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