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

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

#FWB

Dear Family and Friends,

So this week was wonderful and full of HEAT, from the Spirit and the weather. We are teaching every day and teaching a lot. Talking to everyone is really helping us find those that God has been preparing. We didnt talk to as many people this week that we could have but there is always room to improve. We are committed to refocus on it this week. REPENTANCE that is what it is all about. Finding those small things that you can work on each day and each week. Doing the small repenting every day and week keeps the big ones away.
WE HAD A BAPTISM YAY!! Damien has made the choice to become a member of the church. What a Spirit filled baptism that was Donna his grandmother that is currently praying about a date for baptism really loved it. She is making the changes in her life that are necessary for her to be ready for when she does get a date. Watching Damien go through this has really helped her. She is such a wonderful lady that I am so glad to have been watching her grow.
Kathy is making the step of baptism this weekend. Her baptism is Saturday she is so very excited. What a wonderful miracle it has been with Kathy, her friend is a Recent Convert that took the courage to talk to her friend about the gospel. Both of them have been receiving blessings through this whole experience. We are going to be asking her to give a talk at the baptism.
It has really been able to give me a testimony of the power that comes when friends talk to there friends and are involved with the whole thing.
It is such a wonderful time to be apart of this work, and the blessings don’t have to be just for the full-time missionaries. I am trying to share that with the members that we have dinner with, and when we see them anywhere else. God wants to bless all of his children that get involved with sharing his work with the world. This gospel was restored so that it could be shared with the world.

Love you,
Elder Steven Cordon

Children of God

Dear family and friends,

This week was an incredible week! The best part about it though was without a doubt the weekend. This is considering the fact that we had a powerful mission changing meeting on Monday, and that I got to go to the temple in Orlando on Thursday.

The best part about this week was that on Saturday at 5:00 Aniya, Cheyenne, and Marquez were all baptized. It was one of the sweetest baptismal services I have ever been part of. The turnout was great and the spirit was strong. I would like to just take a minute to tell all of you about the three beautiful children we entered into a covenant with their Heavenly Father.

Aniya:
I have been working with Aniya since the first week I got to the area. We never ceased to be amazed at how impressive she was. She was only 11 years old when we first started teaching her and she had a stronger and more doctrinal sound grasp on the gospel than many adults. She carried herself with eloquence and she stood up for what she knew was right among her peers. When she entered young women’s her talents were only magnified. Just a few weeks ago she taught the Family Home Evening lesson to a group of adult converts and she lead the conversation with grace and everyone felt edified.

Cheyenne:
While we were working to the lay the ground work for Aniya so that she could get baptized suddenly after New Years Cheyenne came into the picture. Cheyenne is Aniya’s younger sister. We started the lessons over with her to help her have a good foundation of the gospel and of other restored truths. After a few weeks of working with her we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and looked like their dad who was baptized 4 years ago last Friday was able to finally get things lined up for them to be baptized as well. Cheyenne in just a few short weeks has shown immense growth and an increasing level of maturity. By the time the baptism came around she was bearing a strong testimony in the Book of Mormon and in the truthfulness of the church.

Marquez:
We venturing into new neighborhoods about 5 months ago when we saw a dirt road that was off to the side that lead to some distant homes. There are not very many dirt roads in our area so it peaked our curiosity so we went walking down to find some people to share the gospel with. The first house we came to was the home of Ms. Betty, Marquez’ grandmother. We would visit Ms. Betty from time to time and about a month after we started visiting her we became acquainted with Marquez when we helped him get the Christmas lights out of storage for his grandmother. After talking for a bit I told Marquez about scouts on Wednesday night and asked if he would like to come and join the group. He seemed really excited by the idea. He came the next Wednesday and well the rest is history.

This final weekend was a battle to get everyone ready for the baptism, but miracles abounded and right prevailed. Aniya and Cheyenne’s father was able to baptize them, and one of Marquez’ young men’s leaders who has been a great example to him was able to baptize him. While they were all changing, Elder Jorgensen and I were able to stand in front of a large crowd of members and non members and the teach the message of the restoration while wearing our baptismal whites with the font as the backdrop. It was very powerful and probably the best setting I have been afforded to preach the gospel. I never thought that I would be able to say that I had done that. As we taught I felt the spirit speak very powerfully to my the heart that this message is indeed true and I hope that a similar witness was born to the those who sat in the congregation.

On Sunday in order for Aniya and Cheyenne to be confirmed by their farther he was sustained by the congregation to be an elder and then I conferred upon him the Melchizedek priesthood, and ordained him to be an elder. Right after that he stood up and confirmed his daughters by that priesthood. Then I was blessed to confirm Marquez. It was an amazing weekend! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that I have been able to be part of the 3 incredible lives. I also found out that I am getting transferred to another part of Jacksonville this week Wednesday so it was a wonderful finished to an life changing experience while I served in the mandarin 2nd ward. I am excited for the amazing adventure ahead.

Thank you for all the love and support you have shown me and I hope that you know how much I love and appreciate every single one of you.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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#ActInFaith

Dear Family & Friends,

It is always amazing to see people, reach the gate of baptism. To make that step towards our Heavenly Father and to make that first of many covenants with Him. Brian made that step on Saturday, he has used the last 7 weeks to seek after and find truth. He has taken the challenge that we issue to everyone, to search, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon. To live the commandments and see if they do indeed bless your life, and then when this does happen, (for it always does) and when you receive your answer that the Book of Mormon is true, (which also always happens if done with real intent) then it is the simple step to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to be baptized by someone that holds the priesthood of God that was restored to Joseph Smith.

The miracles that take place in someones life helps to build my testimony. To see the restored gospel bring such light and knowledge into someones life is the miracle. It is the proof that the fullness of the gospel has been restored. There is no cap on the spiritual knowledge that can be received when given the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and when we make and keep the sacred covenants with the Lord. As one uses those gifts given freely, those are to steps on the climb to become like the savior, and to be eligible for the full birthright from our Father.

These are established laws to which the world is run on. It doesn’t matter what faith you are or if you even have faith at all. God is God and always will be God whether you believe in Him or not. So that being a truth God has established his plan and his laws that if lived will bring blessings from God, Regardless Of Your Belief. For if God did not honor His laws then he would cease to be God. Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”
In this verse we have our salvation, or our damnation. We have our gift or our curse. We have our joy or our sorrow. We have our freedom or our chains. For in this verse we are shown the nature of the double edge of our agency.

God lives, He has restored his church to its fullness, Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, our prophet Thomas S Monson is guided by Him, and anyone can know this by accepting the same challenge that Brian took. Test it for yourselves, Read, Ponder, and Pray with real intent and you will receive the same answer Brian did. Then when you do, ACT!

Elder Cordon

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#PerfectedInHim

Dear Family and Friends,

We got to have a General Authority tour the mission this week. Elder Arnold and his wife came throughout the mission. Friday was our Zone Conference that we were able to have such a wonderful experience with the spirit and learn truth. Starting at 7am and going till 2:30pm with a 30 min lunch break was our time for the conference. From start to finish it was a wonderful experience to learn and to grow. Saturday and Sunday was Stake Conference.

The topic was on getting involved in the work of salvation. Tying into the “Hastening of the Work” topic that was going this year. Are we all doing everything that we can to be fully engaged in the work of salvation? Is there more that we could be doing? Our there people that are within our reach of influence, that we have not yet talked to? Are we really prepared to do what is asked of us, an if not are we working towards being prepared?

I know where I stand on these questions, and I hit my knees that night to ask God to help me do better. To really become who He needs me to be. It is so easy to just get a little off course, and then next moment you look back to see that you are dramatically off course. #ElderUchtdorf

I am so very grateful to be able to have the ability to repent and change, Really change who I am and become better.

Love Elder S Cordon.

Love you all so much thank you for your prayers and support.

PS WE GOT SNOW! Only for like two days though.

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The Small & Simple Things

Dear Family and Friends,

It seems like it was only four days ago that I was writing y’all… o wait… So it was a wonderful weekend. A lot of really good things happened as usual. One notable event of this past weekend was going to a party on Saturday. So we have a recent convert that we have been working with and she is just wonderful! She has been a member for about 4 months now and has grown so much in that time. She made some dramatic changes in her life in order to get baptized and still has been battling with some of the lasting effects. One of those is her relationship with her family. Because of who she was before she has spent the last little while repairing those relationships and building the family she wishes she always had. It was her birthday this past weekend so we got together with her and another one of our recent converts to celebrate and have a lesson with them. It was a really great time and we even took a fun picture to commemorate the event. After the lesson she had plans to go over to her uncles house to have a family get together for her birthday. She really wasn’t looking forward to the event because it potentially was going to be a really awkward get together. After encouraging her to still go to the party and giving her our two cents of advice, the idea came to me to just have us go with her and take some of the focus off of her so that it wouldn’t be awkward any more. It was more of a facetious comment at first but then she loved the idea so we decided to go for it. The party ended being a really fun event. We got to see her dad and brother who are investigators of ours and to get to know the rest of her family. One of her cousins had even flown in from Peru (which is where her family is from) to be there and had fun getting to know all of them. She ended up having a wonderful time and really felt like it helped to make it one of the best birthdays that she had had.

It was such a simple thing that we had done, but it really brought about amazing results. On top of everything else we also got to expose her whole family to fact that Mormon Missionaries are normal people behind the shirt and tie. I wouldn’t be surprised if this could open up the door to some more baptisms in the future in her family. “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6) is the principle that I learned from all of this. Never underestimate the powerful impact of simple expressions of love and kindness. There is a wonderful Mormon Message that just came out that illustrates this principle rather nicely and touches those who view it in a variety of ways. If you want the link, here it is http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3792885561001.

Another wonderful thing is that we found out that one of our investigators will be able to get baptized sooner than we had expected. Her father wanted to baptize and confirm her, but was living with his girlfriend so he wasn’t going to be able to, and her mother wouldn’t agree to let her get baptized, so we had expected for it to be a much more distant event. However, her dad just split up with his girlfriend so he could be worthy and he is going through the court system to get full custody back. It is amazing how what seemed to be a very difficult and near impossible task has become a reality almost overnight. Truly there is no commandment that God won’t provide a way for a us to accomplish (1 Nephi 3:7) if we simply just try our best.

I love this work so much! The wonderful thing about the gospel is that whenever you give it away you always get more of it, whether it be love, joy, or even yourself, it doesn’t really make sense but that is what is so wonderful about it.

I hope every one of you takes advantage of the opportunity to watch general conference this weekend. I am stoked! It is like the super bowl for missionaries!

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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Change

Dear Family and Friends,

So this was a great week! We had an investigator make the step of baptism. Tre has aloud the gospel to change his life in so many ways. He came from a very rough past but the gospel is such that the atonement covers everything. He has really come to know that God is truly our Father and that He loves and cares for us, also that we get to live with him again and that the Gospel makes that happen.

Tre at his Baptism

Tre at his Baptism

Seeing him grow towards God has really given me another witness of the glory that awaits us at the end of this life. We have this life to prepare to meet God lets not waste it.

We have another investigator Tim that is a husband of a member. He is letting his desire to know the truth grow inside him and it is wonderful to see. Funny story I almost met them in NY haha small world we live in.

So this week was my first week as District leader. What a GREAT opportunity I have to really come to know just how unworthy I am. HaHa I laugh because just how great it is that we are always going to be unworthy. This gospel is not a museum for the righteous it is a hospital for the sinners. We get to grow every day and perfect talents and abilities given to us to strength the kingdom of God. We are also given weaknesses so that we may humble ourselves to God and allow Him to shape us into who He needs us to be.

It was such a great experience at District meeting. The Spirit did so much teaching and confirming. The spirit will always teach to our understanding and in a plainness that allows testimony to be built on solid truth without any room to second guess. What a great blessing that we have, to be able to have to spirit as a guide.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Love
Elder Steven Cordon

Atonement & Agency

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful strength it gives me to know that I am a son of Heavenly Father. To know that I have a Father that has that much knowledge and wisdom. To know that he loves me forever no matter the circumstances. He will always be there for us when we truly seek him in our lives, even sometimes when we don’t he is still there.

Just like my parents told me not to run in the road, or not to touch the hot stove. I didn’t know why, I didn’t know that a car moving 25 mph hitting me would lead to a lot of suffering, but they did. Heavenly Father has the knowledge to know that the way that I can find the least amount of suffering in this life is to follow the plan that He has created. Just like I didn’t know about the cars or what a hot stove would do to my tiny hands; I don’t always know why he has asked me to do things or what the out come would be if I disobey. However I do have the trust to know that if He has asked me to do it then it is for my benefit, safety, and salvation and is of the utmost importance.

Just like my parents want me achieve all that I am able. Heavenly Father wants me to achieve everything that I am able, which is more then we can dream of. I, and everyone that has ever lived and will ever live, am part of the lineage of Heavenly Father. I am a heir to a throne and kingdom, as is everyone, because we are children of a Heavenly Father. I have a birth rite to claim, but He has given us agency to choose. I for a long time in my life was using that agency to chose to not follow the path that Heavenly Father has laid out. I chose to wonder down paths of un-inheritance choosing to throw away my birth rite. The inheritance that He has to give is one of eternal happiness, full of our families and loved ones with the rites to an eternal family that will grow forever.

I have let this knowledge shape my life to what it is today, I have been able to use my agency to turn my life around from what it was to what it is; made possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Without that sacrifice there would be no way to receive the inheritance. I have been able to see and feel the change in my own life that has come from becoming like a child, and just trusting that Heavenly Father knows what I need and knows the way back.

To end here is a scripture to that sums it up very clearly
Mosiah 3:19 in the Book of Mormon

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love,willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

I love all of you so much thank you for you prayers and love

Love,
Elder Steven Cordon

This has been a GREAT year!

Dear Family and Friends,

This coming Saturday will be one year, one year sense I knew that this gospel was the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. That Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his son, our brother, Jesus Christ in a grove of trees in Palmyra NY in 1820. It has been such a wonderful year I am so glad that I had the courage to go to the pageant.

In this last year I have let the gospel change my life. The promise that we get, that following the gospel makes us the best that we can be is VERY TRUE. It is so weird to think that it was only just a year ago that I didn’t know that this church was true and now I am on a mission and am through my first transfer.

So crazy news about this first transfer I am getting a new trainer. Elder Lafond is getting transferred and I am getting Elder Butters to finish out my next 6 weeks of training. SO… it is kinda weird to think, we just assumed that we had 3 months together and so it did come as a shock. I am excited though because God is in the details of the mission and so I know that I am supposed to learn something from this so can’t wait to see what that is. A quote from President Lorenzo Snow, who was the prophet from 1898-1901.

“There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

The Lord is invested in the success of our missions and He wants us to grow in the gospel and He wants us to become the best missionaries that we can be. He knows what that will take and he will give us the things and challenges that we need to mold us into the missionaries he needs us to be and the best we can be.

I am so excited about this next transfer and what it will bring. So a quote from me.

“There are many things a person CAN be, but the focus needs to be on what you SHOULD be.”

The gospel can change you to the best person that you can be so let it. Everyone can be perfected, so don’t get distracted by the things that aren’t in that direction.

Sorry this letter is so short next week will be longer 🙂

I love you all
Elder Steven Cordon
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Update on Sister Feathers (the bird we are teaching the gospel to) eggs have hatched and now we have two babies living on our porch.

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Washington Sunset