Friday, 31 July 2015

Backyard Blitz & Sprinkles...

G'day Family and Friends! 

Not too much has happened since I last emailed you on Thursday. I am still sick, going on a week now. We didn't get to do much because this infection hit me hard and the office didn't want me out of the flat spreading it around. 

This weekend though was our ward conference. Saturday morning most of the ward participated in the "Backyard Blitz", going around doing peoples gardening, weeding, etc. It was raining and cold. I, being sick, sat in the car and studied while my companion helped with the gardening. I felt really bad and kept offering to help but I was locked in the car so my recovery didn't go backwards.

That evening we had a ward activity, we had two of our investigators come! One is a new, we only started teaching him two weeks ago! It was so cool to have him come, I was nervous praying that he would have a good time. Sister Funaki and I were in charge of an activity so we were stuck in a room the whole time and couldn't watch him. That was a good activity though. 

This morning was transfer calls. Today is the start of my second transfer. There was a very good chance Sister Funaki and I were going to be split up because there are some awkward circumstances surrounding the lack of Sister Training Leaders. It is a long story, but basically it wasn't very likely we would be staying together. Which scared me because I realised how much I needed my trainer for one more transfer! I still feel like I have lots to learn and I did not want to be separated and I did not want to leave this area either! So I prayed and prayed and even fasted for it on Sunday and we got calls this morning and.... We are both staying!!! YAY! I am beyond happy and so is Sister Funaki, at least she seems to be, she could be pretending and wishing she got rid of her crazy companion, but oh well, she is stuck with me for another six weeks! (Her last six weeks) Mwahahaha! Praying works! That is my simple testimony, praying works! Prayer doubled with fasting brings miracles, I have seen it in the form of a healthy, living little brother! 

We are planning to hit the ground running this transfer, and expecting great things to happen in the weeks to come! 
I wish I had more to say but too much hasn't been going on, I promise something better next week! 

The photo is from the Ward Conference Activity. Those are the Elders and the Ward Mission Leaders wife counting out individual sprinkles for a "Guess how many sprinkles" activity! Such concentration! 

I love you all!
Sister Coultrup
(aka Sister Cool)

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

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Faith Filled Sicky

G'day Family and Friends!

I am sorry I didn't email on Monday, our P-day was switched to Thursday this week because we got to go to the Adelaide Temple! I will go in order of what happened last week and most of this week.

Last week was a great week! We had a lot of meetings to get to and our trade-off was far away so it seemed like I was driving half the week. Something my companion and I have been working on is our faith. We need to be more faith filled! We need to set out to do something and believe it will actually happen, we were thinking if we did maybe we would have more success.

First experience I want to share was when Sister Funaki and I were going to an investigators house who we haven't taught yet. We were going to just drop by and have a chat and develop a friendship. So we drive up, say our prayer, then head out the car to her house. We round the corner and we see that her car isn't in the drive which means she isn't home. My companion gets discouraged as we walk up the driveway to post a note on her door. I said, "Sister! We need to be more faith-filled! Just believe that her car will drive up any second!" Guess what happened. Not even one minute later her car was parked in the drive way and we were being let in to her home. Coincidence? I think not! 

We went to teach one of our investigators with a baptism date last week, whom I am very excited for because she is just so lovely! Anyways, she expressed her enthusiasm to get baptised and told us that she even went online shopping for a baptism dress and she bought one! It should ship in next month! I was so happy! That means she is serious about being baptised because she has already bought a dress. Well, that is what I think at least! On Sunday we drove with this investigator to church, she is a Chinese student and has only just switched her Chinese licence to an Australian one. She asked us to drive with her to church because she doesn't feel comfortable driving alone yet, so we did (anything to get her to church!). Honestly, it was kind of scary. I don't feel comfortable with her driving alone either! Luckily she was light-hearted about it and we all had a laugh. On the way home from church she drove us plus another one of our investigators and she was very quiet and seemed strained. I asked her why and she said in her broken English, "SO MANY LIVES!". She was nervous because she was responsible for our lives, it was so sweet and funny. 

I feel like in every email I talk about food, oh well. Last week the Young Woman's president ordered us two pizzas to our flat! We were very excited, I know it seems simple, but we like simple and it was a nice dinner. 

Last week I went on a trade-off to Murray Bridge, about 1.5 hours away. It was a pretty good trade-off. I was with Sister Abonales from the Philippians. She is very funny and a great missionary! We went over to a members house for dinner and the family was from Samoa. They had eleven children! The house was packed and full of life and laughter! They made the best food and gave us lots of left overs! I had the left overs for breakfast and lunch the next day and we still had food left over. Sooooo good. 

On Monday this week one of our investigators called us early in the morning during our studies because she had an experience she was so excited about. She said that she woke up and noticed that one of her pictures of Jesus comforting a child had fallen off the wall. So she picked it up and went to slip it into her Book of Mormon until she had time to stick it back up. The Book of Mormon fell open to 3 Nephi 11 and her eyes went straight to verses 37 & 38: "And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptised in my name, or ye can in nowise inherit these things. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptised in my name, and become as a little child or ye can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God." She was so excited and told us that obviously God wants her to be baptised. Just the day before on Sunday we were talking about baptism in Gospel Principles Class and she said in front of everyone that she wants to be baptised (which is the first time we have heard that!). That was a cool experience and hopefully we will have her on date sometime next week!

This Monday I woke up sick. My throat was really sore and I couldn't breathe through my nose but I sucked it up (not literally) and went out to work. I got worse and worse throughout the day. In the evening Sister Funaki decided she wanted to go door knocking (which I don't enjoy) on Tongan Way because she just liked the name (her parents are Tongan). So we are knocking, in the dark, windy, cold weather while I am sick having doors closed and everyone taking one look at our badges and saying, "No, not interested." I was getting not just discouraged but fed up and sour. In my head the whole time I was thinking: "Door knocking is such a waste of time, it never works, I am sick and tired, my throat hurts, why are people so mean, we should just go contact some other way, DOOR KNOCKING NEVER WORKS, etc." 

We were approaching our last door when I ask Sister Funaki if she has ever had success from a door knock, and she said yes and listed of two names. I was thinking, "yeah only 2 people in 17 months..." We walked up to this door and a man answered. We introduced ourselves and we asked if he has a faith himself. He said no, but recently he has seen the need for one. He goes on to say how he has been searching, going to different churches and seeing that they all teach different things, he has also been taking meditating classes but nothing seems to fit his fancy so to say. He then asked us if we have anything for him to read, so we gave him a restoration pamphlet, got his phone number, and we were invited back to teach him and his family. We walk away in silence and once we get into the street, I said, "Okay Heavenly Father, I get it, it does work." I was humbled by that experience and I will never say door knocking doesn't work again. If it wasn't for missionaries door knocking I wouldn't be here because both sides of my family were found because of door knocks. Oh silly me! 

I have been sick since Monday, it is now Thursday. I have a sinus infection. It was its worst on Tuesday, I was achy and we thought it was the flu. I had to stay in the flat most of the day. I haven't improved because I haven't had too much time to recover. I went out proselyting for a few hours yesterday but then we had to come home. I shouldn't be around people spreading my sickness. I went to the temple today though because we only get to go once a transfer if you are serving in Adelaide. I didn't want my companion to miss out because of me, but it was hard and I suffered and coughed the whole time. Prayers would be appreciated as I need them and don't want this to last longer than a week. I need to get to work! 

This is all I have time for. 

I love you all and miss you!
Sister Coultrup
PS. Stay faith filled!

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

Monday, 13 July 2015

Encounters with Shelob

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been wonderful and very busy! As usual. On P-Day we went to Victor Harbour. It is 45 mins away from where I stay, but the drive was beautiful. The whole zone went. We walked around Granite Island, it is a tiny island just off the coast, there as a long walk-way across the water to get to it. You could see Dolphins and Whales and Seals! The Island was gorgeous and I had a blast, it was such a great day. It was nice to get to know the other missionaries better as well and I got some cool photos. 

We had another Multi-Zone Conference, but this time with our new mission president! President Parker and Sister Parker are wonderful! Wow, we are so blessed to have received people like them. They have so much love and excitement, I look forward to getting to know them better. The new mission motto is "Catch the wave in Adelaide, it begins with obedience and ends with gratitude." The conference was great and I learnt a lot. President has given us a task/challenge to read 8 pages of the Book of Mormon a day so that we can all start and finish at the same time in 10 weeks. Everyone was shocked and I still wonder when I am going to find time to do this. Our personal study time is meant for studying for our investigators, I think I am just going to have to read during lunch. I also had an interview with President Parker, it was the best! The spirit was so strong and I am grateful to have had that experience. Afterwards President and Sister Parker took just Sister Funaki and I out for dinner! We wanted to go to a nicer restaurant but we couldn't find one, so we stuck with McDonald's. We had a lovely chat and the spirit was strong again, even in McDonald's. It was kind of strange sitting in McDonald's eating Burgers and Chips with our President but it was an experience I won't forget! They are truly called of God! 

This week we took one of our investigators to the Adelaide Temple. We did a little walk around and she was allowed to sit inside the temple waiting room. It was my first time in that temple as well so I was very excited! Temple's are a little piece of Heaven on Earth. No matter where you go in the world the spirit in the Temple will never change because it is the Lord's house. Our investigator enjoyed the experience and wants to learn a lot more about the Plan of Salvation now. 
Trade-offs this week was fun! I loved my companion I was given, but I was to lead in my own area! I was pretty nervous, luckily nothing went terribly wrong as I was expecting. I actually did okay! Sister Travers and I got along very well, she is lovely. We had a terrifying experience though. 

On Friday night we dropped by Anne's (investigator) house to have a lesson. We had a great lesson and it was time to leave. So we do the usual "goodbyes, see you on Sunday" thing as Anne opens the door. Sister Travers is half way out the screen door as I glance at it and scream. THE BIGGEST SPIDER I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE WAS ON THE DOOR. Anne then screams, Sister Travers screams and runs outside and lets the screen door slam, then Anne slams the normal door. So at this point, I am inside with Anne and Sister Travers is outside, and the spider is trapped between the door and the screen door. I am panicking not only because there was Shelob between Sister Traver's and I but also because I couldn't see my companion! Anne refused to open the door, which I don't blame her, and there was no other way out of the house other than climbing through a window. My heart is pounding and my skin is crawling and we are all still screaming. Sister Travers is trying to be brave by opening and slamming the screen door to scare it away so I can get out of the house. Apparently the spider kept jumping between the door and screen and wouldn't run off. We did this for about 10 minutes until it finally ran off. When it did Anne opened the door and pretty much pushed me out of the house, haha! Then we RAN to the car because who knows, Shelob could've been anywhere. It took the whole drive home for us to calm down. Sister Travers is from Tazmania and told me that it was a Huntsman spider, it was as big as my Dad's hand. MASSIVE, too big. I get chills thinking about it.

We still have baptism dates lined up but we have to push the one for the 19th back because he is going out of town for a week and so we won't be able to teach him the rest of the lessons on time for him to be baptised. We have a bunch of potentials to follow up with, hopefully they can become proper investigators in the future! I heard from a little birdy that Sister Funaki and I have the most progressing investigators in the mission. Might be wrong though, but that boosted my confidence! It is all thanks to her and her previous companion though, they worked very hard, and I am just picking it up in the middle of all the work.

To end I will leave you with a quote from the new ensign, "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behaviour but Christ can change human nature." - President Ezra Taft Benson.
With Love,
Sister Coultrup

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

Monday, 6 July 2015

Lead Kindly Light & Swimming in Custard

"Lead kindly light amidst the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on. The night is dark and I am far from home, Lead Thou me on." 

That is my favourite hymn and how I have been feeling this week. It has been great, but I have had a few rough moments. First I want to share an experience I had regarding prayer. So on sunday at church I saw someone who reminded me of my Mum and that immediately made me feel homesick, like a punch to my tummy. I haven't felt homesick much so this was unusual. That caused me to be in a weird mood the whole day, I kept thinking of home. When we were driving I was thinking that I wished I had the gold chevy back playing Ed Sheeran with my besties in the car with me. That night I knelt down in prayer and opened my heart to my Father in Heaven. I did not want to be focussing on home at all. Yes, I miss everyone, but I need to do the work, I need my whole heart in the work, not bits and pieces. I prayed for help to just get over it. This morning in my personal study I was reading in Alma 17, and I found a scripture that touched me. It is when the Sons of Mosiah come to visit Alma, these were the Sons that were with Alma when he saw the Angel so they are all really close, like brothers. The sons of Mosiah and Alma are going on a "mission" to preach the gospel to the Lamanites and they are all going to separate areas, so they have to part ways. 

"... They separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken."

This helped me remember why I am out here. This work is great, of great importance and of great sacrifice. I need to trust in the Lord, that I will see you all again. But for now I need to focus on the great work I have ahead of me! 

Earlier this past week on P-Day we celebrated Sister Soh and Sister Lee-lo's birthdays. They are companions and they have the same birthday and both turned 22! So we surprised them with cake and balloons and it was really fun! After I email today, the whole zone is going down to Victor Harbor for an activity. I think we are just walking around and enjoying the view. I am very excited for that! First time I get to actually go out and see things! 

We have a baptism lined up for July 19th. I am super excited! That is so soon! We have a lot more work to do with him, but I know everything will be just fine and it will be great! 

This week we gained 2 new investigators! They are both international students, one from China, one from Kenya. It was so great to meet them and teach them, I have high hopes. Sister Funaki and I also had a goal to get 20 connections, which means we want to talk to 20 new people in one day. We had been trying so hard to achieve it but we have been so busy with lessons we never had any time to find. But this week we got 20 connections on thursday! We were so happy. Since we did so much finding I came across many not so nice people. We went door knocking and this lady answered the door and said, "What do you want?" I said, "Hi, we are sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of-..." She interupted me and started yelling "NO NO NO NO" while I slowly and quietly finished "Latter-Day Saints..." under my breath. Then she continued to say she wanted nothing to do with religion and slammed the door. It was quite comical now that I look back on it, but in that moment I felt very discouraged. We do not knock to annoy you, we knock for your salvation! Something that Sister Funaki says is: "Knock once for their Salvation. Twice for your Salvation. And three times for desperation." It is funny, 'cause it is true. 

Me and Sister Funaki

We had dinner at a members house and she made such lovely food. A beef stew with veggies, etc. But the most exciting part was Apple Pie and Custard! My favourite, I felt so blessed. It was swimming in custard. That was definitely a highligh of my week. This week Sis. Funaki and I went all out with cooking our own meals. We had home made pizza and made a delicious chicken kabab meal with potato salad. I love food. 

I biked in a skirt for the first time this past week! I was terrified my skirt would fly up, but it didn't. I was protected :-) My area is VERY hilly. I am not exaggerating Dad. I thought my legs were on fire because of all the hills we had to bike up. If we bike more often we will get in shape quite quickly. People were looking at us like we were mad though, biking in skirts. I gave them a look back that said, "yes, we are mad."

I also did trade offs this week again, I will do them every week since my companion is a Sister Training Leader. I went to Christies Beach area with Sister Soh. We were literally a two minute walk from the beach! Such a cool experience. I love trade off's. 

I really look forward to this week! We get to have another Multi-Zone Conference with our new Mission President and his wife. (President and Sister Parker). We also have interviews and such and we will be teaching that man who is getting baptized soon and following up with all our investigators and our new ones! Oh and we have a member dinner every day this week! #blessed.

I love my mission!
I love you all and miss you. Stay safe, I pray for you!
With love,
Sister Coultrup 

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