Prayer of Faith!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow!!! Wow!!! Missions are so amazing!! There is literally not a week that goes by where something amazing doesn’t happen.

Amazing things that happened this week:

Mission Conference

The first year of my mission I had 2 mission conferences. However, we have had 1 every month for the past 4 months. Along with 1 other 2 months before that. So, it has been awesome!!

This time we were visited by Elder Zwick of the first quorum of the Seventy, who I will say is one of the manliest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and Br. Hemingway who is assigned to the Missionary Department of the Church and is the Director of the proselyting division for the whole world. When I shook Br. Hemingway’s hand he said with a pleasant surprise, “Oh, I remember you. How are you doing?” I had met him a little over a year ago when he came to introduce iPads to the mission. He was the Mission President in Rochester, New York when we first moved there, and knows the Tuttle Family fairly well.

President and Sister Craig where with these fine brethren for several days in Salt Lake City at a special Mission Presidents conference that included the 28 Facebook/iPad missions. We were the first mission to receive training and instruction from what was discussed at that conference. Basically, we are entering the next major stage of testing for iPads and Facebook proselyting. The biggest changes come in the fact that we will receive brand-new iPads next week and there will be a Facebook restart that will result in us going offline of Facebook for a while. We also received training materials produced by the church that are finally standardizing the training of iPads and Facebook, something that we have been begging for for a while. On top of all of that we received powerful trainings on Personal Conversion, and Will-Power. All of it was very inspiring. But anyway, enough of that, it is probably not nearly as exciting for you as it is for me. And if it is exciting for you, then think how excited I am!

Prayers of faith=Miracles

There were several instances this past week that we incredible miracles as a result of a prayer, but there is one that I would like to highlight. On Saturday, it was beautiful weather but it was slower day for some reason. We tried everything I had ever been taught to do and nothing worked. Luckily we had a dinner appointment with two of my favorite people that I had to look forward to. One was a less active and that was the first lesson we were able to teach all day. After dinner we tried to knock some doors, hoping to get some success from those efforts, but after striking out we stopped at the nearby gas station for a bathroom break. While I was waiting for my companion, I saw these two kids at a table. After striking up conversation we were able to teach him the whole first lesson and give him a book of mormon which he agreed to read. Things started to look up.

Still we had about an hour left of the night. Elder Jorgensen suggested that we go and see a man who had not been home for our appointment earlier that day. Considering how far away he was it seemed like an illogical decision, but we both agreed that it felt right so away we went. I remember thinking about the nice peace I had felt on the way there that was a nice contrast to the frustration and anxiety I had experienced earlier. Once we got there we knocked on his doors with hearts full of faith only to find that nobody was home.

I knew at that moment that we were there for someone else. Unsure of what to do next and how to find this person that we were meant to find we knelt down in the grass in front of an apartment building. It was 8:35 roughly we knew that time was not a luxury. After Elder Jorgensen offered a mighty prayer we started knocking. Nobody answered the first two doors and as we turned to head to the stairs we saw a woman, her daughter, and their two dogs walking in the parking lot. We used the dogs as an ice breaker before bringing up the gospel. Before we could even get to it though, she asked us what we were there doing. We told her who we were and asked if we could share our message with her. At this point her little girl Aryah while tugging on her jacket said “Mommy, can we hear their message.” It wasn’t very difficult for her to say yes after that.

We proceeded to teach them the whole first lesson and they loved every bit of it. She told us that they were looking for a church that would prick their heart with the spirit. She even said that because they had just moved there that they were still looking for a church. At the moment they are attending a Brazillian church and because the service is in Portuguese they have to wear headsets with the translation. She started to express concern about the idea of having a prophet today but after we showed her a video of Thomas S. Monson, she said that she knew that he was a prophet the moment she saw him. All of us departed that night feeling very grateful that the lord had caused our paths to cross that night. Jackie and Aryah probably don’t even realize how incredible the journey they just started really is.

I want to bare my solemn witness that God hears every single one of our prayers. I know that he loves us and that he will provide us with miracles as we rely with faith.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Sunny Side Up

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week. Full of growth and development, and also backed full of miracles!! I Am grateful for the atonement and its ability to make us better then we were yesterday. To have the strength and power of Christ to work in our lives with common problems to make them better and to come out the way they need to for our betterment. He is the one that knows what we need to grow into who we need to be, so trust in him.

I also learned a very important lesson that if your own house is not in order you are not able to help anyone else.

I am so blessed that I get to see literal miracles happen all the time. This week we got started teaching the son of Katie and he is excited to learn why Brian (his stepdad) and Katie have made so many changes. He is excited to learn more about his Heavenly Father and the plan that he has for him. Its is always a testimony to me of this truth, that even little children understand it and can feel of its truth. We can all have the faith of a little child, we just need to remove all the disbelieving.

We also met a new man this week Corbin and we felt VERY prompted to keep talking to him, and then VERY prompted to invite him to be baptized. He said yes and also to a date of March 21 so we are going to do everything that we can to get him ready for that date.

God is out ahead of us missionaries preparing people for His truth. Are Spirits will recognize the truth if we give it time to listen. We have been taught it all before so it will have a familiar ring to it.

I am so very grateful for all of your support and love.

You are in my prayers.

LOVE
Elder S Cordon

IMG_6846Beautiful View that I enjoy

Happy Chinese New Years!

Dear Family and Friends,

It was another great week in the Life of a missionary. It was a week of all finding because for the last couple of weeks we have not been able to meet with people that we normally would meet, although they all still keep coming to church. I am very grateful that they will at least do that. The Kwok Family has now come twice in a row and they plan on coming still next week and then to Elder Ballard so they are moving great we just need to teach them.

We have continued the consecrated finds and again this last week I can say that something of a little miracle came out of each one. I have realize also that I have been noticing these blessings mainly because I have been looking for them. As I have started applying that mindset to the other times It seems that all of the times we find diligently something cool will happen.

This last week while finding we tried doing some finding in the less traveled places and thought of places, it takes more creativity and effort when praying and picking where we will go, but its so worth it. We have found a few places which have turned out to be very prosperous. I have been here for almost 2 transfers and its amazing that I have never thought of going to these places.

Elder Wong and I have been getting better at our unity and just trying to make finding an enjoyable process, because a happy missionary is a successful missionary.

I have been pretty consistent about my prayer journal every night which is what I said I would do to show my love towards Christ and its cool because it has got me pondering even beyond the day to my whole life and I have been able to recognize how the lord has answered many many prayers.

Here is an experience I would like to share with you. When I was at my first semester of BYU very grateful to have been accepted and very confused about what I wanted to study. I started the pondering process as I tried different things. After the first semester having tried a variety of classes I realized that maybe business was not what I wanted to do with my life and neither was anything with science and math. So I thought I would try ROTC and fulfill my childhood dreams of the Air Force. Well I no sooner found out that they wanted me to pick my major for me to be able to progress. So the pressure was on and I was clueless but the help in the process they gave me a list of degrees that the Air Force limits to their officers. Well basically none of them caught my interest but languages for some reason did. I reflected how during high school I spent 3 years struggling through spanish but, still it felt right. After more research I found myself contemplating learning chinese, and the more I thought about ti the better it felt. Still very uncertain I thought I need to take this to the lord. So I remember on a friday just before noon (likely the same time that my mission was being assigned by an Apostle of the Lord) I knelt by my bed in prayer. I am not sure why but the words that came out of my mouth were “If Chinese is what I am supposed to do with my life send me to Hong Kong on my mission”. Almost immediately I was overcome with a very warm and very certain feeling that I was going to be serving in the China Hong Kong mission. So I immediately set off on the computer researching all about my mission and ever purchased a learn Mandarin CD(I have never heard of cantonese before). Not to long after that experience was I opening my call to serve here in this amazing mission. I know the Lord answers our prayers and I also learned a lot about preparing our minds and our hearts for those prayers which will bring very specific answers.

This week should be a great week like all the others.

Elder Jared Cordon

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Another Transfer Done

Dear Friends and Family,

So I am staying in my area I am with the same companion which means that we can keep our momentum going. I love this area and it is so very beautiful. I love the wonderful blessings that are pouring out as we are moving forward in faith. Seth and Liz had their baby blessed this weekend and Monty and Deedee are still doing awesome. They are studying for an hour every morning. WOW They are such examples of what it takes to get asnswers from the spirit. I love that I am able to be on the mission and see the miracles and be an instrument in Gods hands.

We are also teaching this wonderful girl of a family it is the oldest daughter of this young family. She is 11 and has been going with her grandmother to church for many years and she wants to get baptized so we set a goal of march 14. We are hoping that bring the lessons into her home will also invole more of the family with her.

Very short but more to come, next week with more miracles happening everyday. :)

I love you all so much
Thank you.
Elder S Cordon

Happy Monday

Dear Family and Friends,

An interesting quote from C. S. Lewis to inform your day that My Mission President shared:

“Repentance is not something God demands of you before He will take you back, and which He could let you off if He chose; it is simple a description of what going back is like”

Well the last week was awesome! Since we saw you last we have seen a huge boost in our finding. We have been working on making the adjustment to short power statements and right to reschedule for a sit down lesson. Its been hard changing our habits and our approaches at first it was awkward we wondered if it was better but, we persisted and now it feels a whole lot better. Our struggle for a long time has been new investigators but just within the last two days we have rescheduled 3 people. We do realize that everyone that schedules wont always show up but, unless you reschedule someone no one will show up. This has been a good change and it came from pray and practice. The Kwok Family is really moving a long we went to dinner with bishop last night and brought them along. They really enjoyed it and then after we had everyone bare their testimonies it was powerful and Sister Kwok commented how she always feel so happy whenever she is at church or with members. She is moving along great and we committed them to family prayer and scripture study. As soon as they can make the necessary changes in their lives they will be great members. Sadly the dad is not involved they are not divorced but they are separated. If we were to move towards baptism would we need the fathers permission?

We have been working on some plans to really build more unity in the ward from the similar Idea of what the Pok fu Lam Elders and Sisters have been doing. Sadly we are finding it quite difficult to schedule members, not sure why but besides about 3 families it doesn’t seem like we can schedule a visit, we also made it clear that we dont need a meal appointment just 20 mins to sit down. So we are working on some ways to figure that one out.

I have really seen the blessings of using my language study everyday it has been a huge improvement and characteristic of my time here in Aberdeen and the biggest blessings are after the consistency over a long period of time.

I said I would make a prayer journal and take ten minutes in the evenings to ponder how the lord has answered my prayers. Doing this has really increased my awareness to his blessing. It just seems like my simple ones that I have always asked for I have been taken for granted. The little blessings are sometimes the most miraculous.

Elder Jared Cordon

God Is Not Dead

Dear Family and Friends,

Such wonderful miracles this week. We have been teaching two Part Member Families that live together for a while now and making slow progress until this week. Seth and Liz, and Monty and Deedee are the two pairs. Well Seth and Liz just had a baby and it is incredible how life events like that can really change people instantaneously. The Book of Mormon has also been being read throughout the house, and this week Seth and Monty were at church and all four will be there this coming week. I am so grateful for the miracles that I have been able to witness with this family and cannot wait to see Liz and Monty get baptized and then to see them All go to the temple to be sealed as families.

That is what this work is about sealing families together forever. The goal is and always should be the temple. The missionary propose ends with endure to the end not baptism.

I cannot wait for the miracles that await this family as they progress toward Heavenly Father. That is the moat rewarding part of missionary work is to have first row seats to the miracles of God. To be able to see just how open God is with miracles in our day. Especially when there are so many people that dont believe in God let alone miracles.

I am grateful for the wonderful mission that I am able to take part in and dont wish to be anywhere else.

Thank you for you wonderful support and prayers. I love you all so much.

Elder S Cordon

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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