A Beautiful Gift

Dear Family and Friends,

I think an overarching thing that my past week taught me is that of the simplicity of personal revelation and the importance of actively seeking it and then acting upon it long enough to reap the rewards. I was left in a mode of pondering after the recent general conference which made no small emphasis on the importance of personal revelation. That all finally developed into a phenomenal learning opportunity as I was on an exchange with one of my fellow missionaries this week. I think the trick to receiving revelation is to learn how to ask the right questions. After talking to him all night between lessons about pretty general topics I could tell that something was on his mind. When we got home and after I planned for the next day I started to pry a little to see what I could get out of him. I had no idea the amount of revelation that we were going to receive during that conversation that night, and again in the morning. We talked about all aspects of missionary work with the goal of trying to figure out what the missionaries in his stewardship needed from him. And really it was as simple as us asking a good question and then seeing the spirit guide our answers to helping us find the solutions. It seemed so easy, it was just coming to us. The amazing thing was that we both were completely on the same page. We were receiving the exact same answers. In the morning we even ended up studying the exact same chapters in the book of mormon and in PMG. It was quite wild. I felt like the early saints describe in the Acts 4:31-32 “And when they had prayed… they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul…” This experience of personal revelation this week has happened many times before, but I was especially aware of it this time and I feel like the lessons I learned were very profound.

Making an extra emphasis to put the revelation to work Elder Layton prayerfully considered an exact street that we should go and knock on Friday with the goal of finding a family that would be open to hearing our message. An exact street came to us and we wrote it down. The next day I was on another exchange this time with my MTC companion, Elder Searle, and we went to the street that we had planned. We found a potential investigator right at the start but we went for almost an hour after that with no success. That is when we knocked on Tony’s door. Elder Searle did the initial approach flawlessly and we found ourselves trying to comfort this man as he tells us how is 9 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and that that same driver killed another few people last year because of the same thing and he is still not behind bars. While we did feel sorry for his loss but we were also happy because we knew that we had something that would help to remove the pain and anguish from his heart. After having a simple doorstep lesson with him, he told us that he would read the Book of Mormon that night and that he wanted his family to hear this message. I knew at that moment that it really was inspiration that we chose to go to that street at that time so that we could meet this man.

Another amazing miracle that we had Saturday night also began with a prayer. It was 8:05 and we had no idea what we were going to do for the next 55 minutes. The plans we did have had fallen through and it wasn’t exactly the best time to be knocking on someones door. We prayed and asked God were we should go. At first we still had no idea so we started to just drive back to the other side of town that we live on. As were driving a thought of a lady, but when we called she didn’t answer. Then I got another idea to try someone else just down the street from our apartment. We knocked on her door, but no one appeared to be home. Then Elder Layton thought to try Gladys, which was strange considering the fact that we officially removed her from our teaching pool last Friday after a month and a half of no contact. We tried it though. She happened to have just gotten home moments before and she was open to chatting. We ended up having a 45 minute lesson with her which began with her saying how exhausting work and life in general has been to it ending with us finding out that she was already baptized a Mormon and her doing the chicken dance as she tells us a funny story. She recognized how much the spirit of the gospel lifted her burdens and made her forget about the stress of life and said that she would like meeting with us regularly, so that we could help her start coming back to church. Another miracle that began with asking a simple question and receiving very simple revelation.

I want to bear testimony that the Holy Ghost is real and that it is actually a third member of the Godhead. Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which allows me to have this member of the Godhead as my constant guide is undoubtedly the greatest gift that God has given me. I know that if we are worthy and if we listen that we can receive the quite whispering of the spirit that will send us down unknown but glorious paths on our journey back to Heavenly Father. I am grateful to have been blessed to have received the gift of the Holy Ghost by one who holds proper authority, truly this is the greatest difference between the true church of Jesus Christ, and all others. My only desire is to bless the human race by helping whoever will listen receive this incredible gift into their own life. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

P.S. If you are wondering how you could help yourself be better at receiving personal revelation then read the devotional address, “An Educated Conscience” by Stephen Covey, the May 27th, 1975 BYU devotional.

Protest in Hong Kong

Dear Family and Friends,

Well there is protest all this week. (*editors note: Meaning he has to stay in his apartment this week and he is not happy about that. Also he is safe and a long distance away from the protest.)

Well a wonderful week in the life of someone on the Lords errand! I feel like I can’t even blink and the week is gone. But as I reflect back I am able to see how much has really happened! We had started the week off with doing that planned district meeting by President Hawks were we watch and discuss the videos of teaching no greater call with Elder Bednar and to say the least they have totally changed my mission. President has made leaps and bounds in pushing people to become better teachers! He bought all the missionaries the church manual Teaching No Greater Call. I think any member who has not taken time to read that especially those in a church calling are doing a huge disservice to the potential they have. Its honestly a life changing process I am going through. I have learned a lot about the principle of Agency which like most principles in the church could use further study. I think what I like most is the focus of diligent learning that is required from each member of the church. We don’t have to be a prophet to have a prophetic knowledge of the gospel. I know for myself daily scripture study is not something I will miss for the rest of my life I love it to much not to. I receive more revelation everyday that studying the gospel is now fun!

This week I also had the opportunity to give my first baptismal interview! It was awesome to be able to take part in some of the responsibilities as a district leader. This lady was amazing and she only a few months ago had never heard of the Church but now has a burning testimony of the love and power of God! She got baptized this Sunday into my ward its great to truly see the hastening of the work in this little piece of zion!

Also with my efforts in working with the young men in the ward they have become some of the greatest missionaries I have ever met. 1 young man is way into double digits as far as people he has introduced to me and has almost now brought close to 10 diferent people to church. He is the young man in the ward who everyone wrote off as punk teenager is now the only one in the ward brave enough to talk to people about the gospel and is having great success doing it. This activity I am planning with him has already gotten a lot of people signed up! I really would not mind being here for 10 months!

Love you All

Elder Jared Cordon

Personal Revelation

Dear Family and Friends,

The spirit of revelation is an amazing gift!! I am grateful everyday for the fact that I have received the gift of the Holy Ghost which allows me to have the right and the responsibility to receive personal revelation from God. It is without a doubt one of the greatest blessings of my mission to have learned how to develop and use this gift. My heart was warmed this week in an incredible way by an opportunity to use that gift and experience a miracle.

On Friday evening we had just left a lesson with a wonderful part-member family that I have come to love. We had plans to go by and check on someone we have been working with for a few months now. But as we were driving both of us felt that we weren’t supposed to see them, but we had no idea who we could see instead. We decided to pray. I had a name in mind before we prayed but I wasn’t sure if it as inspiration or not. I still felt good about it afterward but just to be sure I asked Elder Layton who he thought we should see. He said the exact same name that I was thinking, so we hit to road and went right there. As we approached Perry’s house I started thinking about it. Perry is a young married guy, and it is Friday of Labor Day weekend. There is just no way that he is home. I decided it was still worth a shot. We walked around the corner and his light was on. I chuckled to myself realizing once again that the spirit knows a lot better than us. Perry had just gotten home and welcomed us right in. We taught him the restoration and he was loving every bit of it. He definitely felt the spirit and just thanked us for coming over. He was excited to even do his homework afterwards just because he was just feeling so good. I once again can bear testimony that the spirit of revelation is real!

I have wondered how the spirit of revelation will play a role in my life after my mission and sadly I have noticed that a lot of members of the church don’t rely on that gift nearly as much as they should if at all. However, another blessing this week was that our ward mission leader returned from his 2 month vacation making this the first time I am officially meeting him. After our first meeting I have been just so inspired by him. He has prayed endlessly on what can be done to help this ward improve in its missionary efforts and it is clear that he has received guidance from god in order to do so. It was also an amazing example to me to see a man using the gift God has given him even after his mission. I know that if we pray to God and seek His counsel in regard to our life that He will bless us with knowledge on high and well will be able to make receive ideas and make decisions of immense wisdom that we would not have been able to do on our own. I know that every single one of us can receive guidance from God to help us in our life. I promise that if you pray diligently that He will answer you! I know these things to be true from observation and from personal experience and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all!!

Elder Joshua Cordon