Let Us Act

Dear Family & Friends,

We’ll last week was a busy one a good one for some ups and downs. We were able to add a few more people to the teaching pool so we are seeing some great success from our finding efforts, we have been really consistent since I got here. Some of our investigators made some huge improvement this last week, like one brought his father to church who is so cool! Which is so good cause we need more priesthood holders. One has a really strong desire and has had a lot of anti and family opposition and its cool to see her fighting through all of it. Because conference taught us “having sincere questions is not the question but, where you go for answers”. We have some investigators who have listened to our exhortation to read and pray to know for themselves and nothing is sweeter for a missionary when they do it and find that it works. But on the flipside this week we had two who would not, no matter how much we did on our end, read and pray. Its a simple fact, missionaries can bring the spirit unto people but we cannot bring it into people as 2 Nephi 32 teaches us that it is the spirits job and the individual through there agency to act is what allows the spirit to do that. I think if we apply these principles in any teaching situation whether it be in church, families, schools, sports, or military. Its all the same we need to teach and help people to do it themselves we are objects to act, any other way is simply contrary to our nature and the way God made us.

I love you and hope the holidays are full of happiness and joy as we ponder the glad tidings of great joy which is our Savior Jesus Christ who came to save us all if we come unto to Him. Let us show our true gratitude by coming unto to him and helping all that we can remember the true reason for Christmas.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

P.S. Here is some pictures! BTW my pose is demonstrating how main landers sit everywhere, bus lines, when reading the paper, really anywhere.

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18 Months… 6 More to Go

Dear Family and Friends,

So I hate to bring up how long I have been out, but it is inevitable considering the fact that this transfer was a special one. This last week marks roughly the completion of 18 months. All the sisters I was in the MTC with just got home this past week. I have officially completed a sister mission. Thank goodness I got 6 more months though because I still have so much more to do here. We also switched up the schedule for the departing missionaries. This time they went home on a friday instead of a thursday. All of the coordinating that took place to make sure everyone was where they needed to be was rather intense. The phones were ringing non-stop for days. However, this busyness is what I live for, so I enjoyed every minute of it. On Thursday we split the departing missionaries into two groups and then in two separate trips we took them Downtown to get a picture of the famous skyline, then to St. Augustine to do some site seeing and to be on the beach for their one and only time as missionaries. The particular beach we went to was beautiful and I think it will be a permanent stop on the final day for now on. Despite the fact that we had had something every day of the week except for the weekends that drove our attention away for most of the day we still managed to have one of our most productive weeks with teaching. We taught a lot of people this week and we have gotten a few more people to begin to really progress in their spiritual journeys. I really have no complaints about this week.

One of the best parts about this week was being able to work with my trainer, Elder Newbold, again for the day on Wednesday. He went home this transfer and so we did a split and he then stayed wednesday and thursday night with us as well as some other elders. We swapped stories back and forth as we reminisced about the days in Deep Creek. We were only together for 3 months, but it seemed like it was so much longer with all that happened. We were also able to teach really well together. 15 months later we are still teaching with unity! He is from Bountiful and so he said he will be at my home coming. As I reflect on what has happened this past 18 months I truly never could have known what a mission was going to be like and what it was going to do for me. I have come to love so many different people! I may have only known them for a short amount of time, but I feel like I have known them my whole life after only one conversation. I have also created some life long friendships with some amazing missionaries that i have served. The relationships that I treasure the most are the ones I have gained with my Heavenly Father through prayer, with Jesus Christ by being his disciple, and with the Holy Ghost by acting on his promptings, I had left the mission having not become familiar a single soul (which would be impossible in our line of work) save those three only, this whole experience would still be worth it. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. I am so happy to know that I can serve them the rest of my life regardless of my circumstances.

I love y’all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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Elder Layton & Elder Cordon

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The “Famous Skyline”

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Elder Newbold & Elder Cordon

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Elder Cordon & Elder Newbold

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Elder Cordon & Elder Newbold

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#ActInFaith

Dear Family & Friends,

It is always amazing to see people, reach the gate of baptism. To make that step towards our Heavenly Father and to make that first of many covenants with Him. Brian made that step on Saturday, he has used the last 7 weeks to seek after and find truth. He has taken the challenge that we issue to everyone, to search, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon. To live the commandments and see if they do indeed bless your life, and then when this does happen, (for it always does) and when you receive your answer that the Book of Mormon is true, (which also always happens if done with real intent) then it is the simple step to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to be baptized by someone that holds the priesthood of God that was restored to Joseph Smith.

The miracles that take place in someones life helps to build my testimony. To see the restored gospel bring such light and knowledge into someones life is the miracle. It is the proof that the fullness of the gospel has been restored. There is no cap on the spiritual knowledge that can be received when given the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and when we make and keep the sacred covenants with the Lord. As one uses those gifts given freely, those are to steps on the climb to become like the savior, and to be eligible for the full birthright from our Father.

These are established laws to which the world is run on. It doesn’t matter what faith you are or if you even have faith at all. God is God and always will be God whether you believe in Him or not. So that being a truth God has established his plan and his laws that if lived will bring blessings from God, Regardless Of Your Belief. For if God did not honor His laws then he would cease to be God. Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”
In this verse we have our salvation, or our damnation. We have our gift or our curse. We have our joy or our sorrow. We have our freedom or our chains. For in this verse we are shown the nature of the double edge of our agency.

God lives, He has restored his church to its fullness, Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, our prophet Thomas S Monson is guided by Him, and anyone can know this by accepting the same challenge that Brian took. Test it for yourselves, Read, Ponder, and Pray with real intent and you will receive the same answer Brian did. Then when you do, ACT!

Elder Cordon

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Batteries and Best Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

I had another wonderful week! I always do! That is a given when you really understand the gospel. I have been saying to a lot of people lately that one of my favorite things about being a mormon is that you always have an excuse to be happy. So very true!

One reason I love being a missionary is that we are endlessly given incredible ways to serve people! One friday we were driving to contact a less active member and I felt that we should take a different way than normal. It was for no particular reason and it was about the same travel time, but we did nevertheless. As we were driving down the road, traffic was unusually heavy. Finally we discovered the reason, a guys car had broken down in the middle of the road. We pulled over and offered to push into the near by parking lot, but he said that his battery was dead and for some reason he couldn’t put it in neutral. Our elders quorum president lived just down the road so we told him that we would run to a friend of ours house and we would grab some jumper cables. We sped on back and found him in the parking lot, apparently he got it in neutral and someone pushed him but he still needed a jump so pulled right on up. After trying our best it was very apparent that he needed a new battery. We helped him acquire a new one and in the meantime we got to get to know this good brother better. His name is Khanh and he just came from the pan-handle to be here in Jacksonville with his high school sweet heart. He hadn’t found a church yet that he liked and after hearing a little bit about ours he said that he would be interested in checking it out sometime. It was a really awesome chance to serve and in total we were with him for about an hour. He really considered us a big help because his girlfriends car is in the shop and so he was literally stranded. Even if he never comes to the church, I am so happy we got the chance to serve and to spread some of the spirit of christmas!

I also found out that I will be staying with my companion for another transfer, which will be really awesome! I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I have been able to spend with Elder Layton, he is an incredible person who has taught me so much about missionary work and just about life in general. He is one who has really come to understand the atonement in his life and his ability to love people is amazing. I have been to learn from him how to really help someone change their life. Because of his incredible ability he has helped a recent convert literally transform her life. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have had to learn from him, and the experiences that we have shared, with many more left!

I am so grateful for this beautiful gospel and the many ways that it richly blesses our lives. I know that it is the only way to true joy and happiness in this life and I want nothing more than to share it with the whole human race! As for now I am taking it to one person at a time.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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The Christmas Season Has Begun

Dear Family and Friends,

Well December is underway. With comes new miracles. This week we added two new people to our teaching pool. One is a turnover from the sisters. She was found through an english find that we organized. Her name is stephanie and this week we have seen her three times. But the coolest thing is last sunday she went to church with the sisters and then in the evening we got to know her better at and FHE activity and had an amazing experience. Well that night her house apparently got in quite a dispute over her being involved with our church her father had found tons of anti stuff on the computer. She had a hard time believing all the anti she heard because she felt too good when she came to church. So late that night she called up the Sisters who couldn’t get back to her tell the next day but when they did she wanted to meet up immediately to talk. So we went with the sisters and then we ended addressing her concerns and taught a really strong restoration lesson. She said she loves the feeling of the gospel and is willing to work pass the anti and opposition.

The coolest thing is this got started because of the Elders quorum president in our ward he wanted to help boost the work so he made these really cool english class flyers and we had quite a few people show up, one being stephanie. Also his wife is getting involved as well because she made cupcakes we could take to less actives and investigators. We were doing less active finding and just going down the list of names and addresses we ended up giving one out to the dad of a less active. Later that less active who has not been in contact with the church in years called the bishop thanking him for the gift. Thanks to this families efforts we are seeing blessings in both investigators and less actives. We were sure to let them know of their help. Its amazing what happens when members and missionaries work together.

Now we are working with ten plus investigators all of which were found with the help of others.

One big lesson that I learned from Preach My Gospel that I have been working to incorporate in the work is helping investigators gain a sincere appreciation for the scriptures. I trace the lack of that appreciation to a big reason people go less active so we are really working to make sure our investigators are reading and receiving revelation for themselves. We really want a december baptism and we know that scripture study is key for getting them there.

This last week I had the chance to go on Exchanges with Elder Tse over in the Ngau Tau Gok area. I have never been over to that part of Hong Kong so it was cool. They have really good steamed bread over there and its really cheap so I might have eaten a lot of those. We area able to add a new investigator to their teaching pool and Elder Tse really taught me a lot of simple lessons about how I can improve my teaching. He does an amazing job and setting really clear expectations for lessons and the entire experience. He really knows how to apply the how to begin teaching skills.

On another note I have been trying to improve my cooking of oriental foods. I have successfully invented my own dish and with other missionaries confirmation its pretty dang good. It also fits into the Chinese food category.

Things are really good here in Aberdeen we got miracles coming we have already seen plenty and we have plenty I am sure.

love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

What A Wonderful Time

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful time of year. I have always loved the holidays for so many reasons. There is a different feeling that you get when on the mission. I think it is really a kind of spiritual help given to me when I have needed it.
This is a great time of year to strengthen family relations, and it is no exception for our Father in Heaven trying to strengthen his family. What a wonderful time when all over the world people our having their hearts warmed by the spirit of giving. Having their Light of Christ touched and grown. What a wonderful spirit this holiday season brings to people that focus on the true reasons for these wonderful days that are celebrated.
Jesus Christ gave us a gift that every soul that has ever lived need. A gift that is eternal and everlasting. A gift that was freely given and can be freely received. A gift that will never have a price tag. A gift that was prepared for us before our creation. The gift that we all said we would accept. Jesus Christ is the gift of the season. Share this gift with everyone that you meet.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a campaign that was shared in the latest Ensign #ShareTheGift. They have put a wonderful video together to get people focused on the real gift of the season. share it with others to bless their lives this season. You can even print your own pass-a-long cards.

Love you all so much thank you for you prayers and support.
Elder S Cordon

Thanks For Giving

Dear Family and Friends,

Well what a week! I think the Highlight of the week is truly Thanksgiving. We had a fun zone thanksgiving activity. I have many things to be very very grateful for. Like I had previously said I have not had that much success getting people I meet on the street to stick, probably because The Lord wants me to stay humble and remember its him that makes this work happen. Because I know that the weeks I am working the hardest he still rewards us for our efforts like this week we picked up two families that we saw twice they had both went to church in another ward because a member invited them, I guess they met through the boy scout program. But they live in our area we met them gave them a tour of the church and then they came to english class. We also have another girl we met because she is a turnover from the sisters she has already been taught a few lessons and came to church.

So the low down on who we are working with (which are all in the time since i got here). Simon:turnover from the Senior missionaries; Ray: referral from a less active member; Johnny: walked into the church while we were studying; Julie, Peter, & Dora: turnover from the sisters; Mrs Tang and her family: turnover from Chaiwan member; Mrs Wong and her family: also turnover from Chaiwan member. We got some other potential but these are the big ones right now. SO I HAVE A LOT TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!

The lord blesses us for the efforts we make in planting seeds in one field by allowing us to reap harvest in another. I think therein lies a wonderful lesson for life: it teaches us that by doing all things the Lord asks us, although they may have no direct impact on our desires or challenges we hope to receive or overcome, the lord through his ways unknown will change all factors of our lives. So while you may not understand while the lord or his servants ask us to do certain things, do them anyway and you will receive a rich supply of blessing to that I can promise in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. For this is truly his words and his blessings.

I love you all

Elder Jared Cordon