General Conference

What an Easter, Spirit filled.

This last week was a wonderful time to share with everyone the blessings of Easter and what it means to me. The Easter Bunny is cool and all but the best gift that was ever given to us, really the only gift that truly matters, is the reason why we truly celebrate this Holiday. It was wonderful to deeply reflect on the wonderful blessings of the Atonement in my life and to really see who I have been able to become because of the Savior Jesus Christ and the wonderful Gift that he gives us. I love Him so much.

He truly has become a friend to me, he is on my thoughts and in my heart and will always be someone that I go to for safety and council and direction. I am so grateful for him.

I have loved seeing what he does for people around me, and not just investigators of the church but members and other missionaries. Watching the gospel work in their lives is wonderful and brings such joy into my heart. Some of my favorite moments have been to watch my companions grow, to see the Atonement work in them and then to watch how in reaching out to others it changes me as well.  I truly have had a life changing mission, one that has set my path for the rest of my life I now can truly see how the Mission is the MTC for life. There are things in my Blessing that would have never been able to be fulfilled had I used my agency and not gone on a mission I am so glad that I made that choice.

These last couple of weeks while reflecting on the questions that MyPlan asks I have really been able to see how the mission is going to effect every part of my life to come. WOW so great!

This week we had Cierra and John at church. We also had two of the LA that we are working with at church as well, Ryan and Jacinda. What a great sunday for them to be there. The spirit was so strong and the all loved being there and celebrating Easter!

GENERAL CONFERENCE here we come!!
LOVE YOU
ELDER CORDON

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Conference Weekend

Conference was a blast such a wonderful spirit that was there to confirm that the 3 new apostles that were called had indeed been called of God. I loved to be able to hear their testimonies. I am so grateful for prophets and apostles and the leadership of the church to be able to guide, direct, and warn us. We got a lot of that this conference, the World is running away from God and we dont want to get caught in the path by not knowing what way to run. Keeping the Commandments that is the path that we need to be on. And not just some of them.

We all of our investigators, that could, watching conference. They all had a spirit pack time doing it, But who wouldn’t. Nicole and Linda are both moving towards the Lord at a smooth rate. They are both preparing to be baptized on October 24th. They are both wonderful daughters of God that have a great destiny ahead of them. I am so excited to see them make the steps that they need to be baptized and to bring the Gift of the Holy ghost into their lives. This is truly the best work that can happen in the world today.

The WKM is the promise land! miracles happen everyday in the WKM. I am grateful that I am living worthy of those miracles to happen. To be able to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to move his work forward is the best privilege of my life. To be held in His hands and molded to play just the right song at just the right time. WOW

Elder Steven Cordon

Birthday Week

So this week was so different then a year ago. What a difference to see what kind of missionary I have changed into. My birthday last year totally through me for a lope. I wasn’t focused as I should have been, I was not in a great place with the companion that I had, and my birthday made me really home sick; just wanting to spend a birthday with friends and families it was a real problem for me.

This year was 100% opposite.

I was focused on what I was doing with the work it never made me skip a beat, in fact it even made me think about how I could use it to help. As I was thinking about that for a couple of days a member family ask me at church if they could throw me a party that I could invite all those that we have been working with in the two wards to. Prayers were answered I got to use this wonderful moment on the mission to further the work to have people that are investigators meet member and recent converts. It was such a great environment to have them all to, even had Dallen thank me for the invite saying “we dont ever get invited out to things”. They really had a great time mingling with everyone that was there, and got to meet the most recent member of the ward. Got to share my testimony to each of them personally and even got the time after ward to have a lesson with Flor about the Holy Ghost.

The whole week it kept me focused on my purpose as a missionary, help bring people closer to Christ and Help them become converted to the gospel, and a part of that is helping them mingle and make friends with people in the church, and help members mingle with investigators and nonmembers, and teach in members homes. Which all happened in one event. VERY COOL.

I am also in a much better place as a missionary then I was a year ago. I am so grateful for the direction that has taken place in my life and missionary work with the absolute direct help and guiding hand of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I am so grateful for the gift of repentance to be able to make changes in our lives and to become better and not the to change behavior but to be able to change our very nature. When that kind of change happens you never go back to who you were before, so little by little you can develop in the person that God needs. You are humble enough that God can work through you and with you to do miracles in the life that He has given you. Alma 19:33 …-that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.

That is the heart that He needs. That is the heart that is applied to understanding the Holy Ghost and the direction that it gives you in your life. So that we can all be a lighthouse of the gospel to the world and to everyone that we come into contact with.

What a Great and wonderful week we have ahead of us to look forward to general conference.

Pray for answers to questions.

Love you all so much.
Elder Cordon

#LDSConf

Dear Family and Friends,

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Conference was so very good, they get better every time I see them. I get excited in anticipation for what is going to be said.

There was a couple big points that were touched on throughout the conference in almost every talk. Focus on the foundations of you testimony, and strengthen marriages and families.

Those are things that Satan is always and have always attacked in this world. If he can attack your foundation in Christ then everything else becomes easy. If Satan can destroy the family then he can disrupt the central unit that God has put into place to allow for the best success of his children. God has given us families so that we may see the eternal perspective of the order of Heaven, with Mothers and Fathers and children.

Truth has been restored, but what are we surrounding our lives with? Are we surrounding it with that truth or are we surrounding it with the half truths and even lies of the world. What we focus on is what we will become. So the focus needs to be on the things that we know, things that we dont know or understand should not just be looked in a closet though. Always seek to find more then what we currently have. But with the foundation of what you already have firmly locked into place. We shouldn’t ever let the lack of knowledge or understanding of things disrupt or damage the foundation.

Striving for the DAILY companionship of the Holy Ghost, is what leads to spiritual survival.* Life without this companionship only leads to darkness. He is the access to the celestial light that we need in our lives to change and become like our Heavenly Father.

I am so grateful to be able to receive guidance and direction from Heaven from people who have been invited by a prophet to seek revelation for the world. what a wonderful gift it is.

I am grateful for all of you and love you all. You are always in my prayers.

Love,
Elder S Cordon

Conference Answers Questions

Dear Family and Friends,

This was among one of the most inpiring weeks of my life. The Friday trainee/trainer meeting and then a Saturday and Sunday of general conference answered so many of my questions about life I had to start thinking of new ones while conference was still going to continue to get the most out of it. I am so glad I took the advice and wrote down some questions. One of my favorite talks was Elder Eyring’s during priesthood session. I had asked a question on how to improve my prayers. I got more of an answer than I ever was expecting. I even had a question about college and just my future in general that I really wasn’t anticipating receiving an answer to, but God had other plans.

The week went really well. I will tell you about a few miracle men that we had. The first is this man Jeff. He was a miracle that we had several weeks ago when we had arrived at the apartment about 10 minutes early. Rather than going inside which I have never done. I told elder curran, we are not going home until we have a miracle. We began to walk and hopefully find someone outside. At exactly 9:00 this man yells from his porch, “are y’all missionaries?” And we of course went right over there and said yes. We replied with, “yes we are!” He told us that his dad is Mormon and that he has a lot of questions. We struggled for weeks to meet up with him. This past week we decided to give it one more try. He was home and we had a phenomenal lesson. He really did have a lot of questions. The next day we went back and he had read 50 pages and done tons of research. He said that a lot of people don’t support the church but he feels like this is where he is meant to be. He accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 25th of this month. It was awesome!

Another great thing about this past week began with a challenge presented by elder Kopischke called “priming the pump”. He said that we should go and ask them to pray for us that we could find a family to teach in their home. We decided to try it with the awesome Nhiev family. The very next day after we started it we met Michelle who I mentioned in one of previous letters. This past Monday she joined us at the Nhiev’s for a family home evening and everyone had a great time! Then on Friday we had a lesson with her and her husband Ray. On Saturday they came to the church and watched the afternoon session of general conference with Br and Sis Nhiev. It was awesome to see how quickly everything is coming together when we exercise some faith. God really is just so good! The challenge worked so well we are trying it again with another family. Wish us luck!

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

Conference!! Sadly it’s only twice a year

Dear Family and Friends

Conference I love it! It’s something that I feel I have wasted my entire life. So many hours staring at the TV with the words coming in one ear and right out the other. Now it’s a spiritual roller coaster. It’s so cool to take and learn the message they are sharing but also to be learning at the same time another lesson by the Holy Ghost. There is the things everyone needs to hear then there is the things that I (you) need to hear. Their words are truly scripture in the modern days while reading one talk can inspire you for one topic the entire conference altogether will tell you another.

This week overall was full of a lot of success! There is two people on the street that are seeming to stick and after 8 months it appears that its the right time to bring in new investigators. I think its because my overall goal has been to build this area and leave it better than I found it. With two baptisms to drain the teaching pool new people had to be on their way so as to keep the work going. The Lord has decided now I guess to bring them out. We now have 4 people with great great potential and a few others who are on the turning points. I would love more that anything to stay another transfer but it’s looking that next week may be my last in the Butterfly Ward. The Lord seems to do that, once we are on top and things are going great He takes us out of the situation probably to remind us that its all because of Him and we need to stay humble because if He chooses we could have nothing.

I have been so blessed to see the Lord work miracles during my time here.

Conference was so good because in Hong Kong everyone in the stake just goes to the church and watches it. So of course all the missionaries come and we all watch the English session together. President joined us for the sunday morning and an amazing sister prepared food for all us missionaries. Conference weekend is a holiday to be celebrated full of spiritual and physical feasting.

I love you all, take luck.

Elder Jared Cordon

We Are Different!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was such a wonderful week full of the spirit and learning.

First I was able to go to the temple. WOW I miss being able to go as often as I want to, but I also cherish the times I get to go. (not that I didnt before.) I love the spirit that I am filled with every time that I go to the temple. It truly is the Lords house.

We found a new investigator name Jay he is so prepared to hear the gospel. He had a great boss who he looked up to that was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He knew who we were and we immediately offered to help him stack the wood that he was in the process of stacking. What a great example of how members just being great members can have such an impact to someones life latter on.
And then Conference happened!!

What an incredible weekend. I felt reminded Many times that as members of the church WE ARE DIFFERENT. Gods commandments are never going to conform to men. We are given a Prophet for that reason so that we are kept on the path of God. He is the person that is called and set apart to handle the affairs of God on the earth. He is the one that we look to for answers, not the internet, not the latest trend, not the latest law that is passed, the Prophet is the one that receives the answers we need for our lives.

I am so blessed by the knowledge that we have a living Prophet on the earth today. He actually lives and receives revelation for the world from Christ, this is The Church of Jesus Christ because it is his church not mans and it will always be that way.

I am so grateful for a Prophet to lead and guide us everyday. I know that Thomas S Monson speaks for God.

I seal this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Elder S Cordon

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P.S. Editors note- he is being transferred. He has enjoyed his first area on his mission but is needed elsewhere in his mission!

#THEPROPHETSPEAKS

Dear Family and Friends,

What a blessing it was to be able to watch General Conference this weekend and hear the inspiring words of our leaders. This conference definitely gave cause to reflect on many aspects of life. In between the sessions we found ourselves doing what missionaries often do, knocking on doors. In what seemed an almost instinctive approach we testified on every doorstep that we have a prophet today. The various responses we received clearly and quickly taught the fact that most people have no idea why a prophet is at all a blessing to us. Even after we take time to try to explain it to them, they still just don’t seem to get it. As I watched the sessions of conference the question popped into my mind, do we as members of this church even understand why it is such a big deal that we have a prophet today. If we recognize it, do we feast on those abundant blessings?

I would like to take a few moments to tell all of you that I know without a doubt that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that by the spirit of god which has born witness of that fact to my own spirit. I believe that when he is acting under his prophetic calling that his words are God’s words, and I have the faith that if I live by his counsel that I will become more like my savior, Jesus Christ, and my life will be one that will provide me with the richest blessings that are available in this mortal existence. And while the spirit alone is good enough for me to know I have the additional witness of experience, for as I have lived his counsel I have seen it bring me closer to God.

Not only do I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, but I also know that we have a quorum of 12 Apostles on the earth today that holds the same authority that the apostles of old held. I know that those men are also called of God and have power and authority from on high to act in there callings. I know that from my encounters with those Holy Men but one major witness is the fact that it was one of those men that made the assignment for me to serve in Jacksonville, FL for my 2 year mission. I have had numerous experiences that proven to me that this is the exact place and time that I was meant to be. Only a prophet could have known that.

And so on down the chain of authority that begins with Christ are the church assignments made. This past week I was able to reinforce my testimony that even the 70 have been given power and authority with their callings. Even though he would undoubtedly have had endless meetings and many other things on his plate in anticipation for General Conference, Elder Golden who visited the mission two weeks ago, took the time to call my companion and I to apologize that he was unable to interview while here in the mission in person but that he would like to do so over the phone. It was a very special moment of my mission to be able to talk with him and to feel of his spirit as he gave me advice, counsel, and compliments. It never ceases to amaze me how powerfully the spirit can enter into your life and fill your soul from simple conversations, even when they are over the phone.

A lot of what he spoke about was The Spirit. As I put his counsel and advice into action, I experienced many miracles this week. We were able to be directly guided to people who were ready to receive our message. Among that group is a woman named Stephanie, who had just moved in 3 days prior, and a family of 7, who have been in there place for many years. The still small voice for me like a personal golf caddy who helps you with every aspect of the game of life. If you are a worthy and if you listen, as Elder Golden said, “You better buckle up for it will send you on one wild ride.”

Another blessing this past week was that I got to watch the new film, Meet The Mormons. It is a powerful story of the lives of 6 different families from the US and different parts of the world. It demonstrates in a very simple but powerful way how living the gospel will impact your day to day life. It literally is a part of who you are. It is not just an aspect of your life, but rather it is your life. It is amazing how someone who has had a life that is hardly similar to mine in any way could on the same hand have so much in common with me. As I talk to people from day to day it is interesting to me how much people are trying to avoid labels of any kinds these days. Which in large part is why non-denominational Christianity is on the rise. That is such a striking contrast to the world wide family that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Truly we are the only large body of people that can in any way be described as–like the first century Christians– being of “one heart” and of “one soul.” (Acts 4:32) Not only am I okay with being labelled as a “Mormon,” but I embrace it because it reminds me that I am never standing alone.

Clearly I know that this church is true. If you would like to as well, it is as simple as this, Ask God. I know that he will answer you. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all! have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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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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“That He Lives”

Do the Butterfly!!!

Following an amazing 5 sessions of general conference, we were also blessed to witness a baptism in the Butterfly ward. The first baptism in 2 1/2 years!!

IMG_0752[1]It actually caught us off guard this last week when we got a call and the mandarin sisters asked Elder Falk to baptize a Mandarin girl he had found just before I got here. We had seen her at church a few times but we had no Idea it would be this soon. It was not our baptism but it was a ward baptism!

For our investigator Gary, well he is moving along Fantastically. He was having some hard times after last week when he received is baptism commitment, he was feeling baptism is to fast. After bumping heads a little with our ward mission leader over what to teach him we came to a fantastic compromise and taught him an awesome lesson and the spirit was very strong. We helped him overcome some big concerns then recommitted him to his date of May 11th. After conference he smiling definitely feeling the spirit. He will get there.

Other than the part where it was nice to see all the missionaries in the zone and get to spend all day in AC. Conference is sadly something that I know I took for granted before my mission. Now that I have a more clear understanding of our Apostles and Prophets role in Gods majestic plan, I am much more in tune with the spirit. General Conference is a true feasting upon the words.

This time though from the unknowing eye you wouldn’t think the Our Leaders shared any crazy revelation that would shake the world. BUT THEY DID!! The words they shared, if truly taken to heart and followed with exactness, would shake the world. We would see such an outpouring of Gods blessing, we then might be worthy enough to form Zion. Cause its the quality of Gods saints which is preventing us. The words they shared get down the core problem of every single sorrow our world faces. People ask “if God is real why does bad things happen”, well He just gave us the cure so lets take it.

Lets all become the disciple we are destined to be. Lets the Shake the World.

Love you all

Preach out

Elder Cordon
Tang Jeung Louh