Nathan Coleman

Nathan Coleman
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Monday, January 26, 2015

January 25, 2015

To my friends and family,

The weeks here just get better and better. There are always disappointments, but in the end everything is worth it when you are doing everything you can to help people have joy through Jesus Christ. This week we had our first baptism. Normally, I would have done it, but my companion was pretty close with our investigator so I was content with just watching this time. We are continuing to teach pretty frequently, more often than a lot of other missionaries in Korea. We have been blessed with a lot of good people who want to hear our message.

So the culture for today: gender relations. First of all, you don't shake the opposite gender's hand at any time, members sit on other sides of sacrament meeting based off of gender, we are not suppose to give up our seats for women looking at all like our age because it looks like flirting, and we typically aren't suppose to preach on the street to women who are alone. It is very weird and I hope I don't get in the bad habit of not giving up seats for women. But yea, super interesting and I'm not sure how much I like it, but its Korea. 

My message on Christ today will be short. Many people know of Christ. All around the world, people have heard his name, know of his teachings, and are maybe part of a church who believes in him. But my question to all of us is do we really follow Christ? The Book of Mormon prophet Alma asks "do we have his image in our countenances?" We have a poster on our wall that says "be the type of person that someone who doesn't know Christ will want to know him because they know you." I am so far from that mark I don't know where to begin, but as we try to emulate the savior's example, we can help bring others peace and joy through him.

My testimony of the restoration of the gospel continues to grow daily as we teach people almost everyday about it and as I learn to teach it in another language. I wish i would have shared it more with people that I knew before my mission, but I'm happy I have the opportunity to do so now. We taught a man this week that has so many questions about doctrines and other historical information. I find it so humbling that I can't understand almost any of the stuff he says, much less answer in his language. But I know that I can always go to the scriptures and promise him that if he reads them, specifically the Book of Mormon, he can know the truth of all things.

I love you all,
Elder Coleman

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015

Good afternoon/evening/morning depending on where you are!
It was a wonderful week this week, which is good because last week was very hard. So just a couple of quick details; we had a sweet meat buffet this past week, zone conference, two great English classes, and also two investigators who came to church. I wish I could go into all the things I want to talk about, but there just isn't a ton of time. If anyone has specific questions, please just email me individually.
Anyway, so culture-wise today I want to talk about food. So obviously there is a lot of rice and kimchi (don't know how it is spelled in English), lots of hot food and a ton of different types of meat. So this week, I was introduced to so much different types of meat and food and I loved all of it! It was so cool. They really like to mix rice with random things, they even steam it in water and then they drink it. Anyway, lots of cool food and tons to eat.
Next I wanted to share a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants (it is found in the Latter-Day Saint canon). Anyway D&C 19:16-17, 23-24, and 41 talks about how Christ suffered for all of our sins so that we might not suffer. It promises that we will have peace in the Savior if we come unto him and follow him. So in Korea, it's never peaceful for me. I'm trying to learn a new language and culture, while trying to do missionary work. Neverthless, when I rely on Christ and when I look for peace in the quiet moments of my day, the long crowded bus rides and bad fish on the street all get better. Christ suffered for more than just our sins, he is there for all of our infirmities. Anything that we struggle with, he wants to hear about and help us with. Turn to him. He is your Savior.
Next, a quick thought on the restoration. The first thing we teach people as missionarires is how Joseph Smith, a modern prophet, restored the truth of the gospel through the Book of Mormon. The ideas are simple, but at the same time so hard for people to believe. And I understand that. Why would God give a young boy who had no education such a responsibility? But as I teach this lesson over and over again in a language that is so foreign to me and all I can do is say I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, I can see hearts opened and testimonies budding. Joseph Smith was a prophet. He saw God and by his power, he translated the Book of Mormon and established Christ's Church. I don't know these things because I have seen the record or because I have had Christ appear to me; I know these things because they feel right and because I feel Christ's spirit. I know anyone who asks sincerely can have the same experience people in Korea and I have had.
Love all of you,
Elder Coleman

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

To my family and friends,

This past week I arrived in Korea and have been sent to the 만수 area and my companion is Elder Karlson. He has been out 5 months and he will be training me for about 12 weeks. We have one really incredible investigator who we will be teaching named 윤여준 who is really progressing very well. He will be baptized on the 24 of January

So Korea has a lot of very strange things. First, they sleep on mats on the ground, which is actually more comfortable than you would think. Second, they don't heat hallways, so when you walk from one room to another, it is very cold. Third, they don't really have a place where you take a shower. They just have a shower head in the bathroom and you kinda use it there. Yea lots of other interesting things but I'll just say those for today I guess.

So I had one special spiritual experience this week. To preface, I have been feeling very sick because of the lack of protein and plainness of the food here, so I've been sick on and off and just really exhausted from the big time change. Anyway, so Sunday came around and I have really been struggling to feel the Spirit since I got here. I had felt it in terms of being productive (like we luckily ran into some super cool people while we were proselyting) and I was helped in other ways, but I hadn't felt that peace the spirit brings for several days. Anyway Sunday morning as we were running out the door to go to church, I said a really quick prayer and just asked God if he wanted me to go through this that was fine, but to just give me that feeling of peace. After I finished the prayer, I felt a tiny feeling, barely recognizable, but it was the same Spirit that I have come to offer the people in Korea. It was wonderful to feel it again. So after that, the day at church went really well, even though I didn't understand anything and I made a lot of mistakes. After church during study time, I took time to read my patriarchal blessing (for those of you who don't know what that is, it is a blessing members receive from someone called of God specifically to help you in your life) and also took some time to read the Doctrine & Covenants. Both of these focused on patience and standing to wait. I know that I have been called to this area to do a work that I don't know yet and I'm not sure I can do yet. But I know I will be prepared to do it if I am faithful and diligent. 

I hope all of you are healthy and doing well,
Elder Nathan Coleman

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This letter will be brief, so I apologize, but I would like to thank all of you for your prayers and support as I have been gone. It has truly meant so much to me. And I would especially like to thank the Permenters for the food that they sent on New Years; it was much appreciated. So I leave for Korea on Monday, but not much has changed. Just learning a language and learning to teach. Oh and my companion and I got picked to teach the new missionaries how to teach a lesson, but it was super hard because we had to do it in English and I don't know how to teach in English.

Here are some things to do in Korea: Suits and Buddhist temples. So in Korea, suits cost about 50$ for a nice knock-off designer suit, so I should enjoy shopping. Plus they have these tie boxes that any tie in there (designer ties) costs two dollars. Too bad I'm not there just to shop. A couple of days ago, someone asked the question of if we were to see one thing in Korea, what should we see? Brother Scovile said that we had to make the hike to a Buddhist temple. Apparently, the hike is incredible and the view is even better. But don't hit the gong, or the monks yell at you.

I love 3 Nephi 30. It is two verses long and basically sums up the gospel. If we shun our sins and our weaknesses, have faith and repent, be baptized, and try to improve daily through the Holy Ghost, we will be saved. It is so basic, and so universal, but takes an eternity to master. I know that living the gospel will bless anyone who tries it. And as Christ said, if we live it first, we will see by the fruits if it is true or not.

So this week, I memorized the first vision in Korean. I can't do it in English anymore, but as I listen to it in Korean, I truly feel my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith grow stronger. He did see God and Christ. There is so much physical proof, and it makes so much sense; however, I don't know these things of myself. I know these things because I've read the Book of Mormon, got on my knees, and asked. It is a universal promise to anyone who reads the Book with an open heart. It is not just for Mormons, or the rich, or people from Utah. If anyone reads the Book, with real intent, and asks God if it is true, they will receive an answer in their hearts that cannot be denied.

I love you all,
Elder Coleman