What A Wonderful Time

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful time of year. I have always loved the holidays for so many reasons. There is a different feeling that you get when on the mission. I think it is really a kind of spiritual help given to me when I have needed it.
This is a great time of year to strengthen family relations, and it is no exception for our Father in Heaven trying to strengthen his family. What a wonderful time when all over the world people our having their hearts warmed by the spirit of giving. Having their Light of Christ touched and grown. What a wonderful spirit this holiday season brings to people that focus on the true reasons for these wonderful days that are celebrated.
Jesus Christ gave us a gift that every soul that has ever lived need. A gift that is eternal and everlasting. A gift that was freely given and can be freely received. A gift that will never have a price tag. A gift that was prepared for us before our creation. The gift that we all said we would accept. Jesus Christ is the gift of the season. Share this gift with everyone that you meet.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a campaign that was shared in the latest Ensign #ShareTheGift. They have put a wonderful video together to get people focused on the real gift of the season. share it with others to bless their lives this season. You can even print your own pass-a-long cards.

Love you all so much thank you for you prayers and support.
Elder S Cordon

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Thanks For Giving

Dear Family and Friends,

Well what a week! I think the Highlight of the week is truly Thanksgiving. We had a fun zone thanksgiving activity. I have many things to be very very grateful for. Like I had previously said I have not had that much success getting people I meet on the street to stick, probably because The Lord wants me to stay humble and remember its him that makes this work happen. Because I know that the weeks I am working the hardest he still rewards us for our efforts like this week we picked up two families that we saw twice they had both went to church in another ward because a member invited them, I guess they met through the boy scout program. But they live in our area we met them gave them a tour of the church and then they came to english class. We also have another girl we met because she is a turnover from the sisters she has already been taught a few lessons and came to church.

So the low down on who we are working with (which are all in the time since i got here). Simon:turnover from the Senior missionaries; Ray: referral from a less active member; Johnny: walked into the church while we were studying; Julie, Peter, & Dora: turnover from the sisters; Mrs Tang and her family: turnover from Chaiwan member; Mrs Wong and her family: also turnover from Chaiwan member. We got some other potential but these are the big ones right now. SO I HAVE A LOT TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!

The lord blesses us for the efforts we make in planting seeds in one field by allowing us to reap harvest in another. I think therein lies a wonderful lesson for life: it teaches us that by doing all things the Lord asks us, although they may have no direct impact on our desires or challenges we hope to receive or overcome, the lord through his ways unknown will change all factors of our lives. So while you may not understand while the lord or his servants ask us to do certain things, do them anyway and you will receive a rich supply of blessing to that I can promise in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. For this is truly his words and his blessings.

I love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

Many Reasons To Be Thankful

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow! What a week! I never feel that I can even come close to capturing all that happens in one week in these short emails. Never in my life have I had so many things happen in such a brief amount of time as I have at this time right now. And with the Holiday season there is no sign of things slowing down, which I am grateful for!

Thanksgiving this year was just one jam packed day of AWESOME! We started it off with playing in the Turkey bowl. We had some awesome turn-out because we combined the Mandarin 1st and 2nd wards. We had 3 games going at the same time and so it was non-stop which was awesome. I was happy to see that everyone was good sports and we just were able to have a great time. The weather was beautiful and we were able to have two investigators, David and Marquez, join us which was great experience. I have mentioned David before, but Marquez is someone we just started working with. He is the grandson of a lady we have been visiting for several months now. He came to young mens the last two weeks and was able to come to the Turkey Bowl and has loved every minute of it. He is 13 and has a size 14 shoe. Br. Henderson who recently joined the church a few years ago, has taken Marquez under his wing. It works out because he is able to relate having come from a rough past and he is also Marquez’ young mens leader. Marquez even came to church and he along with David have both become great members of the deacons quorum. Have I ever mentioned how awesome this ward is at fellowshipping.

We ended up getting 4 different Thanksgiving dinners which was heavenly. Each one was uniquely delicious and very filling. I had to perform a thorough taste-test of each and every dish of mashed-potatoes to see how they would stack up to what I was raised on, and Mom I am happy to inform you that while the competition was respectable, you took the cake. It was also amazing how each one provided us with missionary opportunities. The first we had a recent convert there with us. The second we had a part-member family there. The third had our investigators Amelia and Tyrell with us. A little note on that was that it was so much fun to be able to kinda “tag team” with Tyrell as one of us talk with everyone the other played with Tyrell and the other kids. To be completely honest I think it seemed that both of us would rather have spent time playing with Tyrell, Emma, and David than talk with the adults. And the fourth was with another part-member family that we have been working with. I could not have asked for a better day.

The next presented new challenges as i found it difficult to rise from my bed. I was heavy with food and sore from football, more sore than I have ever been on my mission. After winning that battle I had the blessed opportunity to go down and do a session at the Orlando Temple. I limped through the whole thing but the spirit filled me to the point where I didn’t even notice. I am so very grateful for this wonderful gospel! I know without a doubt in my mind that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to happiness in this life and to eternal happiness in the next. I know that it makes us happy because I have seen it give peace to the broken hearted, give purpose to the hopeless, and increase of joy to those who were already living pretty good lives. I love this work so much and I pray that all of you will take time this month– especially considering the wonderful reason of the season– to find ways to serve others and fill your lives and theres with the love of God.

I love y’all!
Elder Joshua Cordon

Keep It Going!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This was a wonderful last week! We mixed things up last week and organized an English find with the Pok Fu Lam sisters and elders. We realized that nobody was really showing up to English class. So we made our own sign and had a member make some English flyers. After a few were passed out. We saw great success we had 10 people at English class. With the variable that we had our ward thanksgiving activity this last week which took place at the same time and took 4 people who normally go to English class away. So that says a lot about the impact of the find.

Speaking of the Thanksgiving activity that was also a great success. It gave a great chance for a mom and her two kids we have been working with to meet the ward, we also got our investigator Simon to get to know some of the members in the ward a lot better, and we got a referral. It was great. Along with that we saw some other little miracles this last week. We were doing our language study in the church when a man walked in. We thought it was one of the other missionaries investigators or a ward member, turned out to be a former investigator from several years ago. We taught him then committed him to church. He showed up dressed up in his Sunday best without being asked. We will see him again this week. We also had a near by rehad center for people with mental illnesses give us a call asking for us to help them with an activity they had planned. They were impressed with missionaries in the past and they wanted our help again that was a great service opportunity! Having time to serve people in Hong Kong helps me love them more and really keeps me positives through any rejections people throw out.

As far as our mission goal of 65 baptisms in December I really want it to happen and I truly believe it can, but I know to show my gratitude for the Lord for all the blessings we have been receiving I need to be more obedient. So thinking through what I could do I realized that we never really SYL (speak your language) *(Editors note- missionaries learning a new language on the mission are strongly encourage to only speak the language they are learning when they are in their apartment so that they are learning the language quicker by immersion.) Elder Wong doesn’t like speaking Cantonese so we really haven’t been. But I decided that I need to speak as much as possible but most importantly I need to have the 3 SYL days like we have been asked to have many times well we have been doing it. And it was hard to remember but we did it and it was really fun. I couldn’t let myself crack in the apartment ether so I as I kept speaking Chinese in the apartment I saw that the others started to as well. So its my new actions and we are actually doing it and I have seen its helped my contacting skills because then I don’t have to be switching back to Chinese mode I am already in it. Language is something that I have not taken as seriously on my mission as I should have but I have been cracking down now for a few weeks and I have seen it start growing again.

Things are just great here. I feel like the Lord wants me always to be growing so he needs things to stay hard enough to at least keep me on my toes or knees. You can only grown under pressure. If there is no pressure than you get soft.

Love you all

Elder Jared Cordon

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Elder Groberg and Elder Cordon (They were in the MTC together)

 

Well a Pretty Crazy Week of Gratitude -Jared

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so grateful for this opportunity, I am grateful for my companion, I am grateful I have had so many blessings in learning this language, I am grateful for the blessed Causeway Bay ward, Amazing food and Amazing missionaries, My amazing Mom!

I could go on forever! I now realize how grateful I am for hot water, flushing toilets, kitchen sinks that drain, and gas in the stove. Haha the Lord decided to remind us of all the simple blessings we have every day. Our whole street flooded! A huge pipe burst and the water was coming out like a giezer all night long! I will send pictures next week.

I had a cool experience Yesterday, Elder Howell and I had both felt the prompting to go to this park (its one that has never been successful before). So we went about as planned and went through the whole park with no success. Well we finally get to the very last part of it and we see two little kids playing with a lady watching them.

We said hi and she said hi back in english and then went back to the kids, so we assumed she was a helper at work and went on our way. As we were leaving one of the kids called her mommy. Well I didnt think much of it, and me and Elder Howell went to the next area as we had planned.

Well the spirit spoke to Elder Howell because he felt very prompted to go back and talk to her, thinking heavily on the kids comment when we were leaving. So we went back and talked to her and she happen to be Japanese and that conversation turned out to be an amazing experience. We didn’t get a new investigator but that was the first she has ever heard of our Church and really even Jesus Christ. She may not have been ready at that moment but I got no doubt she will be later. It was a simple testimony to me that we need to listen to spiritual promptings and especially in this work. If my companion gets a prompting and I have not then I just have to trust him!

How you all have a wonderful week!

Love Elder Cordon

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From Biking in the Boonies to Combing the City Blocks -Joshua

Dear Family and Friends,

So this last week mixed a lot of things up for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but needless to say I haven’t been disappointed at all. Saying goodbye to everybody last week was hard, but change is always for the better. I get the wonderful pleasure of serving with one of the best Elders in the whole mission Elder Hamilton. He has been out a whole year longer than me and I am looking forward to the many lessons that he will undoubtedly teach me. We get along great which is perfect because we have too much on our plates to be worried about resolving petty arguments.

Being a Zone Leader isn’t as taxing on my time as much as I thought it would be, which is wonderful because we got to spend a lot of our time over the past couple of days in the act of finding. As a result, the Lord pored out blessing from on high and we found 4 new families to teach in only a matter of a few days. There is a lot of great work to do in this area and I am more than ready to hit the pavement to get things rolling. I am grateful for the work that has already been done here because I get the blessed opportunity of seeing one of our investigators get baptized this weekend. His name is Solomon and he is from Sudan. He is very humble and very excited to get baptized this weekend. He was inviting a bunch of people at church yesterday to his baptism.

Some of the good changes that I have experienced this week include: upgraded from crappy apartment to super nice one, upgraded from biking to car, upgraded from no gym to a gym every other day, upgraded from trailer park/ ghetto tracting to tracting in tons of apartment complexes. Those are just a few, but I appreciate every one of them. Luckily for me one of the fears I had was not realized which was that we would not be fed on Thanksgiving because we got fed twice.

I have big hopes here. There is a lot to do and we need to grow our teaching pool a lot more, but I have no doubt that as we labor diligently the Lord will bless us. He has been doing that my whole mission. We truly have a Father in Heaven who knows each and every one of us personally. My testimony of that has grown so immensely since the start of my mission. Another aspect of my testimony that has grown is that of the power that can be felt from reading the Book of Mormon. Every time I read it, I feel like I am getting a big hug from God, and Boy does that feel good!

Have a wonderful week! I love ya’ll!

Love,

Elder Joshua Cordon