Nathan Coleman

Nathan Coleman
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Good Tidings of Great Joy!

April 24, 2016

Good afternoon everyone! 

Or whatever time it is for you all wherever you are across the world. I hope everyone is doing good and is happy this week! We had a great time this week. We got to go farm, go to the temple, and travel all across our area this week! not a ton of actual teaching, but we hope that this coming week we will get to meet some of the people and talk to them a lot more!

So some culture for this week, there is a weed, that I have no idea what it is called in English, and here they pick it and eat it. Someone we were eating with this past Wednesday told us about the weed and I was super apprehensive because I didn't want to eat some weed out of the ground or anything like that, but it turned out being super tasty. He then gave us a ton of it because if you ever say you like something, you basically are going to get a ton more of it as a gift haha. 

I have a lot of people ask me if I am happy as a missionary: friends, family, and people I meet on the street. I've talked about happiness a lot recently but I feel like it is one of the most important topics to talk about because so many of us just can't seem to find it. It’s like hot water in a hotel room; it’s on sometimes and other times it just is not working no matter how hot you turn the water. Fortunately, our happiness does not have to depend on how happy people are around us or other circumstances. About 2000 years ago an angel from God declared the path to happiness:

 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And again to another prophet.
 And he said unto me: Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy.
 For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.
 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

I have read a lot of books and talked to a lot of people about what the secret to happiness is. All of what they have said have been either temporal fixes, facades, or something that we will lose when we leave this earth. I leave my personal witness that Jesus Christ and his teachings can bring us joy and is the good news. Because of him, we never need to have permanent sadness, and regardless of the external situations, we can find an inward fountain of joy, or I suppose if we continue the metaphor, an inward shower of warmth and joy. Read his words and seek his spirit. I know that you will find joy regardless of your circumstance.

With love,
Elder Coleman 

Monday, April 18, 2016

When Life Gives You More Than You Can Stand....Kneel!

April 17, 2016

To my friends and family,

This week was kind of an ordinary week in some aspects, but extraordinary in others. I kind of feel that way about life; it is kind of what we make of it. If we have an ordinary job or life, we can make it extraordinary by not only doing fun things, but by doing things that help us grow.

So the culture for this week. Cherry. Blossoms. Man.
Every spring for like 2 weeks or so they come out and they are unbelievably beautiful. Like I can't even describe it, so I’ll just send a picture.

Anyway so as you can probably guess, the topic this week is on prayer again. We have someone that we teach who sometimes gets annoyed when we talk about prayer a ton. He’s like, yea I get it, kneel down and say things and you get things. Yea, I got it. In the most basic application, yes that is what prayer is. But only doing that does not really get us anything. The kind of prayer that I am talking about is the long prayer. The sincere prayer. The prayer that usually is accompanied by tears. The conversation with a loving Heavenly Father.

Sometimes people talk to me on the street and say that they envy me because I get to put aside my worldly cares for 2 years and just serve. While this is true and it is a wonderful blessing, this does not mean that I am free from worries or pain. As a missionary, I feel the pain of not being able to help people. I feel the pain of not being able to speak to my family or help my family and friends. While it is physically exhausting of course, the most difficult part of missionary work is the spiritual baggage.

I do not say these things to complain or to be arrogant. I say these things because many people say that a missionary cannot understand spiritual pain or emotional stress. We can. The formula for overcoming that pain is, has been, and always will be the same. When life gives you more than you can stand, kneel. A prophet in the Book of Mormon gave this testimony to those who prayed with sincerity

1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.
 2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

I leave with you my witness of the power of prayer. It works for everyone. Do not believe that you are the only one that experiences spiritual and emotional pain. None of us are unique in that respect. However, remember that each of us are special. Each of us has a loving Heavenly Father who will console us in our afflictions and who desires to have us feast on his love.

 I love you all and pray for you all often,
Elder Coleman

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 10, 2016

To my friends and family,

This week was a very busy but rewarding week. Sometimes in missionary work, and I feel like in life as well, even when concrete results are not there, if we look hard enough at what we have done and we have truly tried our best, we will find that we have been blessed so much by the Lord.

My culture tidbit: I ate octopus. Yes, the whole thing (including the face), and, yes, it was delicious.

Anyway now that that is out of the way, I want to talk a little bit about drawing closer to Christ and by doing so drawing closer to God. I feel like there is some misunderstanding about this topic. First of all, every single person living on this earth, regardless of the sin, regardless of the level of faith we have, regardless of the trial, and maybe most of all regardless of how far we feel like we have strayed from Christ, all of these people can draw near to Christ. There is no barrier that is too large, no regret or pain too great, that the Savior’s eternal and incomprehensible love cannot reach. I testify that as His servant and as a fellow son of our Heavenly Father, if you seek to draw closer to Christ with all of your heart and with all your soul that He will meet you there.

The first step in drawing near unto God is through sincere prayer. As we kneel before our Father and take that first step in showing Him that we want to have Him in our lives, several things will happen. First, if we are willing to look, we will see His hand more in our lives. We will feel the burdens that we were carrying before become a little lighter. We will be a little happier, and life will seem a little brighter. As we are grateful for the things God has given to us, our lives will improve. Second, as we patiently wait on His timing, we will receive answers to our prayers. We must remember that God will not answer a prayer based on curiosity or selfishness. He will answer those who pray humbly and seek with all of their hearts to know if He is there and truly seek to know what path they should take. I know with all my heart that prayer is the first step in drawing closer to our Father. I have seen so many blessings in my life and I have received so many answers to my prayers, not for any worthiness of myself, but simply because my Father loves me more than I can ever express or understand. I testify that if you will kneel down and invite God into your life this week, your burdens will be lightened and you will find strength that you did not know you had.

I love you all,
Elder Coleman