Lead Thou Me On; Reflections On Returning Home

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Dear Family and Friends,

So reality can hit you pretty hard when you get home, setting aside the fact that you have to adjust to a whole new culture and way of living, there is the pressures of finding a job, going to school, and getting married, all of which are grand feats in and of themselves. Coming home has been the greatest adventure of my life so far. In just a few short weeks (which have felt like a few short months) I have made great friends, tried new things, shared the gospel, made tons of money, traversed hundreds of miles, and so much more. Truly I believe more than ever before that God never intended for the mission to be the climax of my life, seeing has how the fullness of joy has only continued to grow since then. However; I tend to worry, my biggest worry has been whether or not I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. With so many big choices immediately placed before me, I have found it to be very difficult to feel completely confident in my decisions. Little did I know that I was about to get a bigger lesson on faith and trust in God than I ever had. Not even a day after I got home, opportunities fell into my lap, and doors started opening for me which I didn’t even know were there. These were grand testaments to me that God really does provide; nevertheless, I still found myself worrying that perhaps I wouldn’t know what to do, that I wouldn’t have enough money for school, and that I hadn’t picked the right major. Clearly, all of these feelings and thoughts are not examples of exercising faith. I definitely wanted more faith, but just wasn’t sure how to get it. Constantly the spirit and loved ones around me have encouraged me that everything would work out for the best, but I couldn’t bring myself to embrace the idea. I have definitely had my moments of great faith since I have been back and I honestly did and do believe that God will provide for me, but I have had my moments of doubt and anxiety. Suddenly, I got spiritual reinforcement. It came the way that I have told people it would come to them for almost two years, it came in a simple thought and feeling; I got my revelation by listening to a hymn during Sacrament Meeting this last Sunday. Hymns have such a powerful way of reaching the heart in a way that words cannot. It seems to heighten your spiritual sensitivity allowing the holy ghost to converse with you more clearly and specifically. In a way that it has never done before Hymn #97, Lead Thou Me On, struck my heart and filled me with a supernal sense of hope. I stared at the words as I read them, almost incapable of speaking as I realized the words sung in that song were directly meant for me at that moment. While the whole song was powerful these parts struck me the most. “Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene–one step enough for me. I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou shouldst lead me on. I love to choose and see my path; but now, lead thou me on!… So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone.” As those words resonated within me I was overcome with emotion. Almost to the point of tears I thanked God for the blessing of his spirit and especially His Son, Jesus Christ. God had provided all things necessary for me to be happy and to succeed and he would continue to do so. As I listened to this song it’s message was written on “the fleshy tables of my heart”, and that truthfulness of its message was confirmed by the power of The Holy Ghost, sealing that testimony forever in my soul. Since that powerful moment, what I learned has only been confirmed as I have seen the hand of God working wonders in my life. I am still far from perfect and I still have much more to learn about faith, but I know for me, the newly returned missionary, daily relying on the spirit will, out of necessity, continue to be apart of my life. Coming home hasn’t been the easiest thing I have ever done, but I have enjoyed it and it has made me a better person; even better than who I was a little more than three weeks ago when I was still a missionary in Florida. I am know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that because of Jesus Christ, if I remain faithful, all things will work out for my gain and I will gain all that the father has in store for me. Until that time, “I do not ask to see the distant scene–one step [is] enough for me.”

I love y’all so very much!

Brother Joshua Cordon

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Who Are You Representing?

Dear Family and Friends,

I have come into an area that, for some time now, missionaries have not been truly teaching the people that they have been seeing. They have been building friendships but havent been really teaching. Not that we shouldnt be trying to form friendships, but that comes with teaching the restored gospel and seeing their lives change and their minds open to truth. So this week was spent going to everyone that has just been “visiting” and setting the expectations of why we are really there.

We have been called by a prophet to teach the gospel. We have been given priesthood to accomplish that call. We have the message of the restored gospel that gives the truths to this world and answers the questions of the soul. We have been tasked with that responsibility and if we are not doing things that could lead to teaching, or teaching when people are there to listen we are not doing what we have been called to do.

I am very excited for this new change in my mission. I have a companion that is 24 years old and we are learning so much from each other. We are gaining member trust back in the ward and showing them that we are missionaries that are living up to our call.

I am so grateful for your prayers and support. You are all in my prayers.

Thank you.
Elder S Cordon

Don’t Forget Him!

Dear Family and Friends,

When you do work on a Monday and your mind thinks its P-day weird things start happening everybody in the district has been a little goofy and District meeting yesterday might have been the funniest district meeting I have had. Yet we all learned some great lessons. I did the training and nothing really went according to plan, but it ended up teaching some very valuable unplanned lessons about power statements which we took to use yesterday.

Yesterday was interesting and its also funny how the Lord does little things to remind us who is really in charge. When we first started looking for people to share the gospel with after district meeting, I am not sure why, but the constant no’s were getting at me more than normal. I started having all these thoughts come through my mind;

“Is this message really true nobody wants to hear it.”

Or

“Man why I am even trying these people just don’t get it.”

So it was pretty sad the thoughts going through my mind after doing that for a while and still not having success me and Elder Au said a prayer, rethought our approach and found one kid, who we taught and set up an appointment to come and teach him more. So that was cool. Then that evening after dinner, similar thoughts started haunting my mind, but I tried to shrug it off and keep looking for the people I was suppose to find. The Lord put three amazing people in our path 2 of which are new investigators. The lesson I learned is how quickly I forget the Lord sometimes but He doesn’t forget us, He picks us up when we are weak. We had 3 new investigators the same day I was thinking of quitting. That’s about the same amount of new investigators I had in my entire time in my first area. The Lord is pouring out a lot of blessings here in the Butterfly Ward and if all goes right we should have 3 baptisms in June with a few more for July!

Much Love
Elder Jared Cordon