#NEW

Dear Family and Friends,

I am in a new area, with a new companion, and a whole new set of challenges. I am so excited for this transfer and everything that it has to offer. There is a lot of people here that are seeking after truth and are ready to make changes in their life to come closer to Christ. I love the people that I meet, what an amazing knowledge that we have to know that we are all children of our Heavenly Father and brothers and sisters in his family. It really brings it into perspective of why we share this gospel.

I have been sent to Wenatchee WA. what a beautiful area this is and I my even be here for Christmas, which would be just great. We already have snow capped mountains. SO BEAUTIFUL. Gods creation of this world is such a wonderful gift I am glad that we have beauty in this world that we can fill our surroundings with.

Sincerely,

Elder Steven Cordon

A Beautiful Gift

Dear Family and Friends,

I think an overarching thing that my past week taught me is that of the simplicity of personal revelation and the importance of actively seeking it and then acting upon it long enough to reap the rewards. I was left in a mode of pondering after the recent general conference which made no small emphasis on the importance of personal revelation. That all finally developed into a phenomenal learning opportunity as I was on an exchange with one of my fellow missionaries this week. I think the trick to receiving revelation is to learn how to ask the right questions. After talking to him all night between lessons about pretty general topics I could tell that something was on his mind. When we got home and after I planned for the next day I started to pry a little to see what I could get out of him. I had no idea the amount of revelation that we were going to receive during that conversation that night, and again in the morning. We talked about all aspects of missionary work with the goal of trying to figure out what the missionaries in his stewardship needed from him. And really it was as simple as us asking a good question and then seeing the spirit guide our answers to helping us find the solutions. It seemed so easy, it was just coming to us. The amazing thing was that we both were completely on the same page. We were receiving the exact same answers. In the morning we even ended up studying the exact same chapters in the book of mormon and in PMG. It was quite wild. I felt like the early saints describe in the Acts 4:31-32 “And when they had prayed… they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul…” This experience of personal revelation this week has happened many times before, but I was especially aware of it this time and I feel like the lessons I learned were very profound.

Making an extra emphasis to put the revelation to work Elder Layton prayerfully considered an exact street that we should go and knock on Friday with the goal of finding a family that would be open to hearing our message. An exact street came to us and we wrote it down. The next day I was on another exchange this time with my MTC companion, Elder Searle, and we went to the street that we had planned. We found a potential investigator right at the start but we went for almost an hour after that with no success. That is when we knocked on Tony’s door. Elder Searle did the initial approach flawlessly and we found ourselves trying to comfort this man as he tells us how is 9 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and that that same driver killed another few people last year because of the same thing and he is still not behind bars. While we did feel sorry for his loss but we were also happy because we knew that we had something that would help to remove the pain and anguish from his heart. After having a simple doorstep lesson with him, he told us that he would read the Book of Mormon that night and that he wanted his family to hear this message. I knew at that moment that it really was inspiration that we chose to go to that street at that time so that we could meet this man.

Another amazing miracle that we had Saturday night also began with a prayer. It was 8:05 and we had no idea what we were going to do for the next 55 minutes. The plans we did have had fallen through and it wasn’t exactly the best time to be knocking on someones door. We prayed and asked God were we should go. At first we still had no idea so we started to just drive back to the other side of town that we live on. As were driving a thought of a lady, but when we called she didn’t answer. Then I got another idea to try someone else just down the street from our apartment. We knocked on her door, but no one appeared to be home. Then Elder Layton thought to try Gladys, which was strange considering the fact that we officially removed her from our teaching pool last Friday after a month and a half of no contact. We tried it though. She happened to have just gotten home moments before and she was open to chatting. We ended up having a 45 minute lesson with her which began with her saying how exhausting work and life in general has been to it ending with us finding out that she was already baptized a Mormon and her doing the chicken dance as she tells us a funny story. She recognized how much the spirit of the gospel lifted her burdens and made her forget about the stress of life and said that she would like meeting with us regularly, so that we could help her start coming back to church. Another miracle that began with asking a simple question and receiving very simple revelation.

I want to bear testimony that the Holy Ghost is real and that it is actually a third member of the Godhead. Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which allows me to have this member of the Godhead as my constant guide is undoubtedly the greatest gift that God has given me. I know that if we are worthy and if we listen that we can receive the quite whispering of the spirit that will send us down unknown but glorious paths on our journey back to Heavenly Father. I am grateful to have been blessed to have received the gift of the Holy Ghost by one who holds proper authority, truly this is the greatest difference between the true church of Jesus Christ, and all others. My only desire is to bless the human race by helping whoever will listen receive this incredible gift into their own life. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

P.S. If you are wondering how you could help yourself be better at receiving personal revelation then read the devotional address, “An Educated Conscience” by Stephen Covey, the May 27th, 1975 BYU devotional.

Conference!! Sadly it’s only once…

Dear Family and Friends

Conference I love it! It’s something that I feel I have wasted my entire life. So many hours staring at the TV with the words coming in one ear and right out the other. Now it’s a spiritual roller coaster. It’s so cool to take and learn the message they are sharing but also to be learning at the same time another lesson by the Holy Ghost. There is the things everyone needs to hear then there is the things that I (you) need to hear. Their words are truly scripture in the modern days while reading one talk can inspire you for one topic the entire conference altogether will tell you another.

This week overall was full of a lot of success! There is two people on the street that are seeming to stick and after 8 months it appears that its the right time to bring in new investigators. I think its because my overall goal has been to build this area and leave it better than I found it. With two baptisms to drain the teaching pool new people had to be on their way so as to keep the work going. The Lord has decided now I guess to bring them out. We now have 4 people with great great potential and a few others who are on the turning points. I would love more that anything to stay another transfer but it’s looking that next week may be my last in the Butterfly Ward. The Lord seems to do that, once we are on top and things are going great He takes us out of the situation probably to remind us that its all because of Him and we need to stay humble because if He chooses we could have nothing.

I have been so blessed to see the Lord work miracles during my time here.

Conference was so good because in Hong Kong everyone in the stake just goes to the church and watches it. So of course all the missionaries come and we all watch the English session together. President joined us for the sunday morning and an amazing sister prepared food for all us missionaries. Conference weekend is a holiday to be celebrated full of spiritual and physical feasting.

I love you all, take luck.

Elder Jared Cordon

We Are Different!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was such a wonderful week full of the spirit and learning.

First I was able to go to the temple. WOW I miss being able to go as often as I want to, but I also cherish the times I get to go. (not that I didnt before.) I love the spirit that I am filled with every time that I go to the temple. It truly is the Lords house.

We found a new investigator name Jay he is so prepared to hear the gospel. He had a great boss who he looked up to that was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He knew who we were and we immediately offered to help him stack the wood that he was in the process of stacking. What a great example of how members just being great members can have such an impact to someones life latter on.
And then Conference happened!!

What an incredible weekend. I felt reminded Many times that as members of the church WE ARE DIFFERENT. Gods commandments are never going to conform to men. We are given a Prophet for that reason so that we are kept on the path of God. He is the person that is called and set apart to handle the affairs of God on the earth. He is the one that we look to for answers, not the internet, not the latest trend, not the latest law that is passed, the Prophet is the one that receives the answers we need for our lives.

I am so blessed by the knowledge that we have a living Prophet on the earth today. He actually lives and receives revelation for the world from Christ, this is The Church of Jesus Christ because it is his church not mans and it will always be that way.

I am so grateful for a Prophet to lead and guide us everyday. I know that Thomas S Monson speaks for God.

I seal this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Elder S Cordon

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P.S. Editors note- he is being transferred. He has enjoyed his first area on his mission but is needed elsewhere in his mission!

#THEPROPHETSPEAKS

Dear Family and Friends,

What a blessing it was to be able to watch General Conference this weekend and hear the inspiring words of our leaders. This conference definitely gave cause to reflect on many aspects of life. In between the sessions we found ourselves doing what missionaries often do, knocking on doors. In what seemed an almost instinctive approach we testified on every doorstep that we have a prophet today. The various responses we received clearly and quickly taught the fact that most people have no idea why a prophet is at all a blessing to us. Even after we take time to try to explain it to them, they still just don’t seem to get it. As I watched the sessions of conference the question popped into my mind, do we as members of this church even understand why it is such a big deal that we have a prophet today. If we recognize it, do we feast on those abundant blessings?

I would like to take a few moments to tell all of you that I know without a doubt that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that by the spirit of god which has born witness of that fact to my own spirit. I believe that when he is acting under his prophetic calling that his words are God’s words, and I have the faith that if I live by his counsel that I will become more like my savior, Jesus Christ, and my life will be one that will provide me with the richest blessings that are available in this mortal existence. And while the spirit alone is good enough for me to know I have the additional witness of experience, for as I have lived his counsel I have seen it bring me closer to God.

Not only do I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, but I also know that we have a quorum of 12 Apostles on the earth today that holds the same authority that the apostles of old held. I know that those men are also called of God and have power and authority from on high to act in there callings. I know that from my encounters with those Holy Men but one major witness is the fact that it was one of those men that made the assignment for me to serve in Jacksonville, FL for my 2 year mission. I have had numerous experiences that proven to me that this is the exact place and time that I was meant to be. Only a prophet could have known that.

And so on down the chain of authority that begins with Christ are the church assignments made. This past week I was able to reinforce my testimony that even the 70 have been given power and authority with their callings. Even though he would undoubtedly have had endless meetings and many other things on his plate in anticipation for General Conference, Elder Golden who visited the mission two weeks ago, took the time to call my companion and I to apologize that he was unable to interview while here in the mission in person but that he would like to do so over the phone. It was a very special moment of my mission to be able to talk with him and to feel of his spirit as he gave me advice, counsel, and compliments. It never ceases to amaze me how powerfully the spirit can enter into your life and fill your soul from simple conversations, even when they are over the phone.

A lot of what he spoke about was The Spirit. As I put his counsel and advice into action, I experienced many miracles this week. We were able to be directly guided to people who were ready to receive our message. Among that group is a woman named Stephanie, who had just moved in 3 days prior, and a family of 7, who have been in there place for many years. The still small voice for me like a personal golf caddy who helps you with every aspect of the game of life. If you are a worthy and if you listen, as Elder Golden said, “You better buckle up for it will send you on one wild ride.”

Another blessing this past week was that I got to watch the new film, Meet The Mormons. It is a powerful story of the lives of 6 different families from the US and different parts of the world. It demonstrates in a very simple but powerful way how living the gospel will impact your day to day life. It literally is a part of who you are. It is not just an aspect of your life, but rather it is your life. It is amazing how someone who has had a life that is hardly similar to mine in any way could on the same hand have so much in common with me. As I talk to people from day to day it is interesting to me how much people are trying to avoid labels of any kinds these days. Which in large part is why non-denominational Christianity is on the rise. That is such a striking contrast to the world wide family that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Truly we are the only large body of people that can in any way be described as–like the first century Christians– being of “one heart” and of “one soul.” (Acts 4:32) Not only am I okay with being labelled as a “Mormon,” but I embrace it because it reminds me that I am never standing alone.

Clearly I know that this church is true. If you would like to as well, it is as simple as this, Ask God. I know that he will answer you. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all! have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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The Power of Prayer

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this was an amazing week! A lot of great things happened! To start the week right I went on splits with my MTC companion because he is in my district. Its crazy how far we have come! It was cool to see how we have both changed so much. But some great things came of this experience.

We were both quite thirsty and while searching for water in a park we ran into a man who we just jumped right into a gospel discussion. We found out quickly that he was out pondering because he had really taken his life downhill through bad decision making. He had many drugs problems in the past and after going through the prison system of Hong Kong he is now in a probationary state, but will need to check into a prison soon for his last 2 months then he is done. So he had some time to visit friends and we had caught him on his ponder through the park. He was so prepared and he sincerely wanted to change. One thing he said was he has not been in contact with his family for many years because he has no means to contact them and has no idea where any one of them are. Well after explaining more about God and prayer we invited him to pray. He was a little hesitant not knowing what to pray about so we invited him to pray and ask God for him to reunite him with his family. He did and it was a powerful faith filled prayer of a son longing for love. He said he felt amazing and so did we.

Well that was my role in his conversion to the Gospel, because I headed back to my own area. But the next day when they saw him again (because he was heading back to prison soon they wanted to teach him as much as possible) He was overcome with Joy! That morning his mother had come knocking on his door and it was an amazing reunion. He then took the missionaries to his house to meet his mom. He expressed answers to other prayers about the gospel. He had 4 more lessons and a chance to come to church before he heads out today. He has gained for himself a burning testimony of the work. He will be baptized after he is out. Also the missionaries can visit him while he is in prison so they can keep teaching him.

Another great thing is I was able to see my recent convert who dropped off the map. He is doing great, however he has a tough family life but he will be back into activity shortly. It just breaks my heart to see someone so changed and blessed turn-away from their perfectly loving Father. But he is back.

Another great thing was during the second set of splits that went down this week I had a chance to go with Elder Beal. He is a district leader and Elder Townsend the zone leader went with Elder Nestman the other district leader so we had all the district leaders with 1 zone leader in the appartment. So we took advantage of the situation and had a meeting. What came out of this meeting was pretty awesome. We have all gained new motivation and resolutions. We were able to establish some new plans and actions to increase accountability for goals and inspire and motivate our districts. We all realized we need to be the examples of the change we want to see so we are turning up the heat. New Territories will be number 1.

Taking that motivation I took it to the ward. The sisters wanted to meet and talk about receiving more referrals and with the inpsiration from the district leader meeting we came up with a great plan to jump start the ward. We planned a Teaching No Greater Call seminar for the ward using the same module president has set up for our district meetings, we cleared it with the bishop and then took the idea before the ward council and it was accepted. So we will have great things coming! They are working on some translations and hopefully we can do this in the next two weeks.

Amazing things are coming!

Love you all! God really does live.

Elder Jared Cordon

The Small & Simple Things

Dear Family and Friends,

It seems like it was only four days ago that I was writing y’all… o wait… So it was a wonderful weekend. A lot of really good things happened as usual. One notable event of this past weekend was going to a party on Saturday. So we have a recent convert that we have been working with and she is just wonderful! She has been a member for about 4 months now and has grown so much in that time. She made some dramatic changes in her life in order to get baptized and still has been battling with some of the lasting effects. One of those is her relationship with her family. Because of who she was before she has spent the last little while repairing those relationships and building the family she wishes she always had. It was her birthday this past weekend so we got together with her and another one of our recent converts to celebrate and have a lesson with them. It was a really great time and we even took a fun picture to commemorate the event. After the lesson she had plans to go over to her uncles house to have a family get together for her birthday. She really wasn’t looking forward to the event because it potentially was going to be a really awkward get together. After encouraging her to still go to the party and giving her our two cents of advice, the idea came to me to just have us go with her and take some of the focus off of her so that it wouldn’t be awkward any more. It was more of a facetious comment at first but then she loved the idea so we decided to go for it. The party ended being a really fun event. We got to see her dad and brother who are investigators of ours and to get to know the rest of her family. One of her cousins had even flown in from Peru (which is where her family is from) to be there and had fun getting to know all of them. She ended up having a wonderful time and really felt like it helped to make it one of the best birthdays that she had had.

It was such a simple thing that we had done, but it really brought about amazing results. On top of everything else we also got to expose her whole family to fact that Mormon Missionaries are normal people behind the shirt and tie. I wouldn’t be surprised if this could open up the door to some more baptisms in the future in her family. “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6) is the principle that I learned from all of this. Never underestimate the powerful impact of simple expressions of love and kindness. There is a wonderful Mormon Message that just came out that illustrates this principle rather nicely and touches those who view it in a variety of ways. If you want the link, here it is http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3792885561001.

Another wonderful thing is that we found out that one of our investigators will be able to get baptized sooner than we had expected. Her father wanted to baptize and confirm her, but was living with his girlfriend so he wasn’t going to be able to, and her mother wouldn’t agree to let her get baptized, so we had expected for it to be a much more distant event. However, her dad just split up with his girlfriend so he could be worthy and he is going through the court system to get full custody back. It is amazing how what seemed to be a very difficult and near impossible task has become a reality almost overnight. Truly there is no commandment that God won’t provide a way for a us to accomplish (1 Nephi 3:7) if we simply just try our best.

I love this work so much! The wonderful thing about the gospel is that whenever you give it away you always get more of it, whether it be love, joy, or even yourself, it doesn’t really make sense but that is what is so wonderful about it.

I hope every one of you takes advantage of the opportunity to watch general conference this weekend. I am stoked! It is like the super bowl for missionaries!

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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