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

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The Thick of Thin Things

Dear Family and Friends, 

This past week brought a lot of change for me. After serving a wonderful 8 months in the blessed Mandarin 2nd ward it was time for me to move on to the next step. As part of the transition I am blessed with the opportunity to train Elder Curran. He is from Clearfield, Utah and so far we have enjoyed every minute. Our personalities really mesh, so it has been easy to get unified quick and get to work. We are in a car share as well, so we have been on biking a lot. 

“White-washing” an area as they call it has been a wonderful experience so far. I got a similar opportunity when I started my mission so it has been reminiscent and very fun. We are doing our best to reach out and become familiar with the members as soon as we can. We are loving the ward so far and we can tell that a lot of good things are going to happen here. Last week alone was full of amazing miracles. Every single night after 8:00, with the exception of Friday night because we were playing basketball with some investigators, we found someone new to teach. Often missionaries will consider that a less productive time to find, but it has been an hour of miracles for us. We plan to keep that going for as long as we can. 

On Sunday after church we were having a correlation meeting with the sisters and the Ward Mission Leader and his assistant and we started talking about the different reasons that members havent been sharing the gospel. Something that was brought up involved that idea that people are simply filling there schedules with too much “stuff.” They simply are not putting into practice the age old principles taught in the object lesson of trying to fit rocks, pebbles, and sand all in a jar. I reflected on how my last ward mission leader somehow made so much time for missionary work, even though he was a full time law student, had a young child, and worked 20 hours a week.

To my surprise that same theme was reinforced this morning during my personal study when I was reading a conference talk by A. Theodore Tuttle given October of 1971. The title of the talk was The Things That Matter Most. There was this quote in it that I really enjoyed!

Some years ago, I read an editorial in the Deseret News entitled “The Mechanical Rabbit.” I quote:

“Most of our readers must have smiled the other day when they read of the greyhounds in Britain who don’t know a rabbit when they see one. So long had they chased a mechanical rabbit around the racetrack, that when a real rabbit bounded across the track, the dogs didn’t give it a second look.“Stupid, eh? But sad too, this perverting of the natural instincts. …“We chase mechanical rabbits, too.“We chase paychecks, and don’t give a second look to the glint of the rising sun on a snow-topped peak.“We chase our way through the appointments of a crowded desk calendar, and fail to take time to chat with the next-door neighbor or to drop in on a sick friend.“We chase social pleasures on a glittering noisy treadmill—and ignore the privilege of a quiet hour telling bedtime stories to an innocent-eyed child.“We chase prestige and wealth, and don’t recognize the real opportunities for joy that cross our paths. …”Wordsworth said words appropriate to this condition:“The world is too much with us: late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”“Race on, you poor, blind over-civilized hounds. You’ll never catch your rabbit until you learn to recognize a genuine one.“But, you’ll have company in your race; the company of unnumbered men who’ll never catch the joy they chase until they, too, learn to recognize a genuine one.”This points up our challenge: See “that the things that matter most … are not at the mercy of things that matter least.” (Ashley Montague.)Someone rephrased this thought: “Too often we are involved in the thick of thin things.”In modern revelation the Lord said:“Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?“Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men. …” (D&C121:34–35.)



The moral of that story and the reason I have brought it up, is that I hope all of us will take time to prioritize our lives and if necessary stop spending time doing the things that don’t matter most if they prevent us from doing the things that do. The great blessing of coming into an area with a companion who isnt already serving there is that you get a fresh start, and an opportunity to make sure that your priorities are straight without having to do the sometimes painful process of re-prioritizing. I has been a great blessing to engage in the simple things for often that is how miracles are most often experienced. For me, learning to prioritize has been a blessing of my mission.

 Hopefully these sentiments are beneficial!

I love yall!
Elder Joshua Cordon 

Keep It Going!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This was a wonderful last week! We mixed things up last week and organized an English find with the Pok Fu Lam sisters and elders. We realized that nobody was really showing up to English class. So we made our own sign and had a member make some English flyers. After a few were passed out. We saw great success we had 10 people at English class. With the variable that we had our ward thanksgiving activity this last week which took place at the same time and took 4 people who normally go to English class away. So that says a lot about the impact of the find.

Speaking of the Thanksgiving activity that was also a great success. It gave a great chance for a mom and her two kids we have been working with to meet the ward, we also got our investigator Simon to get to know some of the members in the ward a lot better, and we got a referral. It was great. Along with that we saw some other little miracles this last week. We were doing our language study in the church when a man walked in. We thought it was one of the other missionaries investigators or a ward member, turned out to be a former investigator from several years ago. We taught him then committed him to church. He showed up dressed up in his Sunday best without being asked. We will see him again this week. We also had a near by rehad center for people with mental illnesses give us a call asking for us to help them with an activity they had planned. They were impressed with missionaries in the past and they wanted our help again that was a great service opportunity! Having time to serve people in Hong Kong helps me love them more and really keeps me positives through any rejections people throw out.

As far as our mission goal of 65 baptisms in December I really want it to happen and I truly believe it can, but I know to show my gratitude for the Lord for all the blessings we have been receiving I need to be more obedient. So thinking through what I could do I realized that we never really SYL (speak your language) *(Editors note- missionaries learning a new language on the mission are strongly encourage to only speak the language they are learning when they are in their apartment so that they are learning the language quicker by immersion.) Elder Wong doesn’t like speaking Cantonese so we really haven’t been. But I decided that I need to speak as much as possible but most importantly I need to have the 3 SYL days like we have been asked to have many times well we have been doing it. And it was hard to remember but we did it and it was really fun. I couldn’t let myself crack in the apartment ether so I as I kept speaking Chinese in the apartment I saw that the others started to as well. So its my new actions and we are actually doing it and I have seen its helped my contacting skills because then I don’t have to be switching back to Chinese mode I am already in it. Language is something that I have not taken as seriously on my mission as I should have but I have been cracking down now for a few weeks and I have seen it start growing again.

Things are just great here. I feel like the Lord wants me always to be growing so he needs things to stay hard enough to at least keep me on my toes or knees. You can only grown under pressure. If there is no pressure than you get soft.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

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Elder Groberg and Elder Cordon (They were in the MTC together)