Slow Start, Strong Finish! – Joshua

Dear Family and Friends,

Things went really well this week. We started the week off with some really low numbers, though we still experienced some great moments, but from Thursday on, things really took off.

One of the early miracles was with Mati. We have been working with her for about 2 months and in all that time have only had 1 complete lesson with her. We were in her area Monday night so i decided to shoot her a text asking if we could come over. To my great surprise, she said yes. We quickly made our way over there to have a lesson with her. She told us when we got there that she had no sooner finished praying for guidance and help when the phone buzzed with my text. I had no idea at the time that it was a prompting from the spirit to send her a text, to me it was just a good idea. Nevertheless it was a spiritual prompting and it got her into tears as she shared it with us. We then set a baptismal date with her for the 19th of October. The spirit was so strong in that lesson, and she kept saying how much peace she felt. I love this gospel!

The pivotal point this week was a humble moment of prayer. Thursday night heavily relied on the fact that one or both of the members who agreed to go on trade-offs that night would still be able to make it, which is why it was so devastating that they both called and said they couldn’t make it that night. Granted they both were pretty legitimate excuses, but it was nonetheless very frustrating. I was lost… I had no idea what were were going to do for the last 3 hours of the evening. It was at this point that Elder Barcala, offered the humble advice of biking down a side street, to do a kneeling prayer and beg for help. That is what we did. After standing up after the prayer, an incredible feeling of peace fell upon me. I still didn’t know where to go, but I knew that God was in charge. We got back on our bikes, and just started heading down the street. We talked to everyone we saw…everyone. And it paid off. We taught four great lessons, and got two new investigators in only three hours. Those are good numbers for a days work.

Another miracle we had this week was that on Saturday after two great sessions of Stake Conference, we decided to go and visit a former investigator. We happened to pull up to his house the same time he did, which was a miracle because he is never home. We talked to him for a bit and then he ended up offering us a ride home. We had a great conversation with him and he made several comments about how he was looking for a church that he was be comforted in. Seeing how he is a pretty bright guy, I am sure he had to have known what kind of reaction that missionaries would have to such a comment. Either he is pulling our leg or he is interested in investigating the church again. I pray it is the latter.

On Sunday, Nick and the Suttons were all able to come to Stake Conference and it made it such a great session. They all had great experiences and we are expecting to see their faces there quite frequently. It surprised Nick to find out how many Mormons he knew. He ended up talking with people for a solid 15 minutes after conference ended. We worked hard for the rest of the day and had two really great lessons with one of them resulting in a new investigator. Her name is Kim. She has two children in the military which was our original connection point. We went over there on Sunday and stood on her porch for an hour and one of the more spiritual lessons of my mission. She readily agreed for us to come back.

I have no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father cares about every single one of us. He proves that by making time for everyone of us, so that whenever we want to talk to him through prayer, he is listening. Listening with pure understanding and love. I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers, and he proves it by answering every sincere prayer we humbly offer. He wants to hear from us, so talk to him tonight.

I love ya’ll!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Here are some updated pictures of Joshua from his missions’ blog.

Crazy! Can you spot Elder (Josh) Cordon?

Trio, Training, and Tracting with Bikes -Josh

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week has been an interesting one. We finished out our trio of Elder Largo, Elder Newbold, and I. It was a lot of fun being in a trio but it made it harder to focus on the work. I learned a lot though nevertheless and we still managed to stay very productive. By the end of it all I felt like I had two good friends.

Having to say goodbye to Elder Newbold was bitter sweet. I felt like we have become good friends after 3 months and we taught really well together, as a result I had come to trust him a lot. Though I am excited to mix things up, it has proven difficult to regain that trust. It will come though, of that I am sure.

Elder Cordon with his new companion Elder Barcala

Elder Barcala and Elder Joshua Cordon

On Wednesday I got my new companion. His name is Elder Barcala. He is from Scottsdale, Arizona and he is a convert of 2 years. He is 22 and already has his bachelors in criminal justice from ASU. He has a terrific fire for the work and I hope that as his trainer that I can kindle that fire and help him become a very confident and powerful teacher.

Wednesday night we went over to a members house for dinner and afterwards did splits with him and his brother. So day one I have my new companion going out on his own. He did pretty good actually.

On Thursday the ward mission leader and his wife helped us out a ton by showing my companion around and helping get bikes. Being on bikes has been bitter sweet, while we drip in sweat biking in shirt and tie in the hot Florida sun it is easier to street contact when you are on bikes. It is far less intimidating to approach someone on bike than in a car. Also when we would drive slowly in a car down neighborhood streets it was hard to not think that we were the police.

We have gotten into the groove now though and we are starting to build up our teaching pool again. We have been working hard and it is paying off. We are meeting a lot of good people and I just hope that in some small way that we make their day a little brighter with every visit.

We were blessed to be able to catch Ben last night and we took him to the church to watch the CES fireside. Ben has been through a lot and is living in a terrible environment, but while we were watching the broadcast I could tell that a lot of the things hit him really powerfully, and I hope that he can put into action some of the incredible advice of Elder Russel M. Nelson. I was really grateful to be able to see it and it just made me so pumped that general conference in coming up.

I just love this work so much. I know now more than ever that God loves everyone of his children here on earth. I also know that by applying the wonderfully beautiful and simple principles of the gospel into ours that it will make us happier. This life is about growth and constant improvement. I think that one of the biggest sins of this generation is laziness and complacency. God wants us to achieve our wonderful potential, but he can’t force us to do it. It is our job, but you better believe that through the grace of Jesus Christ he will be there every step of the way strengthening us. Life is like climbing a mountain. Some people get tired and convince themselves they are satisfied with how far they have come so they set up camp. Others are disheartened by the steep climbs that lie ahead. But for those who want to make it to the top to see the stunning views above the tree line, Christ has offered to be our climbing partner. He has the made the climb before and if we trust him and do our part, them we can reach the summit of our potential. So get off of the couch and get climbing! Spiritually of course 😉

Love y’all
Elder Joshua Cordon