Who Are You Representing?

Dear Family and Friends,

I have come into an area that, for some time now, missionaries have not been truly teaching the people that they have been seeing. They have been building friendships but havent been really teaching. Not that we shouldnt be trying to form friendships, but that comes with teaching the restored gospel and seeing their lives change and their minds open to truth. So this week was spent going to everyone that has just been “visiting” and setting the expectations of why we are really there.

We have been called by a prophet to teach the gospel. We have been given priesthood to accomplish that call. We have the message of the restored gospel that gives the truths to this world and answers the questions of the soul. We have been tasked with that responsibility and if we are not doing things that could lead to teaching, or teaching when people are there to listen we are not doing what we have been called to do.

I am very excited for this new change in my mission. I have a companion that is 24 years old and we are learning so much from each other. We are gaining member trust back in the ward and showing them that we are missionaries that are living up to our call.

I am so grateful for your prayers and support. You are all in my prayers.

Thank you.
Elder S Cordon

Without Charity I Am Nothing

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was one of the best weeks we have had in months!! It was just full of miracles!! After a slight tweek to our approach this week we suddenly saw a lot of things come together. As I reflect on what happened though, I found it interesting that almost none of our scheduled appointments happened… However it seemed that whenever each appointment cancelled we were able to be led to someone who was interested in hearing are message or someone we hadnt thought to plan to see. It was amazing how everytime something fell through the lord was able to guide us to where we really needed to be at that time.

Some exciting things that happened this week is in regards to a family that we have been working with. Their names are David and Jorge. They are the brother and father of a Aileen who is a recent convert of a couple of months. I am pretty sure I have mentioned them before. David made some huge steps in the right direction this week. We have been trying to get him integrated into scouts, but it has been difficult to get him there. We learned on Thursday that he had gone to the activity the night before and that his dad brought him and talked to the Elders Quorum President for a good hour. That made my day when I found that out. Then we found out Friday that David was going on the camping trip this weekend with the boys. He is just making all this progress and we arent even doing anything! It is great! haha. On Sunday David and his dad were there at church with Aileen. They had a great time there and David is already part of the group with the other boys, so we didnt even have to worry about him. Also we got his dad to be a judge for the dessert competition at the ward party on Friday. Everything is just falling in place for that family! It is really awesome to see.

I was pondering the principle of Charity yesterday and a scripture really caught my attention. It was, “Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.” (Alma 34:29) Considering the fact that Charity is usually grouped with Faith and Hope as the three most important characteristics to have, I began to wonder the role that faith and hope play. The conclusion that I came up with is that Faith and Hope are focused on ourselves. They prepare a person to then obtain and retain the attribute of Charity. Faith is the first attribute that we must have. When we act on our faith it leads us to repent. When we repent we develop hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ. As we grow our faith we develop hope, and as we gain hope it helps to sustain our faith. At this point, having cleansed the inner vessel first we are now able to reach outward and help others do the same thing. As we then reach out and lose ourselves in service of others our faith and hope will grow effortlessly and we will be filled with the love of God. This last step is vitally important, for someone who never reaches out will eventually lose all of the faith and hope they have gained. Consider the scripture, “He that seeketh to save his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (JST Matthew 10:34)

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

Elder Joshua Cordon

Ice Cream!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well another amazing week. This week we did some fun stuff, we helped Gary wash and clean his dogs its kinda hard for him being in a wheel chair. So a great chance to serve! Serving people is the simplest and most powerful way to bring happiness.

We also had the big multi ward activity that I ended up planning and arranging and basically everything. It was supposed to be the ward but then somehow it kept landing back on me. But after all was said and done it was a great success! The young men were all hesitant and weird at first they did not want to mesh. We also had this huge black man show up and wanted to play so he joined my team we totally dominated after that. But all the kids loved him and kept wanting to get autographs thinking he was in the NBA this man will hopefully start his path of investigating shortly as well. But once we got everything going they had a blast and afterwards all the investigators and kids from all the wards were all just in one big group! Also we had plenty of ice cream that they ate as much and then we still had leftover so we saved the rest and ate it after the baptisms that happened yesterday after church. Which ended up working out perfect because usually people leave immediately after, being all hungry and tired, but since there was all you can eat ice cream everybody stayed behind and talked and mingled making it a much more effective event!

I kinda set that all up to so now that I have done a lot of stuff my goal is now to just show them that these ideas that before they were not willing to do turned out so great and hopefully they can make a habit of doing these or something better.

But all is good in the neighborhood I have learned a lot about communication hard work and accountability through this process that will benefit my life forever also it helped make great progress with an investigator that we have been working with for awhile we were able to get him a new and more committed baptismal date!

Hey love you all!
Elder Jared Cordon

#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 twice a year

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!