Elder Kopischke Comes To Town

Dear Family and Friends,

The highlight of this week was hard to pin down so I will share a couple. The first great one was a mission conference that we had on Friday. We have had 4 in 4 months. That is surprising because I only had 2 my first year.

Anyhow Elder Kopischke was the one who visited us. He is a wonderfully-jolly german-man, and it made for a fun 6 hours that we spent with him. I think the most powerful lesson that I took away from that meeting was that the gospel is about relationship, and relationship requires investment. That is a lesson that I have been learning through-out my mission and I believe hearing it that way helped me put it all in perspective. As I reflect upon all that I have experienced so far, it is the relationships that I have developed that I consider to be my most valued treasures. He helped see missionary
work in a new light that helped us with our priorities. It was a great lesson to learn to help me capitalize on my remaining time. We only had a 20 minute break during those 6 hours, but I could have stayed for 6 hours if he would have let us. It was a very spiritual meeting and I had many questions answered.

Another amazing thing that happened this weekend was that a man named Davie that we found my first Sunday in the area came to church. We met with him twice last week and he was curious about our services. His lives in a mobile home park that a member of our bishopric owns and manages and so he had immediate fellowship. Everybody loved seeing him there and he seemed to enjoy himself. It was great that so quickly the Lord has blessed us to see the fruit of our labors. I look forward to the many other things he awaits to bless us with.

I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer and that if we come to him, miracles, purpose, and true joy will begin to flow into our lives in a very personal way. It starts by us coming unto him.

I love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

#LETHIMIN

Dear Family and Friends,

Monty was Baptized!!

It was such a wonderful experience, the spirit was so strong and everyone felt it. Monty, Deedee, and Seth all shared their testimony of the wonderful truth of this gospel. They witnessed of the divinity of this work and the truth that Joseph smith was called by God to be a prophet.

Then Sunday came and he was able to get the gift of the Holy Ghost through the priesthood. Then just a short 3 hours later he was given the priesthood himself and he asked me to do it. What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to hold such a wonderful gift in this life. God has brought the priesthood to the earth to bless his children and to build his kingdom, and it is such a blessing to know that it will never be taken away again.

So know that He has been baptized, has received the Holy Ghost, and received the Priesthood Monty and Deedee, and Brian and Katy are going to be going to the temple this Friday to do baptisms for the dead; best of all they are taking names from their own families. WHAT!! They are just on fire with the Spirit that they have let come into their lives and change them. They are truly letting God change their very natures and become better.
Deedee has decided at her work that she was going to start every day off with prayer and now everyone in the office gathers to start off with prayer in the morning. #prayerbringsblessings Not surprising at all that everyone in the office is starting to comment that work is dramatically improving sense that started to happen.

God wants to play a rule in our lives and not just on Sundays. He wants to help us in our jobs and in school. He wants to helps us raise our families or to make new friends. He truly wants to be in every aspect of our lives, and the more that we let him do that the more blessings we can receive. God can help with any part of our lives and it is up to us if we let Him.
Spring is in full effect right now we have Spring blossoms everywhere, and spring showers are here.

We had Zone Conference this week. Such a great experience to be able to hear from the mission president and the APs and to be able to learn so much through the spirit. That is the source by which true knowledge from Heaven is learned. It is only by the spirit that you are taught pure celestial truth.

I love you all so much thank you for every thing that you do.
You are in my prayers always

Love
Elder S Cordon

PS the pictures are the baptism and also at zone conference we took our 100+ pic with the mission president. the 100+ club is the four of us missionaries in the picture have over 100 years of life together. Basically we are all over 26 haha we are an elite group, and the four of us are in just 2 zones. oh ya.

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Always Be Watching

Dear Family and Friends, 

So this week in one of my morning studies I was thinking about answers to prayers and receive guidance from the Holy Ghost and how it works. I have heard it referred to as a traffic light, green for go, yellow for caution, and red for stop. In that reference it is talked that most of the time we get yellows because God wants us to use are agency.

So as I was pondering on it I was thinking about the use of agency and do I use it as I should all the time.  So let me paint a new picture. 

Life is a road, and not a freeway because life has a lot of choices. So a city street like downtown New York City street. Very Busy, Lots of Distractions, Lots of other Dumb Drivers. Life is not just a cruise down easy highway doesnt matter what anyone says.

Okay so now that we have the picture of the actual road of life. I want to focus on the traffic lights. I personally in my life have only gotten 4 green lights that I can remember that I was very very clear on what to do with a choice in life. Lots of yellows in which I needed to really look both whys or slow to a stop. But where my thoughts took me was to the red lights. 

I have always thought of the red lights as wrong choices. The ones that would lead down wrong paths and misery. I have changed my view, not that red doesnt mean that it is a wrong path cause  it can. Although sometimes, as I reflect in my life, it just simply means that you need to stop and wait for the traffic. That in that moment it is not safe to cross, not that you need to make a turn of the road or change direction in any way it may just be a time to reflect and see what God wants to teach you. 

I then started to reflect on how many times I have used my agency to just run those red lights, Or speeding up on the yellow light to make it through so that I dont have to stop and wait cause I am in a hurry to get to where “I” want to go. Life is certainly about the journey but sometimes that journey means to sitting at a red light. 

I have sadly reflected and realized that I have ran a lot of red lights in my life. Times that I have missed a chance for god to teach me because I would have been waiting and would have noticed the small and simple promptings. 

Dont be moving through life so fast that you dont see that it was a red light until it is in your rear view mirror. Cause I know I have.  

I love you all so much!!  

Love 

Elder S Cordon

The Thick of Thin Things

Dear Family and Friends, 

This past week brought a lot of change for me. After serving a wonderful 8 months in the blessed Mandarin 2nd ward it was time for me to move on to the next step. As part of the transition I am blessed with the opportunity to train Elder Curran. He is from Clearfield, Utah and so far we have enjoyed every minute. Our personalities really mesh, so it has been easy to get unified quick and get to work. We are in a car share as well, so we have been on biking a lot. 

“White-washing” an area as they call it has been a wonderful experience so far. I got a similar opportunity when I started my mission so it has been reminiscent and very fun. We are doing our best to reach out and become familiar with the members as soon as we can. We are loving the ward so far and we can tell that a lot of good things are going to happen here. Last week alone was full of amazing miracles. Every single night after 8:00, with the exception of Friday night because we were playing basketball with some investigators, we found someone new to teach. Often missionaries will consider that a less productive time to find, but it has been an hour of miracles for us. We plan to keep that going for as long as we can. 

On Sunday after church we were having a correlation meeting with the sisters and the Ward Mission Leader and his assistant and we started talking about the different reasons that members havent been sharing the gospel. Something that was brought up involved that idea that people are simply filling there schedules with too much “stuff.” They simply are not putting into practice the age old principles taught in the object lesson of trying to fit rocks, pebbles, and sand all in a jar. I reflected on how my last ward mission leader somehow made so much time for missionary work, even though he was a full time law student, had a young child, and worked 20 hours a week.

To my surprise that same theme was reinforced this morning during my personal study when I was reading a conference talk by A. Theodore Tuttle given October of 1971. The title of the talk was The Things That Matter Most. There was this quote in it that I really enjoyed!

Some years ago, I read an editorial in the Deseret News entitled “The Mechanical Rabbit.” I quote:

“Most of our readers must have smiled the other day when they read of the greyhounds in Britain who don’t know a rabbit when they see one. So long had they chased a mechanical rabbit around the racetrack, that when a real rabbit bounded across the track, the dogs didn’t give it a second look.“Stupid, eh? But sad too, this perverting of the natural instincts. …“We chase mechanical rabbits, too.“We chase paychecks, and don’t give a second look to the glint of the rising sun on a snow-topped peak.“We chase our way through the appointments of a crowded desk calendar, and fail to take time to chat with the next-door neighbor or to drop in on a sick friend.“We chase social pleasures on a glittering noisy treadmill—and ignore the privilege of a quiet hour telling bedtime stories to an innocent-eyed child.“We chase prestige and wealth, and don’t recognize the real opportunities for joy that cross our paths. …”Wordsworth said words appropriate to this condition:“The world is too much with us: late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”“Race on, you poor, blind over-civilized hounds. You’ll never catch your rabbit until you learn to recognize a genuine one.“But, you’ll have company in your race; the company of unnumbered men who’ll never catch the joy they chase until they, too, learn to recognize a genuine one.”This points up our challenge: See “that the things that matter most … are not at the mercy of things that matter least.” (Ashley Montague.)Someone rephrased this thought: “Too often we are involved in the thick of thin things.”In modern revelation the Lord said:“Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?“Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men. …” (D&C121:34–35.)



The moral of that story and the reason I have brought it up, is that I hope all of us will take time to prioritize our lives and if necessary stop spending time doing the things that don’t matter most if they prevent us from doing the things that do. The great blessing of coming into an area with a companion who isnt already serving there is that you get a fresh start, and an opportunity to make sure that your priorities are straight without having to do the sometimes painful process of re-prioritizing. I has been a great blessing to engage in the simple things for often that is how miracles are most often experienced. For me, learning to prioritize has been a blessing of my mission.

 Hopefully these sentiments are beneficial!

I love yall!
Elder Joshua Cordon 

Be Bold, Be Obedient

Dear Family and Friends, 

It was great this week and the first full one with my New Elder Wong. We have been tearing it up and being very bold. We had a couple of lessons this week which were really really blunt and they were needed. The sad thing is all the people we have been working with have all become very lazy and dependent on us. The problem with the world and especially Asian school systems is they don’t want people to think for themselves they just want them to take what they are told and believe it. Since this also is primarily what must churches do too, they thrive here, but as for the Church of Jesus Christ we want people to have their own experiences and testimonies and to go and search truth for themselves. The quest for Happiness and the quest for Self Mastery are one in the same. God wants up to be the best us and to start improving now and keep improving. I have said this before and I will say it again happiness is not a state that is a achieved but it is the way we live our lives! 

We have done well about applying the counsel given to us by an Apostle of the Lord and we are seeing great blessings coming from it and we should be seeing some big things happening here in the coming weeks. A lot of companionship’s have been seeing miracles pouring in. We never know what the lords timing will be when he wants to bestow blessings, usually right after being tempted by Satan to not be obedient, but always be worthy that way your timing and the lords timing will always be the same. 


I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. 

Elder Jared Cordon 

Children of God

Dear family and friends,

This week was an incredible week! The best part about it though was without a doubt the weekend. This is considering the fact that we had a powerful mission changing meeting on Monday, and that I got to go to the temple in Orlando on Thursday.

The best part about this week was that on Saturday at 5:00 Aniya, Cheyenne, and Marquez were all baptized. It was one of the sweetest baptismal services I have ever been part of. The turnout was great and the spirit was strong. I would like to just take a minute to tell all of you about the three beautiful children we entered into a covenant with their Heavenly Father.

Aniya:
I have been working with Aniya since the first week I got to the area. We never ceased to be amazed at how impressive she was. She was only 11 years old when we first started teaching her and she had a stronger and more doctrinal sound grasp on the gospel than many adults. She carried herself with eloquence and she stood up for what she knew was right among her peers. When she entered young women’s her talents were only magnified. Just a few weeks ago she taught the Family Home Evening lesson to a group of adult converts and she lead the conversation with grace and everyone felt edified.

Cheyenne:
While we were working to the lay the ground work for Aniya so that she could get baptized suddenly after New Years Cheyenne came into the picture. Cheyenne is Aniya’s younger sister. We started the lessons over with her to help her have a good foundation of the gospel and of other restored truths. After a few weeks of working with her we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and looked like their dad who was baptized 4 years ago last Friday was able to finally get things lined up for them to be baptized as well. Cheyenne in just a few short weeks has shown immense growth and an increasing level of maturity. By the time the baptism came around she was bearing a strong testimony in the Book of Mormon and in the truthfulness of the church.

Marquez:
We venturing into new neighborhoods about 5 months ago when we saw a dirt road that was off to the side that lead to some distant homes. There are not very many dirt roads in our area so it peaked our curiosity so we went walking down to find some people to share the gospel with. The first house we came to was the home of Ms. Betty, Marquez’ grandmother. We would visit Ms. Betty from time to time and about a month after we started visiting her we became acquainted with Marquez when we helped him get the Christmas lights out of storage for his grandmother. After talking for a bit I told Marquez about scouts on Wednesday night and asked if he would like to come and join the group. He seemed really excited by the idea. He came the next Wednesday and well the rest is history.

This final weekend was a battle to get everyone ready for the baptism, but miracles abounded and right prevailed. Aniya and Cheyenne’s father was able to baptize them, and one of Marquez’ young men’s leaders who has been a great example to him was able to baptize him. While they were all changing, Elder Jorgensen and I were able to stand in front of a large crowd of members and non members and the teach the message of the restoration while wearing our baptismal whites with the font as the backdrop. It was very powerful and probably the best setting I have been afforded to preach the gospel. I never thought that I would be able to say that I had done that. As we taught I felt the spirit speak very powerfully to my the heart that this message is indeed true and I hope that a similar witness was born to the those who sat in the congregation.

On Sunday in order for Aniya and Cheyenne to be confirmed by their farther he was sustained by the congregation to be an elder and then I conferred upon him the Melchizedek priesthood, and ordained him to be an elder. Right after that he stood up and confirmed his daughters by that priesthood. Then I was blessed to confirm Marquez. It was an amazing weekend! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that I have been able to be part of the 3 incredible lives. I also found out that I am getting transferred to another part of Jacksonville this week Wednesday so it was a wonderful finished to an life changing experience while I served in the mandarin 2nd ward. I am excited for the amazing adventure ahead.

Thank you for all the love and support you have shown me and I hope that you know how much I love and appreciate every single one of you.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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Let Him Lead

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it certainly was a great week. It was a temple week and we had a baptism. Which also made the week a very busy, and spirit filled week. The temple is such a wonderful place to to be able to be bless to go on my mission is such a wonderful gift. The only other place outside of temples that I have been able to feel the spirit as strong is at the sacred grove. The difference is that temples are dedicated homes to the Lord, and we are given promises and blessings and light and knowledge in the temples when we seek for it. What a great blessing for the mission to be able to receive light and knowledge for the areas that we are in.

Had a really cool experience this week with getting a haircut and taking the time to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation. There are some many moments in our lives that we have peoples attention that we can share simple and small truths about the gospel. The question is are we taking advantage of them all. It was a lesson to me of how easy it was to take advantage of the time that I had while she was cutting my hair to direct the conversation to the gospel.

Come to find out that her mom has recently passed away and she has been doing A LOT of researching into afterlife and what is really waiting for us. I was then easily able to share with her the wonderful truth that we know about the life to come. I also was able to share with her how we know this because we have prophets and God still talks to the world through them so that we know of these wonderful truths.
When are truly willing to take advantage of every moment that is given to share truths of the gospel and build up His children. Then He will be willing and able to guide even the plans you make and the steps you take to give you the moments to build his kingdom and his children. The willingness to give him everything is the price, and the reward is more then could ever be dreamed about.

Life becomes so easy when everything is guided by Him. So that is the question are we letting Him guide us everyday?

I Love You All
Thank you for everything that you have done in my life.

Elder S Cordon