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Curtis' Mission

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

3/4 of the Way Home

This is part of a letter I wrote Curtis today.

Today marks a milestone for you as I’m sure you’re know. You have only six months left on your mission. It’s hard to believe that you’ve been gone for a year and a half. Things haven’t changed much for us back here in Utah but you’ve seen many changes in this time.

I remember taking you to the airport and watching you walk away, realizing that you were now grown up now and not needing me to take care of you.

I remember your first letter from the CTM telling me about district 5B, Elder’s Hirschi, Shaw, and Ferguson. You had to walk up six flights of stairs and your feet were killing you but you got to walk up the street and get a paste’l. Do you remember your first p-day and the bus ride to the Campinas temple? On your first cassette tape that you sent home to us you bore your testimony in Portuguese. It was fun to hear you speaking another language.

Your first area was Cruzeiro and you met a man named Benedito who had a “sweet” record collection. You sent home the best picture you have ever taken of the Rio Paraiba and told us about making chicken feet soup. You and Elder Pieper were the first missionaries in Batedor – it’s what you pictured Brazil to look like. You met a man named Wilson – the coolest person in Brazil – and baptized him.

One year ago you were transferred from Cruzeiro to Bom Clima. This is where you met Elder Hudson and recorded an English CD for Smart! You celebrated your 20th birthday with Elder’s Walker, Borland, and Domeredzky and decided that you loved mashed potatoes and gravy but needed me to send you gravy packets. Two weeks later you were hit by the white Fiat. The bishopric came to our house to tell me the news. I was worried but knew that you were in good hands. You were assigned a new companion named Elder Costa and became a trainer. You were excited about this and said that you would “give it my all”. I received a tape that you made the night before you turned 20. You reminisced about being a teenager and all the fun things that you have done. You and Elder Costa baptized Michelle and made French toast for Family Home Evening. I was sent to Iraq over Christmas so we had an early telephone call. You started your new “Wall of Fame” with Ben Rothlesberger and Hideki Matsui and Eugene, the rockin’ wrestler. I made you a map late one night in Iraq showing how you and your friends were scattered all over the world. You opened your big Christmas package and enjoyed the basketball hoop with your friends. We were both so far from our family this Christmas. By the end of the year you had finished reading the Book of Mormon. You celebrated the New Year by watching fireworks in the city from your apartment.

At the end of January you were transferred to Taubate and your new companion was Elder Dias. It was here that you celebrated your “hump day” – the mission was half over. Lifting roofing tiles sent you to the hospital again, this time with a hernia. Once again I talked to President Urry and he assured me everything would be fine. You recuperated at the mission office and was assigned there as the referral secretary.

Now you were in Belem working in the office during the day and looking for investigators in the evening. You went back to the CTM and taught the new missionaries there about the first vision. You did a lot of traveling with Elder Martins for his duties as housing secretary. By now you have filled up your journal and I sent you another one. You were making a Powerpoint presentation about the Creation and I sent lots of pictures and info about space. How did it turn out? You were excited to be back in the USA on the day you had to visit the US Consulate. A fellow missionary went home early and you wrote him a wonderful letter. You discovered a new drink that you can’t get enough of – Acai. You now had a new companion – Elder Stoddard. I think he was one of your favorite companions. You met some families from Bolivia, started teaching them the gospel, and eventually baptized them. Paulo at the Association told you that you were the best mission in Brazil in terms of referrals. The World Cup was starting and President Urry was worried about the missionaries. You avoided it pretty well. You had the best division ever with Elder Stoddard and had dinner at the Radial Grill during his last days in Brazil.

Transfers came again and now you find yourself in Jardim Camargo Novo and you are the District Leader! Your camera is broken so I haven’t seen any pictures but I’m hoping for some soon. Elder Silveira is now your companion and enjoys Calypso music. Your best friend Christian left last week for his mission in Jamaica. You two will have been apart for three and a half years by the time he returns. Detrick and Brody are home from their missions and are anxious for you to return home.

These are but a few memories that I recall. What a wonderful and memorable time you have had in Brazil! This is a quote I put on your website several months ago:

"Why have these great missionaries and others like them been willing to sacrifice the comforts of home, family, loved ones and sweethearts to answer the call to serve? It's because they have a testimony of Jesus Christ. And when they know Him there is no bed too hard or too short. No sacrifice is too great to serve the Master who sacrificed His all to provide the way for His brothers and sisters to return home to their Heavenly Father. And because they are faithful to their callings, thousands will revere their names throughout eternity."

--Harold G. Hillam, LDS Church News, October 7, 1995, p.16

"Behold his mission is given unto him, and it shall not be given again.”

- D&C 58:16

2 Comments:

  • Wow! 3/4 of the way through, huh? I loved reading what you wrote Curtis and remembering back in my own mind hearing about all of his adventures. What a great mission he's had so far! I can't wait to see him in the short 6 months he has left!

    By Anonymous *Jessica Junk*, at 10:24 AM  

  • I am so proud of this grandson of mine and all he has accomplished. I have noticed quite a spiritual growth in him since he left home. He may be grown up, Stephen, but be sure he will still need you all his life! Curtis' grandma Beus

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 PM  

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