|Elder Coleman had the privilege of baptizing PeeJay on the last Saturday of my mission|
|Finally got to take off my bapTIES after wearing it for months!|
|The children in his mission loved Elder Coleman|
|HIS MOM CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THOSE BLUE EYES!!|
|Ang Mo Kio members threw a surprise farewell party for Elder Coleman|
|World's biggest durian???|
Hellooooooo one and all!
The final letter. So it has come.
I'm in this interesting mix of emotions right now I'm sure you returned missionaries will understand. It's so exciting to go home. It's hard to leave behind such a significant part of my life. It's thrilling and brings joy to me to think of being with my family again. It's hard to leave my loved ones here. Most of all, it's hard to know how we are supposed to feel, and whether or not we are supposed to be thrilled going back home.
Here is the thing I can say with confidence though: I served my mission with all my heart, might, mind and strength. It wasn't a perfect mission. I haven't become a perfect missionary or man. But I have served these people and served my God with all my passion and enthusiasm and energy, and I have been so richly rewarded already for it. I will look you all in the eyes and tell you that I feel a great peace with my mission, that I have accomplished what the Lord sent me here to do. I know the Lord accepts my efforts and He is proud of me. I am at peace. So though I will be sad going home, I left it all out here in the mission field.
Sure, there were times when I should've been more obedient, and others when I should have worked harder. I feel, however, that I have repented, and most importantly, reflected about those times so I could learn what I needed to learn. I know now obedience brings happiness and satisfaction with self - so even those times of disobedience were valuable, because I couldn't have learned that lesson as deeply as I have without the mistakes I made. The same goes for times of impatience, frustration, overbear-ance. Because of my mistakes, and spending time reflecting and writing, I've been able to learn much. So I feel the Lord accepts my mission for what it is - imperfect yet repenting and improving.
Most of all, I feel a great deal of respect, reverence and love for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the one who has enabled me to overcome any mistakes of my mission. Jesus has comforted me when I made mistakes and failures and has taught me not to dwell in the sorrow of mistakes, but rather to learn and grow. His Atonement makes the experience of a mission possible. His Atonement makes the experience of this earth life possible - that we can learn from our mistakes without being condemned by them. I would serve another mission to say thanks to God for the gift of His beloved Son, but I know that again I would be more blessed for my service than what I sacrificed to serve the Lord. I would be yet an unprofitable servant for the Lord - but in his mercy, He teaches by example that it is better to give than to receive - and He has given me so much.
I'm so grateful for my mission and my life. I'm thankful for you all as my family and friends. I'll see you soon. I'm thankful for the amazing experiences I've been blessed with and the launchpad I plan this mission to be for the rest of my life.
In my final week, Ang Mo Kio Ward had a baptism! PeeJay Mayo was baptized on 22 August by me! Ending the mission with a bang. Next week, we are setting a goal to have another one. Hopefully we all can get skyped in if our investigator is going to be baptized! Our transfer vision, again, was "Elder Coleman goes home, AMK Ward goes on." Elder Riddle and I looked at each other this morning and said, "Vision accomplished!" We had a great time and a great companionship. I'm grateful my mission president sought the Lord's will in my final transfer - I know it was the ideal situation for me and for the finish of my mission. My faith was strengthened because, for the past 3 months, I wore the same tie - the BapTIEs - and I prayed to Heavenly Father every time I put it on that if it was His will, that I would be able to see a baptism before I went home. And He answered my prayer. He was the one who inspired PeeJay to move up her date from September to August. A tender mercy for sure. So excited.
I don't want to share too much now - it's much more powerful in person, and I want to use some in my homecoming talk hehe but I do want to share this one last thing. I know God is real. I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real - so I too know He is real. I know the scriptures, most importantly, modern revelation, give us a correct understanding of who God is and his feelings towards us, His children. I know He loves us. Each and every time I would pray about teaching someone, I would ask, "What do you want me to say to this person?" I would hear in my mind, "Tell them I love them." EVERY time. I know God is our Father in Heaven who wants the best for them and wants us to KNOW AND TRUST He loves for us and is taking care of us day by day.
I love you, too! I'm ever so excited to be home. Grateful more than words can express. Sorry if I get emotional when I"m back hahaha it happens a lot more now. I cry okay??!? hahaha Oh well.
Love you all,
Elder Clay Coleman
|14 terrific companions and 2 amazing mission presidents!|