Shh… it’s Steven’s Birthday Saturday… send him your Love!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a great week that was full of new things.

It was my first baptismal interview. That was great to be able to be a part of that families conversion to the gospel. What a way to be able to help them. Elder Ping (my new comp) also had his birthday that was awesome. We also got a training on weekly planning it now takes about 7 hours to do. My comp and I also just started a new way of tracting and finding and so far have had huge success. We are growing our teaching pool and lots of people are looking for the light and we just need to show them where to find it.

I love being on a mission and so excited for all it has to offer.

Elder Steven Cordon

P.S. (Editors Note)Saturday is Steven’s Birthday. He would love to receive notes of love and encouragement. Let’s fill his mailbox with love! Here is his address:

Elder Steven Allen Cordon
Washington Kennewick Mission
8202 W Quinault, Ste D
Kennewick, WA 99336

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Training!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well a wonderful week has passed by. I got my trainee last week and he is super awesome I love him he is so diligent and hardworking and fluent in the language and his teaching skills are awesome and we have fantastic unity. Well I think my job is done. Now comes the part were he starts training me. I really have learned a lot from my trainee already as far as teaching and preparing for lessons, not to mention the language. Its pretty awesome! One good thing is he hasn’t even had to go finding yet. We have been teaching so many lessons that sadly we haven’t had to be out in the heat sweating our brains out.

We also had our first ward activity in Butterfly ward and its been almost 6 months. It was a lot of fun and yielded some great results! A member brought along a family with him and they had a wonderful time and we were able to earn the trust of the husband its not to the stage of teaching yet but it will get there and then we also met a kid I have been hoping to see again he is so prepared!

Also got called as the district leader so I moved up a lot this last week from junior to senior, trainer, and district leader. Its a lot to take in all at once but Its been going pretty well so far and should keep getting better!

Love you all,

Elder Jared Cordon

Zone Conference in Gainesville

Dear Family and Friends,

On Tuesday, I did my first exchange with the Zone Leaders because Elder Newbold is the district leader. I ended up going over to the neighboring area none as Cannon Creek. It is directly west of our area. The missionary crib in that area is actually really nice. It is this small house that is on the backside of a lot with a nicer house that nobody lives in… a bit of a waste if you ask me. At the end of the day though I was very glad that I am in Deep Creek. In my opinion our area is far more ripe even though we have twice as many missionaries in it. Elder Clark, who I did the exchange with is a great missionary! I made sure to take some time at the end of the exchange to get some specific advice from him on how I can be a better missionary. His tips really have made a difference! One of my favorites was to look for ways to serve your companion. I find that as I make the effort to do that I am far less prideful.

Apparently, getting an unusual amount of sleep last Sunday wasn’t enough because we had to get up an hour and half early this past Thursday for a Zone Conference in Gainesville. It was totally worth it though. We got there at a quarter to eight and found out pretty quickly that we have the best car of all the missionaries in the two zones. Which is the classy 2013 Ford Fusion. We are so very blessed ūüôā

The Conference was very powerful though and was a great spiritually renewing experience. I got to see Elder Williams too, who was one of the Elders in my MTC district with me. He is doing really well which is great! One of the changes we found out from the conference is that we are expected to no longer fully share our area with the Sister Missionaries here, but rather we need to geographically cut it in half so we have individual jurisdiction over our parts. This is intended to prevent the missionaries from stepping on each other’s toes. I made sure to immediately set up a meeting with our bishop so that we can do that. The meeting is on Tuesday. Another terrific part of the conference was just hearing the testimony of many wonderful missionaries and being able to see and visit with President and Sister Craig! Those two are so awesome, and President Craig just has incredible vision for the future of the zone.

One of the terrific lessons we had this week was with Nick Harwell. He was a referral from his neighbor who said that he was a pastor for 10 years and would probably be open to hearing a message about Christ. Personally I love talking to pastors. It forces me to know what I am talking about and they actually understand scriptural language, and have read the Bible. This guy was awesome though when we first met him. So I was really excited to go back. When we went by, he let us right inside and we sat down at his table and proceeded to have one of the most powerful restoration lessons we have ever given. I believe it was because I relied on the spirit in fear that if I said something wrong that it would kill the spirit in the room. He agreed with everything and is really excited to dig into the Book of Mormon. He had a few questions about baptism, so we left him some chapters to read for homework. We are going to meet with him tonight at the church to play some basketball and follow up on his reading.

To finish it off. I found out on Saturday from President Craig that I will be training a new missionary next transfer which begins on the 4th of September. I am really excited to train. I just hope that I can be a great example and help this new Elder hit the ground running so that he wont feel like a new missionary. Also we find out tonight who is going to be district leader next month and if the district remains the same areas than it is either me or Elder Jensen. He has been out for a year now so it will probably be him. It is just interesting that at 3 months I has a 50/50 chance to be a district leader.

I love the work here! I wish I could say that we are baptizing someone this Saturday, but since we can’t get our investigators to church it will be a few weeks until we get one. All in due time though! I know that God is in charge here. I also know that nothing in the word makes me feel better than sharing the Gospel, reading the Book of Mormon, and bearing testimony! That feeling alone is absolute confirmation to me that this message I bear is true! I don’t doubt that for a minute! ūüôā

I love ya’ll!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Has it really not even been a full two days???

Dear Family and Friends,

 
So the Missionary Training Center (MTC), isn’t really what I expected, but then again I didn’t know what I expected. After getting dropped off¬†on Wednesday¬†I got a quick tour of the campus, and then I was dropped off in a classroom where I met¬†my district and my companion.

 
So a quick explanation on districts and zones. The split everyone at the MTC into zones, we were divided up by language and region. In my zone I have all the english speaking missionaries going to the Florida, Jacksonville mission, the Arkansas, Little Rock mission, and the Indian, Indianapolis mission. Basically, there are some really great missionaries in my zone. Then from there they split every zone into districts. My district has only 10 missionaries in it, and we are all going to the Florida, Jacksonville mission. There are also more Sisters than Elders in my district.

 
Now for my companion. His name is Elder Searle, and he is from Holiday, Utah. The first thing that I found out about him is that he loves to fish, more so than anyone I have ever met, which is pretty cool. I also found out he attended BYU last year as well and is thinking about doing Mechanical Engineering as well. So we got a lot in common. We have gotten along very well and I am glad he is my companion, we teach are first mock investigator lesson tomorrow, and I feel like we will work really well together.

 
Some big new from yesterday is that I was asked to be the District leader. I guess it means that I am basically the Father of the group. I make sure that an opening and closing prayer is said, I check on the companionships and make sure that they are doing well, and provide them with council when appropriate. I also have the responsibility of getting the mail, the one job that my district thinks is the most important.

 
Some antics went on in the residence hall last night. Some of the guys were having a competition to see if they could jump high enough to hit their head against the ceiling, and many were successful.¬†Also my roommates and I (which are the other 3 guys in my district) noticed that there where these metal outlet cover things on the wall, and we figured that it would be a good place to hide something for future Elders. Well we weren’t the only ones with that idea. We opened the first one up and it was packed full of candy. Like bit size snickers and baby ruths, and tootsie rolls. And a letter from the Elders who said that it was put there on 4/19/13, so still fresh :). Then we excitedly opened up the other one and found a chocolate orange, left there by some elders in January I think, also still fresh. Right now we are brainstorming on what awesome thing to replace it with.

 
Despite all the antics, the spirit is very strong here. I have been full of peace for every single minute that I have been here and with every meeting and lesson, I become happier and happier. I wish you all could feel the awesome feeling that exists on this campus. It feels every once of your soul, with a warm and cozy burning. I want to feel this way the rest of my life.

Have an awesome week,

 
Sincerely, 

Elder Joshua Cordon