General Conference

What an Easter, Spirit filled.

This last week was a wonderful time to share with everyone the blessings of Easter and what it means to me. The Easter Bunny is cool and all but the best gift that was ever given to us, really the only gift that truly matters, is the reason why we truly celebrate this Holiday. It was wonderful to deeply reflect on the wonderful blessings of the Atonement in my life and to really see who I have been able to become because of the Savior Jesus Christ and the wonderful Gift that he gives us. I love Him so much.

He truly has become a friend to me, he is on my thoughts and in my heart and will always be someone that I go to for safety and council and direction. I am so grateful for him.

I have loved seeing what he does for people around me, and not just investigators of the church but members and other missionaries. Watching the gospel work in their lives is wonderful and brings such joy into my heart. Some of my favorite moments have been to watch my companions grow, to see the Atonement work in them and then to watch how in reaching out to others it changes me as well.  I truly have had a life changing mission, one that has set my path for the rest of my life I now can truly see how the Mission is the MTC for life. There are things in my Blessing that would have never been able to be fulfilled had I used my agency and not gone on a mission I am so glad that I made that choice.

These last couple of weeks while reflecting on the questions that MyPlan asks I have really been able to see how the mission is going to effect every part of my life to come. WOW so great!

This week we had Cierra and John at church. We also had two of the LA that we are working with at church as well, Ryan and Jacinda. What a great sunday for them to be there. The spirit was so strong and the all loved being there and celebrating Easter!

GENERAL CONFERENCE here we come!!
LOVE YOU
ELDER CORDON

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LET IT BEGIN!

I am so excited for this transfer! Things are just going so well. I am so grateful to have learned what I have throughout my mission and now being able to just hammer through till the end. This last week after transfers Elder Whiting and I were able to talk about some things that we wanted to focus on this transfer. Acting and not being Acted upon, is what we had decided was going to be a big focus for us this transfer. And wouldn’t you know it we got the chance to apply it right away.

Sense Wednesday we have been having a lot of appointments fall through, and putting our faith in God we ACTED. We knew that we had planned by the spirit and so we set out to find out why we needed to be there. We saw so many miracles come from just being willing to ACT in Faith and find Joy and Trust in Christ. We found in faith and that led to us getting in and teaching almost every door we knocked on. Not everyone but most. We were finding every day and that lead to 7 new investigators sense Wednesday. It was so awesome to see the very clear hand that was leading us in the work. We are so excited to carry this into next week. We are going to but a big focus on getting the members out with us, so that they can see all this amazing work that is going on.

I am also feeling very spoiled in who the Lord has put around me. We probably have the best Zone Leadership in the mission. We had a Zone Leadership Council and what an amazing time that was. We really focused on the need to really teach the Zone the true doctrine of repentance so that they can find the Joy in it and that they can have better faith in the great power of the Atonement. That really only happens through repentance. I truly do feel spoiled to be able to be around such great missionary fire at this point in my mission; The WKM is full of it, but I certainly feel blessed and wouldn’t trade any of them. Elder Whiting adds such and wonderful spirit and drive, Sister Christiansen has great faith and knows were to put it, and Elder Thompson is going to bring a great understanding of the Doctrine of Christ to the Spanish District. And that is just adding to the already great missionaries of Sister Bland and Elder Burton. How did I get so lucky!!!

I am grateful for the power of Repentance and the real change it can make to the very nature of who we are. I love Jesus Christ and will never be able to truly put into words what a wonderful blessing it is to be able to have the gift of the Atonement to shape me and mold me into someone that I would never be able to be without HIM.

I am looking forward to the blessing and miracles in store for this next week.

LOVE
Elder Cordon

Halleluja

Well I am off to see the miracles that God is putting in the path of these righteous children of his. Nicole IS AMAZING! We are also teaching Isaiah as well! The 11 year old son of Adam, he is also very excited to be baptized. Both are being baptized on October 24th. WOW. I am so glad that we followed the impression of the spirit to go to that house. Nicole is so prepared and is following and keeping all of her commitments and noticing how much happier she is in just the short amount of time. God Blesses us right away he doesn’t wait once we have had our change of heart. Adam is coming along as well he hasn’t gotten his answer yet but we are still working with him. He met with the bishop last week and we are working to see if…. he might be able to baptize Nicole and Isaiah!! The biggest thing that is keeping him back is the same thing that is push Nicole forward so fast. That change of heart. The difference is that Nicole has had it and Adam has not yet. During my fast this last week I included him in to be able to have the Holy Ghost touch his heart and for him to listen to it.

Linda is also ondate. There could be a bump there her husband decided that he didnt want to meet with us anymore, decided he wants to stay catholic. But she wants to keep meeting with us and wants to get baptized she just doesn’t want to have it cause a problem if she does so we will see what the outcome of that is. We will probably be doing a special fast with her, hopefully soften the heart of the husband and to help her increase her faith. WKM is the Promise land!

I love being able to use to atonement every day to improve on things every single day to improve and become better some that I dont ever become Comfortable. BOY OH BOY what a great mission conference so much to study on and restudy. I Loved the spirit that was there. Such a great couple of weeks with General Conference and then the Mission tour with Elder Johnson WOW So much of a spiritual recharge!

LOVE YOU ALL
ELDER CORDON

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Beautiful Sunset

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Hello!

Birthday Week

So this week was so different then a year ago. What a difference to see what kind of missionary I have changed into. My birthday last year totally through me for a lope. I wasn’t focused as I should have been, I was not in a great place with the companion that I had, and my birthday made me really home sick; just wanting to spend a birthday with friends and families it was a real problem for me.

This year was 100% opposite.

I was focused on what I was doing with the work it never made me skip a beat, in fact it even made me think about how I could use it to help. As I was thinking about that for a couple of days a member family ask me at church if they could throw me a party that I could invite all those that we have been working with in the two wards to. Prayers were answered I got to use this wonderful moment on the mission to further the work to have people that are investigators meet member and recent converts. It was such a great environment to have them all to, even had Dallen thank me for the invite saying “we dont ever get invited out to things”. They really had a great time mingling with everyone that was there, and got to meet the most recent member of the ward. Got to share my testimony to each of them personally and even got the time after ward to have a lesson with Flor about the Holy Ghost.

The whole week it kept me focused on my purpose as a missionary, help bring people closer to Christ and Help them become converted to the gospel, and a part of that is helping them mingle and make friends with people in the church, and help members mingle with investigators and nonmembers, and teach in members homes. Which all happened in one event. VERY COOL.

I am also in a much better place as a missionary then I was a year ago. I am so grateful for the direction that has taken place in my life and missionary work with the absolute direct help and guiding hand of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I am so grateful for the gift of repentance to be able to make changes in our lives and to become better and not the to change behavior but to be able to change our very nature. When that kind of change happens you never go back to who you were before, so little by little you can develop in the person that God needs. You are humble enough that God can work through you and with you to do miracles in the life that He has given you. Alma 19:33 …-that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.

That is the heart that He needs. That is the heart that is applied to understanding the Holy Ghost and the direction that it gives you in your life. So that we can all be a lighthouse of the gospel to the world and to everyone that we come into contact with.

What a Great and wonderful week we have ahead of us to look forward to general conference.

Pray for answers to questions.

Love you all so much.
Elder Cordon

Very Hot Summer

Dear Family & Friends,

Well wasn’t expecting this transfer at all. It came and went so quickly. I was truly expecting that I would be staying with Elder Harmon, I truly have loved the time that I have spent around him and he has taught me so much. This is going to be the weirdest one yet, but I have also been on my knees in prayer to help me with the coming transfer and become even better each day. I am learning very quickly that the more I recognize that I am in great need of Gods, and the faster that I recognize it, the greater that I can grow with Him.

I love the strength that I receive from Him when I ask with faith and am willing to put forth all of my effort. I love the stretching and growing that I can do on the mission to be able to be more then I ever thought possible. To Become What He Know I Can.

I am going to cherish the moments that I have had to be able to recognize his hand in my life. I am grateful for the atonement to be able to help me become so much more. The Atonement is the reason that we can even become more then what we are. The reason that we can have hope in a better future to know that we don’t have to just be ok with, or even worse get upset about what is just currently happening to us.

We are still working very hard to make sure that we are getting Friends for our investigators so that there connections with the church that are not ones that are going to be leaving any time soon.

Love you all so very much

ELDER S CORDON

Lead Thou Me On; Reflections On Returning Home

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Dear Family and Friends,

So reality can hit you pretty hard when you get home, setting aside the fact that you have to adjust to a whole new culture and way of living, there is the pressures of finding a job, going to school, and getting married, all of which are grand feats in and of themselves. Coming home has been the greatest adventure of my life so far. In just a few short weeks (which have felt like a few short months) I have made great friends, tried new things, shared the gospel, made tons of money, traversed hundreds of miles, and so much more. Truly I believe more than ever before that God never intended for the mission to be the climax of my life, seeing has how the fullness of joy has only continued to grow since then. However; I tend to worry, my biggest worry has been whether or not I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. With so many big choices immediately placed before me, I have found it to be very difficult to feel completely confident in my decisions. Little did I know that I was about to get a bigger lesson on faith and trust in God than I ever had. Not even a day after I got home, opportunities fell into my lap, and doors started opening for me which I didn’t even know were there. These were grand testaments to me that God really does provide; nevertheless, I still found myself worrying that perhaps I wouldn’t know what to do, that I wouldn’t have enough money for school, and that I hadn’t picked the right major. Clearly, all of these feelings and thoughts are not examples of exercising faith. I definitely wanted more faith, but just wasn’t sure how to get it. Constantly the spirit and loved ones around me have encouraged me that everything would work out for the best, but I couldn’t bring myself to embrace the idea. I have definitely had my moments of great faith since I have been back and I honestly did and do believe that God will provide for me, but I have had my moments of doubt and anxiety. Suddenly, I got spiritual reinforcement. It came the way that I have told people it would come to them for almost two years, it came in a simple thought and feeling; I got my revelation by listening to a hymn during Sacrament Meeting this last Sunday. Hymns have such a powerful way of reaching the heart in a way that words cannot. It seems to heighten your spiritual sensitivity allowing the holy ghost to converse with you more clearly and specifically. In a way that it has never done before Hymn #97, Lead Thou Me On, struck my heart and filled me with a supernal sense of hope. I stared at the words as I read them, almost incapable of speaking as I realized the words sung in that song were directly meant for me at that moment. While the whole song was powerful these parts struck me the most. “Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene–one step enough for me. I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou shouldst lead me on. I love to choose and see my path; but now, lead thou me on!… So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone.” As those words resonated within me I was overcome with emotion. Almost to the point of tears I thanked God for the blessing of his spirit and especially His Son, Jesus Christ. God had provided all things necessary for me to be happy and to succeed and he would continue to do so. As I listened to this song it’s message was written on “the fleshy tables of my heart”, and that truthfulness of its message was confirmed by the power of The Holy Ghost, sealing that testimony forever in my soul. Since that powerful moment, what I learned has only been confirmed as I have seen the hand of God working wonders in my life. I am still far from perfect and I still have much more to learn about faith, but I know for me, the newly returned missionary, daily relying on the spirit will, out of necessity, continue to be apart of my life. Coming home hasn’t been the easiest thing I have ever done, but I have enjoyed it and it has made me a better person; even better than who I was a little more than three weeks ago when I was still a missionary in Florida. I am know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that because of Jesus Christ, if I remain faithful, all things will work out for my gain and I will gain all that the father has in store for me. Until that time, “I do not ask to see the distant scene–one step [is] enough for me.”

I love y’all so very much!

Brother Joshua Cordon

Sunny Side Up

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week. Full of growth and development, and also backed full of miracles!! I Am grateful for the atonement and its ability to make us better then we were yesterday. To have the strength and power of Christ to work in our lives with common problems to make them better and to come out the way they need to for our betterment. He is the one that knows what we need to grow into who we need to be, so trust in him.

I also learned a very important lesson that if your own house is not in order you are not able to help anyone else.

I am so blessed that I get to see literal miracles happen all the time. This week we got started teaching the son of Katie and he is excited to learn why Brian (his stepdad) and Katie have made so many changes. He is excited to learn more about his Heavenly Father and the plan that he has for him. Its is always a testimony to me of this truth, that even little children understand it and can feel of its truth. We can all have the faith of a little child, we just need to remove all the disbelieving.

We also met a new man this week Corbin and we felt VERY prompted to keep talking to him, and then VERY prompted to invite him to be baptized. He said yes and also to a date of March 21 so we are going to do everything that we can to get him ready for that date.

God is out ahead of us missionaries preparing people for His truth. Are Spirits will recognize the truth if we give it time to listen. We have been taught it all before so it will have a familiar ring to it.

I am so very grateful for all of your support and love.

You are in my prayers.

LOVE
Elder S Cordon

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Chaos and Melodies

Dear Family and Friends,

This week had my head spinning!! Our week was packed with appointments, we had a million and half (divide that by 50000 and it is probably more accurate) people we need to get in contact with, we had to prepare and give a training for a meeting that was most of the day on Wednesday, and I have a new companion who has yet to meet everyone in the area, and I did two exchanges. Haha it was crazy. It pushed me to my limits in a lot of ways. The blessing and the curse of high stress situations is that it quickly brings to your attention different flaws in yourself. As nice as it is to have some direction as to were you can begin making improvement, it also isn’t the most painless process. I made a number of mistakes this week that I wish I hadn’t made, however, I am grateful for the Atonement of Christ which helps me to put them behind me, to learn from them, and to change. I am so very grateful for change. This week was met with a lot of blessings though. Donna, one of our good friends is still on track for baptism here on the 18th and she is so excited. She just begins to live everything immediately. She reads the book of mormon several times a day and she is trying to get her brother to also begin studying with us. She has quickly won the heart of the ward and everyone is happy to have her join the ranks. She is a prime example of someone who has a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I am grateful God has allowed me to be part of her story. Jorge is also still ready to go with baptism on the 24th of this month and the ward is very excited for him as well. The sisters in our ward just had a baptism this past week and I think having 3 baptisms this month will do wonders to build excitement in the ward to share the gospel. Last week we had 10 people in church and this week we had 7 so we are getting some consistently large crowds which is really exciting. After a lot of work the teaching pool here is very large and now the trick to get them all progressing quicker and quicker.

I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have to be engage in such great of a cause. I frequently ponder on how lucky I am to be able to have been born in the gospel and to be able to have it simply be part of who I am. I have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, and I want the whole world to join me in singing this sweet melody!

image1Picture Caption: We had to capture the moment! Also the elder on the right is not my companion I was on an exchange and the guy on the left is a recent
convert who I am good friends with and the girl is Tara the amazing
woman we baptized back in July. Happy New Year everyone!

I love y’all!!

Have a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua Cordon

 

The Pains and Blessings of Missionary Work

Dear Family and Friends,

So the news from here in the Orient. Well the work has been going fantastically well. We were able to meet to ladies the sisters found, One she is amazing has two kids one 14 year old boy and one 8 year old girl. Super cute and the 8 year old will be a great addition to the primary of 4. We have not met here husband yet but that is to come. The other lady has a 6 year old girl, also a great addition. Also another potential family we are working with whose name is Mr Lam he has two kids one is 12 and the other 7 I am not sure. But if all goes well we will be populating the future of this ward quite nicely. Thats the foresight on the miracles lying ahead for December.

On other news, I got a call last night that breaks my heart and might be the hardest thing missionaries ever face. Gary my recent convert from Butterfly has informed the bishop and investigators that he is no longer coming to church and will be joining another church. No doubt there was anti involved but, this is so hard for me to swallow because last week I got his phone number and all week I have been thinking about him kept getting the impression to call him, I finally followed this yesterday and wrote him a letter and gave him a call but no answer, it was later when I received the call from the elders about him. On thursday I was even about to write him an email but something distracted me and I thought I would put it off for today. Well on thursday night is when this all went down. So I was able to get in contact with him and he hasn’t not responded to my text. I feel as if the Lord was trying to get me to be there for him is his time of decision making to be a light and a guide. But I missed my chance and for now he is gone. So all my recent converts now are less active. I try to wonder why this happens, what have I done wrong, I think the simplest thing is I am not perfect and the lord knows that although I have done all I can I think these people are starting to realize that salvation is not easy. We all at times feel like we need to quite that it would just be easier but the truth is we can’t. Because salvation is not a cheap experience. The Lord showed us that as he cried in agony on the cross asking the Father where are’t thou. Joseph Smith felt that on many occasions but, maybe most strongly in liberty jail. Truth is all Hell is trying to stop us from getting salvation because it is that great and that amazing, it is always worth it to keep going and we can’t give up.

I love you Thank you for the support.

Elder Jared Cordon

I Am A Child Of God

Dear Family and Friends,

Transfers has come and gone and thankfully Elder Layton and I are still working together. He is now officially the companion that I have served with the longest. We will have been together 6 months by the end of this transfer. Like always this week has afforded me an interesting time of reflection and contemplation. Spending time with missionaries on their first day and on their last day caused me to think about how far I have come and where I am going. It makes me so happy to see how the mission has made an impact on my life so far. I am not sure if there is any other way to learn so many life experiences so intensely in such a short time. I am grateful to God for everyday that he has given me to serve. Luckily for me I still have plenty of time to learn and become a better man.

I Am A Child of God, the classic primary song in the church, took on an entirely new meaning for me this morning. It was interesting how everything came full circle. It always does. Wednesday night I was at the mission home waiting for some missionaries to finish getting their final interview with President Craig. Among those missionaries are a handful that are very talented musically. Sister Heckel, Sister Dodd, and Elder Sorenson, received a request from Sister Craig to sing one more song accompanied with the piano before they left for the night. The hymn they chose just so happened to be I Am A Child of God. My initial thought when that was suggested was, “come on, that is a boring one, choose something else.” However, as they sang, they did a beautiful rendition that really brought a heavy spirit into the room and was very enjoyable. At the time, aside from being wrong about that song being boring, I really thought nothing more of it.

On Saturday we helped an investigator of ours, his name is Tom, he is the one that came into contact with the church via the app, Hanging With Friends. He is very busy and it has been difficult to sit down with him. In fact we only have once since the initial lesson, but we have maintained great contact through calling and text. He told us that he was going to busy this weekend moving some things and condensing two storage sheds that are across town from each into one. We saw it as a great opportunity to serve and quickly jumped on the opportunity. It surprised him at first but he let us help. Because our mini van can hold so much we ended up saving him two trips and we were able to do it in one. Afterwards we got lunch together and it became a very powerful lesson. In an attempt to help him and his girlfriend, Cathy, see why knowing about the pre–mortal life is so important for them I realized in a powerful and new way why it is so important to me. Tom is a man who puts family first, he does not hesitate to skip his breaks so he can make it to his sons baseball games and go on scout camps with him. He learned to put family though through the school of life experience. On the other hand I contrasted that with the fact that I am only 20 years old and I have not had the amount of life experience that he has but I have known my whole life that family is a priority and it deserves our time. I have known that I know it now because I understand where I am came from and why God sent me here. Knowing that I am a Child of God has helped me see what is most important in life. I am not perfect by any means, but I know who I am and where I am headed.

The next day on Sunday we were teaching Ty, and he is someone who is struggling to overcome the effects of his past mistakes and other things that continue to hold him captive. We helped him see that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and that he gives us commandments to help us know what we can do to be happy, and that because we are children of God and because of Jesus Christ we are capable of living every single commandment that God has given us. Even though we are weak we have the potential and capability of overcoming everything that holds us captive. Because of Jesus Christ even the grave cannot hold us captive.

Finally this morning I was listening to a talk by Henry Eyring that he gave in 1988 at Ricks College. He talked about the power of knowing and believing the song I Am A Child of God. He talked about how it speaks of our potential. A child has the potential to become like its parent. Since that happens to be God our potential is literally limitless, we should never let anyone tell us that we cannot do something. Secondly he talked about how we are still yet children and that we need to be humble and wiling to learn the way that children are willing to learn. As people grow older they seem to think that people younger than them cannot teach them anything, but we are all children and we all have plenty of lessons to learn from one another. And thirdly, because we are Children of God we have the divine help of the Holy Ghost and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Knowing that enables us and helps us know that no matter how many mistakes we have made we are still capable of reaching the potential that is part of our nature. I coupled that with studying the life and atonement of Jesus Christ this morning and it was a very powerful experience.

I want to bear my testimony that I am a Child of God. I know that he has sent me here. I know that family is of God and that parents our a gift from God. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and redeemer and that will help me through every step of this mortal existance. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and the gospel has been restored through him. I say all these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love Y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon