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

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Always Be Watching

Dear Family and Friends, 

So this week in one of my morning studies I was thinking about answers to prayers and receive guidance from the Holy Ghost and how it works. I have heard it referred to as a traffic light, green for go, yellow for caution, and red for stop. In that reference it is talked that most of the time we get yellows because God wants us to use are agency.

So as I was pondering on it I was thinking about the use of agency and do I use it as I should all the time.  So let me paint a new picture. 

Life is a road, and not a freeway because life has a lot of choices. So a city street like downtown New York City street. Very Busy, Lots of Distractions, Lots of other Dumb Drivers. Life is not just a cruise down easy highway doesnt matter what anyone says.

Okay so now that we have the picture of the actual road of life. I want to focus on the traffic lights. I personally in my life have only gotten 4 green lights that I can remember that I was very very clear on what to do with a choice in life. Lots of yellows in which I needed to really look both whys or slow to a stop. But where my thoughts took me was to the red lights. 

I have always thought of the red lights as wrong choices. The ones that would lead down wrong paths and misery. I have changed my view, not that red doesnt mean that it is a wrong path cause  it can. Although sometimes, as I reflect in my life, it just simply means that you need to stop and wait for the traffic. That in that moment it is not safe to cross, not that you need to make a turn of the road or change direction in any way it may just be a time to reflect and see what God wants to teach you. 

I then started to reflect on how many times I have used my agency to just run those red lights, Or speeding up on the yellow light to make it through so that I dont have to stop and wait cause I am in a hurry to get to where “I” want to go. Life is certainly about the journey but sometimes that journey means to sitting at a red light. 

I have sadly reflected and realized that I have ran a lot of red lights in my life. Times that I have missed a chance for god to teach me because I would have been waiting and would have noticed the small and simple promptings. 

Dont be moving through life so fast that you dont see that it was a red light until it is in your rear view mirror. Cause I know I have.  

I love you all so much!!  

Love 

Elder S Cordon