Then and There!

WOW! What a week of Miracles let me share the first. Well we met this man who stopped us on the street and when we first met him he was high on some pretty heavy drugs. He said he wanted our help and to learn about god and change his life but, we were heading to a lesson and he was to high to help him then anyways so we traded numbers and moved along. Well we called him the next day and had a chance to see him for a little time. Luckily he was sober so it was a good discussion, we taught him the next day with a member and then later went to a baptismal service for the Tsing Yi ward. He really enjoyed the service and said he wanted to be baptized and afterwards we quickly told him that he needs to start quitting drugs now and he threw away his cigarettes right then and there. the next day he came to English class so, we were getting some good daily contact with him. We also found out that two years ago he got a divorce and his wife wants him back because they have a 10 year old daughter. He wants her back as well but knows he needs to change himself for it to work. So the perfect opportunity for him and us. But then next day he fongs (*editors note: dodges) our lesson and wont answer the phone. We thought we lost him. But Sunday morning Elder Dale gives him another call and he answers and we get him to come to church with us(shirt and tie as well). Testimony meeting ends up being the best one of my mission, I was on the end of my seat for every single one. After the meeting he tells us that he purposely avoided us the day before and decided that he was down and was not gonna keep meeting us. But he said he didn’t know why he answered the phone this morning because he knew it was us. Then when he came to church he said the feeling was so powerful and he cant even explain it, he said he has never felt that in any other church or religion before(and he has been to a lot). He also said he has tried to quit drugs many time but to no avail, but this time once we invited him to clean himself up after the baptism he has not had a single urge to do any drugs, to smoke, and even drink. We will see him again tomorrow at his house. But this is God at work when we don’t let our pride get in the way.

The other Miracle is with our investigator Dexter He has seen an amazing transformation over the last month and has prepared himself well. He faced some strong opposition last night from his grandparents after he passed his interview, and the amazing thing is, his first reaction was to pray then call us. We had the branch president come over to the church and we sat down with Dexter, helping figure it out so he can prepare himself for baptism.

The Lord is outpouring his blessings upon Tung Chung right now. In addition to that new investigator we also started working with 2 less active part member families, thanks to the work of an amazing member who wants are branch to be a ward and a chapel on Lantau Island so bad he spends all his days off visiting and finding less actives. We have really good unity with the ward so work is getting down. We did not have any scheduled finding time but we still found ourselves doing a lot of finding. As far as the 10 a day invitation from Elder Ballard I would say I am getting close but still got some room to get better. We talk to as many people as we can. Elder Dale and I are getting along great and we are working hard to be worthy to receive the blessings the has for Tung Chung

Zone Training was great we focused on just getting people inspired and becoming visionary to many people think missionary work is just tracting all the time. That’s really not at all and actually the companionship’s that do that are doing the worst. The lord wants us to use our heads and get creative, find ways to work more with members. We have been doing this and we are so busy we never have time to find! Also we spend so much time with members that they are so motivated to keep working. They also know that we are busy and they see the fruits of our work. The testimony meeting yesterday was so amazing. Almost every single person that spoke shared an experience they have been having with us recently, it brought me such joy because I had no Idea they were that appreciative of my efforts.

I love missionary work and I never knew it could be this good when I started, it literally has been just a continuous climb for my entire mission. I love it and if feels so good being so close to God, I think the greatest blessing is I have learned what I need to do to continue to feel this blessing after my mission.

If you not happy do missionary work, there is not better cure, and if you are happy well don’t be selfish and do some missionary work and help make others happy.

I love you all and so grateful for your support!

Elder Jared Cordon

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NINE DRAGONS!

Dear Family & Friends,

I am in Kowloon Zone and Kowloon in Chinese means 9 Dragons so I in the 9 Dragons zone, probably the coolest name for a zone!

Well it was an amazing week last week!! We had some really cool miracles! We were able to solidify two people in preparing themselves for baptism this next month and working on one more. Also we have another young man who is looking very promising coming up quick. The most important thing for these people is definitely getting them converted and one I think is helping is giving people short powerful commitments. People don’t need time to baptized they just need to be converted. We were not able to add any new investigators to the teaching pool but we did add two less actives and now have some part members that we are starting to get things going. We find that real success is really working the ward members so we are working to keep a really strong relationship with them and to keep referrals coming. Thats something we need to be better at doing is getting referrals. But we have thought of some good ways to do that. Another thing thats been taking up our time is working with a lot of Recent Converts. Its so important to keep these people progressing and none of the converts this year have been to the temple yet, so big thing to focus on there. Also we are working on trying to get family history really moving here so we scheduled a member to teach us with her family then we can then teach our less actives, recent converts and investigators. Really the ultimate goal in doing it will be to get them to the temple. We have a temple in Hong Kong and I feel like its so underused sometimes.

This last week we met with the Sister Training leaders to plan up zone training and that was one of the most inspired meetings that I have been apart of. we were all just getting so many amazing ideas that we feel will transform this zone. We saw miracles this last month as far as families goal. As a zone we set a pretty high goal and we ended beating it by two and it was interesting, because we didn’t focus on families directly, it was indirectly influenced by the focus on teaching in the home. We also beat our member present goal as well which was another indicator we were hoping to indirectly influence as well. I just have noticed that when you have a vision and you pray for that vision and you wake up everyday working to achieve that vision the lord will really bless us and help us accomplish our dreams. We noticed that as we did some consecrated family finding this last week and got exactly what we prayed for.

Also I want you all to know that my companion is the most powerful man I have ever seen. He has been preforming miracles here in Tung Chung and I just get the privileged to sit back and watch. He is so intuned with the spirit and we mesh so well. We have plenty of fun let me tell you, but we also go to work.

Missionary work is the most satisfying work I have ever done and thats also because its the most important work I have ever been apart of. I know this church is true and I know that salvation only comes through Jesus Christ and living his gospel. Its this truth that motivates me and brings me the joy that comes from missionary work.

Love
Elder Cordon

Temple Day

Dear Family & Friends,

Today was amazing! I love the Hong Kong temple it really is such a special place and I feel so blessed to have so many opportunities to be able to go! Also we had interviews today and I really love president and Sister Lam they are really so amazing!

This last week was truly amazing and it felt really long but was very event filled! Being with summer missionaries was challenging in a great way it taught me so much and I really grew a lot. I really feel like the summer missionary program is amazing and a wonderful way to build more unity between members and missionaries because both of those brothers are going home with a new determination to do more missionary work in their own wards! Also us missionaries learn to appreciate more and more the members of Hong Kong!

Some other eventful things is on Friday we ran into the Branch President as he was cleaning the chapel! And after talking for a short time we were able to plan a BBQ for the next day. It was a bit of a rush, and when the BBQ started there was only one person there other than us but shortly later we had a lot of people show up. It was all the younger men of the branch and the Branch president. We had a Less Active a recent convert and 3 investigators there and they all loved it. It was a wonderful success and it was a wonderful time to get some relationships start building. I really feel that the branches or wards that embrace lots of activities really have better unity!

I love working with the branch and we are seeing a lot of members open up to us more!

The Home teaching plan and action is working so well! The whole zone is doing amazing! We had set a goal for 80 lessons at homes but we already have 93 and still another week to go! When we started this plan Elder Dale prophesied to the whole zone that we would see miracles in teaching families and that has totally come true! We really reached hi when we set our family lesson goal and we are on track to be making it. we are seeing that almost every unit is working at least one family now. I know that getting more families in the church is really whats going to boost the work in Hong Kong, because peoples spiritual potential is so limited without families!

Really the mission life is the best life I am loving and just want to enjoy every minute that I have left!

Thank you all for being so supportive.

Elder Jared Cordon

Staying Busy

Dear Family and Friends,

Well its been a powerful week. We were quite busy and did not have any time to really get out and its weird I thought we worked hard but it seemed weird by the end of the week. But as we look back over our week, we saw we did a lot of teaching and still had opportunities to find people. Looking into July I am a little nervous as far as achieving our future goals there is only 4 solid dates in the zone leading into July and 3 of them are from us. I feel like what helped our dates become solid is putting a quicker date and adding urgency I feel like there is a few investigators in the zone that could be ready for July if we add some urgency.

The 3 people that we have for July are Sister Wong and her Daughter Lindy, they are really great and they have really answered the call to prepare themselves for baptism. Both are doing really good about reading, in fact Sister Wong has been doing some really cool studies after each of our lessons. She uses the pamphlets and does a deeper study on the lessons using the questions in the back. The other date is Ho Siu Ming also a great guy who is willing to keep going, he wants his family to have the gospel and with all three of these people they will be planning on us introducing them to their families here soon.

We have some other Baptismal dates and a handful of other investigators that could all be starting to really progress here shortly. The Lord is really blessing us. We go out the door everyday expecting Miracles and everday they keep happening. We are constantly finding those opportunities arise that requires to be brave and open our mouths. One for instance Elder Dale really impressed me as he contacted this man sitting next to us on a bus, luckily it was a long one out to the Village of Mui Wo. I had seen the guy and shy away but he just moved over a seat and said “do you mind if I practice my Chinese”. Well the man was happy to accept then Elder Dale practiced all of his first lesson vocab while he was at it. We ended up getting off the bus at the same stop, taught him prayer and rescheduled him and his girlfriend for next week. I guess there used to be a branch out here in Mui Wo. We would love to bring it back! We are also working with a less active out there as well and found that there is two full families that are less active that live out there.

Things really are going so well. Elder Dale and I have very similar mindsets which has made having unity come really easy! We also are both just really excited about the work and have a real good vision for this area.

Love You all!

Elder Jared Cordon

Old York and New York

Dear Family and Friends,

My new companion is so powerful and so awesome! Elder Dale from Yorkshire England! So we are getting the Old York (He is from “Old” York) and the New York (I am from New York).

Well I cannot be more excited about the new opportunities I was sad to leave TST and now I am excited to serve Tung Chung. Again I am extremely blessed to move into an area that is prospering from the efforts of these amazing Elders I hope to only Establish and take it beyond that. Elder Dale and I had some immediate excitement with shortly after being together we met with two investigators and we decided to set and short date with a lady and her daughter. they have been coming to church and still have a good amount to learn but the spirit was strong and they both accepted with a lot of excitement. We are trying to apply the wisdom Elder Holbrook taught: that big commitment and follow through get people to really change.

This area has a lot of excitement with 3 baptismal dates coming up quick and a few to quickly follow there is a lot to do to make sure these people make their dates. Well after discussing how we could do that we came up with two idea. First is what we call “Home Teaching” we are going to get rid of the mission culture of always teaching people at the church and start teaching people in their homes, and if not their homes then in members homes. We have already scheduled all our appointments thus far this week. It has multiple benefits that we can see:

  • 1 we know where they live now
  • 2 it takes a lot less of their time if they don’t need to travel
  • 3 it allows for quick follow up visits
  • 4 it gives us exposure to potentially their families for more investigators
  • 5 they are more comfortable
  • 6 if we get fonged (they don’t show up) then at least we know quickly and we are already out among people to easily start finding
  • 7 it allows us to get into places we normally cant go (which can help the Lord put people in our path)
  • 8 if a member lives near by it would take less of their time.

These are some of the ideas we thought of. The other thing we are planning on doing is Daily Contact from ward members. We have drawn up a calender and are going to get the ward members to sign up to have a member whats app our investigators everyday and then call a few times a week. We realize its extremely important to keep that contact so we can have people effectively reach quicker baptismal dates.

I think its awesome that almost all the elders appartments in the zone only have one set of elders. I feel like it will be one of our most effective moves yet. I myself am very excited to be able to remove more distractions that might be keeping me from working and staying focus. Elder Dale is so focused and I can honestly say that I have not met a missionary yet who loves all of their investigators and ward members as much as he does. I think his ability to love them is a big part of why he is so successful!

We have a busy week ahead and it looks like we wont have very much if any time to find but we are trying our best to be talking to people at all times and in all places!

Happy Fathers Day

Love
Elder Jared Cordon

Awesome Less Active Finding

Dear Family & Friends,

Well it has not been to long since we were last on. But some good stuff has happened between now and then. We were able to get our plans put together for zone training, it will be good we are focusing a lot on teaching skills borrowing heavily from what you taught at zone conference.

We have also been able to use our time to be able to complete some assignments from the ward. Its good we have a good relationship with them and they are constantly thinking of new ideas. One big the ward is working on is utilizing the RM’s because we have about 15 of them, so the idea is to put them in a committee and have them prepare missionary focused activities.

Still getting better everyday, one thing we have been trying to focus on more as a companionship is something from the China Dedicatory Prayer, which is: Making the proper appeal to the Chinese mindset. In the prayer he prays that missionaries will be able to understand the Chinese people more and the way they think. we have been trying to work on showing even more love and interest in these people so we can truly understand their concerns and be able to teach how they think. Its not an easy task but its one we are praying about and trying to apply in our teaching and finding.

Elder Williams really has been teaching me so much. Maybe he hasn’t had the opportunity to train someone who just got out of the MTC but he is training me. One of the biggest things he has awoken inside me is finding. Although people might say that TST is a hard Finding area I think its great! Elder Williams doesn’t teach as much with words as he does with actions though, which is why i think I am learning so much from him.

Our investigators are moving along well, We had two with dates come to church, one being Bro Mak. He is doing really well and very receptive, we moved his date back a week so we can make sure he can have time to apply the commandments well in his life, but he seems to be doing awesome. Emily is still pretty new but she came as well, church was not too good because she was so tired so hopefully she can have a good experience next time. The ward actually invited her to a singles activity without us even knowing so thats cool. She is getting to know the members well from the beginning. Frankie also came to church and he is making great progress he is doing well at getting to know the ward members so hopefully he can make some great friends.

A crazy story that just happened this last week is we were LA finding and we met this man who was really old, first his wife answered and then she let us in and woke him up he came out of the room sat down and was quiet while we talked to the wife for a few minutes then he started talking. He said (in chinese) Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and this the true church, then he went on to tell us how he had a vision of joseph smith having the first vision before he met the missionaries then when the missionaries shared the first vision with him he knew it was true. Then he also told us how he fights with people who anti the church, because everyone thinks we are a wicked church so he goes around helps people know that we aren’t. He also fell off a 28 story building and lived and, he also prophecied Gordon B Hinckley’s death. I love LA finding.

Love you all have a great week.

Elder Jared Cordon

A Message of Joy

Dear Family and Friends,

I try to reflect on my life as much as I can. Even on a mission its hard to find time. But when I do its always a joyous experience. A principle that I have striven to get my investigators and recent converts to understand and is simply and clearly laid out in 2 Nephi 28:30–

“For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.”

The Lord knows when we are ready to receive new revelation. You must do all you can to seek what God has and to always do his will. I think a big part of that is receiving the revelation in the order which he desires us to receive it. We can all strive to understand the basic ordinances and principles of the gospel being first faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and second Repentance. If we all devoted our entire lives to studying these two principles then we truly would only understand a fragment of what they mean, there is so much to learn. There is a reason that truly all conference talks relate back to these two things.

On an even deeper note– How many of us truly love our Savior Jesus Christ? How many of us really love our neighbor? I dont know if I have ever heard someone express the intensity of Joy they felt as did Ammon or Alma after having given everything to the Lord and learning to love their enemies who countlessly tried to end their lives. I know that their is no greater joy in this life than that of a servant of the Lord. No matter how much money, material wealth, or excitement you can draw from a temporal nature it cannot and will not compare. If you find your life not were you desire it then I invite you to choose this day to serve the Lord and partake of incomprehensible JOY.

I love you all and appreciate all the support.

Elder Jared Cordon