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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Planting Seeds and lots of pictures


For the most part, farming here is very different from the farming I'm used to seeing in America. There is none of the big machinery here. Most of the time, the ground is tilled with the help of a caribou. And the planting and harvesting is all done by hand. This week I got to help with the planting. The way it works here is that in a small section of the field, thousands of seeds are planted. They all grow there for a couple weeks until they are about a foot long. But they are all way too close together to grow properly. So they are uprooted and bound in little bundles and distributed throughout the field. Then we go in and plant a handful of these seedlings at a time, spacing them properly and all that stuff.

The bukid that we worked in was the bukid of a less active member that we have been trying to get back to church. There was about twenty of us working on the field. Me and my companion only worked for about two hours, but everyone else worked for two days. It was hard work, and at first we weren't very good or fast at it. But we got better.  

It will take about 3 months before the corn seeds we planted to be ready for harvest. I won't be here to see it. But as I was planting these corn seeds in the ground I was thinking about the seeds of the gospel I have been planting in people. So many of the people we have been finding and teaching, I won't be here to see their baptism. I'm sad that I will miss it, but I am happy to do my part. There would be no harvest unless the seeds are planted first. 

I have decided this week to send lots of pictures. So besides the pictures of me and my companion working in the bukid, there are also pictures from our P-day activity last week when we went golfing with some missionaries from our zone. And of course the best part of any activity is usually taking pictures. So we have jump-shot pictures, and chilling pictures. 



 
But I don't want you to think that all we do is play and plant. No way. There are some pictures from the bukid I talked about last week. We went back and were able to take some pictures as we walked through. But I don't want you to think that we only walk through the bukid. I've included some pictures of us walking through the town also. But I don't want you to think we just walk around all the time. No way, spend most of our time inside the homes of the beautiful Philipino people, teaching and loving them. 
 

 


 
 
 
 
Love,

Sister Abish "The Farmer" Curtis

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Welcome to the Bukad

Once upon a morning, me and Sister Ocampo were walking to one of our appointments when we heard a woman call "Sisters! Sisters!" We went back to talk to her. Her name is Maila Mawla and she asked if we knew an Elder Hendrickson, or something. Turns out the Elders used to teach her and her family forever ago. She remembers the one Elder being really nice, and she told us she had had his contact information, but she lost it. We were sorry we couldn't help her find him, but we were happy to teach her again. She told us she lived far out in the bukad of Green Village (The English equivalent of bukad is maybe 'out in the country'. It is the word for the fields and the places where there are not so many houses). We told her that we had plans to teach someone out in that same bukad later. She knew who we were going to and she said that she would maybe meet us there because her house was even farther than that.
 
Well that afternoon went to the before mentioned bukad and taught our lessons, but Maila Mawla was not there. We decided to go look for her. We asked some kids if they knew her and they pointed us down a road. As we walked down the road we would occasionally ask people if they knew Maila Mawla and they kept telling us to keep going. We walked deeper and deeper into the most beautiful bukad I have ever seen. The rice fields were green and beautiful. The distant clouds and mountains were beautiful. The weather was perfect. The people were friendly and the houses cute. Even the carabou there were the most perfect carabou I have ever seen. As we continued walking the houses became scarce and the people even more scare. We ran of people to ask for directions. We called "Tao po!" at the the houses, but no one was home. Eventually the road that we had been walking on, which was still big enough for a trike to drive on, ended at a house. The only response to our calls were the dogs.    Near the house was a smaller path that was only large enough for walking. At this point we knew that the town and highway in front of us was much closer than the one we had left behind, so we decided to keep going. We had to cross a narrow pass over a small body of water, through the walkways between the rice fields, and pass a couple of other empty houses. Until at last we found some people. A cute old little couple. We told them about Jesus Christ and modern day prophets. They told us that we were indeed close to the highway. They also told us that the house were the road ened was the house of Maila Mawla. But since it was getting later and we didn't want to be out there when it got dark, we decided to just keep going. We made it to the next town which is were our next appointment was anyways. Our little adventure/journey in the bukad lasted about an hour, and I loved every minute of it. But I didn't have my camera so I can't send you any pictures. But maybe I will send you pictures of my companion in another bukad.
 
Another bukad story, in another bukad. On of our other investigators, Sister Neri lives near the bukad in Jefmin. After we finished our lesson to Sister Neri we told her we were going to the house of someone she knew, who we had met near her house. She told us she knew a shortcut to get to his house. Turns out the shortcut was through the bukad, through the walkway between the newly planted rice fields. But because it had recently rained the walkway was very muddy. Sister Neri being a light little Philipina had no trouble crossing. But me and my companion sunk into the mud as we crossed. I may have lost both my shoes, and had to pull them out of the mud. It was fun. And worth it. The house that she lead us to is the house of a family who is interested in listening to us. They are a family that we are hoping will be the answer to our prayers for a golden investigator.
 
Love you all! But I love Jesus more.
 
Sister Abish 'Bukad" Curtis

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Power of Fasting


This has been another great week in Concepcion.

We were able to see the power of fasting: We sat in Sacrament meeting next to our investigator. The only investigator who was there. We were a little discouraged because we had expected many more people to come to church, especially since we were fasting for it. But then as the meeting progressed, people kept coming. Even though they were late, they were still there. Not only were many of our investigators there, but a less active family also came. We teared up a little bit as we silently thanked God for answering our prayers. 

I'm grateful as always for the chance to go on exchanges. This time it was my turn to go to Tarlac to be companions with Sister Delos Santo. This is the first time I have worked in an area besides Concepcion. It was a neat experience. It was great to see the progress I have made since the last time I had exchanges with Sister Delos Santo.    Working and sleeping in another area made me realize how much Concepcion has become my home. I have lived here for over 5 months now, and I am comfortable here. I love the people. That is why it is pretty much guaranteed that I will be transferred this coming transfer. 
This week I've learned a lot about prayer. About praying with faith. Sometimes its easy to get to causal in our prayers. They become rote, we just go through the motions. If this is happening to you, take some time before to pray to prepare to pray. Think about the things you want to talk to our Creator about. Pray with a purpose. Pray out loud if it helps you concentrate. And then afterwards listen for the response of the still small voice of the spirit.

Mahal ko kayo!!!

Sister Abish "Concepcion is my home away from home" Curtis

Picture: Me and my cute companion on a day I managed to straighten my hair

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Work of Salvation


This week almost everyday we have made a goal to find a golden investigator. We have set aside time for specifically finding these golden investigators. (Usually we are so busy teaching it is hard to find time for finding) We have had much success. 

One of the things I love about the Philippines is that people are outside a lot. The streets are full of people. My favorite type of people to talk to are the people who are sitting outside on their porches. This week we approached many such people. We ask if we can get to know them, and then as we explain who we are, we teach them a little about our message. Several times this week as we have done this, people have pulled out chairs for us and we teach a lesson to them right then and there. We have many return appointments set for next week.    We don't know yet which of our many new investigators are the golden ones we are looking for, but we are planning to find out.    

I loved the world wide leadership training broadcast!!!! We just barley got to watch it last night. The world is on fire with missionary work. This is the most exciting time to be a missionary in the history of missionary work. Before I kind of felt sorry for all the people who aren't missionaries because I thought they were missing out on the excitement. But after the broadcast last night I realize that that is not the case at all. There has never been a more exciting time to be a member in the history of missionary work! It makes me excited for after my mission when I will get to help the kingdom progress from the side of the members. If you haven't watched the fireside yet, do it: 
http://www.lds.org/training/wwlt/2013/hastening/special-broadcast?lang=eng

If you haven't started applying what was taught yet, please start immediately. 

 

Sorry my letter is short as always. 

 

I love this work. I love being a missionary. I know Jesus Christ is our savior, and I know Him.

 

Love,

 

Sister Abish "Look at my picture of me standing next to a carabau" Curtis