids, everything worked out and Sister Newell was good as new! I knew all those years of Discovery Channel/TLC health programs would pay off someday!!
- We had divisão with the Sisters we take care of and I went to a nearby city with Sister N. Silva, and everything was going along swimmingly until we tried to visit one woman who lives with her son and his girlfriend. Just as we were leaving because no one was answering the door, the crazy girlfriend flew out of the door and grabbed a handful of the Sister´s hair and told us to never come back, and I had to grab onto her wrist so she didn't pull any hair out, and then we ran away and it was the first time I almost got in a street fight! Woo hoo! (don't worry mom, not a scratch)
-  We worked super super hard this week and not only reached but beat our goals and found so many incredible people, and we ended the days absolutely wrecked, and there's no better feeling in existence than knowing you gave it your all and that you're understanding and doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do!

I love you all so much and hope that you all know that real, true, lasting, happiness is found through giving yourself up to the will of the Lord. He wants you and me and all of us to be happy, and He knows exactly how to achieve it; we just have to give ourselves over to Him and let Him take the lead. He knows exactly where He's going and which path to take because He IS the path, and He loves us enough to lead us right along.


Sister Curtis

Monday, August 22, 2016

Saúde's Believe It Or Not

Saúde's Believe It Or Not

Well this week was yet another one of the weirdest, most hilarious but also inspirational weeks of my life :) Let´s talk about that!

So we started the week off super strong knocking doors in the furthest part of our area. It was going well and we were meeting some cool people right up until we rang the doorbell of a little old lady that looked like she would be super cute...right up until the moment she opened her mouth. The moral of the story is that you really can't judge a book by it's cover because she actually turned out to be like a tiny wrinkled Voldemort or something and just talked about how we were stupid for believing in God, and how she hates everyone who lives in the favela, and asked us very sweetly to stop being missionaries. So as you can imagine that went over well.

As Sister Newell and I were walking to the next part of the neighborhood we were going to knock, we just got so sad for that woman who was so bitter and unhappy because she didn't want to accept the love that God has for her.  S. Newell went, "Ya know what I need, someone who wants to hear what we have to say." Literally 30 seconds afterwards, a woman answered the door for us and as we started to share with her about how she´s a daughter of a Heavenly Father that loves her, she began to cry and told us she knew that God had sent us to her to tell her that and yeah, talk about immediate answers to prayers!!!

We also had zone conference which was incredible, followed by the weirdest day ever in which we:
- visited our golden investigator and bff Aieny. I've never met someone so wonderful and prepared to receive the gospel (seriously though this week I told Sis. Newell I'm gonna start calling her Josefa Smith) and she's as excited as we are about her baptism next week!! (WooHoo!!!)
-visited Osvaldo who went on a hunt for all of the sunglasses in his house so that we could try them all on, and he got so excited as he was talking to us that his teeth kept falling out, and I almost had a cardiac infarction trying not to laugh,
-then he took us (barefoot) to meet his neighbors who told us that they were our new parents and force fed us pizza bread and doce de leite, and then as we were leaving they leaned in real close and half whispered, "Seriously though, if you ever need help with anything, including financially, you just come talk to us." Yep.
 -We continued our hunt for the best churros in São Paulo, and I think we found them in a churro truck on a random avenue we took one day, like I know I'm telling you all that these are the best churros that exist, but I also know that you´re not understanding the magnitude of the situation. Suffice it to say there was a lot of Nutella involved and a lot of me walking down the street sadly licking a piece of cardboard when it was all gone.

Well that was basically my week in a very large nutshell. I love you all lots and hope that you dom't let the figurative Voldemort grannies get you down!!!

Sister Curtis

Monday, August 15, 2016

House Hunters International

I'm always saying how your whole life really is a preparation for the mission, and this week my life preparation was in the form of all the late night HGTV I watched with mom through the years, because the secretaries called us this week and were basically like, "Hey, Presidente hates your mini-house so you guys need to find a new place to live ASAP.  Good luck!" So me and Sister Newell played house hunters international this week and scoped out and toured some houses and pretended like we're actual adults who know what we´re doing in life (mentiras). 

Here's some other weird stuff that happened this week: 
- One day, everywhere we went people offered us food, and rejecting someone´s food in Brazil is the same as saying, "hey I actually hate you". So we ate all day and we arrived at our last appointment of the day and they had made even more food, and I thought I was gonna be sick (even though it was really good and I tried my best), so when they turned their back I shoved half a chicken breast in my bag and continued on like nothing had happened, and no one suspected a thing (ps- it wasn't the first time I've used this tactic)
- Met a man named Elbo.
- We received 3 kilos of frozen potatoes and a bottle of mustard and then we had to literally run home, because it was curfew, with this huge bag of batatas and it was pretty hilarious.
- Visited 79 year old recent convert Osvaldo who I love so much I can't express it properly. He's one of the funniest most adorable people I've ever met, and this week he was like, "Hey remember how the part where the batteries go wasn't staying shut in my camera? Well Teresa bought some glue this week, so I just glued them in there and for some reason now it´s not working!"

Okay well that's my news and happenings for the week, I love you guys and hope your week is just fabulous! 

-Sister Curtis 

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Whole New WooOoOrld


Guess what, because my new comp Sister Newell is American (special import from Mapleton, Utah) I've been remembering lots of random things in English that I literally forgot existed such as "holy smokes" and "toaster strudel". I already love her a million percent and I'm excited we're gonna be together (most likely) for the next 3 months. Because we have pretty similar personalities neither one of us even thought about taking a pic together to send to our dearly beloveds, so you'll all just have to hold on to the grand reveal until next week, oops.

Saúde is 100% different than any of my other areas, even though geographically it's not gigantic, it's super densely packed with little houses and tons of apartments, but there's almost no one in the streets, which is new for me, because pretty much everyone is always working or studying. It's gonna take a little readjusting but I'm super excited to be here because this area has so much potential!

Honestly last Monday when I was on the train with all my worldly possessions at my feet, thinking about all the changes that were about to take place, I got a little rattled, and I prayed that I would be able to feel a confirmation that Saúde is where I need to be. So Tuesday we had focused on finding new people to teach and had marked with several of them to come back and teach on Friday. One of these appointments was with a young woman that had seemed pretty interested in learning more, and when we got there Friday afternoon she let us right in and was excited to talk to us.

 We started teaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and when we got to the part about baptism she perked up and listened very attentively. The spirit was so strong and we explained to her that she's a literal daughter of God, and that He loves her no matter what and wants so badly that she returns and lives with Him again, and that she´s happy here and for eternity, and that it´s only by entering through the door of baptism that we can later enter the door to the kingdom of Heaven. As we spoke and testified of these truths, all of our eyes filled with tears and we invited her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized so that she too could receive these eternal blessings. She accepted right away and thanked us so sincerely for offering her a new chance at life and the opportunity to have a real relationship with God.

I don't know about you, but for me that was more than the confirmation that I had been hoping for.I know that the plan that God has for each of us is perfect and that it's only by obedience that we can fulfill it and receive all the blessings that He wants us to have. Love you all lots and hope you have a super duper week!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, August 1, 2016

R.I.P. Ribeirão Pires, Say Hello Saúde

R.I.P. Ribeirão Pires, Say Hello Saúde

Well the day has finally arrived and my time in Ribeirão Pires has come to an end. While it is very bittersweet to be leaving so many people that I love here, I think that after almost half my mission in the same area it was time for the winds of change to blow on in, and boy did they ever! I'll be leaving RP, here on the edge of the mission, and going straight to President´s ward in the city in São Paulo, and it´s gonna be quite the change, but I'm excited and ready to meet and love lots of new people in Saúde!

In honor of my time in RP, here are some of the highlights that I didn't get to share before:
- One time we had the good fortune of finding a styrofoam ball in the street and we played futebol with the dogs in the road as we went on our rounds of trying to visit people who weren't home.
- We were tired of doing the same street contacts and had the brilliant idea of doing singing contacts where we start off with a hymn, and we worked up our nerve and got pumped up and went up to an old lady and introduced ourselves with a big smile and asked if we could share a song, and she just looked at us and deadpanned, "NOO."  And it took everything I had to not be like "Why the heck not?! We know the harmonies!",  but I restrained myself. (We used the same tactic on a lady afterwards and she gave us her address, so take that granny dream-crusher).
- There was a super cool family we're teaching and they currently attend another church and invited us to one of their church meetings that they were hosting, and that's how we ended up teaching 50 members of the congregation of another church about baptism, and I must say I never received so many "Amen, hallelujahs!" in my life, so that was neat.
- Once we got caught in the middle of a rainstorm without umbrellas or anything and we were walking down this giant hill and trying not to slip and die. A member drove up next to us and rolled down the window and was like "Wow it's really raining huh? Well be careful this hill's dangerous when it's wet, tchau!", and drove off into the rainy distance.

After almost 8 months here, I have about a million and one fond memories. I was talking with an irmã that served almost 20 years ago and she told me, "Your mission is just a tiny sliver of time in your life, but you´ll remember it for the rest of eternity." I'm so grateful to be when, where, and with who I am, and I can´t wait to make even more memories in my next area!

Hope you all have a great week!!

-Sister Curtis :)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Baby Mama

Baby Mama

9 MONTHS DOWN, WHAT??!?! (my comp told me I shouldn't make pregnancy references as to not give people the wrong impression but...)

I literally can´t explain how weird it is to think that half of my mission is already over and to be honest it makes me wanna cry a little bit (or a lot). Yesterday, our friend Gabriel opened his mission call and as I sat there in anticipation I remembered exactly how I felt when I was jumping around the front yard with my call in my hands and then crying as I read that I was called to serve in São Paulo Sul, and the spirit confirmed to me that that was exactly where I needed to go. After 9 months and a thousand tears and a million experiences, I can say from my own experience that this is not only exactly where I need to be, but it's where I want to be as well.

There is no other time or place in the universe where I could've met all of the amazing people that I have, or learned so much about myself and the gospel at the rate that I have here, or felt so much love. It's only possible on the mission. When we align our will with God's, we put ourselves not only on the fast track of life, but the fast track of eternity. I'm so so so grateful for the person that Heavenly Father is helping me to become and for the endless patience and help and love that He is not only willing but wants to offer us. I'm grateful for the Savior and the fact that he not only died for us but lived for us and lives for us still. I love you all so much and hope that you can make time to ask your Heavenly Father to help you feel a little of the love that he has for each of us individually.

Have a great week!!
Sister Curtis

Monday, July 18, 2016

Uphill Battles

This is the story about the week that almost kicked my butt, but then didn't. :)

A long time ago (1 week) in a galaxy far far away (Brazil), there were two happy little missionaries, Sister Curtis and Sister Paz. They had been working so hard and finding and teaching so many awesome people and were so excited for the baptisms they were going to have of a family they had been teaching for a reaalllyy long time. Just as they were leaving the house last week to write emails about their excitement, the investigator called them and told them all bets were off, and he and his fam weren't going to be baptized after all. And thus the week started and continued on.

Everything we planned fell through so completely and utterly that it was incredible; by Thursday we were pretty bummed out. But we had set up to meet with the ex-wife of our recent convert Clóvis, so that his daughter Yasmin could finally be baptized this week. I was fasting and we were praying super hard that we could have a miracle and that she could feel the importance of the change that baptism could make in her daughter´s life. And when we got there Friday morning and started talking to her about the importance of the gospel as the foundation of our lives, to our utter shock, she agreed with everything we said and told us how she´s seen Yasmin come out of her shell and is happier and better behaved at home, and she told us "I don't know if i can be there tomorrow but Yasmin wants to be baptized, so just baptize her, okay?" And we were just like, "Don´t you worry, no problem at all!"

But as usual, everything went wrong right up until the moment the last strand of hair went under the water (for instance, we were worried the water would be cold so we made sure the heater was working and everything and when the moment came to enter the font they could´t get two steps in because it was so hot, so we had to start draining the water and pumping more in and we were scrambling around and throwing buckets of cold water to try and cool it off, and the Bishop was like "Wow I didn't even know it was possible to get that hot" lol ). But it all worked out and was more than worth it, especially to have Clóvis and Yasmin´s mom thank us for helping her start out on the right path in life. :)

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I love the fact that I have a Heavenly Father--A GOD--that loves me no matter what, and that hears and answers our every sincere prayer. "And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you." I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!

-Sister Curtis

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Brazilian Rollercoaster Ride

Brazilian Rollercoaster Ride

I always want to start of by saying, "This week was a roller coaster!", but literally every week is a roller coaster; LIFE is a roller coaster! Innumerable ups and downs, parts where you scream because you don´t know if you're gonna make it out alive and parts where you scream out of sheer elation, and then it's all over before you know it! This week was no exception!

There are seriously too many things that happened this week to write about so I´ll do my best to sum them up. Me and Sister Paz are out for baptisms and we are working as hard as we can to achieve that goal! We hit 2 more personal records this week of lessons taught and new investigators, and I realized that something I've really learned to embrace on the mission is the value of hard work! There´s no better feeling than climbing into bed at night and knowing that you gave everything you have that day.

I also recognized one way that I've grown a ton in Brazil and that's the fact that I have pretty much zero inhibitions these days. Remember the time I had the miracle of finding the avocados in the middle of the road? Well this week we found a family in the middle of the road! They were just chilling in front of their house on the ground, and I saw them and walked right on over and plopped down on the ground next to them and struck up a conversation. It was funny because Sister Paz and the member that was with us that day were looking at me and then at each other, and then they both just shrugged and sat down too and we had a great lesson!

The moral of the story is even when nothing seems to be working out but we're being obedient and really giving it our all, Heavenly Father will whip up a miracle for us and everything will work out how it's supposed to, even if that´s not exactly how we expected. I love you all lots and hope you have a great week!

- Sister Curtis

Monday, June 27, 2016

It´s Great to be 8 (& 20´s not bad either)

It´s Great to be 8 (& 20´s not bad either)

With officially 8 months in the field as of last week, I'll hit another mission milestone tomorrow which is... MY 1ST (and only) BIRTHDAY IN THE FIELD!!!! WOO HOOO!!!! We went to a ward churrasco for lunch yesterday after church and basically had the irmãs arguing over who´s gonna make my actual birthday cake, and it was resolved that I´m just gonna have to eat like 3 cakes tomorrow, wHaT a sTruGGle!!!  (lol)

Seeing as this week was the first of the transfer and first week of the new STL (Sister Training Leader) gig, I had to wake up before 6 for meetings/training every day this week, and I almost died of exhaustion, but it was all for the best, and I learned a lot and am somewhat better equipped to work with the other sisters in the mission now. I also crossed the border to Interlagos to get my CPF (which is basically like a  Brazilian social security number) and it took 3 hours, 4 trains, and 5 station transfers just to get there, but it all worked out for the best.

When I was waiting for the guy at the federal building to get my stuff printed out, he was asking about what it means to be a missionary and what we do, then all of a sudden he stopped and looked at me and was like, "Have you ever seen one of these before?" and slowly reached under his desk and then whipped out a Livro de Mórmon and I was like, "Ahh yeaahhh I do!" and I ended up teaching him a lesson right there in the office.

It was pretty funny in the moment, but the more I thought about the experience afterwards, the more grateful I got, because all week I had been stressing about how we would meet our goals and be able to work with all the meetings we had, and it was seriously an answer to my prayers. It was like Heavenly Father was saying "Look you do your part, and I'll do my part and provide the way. Just go forth with faith!" And hey guess what, we met our goals this week. And on top of that, we found three new families that are seriously incredible, and I have high expectations for them. Long story short, God did not cease to be a God of miracles. When we do our part, He is not only obligated but delighted to do His.

I love you all lots and thanks for the birthday wishes!

- Sister Curtis

Monday, June 20, 2016

Missão: Ribeirão Pires

Missão: Ribeirão Pires

Another transfer may have come and gone but I have remained yet again, hahaha. This week we taught someone and I asked her how long she had lived here and she was like, "We moved here 4 months ago." and I was like, "I got here 6 months ago." You know you've been in an area too long when you've lived there longer than the actual residents, lol. But jokes aside, I'm very excited to be here and finish Sister Paz´s training in what will probably be my last transfer in RP. I'm dedicating these next 6 weeks to working as hard as possible to help these people that I love. in this city that I love, feel the hope and joy and peace that the gospel brings into each of our lives.

While the transfer wasn't a huge surprise, the fact that I'll be a Sister Training Leader this transfer was a shock! I'll have 8 months in the mission this week, and mix that plus training plus STL and I'm really not gonna know what I'm doing hahaha. Even though I don´t know what I´m doing half the time, I know that the Lord knows exactly what He´s doing, and that as long as we're obedient and following the Spirit, tudo vai dar certo! (aka everything will work out!)

Here's a fun memory to sign off with: Last night we were talking to a lady and she casually told us how one time she went 8 months without bathing or brushing her teeth or hair. It made me feel a lot better about using dry shampoo every other day.

Love you lots and hope you all have a great week!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, June 13, 2016

All You Need Is Love

All You Need is Love

"It's so cold, how is it possible that it's this cold?" These are currently the first and last words that I say as I climb out of and into bed every day. My area is the coldest of the mission (it got down to the 30´s this week which is just ridiculous) and our house has continued to do that cool thing where it´s actually colder inside than outside. I've just had to get used to using 4 layers of clothes 24 hours a day, but the irmãs here are sooo good to us and give us scarves and coats and sweaters (shoutout to Irmã Neusa for her sweater that I'm using as one of my 4 layers today), and it´s like we're wrapping up in a hug from them every day :)

Speaking of love, I've learned a lot about love this week. We had Elder Fortunato come and speak to us on a mission tour this week, and he talked a lot about focusing 100% on the mission and showing our love for God and His children by working hard for them. It was a great conference and made me think a lot about the people here in my second home, Ribeirão Pires, and also about what Dad always says about what it means to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I've just started to truly understand what a sacrifice it can be to love people enough to let them break our hearts.

I don´t know what it´s like to be a mom, much less a Heavenly Father, but it's so hard to be able to see the potential someone has to do and be great that they can´t see and have them fall short of that. I've also felt, on some microscopic scale, the pain and joy of having someone come to you, suffering, and ask for your help to change, and sometimes i just catch a glimpse of what it must be like for Christ to have someone truly penitent come to Him in pain, pleading for help. I can´t offer the relief or succor that He can, but I can cry with them --in joy or sorrow-- and show them the path that leads to the aid and relief they´re seeking. It´s hard to offer your heart up as a sacrifice, but it´s the only way that we can truly fulfill our purposes here. We can´t be so scared of letting people hurt us that we close ourselves off to the opportunity to truly love them.

it´s funny how before the mission I had some reservations about this, but now I don´t just wear my heart on my sleeve but take it and hand it right on over to people as I enter their home to teach or to greet them on the street. I know it can be hard to let ourselves go and really love people with everything we have, but think of Christ who gave more than just His heart, but His whole mind, body, and soul to each and every one of us in the greatest act of love there ever was.  I love each and everyone of you all and am so grateful for the love I am constantly receiving. Hope you all have a beautiful week!

Sister Curtis

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Life and Times of Sister Curtis

It was another beautiful week here in Ribeirão Pires with lots of rain and miracles :) First off, Luiz had his baptismal interview and is going to be baptized Saturday, woo hoo!!! Before the entrevista we talked about all the questions and doubts that he had and the more we explained the more he seemed to glow. As we wrapped up he told us how this church was exactly where he wanted to be because it had all the qualities that he always searched for in a church, and that he´s going to help his wife and 2 sons to be baptized aquí logo também. As we were leaving he offered the prayer and said, "Thank you so much Lord for helping me to find the true church of Jesus Christ, and thank you for sending me the Sisters to teach me and help me to change and stop smoking and prepare for my baptism." I left on cloud nine. I was thinking about this experience, and I´m so so so grateful for this precious privilege to be a representative of Jesus Christ, and to not only be able to teach what he taught, but to be able to feel the joy that he must feel when we seek His help and seek to repent and better ourselves and really utilize the gift of the atonement that He gave each of us.

We were also teaching another menina, Yasmin, this week about the 10 commandments and how they were going to help her to prepare for her baptism this weekend as well. As we explained about the Sabbath and how we need to show God how much we love him especially on this day, she raised her hand and asked, "But shouldn't we love God every day?" Her innocent response was so cute but also profound because it´s something that many people forget about . Being a disciple of Christ is more than going to church on Sunday and reading the scriptures; EVERY DAY is an opportunity for us to show our love for Heavenly Father by being obedient, by loving our neighbors, and by working hard to share the gospel with those around us.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Change is a good thing!!

Change is a good thing!!

Not gonna lie, this week was one of the hardest of my mission thus far, but I had the opportunity to witness some huge miracles as well. So I started out this week pretty bummed out because our investigators weren't progressing how i wanted them too and weren't completing compromissos (I don't remember what that word is in English sorry) and I basically had a mini breakdown during personal study on Tuesday, but my dear sweet filhinha Sister Paz helped me feel better and we went to work! We worked so hard this week, visited so many people, and knocked so many doors and WOW!! Every single thing fell through, hahaha. BUT, on Thursday (after another minor nervous break) we went and visited Luiz who has been trying to stop smoking without any luck. SO we marched the 40 minutes to his house with an arsenal of calendars and goals and little candies and scriptures to help him, and we had a good 2 hour sit down with him and his family. We made goals together for him to quit and he thanked us so much afterwards because he really wants to change, and I felt so grateful to be able to help him meet his goals and prepare for baptism this week!

After our power lesson with Luiz, we visited another family of 5 that we've been teaching and wow they are seriously so great and are sincerely looking for guidance and a rock upon which they can build their family. Although we've been teaching them for about a month and they've been praying and receiving really strong answers to their prayers, they hadn't come to church yet. SO yesterday the great and dreadful day that is Sunday (for missionaries at least) came and we showed up and waited and waited and waited and just as sacrament (along with my waterworks) was about to start, Luiz showed up with his family and shortly thereafter Alessandra and her family of 5 arrived as well!!!!

It was such a miracle that I replaced my tears of despair with tears of joy and had a burning desire to jump on the pew and give a hallelujah (but i refrained myself and said a prayer of gratitude instead). It´s been so hard to get people to come to church here and yesterday we had 10 investigators show up and I know that it was the result of much ferverent prayer and fasting. I'm so excited to help these people find the joy and safety and path that they´re searching for through faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. I know that these are the things that make it possible for us to change our lives. Love you all lots and hope you have a great week!!

- SIster Curtis

-ps don't worry mom I´m my normal happy self again :)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lucky #7

Lucky #7

This week was officially month Lucky Number 7 (!!!) and what a week it was! So when me and Sister B. ended our last transfer together (tears) we had whittled our teaching pool down to just a handful of people who were actually progressing, so Sister Paz and I basically spent this week knocking doors in the wet and cold :-) While that may not sound that fun (and it generally isn't lol) I really saw the power of having the guidance of the Spirit.

One day we decided to try a neighborhood that we hadn't visited very much, and as we were talking to people there I kept remembering about this random street that we had never successfully found. So I talked Sister Paz into ascending into this foggy jungly road, and we walked and walked and walked some more until we came to one of the biggest hills I've ever seen (and that´s saying something) and Sister Paz stopped and looked up at me pitifully and asked, "Do we really have to climb up that?" I took a pause but really felt that we should continue on, so I just smiled and patted her on the back and said "Of course we do!"

So we started climbing up the cobblestone and were about a third of the way up when this shirtless guy came out and waved us over to the house he was working on. We went over and talked to him, and as it turns out we had talked to him the night before in town. He was so amazed that we had found our way there. So we shared a message with him and he cried a lot and it was good :)

Then when we went to leave, the mist had gotten even thicker than it was before, and you couldn't see 15 feet in front of you, and we got a little lost and it was starting to get dark, so we offered a prayer to help us find our way home. As soon as we said amen, I turned around and was like, "I feel like we need to go this way," and not 10 steps afterwards, the fog lifted and SIster Paz goes, "I know where we are!" And we continued on our merry way and lived happily ever after.

The moral of the story is this: sometimes the influences of the spirit really are just little whisperings, little thoughts or feelings that we have, and the more we try to recognize and act on them, the more guidance we will receive and the more easily we will understand the inspiration we are receiving. I love you all so much and thank you all for the love and support you always give me :)


SIster Curtis

Monday, May 16, 2016



This week I officially became a mom to my beautiful filhinha Sister Paz (aka Sister Peace). I've already made a million bad jokes, and I know she´s already sick of them but i just can´t stop myself hahaha. For instance, we were doing contacts and I was like, "Hello irmã, how are you? Would you like a little more peace in your life? Well here she is!" She´s from Santa Catarina in the South of Brazil and while I was super excited to get a Brazilian comp again, she definitely has green eyes and is whiter than me, so it´s not that different than with Sister Bennallack haha.

With just one week of training I've already had a taste of my own medicine and understand what I put Sister Moura through, and then some. Our very first day together in the field was a lil rough because everything fell through, and then when she was already struggling with contacts (they're always super hard in the beginning) this aggressive drunk started yelling at us and wouldn't let us leave. When we finally got away she started crying and was too scared to finish the rest of her contacts, and yeah it was a rough day for her. I tried to cheer her up by telling her "I was exactly the same but look what I can do now!" and then I proceeded to walk up to a huge group of people waiting for their bus and yelled (with love and a smile) at all of them to come to church. She laughed but then cried again shortly thereafter.

BUT, as we continued to work super hard this week and walked a million miles everyday, we had SO many miracles!!! Even though we really only had 4 days to work; our numbers were through the roof, and we had 2 investigators accept to be baptized, woohoo!! We also had a giant stake conference this weekend that President Broadbent and two Area 70´s attended also. I had just given up my seat for a visitor and was standing behind the divider of the chapel when the area authority called my name in the middle of his talk. My head shot up and I was like "uhhh wut", and i peeked my head around the divider and he was like, "Oh there you are Sister Curtis, can you come up to the stand please?"

So I made the dreaded walk to the podium where he was placidly smiling and asked me to share the first vision and then my testimony of Joseph Smith in front of all 700 members of the congregation. Yeah. So after I cried my way through all of that in front of almost a thousand people he was like, "Thank you so much for that SIster Curtis, I would give you a big hug and a kiss right now if I could. but I can´t so I´ll just shake your hand instead" lolol. Then after the conference President Broadbent came up to me and did his best dad chuckle like, "Ha ha ha, hope you´re not mad at me for recommending you like that, ha ha ha."

And of course I wasn't mad because missionaries are made to testify. All this week I kept feeling like I should study the First Vision a little bit more and we taught the Restoration more than usual, and I kept stressing the importance of testifying of what we know to be true to Sister Paz. I´m always amazed at how Heavenly Father has every little detail worked out for us, we just have to follow the promptings we receive and open our mouths and let the words come out. When we act with more faith than fear, there´s literally no way we can fail; God will not permit it.

Love you all and hope you have a splendid week :)

- Sister Curtis

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ribeirão Pires Para Sempre

Ribeirão Pires Para Sempre ( Ribeirão Pires Forever)

If you didn't get it by the title, I have successfully survived yet another transfer here in RP and... I´M TRAINING!!!  While I am super excited to get my novinha tomorrow, I´m a little bummed that all the other sisters in our apartment will be leaving for other areas ( parabéns for Sister Bennallack who´s going to my birth-zone of Diadema as a Sister Training Leader, WOo HOo!!). It was a beautiful almost 5 months that our little family had together and I´ll miss all of them for sure :´)

It was so great to be able to Skype yesterday and catch up a little bit with the family and laugh and talk and cry together :) The only downside is that now this email is gonna be pretty much the worst, cause I've already told all my stories and news and now I don't have anything else to say haha. I´m so grateful for all of my family and friends and for the constant support and love and strength I receive from y´all. I´m so blessed to have so many people who love me so much and have taught me so well throughout my life. One of my favorite things to teach people about is the importance of our families and how families are not just part of God´s plan; they are the plan. Even though I´m a little ways from home right now, I rejoice every day that I get to be with my family forever!! Love you guys so much and hope you all make time to tell your moms and women in your life that you love them this week!

- Sister Curtis

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

"Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

Well God heard my prayers and complaints about the ridiculous heat that we've been having and hey guess what, in one day it dropped like 50 degrees and is now freezing cold :-) Formerly, I thought that I really liked cold weather, but as it turns out, it´s actually terrible! How wonderful! Also our house does this really cool thing where it´s exactly the same temperature inside as it is outside! How neat! I think it may have something to do with the fact that the window in our bedroom is missing several large panes of glass, but who can know for sure? :-) But I don't wanna be a pessimist, there are actually tons of good things about the Antarctic conditions we are now facing; I just don´t know what any of them are yet.

The good news is that despite the unfortunate turn of temperature, Mariana was baptized this week!!! Woo hoo!!! She did the polar plunge into the águas de batismo and had a smile on her face the whole time :) It was such a great day for her as well as for us, and we spent about 30 minutes afterwards with all of us saying pretty much nothing but "thank you", "No, thank you!" "NO, Thank YOU!!" and it was the best :)

We also started teaching Douglas and Tiago who we met because we arrived a little early for lunch, and we were waiting in front of the Irmã´s house, and this guy (Douglas) just came up to us and was like "hey are you missionaries? do you wanna come see my house I'm building?" So we went right over after lunch. He introduced us to his neighbors and his friend Tiago who was busy tiling what will one day be a bathroom, and we entered though what will one day be a wall, and sat on a cinderblock bed and taught Douglas as Tiago peeped his head out of the other room and listened attentively. Afterwards Douglas serenaded us with a Gospel Love song about his ex girlfriend who moved to Germany and it was basically my favorite lesson ever. We've already taught them twice and Tiago is getting really interested in the church and we're super excited to see what good things are to come!

I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for you in my life and for all the support and love I've received. Hope you all have a great week and remember to go out and find someone to serve!

SIster Curtis

pics: batismo and pday featuring a Japanese park and normal clothes!

Monday, April 25, 2016

6 Meses??? How'd that happen???

6 Meses??? How´d that happen???

This week was my official 6 months in Brazil, wooo hooo!!! Time is so weird on the mission because you have days that feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days and then before you know it you're already a third of the way done with your mission! I had pretty much the best 6 month celebrations anyone could ask for because Tuesday we got to go to the temple which is always great, and Wednesday President and Sister Broadbent came to our apartment for interviews.

Presidente is seriously such a spiritual, loving, inspired man and he's like a 2nd dad. And just like my real dad, he loves to make super bad dad jokes and spend lots of money at fancy restaurants, which is great for us because after our interviews he took us to the nicest place in town, and when the server asked if we wanted multiple courses or just the entree, Pres. Broadbent threw his hands in the air and was like, "We want it all!!" and it was super hilarious. I love that guy.

The next day we ate a huge lunch at an Irmã's house, and afterwards me and Sister B. were both clutching our stomachs like "Woah I'm never gonna eat again, why did I do that?" and then literally 3 hours later we were walking back from an appointment and this Churro truck drove by, and we both stopped and looked at each other and then took off running down the street after the churros, and it was a beautiful moment in our companionship.

Another great moment occurred shortly thereafter when a car pulled over next to us and the guy driving was like, "Hi I need some help with directions", and I was like, "Okay cool, where are you going?" and super seriously he was like, "I'm looking for.. the road to your heart", and I started laughing so hard, and he just grinned and drove away. Oh São Paulo, with your smooth moves.

Anyways, thank you for reading another issue of "Ribeirão Pires: Greatest Hits", featuring yours truly. We've been working hard in the EXTREME heat these past few weeks and even though we sometimes get stressed out and tired and rejected, it´s all worth it. This week we will hopefully be going to baptize Mariana, a young lady who´s been going to church this past month and loving it. She's so smart and eager to learn about the gospel, and I´m so excited to continue helping her to grow her relationship with God! Love you all lots and thank you for your prayers and good vibes :)


Sister Curtis


Monday, April 11, 2016



(One thing you need to know about Kenzie that will make this post even more interesting is that she really loves avocados. She practically lived on them her Freshman year at BYU).

This week was super fast and we worked super hard, and it was like a million degrees every day, but it was a good one. First, here are some spiritual missionary highlights of the week:
- Guilherme was baptized, woo hoo!!! We met him a few weeks ago on splits because he just showed up at church and was like,  "I'm here, teach me", so all of us sisters taught him together these past two weeks, and he was literally a gift from the heavens because he's perfect and didn't have a single problem that he needed to work on and yeah, it was a huge miracle.
- We started teaching Jonny this week who´s been attending church for 5 months and is ready and willing to be baptized. He shared his testimony with us this week during our lesson and at the end of it he said, "Thank you for teaching me about Joseph Smith. I knew a little about him but not the whole story, and wow I'm so glad I finally got to hear about it all. I know this church is true and I want to be baptized and belong to this church."  Wowowow, how awesome is that!!!! It's a little complicated with the ward boundaries, but we're gonna work everything out get him down in the water asap :) 

Second, I've been skimping on the awkward/funny/weird stuff that happens on the regular so here is a compilation of Ribeirão´s Greatest Hits:
- There´s this old guy called João that sells candy in the bus station at night, and he only has one tooth located exactly in the middle of his head, and he loves us and sometimes gives us free chocolate (not as creepy as it sounds).
- Last week Sister Bennallack had to use the bathroom really bad but we were in the middle of the mato (aka jungle) and she couldn't wait, so she just went a little ways off the road in the trees and did what she had to do. 
- Also Sister B. has some sandals that she loves but have been falling apart for months, and the strap broke off while we were super far from home and so we bought some 5 cent gum and chewed until we got the flavor out and then stuck the strap back onto the shoe, and it totally worked!! (for like an hour lol) 
- As missionaries we have to be able to know which people could be compatible together for lessons. or who would make good friends in order for our investigators to feel more comfortable in church. But we've started using our powers in a different way and are now infamous in our ward for match-making. For instance, recent convert Clovis has gone to family home evenings in the houses of many different single sisters with us these past few months, and with a little luck I´ll get to attend a wedding before my time is up here in Brasil ;) 
-You know you spend too much time with someone when you literally don't know who is who anymore and totally forget your own name and introduce yourself as Sister Bennallack on accident, oops.
-Yesterday we were walking up this huge hill and I was just about to complain when I saw something on the ground out of the corner of my eye. I picked it up and it was an avocado!! I looked around and like 5 feet away was another one, and there wasn't a tree or anything just 2 perfectly good avocados in the road, and I know what your gonna say, "Sister Curtis, please tell me you didn't leave such a benevolent gift from the heavens lying in the street like that?" Well don't you worry because I totally just gave a gloria for the manna we received, plopped it in my bag, and kept on walking. Miracles are real friends. 

love you all lots and have a great week!

Sister Curtis

Sent from my iPad

Monday, April 4, 2016

well, well, well

We had transfers last night and well, wouldn't ya know it, WE ALL STAYED (the sisters that is). It came as a surprise because Sisters Moura and Das Graças fight like a married couple, but we're all happy to be together for the third transfer. It was a little sad because our district leader, Elder Alvim, got transferred and our district had really become family, but he´s moving on to bigger and better things so tudo bem.

In other news, this weekend was awesome because General Conference!! Woo hoo!!! I don't know if you all are aware but #LDSConf is almost as good as Christmas for missionaries and Sister Bennallack and I got to watch most of it in English which was a double bonus!! I laughed, I cried (a lot), and was so, so, so uplifted and inspired. I cant put into words how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ here in Brazil and share His perfect gospel with the people here. It´s rewarding sometimes, it´s hard ALL the time, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Like Elder Waddell said in his talk this weekend, the invitation of discipleship is the invitation to walk with Christ to Gethsemane, to Calvary, to the tomb, and then to the Kingdom of our Father. Dallin H. Oaks said "Mortal life wasn't meant to be easy or continually pleasant." We are here to work, to grow, and to learn. Our perfect Christ had to work and sweat and agonize to fulfill HIs purpose here, so why should it be different for us? I am so grateful for the chance I have to show the Lord that I want to change, I want to be more like Him, and I´m willing to work for it.

 I thought a lot about the words to a beloved hymn this week, "Nearer my God to thee, Nearer to thee, Even though it be a cross that raiseth me". I´m grateful for my challenges and trials, and every GIANT hill I have to walk up, and every door that gets slammed in my face, and every drunk guy that asks if my black 6' 6" District Leader is my brother (".. yes, yes he is"), and then starts throwing the deodorant he´s trying to sell at us (I do not recommend this as a business model). I know that the path we walk as disciples of Christ is straight, and narrow, and challenging, but I also know that our Savior is right there beside us every step of the way. He will help you if you just ask for Him too. He knows you perfectly, and He loves you perfectly, and He's anxiously waiting for you to let Him in, so please, let Him in.

Love you all lots and hope you have a wonderful week :)

Sister Curtis

Monday, March 28, 2016



HEY GUESS WHAT? ANGÉLICA WAS BAPTIZED THIS WEEK, WOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to be super smooth and lead into this miraculous event with some finesse but honestly, I´m just too happy and too grateful that everything FINALLY worked out for her. It´s been a roller coaster with this moça, and have literally put our blood, sweat, and tears into helping her. After going to church with us last Sunday she basically dropped off the face of the Earth. We called and visited every single day, but she was never home and almost never answered the phone. We prayed so hard and fasted (for the 6th time) for her again this week, and still we felt like nothing was happening or making a difference.

By Friday we were getting a little heartbroken and almost gave up hope for her baptism the next day, but after rallying our forces, praying with all our might, and eating every ounce of chocolate that we had in our house (Sister Bennallack ate almost an entire cake by herself and it was incredible), we continued on. Saturday morning, guess who happened to be home for the first time all week???? And guess who told us, "I don't know if I wanna be baptized today"??? Yep, Angélica.

BUT after a little lunch, and a lot crying (on all parts), and a lot of testifying and praying together, she told us she really wanted to be baptized. It was such a struggle, literally until the moment she was baptized (she had to use a children´s jumpsuit because the rest had holes, the font overflowed, 0 members showed up, and she has a phobia of the water and was super scared to be submerged), but hey guess what, everything worked out. Everything worked out exactly how it was supposed to. I remember very vividly praying in desperation Saturday morning, with every ounce of love and soul and faith that I have, "Heavenly Father we have exhausted our every effort, we have literally done everything that we are capable of doing and then some. It´s time that we turn the rest over to Thee. Please help us and help Angélica." And He did.

"For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23) I know that the Lord always always always answers our prayers, not always exactly how or when we want an answer, but when and in the way that we need most. I also know that when we really do everything that we can, we are entitled to extra help and that the Lord will more than make up for what we lack. I love you all so much and wish you all a great week!! :)


Sister Curtis

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sister Curtis & the Week Everything Went Right (mostly)

Sister Curtis & the Week Everything Went Right (mostly)

Bom Dia meus abençoados!!!

After several tough weeks of hard work, fasting, and prayers that didn't seem to be bringing forth much fruit, this week it all paid off! SO I'll start off with the biggest miracle. I've already written several times about Angelica because we've been teaching/working with her pretty much since we arrived here in Ribeirão Pires. Well apparently 3rd time´s the charm because she FINALLY had her baptismal interview with Elder Alvim, we answered all her questions and doubts and she´s going to be baptized this Saturday!!!!!!!!! It´s been incredible to see her growing happier and more open after every lesson/visit, and the change was literally physical after her interview. She walked out of the room glowing, with a huge smile on her face, and super excited to be baptized.

 I can´t even explain how happy I am for Angelica. I love her so much and have worked and prayed and done everything I can, and the Lord has more than made up for what we lack. We're not perfect teachers, we don´t speak perfect Portuguese, we don't have all the answers, but the Lord does. He is the Master Teacher; He speaks through the spirit in a language that every one of us can understand; He has all the answers because He IS the answer. I´m so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lived for me, He suffered for my sins, my heartaches, my weaknesses, and that He died for me, and that now He lives again!! I know that because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that because He lives, I too will live again! I know all of this for myself because I have seen the power of the Atonement work in my life, and in the lives of the people here in Brazil, and I  testify that it is a real power. The atonement of Jesus Christ has changed my life, I have seen it cleanse, heal, and succor, and I know that it is only through this merciful gift that we can have to strength we need to not just endure, but to enjoy until the end.

I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful Easter, and remember not just what it´s about, but the why as well.

Lots and lots of love,

Sister Curtis

Monday, March 14, 2016

It was a sick week, bro

"It was a sick week, bro"

This week I caught a bad cold and had to stay home for a day or two and it was the worst (staying home, not the cold). But, we had a conference with President Broadbent and the nearby zones, and he taught us how to shoot down and work around pretty much any excuse that people try to give us and it was awesome, because people are always trying to give us lame excuses as to why they cant meet with us or go to church or be baptized when they already committed to a date. Also, sometimes I´ll be talking with someone completely normally and as soon as I ask if we can share a message with them they magically lose the ability to understand me and are all, "what? what? sorry I cant understand your accent, I have to go now, bye",  which is kinda funny but also really annoying, but tudo bem.

Here are some other thoughts/occurrences by Sister Curtis from this week:
- Sometimes I´m like, "What the heck, why is it raining so much??" Then a still small voice whispers to me, "What are you stupid, you literally live in the rainforest."
- When it rains a lot in São Paulo the sewer systems cant handle it and rain/sewage water explodes out of the holes in the man hole covers and it fills the streets, and then cars drive by and splash us with it. It´s the best :-)
- We were walking through the middle of town the other day, and a guy riding a horse just casually passed us on the sidewalk like it was no big deal.
-We got locked out of our apartment the other day while I was sick and the light in the hallway works with a motion detector, so we sat on the ground, eating bologna sandwiches, waving my umbrella in the air every 3 minutes for 2 hours while my district leader read us talks from the Liahona over the phone.

Love you all and hope to have some more exciting news from Brazil for you next week!

-Sister Curtis