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

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Let Him Lead

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it certainly was a great week. It was a temple week and we had a baptism. Which also made the week a very busy, and spirit filled week. The temple is such a wonderful place to to be able to be bless to go on my mission is such a wonderful gift. The only other place outside of temples that I have been able to feel the spirit as strong is at the sacred grove. The difference is that temples are dedicated homes to the Lord, and we are given promises and blessings and light and knowledge in the temples when we seek for it. What a great blessing for the mission to be able to receive light and knowledge for the areas that we are in.

Had a really cool experience this week with getting a haircut and taking the time to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation. There are some many moments in our lives that we have peoples attention that we can share simple and small truths about the gospel. The question is are we taking advantage of them all. It was a lesson to me of how easy it was to take advantage of the time that I had while she was cutting my hair to direct the conversation to the gospel.

Come to find out that her mom has recently passed away and she has been doing A LOT of researching into afterlife and what is really waiting for us. I was then easily able to share with her the wonderful truth that we know about the life to come. I also was able to share with her how we know this because we have prophets and God still talks to the world through them so that we know of these wonderful truths.
When are truly willing to take advantage of every moment that is given to share truths of the gospel and build up His children. Then He will be willing and able to guide even the plans you make and the steps you take to give you the moments to build his kingdom and his children. The willingness to give him everything is the price, and the reward is more then could ever be dreamed about.

Life becomes so easy when everything is guided by Him. So that is the question are we letting Him guide us everyday?

I Love You All
Thank you for everything that you have done in my life.

Elder S Cordon

God Is Not Dead

Dear Family and Friends,

Such wonderful miracles this week. We have been teaching two Part Member Families that live together for a while now and making slow progress until this week. Seth and Liz, and Monty and Deedee are the two pairs. Well Seth and Liz just had a baby and it is incredible how life events like that can really change people instantaneously. The Book of Mormon has also been being read throughout the house, and this week Seth and Monty were at church and all four will be there this coming week. I am so grateful for the miracles that I have been able to witness with this family and cannot wait to see Liz and Monty get baptized and then to see them All go to the temple to be sealed as families.

That is what this work is about sealing families together forever. The goal is and always should be the temple. The missionary propose ends with endure to the end not baptism.

I cannot wait for the miracles that await this family as they progress toward Heavenly Father. That is the moat rewarding part of missionary work is to have first row seats to the miracles of God. To be able to see just how open God is with miracles in our day. Especially when there are so many people that dont believe in God let alone miracles.

I am grateful for the wonderful mission that I am able to take part in and dont wish to be anywhere else.

Thank you for you wonderful support and prayers. I love you all so much.

Elder S Cordon

Reach Out!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has just been non-stop awesome!! We are in a position where we rarely get a second to stop and think, it has been rather nice. I love being incredibly busy. However, at the same time a breather, where you can catch up on some things and gather your composure before going head first into the next week is always a nice thing. We have some exciting things ahead of this week. We have Elder Anderson of the quorum of the 12 Apostles doing a pitstop for a short mission devotional this week which will be a great experience and then the very next day we have another trip down to the temple. Then on Sunday our wonderful friend Donna will be baptized right after church. We are already filling practically every available crack with appointments. We are truly blessed with great prosperity right now. God really has been blessing us incredibly.

The lesson I learned this week is captured incredibly in a talk by Henry B. Eyring. It is called “Heavenly Father Reaches Out To His Children“. (*editors note: link is for an audio of the talk) In this talk he helps to explain how Heavenly Father can possibly stand watching so many of his children struggle and suffer. We think there is a lot of bad in the world and we cant even stand to watch, imagine seeing all of it happening at the same time and knowing each individual very personally. That sounds incredibly painful, yet that is what God experiences each and every moment. He tells us– and you must know that this is not at all doing justice to the talk and in no way replaces the benefit of actually hearing it for yourself– that the reason that Heavenly Father can stand it is because he has us. He has mortal servants down here who can reach the people and be an extension of Him in providing love and support during this difficult sojourn of life. He share a quote that is as follows, “it is against the order of Heaven for Angels to be sent to complete a task that can be accomplished by a mortal servant.”

The responsibility is ours. We most reach out and nourish and care for those around us. We cannot simply be concerned with our life alone but with the many lives that surround us each and every day. If we are sensitive to the needs of our loved ones and we are sensitive to the spirit we will see many opportunities to reach out and give support. It never has to be anything complicated, they simply need to know that you are there and that you love them. I am going to attach the link to the talk and I would encourage all of you to listen to it and to consider how you can be an extension of our heavenly father. As for me right now in my mission, these missionaries are my family. And I feel a great responsibility to reach out and to provide support and love to them. I hope God will guide me as I attempt to do just that.

I love y’all so much!

Elder Joshua Cordon

#ActInFaith

Dear Family & Friends,

It is always amazing to see people, reach the gate of baptism. To make that step towards our Heavenly Father and to make that first of many covenants with Him. Brian made that step on Saturday, he has used the last 7 weeks to seek after and find truth. He has taken the challenge that we issue to everyone, to search, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon. To live the commandments and see if they do indeed bless your life, and then when this does happen, (for it always does) and when you receive your answer that the Book of Mormon is true, (which also always happens if done with real intent) then it is the simple step to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to be baptized by someone that holds the priesthood of God that was restored to Joseph Smith.

The miracles that take place in someones life helps to build my testimony. To see the restored gospel bring such light and knowledge into someones life is the miracle. It is the proof that the fullness of the gospel has been restored. There is no cap on the spiritual knowledge that can be received when given the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and when we make and keep the sacred covenants with the Lord. As one uses those gifts given freely, those are to steps on the climb to become like the savior, and to be eligible for the full birthright from our Father.

These are established laws to which the world is run on. It doesn’t matter what faith you are or if you even have faith at all. God is God and always will be God whether you believe in Him or not. So that being a truth God has established his plan and his laws that if lived will bring blessings from God, Regardless Of Your Belief. For if God did not honor His laws then he would cease to be God. Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”
In this verse we have our salvation, or our damnation. We have our gift or our curse. We have our joy or our sorrow. We have our freedom or our chains. For in this verse we are shown the nature of the double edge of our agency.

God lives, He has restored his church to its fullness, Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, our prophet Thomas S Monson is guided by Him, and anyone can know this by accepting the same challenge that Brian took. Test it for yourselves, Read, Ponder, and Pray with real intent and you will receive the same answer Brian did. Then when you do, ACT!

Elder Cordon

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Good Week!

Dear Family and Friends,

I love being in this area, not that I didn’t love my last area, it has just given me some great growth that I needed in the mission. I have learned to turn to the Lord. I have come to know him very personally and I am praying more and it is really helping my strength. Coming closer to Christ doesn’t mean that you are not going to have problems. It doesn’t mean you are going to have problems taken away. However it does mean that you will gain a new perspective on the things that you do need to deal with. An Eternal perspective.

We had a family that we have been working with come to church this last week. They had a great time and felt the spirit. We were able to get a lot of people in the ward to make sure that they went and said hi. Sometimes it is a matter of bringing it to others attention of what they need to do.

Well I love you all. Have a great week.
Elder S Cordon

Change

Dear Family and Friends,

So this was a great week! We had an investigator make the step of baptism. Tre has aloud the gospel to change his life in so many ways. He came from a very rough past but the gospel is such that the atonement covers everything. He has really come to know that God is truly our Father and that He loves and cares for us, also that we get to live with him again and that the Gospel makes that happen.

Tre at his Baptism

Tre at his Baptism

Seeing him grow towards God has really given me another witness of the glory that awaits us at the end of this life. We have this life to prepare to meet God lets not waste it.

We have another investigator Tim that is a husband of a member. He is letting his desire to know the truth grow inside him and it is wonderful to see. Funny story I almost met them in NY haha small world we live in.

So this week was my first week as District leader. What a GREAT opportunity I have to really come to know just how unworthy I am. HaHa I laugh because just how great it is that we are always going to be unworthy. This gospel is not a museum for the righteous it is a hospital for the sinners. We get to grow every day and perfect talents and abilities given to us to strength the kingdom of God. We are also given weaknesses so that we may humble ourselves to God and allow Him to shape us into who He needs us to be.

It was such a great experience at District meeting. The Spirit did so much teaching and confirming. The spirit will always teach to our understanding and in a plainness that allows testimony to be built on solid truth without any room to second guess. What a great blessing that we have, to be able to have to spirit as a guide.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Love
Elder Steven Cordon