People, Quotes, and Family

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello Everyone! So this last week was a good one. We finally got some good lessons with a few people and it definitely was a week that allowed us to see who we really have as a solid base in our teaching pool. Lets begin with Davie. He is really coming along we saw him last week and had a good lesson that really just involved reading 3 Nephi 11 and testifying of Christ. It was a great experience because until that point he just couldn’t bring himself to read it on his own, but to be able to just sit and read a chapter with him really helped to alleviate that fear. After hearing it out he said something similar to, “you know, it sounds like true scripture.”  He is making steady progress. Hopefully we can get him to join us for the bbq and broadcast priesthood session of general conference at the church this Saturday.

Another wonderful soul that came into the picture last week was a character named Stew. We met him at a bus stop. He was sitting there with no intention of getting on the bus but just because it was something to do. We learned that he had found out that he arrived in
Jacksonville only a week prior and he had come from Oregon. He is here with the intentions to get a restart on life. Before our first conversation was over he knew that he was meant to meet us and learn what we teach. Over the subsequent days we taught him three more lessons and have made some good progress with him. We have already set
him up to start attending different classes and things are looking bright for his future.

The other awesome brother we are working with is a high school student named Trevor. The previous missionaries taught him and made some good success. When we first got here we struggled to connect with him. But during the week before last and last we were able to break down some walls and really connect with him. He committed to work towards being baptized in May and he is excited. We couldn’t find him a ride so we
made the hour/ride walk with him last week to the church so he could go to young mens. He brought his skateboard and we had our bikes so we took it easy and talked all the way there. He ended up having a great time and wants to come every week now.

So that is how the work is going. We had a couple of instances while tracting where people mocked our beliefs and told us we were teaching false doctrines. It was interesting. I got to boldly tell them what we believed and then we left. I always ponder on those experience during the following days because I feel there is much to be learned from
those encounters. As I did I realized a trend in both cases: both times the major insults came after I bore my testimony. Three quotes come to mind, I don’t know the sources for two but they are still great:

“You know you have lost an argument once you get angry.” Unknown Author

“Anger is the reaction you have when you don’t know how to react.” Unknown Author

“Anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone, you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

Taking all those into consideration I realized that while all three of those men acted childish by the time we walked away we were the victor in all cases because we never got angry while they did. Now I do have to admit that I was frustrated as I pondered on the fact that people would embrace and express those particular views about our church, but luckily it was not in the moment. A lesson I learned is that you can’t convince someone of spiritual truth, that is The Holy Spirit’s job. Another lesson I learned was if you simply bear your testimony of what you know to be true their reaction will quickly tell you whether or not they are ready for more. If they do not receive the truth you have shared so far then they definitely won’t receive anymore, so there is no point in sharing more.

The same is true with all cases in life. If either party in a conversation isn’t ready, then stop the conversation. Their is no point to share anymore because clearly what has been shared so far won’t work. Now, this doesn’t always mean you have to walk away –though that is a great option– you can apologize, you can change the subject, and you can even just give them a hug. Sometimes that last one isn’t a good idea depending on the tension level. Either way a person who is angry is a fool and will do foolish things. And as the Lord put it, “…fools mock, but they shall mourn…” (Ether 12:26)

I am sure none of you struggle with anger but I felt like mentioning it. I love y’all!

Elder Joshua Cordon

P.S. I have a challenge for all of you. The church on Friday released a new video to celebrate Easter. It is super good. You can find it at HeLives.Mormon.org.  So here is the thing. All the full time missionaries in the church off of Facebook for the time being, that
means the responsibility falls on the members shoulders to spread this message all over Facebook. So here is the challenge: will each of you share his video with 5 of your friends before Easter? It can be in person or in a message. I promise that as you do you will feel the true spirit of the Easter weekend enter into your heart, and your love and appreciation for the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, will burn within your soul. I know that to be true because it has worked for me. Good luck!

 

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Lightening, Cameras, and…. Snow

Dear Family and Friends,

How is it possible that week after week things just get better and better? You think you should just get to a point where you would just stop progressing and you are as happy as you can be… Except that would be false doctrine and the exact opposite of what I teach people, so it makes perfect sense actually. I love truth!! It is just so… motivating!

This past week at Zone meeting we had one of the most inspired goal setting sessions i have ever experienced in a Zone Meeting! I have struggled to get a goal that everyone embraces and one that unifies, but I think we finally did it. It started with a spiritual epiphany I received several weeks back, and one I have been praying about ever since. I realized that God wants his sons and daughters baptized more than I want them baptized. No duh right? Well it definitely changed the way I pray. Then I realized that he spends everyday preparing people to received this message and that there are prepared people out there and we just need to find them. Now I kinda knew all this already, but it finally hit me in a different way, the kinda way that leads someone to change and to act. My companion and I then came up with what we knew was a inspired plan. We decided that if we pray and fast and work our tails off, that every single companionship can find and baptized someone in the month of June. When we first introduced it we had a lot of doubting eyes staring back at us. So we pulled out our secret weapon, the faith building pep-talked we prepared. Before we were even done the spirit was very thick in the room and every single missionary jumped in excitement for our goal which is twice as much as a number we thought was impossible the month before. Good things are coming 🙂 #raiseyourexpectations

So if you haven’t seen our video on Facebook yet, I pity you. I would also invite you to repent and go and check it out. We are forming an amazing group and we need your help! It was a lot of fun to film and it was definitely interesting scenery. I hope you enjoy/enjoyed it!

I also had the opportunity to go on exchange last week to required me to hop on the bike again for a whole night! Before we even finished our dinner it was raining. I decided to go without a raincoat though because I new that if I wasn’t wet with rain water than I would be wet from wearing a non-breathable coat in the thick humidity. As we biked around we enjoyed natures natural firework displays. I was hoping that people would take pity on us considering, but it didnt seem to work too well! haha

Another amazing experience was that this past week Alfred opened up that he was still unsure of Thomas S. Monson being a prophet. We decided to help him out by watching the move about him called “On The Lord’s Errand.” Before we were even able to finish the movie he said that he knew that it was true! He is such a champion! He will be interview this week for baptism so we will see how that goes!

Oh ya and about the snow comment. We were about to go meet some less-active members at an apartment complex when we saw a pile of snow on the other side of the fence. I had to look to twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I made a snow ball!!! In Florida!! OUTSIDE!! How is that possible!?! Well… it helps if you are next to an ice rink haha. Nevertheless, it was awesome!

Once again everybody join the Facebook group Called To Share and invite all of your member friends. Then tomorrow (Tuesday) post a picture of you holding the Book of Mormon just under yours eyes with #discoverthebook and with your testimony of how you know it is true!

Love Ya’ll!!

Elder Joshua Cordon