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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Keep It Going!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This was a wonderful last week! We mixed things up last week and organized an English find with the Pok Fu Lam sisters and elders. We realized that nobody was really showing up to English class. So we made our own sign and had a member make some English flyers. After a few were passed out. We saw great success we had 10 people at English class. With the variable that we had our ward thanksgiving activity this last week which took place at the same time and took 4 people who normally go to English class away. So that says a lot about the impact of the find.

Speaking of the Thanksgiving activity that was also a great success. It gave a great chance for a mom and her two kids we have been working with to meet the ward, we also got our investigator Simon to get to know some of the members in the ward a lot better, and we got a referral. It was great. Along with that we saw some other little miracles this last week. We were doing our language study in the church when a man walked in. We thought it was one of the other missionaries investigators or a ward member, turned out to be a former investigator from several years ago. We taught him then committed him to church. He showed up dressed up in his Sunday best without being asked. We will see him again this week. We also had a near by rehad center for people with mental illnesses give us a call asking for us to help them with an activity they had planned. They were impressed with missionaries in the past and they wanted our help again that was a great service opportunity! Having time to serve people in Hong Kong helps me love them more and really keeps me positives through any rejections people throw out.

As far as our mission goal of 65 baptisms in December I really want it to happen and I truly believe it can, but I know to show my gratitude for the Lord for all the blessings we have been receiving I need to be more obedient. So thinking through what I could do I realized that we never really SYL (speak your language) *(Editors note- missionaries learning a new language on the mission are strongly encourage to only speak the language they are learning when they are in their apartment so that they are learning the language quicker by immersion.) Elder Wong doesn’t like speaking Cantonese so we really haven’t been. But I decided that I need to speak as much as possible but most importantly I need to have the 3 SYL days like we have been asked to have many times well we have been doing it. And it was hard to remember but we did it and it was really fun. I couldn’t let myself crack in the apartment ether so I as I kept speaking Chinese in the apartment I saw that the others started to as well. So its my new actions and we are actually doing it and I have seen its helped my contacting skills because then I don’t have to be switching back to Chinese mode I am already in it. Language is something that I have not taken as seriously on my mission as I should have but I have been cracking down now for a few weeks and I have seen it start growing again.

Things are just great here. I feel like the Lord wants me always to be growing so he needs things to stay hard enough to at least keep me on my toes or knees. You can only grown under pressure. If there is no pressure than you get soft.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

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Elder Groberg and Elder Cordon (They were in the MTC together)

 

Wow that was fast!! – Jared

Hello Family and Friends,

This might have been one of the fastest weeks I have ever had. Probably because it was just so good! A couple of firsts this week, we got our first investigator. We also will be seeing him again tonight. He is 84 and we can comprehend what he is saying! That is a miracle in itself! Also I taught my first street lesson yesterday in all Cantonese! The gift of tongues is real! Normally I just let my trainer do all the talking! I also went to a normal sacrament meeting this week, which was amazing because it has been 4 weeks since I have been able to take the sacrament. It was quite an amazing experience the spirit I felt to be able to feel the gift of the atonement and know that all those mistakes I have made I can be forgiven of!

The ward here is small but they are amazing! They are blessed to be one of the only wards with 6 missionaries! 2 Sisters and 4 Elders, President would love to see this ward grow enough to have to split!

This is the first week we have been able to have street lessons with people we will actually be able to teach! So far it’s been a lot of girls and non-Cantonese speakers. But we have taught 5 to Chinese men. That’s a miracle because this city is so crazy and everyone is so busy! So to get that kind of time from the men was pretty amazing! Our secret is to get over the lack of confidence and stop and asking people for the chance to teach them and just do it. When you’re really assumptive and assertive in a polite and kind way it really works. We were tired of people saying no, truth is they don’t realize what they are saying no to, so don’t give them the option.

I realize how much of missionary work is truly the work! You have to try your best to be the best missionary you can be and that is having the faith to talk to people and the diligence to grow. We have been struggling with boldness so this last week we really focused on it! For these Chinese men you got to be very confident and bold, something I struggle with in Cantonese because I am really insecure about the language. Yesterday though something hit me and we stopped in the middle of evening studies and went out and I was talking to as many people as I could and that’s what lead to the street lesson that I gave. The Lord is amazing. He can even help me speak Cantonese.

I love everyone and hope all is well! Thanks for all the support!

Elder Jared Cordon

I Love my Mission – Jared

Family, Friends, Mormons lend me your ears!

Yes the weeks are long. Yes I wish I was in Hong Kong. Regardless I am still loving it here!

First with the interesting news, they are shipping us over to Wyview for the last two weeks of the MTC. This is kinda nice I wanted to experience the other campus because then we would have apartments, and we can go eat at restaurants near by. Downsides the gym time facilities are not that great okay, they are all outside, need I say more.

Also I gave the prayer for the devotional yesterday which was cool! There where 4000 missionaries but if you close your eyes, its no big deal. Where I was sitting made it so that I was in the screen the whole time Brother Jon Tanner was speaking. (Yes he is related to the very Jon Tanner the movie is after which was cool and he produced the movie Jon Tanner, The Stone Cutter, 17 miracles, and the new one Ephraims Rescue). I thought it was cool that he is an identical twin, because me and my companion both are twins. It was a pretty good devotional although not that mission motivating!

The one I saw after that for the Sunday evening films was, Elder Bednar’s “Becoming a Missionary”, It was super good. It was mainly about how to become a lifetime missionary, so even though my mission may be up in two years. It should be weird coming back.

Also I started reading Jesus the Christ this last week. Man even though I only have a little time that I can read it. No book has ever been so compelling I am on page 225 out of 800. I feel like I have already grown so much closer to Christ. I have never looked at his Ministry in such a way. I suggest all who are not sure how to increase their faith to read Jesus the Christ (Which was written in the celestial room, by an Appostle, so I consider it scripture).

I have not had the chance to recieve amazing miracles in the same my way my brother has but, I am walking testimony of God’s miracles in how I can speak as much cantonese as I can, with honestly as little effort I have put in. I know once I get to Hong Kong it will remind me how much more I have left to learn and how loving God will be to bless me. Cantonese is really really hard, but not to hard for The Lord.

Everyone I love you, stay tuned for the good stuff, its coming in 3 weeks;)

Elder Jared Cordon

Just keep swimming! -Jared

First and foremost the greatest thing that happened this week is I got to see my brother after a long 2 years! That may have been the quickest 30 minutes of my life! Also as far as the language goes I still kepted having thoughts that the language was growing really slowly.

Well I took some time this week and with another Elder and practiced baring my testimony! Well needless to say it is amazing how far I have come, I don’t think you realize how much you know until you put it to the test and I think my testimony could not have been a better way!

I have to say I really hope I get to serve in Macau because you get to go to bed at 11:30 and wake up at 7:30! Not to mention it looks so cool at night time!

I have started my adventure on the Character of Christ. It began one night while I read outside with the sound of BYU crushing Texas in the background! I have to say thought that It has helped me realize how much Christ has influenced the world with only so few verses about his ministry in the bible, we know very little about his minstry yet the world recognizes his life with such importance that our very year of living is based on the Years following his life. Its been ultimately decided that his existence is factual.

But non the less. I know Christ life was not easy and He was strong, so I have to be. Salvation wasn’t easy for him and it isn’t easy for us! Don’t give up do something more!

I love all of you!

Love Elder(Jared) Cordon

P.S. I am so bad at typing so my letters have been short but once I get to the field I will have more time to make this longer:)

Just chipping away at those weeks -Jared

Dear my beloved Family and Friends,

This week was another one of those average weeks! You know one of the 12 apostles(Elder Anderson), and getting soaked in the rain afterwards! I had to farewell to my friend Elder Cheung heading to teach the wonderful Cantonese people of San Francisco. I had to give up the double bed to my roommates they think we need to share!

But man has it been a test of faith this week!

I had a point one night where I was wondering my purpose and why I am doing this, because I can’t seem to get the Language in the MTC how am I supposed to get it in Hong Kong! So I did a lot of contemplating and after everyone retired to there beds, and were softly snoring. I snuck out of the room to the janitors closet where I could be alone, I said a really big prayer out loud to my Father in heaven. I started out by apologizing for being so forgetful of all the Blessings he has given me! Then after saying some other things and closing my prayer. I sat there for a moment and just such an overwhelming feeling came over me! I knew that the lord will help me! No doubt in my mine! It doesn’t mean it will get easier! Because from the words of Elder Holland if your mission is Easy your doing it wrong! No one here in the MTC is smart enough to learn Cantonese in 9 weeks. Except maybe the spirit.

Another thing I would like to inform everyone you don’t have to get fat in the MTC cause I have lost 5 pounds already and its not like I don’t eat that! Just make sure I work out when my roommate doesn’t have giardia.

Overall here in the MTC life is good I have had to pleasure to see a lot of friends, make a lot of friends, and just grow closer to my spirit! Plus anyone and everyone should go rewatch Elder Hollands talk Safety for the Soul.

Love you all!
Elder Jared Todd Cordon

1 Down… 103 More to Go!

Dear Everyone,

This first few days in the MTC! What an adventure they have been!

The food has successfully made me and my companion spend a lot of time in the Bathroom, more him than me! It is gonna be easy to cut back, I dont know how people eat so much here! But the learning is coming a long surely! The Language is truly amazing though my teacher has not said a single word in english since I have been here! I can tell you that the gift of tounges is real because of how much I have learned! The first investigator we taught was defiantly a humbling experience though! I couldn’t understand anything she was saying and she couldn’t understand me at all! I might have accidently said something offensive haha. But today it will be another test how that language break this last day has treated me!

Sundays here are like a Holiday going to church and hearing english is like music to my ears! Also speaking of music I will be in the october Conference Choir! But sundays are great Sacrement, Priesthood and Sunday School are broken up which is kinda nice then in the evening there is a Fireside and we then will watch a recorded fireside afterwards! I have some great notes from yesterday it was so great!

My companion here is really awesome he is a twin also! and he is from centerville so right next door! His twin also not learning a language and he will be here in a few weeks! They are not Identical though, they dont even look like brothers haha! Its interesting here though because there is only 13 people learning cantonese two districts mine has 8 the other has five 3 of the people are going to Sydney australia! I Had two guys whose flight got cancelled they were going to toronto so we had two many guys in my room tell 2:00 this morning I didn’t sleep much! but I loved both of those Elders I actually knew them from BYU so that was cool! The first two names on my flag! Maybe things wont be as crazy now that we are down to 4 in the room! But we have so much junk food! like 4 big boxes just pilled high so I wont be needed to spend my money we just got all the great leftovers from a bunch of Elders who just left!

Man its crazy that Its only been 5 days I feel like I have been here for 5 weeks! It seems like by the time lunch roles around it should be dinner and then we have a 5 hour class…. But I love this wonderful opportunity to learn so its all worth it! My zone is awesome! its us Cantonese and then a bunch of people going to the Phillipines! So its a great group there is a lot more elders in my zone than Sisters but the MTC over all right now its like 50/50. Its probably because there is no sisters learning Cantonese right now, So we are like a little band of brothers!

Its been amazing here and I will be sure to be a little more thorough once I get a full week! But if you feel like your life isn’t that motivated or you need a spiritual recharge or you think your doing well enough in gods eyes. Well then go watch or read the Character of Christ! I love everyone who read this! And ill be back next week!

Sincerely

Elder Cordon