Living Prophets

Dear Family & Friends,

Well we have been working hard this last week. We were able to get in touch with a lot of former Investigators, Less actives, and Potentials. we had scheduled a lot of them for conference and while almost all of them did not come. I still feel like we preformed a good work and a lot of them we are now in touch with. While on the street we met a lot of cool people and were able to have some tender mercies as we saw people get touched by the spirit. Despite the poor weather we were still blessed with a lot of contacts. One of the stories from last week is this we were finding after dinner and we met these two ladies. We talked for a moment they figured out who we were and we discussed our message. It was interesting because one said she was Buddhist and the other said she didn’t have any, I am not sure why but I naturally wanted to focus on the one with no religion as we continued the other who is Buddhist asked us a great question. How can I have a good future. Well that lead to an awesome discussion and at the end we taught them how to pray and the one we initially focused on didn’t seem to be getting it while the other expressed that she really felt something and she knew what she was going to do that night, speak to the father she never knew she had.

Other successes of the week are in the help of the other Elders we now have a progressing investigator and a he came to church as well. He has some small background in Christianity but he has a lot of interest. Also A member introduced us to her friend we were able to meet him at an activity then schedule him for Tuesday as well. Then we were able to contact another referral we have had for quite some time who we got from an investigator. We should hopefully be seeing them again this next week. Our teaching unity keeps getting better and a big part is we have been really good about doing role plays every single day.

General Conference was very amazing and something that really stuck out to me was Elder Anderson’s talk. He spoke the temples and How they are not just convenient locations how they are chosen and carefully selected by revelation. I could not help but just think of how amazing it is that there has been a temple promised here in Macau By Elder Holland. With one so close by as well. I can think of so many places in the world were there are many stakes but they are still quite far from a temple. Also as he spoke about the Ivory Coast. Such a short period of time and to then be blessed with such a blessing as a temple. I could not just help but want to jump out of my chair and hit the streets.

With that we have also been trying to be wise in our missionary efforts and really trying to focus on the things that will bring long term success and not just look good on the numbers. We still have a lot of improvement for sure but we are recalculating everyday to see what else.

We should be seeing a lot of new faces this upcoming week and we are expecting miracles!

We have been doing our best to make sure we are working hard but I really like what you said about setting goals to share the Joseph Smith experience or teach someone to pray. Its the answer to a problem we just realized we had. We need to be praying for more specifics.

Something I found interesting today in my personal study. I was reading the Allegory of the Olive tree and I found it quite interesting that on several occasions the Lord said what he was going to do and the servant suggested something else. I found this interesting that the lord changed his mind when the servant said these things. Wasn’t God all knowing? I then realized it was not that the Lord was changing his mind is that he can’t decide the desires we have and he can only work according to our faith, so it was not until the servant asked the lord to do, that the lord had then the option to do still allowing his servant that opportunity to learn and take part. Its really a lesson on faith. What we desire in faith asking God doubting nothing we shall receive.

I love you All
Elder Cordon

Progress

Dear Family and Friends,

Progress, I like progress; it feels nice. I’m sure y’all probably agree with me. Here are some updates on some names that you probably remember.

Trevor: Trevor is really getting back in his groove and then some. He has come to mutual three weeks in a row now and he even came to church on Sunday. His friend Wittney Garçon (He is someone we have been trying to get back into contact with) also came with him on Wednesday and Sunday. We were blessed with some kind members who helped us give them rides so we didn’t have to walk with them there; however, we were willing to do that if necessary. They had a great time and hopefully we can step up the fellowship for them. The youth program here is really small so they are pioneers in many ways.

Michelle: She came to scripture class again and even surprised us by bringing her daughter, Victoria, and her daughters boyfriend, Chandler. Victoria was super engaged and participated a lot in the discussion. We are going through the Book of Mormon chapter by chapter and we were on 1 Nephi 15. The discussion really kicked off when we began teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Victoria had such a good experience that she came up to us afterward and asked, “can I keep this Book of Mormon?… Here take down my number I am going to have some questions… Alright so how do I read this and where should I start?” It was pretty awesome to see her jump right on board. A couple days later we went to see Michelle at her place and she made us breakfast for dinner. Chandler was there and we got to know him some more. He is about to start school to go be a doctor. The greatest news was that we found out that Victoria wanted to go to church on Sunday. She showed up with Chandler and they had a great experience.

It is good to see some people make those steps that we need to be seeing. We have some others that we are working with but these were the ones who made the most progress this week.

An awesome little miracle happened after a great experience at the hospital on Friday. We went to the hospital to administer to three afflicted members of our congregation. When we parked we realized that we needed $2 in cash to pay the toll, but we both only had our debit cards. We figured we would just not worry about it, and that we could take care of that after the blessings. Two of them were quick in and out visits, but with one lady we stayed and talked for almost 45 minutes. Her cousin was there and it sure was a hoot talking to them. It was nice to help her take her mind off the cancer for a few minutes. She was missing her son especially because the day before she found out she had cancer he was deployed over seas. She asked me to give the blessing and it was a great opportunity for me. During the blessing a very sweet spirit entered to room. She started to cry and said that it really helped and that it made it feel like her son was there. On Sunday she was able to make it to church and thanked us both again for the blessing.

After the visit we got off the elevator on the first floor and tried to figure out where we could go go get some cash. Right then one of the employees said, “Are you lost elders?” We responded with “You must be a member. What Ward are you in?” He told us that he was in the San Jose Ward (Spanish Ward). I had actually met him before when I was serving in Hendricks Ave. He opened up his wallet and he pulled out $2 and said, “It is all I have.” He smiled and then walked away. I looked down at the cash in my hand, just amazed about God blesses us in the most personal ways. That was a really good day!

I love y’all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

#LDSConf

Dear Family and Friends,

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Conference was so very good, they get better every time I see them. I get excited in anticipation for what is going to be said.

There was a couple big points that were touched on throughout the conference in almost every talk. Focus on the foundations of you testimony, and strengthen marriages and families.

Those are things that Satan is always and have always attacked in this world. If he can attack your foundation in Christ then everything else becomes easy. If Satan can destroy the family then he can disrupt the central unit that God has put into place to allow for the best success of his children. God has given us families so that we may see the eternal perspective of the order of Heaven, with Mothers and Fathers and children.

Truth has been restored, but what are we surrounding our lives with? Are we surrounding it with that truth or are we surrounding it with the half truths and even lies of the world. What we focus on is what we will become. So the focus needs to be on the things that we know, things that we dont know or understand should not just be looked in a closet though. Always seek to find more then what we currently have. But with the foundation of what you already have firmly locked into place. We shouldn’t ever let the lack of knowledge or understanding of things disrupt or damage the foundation.

Striving for the DAILY companionship of the Holy Ghost, is what leads to spiritual survival.* Life without this companionship only leads to darkness. He is the access to the celestial light that we need in our lives to change and become like our Heavenly Father.

I am so grateful to be able to receive guidance and direction from Heaven from people who have been invited by a prophet to seek revelation for the world. what a wonderful gift it is.

I am grateful for all of you and love you all. You are always in my prayers.

Love,
Elder S Cordon

Conference Answers Questions

Dear Family and Friends,

This was among one of the most inpiring weeks of my life. The Friday trainee/trainer meeting and then a Saturday and Sunday of general conference answered so many of my questions about life I had to start thinking of new ones while conference was still going to continue to get the most out of it. I am so glad I took the advice and wrote down some questions. One of my favorite talks was Elder Eyring’s during priesthood session. I had asked a question on how to improve my prayers. I got more of an answer than I ever was expecting. I even had a question about college and just my future in general that I really wasn’t anticipating receiving an answer to, but God had other plans.

The week went really well. I will tell you about a few miracle men that we had. The first is this man Jeff. He was a miracle that we had several weeks ago when we had arrived at the apartment about 10 minutes early. Rather than going inside which I have never done. I told elder curran, we are not going home until we have a miracle. We began to walk and hopefully find someone outside. At exactly 9:00 this man yells from his porch, “are y’all missionaries?” And we of course went right over there and said yes. We replied with, “yes we are!” He told us that his dad is Mormon and that he has a lot of questions. We struggled for weeks to meet up with him. This past week we decided to give it one more try. He was home and we had a phenomenal lesson. He really did have a lot of questions. The next day we went back and he had read 50 pages and done tons of research. He said that a lot of people don’t support the church but he feels like this is where he is meant to be. He accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 25th of this month. It was awesome!

Another great thing about this past week began with a challenge presented by elder Kopischke called “priming the pump”. He said that we should go and ask them to pray for us that we could find a family to teach in their home. We decided to try it with the awesome Nhiev family. The very next day after we started it we met Michelle who I mentioned in one of previous letters. This past Monday she joined us at the Nhiev’s for a family home evening and everyone had a great time! Then on Friday we had a lesson with her and her husband Ray. On Saturday they came to the church and watched the afternoon session of general conference with Br and Sis Nhiev. It was awesome to see how quickly everything is coming together when we exercise some faith. God really is just so good! The challenge worked so well we are trying it again with another family. Wish us luck!

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

Stepping Stones

Dear Family & Friends,

Hey well the work is moving a long nicely in Macau and I know that the long term benefits are going to come from the Baby Steps.

A big thing we have been working on these last two weeks is fixing the LA records. They were such a mess when I got here, there was a lot of them stuffed in a drawer and many just all over the place. lots of missing information as well. I am not sure why this is that way.. but we also found a pattern there were a lot of records that just had either 6 or 7 digit phone numbers. Apparently Macau used to have less numbers, so I figured out that if you just put 28 in front of the 6 digits and 6 in front of the seven digit numbers then they work. So its frustrating that a lot of the records got thrown away. Because we have been able to talk to a lot of people and we were able to meet with someone last week. His name is Micheal and he has decent potential for coming back if we stick with him, the branch knows and they will start helping him.

Our finding has been going pretty well. We are talking to a lot of people and we have been getting some good contacts and hopefully some reschedules. We are not holding back teaching on the street but mainly we are looking to reschedule people. A lot of the situations we meet people in are not enough time to teach or the place is too distracting to teach these people how to pray. Right now we only have one Investigator A-Hou who we meet with once a week. But mainly our work is we are trying to find families which definitely is harder but it will produce more lasting results. Overall I know the numbers dont show it but I really feel like we are fulling our purpose out here. We have found quite a few people to turn over, and many others to reschedule.

A cool thing that happened is this last week on saturday we went out morning finding and and it was not going so well but we decided to go to a different place then we planned and we ended being able to contact 2 different families. Both of which we were able to talk to for quite some time. I just really want to build up the primary and youth in the ward.

We have also been meeting with about two members a week ether family or Single RCs. Usually at the church to share the worth of souls and now we are about to start some follow up visits I know they were excited and after talking to some it sounds like its going well. Their has been a few successes from some but they are all women for the sisters. So we will keep working and see if some come our way.

I feel like Elder Chu and I are getting along great. I dont know if I filled you guys back home in on his background yet he is from Hawaii he is full chinese both of his parents are from Hong Kong and the only members in their families. He was raised in america and didn’t speak any chinese before his mission. He also studied at BYU for 2 1/2 semesters before his mission. He has been out for about 5 months in the field. He is the second companion that I have had who is younger than me the other was my trainee is also living with me right now so thats awesome!

Really the work is moving a long and I really hope the work that we do will make a lasting impact on the area.

Mainly the challenges we are facing is getting new investigators Its never been a strong point in my mission since I have not gotten one for quite some time. But i really I can over my weakness and we can do a great work here.

Love,

Elder Jared Cordon

People, Quotes, and Family

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello Everyone! So this last week was a good one. We finally got some good lessons with a few people and it definitely was a week that allowed us to see who we really have as a solid base in our teaching pool. Lets begin with Davie. He is really coming along we saw him last week and had a good lesson that really just involved reading 3 Nephi 11 and testifying of Christ. It was a great experience because until that point he just couldn’t bring himself to read it on his own, but to be able to just sit and read a chapter with him really helped to alleviate that fear. After hearing it out he said something similar to, “you know, it sounds like true scripture.”  He is making steady progress. Hopefully we can get him to join us for the bbq and broadcast priesthood session of general conference at the church this Saturday.

Another wonderful soul that came into the picture last week was a character named Stew. We met him at a bus stop. He was sitting there with no intention of getting on the bus but just because it was something to do. We learned that he had found out that he arrived in
Jacksonville only a week prior and he had come from Oregon. He is here with the intentions to get a restart on life. Before our first conversation was over he knew that he was meant to meet us and learn what we teach. Over the subsequent days we taught him three more lessons and have made some good progress with him. We have already set
him up to start attending different classes and things are looking bright for his future.

The other awesome brother we are working with is a high school student named Trevor. The previous missionaries taught him and made some good success. When we first got here we struggled to connect with him. But during the week before last and last we were able to break down some walls and really connect with him. He committed to work towards being baptized in May and he is excited. We couldn’t find him a ride so we
made the hour/ride walk with him last week to the church so he could go to young mens. He brought his skateboard and we had our bikes so we took it easy and talked all the way there. He ended up having a great time and wants to come every week now.

So that is how the work is going. We had a couple of instances while tracting where people mocked our beliefs and told us we were teaching false doctrines. It was interesting. I got to boldly tell them what we believed and then we left. I always ponder on those experience during the following days because I feel there is much to be learned from
those encounters. As I did I realized a trend in both cases: both times the major insults came after I bore my testimony. Three quotes come to mind, I don’t know the sources for two but they are still great:

“You know you have lost an argument once you get angry.” Unknown Author

“Anger is the reaction you have when you don’t know how to react.” Unknown Author

“Anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone, you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

Taking all those into consideration I realized that while all three of those men acted childish by the time we walked away we were the victor in all cases because we never got angry while they did. Now I do have to admit that I was frustrated as I pondered on the fact that people would embrace and express those particular views about our church, but luckily it was not in the moment. A lesson I learned is that you can’t convince someone of spiritual truth, that is The Holy Spirit’s job. Another lesson I learned was if you simply bear your testimony of what you know to be true their reaction will quickly tell you whether or not they are ready for more. If they do not receive the truth you have shared so far then they definitely won’t receive anymore, so there is no point in sharing more.

The same is true with all cases in life. If either party in a conversation isn’t ready, then stop the conversation. Their is no point to share anymore because clearly what has been shared so far won’t work. Now, this doesn’t always mean you have to walk away –though that is a great option– you can apologize, you can change the subject, and you can even just give them a hug. Sometimes that last one isn’t a good idea depending on the tension level. Either way a person who is angry is a fool and will do foolish things. And as the Lord put it, “…fools mock, but they shall mourn…” (Ether 12:26)

I am sure none of you struggle with anger but I felt like mentioning it. I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

P.S. I have a challenge for all of you. The church on Friday released a new video to celebrate Easter. It is super good. You can find it at HeLives.Mormon.org.  So here is the thing. All the full time missionaries in the church off of Facebook for the time being, that
means the responsibility falls on the members shoulders to spread this message all over Facebook. So here is the challenge: will each of you share his video with 5 of your friends before Easter? It can be in person or in a message. I promise that as you do you will feel the true spirit of the Easter weekend enter into your heart, and your love and appreciation for the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, will burn within your soul. I know that to be true because it has worked for me. Good luck!

 

#BecauseHeLives

Dear Family and Friends,

I just got to my new area this week. Lots of exciting things happening we are teaching a lot of people and with Easter coming up we are able to talk to so many people about the true meaning of Easter. Jesus Christ Lives, and because He lives we can to. He gave us the best gift that was ever given, the Atonement and an empty tomb.  The empty tomb is such a very important part of the process. All of the suffering in the Garden, all of the whippings, all of the hatred from the people, the betrayal, and His death would have just been another story had it not been that He was the Son Of God and was called to rise again. 

He gave us an empty tomb, so that our graves would have no hold on us. Everyone person that has every lived will rise again. The question is what are we going to do with that gift that has been given to us. Are we going to waste are time here on this earth or are we going to work towards the life that we can have. This life does end, We All Will Die, but the life hereafter does not end and that is the life that we need to be preparing for. 

General Conference is Coming. This weekend We All have the privilege of listening to the man that are called of God to lead this church, but they are not just the leaders for our church alone. They are called of God to be the Prophets for the world. They receive revelation from God for what the world needs to hear and do to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. So Everyone needs to watch it. Invite those that you know to join in this wonderful event. So that we can hear what God wants to tell us. 
I know that this church is true. I know that we have a prophet on the earth today and I know Jesus Christ Lives.
 
Love you all so much.
 
Elder S Cordon.