A Very Crazy Week!! -Josh

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week was very… Unique, to say the least. Monday and Tuesday were fairly normal I suppose, but then on Wednesday, another Elder I rode with a member down to Gainesville for a training meeting to prepare us to become trainers. It was great, a terrific way to put some spice into the week. BUT then on Friday morning we got a call from the zone leaders telling us to meet them at there ward building to pick up Elder largo because his companion just got called to be the next assistant to the mission president. Being in a trio is definitely a different experience. Elder Largo is a great missionary though, we were contacting a referral and the family was about to shut the door, but he spoke up and just bore his powerful testimony to them and they let us in and we had a powerful 45 minute lesson. The couples names are Lorenzo and Topeka. Lorenzo loves the Book of Mormon even though he is a deacon in his Holiness church. We will be back there soon.

Some wonderful miracles this week was that the Sutton’s came to church!!! Bro Sutton was supposed to work at 10 but he called his boss and told he is no longer working on Sundays because that is his day to go to church and be with his family! He is such a champion!! We had several powerful lessons with them this weekend. They even came to the sisters baptism on Sunday and Bro.Sutton said that he was so jealous that he couldn’t get baptized right then. He just needs to get married.

There are going to be a lot of changes starting tomorrow with a new companion, being on bikes, and smaller area and all, but I am excited. I will say that I am going to miss Elder Newbold, he was a great trainer and terrific companion. He is going on to bigger and better things though as he heads to Gainesville to be a zone leader.

Sorry for the short email, but things are crazy round here!

Love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

ER TRIP!

Dear Family and Friends,

Luckily we didn’t go for me. We actually got a call that woke us up yesterday morning from the mission mom and she told us to go straight the ER to go give the two sis. missionaries in our ward a blessing. After getting ready (shirt, tie, tag, and a part in my hair) in 5 minutes, we noticed that it was 1:20 in the morning. It was a neat experience, though. The poor Sister has kidney stones. I sealed the anointing, and the blessing I pronounced was focused a lot more on her mission than on the sickness which was very interesting to me. By the time we got home, both Elder Newbold and I were wide awake and it took like 45 minutes for us to fall asleep. But despite the sleep deprivation it was a great sunday!

This past week was pretty rough until Friday. We had great member support with a lot of member lessons, but our afternoons were very unproductive. We only had 5 other lessons until Saturday. Luckily when i was on a trade-off with Elder Jensen in my district we worked really hard and got a terrific 7 other lessons. A lot of them being from tracting. They say tracting is the least effective way to do missionary work, but if it is all you have to work with the Lord will bless you. I think our area is a perfect example of that.

We had two great lessons this weekend with two different pastors. One was a non-denominational one and the other was a Nazarene. I will say that the promise from the Lord that known will confound you is very true. Not to say that they tried to twist our words, but we always had a sound, doctrinal answer to reply with. One after a long engaging conversation said that he enjoyed it, but we were never going to convert him, but the non-denominational one became a new investigator and wants us to come back!

Also, one of our investigators, William, is just such a character. I love the kid though. He is 18 and has moved over 7,000 miles, has been married, had a kid, divorced, and now he lives at his Sisters place. We have been meeting with him for a couple weeks now and just out of the blue he cut is long hair and looks a lot sharper. He also just has such an incredible understanding of the things we are teaching him. Before we even explained it, he knew what the baptismal covenant was, and what he had to quite doing before he was baptized; it makes it really easy. He agreed to try to quite smoking, but he has never tried before. I believe in him!

Anyhow, I transitioned my study to help me build a stronger testimony of Christ, and the principle engine for that is James E. Talmage’s, Jesus The Christ. I read a chapter every morning and then record my thoughts. It is just incredible how much my image of the savior has matured in just a week. I have been brought to tears several times and I am only his baptism. I can say with complete certainty though that I know that Jesus IS the Christ. I have no doubt in my mind that he lived, and he that he suffered and died for each and everyone of us. He did it because he LOVES and our Heavenly Father asked him to do it because he LOVES us. Christ made it through the trial of this life, but none of us can do it alone. That is why he reaches his hand out to everyone of us and offers the gift of his atonement which will lift everyone of us to be better and do more. I experience the blessing of the enabling power of the Atonement each and everyday! I know that without Christ life would be hopeless, and I know that because of him we can have hope! I love you all, but God loves you more!

Love,

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