It has been an incredible week!
First off, Dana went through the Temple and did baptisms for the first time! It was such a humbling experience! It is a real blessing to be able to teach someone, see them baptized and also enter the House of the Lord! She was so sweet and felt so honoured to be the person who could help others return to live with God again.
Also Tanya was baptized! For those of you who don't know Tanya, I will tell you her story, she is amazing :) So Tanya was found about two weeks before I entered the area. She was found getting off the bus and the other Sister was trying to talk to her but Tanya was not responding and just giving a thumbs up. My lovely companion Sister Townsend could immediately tell she was deaf and so she rushed up in front and started signing in ASL to her. Tanya understood a little of it and got really excited and signed her name in ASL, from then they were able to start visiting her. I came in and they had only seen her twice because it was very difficult to communicate. Sister Townsend is fluent in ASL but Australia has its own sign language which is completely different, it is called Auslan. Painfully we learned this new language and Tanya helped us. We were able to teach her. We then found out that a priesthood holder in the ward actually knows Auslan and he was able to help out big time at church with translating and such. I would have never imagined that I would be able to "speak" sign language, or even teach in it on my mission! Christ has really supported us in many ways as we have come to know and love Tanya. She has such enthusiasm for the gospel. In her baptism service I gave a talk all in Auslan and translated it while I signed into English. That was very difficult. When she was baptized she could not stop smiling! Also on Sunday when she was confirmed! It was so beautiful! Also the ward is really just picking her right up! Everyone is trying to learn some Auslan now so they can speak to her. We are actually having a ward activity tomorrow, and Auslan potluck dinner. Dinner and us teaching some basic sign! So excited :)
Through the experience of Tanya, I was really humbled and learned how powerful the Spirit is. We could not speak her language, she could not hear us. But the Spirit guided us all and touched her heart. It does not take a certain amount of fancy words to deliver the gospel, all it takes is having the Spirit. We are merely instruments for the Spirit to work through to.
That is the great news for the week! Today we went to the Temple for Pday but I will talk about that all next Monday. Hope you have a fantastic rest of the week! Love yous!
Heaps of Love,
Sister Bethany Victoria Coultrup
Australia Adelaide Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints