The Final Letter

Monday, August 24, 2015
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


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!

The Longest Stretch aka the Final Week

Monday, August 17, 2015
Taken on August 7 when Elder Riddle had 19 months left and I had 19 days! 

Another great week in the books. I'm working to put thoughts of home out of my mind because I feel that makes my remaining time left go even faster - and though going home is definitely an exciting and fun prospect, I recognize that upon being at home for a few weeks, I will desire to be back here in the mission field. So I'm trying to enjoy and savor the last bits of my mission.

Great progress this week. An investigator was interviewed and passed for her date this Saturday. Another had an incredible lesson where we threw our plan out the window and read with him instead the baptismal interview questions. He didn't realize he was ready until he read those qualifications and realized there was nothing stopping him! Very good possibility that he will be baptized NEXT Saturday. I hope I can get Skyped into the baptism to watch it from home!! That was a big miracle from the week.

My faith was strengthened this week when I was asked to give a blessing to Elder Pun and I felt the familiar voice of the Spirit guiding me and giving me the words to say. I prayed beforehand like usual to let Heavenly Father know I want to speak His words and NOT mine. I literally just tried to say the words I felt... And they came to me in a string of words, almost, hard to describe, but the feeling of revelation is real! And so I once again have the faith that if Heavenly Father can direct the words of a blessing, He can give inspiration and revelation to help the work progress, both here in Singapore and in Malaysia, in those little branches there.

I finished the Book of Mormon again this week, and I prayed again, and I want to offer you my testimony that I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true. I know it from encounters with the Spirit of God which has testified to my soul!!! 

I love this work and I have done my best so far. I've got the longest stretch remaining - the final week.

:) Love you alll!! See you in less than the number of fingers you (should) have on your hands!!

Elder Clay Coleman

I Fear No Man

Monday, August 10, 2015
She decided to get baptized!!
Singapore has delicious food! 

Including some American staples!
Hello everyone!!

In my third to last week, we had A GREAT time. We had our first Zone Conference with President Simmons, and we can really feel the energy and the vision of the mission. He's doing a really swell job, and I'm personally excited for things to keep heading upwards.

Additionally, before Zone Conference we had an epic Badminton Tournament with quite a few of the missionaries from West Malaysia and Singapore. It was way fun!!! And, turns out, I've gotten mcuh better at Badminton. Elder Riddle is pretty good, too, and we teamed up to destroy!! We won the winners bracket of the tournament and placed tied for first at the end of the day. It was a lot of fun, and it's cool to see myself progress since my days in Tawau, the first time I tried picking up a racket. :D

Zone Conference was also great because I was able to deliver my dying/departing testimony. (Missionaries refer to the end of a mission as dying.)  I made some jokes but talked about how I loved my mission. Even though it wasn't the 'ideal' mission course I would've planned out, I can see how inspired it was and how each area and companion was who I needed to be with. I loved my mission!! I'm still loving my mission. So I offered three tips to the other missionaries as to how they can love their missions, too: 

1) LOVE YOUR MISSION (or for you back at home, LIFE) FOR WHAT IT IS. You won't always be pleased with the situations you're in, or the callings you do or don't get, the disappointments and success, but if you can learn to be content and happy with what the Lord gives you, and try to change what you CAN change, and accept what you can't, you will love your mission! Love it for what it is.

2) Recognize that you're just a TOOL!!!.... in the hands of the Lord. This isn't your work - this is God's work. You can do miracles. It's not "I can do all things through Christ" it's "Christ can do all things through ME!" Be humble, recognize you're just a tool and go to work, and watch God work wonders through your words and actions. 

3) LET OTHERS CHANGE! I changed a lot from the beginning of my mission - i thought I was going to come and be the missionary the Lord was thankful for, but I humbled up really fast. However, it did take time - and my actions before I changed made it difficult for others to accept who i was becoming. That was the hardest part about my change - the fact that others wouldn't let me change. 

I hope other missionaries benefitted from it!!

Also, some TERRIFIC news!! I've been wearing a tie for the last 3 months in an effort to show God I was really dedicated to help someone get baptized. I was given this challenge by a member named Kevin Koh. It helped me focus my desires and efforts over the past several weeks, and I wore it every day until I baptized someone / Someone I taught got baptized. It didn't look possible, but now P is looking forward to being baptized August 22 - my last Saturday in the mission field!!! Wow!!! I'm SO excited. The best part? She didn't do this for me, she did it because she felt it was right after she prayed about it. Woooo!!

So. I'm sure you're wondering about the title of this post. Why? In the Zone Conference, President Simmons trained us about the talk "Which Way Do You Face" from October 2014 General Conference and the principle of fearing God more than man. He shared a clip from a talk by President Uchtdorf about a missionary he nicknamed "Elder Strong". He was an amazizng missionary and worked his hardest, speaking with everyone day in and day out. What motivated him to do that work? Elder Strong's habitual response, "I fear no man." As I've been working over the last couple days, I've been seeking to apply the same thing - I, Elder Coleman, fear no man. And so for the remaining days (16 until I'm home), I will do my absolute best to make this happen.

Shout out to my father JonnyCC for serving an honorable mission back in the 80s and changing people's lives in the Dominican Republic. He and my mom were there this week and visited people my dad had helped teach and baptize. I can only hope my service will have a bit of the impact his did. At the end of the day though - if we serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength, we are just enabling God to do what HE needs to do, so we can't be prideful about it at all! And I'm grateful for my dad teaching me that lesson as he shared his mission experiences with me.

Love you all!! See you soon!!!

Elder Clay Coleman

Love the youth of AMK ward!

Three Weeks

Monday, August 3, 2015

Singapore preparing for its 50th Anniversary on August 9 - Singapore National Day

Humanitarian Service
Hey everyone!!

Some interesting news - I will be finishing my mission in a tri-companionship!! Elder Pun, a Hong-Kong-Local-moved-to-Vancouver, will join Elder Riddle in finishing my mission. That means we take over Bedok Ward as well as AMK ward, and cover about 40% of the island.

This week was also good. Elder Pun is a welcome addition to our companionship, and covering Bedok and AMK will be a lot of fun. I already have a talk lined up for Bedok next week. haha. Well, it'll be cool to say that I spoke in Singapore on the 50th National Day!

 Elder Riddle and Elder Pun get along really well. Elder Riddle is a good elder and works hard. He has a bright future. We will do our best to set up Elder Pun to the best of our ability for the next transfer. Bedok area, however, doesn't have much going on right now - just a few investigators that 1) can't get baptized for a year plus or 2) can't meet that often. Oh well. There are two great potential candidates who I think could be baptized. Just as a report there. The area and the members are terrific - they love missionaries and from what I can see, they would be really ideal to work with. Bedok has great potential.

Ang Mo Kio is doing alright also - our main progressing investigators continue to press forward. They came to church again this week and accepted the lessons we taught them about the Word of Wisdom. Great!! The struggle to find new investigators is real though, but we are having great experiences every day. We are opening our mouths, but still nothing. That's okay. We've got a couple good potentials we think could go well.

My faith was strengthened this week as I read in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 10. No matter how much opposition, the Lord will definitely push on His own work. Nothing will stop it! We can have the faith of a Hinckley that it will all work out and go forth. That's my belief and testimony. I also had my faith strengthened as I wrote in my journal about some experiences on my mission from around a year ago. The Lord really has blessed us so much. We are SO fortunate to be missionaries and to be members. To be Americans, even. 

I saw a miracle this morning - on the bus to the internet kedai I sat next to Ivan - a Christian who hasn't been baptized yet. I explained that our role here in Singapore is to help people prepare for and be baptized. He said he would be interested in meeting up to understand the process! Got his number and gave him our card. Nice!

Also, a great miracle from Church this week! P, one of the progressing investigators, was called upon to answer a question in Gospel Principles. She said this: "How can we obey, without knowing the whole picture? Well, I think it's like.... Like Nephi!! He couldn't see the whole picture in getting the plates... But he obeyed anyway, and the Lord blessed him to be successful." WHAT. Our jaws dropped and then turned into grins. An amazing moment. She's reading and understanding and benefitting from the Book of Mormon. Incredible.

I'm working hard and trying to maintain motivation. I feel like I'm still doing well. Pushing myself constantly outside of my comfort zone.

This week is Zone Conference and I'll deliver my departing testimony this week!!! Yikes!!! I'll record it and send it to you all later :) Love you!!!

Elder Clay Coleman

Elder C has become quite a letter writer! We treasure these letters

Here is an excerpt from one of his recent letters to his parents:

I'll share a cool insight I had during personal study this week. President Mains challenged us to read the whole Book of Mormon again, marking only and all references to the doctrine of Christ: Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I've learned a ton about repentance this time around – especially on the relationship between repentance and obedience, repentance and humility, etc. very helpful. My insight this week, however, comes from Helaman 5 verse 5: 

"For they [Nephi and Lehi] remembered the words which their father Helaman spake unto them. And these are the words which he spake."

Seems like a pretty unremarkable verse, right? Well, I want to focus on the word "remembered." Alma and other prophets often "stirred the people up to remembrance," they often chastised the people for forgetting the captivity of their fathers or times when the Lord helped/delivered them out of their trouble in the past. The prophets make it seem like forgetting is a major sin – something which the people are responsible for. Contrast that with our use of the word today, when forgetting something is, yes, our own fault, but is largely accidental and not something to chastise someone for. It's the attitude of, "Oops, I'm a dummy, I forgot to do XYZ, my bad… Happens to everyone! Oh well!" Very distinct/different uses in the Scriptures and in today's world. However, Nephi and Lehi this time remember. They actively recall and then quote the words of their father. When I read these words, my mind started thinking, "What did they do to remember?" Then the Spirit brought this answer to my mind: they wrote, and they read. How could they remember their father's words verbatim unless they wrote them down?! And how would they remember his words years later unless they opened up the writings/records and read them? It was really obvious, but profound – remembering in the Scriptures often means reading that which is recorded. So, whenever you see someone forgot God in the Scriptures, just think that he did not remind himself regularly by reading the records of the prophets! This puts new meaning to the words in the Sacrament prayer/baptismal covenants where it says, "we will always remember Him [Christ]." Hmmmm... So, my invitation to you is to associate "remember" with reviewing holy writ, and to recognize that your daily scripture study is a way to keep your baptismal covenant to always remember Christ. Also I would invite you to read over your old notes from general conferences and sacrament meetings, firesides, etc. And find/remember things God told you to do, then do them! You'll be surprised at how much you may or may not have forgotten. :) Can?

Less than One Month!

Monday, July 27, 2015
With Joseph, at the National Museum of Singapore
The whale shark at the SEA Aquarium 


Can you believe it everyone? Less than one month! The end is coming. haha 

This week was great!!! Elder Riddle and I are settling in as companions, becoming better and better friends. Last week for pday we went to the SEA (South East Asia) Aquarium, and enjoyed it heaps!! We got some great tickets down in Chinatown that were basically half price :) Turns out learning Chinese from Elder Wang has its perks!! 

We also went and did some great service at the AMK/Bishan Park. We planted trees and the like for 2 hours on Wednesday morning. And on Friday morning, we had another opportunity to serve when we took the same group of senior Singaporeans we took to the beach a few months ago to the National Museum of Singapore! Here is a picture with Joseph, the Tamil man I was privileged to escort. He's 86 years old!! As we traversed the museum, he gave me a real-life perspective on what occurred. It was SO INTERESTING. He told me first-hand about the brutality of the Japanese occupation in Singapore. He explained how he didn't want Singapore to merge with Malaya back in the 60's, so he voted against it, but the merger happened anyway. I love learning haha so I was just so excited to see and hear all this stuff - I think my enthusiasm helped him enjoy it, too! What's more, I got to go with Elder Hansen, my former companion from Klang. We had a really great time.

I love service!! I've missed being able to do this kind of service often. I hope I can make it a permanent part of my life back at home - especially service outside of the church.

This week was also good because we taught P and S, and helped them progress further. P wants to be baptized in September, on her birthday, so that will be wonderful!! We taught S the Word of Wisdom, and really helped him come to understand it. He said he would try to live it!! We need to work on how we can help him commit to baptism. That's our focus for this week. Hopefully he can be baptized next month (August). I would love to see him baptized before I go, but of course he is wokring on increasing his faith until he can do it. Both of them were fellowshipped REALLY WELL by the ward this week. It looks like they are beginning to become part of the community.

We also had a great opportunity to teach FS (a returning less active) about the Melchizedek Priesthood.  It's one of my favorite responsibilities. I taught the same thing to converts in Miri. I love seeing men step up to realize their priesthood responsibilities and accept the blessings and the responsibilities of the priesthood. Such an amazing, great responsibility we hold. We are the Church of Jesus Christ. We must humbly yet boldly declare that.

I also learned that this week as we taught an investigator named S. He's been hearing quite a few different churches' teachings, so we felt a lesson about baptism and priesthood authority were appropriate. We taught him boldly and simply that the priesthood authority exists only in Jesus Christ's church. (See Luke 9:1-2 for details). He then asked, "Do you mean that no other churches have any authority? Why do you want to teach that?" We responded, "We do not say this to insult other churches - but if it's true, how can we not teach all people the true authority exists here?" It was a powerful moment. 

Good things are happening!! We're just working on finding. Finding the elect... it's tough! But I believe they are here. I know we can find them if we follow the promptings of the Spirit.

I love you all!! Enjoy and have a great week!!!

Elder Clay Coleman

Faith and Work

Monday, July 20, 2015

With President Leonard Woo (our former stake president when our family lived in Singapore and currently serving as Area Authority Seventy) and Elder C's new companion Elder Riddle
Humanitarian Service activity

Pointing to August 27 -- he will be home by then!

New Companion: Elder Riddle! He's great, a sporty kid who plays Australian Football (craziest game ever, look it up). He's been out for 5 months, so I have a great opportunity to pass on what I've learned from my mission to him!! Love his terrific Australian accent!! But it's wayyyyyy hard to imitate!! I'm going to work at it though! haha

My faith was strengthened this week as we fasted as a district for our investigators we discussed at District Meeting, then saw an immediate difference in the fellowshipping levels of our members. It was really good. I hope the investigators will progress to baptism. Also, my mom sent me some accounts of people who were prepared to hear the gospel being found by missionaries which increased my faith that there ARE people out there being prepared.

We had two lessons with members this Saturday, one to a new investigator named J. She is SO interested, and found most of her questions answered by the lesson we had prepared for her. It was really amazing to see. She told us that concerns she has had with religion for the past decade were just resolved. Hopefully we can teach her further. We do have another member lined up to help us to teach her this week.

We had our ward mission leader go to Relief Society and spend about 10 minutes teaching them about how to fellowship! (take people to classes, have them sit next to you at sacrament, etc) We are planning on reviewing that again this week. Other than that, it's hard to get into members homes here in Singapore. They're super busy. Hopefully we can improve that with the excuse that I go home soon to get us in there!

Our vision for this transfer is this: AMK Ward goes on, Elder Coleman goes home! hahah Pretty fun. I'm planning on looking my parents in the eyes and telling them I gave my all while I was away!


Elder Clay Coleman

Giant durian topiary at Changi as part of Singapore's 50th anniversary celebration! Only in Singapore!!

Serve God to the End!

Monday, July 13, 2015
Throwback to May with Elder Misa
July 4th with President Chen

So we enter the FINAL TRANSFER. 6 weeks left. In 44 days, I will be on a plane, and in 45, I will touch down in John Wayne airport in Southern California. Crazy. I'm staying in Singapore for this last transfer and my new companion will be Elder Riddle from Australia. All I know is that Elder Valentine trained him in KL, and that he's pretty chill. And Elder Hansen (former companion) is coming to Singapore, so I'm WAY stoked!! 

I've reflected a lot about the past two years, and I'm so grateful for the experiences and the people I've come to know. I have been richly blessed as I've worked alongside the Lord. I feel blessed to have had such a balanced mission. I've taught people of many different cultures and backgrounds, and I have great faith that God can use my efforts to baptize and convert and bless the lives of those people who didn't accept / commit to what I offered at the time.

I just want to write my testimony for you - this gospel is 100% true. We really were sent to earth for the express purpose of growing and developing. I know this is true. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and through his Atonement, we can receive peace and strength. I know living God's commandments with exactness is how we can find the most development and peace through whatever is sent our way. Our path may lead through times that are hard, difficult, boring, fun, or whatever it is, but what I've learned on my mission is that my dedication and loyalty to God that I've developed and exercised over the last two years is why these two years are so formative and instructive. I love God. I do what I do and what I will be doing for the next 6 weeks because I love our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful for this chance to learn and grow, and I am grateful I've witnessed first-hand that by putting Him at the center of our lives, we will receive all He has in store for us.

This week was great!! Lots of members came with us to say goodbye to Elder Wang -- I've eaten SO MUCH the past couple days, and I have several more appointments for just eating. Oh well. It should be a great time. We also had legitimate progression with a couple of our investiagtors. It will be very interesting how the next weeks play out. Look for my green tie in all my pics though. hehe It's the bapTIES. Pray that we can help someone prepare to be baptized in this transfer, or that God will send us someone who is already prepared.

Love you all! Serve God to the end!!! Moroni 6:3!! "And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, HAVING A DETERMINATION TO SERVE HIM TO THE END."

Elder Clay Coleman
Zone conference in May