#ShareEaster

This was a great week and I feel so grateful to have the knowledge that Christ makes up the difference. When I am to weak and not enough, which when it comes to the work of salvation is like always. 🙂 I love how much I get to grow through the Atonement! I love it so much I love the joy that comes with living the gospel and changing and helping people change and watching people change. I love watching the gospel in action in other peoples lives. It changes you in a way that couldn’t be done with just trying to apply the gospel to yourself. “After all that has been said the, greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel” Joseph Smith. No wonder that is the case there is so much about the gospel that we miss out on if we dont share it, if we are not helping the people around us to be lifted up by the gospel then we ourselves are missing out on a lot of what the gospel has to share.

We just had a baptism in the Zone. It was a husband and wife that were baptized together. The husband grew up in a church that teaches anti mormon every week, he only just six months ago said that he was never going to be mormon. He said that to the friend that eventually listened to a spiritual prompting that was telling her that the people placed in her life where there so that she could share the gospel and help build people around her. She was very scared and knew that he had said that, and knew that the wife had a lot of problems with the church as well. BUT she listened and let faith conquer fear, she has now been sharing the gospel with everyone that she can and has been able to see her friends be baptized. The truth of this gospel is ringing from the rooftops and being a “good example” is a good start but there is so much more to be done with the people that surround us.

This week when I was out talking with people we met a man, Robert, he was very nice but he didnt want to hear us out right away we kept asking questions and sharing testimony and then finally he cracked and told us why he didnt want to talk to us. This hit me so hard…. He told us that he didnt want to talk to us because he had many friends that went on missions and then when they came back then they didnt share it with him, he talked about how it was weird that they would spend two years talking about it and then come home and not continue to do that. He thought that it must not be all that it is cracked up to be if that was the case. We then were able to help him see that the gospel would bless him in his life now and he should at least ask God about it.

I couldnt believe how hard that hit, he even talked about how they are good people and live good lives and loves their families but he didnt see how he couldnt just do those things, why the gospel was an important factor and if it was to them why they never talked about it.

This is so very true, we can live good lives and do good things and love our families, but if we never share and invite people around us to do something about it and to come to know for themselves that the gospel is important and vital, then a good example only goes so far.

We also have a family that we just started to teach that are both less active from the church, they came to church this week for ward conference. They want to come back to church and want to work for the temple. We are also going to be planning a wedding for them!!! The Ward is going to love that.

Cierra Came to church and loved it. She bought all three of her kids and they loved it as well. She has told us that she has found a church that really makes her happy. SHE IS SO AWESOME!!!I I love the gospel.

My challenge to everyone this week is to share the goepel with someone this week, with an INVITATION to do something to act on your testimony. An invitation is the only way they are going to change. Sharing the new video would be a great way to start the conversation!

Love you all

Elder 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

#ActInFaith

Dear Family & Friends,

It is always amazing to see people, reach the gate of baptism. To make that step towards our Heavenly Father and to make that first of many covenants with Him. Brian made that step on Saturday, he has used the last 7 weeks to seek after and find truth. He has taken the challenge that we issue to everyone, to search, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon. To live the commandments and see if they do indeed bless your life, and then when this does happen, (for it always does) and when you receive your answer that the Book of Mormon is true, (which also always happens if done with real intent) then it is the simple step to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to be baptized by someone that holds the priesthood of God that was restored to Joseph Smith.

The miracles that take place in someones life helps to build my testimony. To see the restored gospel bring such light and knowledge into someones life is the miracle. It is the proof that the fullness of the gospel has been restored. There is no cap on the spiritual knowledge that can be received when given the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and when we make and keep the sacred covenants with the Lord. As one uses those gifts given freely, those are to steps on the climb to become like the savior, and to be eligible for the full birthright from our Father.

These are established laws to which the world is run on. It doesn’t matter what faith you are or if you even have faith at all. God is God and always will be God whether you believe in Him or not. So that being a truth God has established his plan and his laws that if lived will bring blessings from God, Regardless Of Your Belief. For if God did not honor His laws then he would cease to be God. Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”
In this verse we have our salvation, or our damnation. We have our gift or our curse. We have our joy or our sorrow. We have our freedom or our chains. For in this verse we are shown the nature of the double edge of our agency.

God lives, He has restored his church to its fullness, Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, our prophet Thomas S Monson is guided by Him, and anyone can know this by accepting the same challenge that Brian took. Test it for yourselves, Read, Ponder, and Pray with real intent and you will receive the same answer Brian did. Then when you do, ACT!

Elder Cordon

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The Pains and Blessings of Missionary Work

Dear Family and Friends,

So the news from here in the Orient. Well the work has been going fantastically well. We were able to meet to ladies the sisters found, One she is amazing has two kids one 14 year old boy and one 8 year old girl. Super cute and the 8 year old will be a great addition to the primary of 4. We have not met here husband yet but that is to come. The other lady has a 6 year old girl, also a great addition. Also another potential family we are working with whose name is Mr Lam he has two kids one is 12 and the other 7 I am not sure. But if all goes well we will be populating the future of this ward quite nicely. Thats the foresight on the miracles lying ahead for December.

On other news, I got a call last night that breaks my heart and might be the hardest thing missionaries ever face. Gary my recent convert from Butterfly has informed the bishop and investigators that he is no longer coming to church and will be joining another church. No doubt there was anti involved but, this is so hard for me to swallow because last week I got his phone number and all week I have been thinking about him kept getting the impression to call him, I finally followed this yesterday and wrote him a letter and gave him a call but no answer, it was later when I received the call from the elders about him. On thursday I was even about to write him an email but something distracted me and I thought I would put it off for today. Well on thursday night is when this all went down. So I was able to get in contact with him and he hasn’t not responded to my text. I feel as if the Lord was trying to get me to be there for him is his time of decision making to be a light and a guide. But I missed my chance and for now he is gone. So all my recent converts now are less active. I try to wonder why this happens, what have I done wrong, I think the simplest thing is I am not perfect and the lord knows that although I have done all I can I think these people are starting to realize that salvation is not easy. We all at times feel like we need to quite that it would just be easier but the truth is we can’t. Because salvation is not a cheap experience. The Lord showed us that as he cried in agony on the cross asking the Father where are’t thou. Joseph Smith felt that on many occasions but, maybe most strongly in liberty jail. Truth is all Hell is trying to stop us from getting salvation because it is that great and that amazing, it is always worth it to keep going and we can’t give up.

I love you Thank you for the support.

Elder Jared Cordon

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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Back to the Basics

Dear Family and Friends,

The very fact that I am writing this on a Thursday is evidence of the busy week it has been. Busy as a missionary is a wonderful thing though! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

The absolute highlight of the past week and a half was the brief mission tour of Elder Golden who is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is from South Africa and so we all enjoyed not only his spiritual knowledge but hearing his accent as well. He arrived this past Sunday and left on Tuesday so his stay wasn’t a very long one. However, he definitely made the most of his time here. On Sunday we had a meeting for the mission leadership and then on Monday and Tuesday we had ones with the varying zones. I had the blessing of attending all three of them and learning so very much. While there were a few constants each meeting provided a unique dose of spiritual nourishment. By the time it was all over the feeling I had was a combination of spiritual high and physical exhaustion, considering the fact that the most of my mission can be described that way, the contrast is found in the fact that this is one of notable intensity. I believe my favorite part of the whole thing was his definition of faith.

Faith is a very basic principle in that it is foundational to many things, but it is also fairly profound and, as a result, very misunderstood by the Christian and non-Christian worlds. For many faith is simply a declaration of belief, but for those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ it is something far greater.

Faith is an action word, but even more than that Faith=Personal Righteousness. When I had that explained to me it brought a lot of clarity to the subject. If the world could understand that, then it would eliminate a lot of confusion behind the verses in the bible that seem to say that man is saved by faith alone. This definition of faith helps us understand that it is not merely good enough to believe in Jesus Christ, we must believe him too. We must believe that if we do what he asked, we model our lives after him, and try our best to be our best, then he would make up he rest. We must believe and have a hope that if we sacrificed everything to be good person and to not compromise our standards when pressured by worldly temptations–even if it very difficult to do and we are put in very rough situations as a result– that we will not only have a lasting sense of peace and purpose in this life, but we will also be raised up to live with God and have eternal happiness in the life to come. Not only must we believe all these things we must do them too if we want to have true faith,

If any of what I said makes sense, then I hope it would also help you understand why then the restoration of the gospel was so important. Frequently, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are commended for our high standards and example of personal righteousness. This is not just a coincidence. The problem the world faced before Joseph Smith saw his incredible vision was that at the time nobody had enough commandments revealed to them by God that could produce enough faith in the life of any person that would be great enough to bring about their eternal salvation. Along with that, nobody had the gift of the Holy Ghost which not only reveals those commandments to us, but also helps to give us to the strength to live them. The fact that the church seems to have so many rules is in all actuality evidence of the truthfulness of this work, on top of that is the fact that the members of the church actually live them. Seeing as how faith is the first principle of the gospel if that is incomplete then it is no wonder why ever part of the gospel after that is very much misunderstood.

After hearing all of that in a much greater length of time and in a far more expounded way I had an even greater determination to live by every word of God. For if faith produces miracles, that means that personal righteousness is a pre-requisite to the blessings of heaven. Something that as a missionary and frankly as people in general we cannot live with out if we want to be truly happy.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

This has been a GREAT year!

Dear Family and Friends,

This coming Saturday will be one year, one year sense I knew that this gospel was the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. That Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his son, our brother, Jesus Christ in a grove of trees in Palmyra NY in 1820. It has been such a wonderful year I am so glad that I had the courage to go to the pageant.

In this last year I have let the gospel change my life. The promise that we get, that following the gospel makes us the best that we can be is VERY TRUE. It is so weird to think that it was only just a year ago that I didn’t know that this church was true and now I am on a mission and am through my first transfer.

So crazy news about this first transfer I am getting a new trainer. Elder Lafond is getting transferred and I am getting Elder Butters to finish out my next 6 weeks of training. SO… it is kinda weird to think, we just assumed that we had 3 months together and so it did come as a shock. I am excited though because God is in the details of the mission and so I know that I am supposed to learn something from this so can’t wait to see what that is. A quote from President Lorenzo Snow, who was the prophet from 1898-1901.

“There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

The Lord is invested in the success of our missions and He wants us to grow in the gospel and He wants us to become the best missionaries that we can be. He knows what that will take and he will give us the things and challenges that we need to mold us into the missionaries he needs us to be and the best we can be.

I am so excited about this next transfer and what it will bring. So a quote from me.

“There are many things a person CAN be, but the focus needs to be on what you SHOULD be.”

The gospel can change you to the best person that you can be so let it. Everyone can be perfected, so don’t get distracted by the things that aren’t in that direction.

Sorry this letter is so short next week will be longer 🙂

I love you all
Elder Steven Cordon
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Update on Sister Feathers (the bird we are teaching the gospel to) eggs have hatched and now we have two babies living on our porch.

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Washington Sunset