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