Nathan Coleman

Nathan Coleman
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27, 2014

To my Friends and Family,

This week I had many incredible experiences. We had the opportunity to hear from Elder Oaks a couple days ago and Elder Bednar today (two modern day prophets of God). Elder Oaks discussed the importance of losing yourself in the work and taught that whoever shall lose his life shall find it. Elder Bednar was very casual and passed out cell phones for all the missionaries to ask questions. Both men were amazing and it was especially special because this past Tuesday was not a great day for me to start, but through trying to serve my investigators and companion, and giving a blessing to a sister, I was able to feel so much better. In addition, it is incredibly rare for two apostles to speak at the MTC in a week, so it was just a tender mercy I guess. Plus we got "randomly" picked to sit in the very front during Elder Oaks' talk. Aside from that, the week progressed as usual: we learned Korean, taught investigators, learned about the gospel, and felt the Spirit. 

So the Korean lesson of the week is something we call the Glue principle. So for some conjugations (Past tense, want to form etc.) you have to use something called glue, which is basically just adding an ending and conjugating it. Its just super hard to do because there are tons of exceptions and its hard to do on the spot. But at the same time, its really cool because it is very organized and logical. 

So my lesson I learned about Christ comes from Matthew 27 and Mathew 4. In Matthew 4, the Lord is tempted by the devil with the word "if" three times. The devil tried to get the Savior to question his divine purpose and care for his physical hunger, pride, or fear. Then in Matthew 27, the crucifiers mocked Him on the cross and demanded that if He be the Son of God, then he should let himself down or if God be with him, he should come down from the cross. The two most dangerous sins are pride and doubt. They are opposites.  Pride is a sin because we think we are better than God. Doubt is a sin because we doubt God and are ungrateful for our blessings. Doubt destroys our faith, cripples our soul, and can physically lead to depression, anxiety, and pain. We feel alone and lost because we don't remember our calling, lineage, or purpose. Christ never forgot that he was a Son of God. We must never forget, especially during our own trials and while we bear our own crosses, that we are children of God, who will never abandon us if we go to Him in prayer. 

Finally, I want to talk about how we can receive this peace in our time of doubt. The Restored Gospel can bring peace to our minds and hope to our hearts. I've seen it work for me and so many people around me. I've seen it work for our investigators that we teach and people who have no conception of or belief in God. Listen to the modern prophets and the restored scriptures like the Book of Mormon. The lesson or chapter doesn't matter; pick anything from any conference or book. Then pray before you read or listen and ask God if these words are true. Then read and study it out in your mind. If you do, you will feel a prick or feeling in your heart that will testify to you that these words are true. If we follow these words, we will not be led astray and our doubts will be overcome by hope and faith.

With Love,
Elder Coleman

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20, 2014

To my friends and family,

Today was as expected, a much less exciting and busy week. We are pretty settled into the routine at the MTC and teaching two investigators at a time (yes in full Korean). I've just been loving watching the progression of the missionaries spiritually and in the language. Oh and basketball is pretty fun as well.

So the Korean lesson for the week is about verb conjugation. So just like other languages, you can conjugate the verb into different tenses, the three main tenses being past, present, and future. In addition, there are also different stages of honoring a person: high form for addressing those at a higher level or strangers (Missionaries generally use this), middle form for addressing friends and people at the same level, and low form for only close friends, family, and children. It takes a while to get them all strait and conjugate them on the spot, but its pretty cool once you get the hang of it. 

MTC District
So I learned a lot about Christ this week, but the best lesson was from a video that I saw from Elder Bednar, called the "Character of Christ". His argument was that to really be converted and to really follow Christ, we have to have his characteristics, especially charity. Elder Bednar describes that when Christ suffers, instead of turning inward and being selfish like the natural man, he turns outward and helps others. During my hours of studying the New Testament and Jesus the Christ, I've found so many examples of this divine characteristic. I encourage all of you to look to the scriptures to find how Christ acts in all situations and try to implement that in your own life.

Finally, I had another amazing experience with the restored gospel this week. We were teaching one of our investigators about who Joseph Smith was and how the Book of Mormon can bless her life. So we read a lot from the scriptures and showed her the history; however, she wasn't convinced until she got on her knees and prayed. Just as James 1:5 directs, we can receive an answer to all things if we "study it out" and then "ask god if it be right" (D&C 9). 

With Love,
Elder Coleman

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November 13, 2014

To my ward friends and family,

Thank you to everyone who sent me emails, letters, and gave encouragement to me throughout this entire process and during my life. All of your advice, kindness, and effort has truly touched me as I move onto a new chapter in life. Specifically, I would like to thank the Permenters, Walburgers, Andersens, Seibers, Varinis, Elwells (Sam and Amelia as well), Lyons, and the Burns for the wonderful letters. I cannot respond to all of them, but you have my sincere gratitude. 

So the format of the letters will be simple. First, I'll give some important events that occurred. Next, based off my Mission President's advice, I will share an experience with the new culture or language, a testimony of Christ, and a testimony of the Restoration. 

So to start, this week was incredible. Incredible as in impossible, glorious, invigorating, splendid, demanding, and any other word you can think of. The Spirit is strong here, and you can almost taste it in the cholesterol and trans-fat packed "food". But I really do actually like the food... My companion is incredible. he is the District Leader and although he is young, he is learning to become a leader and a fantastic missionary. I have to remind him occasionally of his purpose and calling, but he is truly incredible and I am blessed to have him. We have taught 4 investigators in Korean and we can pray fluently, read the scriptures (slowly and we don't know what they say), and I personally have learned over 100 vocab words. Its a humbling but empowering experience. 

So a tad bit on the Korean language. Sentences are inverted so that the word order is subject, object, and verb, which is super cool and fun. We have only learned basic sentence structure and one prepositional phrase structure, but I love it.

Now a little bit on Christ. Goo-Joo (romanized) is the word for Savior in Korean. When I came into my room the first day, I found a picture of the Lamb of God stuck in between my mattress, so whenever I looked up at the bed, I saw the Savior. I've had so many touching experiences with my Savior this week, that I can't share them all. But when we taught Be-Gu-noo (our investigator's name) all we could say in the language were simple sentences like "Jesus loves you," or "Jesus is your Savior". But that's all we needed. The Spirit testified that Christ was in fact his Savior, and when we asked if he believed he said "ne, Cho-nun mit-da' (yes, I believe).

For all of those who are not LDS or who don't have a firm testimony of the Restoration, I testify to you it is real. There are prophets today. God still speaks to his people and his Gospel is present on the earth today. The Holy Spirit will testify to you if you read the book of Mormon and pray sincerely. I can't teach you. No man can teach you. I can't prove it to you. But God can. Pray. Ask. Listen. Humble yourself. And you will know for yourself.

With Love,
Elder Nathan Coleman