Monday, January 23, 2012

Good morning :) Here I am once again sitting in an internet café, in the morning time on a sunny but cold winter day in France. Yes mom, I have gotten some good stuff during the sales. I have a lot of sweaters. I have some weird obsession with sweaters. I just can't stop buying them. Who doesn't want to hang out in an awesome sweater?

We got a text this morning from Pascale inviting us to lunch at a restaurant this Saturday. We will see how it goes. It is actually the second time that she has made contact with us again, but the last time (about a week ago) wasn't a very happy thing to talk about so I didn't write about it last week. We got all excited and were going to see her again, but then she ended up canceling on us. Not very nicely though... I love her so much and feel so bad for her and her cancer. It is especially tearing at us because we know how much the Christ can help her. Will you pray for Saturday with us? Thanks :)

Did you guys see the new website for the Paris temple? It doesn't look like your normal temple and no one is quite sure if there will be an angel Moroni on top, but we are all just happy to have a temple. The members here are so thankful and they talk about it nonstop. I think they said it will take about three years to complete.

Did I tell you last week about Dino? He is the one that just walked into the church last week by himself. He is so legit. We fixed a baptismal date with him for Febuary 11th. He is so funny because French is like is 5th language and when he says the "ten commandments" he says "les dix mandaments" instead of "les dix COmandaments." He is cool.

OH. I love chinese people. I am pretty convinced that they are the elect race. On friday night Elder Godfrey and I got invited to a chinese new year celebration at on of the universities in Lille. We only new the one chinese girl that invited us, but we made lots of friends and invited like a million people to English class. They are so nice!! We ate rice, sweet and sour chicken, and like shrimp crackers and all that good stuff. I like how Chinese people party. Calm, happy, and no alcohol or anything :) Good thing I will soon have a most-of-the-way chinese sister-in-law :)

Did Jordan end up doing the musical then? How is that going? Has Caleb picked a date? Is Ohio as awesome as I remember it? I have a lot of Ohio pride. All my companions get put up to date with some cool Ohio facts (only state with a not rectangular state flag, invented the hot dog, first traffic light system, 7 US presidents, NFL hall of fame, rock n' roll hall of fame, etc...). Ohio rocks.

Ok. I love you so much.
Love, Elder Coburn

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello! What a pleasant week! Our zone is doing awesome. We had 17 new amis this week (compared to 19 during the entire last transfer) which is super satisfying to us because our workshop that we did with them last week was all about how to find new people. For ourselves, we started working with the most wonderful family ever. They are french and have two daughters ages, like 12 and 14. We got everyone together and read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon together. This family had been visited a long time ago in the past, but he told us that it was a lot more clear for them this time. There is so much love in their home. We also met a new ami this week named Dino. He is mid twenties and super fly. He came to the church all on his own because he "needs God's help to pass his driving test" and believes that Christ can help him. He came and participated really really well all through church. We gave him a blessing and we are going to see him again tonight.

We are finally getting our senior missionaries this afternoon. We have finally got an apartment for them, furnished it, and they are driving up today. They will be running the young adults center here. We are really excited for them.

"Les Soldes" are in full swing and will be taking up most of our Pday time today. Lots of cheap clothes.

Hmm... this week we also ate with a recent convert family from Tonga. The husband is a professional rugby player. That was cool. Such a good spirit in their home.

Caleb's engagement story is awesome. Jessica is awesome.

Missions are also awesome.

Sorry I don't have a lot more time, but I love you and am so proud that you are my family. Have an incredible week :)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sorry I can't attach any pictures for some reason... woes of an internet café. Well, this week was hard because we lost Pascale. She was going so so well. We had one rdv with her and fixed a baptismal date this week, then the day after she sent us a text saying that she wanted to be done. She said that she looked at stuff on the internet and doesn't think you have to pay money to love Christ. But I don't think that's the realy reason. She had a doctors appointment that day to make sure all of an old cancer was gone, but I think the test came back postive that she still had some cancer and that just really hurt her. In her text she told us that she would miss us and that she would keep reading the Book of Mormon, but that "our paths together had ended."

That is the worst feeling ever. Satan is such a bum. There are some people that you know aren't going to make it through to baptism, others that you think will, and then others that you know are going to be baptised. Pascale was one of those people. Well, I guess she still is and I hope and pray for her to come back around, but for the moment she won't answer our calls or anything :( Preach My Gospel says that you will have experiences like that as a missionarybut that it's okay if you did everything possible. Ughh. It's just sad. I was so happy for her.

So that is that. It was on Wednesday. On the other hand though, Anne-Marie is progressing very well. We are still doing everything we can to fix a baptismal date with her. She bore her testimony at church on Sunday as well as one of her newly baptised daughters, Prudence.

I'm doing emails today because yesterday we had interviews with President Poznanski. We had them for our zone here in Lille. Elder Godfrey and I led an hour and a half workshop on how to find people to teach. Like, how to contact someone on the road and how to have the faith that there are people there that listen. We shared a lot of our own recent examples of cool people that we have found. This transfer Elder Godfrey and I decided that if we ever have a free morning we don't eat lunch until we have gotten the phone number/address of 2 new people to teach. So far so good. We've had the opportunity to do it three times. Twice we suceeded, and once we ended up knocking on doors until like nine in the evening trying to find them. We didn't, but at least it made us work really hard!

Today for p-day we were going to go to the big art museum here but it's closed. So instead we are going to the zoo :)

I'm glad to here that everything is going so well at home. I am jealous of the snowboarding. I am happy for Caleb getting engaged (I can't wait till he sends me and email to tell me about it), and I am full of joy to hear about Brad going to the temple. What a man.

I got three very nice late Christmas cards this week. From the Stice's, the Bruun's and the Clawsons.

I love you!

Elder Coburn

ps, it still hasn't snowed here... :(

Monday, January 2, 2012

I feel like Lille is the fulfillment of all the times on my mission when I have given it my all but not seen results. It is so good here. God's work is so good here. This week we had two more baptisms to end the transfer. It was one of the sweet sweet experiences that make missions worth it. That makes three baptisms in one transfer here. Heavenly Father is letting Elder Godfrey and I stay another transfer here which is good because we have at least two more incredible people that are going to be baptized soon. The members here are worthy and ready for miracles and it is amazing. There have been so many in the short 6 weeks that I have been here. They are helping me to become the missionary that I've always wanted to be. The missionary that I believe God wants me to be. Heavenly Father is incredible. He lets you learn and struggle for a season, then all at once He lets you see the fruits of your struggles. For every "struggle" that we may encounter in life the world will offer us a hundred different solutions. These are instantaneous and "magic" solutions that may relieve pain for a time, but lack any sort of long term healing. In turning to our Father we learn that the only force that can permanently fix all that is wrong is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In it is the power to heal all wounds and right all unfairness. That is what I am learning daily in sharing with others. God is letting me see it work in my own missionary experience here in Lille. I am blessed to be here.

The baptisms of Grâce and Prudence went incredibly well. They both were happily baptised and confirmed into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Grâce asked me to confirm her so I got to do so on New Years Day in front of two wards meeting together for a joint New Years sacrament meeting. It was the first time I've ever confirmed someone. Those two girls shine. Their mom should be getting baptised in the coming few weeks. While watching her two daughters get baptised she starting asking if she could just get in and be baptised too! Haha, I told her that we had an extra dress but that we would have to run do the baptismal interview really quick :) We decided to wait, but we hope to fix her date very soon. Our other golden ami was at the baptism also. It is Pascale. She is ready to get baptised. She also came to all three hours of church this week, loved it, and brought us chocolates. Like, realllly good chocolates. She lives out in the country and drives in to town to have rdv's with us and come to church. She is always early to everything :) She is looking for a new apartment and then she will be ready for baptism. We have a member of the seventy in our neighbor ward here, and after talking to her on Sunday he came up and told us that she was going to get baptised. It feels good when a seventy tells you that :) It is Elder Boutoille (third quorum of the seventy). That made me think of something else though- I remember at the beginning of my mission I would also be so pleased with myself when I had amis at church and someone like a stake president would visit the ward and see me sitting by my amis. I remember feeling just so cool. This past sunday Elder Boutoille was sitting on the stand watching me confirm and sit by my amis, but I didn't even once cross my mind that I was "so cool doing work and being seen for it." When I get so caught up in doing missionary work I think less and less about other non-important things.

Elder Godfrey and I are recieving this week two more missionaries in our apartment. They are two "dying" missionaries again that are in there last transfer and finishing out together with a "special mission to find and teach young adults." It's cool, but it's not very fun to be with all these old missionaries that keep going home. So we are hoping that these two that come are good workers and not to messy (are apartment is SO CLEAN).

Well, I love you. This afternoon we are going to see Lille's famous museum of art: Musée de Beaux Arts. I'm excited.

Happy New Year!
Elder Ben