It Is Nice To Know People Who Know People!

Dear Family and Friends,

I had a pretty wonderful week! Last Monday I had the opportunity to do my first round of golf. It was on the beautiful green grass of TPC Sawgrass where the PGA championship is held every year. I felt like royalty! We had this pretty awesome caddy with us the whole time, we got our named engraved onto these medal bag tags that have the picture of the 17th hole carved in it, and then halfway through we had a guy roll up to us and give us cold towels to cool us off. It was the best secular experience of my mission so far! I am grateful for my companion he was the one with the connections to get us in. We brought two older gentleman with us who just soaked up every minute of the experience. Both are golf enthusiast and never thought they were going to have the chance to play such a course. They were one team and we were the other. We did a best ball scramble to keep pace. Since Elder Layton is really good we came on top in the end. I had a few really good hits. I definitely did better than I thought I was going to do.
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As far as the spiritual side of things, I got to go to the temple this past week. It was am amazing experience and I definitely had some pretty powerful spiritual experiences while in there. In order to get some of the missionaries down there we drove a van up to Kingsland, Georgia the night before, then left from there in the morning. After the day was said and done we did about nine hours of driving. It was worth every minute though and the whole trip was very enjoyable. I think my only regret was that I went for the large sandwich at firehouse instead of a medium. It is not the best thing to put in your system when you going to sit for several hours. Other than that though it was an amazing trip!

On our way back we had this cool little miracle that happened. About 20 minutes before we were and home and before we passed through
downtown Jacksonville, we passed this guy who had all these things strapped to the roof of his SUV. He had a law mower, a generator, a industrial fan, a ladder, and some other things all on the roof! Plus his car was full of a bunch of tools. We took a photo and continued on our way. When we got back to Jacksonville we had more time that we thought so we pondered on how we could best use it. We both felt that we should head to a particular complex to try a potential. As we pulled in we saw that exact same SUV with all the stuff ahead of us. We tried our potential and then walked over to his car to see if he needed help unloading. Turns out that he has to leave it all on there because it is for his work. He is self employed but doesn’t have enough money for a truck and trailer. If he were to take it off he would spend hours taking it off and on every day. He needs every minute he can after work to spend time with his family. He said that he his nervous that someone could steal all of his stuff but he has no where to put it. He said that he just says a prayer and trusts that god will keep it safe. He was open to hearing our message another day so we took his number down and walked away with a renewed sense of reverence for the humble and hard-working family-man.

His story coupled with a lesson I learned this week highlights the power of determination. If you want to succeed then you all it takes is for your determination to make it happen. I quote that comes to mind is “that it is never to late to be what you could have been.” In other words, despite every thing else, even your past, if you are determined you can be what you want to be.

Another lesson I learned was that of focusing on the present. You can learn from the past, and you should plan for the future, but if you are not living in the moment and embracing the situation that you are in, you are missing the most important aspect of this existence. If you are determined to change it will not come from the lessons of the past, or the plans of the future, it will come from simply just doing it right now in the present.

Just a few thoughts.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

I love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

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?