#ShareEaster

This was a great week and I feel so grateful to have the knowledge that Christ makes up the difference. When I am to weak and not enough, which when it comes to the work of salvation is like always. 🙂 I love how much I get to grow through the Atonement! I love it so much I love the joy that comes with living the gospel and changing and helping people change and watching people change. I love watching the gospel in action in other peoples lives. It changes you in a way that couldn’t be done with just trying to apply the gospel to yourself. “After all that has been said the, greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel” Joseph Smith. No wonder that is the case there is so much about the gospel that we miss out on if we dont share it, if we are not helping the people around us to be lifted up by the gospel then we ourselves are missing out on a lot of what the gospel has to share.

We just had a baptism in the Zone. It was a husband and wife that were baptized together. The husband grew up in a church that teaches anti mormon every week, he only just six months ago said that he was never going to be mormon. He said that to the friend that eventually listened to a spiritual prompting that was telling her that the people placed in her life where there so that she could share the gospel and help build people around her. She was very scared and knew that he had said that, and knew that the wife had a lot of problems with the church as well. BUT she listened and let faith conquer fear, she has now been sharing the gospel with everyone that she can and has been able to see her friends be baptized. The truth of this gospel is ringing from the rooftops and being a “good example” is a good start but there is so much more to be done with the people that surround us.

This week when I was out talking with people we met a man, Robert, he was very nice but he didnt want to hear us out right away we kept asking questions and sharing testimony and then finally he cracked and told us why he didnt want to talk to us. This hit me so hard…. He told us that he didnt want to talk to us because he had many friends that went on missions and then when they came back then they didnt share it with him, he talked about how it was weird that they would spend two years talking about it and then come home and not continue to do that. He thought that it must not be all that it is cracked up to be if that was the case. We then were able to help him see that the gospel would bless him in his life now and he should at least ask God about it.

I couldnt believe how hard that hit, he even talked about how they are good people and live good lives and loves their families but he didnt see how he couldnt just do those things, why the gospel was an important factor and if it was to them why they never talked about it.

This is so very true, we can live good lives and do good things and love our families, but if we never share and invite people around us to do something about it and to come to know for themselves that the gospel is important and vital, then a good example only goes so far.

We also have a family that we just started to teach that are both less active from the church, they came to church this week for ward conference. They want to come back to church and want to work for the temple. We are also going to be planning a wedding for them!!! The Ward is going to love that.

Cierra Came to church and loved it. She bought all three of her kids and they loved it as well. She has told us that she has found a church that really makes her happy. SHE IS SO AWESOME!!!I I love the gospel.

My challenge to everyone this week is to share the goepel with someone this week, with an INVITATION to do something to act on your testimony. An invitation is the only way they are going to change. Sharing the new video would be a great way to start the conversation!

Love you all

Elder Cordon.

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

1 Word…. MACAU! 

Dear Family and Friends, 

Well a lot of stuff went down last week we got a referral and it turned out to be Elder Wongs mom’s cousin and well she recognized him right away and it turns out she is a lost sheep from about 20 years back. She was anti’d by her family really bad and then went less active then fell off the radar and after having an amazing visit with her, she referred us to a bunch of others and I was very happy but even more than me elder wong is very happy because these are all his family! So we got the go from President Hawks and started working on them! 
Well last night we had to head to Wanchai to do our turn at this welcome center thing the church is trying here (its like a visiting center). Well right when we were wrapping up we went and got some dinner and then we get a call from the zone leaders saying Elder Wong will be leaving to Macau!! This is crazy we have only been together 3 weeks and something must have happened because its only our companionship and the Macau companionship that are affected. I was pretty happy for Elder Wong but he was not to happy because we just found all his family and he is really the key to it all working out. Well we forgot something at the church so we had to head back and as we walked down some stairs we ran into President and Sister Hawks just before they walked into the Elevator so we talked for a minute then I informed them that Elder Wong got the news and President asked him how he was feeling about it. Well Elder Wong was not gonna say he was not happy but you could tell he wasn’t too pleased to be leaving. 
Well we scheduled an appointment with his aunt so he could get a goodbye before he headed out and so hopefully I could get to know her better. Well when we were talking with her. We got a call from President and he asked what we were doing and we said we were in a lesson so he said okay I will call you back but when I call you don’t answer the phone (a little weird). Well he called and elder wong answered the phone anyway then president said I thought I told you not to answer the phone, but I am glad you did because I had the right companionship but the wrong Elder, Elder Cordon will be packing his bags. 
We’ll it was Ironic because when Elder wong was talking to president I was talking to his aunt telling her how I would love to switch Elder Wong places then he hangs up comes and grabs my shoulder and says well thats what just happened. I was very very surprised because I thought I had no hope in going to macau. Only the Uk and Locals get to go there, but sure enough I am going so it won’t be for more than 2 months but its happening! 

Well love you all! 
Elder Jared Cordon

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week! I truly felt the Christmas Spirit and I will never forget these experiences!

We wanted to see miracles this week and so preparing for Christmas we did a special fast on wednesday. We asked to truly feel the love that Christ feels and to be able to find people that need our help. So Christmas after talking to family we went out to work and despite that fact that it was raining we met some really cool people who have had pretty hard lives! A ward member had given us these little christmas goodie bags to give to investigators and Less Actives so thats what we used. These people really enjoyed them and we also found other little ways to serve people. I think the greatest miracle I felt though is the pure love of Christ that filled my soul that whole day! We also saw some other miracles while doing some less active finding one ladies recorded said she did not want anybody to contact here ever again but we knocked anyway and she opened the door and said: “Elders I haven’t been to church forever, wow its been awhile since I have seen you, hows the ward…” She was so happy to be in touch with us again and we will see her next week. We also were able to see and give presents to some others as well. Also the ward Christmas party was this week and we were able to have a kid we met last week come who really enjoyed it then we taught him again the next day. Also another lady who we are working with drove from a mainland family vacation got to come then headed back after, and she loved it!

We also saw many other miracles this week and although most of everyone we are working with were too busy to meet up we were able to see some great success!

I have learned so much from these goals of 65 that just by pushing a little harder when you don’t want to go anymore and by just using every minute you have it really can make a huge difference!

Love you all and keep improving life is to precious and to sweet to stop!

Sorry for my poor english, my chinese is just getting better.

Elder Jared Cordon

What A Wonderful Time

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful time of year. I have always loved the holidays for so many reasons. There is a different feeling that you get when on the mission. I think it is really a kind of spiritual help given to me when I have needed it.
This is a great time of year to strengthen family relations, and it is no exception for our Father in Heaven trying to strengthen his family. What a wonderful time when all over the world people our having their hearts warmed by the spirit of giving. Having their Light of Christ touched and grown. What a wonderful spirit this holiday season brings to people that focus on the true reasons for these wonderful days that are celebrated.
Jesus Christ gave us a gift that every soul that has ever lived need. A gift that is eternal and everlasting. A gift that was freely given and can be freely received. A gift that will never have a price tag. A gift that was prepared for us before our creation. The gift that we all said we would accept. Jesus Christ is the gift of the season. Share this gift with everyone that you meet.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a campaign that was shared in the latest Ensign #ShareTheGift. They have put a wonderful video together to get people focused on the real gift of the season. share it with others to bless their lives this season. You can even print your own pass-a-long cards.

Love you all so much thank you for you prayers and support.
Elder S Cordon

The Pains and Blessings of Missionary Work

Dear Family and Friends,

So the news from here in the Orient. Well the work has been going fantastically well. We were able to meet to ladies the sisters found, One she is amazing has two kids one 14 year old boy and one 8 year old girl. Super cute and the 8 year old will be a great addition to the primary of 4. We have not met here husband yet but that is to come. The other lady has a 6 year old girl, also a great addition. Also another potential family we are working with whose name is Mr Lam he has two kids one is 12 and the other 7 I am not sure. But if all goes well we will be populating the future of this ward quite nicely. Thats the foresight on the miracles lying ahead for December.

On other news, I got a call last night that breaks my heart and might be the hardest thing missionaries ever face. Gary my recent convert from Butterfly has informed the bishop and investigators that he is no longer coming to church and will be joining another church. No doubt there was anti involved but, this is so hard for me to swallow because last week I got his phone number and all week I have been thinking about him kept getting the impression to call him, I finally followed this yesterday and wrote him a letter and gave him a call but no answer, it was later when I received the call from the elders about him. On thursday I was even about to write him an email but something distracted me and I thought I would put it off for today. Well on thursday night is when this all went down. So I was able to get in contact with him and he hasn’t not responded to my text. I feel as if the Lord was trying to get me to be there for him is his time of decision making to be a light and a guide. But I missed my chance and for now he is gone. So all my recent converts now are less active. I try to wonder why this happens, what have I done wrong, I think the simplest thing is I am not perfect and the lord knows that although I have done all I can I think these people are starting to realize that salvation is not easy. We all at times feel like we need to quite that it would just be easier but the truth is we can’t. Because salvation is not a cheap experience. The Lord showed us that as he cried in agony on the cross asking the Father where are’t thou. Joseph Smith felt that on many occasions but, maybe most strongly in liberty jail. Truth is all Hell is trying to stop us from getting salvation because it is that great and that amazing, it is always worth it to keep going and we can’t give up.

I love you Thank you for the support.

Elder Jared Cordon

Great Time to Be Serving

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it feels like yesterday but what happened for the last week and a half? that is a great question. We have been doing some solid work! We have been so blessed when it come to street finding because thats mainly all we have done for the last little bit. last week everybody was sick and out of town but its all good because they were feeling a lot better this week. We ran into Irene now for the 3rd time on the street and all three lessons she says she doesn’t have that much interest but we keep seeing her and she keeps listening… she’s getting baptized. We also ran into simon in central. That was super random since we were both far away from home on a very random street but it was good because we had not seen him for almost 2 weeks at that point but he came to an activity that the sisters planned. He likes speaking english which is good and all but i don’t know how to teach the gospel in english I talk to much I complicate things, thats probably why the lord called me cantonese speaking.

We also had a book of mormon find we gave out about 60 book of mormons in about an hour. That planted some great seeds and people were just walking up to us. Also planned a couple sweet ideas for the ward to really spark missionary. Well I guess they already got the spark just throwing some more wood on. But we are going to do a online missionary work training. Helping them use our email program, Facebook and other multimedia and mormon.org so it should be sweet.

The ward is really liking us and so is the bishop. Because we found the sweetest guy on the street and he came to church and next week he is going to bring his two kids and his wife! So things have been slow but now we got a family and simon coming to church the Lord is really blessin us right now!

I got a feeling I am gonna love this ward just like I loved butterfly. Speaking of butterfly the ward split two weeks ago so right after i left. A guy we found has a baptismal date and brother chan(my ward mission leader) is the new wards bishop. An eternal investigator that I prayed for so hard would be our december baptism is going to be baptised in december(answer to my prayers). He had a vision that told him he needed to be baptized. Also he has to quit smoking because he has a liver problem.

The work is good i love it. I also love the temple its an amazing experience everytime. Its such a wonderful blessing to be able to go as frequent as we do.

Oh also had a really cool zone conference last week. It was all about the mission culture and the kind of attitude that we are going to set for all new missionaries.

love you all have a great week!

Elder Jared Cordon

The Power of Prayer

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this was an amazing week! A lot of great things happened! To start the week right I went on splits with my MTC companion because he is in my district. Its crazy how far we have come! It was cool to see how we have both changed so much. But some great things came of this experience.

We were both quite thirsty and while searching for water in a park we ran into a man who we just jumped right into a gospel discussion. We found out quickly that he was out pondering because he had really taken his life downhill through bad decision making. He had many drugs problems in the past and after going through the prison system of Hong Kong he is now in a probationary state, but will need to check into a prison soon for his last 2 months then he is done. So he had some time to visit friends and we had caught him on his ponder through the park. He was so prepared and he sincerely wanted to change. One thing he said was he has not been in contact with his family for many years because he has no means to contact them and has no idea where any one of them are. Well after explaining more about God and prayer we invited him to pray. He was a little hesitant not knowing what to pray about so we invited him to pray and ask God for him to reunite him with his family. He did and it was a powerful faith filled prayer of a son longing for love. He said he felt amazing and so did we.

Well that was my role in his conversion to the Gospel, because I headed back to my own area. But the next day when they saw him again (because he was heading back to prison soon they wanted to teach him as much as possible) He was overcome with Joy! That morning his mother had come knocking on his door and it was an amazing reunion. He then took the missionaries to his house to meet his mom. He expressed answers to other prayers about the gospel. He had 4 more lessons and a chance to come to church before he heads out today. He has gained for himself a burning testimony of the work. He will be baptized after he is out. Also the missionaries can visit him while he is in prison so they can keep teaching him.

Another great thing is I was able to see my recent convert who dropped off the map. He is doing great, however he has a tough family life but he will be back into activity shortly. It just breaks my heart to see someone so changed and blessed turn-away from their perfectly loving Father. But he is back.

Another great thing was during the second set of splits that went down this week I had a chance to go with Elder Beal. He is a district leader and Elder Townsend the zone leader went with Elder Nestman the other district leader so we had all the district leaders with 1 zone leader in the appartment. So we took advantage of the situation and had a meeting. What came out of this meeting was pretty awesome. We have all gained new motivation and resolutions. We were able to establish some new plans and actions to increase accountability for goals and inspire and motivate our districts. We all realized we need to be the examples of the change we want to see so we are turning up the heat. New Territories will be number 1.

Taking that motivation I took it to the ward. The sisters wanted to meet and talk about receiving more referrals and with the inpsiration from the district leader meeting we came up with a great plan to jump start the ward. We planned a Teaching No Greater Call seminar for the ward using the same module president has set up for our district meetings, we cleared it with the bishop and then took the idea before the ward council and it was accepted. So we will have great things coming! They are working on some translations and hopefully we can do this in the next two weeks.

Amazing things are coming!

Love you all! God really does live.

Elder Jared Cordon

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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Family, Isn’t it about time!

Dear Family and Friends,

It feels like its been a “hot minute” since my last email, but that is just how things go I guess. (I actually have no idea what “hot minute” means, but someone said it the other day and I have been trying to use it since) Time is a really strange thing when you think about it. Technically it goes at a constant rate, but it feels like it is always changing pace. They say it goes in a line, but that definitely is not the case. They say you can spend it, but it is not something you earn, that its actually a gift we eventually learn. We all have a lot of it, but it is never enough. You can use it with care, or you can waste it on fluff. Now that my time of talking is through, I’ll give you my love and bid you adieu. (Special thanks to Elder Sutton with helping me finish that) I hope ya’ll enjoyed my hand at poetry. Now that I have spent all my time trying to come up with a poem on time, I am now out of time. Funny how that works!

I hope y’all will use your time wisely this week, by doing what matters most.

Bubye now, bubye.

Elder Joshua Cordon