Monday, September 20, 2010

I honestly can't convey how happy I am. There have been plenty of hard days and slammed doors so far on my mission, but things keep going just SO well.

Golden. His name is Sony. We met him yesterday, and we taught him yesterday. So, amazing. I can't describe how prepared he is. Elder Riley said that it's the best thing thats happened to him in two years. He is the most prepared, most humble, most ready person I've ever met in my life. I cried during our rendez-vous last night.

We met him in the train station around 4 o' clock. We had a different rendez-vous in another town, then we called him, went back and taught him. He is from Haiti and he speaks French and English perfectly. He is 33 and lives by himself. His parents live in Florida and Haiti and he loves them. He plays piano and works.

He kept telling us how he is a believer, but he doesn't know very much. He said he was there to learn and wanted us to teach him. His questions were real and sincere. We read one verse of Alma 32 and he said "So this applies to me because if I read this book and put it into action, I will know if the book is true based off of the reaction, and how I feel." He taught me so much! He is so much the embodiment of someone who has been kept from the truth because he knows not where to find it. He also told us how he has heard bad things about the Mormons, but he doesn't believe them because of how he feels when he is with us. He wants to learn by what he feels.

I can't wait to get to the next life and watch our rendez-vous over and over again. He has no idea what he has done for me. He said he is going to come to church next week. He said he'll read the Book of Mormon with any free time he has. He said he'd pray that night and ask if it was true. I know he already knows it's true. His prayer at the end was so humble and real. He thanked Heavenly Father for sending us into his home and bringing him truth. He told us how he loved how we used the bible too because that is really important to him. The church is so inspired! The part when I cried was when I was telling him about Christ having many sheep, and how some of them were the people in the Americas in the Book of Mormon. I told him that the people in France were his sheep, as well as our families in Haiti, Florida, and Ohio.

Anyway, that is in the front of my mind right now. Obviously.

We have had lots of opportunities to give blessings so far on my mission, way more than I imagined. It is really cool to see so many people that have a testimony of priesthood blessings, members and nonmembers alike.

Oh. Gosh. Stake Conference was yesterday for the Paris Stake. It was held in the Palais des Congrès, an incredibly beautiful and french building. Right, in, front, of the Versailles Château. Literally. AMAZING?!? Yes. You walk out the door and you're looking at the entrance to the château. Last time I was there I was about... 11? I adore the church in France.

Mama continues to rock my life. I especially like the cute little head dresses she wears. We took her american cookies. Loved them. This week we are going to teach her whole family, like 13 kids!! Also Mama is for sure coming to church on Sunday. I can't wait to escort her in. We have to get a car for her because she is still recovering from her knee surgery. I nearly passed out when she was showing us the bandages this week. Like, I started getting white and kind of layed down on the couch. Luckily, she noticed and with her motherly African love nursed me back to health. We talked to her about spiritual food vs. physical food. She ate it up. Literally. And spiritually. She is slowly becoming un-evangilized too. She doesn't even chant during prayers anymore! Also, without us even mentioning it, she started spouting out about why tithing is important. Oh mama.

Mama and Sony were my two favorite things this week. We had a about a lesson every day other than those too. Sorry if I bore you with our investigators.

This is cool: the first week here we didn't get any of our weekly goals. The next week we got one of them. The next week we got two. Then three. And this last week we got... four :) The best part is that the goals are always higher and higher.

Snails. Ate them. I literally LOVED them. So dang good. They just tast like mussels only they were all garlicy and delicious. We got them for dinner one night and took them home and cooked them. When in France...

In a rendez vous this week there was a 5 year old african boy who couldn't stop looking at me, touching me, and otherwise harassing me. Why? turns out I was the first white person he has ever been around. He didn't like Elder Riley though. It was actually kind of scary at times, he would like grab me and start kissing my hands and arms. His mom had to explain to him how I'm white and he's black. I said how sometimes I wished I was black. Then it got awkward. I think that line works better in the states.

Something thats really frustrating is people who have already been baptized and don't understand the authority thing. It has been happening a lot to us here in Evry. By the way, Evry is the equivolent of little Africa. That's why there are so many Africans that we are teaching. We only have on white investigator for now, and she's married to an african man.

Quote of the week. You have to say it outloud. Me: "how are you going to get number after your mission?" Elder Riley: "Elder, it's a little thing called faith." Me: "you mean like faithbook?"

We are going into Paris again for P day today. Elder Riley wants to get his fill before going home in a week. Aka, the transfer is over in a week and I will have a new companion. I should be staying in Evry though. I'd better be.

One of the sisters in Evry has told me a few times how much I've turned around the work here for the Evry elders. It means a lot to me and it's cool to see that I've personally had an effect here. At the beginning there wasn't much, and now we have 4 solid progressing investigators. We should have them all at church on Sunday. Ok, pardon my boasting, but Ammon says it best. I will not rejoice in my own strength, but in the strength of the Lord. He is blessing the people here so much and I'm so lucky to be able to help.

There are two scriptures I love reading back to back. First is 3 Nephi 5:13, and then read D&C 123:17.

I love you as always.

Elder Coburn

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