The Hard Work of Missions

Monday, March 17, 2014
With some Tawau members before Elder LaFontaine was transferred
Hello all! 

This week was GREAT!! A lot of work. Missions are definitely a lot of work. Whether it's just jalan kaki (walking by foot) or biking, we work each day and look for people to teach. On the bad side, it's way hot here. You just sweat. On the great (!!!) side, you get dang tan! I'm semakin orang hitam (gradually becoming a dark person). It's fun and there is a crazy watch tan on my wrist. So! There's an upside to everything. My challenge to you is to look for and focus on it!

As I said last week, President Mains has really been focusing on people to teach. I really like and agree with what Cectpa Coleman and Elder Shane Brown have said: When the members aren't with you, and you have no one to teach, you've got to go out and try finding!! So that's what we've been doing. We go knocking and contacting here... We usually just knock on gates!! Most homes have a little gate in front of the house and then we tap it with our keys or a big 50 sen coin (best method) and say "Hellooooo!" Sometimes more than just one person will come out. It always surprises me they can hear the sound of the gate being knocked!! But whatever. It works!! 

This week, we found a couple people willing for us to come back and teach them, but before our next lesson, they called and said "We already have a church. Please don't come back." It's tough. But these are the times you have got to put your head down and just work, work, and work. The Lord will bless us once we have done all we can - so that's what we are doing. Everything we can!! Since we aren't out here to force people, it can get a bit discouraging, but we just keep it up. 

It's pretty interesting - this mission just makes me way more strong in this church. I really have to think about my motivations when it gets tough, and whether or not I really fully believe in this work and church and in the Book of Mormon, but I really do - and that's what keeps me going, even when the tank is dry, or the doors get slammed or whatever else. I truly, truly, TRULY believe it to be true - and that's because I've prayed about it and received an answer it's true.

But we still manage to have a good time and laugh about all the ridiculous nature of stuff. For example, see the picture of my shoes below. It's pretty great. Lots and lots of crazy fun things. Everyone out here thinks I'm a lot older than I am, like the average is probs 23, but I've also gotten 25, 26 before!! They're all SHOCKED when they hear I'm 18. I guess they just can't guess the age of an orang putih!!

To get members going, we've been using Preach My Gospel lessons with them! We teach them  to get them excited about missionary work. I would encourage you with your strongest members to try it and see if anything comes of it for referrals!! 

Coldplay!!!!!! So stoked to hear about the new album. When you hear stuff like that, it makes being obedient to being cut off from the world pretty hard - but I just pray for strength to resist haha and walk it out. That's what this is all about. Discipline yourself. Obedience is the major test of this life!

I was reading El Libro de Mormon the other day and realized my Spanish isn't completely gone! In fact, this week I gave an entire lesson in Spanish with these two Filipina less actives who speak it!! SOOO funny and great. Also, I can pray in Chinese now... though it's simple and I basically say the same thing every time, I believe I can learn the language if I keep at it. I love the Malay language best of all.

There are tons of miracles around us: this week, we found two members of the church who haven't been back to church in so long! One hasn't come for 7 years. We found them through random, crazy miracles. We know this work to be true. I love you all!! Continue working hard and being awesome!!!

Elder Clay Coleman

Evidence of our hard work!

Another Tawau sunset (I think Elder Coleman is his mother's son haha)

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