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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Monday, December 30, 2013

My White Christmas

-We spent half of our Preparation day at the Branch Christmas party where we played fun games and ate yummy food.
-We joined the Young Women in the evening for some Christmas Caroling

Tuesday of Christmas Eve:
-We worked and served and taught like missionaries do. Since it's vacation time and they don't have school, we got some of the youth to work with us as we shared Christmas messages to anyone who would listen.
-There are families here that helped us feel so included in their Christmas celebrations
-Christmas here is not so much about the gift exchange, rather it is about food and the companionship of others. 

Wednesday of Christmas Day
-We had District meeting in the morning with four other Elders. Afterwards we had a gift exchange and Christmas lunch.
-I got to skype my family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cried in excitement as we were getting ready. We had carefully arranged it so that me and Solana (my Sister who is serving her mission in Albania) could all be on at the same time. That meant my family had to wake up in the middle of the night.  But to the disappointment of all us, I ran into some trouble finding a place where I could skype. By the time I was finally able to get on I had just barley missed Solana!! It was the saddest thing ever!!! I cried about it later, but not wanting to waste any of the precious time I had with my family, we pressed on. It was the greatest thing ever to talk to my beloved family again. They are all getting so old. Taller, deeper voices, all grown up. It was pretty crazy. I love them so much!!  I have the best family anyone could ever hope for. On my mission I've come to realize how truly lucky I am. I don't know what I did to deserve such an amazing family. My heart longs for the day that we will all be together again. I miss them.      But don't worry, I'm not trunky. I am loving everyday of my mission and I don't want it to ever end. The only good thing about ending a mission is being able to come home and be reunited with my loved ones. 
I am grateful that my companion was able to join me for the skype. She was literally right beside me holding my hand the whole time. It was neat for her to be able to meet the people who I've told her so much about. When we sang "Families can be together forever" at the end of our skype call, it wasn't me that cried, but her.  I just love her with all my little heart. Later that night she was able to phone call to her family. I was so happy when she put the phone on speaker, so I felt part of it. As she talked to each person I pointed to her family picture trying to guess which one she was talking to. It was a sweet experience. 

-That afternoon me and Sister de Guzman sat down and opened the stalkings and presents my family had sent. I loved how much she loved her stalking. I loved all the things my family sent and just felt so loved.  I gave my companion the present I had secretly coordinated with the members to get: an umbrella to replace her umbrella that just broke.

-Baptism of Michael!!! This was the best Christmas present anyone could ever ask for.  We had finally got him to decide on a date, and it was this past Saturday. His baptism will go down as one of the highlights of my mission. Not because the baptism was a sweet experience (even though it was) but because of the change I have seen in this man. Because I know how wonderful his life will be now. I am just the luckiest missionary in the world to have been able to witness his conversion. 

-Primary Program. yes I cried.

I think I said this last year, but it is worth repeating:
I thought that being a missionary was the best present I could give to God. Turns out it is the best present he could ever give me. I am so lucky to be a missionary.

Sister Abish "I Love my Family and my life" Curtis      

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's just part of the mission

I feel a little hesitant writing about this, because it is a little personal and there is such a wide variety of people who read my emails/blogs... but I want you to be able to understand a more complete picture of what it is like to be a missionary. A big part of your missionary life is who you spend it with: your companion. 

I love Sister de Guzman. I am so lucky to have her as my companion. Our time together as been part of the best time of my mission. I am so happy with her. Even the members talk about how well we get along together, and it's true. This week I have taught her how to beat box. She knows the name of everyone in my family, and I know the names and stories off all 11 of her brothers and sisters. We have accomplished so much good in our area, and we love our work. I could go on and on about all the things I love about my amazing companion.   But the thing is, the more you love, care and trust someone, the more potential they have to hurt you. That's what happened to us this week. Here is what happened:

There was some mis-communication, or rather lack of communication. I said something that really hurt her feelings. I could tell she was upset, but I didn't see the connection to her mood and what I said until too late. After a silent lunch and language study we headed off to our first lesson of the afternoon. She said something that was an obvious clue to what she was feeling, but I for some reason didn't understand until halfway through our lesson. I had to wait until after the lesson before I could offer her a sincere apology and promise that I hadn't meant what I said.  I felt so bad about it for the rest of the day. I apologized a time or two before the end of the day, and she assured me it was okay. 
But like I said before, the more you love someone the more potential they have to hurt you. I had really hurt Sister de Guzman, and I had lost some of her trust. Usually she is patient with my many weakness, but something else I did the next day got her upset with me again. 
I could tell she was upset again, so before we got to our next lesson I had us stop there in the street so we could talk about it. She felt like I didn't trust her (which is crazy because I trust her more than any other companion I've had) and she said I had lost her trust. I was hurt by what she said. We apologized, we talked about what we could do to fix it. She suggested we go teach, so we went and taught for the rest of the day. That didn't fix it. Our ward missionary could barley tell that something was wrong, but we could tell. I had a hard time concentrating in lessons. After we dropped off our ward missionary at the end of the night we made the long walk home in an intense silence. This is not the first time I've had a companion who is mad enough not to talk to me, but this is the first time I was effected so much by it. I was angry and hurt. I was mad at her, but at the same time I missed her so much. 
When we got home we sat down and worked it out. There was crying, there was explaining and clarifying. There was apologizing. There was hearts softening. And at last there was laughing again. 
I don't think any of it would have been such a big deal if it weren't for how close we are, and how much we really do love and care for each other. But, now our friendship is stronger than ever. It's funny how that works. No one's perfect. But if you really love someone you will focus more on the things you like about them than the things you don't. 

On a different note...
Tintin was baptized!!!!    She is the cutest 10 year old ever. She already has a best friend at church, and lots of good fellow shippers. She has been to the our last two baptisms, so she was already a pro at knowing how things go. 
I love missionary work!!!

Love you lots and lots!
Sister "I love my companion" Curtis

Pictures: From the baptism, and also a 96 year old man that I met. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Miracles are real, I saw one this week. Do you remember Renato from last week? He is our golden investigator who hasn't been able to walk for the past couple of months. And because of that he was in the right place at the right time for us to find and teach him. He completely accepts everything we teach. He has already read so much of the Book of Mormon.   We have been praying for him to be able to walk and even fasted for it. We have been studying about faith and miracles. And on Thursday we saw one. When we got to Brother Renato's house... he stood. With the help of his walker, he walked. Both me and Sister de Guzman cried for joy.  Before I knew that our God is a God of miracles, but now I really know it. We were walking on clouds on the way home from his appointment. 
The next day when we went back his legs were weak again, so he wasn't able to come to church. But he still has the strongest desire to come to church and be baptized. I have no doubt that it will happen, I don't know when or how, but I know that miracles are real. 

-Renato the day he stood
-Michael, our thug of an investigator
-Yesterday the Tishners (office couple) came to our apartment to deliver my Christmas package. It was a double bonus because besides the wonderful package we also go to see them.
-My zone before transfers this last week (don't worry I didn't get transfered)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I didn't forget what I'm thankful for, I just forgot Thanksgivi​ng

This last week was Thanksgiving daw. Thanksgiving is not a holiday they celebrate here in the Philippines, so I may or may not have spent the whole Thanksgiving day forgetting it was even Thanksgiving. That is kinda crazy because I've never had so much to be grateful for.

Today I will tell you story of Renato. This is how it goes:
Once upon a morning me and Sister de Guzman were walking through the streets in our neighborhood looking for new people to teach. We passed by a house where a man was outside on a chair reading a bible. I guess it took a second to register, because we had already passed him when me and my companion stopped, looked at each other, then turned around and approached the man who I will call Renato (because that's his name). 
He didn't have any other chairs so me and Sister de Guzman taught standing up. Actually maybe have our lessons to him have been taught standing up or squatting. 
He believes everything we teach him. Now when we go back we don't just see him reading the Bible, but also the Book of Mormon. When we extended the invitation to be baptized he said "Amen Sisters" (That means yes). He actually says "Amen" and "Praise the Lord" a lot during our lessons. 
You maybe wondering why in the lessons, me and Sister de Guzman are the ones standing while Renato is sitting. This is why: he can't stand, or walk. It's been this way for the last couple months. The doctors say it has something to do with diabetes. Because of that we haven't figured out a way to get him to church. (he really want to go). He is too embarrassed to be carried, even though we offered to find someone to help. Right now he is just doing his best to slowly build up his strength everyday. We are praying for a miracle for this faithful man. Sometimes me and Sister de Guzman daydream about the John Tanner story (if you don't know it, go look it up, especially the movie.) 

Do you remember Mike? Last night we taught him about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chasity. I love teaching the love of Chasity to old ladies. I do not love teaching it to people of the opposite gender. But its only as awkward as you make it. He wasn't happy to hear that he can't add anymore tattoos.  For the Word of Wisdom, he already gave up drinking and smoking for his Mormon fiance. But coffee is still something that he is working on cutting down. To help him find an alternative to help wake him up, we got a group together this morning to play basketball. Win-win situation. 

Every day me and Sister de Guzman set goals for the day. Almost always one of our goals is "Expect Miracles" and then at the end of the day we talk about the miracles we have seen. Do I love it? Yes. Does God love us? YES!!!!

Sister "Miracle expecter" Curtis