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Sister Abish Curtis

November 2012- May 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My New Companion and Area



Dear family and friends,

Let me tell you about my new companion Sister Foukimoana.
-She is from Tonga
-She is the youngest of 9 siblings
-She is my first companion that is taller than me
-She is my first companion that is younger than me (she is 21)
-She plays rugby
-She knows how to hula dance
-She knows how to play the violin
-She has been out on her mission for 7 months
-She had only been in our area for two weeks before I got here, so we only get lost sometimes
-She has a loud and warm laugh that just makes everyone happy
-She is so loving talaga. She has a way of just putting her arm around people and making them feel loved. Everyone loves her (including me)
-Even though she is still far from perfect in Tagalog, she doesn't let that stop her from communicating with people. 
-We have the same favorite color (orange)
-We both love so many of the same things so we get along fantastically
-Some of the great things we do for morning exercise: play basketball at the church with the Elders, go to aerobics with the Young Single Adults, hike mountains.
-She tells me I am the best companion she has ever had

All of my companions so far have been Filipina and I have gotten used to them and their culture. The Tongan culture is different, so there are things that she does that is just different than I am used to. But different is not bad. We seriously have so much fun together. 

I love my new area here in San Jose. I also love my new zone and my new district. I know we will accomplish amazing things and have so much fun doing it. 

Something that happened this week:

We were walking back from an appointment when we passed the house of Nanay Lorita. We stopped to talk to her and she let us into her home. Nanay is sad and lonely and was so happy to have someone to listen to her. We found out that her husband died twenty years ago, and although her children are alive still they don't live near her or take very good care of her. She has had a pretty hard life. At first I didn't have much hope that she would be a progressing investigator because she is so old and frail, but I knew that she needed us. We came back again later in the week, and she was so happy to see us. We call her our Nanay (mother) and she calls us her anak (children). She cried as she told us that we do more for here than her real children do. We shared a message with her again and we were happy when she said she would come to church.  So Sunday morning we went to her house to go with her to church, she was ready and waiting for us. There at the church we introduced her to our bishop, who after talking to her for a while realized that she was actually already a member. She used to come to church with her husband before he died. That's crazy that she had failed to mention that to us, but it's all cool. We love Nanay and are excited to help her come back to church, and I know her curious neighbors will make great investigators. 

Side note: I am the official new pianist for my new ward. I love that this was the one of the main reasons I even learned piano: to play on my mission. 

I know that God has called me here in San Jose for a reason. I know there are people here whose lives will be changed. Even if it is just my life. 

Ofa atu!! (That means I love you in Tongan)

Love,
Sister "Tonga" Curtis

Pictures:

Our district service project: weeding an onion field
Me and my companion and some awesome members
One of the pictures from our hiking adventure

Monday, January 20, 2014

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I was transferred!!!!  After almost 6 months in the wonderful area of Kalikid, I have transferred to my third area: San Jose Ward 1B.

My area:
My whole mission I have served in areas that are mostly out in the country (bukid). But now I am in the very center of a city. In my last area we only got to go to the grocery store once a month, but now we walk by the grocery store, mall and palanke almost everyday. 
The area is pretty small, we don't have to ride trikes or jeepneys because it is all within walking distance. 
All of the investigators here are children. Part members, but children all the same. We are hoping to find some more investigators. 


My ward:
We have an awesome ward. I have already eaten at the houses of 4 different members. We have regular dinner appointments, so I will definitely be putting on some pounds (or should I say kilos).
Our ward mission leader is the most experienced I have yet to work with, I am excited for that. 
I gave a talk on Sunday. Yep. 
I already love so many of them. I am excited to get to know all of them. 



My companion:
Sister Foukimoana is from Tonga and she is amazing!!! In our mission usually President Martino puts the Filipinos and foreigners together. But me and my companion are one of the few foreigner/foreigner companionships. I have been out for longer than her, so for the first time ever I know more Tagalog than my companion. That is a crazy thought. I'm realizing how much I have depended on my Filipina companions for things like cooking and language and stuff. It is funny that she is now depending on me for the things I used to depend on others for. But I love it, we are going to do great.
Sister Foukimoana is the best. She is so sweet and kind, but at the same time crazy and funny. We have so much fun together, and we got along right from the first day. Actually our first day together she was sick, and couldn't talk. So our communication was a mix between mouth reading and charades. We laughed so much about it all. It was a good icebreaker. 

My heart:
I love my new area. I love my new companion. I love everything.   But a huge part of my heart is still back in Kalikid. I miss it so much. I miss the people. I miss Sister de Guzman. I miss everything. I'm hoping the pain will eventually go away, but I'm grateful that my love for them never will. 

Other random things:
We don't have a laundry lady to come to our house to wash our clothes!!  Instead I will bring my clothes to a laundry shop down the street. But I will have to wash my garments myself... by hand. I am excited to learn how...
The past 6 months it has just been me and Sister de Guzman in our house. But here we live with another companionship of missionaries: Sister Esirom and Sister Merwal. They are great and life is never boring at our house. I love them already. 
It is so cold!! I don't know if it is just the season everywhere or just here in San Jose. It's not cold like I know it is in America right now, but it is cold for the Philippines. The temperature on my alarm reads 75 degrees, but it feels colder than that. Like I want to wear my light jacket. (I know, I know, it's not really that cold, but its the coldest I've been in a year) Remember how we don't have warm water to take our showers? Just tap temperature. Lately I've been warming up water so I can use it for my bucket shower, because otherwise it is just way too cold. 

I know that the Lord sent me here to the Philippines, and I know there is a specific reason I have been assigned here in San Jose. I'm going to do my best and work my hardest and not leave anything undone. 

Love,
Sister "San Jose" Curtis

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ode to Kalikid

This week I am 90% sure I will be transferring.

I am sad about that, because I love Kalikid. The people of Alma had tender feelings for the Waters of Mormon because of the special things that happened to them there. I will always have tender feelings for Kalikid because of the special things that have happened here for me. I love these people. As I have visited these less actives every week I have come to love them. So when they come to church it is the most amazing feeling in the world. I have been so impressed with these recent converts who are sometimes more diligent than long time members when it comes to things like scripture study. The investigators who have been baptized in my time, or will be baptized later will always have a special place in my heart. And the members have fulfilled the promise of the Lord that "I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." 
I will be missing Kalikid for the rest of my life. 

Sister Abish "Kalikid" Curtis

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Years!!


 
I was a missionary for every single day of 2013. It was an amazing year. And I know that 2014 will be even better. 

 

In the Philippines Angeles Mission we set a goal for 2013 that we would have 1350 baptisms. We achieved 1368!!!! It was amazing.  And this next year we are trusting in the Lord's promise that He is hastening his work. Our goal for 2014 is 1650. Kaya namin yan!!!  I'm excited to do my part and give every ounce of energy that I have. 

 

It was so amazing!!! Yesterday at church we had an all time high for attendance. We had to keep bringing in more chairs because there wasn't enough places for everyone to sit. Usually the average attendance is 100. A couple months ago me and Sister de Guzman set a vision for 130 church attendance. But yesterday the attendance was.... 150!!!! Amazing!! Fasting is so powerful. It was so incredible to see so many of the less actives we work with finally come to church. And we had 6 investigators. It was the most amazing Sunday in the world.

 

New years eve: Our curfew was to be in the apart at 6:00pm (that's when it starts getting dark) Me and Sister de Guzman found lots of things to do. One of which is one of my favorite activities in the world: take jump shorts. Although we couldn't go out and join the members in their celebrations, several came and dropped food off at our house. That was fun.    At midnight we were in our beds with the lights out, but we weren't asleep yet. We heard the explosions and celebrations, and just talked about the past year and the new year to come. 

 

I love being a missionary, because I love God. 

 

Sister Abish "2014" Curtis

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Merry Christmas

(This was miss posted in her sisters blog and is now out of order as of time)


Christmas caroling here is a mix between trick or treating and fundraising.  The most common carolers are groups of young children. They will go door to door singing, they will sing until you bring out a few coins for them.  Sometimes groups of adults will go out caroling, as a fundraiser for some organizations. You usually have to give them more than just a few coins.     If you don’t want to give them money you just call out “patawad”  or forgiveness.

 

This week there was a little earthquake. But for some really weird reason I didn’t even feel it. I was putting away some laundry in the bedroom when I heard Sister de Guzman call me from where she was sitting at our desks. I walked out of the room to see a strange look on her face, and I saw things still swaying back and forth, but I didn’t feel the earthquake at all. How weird is that?

We had our Christmas Conference this week. We had half the mission there. (Fun fact: Angeles mission is the largest mission in the Philippines when you consider not only the number of missionaries [250+] but also the geographic distance and the number of stakes and wards that are covered) For part of it each zone was in charge of presenting a musical number. My zone may or may not have beat boxed to “Hark the Harold Angels Sing.” Yep, that’s how we roll.      Conferences are so great because you get so spiritually uplifted. It is also great because of all the great missionaries you get to see. I was so happy to see Sister Ocampo, my first trainee. I love her and I am always just so proud of how awesome she is.

 

These are some random people and occurrences from this last week:

-After coming to church for 3 months, Michael finally settled on a date for baptism: next week

-Brother Ray- a less active member whose last prayer was when he pleaded that his mom wouldn’t die. She did die, and he hasn’t prayed since that almost ten years ago. We could see how sad his soul was.

-JB is a ten year old boy who approached us. He wanted a Book of Mormon. We weren’t sure how serious he was so we told him if he came to church the next day we would give him one. He came to church, received a Book of Mormon and we will be teaching him and his family this next week.

-Anna Rose-our recent convert who cried when we told her she shouldn’t join in some of her old Catholic Christmas traditions. She didn’t come to church yesterday…

-Kate: I went on exchanges in an area that I worked in a month or two ago. Kate is a recent convert who I met the first time and we had a special connection. This time I gave her the CTR ring off my finger (It was just one of the cheap ones you get from primary. I have a couple and always wear it just for the purpose of giving them away.



I hope you all have a wonderful magical Christmas. I’m excited for all that will be happening this next week. The Atonement is the best present we could have ever been given!