Last week on transfer day after I had picked up my new companion, we caught a bus back to Cabanatuan. There were many missionaries there on the bus with us, including Sister Ocampo (my first trainee) and her companion. Sister Ocampo is amazing, and I saw as she taught a whole lesson there on the bus to someone she had just meet. I swelled with pride as I thought "That's my anak!" (anak translates into child, which in this case refers to my trainee) Later that day me and my new anak Sister de Guzman were out teaching our second lesson of the day, as in the second lesson she had ever taught. Sister de Guzman is an amazing teacher, I couldn't believe the expertise with which she taught. I swelled with pride again as I thought "That's my anak!" But that's when I was hit with humility. This was only Sister de Guzman's first day, there was no way she had learned that from me. And Sister Ocampo also, she would have turned out amazing whoever her trainer had been. I realized how incredibly blessed and lucky I am. The Lord trusts me enough to train, but he gives me "trainees" that actually teach me more than I could ever teach them.
Let me tell you a little about Sister de Guzman's first week.
She continues to amaze me with her missionary skills. I really don't feel like she is a new missionary. She has so many great ideas. She is excited to do missionary work and it is contagious.
I know she is home sick (what missionary isn't homesick especially their first week) but she doesn't show it too much. She is focused on the work, she will always out of no where ask about random people from our area. She has been able to love these people right away. Something else she does is serve me all the time. I often find my shoes clean and shined, I have to fight her for a turn to do the dishes, and so many other great things. I just love her. We work hard, but also have so much fun. We are able to talk about anything together and laugh about everything.
On Friday she had her 24th birthday. I woke up early to decorate the house. A missionary birthday is not much different than any other day, but I tried my best to make it special for her. We ended the night by having dinner with her favorite less active family.
Sister de Guzman is doing so great! She has extended the baptismal goal (and it was excepted). She is the best OYMer that I have ever been companions with. She is mature and confident, but is also so humble and teachable. I know that she misses her family, but she is still able to be so focused on the work and is constantly serving me. How in the world did I get so lucky to be companions with this amazing missionary.
This week I had the first heart-break of my mission. Sister Bondoc has been one of my very favorite investigators ever since we first meet here and her less-active husband. I feel like I have done some of my best teaching in their home. After working with them for a couple months they finally come to church for the first time. It was amazing! That was why we were confused when in our next lesson she "dropped" us. She has undeniably felt the spirit and our love for her. But she says she was time to think about it, and she will text us when she is ready again. Her, her husband, me and my companion all cried during the lesson. Then after the lesson me and my companion had a good cry at home (it was the last appointment of the night). It was heart-breaking, but I was still able to feel at peace. We had done everything the very best we could. And I have a feeling that we will hear from her again. We are always praying for her, and we included her in our fast. I know she is in God's hands and he will take care of her.
Another fun fact of the week. I got to meet the Royals. Before my mission I searched the internet to find anything about the Angeles Mission. I found the blogspot of Elder Royal and I was a faithful follower. I also found the blog entries of his parents when they came to pick up their first son who also served in the Angeles mission. I loved reading their blogs. Well, Elder Royal just finished his mission and his parents came back to the Philippines again to pick up their son. Since Kalikid was E. Royals first area, they came here and had a special ward activity for them. It was a fun night. It was Elder Royal's blog that inspired me to set up a blog of my own. I have already had a couple of the new missionaries admit to me that they read my blog before my mission. I love that I am able to help them. Here is a shout out to all those who are reading my blog because they will soon be serving here in the Philippines Angeles Mission. I hope I get to meet you someday.
Love Sister "Proud Mama" Curtis