Monday, October 3, 2011

Alors. Bonjour encore! Il fait plaisir de parler avec sa famille. Surtout quand tu as la mienne.

Ok. Conference is SO GOOD. I said it once and I'll say it again -general conference is like the super bowl for missionaries. Except better. This time I got to watch most of it in English while sitting on couches and eating in the Young Adults Center. J'adore ça. My favorite talks?? All of them. But seriously. Most especially though I loved:
Elder Packer's about the youth of the church being raised in enemy territory and about repentance.
Elder Holland's about missionaries being the "recruits in war."
Carl B. Cook about "it's better to look up."
(Inside my head right now is like "dang it I loved them all!" continuing...)
Elder Christopherson about relative standards vs. God's standards
Elder Hales about trials and suffering
Tad R. Callister just dominated all around. He talked about the Book of Mormon.
And then obviously all three of the First Presidency. President Monson was getting pretty wild up at that podium :)

We don't really get to watch the Sunday evening session so I have no idea about those talks yet. The main four themes that stuck out to me all around were: Missionary work, Repentance, The Book of Mormon, and being in the world but not of the world.

Also, ever since the talk about looking up instead of down I have really just been trying to do that. Physically and spiritually. It totally works. No wonder President Monson is always so happy!

We had a pretty good week this week. We found three new amis to teach! One is a way cool Malagasy guy named Erasto. He is currently engaged to a girl from Utah and planning on going out there in December. So... we're talking about why she wants to be married in a temple, etc... He has a lot of deep questions. Like about baptisms for the dead and the 2nd coming happening in America...? Our lesson was pretttty messy but this weeks will be good. Another new ami is a 40 year old single man that says he believes in God, but he doesn't want to go further than that. We are trying to tell him that if we have true faith in God, then we are pushed to act on that faith. The very fact to 'believe' in God and Christ but not do anything is sort of contradictory in itself. The other new ami is a 60 year old woman from Africa with really short bleached yellow hair that takes care of aged people. She's hilarious. She supposed to be reading the Book of Mormon this week and we see her again tomorrow morning.

So in between all that we basically had the most out of control week of my life. We went to five different cities and two different countries. Zone leadering = drainnning. Tuesday we went to Strasbourg for our district meeting, Wednesday we went up to Luxembourg to give our training in their district meeting, wednesday and thursday we did exchanges with the Elders up in Metz, and then Friday we went into Paris for another zone leader conference in the mission home. Which led us back to home sweet home in Nancy for the weekend. And then somehow it was still our most productive week this transfer. Cool. Going to Luxembourg was my first time leaving France so far (a lot of other missionaries serve in Belgium). In Luxembourg there is an elder and a sister equipe (one of which is Sis. McClaine that was in the mtc and Evry with me. She goes home next transfer.) Anyway, so we get to Luxembourg, and the elders that were supposed to meet us on our train weren't there (they had missed the train up to Luxembourg). That's when the chaos started. How 'bout we just call them to find out where they are? Oh. Our phone can't make calls in Luxembourg. How 'bout we just ask 20 random people to borrow their phones? Oh. None of the calls worked. How 'bout we just walk around, try and find an internet cafe, search the church address and get there by ourselves? Oh. No internet cafés in the area. ON TOP OF ALL THAT EVERYBODY WAS SPEAKING LIKE A TWENTY CRAZY LANGUAGES AND LOOKING AT US WEIRD FOR SPEAKING FRENCH TO THEM. I was scared to death. Not really, but I was like highly flustered. All the trains, buses, languages, people, EVERYTHING was foreign to us, and we had zero communication with anyone. How 'bout we go into a Best Western Hotel and ask for help? Good idea. A cute little worker got us the church address (which was on the other side of the city/country) and told us which bus to get on. So poor Elder Hales and Elder Coburn book their little rear-ends across town to go buy tickets and catch the bus. By now we were a good hour late for district meeting. Then the other missionaries called. "Hey where are you guys??" WHERE DO YOU THINK WE ARE?!?! We were having to practice our charity big time. I was so so so frustrated. So then we get to the church, listen attentively to the district leader training, and then he calls on me for the closing prayer. I say "are Elder Hales and I not doing our training?" Oops. That part had somehow been forgotten. So we did our training in 5 minutes, ate some food, talked to some people, and went back to Nancy.

Other than that Luxembourg is gourgeous. Like, really, really gourgeous. And it's a good district, the communication part just kind of failed. We laugh about it now... sort of :)

Ok, I must be going. Luckily it is a very calm week this week. I love you and pray for you :)

Elder Coburn

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