Ward Harvest Festival

Dear Family and Friends,

What a great week that we had! I love the work of salvation that I get to be apart of.

We had the Ward Harvest Festival and trunk-or-treat. Which included a chili cook-off, my companion and I got to be the judges for. We had an investigator show up and she had a blast.

We had a great Halloween full of fun with my comp. With a curfew of 6pm we had a lot of time to get to know each other. We got a person on date for baptism, the spirit was so strong in that lesson. It was amazing to see her light up when she heard the first vision. The Spirit is always so strong with the first vision. It is true it actually happened and that is the vision that started it all. Of course the Holy Ghost is going to testify of it.

That is the amazing part about the work that we are doing. We just ask them to find out for themselves by praying to God and having it confirmed to them by the Holy Ghost. Everyone can get the answer right from the source we are just making the invitation.

Thank you all for your support.
I keep you all in my prayers.

Love Elder S Cordon.

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PS I don’t need anymore candy for like 2 years 🙂

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God is SO Good!

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week has been one crazy week! It is transfer time again and the one thing that is guaranteed to accompany it is chaos. I wouldnt have it any other way. We got the opportunity to the temple again on Thursday which was an incredible experience. Even though I am constantly engaged in spiritual efforts there is still something so uniquely powerful with the temple. That is just another of the many testimonies that I have received that those buildings truly are sacred.

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Everything has been non-stop craziness since we arrived back from the temple. We have had some Elders staying with us since Thursday night, who need to be in Jacksonville for some doctors appointments. In order to keep them busy we have both just taken one and have been constantly covering twice the area with them. It was a huge blessing because we had meetings galore this weekend, so we were still able to get plenty of good things.

One of the major highlights of the weekend was the ward Chili Cook-off and Trunk or Treat on Friday. I got to be a judge for the chili along with some of the other elders. It was tough to choose a winner because they were all so good. We had some awesome turnout from our investigators though, we ended up having 9 people come that we invited which was awesome and they all had such a blast. 3 of them were a complete surprise though. We went to the home of one of our friends named Ty to invite him to come. He said he wasn’t feeling it, but his room-mate, Dean, and their friend, who just so happens to be the boyfriend of someone the sisters have been teaching, said they would come. There was another couple at the house at the time named Ray and Rose, but they didn’t seem interested in coming. About a half hour after the party had started, we see all 5 of them there! They ended up having a blast! Especially Dean who did not hesitate to work the crowd and meet as many members as he could. Though he wasn’t drunk, his breath definitely smelt of alcohol, but I was really happy to see how the ward members really didn’t care and they were so welcoming. We ended up teaching Dean and Ty the next day and though he has much more to learn he expressed to desire to be baptized and has agreed to work at preparing himself for the last week of November.

David loved the camping trip! His dad wasn’t able to make it, but they also came to the ward party on Friday and to mutual on Wednesday so they are really coming along, it has been amazing to witness. All of this came from just strengthening a recent convert, which is just a testimony to the importance of retention. Truly the growth of that family is a dream come true for Aileen who is their sister/daughter. She has a had to overcome so much to be where she is at, and she never in a million years could have imagined even the progress they have already made. On Saturday Aileen was with her all her siblings and her dad, so we told her to get them to all pray together. She texted us afterward and told us that they did, but it was her dad’s idea (we had just taught him about prayer last Wednesday). That is the first time they have ever prayed as a family. It was such a tender moment. I love that families can be together forever!! Jorge and David were both able to the ward party, and even all of church on Sunday, so it has been really awesome to how they are just really becoming part of the ward. It has been a very natural experience for them and the ward has done so well with wrapping their arms around them. David has truly become a part of the deacons quorum. We are going to have to get him a set of scriptures so he can start to put them to use on Sundays. The work is just going so well here and it has been amazing to see how people just are coming out of the wood work and things are coming together. I am so much happier now than i have ever been in my life, but I know that there are only greater joys in store for me.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

I even made my pumpkin be a missionary!

I even made my pumpkin be a missionary!

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Mission Conference with Elder Zwick!! – Joshua

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was definitely an interesting one! I don’t think it really got good until Thursday though. In order to keep missionaries out of trouble on Halloween they made a rule that we all had to be inside someone where by 6. It through and interesting twist into the scheme of things. We managed to stay busy for most of it. But we ended up getting a free hour in the apartment, at the end of it. We spent the time going through a Halloween gift basket that a wonderful sister in the ward put together for us, and I tied the first few notes of my paracord scripture case that I am making for Stefan (who had his baby this week!) as a baptism gift. It is going to be sweet! haha

Friday was simply amazing! We had the blessed opportunity to go to Gainesville for a spectacular Mission Conference that was very much enlightening. It was put on by Elder Zwick. He is the executive director of the Missionary Department. He is a very powerful speaker and he gave some very insightful comments. I got the opportunity to participate with Elder Barcala, by doing a brief training on listening to the spirit. It was a wonderful opportunity for me and I hope that it also helped somebody else. Besides being able to meet Elder Zwick, I got to see President and Sister Craig which is always a wonderful thing, as well as Elder Newbold! We got to chat it up as I filled him in on the latest and greatest that is happening in Deep Creek.

One of the highlights of the conference was the talk by Elder Zwick on sanctification. He taught that sanctification begins by living the Law of Sacrifice. He defined the Law of Sacrifice for missionaries as a perfect use of the Lord’s time. I did a lot of reflection about how I could use the Lord’s time in a more productive and effective way. He also showed us one of the fully loaded Ipad-minis that we will be getting very shortly which will be super awesome!

After the conference and before the evening devotional we got to go procelyting on UF’s campus! We had some good success actually. 2 new gators in only 1 1/2 hours 🙂

My miracle is that on saturday we were trying to contact a potential investigator, but his house was empty and apparently he had moved out only a few days before. We went over to talk to the neighbor who informed us and it turns out that he is a less-active member. He is actually one of the 3 Ensey brothers who we have ran into bumped into randomly over the last month. His brother Thomas actually just moved into the that he was at, and so we talked to them and met his fiance and her daughter. We also were able to give Thomas a blessing of healing for his ankle because he sprained it. We went back on Sunday and had a great lesson with them! and then they came to the CES dinner and broadcast at the stake center with us! We have another lesson with them today! Finally another family to work with! I love families! Plus their little girl Nevaeh is possibly one of the most darling 5 year olds I have ever met! God definitely put us in their path and they are so ready for the Gospel right now!

I love this work so much! I know that true happiness and peace in this life comes from living the gospel. I know from experience that this is true. I know with my whole heart that, “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” (3 Nephi 5:13) I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!

Love Y’All

Elder Joshua Cordon