Let the Spirit Work Through You!

What a week we had.

It was a very humbling week, I am beginning to take the humbling a little bit faster now. I am working on trying to just be humble and then this wont happen ūüôā Something that I really learned this week is how easy it is to slip into doing this mission on my own “flesh”. Not that I forget about god but I lose focus just a little, and then I become a cap on the Holy Ghost. He is the real teacher and I am just here to be able to be worked through, and this week I got in the way. I didn’t notice until the end of the week. But we are going to be able to repent, change, and do better. That is the wonderful story of the gospel, it is a gospel of change and progression, recognizing the things that can be worked on and using the Atonement to change the very nature of where those things come from. What wonderful and beautiful doctrine that we now are able to access in full, because of the restoration of the Priesthood.

WOW this was such a crazy week!! We had an investigator who died, we had a PMF that broke up, and we have an investigator that we found out has some crazy hallucinations. We had Alex that dropped off the face of the earth. 0.0 SO MANY CRAZY THINGS! I am excited to go out and be the conduit for the Spirit this week and not get in the way. I am grateful to be able to learn these lessons and learn them well, that I will be able to be a strong life long disciple of the Lord.

I love you all so much!!

Elder Cordon

Advertisements

2016

What a week!

UPs and DOWNs, we were going strong preparing for the baptism of Kristy and then she didn’t come to church and sent us a text that she didn’t want to meet anymore. We went by and she wouldn’t answer the door, or our texts. She just dropped us and we don’t know why, that really is the hard part when you don’t know why. Because that is when you just come up with the craziest reasons. We spread the word to her member friendship and they are on their game already.

I am grateful for the faith that I have in agency and knowing that it is such a necessary part, also knowing that not everyone is going to use it wisely either. It helps it times like this to then just go out and use my agency to go find those that are willing to fulling accept this truth. So Sunday night we went out and found two new friends. A wonderful young family that is wanting to start of right and center their family around Christ. That happened on the last door on Sunday night.!!!

We also have another family that we have started to teach they are also a young family that wants the truth of the gospel and willing to act. wow so many miracles.

I got to go on exchanges this week with Elder Sedrick. What a wonderful time that was. He is a wonderful missionary and very sincere he is a great listener. We set a goal to find and teach simply, and boy did we do that. We talked to people like crazy and found a new friend Shyael, and taught several other lessons that day. I love missionary work! So during that day we had a lesson that we just let get taught by the Holy Ghost. there was SO much silence and it never got weird not once. We were silent for 4 minutes one time, literally, and we just soaked up the Spirit.

I am looking forward to MLC, what wonderful counsel that is. I am grateful for all the guidance from the Spirit that I get to receive on a daily basis as long as I am doing what I need to to get it. Even on a mission the simple things is what makes or breaks it. it is especially so in life. My scripture of the week is Alma 31:5 I read it this morning for personal study and it just rang out to me. The answers to life is always in the Gospel of Christ.

I love this work!

LOVE EVERYONE
Elder Cordon.

Halleluja

Well I am off to see the miracles that God is putting in the path of these righteous children of his. Nicole IS AMAZING! We are also teaching Isaiah as well! The 11 year old son of Adam, he is also very excited to be baptized. Both are being baptized on October 24th. WOW. I am so glad that we followed the impression of the spirit to go to that house. Nicole is so prepared and is following and keeping all of her commitments and noticing how much happier she is in just the short amount of time. God Blesses us right away he doesn’t wait once we have had our change of heart. Adam is coming along as well he hasn’t gotten his answer yet but we are still working with him. He met with the bishop last week and we are working to see if…. he might be able to baptize Nicole and Isaiah!! The biggest thing that is keeping him back is the same thing that is push Nicole forward so fast. That change of heart. The difference is that Nicole has had it and Adam has not yet. During my fast this last week I included him in to be able to have the Holy Ghost touch his heart and for him to listen to it.

Linda is also ondate. There could be a bump there her husband decided that he didnt want to meet with us anymore, decided he wants to stay catholic. But she wants to keep meeting with us and wants to get baptized she just doesn’t want to have it cause a problem if she does so we will see what the outcome of that is. We will probably be doing a special fast with her, hopefully soften the heart of the husband and to help her increase her faith. WKM is the Promise land!

I love being able to use to atonement every day to improve on things every single day to improve and become better some that I dont ever become Comfortable. BOY OH BOY what a great mission conference so much to study on and restudy. I Loved the spirit that was there. Such a great couple of weeks with General Conference and then the Mission tour with Elder Johnson WOW So much of a spiritual recharge!

LOVE YOU ALL
ELDER CORDON

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Beautiful Sunset

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Hello!

Lead Thou Me On; Reflections On Returning Home

IMG_0085

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

People, Quotes, and Family

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello Everyone! So this last week was a good one. We finally got some¬†good lessons with a few people and it definitely was a week that¬†allowed us to see who we really have as a solid base in our teaching¬†pool. Lets begin with Davie. He is really coming along we saw him last¬†week and had a good lesson that really just involved reading 3 Nephi¬†11 and testifying of Christ. It was a great experience because until¬†that point he just couldn’t bring himself to read it on his own, but¬†to be able to just sit and read a chapter with him really helped to¬†alleviate that fear. After hearing it out he said something similar¬†to, “you know, it sounds like true scripture.”¬† He is making steady¬†progress. Hopefully we can get him to join us for the bbq and¬†broadcast priesthood session of general conference at the church this¬†Saturday.

Another wonderful soul that came into the picture last week was a character named Stew. We met him at a bus stop. He was sitting there with no intention of getting on the bus but just because it was something to do. We learned that he had found out that he arrived in
Jacksonville only a week prior and he had come from Oregon. He is here with the intentions to get a restart on life. Before our first conversation was over he knew that he was meant to meet us and learn what we teach. Over the subsequent days we taught him three more lessons and have made some good progress with him. We have already set
him up to start attending different classes and things are looking bright for his future.

The other awesome brother we are working with is a high school student¬†named Trevor. The previous missionaries taught him and made some good¬†success. When we first got here we struggled to connect with him. But¬†during the week before last and last we were able to break down some¬†walls and really connect with him. He committed to work towards being¬†baptized in May and he is excited. We couldn’t find him a ride so we
made the hour/ride walk with him last week to the church so he could go to young mens. He brought his skateboard and we had our bikes so we took it easy and talked all the way there. He ended up having a great time and wants to come every week now.

So that is how the work is going. We had a couple of instances while tracting where people mocked our beliefs and told us we were teaching false doctrines. It was interesting. I got to boldly tell them what we believed and then we left. I always ponder on those experience during the following days because I feel there is much to be learned from
those encounters. As I did I realized a trend in both cases: both¬†times the major insults came after I bore my testimony. Three quotes¬†come to mind, I don’t know the sources for two but they are still¬†great:

“You know you have lost an argument once you get angry.” Unknown Author

“Anger is the reaction you have when you don’t know how to react.”¬†Unknown Author

“Anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of throwing it¬†at someone, you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

Taking all those into consideration I realized that while all three of¬†those men acted childish by the time we walked away we were the victor¬†in all cases because we never got angry while they did. Now I do have¬†to admit that I was frustrated as I pondered on the fact that people¬†would embrace and express those particular views about our church, but¬†luckily it was not in the moment. A lesson I learned is that you can’t¬†convince someone of spiritual truth, that is The Holy Spirit’s job.¬†Another lesson I learned was if you simply bear your testimony of what¬†you know to be true their reaction will quickly tell you whether or¬†not they are ready for more. If they do not receive the truth you have¬†shared so far then they definitely won’t receive anymore, so there is¬†no point in sharing more.

The same is true with all cases in life. If either party in a¬†conversation isn’t ready, then stop the conversation. Their is no point to¬†share anymore because clearly what has been shared so far won’t work.¬†Now, this doesn’t always mean you have to walk away –though that is a¬†great option– you can apologize, you can change the subject, and you¬†can even just give them a hug. Sometimes that last one isn’t a good¬†idea depending on the tension level. Either way a person who is angry is¬†a fool and will do foolish things. And as the Lord put it, “…fools¬†mock, but they shall mourn…” (Ether 12:26)

I am sure none of you struggle with anger but I felt like mentioning¬†it. I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

P.S. I have a challenge for all of you. The church on Friday released a new video to celebrate Easter. It is super good. You can find it at HeLives.Mormon.org.  So here is the thing. All the full time missionaries in the church off of Facebook for the time being, that
means the responsibility falls on the members shoulders to spread this message all over Facebook. So here is the challenge: will each of you share his video with 5 of your friends before Easter? It can be in person or in a message. I promise that as you do you will feel the true spirit of the Easter weekend enter into your heart, and your love and appreciation for the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, will burn within your soul. I know that to be true because it has worked for me. Good luck!

 

Goodbye 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

As I reflect upon this last year, and all the changes that have happened I cant help but smile and know that 2014 will always be remembered.

I can narrow it all down to one single thing that has improved my life. Getting to know the Savior and how I can grow closer to him. As I have come to learn about him and have begun to change things about myself to try and live a life modeled after Him. I have felt the desire to share with others the beautiful light that Jesus Christ can bring into life on this earth.

He is the life and light of this world. He is the way and by no other way and by no other name can we live with our Heavenly Father again. I know this with ever fiber of my being and I know that he loves each and every person unconditionally. Even when we stumble and fall, which will happen everyday. He is there to lift us up and build us stronger so that we can build our lives on a proper foundation.

I am so grateful for the trials that I have had this year; they have broken down the bad and built up the good. That kind of change only happens through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It has the power to change a person from the very core of who they are and that only happens because of the Holy Ghost being able to touch and give more light and strength to our souls, giving us more power over the natural man.

I am grateful for this year and what I have learned. I am also very grateful to move to 2015.

Thank You everyone that has helped me in my 2014 journey each and every one of you hold a special place in my heart.

Elder S Cordon

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The Roast Elder Cordon cooked on Christmas!

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Beautiful View!

 

18 Months… 6 More to Go

Dear Family and Friends,

So I hate to bring up how long I have been out, but it is inevitable considering the fact that this transfer was a special one. This last week marks roughly the completion of 18 months. All the sisters I was in the MTC with just got home this past week. I have officially completed a sister mission. Thank goodness I got 6 more months though because I still have so much more to do here. We also switched up the schedule for the departing missionaries. This time they went home on a friday instead of a thursday. All of the coordinating that took place to make sure everyone was where they needed to be was rather intense. The phones were ringing non-stop for days. However, this busyness is what I live for, so I enjoyed every minute of it. On Thursday we split the departing missionaries into two groups and then in two separate trips we took them Downtown to get a picture of the famous skyline, then to St. Augustine to do some site seeing and to be on the beach for their one and only time as missionaries. The particular beach we went to was beautiful and I think it will be a permanent stop on the final day for now on. Despite the fact that we had had something every day of the week except for the weekends that drove our attention away for most of the day we still managed to have one of our most productive weeks with teaching. We taught a lot of people this week and we have gotten a few more people to begin to really progress in their spiritual journeys. I really have no complaints about this week.

One of the best parts about this week was being able to work with my trainer, Elder Newbold, again for the day on Wednesday. He went home this transfer and so we did a split and he then stayed wednesday and thursday night with us as well as some other elders. We swapped stories back and forth as we reminisced about the days in Deep Creek. We were only together for 3 months, but it seemed like it was so much longer with all that happened. We were also able to teach really well together. 15 months later we are still teaching with unity! He is from Bountiful and so he said he will be at my home coming. As I reflect on what has happened this past 18 months I truly never could have known what a mission was going to be like and what it was going to do for me. I have come to love so many different people! I may have only known them for a short amount of time, but I feel like I have known them my whole life after only one conversation. I have also created some life long friendships with some amazing missionaries that i have served. The relationships that I treasure the most are the ones I have gained with my Heavenly Father through prayer, with Jesus Christ by being his disciple, and with the Holy Ghost by acting on his promptings, I had left the mission having not become familiar a single soul (which would be impossible in our line of work) save those three only, this whole experience would still be worth it. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. I am so happy to know that I can serve them the rest of my life regardless of my circumstances.

I love y’all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

IMG_2818

Elder Layton & Elder Cordon

IMG_2793

The “Famous Skyline”

IMG_2795

Elder Newbold & Elder Cordon

IMG_2808

Elder Cordon & Elder Newbold

IMG_2809

Elder Cordon & Elder Newbold

IMG_2798