It has been a great week!
This past week we saw one of our less actives. She was baptized about 1.5 years ago. We were able to share with her the talk, "The Master Healer" from Woman's conference. It touched her heart and she opened up to us in a way I have never seen before. We were able to discover some of her deep concerns and the main reasons why she has been avoiding church. It was a very special experience. I feel so grateful for the leaders of the church and the inspiration they receive. Their words touch more hearts than they know.
We had a first lesson with a new (Chinese) investigator this week. We taught how to begin teaching and the God head. Simple phrases and things that we take for granted made her light up with excitement and astonishment. Something like, "God has a plan for all of us" made her eyes light up and say, "What? Really? How? and how can I know His plan for me?" It was amazing. It was taken back by her urgency to know. It makes me so grateful to have the truth that I do and I feel so immensely blessed to be able to share that truth with others.
I have been reflecting back upon my mission a lot lately and during the Saturday Afternoon Session of General Conference - focused on missionary work. I really love being a missionary, it has been the best thing I have ever done. Something I read today in "Our Search for Happiness" was along the lines of, "some missionaries go out with the intention of paying the Lord back for all the blessings they have received, but they soon realize that while doing the Lord's work they are being blessed beyond belief and there is no way that we could ever repay all that the Lord has done for us." I continue to stand in awe of the blessings that I receive while serving a mission. It has been some of the hardest but most joyous work I have ever done. I have felt such strength from the Lord in all that I do. I cannot express all my gratitude, but my heart is full.
Speaking of Conference... it was heaps good! I know I am a little late on this, but in OZ we watch it a week later because of the time difference. I was envious of the MTC choir! I was in the choir when I was in the MTC and the chorister was the same when I was there too. Some of the common themes that I saw this conference weekend was, God's will, sincere prayer, repentance, and missionary work! There were three talks that specifically referenced Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to the Father, "Not my will, but thine be done." How often do we pray and ask God to align with us? We petition Him to bend to our desires and demands rather than seek to understand His plan, His will, and His timing.
|City Zone Christmas photo, featuring President in the middle, for the Christmas Card|
I really loved the emphasis on missionary work as well (of course). All those steps we were given to help us become better member missionaries! So grateful! The Lord has repeated again and again through his chosen servants that the work of the Lord relies heavily upon the members, that the best success actually comes from the members! We had a great experience this past week, not sure if I mentioned it in my last letter, but we met someone on the street who was great friends with a member. He spoke about how he admired this friend and had multiple gospel oriented conversations with him. He accepted a Book of Mormon and has agreed to come to the visitors center and meet with some missionaries. That contact was a success because of the member friend and his great example.
How blessed are we to have prophets, seers and revelators upon the Earth? Leading and guiding us. Every time I watch conference I feel the Spirit swell within my chest as I listen to the inspired words they deliver to us. To think, this is direct revelation and guidance from our loving Heavenly Father, how blessed are we?! I know that the Lord continues to bless and lead his church in the way he always has - through appointed servants. I love and sustain our wonderful Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He truly is a man of God. I love and sustain all the other leaders of the church who dedicate their lives to serving God, and thus leads them to serve us.
|View of Adelaide from a members home.|
I definitely have a lot more thoughts, but that is all I have time for. I hope you all have a fabulous week!
Heaps of love!
Sister Bethany Victoria Coultrup
Australia Adelaide Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints