Powerful Week

So the Baptism of Tiffany went Awesome, you were there so you now that. 🙂 There was so much support there from the ward and she is ready to move forward she is excited to receive a calling and to go to the temple. She fasted yesterday and learned how to paying her fast offering. JUST LEARNED you can do that online now! Crazy. Her husband came to the ward picnic that night and had a good time. He was invite to dinner with the family that we are eating with on wednesday and he said yes!

We had our second lesson with Flor last night and we had a followship family there for her besides her own active inlaws 🙂 she seemed to make a great connection with them and they are a great family. I am so grateful to be doing the work the Lords way, It is amazing.

We have another baptism coming up this weekend for Eric and the another coming for Mike. The Wards are coming together to help with the work and it is making all the difference.

So this week I am working on charity Well I am probably going to have that as a focus for the rest of my mission and life. 🙂

I love you all so very much. Thank you for everything that you do.

Elder Cordon

2 Years

Dear Family & Friends,

Another week of trying to focus on members at our lessons more then half of our lessons were with members at them.

I am focused on teaching from the Book of Mormon and helping others build a testimony of that. The Book of Mormon is truly the keystone of our religion and a conversion to that book is vital to a lasting conversion in the gospel.

So this week came with a lot of reflection time, it has been two years sense I received my witness of the truth of this gospel. I put God to the test and now I get to help others do that very thing. It caused me to reflect on how I did it, and what caused my change of heart.

I also have become very aware of the fact that even with the dramatic witness that I have receive that this is indeed the Church of God on the earth, I can loss that testimony if I do not work at it everyday of my life. Just like so many people in the past and still will continue to happen to others because they do not make the conscious decision to never take their eyes off of the prize for a second. Those who do “…lose their way..”or “…[fall] away into forbidden paths and [are] lost.” Nephi 8:23;28

I love the lessons and insight that I get from the BoM, those insights truly come from Heavenly Father are will effect my life to be directed down the path that is going to lead me were God wants me. I just have to listen and act.

So as I look forward with an eye fixed on God I know that I need to work every day to keep my conversion.

I love this work and this gospel and cant wait for the new lessons that I will learn.

Elder S Cordon

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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

WKM!!

Dear Family and Friends,

The work is moving crazy fast here in Hermiston. We had another baptism this weekend. Kathy was baptized. What a wonderful day that was to see her so happy for making the decision to come and follow Jesus Christ.
We are watching every day as the people that we are teaching are making the steps needed to gain the conversion to the truth of this message. I have seen an increase in the faith of our investigators since the fast that we had for them. It is great to see them all be willing to make the steps that they need to make to gain the knowledge from god that this is true. Faith is such an amazing power that cant be put into words, but I know it works. God is there and wants us to believe in Him so that he can use that power of faith to bless our lives, so when others are doing that and experiencing the truth of it all IT IS A MIRACLE.
We have so much that is going well, we are teaching everyone as often as they will let us. Abel and Kristina are letting us meet with them EVERYDAY. They came to church and brought all the kids. What a wonderful family! We are excited for their baptisms in July, they are praying and working towards that date.

So Transfers have come and gone. I am staying here and so is my comp. Which means that we are staying in the Kennewick Washington Mission.
And This will be at least 4 1/2 months in Hermiston I love the people that are here and everyone that I am around. I am very excited for the next 6 Weeks!!

Love you all so much.

Elder Cordon

Prayer of Faith!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow!!! Wow!!! Missions are so amazing!! There is literally not a week that goes by where something amazing doesn’t happen.

Amazing things that happened this week:

Mission Conference

The first year of my mission I had 2 mission conferences. However, we have had 1 every month for the past 4 months. Along with 1 other 2 months before that. So, it has been awesome!!

This time we were visited by Elder Zwick of the first quorum of the Seventy, who I will say is one of the manliest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and Br. Hemingway who is assigned to the Missionary Department of the Church and is the Director of the proselyting division for the whole world. When I shook Br. Hemingway’s hand he said with a pleasant surprise, “Oh, I remember you. How are you doing?” I had met him a little over a year ago when he came to introduce iPads to the mission. He was the Mission President in Rochester, New York when we first moved there, and knows the Tuttle Family fairly well.

President and Sister Craig where with these fine brethren for several days in Salt Lake City at a special Mission Presidents conference that included the 28 Facebook/iPad missions. We were the first mission to receive training and instruction from what was discussed at that conference. Basically, we are entering the next major stage of testing for iPads and Facebook proselyting. The biggest changes come in the fact that we will receive brand-new iPads next week and there will be a Facebook restart that will result in us going offline of Facebook for a while. We also received training materials produced by the church that are finally standardizing the training of iPads and Facebook, something that we have been begging for for a while. On top of all of that we received powerful trainings on Personal Conversion, and Will-Power. All of it was very inspiring. But anyway, enough of that, it is probably not nearly as exciting for you as it is for me. And if it is exciting for you, then think how excited I am!

Prayers of faith=Miracles

There were several instances this past week that we incredible miracles as a result of a prayer, but there is one that I would like to highlight. On Saturday, it was beautiful weather but it was slower day for some reason. We tried everything I had ever been taught to do and nothing worked. Luckily we had a dinner appointment with two of my favorite people that I had to look forward to. One was a less active and that was the first lesson we were able to teach all day. After dinner we tried to knock some doors, hoping to get some success from those efforts, but after striking out we stopped at the nearby gas station for a bathroom break. While I was waiting for my companion, I saw these two kids at a table. After striking up conversation we were able to teach him the whole first lesson and give him a book of mormon which he agreed to read. Things started to look up.

Still we had about an hour left of the night. Elder Jorgensen suggested that we go and see a man who had not been home for our appointment earlier that day. Considering how far away he was it seemed like an illogical decision, but we both agreed that it felt right so away we went. I remember thinking about the nice peace I had felt on the way there that was a nice contrast to the frustration and anxiety I had experienced earlier. Once we got there we knocked on his doors with hearts full of faith only to find that nobody was home.

I knew at that moment that we were there for someone else. Unsure of what to do next and how to find this person that we were meant to find we knelt down in the grass in front of an apartment building. It was 8:35 roughly we knew that time was not a luxury. After Elder Jorgensen offered a mighty prayer we started knocking. Nobody answered the first two doors and as we turned to head to the stairs we saw a woman, her daughter, and their two dogs walking in the parking lot. We used the dogs as an ice breaker before bringing up the gospel. Before we could even get to it though, she asked us what we were there doing. We told her who we were and asked if we could share our message with her. At this point her little girl Aryah while tugging on her jacket said “Mommy, can we hear their message.” It wasn’t very difficult for her to say yes after that.

We proceeded to teach them the whole first lesson and they loved every bit of it. She told us that they were looking for a church that would prick their heart with the spirit. She even said that because they had just moved there that they were still looking for a church. At the moment they are attending a Brazillian church and because the service is in Portuguese they have to wear headsets with the translation. She started to express concern about the idea of having a prophet today but after we showed her a video of Thomas S. Monson, she said that she knew that he was a prophet the moment she saw him. All of us departed that night feeling very grateful that the lord had caused our paths to cross that night. Jackie and Aryah probably don’t even realize how incredible the journey they just started really is.

I want to bare my solemn witness that God hears every single one of our prayers. I know that he loves us and that he will provide us with miracles as we rely with faith.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Starting The Year Off Strong

Dear Family and Friends,

This week I have a simple invitation. The invitation is to study faith, from what ever source you wish, specifically how to increase faith and then what can happen with faith. Do this every day this week. Included with study is to then take time each day to share with someone your testimony of a living prophet, whether that is on facebook or in person, but it has to be specific to that person not just a wall post. Then if they ask any questions to your testimony invite them to learn more from the missionaries. That is the invitation. Let me know how it goes.

This was a good week things are going well here in the Wenatchee area. Stake president set a goal of 201 baptisms this year, and in the next six months the amount of missionaries are going to double in this area getting ready for the split. CRAZY STUFF. We have all of our investigators reading the Book of Mormon. That is the start to knowing that is is true. Reading everyday brings a power into your life that cannot be obtained by any other means, it brings so many blessings.

I am always very touched at how God fills my heart with love the very instant that I start sharing the gospel with them. I know that it is just a fraction of the love that he actually has, which amazes me even more.

Thank you all for you prays and wishes I love you all so much.
I pray for you often

Elder S Cordon.

#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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Without Charity I Am Nothing

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was one of the best weeks we have had in months!! It was just full of miracles!! After a slight tweek to our approach this week we suddenly saw a lot of things come together. As I reflect on what happened though, I found it interesting that almost none of our scheduled appointments happened… However it seemed that whenever each appointment cancelled we were able to be led to someone who was interested in hearing are message or someone we hadnt thought to plan to see. It was amazing how everytime something fell through the lord was able to guide us to where we really needed to be at that time.

Some exciting things that happened this week is in regards to a family that we have been working with. Their names are David and Jorge. They are the brother and father of a Aileen who is a recent convert of a couple of months. I am pretty sure I have mentioned them before. David made some huge steps in the right direction this week. We have been trying to get him integrated into scouts, but it has been difficult to get him there. We learned on Thursday that he had gone to the activity the night before and that his dad brought him and talked to the Elders Quorum President for a good hour. That made my day when I found that out. Then we found out Friday that David was going on the camping trip this weekend with the boys. He is just making all this progress and we arent even doing anything! It is great! haha. On Sunday David and his dad were there at church with Aileen. They had a great time there and David is already part of the group with the other boys, so we didnt even have to worry about him. Also we got his dad to be a judge for the dessert competition at the ward party on Friday. Everything is just falling in place for that family! It is really awesome to see.

I was pondering the principle of Charity yesterday and a scripture really caught my attention. It was, “Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.” (Alma 34:29) Considering the fact that Charity is usually grouped with Faith and Hope as the three most important characteristics to have, I began to wonder the role that faith and hope play. The conclusion that I came up with is that Faith and Hope are focused on ourselves. They prepare a person to then obtain and retain the attribute of Charity. Faith is the first attribute that we must have. When we act on our faith it leads us to repent. When we repent we develop hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ. As we grow our faith we develop hope, and as we gain hope it helps to sustain our faith. At this point, having cleansed the inner vessel first we are now able to reach outward and help others do the same thing. As we then reach out and lose ourselves in service of others our faith and hope will grow effortlessly and we will be filled with the love of God. This last step is vitally important, for someone who never reaches out will eventually lose all of the faith and hope they have gained. Consider the scripture, “He that seeketh to save his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (JST Matthew 10:34)

I love y’all!! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Back to the Basics

Dear Family and Friends,

The very fact that I am writing this on a Thursday is evidence of the busy week it has been. Busy as a missionary is a wonderful thing though! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

The absolute highlight of the past week and a half was the brief mission tour of Elder Golden who is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is from South Africa and so we all enjoyed not only his spiritual knowledge but hearing his accent as well. He arrived this past Sunday and left on Tuesday so his stay wasn’t a very long one. However, he definitely made the most of his time here. On Sunday we had a meeting for the mission leadership and then on Monday and Tuesday we had ones with the varying zones. I had the blessing of attending all three of them and learning so very much. While there were a few constants each meeting provided a unique dose of spiritual nourishment. By the time it was all over the feeling I had was a combination of spiritual high and physical exhaustion, considering the fact that the most of my mission can be described that way, the contrast is found in the fact that this is one of notable intensity. I believe my favorite part of the whole thing was his definition of faith.

Faith is a very basic principle in that it is foundational to many things, but it is also fairly profound and, as a result, very misunderstood by the Christian and non-Christian worlds. For many faith is simply a declaration of belief, but for those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ it is something far greater.

Faith is an action word, but even more than that Faith=Personal Righteousness. When I had that explained to me it brought a lot of clarity to the subject. If the world could understand that, then it would eliminate a lot of confusion behind the verses in the bible that seem to say that man is saved by faith alone. This definition of faith helps us understand that it is not merely good enough to believe in Jesus Christ, we must believe him too. We must believe that if we do what he asked, we model our lives after him, and try our best to be our best, then he would make up he rest. We must believe and have a hope that if we sacrificed everything to be good person and to not compromise our standards when pressured by worldly temptations–even if it very difficult to do and we are put in very rough situations as a result– that we will not only have a lasting sense of peace and purpose in this life, but we will also be raised up to live with God and have eternal happiness in the life to come. Not only must we believe all these things we must do them too if we want to have true faith,

If any of what I said makes sense, then I hope it would also help you understand why then the restoration of the gospel was so important. Frequently, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are commended for our high standards and example of personal righteousness. This is not just a coincidence. The problem the world faced before Joseph Smith saw his incredible vision was that at the time nobody had enough commandments revealed to them by God that could produce enough faith in the life of any person that would be great enough to bring about their eternal salvation. Along with that, nobody had the gift of the Holy Ghost which not only reveals those commandments to us, but also helps to give us to the strength to live them. The fact that the church seems to have so many rules is in all actuality evidence of the truthfulness of this work, on top of that is the fact that the members of the church actually live them. Seeing as how faith is the first principle of the gospel if that is incomplete then it is no wonder why ever part of the gospel after that is very much misunderstood.

After hearing all of that in a much greater length of time and in a far more expounded way I had an even greater determination to live by every word of God. For if faith produces miracles, that means that personal righteousness is a pre-requisite to the blessings of heaven. Something that as a missionary and frankly as people in general we cannot live with out if we want to be truly happy.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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