God Answers Prayers

Dear Family and Friends,

So, once again on preparation day we have beautiful weather. Makes it pretty clear that God is watching over us as he gives us these tender mercies. He truly does take care of us in every aspect of our lives. I have become ever more aware of his presence of my life this past week. I know that God answers my prayers!

Last night was crunch time for us. We had agreed and sustained a goal less than two weeks ago that by yesterday we would’ve found 11 new investigators. Coming down to our last available hour we still had to find 2. We were starting to get pretty downhearted when we kept running into walls at every turn. With about 17 minutes left we were faced with the decision to either see a recent convert who hadn’t come to church and to check up on him, or go see one more potential on our list. Having considered what Christ would do, and reasoning that he would be a man of his word and do everything in his power to accomplish that which he was said he would do, we decided to try the another former on the list we had been working off of. On the way there I was saying a prayer in my heart that I had not made the wrong decision, that we would be able to accomplish our goal, and that God would grant unto us a miracle in these last few minutes of the day. We arrived at the home which happened to be a duplex. There was a girl sitting outside of one of the doors, and so we asked her if this is the correct address and if the people by the names David and Christine lived there. She told us that it was her neighbors. She also informed us that she was a member of the Spanish branch after we had invited her to hear a message of Jesus Christ. Feeling a bit embarrassed that we had just invited a member of our church to learn about our church, went over and knock on the neighbor’s door. They were home, invited us right in, and had no problem with us coming back. It was strange because it was so easy and just fell in our lap. I knew that God granted unto us a small miracle, and helped us accomplish the desires of our hearts.

Another great experience was a member present lesson we had this past week. Since I have been in this area, we haven’t really been working with the bishop at all. He is a nice guy, but we were just doing our own thing. Considering the fact that the bishop holds the keys to missionary work in the ward we knew that this had to change. Finally, we resolved that the best way to do this would be to have him teach one of our investigators. We successfully had our investigators, Kevin and Laurie, taught in the bishops home with him and his wife. The lesson was the best lesson we have had with them yet, and the bishop did a terrific job of teaching to his needs with us. They became instant friends with Kevin and Laurie, and they even committed them to be baptized in April. The difference since then for our relationship with the bishop is like night and day. He’s called us several times and has already talked to Kevin four times since the lesson. They also want to have a weekly lesson in their home with Kevin and Laurie. The wide spread impact of that lesson is seen in the fact that I have not been to single ward Council or PEC meeting since I’ve been here, but this past Sunday Bishop asked if Elder Hamilton and I would come. Just from hearing him talk in that meeting I can tell that he has had a complete change of heart towards missionary work. I am excited for the wonderful things ahead for us!

I know that God is aware of us and of the desires of our hearts. I know that he answers our prayers. I have prayed diligently to find our goal of 11 new investigators, and to find a way to connect with the bishop and the Lord has provided a way for both righteous desires to be completed. I would encourage all of you this week to set worthy goals, make intelligent plans, and diligently labor to complete them. Make sure to include God in every step and trust that he will provide away. As you do so, you will become the incredible person that you want to be. I know that will happen because it’s happened for me. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Have a wonderful week!

Love ya’ll!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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GET OUT OF MY STATE!! haha I say that out of love :-)

Dear Family and Friends,

First of all I love you all, especially my family. So when I say that I was in Florida first don’t take it the wrong way. I just still can’t get over the fact that you waited to go to Disney World until after I serve my mission IN FLORIDA. It is ok though, no hard feelings… ok maybe a little 😉 Thank goodness I am not in the Orlando mission haha.

On another note. Elder Hamilton and I are a power team! We motivate each other really well and just get work done. We took a challenge from the Assistants to the Presidents to find a ridiculous 30 new investigators (the standard of excellence in the mission is 5)) this past week. We worked like crazy and met so many wonderful children of God. Many of them have great potential! Basically God granted us 25 new people to teach. It changed my perspective of what inspired goals, complete faith, massive action, and an expectation for mighty miracles can do.

We also had a Zone Meeting last week that went really well. I had to give a 20 min training which I was really nervous for because we don’t really have that much time to prepare for things like that because we have to worry about preparing lessons for investigators and doing proselyting still. The spirit really helped me out though and felt as if it took over. I could tell it had a positive impact on the Zone. God truly is good. I couldn’t handle all that is on my plate without him.

I had the blessed opportunity to baptize a wonderful brother into the fold of God. He is a humble man who is from Sudan, Africa. He was put into the military at the age of 12 there, but was able to leave to America when he was 20. My companion found him 10 weeks ago and he hasn’t missed church once. He has an incredible amount of faith, and he is really is just a wonderful brother. His name is Solomon Deng Deng. He was given the name Solomon when he was baptized into the Catholic church shortly after he moved here. I was very humbled by the fact that he asked me to baptize him, and what a blessing that was.

Another cool thing that happened this last week was when we swung by the mission office to take care of some different items of business. Right as we walked in Elder Rhoads, the vehicle coordinator (yes, I do realize the irony there), told us that we were going to help him out by driving one of the 2014 Ford Fusions to the Uhaul to get a bike rack hitch. Of course I had no objections. What a beautiful car that is. It is similar to the one we had when I first came out but that was a 2013. I was really hoping they were going to give us that car in exchange for the crappy 2011 corolla they have us in. But hey I shouldn’t be complaining it is better than biking haha.

I really love this area. I love the people we have met, and I have already learned so much. I have no doubt that God cares for each and every one of us individually. And that he really has a plan for us.

A spiritual lesson that I learned this week is that God cares more about our spiritual well-being than he does our physical. Here is what I mean by that. I have been sick for going on 4 weeks now. It stinks really bad, I just want to better. However, I find that at the end of the day, when I have given my all, I didn’t even feel sick all day until I slowed down just before bed. Basically when I lose myself in the work I forget about all my problems. God understands that we will have physical problems, that is just a part of life, but what he really cares about is that we keep the faith through it all. Every challenge is an opportunity to grow, so rather than praying for a change in circumstances we should pray for a change in character that will allow us to conquer our circumstances. That is something that my companion taught me. That is what I did, and it made all the difference in the world.

I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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