Flat Tire, Car Accidents… Oh and Teaching!

Dear family and friends,

We had a pretty great week this last week. A lot of interesting things happened. Especially on my exchange with Elder Lewis. The afternoon went pretty smoothly, with us finding two solid new investigators who just so happen to have the last name, but after that I got a flat
tire. Luckily for us, we were only about a 15 minute walk from the Walmart. As we got to Walmart, we passed by a member of the neighboring ward on her way out of the store. She offered some help but was unsure of exactly what she could do. Her cart was already full of stuff. So we parted ways as we walked into the store. I had bought a new tire for my bike a few days back but it looked ridiculous because it was a white-walled tire and my front was not. So I had to return the tire and buy a new tube to replace the flat one. As we were in line at customer service that same sister walked up to us and asked me how I was going to pay for the stuff. I had not anticipated seeing her again, but she was determined to help. While I was picking out the stuff I realized that I didn’t have money to pay for any of this so I was going to have to use some of my food money. God solved my simple predicament by sending someone to help me. He is awesome. She also said we could use her electric pump in her car, so when I got to the bikes I threw mine in a shopping cart and wheeled it over.

image1-2The rest of the night went very well, then the car accident happened. It was just after 9:00 and we were biking down Normandy blvd headed home. Right then we heard a car honk and we saw the Spanish elders drive by. As if they read our minds they took the next right turn and pulled over to wait for us to catch up and load our bikes up. As we were finishing strapping our bikes in I heard the screech of tires followed by a loud crash. I looked behind me and ten yards away were two cars that were in bad shape after one was T-boned by the other. I quickly whipped out my phone and dialed 911. As I was on the phone
with a dispatcher the man in the car that had been hit on the side came stumbling out and tried waking toward the sidewalk. A few of the other people there helped him to sit on the grass and tried to get him to stay there. He was bleeding from his head and clearly needed help from the paramedics when they got there. I finished giving the dispatcher info and then walked into the street to help guide traffic along. I got a decent look at the two in the other car, they were definitely in worse shape then the first guy was and one of them was
knocked out cold, but still breathing. As other people who had witnessed the accident helped to get traffic moving I walked back over to the other elders to see what we should do. As I was talking with them I noticed that the guy who had sat on the grass wasn’t there anymore. They told me that he had ran down the road back to his house. Know that he needed the medical help and that he should run from a car accident, Elder Lewis and I went down the road to look for him. We found him in front of his house getting yelled at by his girlfriend. Amid the commotion we yelled after the guy saying, “Sir, will you please come back with us?” He then ran into the house leaving his girlfriend who was having a panic attack in the front yard. We tried to calm her down and answer questions. We also tried to figure out where the guy went and if he was sober. Right then her daughter came
out and said that the guy had hopped the back fence and wasn’t sure where he went. Not necessarily sure what to do now, we showed the girlfriend the way back to the accident since apparently it was her car that he was driving. As we got back to the scene of the accident we directed her to a police officer and started talking to one of the paramedics. We informed him of the guy who had ran off and described his injuries and what he looked like. He then went back to the house with the girlfriend to see if he could find him. We asked if he wanted us to go but he declined the offer. Then a police officer started asking us for a description of what the man who had ran looked like. We all agreed on everything except the color of the shirt. We looked down the road and the paramedic didn’t seem to be having any luck locating the guy so we decided we would quickly walk up and down the road and see if we could see him in the neighborhood somewhere. As we passed the paramedic we told him our plan and he thanked us warmly for the help. As we were walking I thought it was strange that he would have hopped the fence due to the fact that there was a heavy tree line on the back side, so I suggested that we look in the back yard while we were there. I grabbed my flashlight and started looking around they had high privacy fences and one that went right through the middle of the back yard it was weird. I then climbed on the fence and looked over in the trees but I didn’t see anything. As we were walking back to the car a police car pulled up and started to look around the house. We were grateful we had left when we did or that could have been awkward. Satisfied the we had done what we could to help we hopped in the car and rode home for the night.

As far as the work with our investigators is concerned. We met a lot of solid people this past week but nobody is seriously progressing at this point save one. His name is Wittney Garçon and he has come to church for a steady 6-7 times now. He also comes to mutual and he seems to have a good time at both. He has been moving at a casual pace and he is hard to meet with, but we feel that he is someone we should put more of a focus on then we have. Hopefully the spirit will guide us and we seek to help him draw closer to our Heavenly Father. One other family that came onto the radar is Adrian and his Fiancé. We were on a street last night with an hour left in the evening. We had plans to go to another part of town but we felt that we should stay put for the rest of the night. I whipped out my handy iPad and searched the roster to see if any members lived on the streets nearby. I found only one name that of Adrian who hasn’t been to church since I have been here. We miraculously caught them home, outside and willing to listen. Adrian was happy to see us and wanted us to pray with his fiancé, Jana. After a really good talk we were able to break down some walls with Jana (who isn’t a member) that Adrian said he hasn’t been able to break through ever. She said we can come back and see her this week so we will see how that goes. God is great, the work rolls on, and miracles abound!

Love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

Tender Moments

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a wonderful week! I had a lot of tender experiences that really made things very enjoyable. I did an exchange this week on Wednesday back in my old stomping ground of Deep Creek. Luckily for me the plans had us going to the home of my old ward mission leader Br Strattan. I love that family so much they definitely have enriched me mission experience! It was like I never left when i saw them. After catching up for a bit Elder Francom who I was with got to work getting some info on some referrals while Sister Strattan had me add myself to a group for the Deep Creek ward that shows how everyone is related. I found out that Sister Strattan was my 8th cousin and that Betty Hicks, a black sister in the ward who was recently baptized is actually my 6th cousin. It was a funny moment to learn that, but really awesome at the same time. Betty was one of the first people I met when I got to Deep Creek. We had a great day there though and were able to get a lot of work done. At the end of the night we had a lesson with a girl that I met the last time I was there about 6 weeks ago. They had been struggling to get a solid lesson with her since then, but we were able to sit down and have a very powerful lesson with her. We laughed at the thought we would just have me come every 6 weeks and help teach her.

On Thursday I was in Georgia with the incredible Elder Welsh. He is one of the best Elders in the mission and I was grateful to be able to spend the day with him. We had an awesome experience after trying to contact a less active member. After noticing that the family who we had an address for had moved we began knocking on the neighbors doors. After a few doors a school bus showed up and dropped off some kids. These two boys were teasing these girls and one of them was crying while her sister was walking with her back to there house. Turns out that Elder Welsh knew these girls because they are the daughters of a member and the older sister had been to church a couple of times. They told us that the boys were teasing them and one of the boys took an old can of vienna sausages (which are gross to begin with) that he found on the ground and opened it up and threw it at one of the girls. Not too much got on her but nevertheless it was completely unacceptable. After showing the girls a quick video on Jesus Christ we walked over to the home of those boys to invite them to repent. One of them timidly opened the door, he was probably 15 and less than half my size. He wasn’t the major trouble maker though, his cousin who was hiding behind him who was 18 couldn’t even look us in the eye long enough to answer our questions. We proceeded to teach them how unchrist-like their actions were and if they ever wanted to amount to anything in life they would learn quickly to grow up and be real men. Hopefully, an ounce of that sunk in. As we finished up with that the girls mother had arrived home and had been informed of what we were doing. She was very impressed and was very open to hearing our message. Prior to this moment she was very against the idea of becoming a Mormon or even associating with Mormons. By the end of our lesson with her we had her and her daughters all excited about the idea of getting baptized and return appointment to teach them as a family the next day.

On Sunday we had Stake Conference. The building of the Hendricks ward is my Stake Center so I was able to go and say hi to all of my old friends. It is so nice to be able to maintain such a close relationship with my recent converts. In that meeting I had two recent converts in the Hendricks Ward, Solomon Deng and Jim Colney, be sustained by the stake to be ordained to the office of Elder. Solomon wasn’t able to be there that day but Jim was, and my old Bishop was so kind to think of me that after the meeting he went and found me so that I could help with Jim’s ordination. I had no idea that I was going to be able to have that opportunity, but it was definitely a very special moment for me. God has been so good and to give me many tender experiences this week and I know that he loves me very much. It never ceases to amaze me how personal of a relationship that we can have with our Heavenly Father. My mother pointed out in a letter a couple weeks ago that God will bless us very specifically and personally if we are ready to receive those blessings and I can testify that this is true!

I hope everyone of you can look for ways that the lord has specifically blessed you this week and make sure to give him thanks for those blessings!

I love y’all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon