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