Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Anxiously Engaged

Hi Everyone!

I'm in Australia! Or as the people here say it: Austraya. I don't even know where to begin! So much has happened! 

The flights as you would expect were HORRIBLE! The 13 hour flight was the worst. I took sleeping pills and still couldn't sleep, I was just in a drowsy state, squished between to big men. My back is still sore from that plane. Also the guy next to me fell asleep and I really needed to wee but I didn't want to wake him up or crawl over him so I just sat there in agony for 3 hours. 

I was picked up in Adelaide by my mission president and his wife and a few of the other senior people who are serving in the mission office. President Carter and Sister Carter ARE SO NICE! I was super nervous to meet them but I relaxed instantly as I was welcomed with warm handshakes, friendly smiles and a big hug from Sister Carter. They said they are excited they have a "new daughter". They showed me the temple and we took pictures outside of it. Then we went back to the mission office and we got to business with sorting things out, I had an interview with president then that evening we had a dinner and a devotional and I was assigned to an area and a companion. I am in the Aberfoyle Park area in the Happy Valley ward. Which is just south of downtown Adelaide. I am sure you could find it on a map. My comp/trainer is Sister Funaki who is also an STL. She is the best! She is from Brisbane, I feel so blessed to have had two awesome companions in a row. She is really hard working and obedient, but kind and patient. I think I got the best trainer in the mission. 

President told me that I would be expected to drive, but not for a few months so I can get used to driving on the left side (like England). But then, an hour later he asks to speak with me and said he changed his mind and wants me to drive NOW because my companion can't drive. Yeah so they put me in a car and expected me to figure it out! ON MY FIRST DAY! I also hadn't slept in over 24 hours! But I am still alive and I am completely comfortable driving here now. Lots of round-a-bouts, just like England. Our area is really hilly and so gorgeous. On my second day here I saw my first Koala! A wild one in a tree just hanging out! It was so cool! 

Me with President and Sister Carter

I am sure you are interested in the spiders and snakes and I am happy to report I haven't seen a single one! What a blessing! haha. Our flat is SO NICE. We are one of the only ones with central heating, it is a fairly new one with three bedrooms, a garage, a nice kitchen and bathroom with a bath and a shower. I will send pictures next week of it. 
Everything here is so green and beautiful. The trees, birds, landscape, everything is different and it is very refreshing! I can't wait to get to know the area better. We have a really big area! 

I have absolutely LOVED every investigator, inactive member and member that I have met. Everyone is so awesome and just plain lovely! The people here love asking me about Canada and are shocked at the temperatures. Right now it is the midst of winter and I don't even wear a jacket, everyone else does. An old lady at church wearing a blanket ( yes a blanket, and it was 10 degrees ) said to me: "Don't you dare ever leave the house like that again! You're making me cold just looking at you!" I was completely fine! haha. 

Oh also at church, there is this English guy named Brother Coleman. When I met him he was like: "Oh Hi Bethany" and Sister Funaki and I looked at each other and weirded out asked how he knew my name. Then he goes on to say: "You got your call around Christmas time, you are from Calgary Alberta, your Dad had a dream about you coming here on your mission.." And a bunch of other accurate things I don't remember. At this point I was convinced he had some weird gift to look into my soul or something. But it turns out he found out I was joining the ward and GOOGLED me! He saw my mission call video. Sister Funaki says he creeps everyone. It was really weird... But we had a nice chat about England and Tottenham because that is where he is from. He said he lived right across from White Hart Lane! 

We work really hard, we never ever have a single second where we aren't doing something productive and focused towards the Lord's work. We have an investigator, Lucy (not her real name), she is older and has done hard drugs since she was 17. When I first met her and went into her house I was a little shocked, it makes me so sad to see her live this way. But she has so much faith and is working SO hard to give up drugs, smoking and alcohol. I am proud of her and I love her already. She told me on the first day that she is glad that I am staying because she likes me compared to the other sisters that come on trade offs. That touched my heart!  

We have a lot of investigators. Sister Funaki said that she and her previous companion were master finders. I have taught lessons with all of them now (about 7 'gators) and they are all wonderful. The members are the best!  They have spoiled me rotten! We have had a dinner every night and Sister Funaki says that never happens! I love them all. I am so grateful that I am in a great area. 

We have a companionship goal to baptize this transfer, we have one planned already, but we want to find a golden person. So we have been praying and knocking doors and contacting a lot and tonight we are opening a fast so we can find someone. But yesterday we had someone directed right into our path like it says in the scriptures. His name is Huong, he is Vietnamese and he is very interested in learning more so we will be seeing him at the end of this week! YAY! I WAS SO HAPPY! He is really friendly too, so we are hoping he is our Goldie. 

I had the coolest experience (while it is not spiritual I thought my sister would be interested) the other night! We were on our way to Anne's house (investigator), it was about 8pm and really dark outside. We were walking when I saw this weird light fly by up in the sky. I stopped Sister Funaki and pointed up where I saw it, then 6 more popped up! There were 6 flying orbs in the sky floating around in an unorganised pattern. We ran towards them to get a better look, meanwhile freaking out and yelling "UFO UFO UFO"! It was so weird! They were just flying there floating around, there were no beams of light where it could be coming from. It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. I feel like I need to go on one of those UFO television shows now! Ancient Aliens? Our mate Georgio? "THE ANSWER IS YES!". Haha, only my family will get that.
Anyways that is all for now! I am looking forward to this week, although I am dead tired and still jet lagged. It used to take me hours to fall asleep and now I am out like a light in 5. If I don't send pictures I am so sorry, I want to smash these library computers because of how slow they are.
Love you all,
Sister Coultrup (The coolest Sister in the Adelaide mission)

Sister Bethany Victoria Coultrup
Australia Adelaide Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

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