Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 27

Thanksgiving was not Thanksgiving. But one of the senior couples made homemade cranberry sauce, and gave some to me :)
The mission has been really good for my crushed ice problem, but recently I discovered a way to make it :) I put a water bottle in the freezer during our study time in the morning, and 2 hours later as we are leaving I take it out, squeeze it, and it makes all this wonderful crushed ice! But I don't chew it, it's just nice to have something cold haha.
This week we went on mini trade offs and someone made me chop suey! Something I really loved that the Polynesians made in Mildura, and taro, it was so yum :)
Have you heard the song called Gethsemane? The primary kids had their presentation and sang that song, and I was wondering if you had heard it. It's amazing

Love you heaps!
November 21
President asked for specific stories this week, so I thought I'd forward them to you :)

Every week we have lunch with a less active lady who has a really strong testimony. The only thing keeping her from coming to church is her PTSD and past traumatic experiences that make it difficult for her to be in ANY large group of people. Recent things from her past have come up, and it has been a real struggle for her, and she's asking why these really terrible, awful things keep happening to her. Once she shared everything that has been happening with her, I started with the first thought that came to mind, how Satan really does try his hardest to give us reason to doubt, and for our faith to waver. The story of Job came to mind, I related that to her, and then almost without me being conscious of it I was talking about the premortal existence, how Satan remembers all those who fought so valiantly against him. Then came the overwhelming feeling that this amazing woman was one of those spirits who fought so hard against him in the spirit world. It was such a powerful prompting, and it really touched her. She said, "No one's ever said that to me before." The spirit was so strong.

One of the greatest member miracles I have seen would have to be with Tanya Percy. Tanya has been deaf her whole life. Teaching her was impossible at first, but as we know, nothing is impossible with God. As we persisted, communication came. The real miracle came when she attended church for the first time. We weren't sure how it was going to go with interpreting, because I only knew American Sign Language, and there was one other member who knew ASL as well. But as we began, a member came up and said that he knew Auslan, which is Australian Sign Language. With his help, we were able to communicate more effectively with Tanya. Unrelated to her not being able to hear, she has a bit of a learning disability, and it was difficult to see what she was actually retaining. But as more members became involved with her teaching, she progressed. She had a desire to be friends with these people, and learning about the gospel made her happy. So many members came to witness her baptism, and the miracle is that the fellowship didn't stop there. They had more ideas to help Tanya. A sign language activity was organized to help the rest of the ward learn to communicate with her, and it was so well attended! Since then, so many members have approached us, wanting to know how to talk to her, and taking it upon themselves to fellowship. An amazing miracle.

love you HEAPS

This week I met a man named Abi

November 13
Dear Family,

Yes the title of my email is correct, and I asked the man 3 times how to say his name to make sure I got it right. You meet interesting people everyday! :D

English class is so much fun. This week we taught about alliterations. (It's a pretty advanced class) and did tongue twisters! They thought that was pretty hard, but everyone did such a good job! Then we had a rhyming game, where we went around in a circle and everyone had to think of a different word that rhymed with the word "cat" or "light". It was awesome!

Something that we get asked by our friends who have no Christian background is "Why did Jesus Christ come to earth? Why was He important, and why did He have to die?" There are answers that I have learned throughout my life, how important it is to follow Christ's example to truly have happiness in our lives. But this morning I was really thinking about that question, and came across some scriptures where Jesus Christ Himself gives the answer :) The first one is in the Bible, John 12:46 - "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." I KNOW that that is true. It is something I have seen time and again that Jesus Christ really can bring a light and joy into our lives that wasn't there before. No matter how dark the darkness seems, it can be overcome through relying on Jesus Christ.
The next scripture was in the Book of Mormon, in 3 Nephi 9:21. This is when Jesus Christ is coming to the people in the Americas, the "other sheep" (John 10:16). It says "Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin." And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the message I share with people everyday. That Jesus really does want to save us, and we need His help. I hope you don't think I am trying to preach to you, I just felt I should share a bit of what I am learning and continuing to learn in this great experience called life :) 

Love you heaps, have a marvelous week!

November 6
I LOVE that poem! (The Race) I didn't have time to read it, so I printed it off, LOVE it, and have read it to so many of the people we are working with. Then, they make a copy and pass it on to more of their family and friends, it is spreading :) Thanks for reminding me, I need to print another copy today :)
This week was really special. On Saturday there was a specialty training, and President talked for an hour on the importance of integrity. What a great principle! we had studied before elder callister's talk Becoming men and women of integrity, which was fabulous. Unfortunately, we missed most of the training because we had places to take the displays to. (it's now called the mobile gospel display, and no abbreviations, per white handbook haha) BUT we went to the baptisms of some excommunicated members that have been attending church regularly for the past 15 years, but haven't been able to make the step to baptism. What was even more amazing is that Sister Coultrup worked with them for about 4 months of her mission, and it was so great to be there. even though they live an hour away. It was at a chapel I'd never been to before! Then there was another baptism back at our chapel. So fun!
working on a bigger group email. love you heaps

So many miracles this week. Really quick, on Friday we had our Auslan activity! It was so much fun to see all the members there, and Tanya had a great time. We started with a potluck dinner, and everyone brought amazing food :) Then we split into some groups and I got to teach a small group how to use sign language! The prize at the end was given after everyone introduced themselves to Tanya in Auslan. So fun!
Sunday was a big day. We had to give a missionary presentation in 3 different wards (congregations) that met at the same time. How to do that? We delegated to some other sisters the responsibility for one of the wards, and the elders helped them. Then, Sister Coultrup and I went on splits with the sisters in Fulham Gardens ward so we could each give the presentation. Basically sharing with everyone how many miracles are seen every day in the mission, and what President Parker is doing specifically to change things up. Kind of like PR, our job was to help everyone get excited about missionary work, and the gospel! So of course it was fun :)
As part of the restored church of Jesus Christ, we believe in the same organization that existed in the church Christ established. We had the great privilege to meet Elder Nielsen, who is a man called of God to be a seventy (Luke 10:1, 17). He is an amazing man, and so in tune with the Spirit. He also happens to be from Texas, and used to play for the Houston Oilers! :) Last week at the temple he was there with his wife for the mission presidents' seminar, and we got to take a photo :) We got to go to the temple that day with Dana, Olivia, and Summer, all Chinese students who have been baptized here in Australia just in the past few months! I love them.

I love you all, Have a miraculous week!

The Gospel is for everyone!

November 3
Dear Family,

This week Tanya was baptized!!!! It is such a miracle. For those who don't remember, Tanya is the lady we found who is deaf, and she knew a little bit of American Sign Language (which I learned in high school). But ended up that she didn't know very much, and most of her signing was finger spelling. *In Australia, they have a completely different sign language, it is called Auslan. So my companion and I have been learning Auslan, and interpreting for Tanya when she's come to church. On her very first Sunday, a member came up to us and said that he learned Auslan while on his mission - the only member here who knows Auslan, and he lives in our ward!!! What a miracle. Though it was a bit difficult to communicate at first, she really has a sincere desire to follow Jesus Christ, and live his gospel (teachings). She is such a testimony to me that the gospel truly is for everyone! This is on the day of her baptism, look at that precious smile. It was a beautiful day.
I love you all, have a wonderful rest of your week!

There were a lot of keys in that room!

November 3
Dearest family, I had such a great week, I thought I could tell you all about it.
Don't know if I mentioned last week, but there was a mission presidents seminar here in Adelaide for a few days, and we heard so much from President for everyone to be on their best behavior, to look our best, there was a lot of hype about it haha. I honestly didn't think we'd actually meet any of them, because they'd be in meetings all day. But the first day, guess who walks up to us while we are unlocking our bikes? The mission president and his wife of the Sydney South mission. They were lovely, and it was nice to meet them. Then the next day... we heard the mission presidents would be doing a session at the temple, and we were going with our recent convert Dana to watch her do baptisms for the dead for the first time. But they should have been out by the time we got there. Were they? Nope! So we walked up to the temple, and 16 mission presidents, their wives, and the entire Pacific Area Presidency were there outside!! They were so kind, they all wanted to get to know us individually (I think Dana was a bit overwhelmed.... so was I. Not that they were intimidating... I would call them great, kind, spiritual giants. Wow.) And then they wanted us to take pictures of all of them!! Haha just like normal missionaries.
Then the next day we went up to our teaching center, and who did we bump into? THE PACIFIC AREA PRESIDENCY AND THEIR WIVES, on a tour by President and Sister Parker. They were so lovely, and asked us lots of questions about the presentations we do with the displays. It was crazy!!!!
Then Tanya got baptized on Saturday, but more about that in my next email.
Sister Townsend
October 23
Okay, first miracle to share, from English class! My companion and I teach English class every week, and every week I feel like the least qualified person to teach :) We had split off into groups and were practicing different topics of conversation, asking questions, English class stuff. Then Elder Chen comes in, writes out a question in English, asks me if it's correct, and it says, "God is our loving Heavenly Father. We want to invite Ms. Chen (the member of the class) to pray and ask God if He is really there." I was so surprised! But he handed it to her, and she treated it first like the other questions we had done, finding the noun, verb, and adjective. Then he started teaching her about prayer! It was amazing to see the transition, and how receptive she was to try prayer because there was another Chinese, testifying it was true. I've known all along how amazing it is to have Chinese missionaries, but here I got to see it firsthand. My testimony of how prayer works was fine, she brushed it off saying she was Chinese, so basically doesn't apply to her. Then Elder Chen testified, and what a difference! She committed that she would pray, and we found out things in her life that she really needs God's help with, and is starting to believe that there would be a God there to answer her.

This week we had a lesson with our recent convert Niki. She asked the question, why do only men get the priesthood? Sister Coultrup did a great job explaining the different responsibilities of men and women, what great blessings God has given to all of us, but I wanted to find a scripture to back it up. I was looking and looking, not finding anything, and just prompted to continue in my personal study, where I am currently at in the Book of Mormon. It was Alma 32, and in verse 23, there was my answer! I had never appreciated or noticed it before. "And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned." I know that that is true. We are all able to receive answers to our prayers, knowledge that comes straight from God. How amazing is that? I am so grateful for the little promptings and all the help Heavenly Father gives to us.

One more miracle, we were walking down North Terrace, and 2 men were at a restaurant and called out "Hey sisters!" we waved, figured they were members, and kept walking. Then we saw them again! They are members from Alice Springs, haven't gone to church in years, but are here for major brain surgery. So good we got to meet them, make contact, and now the elders are going to visit them while they are here. God works in mysterious ways, but sometimes we are able to know and recognize exactly why and what He wants us to do :)

Back in Mildura

October 17
This was the week of the Mildura Show. So Wednesday my companion and I packed up for the 5.5 hour drive to Victoria. Though it started out a bit discouraging, (there were very few people there the first 2 days) things picked up and we had more success on Saturday. One man came up and asked if he could purchase a Book of Mormon. I told him we could give him one free, which he eventually accepted. As I started to ask what led him to request that, he shared that he wanted it because he had heard a lot of things about it, and wanted to find out for himself. I encouraged him, saying that was what the Book of Mormon asked us to do. He said I had misunderstood, he already knew the Book of Mormon was false, and all this stuff about Joseph Smith, but he was going to prove it himself. He knew all about us, and believed we misrepresent ourselves claiming to be Christians. He kept talking and sharing, seeming to be nervous about giving me a chance to speak? It was so sad for me, hearing all this stuff. Finally as he was leaving, he took a breath and I took the chance to bear my testimony to him of the Savior. Of what I have come to know about all that Christ did for us, and how the Book of Mormon was a big part of that. Although he didn't seem to respond much to that, it was a powerful witness to me of the Spirit, and of how much Jesus Christ is a part of this church, and aware of everything that we do here, in His name.
ALSO at the show, I got to be on the radio!! Weird, can check that off my bucket list! A man that I met on the street 7 months ago when I was serving in Mildura remembered me, and wanted to do an interview on the radio, because he's a radio host. Great opportunity, I was able to share what we do as missionaries, and share a bit about what missionaries everywhere do! Whether a lot of people were listening or not, who knows? Still fun :)
Another experience I would like to share comes from my personal study this morning. I was reading about Ammon, a great missionary in the Book of Mormon. In Alma 28:12 it says "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
So powerful, I know there are mighty miracles all around us! I am definitely guilty of not appreciating them sometimes. Then I thought of this scripture from the Bible, Phillipians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
The miracles of God are all around us, I wish I had more time to share them with you. But I love hearing about little miracles that happen in your lives!
All my love, all the way from Australia,
Sister Townsend


October 10

I really really loved the zone training we had this week. Our leaders gave fantastic training on becoming more consecrated missionaries. Especially grateful for the Spirit that was felt. Of course the Spirit is the master teacher, and emphasizes what we can do. Each companionship went up and shared what they would do personally to not waste time/become more of a missionary that says "I want to..." (do whatever is asked). Sister Coultrup and I were given the scripture D&C 123:17, one of my favorites. The phrase "cheerfully do all things that lay in our power" stood out to us, and we committed to be more cheerful in all aspects of the finding we do. The nature of the area seems to be we find a lot of people for other missionaries, but that is definitely something to be cheerful about! There are so many people who want to learn more about God's plan for them, we just get to help them recognize that :D

Miracle this week with one of our new investigators. I learned more about the power of everything that we say. We would mention something like, "God has a plan for you," and she stopped, looked shocked, and said, "Really? He has a plan for me?" And it was such a foreign concept for her, as well that God would love her enough to have that plan. Then the same concept was highlighted again in conference, what a great knowledge we have, and responsibility to share God's Plan of Happiness with all that we meet.

One of the new senior couples that just came in is pretty special, well everyone's special :) but this man's uncle happens to be President Russell M. Nelson, or as he calls him, "Uncle Rus". 😁 He shared that there is this one picture, the one with Jesus wearing red, that sometimes looks happy, sometimes upset, or half justice, half mercy? That's the one PRESIDENT NELSON says looks most like Christ. And why is that? WOAH.

This week I had a san churro sundae at the best chocolate cafe in the world, and ate waffles :)

Dearest family, I love you and pray for you. Thank you for continuing to keep going, regardless of challenges or tests of faith. They come, and we get the opportunity to show Satan who's boss.keep going, keep trying (keep re-watching Elder Holland's talk from conference April 2016😀 ) and remember I love you!

Sister Townsend
Part 2
A slightly drunk man shared an acronym with us the other day that is pretty cool
Always seeking to elevate (improve) ourselves, right? And I am learning that only comes through action, and we are able to see that joy in ourselves and others as we share the light of the gospel :) love it!
So I fell off my bike again...but don't worry I am well take care of. It was a rainy day, and I slipped. But before I could even pick myself up, a man had run across the road and was there to help pick me up. just a bit of blood, and some nice security guards helped patch me up. Then this morning we were with president, and because I hadn't bought any more bandages yet, I couldn't shake anyone's hand. BUT president is a doctor, and he checked me out to make sure nothing was broken. It is a great blessing to be a missionary, and be protected. Unfortunately, another elder in our zone had a more minor fall than me, but he broke a bone in his hand, had to have surgery, and will be in a cast and sling for a few more weeks :) We all have our challenges :D
October 9

Message to Vivi
Yes we went to a members home and they had a buffet lined up for us to make our own vietnamese cold rolls (those are some of my favorite things to eat here) and you should look them up! that's so good about your profile picture, keep it up! Sorry I don't have much else to talk about except missionary work, that's all I'm doing now...but I love hearing about everything you are doing! remember Rach and I will both be praying for you, and hope you have an awesome week!
Message to James
So well!!!!!! 2 baptisms in the past month, and many many miracles besides that. Because my companion and I get to travel around to different areas, we find people for other missionaries to teach, and now some of those people are going to be baptized as well!! Similar to football, I've been thinking how it doesn't matter what part you play, you contribute to the overall win. We each have different responsibilities, whether that is at church, school, with friends, on a team, or in the mission, God knows what we can do, and we do our best to live up to that!! Then we are so happy when the success comes. Even if you're not playing offense and your team wins, of course you'll still be excited! you contributed to that :)
love you! Sister Townsend

The Storm of the Century

October 3
G'day family and friends!!!!

This week Adelaide, Australia was hit with the biggest storm they've had in over 50 years!!!!! The entire state of South Australia was without power for about 6 hours, during the day, different parts gradually got their power back bit by bit during the night. For myself, I was on trade offs, so not even with my normal companion! But I was with Sister Tamana, a previous companion. We've been having some pretty heavy storms lately, heaps of wind and rain, and yesterday morning we even had hail! But back to the blackout... When it happened, we were in the city, where there is always people in the streets. When the power went out, people actually started screaming. The end of the world was coming!!! All of the trains and trams were down (obviously, because the run on electricity) and that left so many people in the city with only buses to take them home. But it was a great time for people to come together, to LOOK UP, because now they had to, it was a really great experience! At our flat, we didn't have any source of light, so we went over to the mission home (lucky we live next door) and got to borrow some candles.

Then the very next day we were so lucky the storm stopped enough for us to go to the temple!! Bright sunny skies, a beautiful day. And what was really cool was that Raymond was able to baptize her, and he was just baptized himself 2 months ago! Then just a few hours later, we were told to not go outside under any circumstances to stay safe from the storm that had come back! Just ridiculous.

And last but not least we were very privileged to see our friend Niki be baptized this Saturday! Hard to believe, but we started meeting with her just a month ago, and she was so prepared. We first met her back in July, the day before she was going home to China for 2 months. Sad, but we got her phone number and hoped for the best. Fast forward to the end of August, we were really struggling to find people to teach, so we called up all the people on our phone. NO ONE answered, except for Niki! She agreed to meet with us, and now has entered the waters of baptism, received the Holy Ghost, and feels so clean and excited to share this gospel with her friends. A great testimony to me of what happens when we truly believe in God and Jesus Christ and what the belief then motivates us to do.

I love you all, have a marvelous week!

Sister Townsend

The Moon Cake Festival

September 18
Hello dear family and friends!!
So many things to share this week. First, Dana (a recent convert) came to another lesson of someone we were teaching, and bore a very powerful testimony of the blessings she has seen come into her life since her decision to follow Christ and be baptized. It was so cool to see and hear :) As well, it helps to build friendships! I think I've said this before, but I'm really learning how great friendships can be built on shared experiences in the gospel. I love it.
This week we had a special celebration. In China, there is something called a mid autumn festival, on the day of the full moon in the 8th lunar month (I think). Anyways, it is also called a moon cake festival! For myself, when I hear "cake", I think CAKE. But this is a moon cake Basically made of a paste, a very sweet paste with lots of sugar, and an egg yolk in the middle! But it was super fun, we were inviting literally everyone we could, because we were kind of planning it last minute. But it was still great! We rented out the basement floor of this building we're in, they have a movie theater and everything, but it hadn't been used in a LONG time, so we spent 2.5 hours as a whole zone (group of missionaries) cleaning it. When everyone got there, we watched some short Mormon Messages about who God and Jesus Christ are, the Book of Mormon, and God's Plan of Happiness for all of us. And the videos were in English and Chinese! Then we had the food :D The senior couples went all out and provided a great feast of semi-authentic Chinese food :) And it was such a success that we will be having something similar once a month. There were so many people there who had never met missionaries before, but wanted to come to a moon cake festival. After, they felt the Spirit from what was shared and wanted to be with the same people again, and asked to come to church! The girl in the front in the yellow jacket, her name is Misa, and she came to church yesterday and loved it. She is super busy all during the week but wants to continue to learn about God. Sometimes it amazes me at such simple and strong faith. But like it says in the Matthew 7:7, "Ask and it shall be given you." I know that is true, that all we need to do is ask God and He is there for us.
I've been studying more this week about the life of Christ. In everything He did, He exemplified such patience and love, traits I am continually working on developing! And in John 21, we receive the answers of how we can show our love and gratitude for everything Jesus has done for us. "Feed my sheep". I know it's possible for all of us to follow this counsel, and I want to encourage everyone to do so this week. To look out for someone you can help and lift. I KNOW you will be happier for it, because that is where we can find true happiness in serving others. I love you all SO much!!
Sister Townsend and Sister Coultrup :)

September 11

Message from the Mission Mom, Sister Parker

Can I just tell you how incredible your daughter is! President Parker has the utmost confidence in her as she has been given an incredible assignment. That is being a PVC sister. She was called because she is exactly obedient, very talented, works extremely hard, is 100% trustworthy and people are drawn to her. That is quite a list and all true. Sister Townsend is the cream of the crop and has been given great responsibilities because we know she can handle it and will go forward with a smile on her face finding a way to get the job done. She is a joy to be around and a leader in every sense of the word. Thank you for sending her prepared in every way.

Answer to "What is the PVC?"
Portable Visitors' Center. Brand new calling/assignment, only one other mission in the whole world has the PVC, and that's the Boston mission, they developed it. They have a website that might show you more of what we do, but we take care of these displays, go to different events, (firesides, ward conferences, activities, and non member events too, like markets and the show) and teach people using a portable visitors center! Kind of like visitors center sisters :) but we also proselyte in the city, use the teaching space there, and preach in the Mall as well :) lots of really great things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because it's a new assignment and we're still working out the kinks of everything, President asked us not to tell our families, who then might spread it to other missionaries, its still in the learning phase. That makes it have that much more pressure, but without pressure, how would we learn and grow? :)
(note here from Janet- since Sister Parker told me about it, I figure it's okay to share on the blog)

I have been officially asked if I could extend my mission until March 25, 2017. I have prayed and fasted about it, and feel it is where Heavenly Father wants me to be. I know that it will be a great sacrifice, and that there may be some things I miss, but remember how many blessings and miracles have come thus far! There is so much more in store for all of us as a family, and I know there will be a much sweeter reunion when it comes.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, I would like to respond to President today..

Any homecoming things haven't been scheduled in stone yet, have they?

Love you all SO much!!!!!
Sister Townsend

The Royal Adelaide Show

August 28

After weeks of preparing, or thinking we were preparing but we really had no idea what we were doing, we the missionaries of the Australia Adelaide Mission have a booth at the Royal Adelaide Show! Sounds pretty fancy doesn't it? It is a show similar to the calgary stampede? apparently, because that's all sister coultrup says.

Part of my assignment is to make sure our presence at the show is as successful as President hopes it will be. No pressure, right? But there are SO many people there, we were told that 700,000 people come to the show from all around Adelaide, and all around AUSTRALIA. What a great opportunity for the church and for members and non-members and everyone to see what the church is all about! I feel like I'm having to become much more knowledgeable with the whole "public affairs" side of things to make sure we are following all the rules, and that's the same way it is in the city. There are 3 sets of sisters who have different shifts (each companionship comes everyday) but my companion and I are pretty responsible for it.

We go in the morning to make sure everything is set and ready for the day, and also have some evening shifts, when there are lots of people there, and to close up the booth for the night. We had some really amazing experiences just this morning, people being led right to us. One lady walked past the booth, Sister Coultrup and I both saw her but we were busy with other people. Then she was walking back in the other direction, received a text, and stopped right close to our booth. I started talking to her, and found out she is a member, but hasn't been going in the past month since her dad died. Her testimony has really been struggling, and we spoke with her at just the right time, and reassured her of the truth of the Plan of Salvation and God's love for her.

Then another time this man just walked into the booth, and asked if he could have one of the Bibles we had on display. He wants to study different religions, and this large-size Bible was just what he wanted. We also gave him a Book of Mormon and got his address for missionaries to go by and "study" more with him :D So cool!

There are so many miracles, it honestly amazes me. I have a hard time explaining to people sometimes, but the things that have happened, especially since being in Australia, no way could they be a coincidence. I know that God lives, and that He is guiding us everyday. It just took me coming all the way here to recognize all the little things He does for us. I love you all, hope you enjoy your week!

Just cause I love it so much and want to share more. In picture, when you're looking at it, on the right is a table with Books of Mormon in almost every single language, and inside each copy is a testimony IN THAT LANGUAGE written by a member here in Adelaide. Above is framed copies of the Family Proclamation and the Articles of Faith. Then we have that BEAUTIFUL display. Pictures of Moroni with the plates, the Savior in the Americas, and English and Chinese pamphlets on the other table. On the TV in front there is a slideshow, constantly asking questions like Who is God? How can He help me? Christ's Church has been restored, things like that :)

Dana's Baptism

August 28
Crazy week. So crazy my shoes decided to fall apart, so I was walking around with flapping shoes, the bottom wasn't really attached anymore. Luckily, someone came to my rescue. We were waiting outside to teach a lesson, and one of the members with us pointed out my shoe and said "What are we going to do about that?" My response "Do you have any glue?" He thought for a moment, then said "I'll be right back!" And he started running away to the nearest store! I was only kidding, but he came back with SupaGlue, and fixed my shoe. Haha thanks Baagi!
This week our friend Dana was baptized. It was a really interesting experience, a lot happened with her this week. On Tuesday she came and said she wanted to postpone her baptism, and the reason she said was because of her studies, needing more time to prepare for her midterm exams the next week. At first, Sister Coultrup and I didn't really know what to do. But the Spirit took over, and gradually guided us on how to resolve her concern. We shared with her a scripture from the Book of Mormon, Ether 12:6, "and we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith". That was really powerful, and she felt the Spirit. What was really cool was that Sister Coultrup and I each had thoughts of how to solve her problem, but neither of us expressed them. Then Dana received her own answer from the Spirit, and still wanted to be baptized this Sunday. It was amazing, and I was so grateful to see how the Spirit speaks to each of us individually. Then came Sunday, with its' own challenges as well, but everything worked out in the end! 
I wish you all could have heard her testimony after her baptism. She has such a strong testimony and knowledge of how God has helped her. I know that that knowledge can help us overcome anything, and I know this gospel is true. I love you all, hope you have a marvelous week!
Sister Townsend

Greetings from AUS

August 21

I feel like it's been ages since I've sent a mass email out, and it probably has been....sorry!

Life is pretty grand here in Australia. I've mentioned before how my companion Sister Coultrup and I are serving in the city, and there are so many miracles happening. I truly have been able to see God's hand guiding us to those He has prepared.

One experience from last week, we were travelling into the city and noticed dark clouds coming in. Something we've been used to in the past, but it's been starting to feel like spring! So we prepared ourselves for it. We had pla nned to have a lesson with our friend Dana, who is a student in the city. Right before the lesson, it started to rain. And not just a little bit, it was like the sky was having a temper tantrum and decided to start bawling. Very quickly, we were soaked. Then Dana texted us, saying she hadn't brought any rain protection with her, and could we please meet another day? We didn't have a whole heap of time the rest of the week, and we had a really good lesson planned. So I volunteered that she could use my rainjacket (I like rain anyway) and we would run to where our lesson was at. But as we were going to meet her, the rain started to slow down. By the time we met her, it had stopped completely and didn't start again until we were safely inside. What a blessing!

On Wednesday we were able to have a trade-off with Sister Tamana and Sister Maea. (see photo) I was with Sister Maea, from New Zealand. We went to one family's house, and the warning I received before going in was, "She doesn't like Americans...." Uh thanks? So that was a fun experience, but by the end of it, she was my new friend :) People's hearts can be softened!!

Then on Friday we had another really cool experience. We were talking with a man on the street, introducing ourselves, where we were from. As soon as I said "Texas", a girl walking past whipped her head around and said "Texas?!?!" Haha so I started talking with her, she's a Chinese student, only been here for 2 days, recently transferred here from the University of Texas at Austin! So amazing, she loved having someone to talk to about Texas, and of course I didn't mind either.

Just a small part of my week, but I hope everyone is having a wonderfully hot summer! If there is ever anything I can do (even though I'm a bit far) PLEASE let me know!!!

Love Sister Townsend

3 Nephi 11:21

August 14

This week we were also able to teach our investigator Dana, who is on date for baptism in the next couple of weeks. We weren't sure where her understanding was at of the restoration, particularly because she is Chinese and was saying things that made us think she didn't really understand. So in the lesson with her, we read from 3 Nephi 11. She was asking questions like why don't we just go to any Christian church? That led so well into what we shared from 3 Ne 11:21, when Jesus gives the power to Nephi. And the member there, a worthy priesthood holder, bore testimony of the impact that power has made in his life. What a good lesson, and especially from teaching from the scriptures and testifying of the Spirit.

I will really work on a group email next week, the power went out at the you all!!!!

The Teaching Space