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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Be Bold, Be Obedient

Dear Family and Friends, 

It was great this week and the first full one with my New Elder Wong. We have been tearing it up and being very bold. We had a couple of lessons this week which were really really blunt and they were needed. The sad thing is all the people we have been working with have all become very lazy and dependent on us. The problem with the world and especially Asian school systems is they don’t want people to think for themselves they just want them to take what they are told and believe it. Since this also is primarily what must churches do too, they thrive here, but as for the Church of Jesus Christ we want people to have their own experiences and testimonies and to go and search truth for themselves. The quest for Happiness and the quest for Self Mastery are one in the same. God wants up to be the best us and to start improving now and keep improving. I have said this before and I will say it again happiness is not a state that is a achieved but it is the way we live our lives! 

We have done well about applying the counsel given to us by an Apostle of the Lord and we are seeing great blessings coming from it and we should be seeing some big things happening here in the coming weeks. A lot of companionship’s have been seeing miracles pouring in. We never know what the lords timing will be when he wants to bestow blessings, usually right after being tempted by Satan to not be obedient, but always be worthy that way your timing and the lords timing will always be the same. 


I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. 

Elder Jared Cordon 

Let Us Act

Dear Family & Friends,

We’ll last week was a busy one a good one for some ups and downs. We were able to add a few more people to the teaching pool so we are seeing some great success from our finding efforts, we have been really consistent since I got here. Some of our investigators made some huge improvement this last week, like one brought his father to church who is so cool! Which is so good cause we need more priesthood holders. One has a really strong desire and has had a lot of anti and family opposition and its cool to see her fighting through all of it. Because conference taught us “having sincere questions is not the question but, where you go for answers”. We have some investigators who have listened to our exhortation to read and pray to know for themselves and nothing is sweeter for a missionary when they do it and find that it works. But on the flipside this week we had two who would not, no matter how much we did on our end, read and pray. Its a simple fact, missionaries can bring the spirit unto people but we cannot bring it into people as 2 Nephi 32 teaches us that it is the spirits job and the individual through there agency to act is what allows the spirit to do that. I think if we apply these principles in any teaching situation whether it be in church, families, schools, sports, or military. Its all the same we need to teach and help people to do it themselves we are objects to act, any other way is simply contrary to our nature and the way God made us.

I love you and hope the holidays are full of happiness and joy as we ponder the glad tidings of great joy which is our Savior Jesus Christ who came to save us all if we come unto to Him. Let us show our true gratitude by coming unto to him and helping all that we can remember the true reason for Christmas.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

P.S. Here is some pictures! BTW my pose is demonstrating how main landers sit everywhere, bus lines, when reading the paper, really anywhere.

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Good Times in the Neighborhood

Dear Family and Friends,

It is such a good day to be alive. I am not ignorant to the chaos around us this world–not the least of which is the current development in Missouri– when I say that. To be completely honest, none of the craziness really matters at all. It doesn’t matter because it has absolutely no relevance to my personal happiness. I am either at peace or not independent of the rest of this world. The reason I teach the gospel is because of that fact. I know that anybody, regardless of their circumstances, will be made happier by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that because it is the only source of true and lasting happiness. Every person who is happy to any degree receives that happiness from living some portion of the gospel. Missionaries are out in the world teaching people the rest of the gospel they have not received. I honestly have the best job in the world. I am a full-time spreader of happiness!

While it is nice that I know that though, a lot of people do not know that that is why we are knocking on their door. On Saturday we went to go see a lady who we helped move in a couple of weeks back. When she opened her door she immediately tried to nicely tell us to leave by saying that she just moved in and is still in the middle of unpacking. Clearly she didnt recognize us in a shirt and tie. We just replied to her by just saying “ya we know!” All of a sudden she remembered who we were and it was a night and day difference. She immediately invited us in and introduced us to her brother-in-law. We chatted with them for a bit and set up a time to come back another time. They are such wonderful people! I learned something in a more profound way during that experience. Most people are wonderful people who are a lot of fun to be with! Most people see us as two shirts and ties standing our their doorstep rather than two people who want nothing to do but serve them in any way. And if most people knew who we really are they would be really excited to see us standing on their doorstep, just like this lady. Just another example of the obvious difficulties of knocking-doors. Yet despite all of that miracles still happen from knocking doors.

I wonderful experience I had this last week was that I was able to go back to Lake City to do an exchange with the Elders there. It was so strange to be back in the old stomping ground. Everywhere we drove I gave them referrals for different people that may be ready to hear the message now. The best part of it all was that I got to see one of my most favorite people in the world, Stefan! It was a last minute meeting that happened at the burger king. A lot has happened since I last saw him. I wondered if he was going to be the way I remembered him. It was such a sweet reunion though. Being able to see him again has been one of the greatest blessings. I made him a scripture case out of paracord that i have been meaning to give him for over 8 months now, so I was able to give that to him, and best of all I was able to introduce him to the elder that serves in that area and they will probably be able to start teaching him again.

Another miracle had was that on Saturday I felt very impressed to put a particular less active at a certain time on Saturday. I was a surprisingly strong impression. So of course I listened. As we were heading to go and contact that less active we passed a lady on the side of the road who was walking with her son. They were about 20 yards ahead of their little car that had just ran out of gas. We were able to help her out and get acquainted with her as well! Not only did we save her a few hours of her day that she would have spent walking to her home and then to a gas station, but we were able to brighten her day. A teaching opportunity may even come from this. I love serving others! It fills you with the love of God so quickly, it is unreal!

The experiences of this past week have taught me many things. One powerful lesson that was reiterated was that God has great timing! I know without a doubt that God has placed certain people in our lives at certain moments in order to give us the perfect opportunity to become who we were meant to become. I know that if we trust God and just embrace all the wonderful people who cross out path and strengthen the relationships we have already been given that we will find ourselves not only becoming the people God wants us to be, but also finding our lives becoming increasingly enriched by an abundance of cherished relationships. I know what God meant more than ever when he said that the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. Truly that is all that matters!

That being said, I love y’all!! Have a great week!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

My Heart Is Full

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so overjoyed with the changes that I have seen this gospel bring into peoples lives. Everyday I get to witness people making steps to come closer to Jesus Christ both members and non members alike. To be able to facilitate and guide that in any way at all is such a wonderful blessing that God would trust me enough to help in such an important work. This is work that is vital to the eternal salvation of His eternal family, and for us to be able to be apart of it just shows how much he loves us and wants us to learn and grow.

We all have such an important role to play in this life, and we all have so much at stake. We have been given the path to follow, laid out very clear and simply, all we have to do is follow. Christ’s simple words “Come, follow me.” He is the example. He is the way.

It is truly amazing just how simple it can be to just follow his example. Such evident of this to me is the example of a 12 year old boy in the area that is in a part member family he is not yet baptized but comes to church every week. He knows that the gospel is true and has a testimony there are times that he is the only one that comes and still he gets ready and comes to church. He lives the gospel and is such an amazing young man, He is such an example to me to never to for granted what I have and the amazing support that I have in what I am doing. He will be getting baptized soon and he knows that it is what he needs to do. He knows that he needs to live the gospel so that he can be happy and live with his Heavenly Father again.

So simple guidance “Come, follow me” and “Love one another, as I have loved you.”

I am choosing every day to follow these commandments I hope that you are too.

Short letter but these are the words of my heart and I seal it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder S Cordon

Bring on the rain!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, Hurricane season is officially here. The wise old patriarch of the ward strongly urged all of us to be ready. Don’t worry though, we are. We have been stocking up on food for the last little while. The cupboards are full and we have food for at least three months. Also, if anything does happen, what a great opportunity it will be to serve those around us. It will also make it easier to baptize if the streets are full of water. Of course I am only slightly joking! It did storm rather heavy every single day last week! We even had nickel sized hail several times.

Moving on.

Some really good things happened this past week! Not the least of which is the mission leadership council meeting that we had in which a lot of good things are coming about. I really love where President Craig is moving the focus and I am excited to exoerience all the good that will follow. For me personally, that meeting was very inspiring. I left with my expectations raised and my vision expanded. I realized I hadn’t been stretching myself enough, but that is going to change! Starting with my online proselyting, which is something that I have completely neglected these past few months. I have been looking for ways to improve and now I finally feel like I have concrete direction on how I am going to do that!

An exciting thing that happened this week was that Alfred had a change of heart. A week ago he was pretty down and he wasn’t his normal cheery self. He didn’t come to church last week because he was so down. He started to have a lot of doubts in what we were teaching because he still hadn’t had a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon. We set out this week to help him have one. On Wednesday we talked a lot about prayer with him, we knew that if he could understand how prayer works then getting an answer will be easy. Near the end of our lesson he seemed to have a really good understanding of prayer. We then challenged him to pray right then and there and ask god if the Book of Mormon is true. He was a bit hesitant, but he agreed. After praying we had us just sit in silence for a few minutes so he could pay attention to the way that he felt. Needless to say, Alfred finally can recognize what the spirit felt like! It was pretty incredible! This Sunday at church he just kept saying, I feel the spirit and I can’t help but smile!

And on that note I want to end by saying, if you are looking to smile a little more in your life, then do something that will invite the spirit, and soon enough, I promise you, you will be smiling! It happens to me every single day!

I love y’all!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

I’m lovin it!! -Jared

Hello Family and Friends,

This was a fast but very amazing week!

Our 1 investigator is starting to see the difference in his life after he started meeting us and is showing a lot more desire to accept our message. He said you and your companion are always so happy! I believe its because of your faith. I want that. Well he will get it, he knows he needs to give some things up and thats the first step.

We also added another number to the list of invetigators another old man who we met in the park taught a lesson, then again the next day, and brought him to church and I think he is really liking it. So we got two underway and if we can meet with four other very awesome people we had taught last week then we can be seeing some real growth.

A big lesson I learned this last week is the true need to have the spirit in all you do, the teaching, the finding, the studying and especially the planning. This last week at one of our nightly plannings we were pretty lazy about where we should go and kinda just picked. Well the next day we really felt the effects of that. We had a couple experiences and just really were not feeling the spirit and we didnt know what was wrong. Well we prayed to have the spirit and kept working but that didn’t seem to work. So finally we decided that maybe we should go where The Lord wants us to go. So we prayed, looked at the map book, and went to a new spot we both felt good about.

Well we then ended up having two very good street lessons to people who really needed it and we should hopefully be seeing them again this week. It taught me a lot about really and truly relying on the lord in all that we do!

I have a quick thought for you all.

You become what you think about.

Read Mosiah 4:30

“to a great extent we accomplish what we think about. Your life is influenced more by your own thoughts than anything else. How could a person possibly become what he is not thinking? Nor is any thought when persistantly entertained, too small to have its effect. The divinity that shaped our ends is indeed in ourselves” Spencer W. kimball

“A mans’ character is the complete some of all his thoughts, you can know a man soley on what he thinks about, when he doesn’t have to think.” Can’t remember

Just a good reminder to keep your thoughts on what’s most important in life!

Love you all!

Elder Jared Cordon

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