Conference Answers Questions

Dear Family and Friends,

This was among one of the most inpiring weeks of my life. The Friday trainee/trainer meeting and then a Saturday and Sunday of general conference answered so many of my questions about life I had to start thinking of new ones while conference was still going to continue to get the most out of it. I am so glad I took the advice and wrote down some questions. One of my favorite talks was Elder Eyring’s during priesthood session. I had asked a question on how to improve my prayers. I got more of an answer than I ever was expecting. I even had a question about college and just my future in general that I really wasn’t anticipating receiving an answer to, but God had other plans.

The week went really well. I will tell you about a few miracle men that we had. The first is this man Jeff. He was a miracle that we had several weeks ago when we had arrived at the apartment about 10 minutes early. Rather than going inside which I have never done. I told elder curran, we are not going home until we have a miracle. We began to walk and hopefully find someone outside. At exactly 9:00 this man yells from his porch, “are y’all missionaries?” And we of course went right over there and said yes. We replied with, “yes we are!” He told us that his dad is Mormon and that he has a lot of questions. We struggled for weeks to meet up with him. This past week we decided to give it one more try. He was home and we had a phenomenal lesson. He really did have a lot of questions. The next day we went back and he had read 50 pages and done tons of research. He said that a lot of people don’t support the church but he feels like this is where he is meant to be. He accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 25th of this month. It was awesome!

Another great thing about this past week began with a challenge presented by elder Kopischke called “priming the pump”. He said that we should go and ask them to pray for us that we could find a family to teach in their home. We decided to try it with the awesome Nhiev family. The very next day after we started it we met Michelle who I mentioned in one of previous letters. This past Monday she joined us at the Nhiev’s for a family home evening and everyone had a great time! Then on Friday we had a lesson with her and her husband Ray. On Saturday they came to the church and watched the afternoon session of general conference with Br and Sis Nhiev. It was awesome to see how quickly everything is coming together when we exercise some faith. God really is just so good! The challenge worked so well we are trying it again with another family. Wish us luck!

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

Good Timing and Out-Growing

Dear Family and Friends,

We had incredible miracle yesterday! Last week on Sunday we met a mother and daughter who were members of the church. Mother was in town for a couple of months and she works for the FBI, and her daughter was just visiting before she goes back to Idaho for college. We know it was a miracle that we even met them for because we followed a prompting that Elder Layton had to go and knock the other side of the complex we crossed paths 5 seconds before they walked into their apartment. Needless to say the time between them going to their car and the apartment is a small window of opportunity but God has great timing. Patti, the mother told us that she would come to church the next Sunday. We swung by to see her Saturday and she was still determined to come and after talking for a bit she opened up about her past and we were able to resolve many of her concerns. Yesterday she came walking through the chapel doors and filled me with joy. One of the sisters in the ward is practically a carbon copy of her (they even wear the same glasses) invited her to dinner on Tuesday. She had already signed up to feed us and figured she could bank on the opportunity. It is amazing how she is only in town for a few months, but God is taking advantage of this time to help her strengthen her testimony and get reactivated. Our Heavenly Father is one smart cookie.

We had a powerful Zone Conference this past week!! After it is all said and done, one of the things that my testimony has been strengthened in more than anything else is the power of personal revelation from the Book of Mormon. Among those that believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, it is something that I feel is not used nearly as much as it should. I testify that the Book of Mormon will answer the questions of your soul. Whatever it is! I know because it has answered mine. It has answered spiritual questions of “how do I access the power of the Atonement?”, and lately it answered the question of how can I help those I am teaching to come to church? Now, anybody who has read the Book of Mormon knows that there isn’t an obivious chapter which specifically lays out how a missionary gets those he is teaching to church, but I can testify that it is in there. You just have to have the spirit with you to find it. I found my own personal answer in Alma 50 which talks about how Captain Moroni maintians liberty among the Nephites. As I likened these scriptures to me the answer became very clear on what it was that I needed to do. I will make a promise to every single one of you, that if you pour your heart out in prayer to God for answers to a specific challenge and then you read the book of mormon actively seeking for your answer, by the power of the Holy Ghost you will receive that answer in a simple and powerful way. Then if you write that revelation down, it will develop and how you must act will become even more clear.

I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. I have felt his love for me and for others abundantly in my life, and the joy that brings is sweeter than anything else. I also know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, I know that he died for me and that his Atonement is active in my life. Through the Book of Mormon I have gained that faith in Christ, and not only that, but I have also learned why he died for me, and how I can access the enabling power of the Atonement in my life. Knowing these things has given me greater meaning in life and deeper and more profound joy. I meet many faithful Christians on a regular basis, and many who profess to be Christians, and while their faith is genuine God doesn’t want just a lip service from his children, he wants a personal relationship with his children and he wants us to out-grow ourselves. In the Prophet of the Restoration Movie, Alvin Smith tells Joseph of a small sea shell at his uncles home. He tells him that a small creature made that shell layer by layer until he finally out-grew it. God doesn’t intend to help us become content with ourselves as we are but rather for us to grow into our true selves. The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us how we can do this, and Jesus Christ helps us do it so that one day we like Paul can say, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) I know that these things are true and I say them in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all! Have a great week!

Elder Joshua Cordon