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!