Saturday, May 31, 2014

Happiness can be a box of strawberri​es.

So for this week, I was the ONLY full-time missionary in my family. Which maybe doesn't sound too crazy. But only because my sister just got home this past Wednesday from the Philippines and my brother reports this Wednesday in Utah. But don't worry, I'm holding down the fort!

Last Monday, Kate the great walked into our lives. She is from London, England and teaches English on a base here. One of her students is a Italian member of the church who is stationed here for 6 months. He brought her to FHE and then we had a lesson with her on Friday. She had read 16 chapter from the English copy of the Book of Mormon we gave her on Monday! What the awesome?!  AND had great questions. We were getting ice cream after the lesson and the Italian brother leans to us and says in his broken English "Sisters, golden contact" pointing to her. It was awesome and they both came to church!

Sometimes you take the little things for granted. The Italian member was so excited for the sacrament. It had been 40 days since he had been able to come to church and partake of of it and he couldn't wait. I'm so grateful that I get to take the sacrament every week. Sometimes we don't realize what a blessing that it. 

We did more street contacting/tracking/finding this week than ever have I ever. Lessons falling through left us plenty of time. But we made an effort to have meaningful conversations with all that we could and learning their name. We met so many neat people! From opera teachers to retired offices. A positive contact is a positive contact. 

ALSO. Its strawberry week! Meaning they have a huge picture of a strawberry hanging up on the boulevard. And a box of strawberries are only 1 euro. And they are the most delicious strawberries. Strawberries might be among my favorites. So we probably have been multiple times. I'll have to snap a picture next time.

So much more to say but this will suffice. The work is going forth. Life is good. The Church is true. I am a Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is my Redeemer. 

God bless you.
Zoti ju bekoft.

Moj Motra Curtis 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Its a beautiful day

The Jones left this week, which was really sad. They have done such a good work here. Its neat to see how much it has grown since they have been here. They will be greatly missed, but their efforts will carry on.

There was a baptism this week! It was crazy! He has been investigating the church for months with the elders but had a few hang-ups. Someone was joking about them both getting baptized (she also has been investigating for a longer time) and he went home a prayed all night. Realized he knew always knew it was true. He told us on Tuesday. Had his interview on Wednesday. Got baptized on Thursday and confirmed on Sunday. He is going to be a great blessing to this branch.

As missionaries, you want members to be involved. This has much importance. It was neat to see physically what you want to happen metaphorically and physically too (why not?). You want the missionary to step out of the picture and the member to come in and take the investigator by the hand and answer their questions. I literally got to see that. We were teaching an investigator with Sister Jones. She was talking to her but then had to step out to take a call. She saw one of the members in the hallway and sent her in. She literally came in. Sat next to her, held her hand and answered her questions. It was amazing. I love having the privilege of getting to work with such fantastic members!

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)
Motra Curtis

Monday, May 12, 2014

Just a quick one

It was so nice to talk to everyone in my family for Mother's Day. We timed the Skype just right so that we all got to talk.

My brother got his mission call to OGDEN UTAH!! They sent an e-mail to the senior couple that lives downstairs so Sister Jones printed it and brought it up to me Tuesday morning. Turns out they are from that same mission! How neat!

I love my family so much! I think I've always taken it for granted how much missionary work has always been a part of our family. I love being a missionary. I love the doing the Lord's work. Its absolutely thrilling!!

Ju dua!
Motra Curtis

Monday, May 5, 2014

It was my birthday

 First let me tell you the beginning of a beautiful story. It began years ago when a Muslim woman bought a bible in curiosity and desire to know truth. She met 2 sister missionaries (thats us!) outside the church building because she saw Christ's name on the sign by which they were standing. The talked to them and they exhanged contact information. They were able to meet with her once but then she got busy. But she had a Book of Mormon and read from it. She has many questions about the bible she has been reading. She came to have a lesson at the church with the sister missionaries (and the senior sister missionary) and was intrigued by the building. She saw the people of Christ washing the diciples feet and loved it because she loves that story in the Bible. They had a powerful lesson on the family proclamation and the restoration. When she recieves a confirmation that this is the true chruch she wants to be baptized. When asked to say the closing prayer she thanked us for the priviledge. (Most don't want to pray because they don't want to say it in Christ's name). It was a beautiful prayer. And guess what? Her story is not over! I feel so lucky to get to be a small part of it.

There is a boy here that plays the drum for money in the downtown area. His name in Dino. Pretty cool, huh? The elders are teaching him so sometimes he is around the chruch. Sometimes he plays the drum while I beat box and it sounds pretty cool. Or at least I think so. He also tries to teach me to play his drum. That one will take some practice. But yeah, that's Dino the Drummer boy. He's a cool cat.

We met another neat lady on the park bench on my birthday. Her name is Lumturi which means happiness. She has a cute little 3 year old daughter and her 2nd daughter died when she was only 8 months old. We had to go but we are going to meet this week and I can't wait to tell her more about the Plan of Salvation...also called the plan of Happiness!

I had a happy birthday full of missionary work (we met with both the Lumturi and the Muslim woman :) AND Motra Jones made a delicious carrot cake!

P.s. Motra Jones is the Not just because she makes delicious food. Which she does. (We may or may not have had a delightful thanksgiving lunch after church yesterday...) Or because is willing to help us with any lesson at a moments notice (if she can). Which she also does. But Motra Jones is the because of her powerful testimony. She lives her testimony. She shares her testimony. It. is. powerful. I never realized how needed, how powerful, how awesome senior couples are.

 I invite any and all that can serve a couples mission to prepare and do that as soon as they can. It will bless your life, the missionaries' lives that are serving around you, and most importantly the people of the area in which you are serving. The world needs more couple missionares. With so many missions being created most are being called to those areas. We are losing couples in our missions as no one is coming to replace those that are going home. Get your papers ready and come! (and maybe request the adriatic south mission...its a pretty great place). Okay, I'm off my soap box now.

Just a quick 'soap box' tangent. Motra Hawkins and I have definitely talked about getting a soap box and doing "soap box finding - Dan Jones style" during some of our weekly planning: "finding ideas" brain storms. Just trying to get creative.

Well I think this e-mail is long enough. I love you all. I know the Christ lives and that he is the Son of God. I know the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. I believe the Book of Mormon to be another testament of Jesus Christ. I know this chruch is true. I know this is God's work. I know that I am a child of God.

Peace and blessing ya'll!
Motra Curtis

P.S. We had a SYL week this past week. (only speaking albanian all week...well, except we spoke english to only english speakers) It was pretty sweet. It's a lot easier than it used to be a year ago, but I've still got a ways to go. The elders helped us out by only speaking to us in Albanian. We tried applying gheg language differences. Its real interesting.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The weather outside is frightful.​..but the fire inside's delightful​...

Things you should know.
-It SNOWED!! I thought I wonldn't see snow my entire mission but I did . We may or may not have had a snowball fight. But probably yes. We probably also did group finding outside too. Hard core.
-We met a man named Skip while tracking. He is from Florida and is teaching here in the American school. His dad was in the military too. He also lived in Guam. He lived on Gecko Lane. I'm pretty sure I lived on Gecko Lane (or close). It was an awesome moment.
-I know an Albanain. Her name is Jonila. She can do a southern accent. She is the only albanina I know who can do a real good southern accent.
-We were street contacting last week and some girls came up to us and asked if they could learn about Jesus. In a 95% Muslim country...that's a beautiful thing.
-Speaking of a 95% Muslim country called Kosovo that I dwell in...Easter is a straight up Christian Holiday. It was fun wishing people a happy Easter. Most, even though they don't celebrate it, would wish us a happy easter back. They are nice.
-We had a lesson with a man and his family that we had tracked into (since it rained all week and we did LOTS of tracking) and he says he has this book he got from a friend (who knows what it could be..) and then he whips out THE BOOK OF MORMON. It was wicked sweet! And by wicked sweet I actually mean rightious!!  Love that family.
Being a missionary is probably my most favorite thing. Even more than waterfalls (which we went to see ANOTHER one this week!) And I love it with my whole heart. I love Jesus Christ. In Albania I feel like there were many Christains or at least people who at least knew about Christ and believed in him. It is different up here. There is not a day that goes by that we don't testify of that important first principle of the gosel. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I absolutely love it. I love easter and celebrating the fact that HE LIVES! How sad would it be if the story ended after his death. But it doesn't! I love my Savior, my brother, my friend, Jesus Christ.
Happy Fish!
Motra Curtis
p.s. the word for fish and easter are very similar and I probably wished more people a "happy fish" than I care to admit.

1 year as a missionary​.

This week was incredible. I don't even know how to write about everything.

April 10th a year ago I had just arrived at the MTC. There are a lot of things here that remind me of that time. 
First, learning a new language. Our language study now is spent trying to learn this new dialect. Geg. Just like we were learning Tosk before. 
Second, we talk to people outside on benches. At the MTC, I remember going outside and practicing teaching each other on benches and walking around. That is literally what we do here. I love it. 
Third, its SPRING! 

Fun story. We found a name, phone number and map in our area book and decided we would call them. She invited us to come but...the map was pretty rough. It based everything off the location of a mosque...Something you should know about Kosovo is that chapels to Utah is like Mosques to Kosovo. Which mosque was it talking about?? We tried asking her on the phone which mosque she was close to but didn't understand. So we had her explain it to a random citizen we stopped to help us. We got the name of the mosque and after talking to half the people on the way as well as her neighbors we found it! What the miracle! 

It was crazy the plans that didn't work out so that better things could happen. We realized towards the end of the week we needed higher goals than what we had set. Saturday night we realized we were 5 lessons away from the standard of excellence so we made a goal to have 5 lessons on Sunday. Guess how many planned lessons went through that day. Zero. Guess how many lessons we had. 5. It was literally a miracle. We felt so blessed. 

Also. This one time we tracked a building with 111 doors. 

This other time we were riding an elevator to eat at the restaurant at the top. The other man in the elevator was also going to the same floor. He asked if we were friends of the Hotel. We said, nope, just eating here.We asked if he was going to be eating there too. He said no but wished our meal well..and then said that he was actually the owner of the whole place. What?! And then we got appetizers "on the house". But he left before we could talk to him. BUT our waiter is coming to our English course this week. 
We went to a waterfall today. It was beautiful. Even more beautiful was waving to all the people in the country as we passed. We drove with the Senior couple and they just smiled and waved at everyone we passed. Pretty soon we were all doing it. I really love the people here. There have been through some pretty hard things here. But they are so good. They have such good hearts. I just love them.

This Sunday the second branch in Kosovo was created! Woot woot! President Jones here used to be branch president of the whole country! Can you imagine that?! Its so exciting to see the growth here. The Lord is hastening his work all over the world. It never ceases to amaze me. I love being a missionary. I love the Lord. 

May we be seen well together! 
Motra Curtis