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

So Fast, Lah!

Monday, July 6, 2015
Durian Fiesta for the Fourth of July! (not really but it was on the fourth)
President Lai 
Universal Studios in Singapore
Missionaries heading out to serve from Miri!! 
The weeks FLY BY HERE!

First of all, Happy Fourth of July to everyone!! America isn't perfect, but seriously the world has been such a better place because of it. Thanks be to our ancestors and predecessors who sacrificed so much for our beloved country.

How does one celebrate the  Fourth of July in Singapore, one might ask? A fair question. I answer:


Enjoy the pics. Here's one with our Stake President, Stephen Lai!!!

Well, this week was great as we got to know our new Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Simmons!! They're amazing, and I have a lot of faith they are exactly what the Singapore mission needs to push forward this work and help the missionaries fulfill their callings. Sister SImmons acts just like... AD Coleman!! She's just like Momma Coleman, and Elder Allen (a friend from early in my mission) said to me, "Dude, she looks just like Momma Coleman." My mother's fame is spreading!!! hahaha But seriously, it's great. I like her already, but really just because she reminds me of my own mother. 

On Monday for Pday, we went to Sentosa Island in Singapore to check out some approved attractions on the island. I got to see Sister Coward for the last time! She flew back home to New Zealand on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I had to go on a visa run to KL via airplane with Elder Pun because his visa got a bad chop!! So I met up with Elder Hansen at KL Sentral and said goodbye to Malaysia for the final time. I'll be back... but not as a missionary. Pretty sad! And on Wednesday, I was asked by President Mains to go pick up some new missionaries from MIRI!! My old kampung! They are just leaving on their missions. They are so young and fresh - but they will go home as gospel veterans. I'm grateful for the change that has taken place in me on my mission, and I hope everyone can have the opportunity to work with the Lord and be changed by Him during their service.

I love you all and enjoy the pics!! 

See ya next week!! (on email :)

Elder Clay Coleman
Durian -- A favorite treat!
Last stop in Malaysia as a missionary (with Elder Hansen)
Sister Coward is heading home. She was in my zone in Miri.

Less Than 60 Days to Go

Monday, June 29, 2015

President Bradley and Sister Cheri Mains, outgoing mission president
President Stephen and Sister Elizabeth Simmons, incoming mission president


This week a major change happens in the Singapore mission! President Brad Mains departs from his mission and his replacement, President Simmons, flies in. It's strange to see him go because THAT MEANS I'M NEAR THE END of my mission. Oh well. Let's go!! Progress to the end.

 I recently wrote in my journal an entry dedicated to those things which I learned from working and laboring under President Mains' leadership. I can't type everything I wrote, but I'll summarize it in a couple major points: 

1. The Doctrine of Christ! Need I say more?
2. The importance of being obedient. He emphasized that being obedient is acknowledging that you are NOT wiser than God.
3. Following the Spirit like crazy, even when it doesn't always make sense. I wrote a lot about this one. He's taught me a lot about this. 

His service has changed my life, and his worthiness and dedication to receive inspiration for our interviews and transfers and zone conferences have helped me have an incredible mission. He will be greatly missed. 

Our area is doing great, the AMK members are really getting involved, and we had 10 / 12 lessons this past week with member's present - all different members, too!! Quite remarkable. We still don't have many committed investigators, but we found a couple this past week that show signs of promise. We are waiting on the Lord for those who are ready, and are getting the members yoked with us so they can be there when those ready to commit to this church surface. 

Highlights? We found a GREAT new family that is way spiritual, and way spiritually in tune. We are so excited to work with them. The Lord can and DOES inspire people to listen to us because this IS his work.


Love you!

Elder Clay Coleman

One of Clay's mentors and friends President Daniel Rasmussen meeting President Simmons
at the Mission President training 

Excerpts from Elder C's hand written letters

Monday, June 22, 2015

(Elder Coleman's former companion, Elder Hansen, encouraged him to write letters home in addition to the emails he sends weekly. Elder C has taken that advice to heart, and he has been sending home letters that are absolute treasures to us. Here are a few excerpts from some of his letters.)

Serving with Elder Wang is a privilege! Believe it or not 400+ missionaries have served from m a i n l a n d China already. I have never heard of one before, but there apparently are a ton! My companion is from Chengdu Sichuan-the place all the pandas are and where the spiciest food is! He first met the missionaries in Hong Kong, while he was on vacation with his mother. Two extremely tall missionaries, both from the States, stopped him and his mother on the street by speaking Chinese with them. One of them spoke only Cantonese, so when they found out that Elder Wang and his mom couldn't speak it, he allowed his companion to take over, who invited them to church on the next day. Elder Wang's mom forced him to go! He didn't really care for religion because in China, religion isn't even a thing. Until now Elder Wang's dad is a communist which Elder Wang immediately associates with being a nonbeliever.  Anyway, after going back home, Elder Wang and his mom visited an LDS congregation - a group of 180+ active members, 80 to 90% of which are returned missionaries! They returned to Hong Kong a bit later to be baptized. That was four years ago. Elder Wang has been a missionary for half of his membership in the church!!! 14 August 2011 was the date he was baptized.

Anyway, I tell you all this as background because Elder Wang is one of the funniest guys I've ever met. He is truly good, and without guile. He says the funniest things in his broken English. Sometimes it comes out perfectly though. On our way to visit someone, Elder Wang contacted a guy from Switzerland. Elder Wang slowly began shifting the topic to the Gospel, and the man, anticipating Elder Wang's direction, said, "Don't talk to me about religion-I know you're Mormons, and I'm not interested." Afterward my companion felt a little down, so I said to him, "Don't worry-he didn't reject you-only your message!" Then, in a moment of clarity, Elder Wang responded: "He rejected me and the message! If you want to speak more generally, he rejected Jesus Christ." Wow. 

On a more humorous note, this is what Elder Wang said to me today: "I have a very good idea. Instead of write down our contact number on all our cards, we should write it on your face! Then everyone would see it!" Haha! He's pretty funny. Another funny story- I found that Elder Wang's mini copy of the Old Testament misprinted Exodus a second time, in the back, where is Ezekiel is supposed to be. When I pointed it out, in his hilarious Chinese accent, he cried, "What?! This is I-ssue! This is a Prob-lem! I need to call someone!!! I want refund! " Oh man, we laughed for days about that one. Don't worry, I've recorded several of our conversations, and you'll be able to hear some when I get back :-)

Missions are great. They're hard. Following so many rules is hard. Talking to strangers is hard. Teaching people well is hard. But, boy, is it worth it! I have learned a very valuable lesson on my mission - to love my ___mission___   (can be replaced with anything in our lives) for what it is. If I CAN change something, such as having no people to teach, I work to change it with God's help. If I can't change it, such as a transfer, then I've learned to embrace it and love it for what it is. That is how I've been able to stay positive and energetic. I quit worrying about what my mission experience could have been or what I want it to be, and instead, I make the most out of the way life turns out. And so I've come to love it and cherish my experiences here. 

On my mission I have come to a much greater understanding about our baptismal covenant. The most succinct place to find our baptismal covenant is (in my opinion) found in Doctrine and Covenants 20: 77-79, the sacrament prayers. I'll quote just a bit: "And witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of Thy Son, and always remember Him, and keep his commandments, which He has given them." This is a huge promise! We covenant to obey God's commandments. Oftentimes, we take that to mean all  of God's instructions to us. I personally believe so, too. Selective obedience is hardly obedience to God at all. However, this is something that can be hard at times! How can I keep this covenant if, for example, I always get upset with a spouse when he watches sports too much, especially on Sunday? How can I consider myself faithful when I so often forget to have Family Home Evening or family prayer? Etc. This covenant can lead us to be extremely hard on ourselves when we aren't perfect - thus breaking a commandment in and of itself! (See Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.") Yikes! However, I think there is one commandment I often think we overlook. Here are some references for you: 
-D&C 19:13-15 "Therefore, I command you to repent."
-2 Nephi 31:11 "And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye."
-Moses 6: 47-58 " But God hath make known unto our Fathers that all men must repent...wherefore, teach it unto your children that all men everywhere must repent."

I have come to the conclusion that repent really means "reobey." We oftentimes view them as so different, so separate, but "to obey" and 'to repent" are motivated by faith in Jesus Christ, and both are commandments of God, and both result in the same end--humans keeping God's commands. They are sister principles. Inseparable. We obey until we fail, when we promptly repent. We repent until we are free of a sin--then we obey! 

When we are baptized, we are motivated by our faith to repent then covenant with God we will keep his commandments. The Holy Ghost them comes to guide us and bless our lives with peace and joy, and guide us in safety's paths. We all will break those commandments. Sometimes we move off the path; at others we stumble and fall. So when God call us to repent, we are promising Him we won't give up--that we will keep trying and struggling until we make it. When we move off the path, our covenant is not broken- rather it is motivation and reminds us that we have promised God we will always come back. We promise we will always get back up. :) So we don't promise to be perfect, but to keep moving. A great example of this I found this morning in my personal study. In Mosiah 25 we find Alma the Elder/Older establishing a church of God amongst the now-united Nephites in Zarahemla. He baptizes them all in verses 17-18, yet in verse 22, we see what is constantly being taught is repentance. A pilot isn't concerned how many times his plane drifts off course as long as he corrects it each time it does move a degree off. For me, right now, I don't think I can successfully be 100% obedient, but I KNOW I can be 100% in repenting of each mistake/sin the Holy Ghost or others inform me of. So...REPENT! Establish a happy, joyful attitude of repentance! And each time you do, be happy for two reasons: 1- You're keeping your covenants; and 2- You're fully using Christ's atonement. He knew we were going to make mistakes. Might as well repent because He did it all for us already. Thank God for the matchless gift of His Son, who made it possible for us to learn from our mistakes/sins without being condemned by them.  


Monday, June 15, 2015
Visit to Pulau Ubin (Love his tshirt!)

District p-day outing 
Hawker stall food for life
Birthday box booty
These weeks are getting faster and faster and better and better!! The ward is really embracing the energy and enthusiasm we're bringing to the table. The number of member presents we had this week jumped from 3 to 6!! We have a great new program we think will be able to change missionary work in Singapore native wards if used properly. I'll be sure to pass it on when I'm done :)

I'm really grateful for this mission experience to develop friendships with Singaporeans and Malaysians and the people I meet from all over the world. I know this gospel can solve people's problems and help them find happiness.

There were many miracles last week. Let's just say this - we had a new investigator come to church the day after teaching him; and a family came to church and is progressing.  Just all around good things are happening :)

Love you!!

Elder Coleman

Getting the Hang of Singapore

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wooo! Another week gone. 

I'm really getting the hang of Singapore, and developing some relationships with terrific people. The Ang Mo Kio ward is going to be my second home by the time I'm outta here. 

This week we had to take over the entire ward's investigators and less actives because the sister missionaries were taken out of Ang Mo Kio!! So now we've got a few more investigators and a couple of families. We're excited about that, and so this week we spent our time getting to know them, serving them, and we even went all Sister-missionary for a bit and made cookies for them. Dang it..... hahaha! One of them came to church this week because her little daughter said, "I want to go see gege (older brother in Chinese, which is what she called me after I visited once and loved me lol)!!" So she got her mom and younger sister to come even though they were 45 mintues late.  

Well, we have been going like crazy and trying to make the most of our time. I figure that if the Lord put me into a truly difficult area for the last bit of my mission, then I'd better show Him I'm serious about this whole Discipleship and enduring to the end thing and work as hard as I ever have. So many times I'll be at a bus stop and see people, not really wanting to go talk to them, and then I'll say to myself "I've got a message that is going to make you so flipping happy!" and I go talk to them. Hahah It's a lot of fun with a lot of rejections. But hey, like Cectpa C learned and taught so powerfully, rejection is a part of life. In fact, it's often a tool Heavenly Father uses to guide us to that which is better and best for us. 

Funny story for this week. Our church building is shared by 3 wards, Bedok, AMK, and the 4th Ward (one of the Expat wards). This week, each ward had a baptism! Bedok had a convert, and both AMK and 4th wards baptized 8 year olds. I was asked to speak at the baptism in AMK which was fun. :) But the real thing I wanted to share is that we WEREN'T informed that 4th ward had a baptism at 3:30. We had ours at 4, and Bedok at 11. So when we show up at 2:30 to fill the font, we saw that the Bedok ward had left it filled. No problem, draining it takes 30 minutes, filling takes another 45, great, we can do that in time for 4 o'clock. The water was cold and so we felt like switching it. So we did, and about 3:00, an expat walks in and asks if the font is full. Then we realize that WE DRAINED THE FONT AND THERE WASN'T ENOUGH TIME FOR THEIR BAPTISM AT 3 30. D'oh!! We blew it! But no one informed us!! hahah We felt terrible. SO, we got Ryan Lau (the baptizee) and his sibling to help us fill buckets with water and chuck it into the font as the pipes were filling it, too. hahah! It was a lot of fun, but our buckets actually hindered the water flow (the same pipe connected the faucets lol). We just left it running all the way until we started to see white people come down from the chapel, then we hurriedly shut off the pipe and hopeddddddddddd it was deep enough. Oh so funny.

Today for p-day I'm going to Pulau Ubin (a small island off the coast of Singapore) for my birthday excursion... :) I haven't mentioned to any of the missionaries that it's my birthday, but hopefully I can have a great time today!!

Well, life is good, I'm working hard and feeling great! I know this is all real. I know God loves us and is doing all things for our good - though what we can see from our limited perspectives might not give us the full picture.  

Love you all!!!

Elder Clay Coleman

Two More Transfers

Monday, June 1, 2015

Transfers! Staying with Elder Wang in Singapore
Hey everyone!! 

Today was transfers. I'm staying here in Singapore with Elder Wang to finish off his mission, then I'll have one more transfer myself. Because I know he will be leaving back to China this upcoming transfer, it is HIGHLY unlikely that I will be leaving at the next transfer, too. So it looks like I"m going to for sure finish my mission in Singapore. What a great end to a terrific experience. Unfortunately, the sisters sharing the branch with me are being transferred out and their area is being closed!! 

BUT it's not over yet. Push to the finish!!

This week was pretty good. We worked hard and saw some really cool miracles. We found two new investigators this week, one through a member and the other from an investigator!! JW didn't make it to church this week, unfortunately, but his friend D did!! He introduced us to D this Friday, we taught him Saturday, and had him at church on Sunday. He seemed to enjoy it, and we will teach him again this week and help him and JW progress this week. !!!

We also had a great experience teaching Nigel, the nephew of a member named Alice Ong. We taught him, and tried to commit him to come to church, and he didn't end up making it. HOWEVER!!! The Lord knew what Nigel needed, and inspired his aunt to bring him to a bishop's fireside (unbeknownst to us) that evening, where he met some youth and the leaders. PRETTY GREAT. That is a huge step forward for Nigel, and we hope that we will be able to help him take big steps forward this week. 

I gotta get off the computer now but hey!! I love you all and I had a very spiritual experience this week that testified to me once again that this is ALL SO REAL. Jesus Christ really lives, God is real, loves us, and will help us as we make Him our priority.

Love you all!! Talk to you next week!

Elder Clay Coleman