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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Monday, May 27, 2013

A moving week

Dear Family and Friends,

This week we helped some of the people we teach move. It wasn't that hard, because they didn't have much. What was interesting though was that we didn't just move the stuff inside their house. We moved their entire house. Which once again wasn't that hard because it wasn't that big. Just a bunch of plywood and tin. They just took it apart, and then we loaded up everything into a jeepny. They moved to a new place, but still in our area. I'm happy that we still get to teach them because they are the best (Its one recent convert, her investigator son and brother) I've attached the picture of their house before we moved it. There is now nothing where their house used to be.

I just love my new companion. My trainee. My anak (child). I love when she laughs so hard she makes a sound like a squeaky toy.She is the cutest Chinese looking Philipina I have ever known. Before people used to stare because there was an American walking around in the Philippines. But now they stare because there is an American and a Chinese looking Sister. It gets even better when we are with the other Sisters. We defiantly look assorted: Philipina, Americana, Chinesa, and Micronesian. It's the best.

Me and my companion have been working miracles here in Concepcion. We are working hard and the weekly actuals for our Key Indicators are pretty impressive if I do say so myself. But I know it is not because of us. The Lord is really helping us especially as we are learning how much we need to rely on Him.

Here is your fun fact from the Philippines: It is regarding the word refrigerator. In America we will usually just call it "fridge" for short. Well here, they call it the "Ref" for short. Maybe somewhere they call it the "erator" (haha, get it?)

Love you all. I am feeling your prayers and I am so thankful for them.

Abish "Sister" Curtis

Monday, May 20, 2013

Maybe exactly what I needed

I think there must be many people praying for me, because I have felt incredibly blessed this last week.

Turns out that being a trainer is exactly what I need right now. I am progressing in many ways.
My language is progressing: Many times as a trainee it was just easier to let my companion do the talking. I would try, but as soon as it got too hard my companion would take over. But now I don’t get to take the easy way out. I have to take the lead in so many situations that I didn’t have to before, and I am amazed that I can actually do it. People understand me way more than I thought they did. For sure I’m far from perfect, and I don’t understand them most of the time, but I have seen a huge difference.
My missionary skills are progressing. Going through the twelve week training program is not only helping Sister Ocampo, it is helping me. I feel like I’m learning more from it now than I learned the first time. As we apply the things we learn we are seeing miracles.
My humility is progressing. Before, I would rely a lot on my wiser, more experienced companion. Now, though I still rely on my new companion, I have to rely mostly on the Lord. It is one of the most incredible things. I am able to do more with His help than I was ever able to do on my own.

Here is an experience we had this week. Someone on the Ward Council suggested we go visit Jared, a less active member who was showing some interest in returning to church. My companion and I had never met him, but we had a ward member come with us and introduce us. We had a great lesson with him, and we found out that his non-member wife Shy was interested in learning more. We came back later that week and taught her using all the skills we had been practicing in companion study (How to Begin Teaching, learning to teach Lesson 1, and inviting people to be baptized) Towards the end of the lesson Sister Ocampo to invite Shy to be baptized. And she accepted!!! We were walking on clouds after that lesson. And then you can sure bet that on Sunday we were so excited to see both Shy and Jared at church. God has truly prepared people for us. As we do our part the Lord will take care of the rest.


Also I just want to say how amazing it was to be able to Skype with my family for Mothers day. I love them all so much and it was so good to see their faces and hear their voices. All that I am now I owe to my family. I am so happy for and proud of them all.

Love Sister Abish "Nanay" Curtis

Pictures:

1- I tried to take a picture with this Caribou, but before we could take the picture she ran away. Someday I'll get a better picture where I am closer to it.

2- This is me and my companion and our missionary roommates: Sister Leemew (from the Micronesian island of Yapp, she is also a brand new missionary) and Sister Avencena (Who happens to have the same first name as me. Pretty neat eh?)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Complete and Utter Shock


Dear Readers,

 

Transfer announcements is an intense time for a missionary. At transfer announcements you find out if your companion will change or if you will move to a new area. Both dramatically effect your life. In my mission we get transfer announcements on Wednesday morning, which means we have less then a 24 hour warning because the changes happen on early Thursday morning.

So this last Wednesday morning my entire zone gathered together in Tarlac. When it was time for the Zone leaders to make the announcement they had us all sit in a big circle, next to our companion. Then they had us stand up, a companionship at a time and they announced what our fate would be. When it was our turn, me and Sister Calinisan stood up. They announced that Sister Calinisan would be transferring to a new area. We were expecting that so it wasn't a big surprise. What was a big surprise though, was what they announced for me.

"Sister Curtis, you will be training." WHAT!!!!!!!! I took a couple steps back as if I had just been hit. (I felt like I had been) And then I quickly had to sit down, or maybe I would have fainted or something. My eyes began to water and a couple of tears leaked out. There was a testimony meeting afterwards, but I wasn't concentrating much on it. My head was busy spinning.

You may be wondering why I freaked out so much about training. Well to remind you, I just finished being trained myself. I was looking forward to having a much needed follow-up trainer, but instead I am a trainer myself. Another reason is because I still can't speak Tagalog very well! How am I supposed to be an example of how to teach a lesson if I can't even do it very well myself. I feel pretty inadequate and for sure cried harder that night than I have for anything else on my whole mission.

Even though I feel the enormous weight that comes from being a trainer, I have also felt a huge comfort from our Father in Heaven. I am humbled that He trusts me enough to make me a trainer already. I've been a trainer for 5 days now. Let me tell you a little about it.

My wonderful new companion is Sister Ocampo. She is from here in the Philippines so her Tagalog is perfect and I am happy about that. She is actually half Chinese though, so that is pretty neat. She used to be the worship leader at her Born Again church, but she was baptized just two years ago as a Latter-Day Saint. She is amazing and I absolutely love her.

This is how we are successfully able to teach lessons: Companion study is a crucial part of our day. We will look at the lessons we are teaching for the day and prepare for them. Even though I don't know the language perfectly, I know what a lesson should be like. We will study a particular principle, then I will demonstrate teaching (I'm actually surprised at how much I can do in Tagalog) What I can't do in Tagalog I explain in English so that she still knows everything she needs. Then she will have a turn to practice teaching. She does so good!

She has the knowledge about the language, and I have the knowledge about how to be a missionary. We make a good team. Each day we are both getting better and better at what we lack. It's exciting.

Love you all. Pray for me please. I'm praying for you.

Mahal ko kayo!

Sister Abish "Trainer" Curtis

 

Pictures:





1-Me and my anak

2-This is the house I live in. It is split into two apartments and there are four of us missionaries who live on the left half. It is great.

 

Monday, May 6, 2013

That Awkward Moment When...


Kumusta!

 

Here is a neat experience:

We had just started teaching a lesson to one of our investigators, when out of no where two Jehovah Witness missionaries show up. Turns out our investigator has also been taking lessons from them. So that explains where he has been getting his other reading material and ideas. Awkward for our investigator that we both showed up on the same day.

It actually turned out pretty good. We didn't want to "Bible Bash" because that often creates contention that drives away the spirit. Instead we just discussed our different beliefs, both similar and otherwise. When I say we discussed our beliefs, I really mean it was mostly just my companion Sister Calinisan. I understood just enough of the Tagalog to know what they were talking about, but not enough to really be able to contribute. Instead I just prayed for my companion, who did wonderful. Towards the end of our (maybe half hour) discussion, my companion provided me an opportunity to bear my testimony. I just bore a simple testimony of Our Heavenly Father, about Jesus, the Bible and Book of Mormon. I bore testimony that Christ's original church was restored again to the earth through Joseph Smith. I bore testimony of modern day prophets, even Thomas S. Monson. I bore testimony that we can receive truth, wisdom and knowledge through the Holy Ghost. And I bore testimony that God loves us.

My companion later told me that my Tagalog was exactly perfect the whole time, and that it was an especially powerful testimony.

Our investigator, his member mom, and the uncle had just been listening quietly the whole time. Sometimes they would nod their agreement (like during my testimony), but they didn't say anything. But as we were leaving and I was shaking our investigator's hand he smiled and said "Bukas" (means tomorrow). It was just one word, but to me it seemed to have much more meaning. He seemed to be saying that to him, me and my companion had won the 'contest', and that he was choosing us.

We will go back to teach him today. We will see what he thought about what happened yesterday, especially since the Jehovah Witnesses stayed after we left to teach him a lesson.

 

This last Sunday was Fast Sunday and I just want to take a moment and say how grateful I am for fasting. Whenever we need a special blessing from God we have a special way to ask for it. Fasting gives us the opportunity to show God that our spirits are stronger than our bodies; that eternal things are more important than the physical things. We become humble before God and he blesses us so much.

 

Love you all. Choose the right and stuff.

 

Pictures:

 




1-We came to teach just the man on the right (his children are members and his wife soon will be) but we ended up teaching the three of them. It was a fun lesson. You will notice that in a lot of my pictures we are sitting on the floor. We don't just pose like that, that is where we teach a lot of our lessons.

 

 

2- Today for a Zone activity we went to a nearby cultural site. On our way back we stopped to take pictures of this cute little place.

 

Mahal po kayo!!

Sister Abish "Bukas" Curtis