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!

 

Meet the Mormons!

Dear Family & Friends,

We watched Meet the Mormons this last week. President surprised us by playing it after ending zone conference a little early. He is so powerful and it was so uplifting. He talked so much about looking towards the mark. Meaning we don’t settle for less. But We will have here shortly Elder Ballard, President Rasband, Bishop Gary Steven, Elder Gong, Elder Wong, and Elder Funk. Its such a blessing to be in a spot that has such a presence of these men.

We had a great week! These consecrated finds have always produced results and I have been realizing why: its because we don’t looking at those times as what we do when we have nothing else better to do but as a missionary focused activity. So we will keep those going because it helps with time management but we will make sure to have the same mentality towards any other finding opportunities. I believe the lord really is blessing us with these opportunities. Its just hard because these people are not seeming to have the same mentality the lord and us have for them. Another thing about finding is we had a ward find yesterday and it went really well, for some they gained a little more appreciation for the work, for others they got to see the joy of their labors. Our ward leader is great and has an awesome mentality because of his efforts he helped us find a man about his same age who has got some good interest and already has a fellowshipper.

This last while visiting a family in the ward it was great to hear about their conversion stories, and it was also interesting to hear them talk about the missionaries that baptized them because they loved them so much. But they also told me with much disappointment that he was less active. I asked how they knew that and they said they didn’t know for sure but they assumed because they see his Facebook and they said he doesn’t look or sound like he used to. It was a good reminder for me that we can’t go back to who we were, we need to become something new and keep going!

But also in that visit we kinda did some weekly planning with them and they were brainstorming all kinds of ideas how we could get better, then it was funny as the brother talked about how he has seen us on the streets a lot and how our work is really hard and it would be way easier if members just provided friends. I thought that’s a really good Idea. But they brought up some great ideas one being scouting. I guess this sister who has at least 3 families who would love to do scouting but Wanchai is too inconvenient. Apparently there is enough between out two wards that we could do our own down here and it would be a great missionary opportunity so we sent that to our bishop for some consideration.

We also had exchanges, I went to west point this last week and a cool miracle that happened while I was with Elder Gillis is that right as English was wrapping up a kid walked in looking for English helped so we talked to him for a bit then ended up teaching a lesson but just as he walked in so did a member randomly asking to join us. So basically a perfect lesson just fell right into our hands. He said he would go to church but I am not sure how that all ended up.

Great stuff is happening because we got the Kwok family to come to all 3 hours of church this week for the first time and they all seemed to enjoy it. Except the son he is having a harder time so we are working with the young men’s leader for a way to really bring him in. Its his first time at young men’s so we just need him to go more so he can start having some friends.

Elder Jared Cordon

JAred Selfie 1

Selfies with the Selfy Stick!

Jared Selfie 2

Selfies with the Selfy Stick!

 

Starting The Year Off Strong

Dear Family and Friends,

This week I have a simple invitation. The invitation is to study faith, from what ever source you wish, specifically how to increase faith and then what can happen with faith. Do this every day this week. Included with study is to then take time each day to share with someone your testimony of a living prophet, whether that is on facebook or in person, but it has to be specific to that person not just a wall post. Then if they ask any questions to your testimony invite them to learn more from the missionaries. That is the invitation. Let me know how it goes.

This was a good week things are going well here in the Wenatchee area. Stake president set a goal of 201 baptisms this year, and in the next six months the amount of missionaries are going to double in this area getting ready for the split. CRAZY STUFF. We have all of our investigators reading the Book of Mormon. That is the start to knowing that is is true. Reading everyday brings a power into your life that cannot be obtained by any other means, it brings so many blessings.

I am always very touched at how God fills my heart with love the very instant that I start sharing the gospel with them. I know that it is just a fraction of the love that he actually has, which amazes me even more.

Thank you all for you prays and wishes I love you all so much.
I pray for you often

Elder S 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

In The World but Not Of the World!!

Dear Family and Friends,

So much happens every week that I never know what to tell you… I guess I will start with the 4th of July!

After a wonderful ward breakfast and flag raising–which included a hilarious little bike parade of all the kids– are day went on as normal. We got a lunch with a recent convert and had a good lesson to ease some of her concerns that she has been having. She has every reason to be happy, yet she wont let herself because of things in the past. I fear that what she is experiencing is far too common in this church. We found a sort of secluded picnic table and gave her a blessing. I am personally not a fan of public blessings, but when someone needs one then they get one. It was a really powerful blessing, and she has been at ease and smiling ever since. I have gained such a huge testimony of priesthood blessings. I know from personal experience on my mission that they indeed save lives! God is ever mindful of us and that is one way that he shows his love.

That night for the fourth of July we got two zones of the mission together and blitzed this huge event they have downtown on the river. Thousands of people go for a carnival like event and to watch the fireworks that they shoot out over the river. Our zone covered the North Side and the other the South. I drove a 12 passenger van full of sisters and headed the convoy of 5 vehicles down to our rally point. From there we rode the monorail to the other side of the river we were divided into our respective areas. Only us and the sister training coordinators were in the alcohol section. In contrast to missionary life it was like Sodom and Gommorrah, though in worlds standards it probably wasnt that bad. The goal of all the missionaries was consistent with our sacred calling, find those who are ready to receive the restored gospel. In the first hour we met probably 15 less-active members there. The would come up to us and squint at our tag and be like, “ELDERS!! Hey I am a member!… I haven’t been in a while, but I respect you a lot for what you do and I am thankful for you!” It was a pretty neat experience! Less-active and active, there are just so many wonderful members of this church!! We just need them all to come regularly and bless us with there love.

As the night rolled on people become more and more tipsy and the contacting a lot more difficult, so we changed our strategy. We started taking pictures with people to test the water of whether or not they were sober enough to carry a conversation, and then if they seemed interested we would get their facebook information. That was surprisingly successful. At the end of the night we realized we had handed out over 100 pass along cards and gathered a bunch of names for the local missionaries to teach. We were also very surprised at how receptive the general populace was to us. We would walk by people and hear them say to their friends, “those men are preaching the word.” Haha you better believe it! We finally got out of there as the fireworks started going so that we could be first to the cars so that sisters wouldn’t be waiting by themselves in a dark parking lot. We opened all the doors on the mini van and blasted the mo-tab to bring a peaceful spirit into the evening. The music combined with the events of the evening left everyone smiling as the approached the vehicles at the end of the night. I learned in a powerfully dramatic way that one can be in the world, but not of the world. I was quite surprised at my ability to maintain wholesome thoughts and keep the spirit with me despite the environment I was in.

So there is my story for the week!

I love y’all! Have a great week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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Lightening, Cameras, and…. Snow

Dear Family and Friends,

How is it possible that week after week things just get better and better? You think you should just get to a point where you would just stop progressing and you are as happy as you can be… Except that would be false doctrine and the exact opposite of what I teach people, so it makes perfect sense actually. I love truth!! It is just so… motivating!

This past week at Zone meeting we had one of the most inspired goal setting sessions i have ever experienced in a Zone Meeting! I have struggled to get a goal that everyone embraces and one that unifies, but I think we finally did it. It started with a spiritual epiphany I received several weeks back, and one I have been praying about ever since. I realized that God wants his sons and daughters baptized more than I want them baptized. No duh right? Well it definitely changed the way I pray. Then I realized that he spends everyday preparing people to received this message and that there are prepared people out there and we just need to find them. Now I kinda knew all this already, but it finally hit me in a different way, the kinda way that leads someone to change and to act. My companion and I then came up with what we knew was a inspired plan. We decided that if we pray and fast and work our tails off, that every single companionship can find and baptized someone in the month of June. When we first introduced it we had a lot of doubting eyes staring back at us. So we pulled out our secret weapon, the faith building pep-talked we prepared. Before we were even done the spirit was very thick in the room and every single missionary jumped in excitement for our goal which is twice as much as a number we thought was impossible the month before. Good things are coming :) #raiseyourexpectations

So if you haven’t seen our video on Facebook yet, I pity you. I would also invite you to repent and go and check it out. We are forming an amazing group and we need your help! It was a lot of fun to film and it was definitely interesting scenery. I hope you enjoy/enjoyed it!

I also had the opportunity to go on exchange last week to required me to hop on the bike again for a whole night! Before we even finished our dinner it was raining. I decided to go without a raincoat though because I new that if I wasn’t wet with rain water than I would be wet from wearing a non-breathable coat in the thick humidity. As we biked around we enjoyed natures natural firework displays. I was hoping that people would take pity on us considering, but it didnt seem to work too well! haha

Another amazing experience was that this past week Alfred opened up that he was still unsure of Thomas S. Monson being a prophet. We decided to help him out by watching the move about him called “On The Lord’s Errand.” Before we were even able to finish the movie he said that he knew that it was true! He is such a champion! He will be interview this week for baptism so we will see how that goes!

Oh ya and about the snow comment. We were about to go meet some less-active members at an apartment complex when we saw a pile of snow on the other side of the fence. I had to look to twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I made a snow ball!!! In Florida!! OUTSIDE!! How is that possible!?! Well… it helps if you are next to an ice rink haha. Nevertheless, it was awesome!

Once again everybody join the Facebook group Called To Share and invite all of your member friends. Then tomorrow (Tuesday) post a picture of you holding the Book of Mormon just under yours eyes with #discoverthebook and with your testimony of how you know it is true!

Love Ya’ll!!

Elder Joshua Cordon