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Posted 03 Jun 2001   For week ended May 25, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 29May01

By Kent Larsen

Deaf New Zealander Will Serve LDS Mission

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND -- John Lydiate was schueduled to leave today for the United States to serve an LDS mission, but before he left he told a local newspaper that he had wanted to serve in spite of his inability to hear. But in spite of his sign language fluency, the 24-year-old man will spend eight weeks in Provo's MTC learning American Sign Language.

Sign language is different around the world -- many times it is as different as another spoken language, so Lydiate will have to learn the American version of sign language so that he can work as a missionary in the US. Since he is hearing impaired, Lydiate assumed he would not be knocking on doors like most missionaries, but that he would instead travel, visiting different locations where there are deaf people interested in the Church.

Lydiate was scheduled to travel with a good friend, Joe Hood, who just graduated from the University of Otago and is also going on an LDS mission. This will be his first extended period away from his family and friends, "At first, when I was accepted, I was nervous and excited, but [now] I am very happy."

Lydiate was born without the inner ear mechanisms which allow people to hear. But in spite of his handicap, he attended mainstream schools and graduated last December from the University of Otago with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and statistics. He hopes to return to Dunedin after his mission and teach mathematics to deaf children.


Dunedin man taking faith to deaf ears
Otago New Zealand Daily Times 25May01 P2
By Allison Rudd


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