Tried and Blessed This Week For Sure!!

Dear Family and Friends,

It is interesting how much my mission can feel like a roller coaster ride. Last Monday we had a district bowling party which was awesome! I had a whopping score of 116, and beat my companion so he had to buy me ice cream. He makes all these bets with me and has literally lost every one of them. He would have had to buy groceries twice now if I wasn’t so nice.

So one of the highlight lessons this week was when we got our super awesome family, the Suttons, over to the home of one of our awesome families in the church, the Hergets. I was on trade-offs that day and Elder Newbold went with Br. Hand up to the North side of town and Br. Herget was my companion so I could be there for the lesson. They had dinner and the lesson went great! It was about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentence, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and [Enjoying] to the End) blesses families. They have kids that are the same age so that worked out really well and the spirit was very strong. Also I got the Hergets to teach most of the lesson, and I feel like they could be great friends. It is so great to work with members!

So I go from that on Thursday to the worst spiritual experience of my mission on Friday. We going to contact a potential on our records when we saw this guy in his front yard playing with his dogs. We decided to go and talk with them and as I was walking up I got this terrible feeling like something bad was going to happen. So I should have just got out of there, but I wasn’t sure of how to handle the situation. The guy invited us inside, and once again I had that feeling and I literally new exactly what was going to happen. I prayed for strength though rather than just getting out of there.

We talked to him for a little bit and got to know him better, then suddenly the spirit leaves and the guy changes the subject and begins pegging us with these ridiculously worded and annoying questions. Trying to get us tangled in our words. He failed and it got him obviously frustrated. Then he starts to tell us how he had this experience where he went to turn the page of his friends Book of Mormon and he felt a feeling that he hasn’t felt since he did sorcery. And tells us that we simply haven’t asked enough questions or else we would see that our religion is false, and that he feels bad that we are going to hell and that he loves us more than we could possibly comprehend and that is the only reason he does this. I bore a short testimony about how I follow the spirit because it testifies of truth and that he didn’t speak truth. And that if he wanted to know, he could find out if the Book of Mormon was true but he has to read first, turning pages won’t do anything for you. Elder Newbold shared a testimony as well, and then we shook hands and departed. What a waste of a solid hour of prime proselyting time!

Also if anybody wants to know what that feeling was that he felt when went to turn the page, it was the same feeling Joseph Smith felt before his prayer in the grove.

After that experience we were totally drained of the spirit, so we gave each other blessings that night, and I was felt one of the most peaceful feelings I have ever felt. And the blessing gave me some wonderful counsel.

The following day went really well. And then Yesterday we had a baptism in the Ward! It wasn’t one of our investigators, but it is always good to see some one change their life for the better and come into the fold of God. God is great and he takes good care of those who listen to his counsel! I know this to be true and I can feel the blessings in my life as I try each and every day to align my will with God’s. Then only way that can happen is through sincere and earnest prayer, something that I am very grateful for!

I love you all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

P.S. this is the sixth week of my mission in the field which means that transfers is coming up! Here is a picture of the current zone though. I wonder how it will change.

 

First Zone of my mission.

First Zone of my mission.

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First Week in the Field

Dear Family and Friends,

Well to bring you all up to speed I’ll start with where I left off, the MTC. My last Sunday in the MTC was incredible. The Devotional was great, it was talking about how when you are teaching someone if you don’t understand each other than what you teach them will go right over there heads. So you have to make sure that you understand where they are coming from, and that they understand what your purpose is. After the devotional we went and watched the Character of Christ. It is a devotional given by David A. Bednar back on Christmas in 2011. It really put everything simply for me and gave me the proper perspective for my mission. To sum up the main message: Christ was the best missionary who ever lived, so if we want to be good missionaries we must be like Christ, and to be like Christ we cannot think about ourselves; basically we have to realize that it HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US. I hope that I will be able to maintain this terrific attitude of selflessness my entire mission. I know that that is impossible, but I know by trying I will experience many miracles.

I left the MTC on Tuesday, In order to catch my flight that morning I had to get up at 2:30 in the morning. Well that is when my alarm was set, but I didn’t actually get up until 2:45. Either way my companion and I clean up shop caught quick breakfast and was on the bus ready to go to the airport at 4:00. After we got to the airport and escaped the chaos upon getting through security we were able to breath easy for a little while before our flight. It was this time that we could call home and talk to our parents for a little bit. It was truly a blessing to talk to my parents knowing that our next conversation wouldn’t happen until Christmas. Because of delays and just a lot of flying we didn’t get to the Jacksonville airport until about 4:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday.

When I stepped outside the airport I thought I got a concussion from how thick the humidity was. Now that I have been here a few days though I feel like I have acclimated quite well. We had some orientation meetings on Tuesday, before going over the mission presidents home and eating some awesome dinner. It was about time I got to eat some good home cooked food. The MTC food was starting to take its toll on my system. That night the Elders in my MTC distict and I stayed at a local members home, just to get back to the church at 8:00 in the morning. For most of the day on wednesday it was more orientation meetings. Very informative and helpful, but very boring.

Finally it was time to meet our trainers. I got a great trainer who happens to be from Bountiful, Utah. His name is Elder Newbold and we get along great. Along with assigning us our trainers they also assigned us to our areas. We got assigned to the Deep Creek area, which is a new area. So not only are we opening, but I am also getting trained. The Deep Creak area is in the nice slow community of Lake City, Florida. It is really nice out here and the people in the Church are awesome. We are getting fed by members 6 out of the next 7 days. On top of all of that we have a nice new apartment and we get to drive around the classy 2013 Ford Fusion. That car had only 89 miles on it when we got it.
We do have a lot of work ahead of us though. We have before us the difficult task of building a teaching pool, and until then it is basically just a lot of knocking doors. We have had to miracles though that I would like to share with you.

Miracle #1
After going all day on Friday without accomplishing anything, and I mean anything (we didn’t talk to a single person and all our scheduled appointments fell through). We decided to talk to an in-active member named Br. Green. When we pulled up to his house he was sitting on his porch relaxing and mending a broken rib. We talked with him for a bit and asked if any of his neighbors would be interested in hearing our message. He pointed out two of his neighbors and told us about them. We thanked him and went a nearby appointment that ended canceling on us. We decided then to go meet Br. Greens neighbors. The first house was home to Karen G.. As she answered the door she was a bit reserved at first, but decided to let us in to teach her about our message (first lesson of my mission). We got to know her for a little while and found out pretty quickly that she has a very close relationship with God. We taught her about Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and then after talking about the book of Mormon and other things, taught her about God’s Plan of Happiness. I could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost so powerfully and constant the entire lesson, and she really liked our message. After about an 1 hr and 40 min we finally closed with a prayer and left her with the commitment to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. We plan on stopping by again this week.
Miracle #2

We were knocking doors yesterday after little success for the day and finally someone answered the door. This happy guy answered the door and accepted our offer to here a message about Jesus Christ. He rounded up his wife and son, turned the T.V. off and was ready to listen. After getting to know them a little more we found out that they were knew to the area and that they were originally from Louisiana. We also found out that he was pastor in Louisiana for over 10 years though he pastured for nearly every denomination from Methodist to Baptist. We shared our message about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith and introduced the Book of Mormon. He was very open to our message and said that he knows that God sent us to his home to share that message with him and he was very eager for a return appointment. He also shared with us some wonderful words of encouragement and told us to never give up no matter how much rejection we face. And he said never complain about experiencing some hard times simply just say that you are “In between blessing.” I Really love that quote from him. We ended the lesson by leaving the Saviors peace and blessing on his home and family and he thanked us for the spirit that we brought into his home. O what a blessing it was to meet that family.
I know it was a lot, but a lot has happened. I hope everything is going well for y’all

Elder Joshua Cordon