Elder Williams is Training!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it was a great week! we were working hard and were very busy! We had some interesting turn of events with some of our investigators and some good things happening as we went to the streets.

First our investigator Frankie turned out not to live in our area. He is right on the line, but falls on the KLC side. We will be turning him over to the sisters tonight. But we are fasting with him right now, and the sisters decided to join us, that he can get an answer. We will be following up with him tonight at the turnover. He was one of the investigators we were hoping could be baptized this month. I hope the transition goes well he has been meeting with Elders here for several months. Brother Mak who had a date for this month is still not back. The west point sisters were able to talk with him about his concerns. Its a good thing the Sisters can see him everyday I feel like it will help him. Our other investigator Emily is doing better she was able to eat with some of the sisters, so she has been getting a lot of member involvement. That is really good because fellowship will help a lot she comes to find her own answer.

We have been working really well together and our teaching and finding is in pretty good unity. We had a bit of an interesting week with not as much time as we would like to find. But when we did get out we worked hard and made the most of it. We have a good drive while finding even if its a long stretch. I actually really like city finding. A lot of missionaries prefer going to big estates but I would pick the streets. Its harder to teach a sit down lesson but its a better variety of people. Only certain types of people sit in an estate in the middle of the day.

The ward is doing really well it seems like a lot of people want to do missionary work and we are constantly getting names of less actives and hearing about different things members are doing. It will be a great ward for this new trainee to come into. I will miss TST ward, I was able to build up a good relationship really quick. But i will serve my best wherever I am sent.

A big thing we have talked about with the ward and as a companionship is less active work. Gratefully with the wards effort there is a fairly big group of less actives that are incontact with the members still, so they are priority number one for us. There is a lot of good work to be done and just not enough time its seems.

But a lot of big changes going on here. We are taking a big hit in Elders right now. Then in a few months its coming right back to normal. President is doing all sorts of stuff to prepare the mission for President Lam here in July.

But its all good I love you all have a great week!
Elder Jared Cordon

Good Week with Elder Williams

Dear Family & Friends,

We had a good week this last week! I really do feel like the law of compensation is alive in our area. We did not have as much finding time as we would like but it seemed like the success came more from the time that we didn’t have to find. We found our new investigator A-Ming when we were walking back to the church after grabbing some food. We really are good about always talking to people when we can. Mainly its Elder Williams, he does it so easlily that I just cant help but join in.

It was busy having to prepare for zone training and MLC and it was hard trying to get zone training prepared in a way that it could be spiritually uplifting. But I think in the end we did well and we were able to give a training we felt was by the spirit. because we had sat down to plan and neither of us could get any revelation on how we should do our training, but we had a thought to head out and find and that was the right thing to do because after heading out we were able to get some good revelation on what we should train on and it seemed very clear to us. We decided to make it focused on true teaching and comitment inviting. We initially were going to train on effective ways to get referrals but it eventually came to us that there is really only one way to do it and its by the spiriy. So our training was teaching true doctrine, testifying, and inviting while the spirit is high will yield results in seeking for referrals. After Zone training we were not sure if our training was good or not but, once we did numbers it sounds like it worked for a few of the companionships.

The work is moving along great in the ward we have two pretty solid investigators one Mr. Mak with a date for 6/7 and then Frankie who should have a date this next week are both doing great and the ward is doing a fantastic job at fellowshipping them. I think a big help is that they are the same ages as a lot of the brothers in the ward. Our recent convert Ray is struggling a little with faith, which we are trying to help its just hard because there is not much support from the ward because no one there is his age. But we were able to help him and will keep seeing him reguaraly.

We have a good pool of other potentials and investigators that we hope to be drawing from and moving them to the progressing list. There also is two people that have been coming to church both brought by the members. One is a problem because she lives in Kowloon City ward and so does the Member who brings her to church. It would be awesome if they both moved over together because then she could go to the right ward be her fellowshipper and give her friend a chance to be baptized. The other lady who has been being brought to church is very nice and wants to learn more but for some reason the member who brought her is acting wierd about having us teach her. So we will work the member to figure out more of the situtation and see if we can help her friend start investigating.

But altogether we are getting along great and have great unity as far our purpuse goes just one thing we are working on will come from helping our teaching flow so we can keep improving which will come from good comp studies for sure.

Love you all

Cheers Elder Jared Cordon

The Thick of Thin Things

Dear Family and Friends, 

This past week brought a lot of change for me. After serving a wonderful 8 months in the blessed Mandarin 2nd ward it was time for me to move on to the next step. As part of the transition I am blessed with the opportunity to train Elder Curran. He is from Clearfield, Utah and so far we have enjoyed every minute. Our personalities really mesh, so it has been easy to get unified quick and get to work. We are in a car share as well, so we have been on biking a lot. 

“White-washing” an area as they call it has been a wonderful experience so far. I got a similar opportunity when I started my mission so it has been reminiscent and very fun. We are doing our best to reach out and become familiar with the members as soon as we can. We are loving the ward so far and we can tell that a lot of good things are going to happen here. Last week alone was full of amazing miracles. Every single night after 8:00, with the exception of Friday night because we were playing basketball with some investigators, we found someone new to teach. Often missionaries will consider that a less productive time to find, but it has been an hour of miracles for us. We plan to keep that going for as long as we can. 

On Sunday after church we were having a correlation meeting with the sisters and the Ward Mission Leader and his assistant and we started talking about the different reasons that members havent been sharing the gospel. Something that was brought up involved that idea that people are simply filling there schedules with too much “stuff.” They simply are not putting into practice the age old principles taught in the object lesson of trying to fit rocks, pebbles, and sand all in a jar. I reflected on how my last ward mission leader somehow made so much time for missionary work, even though he was a full time law student, had a young child, and worked 20 hours a week.

To my surprise that same theme was reinforced this morning during my personal study when I was reading a conference talk by A. Theodore Tuttle given October of 1971. The title of the talk was The Things That Matter Most. There was this quote in it that I really enjoyed!

Some years ago, I read an editorial in the Deseret News entitled “The Mechanical Rabbit.” I quote:

“Most of our readers must have smiled the other day when they read of the greyhounds in Britain who don’t know a rabbit when they see one. So long had they chased a mechanical rabbit around the racetrack, that when a real rabbit bounded across the track, the dogs didn’t give it a second look.“Stupid, eh? But sad too, this perverting of the natural instincts. …“We chase mechanical rabbits, too.“We chase paychecks, and don’t give a second look to the glint of the rising sun on a snow-topped peak.“We chase our way through the appointments of a crowded desk calendar, and fail to take time to chat with the next-door neighbor or to drop in on a sick friend.“We chase social pleasures on a glittering noisy treadmill—and ignore the privilege of a quiet hour telling bedtime stories to an innocent-eyed child.“We chase prestige and wealth, and don’t recognize the real opportunities for joy that cross our paths. …”Wordsworth said words appropriate to this condition:“The world is too much with us: late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”“Race on, you poor, blind over-civilized hounds. You’ll never catch your rabbit until you learn to recognize a genuine one.“But, you’ll have company in your race; the company of unnumbered men who’ll never catch the joy they chase until they, too, learn to recognize a genuine one.”This points up our challenge: See “that the things that matter most … are not at the mercy of things that matter least.” (Ashley Montague.)Someone rephrased this thought: “Too often we are involved in the thick of thin things.”In modern revelation the Lord said:“Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?“Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men. …” (D&C121:34–35.)



The moral of that story and the reason I have brought it up, is that I hope all of us will take time to prioritize our lives and if necessary stop spending time doing the things that don’t matter most if they prevent us from doing the things that do. The great blessing of coming into an area with a companion who isnt already serving there is that you get a fresh start, and an opportunity to make sure that your priorities are straight without having to do the sometimes painful process of re-prioritizing. I has been a great blessing to engage in the simple things for often that is how miracles are most often experienced. For me, learning to prioritize has been a blessing of my mission.

 Hopefully these sentiments are beneficial!

I love yall!
Elder Joshua Cordon 

Shh… it’s Steven’s Birthday Saturday… send him your Love!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a great week that was full of new things.

It was my first baptismal interview. That was great to be able to be a part of that families conversion to the gospel. What a way to be able to help them. Elder Ping (my new comp) also had his birthday that was awesome. We also got a training on weekly planning it now takes about 7 hours to do. My comp and I also just started a new way of tracting and finding and so far have had huge success. We are growing our teaching pool and lots of people are looking for the light and we just need to show them where to find it.

I love being on a mission and so excited for all it has to offer.

Elder Steven Cordon

P.S. (Editors Note)Saturday is Steven’s Birthday. He would love to receive notes of love and encouragement. Let’s fill his mailbox with love! Here is his address:

Elder Steven Allen Cordon
Washington Kennewick Mission
8202 W Quinault, Ste D
Kennewick, WA 99336

Badabatadatbaa I’m Lovin’ It!!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well just another wonderful week in the life of a missionary in Hong Kong. Training is going smoothly and the ward is picking up we are seeing a lot of good things happening. We have been doing a lot of Less Active work and tried our luck with some old investigators and we have seen some good things happening. Less active work we really stirred up the water so now we have some great potential there. But we really do have some characters for our investigators. Peter Lo is a man who is in a wheel chair cause of polio I mentioned him a few months back. He loves america. Uncle Fighter haha man love him. We actually visited a former and was teaching him a lesson at his door then the door right behind us opened and it was Uncle Fighter and his wife. It was cool to meet his wife. We got family potential there. Then of course you have this english class that we teach these these 9-11 year olds, they are the best! I love them its funny how no matter where you are your gonna get every stereotype of kid in your class. I cant wait to teach english in Mainland.

Elder Tam is just awesome though we do plenty of laughing and he has got so much potential we are going to see miracles together I know it.

But working with a lot of less actives recently has helped remind me of a principle that Joseph Smith taught is that when you fall away from the church your not on nuetral ground anymore you made your decision the only other option is the other direction. Well you choose to fall from a higher plane it hurts cause you fall hard. I have seen some sad situations but I have also seen some amazing ones where a few of these people a very sincere and they recognize what there decision has done to their lives and they are ready to change, they are ready to feel the warm embrace of gods love.

I know the work I am doing is of an eternal nature and that why I am doing it.

I love you all!

Elder Jared Cordon

Training!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well a wonderful week has passed by. I got my trainee last week and he is super awesome I love him he is so diligent and hardworking and fluent in the language and his teaching skills are awesome and we have fantastic unity. Well I think my job is done. Now comes the part were he starts training me. I really have learned a lot from my trainee already as far as teaching and preparing for lessons, not to mention the language. Its pretty awesome! One good thing is he hasn’t even had to go finding yet. We have been teaching so many lessons that sadly we haven’t had to be out in the heat sweating our brains out.

We also had our first ward activity in Butterfly ward and its been almost 6 months. It was a lot of fun and yielded some great results! A member brought along a family with him and they had a wonderful time and we were able to earn the trust of the husband its not to the stage of teaching yet but it will get there and then we also met a kid I have been hoping to see again he is so prepared!

Also got called as the district leader so I moved up a lot this last week from junior to senior, trainer, and district leader. Its a lot to take in all at once but Its been going pretty well so far and should keep getting better!

Love you all,

Elder Jared Cordon

Good Week

Dear Family and Friends,

Well another wonderful week on the Lords Errand. The Butterfly ward is really feeling the blessings of the Lord as two people yesterday entered the waters of baptism! One lady was from the sisters and another lady was from the mandarin elders. Its amazing that after 2 and a half years of no baptism in a two month period we have seen 4 people come unto Christ. Its really the Lords pouring his blessing upon the area and I am truly blessed to witness this mighty change of hearts.

This last week spent with my summer missionary has been super awesome! He is an amazing man. He was baptized a year ago and is a killer missionary. I dont know if I have learned more in any previous week on my mission! His testimony is so powerful! This last week we have met a few people who I could picture in white! from when I first met them. We continue to see new miracles every single day.

Something that just happened this morning is when i was doing studies president called me and i was not sure why but he is asking me to train. this is by complete surprise because elder au has only a little time left and I have been here for quite some time now. But it will be an amazing opportunity and I hope to fulfill it to the best of my abilities!

Well love you all and remember that life is good.

Love Elder Jared Cordon

Trio, Training, and Tracting with Bikes -Josh

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week has been an interesting one. We finished out our trio of Elder Largo, Elder Newbold, and I. It was a lot of fun being in a trio but it made it harder to focus on the work. I learned a lot though nevertheless and we still managed to stay very productive. By the end of it all I felt like I had two good friends.

Having to say goodbye to Elder Newbold was bitter sweet. I felt like we have become good friends after 3 months and we taught really well together, as a result I had come to trust him a lot. Though I am excited to mix things up, it has proven difficult to regain that trust. It will come though, of that I am sure.

Elder Cordon with his new companion Elder Barcala

Elder Barcala and Elder Joshua Cordon

On Wednesday I got my new companion. His name is Elder Barcala. He is from Scottsdale, Arizona and he is a convert of 2 years. He is 22 and already has his bachelors in criminal justice from ASU. He has a terrific fire for the work and I hope that as his trainer that I can kindle that fire and help him become a very confident and powerful teacher.

Wednesday night we went over to a members house for dinner and afterwards did splits with him and his brother. So day one I have my new companion going out on his own. He did pretty good actually.

On Thursday the ward mission leader and his wife helped us out a ton by showing my companion around and helping get bikes. Being on bikes has been bitter sweet, while we drip in sweat biking in shirt and tie in the hot Florida sun it is easier to street contact when you are on bikes. It is far less intimidating to approach someone on bike than in a car. Also when we would drive slowly in a car down neighborhood streets it was hard to not think that we were the police.

We have gotten into the groove now though and we are starting to build up our teaching pool again. We have been working hard and it is paying off. We are meeting a lot of good people and I just hope that in some small way that we make their day a little brighter with every visit.

We were blessed to be able to catch Ben last night and we took him to the church to watch the CES fireside. Ben has been through a lot and is living in a terrible environment, but while we were watching the broadcast I could tell that a lot of the things hit him really powerfully, and I hope that he can put into action some of the incredible advice of Elder Russel M. Nelson. I was really grateful to be able to see it and it just made me so pumped that general conference in coming up.

I just love this work so much. I know now more than ever that God loves everyone of his children here on earth. I also know that by applying the wonderfully beautiful and simple principles of the gospel into ours that it will make us happier. This life is about growth and constant improvement. I think that one of the biggest sins of this generation is laziness and complacency. God wants us to achieve our wonderful potential, but he can’t force us to do it. It is our job, but you better believe that through the grace of Jesus Christ he will be there every step of the way strengthening us. Life is like climbing a mountain. Some people get tired and convince themselves they are satisfied with how far they have come so they set up camp. Others are disheartened by the steep climbs that lie ahead. But for those who want to make it to the top to see the stunning views above the tree line, Christ has offered to be our climbing partner. He has the made the climb before and if we trust him and do our part, them we can reach the summit of our potential. So get off of the couch and get climbing! Spiritually of course 😉

Love y’all
Elder Joshua Cordon

Zone Conference in Gainesville

Dear Family and Friends,

On Tuesday, I did my first exchange with the Zone Leaders because Elder Newbold is the district leader. I ended up going over to the neighboring area none as Cannon Creek. It is directly west of our area. The missionary crib in that area is actually really nice. It is this small house that is on the backside of a lot with a nicer house that nobody lives in… a bit of a waste if you ask me. At the end of the day though I was very glad that I am in Deep Creek. In my opinion our area is far more ripe even though we have twice as many missionaries in it. Elder Clark, who I did the exchange with is a great missionary! I made sure to take some time at the end of the exchange to get some specific advice from him on how I can be a better missionary. His tips really have made a difference! One of my favorites was to look for ways to serve your companion. I find that as I make the effort to do that I am far less prideful.

Apparently, getting an unusual amount of sleep last Sunday wasn’t enough because we had to get up an hour and half early this past Thursday for a Zone Conference in Gainesville. It was totally worth it though. We got there at a quarter to eight and found out pretty quickly that we have the best car of all the missionaries in the two zones. Which is the classy 2013 Ford Fusion. We are so very blessed 🙂

The Conference was very powerful though and was a great spiritually renewing experience. I got to see Elder Williams too, who was one of the Elders in my MTC district with me. He is doing really well which is great! One of the changes we found out from the conference is that we are expected to no longer fully share our area with the Sister Missionaries here, but rather we need to geographically cut it in half so we have individual jurisdiction over our parts. This is intended to prevent the missionaries from stepping on each other’s toes. I made sure to immediately set up a meeting with our bishop so that we can do that. The meeting is on Tuesday. Another terrific part of the conference was just hearing the testimony of many wonderful missionaries and being able to see and visit with President and Sister Craig! Those two are so awesome, and President Craig just has incredible vision for the future of the zone.

One of the terrific lessons we had this week was with Nick Harwell. He was a referral from his neighbor who said that he was a pastor for 10 years and would probably be open to hearing a message about Christ. Personally I love talking to pastors. It forces me to know what I am talking about and they actually understand scriptural language, and have read the Bible. This guy was awesome though when we first met him. So I was really excited to go back. When we went by, he let us right inside and we sat down at his table and proceeded to have one of the most powerful restoration lessons we have ever given. I believe it was because I relied on the spirit in fear that if I said something wrong that it would kill the spirit in the room. He agreed with everything and is really excited to dig into the Book of Mormon. He had a few questions about baptism, so we left him some chapters to read for homework. We are going to meet with him tonight at the church to play some basketball and follow up on his reading.

To finish it off. I found out on Saturday from President Craig that I will be training a new missionary next transfer which begins on the 4th of September. I am really excited to train. I just hope that I can be a great example and help this new Elder hit the ground running so that he wont feel like a new missionary. Also we find out tonight who is going to be district leader next month and if the district remains the same areas than it is either me or Elder Jensen. He has been out for a year now so it will probably be him. It is just interesting that at 3 months I has a 50/50 chance to be a district leader.

I love the work here! I wish I could say that we are baptizing someone this Saturday, but since we can’t get our investigators to church it will be a few weeks until we get one. All in due time though! I know that God is in charge here. I also know that nothing in the word makes me feel better than sharing the Gospel, reading the Book of Mormon, and bearing testimony! That feeling alone is absolute confirmation to me that this message I bear is true! I don’t doubt that for a minute! 🙂

I love ya’ll!

Elder Joshua Cordon