In order for you to get a better understanding about what my life is like here, I figure I better tell you more about my companion Sister Calinisan since I literally spend all my time with her. She is a cute, fiery short little Filipina (our mission president's policy is that foreigners will always have Fhilipino companions). She just celebrated her 23 birthday this week (we made her signs, bought a cake and had a little celebration). She used to be Catholic, but when she was 15 years old she was converted and baptized. Before her mission, she was a ward missionary and spent a lot of time with the missionaries. She loves the missionary training Preach My Gospel DVDs (The District 1 and 2). She loves to watch them in some of the free time we have at night, and she often quotes them or refers to the stories. I love it!
My companion loves to tell people that she is not my trainer, and I am not her trainee. Instead she tells people that we are just companions. I love the confidence she has in me and it has truly helped me to grow. I'm glad she has had me help teach from the beginning and not let me just bear my testimony at the end. Although sometimes the expectations she sets for me leads to us both being frustrated.
We find lots to laugh and talk about. Our friendship came quickly and naturally. She will often tell me that she is so glad I'm her companion, and I feel the same way. Sometimes when she doesn't get her short afternoon power nap, she can be a little grumpy in the evenings, but our friendship is such that we can always laugh about it the next day. I learn so much from her example. She is a natural missionary and especially now that I'm understanding more and more of what is happening, I'm beginning to truly
appreciate all that she does.
I began praying for my trainer long before I even left on my mission. I feel like my prayers have been answered as Heavenly Father has blessed me with exactly the companion that I need. I am so lucky to have Sister Calinisan as my trainer.
Now a little about the work...
This week we have used my Gospel Art Kit a lot. It is a book filled with pictures from the scriptures, from The Bible, Book of Mormon and Church History. It has been so helpful and useful! We use it as we teach them about gospel dispensations, modern day prophets and other gospel principles. The most common way we use it is to help the recent converts/ less active people we teach to become more excited about scripture study. We will give the book to them and let them pick whatever picture they want. We will use the scripture references that go with the picture or just tell the story, depending on who it is we are teaching. We talk about what we learn from the stories and how we can apply it in our lives. It has been a super powerful way to teach. As they see all the pictures they become so curious about the stories and by using the pictures it helps to really bring the stories to life. I love it!
Now for your fun fact of the week:
Even though it hasn't really rained very much yet, I've still used my umbrella almost everyday. You see, here in the
everyone commonly uses their umbrellas as portable shade. It actually makes a huge difference in keeping us nice and cool and out of the sun. Philippines
My alarm clock not only wakes me up in the morning, it also tells me the temperature. When I first got here the temperature in my room was always somewhere between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit, although now it's usually between 85-95. So even though you all are getting so much snow at home, just think of how hot and sweaty I am here :)
Love you all!!
Sister Abish "Scripture Picture Master" Curtis
Phlippines Angeles Mission
Tarlac, Tarlac 2300