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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hurrah for baptisms! Our 9 year old investigator Gio was baptized and confirmed. Oh what a happy day. His parents aren't members, but he has a strong support from his Grandma who is a solid member of the church. I see a bright future for him: Mission, temple marriage, and a lifetime of joy that comes from knowing, living and loving the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness.


This week we went to an investigator who is pretty far out of the way. After we finally got to his house we saw that he was sleeping, and none of our "Tao po"s were waking him up. Rather than being discouraged and just making the long walk back, we looked around. We saw a woman washing dishes at a nearby water pump. We OYMed to teach. Her name is Bernadette, and she is the sweetest, smartest 21 year old around. She is super receptive and is really thinking about the things we teach. We went back to teach her again and had another great lesson. We were really hoping she would come to church, but she didn't. That's okay we are not giving up on this precious and prepared soul. I know that Heavenly Father puts people prepared people in our path, we just have to do are part and find them.

This week we were teaching the son of our returning less active (Gloria) about the Plan of Salvation. As usual there were many other children present, including his siblings and neighbors. As we taught about the three kingdoms of glory, we had to stop for a second because everyone was cheering. They just found out that Hell as the rest of the world understands it doesn't really exist. It was really cute. I'm pretty sure that everyone should be that excited when they find out about the Plan of Salvation.


I forgot to mention last week but I am no longer a trainee!! I have officially finished the 12 week training program. Yahoo! That means we have an hour less of study time, and an hour more to proselyte. Usually this would be the time I get a new companion, but our transfer cycle was changed a little in order to adjust to all the new missionaries going into the MTC. But transfers are coming up on May 9 and I'll probably get a new companion then. But for now I'm enjoying having Sister Calinisan for just a little bit longer, as co-seniors now.


Love you all!


Sister "I'm not a trainee" Curtis

It's Getting Hotter

When I first got here to the Philippines I asked a local what the weather and seasons are like here. He described it as follows: "Well there is the rainy season, and then there's the more rainy season. Then there is the hot season, and then there is the more hot season." When I first got here it was the middle of the hot season, and now we are moving into the more hot season. The thermostat on my alarm clock in my room usually reads 90 in the morning, and 98ish in the afternoon. As long as we have our electric fans blowing on us we do relatively okay.


Sometimes the power will go out here. Either scheduled or randomly. Here in the Philippines its called a 'brown out' (not a black-out). In America when there is no power, it is pretty close to the end of the world. Or at least pretty much everyone has to stop what they are doing because they are in someway affected by having no power. But here in the Philippines the people are generally unaffected. They are not very electronically dependent. It kinda nice. The hardest part is just at night when there is no light. We almost had to go home early one night because there was no light, but then the power came back on. Yeah!!!

There has been a couple short ones, but this last Friday it lasted from 7AM until 5PM. It doesn't actually effect our proselyting much, but Friday is when we have weekly planning. That means we spent an extra two hours in our apartment planning. We found ways to stay cool without our electric fans. And then afterwards me and Sister Calinisan had a mini water fight using little animal water squirters. It was great. Fortunately there has always been power in our apartment at night when are planning and getting ready for bed. But one night, just for fun I filled out our teaching records by candlelight. Picture included.

One of the greatest things about being a missionary is all the amazing people you get to work with. Pictured below are some of the amazing people I get teach to and learn from.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the truly lead by God. I know it. I'm so humbled to me a missionary right now. I have a lot to learn and improve, but I know that since this is the work of the Almighty Creator, He will help me.


Thanks for reading.




Sister Abish "Brown Out" Curtis

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oh What A Beautiful Morning, Oh What a Beautiful Day!

I just finished watching General Conference yesterday so I'm still on a high from that (hopefully this general conference high will last for approximately 6 months). We are so blessed to have inspired men, called of God to represent Him here on the earth. I know President Monson is a prophet of God. I know the 12 apostles and all the other leaders have received their power and authority directly from God. As I watched General Conference I felt the Holy Spirit testifying that the things that were spoken were true. I feel closer to God. I feel uplifted, edified and strengthened.

Here in the Philippines there is no channel that you can tune into on the TV to watch conference. Most people don't have computers to watch it on. The regular ward buildings don't have the big satellite dishes, so the whole Stake gathered together at the Stake Center to watch it. It was fun. You could either watch it in Tagalog or English. I bet your not surprised to hear I watched it in English.

Something that was funny about General Conference though, was seeing all of those people in the choirs. They were so white, and so many of them had blond hair. I guess I've just gotten used to only seeing Filipinos all the time, because it was weird seeing so many Americans.

Yesterday was my 5 months mark. I can't believe it. The idea that time passes so fast is not a new concept to me, yet it still catches me by surprised. The worst part about time going so fast is that it means there is so little time remaining. Also I was hoping to be fluent at this point of my mission. I still have far to go, but I know it will come.

Missions are the best. I would suggest it to everyone. There has never been a better time in the history of the world to be a missionary.

P.S. They have just announced a new mission leadership position: Sisters Training Leader. Sisters will never be District leaders, or Zone Leaders, or assistants to the President. But because of how many more Sisters there are now, it is necessary for this new position. Exciting time.

Thanks for your prayers and support!
Sister "5 Months" Curtis

Saturday, April 13, 2013

First Week of April

It's getting close to the political elections here in the Philippines. I love how they campaign here.  All over the place we see jeeps or trikes covered in pictures of a candidate. They will have loud speakers that blast music. But it's not just regular music. They have changed to words to promote the candidate. They will take popular songs (examples include "Call me Maybe" "Eye of the Tiger" "That's what Makes You Beautiful", other American songs and Philipino songs too) and they will change the words to say things like "If you vote for ___ everyone will benefit" or "_____ is a God fearing and honest man" or "We need _______"  It's all in Tagalog so I don't really understand it, but my companion says it is pretty cheesy. I love it!

We had five investigators at church this week! It was a miracle. I was so happy to see all of them, but the person I was maybe the most excited to see was Gloria. She is not actually an investigator, she is a less active member that we have recently been teaching. She is a cute young mother who has so much faith, I love the lessons we have with her. She came to church with her 3 young children. I was so happy to see other ward members reach out to her and her children. Miracle!

 Our area is not perfect, but when we stay positive we are able to see so many blessings. Me and Sister Calinisan have been blessed as we have found new people to teach this last week. Last, last Monday we had Family Home Evening with an older couple in the Ward. They asked us to invite investigators, and they would invite their grandson. We brought their neighbors, a bunch of children of less active parents. It was such a fun Family Home Evening. And because of it, we are now also teaching the 9 year old grandson. He is super smart and we are preparing him for baptism.

This week as we were walking to a lesson, there was a 16 year old girl walking in the same direction as us. We talked to her as we walked. After a while she quietly asked my companion if I was an Anak Araw (child of the sun) or  Albino. I laughed so hard. Maybe my Tagalog is just so good that it didn't even enter her mind that I was American. That's not very likely. It was probably just because even though I've been her for so long, I'm still pretty white.  Haha, so funny. 

I can't wait to watch General Conference this weekend! I've been more diligently reading the talks from last general conference this week. I've already received several answers to my prayers. I've been encouraged to be better. I've been reminded of my purpose. I can't wait to get a full blast of general conference! I hope you have all already enjoyed it, and that you are different, better people now.

Mahal ko kayo!!!
Ingat po!

Sister Abish "Anak Araw" Curtis

1-My District

2- This is me hanging from a hanging bridge (today is P-day so we got to go on an adventure in our regular clothes)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lingo ng Pakabuhay

This has been an Easter like never before.


This week I've been able to study a lot about the life and death of Christ, and I appreciate the Atonement like never before. Part of the reason I was able to study so much about the Savior this week (besides that it's Easter) is in preparation for my talk. Yep, that's right. I was one of the speakers for Easter Sunday. Writing a talk is hard enough by itself, but what makes it even harder is when it is in a language you don't really speak. In this case the language being in Tagalog. But I successfully did it with lots of help from the God.


A lot of people here in the Philippines are Catholic. And the Catholic religion here has very strong Easter traditions. The Pabasa that I talked about last week was part of their tradition. Another part is something called Penitensiya. From what I understand, the area of the Philippines that I am in celebrates this more than anywhere else. Penitensiya is something people will do because they believe it will help the receive forgiveness for their sins. In short, they act out the sufferings of Jesus Christ. (Warning: Don't read the following to the young) Throughout the week we would see small groups of men with their faces covered walking down the streets. Most common were the shirtless men who would first use a blade to cut their back. Then, walking down the streets towards the church they would hit their backs over and over and again with pieces of wood attached to a rope. If they weren't doing that, then they were dragging a heavy cross over their backs. I didn't see it personally, but they will also hang people on the cross. Either just tying them up, or in some cases nailing them. They don't hang their until death, but I'm sure it is an experience they remember for the rest of their lives.

It's incredible the lengths to which these people go because of their devotion to God. But I am so sad for them. They do not understand the Atonement. Christ suffered those things for us so that we don't have to. We cannot bring a remission of sins on ourselves through suffering. Jesus has set the terms to be cleansed from our sins. It is through faith, repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. There is no other way to salvation except through Jesus Christ.


This week when we went to visit one of the less active women that we teach, we found out that her husband, who has been suffering from cancer the last couple of months, had died. I saw the body in the coffin. It is crazy how different bodies look when they don't have their spirits anymore. I am so grateful for the knowledge that we have of the Plan of Salvation and of what happens to us after we die. I know that knowledge was a great comfort to this woman. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ, and because he lived again, we will too.


This week I invited one of our investigators to be baptized. His answer was "with my whole soul!" He hasn't always been completely receptive and it has been incredible to see as he has truly has gained a desire. He understands that an important part of being baptized is being cleansed from our sins. Something funny he asked was "Do I need to bring soap?"


Yesterday I took some boiled eggs that I had colored using crowns, and hid them in our apartment for my companion to find. Happy Easter American style! And today for April Fools day she hid one of each of my shoes. Sneaky companion!


This next week is General Conference, for you at least. Because of the time difference and also to give them time to translate it, they are not broadcasting it here until next, next week. (Don't worry I'll still get to watch it in English) I'm so excited!!!! We are so blessed to be able to hear from living prophets and apostles. Listen to as much of General Conference as you possible can. Go with any questions that you have, and I know that you will receive answers.


Love you all!!!


Sister Abish "The Atonement is Real" Curtis



-Pictures from Penitensiya