Very Hot Summer

Dear Family & Friends,

Well wasn’t expecting this transfer at all. It came and went so quickly. I was truly expecting that I would be staying with Elder Harmon, I truly have loved the time that I have spent around him and he has taught me so much. This is going to be the weirdest one yet, but I have also been on my knees in prayer to help me with the coming transfer and become even better each day. I am learning very quickly that the more I recognize that I am in great need of Gods, and the faster that I recognize it, the greater that I can grow with Him.

I love the strength that I receive from Him when I ask with faith and am willing to put forth all of my effort. I love the stretching and growing that I can do on the mission to be able to be more then I ever thought possible. To Become What He Know I Can.

I am going to cherish the moments that I have had to be able to recognize his hand in my life. I am grateful for the atonement to be able to help me become so much more. The Atonement is the reason that we can even become more then what we are. The reason that we can have hope in a better future to know that we don’t have to just be ok with, or even worse get upset about what is just currently happening to us.

We are still working very hard to make sure that we are getting Friends for our investigators so that there connections with the church that are not ones that are going to be leaving any time soon.

Love you all so very much

ELDER S CORDON

A Lot of New

Dear Family and Friends,

We got summer missionaries, priority is to strengthen them and help them want to serve full missions!   

 We are already seeing miracles in the part member family area of this Branch. One Sister wants us to help her Husband who has been staying away for over 20 years! But he has just had a big change of heart and is searching for more in Life! So we have followed our mission Presidents advice and strengthened that sister and she is really doing all the work! It would be great if he could meet him later.

Well work in Tung Chung is flourishing and it seems to keep getting better. We have 6 baptismal Dates and 3 of them will get baptized next week! All of which are very excited about their Dates and its a great motivation for the Branch. Our other dates are not that solid but this last week we saw two of our other dates who were laying pretty low start taking off! Both were because of of cool miracles, One we had a bunch of stuff change our schedule but it ended up that we ran into him on the street and he had a total change of perspective. The other we had a last minute member willing to help teach so we taught at their house and it was really good they will be great new long term fellowshippers.

We had a great church miracle yesterday we brought this kid to church and he has come before but he thought it was boring but yesterday he became good friends with another young men and now he loves church! Real friends makes all the difference!

Everything is going so well! We are really so blessed.

Love 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

Elder Williams is Training!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it was a great week! we were working hard and were very busy! We had some interesting turn of events with some of our investigators and some good things happening as we went to the streets.

First our investigator Frankie turned out not to live in our area. He is right on the line, but falls on the KLC side. We will be turning him over to the sisters tonight. But we are fasting with him right now, and the sisters decided to join us, that he can get an answer. We will be following up with him tonight at the turnover. He was one of the investigators we were hoping could be baptized this month. I hope the transition goes well he has been meeting with Elders here for several months. Brother Mak who had a date for this month is still not back. The west point sisters were able to talk with him about his concerns. Its a good thing the Sisters can see him everyday I feel like it will help him. Our other investigator Emily is doing better she was able to eat with some of the sisters, so she has been getting a lot of member involvement. That is really good because fellowship will help a lot she comes to find her own answer.

We have been working really well together and our teaching and finding is in pretty good unity. We had a bit of an interesting week with not as much time as we would like to find. But when we did get out we worked hard and made the most of it. We have a good drive while finding even if its a long stretch. I actually really like city finding. A lot of missionaries prefer going to big estates but I would pick the streets. Its harder to teach a sit down lesson but its a better variety of people. Only certain types of people sit in an estate in the middle of the day.

The ward is doing really well it seems like a lot of people want to do missionary work and we are constantly getting names of less actives and hearing about different things members are doing. It will be a great ward for this new trainee to come into. I will miss TST ward, I was able to build up a good relationship really quick. But i will serve my best wherever I am sent.

A big thing we have talked about with the ward and as a companionship is less active work. Gratefully with the wards effort there is a fairly big group of less actives that are incontact with the members still, so they are priority number one for us. There is a lot of good work to be done and just not enough time its seems.

But a lot of big changes going on here. We are taking a big hit in Elders right now. Then in a few months its coming right back to normal. President is doing all sorts of stuff to prepare the mission for President Lam here in July.

But its all good I love you all have a great week!
Elder Jared Cordon

Mission Experiences

Dear Family and Friends,

Week after week I am molded and shaped more into who I am meant to be.
The real essence of becoming is very apparent to me right now. When I
have had the opportunity to have a glimpse of my potential if I
continue embracing the gospel, I have wondered if many of the promised
blessings would ever come into fruition. This past week they did. I
know that doesn’t tell you much, but it was a very tender moment for
me. I pray that all of you will hold out for the priceless blessings
afforded to those who patiently press forward with a steadfastness in
Christ. The world around us is full of people who exchange those
blessings for immediate and fleeting pleasures. The gospel is the
science of increasing returns, but the lack thereof is the science if
selling yourself short.

This past week I was blessed to experience a lot of miracles. I don’t
think there was a day where anything went according to plan, yet at
the end of the day everything seemed to work out. A great example of
that was on Friday; we were looking at a night that was supposed to be
jam packed with teaching appointments, but as we called to confirm one
by one they canceled. No sooner had I desperately racked my brain for
some ideas before finally pleading “now what are we going to do?” When
we got a call. A guy we are teaching asked for help loading up a
truck. He said that his parents neighbor got sent to jail and the bank
was forcibly evicting them. There were hired guys there throwing all
of the stuff out of the house into the front yard. This was a lot of
stuff! Nice stuff too. Which didn’t help the fact that storm clouds
were rolling in. When we arrived on scene we realized that we were the
only help he had because he had no one else to call on. We were
grateful for that opportunity to serve. He actually didn’t even have
to help these people, and on top of that the lady that lived there had
been incredibly rude to his family, but he told us that he was raised
that you serve everybody, whether or not they have been nice to you. A
great example of charity.

Willie, who has become a great friend over the past several months was
baptized this past Saturday, the day after he graduated from his
wounded warriors training. We went to his graduation which was at
Maggianos, and we weren’t expecting much, but all the big wigs of the
Wounded Warriors project were there in this room of about 40 people.
It has been a great experience to get better acquainted with that
wonderful organization and the people that keep it running. The
knowledge I gained and connections I formed there were an unexpected
blessing of my mission. Willie’s wife flew in from California for his
baptism. It was great to meet her in person, she is a hoot I’ll tell
you what. The baptism was really touching and had strong spirit, but
the best part was when Willie shared his testimony with his class
mates who came to support him. The next day I confirmed him a member
of the church and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost just to have to
follow that with a goodbye as he moved back to California that day. It
really was a miracle that he was able to find the gospel and get
baptize during his short visit here in Jacksonville. He will go on to
great things, I just wish he could stay so I could be part of all of
it. Either way we will be keeping in touch and besides it is never
goodbye, it is just see you later.

On a less than positive note, a dear friend of mine and my ward
mission leader in my last ward passed away last week on Labor Day. I
found out a couple of days later and it definitely was shocking to
hear. At first they declared it a suicide, but we know how wonderfully
accurate our news media is (I am so grateful we don’t have to watch
that garbage as missionaries) but it has been determined that there
was fool play. My heart ached as I thought of his beautiful wife,
children, and grandchildren that he left behind. If I ever knew a man
who didn’t deserve to die he was it, but if I ever knew man who was
ready to meet his maker he was that man too. I went to his closed
casket viewing yesterday and got to see his wife who I got to know
very well too. She had a genuine smile on her face as I gave her a
hug, which brought such relief to my heart to know that she has been
able to hold on to her knowledge of the plan of salvation to help her
through this hard time. I have also been comforted because of my
knowledge that families are forever. I know that one day they will be
reunited and they will live as a family for eternity. It is hard to
remain sad when you keep in mind. He was the biggest gator fan that I
have ever met in my life! I will always be able to remember him with
the gator head that he gave me which sits on my desk. I will be able
to remember how much he was willing to give to help others receive
this incredibly gospel. While he is no longer with us in person, his
example of discipleship will continue to encourage many people to come
unto Christ, as it has done for so many already. I love you Br.
Ortega! God be with you until we meet again!

Life is too short so please never let an opportunity to let those you
love know how much they mean to you. You may never get that chance
again in this life.

I know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day as a
resurrected being and that he lives, and because of that so will all
of us. There is life after death.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

1 more down plenty more to go!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well what a wonderful week we just had. We worked really hard to help Aaron be ready for his baptism and the rest of his life. His baptism was a success! After he was baptized he actually spoke and it was really good. He has an amazing testimony and you can tell he is on the road to conversion as all good members are. Teaching him this last week has really taught me a lot of lessons as we were focusing on the holy ghost and receiving personal revelation. I can look back at my life and realize how much stronger my connection with the spirit is now than at any time previously.

Were also able to see Mike twice this week. We taught him half of the plan of salvation on Wednesday and after he was so excited to learn more he was scheduling the next lesson himself. So we taught him again on Friday after English class. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to teach him the lord has been here for us. Every time we get someone close to baptism I ask the lord whose next and he always has another person ready.

A couple in our ward also had the idea to feed the young men and two of our investigators who are in their friend group and that went so well. Its becoming the cool thing to be part of church for them. We were also able to meet another one of their friends and get a 3rd investigator. It really awesome to see the young men getting in the excitement of missionary and having success doing it. We just teach the all together on Saturdays then play a little basketball. Sadly they were not able to attend church but they will be there next week.

Sister Lau and Sister Syu are doing awesome they are really excited to continue to hear more. We have found out more about there families and are really pushing to meet there husbands this next week, we realize the only way to feel the fullness of this gospel is to have the full family involved, so that is our focus this week. With them living in mainland the best way for retention is to get them all.
Well it was an amazing week and I can see that the Lord will continue to progress his work I am so grateful to take part in the Hong Kong peak service to be able to hear about all the sacrifice made by the Chinese people in building the gospel. This is a blessed to be serving.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

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The Lord is Opening the Flood Gates

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week was a busy one. For P-day I went and finally road a ferry. Also had the best gaak jai bang in hong kong. Gotta love mammies pancakes. It was a good day with a few upsets. One of the sisters got her card eaten in the ATM. But it was good times. Today we will be riding the worlds longest escalator.

Aaron has made some amazing progress we met him on Tuesday and then went to a dinner appointment. He is really set on serving a mission so he wants to help us teach and go finding. That night we decided to have him share the spiritual thought it went so well. The thought and impression really came to us that he is so ready now that we have no reason to wait until the 27th to baptize him. So we have moved him to this Sunday. He is more than happy. Its also really cool because he wants the Bishop to baptize him and the first counselor to do the confirmation. Its such a great way to get the members involved with these converts.

An amazing miracle has also happened on this very same day after teaching another investigator we heard a knock on the church door. Can it be that baptism are knocking on our doors? Well it just so happens that a lady feels very strongly that she must be baptized in our ward. She also wants her daughters family to be as well. So she came to english class than to church with her daughter and her kids and after church we taught them the first lesson and it went so well. That have committed to coming to church every week!

The young men in the ward have also stepped up their game. They showed up to church with two investigators that we have taught previously. Its great to see these boys start doing some missionary work.

Cheui HD (*editors note: HD means something similar to brother, so it would be Brother Cheui) a ward missionary also brought his dad, sister, and his sisters friend to church. We scheduled them for english class!

Heui HD also brought a relative to church He seemed to enjoy himself.

Things are going really really good here in the Butterfly Ward. Its crazy for me to think anyone ever could dislike this ward.

Also I got an amazing opportunity to attend the temple and man probably one of the best sessions I have ever had I am still on cloud nine!

Love you all,

Elder Jared Cordon