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.