Final Report

Well this is the last Monday. I am truly blessed and honored to have been this set apart servant of the Lord. I have reached the end of this wonderful experience and am glad to report that I have served well. I have made a mountain of mistakes, I have not served perfectly (I wasn’t asked to) I have offended a lot of people, however, I am a changed person. I have used the atonement to change my life, I have watched the atonement change others. I have reached outside of myself and help the Father fulfill His Plan. I am grateful to have received the witness from the Spirit “You have done good, now go and continue to do so.”

I am so blessed to have learned the things that I have learned I have the knowledge and wisdom from this journey to continue onward with the wonderful work that is being done by and through Jesus Christ on the earth. Yes I am going home but I am not going back, back to what I was, who I was, is different. I have been changed and will continue to be changed. I cant go back, I cant learned all that I have learned and expect things to be even a little bit the same. I have made so many goals and I am going to to keep growing.

My wish and desire is that when ever or where ever you see me, you will be able to see the love of God. I cant wait to be able to continue to share this Love with everyone that I am able, to brighten their day if only for a moment, or all the way back to Heavenly Father! I desire to not just be a loved Son of God, but a Trusted one as well.

I know that I have served a faithful mission for the Lord.
I know that the work that I have been doing is the work true and good.
I know the gospel is the Key to true happiness in this life.
I know Jesus is the Christ and the God is Our Father.
I know we come from Godly parents and that we are from royal lines.
I end my service in the name of Jesus Christ

AMEN

Elder Cordon

Have Counsels in Your Life

*Editors Note: Title is also referring to President Nelson’s Worldwide Devotional for Young Adult on Sunday Jan 10, 2016.

What a great week this was. A wonderful MLC!! I love those counsels, the spirit is there guiding and directing it every time. It is building my testimony of the power and strength that I counsel can have. I am understanding time and time again that God truly knows what he is talking about, with how we should run things in our lives. Every time those things are done things just seem to work out and everyone is on the same page.

This week we got to do an exchange with some other missionaries. Elder Burton and Elder Taylor, I went with Elder Taylor. We set a goal of making bold commitments and inviting people to repentance, and prepare for baptism. Wow what amazing miracles came out of that. In both areas we but investigators on date for baptism and found new investigators. There are bothers and sisters everywhere that are looking and being prepared for the gospel we just have to talk with them and invite them to act.

That is the miracle of this work is that we are just there as servants helping with a work that is already going and moving forward, this is His work and His glory and He will move it forward. I love that I am able to put my faith into the plan and help were I am needed.

We, in our area, but Alex on date for Feb. and we have two more that we are planning to have on date for Feb. as well. I am so excited for these people that we have found and excited for their eagerness. The ward is already to help out and to open up their homes for these wonderful people.

So excited for what the new transfer will bring.

I love you
Elder Cordon

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

Spirit Led

Dear Family and Friends,

This was an amazing week! Last week had many frustrations despite the fact that we had many miracles, and I let it get to me. However, God taught me a profound lesson this week on Monday that helped to put me in a proper unshaken mindset this week. Here is what happened. Monday was effective and efficient, but we didn’t have any tangible results from our labors yet; nevertheless, we were in good spirits and we pressed forward. At about 8:00 we found ourselves deciding between two different plans that we’re going to take us to different parts of our area. Having resolved which one we were going to do we set off. We tried to take a shortcut that we normally took but they had locked the gate because they were selling the property. We tried to find a new shortcut and just found ourselves bush whacking for a good distance only to find ourselves having either to forge an alligator infested creek, or go all the way back around and take the long way; It was an easy decision, we took the long way. The potential we were going to try wasn’t home, so we knocked on a neighbors door we hadn’t tried last go around.

There were a lot of people home and a lady stepped outside onto the porch to inform us that they had just barely come back from the funeral for their mother and they were just spending a few more minutes with their father. With an expression of sympathy we asked if we might come in and pray with them during this hard time. She said that would be great and invited us inside informing everyone of our entry as we came in. We were invited to take a seat and introductions were made. The mood in the room became more relaxed as we familiarized ourselves for a minute and even laughed a little. Being men of our word we navigated the conversation toward the prayer we were going to offer and I offered it for the group. The Holy Ghost helped me as I offered the prayer and it seemed to touch the hearts of this family in a powerful way. They were visibly moved and expressed gratitude for our concern and love for them. We talked a bit longer and we left them with a DVD on the plan of salvation and our card so that they could call us anytime if they needed any service. The request to do service and help out with any of the yard work seemed to be a cherry on top.

One lady during our parting conversation said that she walked out of the room when we came in because she thought we were missionaries from another church whom she bad experiences with. However, when she heard us close the prayer in the name of Jesus Christ her demeanor changed and she came out to talk with us. We walked out the door feeling that we had just left the home of good friends and feeling very grateful that we got be instruments in the hands of God that evening. It was at that moment that the spirit whispered to me, “that is what missionary work is all about.” Feeling very humbled that I had in some degree let myself forget that lesson I received a renewed vision that has carried me through the week. I am so grateful for the many big and profound lessons that God has taught me in such small and simple ways. My mission is chalk full of experiences that will carry me for the rest of my life.

This last week had many great things happen and I want to share one in particular. Elder Curran and I had about two hours of time we were designate to finding someone to teach. The dinner appointment we had was in a nicer part of town that we had yet to venture and we wanted to get the work started there. We stared at our map like two generals planning a battle plan and finally we decided we would both pick two streets and then we would narrow it down after discussing it. After prayerfully picking the streets we found that two of them were connected and they were the ones we felt most prompted to visit. It was a successful finding time and we met some solid people and taught a couple of lessons. Little did we know that the real miracle was yet to happen. We had planned with one of the people to come back on Sunday.

When Sunday rolled around we weren’t able to meet with one of our potentials, but after getting a lead from one of the neighbors we tried the people next door and that was a miracle find of the month. He let us right in and after getting to know him more and learn of his religious background we taught one of the best lessons in have been part of. The pivotal moment of the lesson was when I felt prompted to stop and discuss a previous point in greater detail. He really opened up with that point and he was right along with us and completely on the same page the rest of the lesson. After we introduced the Book of Mormon to him we asked for his thoughts and feelings on it. He responded with something along the lines of, “it makes sense that God would still speak to man. To me the Book of Mormon is a continuation of God’s word and I think people should be grateful that God has revealed more to us.” Amen Wayne, amen. As we were leaving we told him how we now know why the spirit led us to his house. And he responded with great enthusiasm, “the sermon today was titled ‘spirit led’!” God has been so very good to us!

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

Let Him Lead

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it certainly was a great week. It was a temple week and we had a baptism. Which also made the week a very busy, and spirit filled week. The temple is such a wonderful place to to be able to be bless to go on my mission is such a wonderful gift. The only other place outside of temples that I have been able to feel the spirit as strong is at the sacred grove. The difference is that temples are dedicated homes to the Lord, and we are given promises and blessings and light and knowledge in the temples when we seek for it. What a great blessing for the mission to be able to receive light and knowledge for the areas that we are in.

Had a really cool experience this week with getting a haircut and taking the time to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation. There are some many moments in our lives that we have peoples attention that we can share simple and small truths about the gospel. The question is are we taking advantage of them all. It was a lesson to me of how easy it was to take advantage of the time that I had while she was cutting my hair to direct the conversation to the gospel.

Come to find out that her mom has recently passed away and she has been doing A LOT of researching into afterlife and what is really waiting for us. I was then easily able to share with her the wonderful truth that we know about the life to come. I also was able to share with her how we know this because we have prophets and God still talks to the world through them so that we know of these wonderful truths.
When are truly willing to take advantage of every moment that is given to share truths of the gospel and build up His children. Then He will be willing and able to guide even the plans you make and the steps you take to give you the moments to build his kingdom and his children. The willingness to give him everything is the price, and the reward is more then could ever be dreamed about.

Life becomes so easy when everything is guided by Him. So that is the question are we letting Him guide us everyday?

I Love You All
Thank you for everything that you have done in my life.

Elder S Cordon

Let Us Act

Dear Family & Friends,

We’ll last week was a busy one a good one for some ups and downs. We were able to add a few more people to the teaching pool so we are seeing some great success from our finding efforts, we have been really consistent since I got here. Some of our investigators made some huge improvement this last week, like one brought his father to church who is so cool! Which is so good cause we need more priesthood holders. One has a really strong desire and has had a lot of anti and family opposition and its cool to see her fighting through all of it. Because conference taught us “having sincere questions is not the question but, where you go for answers”. We have some investigators who have listened to our exhortation to read and pray to know for themselves and nothing is sweeter for a missionary when they do it and find that it works. But on the flipside this week we had two who would not, no matter how much we did on our end, read and pray. Its a simple fact, missionaries can bring the spirit unto people but we cannot bring it into people as 2 Nephi 32 teaches us that it is the spirits job and the individual through there agency to act is what allows the spirit to do that. I think if we apply these principles in any teaching situation whether it be in church, families, schools, sports, or military. Its all the same we need to teach and help people to do it themselves we are objects to act, any other way is simply contrary to our nature and the way God made us.

I love you and hope the holidays are full of happiness and joy as we ponder the glad tidings of great joy which is our Savior Jesus Christ who came to save us all if we come unto to Him. Let us show our true gratitude by coming unto to him and helping all that we can remember the true reason for Christmas.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

P.S. Here is some pictures! BTW my pose is demonstrating how main landers sit everywhere, bus lines, when reading the paper, really anywhere.

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Ward Harvest Festival

Dear Family and Friends,

What a great week that we had! I love the work of salvation that I get to be apart of.

We had the Ward Harvest Festival and trunk-or-treat. Which included a chili cook-off, my companion and I got to be the judges for. We had an investigator show up and she had a blast.

We had a great Halloween full of fun with my comp. With a curfew of 6pm we had a lot of time to get to know each other. We got a person on date for baptism, the spirit was so strong in that lesson. It was amazing to see her light up when she heard the first vision. The Spirit is always so strong with the first vision. It is true it actually happened and that is the vision that started it all. Of course the Holy Ghost is going to testify of it.

That is the amazing part about the work that we are doing. We just ask them to find out for themselves by praying to God and having it confirmed to them by the Holy Ghost. Everyone can get the answer right from the source we are just making the invitation.

Thank you all for your support.
I keep you all in my prayers.

Love Elder S Cordon.

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PS I don’t need anymore candy for like 2 years 🙂

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We Are Different!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was such a wonderful week full of the spirit and learning.

First I was able to go to the temple. WOW I miss being able to go as often as I want to, but I also cherish the times I get to go. (not that I didnt before.) I love the spirit that I am filled with every time that I go to the temple. It truly is the Lords house.

We found a new investigator name Jay he is so prepared to hear the gospel. He had a great boss who he looked up to that was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He knew who we were and we immediately offered to help him stack the wood that he was in the process of stacking. What a great example of how members just being great members can have such an impact to someones life latter on.
And then Conference happened!!

What an incredible weekend. I felt reminded Many times that as members of the church WE ARE DIFFERENT. Gods commandments are never going to conform to men. We are given a Prophet for that reason so that we are kept on the path of God. He is the person that is called and set apart to handle the affairs of God on the earth. He is the one that we look to for answers, not the internet, not the latest trend, not the latest law that is passed, the Prophet is the one that receives the answers we need for our lives.

I am so blessed by the knowledge that we have a living Prophet on the earth today. He actually lives and receives revelation for the world from Christ, this is The Church of Jesus Christ because it is his church not mans and it will always be that way.

I am so grateful for a Prophet to lead and guide us everyday. I know that Thomas S Monson speaks for God.

I seal this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Elder S Cordon

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P.S. Editors note- he is being transferred. He has enjoyed his first area on his mission but is needed elsewhere in his mission!

Change

Dear Family and Friends,

So this was a great week! We had an investigator make the step of baptism. Tre has aloud the gospel to change his life in so many ways. He came from a very rough past but the gospel is such that the atonement covers everything. He has really come to know that God is truly our Father and that He loves and cares for us, also that we get to live with him again and that the Gospel makes that happen.

Tre at his Baptism

Tre at his Baptism

Seeing him grow towards God has really given me another witness of the glory that awaits us at the end of this life. We have this life to prepare to meet God lets not waste it.

We have another investigator Tim that is a husband of a member. He is letting his desire to know the truth grow inside him and it is wonderful to see. Funny story I almost met them in NY haha small world we live in.

So this week was my first week as District leader. What a GREAT opportunity I have to really come to know just how unworthy I am. HaHa I laugh because just how great it is that we are always going to be unworthy. This gospel is not a museum for the righteous it is a hospital for the sinners. We get to grow every day and perfect talents and abilities given to us to strength the kingdom of God. We are also given weaknesses so that we may humble ourselves to God and allow Him to shape us into who He needs us to be.

It was such a great experience at District meeting. The Spirit did so much teaching and confirming. The spirit will always teach to our understanding and in a plainness that allows testimony to be built on solid truth without any room to second guess. What a great blessing that we have, to be able to have to spirit as a guide.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Love
Elder Steven Cordon

Mission Experiences

Dear Family and Friends,

Week after week I am molded and shaped more into who I am meant to be.
The real essence of becoming is very apparent to me right now. When I
have had the opportunity to have a glimpse of my potential if I
continue embracing the gospel, I have wondered if many of the promised
blessings would ever come into fruition. This past week they did. I
know that doesn’t tell you much, but it was a very tender moment for
me. I pray that all of you will hold out for the priceless blessings
afforded to those who patiently press forward with a steadfastness in
Christ. The world around us is full of people who exchange those
blessings for immediate and fleeting pleasures. The gospel is the
science of increasing returns, but the lack thereof is the science if
selling yourself short.

This past week I was blessed to experience a lot of miracles. I don’t
think there was a day where anything went according to plan, yet at
the end of the day everything seemed to work out. A great example of
that was on Friday; we were looking at a night that was supposed to be
jam packed with teaching appointments, but as we called to confirm one
by one they canceled. No sooner had I desperately racked my brain for
some ideas before finally pleading “now what are we going to do?” When
we got a call. A guy we are teaching asked for help loading up a
truck. He said that his parents neighbor got sent to jail and the bank
was forcibly evicting them. There were hired guys there throwing all
of the stuff out of the house into the front yard. This was a lot of
stuff! Nice stuff too. Which didn’t help the fact that storm clouds
were rolling in. When we arrived on scene we realized that we were the
only help he had because he had no one else to call on. We were
grateful for that opportunity to serve. He actually didn’t even have
to help these people, and on top of that the lady that lived there had
been incredibly rude to his family, but he told us that he was raised
that you serve everybody, whether or not they have been nice to you. A
great example of charity.

Willie, who has become a great friend over the past several months was
baptized this past Saturday, the day after he graduated from his
wounded warriors training. We went to his graduation which was at
Maggianos, and we weren’t expecting much, but all the big wigs of the
Wounded Warriors project were there in this room of about 40 people.
It has been a great experience to get better acquainted with that
wonderful organization and the people that keep it running. The
knowledge I gained and connections I formed there were an unexpected
blessing of my mission. Willie’s wife flew in from California for his
baptism. It was great to meet her in person, she is a hoot I’ll tell
you what. The baptism was really touching and had strong spirit, but
the best part was when Willie shared his testimony with his class
mates who came to support him. The next day I confirmed him a member
of the church and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost just to have to
follow that with a goodbye as he moved back to California that day. It
really was a miracle that he was able to find the gospel and get
baptize during his short visit here in Jacksonville. He will go on to
great things, I just wish he could stay so I could be part of all of
it. Either way we will be keeping in touch and besides it is never
goodbye, it is just see you later.

On a less than positive note, a dear friend of mine and my ward
mission leader in my last ward passed away last week on Labor Day. I
found out a couple of days later and it definitely was shocking to
hear. At first they declared it a suicide, but we know how wonderfully
accurate our news media is (I am so grateful we don’t have to watch
that garbage as missionaries) but it has been determined that there
was fool play. My heart ached as I thought of his beautiful wife,
children, and grandchildren that he left behind. If I ever knew a man
who didn’t deserve to die he was it, but if I ever knew man who was
ready to meet his maker he was that man too. I went to his closed
casket viewing yesterday and got to see his wife who I got to know
very well too. She had a genuine smile on her face as I gave her a
hug, which brought such relief to my heart to know that she has been
able to hold on to her knowledge of the plan of salvation to help her
through this hard time. I have also been comforted because of my
knowledge that families are forever. I know that one day they will be
reunited and they will live as a family for eternity. It is hard to
remain sad when you keep in mind. He was the biggest gator fan that I
have ever met in my life! I will always be able to remember him with
the gator head that he gave me which sits on my desk. I will be able
to remember how much he was willing to give to help others receive
this incredibly gospel. While he is no longer with us in person, his
example of discipleship will continue to encourage many people to come
unto Christ, as it has done for so many already. I love you Br.
Ortega! God be with you until we meet again!

Life is too short so please never let an opportunity to let those you
love know how much they mean to you. You may never get that chance
again in this life.

I know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day as a
resurrected being and that he lives, and because of that so will all
of us. There is life after death.

I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon