Back to the Basics

Dear Family and Friends,

The very fact that I am writing this on a Thursday is evidence of the busy week it has been. Busy as a missionary is a wonderful thing though! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

The absolute highlight of the past week and a half was the brief mission tour of Elder Golden who is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is from South Africa and so we all enjoyed not only his spiritual knowledge but hearing his accent as well. He arrived this past Sunday and left on Tuesday so his stay wasn’t a very long one. However, he definitely made the most of his time here. On Sunday we had a meeting for the mission leadership and then on Monday and Tuesday we had ones with the varying zones. I had the blessing of attending all three of them and learning so very much. While there were a few constants each meeting provided a unique dose of spiritual nourishment. By the time it was all over the feeling I had was a combination of spiritual high and physical exhaustion, considering the fact that the most of my mission can be described that way, the contrast is found in the fact that this is one of notable intensity. I believe my favorite part of the whole thing was his definition of faith.

Faith is a very basic principle in that it is foundational to many things, but it is also fairly profound and, as a result, very misunderstood by the Christian and non-Christian worlds. For many faith is simply a declaration of belief, but for those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ it is something far greater.

Faith is an action word, but even more than that Faith=Personal Righteousness. When I had that explained to me it brought a lot of clarity to the subject. If the world could understand that, then it would eliminate a lot of confusion behind the verses in the bible that seem to say that man is saved by faith alone. This definition of faith helps us understand that it is not merely good enough to believe in Jesus Christ, we must believe him too. We must believe that if we do what he asked, we model our lives after him, and try our best to be our best, then he would make up he rest. We must believe and have a hope that if we sacrificed everything to be good person and to not compromise our standards when pressured by worldly temptations–even if it very difficult to do and we are put in very rough situations as a result– that we will not only have a lasting sense of peace and purpose in this life, but we will also be raised up to live with God and have eternal happiness in the life to come. Not only must we believe all these things we must do them too if we want to have true faith,

If any of what I said makes sense, then I hope it would also help you understand why then the restoration of the gospel was so important. Frequently, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are commended for our high standards and example of personal righteousness. This is not just a coincidence. The problem the world faced before Joseph Smith saw his incredible vision was that at the time nobody had enough commandments revealed to them by God that could produce enough faith in the life of any person that would be great enough to bring about their eternal salvation. Along with that, nobody had the gift of the Holy Ghost which not only reveals those commandments to us, but also helps to give us to the strength to live them. The fact that the church seems to have so many rules is in all actuality evidence of the truthfulness of this work, on top of that is the fact that the members of the church actually live them. Seeing as how faith is the first principle of the gospel if that is incomplete then it is no wonder why ever part of the gospel after that is very much misunderstood.

After hearing all of that in a much greater length of time and in a far more expounded way I had an even greater determination to live by every word of God. For if faith produces miracles, that means that personal righteousness is a pre-requisite to the blessings of heaven. Something that as a missionary and frankly as people in general we cannot live with out if we want to be truly happy.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Happy late Mid-Autumn Festival

Hey Everyone! Sorry this week will be a little bit of a short one!

But we had some awesome success this week I met one of the coolest kids on the street and now he is taking the lessons he doesn’t live in my area but if I keep finding people that are going to be baptized even though I don’t teach them its all good to me. I called as missionary of China Hong Kong so if I don’t get to see the whole process someone makes thats all good with me as long as the kingdom is growing. We have some great things planned for the ward! If all is success we have about 4 ward activities in my time here in Butterfly ward and all will be in the last 2 months of the 8 months I have been here.

Just remember that even though you have some much going on in your life that the Lords is very aware of your needs and if you seek first the kingdom of god all things will be added unto!
Consider the Lillies! Love you all!

Elder Jared Cordon

P.S. Happy Late Mid-Autumn Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival

I <3 HK

Dear Family and Friends,

Well I have had a good eventful week and a half since I last got on!

For starters picking up from the beginning of last week. President Hawks (mission president) called a special district leader meeting. He was a professor at BYU before his mission. He has influenced my life in so many ways! But because he was a professor, teaching means everything to him as it does to me. A missionary had introduced some videos (a link to 1 of 24 videos) by Elder Bednar and other general authorities, Teaching No Greater Call (a link to the website with ALL the material), to him and President Hawks is a man who is quick to observe. He felt every missionary needed to see these videos so he called the district leaders together to introduce the new district meeting plan for the next three months. After that truly mission changing meeting we were able to have a mission changing district meeting. Which set off a fantastic week where we were able to add two new baptismal dates to the teaching pool. They are both friends of a young man in the ward! He has introduced so many people to the church he is awesome!

Then this week we had a last minute meeting with a powerful group of men. Elder Rasband president of the seventy, Elder Allen Director of the missionary department, and the Asia Area presidency (Elder Gong, Elder Wong, & Elder Funk). So we were able to hear from five general authorities and there wives! Very powerful.

The the next day all the members in Hong Kong and all the missionaries got together in a stadium for an all day race event! It was fun I won one race!

Today we have the chance to attend the temple always one of my favorite things to do! Its such a spiritually uplifting experience!

Love you all,

Elder Jared Cordon

Good Times in the Neighborhood

Dear Family and Friends,

It is such a good day to be alive. I am not ignorant to the chaos around us this world–not the least of which is the current development in Missouri– when I say that. To be completely honest, none of the craziness really matters at all. It doesn’t matter because it has absolutely no relevance to my personal happiness. I am either at peace or not independent of the rest of this world. The reason I teach the gospel is because of that fact. I know that anybody, regardless of their circumstances, will be made happier by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that because it is the only source of true and lasting happiness. Every person who is happy to any degree receives that happiness from living some portion of the gospel. Missionaries are out in the world teaching people the rest of the gospel they have not received. I honestly have the best job in the world. I am a full-time spreader of happiness!

While it is nice that I know that though, a lot of people do not know that that is why we are knocking on their door. On Saturday we went to go see a lady who we helped move in a couple of weeks back. When she opened her door she immediately tried to nicely tell us to leave by saying that she just moved in and is still in the middle of unpacking. Clearly she didnt recognize us in a shirt and tie. We just replied to her by just saying “ya we know!” All of a sudden she remembered who we were and it was a night and day difference. She immediately invited us in and introduced us to her brother-in-law. We chatted with them for a bit and set up a time to come back another time. They are such wonderful people! I learned something in a more profound way during that experience. Most people are wonderful people who are a lot of fun to be with! Most people see us as two shirts and ties standing our their doorstep rather than two people who want nothing to do but serve them in any way. And if most people knew who we really are they would be really excited to see us standing on their doorstep, just like this lady. Just another example of the obvious difficulties of knocking-doors. Yet despite all of that miracles still happen from knocking doors.

I wonderful experience I had this last week was that I was able to go back to Lake City to do an exchange with the Elders there. It was so strange to be back in the old stomping ground. Everywhere we drove I gave them referrals for different people that may be ready to hear the message now. The best part of it all was that I got to see one of my most favorite people in the world, Stefan! It was a last minute meeting that happened at the burger king. A lot has happened since I last saw him. I wondered if he was going to be the way I remembered him. It was such a sweet reunion though. Being able to see him again has been one of the greatest blessings. I made him a scripture case out of paracord that i have been meaning to give him for over 8 months now, so I was able to give that to him, and best of all I was able to introduce him to the elder that serves in that area and they will probably be able to start teaching him again.

Another miracle had was that on Saturday I felt very impressed to put a particular less active at a certain time on Saturday. I was a surprisingly strong impression. So of course I listened. As we were heading to go and contact that less active we passed a lady on the side of the road who was walking with her son. They were about 20 yards ahead of their little car that had just ran out of gas. We were able to help her out and get acquainted with her as well! Not only did we save her a few hours of her day that she would have spent walking to her home and then to a gas station, but we were able to brighten her day. A teaching opportunity may even come from this. I love serving others! It fills you with the love of God so quickly, it is unreal!

The experiences of this past week have taught me many things. One powerful lesson that was reiterated was that God has great timing! I know without a doubt that God has placed certain people in our lives at certain moments in order to give us the perfect opportunity to become who we were meant to become. I know that if we trust God and just embrace all the wonderful people who cross out path and strengthen the relationships we have already been given that we will find ourselves not only becoming the people God wants us to be, but also finding our lives becoming increasingly enriched by an abundance of cherished relationships. I know what God meant more than ever when he said that the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. Truly that is all that matters!

That being said, I love y’all!! Have a great week!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Badabatadatbaa I’m Lovin’ It!!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well just another wonderful week in the life of a missionary in Hong Kong. Training is going smoothly and the ward is picking up we are seeing a lot of good things happening. We have been doing a lot of Less Active work and tried our luck with some old investigators and we have seen some good things happening. Less active work we really stirred up the water so now we have some great potential there. But we really do have some characters for our investigators. Peter Lo is a man who is in a wheel chair cause of polio I mentioned him a few months back. He loves america. Uncle Fighter haha man love him. We actually visited a former and was teaching him a lesson at his door then the door right behind us opened and it was Uncle Fighter and his wife. It was cool to meet his wife. We got family potential there. Then of course you have this english class that we teach these these 9-11 year olds, they are the best! I love them its funny how no matter where you are your gonna get every stereotype of kid in your class. I cant wait to teach english in Mainland.

Elder Tam is just awesome though we do plenty of laughing and he has got so much potential we are going to see miracles together I know it.

But working with a lot of less actives recently has helped remind me of a principle that Joseph Smith taught is that when you fall away from the church your not on nuetral ground anymore you made your decision the only other option is the other direction. Well you choose to fall from a higher plane it hurts cause you fall hard. I have seen some sad situations but I have also seen some amazing ones where a few of these people a very sincere and they recognize what there decision has done to their lives and they are ready to change, they are ready to feel the warm embrace of gods love.

I know the work I am doing is of an eternal nature and that why I am doing it.

I love you all!

Elder Jared Cordon

What Would Jesus Do?

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was a very hard, wonderful week. There was a lot of service hours that we did for members and non members in our ward. Service is such a wonderful way to show love for another person to give of your time and energy selflessly is an amazing experience. Unlike donating money, or cloths, or food, or anything material (not that people shouldn’t do that because it needs to be done) which all of those things can be earned back. Your time can not be earned back once used it is gone. So truly the ultimate selfless act it to give up what cant be returned. Everyday when the service ended I felt so much love for the people I had just served. I got to see them in such a different element, then in their living room on the couch, teaching a lesson. Serving next to a person really lets you see who they truly are.

The part member family that we helped lay concrete this week was such an amazing miracle. We stopped by a week ago to talk to the less active member of the family to just say hi and find out if they needed anything sure enough they did so we got the time and date and showed up ready to work. The non member husband was worried that he was “going to have to tell us what to do the whole time” not knowing that we both had done concrete before was very impressed with our work. It was VERY hot so we had to make fast work of the job or the concrete would set wrong, it was a great challenge and great to work next to all of them. Two days later the less active wife came to church, she hasn’t been in over a year, and not only came but she took the stand in testimony meeting and told the story of this service and how that morning her husband (who is anti church) told her that she needed to go to church. WHAT!!! I know that giving up your time and servicing others rains down blessings. Charity is the pure love of Christ.

Christ spent his life in the service of others and in building peoples faith. What a wonderful example that we have to follow, to always be looking for someone or somewhere to serve and then when you find it, DO IT. Don’t wait thinking that hopefully someone else will help, or that you are to busy, or that maybe they don’t want it. (if they chase you off with a stick for helping them you still will get the blessing for trying, but only if you try) God wants us to be in the service of each other so the blessings that will come from ALWAYS doing what he would have us do will ALWAYS out-way any possible worldly satisfaction that would come from passing by the opportunity to serve.

I know the blessings that come from truly giving of yourself to another. I know that selflessly, without any other motive then to just share love, giving of yourself to another WILL ALWAYS touch your heart and there with the pure love of Christ. I love this work. I love being able to get up everyday and my soul purpose is to build the faith of Jesus Christ in the people around me. I cant think of anything that I would rather be doing. To bad a mission cant last forever.

Thank you all so much for your love, support and prayers. I am praying for all of you and love you all so very much.

UNTIL NEXT WEEK

Love Elder Steven Cordon

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Oh ya totally went to a wedding this week it was awesome!!

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Another Week Down

Dear Family and Friends,

Well This has been a really fast week! But a fantastic one. This week we were honored to have a mission tour with Elder Funk and Elder Wong. Elder Wong is the new the general Authority from the first quorum of the seventy. His talk was pretty awesome I even got water poured on my head haha. But he is so powerful and I can’t wait to hear his talk next general conference! Elder Funk, Elder Wong, And President gave amazing motivational talks on some very basic and well needed things like the book of Mormon and the message of the restoration. We were also blessed to hear from Sister Hawks, Sister Wong, And Sister Funk. They gave amazing insightful talks on the same topics.

Training has been going really well. We get along awesome and there is plenty of laughter which makes it much easier to talk to people when your smiling all the time.

This week though we really focused on Less Actives and made some great progress with some less actives that we have not seen in a while.

Things are going fantastic and with our new invitation for all the members in the ward to find one person to give a Book of Mormon a lot are taking the challenge. We should be seeing the referrals pouring in.

Love you all
Stay amazing!

Elder Jared Cordon