Our Sister Received Her Call To Serve!

Our sister, Micaela Cordon, has been called to labor in the Ecuador Quito Mission. She will be learning and teaching the gospel in Spanish. She will report to the Columbia MTC on May 6, 2015. We are so proud of her.

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The Search is Over, But the Joy Has Just Begun

Dear Family and Friends,

This weekend marked another wonderful point in my mission. Like always far more happens then I could ever truly share in a simple email, but I will do my best to capture the amazing store of at least one man.

The story from my perspective really began with his daughter. She is one amazing person and I am grateful that I have been blessed to be part of her story. When I first got to this ward she had just been baptized into the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward. She had friends in this ward though and felt that she would do better in a family ward until she got her feet under her. We begun working with her though and teaching the new member lessons. Considering that nobody is perfect and that even after baptism most people have a long way to go before they are firm in the church. We worked with her a lot to help her develop habits of daily scripture study and prayer. As she strengthened her testimony the desire grew within her to share this message with her dad and her brother. If I could only describe the transformation that she has had since I have been working with her it would blow you away. Her transformation was so incredible that her Dad who never has been active in any church even though he has considered himself catholic all his life decided to join us one Sunday for church. He came for the first time last October. The spirit was so strong that he said that from the first moment he walked into the building he knew there was something different. At the same time her younger brother started getting active in the scouting program. After some time he had finally made the changes in his life to prepare him for baptism. He knew right from the beginning it is what he needed to do and he understood that it would be a lifestyle change, so now that he has finally been baptized he is in for good. The baptism went very smoothly and all his brothers and his children came to the baptism. Even his very strong catholic mom came and very much enjoyed the baptism.

It was one of the sweetest moments of my mission. To see the father of a family that I have worked so closely with and have grown so close to finally make that step. His son David will soon follow and his son Tony has started showing a lot of interest lately so perhaps before I even know it the family will be getting sealed in the temple. It is the moments like this that help me feel that my mission has been paid in full everything else on top of that is just a bonus. I love this work so much and nothing brings me greater joy than watching a family heal and come closer together through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Truly that is what this work is all about.

I love y’all
Elder Joshua Cordon

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Patience Pays Off!

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week was simply amazing!! It was full of incredible moments and opportunities. Elder Layton and I worked really hard for 6 months together to get the area where it is at right now. It was a lot of patient work with prepared people who just needed to time to overcome things that they have been going through. The patience is finally paying off. Elder Jorgensen and I are ready to finally begin harvesting. We set 5 new baptismal dates this week with wonderful individuals, and we had an incredible baptism this Sunday. With one coming up this Saturday.

The wonderful sisters name is Donna Pinto. She bore such a powerful testimony at the baptism of how she came to know that these things were true. She has been one who has been searching her whole life to find the truth. She has attended numerous congregations of varying sects of Christianity searching for what she didn’t have. Every single time she said, she sat there and told herself. “There has to be more than this, this can’t be all there is to it.” Eventually her visits to churches became less frequent until she wasn’t going anywhere at all. Then one sunny afternoon we came knocking on her door. She told us that we could come back and see her on Sunday afternoon. We didn’t think much of it because we people say we can come back all the time. It seemed promising but we weren’t sure what to make of it. When we came back on Sunday she had read a few chapters from her Book of Mormon (which we didn’t give her), had marked up some verses, and had plenty of questions for us. We thought we were dreaming. She came to church the next Sunday and hasn’t missed one since. She has been in many members homes and has already developed some great friendships. That was only about 5 weeks ago when we met her.

Those are the moments that make endless hours of effort worth it. As it says in the Doctrine and Covenants section 18 verse 15: “and if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with [her] in the kingdom of my Father.” That is how I feel right now. I am so blessed to be part of this amazing work!

Some other highlights of the week include seeing Elder Anderson speak. He was doing a road-trip through Florida basically and visiting numerous stakes along the way. Last wednesday he did a mission wide devotional which was an amazing opportunity. He talked about exactly what our mission needed to hear. He gave us encouragement that we can do better than we are currently doing, but promised us that it is indeed possible. I was very motivated to go and just make it happen. The next day while my companion was at the Temple I worked with one of the new missionaries and we had an awesome day. We had no plans going in but we ended up doing nonstop teaching basically. God truly provided.

On Sunday we finally had formal lesson with this woman named Ashley that we have been teaching. She is a single mom who is good friends now with some members in our ward and whose room-mate is a less active. They were moving to some apartments just down the road from us and so we helped out with the move. We managed to stay in touch with them over the next couple of weeks. We had dinner at that members house last week which they came to and we got to know her really well. She has come to church 2 times already and has really enjoyed it. Yesterday we had a really solid lesson with her and she is already read most of 1 Nephi. It is incredible how quickly she is progressing. We will set a baptismal date with her probably the next time we see her.

I can see more evidently than ever before that my heavenly Father loves me, and I am learning more and more each and everyday of the Grace of Jesus Christ. I know we don’t deserve the tremendous success that we are having, I don’t really know what I am doing most of the time. But the Lord provides, he has my whole life. He always finds a way to give me just what I need at just the moment I need it. I know that if we just turn things over to him, that our life will be filled with the sweetest joys that are available in this mortal life. It usually doesn’t come in the way that we expect or even want, but it does come and it is always what we really need. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Joshua Cordon

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Reach Out!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has just been non-stop awesome!! We are in a position where we rarely get a second to stop and think, it has been rather nice. I love being incredibly busy. However, at the same time a breather, where you can catch up on some things and gather your composure before going head first into the next week is always a nice thing. We have some exciting things ahead of this week. We have Elder Anderson of the quorum of the 12 Apostles doing a pitstop for a short mission devotional this week which will be a great experience and then the very next day we have another trip down to the temple. Then on Sunday our wonderful friend Donna will be baptized right after church. We are already filling practically every available crack with appointments. We are truly blessed with great prosperity right now. God really has been blessing us incredibly.

The lesson I learned this week is captured incredibly in a talk by Henry B. Eyring. It is called “Heavenly Father Reaches Out To His Children“. (*editors note: link is for an audio of the talk) In this talk he helps to explain how Heavenly Father can possibly stand watching so many of his children struggle and suffer. We think there is a lot of bad in the world and we cant even stand to watch, imagine seeing all of it happening at the same time and knowing each individual very personally. That sounds incredibly painful, yet that is what God experiences each and every moment. He tells us– and you must know that this is not at all doing justice to the talk and in no way replaces the benefit of actually hearing it for yourself– that the reason that Heavenly Father can stand it is because he has us. He has mortal servants down here who can reach the people and be an extension of Him in providing love and support during this difficult sojourn of life. He share a quote that is as follows, “it is against the order of Heaven for Angels to be sent to complete a task that can be accomplished by a mortal servant.”

The responsibility is ours. We most reach out and nourish and care for those around us. We cannot simply be concerned with our life alone but with the many lives that surround us each and every day. If we are sensitive to the needs of our loved ones and we are sensitive to the spirit we will see many opportunities to reach out and give support. It never has to be anything complicated, they simply need to know that you are there and that you love them. I am going to attach the link to the talk and I would encourage all of you to listen to it and to consider how you can be an extension of our heavenly father. As for me right now in my mission, these missionaries are my family. And I feel a great responsibility to reach out and to provide support and love to them. I hope God will guide me as I attempt to do just that.

I love y’all so much!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Chaos and Melodies

Dear Family and Friends,

This week had my head spinning!! Our week was packed with appointments, we had a million and half (divide that by 50000 and it is probably more accurate) people we need to get in contact with, we had to prepare and give a training for a meeting that was most of the day on Wednesday, and I have a new companion who has yet to meet everyone in the area, and I did two exchanges. Haha it was crazy. It pushed me to my limits in a lot of ways. The blessing and the curse of high stress situations is that it quickly brings to your attention different flaws in yourself. As nice as it is to have some direction as to were you can begin making improvement, it also isn’t the most painless process. I made a number of mistakes this week that I wish I hadn’t made, however, I am grateful for the Atonement of Christ which helps me to put them behind me, to learn from them, and to change. I am so very grateful for change. This week was met with a lot of blessings though. Donna, one of our good friends is still on track for baptism here on the 18th and she is so excited. She just begins to live everything immediately. She reads the book of mormon several times a day and she is trying to get her brother to also begin studying with us. She has quickly won the heart of the ward and everyone is happy to have her join the ranks. She is a prime example of someone who has a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I am grateful God has allowed me to be part of her story. Jorge is also still ready to go with baptism on the 24th of this month and the ward is very excited for him as well. The sisters in our ward just had a baptism this past week and I think having 3 baptisms this month will do wonders to build excitement in the ward to share the gospel. Last week we had 10 people in church and this week we had 7 so we are getting some consistently large crowds which is really exciting. After a lot of work the teaching pool here is very large and now the trick to get them all progressing quicker and quicker.

I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have to be engage in such great of a cause. I frequently ponder on how lucky I am to be able to have been born in the gospel and to be able to have it simply be part of who I am. I have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, and I want the whole world to join me in singing this sweet melody!

image1Picture Caption: We had to capture the moment! Also the elder on the right is not my companion I was on an exchange and the guy on the left is a recent
convert who I am good friends with and the girl is Tara the amazing
woman we baptized back in July. Happy New Year everyone!

I love y’all!!

Have a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua Cordon

 

I Will Relish The Transition!

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry for a short one this week, but things have been non-stop crazy–that is normal though.

The biggest thing from this last week is that I got a new companion. This time with Elder Layton has been one awesome ride! I have learned so very much from him and I thank God for everyday I had with that good friend of mine. As much as I had to say goodbye, which no one likes to do, I get the chance a of learning from and gaining a whole new friendship. My new companion is Elder Jorgensen, he is an amazing person. He’s got the work-ethic of ten Idahoan farmers combined, and the intellect of eight amatuer chess players…. Okay I don’t really know what either of those are supposed to mean, but either way he is really awesome! He is from San Diego he has had one interesting life story. To say the least he graduated high school by home schooling himself at the age 15 and he read the Book of Mormon for the first time when he was 5. Even though that makes him look super nerdy also know that he played rugby in high school… I honestly feel like God knew just what I needed to progress in this next phase of life and Elder Jorgensen has got all I need to learn what I need to learn. We are already full speed ahead!

Anyhow, love yall!

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Joshua Cordon

P.S. I got a fortune cookie once that said, “relish the transitions in
your life they will happen regardless.”

It’s Christmas Time In the Mission

Dear Family and Friends,

One more week done and gone… I am at that point in my mission where that hurts to say that. I would be happy if time would just stop for a while. This last week was a great one though! Definitely the highlight was the fact that we had the mission Christmas Conference. I was on an exchange in Lake City the day before so I had to leave a lot earlier to get there but all was well. It was such a great time! I was amazed at how different it felt from last year. Even though it was in the same chapel as last year and the agenda was very similar, even the orientation of the building felt very different. Some big differences this time was, that I was helping run it rather than simply sitting back and enjoying it, also I know every missionary by name now too, rather than feeling like I only know a small portion. It was the same event, but my perspective changed the whole experience for me. Also I was part of our Zones skit. We did a missionary rendition of Elf, and when the missionary was trying to street contact in New York City, I was a street performer who got to bust out a few dance moves. I knew that my Folk Dance training would come in hand at some point my mission. It was a lot of fun, but now it is no secret that I like to dance.

This week we had two miracles! Sadly I was on an exchange out of town for part of it, but nevertheless they happened. The first was with a wonderful lady named Donna. We met her a week and a half ago and she said we could come by on sunday to teach her. That was last sunday. When we showed up to see if she was going to keep the appointment (because a lot of people don’t) we not only found that she was expecting us, but that she had dug up her old book of mormon that someone had given her a while back and she had read the first few chapters, marked it up, and had a few questions for us. I was dumb-founded as she told us all of this. Turns out this retired women with 11 birds is far more prepared than we ever would have thought. On Wednesday Elder Layton went back and taught her and she enthusiastically accepted a baptismal date for the 18th of January. She came yesterday to church and loved it! Also the relief society just adored her so it was phenomenal all around.

The other miracle was that on Wednesday, Elder Layton went and saw Jorge Simons. The father of one of our recent converts and has come to church for the past few months and has been reading the book of mormon almost daily. So of course we know that he is ready to make the step of baptism, but he has been so nervous to make the commitment. During the lesson on Wednesday Jorge has finally decided though that he is ready to make that step and he has picked The 24th of January as his time to enter into the waters of baptism. I am so excited for him! It is huge that he finally made that step!

I love all of you and I hope that you will take the time this Christmas season to reach out to those around you and help them feel the love of God we so frequently take for granted!

Love y’all
Elder Joshua Cordon

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