Nathan Coleman

Nathan Coleman
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Are you sleeping?

September 18, 2016

To my friends and family,

I don't really know why I keep putting that line to start my emails. If I have learned anything on my mission it is that my friends and anyone that you meet can become your family. I had an experience when I left my last area with someone that I had taught for a long time and he was eventually baptized. The last thing that he said to me before I left was that I would always be a part of his family. I am so happy for the experiences that I have had throughout my life to have wonderful people come into my life and teach me and become part of my family.

Anyway so this past week was Korean thanksgiving but we didn't really do anything special because we are too busy teaching and with other stuff. But I learned from a member that Koreans do A LOT of work for passed ancestors. So if I understood right, first of all on this week they do a sacrifice just for general ancestors. Then the day before that they do another one for all of their ancestors up to their dead grandparents. So for older people that is like 6 per person. Kinda crazy. Then there is another day that they do sacrifices but I kinda got confused about what that was... Anyway cool culture for me too!

So something that has been on my mind a lot lately is the concept of spiritual sleep. We all do it. We all take breaks from things that we know we should be doing. Whatever we believe, we sometimes forget to do the small things that we know are right. For example, how many of us go through long periods of time when we do not go to church, say our prayers, or read the scriptures? Perhaps more importantly, how many of us go through times where we forget to live the principles of faith, love, humility, and patience? There is a passage that I read this past week that I liked a lot.

 “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

Have any of us forgotten how merciful God has been in our lives? Have any of us forgotten to love the people around us? Have we forgotten to be humble or patient or faithful? If you feel that you may be sleeping spiritually, emotionally, or maybe too much physically, I invite you to wake up. Go do the things that you know that you should be doing. Maybe it is going back to church. Maybe it is studying for tests, or getting a job. Maybe it is working out more or getting on a diet. I promise and I know that God blesses those who choose to act. So act, be children of light and make sure you are not sleeping.

Love you all,

Elder Coleman

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Christ Stood Alone

September 12, 2016

Hey everyone!

I have a lot of time before the next appointment that we have (it’s in like 45 minutes) so I figured that I could share some cool culture and also some things that I have been pondering recently. First of all, this week is the Korean thanksgiving! I don't know much about what people do on these days but a lot of it is relating to showing respect to ancestors by cleaning the tombstones and also giving them celebratory food (I think, I will ask more). But the highlight of this week for sure was when I got acupuncture. That stuff is for real. I didn't even plan on getting it, someone just came to our church to meet with us and he heard about my back and he just pulled out his needles and did it. Anyway so that was fun.

There is a song that I listen to that I like a lot on my ipod that is called "worthy to stand" At hard times in my mission and during my life, I have listened to it to remind me that if I can endure today, there will be a time when I can stand blameless before God. I have always looked at standing alone as being very noble and brave. That’s why I like teaching people on the street so much. My companion is off somewhere else and I can just teach people by myself where everyone can see. It is scary to a lot of people but to me it is the perfect time to show that I am willing to stand alone and share the things that I know.

But recently I have thought about this song very differently. This past week after one of the many rejections that we have on the street, I said to myself in my mind, well at least God is proud of me and when I stand to be judged for this experience I can be proud of what I tried to do. Then in my heart I felt these words: "I stood alone so you would never have to" At that time, this prompting was so valuable to me. I have spoken about this topic a lot and so have many other missionaries but it is very personal to me. In all times, and in all things, Jesus Christ stands beside us, even when we are not worthy enough, strong enough, or faithful enough to stand alone. I promise all of you that this is true and I bear my testimony that I have seen this truth in my life. I remember this scripture whenever I think on this topic.

3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—

 4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

 5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.

Christ is worthy to stand alone. He stood alone and he died alone so we would never have to suffer alone. The invitation to all of us is to believe. I petition you to do this and by doing so now and forever Christ will advocate your cause.

I love you all,

Elder Coleman

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Spirit

September 5, 2016

Hey friends and family! I have a little bit more time than I expected today to write a blog post so I will try to include some good things in here. Everything is going well here in Seoul, Korea! The weather is cooling down and we are having a ton of success and fun! This week especially was good because I got to go on an exchange with one of my good friends, Elder Jenkins. He is the man. Anyway, this week we also learned a lot about Korean culture, specifically stuff related to ancestor rituals and stuff like that. In two weeks is the Korean thanksgiving and during this time Koreans spend a lot of time cleaning the graves of ancestors and doing other stuff like that. Anyway, super cool stuff even though we don't get to see a lot of it hands on. Another cool theme for this week was following the Spirit. From the start to the end of this week I have had the blessing to see many miracles come through the comforter. When I think of the Spirit I think of 6 blessings that I have received from it.

First the spirit testifies of Christ. I feel this witness almost every day as I have the opportunity to testify to others of the importance of Jesus Christ. It brings a warmth to my heart and great memories to my mind of when I first began to learn of Him.

Second, it comforts us in times of trials. When we feel lonely or alone, the spirit whispers to us our many blessings. It tells us that although our situation is not ideal, in time it will get better.

Third, it gives us spiritual strength. For all of us who are attempting to overcome bad habits and temptations, the spirit will give us the strength and endurance to continually overcome these difficult challenges.

Fourth, it warns us. Sometimes these warnings are of temporal danger but often they are of spiritual danger. The spirit will tell us if we are doing something that will put us or someone else into harm’s way.

Fifth, it leads us and directs us on how we can improve. This blessing of the spirit has been especially valuable to me in my life. Every time I ask "what can I do more?" or "how can I be better" it whispers to me in my mind and heart and encourages me to be a little kinder or work a little harder.

Finally, the spirit sanctifies us. By valiantly and consistently following the promptings of the spirit, we become a new person. A stronger and more loving person. As we give head to the promptings of the spirit, our past lives, habits, and even character are changed into disciples of Christ.

I promise and testify that all of us who have received the Comforter after we have been baptized have a right to its constant companionship as long as we are worthy and always seek it. I promise that those of us who do not have the Gift of the Holy Ghost can still gain guidance from Heavenly Father as we take steps to become closer to Him and eventually receive that gift. My friends and family, the gospel is so simple and I know that God has given us a perfect guide to lead us safely home. All we must do is ask, seek, and knock. 

I love you all,
Elder Coleman