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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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

Lead Thou Me On; Reflections On Returning Home

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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

Elder Williams is Training!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it was a great week! we were working hard and were very busy! We had some interesting turn of events with some of our investigators and some good things happening as we went to the streets.

First our investigator Frankie turned out not to live in our area. He is right on the line, but falls on the KLC side. We will be turning him over to the sisters tonight. But we are fasting with him right now, and the sisters decided to join us, that he can get an answer. We will be following up with him tonight at the turnover. He was one of the investigators we were hoping could be baptized this month. I hope the transition goes well he has been meeting with Elders here for several months. Brother Mak who had a date for this month is still not back. The west point sisters were able to talk with him about his concerns. Its a good thing the Sisters can see him everyday I feel like it will help him. Our other investigator Emily is doing better she was able to eat with some of the sisters, so she has been getting a lot of member involvement. That is really good because fellowship will help a lot she comes to find her own answer.

We have been working really well together and our teaching and finding is in pretty good unity. We had a bit of an interesting week with not as much time as we would like to find. But when we did get out we worked hard and made the most of it. We have a good drive while finding even if its a long stretch. I actually really like city finding. A lot of missionaries prefer going to big estates but I would pick the streets. Its harder to teach a sit down lesson but its a better variety of people. Only certain types of people sit in an estate in the middle of the day.

The ward is doing really well it seems like a lot of people want to do missionary work and we are constantly getting names of less actives and hearing about different things members are doing. It will be a great ward for this new trainee to come into. I will miss TST ward, I was able to build up a good relationship really quick. But i will serve my best wherever I am sent.

A big thing we have talked about with the ward and as a companionship is less active work. Gratefully with the wards effort there is a fairly big group of less actives that are incontact with the members still, so they are priority number one for us. There is a lot of good work to be done and just not enough time its seems.

But a lot of big changes going on here. We are taking a big hit in Elders right now. Then in a few months its coming right back to normal. President is doing all sorts of stuff to prepare the mission for President Lam here in July.

But its all good I love you all have a great week!
Elder Jared Cordon

WKM!!

Dear Family and Friends,

The work is moving crazy fast here in Hermiston. We had another baptism this weekend. Kathy was baptized. What a wonderful day that was to see her so happy for making the decision to come and follow Jesus Christ.
We are watching every day as the people that we are teaching are making the steps needed to gain the conversion to the truth of this message. I have seen an increase in the faith of our investigators since the fast that we had for them. It is great to see them all be willing to make the steps that they need to make to gain the knowledge from god that this is true. Faith is such an amazing power that cant be put into words, but I know it works. God is there and wants us to believe in Him so that he can use that power of faith to bless our lives, so when others are doing that and experiencing the truth of it all IT IS A MIRACLE.
We have so much that is going well, we are teaching everyone as often as they will let us. Abel and Kristina are letting us meet with them EVERYDAY. They came to church and brought all the kids. What a wonderful family! We are excited for their baptisms in July, they are praying and working towards that date.

So Transfers have come and gone. I am staying here and so is my comp. Which means that we are staying in the Kennewick Washington Mission.
And This will be at least 4 1/2 months in Hermiston I love the people that are here and everyone that I am around. I am very excited for the next 6 Weeks!!

Love you all so much.

Elder Cordon

Striving for the Spirit

Dear Family and Friends,

This week for the specialized training we got to have a training today on church tours and how to use them to help get our investigators to church. Getting people to church directly ties into investigators getting baptized. Church is so important it is where we go to partake in the sacrament which is the most important thing that we do on Sunday. It also allows for fellowship and helps them feel of the love of the ward family. It also helps them realize that going to church helps us strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ because that is who we teach about, preach about, and worship too. The Sabbath is such a special day and time for us to grow closer to our Heavenly Father, and us as missionaries can use the tool of a church tour to help get people to church and then to the waters of baptism.

I would say that it was a GREAT training! I LEARNED SOOO MUCH!!

I love the spirit that is with me as I teach the gospel whether it is in a lesson with an investigator, or in a training doing a Role Play, the Spirit is there to testify of the truth of the gospel. That is such an amazing part of the mission, having the Spirit constantly testifying of the truthfulness of the work ad the gospel. I really cannot and will not ever truly understand how someone can serve a fulltime mission, (even if he was only semi obedient) and then come home and leave the church. To spend 2 years teaching people about the gospel and everytime having the Spirit witness to them that what they were saying is true and then to turn their back on it. I will never understand it.

I will never be able to honestly look at myself in the face and say that I don’t believe in this gospel EVER because I would just be lying.

I know without a doubt that this gospel and this work are TRUE! I know it because the Spirit has witnessed to ever fiber of my body.

I will share this truth forever! Sealed in the name of Jesus Christ.

I love you all so very much Thank you all for everything you do to help me on my mission.

LOVE
Elder S Cordon

Reach Out!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has just been non-stop awesome!! We are in a position where we rarely get a second to stop and think, it has been rather nice. I love being incredibly busy. However, at the same time a breather, where you can catch up on some things and gather your composure before going head first into the next week is always a nice thing. We have some exciting things ahead of this week. We have Elder Anderson of the quorum of the 12 Apostles doing a pitstop for a short mission devotional this week which will be a great experience and then the very next day we have another trip down to the temple. Then on Sunday our wonderful friend Donna will be baptized right after church. We are already filling practically every available crack with appointments. We are truly blessed with great prosperity right now. God really has been blessing us incredibly.

The lesson I learned this week is captured incredibly in a talk by Henry B. Eyring. It is called “Heavenly Father Reaches Out To His Children“. (*editors note: link is for an audio of the talk) In this talk he helps to explain how Heavenly Father can possibly stand watching so many of his children struggle and suffer. We think there is a lot of bad in the world and we cant even stand to watch, imagine seeing all of it happening at the same time and knowing each individual very personally. That sounds incredibly painful, yet that is what God experiences each and every moment. He tells us– and you must know that this is not at all doing justice to the talk and in no way replaces the benefit of actually hearing it for yourself– that the reason that Heavenly Father can stand it is because he has us. He has mortal servants down here who can reach the people and be an extension of Him in providing love and support during this difficult sojourn of life. He share a quote that is as follows, “it is against the order of Heaven for Angels to be sent to complete a task that can be accomplished by a mortal servant.”

The responsibility is ours. We most reach out and nourish and care for those around us. We cannot simply be concerned with our life alone but with the many lives that surround us each and every day. If we are sensitive to the needs of our loved ones and we are sensitive to the spirit we will see many opportunities to reach out and give support. It never has to be anything complicated, they simply need to know that you are there and that you love them. I am going to attach the link to the talk and I would encourage all of you to listen to it and to consider how you can be an extension of our heavenly father. As for me right now in my mission, these missionaries are my family. And I feel a great responsibility to reach out and to provide support and love to them. I hope God will guide me as I attempt to do just that.

I love y’all so much!

Elder Joshua Cordon