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 :)