The Work is Moving Forward (in spite of torrential rain and jellyfish kebabs)

Monday, November 4, 2013
Some of the Malaysian dishes he's learning to love!

Soaking wet after riding his bike in a torrential downpour
Hello all!

Now that I have settled in here in Malaysia, things are really starting to get rolling. Like my companion Elder Adams said, it feels like the Lord's hand is directly over us and He is willing us to succeed. 

We have been meeting a lot with the members and having great experiences with them. Helping people come back to church and remember their testimonies is a constant struggle out here in the field, but we work on it and hopefully make a difference.

Also, this week we had some marvelous lessons where the Spirit really took over and turned the lesson into Jesus Christ's lesson, not ours (if that makes sense, pardon English errors).

We met some Ibans last week and finally had the opportunity to meet with them this week. One lesson was with two men named A__ and I___. We taught really simply about Christ and his love for us and how our purpose is to help them build their faith in Christ. Pretty great, and they were so interested in the message. We are meeting with them again this week and can't wait! Hopefully we can continue to touch their hearts.

The lesson that really blew my mind, however, happened last night. This was our first lesson with them. When we originally met these men, they were drinking a ton and smoking, but we gave them some pamphlets and encouraged them to read. We got their phone numbers and later in the week (even when they were more sober haha) they said they still wanted to meet with us. That was great! So we met them last night - and what an experience it was! 

Elder Adams and I were teaching and we didn't even think about what we were saying. I literally opened my mouth and felt it being filled with words and sentences I wasn't thinking about. I had a plan for the lesson but the words just came out according to the dictates of the Spirit. As I spoke, these people were riveted (see the photo with them below). They were so interested in the message, and through our examples and use of the Gospel Art book, the Spirit testified to the truthfulness of our message. Wow. 

On the way back to our apartment, Elder Adams and I remarked on the marvelous nature of that visit. We were so led by the Spirit. Only time will tell if these people will still want to learn, but if we can have the Spirit like we did during that lesson, I know they will be able to change and come closer to Christ. So awesome! Experiences like this make my life and mission so great! I know I can do this for two years, even through hard times and 20+ miles a day biking over long hills and weaving in between cars (sorry mom, Malaysia is super sketch). This Gospel is seriously so true and seeing the hand of the Lord as we teach and watching Him help us succeed is a witness to me this work is really the work of Jesus Christ. So amazing!

We just had a Zone Conference in Singapore. (A zone is a geographic group of missionaries who work together.) Clayton Christensen spoke. He did a whole training exercise on some major ways to get missionary work going. THE number one thing was for us to get to know the members and earn their trust. Then, getting them involved. In my limited experience, major success in the work of salvation revolves around the church members. Here's something my mission president said that blew my mind,  and maybe you'll want to share it in the ward sometime:

"Do we have two churches? A missionary church and a member church? No. We don't. We have one church! So why, then, do we draw an artificial line between missionary work and members? This work is the work of the church - not the missionary church, but the one church. There is no missionary work; it is all of our duty." 

Then, you have President Monson, the prophet of the living God, saying to us: "Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together!" I would not be surprised if a Preach my Gospel for members comes out. Also, my understanding of the significance of President Monson is increasing. He is literally a living prophet who leads according to the dictates of Jesus Christ. So cool!

Malay here is so campur-ed (mixed). Instead of using "kamu" or "awak" for you, they use "you"! Like "apa you mahukah?" "Di mana you tinggalkah?" Hahahah so funny

Oh, man, the majority of the food here is amazing! Look up "roti canai" or "roti bom" or "nasi goreng pataya" or "nasi lemak". So delicious, and the rice chicken stuff here is also amazing. Just Malaysian food in general is good. But, there is also lots of gross stuff that we just have to DOWN. And it's nasty. Eg jellyfish on sticks like skebabs haha. They're super gross and ewww but what can you do? Just down it with some Milo. (That is amazing by the way, look that up! Milo is a hot chocolate-like drink that everyone drinks here. We get it with ice and it's great! All members tend to give us that and it's pretty delicious.)

But we went to a random Indian person's house, and here part of the culture is to serve food or drink to people. Every time! Usually just drink if they don't know / like you but this Indian person made some chicken with strange sauce and some weird tortilla things that were like soft was gnarly! Oh so gross, but you gotta eat or else those people just won't listen! Nothing like eyeballs (i don't think haha) Just things that you have no idea what they are but you eat anyways because you can't offend them and you want them to be happy!

Also, one night we bought a ton of food and ate it all. So delicious. and we were full. But then! We went to a members house and found out they made infinity mi goreng (fried noodles) for us. And so we ate. And ate. And ate. Three plates each. Oh man that was nutsssssss but so delicious!

Life is the bomb out here and the work is moving! Hope you all stay postive and rely on Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and Leader. I know I am, and He truly is strengthening me.

Malaysia Boleh!
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." :)

Elder Coleman

PS  I knew the Red Sox would win! BOOM! Life Rocks! And Mom, Dad, and Jess: Your Halloween costumes are only the single greatest thing of ALL TIME. Literally! I died! So great that you did that in my honor! :) (Note from Elder C's Mom: Sadly, the $45 telegram we sent to tell him the Sox won the World Series never made it...he literally found out on his p-day...a full five days after the fact!)
Teaching families about Jesus Christ, what this work is all about
Our friends Christine and Clayton Christensen, (for whom Elder Coleman was named)
Singapore Stake Center
View from his apartment

The Singapore Zone (Elder C on far back near the left. His companion is far left with glasses)

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