Good Week with Elder Williams

Dear Family & Friends,

We had a good week this last week! I really do feel like the law of compensation is alive in our area. We did not have as much finding time as we would like but it seemed like the success came more from the time that we didn’t have to find. We found our new investigator A-Ming when we were walking back to the church after grabbing some food. We really are good about always talking to people when we can. Mainly its Elder Williams, he does it so easlily that I just cant help but join in.

It was busy having to prepare for zone training and MLC and it was hard trying to get zone training prepared in a way that it could be spiritually uplifting. But I think in the end we did well and we were able to give a training we felt was by the spirit. because we had sat down to plan and neither of us could get any revelation on how we should do our training, but we had a thought to head out and find and that was the right thing to do because after heading out we were able to get some good revelation on what we should train on and it seemed very clear to us. We decided to make it focused on true teaching and comitment inviting. We initially were going to train on effective ways to get referrals but it eventually came to us that there is really only one way to do it and its by the spiriy. So our training was teaching true doctrine, testifying, and inviting while the spirit is high will yield results in seeking for referrals. After Zone training we were not sure if our training was good or not but, once we did numbers it sounds like it worked for a few of the companionships.

The work is moving along great in the ward we have two pretty solid investigators one Mr. Mak with a date for 6/7 and then Frankie who should have a date this next week are both doing great and the ward is doing a fantastic job at fellowshipping them. I think a big help is that they are the same ages as a lot of the brothers in the ward. Our recent convert Ray is struggling a little with faith, which we are trying to help its just hard because there is not much support from the ward because no one there is his age. But we were able to help him and will keep seeing him reguaraly.

We have a good pool of other potentials and investigators that we hope to be drawing from and moving them to the progressing list. There also is two people that have been coming to church both brought by the members. One is a problem because she lives in Kowloon City ward and so does the Member who brings her to church. It would be awesome if they both moved over together because then she could go to the right ward be her fellowshipper and give her friend a chance to be baptized. The other lady who has been being brought to church is very nice and wants to learn more but for some reason the member who brought her is acting wierd about having us teach her. So we will work the member to figure out more of the situtation and see if we can help her friend start investigating.

But altogether we are getting along great and have great unity as far our purpuse goes just one thing we are working on will come from helping our teaching flow so we can keep improving which will come from good comp studies for sure.

Love you all

Cheers Elder Jared Cordon

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Conference Answers Questions

Dear Family and Friends,

This was among one of the most inpiring weeks of my life. The Friday trainee/trainer meeting and then a Saturday and Sunday of general conference answered so many of my questions about life I had to start thinking of new ones while conference was still going to continue to get the most out of it. I am so glad I took the advice and wrote down some questions. One of my favorite talks was Elder Eyring’s during priesthood session. I had asked a question on how to improve my prayers. I got more of an answer than I ever was expecting. I even had a question about college and just my future in general that I really wasn’t anticipating receiving an answer to, but God had other plans.

The week went really well. I will tell you about a few miracle men that we had. The first is this man Jeff. He was a miracle that we had several weeks ago when we had arrived at the apartment about 10 minutes early. Rather than going inside which I have never done. I told elder curran, we are not going home until we have a miracle. We began to walk and hopefully find someone outside. At exactly 9:00 this man yells from his porch, “are y’all missionaries?” And we of course went right over there and said yes. We replied with, “yes we are!” He told us that his dad is Mormon and that he has a lot of questions. We struggled for weeks to meet up with him. This past week we decided to give it one more try. He was home and we had a phenomenal lesson. He really did have a lot of questions. The next day we went back and he had read 50 pages and done tons of research. He said that a lot of people don’t support the church but he feels like this is where he is meant to be. He accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 25th of this month. It was awesome!

Another great thing about this past week began with a challenge presented by elder Kopischke called “priming the pump”. He said that we should go and ask them to pray for us that we could find a family to teach in their home. We decided to try it with the awesome Nhiev family. The very next day after we started it we met Michelle who I mentioned in one of previous letters. This past Monday she joined us at the Nhiev’s for a family home evening and everyone had a great time! Then on Friday we had a lesson with her and her husband Ray. On Saturday they came to the church and watched the afternoon session of general conference with Br and Sis Nhiev. It was awesome to see how quickly everything is coming together when we exercise some faith. God really is just so good! The challenge worked so well we are trying it again with another family. Wish us luck!

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

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.

Conference!! Sadly it’s only twice a year

Dear Family and Friends

Conference I love it! It’s something that I feel I have wasted my entire life. So many hours staring at the TV with the words coming in one ear and right out the other. Now it’s a spiritual roller coaster. It’s so cool to take and learn the message they are sharing but also to be learning at the same time another lesson by the Holy Ghost. There is the things everyone needs to hear then there is the things that I (you) need to hear. Their words are truly scripture in the modern days while reading one talk can inspire you for one topic the entire conference altogether will tell you another.

This week overall was full of a lot of success! There is two people on the street that are seeming to stick and after 8 months it appears that its the right time to bring in new investigators. I think its because my overall goal has been to build this area and leave it better than I found it. With two baptisms to drain the teaching pool new people had to be on their way so as to keep the work going. The Lord has decided now I guess to bring them out. We now have 4 people with great great potential and a few others who are on the turning points. I would love more that anything to stay another transfer but it’s looking that next week may be my last in the Butterfly Ward. The Lord seems to do that, once we are on top and things are going great He takes us out of the situation probably to remind us that its all because of Him and we need to stay humble because if He chooses we could have nothing.

I have been so blessed to see the Lord work miracles during my time here.

Conference was so good because in Hong Kong everyone in the stake just goes to the church and watches it. So of course all the missionaries come and we all watch the English session together. President joined us for the sunday morning and an amazing sister prepared food for all us missionaries. Conference weekend is a holiday to be celebrated full of spiritual and physical feasting.

I love you all, take luck.

Elder Jared Cordon

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

Lightening, Cameras, and…. Snow

Dear Family and Friends,

How is it possible that week after week things just get better and better? You think you should just get to a point where you would just stop progressing and you are as happy as you can be… Except that would be false doctrine and the exact opposite of what I teach people, so it makes perfect sense actually. I love truth!! It is just so… motivating!

This past week at Zone meeting we had one of the most inspired goal setting sessions i have ever experienced in a Zone Meeting! I have struggled to get a goal that everyone embraces and one that unifies, but I think we finally did it. It started with a spiritual epiphany I received several weeks back, and one I have been praying about ever since. I realized that God wants his sons and daughters baptized more than I want them baptized. No duh right? Well it definitely changed the way I pray. Then I realized that he spends everyday preparing people to received this message and that there are prepared people out there and we just need to find them. Now I kinda knew all this already, but it finally hit me in a different way, the kinda way that leads someone to change and to act. My companion and I then came up with what we knew was a inspired plan. We decided that if we pray and fast and work our tails off, that every single companionship can find and baptized someone in the month of June. When we first introduced it we had a lot of doubting eyes staring back at us. So we pulled out our secret weapon, the faith building pep-talked we prepared. Before we were even done the spirit was very thick in the room and every single missionary jumped in excitement for our goal which is twice as much as a number we thought was impossible the month before. Good things are coming 🙂 #raiseyourexpectations

So if you haven’t seen our video on Facebook yet, I pity you. I would also invite you to repent and go and check it out. We are forming an amazing group and we need your help! It was a lot of fun to film and it was definitely interesting scenery. I hope you enjoy/enjoyed it!

I also had the opportunity to go on exchange last week to required me to hop on the bike again for a whole night! Before we even finished our dinner it was raining. I decided to go without a raincoat though because I new that if I wasn’t wet with rain water than I would be wet from wearing a non-breathable coat in the thick humidity. As we biked around we enjoyed natures natural firework displays. I was hoping that people would take pity on us considering, but it didnt seem to work too well! haha

Another amazing experience was that this past week Alfred opened up that he was still unsure of Thomas S. Monson being a prophet. We decided to help him out by watching the move about him called “On The Lord’s Errand.” Before we were even able to finish the movie he said that he knew that it was true! He is such a champion! He will be interview this week for baptism so we will see how that goes!

Oh ya and about the snow comment. We were about to go meet some less-active members at an apartment complex when we saw a pile of snow on the other side of the fence. I had to look to twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I made a snow ball!!! In Florida!! OUTSIDE!! How is that possible!?! Well… it helps if you are next to an ice rink haha. Nevertheless, it was awesome!

Once again everybody join the Facebook group Called To Share and invite all of your member friends. Then tomorrow (Tuesday) post a picture of you holding the Book of Mormon just under yours eyes with #discoverthebook and with your testimony of how you know it is true!

Love Ya’ll!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

A Lesson Of The Mission

Dear Family and Friends,

These last couple of days have been pretty interesting.

I had the opportunity to meet with a pastor from another faith. It was really interesting too because previously we had met him and had scheduled a time but for some reason we never met up and I had not cared too much to see him but then one day Elder Au just had this feeling to go to this village called Lung Gu Taan. Now this man lives there with his family and when we were there I saw his house and didn’t want to bother knocking on his door. He is really nice but he is pretty dedicated to his belief.

Our time there was kinda of a bust until we were leaving then we saw this man and his family pull up in there car. So we spoke for a second and he was super nice and wanted to meet back up. It struck us at this point that maybe that’s why we needed to go to Lung Gu Taan. So that time was last Friday. When we first met him he had posed the question how can someone read the gospel of John–he said its his favorite book–and be led to believe in our church then he told us to study it. Well this is pretty funny cause his name is John Johnson. But I added that to my study and man I never been more convinced that someone with the gift of the spirit can led to believe more deeply that this gospel the Church of Jesus Christ teaches is true. Now I knew that he wouldn’t put that question to us unless he had a reason someone couldn’t.

Well we met up because I felt this is what the spirit was telling us to do. Well we didn’t really discuss the Gospel of John, I just had to defend my faith against the pride of the world. This meeting was interesting it provided me greater insight on the war of words this world is facing. In this meeting you had two people sitting on one side of the table who had gained their testimony of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit in reverent prayer, while on the other side you had someone who gained his testimony from years and years of study starting from a degree in religion and then throughout his paid career.

I now understand why we needed to meet with this man, I know that all the words the world can throw at you have no effect compared to the quiet whispers of the Holy Spirit in prayer. This has been a great reminder of the kind of missionary and teacher I should be, I can never convert anybody that power is the responsibility and calling of the Holy Spirit. I must not forget who the real teacher is. The people of Hong Kong deserve a foundation of stone not sand.

I love you all and wish you the best.

Elder Jared Cordon