|The Hong Kong LDS temple is the closest temple to Malaysia, but obviously too far away for the missionaries ever to have an opportunity to attend while serving their missions.|
Elder Coleman didn't send an actual weekly update this week (boo hoo) or any photos, but we were able to email a bit back and forth with him when he was online. He told us he loves the Christmas Advent calendar we sent him with notes from family and friends. I wonder if he is really only opening one per day, but if not, then hey. It's all good. Here are a few excerpts of things he shared with us:
When I asked about his new companion, he wrote: "I have a theory that it takes about a week or two to become friends with any companion. It hasn't been two weeks yet, so I can't make a judgement about us just yet! But he's got an even bigger personality than mine! :)"
When I asked about the people he is teaching, he wrote: "Right now we've only got one actual investigator, Erika, who is planning on being baptized. But we are really going to be working to bring that number up and find more people who are interested. It's tough because J B has way less Ibans than other areas. There are mostly I s l a m i c people here."
Some things he is learning:
Sometimes it is hard not being an older elder in the mission because people inherently think you're uncool because you're new. But a great lesson I learned this week: Whether or not you end up a legend, if missionaries talk about you for years to come or not, whether you are the coolest elder in the mission: none of that matters. What matters is that you are in good standing with Jesus Christ, our Employer and Captain, and do everything He would ask you to do. So I'm really grateful for that realization because, no matter what, I'm going to be the missionary Christ would have me be. :)
Another thing: So many people here live in poverty, yet are so happy. It's such an epic lesson for me and helps me learn what's really important in life.
Finally: Take advantage of the temple, everyone at home! I can't even go once over my two years here in the mission field :/ so use it often! I know that our family really can be together forever. It's so cool to teach that to so many people because it is building conviction in me that one day, a while from now, we will all be together and laughing together in the Celestial Kingdom. It's real.
And although I'm sad we didn't get more from him this week, he redeemed himself with little things like this: "Mom, I miss you so much! I realized the other day I have never heard you be sarcastic ever, and I have realized you are the best example for me in the whole world. I love you!"
One thing I love about his emails is he often begins with a Malaysian word, as if we know what they mean! Thank heavens for Google translate! Sudah! Belum Lagi! Bolehkah! And his English is definitely sounding more awkward as the weeks go by...