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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Monday, December 30, 2013

My White Christmas

Monday
-We spent half of our Preparation day at the Branch Christmas party where we played fun games and ate yummy food.
-We joined the Young Women in the evening for some Christmas Caroling

Tuesday of Christmas Eve:
-We worked and served and taught like missionaries do. Since it's vacation time and they don't have school, we got some of the youth to work with us as we shared Christmas messages to anyone who would listen.
-There are families here that helped us feel so included in their Christmas celebrations
-Christmas here is not so much about the gift exchange, rather it is about food and the companionship of others. 

Wednesday of Christmas Day
-We had District meeting in the morning with four other Elders. Afterwards we had a gift exchange and Christmas lunch.
-I got to skype my family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cried in excitement as we were getting ready. We had carefully arranged it so that me and Solana (my Sister who is serving her mission in Albania) could all be on at the same time. That meant my family had to wake up in the middle of the night.  But to the disappointment of all us, I ran into some trouble finding a place where I could skype. By the time I was finally able to get on I had just barley missed Solana!! It was the saddest thing ever!!! I cried about it later, but not wanting to waste any of the precious time I had with my family, we pressed on. It was the greatest thing ever to talk to my beloved family again. They are all getting so old. Taller, deeper voices, all grown up. It was pretty crazy. I love them so much!!  I have the best family anyone could ever hope for. On my mission I've come to realize how truly lucky I am. I don't know what I did to deserve such an amazing family. My heart longs for the day that we will all be together again. I miss them.      But don't worry, I'm not trunky. I am loving everyday of my mission and I don't want it to ever end. The only good thing about ending a mission is being able to come home and be reunited with my loved ones. 
I am grateful that my companion was able to join me for the skype. She was literally right beside me holding my hand the whole time. It was neat for her to be able to meet the people who I've told her so much about. When we sang "Families can be together forever" at the end of our skype call, it wasn't me that cried, but her.  I just love her with all my little heart. Later that night she was able to phone call to her family. I was so happy when she put the phone on speaker, so I felt part of it. As she talked to each person I pointed to her family picture trying to guess which one she was talking to. It was a sweet experience. 

-That afternoon me and Sister de Guzman sat down and opened the stalkings and presents my family had sent. I loved how much she loved her stalking. I loved all the things my family sent and just felt so loved.  I gave my companion the present I had secretly coordinated with the members to get: an umbrella to replace her umbrella that just broke.

Saturday:
-Baptism of Michael!!! This was the best Christmas present anyone could ever ask for.  We had finally got him to decide on a date, and it was this past Saturday. His baptism will go down as one of the highlights of my mission. Not because the baptism was a sweet experience (even though it was) but because of the change I have seen in this man. Because I know how wonderful his life will be now. I am just the luckiest missionary in the world to have been able to witness his conversion. 

Sunday:
-Primary Program. yes I cried.



I think I said this last year, but it is worth repeating:
I thought that being a missionary was the best present I could give to God. Turns out it is the best present he could ever give me. I am so lucky to be a missionary.

Love,
Sister Abish "I Love my Family and my life" Curtis      



Monday, December 16, 2013

It's just part of the mission

I feel a little hesitant writing about this, because it is a little personal and there is such a wide variety of people who read my emails/blogs... but I want you to be able to understand a more complete picture of what it is like to be a missionary. A big part of your missionary life is who you spend it with: your companion. 


I love Sister de Guzman. I am so lucky to have her as my companion. Our time together as been part of the best time of my mission. I am so happy with her. Even the members talk about how well we get along together, and it's true. This week I have taught her how to beat box. She knows the name of everyone in my family, and I know the names and stories off all 11 of her brothers and sisters. We have accomplished so much good in our area, and we love our work. I could go on and on about all the things I love about my amazing companion.   But the thing is, the more you love, care and trust someone, the more potential they have to hurt you. That's what happened to us this week. Here is what happened:


There was some mis-communication, or rather lack of communication. I said something that really hurt her feelings. I could tell she was upset, but I didn't see the connection to her mood and what I said until too late. After a silent lunch and language study we headed off to our first lesson of the afternoon. She said something that was an obvious clue to what she was feeling, but I for some reason didn't understand until halfway through our lesson. I had to wait until after the lesson before I could offer her a sincere apology and promise that I hadn't meant what I said.  I felt so bad about it for the rest of the day. I apologized a time or two before the end of the day, and she assured me it was okay. 
But like I said before, the more you love someone the more potential they have to hurt you. I had really hurt Sister de Guzman, and I had lost some of her trust. Usually she is patient with my many weakness, but something else I did the next day got her upset with me again. 
I could tell she was upset again, so before we got to our next lesson I had us stop there in the street so we could talk about it. She felt like I didn't trust her (which is crazy because I trust her more than any other companion I've had) and she said I had lost her trust. I was hurt by what she said. We apologized, we talked about what we could do to fix it. She suggested we go teach, so we went and taught for the rest of the day. That didn't fix it. Our ward missionary could barley tell that something was wrong, but we could tell. I had a hard time concentrating in lessons. After we dropped off our ward missionary at the end of the night we made the long walk home in an intense silence. This is not the first time I've had a companion who is mad enough not to talk to me, but this is the first time I was effected so much by it. I was angry and hurt. I was mad at her, but at the same time I missed her so much. 
When we got home we sat down and worked it out. There was crying, there was explaining and clarifying. There was apologizing. There was hearts softening. And at last there was laughing again. 
I don't think any of it would have been such a big deal if it weren't for how close we are, and how much we really do love and care for each other. But, now our friendship is stronger than ever. It's funny how that works. No one's perfect. But if you really love someone you will focus more on the things you like about them than the things you don't. 

On a different note...
Tintin was baptized!!!!    She is the cutest 10 year old ever. She already has a best friend at church, and lots of good fellow shippers. She has been to the our last two baptisms, so she was already a pro at knowing how things go. 
I love missionary work!!!

Love you lots and lots!
Sister "I love my companion" Curtis


Pictures: From the baptism, and also a 96 year old man that I met. 




Monday, December 9, 2013

Miracles are real, I saw one this week. Do you remember Renato from last week? He is our golden investigator who hasn't been able to walk for the past couple of months. And because of that he was in the right place at the right time for us to find and teach him. He completely accepts everything we teach. He has already read so much of the Book of Mormon.   We have been praying for him to be able to walk and even fasted for it. We have been studying about faith and miracles. And on Thursday we saw one. When we got to Brother Renato's house... he stood. With the help of his walker, he walked. Both me and Sister de Guzman cried for joy.  Before I knew that our God is a God of miracles, but now I really know it. We were walking on clouds on the way home from his appointment. 
 
The next day when we went back his legs were weak again, so he wasn't able to come to church. But he still has the strongest desire to come to church and be baptized. I have no doubt that it will happen, I don't know when or how, but I know that miracles are real. 

Pictures:
-Renato the day he stood
-Michael, our thug of an investigator
-Yesterday the Tishners (office couple) came to our apartment to deliver my Christmas package. It was a double bonus because besides the wonderful package we also go to see them.
-My zone before transfers this last week (don't worry I didn't get transfered)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I didn't forget what I'm thankful for, I just forgot Thanksgivi​ng

This last week was Thanksgiving daw. Thanksgiving is not a holiday they celebrate here in the Philippines, so I may or may not have spent the whole Thanksgiving day forgetting it was even Thanksgiving. That is kinda crazy because I've never had so much to be grateful for.

Today I will tell you story of Renato. This is how it goes:
Once upon a morning me and Sister de Guzman were walking through the streets in our neighborhood looking for new people to teach. We passed by a house where a man was outside on a chair reading a bible. I guess it took a second to register, because we had already passed him when me and my companion stopped, looked at each other, then turned around and approached the man who I will call Renato (because that's his name). 
He didn't have any other chairs so me and Sister de Guzman taught standing up. Actually maybe have our lessons to him have been taught standing up or squatting. 
He believes everything we teach him. Now when we go back we don't just see him reading the Bible, but also the Book of Mormon. When we extended the invitation to be baptized he said "Amen Sisters" (That means yes). He actually says "Amen" and "Praise the Lord" a lot during our lessons. 
You maybe wondering why in the lessons, me and Sister de Guzman are the ones standing while Renato is sitting. This is why: he can't stand, or walk. It's been this way for the last couple months. The doctors say it has something to do with diabetes. Because of that we haven't figured out a way to get him to church. (he really want to go). He is too embarrassed to be carried, even though we offered to find someone to help. Right now he is just doing his best to slowly build up his strength everyday. We are praying for a miracle for this faithful man. Sometimes me and Sister de Guzman daydream about the John Tanner story (if you don't know it, go look it up, especially the movie.) 

Do you remember Mike? Last night we taught him about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chasity. I love teaching the love of Chasity to old ladies. I do not love teaching it to people of the opposite gender. But its only as awkward as you make it. He wasn't happy to hear that he can't add anymore tattoos.  For the Word of Wisdom, he already gave up drinking and smoking for his Mormon fiance. But coffee is still something that he is working on cutting down. To help him find an alternative to help wake him up, we got a group together this morning to play basketball. Win-win situation. 

Every day me and Sister de Guzman set goals for the day. Almost always one of our goals is "Expect Miracles" and then at the end of the day we talk about the miracles we have seen. Do I love it? Yes. Does God love us? YES!!!!

Love,
Sister "Miracle expecter" Curtis

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kinda short letter... but at least there are a lot of pictures

Dear Reader,

Thank you reading. 

Little Rhea was baptized this weekend! It was such a sweet little thing. But she didn't come to church yesterday, and we don't know why. But hopefully next week she will come in order to complete her baptism by being confirmed and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Last week at our zone goal setting, the leaders were surprised with the number we had goaled for less actives returned for the month of December: eight. That is the highest number I have ever goaled for, so it was not a normal thing for me either. It is a miracle. Most of those people will be returning within the first or second week and we are pretty sure about them. As I’ve reflected about how we have been able to do it, I’ve been lead to our focus on the temple. For all these people we have been focusing on how important the temple is, and their desire to attend. We have extended a temple goal date to them, and have been working with them to be ready for it. It has really helped to motivate them and get them to church. It is a miracle and hope I will have the chance to attend with them.

I am a happy missionary. I am to the point where I am loving every day of my mission. There are still hard things that happen. But when you’re a missionary, hard doesn't mean bad. 

Love,
Sister "I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain" Curtis
 
 




 

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One year?!?!

First thing first, I realize that last week I didn't mention much about the the typhoon that hit the Philippines. Lots of people have been asking and worrying, so I'll fill you in on what I know. The storm itself hit pretty far from where I'm so it didn't effect us here. But from what I hear it hit pretty hard down in Tacloban. 
A little background about missions in the Philippines; when I got my mission call there were 17 missions in the Philippines. In the last year that number has gone up to 21 missions. Tacloban is the mission that was hit the hardest. It was hit so hard that they are now closing the mission for the next little while, because there are not really people there left to teach. The devastation was pretty bad, so most of the survivors have moved. All the missionaries are safe, but they are being reassigned to other missions. In our mission we have received 15 new missionaries, plus a senior couple, all of whom are coming from Tacloban. 
I am safe and well, but continue to pray for those who are not. 


On Nov. 14th I hit my one year mark as a missionary. Isn't that the craziest thing you've ever heard of? I can't believe it's really been a whole year since I've seen my family.
The time has gone by sooooooo fast. I still feel like a new missionary, but hitting my year mark makes me realized how long I've really been here. It has caused me to reflect on some of the changes I've seen in myself and the things I've experienced. Here are some:

Physically
-People tell me I've look like I've lost weight, but I'm not so sure about that. I've maybe just lost the 5lbs that I gained at the MTC. 
-Tan lines. My favorite tan lines are the ones of my feet. But besides that I'm not nearly as tan as I should be considering I'm spending every day of my life out in the Philippines
-I have some pretty sweet knee calluses on my knees from all the knelling prayers that we offer as missionaries every day of our lives. 
-I can walk forever, carrying a heavy bag, rain or shine.
-I just taught my first ever squatting lesson. I didn't think I was capable of doing that because of my knee surgery, but I thought wrong, because I can totally do it!

Emotionally
-As a missionary I've experienced the full spectrum of emotions. I've been so happy, so depressed, so excited, so frustrated, so satisfied, and so many other things.
-I've experienced vicariously through others the many types of problems in life
-I've learned how to deal with different things.

Socially
-I've spend 24/7 with 5 different companions. They are all different, none of us are perfect, but I love them all. And I'm planning for us to be friends for the rest of our lives. 
-I've met so many neat missionaries. 
-Seeing qualities that I like in people. Realizing the qualities that I don't really like in people.  
-The members who I have learned to love and serve.
-I've never known so many people in my life. I've learned to not be afraid to just talk to all the random people that I come in contact with

Skills
-I learned a whole new language. How neat is that! I've still got a lot to learn thought.
-I'm a much better teacher than I was before. I guess that kinda happens after you teach all day everyday. 
-I've learned how to cook things that I didn't even know existed before. I'm excited to come home and cook for all y'all.
-I've actually learned about a billion other neat things that can't even be included.

Spiritually (This is the most significant)
-My testimony has grown stronger
-I have a greater appreciation for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, of my family and of life in general. 
-I've learned to pray more sincerely and I'm closer to my Father in Heaven than ever before
-In ways that I cannot even describe, my life has been changed forever.  


Besides passing my one year mark last week, I also passed a different anniversary. November 15 marked ten years since I received my Patriarchal blessing. I am so grateful for that blessing, and the way it gives me direction for my specific problems even here on my mission. Something significant about my blessing, is that after I received it as a 13 year old girl, it was at that point in my life I realized I needed to be reading my scriptures everyday. For the past ten years I can count on my fingers how many days I've gone without reading the scriptures. My scripture study habit has made a huge impact on my life. If someone was to ask for my advice for preparing for a mission, I would tell them to develop a scripture study habit. Not only will it prepare you for the hours you spend each day as a missionary studying. But it will give you more power as you bear your testimony and teach truths. It will be a resource for you to draw from as you face the challenges in life. Missionary or not, I plead with all of you to read the word of God every day. It will change you life!

I want to tell you a little bit about my best friend of a companion. Sister de Guzman. One of the things I love about her, is what we do every night before we go to bed. We pray together as a companionship. Then after we've turned the lights out and said our personal prayers, we tell each other we love each other. Then we usually talk for a little bit just about whatever. Sometimes it results in me throwing my pillow at her. Every night I fall asleep as a happy missionary. I love Sister de Guzman!!

Love,
Sister "6 months left is actually a really long time" Curtis

Pictures:
1-Exchanges with the Sister Training Leader
2-Me and Sister de Guzman in a trike. I had to use a lot of hairspray to get my hair to stay up like that. Just kidding. It was really windy. And hairspray is way to expensive here. 
3-Pday at the mall, getting to see some other missionaries
4- The other Sister Training Leader. Love her!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Let me tell you about Mike

Once upon a time there was a man named Mike. His arms are covered with tattoos, we has long sideburns and a goatee. He pretty much looks like a gangster. He has a daughter, though he is not married to the mother and they are separated now. He loves his daughter even though she was taken away from him. He lives in a huge a beautiful mansion like house. But it is really pretty empty on the inside.
He eventually was able to meet a beautiful young lady who he feel in love with. She happened to be a Mormon, even the daughter of a Bishop. They dated and eventually got engaged. The months before their wedding she is spending out of the country working. She never pushed her religion as part of their courtship. But now for whatever reason, the time is right and he is ready to listen to the missionaries. 
This is where I come in. Mike is the future brother in law of Brother Boogie, and he brought us to him as a referral. Our first lesson was almost two months ago, and now we teach him every Sunday night. 
Like I said before he looks like a gangster, but the most inspiring things come out of his mouth. God is actually super important to him. Our first he actually cried as he talked about his daughter. He is so sincere about our lessons. And ever though we are always laughing and joking during the lesson, there are times we serious and spiritual.
He has been to church six times now, and we are seeing the difference in him. He is noticing the difference in himself. He told us how he doesn't make the sign of the cross anymore when he prayers (we never even taught him about that). He is comfortable at church. Two weeks ago he told us how he has started approaching the Sacrament part of Sacrament meeting. He uses it as a time to really ponder and worship. He says it makes a difference of how much he is inspired for the rest of the meeting. Golden. 
He is reading The Book of Mormon. He loves to visualize the things he reads. He had the most interesting insights after he read Joseph Smith's story. He asked if he could borrow the "Restoration" video after we watched it with him. 
He has great fellow shippers. Brother Boogie is always there, and then since we need another female when we teach males, there is always at least one other. At least. There have been times when we have had 6 members with us at our lessons. It is pretty awesome. We all sit there at his big table. Sometimes they all like to talk a lot, so it takes a while to start the lesson. But now Mike already has so many friends. 
You may be wondering, if he has come to church so many times, and is reading the Book of Mormon, and progressing in so many other ways, why doesn't he have a baptismal goal date yet? That's a good question. 
We have talked about it a lot, but he feels pressured. He won't settle on a date. You see he doesn't know for sure yet. At least that's what he says. We've talked about how faith grows slowly. Like the rising sun, there is not one second where you suddenly engulfed in light. It is a slow and gradual, but sure thing. We have promised an answer will come.
I loved last night in our lesson when he was talking about the church. In the middle of the sentence after a half a millisecond pause, he said "our church." He admitted himself that he will be baptized. He just doesn't know when yet. We challenged him to pray about it this week, and next week we will set a date. I'm guessing it will probably be sometime before his wedding (Jan 5).
I know I am
 
The storm was far away from were I am, so we just got a little extra wind and rain the day it hit. But I hear things are pretty bad down south.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I love Sister de Guzman!!!!

Last week on transfer day after I had picked up my new companion, we caught a bus back to Cabanatuan. There were many missionaries there on the bus with us, including Sister Ocampo (my first trainee) and her companion. Sister Ocampo is amazing, and I saw as she taught a whole lesson there on the bus to someone she had just meet. I swelled with pride as I thought "That's my anak!" (anak translates into child, which in this case refers to my trainee) Later that day me and my new anak Sister de Guzman were out teaching our second lesson of the day, as in the second lesson she had ever taught.  Sister de Guzman is an amazing teacher, I couldn't believe the expertise with which she taught. I swelled with pride again as I thought "That's my anak!" But that's when I was hit with humility. This was only Sister de Guzman's first day, there was no way she had learned that from me. And Sister Ocampo also, she would have turned out amazing whoever her trainer had been. I realized how incredibly blessed and lucky I am. The Lord trusts me enough to train, but he gives me "trainees" that actually teach me more than I could ever teach them. 

Let me tell you a little about Sister de Guzman's first week. 
She continues to amaze me with her missionary skills. I really don't feel like she is a new missionary. She has so many great ideas. She is excited to do missionary work and it is contagious. 
I know she is home sick (what missionary isn't homesick especially their first week) but she doesn't show it too much. She is focused on the work, she will always out of no where ask about random people from our area. She has been able to love these people right away. Something else she does is serve me all the time. I often find my shoes clean and shined, I have to fight her for a turn to do the dishes, and so many other great things. I just love her. We work hard, but also have so much fun. We are able to talk about anything together and laugh about everything.
On Friday she had her 24th birthday. I woke up early to decorate the house. A missionary birthday is not much different than any other day, but I tried my best to make it special for her. We ended the night by having dinner with her favorite less active family. 

Sister de Guzman is doing so great! She has extended the baptismal goal (and it was excepted). She is the best OYMer that I have ever been companions with. She is mature and confident, but is also so humble and teachable. I know that she misses her family, but she is still able to be so focused on the work and is constantly serving me. How in the world did I get so lucky to be companions with this amazing missionary.

This week I had the first heart-break of my mission. Sister Bondoc has been one of my very favorite investigators ever since we first meet here and her less-active husband. I feel like I have done some of my best teaching in their home. After working with them for a couple months they finally come to church for the first time. It was amazing! That was why we were confused when in our next lesson she "dropped" us. She has undeniably felt the spirit and our love for her. But she says she was time to think about it, and she will text us when she is ready again. Her, her husband, me and my companion all cried during the lesson. Then after the lesson me and my companion had a good cry at home (it was the last appointment of the night). It was heart-breaking, but I was still able to feel at peace. We had done everything the very best we could. And I have a feeling that we will hear from her again. We are always praying for her, and we included her in our fast. I know she is in God's hands and he will take care of her. 

Another fun fact of the week. I got to meet the Royals. Before my mission I searched the internet to find anything about the Angeles Mission. I found the blogspot of Elder Royal and I was a faithful follower. I also found the blog entries of his parents when they came to pick up their first son who also served in the Angeles mission. I loved reading their blogs.   Well, Elder Royal just finished his mission and  his parents came back to the Philippines again to pick up their son. Since Kalikid was E. Royals first area, they came here and had a special ward activity for them. It was a fun night.   It was Elder Royal's blog that inspired me to set up a blog of my own. I have already had a couple of the new missionaries admit to me that they read my blog before my mission. I love that I am able to help them. Here is a shout out to all those who are reading my blog because they will soon be serving here in the Philippines Angeles Mission. I hope I get to meet you someday. 

Love Sister "Proud Mama" Curtis
 
 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Training??​?

After being companions for two transfers (12 weeks), me and Sister Sarto anxiously awaited what our zone leader would announce for what would happen to us this next transfer. First he announced that Sister Sarto would be transferring (she only has one transfer left before she goes home and she was really hoping to stay) I had one arm wrapped around Sister Sarto who had started crying, when Elder Ka'ahanui announced that I would be training again. I took a step back because I was not expected it at all. What?!?  But I actually felt a lot more prepared than I did the first time they announced I was training almost 6 months ago. 

Let me tell you a little bit about what happened the next day, because it was a good one. When I walked into the meeting for all the new trainers I saw many familiar faces. One was my trainer, Sister Calinisan who is training for the third time. My first trainee Sister Ocampo was there, she is not only training, but also opening a new area. AND Sister Ocampo's trainee (my "granddaughter") was also there training. How crazy is that??? Four generations all training at the same time? I love it so much. When we had all gathered with all the trainers and trainees President Martino had the four of us stand up, and he pointed out our genealogy. It was pretty awesome. 

I love my new companion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sister De Guzman is her name and she is from Naga City (that's here in the Philippines) My streak continues because I still have yet to have a companion younger than me. She is turning 24 this Friday
Sister De Guzman is all anyone could ever ask for in a trainee. She is confident and mature, but yet still so humble and teachable. I actually don't feel like I have a trainee for a companion, I feel like I have a Returned Missionary as a companion. She is so amazing at being a missionary. The first time she "OYMed" (Open Your Mouth, thats what we call it in my mission when you talk to someone and extend an invitation) It was the best OYM I have ever heard on my mission. On the first day she was already teaching half the lessons. She is incredible. She is also beautiful (she is like unto Pocahontas from the Disney movie ) I am afraid that everyone will fall in love with her. We also get along sooooo well. I am grateful that I get to spend every day with her for the next 12 weeks. 

1- Family Picture with my "Sister" (My "mom," me, my "sister", my "daughter" and my granddaughter")






2- Generations (Mom, me, daughter and granddaughter all with our new trainees)
3-Me and my companion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4- Caribou cart
5- My cute companion
6- Some awesome Elders in my District

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Restoratio​n...of Electricit​y

Last night we were teaching our last appointment of the night when the member who was working with us got a text that power had come back on where we live. We finished our fire lamp lesson (still no power where we were teaching) and quickly returned to our apartment 

We turned all the switches on in our apartment and rejoiced as we were engulfed in the light. I turned on and off all the water faucets, happy that they worked again. After we did a little celebrating, I didn't know what to do next. I had gotten used to life without electricity and was already starting to miss my candle light. Then Sister Sarto had the best idea ever. General Conference!! We still hadn't able to watch most of it, but now with the electricity back we were able to the sessions that I had downloaded on my memory card. This is why we need electricity, to listen to the words of prophets. I may or may not have cried a little bit as we listened to conference, it was just the sweetest sound ever. Having to wait extra long to listen to it made it even better. 

So if  the electricity just came back on yesterday, it means that we haven't had electricity this whole past week. Making 9 days total of no electricity. Let me tell you a little about it. 

It didn't really effect most of our day time work. We still taught lessons and talked to people about the church that God restored through modern day prophets. But at night we got to teach lessons by candlelight. Sometimes we would go to people's houses at 7 or 8, but they would already be sleeping. With no street lights or anything it wasn't super safe for us to be out anyways so sometimes we had to come home a little earlier. 

Have you noticed the moon lately. It was been full and bright. I bet we noticed and appreciated it more than you. 

On Thursday morning our apartment owner came and fixed our pump. Yes, we have had a water pump this whole time, it has just been dry. We tried to get it back to life. The Elders tried too. But it wasn't until Thursday morning that we found the trick. Having water much closer has made life much easier. The pump goes dry again after a couple hours of no use. I feel so cool every time I have to bring it back to life, and I always be sure that the first thing I do is fill the water bottle back up so we can use it to revive the pump next time. 

Having no power didn't stop Anna Rose from being baptized this Saturday. It just meant that the water was tap temperature (Haha, that's a joke because even we have power all the water is always tap temperature.) It was a beautiful baptize. Me and Sister Sarto carefully planned the program and we got a decent number of people to come, including Anna Rose's non-member Mom. For the musical number me and Sister Sarto sang while she played guitar. Yes we are legit. But the best part of the program was the baptism itself. I love watching people make their first covenant with God. And the next day was equally as sweet when during Sacrament meeting at church Anna Rose was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and received the Holy Ghost.

One other thing that I love: We have a new 10 year old investigator who we call Tin-tin. She came to the baptism on Saturday. I had told another primary girl in our branch that she would be coming to church and that they should be friends. On Sunday I saw them skipping down the hall together with arms linked. It made my missionary heart so happy.

Come what may and love it.
Pray for the Missionaries in your area by name. Ask for the names of their investigators and pray for them too.

Sister "I love General Conference, and baptisms and candle light and Jesus" Curtis


Pictures:
-Anna Rose's Baptism
 
-Who needs electricity when there are bright faces like this.
 
-Daily planning by candlelight
 
-I love this old lady
 
-Aren't we cute?
 
-Me and my companion
 
-Epicness of a missionary

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No power. No water. No problem!

Friday was a rainy day, but at this time of the year that is not unusual. But when we got home at the end of the night the wind was starting to blow pretty hard. This we the beginning of the big storm we had been told was coming. We did our regular planning and preparing for the next day. Around 10:30pm the power went out. By candle light and flashlight light, we moved everything up off the floor in case of flood. We sang "Master the Tempest is Raging" and went to bed. I slept with out a problem, but the storm kept my companion up.

Saturday morning we woke up to see the mess that was outside. We were grateful we had brought in our clothes that had been drying outside, because if not they would have been halfway down the street. There wasn't much damage done to the houses on our street, but there were a lot of fallen trees and vegetation every where. 
 
Saturday was supposed to be General Conference, but no power was one of the many reasons that didn't continue. We didn't teach any lessons that day, we just went out and helped people recover from the storm. 
 
One of the families we teach that was effect the most was the Alejandro family. I've attached a picture of what is left of their house. The house itself was a side sight to see, but the most heart wrenching part was crying 8 year old inside the house: Jacque. She is one of the two girls that was baptized last month, and she has a special place in my heart. I instantly ran to her and wrapped my arms around her frail little body until she stopped crying. One of her concerns was that she was worried that the Book of Mormon we had given her was destroyed, and she didn't even get to finish it. I promised that we would get her another one. We brought their family food and help, and I was impressed with how optimistic their still were. I love them.
 
We visited other members and helped anyway we could; gathering scattered clothes, setting up safety obstructions, cleaning up and such. 
 
Sunday morning there was still no power, but we made our way to the church in Bongabon because we heard there was a generator there so we could watch general conference. We were a little late and when we got there we saw that they hadn't got the generator working, but there was a group of saints striving to hear and see the Sunday Morning on the Laptop that was set up in the front of the chapel. About halfway through the session the battery of the laptop ran out. After a lunch break the generator was up and running and we were able to watch the Sunday afternoon session. Afterwords whoever was still there was able to charge our almost dead phones. I have all of general conference downloaded on my memory card. The only problem is I won't be able to listen to it until we have power again. It's okay, it just helps me to appreciate it so much more. 
 
What an adventure! We don't have electricity. So when it gets dark we do everything by candle light. I kind of love it a lot. The water at our house usually comes from our electric pump, but with no power that mean we also have no water. So for the past couple days we have been going across the street to the members who live there. We pump our water at their pump and carry it back over in buckets. We use that water for bathing, dishes and flushing the toilet. We have to buy clean water for drinking. I still think it's fun to pump the water and carry it over (even though I have blisters from doing it). Don't worry, our stove is powering by a propane tank so we are still able to cook. Haven't no fridge isn't really that big a problem. We cooked the meat we had frozen in the freezer. I haven't checked on it yet, but I think our ice cream has melted by now :(
 
We are not sure how long we will be without power. We have heard 7 days. 7-10 days, and even that it will take up to a month. I hope that however long it takes, I'll still think this is a fun adventure.
There have been plenty of opportunities to serve and I love it. Missionary work is not stopping. Anna Rose had her baptismal interview yesterday, and hopefully having no power will not effect her baptism on the 19th of October
 
You may be wondering: "Sister Curtis if you don't have power, how are you sending this email?" The answer is that we traveled to the Mall in the Cabanatuan city where they have generators. I don't know if we will be able to come back next week. I don't know if we'll have power by next week. I don't know if I'll be able to email next week. If I don't, don't worry about this happy, hardworking missionary who is living an adventure out here in the Philippines, serving God by serving other people.
 
Maybe there is something else that I forgot to tell you. If there is I can't remember what it is....
Love you all!!!

Sister "Living like they used to in the days before electricity" Curtis