G'day Family and Friends,
So I have had lots of "hope the baptism went well" and I want to start off by letting you know it didn't happen. She cancelled it the day before. I will tell you the full story.
We saw Ann on wednesday, we had a great lesson planned. When we saw her she seemed kind of off and then she told us why. She said she had told her Boyfriend she was getting baptized this weekend and he shut her down. He got really mad and told her all these reasons why she shouldn't and looked up anti-mormon literature online. She showed us and we assured her that it isn't true and that the internet is not a realiable resource. That if she ever has questions about anything, first ask God, then read the scriptures, then ask us, then you can check LDS.ORG. She kept asking why this was happening only just a few days before her baptism and we told her because the adversary is mindful! That he does not want her to get baptized! No matter what we told her she didn't seem to sway. We planned to see her on friday, the day before her baptism. I went with one of our recent converts, Bianca. As we walked up her drive I saw a man in the window and I immediately knew it was her boyfriend and that this lesson would NOT go well. I didn't even want to go in, but we did. Ann was crying, telling us that she would not and could not ever get baptized. (This was all said with her boyfriend supervising). She said she never believed in God in the first place, etc. Whenever I went to ask her an inspired question or bear testimony her boyfriend would interupt me. Old Sister Coultrup from before her mission would have punched him, but I sat there calm as I could be. I knew that what she was saying wasn't her. She had such a strong testimony and many spiritual experiences. But she denied everything right there. It broke my heart and when we left I cried harder than I ever have my whole mission. I felt as though I had failed, she has a greater light and knowledge now, but she still denied. I felt horrible. I cried all evening, when my district leader called, I cried. Zone leaders, I cried. It was a really rough weekend.
Victor Harbour cute town
But I prayed and asked God for some assurance that I had done what I could. That maybe perhaps I didn't fail, I was just searching for some comfort. The next morning in my studies I was reading Preach My Gospel and came across a scripture reference I had written in the notes area. It didn't have anything more but a reference. I felt prompted to look up that scripture, so I did. And I cried some more because it was the answer to my prayer.
"And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?" Jacob 5:41
"But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened my hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down my vineyard, and cast it into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?" Jacob 5:47
Christmas in Australia
I know I have done all I could, I have taught her my whole mission thus far. And as much as I love her, she has her agency to choose. I feel comforted in knowing that one day she may come back, but also comforted knowing I did my job and the Lord knows I did as well. Sometimes things don't work out the way we have planned but our ways are not always God's ways.
Other than that I had a good week. Oh, I experienced 40 degree weather for the first time in my life. It was a nightmare! We were even doing gardening service in that weather! We would spray eachother with the hose outside and in 2 minutes we would be dry again. It was not good.
Last Monday we went back to Victor Harbour! Woo hoo! I love Victor Harbour, you all know that. It is my favourite place here.
This past weekend we also had the Onkaparinga ward Christmas activity. It was the strangest thing, it felt like Canada day. There was a petting zoo, a BBQ and all these games for the Children. All outside the chapel, but this was a Christmas activity! It was a hot day too! So weird, it was fun though!
P day by the sea
That is all for now, I love you all!
Sister Bethany Victoria Coultrup
Australia Adelaide Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints