Called to Serve

"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work ... and faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work." - D&C 4:3-5

Saturday, April 28, 2012

FINAL FORT WORTH THOUGHTS ...

Easter Morning Breakfast: 4 bowls of Menudo (intestine soup)!



The following are excerpts from a letter Elder C sent to Ali and her familia. Thought you would like reading some details about his Arlington/Fort Worth experience as Elder C leaves for Merida Mexico Monday morning.

Regarding Arlington where he served the longest (nearly 3 months), he explained that most of the people are Hispanic or African American and mainly live in apartments. He said it’s basically like Mexico with Mexican music always playing and people speaking Spanish. The area they covered on bikes is about 9 miles square. Although he wanted to visit Cowboy Stadium, no one else wanted to go, so he’ll have to visit later in life!

He had a powerful message about the importance of Seminary. He said that even though he listened, he didn’t take full advantage of the chance to really learn and study the scriptures and so he asked all teens to use the blessing of seminary (we’re lucky in Utah that it can be part of the regular school day rather than early morning) and really develop a love for the scriptures which he has now that he’s a missionary.

This is an example of him listening to and acting upon the Holy Spirit:  they had an opportunity visit a member’s home on a Sunday and they had a non-member relative visiting from Michigan (maybe Elder Rushton can follow up with him!) and although he had heard the missionaries before on previous visits, he hadn’t shown interest. This time, Elder C felt prompted to speak about a subject that he typically wouldn’t do and it touched the man’s heart to the point that he has committed to baptism. Elder C reminded us that it’s important to be WORTHY to receive promptings; it’s important to LISTEN to promptings and most important, it’s important to ACT on promptings. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we can receive in this life.

He said there is absolutely NOTHING that he doesn’t like about the mission. Members typically feed the missionaries Mexican food. However, his breakfast and lunch consisted of tuna, eggs, oatmeal, pickles, carrots and BBQ sauce so he welcomed the dinner offers!  He said that the food is INCREDIBLE and that there must be some SPECIAL ingredient because everything tastes so good. He thinks that the special ingredient is LOVE because many of the people have to sacrifice significantly to feed the missionaries.

When asked if he ever has “down” time he replied, “not really, I try to stay busy all of the time reading the Liahona, studying the scriptures, and practicing Spanish". He said that the mission is his passion and joy and that he left everything behind to give all that he has to the Lord and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

In his letter, you can sense his gratitude for having the blessing of serving in the Fort Worth area but also the excitement for now being able to serve in the Mexico Merida mission.

We look forward to hearing about his new experiences in Mexico!

Friday, April 27, 2012

TOZ-HOMBRE! (cough - man)

"I use this uhh ... pink shirt, formerly white, to wipe off my sweat AND to look cool!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I AM GOING TO MEXICO! JAJAJAJA


Nearly 3 mos. ago he left for TEX - now he leaves for MEX!!!


First off … I got my visa!!  I will be leaving 4-30-12.  I don’t know what time, but tomorrow (4-24) I am going to the consulate to do my paper work.  So, I don’t know if Anne has sent that package, but if she still wants to send it, she needs to hurry jaja Also, what happened with the package was that it weighed more than 13 oz. so I had to send it directly through the building, and for some reason, they took a long time to tell me jaja but that’s good that it … (email cut off here)
Sorry, I don’t know what happened, but here is the rest of my letter.  I am putting on sunblock every day Mother – don’t worry. jaja I am happy you liked the pictures.  I like that thing with the bikes also.  Whenever I finish riding the bike, I have to use a towel to get the sweat off because I always sweat a ton!!!!!!!!! jaja The camera does organize the pictures.  
Hi hermanita (little sister) – how are you?  That’s good with the old house and the missionaries.  
We’re always trying to give service.  You should do it as well.  “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”  Oh, and this is a question for you and the whole family… could you send me your testimonies of the Book of Mormon so I can share them with our investigators or put them in a copy of the BOM?  And what are your favorite scriptures?  Well, I love you hermanita!!  ¡¡Hasta la pasta!!
Daddy, I love the clarity of the Book of Mormon as well.  I love this book and I am very thankful we have it to help us.  Maybe Elder Rushton already has received his visa because the other Elders that were waiting also received them.  This map doesn’t have places from the Book of Mormon, but it is a really good map.  Especially because I’m going to Mexico!!! jaja I have eaten some good meats, but nothing special.  We have eaten fajitas and sudero and stomach lining and many good things.  The food is good and I hope you can learn how to make it.  You make really good foods as well.  Like the soup you would make a lot is almost the same as the one here.  And I sweat a ton!!!!  jaja But  I am going to sweat more in Mérida.  I love you Daddy(:
Hermanito (little brother), thank you for your testimony.  I liked it a lot.  What happened??  Why did you write it??  And why do you always talk to me in usted?  jaja We are brothers – talk to me in tú!!  We are having a lot of success now and it is going to be hard to leave this area because I have grown a sincere love for my brothers and sisters that live here.  I am sure you felt this during your mission as well.  Well, I love you a lot and thanks for the prayers.  I will pray for you as well.  Also, yesterday I had an experience with the Jehovah Witnesses again.  They always go to our apartment to teach us. jaja But we always try to give them a good example of the Book of Mormon and we testified of the truth of this book.  I remembered what you told me before my mission:  when people have doubts, give your testimony of the Restoration.  It is really powerful.  Thanks for everything and bye.
Well familia, I love you a lot.  Did you send that message to Sister Argullo last week?  And tell Anne that I never connected the shuffle to the computer so I don’t know how it got erased… and tell her thanks again for all the stuff.  Tell her that I am going to send a letter as well.  Oh, and what is the address of the mission office in Mexico?
See you later familia and I know this Gospel is true.  Remember to always be an example for our brothers and sisters that aren’t members.  There is always someone watching… whether it be a man, or God. jaja Nos vemos.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

COME WHAT MAY COME, AND ENJOY IT (even if it's a bike crash)!


Current mission, waiting for ...

First I’ll answer your questions.  It was about two weeks ago when I sent the box of things.  I don’t know what happened.  I sent it by USPS flat rate…. I hope you can find it.  I still don’t know anything about my visa, but I am now with other missionaries who are waiting as well.  They arrived at the MTC the same day I did, so I guess when they receive it, I will as well.  Do you know if Elder Rushton is still in Michigan?  The next email, tell me Elder Parkinson’s address.  Tell Anne thanks for the stuff.  jaja  She and her whole family are very friendly.  Well, this week went well.  We are still getting a lot of new investigators.  It’s hard at times because we teach a really good lesson, and then the investigators drop us and don’t want to listen.  It is hard because I develop a love for our investigators and I get sad when I hear they don’t want to listen to this message.  Really, this message of the Gospel is the best way to overcome any challenge you have in life – whether they are with the family, individually, or in another way – the Atonement of Christ is real and it’s here to help us.
Mother, thanks for the mother alerts jaja and for the story from Aunt Carolyn.  It is really good.  And don’t worry about the confrontations.  They aren’t anything. jaja  Like one of the Apostles said:  come what may come, and enjoy it.  jaja  That’s good with the bikes.  I am riding a bike every day and I like it a lot.  But I crashed this week and almost got ran over but I didn’t get hurt so all is well(:
Michelle – you’re welcome for the teaching about football.  Maybe you will be able to throw better than me when I get back from my mission. jaja But keep praying.  
Stephen’s note:  I think his email got cut off here.  What follows is a separate email he also sent:
I love you familia and may you all have the Spirit and continue in faith and may God bless you. May you have a good week and enjoy each other jaja see ya’.
Merida!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

... YE ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER.


The following is translation from original Espanol:
JAJAJA! We’re OK as far as the tornado goes.  It was really weird because our zone leader told us that when there is a tornado, the sky looks green and that’s just what happened.  There were tornados all around us, but nothing in our area.  We were leaving our apartment and a black guy told us “Hey, you guys are crazy!!!  There’s a tornado!!”  But we just told him that we knew that this (Gospel) is true and we have to share it!
This week was really good.  We had a lot of appointments that planted us, but we still have 7 new investigators.  One of them is a woman who answered the door.  She was eating tortillas with butter jaja  - how weird!!  And she gave us her tortillas and I thought “Wow – Latinos are really nice.”  We are strangers, but even so, they always give us food.  These people are really nice.  I have never seen a Latino not respond when I say something like hola or buenas noches.  They always say hola in reply.  But people from the US, sometimes they don’t respond.  jaja Of course, there are bad Latinos and good people from the US, it’s just that I see more good Latinos.  (Stephen’s note:  he’s not kidding when he says they are super nice.)  But there were two missionaries from another religion that were really mad because of us.  One of them told me I’m going to Hell because I’m Mormon and many ugly things like that.  I realized we always need to have charity, but he didn’t have charity.  The hate he had for my companion and I really surprised me.  I hope another time he can hear our message.  I know we are disciples of Jesus Christ because it says in John 13:35 – “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” 
Well, for Easter, we ate menudo!!! (Definition: traditional Mexican dish, made with beef stomach in a clear broth or with a red chili base. Usually, lime, chopped onions, and chopped cilantro are added, as well as crushed oregano and crushed red chili peppers. Boiled tripe has a tough chewy texture very similar to calamari, but with a completely unique flavor and smell.  jaja  I ate like 4.5 cups of this soup and it made me remember the George Washington soup Daddy made.  jaja  but the rest of the day was normal.  We just worked.  The holidays aren’t so different for us, but rather sometimes people are more receptive to this message.  Did you get my package?  I sent a lot of photos and the iPod Shuffle for Anne and my pink clothes jaja but also I received the Easter package.  Thanks.  And I thought it was really funny with the pig skin basket jaja thanks a lot.  And Daddy, thanks for the information about the land of the Book of Mormon.  It’s really interesting.  And I want some of that nosotros soup (;
Hermanito, thanks for the advice.  It is very important we do it, especially when that’s what Jesus Christ would do.  Thanks for all the advice.  How did the Easter pachanga go?  jaja I don’t know if that’s the word, but my companion from Aguas Calientes told me that they use pachanga instead of fiesta sometimes jaja.  Well, what happened with the piano and USU?  Nos vemos(:
Michelle, every day is an adventure here.  Especially because we’re on bikes.  We had a contact with a Catholic man.  He told us it is impossible to convert him because he already knows everything.  He thinks he didn’t need the Spirit because he went to college and studied all the history of all the churches and through those studies, he realized the Catholic church is true.  He told us the Spirit only was in our minds.  He doesn’t believe in this gift.  But let me tell you that the Holy Ghost is real and we should pray to have this gift.  We should live in such a way to always have this gift with us.  We are very blessed to have this gift and we should use it always.  It is really important.  As missionaries, we can say anything, but nothing will happen without the Spirit.  Try to apply this to your life Michelle.  I didn’t know much about this gift before my mission, but now I know a little about its importance.  Bye.


Mother, thanks a lot for everything.  I am sorry I don’t have a lot of time to write, but I liked the information about Easter.  I hope everything is well with your work.  See you later(:


I love you a lot familia.

TORNADOES, MENUDO & BUTTERED TORTILLAS

One of the tornadoes that struck North Texas on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 had wind gusts ranging from 136 to 165 mph. As many as a dozen twisters touched down across Dallas-Fort Worth. Thousands remained without power Wednesday and hundreds of homes were severely damaged. Officials reported more than 20 injuries, but no deaths.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

JUST FOLLOW OUR PERFECT EXAMPLE: THE LORD & SAVIOR

An actual photo of Elder C & his bike will be added soon!
Hola familia!!  This general conference was amazing!! jaja I never have realized its importance and the great opportunity we have every six months to listen to the prophets.  We are so blessed to have prophets.  I love Elder Nelson’s talk about the body…I think it was him jaja but it was really cool.  Also, I love the talk about challenges by President Eyring!  Many good things for the family too.  It was really cool because we made a list of questions before conference and every one of my questions about our investigators was answered(: how cool jaja  I am going to listen to and read every one of these talks again when I can.  They all have information that can help us a lot.  More than anything, what I learned was that we just need to follow our Perfect Example:  the Lord.  Something I know on which I can improve is making more sacrifices for others – whether they are my investigators, companions, or any other person.  And also, to sacrifice with charity.
Now I have another companion so we’re three.  He’s name is Elder Lazano.  He is from Aguas Calientes, Mexico.  He is teaching us a lot of things about the language and sayings like:  “El hombre se le conquista por la panza y la comida está como para chuparse los dedos.”  (Stephen’s note – this is not a direct translation, but basically this saying means:  the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach).  jajaja He is really good and always is so happy jaja I love my companions.
 Mother, good job with your job!!  I am very happy that you like your job.  I didn’t have time this past week to send my package, but I am going to send it today or tomorrow.  I also like the talk by President Uchtdorf.  jaja párate.  Also, it was really funny because during the first session, the Apostles were talking about how good we are as a Church and my companions and I were thinking that Elder Holland was going to tell us we weren´t doing enough and look what happened!  He told us, “Don’t delay.  It’s getting late.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”  jaja it’s funny, but also it’s true.  Even though no one knows when the end will be, we know that this is the day in which men should prepare to meet God.  I love you Mother and thanks for raising me so well(:  It was necessary for me to have calc another time in Weber because in order to be a doctor, I need more than AP calc.  Still, tell Anne that Trevor should take this class because if he takes it, he is going to be really prepared for college and also if he passes, he will receive college credit.  Also, calc is fun!!! jaja
 Daddy, yeah, this general conference was really good for me.  It was the first time I didn’t fall asleep jaja but I missed you during Priesthood meeting.  jaja But hopefully you find that talk.  I would like to read it.
Michelle, how cool that you had a chance to talk with Popy jaja He is good.  I am happy that you liked general conference.  Remember that we are very blessed in this life.  We can always find something that is good in life.  Don’t be afraid of challenges.  They are here just to help us and we can grow a lot through them.  Bye hermanita(: 
 ¡¡¡Hermanito!!!  jaja do you know what?  Before I thought it was really weird when you did biking while you listened to talks.  But now, I know their importance.  jaja I am going to do it as well.  Thanks for the example you have given me.  That’s really cool with Alma’s letters.  I know how important it is to remain calm.  I had another experience today at Wal-Marto.  I man spoke to me and was telling me a bunch of bad things, but I just smiled and told him “I’m sorry mister.  I don’t want to fight.  I just know this message is true and that it can help us a lot.”  He told me that I am really lucky that he had already changed his life; otherwise this conversation would have been very different…but I’m really grateful I didn’t use contention when I was talking with him.  In this package you all are going to send me, could you include what you told me last week about the language?  Because the printer doesn’t work here where we do email and I would like to use that advice during my whole mission.
I love you so much familia.  Also, I am sorry for the times when I was mad at home.  Always remember I love you a lot and always tell my investigators that one of the most important parts of this Gospel is the families and that families can be forever.  May we live in such a way that will permit us to live together forever.  ¡¡Hasta la pasta!!
Con cariño, élder Coffman
Also, I almost forgot, but we already have two missionaries who are waiting for their visas like me.  They got here the same day I arrived to the MTC, but they already arrived here in Arlington last Wednesday.  I am really thankful I had the opportunity to serve in Arlington instead of being stuck in the MTC for six weeks.  Bye.