Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6-27-2011 Hola Familia,

Things are going well here in Sabanalarga. My new companion has 21 months in the mission and is senior companion but because I know the area this past week I have basically been senior companion and managing everything. It was a little unnerving at first but now I like it a lot. Now that everything is my decision I enjoy the work a lot more.
Maritza and Jesús, our two progressing investigators, are going to be baptized this friday assuming all goes well with their interview. It´s really cool for me because I contacted Maritza and Elder Luque and I both taught her. It´s been really neat to see the change in her as she has understood what we´ve been teaching, and she´s sister-in-law to Janet, who we baptized a couple weeks ago.
when I started to understand what the missionary work really was, I lost my fear of talking to people. Really we´re here to do nothing except help them as much as we can, and so it doesn´t matter how they respond, we´re still serving them by approaching them and showing interest in them. It´s just a bummer that so few accept what we want to give them...
What else...we´re eating lunch with an investigator now, and she offered to make whatever we request, which is really exciting because we´ve been eating the same thing for about a month now at the Fonda Paisa. And she´s doing it for cheaper, too. Arroz de coco, patacones, jugos...mmmmmmmmmm. I feel sorry for the people that live in the US. :P
Today was a busy P-day...but I got a lot done, and that´s what´s important.

Elder Coffman

6/21/2011 - Today is transfer day...I´m staying here in Sabanalarga but my companion is moving to Cartagena. It´s always sad to leave a companion. I learned a lot from Elder Luque, and we had a lot of fun here. My new companion is going to be a Latino, and from Bolivia same as Elder Luque.

I´m still junior companion but my new companion won´t know anything about the area so I´ll be more or less directing for the next few days.

This past week we didn´t get a lot of work done because we had so many conferences and meetings. Moving all the pews from the old house to the new one killed a whole day by itself, and this week we had interviews with the mission president and zone conference and various other things that prevented us from working. The new house is really nice though, and this week in church a lot of people attended.

(relatively speaking)

We have an investigator named Maritza that is sister-in-law of a member that is really progressing a lot. When we first taught her she didn´t understand much but we had been praying that she would be able to understand and respond, and now she understands almost everything that we teach and she has a desire to be baptized. It was a big change and really taught me a lesson about the power of prayer to help people.

I dunno what´s going to happen these next few days, I mostly just hope that my new companion is good and easy to get along with. I´m tired of sitting in meetings, I want to get out and teach!

Ah, another jugo\drink that I haven´t mentioned is chicha. It´s kinda like horchata but they make it with all kinds of grains--rice, wheat, and sometimes they add in fruit like pineapple. Chicha from rice with pineapple is probably my favorite drink here, though I´ve only had it twice. It takes more than a little effort to prepare, which is probably why. I hope everybody is doing well, it sounds like the summer is as crazy as always. Adios!

Elder Coffman

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

13 June 2011


Well, the big news this week is that we´re moving to a different house-chapel. The new one is much bigger, has 2 floors, and won´t rain on us (at least as far as we know right now). Tomorrow we´re going to spend all day moving and cleaning. I´m not sure if I´m glad about the change or not. I kinda wish I could just stay in one place for more than a few weeks, no matter what it´s like. We´re going to be living in one of the most expensive houses in the mission, and President Gaviria told us that the branch\group needs to start growing or we´re going to move to somewhere cheaper.
The work...is going pretty well, I feel like we´re finally established here, with some good investigators and members and new converts to teach. Last week we had 2 baptisms, of people that the previous missionaries found. Working with Elder Luque is very different from working with Elder Staples. I like his philosophy about teaching and working, and the past week has been a lot more fun and rewarding. My Spanish is improving, I´m understanding more and more. I think having a Latino companion is really helping. Even though we never spoke English when I was with Elder Staples, it´s not the same as having a native around all the time.
I don´t think I tried any new fruits or jugos this week, though one of our investigators gave me a list of fruits that I had never heard of. I´m not sure i´m going to be able to try them all, even being here for 2 years.
I dunno what else to write...usually I write my letters out on paper beforehand but it didn´t happen today. Thanks everybody for the letters and also the recordings on the voice recorder. I finally got around to listening to them all last week... :\

Elder Coffman

Black Sapote is a species of persimmon that is native to eastern Mexico and Central America south to Colombia. Other names include Chocolate Pudding Fruit and (in Spanish) Zapote Prieto. In south Florida it is also sometimes confused with the Coco Fruit, a toxic relative that can cause insanity[citation needed]. It is unrelated to the mamey sapote (Sapotaceae), and the white sapote (Rutaceae). Mature trees can grow to over 25 m (82 ft) in height and are evergreen. It is frost sensitive. The leaves are elliptic-oblong, tapered at both ends, glossy, and 10–30 cm (3.9–12 in) long.

Black Sapote fruit are tomato-like and measure 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter, with an inedible skin that turns from olive to a deep yellow-green when ripe and an edible pulp that turns from white when unripe to a flavor, color and texture often likened to chocolate pudding when ripe.



It's been a good week. Working with Elder Luque is a lot different than with Elder Staples, but so far the differences have been mostly good ones. I feel like we're focused a lot more on the people rather than on the work. I'm enjoying the mission a lot more. We have no shortage of people to teach, for sure. We already have half of this week filled with appointments. Its a lot better than having nobody to teach, but we're having trouble meeting with all of them, and I wonder if we're spreading ourselves too thin.

I'm realizing that we really only have a short time in each area. There are transfers every 6 weeks and sometimes extra transfers in the middle of regular transfers. 6 weeks goes by fast. I hope I stay here for at least another transfer. I like Sabanalarga, and my companion as well.

This week I made jugo de zapote. I don't know how to describe it. It was a little it like melon. Also, an investigator made us lemonade, which doesn't sound that exciting maybe but it had been a while and it was good lemonade.

President Gaviria made a surprise visit to the house-chapel yesterday. I had to teach the priesthood lesson with 0 preparation and with him there...it was stressful. I don't know why the elder in charge here can't give me more than 2 minutes notice when he assigns me to do something. We're still not really sure why he visited, but it went well all things considered. Sorry if the spelling is terrible here, but I don't have time to fix it.

Elder Coffman

Monday, May 30, 2011


Things are going well here, if a bit slowly. I´m in a house with 3 Latinos so I´m starting to understand Spanish better. There aren´t many members here, so we have a contract for lunches. It´s nice in a way but we don´t get a lot of variety. There hasn´t been water in Sabanalarga since yesterday morning so I don´t know how we´re going to do laundry. We have a few barrels out back with water for showering.

There are bonuses to living in colombia, of course. For instance, here you can still find normal Trix, with the different shapes instead of round balls. And there are these sandwich cookies called cocosettes...mmmmmmmm. This week I had agua de maiz and agua de panela. Agua de maiz is more or less jugo de corn. Agua de panela...panela is completely unrefined sugar, like brown sugar only more so.

The conference was really good. There´s some nice scenery (coastline!) in between Barranquilla and Santa Marta. When we got there they asked me to play the prelude music. Well Elder Nash was late and I ended up playing for about 3 hours before he showed up. I played every hymn that I knew 2 times and was working on my 3rd time going through the hymnbook. It was nice. The conference itself was also really good, I learned a lot.

My companion (Elder Luque from Bolivia) is a lot of fun and we´re doing well together. He just loves people and is really good at talking to people. I´ve already learned a lot from him and I think this is going to be a good transfer.

Gah, I want to write a letter to Travis but there´s no time. The power shut off in the middle of my letter and we spent an hour waiting for it to come back on...anyway, My companion wants on so I´m going to end this. Until next week!

Elder Coffman