New Year...what?!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Although on Christmas Eve when Elder Coleman called us the video conferencing wouldn't work, he was later able to get the right equipment to make it work, so knowing how disappointed his mom was that she didn't get to see him, he later sent us this video. Bless him!
Hey everyone!

I know. It's nuts. How can it be 2015 already?! I feel like we all say that every year. I think it's time we just accept the fact that time waits for no one and just keep moving along! And enjoy it as it goes. :) Let's go forward, and not backward!! I don't like to think that I have to come home in 2015, but I've got plenty of time to be a force for good in the hands of the Lord. Just gotta accept what you can't control and do everything you can with the stuff that is in your power!

This week was another good one. Stuff is ramping up. It's all about that slow but steady progress. That's the way most things in life work! We have a couple more families we should be able to teach this week or in the coming ones. We're really excited. 

Something very interesting about missionary work is that even if you are teaching tons of lessons every week, you and your companion are going to have down time. It's unavoidable! When Elder Stewart and I were seeing an explosion in the work while serving in Miri, we even then had time without any appointments. During down time, most missionaries struggle to find effective activities to do. I imagine Christ also had down time when he was out there - we know He ministered for around 3 years' time - and He's just lucky because the Biblical account only writes down the important teachings and events haha. I'm guessing what He did during that down time was strive to prepare Himself for future teaching opportunities and to minister to those around Him as well. Interesting thought. 

This week was one of those weeks. Though we had several lessons - a good week actually for Klang - we had lots of time without any clear purpose. During those times, I have found it extremely important to rely upon the Lord by praying and seeking direction - perhaps even asking Him to give us direction - and then getting out and going with the first thought that comes. If that means knocking doors, then go do it! If that means visiting members, then go do it! Just going with that thought and sticking true to what we hope is revelation. 

This week, Elder Misa and I felt prompted to get out of the house and to wander around some areas. In some of those instances, we found nothing and no one. In other instances, we found people really really interested in hearing the message of the restoration of the gospel. It really just takes causing ourselves to be diligent and focusing in on our purpose as missionaries. One impression we had was to go to the mall and visit a certain store. Neither of us had any idea why. So we go there, and once we get inside we remember that this particular store is where an Iban from Sibu works! So we think maybe we will be able to find him and get his number. Sure enough, within 10 seconds of going inside, we find him, chat him up in his native tongue, and then get his number. We will be trying to meet with him tomorrow. Pretty cool, but again it just takes faith and constant focus on our purpose to motivate us to get out, especially when it rains.

Another cool experience was teaching a recent convert and her family (who were celebrating their first Christmas this year) a little bit about what we do on Christmas day and why we celebrate. We helped them read Luke 2 and sang some Christmas songs with them. After the hymns, we felt the Spirit, so we paused to testify and confirm it was the Spirit's influence we were feeling. 

I'm learning a ton and the Lord is starting to hasten His work here in Klang. I feel like He is beginning to entrust some new families to my companion and me. We're going to do our best to remain humble and strive to do His will, so that we can see good things happen with these families. 

I'm being reminded as of late from my sister Cectpa/Sister Coleman and her emails - it's all about the people. I love these people here and really desire their salvation and happiness. I'm working hard and from what I can see, good things are coming. :)

Stoked!! See you next week!!

Malaysia Boleh!

Elder Clay Coleman

Looks like the boy in green has been well trained in posing by Elder C!
Gotta love the Malay Santa Claus! 

Why I Love KL / Klang

Monday, December 22, 2014
With my new companion Elder Misa' alefua
Flying from KK to KL

Goodbye to good friends in KK

Goodbye to the elders I was living with in KK 

So. Transfers last week. Big deal. Going from KK to KL. From the east-est of the East to (what I thought was) the dang West.

I was very pleasantly wrong. :)

Why I Love Kuala Lumpur / Klang. 

Klang is very, very, very different from Kuala Lumpur.  It's about 30 minutes to the southwest of KL There's a nice little branch, which hovers around 35 people at sacrament meeting. It was just made into a branch from a group (and is about to explode in growth). But! Klang is not a big city, and that's GREAT.

It's a biking area, which is the best. So I'm not going to be sitting on the train all day :D

I get to ride a fixie!! Or a fixed gear bike, and it's way fun. A lot easier to ride!! That really doesn't matter, but it's fun, so I'm enjoying every time I get on my bike again :)

The place looks a lot like Johor Bahru - my first area, which I loved - so I'm feeling right at home here. In fact, surprisingly many people here speak pretty good Bahasa. There is a decent size flat complex where basically only Sabahans live, so that's been way fun to speak Bahasa with them. The looks on their faces when the orang putih (white kid) speaks their native tongue in their accent. Way funny.

Okay, remember the Sini family from Tawau, the HUGE one with a bajillion kids? One time their grandparents visited them while I was serving in Tawau. The grandparents said they lived in KL. I didn't think anything of it - then I got here and discovered they live in my area!! They are in my branch!!! I'm so super stoked. The grandparents and Brother Sini's younger sister all live here, and they're way awesome. I'm hoping to get pretty close with them, too, just as I was with the Sinis. Think of it, I know both branches of the family!! And they knew Yunus and Aspine! They saw them in a picture on my camera, and then I was pleased to tell them that they have been baptized (Elder Yang and I taught them). Wayyy awesome. At church I translated for them, and so my Bahasa skills are going to probably improve as I translate every week! You don't realize how much room for improvement you have until you have to speak at the speed of lightning because the people you are translating are going way hard in English. I just have to remember to write down the words I don't know so my random vocab can increase!

Well, I guess I'll be agak honest here. In KK, I was not doing many of the things in Miri and Tawau that were leading to success. I would definitely say the little things counted, and after a while, I was not operating at my best self. The last two weeks there, I was doing a lot better, but I was definitely a little bit lax!! So I was thinking this transfer was almost a "well, you get what you pay for!" If I wasn't working fully with all my heart, might, mind and strength, then why would He give me the transfer I wanted? Well, I get here, and within the first two days I'm operating at full Elder Coleman. I'm just all in again. And for that I'm grateful. I'm getting back to my fully operating Elder. So, I love KL because it fixed me in a sense! It has put me back where I needed to be. 

My new companion Elder Misa is a really sick kid. He's from San Jose, California, and a Samoan! I've never served with a polynesian before, and he's pretty legit. I'm excited, he's excited, we were both Zone Leaders, and we are hopeful we can really hit our strides together. Missionaries always drag each other down or bring each other up. Trying now to do the latter :) We're excited and ready for the work to BLOW. We've already been blessed with a new Indian family to teach that only speaks Bahasa. YAY! 

Lots of good things on the way. And although I never expected it, this is definitely the place God wants me to be.

Malaysia Boleh!


Elder Clay Coleman

Transfer to Kuala Lumpur

Monday, December 15, 2014
A jumbo crab in Singapore at Long Beach Seafood
Hello everyone! 

Today I got a call from President Mains thanking me for my service as a Zone Leader, and news that I will be transferred to Klang, in Kuala Lumpur. I'm going from one of the biggest cities in Malaysia to another! So it is pretty exciting. Not sure what to expect - I won't be speaking Bahasa / Malay as much; I will be primarily English - but I'm excited to see what lies in store. My new companion will be Elder Dallas Misa' alefua from Northern California. 

Can I share some of the things that have been retaught to me during my time in Kota Kinabalu? The work of bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of the restoration thereof is the work of God. He directs and leads this work - and asks that we missionaries help Him accomplish His purposes. WE are helping HIM in HIS work - and not the other way around. I've realized that many a time, I petition the Lord for His help for me - when in reality, I should be meekly asking the Lord how I can help advance His purposes for His children here in Sabah - and now in KL. 

So, beyond that, when we, imperfect beings, are striving to do what He wants us to do - our imperfect efforts are expected and accepted by Him. He doesn't care that we are imperfect! He wants us to do our best, and when we make those oh so natural mistakes, when we truly are striving to do our best, then we can plead for the Atonement of Jesus Christ to qualify our faulty efforts. Then, as anyone who has ever seen success in this work has, we can watch the Lord do his own work - through us as conduits and mouthpieces. We can then give the glory to God - "not as I wilt, but thine be done" - "The glory be thine." That's powerful stuff, and that's the way the Lord can and will use us in His own way and in His own time. 

I know that I'm just a huge tool or instrument in His hands! I know
He knows what He's doing and that "all things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things."

Love you all!

Elder Clay Coleman

Personal Learnings

Monday, December 1, 2014

Awesome rainbow! 
A vanload of bikes!

Another week!

Sabah is doing alright--we are seeing the work pick up in Tawau and Sandakan, and hoping/praying/working that Kota Kinabalu will soon follow. Our specific area is still not doing so hot. We found some new people this week, and hopefully we will see them progress. However, I'm learning a lot here in KK. The work is slow, but I feel that my rate of learning is very high. Now I just need to continue to apply what I'm learning and get the level of work up as well. This week I particularly learned from Elder Bednar's talk about using our burdens to give us spiritual traction. I highly recommend it: And I also found Mitt Romney's BYU devotional speech very insightful, especially what he shared about perspective. Watch or listen to it here:

We took two members who are 18 and 17 to follow us this week, and we had pretty incredible experiences with them. With Sofery (18), we were trapped by some bad rain and prayed together, asking God to stop it for us - within 5 minutes the downpour was down to a trickle, and after having the impression to demonstrate our faith by walking out even though there was a drizzle left, we left and saw it all stop. Once we got to our destination, the rain began to pour again. God's hand was over us!

With Stenly (17), we prayed for guidance and offered our gratitude for the Lord's goodness at least 5 or 6 times in the day, and Stenly had the experience of receiving a prompting to go to a certain place. We went there, and were let in and able to teach a little bit about the uniqueness of our church. In another instance, after rescuing a mangy dog hopelessly trapped in a giant gutter, we saw a woman watching us and cheering for us! So afterwards, our hands being pretty gross, we went to her home and asked to wash our hands off there! We then, after getting to know her and her experience with religion, shared the Restoration video with her. She accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon with the commitment to read it. Hopefully we can go back to both homes this week. Just a great day on Saturday. It's great to feel worn out on Sunday because you know you were working hard.

And Sunday after church, I  had a great experience getting to know a man who was angrily burning some plants in a public area, a former Christian man (2 years no church) whose life was falling apart. I listened, felt the Spirit's whispering to ask if he still prays - and he said no, he doesn't. After further questions, he explained that the peace that he felt before (when he was close to God) was gone. I then testified that I was here as a representative of Jesus Christ and that God wanted him to know that he should turn back. I literally called him to repentance with love and concern for him, and then challenged him to pray again. His countenance had changed and he agreed to do so. I am going to follow up tomorrow to see how! Cool stuff. Fulfilling my purpose.

We are laying the foundations of our Church here, and all that we do (even the little things) will be recorded by the angels in heaven - whether or not we get credit for it here on earth (which doesn't matter anyways), God will reward us for all the good we do because He and His angels notice it all!

Malaysia boleh!


Elder Coleman

All in the life of a missionary!

Laying the Foundation

Monday, November 24, 2014
Elder Coleman in action on the streets of Sabah


Well, this week was another good one! Laying the foundation of a good work reminds me of a talk on patience my dad gave me from Elder Neal Maxwell. "Patience helps us to use, rather than to protest, these seeming flat periods of life, becoming filled with quiet wonder over the past and with anticipation for that which may lie ahead, instead of demeaning the particular flatness through which we may be passing at the time. We should savor even the seemingly ordinary times, for life cannot be made up all of kettledrums and crashing cymbals. There must be some flutes and violins. Living cannot be all crescendo; there must be some dynamic contrast."Not everything here is exploding, but good stuff is on the way we feel. 

It is great to be working, and the days just go by! We are going out to new areas and finding people to teach, going out with members, visiting others in their homes - all in the effort that we can find and teach and really help those people here in Kota Kinabalu.

Something new in the Sabah Zone that Elder Parker and  I are pushing is practicing our teaching skills daily. We have been thinking about this for a long time, and it seems to us that the only way to get really good at anything is to practice. To become a master requires 10,000 hours of practice (see Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell) - and because that's a whole lot more time than we have available out here, we're trying to use our companion study time every day to practice our teaching skills and rely on the Lord to make up for the lack of hours and hours. So, for missionaries, the way to practice is to do role plays - for us to teach the wall or another missionary acting as an investigator. It's been really effective, and here's a cool story.

At District meeting, we focused a lot on how effective missionaries get the other person talking and sharing personal experiences - not as a way to manipulate, but rather so that the missionaries can get a feel for the background of the people and try to really testify from heart to heart. To try and do this, we did a role play at district meeting - and because the Zone Leaders were the ones pushing practicing teaching, we were asked to do it first. :) So we did the role play, and failed! Miserably! We didn't get anything out of Elder Reynolds (acting as "Tommy") and missed many clues. Clearly, our skills in this area were lacking. We discussed what went wrong, what could specifically have been done differently to improve, and then we tried it again. We still didn't reach our full potential, but we definitely saw improvement and developed our ability to listen well and help the investigator speak. 

So, later that night (Tuesday) we went and taught a new investigator named G, who rents a room at a member's home. Sister Liza has introduced her to tons of missionaries, but she has never wanted to learn. G randomly came to church the previous week, and then suddenly agreed to meet with us. So we went over, and applied everything we learned that day. We talked to her about her relationship with God, what she believes, what she has experienced in the past, and then what she wants know! Turns out, G used to be very diligent in going to church and praying and reading the Bible, but since moving to KK from Sandakan, she has not been doing any of them - and thanks to a couple of inspired questions, we were able to help her see that perhaps the struggles in her life right now are due to the fact that she has drifted from her relationship with God. We didn't even have to say anything like that! She came to the conclusion on her own and therefore built her own desire to listen and start changing her life by making and keeping commitments. It was so cool, and reinforced my belief that every day we need to practice teaching. She came to church this week and brought ANOTHER new person, so we are excited to see what can happen.

Again. Good potential, but nothing solid just yet.

I think this week, along with learning the importance of asking questions and getting to know people, I learned what true love for the people means. Rather than trying to stuff this message down people's throats (even though it IS the best thing they could ever have), I have been trying to ask about why people have faith, why they go to church, what blessings they have seen from faith in their lives - and what I have seen is that it has been strengthening my own faith AND been making me love these people even more. By getting to know them and their beliefs, I have been able to show them that I really do love them. I guess I'm really just finally applying the old adage "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" and you help them know that by asking questions and really trying to get to know them. If every LDS missionary tried to do that, who knows, the whole image/concept of missionaries just trying to throw our beliefs in others' faces would be completely changed - we could be viewed as true servants of God, rather than messengers from a specific church. 

So good stuff is happening. I had another thought this week about why I have been called to Malaysia, a place where our church is struggling to grow and see real progression. I read about Chile in a church magazine where our church now claims something ridiculous like 15% of the population, and I really was thinking about this - why was I sent here? So I decided to pray about it and seek revelation. The Lord, "that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not," once again fulfilled His promise to bestow personal revelation through the Holy Ghost. I HIGHLY recommend this talk if you want to learn more about recognizing and receiving personal revelation: 

I learn so much every day from being out here, and the things that often teach me the most are the scriptures - especially the teachings of the Savior found in the four gospels. The Sermon on the Mount just makes me want to be that much better. Try reading it weekly, and for all of you back in Orange County, or somewhere else blessed in terms of worldly things, go read Luke 12. The Savior's teachings there can change your perspective on life and stuff.

Love you all! I know God is there and that He loves us and really cares.

Malasyia Boleh!

Elder Clay Coleman


Sunday, November 16, 2014
With Santi in Tawau
Hello everyone!

It was a great week out here in Kota Kinabalu. Well, KK and Sandakan and Tawau. As the zone leaders here in Sabah, we get to go on splits in two areas that are an hour flight away. So Wednesday and Thursday we spent in Sandakan and Tawau, respectively. 

Some of you may recognize the funky looking word Tawau - yes, that was one of my former areas! So I got to go back to a place that is really in my heart and visit some of the best members there. So special to me was to go back to visit Sister Evelyn and Brother Kenneth, whose husband/father passed away while I was serving there last April. So special. Another incredible thing was visiting Santi. When I was serving in Tawau, I taught her with Elder Yang and got her to church. Then after I got transferred, she got baptized!!! I said to her "How has the church been?? How has your life changed?" She said, "I'm just happy all the time. My family and I are just happy all the time. Thank you Elder Coleman." IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER THAN THIS?! Right afterwards I said to her "Hahahah I told you!!" Funny and happy times.

In Sandakan, I was part of helping Elder McCown teach a new investigator, Mary. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel, through the prophet Joseph Smith - and after inviting her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, we invited her to be baptized. She will be baptized in December! It was cool to play a small part of that experience. 

This past Tuesday, something miraculous happened. I was going with Elder Parker to go grab some duit from the ATM, and we passed by some massage chairs (random details) with two women sitting in them. I recognized one of them, and she smiled at me, but I couldn't place from where I knew her. So I told Elder Parker I knew them, and he said on the way back we would go talk to them. Okay, why not right? Well... The girl I knew works in a shop around the corner, and I had contacted her once before. Well, we explained to her (C) and her cousin (D) about our purpose here, and D asked us for a pamphlet to read. We gave her one about the Book of Mormon with our number written on the back of it - but forgot to get her number!! It was a little late and so we were hurrying, but Elder Parker and I looked at each other in the elevator, and we were both like dang, never see them again. About 30 minutes later, we get a text on our phone: 
"I would like a copy of the Book of Mormon. D" WHAT THE HECK?! We were stoked!!  It gets better from there but just know they're both learning now and reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. We meet them tonight again. Solid potential. We shall see!

Things are looking up. Elder Parker and I are getting along great, and we are turning to the Lord in all we do (Alma 37:34-37)* and we feel like we are starting to witness the workings of the Lord in KK here. Funnily enough, whenever I see success on my mission, it all starts when I just commit myself and work hard, and then almost separately to my own efforts, I start to see things going - a further witness that it is the Lord doing His work, and I'm just there to see it happen and be thankful to be a part of the process. Pretty legit.

Love you all!! This gospel is really the truth!

Malaysia Boleh!

Elder Clay Coleman

*Alma 37: 34-37
34 Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls.
 35 O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
 36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

More favorite people in Tawau


Monday, November 10, 2014
Sabah is such a beautiful place
Hello everyone! 

The second transfer here in Kota Kinabalu has begun! Really excited. I've got a new companion, Elder Parker, and he's great! He's the 2nd of 5 kids, from Texas, a little bit older than me in the mission field. He's a thinker and a pretty successful, confident kid. I like him already. We're going to go hard and try to get stuff going. 

Our area was described as 80% M u s l i m (which means un-proselyte-able) so finding the wheat among the tares is a pretty good comparison. Hahaha But the other elders just let us take a huge area called Menggatal (mung-ga-tall). We can't wait to get in there and explore. We should find lots of work there. Great news.

This week, I get to go back to Tawau and visit Sandakan!!! As the Zone Leader here in Sabah, I have the unique opportunity to go on splits with the elders there. I get to see those people I love back in Tawau!! Stoked as. hehehe. And I get even closer to my frequent flyer card going gold. (emoji with smirking-ish face) (I've already reached the first tier, meaning business class check in and 5 kg extra weight. Hahaha flying back from Singapore and Mission Leadership Council, I skipped the whole line with all the other Zone Leaders in it and got to wait with President Mains in the priority check in line hahahah. So funny.)

Speaking of MLC, it was great to be there this past week. Every time I go I get spiritually recharged and just realize how much better I could be doing. I'm glad I get to go just because of the energy I have when I leave. It makes me that much more willing to repent and be better. 

Sabah is really amazing. It's a beautiful place, and the members here are so strong. There have been 25 missionaries from Sabah, and the church has only been here for 16 years or something. Incredible. This sunday, Sister Ching Chuah opened up her mission call to SLC Temple Square! That's a way exciting mission call out here hahah #perspective Pretty fun.

Another thing I love about Sabah are the buses. You would have to be here to understand why I like them so much. The drivers are way reckless and fast hahaha, but it's awesome. I didn't really ride buses back at home, but now it's almost daily. Pretty fun. 

Hopefully this transfer I can have more exciting stories about the actual missionary work.  Pray for me? 

Love you all!!

Elder Clay Coleman

Keeping our Vision Up

Monday, November 3, 2014

This was some of the fruit of the 3 transfers I spent in Miri. With more on the way. So blessed.
This week Elder Coleman didn't have a lot of time to write an update, but he did share this email he sent to his Mission President. The missionaries write their mission presidents every week, and Clay has a tradition of sharing a joke in those emails. Says he wants to lift President Mains' spirits. If Clay doesn't include a joke, President Mains will ask him for one :) Elder Coleman found out today that he will be getting a new companion, Elder Thomas Parker.

Hello President.

Excited for Elder Parker to come here. Hopefully we can take this area to the next level. The Sabah Zone is relatively intact after transfers. We are excited. 

This week was okay. The Assistants came and went on splits with us this week - and Elder Lundquist and I did some good finding. I was pleased because we really needed that in our area. This area is pretty difficult, but we're trying to work hard and keep our vision up. We hope that as we work hard and diligently, Heavenly Father will help us out. We really need those blessings.

Elder Ormsby got pretty sick this week, and couldn't go out to work. I went out with Elder Jensen and Elder Allen this week. Elder Allen is a fantastic missionary--his teaching skills are incredible. I learn from him every time I go out with him. Elder Jensen is also great; it's fun to be working with someone from my MTC group. My companion is feeling better today.

A cool experience this week: While Elder Lundquist and I were going around, we met a really nice 
M u s l i m man. Pretty nice guy. We talked to him for about ten minutes, and right before we were going to say goodbye, Elder Lundquist asked him if he knew any Christian people - the man replied he knew thousands and proceeded to give me three phone numbers. I called them this week, and after I reported back to him, he sent me three more numbers. He told us to call them and tell them he sent me. Pretty cool and that wouldn't have happened without Elder Lundquist. So he's doing a good job!

Joke of the Week: What did one hat say to another? I'll stay here, you go on ahead!

This week: Why did Beethoven sell his chickens? Next Monday!

Elder Clay Coleman

Hard But #WorthIt

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hello everyone!! 

It was a good week out here. Missionary work is hard but way worth it. There's nothing like doing something you know that you can't do alone!! You can be a tool in the hands of the Lord, and you can facilitate huge things to happen, but without Him and His help, you can do nothing. It's nice to know the Lord can accept your imperfect efforts and still bless the lives of people trying to find truth through you.

It's definitely rainy season out here!! We are working in and often through rain. It's just part of the gig though. We get wet like every day. Thank goodness for showers at the end of the day.

This week, we had a bunch of blessings. We found a family through a former investigator, and we had an appointment to teach them last week which we felt wayy good about, but then it fell through. So this time we felt a little hesitant - but we got the appointment this week. We met them, and after teaching about the Book of Mormon, and how we believe that prophets of God lived in America. They explained that they understood the story but "sama ada itu benar ke tidak" (whether it's true or not) is the question. I love it when people say that. It makes me know they really think about and are considering the ramifications of what we are teaching. We then show them this verse from the Book of Mormon: 

Moroni 10:3-5 

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. 

We teach them that if they want to know it's true, they must read the Book of Mormon and pray. I bore my testimony that the Book of Mormon brings me to closer to Jesus Christ and that it will do the same for them, and that I read and prayed and know it's true. So did Elder Ormsby and Alana, the member that followed us. They committed to read. So exciting!!!

So yeah. That was good. We feel that as we are more and more diligent, and working to concentrate our efforts in ways that will produce the most fruit. Pretty important. 

Another good thing that happened this week is that Sister Win, a member here in Kota Kinabalu, who is stoked to do missionary work, invited a good friend of hers from school to go to church with her. He accepted and I met him there. I sat next to him at church and helped him understand about the sacrament and stuff. He could be a new investigator this week! I'm calling him tomorrow to see how.

And, last of all, we taught a lesson to a long time member's husband, who is Chinese and never wanted to join, and he was saying to us that if he can understand what we teach, he will be baptized tomorrow. He's a boss and a way awesome guy. He has helped the church tons over the years, but has never joined!! So we are excited for him.

Love you all!! I know Jesus is the Christ and that He just wants us to come unto Him and be blessed by following what He has asked us to do! I rejoice that I am able to try to bring people unto Him by inviting them to change their lives. There's nothing better. I love you all!!

Malaysia Boleh!

Elder Clay Coleman

Working and Waiting

Monday, October 20, 2014
Clay's mom: So happy to find this photo on Elder Lloyd's blog--what an innovative way to improvise a net!

The missionary work in Kota Kinabalu is really hard... Our area isn't ideal and most people (if they want to meet) will only meet once or twice because they're all so busy! So it's been a difficult week, but we're still working hard. I think that good stuff is on the way! There really isn't that much to report from this week. Just went out and worked.... Hahahaha sorry this week was just biasa! Lots of appointments fell through. Good week at church though! 81 people came! But yeah. Just waiting for the blessings to come!! Working hard, that's it. Hahaha boring sangat hahaha My mind immediately tries to describe everything in Malay now--that's an interesting development? 

Malaysia Boleh!
Love you all!

Elder Clay Coleman

The Malaysian People are the BEST!

Monday, October 13, 2014

A photo from a couple of weeks ago
Another good week! Again, the weeks fly by here so fast. 

This week I hit the point of no return - the one year left mark. Next year, October 6, I will be home.... So every day for the rest of my mission is the last of that date on my mission!!! Bleh. Not such an exciting prospect. Whatever. Just gotta work harder because now everything is the last time!! 

This week was good! Again, we're in the building phase of the area, so nothing revolutionary, but we feel good things are coming. A cool experience this week though - my companion and I went into the Samsonite suitcase shop on P-day to check out a new suitcase for me (mine is broken), and then the guys in the shop started talking to us. After explaining we were Christians, and missionaries, we gave them a little run down of the restoration of the gospel - and both of the guys were super excited to learn! We met one of them the following day, and when I finish writing this email, we are going to go meet him again today!! Hernandes is his name (don't ask). We feel great about his potential.

This week, Elder Ormsby and I gave a training at Zone meeting to the entire Sabah zone (16 missionaries). It was a great meeting and we felt the training we delivered was definitely what the Lord wanted us to convey to the Zone. The missionaries all received it well too - further evidence the Lord gave us His stamp of approval. We also filled in for the APs for New Missionary Training in Kota Kinabalu this week, which was fun, and then had interviews on Friday. The week concluded with General Conference!! It was amazing!

I'm really grateful to be in Malaysia. The people here are just the best. I consider them to be some of my best friends. I really wish I could stay here for longer than just two years. And I'm so grateful to be laboring among them to help them obtain eternal life. Nothing better than this.

Malaysia Boleh!

Love you all!!

Elder Clay Coleman

Looks like they have a bit of fun on their visa trips to Singapore :)

Active Patience

Monday, October 6, 2014
Trimming weeds!
Hello Everyone!! 

This is Elder Coleman from Kota Kinabalu. :) Sorry I didn't get a great email out last week.

Sabah is one of the most beautiful places on this earth. I'm literally in paradise. I'm so blessed to be here. It's a great place and a great time of my mission.

Elder Ormsby and I are working hard here, and though we've got a long way to go, we feel confident we can work with the Lord to find those people that will help build up the kingdom! We're out here working every day and waiting for those blessings to come upon us.

This week wasn't particularly the BEST week in terms of visible success, but we feel things are shifting to help us out! Slowly but surely we're feeling things change. 

The biggest positive of this week was that Win, who just got baptized 3 months ago here, introduced us to her younger brother. We had a fantastic lesson with D___, and he's got some GREAT potential. He told us that he didn't understand who Jesus Christ was - a prophet, or the Son of God? We taught and testified that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, distinct from God the Father. He told us "everything was now clear" but he had been confused about that his WHOLE LIFE. It was pretty cool. After that, his heart was open to learn and absorb what we taught, and he was so excited to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Pretty awesome.

Good things are happening!! Slowly but surely. One of the days this week, I had the impression to open up the binder of talks my parents have been sending me throughout my mission. I stopped at a talk by Neal A. Maxwell about Patience. It really applied well to my situation here in KK - we need to work hard here with patience. I often think that patience is associated with a passive feeling!! Same with the word "endure," as in "enduring to the end." I learned that it takes a much more than just passive patience. We need to work diligently, proactively, then keep our faith patiently! We work hard - and though results are not immediately noticed, we need to keep working hard and stay faithful. They will come according to our patience and faith! So that's what we need to do here in KK. Work hard, and even though things don't immediately work out, keep going in patience. 

I love you all! God can do His work, and He will do it through us! As long as we work hard and stay strong, we will become instruments in His hands to accomplish great things.

Malaysia Boleh!


Elder Coleman
Last week Elder Stewart baptized Fillomena (one of the many investigators we had been teaching together in Miri
--she was a referral from Florena, her friend pictured here) MEMBERS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE TO MISSIONARY WORK

Transition week...from Miri to Kota Kinabalu

Monday, September 29, 2014
Hated to leave this kid and his family. Love the Sylvesters!

Goodbye texts from members 
Such a privilege to serve these people
Gotta love the Malaysian youth!
I really grew to love these people
Hard to leave these awesome families
Families are what make this work worth it
My new companion in Kota Kinabalu, Elder Ormsby

So this week...It was pretty sad to leave Miri. I loved so many people there. Several people cried as I's amazing to know how much they love us as missionaries - and the best bit is that we really really really love them, too!!

In Miri, the work was going amazing...this week Elder Stewart (my last comp) just baptized 8 people he and I taught together. They got baptized on Saturday after I left on Wednesday and then confirmed yesterday. So cool to hear about it. They all called me and just talked about how much they missed me. Eight others are going to be baptized soon. I'll send some photos next week. So great.

Compare that with... Kota Kinabalu or KK for short. It's one of the greatest places in the whole mission. Everyone wants to go to KK. It's the promised land. I'm so grateful to be back in Sabah (the place with the best Malay) and to be working here. The only issue - when I arrived they had no investigators in the area. Literally none. So my new companion and I are trying to work more with the members and get things here going. The Lord is really with us!!! We already found 1 new investigator in the 4 days since I've been here. Literally, the Lord just placed her in our path.

So overall I'm really excited to serve here in Kota Kinabalu. I know it's going to be amazing. I really have great feelings about the direction and feel of the work here. My new companion, Elder Ormsby, is from Provo, Utah and is half Kiwi (New Zealander). He played rugby at BYU and is a big guy! He's also good friends with Elder Stewart. Elder Ormsby and I have already hit it off and feel great - and I really think that, though we are working with just one investigator right now, there are great things coming to Kota Kinabalu 2nd Branch. I hope I can stay here for a while and see the work get turned up.

I'm also so excited to be here in Sabah because I will be able to go visit Tawau! There's really nothing that compares to going back to see all those members who mean so much to me.

The mission is having some visa problems for missionaries coming in and out of Malaysia, so we're getting Skyped in to Mission Leadership Conference.... lololol no going to Singapore for us!! My visa is fine but the rest of the Zone has been given 30 days to get out of Malaysia, maybe for good...who one knows yet... Elder Harr was supposed to replace me in Miri, but he got held overnight at Immigration and now he's staying in Singapore. So Elder Plazier replaced me in Miri. Crazy stuff. Keep the missionaries in your prayers!

Malaysia Boleh!


Elder Clay Coleman

Funny picture that sums me up because ​I'm energetic and moving all the time!​ Hahahaha

Transfers, Baby!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Zone Conference in Singapore = MTC district reunion one year later! (just missing Elder Chang who is in a different zone)

The work goes forward!
Going to miss the Sylvesters so much
Email exchange with Elder Coleman this week:

Elder C: Transfers, baby! SO STOKED!

Me: When do you think you will hear? And just know that I love so many missionaries there that I'd love to hear where your friends are going as well!

Elder C: Already know where I'm going :) 

Me: Where??? 

Elder C: Sorry, my internet just crashed! Perfect timing hahaha

Me: Why are you keeping us in suspense?

Elder C: KOTA KINABALU ZONE LEADER WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MOM KK is the BEST!! It's hard missionary work and my area is going to be way hard, but I can do all hard things because I'm just the tool in the hands of the LORD!!! 

Me: Wait! Was that your former zone when you lived in Tawau?

Elder C: YESSS I GET TO GO VISIT TAWAU. And now I'll be in KK--the "promised land" of Bahasa skills!! And just in general! It's amazing!!

Me: What's happening in Miri?

Elder C: Elder Harr is replacing me AGAIN!! (He replaced Elder C. in Tawau, as well.)  He's becoming Miri ZL with Elder Stewart! He's going to baptize the 14 people we have on date here!!!! hahahah But I don't mind!! I know the Lord does what He sees fit! Just glad I could be a part of it! 7 people getting baptized this week!!! 

Me: Who is your new companion?

Elder C: Elder Ormsby. He's been serving as a Zone Leader in Kota Kinabalu since the last transfer, so I will join him. I've never interacted with him during my whole mission. I'm just going to go in and be as humble as possible and try to learn as much as I can from him. SO STOKED!!
So great to see friends at Zone Conference!

Zone Conference September 2014
While in Singapore I got my hands on one of these...the new iPhone 6

Journal entry from my year mark (11 September 2014)

Wow. Great personal study today. There's too much to LEARN, and I'm just scratching the surface of it all on my mission.

Today, I started my study with a single sentence, a quotation from scripture, found in Mosiah 5:2: "No more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." I had been pondering how I could root any and every desire or tendency to sin - in other words, how to repent completely! Preach My Gospel defines repentance as changing our thoughts, desires, beliefs, habits and behaviors, and bringing them in line with God's will. To lose my desire to sin! To put off and overcome the natural man! And so I thought of the above line from Mosiah. For the past hour, I studied this topic, and I have learned a TON. Here are some of the things I discovered/connected, or that the Spirit taught me.

Mosiah 5:2 also states "the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent... has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts." That mighty change of heart is what makes us lose our carnal natures and to put on Christ-like attributes. That same phrase is used by Alma the Younger, who truly did experience a mighty change, forsaking his old church-destroying self as one of the "vilest of sinners" and becoming a powerful prophet, a mighty tool in the hands of the Lord. He asks, "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have you been spiritually born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye ex[erienced this mighty change in your hearts?" (Alma 5:14). It seems that the "mighty change of heart" is a synonym of being "born of God". We must undergo a change that is so dramatic, to compare our old natural self to our new spiritual being would show a stark contrast - as if we have been born anew.

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, discusses baptism as a symbol of being born again, being born of God. In the 6th chapter of Romans, he explains "we are buried with Him [Christ] by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Baptism buries our old, sinful self, and we come up a new man (or woman), this being born of Christ.

But now, after being born again, how do we "walk in newness of life"? How do we ensure the mighty change of heart takes place and forever alters our behaviors? After all, Paul writes, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin [or at least should be], live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1-2). What is necessary to touch our souls enough to forever change us?

Again, Alma the Younger offers us the answer. Immediately after repenting in his death-like sleep/vision thing, he bids those around him "to be of good comfort: for, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; [Sounds to me like he has forsaken his old self] behold, I am born of the Spirit (!!!)" (Mosiah 27:25). That state of righteousness must be the same circumstances when we have "no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2 again)!

How is it done? By being "born of the Spirit". Again, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is HUGE! Here I learned another of His many roles: to work in the hearts of men until they put off the natural man and the desures thereof! The Holy Spirit will bring us access to the changing power and grace of the Atonement of Christ. Look for further evidence of this in the following verses: (Focus on "Spirit", "spiritual", etc)

- Mosiah 3:19    - Mosiah 5:2,7    - Mosiah 27:24-26    - Romans 8:1-9    - Alma 22:15    
- Alma 36:23-24    - Moses 6:65    - Moroni 8:26    - 1 Peter 1:22-23.

Truly, it is the Spirit that will work in us to bring this mighty change of heart. Indeed, we cannot be born of God or expereince the mighty change of heart unless we are filled with the Holy Ghost! Christ sends Him to change and mold us anew. But how can we allow / cause the Spirit to do so? Look for the common thread in these verses.

- Mosiah 4:1-3    - Alma 22:15-16    - Moroni 8:26

We must maintain "diligence unto prayer" (Moroni 8:26) which will allow the Holy Spirit of Christ to work within us and change our very natures. Through prayer, we have access to the grace of Jesus Christ, which will change our hearts and dispositions. Through prayer, Christ can send His Spirit to "make weak things become strong unto [us]" (Ether 12:27). BEAST.

"Don't you know leopards can't change their spots?" - "I don't work with leopards, I work with MEN, and men change every day."

Elder Clay Coleman