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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Weekend of Baptisms


Our 12 year old investigator Allen was baptized this week!! He had already received all the lessons and was planning on being baptized even before I got here, so I don't really deserve any of the credit for helping him get baptized, but I was still so excited for him! Allen was one of the people we visited my first day here, and we have taught him pretty close to everyday for the past month so it was great to see him be baptized. And then the next day he was confirmed as a member of the church and received the Holy Ghost. The other Sisters Missionaries in our Ward also had a investigator baptized, so it was a double baptism/confirmation. Hurrah for Israel!!



 


It's neat that back home a baptism was happening and the same time. I'm so happy for Abigail. It sounds like it was an incredible baptismal service. It's been a long road to get her here, and I am confident our Heavenly Father is even more pleased than we are.

Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ. We do that by helping people develop faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repent of their sins, make the covenant of baptism, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then endure to the end. I am so grateful that we are able to witness and help others to come unto Christ in this way. Seeing people make these important covenants reminds me of how important they are. It reminds me of those same exact covenants that I have made.

Fun fact of the week: I have not knocked on a door yet. Even though most of the people we teach do have a door, we don't knock on it. The normal way here to tell people you are at their door is to loudly say "Tao po" Tao means people, and po is just a word you add to sentences to make it more polite.

My Tagalog is still just slowly coming along. A couple of the people we teach speak/understand English, and I must admit they are some of my favorite to teach. It is so much easier when I am able to say the things I want to in a powerful way because I can say it in English. I cannot wait for the day when I can speak Tagalog powerfully also. Most of the lessons are in Tagalog and I'm doing my best to help my companion teach, but I still have a long way to go.



 

I've been here a whole month now! Time goes so fast. Thank you for your prayers and support, I need them both. I am happy and healthy and working hard and learning lots.

 

Love you all!!!!

 

Sister Abish "First Baptism" Curtis

 

Monday, February 18, 2013

This is the way to travel


Kumusta!

Every week we do some sort of community service project. This week (on
Valentines Day) as a district we went to help some less active members
in our ward. They have been sick this past little while so we helped
them catch up on some chores around the house. In addition we picked
up trash from the pathway that leads to their house. There was so much
trash, and it has been there for so long. It was quite the project,
but I loved it. Some young neighborhood kids saw what we were
doing and they were excited to join us in cleaning things up.

There are just three sets of missionary companions in our district. Me
and Sister Calinisan, the other two Sister Missionaries serving in our
ward, and two Elders from the next ward over. The six of us rode in
one trike on the way over to our service project. Yep, that's right.
Six grown people, plus the driver all on one little trike. The four of
us Sisters squished in the side cart, and the two Elders sat behind
the driver on the motorcycle. On the way back one of the elders sat on
the roof of the side cart, we were all jealous. I love trikes, I think
I want one when we I come back to America. They are way more
efficient than cars, yet you can still fit your entire family in one.
I've seen them carry just as much as any pickup truck could. They are
the best. Usually I sit in the side cart, but a couple of times I've
sat behind the driver. How cool is it that I get to ride on the back
of a motorcycle as a missionary!!

But riding in a trike is not an everyday thing for me and my
companion. Usually we ride a Jeepnie to our areas. You can also fit a
crazy amount of people on those. It may look like there is no more
room, but somehow everyone just squishes together even more to make
room for someone. This last Sunday was Stake Conference so the Ward
had to go to Tarlac for church. Some of the members came together to
rent a Jeepnie to ride to Stake Conference. We fit almost 30 people in
the Jeepnie! It was a tight squeeze, we were like sardines, but it was
so fun! :)





One day this past week were trying to find the house of a recent
convert/less active. We had walked pretty far when suddenly my
companion stopped walking. We just stood for a minute not knowing what
to do next. But then we asked a man from a nearby house if he knew the
family we were looking for. Turns out he is neighbors with the family.
The family wasn't home, but this man was a formerly taught
investigator and he was willing for us to teach him again. He was
super receptive and he still had his Book of Mormon and everything. It
was an answer to our prayers! This man lives right next to the road
and we were just teaching him outside his door. But school just got
out so there were so many kids walking home. They all were so amazing
to see an American. There were probably about 30 of them gathered
around when we started the lesson. Me and my companion tried talking
to them, but they would only just stare. It was the funniest thing
ever.

Okay, enough crazy stories. I didn't just come to the Philippines so I
could have crazy stories to tell. I came to the Philippines to help
build the kingdom of God on earth. Everyday I testify to people that
Jesus is the Christ. I love the testimony that Christa sent to me,
because that is exactly the message that I share with everyone that
will listen. She said: "I would like to bear my testimony that I
truly believe in prophets. I know that God wouldn't stop talking to
us. Joseph Smith was a true prophet and did what the Lord commanded
him. I know that the Book of Mormon and Bible are some great words
from prophets of old, and if we follow what they say we can go back to
live with our Heavenly Father"

Missions aren't easy. That is because salvation is not easy. I am
joining with Christ is helping to save people. It wasn't easy for Him,
so why would it be easy for me. But as I do the work of God I receive
strength from Him. If I would try to do this on my own, I would
completely fail. But because I have God's help I cannot fail.

I love you all and memories of you strengthen me when things are hard.

Mahal ko kayo!!!!

Sister "Sardine" Curtis

Monday, February 11, 2013

Filipino Food


For the first week and a half or so I tried my best to make my
favorite American foods using what I could find here in the
Philippines. I was pretty disappointed. For example I was super
excited to eat my favorite food ever: spaghetti. But the sauce I got
tasted kinda like the sauce from spaghetti-Os, but not kinda sweeter.
I don't know, I didn't like it.
But this past week with the help of my companion I have learned to
cook Filipino food. We have had Adobo, Tinola, Menubo and pansit. All
with lots of rice. It's been great and I have found myself much more
full and satisfied with the food.

I ate at a member's home for the first time last week. It was quite
the experience. We had just finished teaching a recent convert family,
and afterwards they offered us dinner. We just sat there on there
floor (a good portion of our lesson we teach just sitting on the
flood). We had plates but no silverware, we just ate with our hands.
We had rice, fish and chicken feet. No not a chicken leg, chicken
feet. I tried it, and it actually wasn't that bad, but I only had one.
Also I have never been a big fan of fish, but I was actually able to
enjoy the fish that I ate. I'm just grateful it was kinda dark,
because I think looking at the fishes eyes the whole time would have
grossed me out. I was grateful for the experience. Hopefully I will
quickly be able to get over being a picky eater!!

Fun Fact about the Philippines: Eating with just our hands is not the
regular thing. Usually every meal is eaten with a spoon and fork. But
you don't use the fork to transfer the food from your plate to your
mouth. You use your fork as a knife, or mostly to shovel the food to
your spoon. You use the spoon to get the food to your mouth. It's
actually pretty fun, you should try it :)

This week our Elder Nielson of the 70 came to our mission. Back at the
MTC we were pretty lucky because we had important guests like this
every week. But out here it a more rare and special occasion. We spent
almost all of Friday with him and his wife and President and Sister
Martino. It was a pretty neat experience. In preparation to Elder
Nielson's coming, he asked us all to read Elder Bednar's talk about
the Enabling Power of the Atonement. You should look it up, its pretty
good. It reminds us that the atonement is not only to help us receive
forgiveness for our sins, the Atonement is also here to give us
strength. I am so grateful for all we learned.
He also had some training for us. Something that I found interesting
was his reminder to us to not only teach the poor people. (That is
pretty much the only people we are teaching) Our mission call was to
all the people of the Philippines, not just the poor ones. It was
pretty interesting.

This week me and my companion went to find a less active member who
lives in a province of our area that neither of us has ever been to.
It was fun because we would ask all the people if they knew the man we
were looking for and where he lived, and then we would tell them about
our message. We haven't found the man yet, but we found other people
who are interested in our message. I'm excited to go back.

I got my first letter here! It was a “DearElder” letter from Samantha
Park :) I don't know how long letters take to get to me, but I know it
takes a while. Everyone should date the letters you send to me so I
have a better idea of when you sent it. Tell people that they can
email me, (abish.curtis@myldsmail.net) that is the fastest way for me to hear from you. I'm just not allowed to email back :( I would love to get letters!!!!

The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in it's fullness! God loves us!

Love,

Sister "Chicken Foot Eater" Curtis

Monday, February 4, 2013

Rice Harvest Time


This week I got to watch as rice fields were harvested. I am ready to
thrust in my sickle and harvest souls! But I also have to plant the
seeds, nourish the crop and just work hard. And then the harvest will
come.



I wish you all could see the Philippines. No picture I've taken has
done it justice. I don't think even a video would do. Even being here
in real life, seeing it with my own eyes I am not able to take
everything in. I'm so glad I have a year and a half to soak it all up.

There is a lady we pay who comes to our house each week to do our
laundry. But my companion chooses to just wash her clothes on her own.
This last week I missed the day that the laundry lady came, so last
P-Day Sister Calinisan taught me how to wash my own clothes by hand.
We laughed at how bad I was at it. I'm glad we have the Sister who I
can pay to do it for me in the future.



This has been a great week to be a missionary. Lots of ups and downs,
but great nonetheless. The downs come just because I'm new and
still trying to get a hold of things, but I am learning quickly with
Sister Calinisan's help. I love how much she expects from me, because
it is through her confidence in me that I am able to learn and grow.

This week we have been studying about finding people (something we
really need right now) We have been trying to apply the finding
principles found in PMG, especially OYMing (Open Your Mouth). It is hard for me to OYM
because I am still not confident in the language, but as I have put my
faith in God he has helped me become an instrument in His hands. I
have been able to OYM so much more, some with the help of my companion, but some even on my own. I used to only OYM animals, but
now I am gaining the confidence and faith to OYM people too. As we
have prayed and worked hard we have seen miracles We have had people
literally approach us for OYMs. I have truly seen God's hand in this
work.

I have quickly come to love the people here. One powerful experience
we had this week was with a woman named Bett. She is a less active
member who is currently struggling because her husband is very sick
and her mother is dying. We were able to share a message of comfort
and bear testimony that God loves her. After I had shared a story from
the scriptures and related it to our lives, she said she could feel
the Holy Ghost. Preach my Gospel tells us that one of the ways you can
tell if you are a successful missionary is if the Holy Ghost witnesses
the truthfulness of what you say. I am a successful missionary!!!!!!
I am grateful for not only this experience, but that many experiences
I have to fulfill my calling as a missionary.

I still don't understand Tagalog very well. I understand about 10% of
what is being said. But every day or two that percentage goes up by
one. It is a slow process, but I have faith that eventually I will be
able to master this language.

There is a famous celebrity here in the Philippines named Anne Curtis.
Pretty much every day I have people ask me if I know her, if I'm
related to her, if I am her. It's pretty great.

Fun fact about living in the Philippines: We always keep our
toothbrush and toothpaste in the fridge to protect them from bugs.

Love,

Sister Abish "Anne" Curtis