The Converting Power of the Scriptures

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week we had! I know I say that all the time but , it’s true! How can it not be we are working in the Lords vineyard to bring souls unto him! The world is a crazy place with lots of negativity, loneliness, anger, pride, and suffering; its also a place that we can find peace, joy, happiness, love, comfort, and support. God is there to help us find the things that makes us happy. So as I get to watch people come and find Christ and find the happiness in all the darkness and chaos, it brings such a joy to my life. So ya I know that I say “what a wonderful week” all the time but that is because it is true!

This week did end a little different then last. Last week we had a lot of people at church and it fired us up to have it happen again. Sadly it didn’t, BUT…. We did have Jennifer accept a date to be baptized we will be helping her prepare to be baptized on July 18th. She is excited to come to know the truth that is here and she felt the spirit during that church tour.
I am gaining more and more a testimony of the strength and power that comes when we use the church buildings. These building that are everywhere have been built and dedicated to the Lord for his purposes and they carry a powerful spirit with them. Every time that we have a lesson in them and I fell of the spirit that is present it brings a peace to my heart that this is his work. We are using the church for tours with as many as will accept and we are using it for lessons, separate from a church tour, on occasion as well.

We have been working forward with an eye of faith know that as we desire to teach the Lord will help us find. We are focusing our efforts on helping those that we teach gain a witness of the Book of Mormon. We had investigators that weren’t daily reading, they have a very difficult time reading, and we have also noticed that it is hard for them to but themselves into the stories of the Book. So we have been reading it with them one chapter at a time, we have been picking the chapters that talking about the principles that we have been guided to for them, and helping them put themselves into the scriptures.

I love the scriptures and the power that comes into my life because of them, and the testimony that I get to gain by seeing that same strength come into other peoples lives as they start to study and learn from the scriptures, are the small things that I get to have every day that strengthen my testimony and conversion to the gospel.

I am so grateful that I am able to come out on my mission and not only help others find their faith and hope, but help find my own as well. I am so grateful to all of you for the things that you have helped me with in my life and for the examples that you have been for me to look to.

Love you all so very much!!

Elder S Cordon

Staying Busy

Dear Family and Friends,

Well its been a powerful week. We were quite busy and did not have any time to really get out and its weird I thought we worked hard but it seemed weird by the end of the week. But as we look back over our week, we saw we did a lot of teaching and still had opportunities to find people. Looking into July I am a little nervous as far as achieving our future goals there is only 4 solid dates in the zone leading into July and 3 of them are from us. I feel like what helped our dates become solid is putting a quicker date and adding urgency I feel like there is a few investigators in the zone that could be ready for July if we add some urgency.

The 3 people that we have for July are Sister Wong and her Daughter Lindy, they are really great and they have really answered the call to prepare themselves for baptism. Both are doing really good about reading, in fact Sister Wong has been doing some really cool studies after each of our lessons. She uses the pamphlets and does a deeper study on the lessons using the questions in the back. The other date is Ho Siu Ming also a great guy who is willing to keep going, he wants his family to have the gospel and with all three of these people they will be planning on us introducing them to their families here soon.

We have some other Baptismal dates and a handful of other investigators that could all be starting to really progress here shortly. The Lord is really blessing us. We go out the door everyday expecting Miracles and everday they keep happening. We are constantly finding those opportunities arise that requires to be brave and open our mouths. One for instance Elder Dale really impressed me as he contacted this man sitting next to us on a bus, luckily it was a long one out to the Village of Mui Wo. I had seen the guy and shy away but he just moved over a seat and said “do you mind if I practice my Chinese”. Well the man was happy to accept then Elder Dale practiced all of his first lesson vocab while he was at it. We ended up getting off the bus at the same stop, taught him prayer and rescheduled him and his girlfriend for next week. I guess there used to be a branch out here in Mui Wo. We would love to bring it back! We are also working with a less active out there as well and found that there is two full families that are less active that live out there.

Things really are going so well. Elder Dale and I have very similar mindsets which has made having unity come really easy! We also are both just really excited about the work and have a real good vision for this area.

Love You all!

Elder Jared Cordon

Life is about the CHALLENGE

Dear Family and Friends,

Well What A WONDERFUL WEEK!!

We are seeing miracles all the time here, it is crazy to see the work flying so fast. Now where there is so much good Satan is there to try and stop it. He will through whatever he has at it. We have so many people that are being taught and coming to know Jesus Christ and Satan keeps trying to throw them off the path. So to combat this problem we are striving to meet with our investigators as often as they will let us. We have some that we are able to see everyday, and then Satan tries even harder on them because we are trying harder. They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying and doing the things they need to in order to help combat when we are not around.

I am gaining a great testimony of reading and praying and the power that it gives to our lives when done every day. I know that will be what gives me the strength and knowledge to endure to the end, and to always live the Doctrine of Christ. We had 10 people that came to church this last week. They were able to feel of the spirit and for two of those people it was their first time coming. One was Erica she was one of our new investigators last week, she came to the first hour and then left to see her dad for fathers day. The other is …. John, who is Damien’s friend, Damien showed him the ropes and was a great friend the whole time.

The work is moving forward and we are just trying to make sure that we are keeping up at the pace that Heavenly Father would have us. We are praying, planning, and teaching with faith so that we can be the servants that He needs. I am grateful to be here serving in this area with Elder Harmon, I am learning and growing so much everyday come with a new set of challenges to help grow me as a missionary I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Growing is a part of this life and God is going to make the most out of our lives if we let him.

Love YOU
Elder S Cordon

Old York and New York

Dear Family and Friends,

My new companion is so powerful and so awesome! Elder Dale from Yorkshire England! So we are getting the Old York (He is from “Old” York) and the New York (I am from New York).

Well I cannot be more excited about the new opportunities I was sad to leave TST and now I am excited to serve Tung Chung. Again I am extremely blessed to move into an area that is prospering from the efforts of these amazing Elders I hope to only Establish and take it beyond that. Elder Dale and I had some immediate excitement with shortly after being together we met with two investigators and we decided to set and short date with a lady and her daughter. they have been coming to church and still have a good amount to learn but the spirit was strong and they both accepted with a lot of excitement. We are trying to apply the wisdom Elder Holbrook taught: that big commitment and follow through get people to really change.

This area has a lot of excitement with 3 baptismal dates coming up quick and a few to quickly follow there is a lot to do to make sure these people make their dates. Well after discussing how we could do that we came up with two idea. First is what we call “Home Teaching” we are going to get rid of the mission culture of always teaching people at the church and start teaching people in their homes, and if not their homes then in members homes. We have already scheduled all our appointments thus far this week. It has multiple benefits that we can see:

  • 1 we know where they live now
  • 2 it takes a lot less of their time if they don’t need to travel
  • 3 it allows for quick follow up visits
  • 4 it gives us exposure to potentially their families for more investigators
  • 5 they are more comfortable
  • 6 if we get fonged (they don’t show up) then at least we know quickly and we are already out among people to easily start finding
  • 7 it allows us to get into places we normally cant go (which can help the Lord put people in our path)
  • 8 if a member lives near by it would take less of their time.

These are some of the ideas we thought of. The other thing we are planning on doing is Daily Contact from ward members. We have drawn up a calender and are going to get the ward members to sign up to have a member whats app our investigators everyday and then call a few times a week. We realize its extremely important to keep that contact so we can have people effectively reach quicker baptismal dates.

I think its awesome that almost all the elders appartments in the zone only have one set of elders. I feel like it will be one of our most effective moves yet. I myself am very excited to be able to remove more distractions that might be keeping me from working and staying focus. Elder Dale is so focused and I can honestly say that I have not met a missionary yet who loves all of their investigators and ward members as much as he does. I think his ability to love them is a big part of why he is so successful!

We have a busy week ahead and it looks like we wont have very much if any time to find but we are trying our best to be talking to people at all times and in all places!

Happy Fathers Day

Love
Elder Jared Cordon

Lead Thou Me On; Reflections On Returning Home

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Dear Family and Friends,

So reality can hit you pretty hard when you get home, setting aside the fact that you have to adjust to a whole new culture and way of living, there is the pressures of finding a job, going to school, and getting married, all of which are grand feats in and of themselves. Coming home has been the greatest adventure of my life so far. In just a few short weeks (which have felt like a few short months) I have made great friends, tried new things, shared the gospel, made tons of money, traversed hundreds of miles, and so much more. Truly I believe more than ever before that God never intended for the mission to be the climax of my life, seeing has how the fullness of joy has only continued to grow since then. However; I tend to worry, my biggest worry has been whether or not I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. With so many big choices immediately placed before me, I have found it to be very difficult to feel completely confident in my decisions. Little did I know that I was about to get a bigger lesson on faith and trust in God than I ever had. Not even a day after I got home, opportunities fell into my lap, and doors started opening for me which I didn’t even know were there. These were grand testaments to me that God really does provide; nevertheless, I still found myself worrying that perhaps I wouldn’t know what to do, that I wouldn’t have enough money for school, and that I hadn’t picked the right major. Clearly, all of these feelings and thoughts are not examples of exercising faith. I definitely wanted more faith, but just wasn’t sure how to get it. Constantly the spirit and loved ones around me have encouraged me that everything would work out for the best, but I couldn’t bring myself to embrace the idea. I have definitely had my moments of great faith since I have been back and I honestly did and do believe that God will provide for me, but I have had my moments of doubt and anxiety. Suddenly, I got spiritual reinforcement. It came the way that I have told people it would come to them for almost two years, it came in a simple thought and feeling; I got my revelation by listening to a hymn during Sacrament Meeting this last Sunday. Hymns have such a powerful way of reaching the heart in a way that words cannot. It seems to heighten your spiritual sensitivity allowing the holy ghost to converse with you more clearly and specifically. In a way that it has never done before Hymn #97, Lead Thou Me On, struck my heart and filled me with a supernal sense of hope. I stared at the words as I read them, almost incapable of speaking as I realized the words sung in that song were directly meant for me at that moment. While the whole song was powerful these parts struck me the most. “Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene–one step enough for me. I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou shouldst lead me on. I love to choose and see my path; but now, lead thou me on!… So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone.” As those words resonated within me I was overcome with emotion. Almost to the point of tears I thanked God for the blessing of his spirit and especially His Son, Jesus Christ. God had provided all things necessary for me to be happy and to succeed and he would continue to do so. As I listened to this song it’s message was written on “the fleshy tables of my heart”, and that truthfulness of its message was confirmed by the power of The Holy Ghost, sealing that testimony forever in my soul. Since that powerful moment, what I learned has only been confirmed as I have seen the hand of God working wonders in my life. I am still far from perfect and I still have much more to learn about faith, but I know for me, the newly returned missionary, daily relying on the spirit will, out of necessity, continue to be apart of my life. Coming home hasn’t been the easiest thing I have ever done, but I have enjoyed it and it has made me a better person; even better than who I was a little more than three weeks ago when I was still a missionary in Florida. I am know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that because of Jesus Christ, if I remain faithful, all things will work out for my gain and I will gain all that the father has in store for me. Until that time, “I do not ask to see the distant scene–one step [is] enough for me.”

I love y’all so very much!

Brother Joshua Cordon

Elder Williams is Training!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it was a great week! we were working hard and were very busy! We had some interesting turn of events with some of our investigators and some good things happening as we went to the streets.

First our investigator Frankie turned out not to live in our area. He is right on the line, but falls on the KLC side. We will be turning him over to the sisters tonight. But we are fasting with him right now, and the sisters decided to join us, that he can get an answer. We will be following up with him tonight at the turnover. He was one of the investigators we were hoping could be baptized this month. I hope the transition goes well he has been meeting with Elders here for several months. Brother Mak who had a date for this month is still not back. The west point sisters were able to talk with him about his concerns. Its a good thing the Sisters can see him everyday I feel like it will help him. Our other investigator Emily is doing better she was able to eat with some of the sisters, so she has been getting a lot of member involvement. That is really good because fellowship will help a lot she comes to find her own answer.

We have been working really well together and our teaching and finding is in pretty good unity. We had a bit of an interesting week with not as much time as we would like to find. But when we did get out we worked hard and made the most of it. We have a good drive while finding even if its a long stretch. I actually really like city finding. A lot of missionaries prefer going to big estates but I would pick the streets. Its harder to teach a sit down lesson but its a better variety of people. Only certain types of people sit in an estate in the middle of the day.

The ward is doing really well it seems like a lot of people want to do missionary work and we are constantly getting names of less actives and hearing about different things members are doing. It will be a great ward for this new trainee to come into. I will miss TST ward, I was able to build up a good relationship really quick. But i will serve my best wherever I am sent.

A big thing we have talked about with the ward and as a companionship is less active work. Gratefully with the wards effort there is a fairly big group of less actives that are incontact with the members still, so they are priority number one for us. There is a lot of good work to be done and just not enough time its seems.

But a lot of big changes going on here. We are taking a big hit in Elders right now. Then in a few months its coming right back to normal. President is doing all sorts of stuff to prepare the mission for President Lam here in July.

But its all good I love you all have a great week!
Elder Jared Cordon

WKM!!

Dear Family and Friends,

The work is moving crazy fast here in Hermiston. We had another baptism this weekend. Kathy was baptized. What a wonderful day that was to see her so happy for making the decision to come and follow Jesus Christ.
We are watching every day as the people that we are teaching are making the steps needed to gain the conversion to the truth of this message. I have seen an increase in the faith of our investigators since the fast that we had for them. It is great to see them all be willing to make the steps that they need to make to gain the knowledge from god that this is true. Faith is such an amazing power that cant be put into words, but I know it works. God is there and wants us to believe in Him so that he can use that power of faith to bless our lives, so when others are doing that and experiencing the truth of it all IT IS A MIRACLE.
We have so much that is going well, we are teaching everyone as often as they will let us. Abel and Kristina are letting us meet with them EVERYDAY. They came to church and brought all the kids. What a wonderful family! We are excited for their baptisms in July, they are praying and working towards that date.

So Transfers have come and gone. I am staying here and so is my comp. Which means that we are staying in the Kennewick Washington Mission.
And This will be at least 4 1/2 months in Hermiston I love the people that are here and everyone that I am around. I am very excited for the next 6 Weeks!!

Love you all so much.

Elder Cordon