Good Timing and Out-Growing

Dear Family and Friends,

We had incredible miracle yesterday! Last week on Sunday we met a mother and daughter who were members of the church. Mother was in town for a couple of months and she works for the FBI, and her daughter was just visiting before she goes back to Idaho for college. We know it was a miracle that we even met them for because we followed a prompting that Elder Layton had to go and knock the other side of the complex we crossed paths 5 seconds before they walked into their apartment. Needless to say the time between them going to their car and the apartment is a small window of opportunity but God has great timing. Patti, the mother told us that she would come to church the next Sunday. We swung by to see her Saturday and she was still determined to come and after talking for a bit she opened up about her past and we were able to resolve many of her concerns. Yesterday she came walking through the chapel doors and filled me with joy. One of the sisters in the ward is practically a carbon copy of her (they even wear the same glasses) invited her to dinner on Tuesday. She had already signed up to feed us and figured she could bank on the opportunity. It is amazing how she is only in town for a few months, but God is taking advantage of this time to help her strengthen her testimony and get reactivated. Our Heavenly Father is one smart cookie.

We had a powerful Zone Conference this past week!! After it is all said and done, one of the things that my testimony has been strengthened in more than anything else is the power of personal revelation from the Book of Mormon. Among those that believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, it is something that I feel is not used nearly as much as it should. I testify that the Book of Mormon will answer the questions of your soul. Whatever it is! I know because it has answered mine. It has answered spiritual questions of “how do I access the power of the Atonement?”, and lately it answered the question of how can I help those I am teaching to come to church? Now, anybody who has read the Book of Mormon knows that there isn’t an obivious chapter which specifically lays out how a missionary gets those he is teaching to church, but I can testify that it is in there. You just have to have the spirit with you to find it. I found my own personal answer in Alma 50 which talks about how Captain Moroni maintians liberty among the Nephites. As I likened these scriptures to me the answer became very clear on what it was that I needed to do. I will make a promise to every single one of you, that if you pour your heart out in prayer to God for answers to a specific challenge and then you read the book of mormon actively seeking for your answer, by the power of the Holy Ghost you will receive that answer in a simple and powerful way. Then if you write that revelation down, it will develop and how you must act will become even more clear.

I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. I have felt his love for me and for others abundantly in my life, and the joy that brings is sweeter than anything else. I also know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, I know that he died for me and that his Atonement is active in my life. Through the Book of Mormon I have gained that faith in Christ, and not only that, but I have also learned why he died for me, and how I can access the enabling power of the Atonement in my life. Knowing these things has given me greater meaning in life and deeper and more profound joy. I meet many faithful Christians on a regular basis, and many who profess to be Christians, and while their faith is genuine God doesn’t want just a lip service from his children, he wants a personal relationship with his children and he wants us to out-grow ourselves. In the Prophet of the Restoration Movie, Alvin Smith tells Joseph of a small sea shell at his uncles home. He tells him that a small creature made that shell layer by layer until he finally out-grew it. God doesn’t intend to help us become content with ourselves as we are but rather for us to grow into our true selves. The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us how we can do this, and Jesus Christ helps us do it so that one day we like Paul can say, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) I know that these things are true and I say them in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love y’all! Have a great week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

I’m As Busy As By-George I Reckin – Joshua

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry I didn’t write last week. Things got really crazy and we only got an hour to email. Anyhow and things are very crazy this week as well so it will have to be a short one. These past few weeks have been very crazy and a TON has happened!! But sadly I can barely scratch the surface! I will pick 3 experiences and tell those ones though.

For the first one I got a sweat recliner chair. It is so nice, but I only use it when I read in the morning so I almost feel like it is wasted, though it is thoroughly appreciated!

As for experience number two we have been meeting with this really awesome lady named Kim for the past little while. She is so nice and I always leave feeling full of the most peaceful spirit. We haven’t made much headway until this last lesson though. We taught her the Restoration and she believed it all! Which isn’t really that surprising because it is easy to believe the truth. Then we followed up to see if she watched any of the Mormon Messages (that was our last commitment for her) and she ended up watching half of the district!! (they are videos of real life missionary work that we use for training) Haha I think it is awesome though. She told us that she knows all of our secrets now 🙂

As for my last experience. About a month ago we ran into a guy named Dorian street contacting and we had a pretty good lesson with him. He was a really smart guy and very inquisitive. He had a few concerns but offered to read the Book of Mormon. Well we finally caught him last week and he has been reading and has a lot of questions for us. We had a terrific lesson, and he left the lesson feeling very pumped about reading the story of Enos. That is what happens when you show somebody how to study not to just read though 🙂

All in all it has been a terrific 2 weeks, but there is never enough time during p-days, so I got to go!

I love ya’ll!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Wait a minute, you mean there is a better way then tracting! -Joshua

Dear Family and Friends,

So the trademark of Elder Newbold and I’s 3 month companionship was tracting. I honestly feel like we knocked half the doors in Lake City. Though most people were not home, so we never actually talked to half the people in Lake City, but we are making up for it now. Our method, street contacting. Turns out that is far less intimidating to roll up on a bike and talk to somebody than to drive slowly and creepily through a neighborhood in our car having everybody immediately recieve wrong impressions of us. Being on bikes though has allowed us to implement the fail-proof finding method of talking to everybody. Although we are drenched in sweat and soaked by the rain we find we can quickly disarm people by flashing our pearly whites and giving them a friendly wave and a “hi sir\ma’m, how are you doing today”!

To back up my testimonial, the following is one of our success stories.

So, we were biking home late friday night and passed a guy walking on the sidewalk. At first I did not stop justifying the heinous crime by saying that we were done with teaching for the night and it was time to go home. The spirit quickly worked these blaphemous thoughts out of my mind and I found myself squeezing the brake and turning the bike around. We approached the guy in our usual friendly manner, and began to converse about gentile things such as Star Wars–he had a tattoo of something star wars–and his particular line of work. We quickly navigated to the fact that we wanted to share with him the message of the restored gospel. His name is Blaze and he is one of our newest investigators. We are going back for our second appointment tomorrow.

As we kept biking home we passed a gentleman walked and eating a McDonalds hamburger. We informed him of who we were and ended up sharing with him the message of the restoration and being invited to come teach him at his house. All in all, street contacting is much more affective than tracting.

Some more great news is that Stefan Sutton before he has even been baptized taught a lesson to some of his co-workers during the lunch break about faith and he even used the Book of Mormon. 🙂 To all those who are NOT doing member missionary work… shame on you.

We also had the blessed opportunity to give talks in sacrament meeting. I made a deal with Br. Cook who was speaking with us that if I only left him 3 minutes he would buy us lunch. I agreed and prepared a long talk. When it came time to make good on my side of the deal, I forgot all my notes at the apartment. Luckily, the topic I had been chosen to speak on was prophets, and well, we spend all day teaching people about that. So I was still able to keep my side of the deal. I tried my best to stick to the New Testament during my talk because our investigator who came to church, Nick Harwell, was a preacher for ten years and I wanted him to relate. It made me really happy to hear that he enjoyed it. It was a great week though!

I just want to encourage ya’ll to speak to someone new each day this week. Just say hi, introduce yourself, give them a compliment, and it should flow very nicely from there, then when the setting is right invite them to hear the wonderful message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. If they say no, oh well, be there friend anyway!

Gospel means good news, and this message is the greatest news that anyone could hear because of how happy I know it will make them. Many of you have experienced the joy of the Gospel, so why wouldn’t you want to share it with friends or strangers. Whether they realize it or not. It is the ultimate expression of love! 🙂 Go out and be missionaries and spread the Love of Jesus Christ!!! Which simply starts with flashing your pearly whites and saying hey!

I love you ya’ll!!

Elder Joshua Cordon