Nathan Coleman

Nathan Coleman
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Monday, March 30, 2015

March 29, 2015

To my family and friends,

I will be leaving 인천 (that’s not how you spell it in English, but I forgot. Sorry.) and I will be going into the heart of Seoul! I do not have much time to write a long email, but I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing well. This week most of our investigators are in the same boat that they were in last week. They are struggling to receive that personal witness and have their faith grow.

So today relating to this problem I will share a message about how to strengthen faith. Whether you are a missionary, an atheist, or just someone of another religion, I hope my message can apply to you. First of all, Faith is not a principle of weakness or ignorance; it is a principle of power. No matter what your standing is on religion right now, Faith in a God and Faith in Christ can help you overcome challenges. When we have a firm belief in God and Christ, we can know that this life is not the end. We can know that as we do good works and follow God's commandments, we will receive peace and joy in this life and the next. As we continue to study, pray, and follow what God wants us to do, we start to know by our own experience that God is real and we begin to feel that promised Joy and Peace. This knowledge and these feelings do not come all at once, but rather slowly as we continue to follow God's path. My plea for all of you is to try it. Try praying. Try reading God's word or doing service for someone else. You will start to feel that peace and joy and you will know that God is real.

I love you all,
Elder Coleman

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 22, 2015

To my family and friends,

Another wonderful week in the most interesting country in the world. We saw several people this week dressed up in fascinating costumes. I am now at 3 hugs by drunk old men, which is a pretty good number according to the Elders in my home. Anyway, the work is going great and I am totally happy here in Korea.

Today will be a short email, but it will contain one of the most important principles of the gospel. Many people wonder why religion is important, why God is important, and why Christ should matter to them at all. To explain, I will use a scripture. 

“And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12)
According to Paul in Hebrews 6, all of us need to have diligence and patience and faith in order to fulfill the promises of God. This diligence, faith, and patience is more commonly referred to as hope. But hope in the religious sense is not the same as a hope that it could rain today. Hope is an unfailing, unwavering assurance that God will fulfill his promises to you. We can have hope in God because he is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving. As we turn to him, follow his commandments, and do our best to live good lives, God WILL keep his promises to us. Whether you are serving a mission right now, working, going through college, or whatever situation you might be in, God understands you perfectly. He knows how to help you and he wants to make you happy. In order to receive his guidance and his peace, we must pray and try our best to understand His will for us. A Book of Mormon prophet named Moroni explains what we should hope for:

40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
 41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. (Moroni 7:40-41)

I add my testimony to the prophets that this life is not the end. I know that through Christ and his death and resurrection, we will one day live again. Death will have no sting. The grave will have no victory. I know that through Christ all of us will live again and by following his words, we can have hope in this life that one day we will rest from all of our pains.

I love you all,
Elder Coleman

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 15, 2015 성겨사왜버냈어요? (Why do they send missionaries?)

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To my family and friends,

Today I want to talk about a question that I got from one of our investigators. The culture will be implied in the conversation and everything is going great (we have two investigators that will be baptized soon) so I will not dwell on that.

So this past week we had a lesson with an older man. We thought he had some serious interest, so we invited one of the members to teach with us. Anyway we taught about why prophets are so important and why the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are important to him individually. We taught the principle (if any of you have interest in why these ideas are important, let me know and I will explain them in my next email, but for time's sake I will not do it here) and then we shared some scriptures and testified. Right after we finished, I saw the member was very touched as were my companion and I by the teaching we shared. Then the investigator turned to the member and, translated, said something along the lines of "Why do they send these kids to preach this thing?"

In my opinion, it should be obvious why God calls young men to preach his gospel. In Samuel 16:7, The Lord told the prophet to “look not on the height of his stature" when Samuel was choosing the next king. That boy, David, would eventually slay the greatest warrior of the Philistines, Goliath, and eventually go on to become a mighty king. Christ on Earth called fisherman to be his apostles. Moses was a man of slow speech. And in these days, God called a young boy named Joseph Smith to restore his gospel.

Now I suppose the question really is this: Why does God call imperfect men or young men (or young women) to do his work? I will preface this with saying that I am one of the most imperfect people that I know. I could be more diligent, more consecrated, have more faith, and obviously be far more kind. But God doesn't call people who are perfect because there was only ever one (Christ). We are called to go to places where we can't speak the language or where we don't understand the culture because God wants to prove to his people that he is God and he has all power. When Gideon was fighting the Midianites, the Lord commanded him to reduce his army to a fraction of the men that he had. He said that he did this to prove that he was God and that he would fight Israel’s battles. (Judges 7:2-7)

God calls imperfect people to prove that by small and simple means he can bring great things to pass. He doesn't need a fluent Korean speaker to testify and say the simple words "I know God Lives." He doesn't need someone who is eloquent or powerful of speech to say "I know Christ is the Savior." I know that God calls imperfect people to do his work so that the people who will humbly listen to God’s message will know it is from God, not from man.

So with that said, why am I in Korea and why are thousands of missionaries around the world in their respective missions? Because God Lives. Because we know that Christ is the Savior and that he loves all of his children. We sacrifice and try to improve as people and as teachers everyday so that we can share this simple message about Christ.

In the words of Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon, “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (D&C 76:22-24)

I believe this testimony and promise to all of the sincere searchers of truth that if you pray and ask God simply and from your heart, he will give you an answer to your prayers. The heavens are not silent. God lives and loves his children. And I know this.

I love you all,

Elder Coleman

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 8, 2015

To my Family and Friends,

So as usual, Korea is being Korea. We were on a bus yesterday and someone brought a cat onto the bus and it cried for the whole 30 minute long bus ride. I just looked at my companion as we got off and we agreed that everything strange that happens can be explained away with "Korea." We also had some sweet Korean pizza stuff that I have since forgotten the name of, and we still don't have rice in the house so we have been stealing from the church... which is okay... we think.

So today I want to share a scripture found in D&C 6:
"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen."

I remember a blessing that I once gave before I came out onto my mission. Some of you may not know, but in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are able to give blessings for healing and comfort. I remember when I gave this blessing that I was probably in more need of healing and comfort than the person I was giving it to. Anyway, as I was giving this blessing, I remember sharing a testimony that the Savior cannot forget us. After the blessing, I was reminded of how true this promise is.

"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." (Isaiah 49)

Christ has engraven all of us on the palms of his hands. Sometimes we may forget him, but he can never forget us. When we have problems or experience trials that make us feel alone, remember the wounds that pierced his side. Remember the prints that were put into his hands. If we trust in him and look unto him in every thought and fear not, we are promised that we will inherit heaven. Today, I hope all of you look to him. Say a prayer, read a scripture. Do something that brings you closer to him. As we rely on the Savior, our burdens will be made light and the scars in our hands will be mended through the scars in his.

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53)

He loves you. I know that if you let him heal you, you will feel peace and your fears will disappear.

I love you all,

Elder Coleman

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1, 2015

To my family and friends,

Thank you all for the continuous support! I feel your love on a weekly basis and the prayers that you offer on a daily basis. Everything is going well in Korea. Our investigators were both pretty busy or sick this week, so not a lot of progress on those fronts, but we made a lot of progress with helping the members of the church help us to find people to teach. I hope all of you are healthy and doing well.

First, in Korean culture it is absolutely essential to share. Korean people always share their food, clothes, or basically anything to anyone. They are willing to give service whenever it is needed. Whenever we need more rice or food, we could ask anyone and they would give it to us. The interesting thing though is that they refuse to accept service. We can't help an old woman carry things or give up our seat on a bus for someone. Actually, it’s sometimes annoying, but the idea of sharing is what I wanted to talk about today.

Christ was the perfect teacher. He taught all of us how to be happy in this life and have joy in the next. One of the most important principles he taught was service. Whether it was through his actions or his sermons, the idea that we must love our neighbor is very clear. One of his most powerful parables is the parable of the Good Samaritan. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a man is robbed when he is traveling and is left almost for dead. First a priest passes him and doesn't help him, then another religious leader passes by and doesn't help him. But then a Samaritan (a racial enemy of the Jews) passes him. He takes him to an inn to tend his wounds and he uses his time and money to help him. James says that true religion is helping the poor and giving a helping hand to the lost. We can do that by giving our money and giving service to those who need it. BUT the most important thing we can share with people is the pure love of Christ and the gospel. To be honest, we have a lot of people in Korea that do not like missionaries. But, Christ didn't give an exception. We are to love and forgive all men. "By this they may know that ye are my disciples. If ye have love one to another." Every time we visit people, we give them a commitment. We always invite them to act and to grow closer to Christ. I’m happy that all of you are reading my blog right now, but I hope you do something more than just read. I hope you apply the teachings of Christ. Go to the scriptures, pray, do more than just read my thoughts on Korea. This week, I want to challenge all of you to show someone love. Not someone that you like or someone that you are close with. Find someone who you are angry with, haven't forgiven, or someone who just isn't a great person. It is easy to love your friends, but it is hard to love people who spit on you and revile against you. As you show people love that they often don't deserve, you will start to understand Christ's teachings. You will start to understand why religion and love is so important. 

In closing Paul said this about Charity, or love:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil,  rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth. But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

I love you all and hope that you will all take some time to show somebody love this week,

Elder Coleman