Nathan Coleman

Nathan Coleman
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Monday, March 14, 2016

March 13, 2016

To my friends and family,

This week has been a lot of things: busy, stressful, rewarding, scary, crazy, wonderful, cold. But most of all this week was happy. I will talk about that interesting word a little later, but to start just a quick summary of the week first. We basically ran around the whole week and talked to everyone we possibly could, and by doing that, we got a ton of peoples’ phone numbers and addresses and appointments. After that, we called a ton of people and met with a lot of people to teach them and that went well too. So basically that is what every week is like so if anyone is wondering there it is!

The culture for this week is the 배웅 which is basically the Korean word for like a goodbye walk out. When you leave someone’s house, they typically put on their shoes and walk out with you. Sometimes they even walk you all the way to the bus stop. It’s actually super cool because it shows how much they value you and want to make sure you get to your next appointment safely.

So today I want to talk about a topic that I have been trying to study every day and one that I have been curious about my whole life. That topic is, “How can we have happiness in spite of challenges and in spite of heartbreak or setback?” This past week I have been reading in the Book of Mormon in the book called second Nephi. In chapter 5 of that book, Nephi and his family have just arrived in the promised land, but shortly after they arrived, Nephi’s father died and the family split because of a disagreement. Because of this, wars and conflicts began to break out. Being split from my family, at least physically, is a feeling I am pretty well familiar with. Even though Nephi was in a new place, split from his family, and had the terrible responsibility of leading his people against his brothers, he described that "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." When I read this I asked myself "What does that even mean? what is the manner of happiness and how did he find it?"

Of course there are many ways to find this happiness but in this chapter I found 3 things that really stood out. First is being industrious. Work hard at whatever you are doing. College, a job, mission, whatever you are currently doing find a way to do your best. Happiness is found in doing something well regardless of what it is. If you aren't really doing anything now, change that. It is hard to be truly happy if you are not busy and doing something that you find meaningful.

Another is following the prophet and Gods commandments. I always thought this was an obvious one; do what God says and you will be blessed. This of course is true, but there is another reason we should keep the commandments. When we break the commandments or ignore the scriptures or the prophets, we will always eventually become unhappy. God does not usually punish the children that he loves when they break the commandments by raining down fire and ruining their lives, but he does not stop the natural consequences of doing things that are against his commandments.

Finally, Nephi and his family found joy in working together and helping each other. By serving and loving people around us we find joy. Instead of focusing on those things that hurt or the things that are painful, find someone who is worse off than you. It’s generally pretty easy. Then go help them. Forget yourself for just a short amount of time and strengthen the people around you. That is where you will find true happiness.

I love you all,
Elder Coleman

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