Monday, November 28, 2011


Okay the new address is:

Elder Benny Boy Cute Coburn
Les Missionnaires
7 Rue Blanche, Apt. 34
59000 LILLE

All Christmas loot can be fowarded to that address. Speaking of that- homemade cookies would be an EXCELLENT addition to any Christmas package :) Just a thought I had this week...

Anyway, we're not actually celebrating Christmas yet, because today is the LILLE ZONE TURKEY BOWL!!! Frankly, it's been a bit of a nightmare to get organized, but it should be good. We are currently doing our emails at the church waiting for our 20 missionaries to show up to the church. We are going to do a spiritual thought/ training about our vision for the zone, then football, then frisbee, then EAT, then play this French game called Loups-garous. It is like the game Mafia. Elder Godfrey and I being the brave and fearless zone leaders that we are volunteered to provide the Turkey for the meal. We are actually going to by chicken instead though since turkey is pretty rare here. So later today we will be throwing down 55 euros on ten rotissery chickens. One for each companionship. Sweet :) Speaking of Turkey Bowl - Dad? You've really retired from ward turkey bowls? How about when I get back home you will start playing again... You're not even like that close to being old. Anyway. All I know is that there are going to be some mean 5 yard slant routes run today.

Are vision for the zone that we are sharing today is "Finding Your 16 Stones." It's all about figuring out what it is the Lord wants us to do to "light our boats," and then taking it to him so that he can touch it and put the magic in it. Like the Brother of Jared accepted to Lord's invitation to act and be creative, so should we. We have little sacks of 16 stones that we are giving to every companionship. We swindled the rocks from nature and then cut up some old sheets to make the bags. They're cute. There is actually a story behind getting the rocks... here is what Elder Godfrey told his family about it:

We are going to be giving a training today to the zone to get them really syked up about working and stuff so after much prayer and thinking and what we feel is inspiration we decided to use the ever so popular story of the brother of Jared and as a visual aide we need 16 stones in a small cloth sac for every team. Sl 1st problem no stones in our appartment. So while we are out we find a nice dirt patch with perfect stones that well work. The thing is that we need about 160. So we make a deal between Elder Coburn and myself. Ill carry all that he has in his bag if he will then fill his bag with these rocks for the object lesson. So pretty sweet deal. So we do it and then go to the RDV that we had in theh neighborhood. Well the ami had lots of questions to anwser and the lesson went a little long and now Elder Coburn had a very heavy bag and we found ourselves running to get back to the metro so that we could be back home on time. Elder Coburn certainly got the short end of the stick on that deal seeing as now he had to run home with his bag completely full of our object lessonfor our zone. But it was worth the sacrifice because things are going to be great.

So that was fun. We have been SO BUSY this week. I love Lille because there is already work going on here! That is a good feeling :) There is a young man in the ward who will be getting baptized in a couple weeks. And then there is this kick butt family (a mom and her two daughters) that will hopefully be getting baptized this transfer too. Good good stuff is here.

EN PLUS (translation: whats more)!! Lille is a fairy tale city. Really. Christmas lights everywhere, ferris wheel, cobblestones, never ending, lots of pedestrian streets, cute little houses everywhere, etc. It is really close to Belgium so the architecture is a lot different than everywhere else that I've been in France. It kind of looks like Amsterdam, or Bruge (which Dad is actually not in our mission. It is in the non-french part unfortunately. Yes I remember our vacation there).

Leaving Nancy was sad. We did secret santa all together before we left since we aren't going to be together for Christmas. Elder Hales had my name and got me a pair of pink cargo shorts. It was way fun.

To celebrate the real Thanksgiving on thursday we bought four slices of the cheapest turkey we could find. It was gross.

It sounds like you have a pretty good bishop in the new ward up there. You all seem to like him a lot. About playing the organ like you guys asked: I'm not proffesional. I am kind of lame with my feet, but other than that it is the same thing as piano basically.

Cool. I love you. I will probably have a chance later on today to check my email again real quick. PS, talk to you IN LESS THAN A MONTH!

Elder Coburn

Monday, November 21, 2011

Well... Thanksgiving and Christmas won't be in Nancy this year. I'm being transferred on wednesday to be zone leader up in Lille with Elder Godfrey -which is super awesome- but I'm pretty sad about leaving Nancy so soon. I guess I shouldn't have finished my presidents letter last week with the phrase "do with me whatever the Lord needs." Hahah. All four of us here were counting on staying for Christmas together. SADDDDD!!!!! We were super sad when President called us to tell us. So sad that I guess I forgot to send you an email telling you about transfers :) Even more crazy than me leaving is that poor Elder Hales is being transferred to be secretary in the office (which isn't all bad. I mean, Christmas in the mission home certainly has a nice ring). We have too much good stuff going on to just "whitewash" us both out of Nancy at the same time, so Elder Hales will stay in Nancy for 3 more weeks as a tripanionship with the two new zone leaders to introduce them to our investigators, etc... Parting is such sweet sorrow. Not even really that sweet though if you think about it... :) This is the first time that I'm not really "ready" to be transferred. But anyway: IF I am being transferred (and I guess I am), there is nowhere I'd rather be than in Lille with Elder Godfrey. Lille? It's the 4th biggest city in France, and is riggght up on the north tippy top. Practically in England. Everyone says that it is like a miny Paris (it even has it's own underground metro!). Also, the people up there are supposed to be the nicest people in France :) Our zone over there is more compact and close together so that might mean a littttle less traveling :) My district leader will be Elder Johnson, my mtc companion -so that's sweet. Ok. As for Elder Godfrey? In the mtc there were 3 of us that were ridiculously good friends (and still are). Me, Elder Hales, and Elder Godfrey. In the mtc we always talked about how lucky the others would be if two of us ever got to serve together. Well, guess what? Elder Hales and Elder Godfrey already spent two transfers together, and I just spent two transfers with Elder Hales, so now the triangle will be complete with me going up to be with Elder Godfrey. CRAZY. How in the world does that even happen in a mission of 180 missionaries? We must be doing something right :) I have had the best companions EVERRR on my mission. The last 4 have been dreams. 4 sweet comps, 3 sweet cities. So Thanksgiving and Christmas in Lille will be about as good as I could wish for.

This morning in my studies I was reading in 1 Nephi 17 about Lehi's family arriving in Bountiful and starting to build the ship. He chose to call the land bountiful because of all the fruit and honey that was there. Nephi explains two times why they decided to call it bountiful. It is exactly the same for missionaries. We choose whether or not to call our areas "bountiful." We choose our attitude and outlook toward the missionary work in every new city that we go to. Next, Nephi asks the Lord where to go to get stuff to build the ship. Once in "bountiful," do missionaries still need to ask the Lord where to go to do his work? Then Nephi finishes by saying that he was led in his work because he kept the commandements of God, and that he knew that he would be guided if he did. They called on me this morning for the spiritual thought during the ZL conference call, so that is what I shared. So being transferred on wednesday will be leaving bountiful and going to bountiful. I guess I'm not even really being transferred??

This week we had an incredible lesson with Erasto and fixed a baptismal date. He is amazzzing. The Spirit was very strong that evening. I told him that I didn't even see it anymore as him "waiting for his answer," but that he was in the middle of getting his answer. We talked about how we have been meeting him for 3 months and he has only had good feelings during the three months. Elder Montigné (who was on exchange with me) told him that he thinks that God has already told him that it's true, and that his prayers should now be to help him realize that. For Erasto, fixing a baptismal date is the "real intent" that it talks about in Moroni 10. He is my favorite ami here after all is said and done. I will be really sad to leave him. I pray that his baptism will go through :)

I was talking to the missionaries in Evry yesterday and they said that they are really close to fixing a baptismal date with Sony. Remember Sony?? Elder Riley and I contacted him at the end of my first transfer. He is amazing. I've always been sure that he will be baptized. Go Evry.

It is about 50 percent possible that Lille will be my last city on my mission. I have 5 transfers left now and it's not unheard of to stay 5 in a city. I wouldn't mind that. I bet though that President will put me as a district leader in one last city somewhere for a couple transfers at the end. He likes to do that with the zone leaders so that they can then "train" new zone leaders by being their district leaders. I have never been a district leader or a trainer on my mission. Only zone leader. I would really like to be a district leader/trainer to finish off my mission. Speaking of that... it is coming reallllllly fast. And that's all we'll say for the moment.

So next time I write I'll be up in Lille. Weird. It is the first time on my mission I've really broken the east-west line. I've always stayed basically on a flat line with Paris -all the way across France.

Lots of traveling love,
Elder Coburn


Monday, November 14, 2011

This morning i whipped up a big bowl of crêpe batter. Mmmm. Vanilla, sugar, milk, flour, eggs... the works. So then I make a crêpe. It turns out perfect. Second crêpe? Perfect. Then for the third crêpe I invite Elder Stepheson (the British one) into the kitchen to make his first ever crêpe. His first, ever, crêpe. So he makes it. Perfect. Then this: crêpe slides off the pan onto plate, pan slams into batter bowl, batter bowl spills all over kitchen floor, batter seeps under oven and shelves, first ever crêpe becomes last ever crêpe. So three of us had a crêpe and then we all helped clean up. We couldn't stop laughing. I didn't care whatsoever that it was gone. Maybe we'll try again tomorrow. We all get along so well here. I cant' remember the last time I got mad on my mission. It doesn't accomplish anything. But on the other hand... neither does spilt crêpe mix :)

Our week was great. We had four amis at church yesterday. One was Georges, a french man that we are working with for baptism, one was the daughter of a member that we are going to go see for fhe tomorrow night, and the other two were a mother and her daughter that we started teaching this week. They were my favorite ones. She is a middle aged woman and she has a 13 year old handicapped daughter that is deaf. Ten minutes through sacrament meeting I got a call from her saying that their tire had burst on the way to church. So a member of the bishopric and I high tailed it out of there to go pick her up. I was so proud of the effort she had made to get to church. We picked her up and got back right before the intermediate musical number -which was me and Elder Hales (lucky that we got back on time). We did another organ-piano duet. This time I was on the organ and Elder Hales played piano. We did an arrangement of Away in a Manger and Angels We Have Heard on High. Yes we are pumped for Christmas, yes I was wearing a Christmas tie, and yes we bought and decorated our Christmas tree last Pday. Anyway. So church was good and the ward was really helpful with her daughter. Then afterward Elder Hales and I drove back to her car with a different member and changed her tire for her (in our suits in the freeeezing cold foggy morning). I think she was really touched by all our help. It was perfect because earlier that week I had told her that, as James tells us, " Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction." time). She just happens to be a widow. I had told her that the fulfilling of this scripture was something that she was going to see at church, and we sure had the chance to fulfill it :) So that was good.

This week we went into Paris twice. Once for zone conference with Elder Kopischke, and then again two days later for zone leader council with Elder Kopischke. Elder Kopischke is the man. He is SUCH a good teacher. Instead of just making me feel good and happy he just showed me how much more good and happy I can be. He teaches in nothing but parables, scriptures, and stories. He talked a lot about dreams, desire, and faith. They were the kind of meetings that you wish all your friends and family could have been at because they were so good. I have a lot of new things and fresh perspectives I am trying out now. And no dad, I didn't say anything about how "President Monson and I are super tight." :)

Erasto is really good. We are reading a chain of scriptures with him this week and fasting with him on tuesday.

Transfer email comes out this saturday. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY MISSION?!?! Transfers come and go so fast now. We are really really scared about Elder Hales getting transferred. He has been here 3 transfers, and we have been together for 2. Normally he should stay at least 4 transfers, but not many people ever do 3 transfers together. I really really want him to be here for Christmas. I mean, president has to leave him, we already picked our secret santa names!!! Well, we'll pray for that and we'll see this saturday.

It was a good eventful week. Next week will be even better :)
Love you loads!!

Elder Coburn (mom's snuggly wuggly little baby Ben)

Monday, November 7, 2011


My last few emails have been
really long. I guess I just miss you. Happy BNY anniversary and

Congratulations to Brad getting his mission call!!! Woohoo Peru! That's
sweet. Granted, he won't be speaking French, but still sweet.

This week was super crazy. I only spent about 3 days
at home. I spent two days in Versailles on exchange with the Portuguese
AP, and then two days in Mulhouse, with Elder Meyers from American
Fork, Utah. Both beautiful places and good exchanges. There is a place
in Versailles that the mission calls Consecration Hill. It is up by an
old chateau that overlooks Paris and it is where all the missionaries go
on their first morning in the mission to 'consecrate' themselves to the
work that they will be doing for two years in this country. I went
there last August and wrote in my journal everything that I wanted to do
during my mission. After tracting, getting let in and teaching a first
lesson in Versailles, Elder Duarte and I drove back to consecration hill
and looked at Paris in the dark night sky. It was one of those magical
moments. The entire city was lit up (hence the appropriate name 'city of
lights'), and the spotlight on top of the Eiffel Tower was spinning
around over the whole city. We sat underneath the stars on the cold
steps of the chateau for about fifteen minutes. I am going to miss
France. There are good and bad things, but it really has become a
second home. I get frustrated with the french people all the time but
when all is said and done I truly do love them. What a place to serve a
mission, huh?

Our zone (the twenty missionaries) had a really
great week. We more than doubled our baptismal dates and had twice as
many investigators at church this week than last week. Good week. The
whole mission has been progressing pretty consistently as a whole these
last couple months.

This week Elder Kopischke, the area authority
president of the European region is coming to our mission. He will be at
zone conference in Paris on Thursday, and then at a zone leader council
on Saturday again in Paris. So... we'll be rubbin' some big shoulders
this week ;)

Last Monday for Halloween we really wanted to do
something cool, so we got ourselves all pumped up to go to the circus.
but it was full... so then we moped around until we found a cool fair,
but it closed right when we got there...then we walked home and ate
cereal. Kind of lame Halloween but still fun. We saw some tigers, some
elephants, and a camel at the circus.

Anyway, I don't have a lot of cool stuff to talk
about this week. It was kind of hard to be away from Nancy for so long.
We didn't get a whole lot done with our amis, and a lot of them are
pretty uninterested lately. Remember Francoise our old baptismal date? I
called her yesterday for the first time in about a month and she hung
up on me when I asked if we could ever come see her. Yikes. It was one
of those weeks that I spent a lot of time contimplating the state of the
world today. I've thought a lot about how similair it is to certain
periods of time in the Book of Mormon. Blech. Let's all come unto
Christ. I've been reading a lot of his paraboles in the bible lately. I
love that :)

We did get invited over to a really cool couple's
house last night for dinner. That was very enjoyable. The man is an
interior designer and furniture fabricator. He had a sweet house :)

Ok, I've got to run. I love you and miss you. :)
Elder Benny Boy