Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week! I truly felt the Christmas Spirit and I will never forget these experiences!

We wanted to see miracles this week and so preparing for Christmas we did a special fast on wednesday. We asked to truly feel the love that Christ feels and to be able to find people that need our help. So Christmas after talking to family we went out to work and despite that fact that it was raining we met some really cool people who have had pretty hard lives! A ward member had given us these little christmas goodie bags to give to investigators and Less Actives so thats what we used. These people really enjoyed them and we also found other little ways to serve people. I think the greatest miracle I felt though is the pure love of Christ that filled my soul that whole day! We also saw some other miracles while doing some less active finding one ladies recorded said she did not want anybody to contact here ever again but we knocked anyway and she opened the door and said: “Elders I haven’t been to church forever, wow its been awhile since I have seen you, hows the ward…” She was so happy to be in touch with us again and we will see her next week. We also were able to see and give presents to some others as well. Also the ward Christmas party was this week and we were able to have a kid we met last week come who really enjoyed it then we taught him again the next day. Also another lady who we are working with drove from a mainland family vacation got to come then headed back after, and she loved it!

We also saw many other miracles this week and although most of everyone we are working with were too busy to meet up we were able to see some great success!

I have learned so much from these goals of 65 that just by pushing a little harder when you don’t want to go anymore and by just using every minute you have it really can make a huge difference!

Love you all and keep improving life is to precious and to sweet to stop!

Sorry for my poor english, my chinese is just getting better.

Elder Jared Cordon

Without Charity I Am Nothing

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was one of the best weeks we have had in months!! It was just full of miracles!! After a slight tweek to our approach this week we suddenly saw a lot of things come together. As I reflect on what happened though, I found it interesting that almost none of our scheduled appointments happened… However it seemed that whenever each appointment cancelled we were able to be led to someone who was interested in hearing are message or someone we hadnt thought to plan to see. It was amazing how everytime something fell through the lord was able to guide us to where we really needed to be at that time.

Some exciting things that happened this week is in regards to a family that we have been working with. Their names are David and Jorge. They are the brother and father of a Aileen who is a recent convert of a couple of months. I am pretty sure I have mentioned them before. David made some huge steps in the right direction this week. We have been trying to get him integrated into scouts, but it has been difficult to get him there. We learned on Thursday that he had gone to the activity the night before and that his dad brought him and talked to the Elders Quorum President for a good hour. That made my day when I found that out. Then we found out Friday that David was going on the camping trip this weekend with the boys. He is just making all this progress and we arent even doing anything! It is great! haha. On Sunday David and his dad were there at church with Aileen. They had a great time there and David is already part of the group with the other boys, so we didnt even have to worry about him. Also we got his dad to be a judge for the dessert competition at the ward party on Friday. Everything is just falling in place for that family! It is really awesome to see.

I was pondering the principle of Charity yesterday and a scripture really caught my attention. It was, “Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.” (Alma 34:29) Considering the fact that Charity is usually grouped with Faith and Hope as the three most important characteristics to have, I began to wonder the role that faith and hope play. The conclusion that I came up with is that Faith and Hope are focused on ourselves. They prepare a person to then obtain and retain the attribute of Charity. Faith is the first attribute that we must have. When we act on our faith it leads us to repent. When we repent we develop hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ. As we grow our faith we develop hope, and as we gain hope it helps to sustain our faith. At this point, having cleansed the inner vessel first we are now able to reach outward and help others do the same thing. As we then reach out and lose ourselves in service of others our faith and hope will grow effortlessly and we will be filled with the love of God. This last step is vitally important, for someone who never reaches out will eventually lose all of the faith and hope they have gained. Consider the scripture, “He that seeketh to save his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (JST Matthew 10:34)

I love y’all!! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua Cordon

Preach My Gospel and Pot Luck

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this was a great week for missionary work we have made leaps and bounds in becoming Preach My Gospel missionaries. I think the mission overall has been a very very humbling experience everyday the Lord reminds me I am nothing without him, and now (I am not sure why so late) I have truly began to understand the power of preach my gospel. This experience to train I feel like has been more for me and less for him sometimes. I have learned a lot about relying on others and allowing them the opportunity to grow, Using my time wisely, and most recently working with the ward.

I was analyzing our situation with the ward and why we are not getting more and more members to be receptive. Then something clicked something so big that I have been missing. Ward Missionaries!! I have been here Six Months and have not used them at all. So I met with the sisters and expressed my desires of having a ward missionary correlation meeting then with the ward mission leader. It went Amazingly they are all on board and have made some new goals. This meeting could not have happened at a better time. It was the 5th sunday and we didn’t have meetings before church so we could do it then and get everybody to attend, also it was right after the ward activity that we had planned. I have been making huge goals about trying to get 1 ward activity a month.

The ward was not so enthusiastic at first but we worked so hard and invited everyone (we did a good old potluck) We ended up having over a hundred people there and about 28 were investigators. with 7 ward referrals! It was amazing the ward is really excited about the success which is the real outcome that have been praying for all week! So moving into this meeting everyone was really excited to plan another event we have now lined up one per month for the rest of the year. In my eyes activities are the genius of this church. Because we contact people every day who are Christians and every time we ask them how they became one its typically “my friend invited me to activities” this helped the ward know its not scary to invite friends to these events!

But hey love you all!
Elder Jared Cordon

As Always!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well a wonderful week in the orient! We had a lot of mix ups happen this last week in the zone and in my district. They sent away the sisters and brought a set of elders in. Which happens to be my MTC (Missionary Training Center) companion Elder Cederlof and he is training its awesome it work near him and both be training at the same time, and then the other sisters in my ward are training as well so 3 greenies (*editors note: new missionaries) now in the district (*editors note: group of missionaries in a defined area). Its good the ward clearly sees good things happening in this area and we are excited to see the effects of all the excitement new missionaries bring to an area.

This week we also made some great progress with our investigators. We were able to organize a ward activity after some reluctance but it will be awesome we have already got 14 investigators coming and should be getting more. We are doing a good old potluck when I said the idea no one knew what it was but they like the idea. Our ward mission leader is so enthusiastic about all this he has taken a brake from work to do full time church service. It will be a fantastic event! Our investigators have really made some fantastic progress. We have now got uncle Fighter to church twice in a row and he has said he really wants to get baptized its just getting over a lot of addictions. First comes the desire then comes the change. We also got Peter Lo to commit to coming to our activity. We are going to introduce him to Gary because they both are in wheel chairs, love speaking English, Love America, Hate communism, I think they will be best friends for sure.

The biggest difference maker in the work this week is something that was expressed by our investigators. We heard on multiple occasions: You really care about me don’t you? with a look of tears on their face. People are really influenced by the amount of love you can show if you look at them the way Christ does. Well fantastic week.

Love you all! Enjoy the little things!

Elder Jared Cordon