I'm getting sick of writing about how happy I am but there is just nothing else to talk about...
There actually is one sad thing I can write about: Elder Pieper is getting transferred to Nogent, a suburb of Paris. It's a little weird to be attached to someones hip for 3 months straight and then just to be separated one day. I really really love Elder Pieper. It has been the best two transfers of my mission. I'll be sad to send him off on the train to Paris.
My new companion is Elder Bjerga. He's from Norway!! Most notably that means that I am 0 for 7 on Utah companions. Elder Bjerga actually lived in Utah though for like the second half of his life but I'm not going to count it. He was in the same mtc group as Elder Pieper.
Last night Elder Pieper and I called Sister Staheli to tell her how thoroughly content we are with our two transfers together. This past transfer we taught 103 lessons. Sister Staheli said she thinks that might be a record. Combined with last transfer we have taught 192 together in Reims. Of course numbers aren't the most important thing but we think it is fun. On our way to the chapel this morning we got a call from the Assistants full of praise and thanks about this past transfer. They said that what we are is what they want the entire mission to be. It was sweet. I love attention. They asked us to email them about what we learned and what we did to make our transfer so good. So I chose three things to write them about: Unity, obedience, and planning. They are three things that I really believe in. This is what I wrote:
We believe in being unified. In John 17:21-22 Christ prays for us to be one in the same way that He and the Father are one. That means we need to have the same goals and objectives. We need to be working for the same thing. One very effective way that we did this was to read the entire Book of Mormon together in one transfer. During personal study every morning we would always read the same 20 pages, then for companionship study we would talk about what we read and how to use it in our lessons that day. Another thing we noticed is that unity does not come while sitting around the apartment. Hard work unifies. Success unifies. Disappointments and trials unifie. Alma and Amulek seemed pretty unified in prison together, but they didn't get into prison by sitting on their lazyboys and eating baguettes. Work is a key to unity.
We believe in obedience. Our 3rd week together we taught 22 lessons and had two separate baptismal dates. Then we bought Schtroupfie. Schtroupfie was a 2 euro goldfish from a marché. Obviously we knew it was against the rules, but it was just a goldfish. Dumb, dumb, dumb. After keeping Schtroumpfie in an old pretzel container for a week we lost both our baptismal dates and our lesson count get chopped in half. Even if it wasn't 100% because of our disobedience, it might as well have been. God works in mysterious ways and he sure taught us our lessons. Schtroupfie now lives with in a recent convert's aquarium where he is happy and so are we. To obey is to follow God's will. We're lucky to be missionaries because we have a nifty little white book that tells us exactly what his will is for us. We have testimonies that being obedient to even the smallest things brings the biggest blessings.
We believe in planning. It is thoroughly impossible to teach 20 lessons a week without planning. It's like trying to shoot clay pigeons (or real pigeons) with your eyes closed. Planning takes time and it takes picking up the phone to make calls. It seems like or phone call to rendez-vous ratio was about 10 to 1. Some phone calls are awkward, awkward, awkward, but you have to do it! Planning also takes forgetting one's self. Rdv's always should come first. There have been so many days when our plans left us no time to go home for lunch, but we felt like it was better to be teaching. Above all however, it comes down to what President Staheli said: we can not put our will in line with Heavenly Father's will without planning as a companionship every single day. It is essential if we want His help. He can show us where the clay pigeons are.
This week we made really good progress our Chinese ami, Yiping. She has been coming to English class for to past several weeks and at our invitation she has also been coming to church with her two little kids! She is very nice and very social. At the beginning she didn't know anything about God, but now she recognizes and feels the Spirit when she is with us. She prays and comes to church because she knows that she will learn good things there. She is using this weekend to pray about a baptismal date for June 25th. She is very shocked that we think she is ready, but I think she knows herself that she has found something that is true and good. So we have our fingers crossed.
It has been SOOO HOTTT in Reims this weeks. It's crazy weather. It will just be hot hot hot in the daytime, and then there are crazy storms in the night time. Last night for example we were sleeping on the balcony when Elder Pieper woke me up to go inside because it was pouring rain on us and thundering and lighting ilke nobody's showbiz. I would've never noticed though.
Also this week we went to an international horse jumping competition that was taking place in the park right next to us. It made me miss riding horses with Hannah and working on their ranch. We also went to a huge medieval festival in centre-ville. There were lots of people dressed up, lots of sausages, and lots of other crazy stuff. It was a lot like the Renaissance Festival.
Hmm. I guess I should go.
I love you all so much. Clearly it is one of the brightest parts of my week to read all your emails :)
Love, Elder Coburn