Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'm moving

Hi every body! 

I've got some interesting news for you today: Elder Ivey and I are moving out of St Louis and going to Jefferson City. Apparently two visa waiters who were in Jefferson City got their Visas and the church want's them to leave right away instead of waiting until the next transfer. So on Friday night we got a call from President Morgan and told us he want us to go take over that area from now on. It was quite alarming and very short notice, but of course we were willing; we go wherever the Lord needs us! We leave today and will have to find our way there on our own. We have to meet at the mission office where they will give us our new phone and information as well as the keys to a brand new car and then they will send us on our way. Should be an adventure! Plus, I haven't driven since July. That will be weird. I hope I still know how. Haha! 

We are pretty excited about the change; it should bring awesome new experiences. Poor Elder Ivey. So far his whole mission has just been moving from place to place and trying to organize new areas. But we can do it! He is adapting so well and there is so much I am learning from him. Despite how different we seemed to be at first he and I have been getting along super well! I will really enjoy serving with him and training him. A big bummer about this whole thing is we are leaving a ward that I have gotten very close with. I have made so many awesome new friendships here and I will miss everyone so much. The biggest bummer for both me and Elder Ivey is we will now be missing out on the progression of our investigators. For instance, Troy now has an official date for baptism! He and his son will be baptized on Dec 7th!!!!!!!!! On top of that, another investigator we had (who I don't think I told you guys about) is scheduled to be baptized on Dec 14th!!!!!!! His name is Stephen and he is so ready to make the atonement a key part of his life and come closer to Christ though covenants. He is solid! We will most likely be able to drive back down here for their baptisms but I really was looking forward to watching them progress and progressing with them. But we are so blessed to be a part of their conversion thus far an we know the next elders will do great with them. And we will do everything in our power to make Jefferson City explode with the gospel and help everyone there progress further and endure to the end (we hear that it has been struggling lately). 

Sorry to change addresses so soon again, but here's the next one:

101 Amador Ave Apt 36
Jefferson City, MO 65109

Hopefully that one is a little more permanent. 

I think that's it for this week. Oh wait! I tried deer heart for the first time last night. It was like a more chewy steak. Not bad. We also had some of the most amazing street lessons I've every had. I wish I could tell you about them but that would just take way too long. 

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support. Keep it coming! I love you all so much! Keep up the faith. Look for opportunities to bless the lives around you. 

Love, Elder Curtis :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Transfer 2

Hi everybody!

It has been a crazy week! I can't begin to tell you. 
My new companion is Elder Ivey, form St George, Ut. He's pretty great, it will just take me some time to get used to him. I can already tell that I will grow a lot through this companionship in many ways, not just because it's my first time training and I'm doing it so early... I am excited to work with him and learn from him. We are so different from each other so it's cool to see how two very different people can have the same testimony and unite in one cause! 
Despite the craziness we were able to go see some people, such as Troy! He kinda has a date rescheduled! Even though he wanted to be baptized pretty bad he really wants to take his time. We don't have an exact date with him but he was thinking like the end of December. Well we were able to talk him into being ready before that. I really believe he can and he need not put it off. We were able to compromise and go for the middle/beginning of December. This week though at our apartment we are going to show him a baptismal calender and map out all the lessons for him to show him he can be ready and then we will testify that with the help of Christ, through the Spirit he can and WILL be ready. He just needs to doubt his doubts. 
We are also going to try and get a date ready for an investigator of ours named Rachel. She is so ready, there is just a lot of chaos in her life. But I know she can do it. 
The work really is beginning to explode! We just got an new ward mission leader who is great! I see a lot of wonderful things happening with the ward through him. There were a couple people we were hoping to get for the calling and he was one of them, so hopefully things go well with that. I will suggest that book to him, dad. Thanks for that! 

That's all I can really say this week. I need to go get a haircut now. 
I hope everyone is continuing to do well. Thank you for all of your love, prayers and support. I am overwhelmed with the love I feel from everyone back home. This week I had 34 new emails!...? You all rock!
Just a reminder, if you are going to send something make sure you use USPS. In the new apartment only USPS can get in to give us the letter/package. Any other shipping company will send it back to you.

I love you all so much!!

-Elder Curtis

Friday, November 8, 2013

Transfers. New Address!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all are doing well and are reaping the joys that living the gospel brings!

I have some exciting news. On Tuesday night we got a call from the zone leaders and they told me that I will be training a new missionary next transfer. Yup, I will be training. I don't know why. I mean I just got done officially training and I am still getting used to everything and there are scores of elders more experienced than I am, but I guess The Lord wants me to train. I feel so inadequate to do it but I know I am called of God and therefore I am qualified. He seems to trust me, and I trust Him with all my heart so if this is His will then I know I can do it. I was shocked when I got the call. That wasn't what I was expecting at all. I didn't understand why I was being asked to do this so early in my mission, but I guess I have been prepared for this and I am not on my own at all. On top of training though, they are moving me to a different area. So I will training in an area that I am not familiar with. Should be fun. I am being moved to St Louis Hills 1. 
So last week our ward boundaries were changed. Before our ward (Carondelet Ward) was split into 3 different areas: Carondelet 1 (me and Elder Vincent), Carondelet 2 (the other elders), and Carondelet 3 (the sisters). Well now the ward is called St Louis Hills Ward and is split into two different areas: St Louis Hills 1 and St Louis Hills 2. I will be located in St Louis Hills area 1 which is pretty much taking the place of Carondelet 2's area plus some whereas the sister missionaries will take my former area, formerly known and Carondelet 1, plus some. I hope that makes sense. So I've been moved, but at the same time I haven't because I'm still in the same ward. So my new boundaries east to west are the Mississippi River to Kingshighway Blvd. From North to South it goes to Arsenal Street to River Des Peres. If you look on a map you should be able to figure that out fairly easily. 
Along with the new area they are giving me the other elders apartment (address below). 
I get my new missionary on Wednesday. Until then I will enjoy the rest of my time with Elder Vincent and continue working as hard as I can for the Lord. Oh! Troy finally came to church!! He loved it and he said he want to come every week now with his family. He is also designating every Thursday evening to the discussions. We finally have a progressing investigator!! I don't know if you remember, But he was originally scheduled to get baptized last month but he never kept commitments. Well he is now scheduled for the end of this month. Hopefully all goes well. 
The week was full of tender mercies from God. We were completely out of our monthly funds the whole week as well as food. Like really, we had no food at all, but SOMEHOW we had breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. Every day was a miracle. We are so blessed and Heavenly Father loves us so much. 
I love each of you all so much and hope for all of Gods blessings to be with you. Remember that giving up our own will and following Gods is the only way to true peace and joy. 
I hope you have a great week! 
-Elder Curtis

New address:
7412 Gravois Ave
St Louis, MO 63123
Apt. 1D

From two weeks ago...

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well! 
Things are so great here! So I told you about all of those referrals we got, right? Well we went to go see these potential investigators but none of them followed through except one. His name is Jerry Porter and we were able to sit down with him and have a really good lesson with him. He seemed so sincere and interested. He said he wanted us to come by the next day at 2:30, so we did. Well, there was no Jerry. So for a back up we had a whole list of people to go see. But we only found disappointment; nobody opened their doors and we were having no luck at all. We had another scheduled appointment at 4:30 so we made our way to that. Well, no answer. We were close to Jerry's house again so we tried to see if he would answer this time... no answer. We decided to give the other appointment another try but... no answer. We just wanted someone to talk to, but even the streets were simply empty. It was so bizarre! 
You might think this was a discouraging day, which it could have been, but I just knew Heavenly Father had something great in store for us. Well needless to say, I was right. Since nobody wanted that on the next day we would go see one of our "not very progressing" investigators, Antonio who is always willing to talk to us but is distracted so easily and usually cuts us off short in our lessons. but since he was the only one of our investigators that we hadn't tried yet we decided we should give him a try. 
We arrived at his door and knocked... but no answer. Then we heard someone calling for us behind us. This guy came running up the steps to us. He told us his name was Levi and said he really needed help. That's when he burst into tears. He explained how his family is falling apart and he doesn't have a clue what to do. He was desperate for anything and that's when he saw us and he just knew we would be able to help. We talked very briefly about how the gospel we teach about is designed by God Himself to bless our families. It was just what he needed to hear and he cried even harder. It was so touching. Unfortunately we couldn't teach him more because he had to get inside to some meeting. Turns out that starting on Friday he will be moving in right next door to Antonio!! How perfect! We gave him our number and told him we will be by real soon to talk to him more. Thanked us and then said, "If you're looking for Antonio, he's in the back." 
So we journeyed to the backyard and found Antonio and his wife there. They were thrilled to see us. We grabbed some chairs, sat down next to them and began talking about how they've been and all that stuff. The moment we began our lesson with him this guy just plopped down in a seat next to me and began listening to us as well. It seemed like he just came out of nowhere, but he was actually playing some catch with Antonio's son in the yard over and he decided to stop and listen to us. I hardly even noticed him when we entered the yard. 
But anyway, we continued our lesson. We taught about faith and felt inspired to read parts of Alma 32 with them. We stopped at every verse of so to explain and expand on what it was saying. Man, there was a great feeling there! It was the best Antonio has ever listened. And this random guy had all sorts of insights that led us to teaching even more then we expected. Many of his comments inspired me to read other scriptures and to ask them questions. This really got them thinking and many times they weren't quite sure how to express their answer (they were very deep questions). We would then read another scripture to answer for them or share our own insights and testimonies and they would just light up! They would then say things like "this is true!" and "wow, I've never thought of it like that. I like that." 
We could see the Spirit testifying to them of the truths we were sharing. It was so amazing and uplifting. We concluded with a commitment and a prayer. After that I turned to Kevin, (the random guy that sat down next to me) and offered him the Book of Mormon. He looked at me in awe and said, "You just read my mind. I was just thinking I want to get me one of those books." he graciously took it and a card with our number on it. On our way out we spoke with him about coming to church with us. He was a little skeptical at first for some reason but he said he will see if he can... 

Man, I wish you guys could have been there that day. It was a blessed day full of many more miracles. As is every day. I absolutely love my calling as a missionary!!! I love these people so much!! I know this gospel is our guide to eternal happiness and life with each other and with our loving Heavenly Father! I am so humbled and honored to wear Christ's name on my chest everyday. He is our perfect Savior. He is our perfect example. I am so grateful for the trust He has placed on someone so imperfect as me to bear His name and to represent Him to these people. It really just blows my mind how perfect He is and as missionaries and members of His church we need to be perfect as well. But He doesn't expect us to be perfect. He expects us to simply do our best. His grace is sufficient and His mercy is full to those who will follow Him and keep His commandments. The only thing we can be perfect in is repentance, and that is such a blessing!! 

I am so grateful for the atonement! I am so grateful for all of you! I love you all so much and I pray for you every day. I know that if we continue to do all that we can possibly do for The Lord then we will qualify for His eternal blessings and will one day live with our Heavenly Father once again, and we will bask in His glory which we too will obtain. Oh I can't wait for that!!!!!!!!!! 

I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you.

Love, Elder Curtis