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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Monday, October 28, 2013


After being companions for two transfers (12 weeks), me and Sister Sarto anxiously awaited what our zone leader would announce for what would happen to us this next transfer. First he announced that Sister Sarto would be transferring (she only has one transfer left before she goes home and she was really hoping to stay) I had one arm wrapped around Sister Sarto who had started crying, when Elder Ka'ahanui announced that I would be training again. I took a step back because I was not expected it at all. What?!?  But I actually felt a lot more prepared than I did the first time they announced I was training almost 6 months ago. 

Let me tell you a little bit about what happened the next day, because it was a good one. When I walked into the meeting for all the new trainers I saw many familiar faces. One was my trainer, Sister Calinisan who is training for the third time. My first trainee Sister Ocampo was there, she is not only training, but also opening a new area. AND Sister Ocampo's trainee (my "granddaughter") was also there training. How crazy is that??? Four generations all training at the same time? I love it so much. When we had all gathered with all the trainers and trainees President Martino had the four of us stand up, and he pointed out our genealogy. It was pretty awesome. 

I love my new companion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sister De Guzman is her name and she is from Naga City (that's here in the Philippines) My streak continues because I still have yet to have a companion younger than me. She is turning 24 this Friday
Sister De Guzman is all anyone could ever ask for in a trainee. She is confident and mature, but yet still so humble and teachable. I actually don't feel like I have a trainee for a companion, I feel like I have a Returned Missionary as a companion. She is so amazing at being a missionary. The first time she "OYMed" (Open Your Mouth, thats what we call it in my mission when you talk to someone and extend an invitation) It was the best OYM I have ever heard on my mission. On the first day she was already teaching half the lessons. She is incredible. She is also beautiful (she is like unto Pocahontas from the Disney movie ) I am afraid that everyone will fall in love with her. We also get along sooooo well. I am grateful that I get to spend every day with her for the next 12 weeks. 

1- Family Picture with my "Sister" (My "mom," me, my "sister", my "daughter" and my granddaughter")

2- Generations (Mom, me, daughter and granddaughter all with our new trainees)
3-Me and my companion
4- Caribou cart
5- My cute companion
6- Some awesome Elders in my District

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Restoratio​n...of Electricit​y

Last night we were teaching our last appointment of the night when the member who was working with us got a text that power had come back on where we live. We finished our fire lamp lesson (still no power where we were teaching) and quickly returned to our apartment 

We turned all the switches on in our apartment and rejoiced as we were engulfed in the light. I turned on and off all the water faucets, happy that they worked again. After we did a little celebrating, I didn't know what to do next. I had gotten used to life without electricity and was already starting to miss my candle light. Then Sister Sarto had the best idea ever. General Conference!! We still hadn't able to watch most of it, but now with the electricity back we were able to the sessions that I had downloaded on my memory card. This is why we need electricity, to listen to the words of prophets. I may or may not have cried a little bit as we listened to conference, it was just the sweetest sound ever. Having to wait extra long to listen to it made it even better. 

So if  the electricity just came back on yesterday, it means that we haven't had electricity this whole past week. Making 9 days total of no electricity. Let me tell you a little about it. 

It didn't really effect most of our day time work. We still taught lessons and talked to people about the church that God restored through modern day prophets. But at night we got to teach lessons by candlelight. Sometimes we would go to people's houses at 7 or 8, but they would already be sleeping. With no street lights or anything it wasn't super safe for us to be out anyways so sometimes we had to come home a little earlier. 

Have you noticed the moon lately. It was been full and bright. I bet we noticed and appreciated it more than you. 

On Thursday morning our apartment owner came and fixed our pump. Yes, we have had a water pump this whole time, it has just been dry. We tried to get it back to life. The Elders tried too. But it wasn't until Thursday morning that we found the trick. Having water much closer has made life much easier. The pump goes dry again after a couple hours of no use. I feel so cool every time I have to bring it back to life, and I always be sure that the first thing I do is fill the water bottle back up so we can use it to revive the pump next time. 

Having no power didn't stop Anna Rose from being baptized this Saturday. It just meant that the water was tap temperature (Haha, that's a joke because even we have power all the water is always tap temperature.) It was a beautiful baptize. Me and Sister Sarto carefully planned the program and we got a decent number of people to come, including Anna Rose's non-member Mom. For the musical number me and Sister Sarto sang while she played guitar. Yes we are legit. But the best part of the program was the baptism itself. I love watching people make their first covenant with God. And the next day was equally as sweet when during Sacrament meeting at church Anna Rose was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and received the Holy Ghost.

One other thing that I love: We have a new 10 year old investigator who we call Tin-tin. She came to the baptism on Saturday. I had told another primary girl in our branch that she would be coming to church and that they should be friends. On Sunday I saw them skipping down the hall together with arms linked. It made my missionary heart so happy.

Come what may and love it.
Pray for the Missionaries in your area by name. Ask for the names of their investigators and pray for them too.

Sister "I love General Conference, and baptisms and candle light and Jesus" Curtis

-Anna Rose's Baptism
-Who needs electricity when there are bright faces like this.
-Daily planning by candlelight
-I love this old lady
-Aren't we cute?
-Me and my companion
-Epicness of a missionary

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No power. No water. No problem!

Friday was a rainy day, but at this time of the year that is not unusual. But when we got home at the end of the night the wind was starting to blow pretty hard. This we the beginning of the big storm we had been told was coming. We did our regular planning and preparing for the next day. Around 10:30pm the power went out. By candle light and flashlight light, we moved everything up off the floor in case of flood. We sang "Master the Tempest is Raging" and went to bed. I slept with out a problem, but the storm kept my companion up.

Saturday morning we woke up to see the mess that was outside. We were grateful we had brought in our clothes that had been drying outside, because if not they would have been halfway down the street. There wasn't much damage done to the houses on our street, but there were a lot of fallen trees and vegetation every where. 
Saturday was supposed to be General Conference, but no power was one of the many reasons that didn't continue. We didn't teach any lessons that day, we just went out and helped people recover from the storm. 
One of the families we teach that was effect the most was the Alejandro family. I've attached a picture of what is left of their house. The house itself was a side sight to see, but the most heart wrenching part was crying 8 year old inside the house: Jacque. She is one of the two girls that was baptized last month, and she has a special place in my heart. I instantly ran to her and wrapped my arms around her frail little body until she stopped crying. One of her concerns was that she was worried that the Book of Mormon we had given her was destroyed, and she didn't even get to finish it. I promised that we would get her another one. We brought their family food and help, and I was impressed with how optimistic their still were. I love them.
We visited other members and helped anyway we could; gathering scattered clothes, setting up safety obstructions, cleaning up and such. 
Sunday morning there was still no power, but we made our way to the church in Bongabon because we heard there was a generator there so we could watch general conference. We were a little late and when we got there we saw that they hadn't got the generator working, but there was a group of saints striving to hear and see the Sunday Morning on the Laptop that was set up in the front of the chapel. About halfway through the session the battery of the laptop ran out. After a lunch break the generator was up and running and we were able to watch the Sunday afternoon session. Afterwords whoever was still there was able to charge our almost dead phones. I have all of general conference downloaded on my memory card. The only problem is I won't be able to listen to it until we have power again. It's okay, it just helps me to appreciate it so much more. 
What an adventure! We don't have electricity. So when it gets dark we do everything by candle light. I kind of love it a lot. The water at our house usually comes from our electric pump, but with no power that mean we also have no water. So for the past couple days we have been going across the street to the members who live there. We pump our water at their pump and carry it back over in buckets. We use that water for bathing, dishes and flushing the toilet. We have to buy clean water for drinking. I still think it's fun to pump the water and carry it over (even though I have blisters from doing it). Don't worry, our stove is powering by a propane tank so we are still able to cook. Haven't no fridge isn't really that big a problem. We cooked the meat we had frozen in the freezer. I haven't checked on it yet, but I think our ice cream has melted by now :(
We are not sure how long we will be without power. We have heard 7 days. 7-10 days, and even that it will take up to a month. I hope that however long it takes, I'll still think this is a fun adventure.
There have been plenty of opportunities to serve and I love it. Missionary work is not stopping. Anna Rose had her baptismal interview yesterday, and hopefully having no power will not effect her baptism on the 19th of October
You may be wondering: "Sister Curtis if you don't have power, how are you sending this email?" The answer is that we traveled to the Mall in the Cabanatuan city where they have generators. I don't know if we will be able to come back next week. I don't know if we'll have power by next week. I don't know if I'll be able to email next week. If I don't, don't worry about this happy, hardworking missionary who is living an adventure out here in the Philippines, serving God by serving other people.
Maybe there is something else that I forgot to tell you. If there is I can't remember what it is....
Love you all!!!

Sister "Living like they used to in the days before electricity" Curtis

Monday, October 7, 2013

Things you can do in a skirt

Here are a few of the many things that you can do in a skirt:
-Play basketball
-Get in and out of Bro. Boogie's side trailer thing
-Accidentally fall out of Bro. Boogie's side trailer thing while trying to get out
-Cross through or over small bodies of water (puddles, streams, flooded streets)
-Ride side-saddle on the back of the motorcycle part of a trike
-Teach sitting on the ground
-Occasionally take a nap during lunch break
-Enjoy the breeze when it's hot
-Hold down your skirt when it's really windy
-Get in and out of Jeepnys and trikes
-Help people move
-Wash laundry by hand
-Study the scriptures
-Grocery shopping (on Preparation Day of course)
-Chase away the cats that think they live in your yard (pets aren't allowed) 
-Find a private place in the middle of nowhere to go pee (I've not yet experienced this personally. Just my companions)
-Teach people about God's plan for them
-Attend baptisms and watch as people make their first covenant with God
-Talk to everyone and anyone that will listen to you
-Be a missionary
-Email your family and friends a short email because you are running out of time.

*note- this list is not comprehensive. I suppose the list could be endless. Actually right now I can't think of anything you could NOT do while wearing a skirt (unless you are a boy)
**fun fact: skirt in Tagalog: palda

Love you all!!!
Sister "Skirt" Curtis

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ahh, I just love life!!

Happy Family Week!!!!
Here in the Philippines the last week in September is Family week. All the branches in our District (Bongabon) got together and had a celebration on Saturday. Me and my companion got to hold the banner for the parade, and then we helped with the games and activities. So fun! I love getting to meet so many of the members. Ahh, I just love life!!

An update on Anna Rose and Rhea:
The Young Women in our Branch were in charge of putting on a presentation for the Family Week Celebration. Anna Rose came to the practices and is developing friendships. Yeah! She is still excited for her baptize. Her and Rhea have been to church four times in a row now. Yeah!!
Rhea. A highlight of the week was when she told us that she had received an answer to her prayers. Little Rhea has been coming to church and reading in the Book of Mormon. We reviewed with her how the Holy Ghost testifies of truth. This last week she told us of the warm feeling she had in her chest when she had as she prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I was so happy I wanted to cry. It made me think of the account given in the Book of Mormon when Jesus visited the people in America after His Resurrection. After they had been baptized they were able to receive the Holy Ghost. Jesus prayed to the Father thanking Him as follows: "Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world" (3 Nephi 19:20) I am so grateful that God sends the Holy Ghost to testify of truth to those that we teach, because of their belief. Ahh, I just love life!!

I am jealous of all of you who get to watch General Conference this weekend. (I have to wait until Oct. 12-13) I know it will be fantastic. We are so lucky to have living Prophets and Apostles who continue to testify of Christ and teach us of Him. 
Be prepared. Before conference starts right down a question or more that you want answered, and I know that as you listen to the talks and the spirit, you will receive an answer. Ahh, I just love life!!

Last P-Day we went to the beach again. So much fun. I made a sand temple. My new favorite thing to do is drawing pictures in the sand. See attachments below. Ahh, I just love life!!


Sister "Ahh, I just love life!!" Curtis