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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Monday, September 23, 2013

At ito ay nangyari na...

So I realize that in the past I kind of just surprise you with a baptism. I don't tell you much about the people who have Baptismal Goal dates until the day of their baptism. I don't know why that has been. Maybe because sometimes they don't go through and I don't want to get your hopes up. I don't know.
But now I want to let you in on the suspense. So you can rejoice/remorse with me. I want to tell you now about Rhea and Anna Rose. This is their story (so far)
Once upon a time me and my companion were walking down the street. We happened to be walking the same direction as a man. We'll call him John (because that's his name). As we walked we talked. He said he would be okay if me and Sister Sarto come and taught him. He told us how to find his house and then we said goodbye. Less than a week later we went to find him and his house, hoping that he was actually serious. We found him and the compound of houses where he lives. Since we are not allowed to teach single men alone inside, we had to teach him outside. Where we taught him, we were joined by about 12 kids (his nieces and nephews). It was an okay lesson, but we weren't sure if he would actually progress or not. Nevertheless we came back about a week later. John was not there, but the crowd of kids was. They wanted us to teach them but we explained we couldn't unless they had parents there. One girl, Rhea was able to convenience her parents to join us for a lesson at their house. We were amazed to see they already had a Book of Mormon in their house (someone else who had gotten it from missionaries had given it to them). The lesson went well and we were excited to come back. 
The next week we learned that Rhea had wanted to come to church, but she had just forgotten what time church started. We fixed that problem. The next week John (who we hadn't been able to teach again) and Rhea and some of her cousins came to church. We were so excited. One of those cousins was 15 year old Anna Rose. (P.S. Rhea is just 8).
To make a long story shorter Anna Rose and Rhea have come to church for the last four weeks in a row. They also come with with several of their young cousins and siblings. Their parents haven't been to church yet, and we haven't seen John since the first time he came to church. 
They came to the baptism we had after church last week. When we asked them if they wanted to be baptized, their faces lit up and they said yes.
We have been encouraging them to pray and ask God in order to know that the things we have been teaching are true. Anna Rose has felt like she has had an answer ("a warm feeling in my heart") We are helping her prepare to be baptized on Oct. 12
It's a little more complicated with Rhea because she is still so young. We really need to work with her parents before any big steps can be made with her. 

Welp, I'm out of time for now. The story will be continued.
Thanks for taking the time to read :)

Love,
Sister Abish "I love Anna Rose and Rhea" Curtis

Picture:
From our service project

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Fantastic Sunday

Do you remember a couple weeks ago when I said I played the piano at church for Sacrament Meeting? Well, I have actually played for Sacrament Meeting every Sunday since then. As I was playing this week I reflected on these things:
-The whole reason I started learning piano is so I could play Hymns. 
-I dreamed that someday I would be called as a missionary to a far away place and they would need my piano skills. 
-I am living my dream.
-The Lord blesses our righteous desires. 


Sister Sarto and I were asked to be the speakers on Sunday. I talked about why the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is important. I give you as sample of one of the points I made (don't worry, I'll translate it into English for you):
You might have realized, that I am not a Filipino. I am from America. But while I am here in the Philippines I need to follow the laws of the Philippines. But when I go home, the laws of the Philippines will have no power over me.
You might have realized, but we are not from here on Earth. We are from Heaven. But while we are here on Earth we need to follow the laws of the World. But when we return to Heaven, the laws of the World will have no power over us. 
Because we have a loving Heavenly Father he has given us His Priesthood, or power and authority. With this Priesthood the important ordinances that we perform here on earth will be valid in Heaven. Ordinances such as baptism and marriage. 
God has given this Priesthood authority to His children throughout history through His prophets (Adam, Noah, Moses and dozens of other prophets found in the scriptures). God has again called prophets in our time, and given them this important power and authority.  
I testify that the Restoration is important. 


After church we had a beautiful baptismal service. It was the baptism of two 8 year old girls. Their baptisms are not counted on any of the reports that we send in as missionaries (because as 8 year old children of members they fall under the stewardship of the local leadership and not the missionaries), but I still felt like we played a significant part in their baptisms.
Elaine is the daughter of a member who started coming to church again after we visited them. We even taught little Elaine her own lesson to help her understand why baptism is so important.
Jacque is one of the daughters of a recent convert family. A month ago I spoke at the funeral of her 13 year old sister Jasmine. (Though Jasmine came to church, she was never baptized because was afraid of the water. We have taught their family about the work that goes on inside our Temples, and how they can be baptized for Jasmine, and all those who died without the chance to be baptized.) We were there to help celebrate Jacque's 8th birthday and we have also taught her a couple of times to help her understand the covenant that we make at baptism. 
After they were baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God, others with that same authority laid their hands on Jacque's and Elaine's head and confirmed them as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and gave them the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Because the Baptismal service was held right after church there were many people there to witness it, include 3 of our investigators. Happy day!! 

Love,
Sister Abish "Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" Curtis

Pictures:
-Baptism
-Pictures from my birthday on the beach

-A picture of a caribou that thinks he is an alligator, but actually in this picture looks more like a dragon.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday everyone!!!!

This morning I was singing all the Primary Songs about birthdays. One of my new favorites is "Have a very Happy Birthday." From it I learned that sharing cake and friendship is what birthdays are all about. Even though I can't share my birthday cake with you, I am still able to share my friendship. I'm so grateful for the friendship that I have with all of you. It's something we can still share worlds apart.

Today I the big old age of 23. I used to think that was so old. But not anymore. I'm successfully convincing myself that I am still young.    I was already 22 when the prophet announced that Sisters could now serve at the age of 19. I was worried that I would be so old compared to everyone else. But so far all my companions have been older than me. How neat is that. 

So far it's been a great birthday. Because of the package of Lynn and Bille, (members from my branch back home) I got to eat my favorite cereal for breakfast this morning.  After we are done emailing, we are going to a zone activity.... at the beach!!!! I haven't seen the ocean my whole mission so far, except on the airplane, so I'm excited. And then tonight we have an awesome Family Home Evening planned with some members here.

One of the pictures I attached below is us in Brother Bogie's motorcycle side cart. (I think I mentioned it a week or two ago.) We call Brother Bogie and his 'gang' the PowerRangers. They are our superheros that show up whenever we need help. Examples:  1) It's getting late and we are waiting by the side of the rode trying to find a jeep or trike to take us home. Right when we are about to give up hope the PowerRangers drive by and take us home.  2) Our investigators used all their money getting to church and they don't have enough money to get home. The with the help of the PowerRangers they get home safe and sound.  3) There are less active members who live far away and we don't know where they live. The PowerRangers not only take us there, but also testify powerfully during the lesson. 

This is one of the neat experiences that happened this week: 
The PowerRangers were taking us to the homes of less active members that we didn't know about. At the first lesson, my companion took the lead and taught a powerful lesson. We taught and testified and they committed to coming to church.
At the next house it was my turn to take the lead. I worried that I wouldn't be able to do as good a job as my companion just did. And I was worried about my still- not-very-good-Tagalog.  As we begun the lesson I began by asking some questions. I guess one of the lessons was an inspired question, but it resulted in tears and the outpouring of the spirit. The young mother cried as she answered my question about what she wanted for her 6 month old daughter when she was grown up. She talked about the huge blessing the gospel has been in her life and how much she wants that for her daughter. Her husband who is not a member was there, and there is no way he could have missed how important this is to his wife. I have high hopes for them.   
I'm so grateful I don't have to teach lessons alone. Not only do I have an amazing companion, and wonderful members backing me up, most importantly I have the Spirit of God to testify of what I teach. It doesn't mater if I am not the most powerful teacher in the world. Because the message I share is the most powerful in the world. I am humbled to be worthy to be a messenger of my Savior Jesus Christ. 

Maligayang Bati!!!!

Sister Abish "23" Curtis


Pictures
1) I was so happy to find my favorite cereal in my package. Perfect for eating on birthdays. 
2) Service project- It was quiet an adventure for these Elders to move that larger log there for a new and sturdier bridge for a family. 
3) Drinking coconut milk straight from a coconut
4) Brother Bogie's side cart and the PowerRangers (my favorite way to travel)
5) Just a regular day
6) Zone picture
7) One night we taught a lesson by lamp light (as in an oil lamp)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Merry Christmas!​!!!

The Philippines has the longest Christmas season that I have ever heard of. All the months that end in "ber" (September, October, November, and December) are considered the Christmas months. People are already setting up their Christmas decorations and playing Christmas songs. So a very Merry Christmas to you all!

Something else great about the Philippines is that there are fireflies here! Last night as me and my companion were walking home from our last appointment we stopped for a minute to chase some. Have you ever tried catching fireflies before? It's like this: they don't constantly shine their light. They blink on and off. While their light is on you move towards them as fast as you can. But when they turn their light off, your just kinda lost, moving in the direction you last saw it and searching in the darkness for the next clue. You can't see the firefly, but you know it's there. 
Sometimes life is like trying to catch fireflies. There is not a constant light always showing us exactly where to go. But we have move fast when we do see the light. And then when there is no light, we still have to move forward searching for the next clue. Sometimes it may seem like we can't see God or his direction in our life, but I testify that he is always there. We just have to move forward and faith. Don't give up, or you'll never be able to catch the fireflies in your life. 

One of the many great things about being a missionary is having the time set aside everyday for studying the scriptures. Right now me and my companion are spending a part of our companion study everyday to read the New Testament. And it just so happens that in my personal study I am ready in the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi, which is when the resurrected Jesus comes to the people in ancient America, and all the events that surround His coming. It has been neat to read the two testimonies of our Savior, and the things that were happening in two different continents, but at the same time. I testify of the reality of our Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Not only did He live, but He continues to live. He died for us, and he also lives for us. He loves me. I love Him. True story. 

Let your actions reflect your love for your Savior.  

Love,
Sister Abish "Firefly catcher" Curtis

Philippines Angeles Mission
F. Tanedo St, Brngy San Nicolas
Tarlac City, Tarlac 2300
Philippines

p.s. I had some great pictures to send you, but this computer isn't letting me attach them. Next week na lang.