The Converting Power of the Scriptures

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week we had! I know I say that all the time but , it’s true! How can it not be we are working in the Lords vineyard to bring souls unto him! The world is a crazy place with lots of negativity, loneliness, anger, pride, and suffering; its also a place that we can find peace, joy, happiness, love, comfort, and support. God is there to help us find the things that makes us happy. So as I get to watch people come and find Christ and find the happiness in all the darkness and chaos, it brings such a joy to my life. So ya I know that I say “what a wonderful week” all the time but that is because it is true!

This week did end a little different then last. Last week we had a lot of people at church and it fired us up to have it happen again. Sadly it didn’t, BUT…. We did have Jennifer accept a date to be baptized we will be helping her prepare to be baptized on July 18th. She is excited to come to know the truth that is here and she felt the spirit during that church tour.
I am gaining more and more a testimony of the strength and power that comes when we use the church buildings. These building that are everywhere have been built and dedicated to the Lord for his purposes and they carry a powerful spirit with them. Every time that we have a lesson in them and I fell of the spirit that is present it brings a peace to my heart that this is his work. We are using the church for tours with as many as will accept and we are using it for lessons, separate from a church tour, on occasion as well.

We have been working forward with an eye of faith know that as we desire to teach the Lord will help us find. We are focusing our efforts on helping those that we teach gain a witness of the Book of Mormon. We had investigators that weren’t daily reading, they have a very difficult time reading, and we have also noticed that it is hard for them to but themselves into the stories of the Book. So we have been reading it with them one chapter at a time, we have been picking the chapters that talking about the principles that we have been guided to for them, and helping them put themselves into the scriptures.

I love the scriptures and the power that comes into my life because of them, and the testimony that I get to gain by seeing that same strength come into other peoples lives as they start to study and learn from the scriptures, are the small things that I get to have every day that strengthen my testimony and conversion to the gospel.

I am so grateful that I am able to come out on my mission and not only help others find their faith and hope, but help find my own as well. I am so grateful to all of you for the things that you have helped me with in my life and for the examples that you have been for me to look to.

Love you all so very much!!

Elder S Cordon

BAPTISM!! Whoot Whoot!

Dear Family and Friends,

So the first awesome thing would definitely have to be that I had my first baptism on Saturday!! It was my first two actually 🙂 The two awesome kiddies were Chris and Kayliah, 12 and 10 respectively. We have been working with them for about a month. They are the grandkids of recent convert Sis. Hug. I got to baptize and Kayliah and Elder Newbold baptized Chris. It was truly a special experience. I feel like I can say that I experienced complete happiness during that baptism if only for a brief moment. A feeling that I will no doubt experience at many future points in my life. The baptism was beautiful though and I will make sure to send pictures next week. Sadly we can’t send any here at the library.

A bunch of other miracles happened on Saturday. The first is that I woke up knowing that we had to visit this less-active lady on the roster. We tried once before but she wasn’t home. When we got there, she had just gotten back the day before after having been gone for three weeks and she was about to leave for another week. That lady really needed us and we were able to chat a bit about the gospel and do some service for her then and we agreed to mow her lawn. She is still very heart broken about a divorce she went through and just really needs the gospel. Hopefully we can reactive her.

The next was that after the baptism we got three leftover pizza’s from an activity at the church earlier that day. At first I was like SCORE FREE PIZZA!! but then my comp had a different plan. We have struggling to see one of our awesome investigators Br. Sutton. So we swung by there place and just walked through the front door with the pizzas in hand. It ended up being an answer to their prayers because he had three hungry kids and was really stressed out. We were able to have a lesson with him and do a harvest blessing as well. The difference in the spirit before and after we left was really noticable.

Last week was a low numbers week, but we did find 5 awesome new gators. Also I feel like i really underwent so serious spiritual growth this past week. I have tackled some mentally tough gospel topics and have come out unscathed with a new found love for all the scriptures, and a stronger testimony in Jesus Christ as the savior of the world.

I know with every ounce of my being that our heavenly father knows and loves everyone of us (1 Nephi 22:25), and wants the best for us. I would die before I deny the testimony of Jesus Christ, and even more so I am living for that testimony by going on a mission. The best thing for us is to be tried and to grow. Like we always say here in the mission field, “there is no growth in the comfort zone.”

Some great scriptures from this past week include:
2 Nephi 1:13-23 (BE MEN!)
2 Nephi 1:27
D&C 101:35
Matthew 10:39
That should be good! Happy Studys 😉

Love Ya’ll

Elder Joshua Cordon

Life is Good!

Dear Friends & Family,
 
My time here at the MTC has been awesome!!! I have learned so much and I have already had the opportunity to hear two amazing devotionals. The first was by Ted Gibbons, who did a narative about Joseph Smith’s his finals days from the eyes of Willard Richards. They guy talked really fast and loud, but I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was one of those ones that when you get out you are completely speechless and you feel like you are walking on a cloud.
 
Then on Tuesday we had a devotional by Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy. (I think it is really funny that the two devotionals are given by Ted and Tad. I hope the next guy is a Todd.) It was literally perfect for a Southern mission in the bible belt. I have never taken notes so furiously in my life. He gave scripture after scripture, and showed how the blueprints for Christ’s church can be found completely in the New Testament, and that we are the only church that matches those blueprints. My district and the Branch presidency collaborated for an hour afterwards, combining notes to make a handout for everyone to put in their scriptures.
 
On other news, our zone lost three districts on Tuesday, but we only had one show up. So our zone consists of only 22 people. Basically it is tiny it feels like. The new district seems really cool we just haven’t had much opportunity to interact with them.
 
I finally get to do some much needed laundery today. I personally hate re-wearing workout shirts, I am just saying.
 
One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past week, is the role the Holy Ghost plays in my life. I am comforted by it everytime I pray and read the scriptures, but as far as it guiding my actions, I supposed I didn’t understand it fully. I wanted the Holy Ghost to either comfirm or chastise everyone of my actions, but more often than not I will be acting by the spirit and never even realize it. As Elder Bednar put it, “Be a good boy, honor your covenants, keep that commandments, and STOP worrying about it.” A lesson I very much need to learn.
 
I just want to say that I have such a powerful testimony of prayer. I know that if you prayer with a sincere heart, and a true desire for answers that you will receive answers. If you feel like this is not the case, I challenge you to pray tonight if your Heavenly Father loves, and ask with a true desire to know, and with faith that he will answer, and I promise that the Holy Ghost will confirm it to you.
 
I love you all!
 
Elder Joshua Cordon