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

Batteries and Best Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

I had another wonderful week! I always do! That is a given when you really understand the gospel. I have been saying to a lot of people lately that one of my favorite things about being a mormon is that you always have an excuse to be happy. So very true!

One reason I love being a missionary is that we are endlessly given incredible ways to serve people! One friday we were driving to contact a less active member and I felt that we should take a different way than normal. It was for no particular reason and it was about the same travel time, but we did nevertheless. As we were driving down the road, traffic was unusually heavy. Finally we discovered the reason, a guys car had broken down in the middle of the road. We pulled over and offered to push into the near by parking lot, but he said that his battery was dead and for some reason he couldn’t put it in neutral. Our elders quorum president lived just down the road so we told him that we would run to a friend of ours house and we would grab some jumper cables. We sped on back and found him in the parking lot, apparently he got it in neutral and someone pushed him but he still needed a jump so pulled right on up. After trying our best it was very apparent that he needed a new battery. We helped him acquire a new one and in the meantime we got to get to know this good brother better. His name is Khanh and he just came from the pan-handle to be here in Jacksonville with his high school sweet heart. He hadn’t found a church yet that he liked and after hearing a little bit about ours he said that he would be interested in checking it out sometime. It was a really awesome chance to serve and in total we were with him for about an hour. He really considered us a big help because his girlfriends car is in the shop and so he was literally stranded. Even if he never comes to the church, I am so happy we got the chance to serve and to spread some of the spirit of christmas!

I also found out that I will be staying with my companion for another transfer, which will be really awesome! I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I have been able to spend with Elder Layton, he is an incredible person who has taught me so much about missionary work and just about life in general. He is one who has really come to understand the atonement in his life and his ability to love people is amazing. I have been to learn from him how to really help someone change their life. Because of his incredible ability he has helped a recent convert literally transform her life. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have had to learn from him, and the experiences that we have shared, with many more left!

I am so grateful for this beautiful gospel and the many ways that it richly blesses our lives. I know that it is the only way to true joy and happiness in this life and I want nothing more than to share it with the whole human race! As for now I am taking it to one person at a time.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

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Thanks For Giving

Dear Family and Friends,

Well what a week! I think the Highlight of the week is truly Thanksgiving. We had a fun zone thanksgiving activity. I have many things to be very very grateful for. Like I had previously said I have not had that much success getting people I meet on the street to stick, probably because The Lord wants me to stay humble and remember its him that makes this work happen. Because I know that the weeks I am working the hardest he still rewards us for our efforts like this week we picked up two families that we saw twice they had both went to church in another ward because a member invited them, I guess they met through the boy scout program. But they live in our area we met them gave them a tour of the church and then they came to english class. We also have another girl we met because she is a turnover from the sisters she has already been taught a few lessons and came to church.

So the low down on who we are working with (which are all in the time since i got here). Simon:turnover from the Senior missionaries; Ray: referral from a less active member; Johnny: walked into the church while we were studying; Julie, Peter, & Dora: turnover from the sisters; Mrs Tang and her family: turnover from Chaiwan member; Mrs Wong and her family: also turnover from Chaiwan member. We got some other potential but these are the big ones right now. SO I HAVE A LOT TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!

The lord blesses us for the efforts we make in planting seeds in one field by allowing us to reap harvest in another. I think therein lies a wonderful lesson for life: it teaches us that by doing all things the Lord asks us, although they may have no direct impact on our desires or challenges we hope to receive or overcome, the lord through his ways unknown will change all factors of our lives. So while you may not understand while the lord or his servants ask us to do certain things, do them anyway and you will receive a rich supply of blessing to that I can promise in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. For this is truly his words and his blessings.

I love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

Many Reasons To Be Thankful

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow! What a week! I never feel that I can even come close to capturing all that happens in one week in these short emails. Never in my life have I had so many things happen in such a brief amount of time as I have at this time right now. And with the Holiday season there is no sign of things slowing down, which I am grateful for!

Thanksgiving this year was just one jam packed day of AWESOME! We started it off with playing in the Turkey bowl. We had some awesome turn-out because we combined the Mandarin 1st and 2nd wards. We had 3 games going at the same time and so it was non-stop which was awesome. I was happy to see that everyone was good sports and we just were able to have a great time. The weather was beautiful and we were able to have two investigators, David and Marquez, join us which was great experience. I have mentioned David before, but Marquez is someone we just started working with. He is the grandson of a lady we have been visiting for several months now. He came to young mens the last two weeks and was able to come to the Turkey Bowl and has loved every minute of it. He is 13 and has a size 14 shoe. Br. Henderson who recently joined the church a few years ago, has taken Marquez under his wing. It works out because he is able to relate having come from a rough past and he is also Marquez’ young mens leader. Marquez even came to church and he along with David have both become great members of the deacons quorum. Have I ever mentioned how awesome this ward is at fellowshipping.

We ended up getting 4 different Thanksgiving dinners which was heavenly. Each one was uniquely delicious and very filling. I had to perform a thorough taste-test of each and every dish of mashed-potatoes to see how they would stack up to what I was raised on, and Mom I am happy to inform you that while the competition was respectable, you took the cake. It was also amazing how each one provided us with missionary opportunities. The first we had a recent convert there with us. The second we had a part-member family there. The third had our investigators Amelia and Tyrell with us. A little note on that was that it was so much fun to be able to kinda “tag team” with Tyrell as one of us talk with everyone the other played with Tyrell and the other kids. To be completely honest I think it seemed that both of us would rather have spent time playing with Tyrell, Emma, and David than talk with the adults. And the fourth was with another part-member family that we have been working with. I could not have asked for a better day.

The next presented new challenges as i found it difficult to rise from my bed. I was heavy with food and sore from football, more sore than I have ever been on my mission. After winning that battle I had the blessed opportunity to go down and do a session at the Orlando Temple. I limped through the whole thing but the spirit filled me to the point where I didn’t even notice. I am so very grateful for this wonderful gospel! I know without a doubt in my mind that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to happiness in this life and to eternal happiness in the next. I know that it makes us happy because I have seen it give peace to the broken hearted, give purpose to the hopeless, and increase of joy to those who were already living pretty good lives. I love this work so much and I pray that all of you will take time this month– especially considering the wonderful reason of the season– to find ways to serve others and fill your lives and theres with the love of God.

I love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

Alligators, Snakes, and Trios

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry I was silent last week, the pictures are of what I was doing instead of emailing. I hope that you agree it was time well spent, and if you don’t well too bad it already happened.

St. Augustine is a really cool city. It has some really neat attractions, definitely some of the coolest stuff I have ever seen on my mission. I got two items checked off of my bucket list, I saw huge gator, and I held one. Next task is to find one in the wild and poke it with a stick. A really long stick mind you. Okee Fanokee Swamp here I come! haha oh man that would be cool. 

Along with seeing the gator farm we got to see the Fort they had there and it was really cool. It was definitely a lot bigger than I thought it would be looking from the outside. Needless to say it was a really awesome trip! It all could not have happened without Elder and Sister Christensen though, they help finance all us poor missionaries and made the itinerary. I am very thankful for kind people like them!

Another interesting thing that happened this past week was that Elder Frazier went to the temple and I was in a trio for the day. It was an interesting experience. Luckily I got to pick were we go for the day, so I was able to stay in my area and keep the work moving along. Both of the Elders I was with are in full bike areas so they appreciated the break. Exchanges are nice because they mix up the monotony and you learn so much from serving with other missionaries. 

We got a call from President Craig yesterday and Kevin and Lori can get baptized this week so that is incredibly exciting! Also, we had transfer calls last night and every companionship of elders in the zone got changed except for us, and all the sisters in my district got changed, and 2 sisters in the other district. It was a massive change that I did not see coming! That just means that I get to build a friendship with a lot more missionaries though which is very exciting! Wohoo! Friends!

Love ya’ll!
Elder Joshua Cordon

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Another week into the rest of my life.

Dear Family and Friends,

So this past week was a good one. It definitely kept me on my toes as each day presented some unique experience. I would have it no other way though!

I did my first exchange as a zone leader with a district leader, and though I am sure it should have been the other way I learned a bunch on that exchange. Elder Feliz is such a terrific missionary. He has been out a lot longer, and is very humble. He is a convert from the Dominican Republic, and he one of best missionaries in the mission. One thing that I learned from him that I really appreciated was his selflessness. He is a YSA missionary which means he works with all the young single adults in his area. Nevertheless, during our exchange he still talked to everybody regardless of their age or relationship status. We ended up finding a family and a single guy that were both very interested, but he immediately handed them over to the missionaries who are supposed to teach them without even flinching. (I say that example because it is proving to be the exception rather than the rule) All in all it was a great experience for me.

Another wonderful experience was that we found this awesome Haitian family. They are both very intelligent and they have an incredible desire to learn. We had our return appointment lesson with them last night and it went really well. They had a bunch of questions from when they read the Book of Mormon, and they are excited to learn a lot more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their names are Gabon and Emmanuela. I am looking forward to our lesson with them tomorrow.

All in all it was a great week. I feel like I have so many wonderful experiences everyday that I would never be able to talk about all of them, but when it comes to writing this email it seems that a lot of it escapes me haha so well that is it for this week!

I love ya’ll! Merry Christmas!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Well a Pretty Crazy Week of Gratitude -Jared

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so grateful for this opportunity, I am grateful for my companion, I am grateful I have had so many blessings in learning this language, I am grateful for the blessed Causeway Bay ward, Amazing food and Amazing missionaries, My amazing Mom!

I could go on forever! I now realize how grateful I am for hot water, flushing toilets, kitchen sinks that drain, and gas in the stove. Haha the Lord decided to remind us of all the simple blessings we have every day. Our whole street flooded! A huge pipe burst and the water was coming out like a giezer all night long! I will send pictures next week.

I had a cool experience Yesterday, Elder Howell and I had both felt the prompting to go to this park (its one that has never been successful before). So we went about as planned and went through the whole park with no success. Well we finally get to the very last part of it and we see two little kids playing with a lady watching them.

We said hi and she said hi back in english and then went back to the kids, so we assumed she was a helper at work and went on our way. As we were leaving one of the kids called her mommy. Well I didnt think much of it, and me and Elder Howell went to the next area as we had planned.

Well the spirit spoke to Elder Howell because he felt very prompted to go back and talk to her, thinking heavily on the kids comment when we were leaving. So we went back and talked to her and she happen to be Japanese and that conversation turned out to be an amazing experience. We didn’t get a new investigator but that was the first she has ever heard of our Church and really even Jesus Christ. She may not have been ready at that moment but I got no doubt she will be later. It was a simple testimony to me that we need to listen to spiritual promptings and especially in this work. If my companion gets a prompting and I have not then I just have to trust him!

How you all have a wonderful week!

Love Elder Cordon

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