What a week. I wont go into details but we had a very interesting experience concerning us, a few Bosnian members, the bishop and an ex-mafia leader... I don't know what else I can tell you other than that. We are alright and we resolved the issue but I regret to inform you that because of this issue Sabrina (the 11 yr old girl we baptized), and her family had to move away to Chicago. It was so sudden and unexpected so it was hard to take in. It was especially hard on her sister, Zilha who was baptized with her. She is having the "hardest week of her life." Apart from her family moving away her daughter is sick in the hospital, her car broke down, she can't find a job, and the electric company is telling her that they are going to take her electricity away from her if she can't pay her bills. As you can imagine she has been extremely stressed in many ways this week and any prayers you can give for her are very appreciated and needed.
Besides all of that it has easily been the slowest week of my mission so far. I knew it would happen eventually, but all of our appointments with people have canceled minutes before we arrive. The only people who we were able to go see were the Albanian people who came to church last week. But I can see how this is a blessing to me. Because none of our investigators or recent converts could see us this week we were able to tract for the second time of my mission. That's right. Only the second time. That's how busy we have been. The first time was just because I was on exchanges and I wanted to see what it was like. This was the first time I was able to do it with Elder Vincent. Man, there sure are some strange people in this world. We knocked on this door when a large man walked out the door and as soon as he realized who we were he said "You know, you need to take your cult down the street and figure out what's wrong with you." I honestly had to stop myself from laughing! The very thought that we are a cult and that we are so "wrong" is so silly to me. Elder Vincent wasn't as amused. I saw a little fire in his eyes as he replied "Oh yeah?" I wasn't sure what was going to be said next but I quickly thanked this man for his opinion and wished him a great day. Later Elder Vincent and I were both able to laugh about it. The very next door after his we were able to land a Book of Mormon! Tracting is fun!
So as I was writing this very email a young woman with Down-syndrome sat next to me to whom I said hello and smiled to and she shook my hand and said her name was Gracy. She asked me where I was from. I told her I am from Utah. She then explained how she didn't understand why she sees people like us, dressed in white shirts and ties and walking around everywhere. I explained that we are missionaries for our church and we go around and talk to people about Jesus Christ. She lit up (even more than she already was) and said "talk to me!" and she then sat straight toward me, ready to listen. This was awesome! I talked about the Book of Mormon and handed her one and told her it testifies of Jesus Christ as our Savior. I then explained how and why we have a Savior. I then told her about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and he loves us and wants to bless us more than anything. She was taking everything in SO well and saying things like "Wow" and "that is so good" but then she had a question about why God gave her down-syndrome. I started by telling her that Heavenly Father has a perfect body of flesh and bone and how when we lived with Him we wanted to have a body of our own, so God sent us to live on earth where we could receive our bodies but that this is also a time to learn and get experiences but one day after we die we will get our bodies back and they will be perfect and flawless and how it is certain to happen because of the atonement of Christ when He rose from the grave, making it possible for us to do the same and that is when we will have perfect bodies. After all of that she was so excited! She kept saying over and over, "He loves me! He loves me! He is my Father! I will have a perfect body!" Smiling so big, I said. "Gracy, I know that one day you will live with Heavenly Father again. You are going to. And you will be happy forever." She gave the biggest, cutest smile and said the most sincere thank you ever! She then said, "Can I hug you for this?" ...She was just so happy and thankful for that knowledge. I am so grateful to God for sending Gracy to me today. Her spirit is so strong and my experience with her was so touching! I will never forget it! I don't know if I will see her again here, but I can't wait to see her in her kingdom of glory where she will have that perfect, glorified body that she longs for today and that eternal happiness. I sit here amazed at the feeling I had while talking to her. I am grateful for the atonement. It is the greatest thing ever!! I know it, and now so does Gracy! I love this gospel!!!!! I love being a missionary!!! I love being a child of God!!! I love the Savior with all my heart and I love each of you so dearly! Thank you for you letters, thoughts and prayers. Keep God close and always remember how much He love you.
love, Elder Aaron Curtis
P.S. To any of you who have sent packages, if you used FedEx or UPS to send them then I have not received them. The office cannot forward packages from those companies. I guess I will just give you my apartment address... which I just realized I do not know and do not have it written down. I guess I will give the info to you next week.