Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Hello there!

I hope everyone is doing well and had a fantastic week.
I am doing really great here in Waterloo! My brand new, greenie companion's name is Elder Johnson. He is from Logan, Utah, or more specifically Nibley Utah. So far, I love him! He's great and very easy to work with. He has a deep desire to do good and to do his job as a missionary right, but especially a desire to help others. The greenie fire is burning all over him. I love it!
We had three appointments scheduled for the day after he arrived and one for the day of, but they all cancelled, so he learned very quickly how things work around here. However, we were able to get him one lesson this week with our awesome investigator, Alyssa. Earlier in the week Elder Bowen and I met with her and ended up setting a date for her baptism! Thursday was our follow-up appointment and we had decided to reteach her the restoration. It all went great and she has been keeping the commitments we left her such as reading the Book of Mormon and praying. She is starting to recognize and understand the feelings of the Spirit. We have hight hopes and good feelings about Alyssa.
Our appointment we made with Pat, who we met on Monday of last week, ended up being one of the three appointments that cancelled. But, through coordinating with his initial fellowshipper we were able to reschedule an appointment with Pat for this coming Thursday. And guess what? Pat asked if he could bring three other friends of his to the lesson as well! We are overjoyed! I can't wait to get in there and teach these guys.
One other thing going on this week: tomorrow we have the opportunity to go to a Cardinals game! Every year the Cardinals baseball team has a "Mormon Night". This year I guess they asked for a missionary presence at the game, so all of the missionaries in the four zones surrounding St Louis will be at the game. I'm pretty excited about it. I've never been to a baseball game, especially a professional one, but being out here where baseball is HUGE, I have definitely caught the Cardinal Fever.
Another cool thing that happened this week: There was an investigator here named Tiffany that has been meeting with the missionaries for alomost four years. When I got here it was primarily the Sister missionaries working with her, but I had the privilage of working with her quite a bit. Over the weekend she was finally baptized and confirmed! It was so awesome to witness her make that first step toward home and to see the tremendous support from the branch that has grown to love her so much over the years. It was truly a glorious and joyous occasion. Angels sang praises the entire time.
Things are continuing to look up here and slowly but surly we are progressing with this area. I absolutely love this church and this gospel. I absolutely love Jesus Christ and I love my Father in Heaven. This is His work!

-Elder Curtis


This Is Brother Bergman. He took us fishing one morning. He is so funny just becuase he is so old and always has a disgruntled look on his face. What a stud!


Me and Elder Bowen. Check out my shnazy tie!
A proud father of two: Elder Ivey, Elder Curtis, Elder Johnson. And once again, observe the beauty of the tie.
I've gotta spend two whole transfers with this guy?​

​Jesus Christ wants YOU!

July 14, 2014

Hey guys!

It's been a rather long week over here in SO IL. (That's Southern Illinois). I went on exchanges this week with some Elders in my District to a small town called Mascoutah. Exchanges are always a good experience. It allows me to get one on one with the elders in my district to help them in any way that I can in their work and also their personal concerns. So I love that.

I can't believe it, but it's already been six weeks since I got to Waterloo, so that means transfer calls. Saturday night we got the news: Elder Bowen is going to be leaving me and I am staying here in Waterloo where I will be training a new missionary for the second time. Ahhh! There is nothing more nerve-racking to me than training. You never know who you're gonna get and there is so much on the line. So I've been kind of restless the last couple of nights awaiting Wednesday morning, but I'm excited to train again. It's fun and it's good to go over the basic principles of missionary work again. I'm obviously going to learn and grow a lot, so I'm looking forward to it.

This morning we met with a young member of the branch who is preparing to serve a mission in Mexico. He wanted to introduce his friend Patrick to the missionaries! Awesome right? We discussed our basic believes and introduced The Book of Mormon to him. On Thursday morning we will meet up again to teach him the restoration! It's going to be great, I just know it. He is a super solid guy and has a genuine desire to do good.

We were unable to to see many of our investigators this week but should be able to next week for sure. I pray an hope that they will continue to progress and come to understand the things we are teaching them. It is the greatest feeling ever to see someone receive their witness of the truth of this gospel and give up all of their desires to follow Christ. To be a witness of that so often is just the best thing I could ever ask for. Life is so wonderful. :)

-Elder Curtis

July 7, 2014

Hello everybody!!

I don't quite know that I have many highlights from the week, other than setting a baptismal date with one of our investigators, Julia... So I guess that's pretty cool. The date is set for Sept. 11, but we'll be working to get that moved up sooner, which I'm sure will happen as she continues to learn, grow and understand the gospel. She is awesome; she's been reading the Book of Mormon and is actually retaining it very well. She is in 1 Nephi chapter 11 and can easily tell us everything that's been going on so far. The key right now is for her to pray about it. So if you could keep her in your prayers, that would be fantastic.

Also, if you could keep another investigator of ours in your prayers: Marry. She is going through some very hard trials right now. She desperately needs the help that the gospel brings, and she knows it, but let's just say her kids make it very hard for her. Please, please pray for Marry!

Transfer calls come this Saturday, so I will let you know if I am getting transferred again next week. I'm pretty sure I'm going to stay in Waterloo and my companion will be leaving, but we'll see. I can't believe how fast this transfer has gone though. This might have been the fastest transfer of my whole mission. I sure hope the rest of them don't go by this fast.

The 4th was awesome! We were able to spend the evening with some members in the branch: We enjoyed fishing, lawn games, delicious food, homemade ice-cream and very exciting fireworks... I discovered an unknown love I have for croquet.

That's all I've got for you today. I am doing great, the work is moving forward and I absolutely love every bit of it!

I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Love, Elder Curtis

June 30, 2014

It has been a fantastic week.

So much has happened, I don't think I'd ever get everything out into email, but there are a few things I know I want to share with you today.

We picked up four investigators this week! Woohoo! We still have loads of potential investigators to go see as well, so the work is really taking off right now.
I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with a set of missionaries in my district last week. One of them, Elder Buhler, is from American Fork, so he and I had lots to talk about. He said he knows Jenna DeHoyes and has been to their house a few times. He also told me that The Purple Turtle burnt down... Is that true?
The next day I was with an Elder Campbell, working in his area which is Belleville IL. It was a long, hot day full of lot's of walking and riding those fun city buses. At the end of the day, after trying to contact some of their potential investigators but not finding much success, we made our way back to the metro station to catch the next train to the bus station. Walking up the ramps to the boarding area, we passed a man sitting on a bench. I gave him a smile and a friendly 'hello' and kept walking up the ramp. Immediately I got this impression that that man needed us to talk to him. But for some half-witted reason I kept walking until we came to the other end of the boarding area and sat down next to another young man and talked to him a little bit as we awaited the arrival of the train.
When it arrived I got on the vacant train and took the nearest seat to me. A few moments later the same man I said hello to on the ramp walked past and sat down about half a dozen rows in front of us. I thought it was odd that he sat there. He must have walked the entire, nearly empty train to sit there. Once again I got that impression that he needed us to talk to him. Still I sat there. But I couldn't get him out of my mind. I looked at him and I was overcome with feelings of concern for him and thought there was no visible evidence I just knew he was having a very rough day. Still I sat there. If the Spirit wasn't a still, small voice, it would have been screaming at me because it was telling me very clearly and powerfully that this man needed comfort. Simply stupid rationalizations kept coming to my head such as 'Oh, I wont have enough time to get anywhere with him because we're getting off on the first stop and we're halfway there anyway.' Well this is when I felt the quiet, gentle screams of the Spirit as it chastised me for already wasting so much time. Then I swear it nudged me halfway off my seat. I finally, finally came to my senses, brought myself to my feet, and walked over to him. As I sat down in the seat across from him I said, "Hey! Been a hard day, huh?"
Surprised, he looked at me and opened his mouth to say something that would have been a optimistic response, but resisting the urge to lie, he very very quietly said, "Yes."
With 100% guidance from the Spirit I explained how I had been impressed to come over there and tell him "Jesus Christ loves you very much and He is here for you. God loves you." I can't remember everything that came out of my mouth, but I remember bearing testimony of Christ talking about the scripture in Matthew 11:28-30 and encouraging him to come unto Christ. As this happened I literally saw the light come back into his wet eyes. I saw that hope that he had lost return to him.
As the train slowed for the stop, he asked what stop I was getting off. I told him "Right here". He shook my hand and thanked me. I left him with a card in his hand and hope in his soul.
This is what this gospel brings: Access to the healing, cleansing, enabling power of the atonement of Christ, which gives us reason and ability to believe, hope, and endure all things. This is the work of Salvation: To share that with all of Gods children, that they too may have full access to the atonement and enjoy the presence of the God's Holy Spirit. It is the duty of all them who have been warned to warn his neighbor.
Leaving the train, I felt the familiar peace of testifying of Christ and helping another. However, I was also brought to humble correction of my ignorance and procrastination. Oh how I wish I had obeyed that first prompting given to me by the Spirit. How much more could I have helped that man? I have no idea what he was going through that day, but it was quite evident that God did and was desperate to give him the help he desperately needed. God works through us to help those in need of help. It is up to us if we answer the call to help or not. After that experience and thinking of what might have happened had I continued to ignore the prompting, I don't ever want to miss another opportunity. I still haven't quite gathered all of my thoughts on this. There is so much I have to learn about God and following and recognizing His Spirit from this one experience alone. I want to be more in tune and especially more willing to follow. That is my goal.
I know God is real. I know Jesus Christ is God's Son, who came to this earth to put on Himself all of our pains, trials, weaknesses and afflictions so that we could overcome all things and become like God. I know He did overcome all things, therefore we can too. I know that as we continue in faith, believing and trusting in His word, He will work mighty miracles in our lives. And as we trust Him completely and give ourselves to Him, He will improve our nature, helping us become more like Him. I know Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He is here to help us. This is His church and His gospel and all things in it will help us find happiness. All things are possible to us because He lives! I know He lives.
I hope all of you will see the Lords hand in your life each day this week, and give thanks to Him for all He has done for you. I want to thank each of you for the influence you have had on me by following the Spirit on my behalf. I pray for your continual love and patience for me as I keep working on being more Christlike to you.
I love you all so much!
-Elder Curtis

June 23, 2014

Hey everybody!

Things are still going alright here in Waterloo. Things are still slow... for now. We had something really cool happen on Monday: We had gone fishing that day (like I've done every P-day since I've been with Elder Bowen). But afterward we were talking about it and how fishing relates to the gospel which turned out to be a very good analogy that we tied in with scripture in Alma and used it for our spiritual thought at dinner that night which we were having a members house. After the dinner we gathered together in the other room where we were invited to share a message with them. We gave our analogy about fishing and gave the scripture. Sometimes you can share a good message with a family and it goes well and the Spirit is present. Other times you can share a message with a family and the Spirit is just consuming, overwhelming and thick. This time the Spirit was there and it was indeed overwhelming. At the conclusion of the message we asked if the family could think of anyone struggling with a death in the family, a troubled teen, a new move-in or has had a baby recently and if they would be willing to introduce us to them. Well, one member of the family in particular was indeed inspired at that time and all sorts of people came to his mind that he hadn't considered seriously before. It was so awesome! At the end of the day we had eleven referrals to go see. The next day we received two more! This member wanted to talk to all of the people beforehand to ask if it would be alright if he brought the missionaries to them to share a message and all of them except one I think have accepted that invitation. So this week we are going to get together with this member and go meet his friends and invite them to learn more about our Saviors gospel and come closer to Him. Among other things that happened last week, our area is just stacked with so much potential. It's so great!!
I love being out here to witness for Christ and to see His hand so clearly in the lives of everyone around me.
I love you all so much. I hope you have a fantastic week, as I am sure I will. ;)

Love, Elder Curtis

June 16, 2014

I can't believe how fast this week has gone by. It has been a slow yet enjoyable one. Elder Bowen is a guy who loves to have fun and make people laugh, so he's keeping me entertained most of the time. The stake I am in had mini missions this week, which is when they send their youth who are sixteen and up to spend the week with the missionaries and experience first hand what missionary work and life is all about. How cool is that! I wish I had that opportunity.

We were given an 18 year old named Devon Bledsoe, who is actually the grandson of Bishop Bledsoe who lives down in Poplar Bluff, so it was fun to have a common cohort with him. He got to bring his own car which was great because it saved us lots of miles on our car! However, he was rather reckless with his driving and he drove over several things you're not supposed to drive your car over, including an entire round-about... He was also quite the deep sleeper. He would never wake up when the alarm would go off in the morning. One morning we put the alarm clock right up to his face as it was going off. He didn't move at all. If it wasn't for his snoring we would have guessed he was dead. We finally got him up and we started getting ready for the day. I came out of the bathroom to find him standing right next to the wall with his head leaning against it, fast asleep. We had to slap the wall to wake him up. I've never seen someone sleep ON the wall before, especially when standing up. I enjoyed having Devon around. I just feel bad for the guy; we didn't get a single lesson in with him this week. We mostly did service.

We struggled finding new people to teach this week as well. I just want to find someone golden and solid so bad. All of our investigators have bailed out on us this week. But that's just part of the experience. I was reading an article by Elder Richard G Scott and a part of it really helped me and opened my mind to more revelation and peace to my soul. It said, "What sometimes seems like and impenetrable barrier... is a giant step to be taken in trust." It seems like I've been in a slump for the past few months where I'm doing everything I can to serve and help people come closer to Christ, but my efforts have not quite presented the results that I want and no matter what I do, nothing changes that. It has been what feels like an impenetrable barrier. But the Lord is in this work. It is not MY work. It is His. And I know that if I continue to work hard for Him, all will be well and work out. The same applies for non-missionary life too. It doesn't matter what we want to happen. What matters is what the Lord wants to happen. He knows all and He knows "how to succor His people" and as we follow Him, giving Him all of our trust, He will guide us and bless us and use us to bless the lives of those around us. It doesn't matter what difficulties we are facing. What difficulty is there that Christ hasn't overcome? With God nothing is impossible. All things are possible if we have faith in Him.

I am grateful for the Spirit and for it's gentle reminders to me of these things. They keep my hope burning and keeps me going through the slumps of missionary life. I know blessing will come. They may not come today, or tomorrow or even in this life, but to those who follow Christ and embrace His gospel, they come. Be a good boy. Be a good girl. Keep moving forward. The Spirit will guide you.

Thank you for all of you in my life and for faithful friends and family who keep in touch so well. I hope you all have a fantastic week. I love you guys!

-Elder Curtis

Monday, June 9, 2014


Hey everyone!
So, I'm in Waterloo, Illinois now. So that's fun. Every transfer puts me in a smaller town than the last. It's so weird here; it's so flat and there is corn everywhere... Everywhere. My first day here we got picked up by a member to go give another member a blessing. He picked us up at our apartment which is in the middle of town and then not even two minutes of driving later we were surrounded by nothing but fields of corn. One second we were in civilization, literally the next second we weren't.
On Thursday we had district meeting. After which we had district lunch at KFC. Looking out the window I saw a spacious corn field. On the other side of that, a Walmart. On one side of the more busy streets here there is a pizza hut, applebees, department stores and so on. On the other side of that street is nothing but corn fields. Everything neighbors corn here! I can't get over it.
It's kind of been a long week, but transfer weeks are always weird for me. We have many service opportunities throughout the week such as building houses and taking down hangers at thrift stores. When I got here we had 5 investigators. We had a lesson with one of them whose name is Alyssa. We taught her the word of wisdom. She took it very well and is committed to living it. She is progressing well; she has a date for July 19th. Awesome!! I am very excited to be teaching her. Last night we stopped by to teach her and her friend Tiffany, who is also investigating and has a date but she is technically the sister missionaries investigator. They had company over and we were able to teach them about the book of Mormon, the priesthood, and a little bit of the plan of salvation. We exchanged contact information and set up times to meet with them again. That's two new investigators!
The branch here is great so far. They are very friendly and eager for missionary opportunities. Elder Bowen and I are getting along well. He is from Wanship, UT which is a little bit south of Coalville. He has some of the best people skills I've ever seen. The trick is getting him to use them.
I definitely have my work cut out for me here, but whom the Lord calls, He qualifies. I am excited to serve in this area now, and I am going out with more eagerness than ever before! How blessed am I to be a part of this marvelous work! It truly is a marvelous work. I love serving the Lord!
I hope all of you are doing well and have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Curtis

PS. Dad, good luck with your new project at work, as well as your self-inflicted project at home. Haha! I wish I was there to help you. Take care. I love you.

6-2-14 (Transfer News)

Want to know what the worst part of being on a mission is for me? Transfers. As many of you have guessed, I will be leaving Poplar Bluff and going to Waterloo Illinois to serve as the district leader there and my new companion will be an Elder Bowen.
I can't believe how attached you can get to someone in such a short amount of time. There are so many people here that I've grown to love so much and evidently the feeling is mutual. It felt like it took more than an hour to leave church because all people wanted to do was say goodbye. Funny thing actually: my companion, Elder Davis, apparently doesn't really know how to make a good appearance because every single week since he got here without fail some member of the ward would come up to him and ask if he was new because they had "never seen him before". He's been here two transfers and yesterday even more people where asking him when he had gotten here because they didn't recognize him! As we were leaving, one sister told him she is excited to get to know him... That same family has had us over three times since he's been here.
With the news of me leaving this week and everyone just now realizing Elder Davis is a thing, everyone was just very confused I think. Hopefully Elder Davis will have more attention with me out of the way.
I haven't had a transfer call that I was particularly excited about yet, and this one doesn't exactly change that. I don't know if I'm just sad to leave so many people I love, leaving my wonderful companion for someone I know is going to be difficult, or going to Illinois which is even more flat than Missouri, but it's got me feeling kind of bitter. However, the Lord has proved my bitter feelings about every transfer wrong so far, so I have trust that He will continue to do so. I am going on with a good attitude and I keep practice looking for the good in all things and people and I already know for a fact that I am going to learn so much because of this change.
That's all I've got for this week. I love you all and I hope each of you have a blessed week.
Love, Elder Curtis


Hey everybody!
It's been a rather slow, yet still pretty crazy week. We had hardly any appointment follow through but we were able to visit a less active and we had a awesome lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was so cool because I'm sure it was the strongest he had felt the spirit in such a long time. Usually our appointments with him (if they follow through) are, to be frank, dull. I don't know what exactly it was this time but he was definitely more open and inviting to the spirit and it showed. On Sundee we had the pleasure of seeing him come to church! Granted he was a couple hours late, but he still came! It was so great to see him come back and I really think he enjoyed the lesson given in the third hour.
The appointment we had with Stacy Kemp fell through. Apparently right before we got there she had a seizure. As far as we know she is doing okay. We don't know why she didn't make it to church but we will be trying to meet up with her again.
Memorial day was nice. We drove up to Cape Girardeau and played softball with the whole zone. So that was fun.
We had many, many service opportunities this week. Mostly painting but also some moving. In fact we've spent the entire day up until now doing service. And we did so much painting this week that I almost felt like the Lord wanted me to get the idea that I need to pursue it for a career or something. I hope that's not true though.
I do love giving service though. It's so fulfilling. Many people out here aren't very comfortable with the idea of receiving service without giving some sort of payment, so that's annoying sometimes...
I will hit my ten month mark in a couple of days. It blows my mind at how fast all of this has gone by. There really is no time to waste.
Transfer calls come on Saturday. I have a feeling I will be leaving Poplar Bluff. There are always more bitter feelings about leaving an area because I grow to love the people so much, but I look forward to offering my service to new areas.
That's all I've got for you this week. I hope each of you stay safe and have a wonderful week.
I love you all!
-Elder Curtis


What a fantastic week it has been!
We kicked it off with an awesome zone conference (which is a meeting where all of the missionaries serving in a zone [which is equivalent to a stake] get together with the mission president and other office missionaries and have lots of trainings and what not). It was a wonderful time and I received so much spiritual guidance. I loved it!
I don't know if you remember, but ever since long before I ever got to Poplar Bluff the Elders have struggled to find people to teach, but on Wednesday we found TWO!! Haha! I remember when finding two investigators in a week wasn't very uncommon, but I haven't had that joy in quite a while, so I freaking happy!
We had an appointment with our investigator, Theresa (the one we found at pizza hut) and we were actually able to come in, sit down and have a lesson which hasn't happened in over a month due to illness, work, etc. But we finally got in and we read the Book of Mormon with them... Well, her cousin just so happened to be there that day and he sat in with us and read with us, asked question and all manner of good things for an investigator to do. He had a few concerns about our religion which we were able to resolve easily and he was very accepting of everything we said. We got his address and scheduled an appointment with him for this Wednesday.
Shortly after that lesson we went tracting. Of all the doors I have tracted on my mission I have never had anyone invite us in on the first approach, but we knocked on a door which opened up to Stacy Kemp, who after a brief introduction to our church and the Book of Mormon accepted our request to sit down with her and give her our message. We taught the restoration and she took all of it so well. I knew she felt the spirit as she willfully accepted our invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and what he told her. When we asked if we could come back another time to talk to her more she wanted us to come over the next day; so we did!
She explained that we had left such a strong impression on her that she drove around looking for our church so she would know where it is and she read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it. Although she claims she has not received an answer yet, we know one will come to her- she doesn't know it yet, but she knows it's true.
We taught the plan of salvation to her which went very well. We felt prompted to give her a subtle invitation to be baptized but she said she doesn't want to make such a commitment until she was on a "higher spiritual level" which isn't a valid excuse all, but don't worry, we'll work that out. She wasn't able to come to church this week due to family things, but she is committed to attending next week and bringing her niece with her. We have another appointment with her tomorrow and I am so excited! I love teaching the gospel!
There's so much more I want to share with you today, but I really don't know how. Mainly I just want to express the joys of my heart for the gospel, Christ, being able to have this opportunity to literally represent Christ and proclaim His word and to first handedly experience the atonement at work. It is the most amazing thing. I can't tell you how much I love it!
The church is true and I know it! It is true because of Christ- it is His church.
I love you all. May all of you come more unto Christ this week and partake of His sweet peace and love.

-Elder Curtis

Monday, May 12, 2014


I can't believe how fast time has gone by. It seems like not all that long ago I was talking to my family on Christmas. Now Mothers Day is already passed and gone.
It was so great to see so many faces and hear the voices of people I love so much. I am so grateful for this gospel and the knowledge I have that I can be with the people I love the most forever. What a sweet and simple truth that is. I can't imagine living without that comforting truth in mind. I imagine things would be a lot harder to cope with and it would be so much easier to become bitter.
I was on exchanges last week with one of our zone leaders in Cape Girardeau where we spent most of the evening tracting. The last door on one of the streets we tracted opened up and we were introduced to a very cheerful man named Matt; we talked to him for quite a while. He explained his accurate belief that church should be for developing a personal relationship with God instead of what man makes it out to be in many cases. He explained how churches have literally asked him not to come back to their congregation because of some of the questions and personal beliefs he has such as: we had "free will" before we were born and we could make choices for ourselves; Satan is necessary because without him we would not have bad things happen to us and therefore we would not be happy; drinking is bad and alcohol should not be partaken of; family is the most important thing.
Obviously this guy is so ready to receive the gospel! He explained to us that he is open to religion and listening to us but his wife is currently very angry at God for "taking her child away". I wanted to go to this woman and give her a big hug. I would recite Moroni 8 to her and bare my testimony of it. We told Matt that we could tell them where that child is and I think that sparked his interests a bit more, so we were able to set up a time to talk with him again. I haven't heard anything from the zone leaders about him yet, but I just have this wonderful feeling that the gospel is going to be a huge part of their lives.
How blessed we are to have these truths and to know that they really are true! I know God loves His children and desires their happiness. I know He reveals truth to prophets so that we can know what His plan for us is. What's more beautiful than that is we don't have to take His servants word for it. We can have that personal relationship with God and receive His truth through the Holy Ghost. I know each and every thing He asks us to do is for our happiness. Everything is stacked in our favor to be happy because we have a perfect savior to redeem us from sin and weaknesses as well as personal revelation from God Himself to guide us. How I hope each of us will continue to embrace the gospel and it's teachings and continue to embrace it more and more so that we may truly have lasting happiness.
I love you all so much.

-Elder Curtis

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Hi guys!

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful season and giving thanks to God for His beautiful creations for us to enjoy. Before I left cluttered St Louis, everything out here was already dead and ugly for the winter, so now I am finally experiencing the beautiful and plentiful green trees and fields and it truly is beautiful... It can't quite compare to the awesome mountains back home though.

Since almost all of our work with non-members has crashed and burned (excluding the awesome Lewis family baptized two weeks ago) ever since and long before I arrived here, I have fasted and prayed for the direction God would have us go with this area. God has been kind and has guided us to our answer; we decided it's time for a different approach/focus...
We have been working furiously with the members of our ward to familiarize themselves with and implement Preach My Gospel and it is going very well. Our goal is to turn this ward into a missionary minded people. We have met with many of the active members and have created family mission plans with them in order to help them see how they can be a part of this marvelous work that is moving boldly and independent of them but can move more quickly and effectively with their efforts and can bring them greater happiness than ever experienced before! This plan helps each family member see that there really no excuse not to be a missionary everyday. Missionary work does not have to be uncasual!
We have already seen success in this plan and I know it will have a lasting effect on this people to help further the work here in the future.

We had an awesome Zone-Leader Training last week. One training we had from an Elder Christiansen we 100% testimony. He had every missionary stand and give a simple, heartfelt, and bold testimony. So each of us did that and he followed with his testimony of testimonies. I can't tell you how thick the Spirit was, but it was unforgettable. Our testimonies are so important. We need them and we need to share them. People need our testimonies and we need to share them. Like really, we need to share them. We cannot keep our testimony if we selfishly keep it to ourselves. "that which one willing shares, he keeps." -Thomas S. Monson.
So share a testimony! It will brighten your day and will bring you peace and strength and will also allow you to build on to what you have.

I am so excited for mothers day!!! I can't wait to talk to my beloved family! Mom, I want to talk directly to you and tell you I love you so much! You are the best. You're the sweetest woman I know and good things that I am and all the good that I do I owe to you. Though I never deserved it you have been so good to me you still sacrificed and did so much for me. And though I am the worst at showing it, I am immensely and eternally grateful for you and the Christ-like woman you are. You are a valiant woman of God and your example alone has had the greatest effect on me and all those around you. I think I can speak for all nine of your children, all six of your grandchildren and dad when I say you are the best and you are the most important woman in our lives and we will always love and cherish you and everything you have done and do for us. We are forever in your debt. Thank you so much for being exactly what you needed to be for me and thank you for your pure, charitable love and for your unceasing patience. Please forgive me for the grief I know I have caused you. I love you mom! I love you forever!

And Sarah, I'm sorry I never wished you happy birthday. I remembered your birthday, I just forget to say anything about it... my bad. I love you though, and I hope your birthday was fantastic! :)

Oh, back on mothers day, you can expect a call sometime after 4:30 your time. I don't know exactly when, so I apologize in advance for any unwanted suspense this may cause. I don't know what time Jen will get on either but hopefully it will work out that she can call at the same time. Happy mothers day to my fantastic grandmas and my beautiful sisters as well! Love you guys!

I hope all of you have a great week! I know if you put Christ first in your life you will be blessed to have all things work out perfectly for you. Always do good and remember, Jacob 6:12 :)


-Elder Aaron Curtis

I told you all I would be able to write more this week now that our regular library is open again; from the response I got this week about my past couple of email it's like nobody believed me. Be not of little faith; everything is back to normal now. :) I promise writing this email is one of my highest priorities every week; second only to writing my mission president.

Oh! And happy Cinco De Mayo and late Star Wars Day!!


Hi everyone!

I apologize in advance for another short email, but the library we usually use has been closed for a few weeks and so we are forced to use another which doesn't allow us to use the computers for more than an hour and due to the mass of emails I receive each week I do not have time to reply or write very much because I read everything first. So I am very sorry to all of you who I have not written and I thank you for your patience and love and your emails which I love so much.
I have maybe a minute left so I would just like to bear testimony of Christ. I know He lives and loves us. I know He is with each of us and cares for us. We cannot fully understand His love for us, but still we can know He does love us. I know He does. I know there is no power in the universe that can separate us from that love.

I love you all! have a great week!

Monday, April 21, 2014


Hey!! Super short on time. Here is a photo of the baptism! IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!! Of course the Spirit was so strong! The Lewis' were so happy. I've never seen people so happy. It was a truly wonderful and unforgettable experience. I am so happy. 

Sorry, that's literally all I have time for. 

Have a great week!

Love Elder Curtis

Monday, April 14, 2014

Star Wars Marathon

Aaron found out that Brandon and Sam were planning a Star Wars marathon. He sent them this picture saying, "Here I am, ready for the Star Wars marathon that I can't even watch. Just imagine me there watching it with you." Poor Aaron.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


What's up y'all!

It's been a good, crazy week down here in the boot hills of Missourah. Tuesday and Wednesday of last week was spent in a little town called Dexter. I was on exchanges with the two other elders in my district. I've reaffirmed my decision that I don't ever want to live a super small town. It just gives me the heebie-jeebies. However, it does seem that the smaller towns have the best food, so visits are tolerable.
I don't know if anyone was aware of this or not because not even our mission president was aware, but we had a tornado on Friday night. Super epic. We were in the middle of a lesson on Friday evening when the thunder came. It was so loud and there was so much! It was so exciting! Then the tornado warning texts came and we were driving back home. Not long after arriving back at the apartment we heard the sirens. I never saw the funnel, but one touched down on the south side of Poplar Bluff. Luckily there was no real damage to any buildings or no injuries. We were supposed to get baseball sized hail, but that never happened. Storms get real out here.
I LOVED conference so much! I sat all amazed at the messages given to us. It was a witness to me about the reality of my calling as a representative of Christ just as each of the speakers are. For many weeks prior to conference I have had many, many scriptures, thoughts/inspirations and concerns. When I get a scripture thought or an insight or inspiration I usually use it as a teaching opportunity when we give a spiritual thought after having a meal at a members house or I incorporate it into a the training I am supposed to give to my district each week. Well, the past few weeks have been filled with many new insights and scripture thoughts to share. Almost every single talk given in General Conference used a scripture or a thought I have been thinking about and sharing for a while. It was so cool! For example, Helaman 5:12 has been on my mind a lot, and it was mentioned in conference at least twice. The last part of 1 Cor. 13 was something I put a lot of thought into recently and it was brought up in Priesthood session. One night I could not sleep; the Spirit prompted me to get up and read Hebrews, so I did. Since then I have been thinking about Hebrews a bunch- Elder Holland quoted a whole heap of scriptures I loved from Hebrews. One week in district meeting I left the commitment to each of the missionaries to meet with all the members of their ward/branch and make sure they have a copy of Preach My Gospel and to teach them lessons from Chapter 9 in there and to commit them to study it themselves. Did Elder Ballard not just commit members everywhere to do that same thing? Sister Curtis, all the way in West Virginia just left the same commitment in her email. All of these things are testimony to me that I am called to represent Jesus Christ. My voice is His voice. I am doing His work just as the apostles are. Whether by His own voice or the voice of His servants, it is the same.
I want to back up Elder Ballard and my sister by extending the same commitment to all of you to get your own personal copy of Preach My Gospel. Study it. Love it. Live it. I promise blessings will flow to you. When the missionaries in my district were given the commitment, they went forth and did it and we have seen miracles because of it. One couple in Dexter is literally saving their marriage through it. I promise miracles will come into your life if you do the same. I want to know what you're studying too. Share. I truly believe that we don't fully learn something until we share it. So tell me. Tell others. Tell everybody!
This is a special time to be on the earth. We are preparing each other and the world for the return of Jesus Christ! How cool is that!

I love this work. I love this gospel. Oh how I love my Savior! I love you all so dearly and I think of you oft.

-Elder Aaron Curtis

P.S. Congratulations on hitting your year mark Jen Jen! Keep doing such great things. You are a tremendous example and I love you so so much!

To my family: Have fun in Mt. Rushmore! I know that is going to be great. :)

To Olivia: I bought a brand new Pilot G2 gel pen and only used half of it even though I feel like I wrote just as much as last time. What about you?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Hello everyone, I have the most exciting news for you:
For the first time since September of last year, the Poplar Bluff Elders had an investigator come to church!!!!!!!!!! We finally have a progressing investigator!!! I haven't felt the joy of that since I was in Jefferson City. I can't begin expressing how happy this makes me feel!! AAHHH!! It's so great!!!

Theresa Coley brought herself, her husband and here three little boys to church despite her husbands horribly sprained ankle. and they even came early! It was so wonderful! Theresa is the one that we found miraculously through our appetite for hamburgers suddenly turning into the strongest craving for pizza hut. We are finally producing fruit!! :D
I knew things were going to start working out soon enough. I knew it! This feeling right now is worth every effort, all the stress, all the disappointment, and all the of fighting discouragement. All I had to face for this feeling only make this feeling even sweeter. What a blessing this whole experience has been. Christ truly is "an high priest of good things to come"!

The week has been crazy, crazy, crazy! I don't feel like I should share any details of what happened. It's a district leader confidentiality thing. But everything that did happen opened my eyes to how God prepares us for certain things. He places us where we are needed. While resolving everything that was going on I realized that many things I have gone through before and during my mission prepared me for this week. The Lords timing truly is perfect and God truly does what is best for us. Therefore, He allows us to go through things that are difficult. He allows us, in our weakness, to fall. He will then make that weakness strong and He will then lift us higher and then work through us to lift others with us. All things work out for our good. I know it.

I need to get going now. Everybody, do good, be good, feel good. Have a fantastic week! I love all you very much!

Oh, and family, it's Dericks birthday today, in case you forgot. :)

-Elder Curtis :D

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lose Your Life

Hello hello!

It's been a busy week. Not too much really happened, but it was busy nonetheless.
We were able to see most of our investigators this week, but none of them came to church.
One investigator, Teresia/Whoopie, who had been sober for many months now had a relapse just before our appointment with her. It was so sad to see her like that, especially after she had been doing so well. The next day, however, we were able to have probably the best lesson I've had with her. We talked about the atonement. We discussed her problems and she really opened up to us about her concerns. I know she was feeling the Spirit strongly and she was excited to attend church, I just don't know why she didn't show up this week.
We are co-teaching a family with the sisters here. Bob, Parker and Cami Lewis are their names; they are awesome! They came to church and we are meeting with them twice a week now. I don't know if I've ever seen anyone desire to understand something as much as Bob wants to understand the gospel. His only struggle is smoking, but I know he will be able to overcome that. They really are so awesome.
We've been finding a lot of new people to teach lately. The problem is we can never meet with them a second time so they never become actual investigators. We are not giving up though. I know we're going to have a breakthrough soon.
The past 8 months have been the most fulfilling of my life. Sometimes I can't believe just how happy I remain in facing disappointment. But this work is a joyful work.
I am so thrilled to here about the Smiths neighbor!!!!!! That is so cool!!! See! There is missionary work to be done in Utah! That is so exciting!! I can't really remember the last convert baptism in our ward. I don't think there has been one since I've been there. I can only imagine the excitement everybody is feeling. Keep it up! There is still so much to be done. Being able to participate in this work is a blessing enough, but more blessings are promised to those that do participate. And remember, those that lose their life in this work shall find it again, while those who keep their lives shall lose it. I know that's true. I challenge everybody to have the faith to lose your life in helping other come closer to Christ, and I promise blessings if you do.

I do hope each of you know how much I love you. You are all so dear to me.
Have an enjoyable week.
Love, Elder Curtis

Some Pictures...

The closest things to mountains they have out here: The Ozarks.
We found a slide. I had fun on the slide.
Elder Davis was so tired... After our planning session he fell asleep on the couch with his name tag on his head. Precious!

Monday, March 17, 2014

HOPE- Having Only Positive Expectations

Oh how I wish I could have seen Brandons' reaction to my spider experience! Sorry for scarring anyone... It was quite the night-mare but still a testimony building experience for me as I was able to handle everything I was faced with through divine assistance. In life we will face scary things that make us feel uncomfortable and aren't pleasant. Challenges are hard and difficulties are not easy to go through. We are going to be tempted to quit, knowing it will be so much easier to turn around go back. But relying on the Lord for all our strength and trusting Him; willingly trading our will for His, gives us the strength to endure it well. The Lord never promised it would be easy, but He does promise it will be worth it. I know that's true now more than ever before.

It's been a slow week but a good one just the same. My new companion, Elder Davis and I get along very well. It's easy to keep each other laughing which is such a blessing to me right now. I will miss Elder Julian; I may have struggled with him, but he has one of the purest hearts I've ever seen. He was such a great example to me in many ways and has definitely helped me learn more about the Savior.

We're still struggling to find people to teach. However, restaurants seem to be the place to find them around here. Remember how we found Theresa at Pizza Hut due to an instant craving of pizza rather than hamburgers? Well a couple days ago our hamburger crave decided it still needed to be justified, so we went out to lunch at a place called Steak and Shake. We were there, eating our food when a worker there, who must have noticed our "strange" apparel and the nametags came up to us and asked us what we do? We were happy to tell him what we are and what our purpose is. This led to us asking him if he would be willing to meet with us and talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. He was pleased to accept our invitation and gave us his contact information. His name is Jessie; we will hopefully be meeting with him tomorrow!
Goes to show again that the Spirit can guide you in many ways. Always listen to your stomach. :)

Being a district leader definitely keeps me busy. I'm not just thinking or worrying about me, my companion and my own area anymore. I have the responsibility of thinking and worrying about every other companionship and area in my district as well as helping them resolve problems/concerns, giving them approval to do various things, getting information form them non-stop... it's a lot. But there are blessing that come form it as well. The Lord definitely qualifies when He calls. I have felt the influence and instruction of the Spirit so powerfully on behalf of the missionaries I am over. It is so cool! I also get to give trainings in our weekly district meetings. Last week was my first district meeting I was in charge of. I gave a training on hope; one of my favorite Christ-like attributes. Near the beginning of my mission I realized that I didn't quite understand exactly what hope was, so I studied it. I studied a lot; I studied it off and on as well as regularly for a few months. Finally I have learned what hope is to me, as last transfer was the hardest transfer I've had on my mission so far. Hope is what kept me going. I couldn't have made it without hope. Hope to me is trusting that God will fulfill His promises to me. Hope it what allows me to endure to the end. Hope is expecting something to happen when we do what is right and hope is believing that all things will work out for our good. While hope and faith may sound similar, they are not quite the same, but to possess either faith or hope sufficiently, you must possess the other just as much. Faith is our actions on a belief, hope is what drives it. Hope is the fuel for faith, just has gasoline is the fuel for and engine. An engine makes a car move forward, but only when it has fuel to ignite it. Such is the case with hope and faith. Hope is manifest through optimism, encouragement, enthusiasm and patient perseverance. We can find the ultimate "gas pump" of fuel in Jesus Christ and His atonement as well as knowing that God is our loving Father and we are His sons and daughters; all things He does are for our good. That source for hope is infinite and unfailing. Throughout my mission, when faced with doubt or discouragement I have always remembered hope, and I say to myself: have only positive expectations. Look at that again:
That has made the difference for me when faced with the temptation to doubt or to become discouraged. There is true power in that. It has made me realize that no effort I make as a servant of the Lord is wasted. Every act for good has a merit. I know it. Focusing on Christ is the only way to remain strong in the faith; remembering your belief in Him. In Ether 12:4 it gives us a process to obtaining blessings and miracles: believing leads to hope, hope leads to faith, which then leads to an increase of hope, which leads to an increase of faith and so on until you recognize the blessing and the miracles around you because of your faith in God and you are led to glorify Him. I have seen this process take place so much in my life and as I look back on life I realize this has taken place in me a lot. Always be believing in God, have a perfect brightness of hope, exercise your faith; the miracles will happen; they do.

I am so grateful for the gospel in my life. I would not be the same with out it. How blessed we are to know the truth about God and to know His plan for us. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. I learn more about Him every day, and every day I love Him for. "Oh how I love my Savior because He first loved me!" I know and testify that Christ does love us. All He ever did was because He loves us. His love is unending and pure. He is my salvation. I love Him with all my soul. I am so blessed to have this short opportunity to represent Him in this land. I know that only by Him and through Him we can and will obtain eternal life. That is amazing to me. Oh how I love Jesus Christ!

I hope all of you have a wonderful week. I hope you know how much I love you. :)

-Elder Curtis


Hey everybody!!
So transfers are this week. Fear not if you have sent me mail for I am not going anywhere. I'm staying here and Elder Julian is going to Cape Girardeau which is only like two or three areas north of here (but still a rather considerable distance due to the fact that the areas down here are huge). Oh, they also made me the new district leader. Not entirely sure why. The Lord continues to have greater faith in me than I do. That might be something for me to work on. I trust the Lord knows what He is doing though.
I don't have any news for you about investigators. None of ours are progressing. I am really, really hoping to find new ones this week; some who are really prepared, as long as that's what the Lord wants. I've learned a lot about following the Lords will instead of my own in this area.
Last week we were able to do a ton of service for people for instance: A member of our ward was in dire need of insulation in his house and he asked us to do it for him, as he has a bad back and couldn't do it himself. Of course we were willing to help our fellow brother! So we arrived at his house with another member of our ward and awaited our instructions. I had never insulated before, so I only had a vague idea of what we were going to be doing; I thought we would be inside the house, putting it up in the walls. I was sorely mistaken. He needed the insulation underneath his house, however, he does not have a basement. There is one floor in his house which is held up by cemented cinder blocks all the way around the border of his house. He led us to a small hole on the back side of the house that led underneath the floor. The member who came with us and I were to crawl under there and put up the insulation while my companion (by his insistence) was to wait for us to finish a section and supply us with more insulation when needed. So under I went.
There was maybe a foot and a half of space to crawl through, two feet tops in some places. It was dark and cold and the ground was damp and quite muddy in some spots. Sounds pleasant, right? Soon they handed me a light to see. There were bugs everywhere. All kinds of them. There were giant crickets things too which I have never seen before. They looked like something you might find in a magazine about exotic bugs from far away places like S. America or Indonesia. That was just what the ground was like. Looking up I saw spider webs extending from the ground to the bottom of the floor above. They were everywhere as well. It was the sticky kind too, we're talking Frodo in the spider cave type of webs, okay? Hanging in them were corpses of dead bugs and dead spiders. Live spiders were seen wherever you looked. There had to be thousands of them; sized ranging from tiny to the size of my fist. There were also a lot of soft looking white balls about the size of a nickel all over the place. I soon found out that they were spider egg sacks and to pop one would release a thousand tiny spiders all over you.
I spent four and a half hours under there, lying on my the ground, putting insulation up above me. And yet, despite the claustrophobia, and the strong dislike of spiders, I was able to stay completely calm and relaxed the whole time. I was able to focus on the task and wasn't bothered by what was crawling around me. I know there was divine help. Had I been on my own I would have most likely started freaking out eventually, at least from the tight space alone. Oh how I love the blessing from our ever loving and ever aware Heavenly Father!

A cry of warning to all of you: My younger brother Andrew is now learning how to drive. Use extreme caution. Do not go out unless it is an absolute emergency. He is wild and extremely dangerous!
-In case of emergency dial 911.

Just kidding Andrew. ;) Congrats on getting your permit. Be carful out there. Try avoiding American Fork and Kneaders. Good luck, bro! (And happy birthday tomorrow! I sent you a letter which should arrive soon).

I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and your love. I miss you all. Take luck, everybody!

-Elder Curtis :)

Monday, February 24, 2014


Hello beautiful people!

It's pretty a good week here in the boot of Missouri.
I was finally able to meet another one of our investigators who previously disappeared for a while. His name is Donald Brandonburg. He's a pretty crazy guy with an odd sense of humor, but he seems great! He willingly lets us in and absorbs everything the missionaries teach him. He had a baptismal date for last Saturday but that obviously didn't happen. We will work with him to get the ball rolling again.
Our investigator Whoopie is doing alright. She wants to meet with us every day; she loves being taught. She's just not progressing very well. We found a ride for her to church but she cancelled last minute, saying she had to go to Arkansas for some reason. We will continue working with her to help her keep commitments.
I saw something really cool this week: We were helping a family rake leaves in their humongous yard when we heard a strange, distant noise. It grew louder, coming from above. We looked up and beheld the most birds I have ever seen in my entire life. There had to be literally thousands of them, flying at least half a mile high, towards us from the south. They all cawed and cooed and squawked, creating quite a majestic noise. Imagine 10 thousand Indians making a war cry. They flew right over us. No matter where you looked above, you saw birds. Scores of them! There were so many biiiiirds!!! It was quite remarkable.

But the highlight of this week is even cooler:
There's a member in this ward who loves to take us to dinner. He even makes us choose where to go. Well, one night we were driving to meet him at the church where he would then drive us to our dining place of choice, which this time was Hardees. Elder Julian and I both just wanted a good hamburger. However, as we were driving to meet the member at the church we passed a Pizza Hut. I saw it and instantly for some odd reason wanted that instead. I looked at Elder Julian, who was also looking at the Pizza Hut, and said, "Does Pizza Hut sound good to you too?"
He gave me a very affirmative "Yes." and just like that our decision, as well as our mutual craving, was changed. We rendezvoused with the member and soon arrived at pizza hut.
We were brought to our table and the waitress stood there for a moment without saying anything until she asked us, "You guys are Mormons, right?" We gave a smile and a resounding "Yes!"
She then explained to us that she and her husband had previously taken the discussions from missionaries in Utah, but due to certain circumstances they had to move into her mothers house and therefore were not allowed to invite the missionaries over anymore. Then they moved to Missouri. A couple years have passed but just two weeks ago they both had the feeling that they needed to find the Mormon missionaries again and bring them to their home.
Lo and behold, God led us to eachother. We got the information we needed and scheduled an appointment with them for this week! She wants to be baptized really badly, but she especially wants to be sealed in the temple with her family. What an honorable goal! I can't wait to work with them to get them there!
It is awesome to see how the Lord works to help us find people. It is no coincidence that both our craving were simultaneously changed in an instant. The Lord is definitely managing His work. How blessed I am to be in His employ! I love my job! :)

I hope all of you are doing well and recognizing the blessings in your life as I have been lately. I know if we just try and focus on the blessings, we will realized more and more.
I love you all so much and hope y'all have a good week.
THERE! I said it. Y'all!
-Elder Curtis :D

 Mike and Adrienne from Jefferson City
Posterity Photo: Left to right: Elder Vincent (my trainer), me, Elder Ivey (my trainee), and Elder Odom (Elder Iveys trainee)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Address

Dear everyone:

The sister missionaries back in my first area would like me to remind you that missionaries move periodically and therefore do not keep the same address all the time. Please make sure you find out my current address before you send a letter; they are tired of receiving my mail. Haha!

Here is my current address:
1746 Spring st
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Of course you can always use the Mission address which is
1850 Craigshire dr. STE 205
Maryland Heights MO, 63146

It will just take longer for it to get to me with that one.

We had a better week down here! It didn't snow and we actually had a lesson with somebody!!!
We taught our investigator named Teresa Shrumpert, but she goes by Whoopie because she used to look a lot like Whoopie Goldberg until she cut off her dreadlocks. Her son passed away a couple weeks ago, so we thought it appropriate to teach her the plan of salvation. It felt so good teaching someone again, to see them feel the spirit and understand what we teaching. It was wonderful and she took it so well; she loved it. We will be seeing her again tomorrow!

Since I've been here I gave myself a haircut. It was the first time I had ever done it, but if you ask me, it didn't turn out too bad. Much shorter than I originally planned, but not bad.

We had exchanges this week so I went to a city called Dexter for a day where I served with a missionary named Elder Oskins. I came to find out that he has a sister serving a mission in Indiana, and guess where her area is?? Fishers!!! How neat is that! (For those of you who don't know, that was my home town before PG) That means she is most likely attending sacrament meeting at our old church building and it also means she sees Dericks tree on a regular basis. I'm hoping to get in contact with her via email to ask for pictures and any other information I can get. Family: let me know if there's anything you wish to ask her.

While I was still in Dexter we taught a lesson to a guy named Jordan. All we did with him was watch Joseph Smith: Prophet of the restoration, and bore testimony of him in hopes he would start gaining his own because it's the only thing really holding him back.
So we watched the movie, bore testimony, left a commitment, prayed and left. Well apparently the whole time we were there, Jordans sister was in the other room watching and listening to the movie without us even knowing she was in the house. Elder Oskins didn't even know Jordan had a sister. Nevertheless, she was there and she was feeling the spirit very strongly. The next day she supposedly got the our number from Jordan and called them (we had exchanged back by this time). She told them she watched the movie, and felt really strongly that it was true, so she prayed about it and that night she gained a testimony of Joseph Smith AND the Book of Mormon. She borrowed Jordans copy and read it all night long. While still on the phone with the missionaries she began telling them some of the scriptures she liked the most including Alma 32:21. She said she want's to be baptized in the church! It is a miracle! The only downside, for us at least, is she lives in Texas and was only visiting for another week. However, the Dexter Elders were able to refer her to the Texas Fort Worth Mission where she will continue being taught there. She told them that the moment she's back in Texas she's going to get baptized! How cool is that!

I love this work. It's the best! I am truly blessed to be serving our Father and King. I love the fact that I am out here doing exactly what He would be doing if He were here. Our Father has a family business, and He has a job for each of us. Let us all do our part and do Him proud. I am a witness of the divine love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us. I know they know us and love us each personally. They are always going to do what is best for us. Let us do what is best for us and help one another.
I love you guys so much. I thank my God for each of you. You have blessed me so much.
All of you have a wonderful week! May God bless you. :)
-Elder Curtis

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm Alive!

Hi guys!!

It's been a while. I am alive and well. The reason I have not been able to email for nearly two weeks was because of Poplar Bluff, which is my new area, and snow. Poplar Bluff, as I have recently found out, does not function in snow at all. My first Sunday here it snowed a total of probably one and a half of an inch which sent the entire community into complete shut down. No one would leave and no one would work unless it was absolutely necessary. The snow melted off of the road by Monday morning, however, the town was not going to risk anything; libraries and most other places remained closed. It eventually thawed out near the end of the week but they remained close just in case. The next Sunday rolls by. No snow! Monday morning arrives. Two inches of snow. This place is so freaked out by snow. It's quite ridiculous. The only places open are places like Wal Mart, McDonalds, gas stations and places like that, but any city owned facility remained closed until it was above freezing. This includes schools even. People were out of school for over a week. When they finally opened them it started snowing during school hours and apparently there was a huge debate on whether they should keep the students at the school after hours and possibly over night just to be safe in case there is still any snow on the roads.
I am all for safety first, but this place is just silly. But yeah, that's why I have not been able to email for a while. I don't like winter.
On top of the bitter cold and my bitter feelings we have no progressing investigators. We have investigators though. At least that's what I hear. I still haven't been able to meet them despite all of our desperate attempts to contact them.
My companion get along well, but it will be a very big struggle serving with him and for him for the remainder of the transfer or more for multiple reasons which don't need to be mentioned.
The members here are very nice and many of them are missionary minded, so that's good. I still haven't even met our ward mission leader though, which is sad. Granted he has been out of town I guess.
The mission president prior to our current one described this part of the mission as the part of the field that isn't white, (referring to D&C 4:4).
This area has, and probably will continue to prove itself as a refiners fire for me. There is great opposition for me here. But I have hope in this area. I have faith in the people and the ward. I trust God. I know I am sent here for a purpose. I am grateful for this refining experience. I will be the first to testify that this is hard, but that's great! There must be opposition in all things. This is Gods work! It is a marvelous work. I know this area will bless me so much. I will remain optimistic and put myself in the hands of the Lord, doing His will the whole time, for that is the only logical thing to do.
I just ask for your prayers. I am so grateful for your prayers and I need now more than ever. Your prayers keep me strong. I have seen many merciful blessings from on high and knew they were from prayers of my loved ones.
I have the best family and the best friends in the world. I know it. I love you guys.
There's my spill for you. I really needed to get that out. I feel good now.
Hopefully I will talk to you guys on Monday. Everyone take care and serve lots!
Love, Elder Curtis :)


Good morning everyone!

Just so we're clear on the last email I sent regarding me not telling anyone about everything going on out here until you take me to lunch when I get back, I was only being sarcastic. Silly people, it's like you don't even know me. :P

We got transfer calls this weekend. Now that I am done training Elder Ivey, the transfers actually have an effect on us. I am going to a town called Poplar Bluff, which is down near the boot of Missouri. I can't really say I'm particularly thrilled about that. Apparently it's the arm-pit of our mission and all they eat down there is road-kill possum. Not sure how true that is, but I guess we'll see; it should be fun. ;)
Elder Ivey is staying here in Jeff City and, guess what? He's training!!!!!!!!!!! My boy is following my footsteps and is going to train right after being trained! I'm going to be a grandpa!! That's pretty cool.
So as of Wednesday I will have a new address; I don't know it now but I will share it with you next Monday.

It seems like a regular thing when transfer draw near, the work goes slow. Although we did pick up two new investigators the work this week didn't quite bare as much fruit as we would have hoped. We lost an investigator as well. I do hope things here pick up for Elder Ivey and his new companion.

The highlight for this week was probably the lesson we had with Brother and Sister Bailey, (our recent converts). We had a lesson on eternal marriage and temples an family history work. I wish I could tell you everything that was said, but I don't remember. All I remember is how it felt. I wish you could have been there to feel the spirit teach us as we did. Amazing things were felt by all four of us. Mike and Adrienne had questions, and Elder Ivey and I were receiving inspiration like never before and they were receiving revelation that it was true like never before. It felt like something that would be written down in the journal of one of the early saints.

Mike was ordained to the office of a priest and given the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday. We are so proud of him and Adrienne!! They are such marvelous people and they are extremely excellent examples of faith. Their faith blows me away.

I love this gospel. I love having he knowledge that we have. I love having a prophet. I love having a loving Heavenly Father. I love having a perfect example to follow. I love my church! How truly blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives. I don't know where I would be without the truth we have. I love learning more and more about it every day. It is amazing to me.
Thank you to my magnificent family who taught me to love, especially my goodly parents. Thank you to my fantastic friends who inspire me so much. Thank you for my home ward who provided an environment for me to serve and learn in the ways of the Lord. I am so grateful for everyone who has played a part in my life. I love you all with all my heart. I pray that the spirit of the Lord will be with each of you and you will feel the love He has for you and increase in your knowledge of Him.
Until next week, farewell!
-Elder Curtis :D

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Late Email

Hello everyone!

Yesterday all of the libraries were closed due to Martin Luther King day, so I get to write you a day late.

I am really confused with Missouri. When it comes to weather, it has some major, and I mean MAJOR bipolar issues. It is more bipolar than Utah, if you can imagine that. Yesterday was up in the 60's! The 60's in January?! I forgot it was winter; we didn't even have Jackets on it was so nice. But this morning it was -4 with the windchill and the high today is supposed to be 21. It's just so weird how the weather can change so much is so little time. So yeah. There's my spill on weather. Hope you enjoyed that.

Everything has pretty much crashed and burned this week. We struggled with the amount of lessons taught. We had 6 lessons cancel on us in a row. It was just horrible. I always psych myself up before a lesson and convince myself that it is going to be the best lesson ever and then to have the person not even show up really dampens my spirits. But oh well. We carry on.

I've found that it is dangerously easy to waste time on your mission. Even if you are tracting, or planning, or studying or even in a lesson you can still be wasting time. A missionary wastes time when they don't have their head in the work. I've found that if I'm not personally fully invested in what I am doing at any given time then that time is wasted. A mission is one of the greatest opportunities to grow and develop as a person and we only benefit personally from a mission if we are fully invested in it. I could spend all my time doing exactly what I should be doing while my head could be somewhere else; thinking about something else; not necessarily anything bad, just something else other than the task at hand.
That's something I've been trying to do lately, is focus on my purpose, full time. I've noticed that I have been much happier when I do this and I enjoy the work even more, even when facing rejection and disappointment.
I think this is a principle that applies to everything; especially living the gospel. The more we allow ourselves to be consumed by things other than the gospel the less happy we are. It's silly how often we don't do the things Christ expects of us or if we just do them less than fullheartedly and still we expect a great outcome. When will we learn that only following Christ will bring us complete and full happiness? When I think like this I can't help but imagine how frustrated Heavenly Father must get with us. This is a major thing I struggle with still and probably always will, but I sure will try to improve as time goes on because that's what the plan of salvation says this life is for right? I love Heavenly Fathers plan so much. :)

I feel like my emails are not really what they should be. I feel like instead of telling you about how I'm doing and what I'm doing and how I like it I give sermons. Maybe I'll work on that too, or maybe I'll just keep doing what I do and if you really want to know what's going on over here then you can write me a letter and hope that I have time to write you back, or you can hold your questions until the end of my mission and take me out to lunch and ask me all about it then. Yeah. That sounds good.

Until then I hope you all have a fantastic week and that you all recognize the Lords hand in your life. Always look for ways to serve everyone around you!
I love you all!

-Elder Curtis :D

Monday, January 13, 2014


Hi everybody!!! 

It's a beautiful day in Jeff City. It's clear and warm. A complete turnaround from last week where it was -7 by now. That was miserable. But yesterday it was in the 60's all day. This place is weirder than Utah.

It's been a great week. We picked up another new investigator: James. 
We are also in the process of setting three baptismal dates. By the end of this week we should have dates with Zainu, Diane, and Barbara. All three of them have declared that they know the Book of Mormon is true. The only problem they all face is coming  to church. So that's a little frustrating but we are working hard with all of our  investigators to help them keep their commitments. 
Zainu is awesome. He has never been a good reader and could never wrap his head around any book his whole life, therefore he hates reading. But he is reading the Book of Mormon and he's doing it very well. He understands what's going on and he is able to stay focus. He loves it. He told us that "Nobody could make this stuff up. This is the real deal." and that was without knowing Joseph Smith only  had a 3rd grade level education. He is awesome. :)

I can't believe I've almost been out six months. I can't believe Jen is half way done with her mission. That's crazy!!! Time is going by much too fast for me. But it motivates  me to work harder. 

I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Tell Andrew and Mitch to work on their shots and maybe they'll win a game. ;) 

I hope everyone has a super week and stays warm and safe. Always remember how much Christ loves you! That's all for this week.

Love, Elder Curtis :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Years!!!!!


New years wasn't the same, that's for sure. I can't remember the last time I went to bed at 10:30 on New Years Eve. I probably never have before. But it was great. We had the evening off starting at 6. We had dinner with the Nelsons who are the same members who had us over for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That was awesome! I love that family. We had a air-hockey tournament and you may be pleased hear that I represented the Curtis family very well by going undefeated! I had to play a lot of rematches too but I held on victorious in every one.
That honestly seems like it was forever ago. It has been a loooong week. Ever single appointment we had cancelled except one. However, we were able to spend some time on finding efforts, and as a result we picked up three new investigators: Zainu, Christina, and Diane!!! They all are awesome. Zainu actually has a cousin who became LDS a couple years ago so that is what hooked him when we met him. Diane has a son who is in prison for murdering her father, so that's intense. But she's an awesome example of forgiveness and having a positive perspective on life even though she has had a lot more hard things to get through. Christina was actually a referral from our stake presidents wife who met her at the hospital. They were only able to talk for about two minutes but she got an address for us so we have been trying to contact her for about a month now. Whenever we tried to go see her there was never an answer. For some reason we didn't stop trying even though we've tried her probably 50 times or more. We thought she msut have given a false address or something. Well we decided to try her one more time. We went up to the door to find it already open. There were some men in there doing some work on the walls. The apartment was obviously vacant. We asked them if they knew if a Christina used to live there. One of them said "No, but there's a Christina in apartment D." All this time we were knocking on apartment E! So we knocked on D and lo and behold we found Christina! We told her who we were and what we do. She was very interested. Earlier that morning she had been earnestly praying to God for something to come her way to show her where to go with her life, to give her the help she needs spiritually. We were the answer to that prayer and she knew it. She automatically had a testimony that God is her loving Father and He loves her and knows her. She is excited to learn more about the restoration of the gospel and we are excited to see her come closer to Christ. Gods timing really is perfect. I love seeing the many miracles of missionary work every day. I love sharing the gospel.

That's all for this week. I hope you all have a great week and stay safe and warm. I love you!!!!!

-Elder Curtis