Hello! 

Dear Family and Friends,


This was an interesting week. We found ourselves engaged in a lot of service this past week which was a blessing for sure. We actually resolved that our focus is going to change. After much consideration we are going to put a greater focus in service and working with part member families. So the fact that we got a bunch of service right when we resolved to focus on it was an indication that we are on track. The nice thing to was that every service opportunity resulted from someone asking us for help. We already have two service projects lined up. Our goal is to get different people we are working with to help us with the service projects. 

A person that we are working with who really came along this past week is a girl named Shy. We have taught her the first three lessons already and she reads the Book of Mormon during her bus ride to work everyday. She told us that she has fallen in love with the book and that it has opened up her eyes to so many things. We invited her to be baptized at the end of May and she asked if she could do it sooner and set a date for the 16th of May. It was really awesome. She has already started teaching other people about the Book of Mormon and she is going to come to church this weekend. 

This Ward here is wonderful but it is really struggling in that there are 10 members who have been admitted to the hospital lately. We have an older congregation and it has been tough to try to meet everybody’s needs. However, it has been a strong motivator for us to go and work with more less actives and part member families so that we can strengthen what we have so that the ward can support growth.

Elder Curran and I continue to learn from our mistakes and from one another; as a result, we feel the lord continues to provide tender mercies that move the work along. One big tender mercy is embodied in the Estrella Family. We have been able to teach Ray a few times and he is just eating it up, along with Michelle. I can’t wait to see how the gospel will continue to bless their lives. 

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon


Sent from my iPad

Progress

Dear Family and Friends,

Progress, I like progress; it feels nice. I’m sure y’all probably agree with me. Here are some updates on some names that you probably remember.

Trevor: Trevor is really getting back in his groove and then some. He has come to mutual three weeks in a row now and he even came to church on Sunday. His friend Wittney Garçon (He is someone we have been trying to get back into contact with) also came with him on Wednesday and Sunday. We were blessed with some kind members who helped us give them rides so we didn’t have to walk with them there; however, we were willing to do that if necessary. They had a great time and hopefully we can step up the fellowship for them. The youth program here is really small so they are pioneers in many ways.

Michelle: She came to scripture class again and even surprised us by bringing her daughter, Victoria, and her daughters boyfriend, Chandler. Victoria was super engaged and participated a lot in the discussion. We are going through the Book of Mormon chapter by chapter and we were on 1 Nephi 15. The discussion really kicked off when we began teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Victoria had such a good experience that she came up to us afterward and asked, “can I keep this Book of Mormon?… Here take down my number I am going to have some questions… Alright so how do I read this and where should I start?” It was pretty awesome to see her jump right on board. A couple days later we went to see Michelle at her place and she made us breakfast for dinner. Chandler was there and we got to know him some more. He is about to start school to go be a doctor. The greatest news was that we found out that Victoria wanted to go to church on Sunday. She showed up with Chandler and they had a great experience.

It is good to see some people make those steps that we need to be seeing. We have some others that we are working with but these were the ones who made the most progress this week.

An awesome little miracle happened after a great experience at the hospital on Friday. We went to the hospital to administer to three afflicted members of our congregation. When we parked we realized that we needed $2 in cash to pay the toll, but we both only had our debit cards. We figured we would just not worry about it, and that we could take care of that after the blessings. Two of them were quick in and out visits, but with one lady we stayed and talked for almost 45 minutes. Her cousin was there and it sure was a hoot talking to them. It was nice to help her take her mind off the cancer for a few minutes. She was missing her son especially because the day before she found out she had cancer he was deployed over seas. She asked me to give the blessing and it was a great opportunity for me. During the blessing a very sweet spirit entered to room. She started to cry and said that it really helped and that it made it feel like her son was there. On Sunday she was able to make it to church and thanked us both again for the blessing.

After the visit we got off the elevator on the first floor and tried to figure out where we could go go get some cash. Right then one of the employees said, “Are you lost elders?” We responded with “You must be a member. What Ward are you in?” He told us that he was in the San Jose Ward (Spanish Ward). I had actually met him before when I was serving in Hendricks Ave. He opened up his wallet and he pulled out $2 and said, “It is all I have.” He smiled and then walked away. I looked down at the cash in my hand, just amazed about God blesses us in the most personal ways. That was a really good day!

I love y’all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Without Charity I Am Nothing

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was one of the best weeks we have had in months!! It was just full of miracles!! After a slight tweek to our approach this week we suddenly saw a lot of things come together. As I reflect on what happened though, I found it interesting that almost none of our scheduled appointments happened… However it seemed that whenever each appointment cancelled we were able to be led to someone who was interested in hearing are message or someone we hadnt thought to plan to see. It was amazing how everytime something fell through the lord was able to guide us to where we really needed to be at that time.

Some exciting things that happened this week is in regards to a family that we have been working with. Their names are David and Jorge. They are the brother and father of a Aileen who is a recent convert of a couple of months. I am pretty sure I have mentioned them before. David made some huge steps in the right direction this week. We have been trying to get him integrated into scouts, but it has been difficult to get him there. We learned on Thursday that he had gone to the activity the night before and that his dad brought him and talked to the Elders Quorum President for a good hour. That made my day when I found that out. Then we found out Friday that David was going on the camping trip this weekend with the boys. He is just making all this progress and we arent even doing anything! It is great! haha. On Sunday David and his dad were there at church with Aileen. They had a great time there and David is already part of the group with the other boys, so we didnt even have to worry about him. Also we got his dad to be a judge for the dessert competition at the ward party on Friday. Everything is just falling in place for that family! It is really awesome to see.

I was pondering the principle of Charity yesterday and a scripture really caught my attention. It was, “Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.” (Alma 34:29) Considering the fact that Charity is usually grouped with Faith and Hope as the three most important characteristics to have, I began to wonder the role that faith and hope play. The conclusion that I came up with is that Faith and Hope are focused on ourselves. They prepare a person to then obtain and retain the attribute of Charity. Faith is the first attribute that we must have. When we act on our faith it leads us to repent. When we repent we develop hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ. As we grow our faith we develop hope, and as we gain hope it helps to sustain our faith. At this point, having cleansed the inner vessel first we are now able to reach outward and help others do the same thing. As we then reach out and lose ourselves in service of others our faith and hope will grow effortlessly and we will be filled with the love of God. This last step is vitally important, for someone who never reaches out will eventually lose all of the faith and hope they have gained. Consider the scripture, “He that seeketh to save his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (JST Matthew 10:34)

I love y’all!! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

As Always!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well a wonderful week in the orient! We had a lot of mix ups happen this last week in the zone and in my district. They sent away the sisters and brought a set of elders in. Which happens to be my MTC (Missionary Training Center) companion Elder Cederlof and he is training its awesome it work near him and both be training at the same time, and then the other sisters in my ward are training as well so 3 greenies (*editors note: new missionaries) now in the district (*editors note: group of missionaries in a defined area). Its good the ward clearly sees good things happening in this area and we are excited to see the effects of all the excitement new missionaries bring to an area.

This week we also made some great progress with our investigators. We were able to organize a ward activity after some reluctance but it will be awesome we have already got 14 investigators coming and should be getting more. We are doing a good old potluck when I said the idea no one knew what it was but they like the idea. Our ward mission leader is so enthusiastic about all this he has taken a brake from work to do full time church service. It will be a fantastic event! Our investigators have really made some fantastic progress. We have now got uncle Fighter to church twice in a row and he has said he really wants to get baptized its just getting over a lot of addictions. First comes the desire then comes the change. We also got Peter Lo to commit to coming to our activity. We are going to introduce him to Gary because they both are in wheel chairs, love speaking English, Love America, Hate communism, I think they will be best friends for sure.

The biggest difference maker in the work this week is something that was expressed by our investigators. We heard on multiple occasions: You really care about me don’t you? with a look of tears on their face. People are really influenced by the amount of love you can show if you look at them the way Christ does. Well fantastic week.

Love you all! Enjoy the little things!

Elder Jared Cordon

Sunday Blessings

Dear Family and Friends,

I had the blessed opportunity of going to the Orlando Temple last week!! Nothing is quite as rejuvenating as a trip to the temple! I am grateful that God has provided a way for me to still maintain temple attendance despite my circumstances. We had a Q&A with the Temple President afterwards, and the only question I had afterwards was how do i ask a question that is worth asking haha.

After some long time of contemplation I believe I have arrived on some answers to that questions which ironically in this case is more questions 🙂

We were blessed immensely this past week! We had some powerful lessons Saturday night with some of our awesome investigators. One of them is a man named Madison. He is very thoughtful man. He was taught several months back but never progressed. Something changed in his life though and he was so ready to listen and to act. We taught him about humility and the importance of a having a strong relationship with God. Near the end of the lesson he just stopped us mid sentence and said, where is your church at? I need to go to church tomorrow. Sunday morning I got to see his smiling face come walking in the door with his girlfriend right behind him! It was so beautiful to see. God definitely provided.

On that same note of miracles. We are teaching a brother and sister, Shauna & Christian. We just started teaching them a week ago and they wanted to come to church yesterday. Shauna texted us at 8 in the morning though and said that she got called into work and wont be able to make it. We were rather disappointed to hear that, but we were at peace for some reason. Shortly after the meeting started we were surprised to see both of them walk in the door and grab a seat on the back row. I was so happy to see them there!! The ward just wrapped their arms around them and made them feel so welcome. We talked to Shauna after sacrament and she said that when she got to work she still wanted to come to church so she got someone to cover her shift so she could come. I know God will bless them for their faithfulness!

There is no greater work than this! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Love
Elder Joshua Cordon

Trio, Training, and Tracting with Bikes -Josh

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week has been an interesting one. We finished out our trio of Elder Largo, Elder Newbold, and I. It was a lot of fun being in a trio but it made it harder to focus on the work. I learned a lot though nevertheless and we still managed to stay very productive. By the end of it all I felt like I had two good friends.

Having to say goodbye to Elder Newbold was bitter sweet. I felt like we have become good friends after 3 months and we taught really well together, as a result I had come to trust him a lot. Though I am excited to mix things up, it has proven difficult to regain that trust. It will come though, of that I am sure.

Elder Cordon with his new companion Elder Barcala

Elder Barcala and Elder Joshua Cordon

On Wednesday I got my new companion. His name is Elder Barcala. He is from Scottsdale, Arizona and he is a convert of 2 years. He is 22 and already has his bachelors in criminal justice from ASU. He has a terrific fire for the work and I hope that as his trainer that I can kindle that fire and help him become a very confident and powerful teacher.

Wednesday night we went over to a members house for dinner and afterwards did splits with him and his brother. So day one I have my new companion going out on his own. He did pretty good actually.

On Thursday the ward mission leader and his wife helped us out a ton by showing my companion around and helping get bikes. Being on bikes has been bitter sweet, while we drip in sweat biking in shirt and tie in the hot Florida sun it is easier to street contact when you are on bikes. It is far less intimidating to approach someone on bike than in a car. Also when we would drive slowly in a car down neighborhood streets it was hard to not think that we were the police.

We have gotten into the groove now though and we are starting to build up our teaching pool again. We have been working hard and it is paying off. We are meeting a lot of good people and I just hope that in some small way that we make their day a little brighter with every visit.

We were blessed to be able to catch Ben last night and we took him to the church to watch the CES fireside. Ben has been through a lot and is living in a terrible environment, but while we were watching the broadcast I could tell that a lot of the things hit him really powerfully, and I hope that he can put into action some of the incredible advice of Elder Russel M. Nelson. I was really grateful to be able to see it and it just made me so pumped that general conference in coming up.

I just love this work so much. I know now more than ever that God loves everyone of his children here on earth. I also know that by applying the wonderfully beautiful and simple principles of the gospel into ours that it will make us happier. This life is about growth and constant improvement. I think that one of the biggest sins of this generation is laziness and complacency. God wants us to achieve our wonderful potential, but he can’t force us to do it. It is our job, but you better believe that through the grace of Jesus Christ he will be there every step of the way strengthening us. Life is like climbing a mountain. Some people get tired and convince themselves they are satisfied with how far they have come so they set up camp. Others are disheartened by the steep climbs that lie ahead. But for those who want to make it to the top to see the stunning views above the tree line, Christ has offered to be our climbing partner. He has the made the climb before and if we trust him and do our part, them we can reach the summit of our potential. So get off of the couch and get climbing! Spiritually of course 😉

Love y’all
Elder Joshua Cordon