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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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week! I truly felt the Christmas Spirit and I will never forget these experiences!

We wanted to see miracles this week and so preparing for Christmas we did a special fast on wednesday. We asked to truly feel the love that Christ feels and to be able to find people that need our help. So Christmas after talking to family we went out to work and despite that fact that it was raining we met some really cool people who have had pretty hard lives! A ward member had given us these little christmas goodie bags to give to investigators and Less Actives so thats what we used. These people really enjoyed them and we also found other little ways to serve people. I think the greatest miracle I felt though is the pure love of Christ that filled my soul that whole day! We also saw some other miracles while doing some less active finding one ladies recorded said she did not want anybody to contact here ever again but we knocked anyway and she opened the door and said: “Elders I haven’t been to church forever, wow its been awhile since I have seen you, hows the ward…” She was so happy to be in touch with us again and we will see her next week. We also were able to see and give presents to some others as well. Also the ward Christmas party was this week and we were able to have a kid we met last week come who really enjoyed it then we taught him again the next day. Also another lady who we are working with drove from a mainland family vacation got to come then headed back after, and she loved it!

We also saw many other miracles this week and although most of everyone we are working with were too busy to meet up we were able to see some great success!

I have learned so much from these goals of 65 that just by pushing a little harder when you don’t want to go anymore and by just using every minute you have it really can make a huge difference!

Love you all and keep improving life is to precious and to sweet to stop!

Sorry for my poor english, my chinese is just getting better.

Elder Jared Cordon

The Christmas Season Has Begun

Dear Family and Friends,

Well December is underway. With comes new miracles. This week we added two new people to our teaching pool. One is a turnover from the sisters. She was found through an english find that we organized. Her name is stephanie and this week we have seen her three times. But the coolest thing is last sunday she went to church with the sisters and then in the evening we got to know her better at and FHE activity and had an amazing experience. Well that night her house apparently got in quite a dispute over her being involved with our church her father had found tons of anti stuff on the computer. She had a hard time believing all the anti she heard because she felt too good when she came to church. So late that night she called up the Sisters who couldn’t get back to her tell the next day but when they did she wanted to meet up immediately to talk. So we went with the sisters and then we ended addressing her concerns and taught a really strong restoration lesson. She said she loves the feeling of the gospel and is willing to work pass the anti and opposition.

The coolest thing is this got started because of the Elders quorum president in our ward he wanted to help boost the work so he made these really cool english class flyers and we had quite a few people show up, one being stephanie. Also his wife is getting involved as well because she made cupcakes we could take to less actives and investigators. We were doing less active finding and just going down the list of names and addresses we ended up giving one out to the dad of a less active. Later that less active who has not been in contact with the church in years called the bishop thanking him for the gift. Thanks to this families efforts we are seeing blessings in both investigators and less actives. We were sure to let them know of their help. Its amazing what happens when members and missionaries work together.

Now we are working with ten plus investigators all of which were found with the help of others.

One big lesson that I learned from Preach My Gospel that I have been working to incorporate in the work is helping investigators gain a sincere appreciation for the scriptures. I trace the lack of that appreciation to a big reason people go less active so we are really working to make sure our investigators are reading and receiving revelation for themselves. We really want a december baptism and we know that scripture study is key for getting them there.

This last week I had the chance to go on Exchanges with Elder Tse over in the Ngau Tau Gok area. I have never been over to that part of Hong Kong so it was cool. They have really good steamed bread over there and its really cheap so I might have eaten a lot of those. We area able to add a new investigator to their teaching pool and Elder Tse really taught me a lot of simple lessons about how I can improve my teaching. He does an amazing job and setting really clear expectations for lessons and the entire experience. He really knows how to apply the how to begin teaching skills.

On another note I have been trying to improve my cooking of oriental foods. I have successfully invented my own dish and with other missionaries confirmation its pretty dang good. It also fits into the Chinese food category.

Things are really good here in Aberdeen we got miracles coming we have already seen plenty and we have plenty I am sure.

love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

Thanks For Giving

Dear Family and Friends,

Well what a week! I think the Highlight of the week is truly Thanksgiving. We had a fun zone thanksgiving activity. I have many things to be very very grateful for. Like I had previously said I have not had that much success getting people I meet on the street to stick, probably because The Lord wants me to stay humble and remember its him that makes this work happen. Because I know that the weeks I am working the hardest he still rewards us for our efforts like this week we picked up two families that we saw twice they had both went to church in another ward because a member invited them, I guess they met through the boy scout program. But they live in our area we met them gave them a tour of the church and then they came to english class. We also have another girl we met because she is a turnover from the sisters she has already been taught a few lessons and came to church.

So the low down on who we are working with (which are all in the time since i got here). Simon:turnover from the Senior missionaries; Ray: referral from a less active member; Johnny: walked into the church while we were studying; Julie, Peter, & Dora: turnover from the sisters; Mrs Tang and her family: turnover from Chaiwan member; Mrs Wong and her family: also turnover from Chaiwan member. We got some other potential but these are the big ones right now. SO I HAVE A LOT TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!

The lord blesses us for the efforts we make in planting seeds in one field by allowing us to reap harvest in another. I think therein lies a wonderful lesson for life: it teaches us that by doing all things the Lord asks us, although they may have no direct impact on our desires or challenges we hope to receive or overcome, the lord through his ways unknown will change all factors of our lives. So while you may not understand while the lord or his servants ask us to do certain things, do them anyway and you will receive a rich supply of blessing to that I can promise in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. For this is truly his words and his blessings.

I love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

Many Reasons To Be Thankful

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow! What a week! I never feel that I can even come close to capturing all that happens in one week in these short emails. Never in my life have I had so many things happen in such a brief amount of time as I have at this time right now. And with the Holiday season there is no sign of things slowing down, which I am grateful for!

Thanksgiving this year was just one jam packed day of AWESOME! We started it off with playing in the Turkey bowl. We had some awesome turn-out because we combined the Mandarin 1st and 2nd wards. We had 3 games going at the same time and so it was non-stop which was awesome. I was happy to see that everyone was good sports and we just were able to have a great time. The weather was beautiful and we were able to have two investigators, David and Marquez, join us which was great experience. I have mentioned David before, but Marquez is someone we just started working with. He is the grandson of a lady we have been visiting for several months now. He came to young mens the last two weeks and was able to come to the Turkey Bowl and has loved every minute of it. He is 13 and has a size 14 shoe. Br. Henderson who recently joined the church a few years ago, has taken Marquez under his wing. It works out because he is able to relate having come from a rough past and he is also Marquez’ young mens leader. Marquez even came to church and he along with David have both become great members of the deacons quorum. Have I ever mentioned how awesome this ward is at fellowshipping.

We ended up getting 4 different Thanksgiving dinners which was heavenly. Each one was uniquely delicious and very filling. I had to perform a thorough taste-test of each and every dish of mashed-potatoes to see how they would stack up to what I was raised on, and Mom I am happy to inform you that while the competition was respectable, you took the cake. It was also amazing how each one provided us with missionary opportunities. The first we had a recent convert there with us. The second we had a part-member family there. The third had our investigators Amelia and Tyrell with us. A little note on that was that it was so much fun to be able to kinda “tag team” with Tyrell as one of us talk with everyone the other played with Tyrell and the other kids. To be completely honest I think it seemed that both of us would rather have spent time playing with Tyrell, Emma, and David than talk with the adults. And the fourth was with another part-member family that we have been working with. I could not have asked for a better day.

The next presented new challenges as i found it difficult to rise from my bed. I was heavy with food and sore from football, more sore than I have ever been on my mission. After winning that battle I had the blessed opportunity to go down and do a session at the Orlando Temple. I limped through the whole thing but the spirit filled me to the point where I didn’t even notice. I am so very grateful for this wonderful gospel! I know without a doubt in my mind that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to happiness in this life and to eternal happiness in the next. I know that it makes us happy because I have seen it give peace to the broken hearted, give purpose to the hopeless, and increase of joy to those who were already living pretty good lives. I love this work so much and I pray that all of you will take time this month– especially considering the wonderful reason of the season– to find ways to serve others and fill your lives and theres with the love of God.

I love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon