Why I Believe

Dear Family and Friends,

Words cannot describe how I felt in the temple this Thursday. I know that some missionaries have to wait a full two years to go back to the temple and that I am blessed to go at least once, but it definitely was a must needed spiritual recharge. It is like getting plugged into the generator.

We met at the mission office at 7:00 in the morning. There was a pretty decent sized group going this time. I cant remember the exact number, but I know that we filled three 12 passenger vans and a suburban, and then were met by some more at the temple who left from Gainesville. It was a couple hour drive to get to Orlando, but it was well worth the wait. I am sure that this is true with all Temples, but the Orlando Temple is so much better in person. That is probably due to that fact that when it comes to temples the beauty isn’t only seen, it is also felt. The spirit enlivened my soul throughout the entire experience. I have learned more in that temple trip than I ever had before. To add more to my joy in the experience Elder Hamilton and I shortly after finishing our session, went and saw our recent convert, Jim, do proxy baptisms and confirmations. The whole experience was undoubtedly one of the most joyous of my life.

I also had the blessing of meeting some very choice spirits of our loving Heavenly Father in my new area here in Mandarin 2nd Ward. Tara I have only met briefly, but that is all I needed to realize that she is one of the most positive and sweetest people that I have ever met. Michael is a young man my own age who is trying to do all he can to experience joy in his life. Both Tara and Michael came to church yesterday and both thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Last night we had a fireside at the church called “Why I Believe.” It consists of several recent converts sharing with us their testimonies. It was a very powerful meeting! Danielle, a lady we met the other day when she chased us down while walking her dog– may i say that it is probably one of the few moments that missionaries have ever been chased down by someone– accepted our invitation to come and had a great experience. She used the opportunity to tell all the young adults about a community outreach project that she is helping to organize. I have never met someone who is so happy and full of life! We haven’t been able to teach her anything yet, but we have a return appointment at a members house Friday night so we will see what happens!

Temples have become a major piece to my testimony. The power and spirit that you feel in those Holy edifices, even if you are just on the grounds round about, can only come from God. Those feelings bear an absolute witness to my very soul that this gospel has been restored in its fullness once again to the earth. I know without one doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and that I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he really saw God the Father, and Jesus Christ one spring morning in the year of 1820. I know because I have been there in that very grove, I have prayed to God for a witness of my own, and I know by the Holy Ghost that it truly happened. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and I will sustain and follow him for I know that he leads us to Christ. I KNOW all of these things by the power of the Holy Ghost through much prayer and fasting, and I KNOW you can too. Start by reading the Book of Mormon, that is where it all begins. Once you are finished pray and ask God if it really is his word. That simple. If you do, I know that God will speak to you and confirm to your heart, like he has to mine that, the truthfulness of these things. I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

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