Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's kick things off with a story. Last Tuesday we went to visit a less active couple. Holy cow. Firstly, our new ward missionary was with us and nearly killed us several times on the drive there (he's 70 and almost deaf). When we got there they had a nonmember friend there from Madagascar, Ying. We were all like "yes! someone to teach!" So right off the bat René, the ward missionary, starts leaning across the table and hitting her with stuff like "the bible isn't complete" and "how do you find the truth?" Then the less active man interrupts and starts filling us in on his life story and not caring that anyone else is talking. I was having to hold the two old men's hands to keep them from talking. So Ying (yes, she's half chinese) finally gets the chance to tell us a little bit about herself and she is in the middle of telling us about her divorce when the less active man starts getting red and saying "We're here to read the scriptures, not hear your life story!" I was PULLING. MY. HAIR. OUT. Not a member in there was helping our cause. So finally, Ying finished telling us about how her life has been hard and how she's never had time for church. I was like "you know what? it's true. Life IS hard, but with Jesus Christ you have a whole new life waiting for you." Then in the middle of this frenzy she just broke down and started crying for the next 15 minutes. She said her parents have always been like "church, church, church!" and she has always said she didn't have time. Then she was like "and now, as if by chance, I DO have time." She said "I didn't even plan on being here tonight and then the doorbell rang and it was missionaries!" Well, we gave her a Book of Mormon in Malagasy and one in French, gave her a part to read, and set up a rendez-vous for the next day. As we we're leaving the less active wife was like "yeah, it's great! it's an American church!" Goll-y-gee ...and we spend all our time trying to tell people it isn't an American church.

Well, Ying had to work the next day so we didn't get to see her but we've talked to her and are hopefully going to see her this weekend :)

There was one day this week when we were doing some contacting and stopped in a little musuem building. We talked to the sweetest old lady in the museum for about 30 minutes. She was born in 1929 and told us all her stories from the war. Although she said it was impossible to convert her, we gave her a picture of Christ and she said she would put it up in her home so she could always remember "the two young Americans that made her day."

One morning this week during studies Elder Huff asked me to read part of his journal that he had just written. He had written about me and why he admired me. There was a lot to it, but in short, I have never been filled with so much love for a companion as I was then. I am no where near his humility and the fact that he isn't scared to show his weaknesses instilled in me a kind of charity that I have never really known for a companion.

Well, I love you. I miss you.

Elder Coburn

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It has been a GREAT week :)

It is pretty warm here since we're right on the ocean. It's nice. A lot warmer than it sound out in Ohio with all the snow n' such.

First of all. Yesterday may have been the greatest P Day ever. We went to see some standing stones (like an ancient stone henge thing), and then we found some old ruins to play in, and then we realized that we were on the beach, and then we realized it was the MOST GORGEOUS place we had ever been. I adore France. The waves there were at least 20 feet tall and they were just pounding onto the coast. On the coast there were cliffs, lighthouses, ruins, etc. The place we went was about a 45 minute drive from Brest. The drive was fun. We listened to old school french hymns the whole way. I'm pretty good at driving in France. It's a stick. The best is when we are in the middle of French countryside going through farms and trees and everything and there isn't a person in sight. There are windmills all over the place too :) So... we like it here.

Missionary work is going better too. We have a few people to see now. The branch is doing a really cool expo thing that we can take people too. It is basically a really big display set up throughout the church explaining who we are. On Saturday we started talking to a guy on the street and ended up walking him through the whole expo. The branch president was there, and they became friends, and boom, magic.

So for district meeting we have to travel a lot. We either do it in Rennes (2.5 hour train ride), St. Brieuc (1.5 hour train ride), or in Brest (home). So this week we were in St. Brieuc. And well, there is a new missionary in our district named Elder Shumway. Let's just say that my legs were sore the next day from carrying him up 20 stairs. The kid weighs a solid 300 pounds. Yeah. I did it all by myself (proud of me mom? It's a big step up from running around with you on my shoulders).

Oh! We finally got an investigator to church. It was Michel, our solid ami that we've had since we got here. We went to his apartment and 8:15 in the morning, and walked with him to the church. We got there half an hour early to set up chairs and everything and he loved it. He stayed there all three hours and then some. He is making good progress towards baptism.

This week we also went down to the city of Quimper. "The City of Art." We had to go down to get the car that we share with the missionaries there. It was an hour long drive back up after and hour and a half bus ride down. And yes, the country side was stunning. We're getting to be pretty well traveled out here in Bretagne.

One of the people we contacted this week was an African lady. As soon as she referred to "her country," impliing that it was in Africa, I lit up and was like "I LOVE AFRICANS!!" Well, not really like that, but close. I miss all my African friends in Evry.

You guys are doing well at home. Snowboarding, in particualar, it sounds like you are doing well with. I miss it. Not as much as I miss you though!

Love ya,
Elder Coburn

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sounds like things on the home front are going just as well as ever. Things on the mission front are going well too :)

I feel like all my emails are starting to sound the same. I don't know what to say... hmm. This morning I had two oranges for breakfast? I forgot my umbrella at a member's house? Oh hum bug.

We still only have this one guy to teach and he's been being frustrating. We have a decent size handful of people to contact, but we haven't started teaching any yet. So...

This week we handed out 5 Books of Mormon. We're pretty pleased with ourselves.

Dang it, I don't know what to write. I feel like I've told you everything already. Or maybe I just have a severe case of writer's block.

Here's something out of my journal: " This morning we did one of those whole 'we're not eating lunch until we pass out a Book of Mormon' things. Well it took about an hour and a half and we found a really cool college kid. Of course after that we were like "lunch!" and we started heading back to the apartment. In the midst of that though I had the impression to stop the very next person that was about to pass us. I did and then we also gave him a Book of Mormon. Miracle. "

I love ya,

Elder Coburn

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's a brand new year and my heart has been opennned, it's a brand new year and I'm seeing new ligghht. La dee da dee da.
Bonne Année 2011!!! Time flies. Remember how I started my mission way back in 2010? Yeah... During 2011 however, I am not going to see American soil one single time. To use a little bit of mission lingo, it's my 'blackout year.' Dunn, dunn, dunnn. I'm not scared though.

Let's see, I think the reason why the work in Brest hasn't been going too well in the past is because the missionaries here do nothing but eat with the members. At least that's our problem. In our two weeks here we have accumulated more food in our kitchen than we have eaten. Easily. Our fridge is loaded with cakes, pastries, fruits, and pork. All stuff we've been given. Now that the holidays are over though it's going to get a lot better. Well... "better." It really is frustrating though, we have hardly had any time to actually go out and find people that we can teach. All the missionaries just say "oh, it's the holidays, nobody wants to talk to us." Well the truth is that most people never want to talk to us, and the holidays are nothing special. I don't think holidays should be some excuse to sit around and not work. That being said though, Christmas and New years were so spectacular for me thanks to the members and the time we took to celebrate them.

It sounds like you guys are having way too much fun. I can't say I didn't get a little homesick reading about all the fun you had together up in the new mansion. I mean house. Those times when everyone is together are the times that I miss the most. Keep having them for me :)

I like Elder Huff a lot. I have had some of the deepest conversations of my mission with him. He reminds me A LOT of Caleb. We've talked a lot about the relationship between faith and miracles.

Library is closing. Love.

Elder Coburn