#PerfectedInHim

Dear Family and Friends,

We got to have a General Authority tour the mission this week. Elder Arnold and his wife came throughout the mission. Friday was our Zone Conference that we were able to have such a wonderful experience with the spirit and learn truth. Starting at 7am and going till 2:30pm with a 30 min lunch break was our time for the conference. From start to finish it was a wonderful experience to learn and to grow. Saturday and Sunday was Stake Conference.

The topic was on getting involved in the work of salvation. Tying into the “Hastening of the Work” topic that was going this year. Are we all doing everything that we can to be fully engaged in the work of salvation? Is there more that we could be doing? Our there people that are within our reach of influence, that we have not yet talked to? Are we really prepared to do what is asked of us, an if not are we working towards being prepared?

I know where I stand on these questions, and I hit my knees that night to ask God to help me do better. To really become who He needs me to be. It is so easy to just get a little off course, and then next moment you look back to see that you are dramatically off course. #ElderUchtdorf

I am so very grateful to be able to have the ability to repent and change, Really change who I am and become better.

Love Elder S Cordon.

Love you all so much thank you for your prayers and support.

PS WE GOT SNOW! Only for like two days though.

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A Week of Miracles!!

Dear Family and Friends,

I had something come to mind, an experience in my life that is rather simple, but it is a wonderful analogy of what it is like to come into the fold.

When I was about 10 it was finally resolved that I needed to get some contacts. Up until this point I had worn neither contacts or glasses, so it was definitely a new experience. I was thoroughly convinced that I could see fine, and I am sure that if someone were to even imply that I was blind would invoke in me a very defensive response. Nevertheless, my parents who cared for me and who knew what was best insisted that I get them anyway. After getting those on for the first time it was like I had become part of a whole new world. There were so many things I had not noticed before. I remember staring at the blinds on the window and being amazing at how distinct the separation was between each panel. The smallest things of life took on a whole new level of interest for me. I remember going home and grabbing a pair of binoculars and just sitting on the porch for what felt like hours taking in the breath-taking scenes of which I had been entirely unaware and unable to behold. Simply enough, (with the pun absolutely intended) my eyes had been opened.

For me this is what it is like when someone finally allows the gospel to be part of there life. While the experience of gaining a testimony and increasing in spiritual knowledge is not so instant, nor can it be captured in one simple moment, the reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the opening of your spiritual eyes can be. When someone receives the gift of the Holy Ghost the scriptures are unfolded before them in a way that they never have experienced before. They will learn things and see things that they were completely unaware of. Even Joseph Smith who by the power of God was translating the Book of Mormon made the following comment after receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, “Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of.” (Joseph Smith–History 1:74) I can bear testimony that this is true. For I have had personal experiences that have born witness to me of this fact.

I thought of this story when we were preparing for the baptism of Kristin this weekend. It was such a special opportunity to be part of that baptism and to see her make the steps in preparation for that wonderful day. She began her journey many months ago when her twin sister came into contact with the missionaries. She was studying with them and had even planned to get baptized back in April/May sometime. Something happened with the baptism though and she got stressed out to the point where she called it off. On top of that she still had a lot of questions and felt like it was too early for her. Her and sister then went back home for the summer and when they returned to Jacksonville for school in the fall. When they returned. Her sister wasn’t actively attending any more and they weren’t really in contact with the missionaries anymore. They are really good friends with two of the recent converts in our ward though and they started coming to the Family Home Evenings that we have each monday. Then they started to come to church with their friends as well. We called the missionaries that had been working with them and asked if we could begin teaching them. They hadn’t met with them but a few times and they were coming to church with us so it worked out. In only a few weeks Kristin was ready to get baptized and now her and her twin sister, Kaitlin, is back active in the church. It was a beautiful service on Saturday. Chirag, their friend, baptized her, and Kaitlin gave the talk on baptism. I am so very grateful that I got to be part of her story, even though this was all member work that brought these girls back and into the church. I would have pictures but they were on someone else’s camera and I am still waiting to get those.

On Sunday we had the awesome experience of having Amelia and her son, Tyrell, join us at church. Tyrell has down syndrome so we got to spend the day at church walking around with him as he introduced himself to everyone. Children with down syndrome just prick your heart in a special way that you just cannot help but love them. The bishop found Amelia through an interesting chain of events. She just got to town trying to get away from a bad situation. She was staying at an extended stay here in Jacksonville and the previous tenet had not erased the voicemails on the phone. She thought they were hers so she listened to them. One happened to be from the Bishop of our ward. A while later she was planning on going to the parade, but she wasn’t able to make it so they went to the beach instead. Some young adults were there playing volleyball and taking pictures. She admired how well groomed and well mannered they all were. She noticed that they had written something in the sand, but it wasn’t until she had walked to the water and back that she noticed that they had written “MORMONS” in the sand. It was then that she felt prompted to call the bishop. They had an amazing discussion and we were there teaching her the next day. It is an amazing miracle. God works in miraculous ways to bring people to the truth.

I love y’all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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Tyrell with the Ward

 

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Tyrell with the Elders

 

Keep It Going!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This was a wonderful last week! We mixed things up last week and organized an English find with the Pok Fu Lam sisters and elders. We realized that nobody was really showing up to English class. So we made our own sign and had a member make some English flyers. After a few were passed out. We saw great success we had 10 people at English class. With the variable that we had our ward thanksgiving activity this last week which took place at the same time and took 4 people who normally go to English class away. So that says a lot about the impact of the find.

Speaking of the Thanksgiving activity that was also a great success. It gave a great chance for a mom and her two kids we have been working with to meet the ward, we also got our investigator Simon to get to know some of the members in the ward a lot better, and we got a referral. It was great. Along with that we saw some other little miracles this last week. We were doing our language study in the church when a man walked in. We thought it was one of the other missionaries investigators or a ward member, turned out to be a former investigator from several years ago. We taught him then committed him to church. He showed up dressed up in his Sunday best without being asked. We will see him again this week. We also had a near by rehad center for people with mental illnesses give us a call asking for us to help them with an activity they had planned. They were impressed with missionaries in the past and they wanted our help again that was a great service opportunity! Having time to serve people in Hong Kong helps me love them more and really keeps me positives through any rejections people throw out.

As far as our mission goal of 65 baptisms in December I really want it to happen and I truly believe it can, but I know to show my gratitude for the Lord for all the blessings we have been receiving I need to be more obedient. So thinking through what I could do I realized that we never really SYL (speak your language) *(Editors note- missionaries learning a new language on the mission are strongly encourage to only speak the language they are learning when they are in their apartment so that they are learning the language quicker by immersion.) Elder Wong doesn’t like speaking Cantonese so we really haven’t been. But I decided that I need to speak as much as possible but most importantly I need to have the 3 SYL days like we have been asked to have many times well we have been doing it. And it was hard to remember but we did it and it was really fun. I couldn’t let myself crack in the apartment ether so I as I kept speaking Chinese in the apartment I saw that the others started to as well. So its my new actions and we are actually doing it and I have seen its helped my contacting skills because then I don’t have to be switching back to Chinese mode I am already in it. Language is something that I have not taken as seriously on my mission as I should have but I have been cracking down now for a few weeks and I have seen it start growing again.

Things are just great here. I feel like the Lord wants me always to be growing so he needs things to stay hard enough to at least keep me on my toes or knees. You can only grown under pressure. If there is no pressure than you get soft.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

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Elder Groberg and Elder Cordon (They were in the MTC together)

 

Where Has the Time Gone?

Dear Family and Friends,

So another transfer as already flown by, really where does the time go. I really feel like I was just coming up here from Pasco. Which also means that I have been out for 6 months WHAT!! I still remember getting dropped off at the MTC. I still think of times at the MTC almost like they were just last week. I have already made so many great connections, and friendships, that make me so glad that social media exists. I will be able to keep in touch with everyone so easily.

So I am staying in my area in Wenatchee with the same companion. Which is now the first time that I have had a companion for more then a transfer. So this will be a new experience. We will see what that is like. Luckily my companion and I get along and we are working get together.

Brian, an amazing guy that we are teaching, is on date for baptism. Dec 13th. so everyone pray for him. He is really seeking after truth and the great part is that he is getting his witness that it is true. Faith is such a powerful tool, but i has to be followed with intent. If you don’t plan on acting upon the answer that you receive then you are probably not going to receive an answer. God will give you what you seek for but he knows the intent of your heart. Brian intent is good and he is changing everyday.
Well I am so glad for all of your support. I keep you in my prayer often.

LOVE YOU ALL
Elder S Cordon.

Tender Moments

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a wonderful week! I had a lot of tender experiences that really made things very enjoyable. I did an exchange this week on Wednesday back in my old stomping ground of Deep Creek. Luckily for me the plans had us going to the home of my old ward mission leader Br Strattan. I love that family so much they definitely have enriched me mission experience! It was like I never left when i saw them. After catching up for a bit Elder Francom who I was with got to work getting some info on some referrals while Sister Strattan had me add myself to a group for the Deep Creek ward that shows how everyone is related. I found out that Sister Strattan was my 8th cousin and that Betty Hicks, a black sister in the ward who was recently baptized is actually my 6th cousin. It was a funny moment to learn that, but really awesome at the same time. Betty was one of the first people I met when I got to Deep Creek. We had a great day there though and were able to get a lot of work done. At the end of the night we had a lesson with a girl that I met the last time I was there about 6 weeks ago. They had been struggling to get a solid lesson with her since then, but we were able to sit down and have a very powerful lesson with her. We laughed at the thought we would just have me come every 6 weeks and help teach her.

On Thursday I was in Georgia with the incredible Elder Welsh. He is one of the best Elders in the mission and I was grateful to be able to spend the day with him. We had an awesome experience after trying to contact a less active member. After noticing that the family who we had an address for had moved we began knocking on the neighbors doors. After a few doors a school bus showed up and dropped off some kids. These two boys were teasing these girls and one of them was crying while her sister was walking with her back to there house. Turns out that Elder Welsh knew these girls because they are the daughters of a member and the older sister had been to church a couple of times. They told us that the boys were teasing them and one of the boys took an old can of vienna sausages (which are gross to begin with) that he found on the ground and opened it up and threw it at one of the girls. Not too much got on her but nevertheless it was completely unacceptable. After showing the girls a quick video on Jesus Christ we walked over to the home of those boys to invite them to repent. One of them timidly opened the door, he was probably 15 and less than half my size. He wasn’t the major trouble maker though, his cousin who was hiding behind him who was 18 couldn’t even look us in the eye long enough to answer our questions. We proceeded to teach them how unchrist-like their actions were and if they ever wanted to amount to anything in life they would learn quickly to grow up and be real men. Hopefully, an ounce of that sunk in. As we finished up with that the girls mother had arrived home and had been informed of what we were doing. She was very impressed and was very open to hearing our message. Prior to this moment she was very against the idea of becoming a Mormon or even associating with Mormons. By the end of our lesson with her we had her and her daughters all excited about the idea of getting baptized and return appointment to teach them as a family the next day.

On Sunday we had Stake Conference. The building of the Hendricks ward is my Stake Center so I was able to go and say hi to all of my old friends. It is so nice to be able to maintain such a close relationship with my recent converts. In that meeting I had two recent converts in the Hendricks Ward, Solomon Deng and Jim Colney, be sustained by the stake to be ordained to the office of Elder. Solomon wasn’t able to be there that day but Jim was, and my old Bishop was so kind to think of me that after the meeting he went and found me so that I could help with Jim’s ordination. I had no idea that I was going to be able to have that opportunity, but it was definitely a very special moment for me. God has been so good and to give me many tender experiences this week and I know that he loves me very much. It never ceases to amaze me how personal of a relationship that we can have with our Heavenly Father. My mother pointed out in a letter a couple weeks ago that God will bless us very specifically and personally if we are ready to receive those blessings and I can testify that this is true!

I hope everyone of you can look for ways that the lord has specifically blessed you this week and make sure to give him thanks for those blessings!

I love y’all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

The Pains and Blessings of Missionary Work

Dear Family and Friends,

So the news from here in the Orient. Well the work has been going fantastically well. We were able to meet to ladies the sisters found, One she is amazing has two kids one 14 year old boy and one 8 year old girl. Super cute and the 8 year old will be a great addition to the primary of 4. We have not met here husband yet but that is to come. The other lady has a 6 year old girl, also a great addition. Also another potential family we are working with whose name is Mr Lam he has two kids one is 12 and the other 7 I am not sure. But if all goes well we will be populating the future of this ward quite nicely. Thats the foresight on the miracles lying ahead for December.

On other news, I got a call last night that breaks my heart and might be the hardest thing missionaries ever face. Gary my recent convert from Butterfly has informed the bishop and investigators that he is no longer coming to church and will be joining another church. No doubt there was anti involved but, this is so hard for me to swallow because last week I got his phone number and all week I have been thinking about him kept getting the impression to call him, I finally followed this yesterday and wrote him a letter and gave him a call but no answer, it was later when I received the call from the elders about him. On thursday I was even about to write him an email but something distracted me and I thought I would put it off for today. Well on thursday night is when this all went down. So I was able to get in contact with him and he hasn’t not responded to my text. I feel as if the Lord was trying to get me to be there for him is his time of decision making to be a light and a guide. But I missed my chance and for now he is gone. So all my recent converts now are less active. I try to wonder why this happens, what have I done wrong, I think the simplest thing is I am not perfect and the lord knows that although I have done all I can I think these people are starting to realize that salvation is not easy. We all at times feel like we need to quite that it would just be easier but the truth is we can’t. Because salvation is not a cheap experience. The Lord showed us that as he cried in agony on the cross asking the Father where are’t thou. Joseph Smith felt that on many occasions but, maybe most strongly in liberty jail. Truth is all Hell is trying to stop us from getting salvation because it is that great and that amazing, it is always worth it to keep going and we can’t give up.

I love you Thank you for the support.

Elder Jared Cordon

Great Time to Be Serving

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it feels like yesterday but what happened for the last week and a half? that is a great question. We have been doing some solid work! We have been so blessed when it come to street finding because thats mainly all we have done for the last little bit. last week everybody was sick and out of town but its all good because they were feeling a lot better this week. We ran into Irene now for the 3rd time on the street and all three lessons she says she doesn’t have that much interest but we keep seeing her and she keeps listening… she’s getting baptized. We also ran into simon in central. That was super random since we were both far away from home on a very random street but it was good because we had not seen him for almost 2 weeks at that point but he came to an activity that the sisters planned. He likes speaking english which is good and all but i don’t know how to teach the gospel in english I talk to much I complicate things, thats probably why the lord called me cantonese speaking.

We also had a book of mormon find we gave out about 60 book of mormons in about an hour. That planted some great seeds and people were just walking up to us. Also planned a couple sweet ideas for the ward to really spark missionary. Well I guess they already got the spark just throwing some more wood on. But we are going to do a online missionary work training. Helping them use our email program, Facebook and other multimedia and mormon.org so it should be sweet.

The ward is really liking us and so is the bishop. Because we found the sweetest guy on the street and he came to church and next week he is going to bring his two kids and his wife! So things have been slow but now we got a family and simon coming to church the Lord is really blessin us right now!

I got a feeling I am gonna love this ward just like I loved butterfly. Speaking of butterfly the ward split two weeks ago so right after i left. A guy we found has a baptismal date and brother chan(my ward mission leader) is the new wards bishop. An eternal investigator that I prayed for so hard would be our december baptism is going to be baptised in december(answer to my prayers). He had a vision that told him he needed to be baptized. Also he has to quit smoking because he has a liver problem.

The work is good i love it. I also love the temple its an amazing experience everytime. Its such a wonderful blessing to be able to go as frequent as we do.

Oh also had a really cool zone conference last week. It was all about the mission culture and the kind of attitude that we are going to set for all new missionaries.

love you all have a great week!

Elder Jared Cordon