Monday, January 30, 2017

I Stand All Amazed

"I Stand All Amazed"

The alternative title to this email is "Super Amazing Miracle Week #2!!!" but I thought a hymn quote might be a little more classy lol. As both titles suggest, it was another incredible week of blessings here in Parque Bristol! As we all know I'm no good at surprises so.. VINICIUS WAS BAPTIZED!!!! WOO HOO!!!

So we arranged to meet up with Vinicius and his family after the first hour of church because they had to go to a funeral early Sunday morning, and when we got there with a prayer in our hearts ... nothing. We came back after the second hour and .... no one. Sister Wright and I stood there looking at each other for a couple of minutes like "uhh, now what.." so we decided to say a prayer and in the middle of it we heard footsteps approaching. I immediately thought "Wow that was quick!" But it turned out to be the neighbor haha.

We went back to church and I was sitting there on the pew thinking what we could do to make this baptism happen today, and I was praying so hard that everything would work out. As I was pondering our options, someone went to sit down next to me and lo and behold, it was Vinicius and his family!!! It was a tremendous miracle!!

Then came the baptism and we went to get his jumpsuit out of the closet and first there wasn't a key, and then we took a look at the font it was dry as a bone. So we turned on the water and called in some reinforcements and we started filling up buckets to speed things up a little. All the while his little sister Maria was angry crying because she wanted to be baptized too (we already marked her baptism for her birthday ... in December, hahaha), BUT everything worked out !!!!!!!!

The moral of the story is this, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (1 João 5:14-15). The power of prayer is real. When we do all that we can and we ask in faith, the Lord will respond to our prayers, The answer isn't always going to be "yes", a lot of the time it's "no" or "not yet", but He will always answer us and bless us in all of the ways that we need, which is much better than in the ways that we want. I love this gospel so much and I'm so grateful for the chance I have to share it with the people of São Paulo and with all of you.

Love y'all lots and hope you have a wonderful week!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, January 23, 2017

"Parque Bristol: The Most Magical Place On Earth"

"Parque Bristol: The Most Magical Place On Earth"

Let me tell ya folks, if the title of this week's email didn't say it all I am SUPER SUPER HAPPY to be here in Parque Bristol with my new filha, Sister Wright!! She's from AmericanFork and is just starting out here in the best mission in the world, and we have some grande goals to do absolutely everything in our power to help this area grow and find the people that the Lord has prepared for us to help.

So we had to help another Sister move houses on Tuesday which ate up a lot of our day, but Wednesday we started out strong and that night I met Gustavo the substitute ward mission leader. As we were praying to leave, I felt the spirit so strong testifying to me that this area is a very special area, an area of ​​miracles and that I am here for a great purpose. Then he took us to meet some people and on the way to a house we met an inactive member Regiane, who invited us to go to her house another day and we checked and then we met with two more great families.

We continued to find lots of cool people and contacted some of the people from the area book, and Sister Wright was so excited. She told me "I did not know it was so good to work so hard! I'm so happy with you !! I did not even think of home today !!"  What a cutie. On Friday we woke up on FIRE and we went out and worked a ton. In the afternoon we went to Regiane's house and we got there and we were getting to know each other a little, and I started to talk about the gospel and from nowhere she said, "You know my son isn't baptized and he's going to be ten soon." I almost did not believe it but immediately I said, "We can fix that!" And we marked his baptism for this Sunday. The Lord works in mysterious and wonderful ways;.

Well all that just put gas on the fire and we left there and worked even more. On Saturday a girl Larissa from another ward went out with us. We knocked on doors in the rain and we visited the rest of the people, but we finished our plans at 8 o'clock and asked Larissa for help, and she thought and thought and said, "I don't know, we can try my aunt." On the way there we met with her cousin that she had wanted to pass the reference of previously but didn't remember the address. Then we went to her aunt's house who welcomed us in and invited us back, and when we left Larissa said "Wow, we met my cousin, my aunt let you guys in, and we met so many people, today was amazing !!!" And it was amazing!

I have a wonderful burning feeling that this is an extremely special area, that we're here to do great things because we're here to do the work of the Lord and when we do His work, His way, with love and with determination, WE CANNOT FAIL.

As a grand finale, NICHOLAS WAS BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!!! WOO HOOO!!!! Parabéns amiginho!!!

Love you guys oodles and oodles and hope your week is half as good as mine's gonna be!!

- Sister Curtis

Monday, January 16, 2017

"The Final Chapters: Parque Bristol"

Welp, another transfer came and went and now I'm going to have one more adventure: I'm going to Parque Bristol! I am very grateful for the time I had here in Jardim da Saúde and for all the difficult and wonderful experiences, I know that I grew a lot here and made some friendships that will last forever.

This week I had one not so fun experience but 2 incredible miracles. The sad part is that our golden investigator disappeared from the face of the earth until 9:05 on Friday night when we finally found her, and she told us that she had gone to help her friend move and she was going to travel the next morning too. While I'm a lil sad that I will not be here to baptize her, I know that Sister Rasera will continue to help her on the path to happiness.
The first miracle was that Fanny's mother was baptized this weekend!!! I'm so happy for her and for Fanny and Natasha because now their family has 3 generations baptized in less than a year! Her father passed away in December and now by the end of the year she will be able to baptize him and afterwards be sealed to her parents. How incredible!

The third miracle was that there is a little boy Nicolas from the ward, and his mom is a member but his dad is not and was not letting him be baptized for anything. I've been going there since Sister Newell was here but we started to focus a lot on the father when Sister Rasera arrived, and he ran away from family home evenings but always treated us well and with time went to some meetings and activities and always helped the ward, but it never seemed that he was going to let the baptism happen. Yesterday, Fabi called us over to talk and said her husband said that Nicolas can get baptized and will be baptized this Sunday!!!! I cried when she told us, first of joy and gratitude and then because I won't be able to be there haha (had to be in the week of the transfer). But I'm super super happy for Fabi and Nicolas and their family and know that they are one giant step closer to having an eternal family.

Love y'all lots and hope ya have a great week!!

- Sister Curtis

pics-  a bit of light rain, our neighbors secret pet pig, I'm not trunky but this sign sure is "Soon: Tennessee", teeny tiny bananas

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Que [Semana} Maravilhosa"

"Que [Semana] Maravilhosa"

What a nice week! This week we got to go to the temple!!! Every time we go to the temple it's like we recharge our spiritual batteries to the max and then a little, haha.

Also our wonderful pesquisadora Cristiane came back from the beach and we had another super powerful lesson with her and it was amazing. We asked if she had prayed about the church and about baptism, and she told us that she knows the church is true but didn't know if she is ready for baptism, and I testified to her that I know she is and that this is the path that God wants her to follow and she started crying and told us, "There's something in my heart almost yelling at me 'baptize, baptize, baptize!', but I'm afraid of what my family will think and do. But I think everything that I've passed through in my life has been to lead me to this church."

And I felt the confirmation of the spirit of that so strongly that I promised her fervently that all her life she was being prepared to find The Church of Jesus Christ and that her family will see her example and the light she will have, and they will see that it is a great change for good, something of God and not of men, and that as she keeps the commandments and covenants she will make, her husband will also feel the difference that the gospel makes in their lives and it will open up. And we all cried together and she agreed and it was wonderful! We're trying very hard to help her get baptized this week because I think I'm going to be transferred next week. We're going to work and pray a lot this week !!

Although I will miss the people and experiences that I had here in Jardim da Saúde, I am very very grateful for all of them. Something I learned a lot here was about how much we really don´t know the impact of our work. I've had a lot of sneak peaks in people's lives in areas where I've already left and have had many people I've taught who were baptized after I left the area, or people like Fanny who are teaching everything she learns to her friends and family, and now her mom will be baptized on Saturday. What a miracle!!!! Indeed, we see little of the effect that we have on people's eternal life and so it is even more important that we are a force of good and that we do EVERYTHING to help our brothers and sisters return to the presence of God.

I love this work and I am very excited to have this opportunity to work for the Lord with and for the people I love!

Love y'all lots and have a great week!!

-Sister Curtis

Monday, January 2, 2017



IT''S 2017 WWUUUUUUUTTTTT?!?!?! How'd that happen?!?!?!

I've been thinking a lot in retrospect about this year and recently had the opportunity to write a letter for a family friend who has helped me and my family immensely, and I thought that I'd share a little bit of that letter with today.

"Last week made 1 year and 2 months that I'm here in Brazil as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1 year and 2 months that I've had the pleasure and privilege of being a representative of Jesus Christ and of sharing His restored gospel and all of its accompanying blessings with the people of São Paulo.

Being the end of the year, I was recently reflecting on everything that happened and that I experienced in 2016, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that this was the best year of my life. There is nothing more worthwhile that I could have done, no place more important that I could've been, no people more special that I could've met, or experiences more tremendous that I could've had than what the Lord has blessed me with here.

I have seen miracles take place that defy description as well as scenes that would break your heart to bits and pieces, and I've felt the Lord with me through it all. I know with a surety that the Lord never leaves us to fend for ourselves as we seek him out; he rejoices with us in our triumphs and wipes away our tears when there´s nothing left to do but cry. He is the personal and individual Savior of each and every one of us and loves us with a perfect love. There aren't words sufficient for me to express my gratitude for this sacred opportunity, for everything that I've learned and for everything that I've become and everything I've helped others to become as well."

Love you all lots and hope that you all have a happy new year full of grand goals and perfect plans!

-Sister Curtis