Happy New Year!

I am grateful for the Christmas season, the spirit that it brings into the world is wonderful and brings smiles and feelings of love to many. It is a wonderful time for those that know what the true meaning of Christmas is full of remembering the Savior in more abundance; and for those that don’t know it still radiates to them and their lives a happiness that comes from this season.

I am certainly grateful for the testimony that I was able to share with those that we visited this week. To share with them my knowledge of the Savior.

Kristy is a new Investigator of ours that is just so prepared to receive the wonderful truths of the gospel. She is preparing to be baptized on January 9th and going strong for that date. We are having every lesson so far in members homes and she is getting into a different on every time. So many people want to help and they are surrounding her with love and friendship. It is so exciting to have so many people involved in the work, that is exactly what the Lord wants.

As we are out everyday putting forth our faith God leads people to us and leads us to people. I love being a part of this work.

I love that I have the opportunity to serve others, the people of Pasco and other missionaries. This is such a wonderful time of year. This week we welcome in the New Year! WoW were did the time go. It seems like just yesterday that I was announcing 2015 now it is 2016.

Time is truly a precious thing.
Thank you everyone for everything that you do.
Have a great New Years and set great goals to accomplish in the coming year.
Love, Elder Cordon.

Temple!!

This was a great week we are hitting the ground hard to find new people that are going to be ready to be baptized. We are striving for a baptism in November and acting in faith to make that happen.
We are working with members and recent converts to help us find. and for them to work on their family mission plans so that they can be actively involved in the work that God has in store for this area.

We are doing service and getting recognized in the community. We are having people talk to us and hopefully will result in some more people to teach.

It is such a wonderful time to be in the WKM. Really in the mission force at all God truly is harvesting only for this last time and to be a part of it it so wonderful! It builds my testimony each and every day.

Went to the temple today and had a wonderful time

I am very greatful for all that you do for me each and everyday.
I love you all so much and I keep you in my prayers.

Elder Cordon.

Pic 1- Temple pic


Pic 2- And the really creepy spider that I got from a member for Halloween!!

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

Ice Cream!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well another amazing week. This week we did some fun stuff, we helped Gary wash and clean his dogs its kinda hard for him being in a wheel chair. So a great chance to serve! Serving people is the simplest and most powerful way to bring happiness.

We also had the big multi ward activity that I ended up planning and arranging and basically everything. It was supposed to be the ward but then somehow it kept landing back on me. But after all was said and done it was a great success! The young men were all hesitant and weird at first they did not want to mesh. We also had this huge black man show up and wanted to play so he joined my team we totally dominated after that. But all the kids loved him and kept wanting to get autographs thinking he was in the NBA this man will hopefully start his path of investigating shortly as well. But once we got everything going they had a blast and afterwards all the investigators and kids from all the wards were all just in one big group! Also we had plenty of ice cream that they ate as much and then we still had leftover so we saved the rest and ate it after the baptisms that happened yesterday after church. Which ended up working out perfect because usually people leave immediately after, being all hungry and tired, but since there was all you can eat ice cream everybody stayed behind and talked and mingled making it a much more effective event!

I kinda set that all up to so now that I have done a lot of stuff my goal is now to just show them that these ideas that before they were not willing to do turned out so great and hopefully they can make a habit of doing these or something better.

But all is good in the neighborhood I have learned a lot about communication hard work and accountability through this process that will benefit my life forever also it helped make great progress with an investigator that we have been working with for awhile we were able to get him a new and more committed baptismal date!

Hey love you all!
Elder Jared Cordon

Good Times in the Neighborhood

Dear Family and Friends,

It is such a good day to be alive. I am not ignorant to the chaos around us this world–not the least of which is the current development in Missouri– when I say that. To be completely honest, none of the craziness really matters at all. It doesn’t matter because it has absolutely no relevance to my personal happiness. I am either at peace or not independent of the rest of this world. The reason I teach the gospel is because of that fact. I know that anybody, regardless of their circumstances, will be made happier by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that because it is the only source of true and lasting happiness. Every person who is happy to any degree receives that happiness from living some portion of the gospel. Missionaries are out in the world teaching people the rest of the gospel they have not received. I honestly have the best job in the world. I am a full-time spreader of happiness!

While it is nice that I know that though, a lot of people do not know that that is why we are knocking on their door. On Saturday we went to go see a lady who we helped move in a couple of weeks back. When she opened her door she immediately tried to nicely tell us to leave by saying that she just moved in and is still in the middle of unpacking. Clearly she didnt recognize us in a shirt and tie. We just replied to her by just saying “ya we know!” All of a sudden she remembered who we were and it was a night and day difference. She immediately invited us in and introduced us to her brother-in-law. We chatted with them for a bit and set up a time to come back another time. They are such wonderful people! I learned something in a more profound way during that experience. Most people are wonderful people who are a lot of fun to be with! Most people see us as two shirts and ties standing our their doorstep rather than two people who want nothing to do but serve them in any way. And if most people knew who we really are they would be really excited to see us standing on their doorstep, just like this lady. Just another example of the obvious difficulties of knocking-doors. Yet despite all of that miracles still happen from knocking doors.

I wonderful experience I had this last week was that I was able to go back to Lake City to do an exchange with the Elders there. It was so strange to be back in the old stomping ground. Everywhere we drove I gave them referrals for different people that may be ready to hear the message now. The best part of it all was that I got to see one of my most favorite people in the world, Stefan! It was a last minute meeting that happened at the burger king. A lot has happened since I last saw him. I wondered if he was going to be the way I remembered him. It was such a sweet reunion though. Being able to see him again has been one of the greatest blessings. I made him a scripture case out of paracord that i have been meaning to give him for over 8 months now, so I was able to give that to him, and best of all I was able to introduce him to the elder that serves in that area and they will probably be able to start teaching him again.

Another miracle had was that on Saturday I felt very impressed to put a particular less active at a certain time on Saturday. I was a surprisingly strong impression. So of course I listened. As we were heading to go and contact that less active we passed a lady on the side of the road who was walking with her son. They were about 20 yards ahead of their little car that had just ran out of gas. We were able to help her out and get acquainted with her as well! Not only did we save her a few hours of her day that she would have spent walking to her home and then to a gas station, but we were able to brighten her day. A teaching opportunity may even come from this. I love serving others! It fills you with the love of God so quickly, it is unreal!

The experiences of this past week have taught me many things. One powerful lesson that was reiterated was that God has great timing! I know without a doubt that God has placed certain people in our lives at certain moments in order to give us the perfect opportunity to become who we were meant to become. I know that if we trust God and just embrace all the wonderful people who cross out path and strengthen the relationships we have already been given that we will find ourselves not only becoming the people God wants us to be, but also finding our lives becoming increasingly enriched by an abundance of cherished relationships. I know what God meant more than ever when he said that the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. Truly that is all that matters!

That being said, I love y’all!! Have a great week!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

What Would Jesus Do?

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was a very hard, wonderful week. There was a lot of service hours that we did for members and non members in our ward. Service is such a wonderful way to show love for another person to give of your time and energy selflessly is an amazing experience. Unlike donating money, or cloths, or food, or anything material (not that people shouldn’t do that because it needs to be done) which all of those things can be earned back. Your time can not be earned back once used it is gone. So truly the ultimate selfless act it to give up what cant be returned. Everyday when the service ended I felt so much love for the people I had just served. I got to see them in such a different element, then in their living room on the couch, teaching a lesson. Serving next to a person really lets you see who they truly are.

The part member family that we helped lay concrete this week was such an amazing miracle. We stopped by a week ago to talk to the less active member of the family to just say hi and find out if they needed anything sure enough they did so we got the time and date and showed up ready to work. The non member husband was worried that he was “going to have to tell us what to do the whole time” not knowing that we both had done concrete before was very impressed with our work. It was VERY hot so we had to make fast work of the job or the concrete would set wrong, it was a great challenge and great to work next to all of them. Two days later the less active wife came to church, she hasn’t been in over a year, and not only came but she took the stand in testimony meeting and told the story of this service and how that morning her husband (who is anti church) told her that she needed to go to church. WHAT!!! I know that giving up your time and servicing others rains down blessings. Charity is the pure love of Christ.

Christ spent his life in the service of others and in building peoples faith. What a wonderful example that we have to follow, to always be looking for someone or somewhere to serve and then when you find it, DO IT. Don’t wait thinking that hopefully someone else will help, or that you are to busy, or that maybe they don’t want it. (if they chase you off with a stick for helping them you still will get the blessing for trying, but only if you try) God wants us to be in the service of each other so the blessings that will come from ALWAYS doing what he would have us do will ALWAYS out-way any possible worldly satisfaction that would come from passing by the opportunity to serve.

I know the blessings that come from truly giving of yourself to another. I know that selflessly, without any other motive then to just share love, giving of yourself to another WILL ALWAYS touch your heart and there with the pure love of Christ. I love this work. I love being able to get up everyday and my soul purpose is to build the faith of Jesus Christ in the people around me. I cant think of anything that I would rather be doing. To bad a mission cant last forever.

Thank you all so much for your love, support and prayers. I am praying for all of you and love you all so very much.

UNTIL NEXT WEEK

Love Elder Steven Cordon

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Oh ya totally went to a wedding this week it was awesome!!

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April Showers!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well April showers! We have been seeing plenty of rain this week! It defiantly makes it harder to street find when it is raining. But hey then if they do stop that makes it all that much better.

The best part of the rain was our service this week at Crossroads foundation. It was raining until we got there, then it stopped just in time to help them with there drainage system cause the building kept flooding. We were able to get all the work done just in time for it start raining right away! We got soaked!! Haha we had to track through a river to put the stuff away.

This week was fun though we had zone training. We were able to hear the good news that the numbers really show that everyone in the mission really wants this 65 baptisms to happen. So we heard great news talked about how we could do better then headed off for Zone 24S (When everyone in the zone swaps companions). I got the chance to head to Tin Sui Wai. Where there is not a building under 30 stories haha just tall tall tall apartment buildings. My companion was in my MTC group so it was great chance to work with him and see how others are doing that are at my same time level. We defiantly have been learning different things but both equally important as we found when we taught we had great unity! He is awesome missionary and he taught me some great things.

Then I came back to my area to have some great success this last Sunday by having a father and a daughter we invited to come to church came. That had a great experience so that’s good.

Looking forward to watching conference this next week, you are all lucky to have seen it already…
 
Well, love you all, have a great week.
 
Elder Cordon

Plan Ahead, Enjoy The Moment, and Count Your Blessings

Dear Family and Friends,

I am not sure if I mentioned this already, but I have come to learn a thing or two about myself on my mission. Big shock right? One thing i have learned is that i like action. If i spend three hours in a meeting and I don’t leave feeling like I have just received instructions of how to put into action and realize the very goals we have discussed, then i feel like time has been wasted. Luckily for me though, when i spent 11ish hours in meetings this past week, I do feel that much of the time was used wisely, and that is was productive.

Nevertheless, the time that wasn’t used wisely combined with several weeks and months of thought I’ve put into goal setting and planning has caused me to give a training on it this week in Zone Meeting. Time is too short and too precious to waste it with action-less-chit-chat. On the contrary to not talk through things at all could be highly detrimental for it would open the door the premature and inappropriate action. As in all things in life a balance is required. I feel like that is how we have worked here in the Hendricks area over the past few months, we have accomplished much with a proper balance of talk and action. Hopefully, my much study and pondering, coupled with inspiration from the spirit will lead me to be able to say a few wise words on the subject tomorrow, I guess we will see.

Anyhow back to reality. So one interesting thing that happened this past week was a move that we took part in. We found out about Thursday we had to help a lady in our ward move from one apartment to another. At first we thought we were just being asked to be part of moving crew they had already assembled, But then we realized that we were the moving crew. Personally, I am flattered by the fact that they thought we had the energy, stamina, and means to do the entire project ourselves. They must really think very highly of us. As tempting as that sounded, we decided to take the selfless route and share this blessed opportunity with others, and thank goodness we did, for the load ended up being a full U-Haul truck, and two truck-beds worth of furniture boxes and odds-n-ends. While i say that in partial jest much good came from including others in this service opportunity. Our fully assembled amateur moving team was a motley crew at best, it included us, the senior missionary couple (Elder and Sister Andrew), our burly elders quorum president, Solomon (our recent convert who was one of the lost boys of Sudan), and Johnny (our Cambodian brother, also a recent convert). It got done in a timely manner, we had a great time, and all reported that they appreciated the much-needed boost in spirit that comes from losing yourself in the service of others. In the end, a seemingly overwhelming task resulted in a blessing in disguise.

Another crazy thing that happened Saturday was that when we came by Solomon’s to pick him up for the service project the whole parking lot and courtyard outside his apartment were taped off with police line. Inside the line were 6 squad cars, more than a dozen officers, and several men carrying what appeared to be M-16s. Luckily Solomon was fine and he said that the police had been their since 10 o’clock the previous evening. According to him, somebody died. It is just a hunch, but I am suspecting foul play, that is just me though, so take it with a grain of salt. In most cases including the move I unwisely failed to capture the moment in a photograph. I need to be better at that.

We managed this past week after hurdling many obstacles to find me a bike to ride and a bike hitch for our car, so we were able to hit the pavement and do some good street contacting, it was definitely a major blessing for we had much success in those few hours of biking.

So, everything is going great with the many families that we are teaching. Lily is still on track to be baptized by the end of the month, she also wants to go on a mission! Wahoo! She will be a great missionary. The Conseillants are great like always, and they even came to church on Sunday. We finally were able to have a lesson with Kevin and Lori in their home which is about 2 1/2 months in the making, but was totally worth it. We got Daniel (the son of Br. Fonseca who was baptized 2 years ago) to finally set a date for baptism? We had him pick the number, so April 20th it is. And then their are just so many others who are coming out of the wood work to hear this wonderful message. God has truly blessed us with a plate as full as the one I ate yesterday at dinner, and both are delicious to the taste. And the weather has been beautiful which is another big plus.

Count your many blessings this week and you will be singing as the days go by! (“Count Your Blessings,” LDS Hymn book #241)

Love Ya’ll!!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Improvement and Progression – Josh

Dear family and friends,

So, it was the first preparation day since Christmas that there wasn’t any sunshine. It’s amazing what kind of difference weather makes on attitude. It is not that am not happy but I’m a little more relaxed when it’s dark and gloomy outside. We are going to take advantage of all the rain though and play some sports out in the mud. This should be a lot of fun!

Fun thing that happened last week was that the day of transfers I knew that my old ward mission leader and his wife would be driving the missionaries from the ward to the transfer building. So I arranged ahead of time for us to meet up and get some lunch while they’re here in town. It was great to see them again and hear about how Deepcreek is doing. It reaffirmed the fact that I really want to go back and visit that Ward shortly after my mission. I definitely have a lot of good friends there.

My mission trainee Elder Barcala got transferred here to Jacksonville, and he is serving in the area next to mine. However, it is across the river and it is not in my zone. I don’t know how often I’ll see him but I am happy that he was finally able to train, something he was really looking forward to doing.

While most of the missionaries in my zone stayed put we did however get a new district leader and new sister training leaders in the zone. In order to get the district leaders up to speed with the vision that Elder Hamilton and I have established we got lunch at chipotle with the district leaders. There’s something really nice about having a meeting outside over lunch. It just really makes things feel official, yet relaxed. I feel like there will be a lot of good things happening here in this in the next couple months.

We have been trying to get our companionship more integrated with the ward. After initiating some game plans we came up with to strengthen our relationship with the bishop and with ward members it feels like things are really starting to change. After having nobody sign up for dinner to feed us the first two months of February we filled our calendar for this week on Sunday. We also lined up several service projects throughout the week for the ward members. Some of the advice that we got from the stake presidents meeting we had on Sunday was to befriend ward members so that they could trust us with their friends.

We had already decided to initiate that idea so it was good to see that as we follow the spirit or vision was aligned with there’s just in time for us to see results the very week they suggested it. I hope that by the time I leave here missionaries will be begging to come to this area knowing the members will help them in all aspects of the work.

I guess one thing I never expected a mission would teach me is that of problem-solving and creativity skills. Truly you cannot just go through the work every day doing the same thing. You will have little success and you won’t be very happy. However, when you do your best to come up with good ideas and good ways to create change things really do improve, a lesson and A skill I hope to apply to everything I do for the rest my life. As Winston Churchill put it “to improve is to change to be perfect is to change often.”

More importantly, I have learned that true change comes from centering our lives on Jesus Christ and making an attempt to be more like Him. Not only is He the perfect example of how we should live, but He is also the way that we change. It was His atoning sacrifice that gives us that ability. What a blessing it is to be able to partake of that blessing each and every day! I Love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I know He loves every single one of us.
How can you change this week to improve your life?

Love,
Elder Joshua Cordon

Elder Holland!!! – Jared

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this week has been pretty Great! Some of the Highlights are that Elder Holland was in Hong Kong last night and he did a fireside to all the members, sadly he is in my old chapel and I had to watch it from our stake center. But its okay I will be seeing him tomorrow. He is so powerful and he gave a wonder talk on how we are all pioneers. Also how amazing this dispensation is. Its the first time we are commanded not to run from Babylon and establish Zion or Jerusalem, But to face Babylon and conquer it with a promise that we can not fail. He also gave a good warning using Jesus’ own words. That God will come back and people will surround him saying they are his people but he will say he never knew them. God will recognize his church, but whether or not he recognizes each member is up to us. I pray he will recognize me.

Another thing that happened was this week did my first service project in awhile. At this place called crossroads its a place that takes donations and sends them to Africa! I got to work with bunch of Somalians! Very cool!

We had a district find and before they had this stage set up in the town center, this one kid was doing all these tricks with a Chinese yo yo. Well later in the day we saw him again! He preformed for us and he has a whole bunch a sick magic tricks, He also has really bad turrets so its awesome to see him develop talents that don’t conflict. Best part is got his number and plan on meeting with him again. I can see it now I’m a Magician, I have turrets, I’m A Mormon.

One of our investigators is in a wheel chair due to an injury, yesterday he told us how, let me share. He said he was seeing a doctor for some depression but he gave him bad drugs that messed with him and pushed him to suicide. He ended up jumping off of 19 story building, the next thing he knows he is hanging across the power cables for a light rail train, so he pushes himself off and falls and hits his head on the rail. So he has this huge bump on his head, and is stuck in the wheel chair, but somehow this man is alive and only ended up damaging his back breaking his leg and he didn’t get brain damage. A pretty crazy miracle , that was in 1997.

Well I got Elder Holland tomorrow that I will tell you about the middle of next week. I got temple coming up.

Love you all
Elder Cordon

Here is a picture from our apartment window, And me with Elder Chan rocking the little and big ties!

Elder Cordon & Elder Chen rocking the ties

Elder Cordon & Elder Chen rocking the ties

View from our apartment window!

View from our apartment window!