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

IT"S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS


IT"S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS

HEY GUYS GUESS WHAT IT´S ALREADY NOVEMBER AND THAT MEANS THAT IT'S ALMOST DECEMBER WHICH MEANS CHRISTMAASSSSSS!!!!!!

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