OH BOY! 

So there was an amazing miracle this week!

Elizabeth was found, which was an answer to her prayers. SHE IS AWESOME. She has a lot of family that is LDS and she was in the hospital last week that got her thinking about her life. She was talking to her aunt that is LDS and she wanted her to find Missionaries and get a blessing. SO Wednesday she prayed that she would be able to find them, Next day we knocked on her door!!! WHAT. She is working towards a date of Feb. 27th and is reading and praying. She is the fulltime caregiver for her father who is suffering from a lot of illness, working around that schedule is going to be our biggest road bump.This week we also had a Part Member family that came to church!  

We have our bishop that is getting really excited about missionary work and he went and talked to 2 Part Member families this week that we are going to start teaching, one of them is going to FHE at his house tonight. Miracles happen when the work is done in His way. I am so excited about the broadcast and striving to become a strict PMG missionary. Such a wonderful focus to Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts!  

We had a wonderful lesson with Nathen this week as well, he is dealing with a lot of stress in his life right now due to his job. He did however make the wonderful connection that in those stressful times is when you need to be reminded that God needs your attention. He really is a wonderful person and has wonderful talent. He builds custom guitars for a living 0.0 and they are beautiful! We have a few musicians in our ward that we are going to be bringing by, they also want to see if he wants to play with them at the church dance that is coming up for Valentines day. It always brings success when the Members wrap themselves into the work, and into the people. The wonderful law of Sacrifice for others, boy oh boy, such a wonderful way to live. 

I love that I have this time in my life to truly turn outward and learn this wonderful truth that this is the way to the most happiness, turning out to help those around you, that is the place where miracles are. I have such a testimony of this that I will be able to apply for the rest of my mission and life. When priesthood callings are magnified and selfless service is given that is truly the life that I want to model after.  

Thank you for all you do for me.  

Elder Cordon 

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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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The Still Small Voice

Dear Family and Friends,

Though prayer should be your first resort, sometimes it is also what you do when you have nothing left. Such was the case of our Saturday night.

I had tried my best to book our night with solid appointments that would keep us busy all day, but what often happens in this line of work, we had a few cancellations. At about 7:00 we had exhausted all our options save one. We made our way cross town to try a woman we had met a few days earlier in the parking lot. She was interested in what we had to say and said that we could come back sometime on the weekend. Once we finally got to her we were blessed in that we got a return appointment, but we still had an 11/2 hrs and no plans. We just stopped our car at the exit of the apartment and offered a simple prayer asking for inspiration. During the prayer a car pulled up behind us and so Elder Jorgensen pulled out and took a right. At the next apartment complex he pulled in, so we could finish giving our prayer. When we finished I realized that the person I had thought of lived in the complex that he had pulled into. We drove to the back and found a parking spot and knocked on her door. No answer. As we walked back to the car I was determined to find out why I have felt inspired to go see her. I saw a few men standing by their car and I so I tried talking to them, but the conversation was over before it started.

There weren’t too many lights on and nobody was outside, so we decided to head somewhere else. I was backing Elder Jorgensen when he backed the car in such a way that forced us to drive farther into the complex and turn around. I thought it was strange but didn’t think to much of it. When we got to the turn around spot there was a row of parking stalls, and next to that a row of trees, and behind that was actually the very far back of the complex we live in. It also happened to be the building where a lady we used to teach lived. I had remembered that there was a path through the trees, so we parked the car and made our way over. The light was on so we gave it a knock. She was excited to see us and were able to talk about how prayer can help us come close to God during trials. It was nothing short of a miracle that she was home and willing to talk. She works a ridiculous four jobs, and sleeps during the rare moments when she isn’t working. She had decided earlier that day to call and get the night off of one of her jobs though. She told us that she was moving to another apartment building and that once she moves that we could come by and see her more regularly. If we hadn’t seen her that night we would have been hard pressed to have found her in the future.

It is the moments when I see God’s guiding hand in my life that I really come to treasure on my mission. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me very much. I know that he is in control and that if we trust him that we will experiences miracles daily. As I finish this letter a scripture is brought to my remembrance, it is from the Old Testament.

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13)

You will never be disappointed if you can learn to listen to and trust the still small voice.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

#THEPROPHETSPEAKS

Dear Family and Friends,

What a blessing it was to be able to watch General Conference this weekend and hear the inspiring words of our leaders. This conference definitely gave cause to reflect on many aspects of life. In between the sessions we found ourselves doing what missionaries often do, knocking on doors. In what seemed an almost instinctive approach we testified on every doorstep that we have a prophet today. The various responses we received clearly and quickly taught the fact that most people have no idea why a prophet is at all a blessing to us. Even after we take time to try to explain it to them, they still just don’t seem to get it. As I watched the sessions of conference the question popped into my mind, do we as members of this church even understand why it is such a big deal that we have a prophet today. If we recognize it, do we feast on those abundant blessings?

I would like to take a few moments to tell all of you that I know without a doubt that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that by the spirit of god which has born witness of that fact to my own spirit. I believe that when he is acting under his prophetic calling that his words are God’s words, and I have the faith that if I live by his counsel that I will become more like my savior, Jesus Christ, and my life will be one that will provide me with the richest blessings that are available in this mortal existence. And while the spirit alone is good enough for me to know I have the additional witness of experience, for as I have lived his counsel I have seen it bring me closer to God.

Not only do I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, but I also know that we have a quorum of 12 Apostles on the earth today that holds the same authority that the apostles of old held. I know that those men are also called of God and have power and authority from on high to act in there callings. I know that from my encounters with those Holy Men but one major witness is the fact that it was one of those men that made the assignment for me to serve in Jacksonville, FL for my 2 year mission. I have had numerous experiences that proven to me that this is the exact place and time that I was meant to be. Only a prophet could have known that.

And so on down the chain of authority that begins with Christ are the church assignments made. This past week I was able to reinforce my testimony that even the 70 have been given power and authority with their callings. Even though he would undoubtedly have had endless meetings and many other things on his plate in anticipation for General Conference, Elder Golden who visited the mission two weeks ago, took the time to call my companion and I to apologize that he was unable to interview while here in the mission in person but that he would like to do so over the phone. It was a very special moment of my mission to be able to talk with him and to feel of his spirit as he gave me advice, counsel, and compliments. It never ceases to amaze me how powerfully the spirit can enter into your life and fill your soul from simple conversations, even when they are over the phone.

A lot of what he spoke about was The Spirit. As I put his counsel and advice into action, I experienced many miracles this week. We were able to be directly guided to people who were ready to receive our message. Among that group is a woman named Stephanie, who had just moved in 3 days prior, and a family of 7, who have been in there place for many years. The still small voice for me like a personal golf caddy who helps you with every aspect of the game of life. If you are a worthy and if you listen, as Elder Golden said, “You better buckle up for it will send you on one wild ride.”

Another blessing this past week was that I got to watch the new film, Meet The Mormons. It is a powerful story of the lives of 6 different families from the US and different parts of the world. It demonstrates in a very simple but powerful way how living the gospel will impact your day to day life. It literally is a part of who you are. It is not just an aspect of your life, but rather it is your life. It is amazing how someone who has had a life that is hardly similar to mine in any way could on the same hand have so much in common with me. As I talk to people from day to day it is interesting to me how much people are trying to avoid labels of any kinds these days. Which in large part is why non-denominational Christianity is on the rise. That is such a striking contrast to the world wide family that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Truly we are the only large body of people that can in any way be described as–like the first century Christians– being of “one heart” and of “one soul.” (Acts 4:32) Not only am I okay with being labelled as a “Mormon,” but I embrace it because it reminds me that I am never standing alone.

Clearly I know that this church is true. If you would like to as well, it is as simple as this, Ask God. I know that he will answer you. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all! have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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The Power of Prayer

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this was an amazing week! A lot of great things happened! To start the week right I went on splits with my MTC companion because he is in my district. Its crazy how far we have come! It was cool to see how we have both changed so much. But some great things came of this experience.

We were both quite thirsty and while searching for water in a park we ran into a man who we just jumped right into a gospel discussion. We found out quickly that he was out pondering because he had really taken his life downhill through bad decision making. He had many drugs problems in the past and after going through the prison system of Hong Kong he is now in a probationary state, but will need to check into a prison soon for his last 2 months then he is done. So he had some time to visit friends and we had caught him on his ponder through the park. He was so prepared and he sincerely wanted to change. One thing he said was he has not been in contact with his family for many years because he has no means to contact them and has no idea where any one of them are. Well after explaining more about God and prayer we invited him to pray. He was a little hesitant not knowing what to pray about so we invited him to pray and ask God for him to reunite him with his family. He did and it was a powerful faith filled prayer of a son longing for love. He said he felt amazing and so did we.

Well that was my role in his conversion to the Gospel, because I headed back to my own area. But the next day when they saw him again (because he was heading back to prison soon they wanted to teach him as much as possible) He was overcome with Joy! That morning his mother had come knocking on his door and it was an amazing reunion. He then took the missionaries to his house to meet his mom. He expressed answers to other prayers about the gospel. He had 4 more lessons and a chance to come to church before he heads out today. He has gained for himself a burning testimony of the work. He will be baptized after he is out. Also the missionaries can visit him while he is in prison so they can keep teaching him.

Another great thing is I was able to see my recent convert who dropped off the map. He is doing great, however he has a tough family life but he will be back into activity shortly. It just breaks my heart to see someone so changed and blessed turn-away from their perfectly loving Father. But he is back.

Another great thing was during the second set of splits that went down this week I had a chance to go with Elder Beal. He is a district leader and Elder Townsend the zone leader went with Elder Nestman the other district leader so we had all the district leaders with 1 zone leader in the appartment. So we took advantage of the situation and had a meeting. What came out of this meeting was pretty awesome. We have all gained new motivation and resolutions. We were able to establish some new plans and actions to increase accountability for goals and inspire and motivate our districts. We all realized we need to be the examples of the change we want to see so we are turning up the heat. New Territories will be number 1.

Taking that motivation I took it to the ward. The sisters wanted to meet and talk about receiving more referrals and with the inpsiration from the district leader meeting we came up with a great plan to jump start the ward. We planned a Teaching No Greater Call seminar for the ward using the same module president has set up for our district meetings, we cleared it with the bishop and then took the idea before the ward council and it was accepted. So we will have great things coming! They are working on some translations and hopefully we can do this in the next two weeks.

Amazing things are coming!

Love you all! God really does live.

Elder Jared Cordon

Bring on the rain!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, Hurricane season is officially here. The wise old patriarch of the ward strongly urged all of us to be ready. Don’t worry though, we are. We have been stocking up on food for the last little while. The cupboards are full and we have food for at least three months. Also, if anything does happen, what a great opportunity it will be to serve those around us. It will also make it easier to baptize if the streets are full of water. Of course I am only slightly joking! It did storm rather heavy every single day last week! We even had nickel sized hail several times.

Moving on.

Some really good things happened this past week! Not the least of which is the mission leadership council meeting that we had in which a lot of good things are coming about. I really love where President Craig is moving the focus and I am excited to exoerience all the good that will follow. For me personally, that meeting was very inspiring. I left with my expectations raised and my vision expanded. I realized I hadn’t been stretching myself enough, but that is going to change! Starting with my online proselyting, which is something that I have completely neglected these past few months. I have been looking for ways to improve and now I finally feel like I have concrete direction on how I am going to do that!

An exciting thing that happened this week was that Alfred had a change of heart. A week ago he was pretty down and he wasn’t his normal cheery self. He didn’t come to church last week because he was so down. He started to have a lot of doubts in what we were teaching because he still hadn’t had a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon. We set out this week to help him have one. On Wednesday we talked a lot about prayer with him, we knew that if he could understand how prayer works then getting an answer will be easy. Near the end of our lesson he seemed to have a really good understanding of prayer. We then challenged him to pray right then and there and ask god if the Book of Mormon is true. He was a bit hesitant, but he agreed. After praying we had us just sit in silence for a few minutes so he could pay attention to the way that he felt. Needless to say, Alfred finally can recognize what the spirit felt like! It was pretty incredible! This Sunday at church he just kept saying, I feel the spirit and I can’t help but smile!

And on that note I want to end by saying, if you are looking to smile a little more in your life, then do something that will invite the spirit, and soon enough, I promise you, you will be smiling! It happens to me every single day!

I love y’all!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Literally and Spiritually Fed

Dear Family and Friends,

I had a wonderful week this past week, which is not surprising because I always do. I is raining today though, it might clear up, but we will see.

One of the notable experiences of this past week was that I had the opportunity to go into a full bike area for the day to do an exchange with another Elder. It honestly was really nice to get on the bikes for a full day. Considering the size of our area here and the usually scatter plot of appointments that we have it would be unpractical most days in our area so I am glad to have had that chance. I knew that this area was struggling to find people to teach and that things had been slow for them so I was hoping that by some miracle that the lord would guide us to at least one person who is interested in learning about the gospel. Well he answered my prayers and then some because we found two, both of which were found by listening to spiritual promptings. God really is just so good.

Also we ate so much food this week!!! I will send a picture of the meal we conquered on Tuesday. alone ate 3/4 of Chicken Fried a big bowl of mashed potatoes, 2 bowls of coleslaw, 6 biscuits, and a helping of creamed peas. It was delicious! Having not yet fully recovered we doubled dinner on Wednesday. Sadly, I had forgotten about the second dinner until after I already was full. But with only an hour to recover I still was able to step up to the plate and bring it home.

We had interviews with President and Sister Craig this week. I will have to claim the title of the most blessed missionary in the mission though. In order to make sure everybody else got their interviews we had to gross our fingers and put ourselves at the end of the day on Tuesday, but because they were behind schedule a little bit we had to go before we had ours so we could dinner that chicken dinner with a less-active. I thought I was just going to have to have mine a month late like last time, but after calling president he suggested that we just come over to his house at the end of the day on Wednesday. Basically we had true one on one time and no pressure to meet a schedule. The spirit in that home and in President and Sister Craig reminded me of the temple. I am so blessed!

I wish I could tell you about all the wonderful experiences we are having but time is short! Needless to say, I am happier than I have ever been and I know it only gets better from here!!

Love Ya’ll,
Elder Cordon

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