Then and There!

WOW! What a week of Miracles let me share the first. Well we met this man who stopped us on the street and when we first met him he was high on some pretty heavy drugs. He said he wanted our help and to learn about god and change his life but, we were heading to a lesson and he was to high to help him then anyways so we traded numbers and moved along. Well we called him the next day and had a chance to see him for a little time. Luckily he was sober so it was a good discussion, we taught him the next day with a member and then later went to a baptismal service for the Tsing Yi ward. He really enjoyed the service and said he wanted to be baptized and afterwards we quickly told him that he needs to start quitting drugs now and he threw away his cigarettes right then and there. the next day he came to English class so, we were getting some good daily contact with him. We also found out that two years ago he got a divorce and his wife wants him back because they have a 10 year old daughter. He wants her back as well but knows he needs to change himself for it to work. So the perfect opportunity for him and us. But then next day he fongs (*editors note: dodges) our lesson and wont answer the phone. We thought we lost him. But Sunday morning Elder Dale gives him another call and he answers and we get him to come to church with us(shirt and tie as well). Testimony meeting ends up being the best one of my mission, I was on the end of my seat for every single one. After the meeting he tells us that he purposely avoided us the day before and decided that he was down and was not gonna keep meeting us. But he said he didn’t know why he answered the phone this morning because he knew it was us. Then when he came to church he said the feeling was so powerful and he cant even explain it, he said he has never felt that in any other church or religion before(and he has been to a lot). He also said he has tried to quit drugs many time but to no avail, but this time once we invited him to clean himself up after the baptism he has not had a single urge to do any drugs, to smoke, and even drink. We will see him again tomorrow at his house. But this is God at work when we don’t let our pride get in the way.

The other Miracle is with our investigator Dexter He has seen an amazing transformation over the last month and has prepared himself well. He faced some strong opposition last night from his grandparents after he passed his interview, and the amazing thing is, his first reaction was to pray then call us. We had the branch president come over to the church and we sat down with Dexter, helping figure it out so he can prepare himself for baptism.

The Lord is outpouring his blessings upon Tung Chung right now. In addition to that new investigator we also started working with 2 less active part member families, thanks to the work of an amazing member who wants are branch to be a ward and a chapel on Lantau Island so bad he spends all his days off visiting and finding less actives. We have really good unity with the ward so work is getting down. We did not have any scheduled finding time but we still found ourselves doing a lot of finding. As far as the 10 a day invitation from Elder Ballard I would say I am getting close but still got some room to get better. We talk to as many people as we can. Elder Dale and I are getting along great and we are working hard to be worthy to receive the blessings the has for Tung Chung

Zone Training was great we focused on just getting people inspired and becoming visionary to many people think missionary work is just tracting all the time. That’s really not at all and actually the companionship’s that do that are doing the worst. The lord wants us to use our heads and get creative, find ways to work more with members. We have been doing this and we are so busy we never have time to find! Also we spend so much time with members that they are so motivated to keep working. They also know that we are busy and they see the fruits of our work. The testimony meeting yesterday was so amazing. Almost every single person that spoke shared an experience they have been having with us recently, it brought me such joy because I had no Idea they were that appreciative of my efforts.

I love missionary work and I never knew it could be this good when I started, it literally has been just a continuous climb for my entire mission. I love it and if feels so good being so close to God, I think the greatest blessing is I have learned what I need to do to continue to feel this blessing after my mission.

If you not happy do missionary work, there is not better cure, and if you are happy well don’t be selfish and do some missionary work and help make others happy.

I love you all and so grateful for your support!

Elder Jared Cordon

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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)

 

The Lord is Opening the Flood Gates

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week was a busy one. For P-day I went and finally road a ferry. Also had the best gaak jai bang in hong kong. Gotta love mammies pancakes. It was a good day with a few upsets. One of the sisters got her card eaten in the ATM. But it was good times. Today we will be riding the worlds longest escalator.

Aaron has made some amazing progress we met him on Tuesday and then went to a dinner appointment. He is really set on serving a mission so he wants to help us teach and go finding. That night we decided to have him share the spiritual thought it went so well. The thought and impression really came to us that he is so ready now that we have no reason to wait until the 27th to baptize him. So we have moved him to this Sunday. He is more than happy. Its also really cool because he wants the Bishop to baptize him and the first counselor to do the confirmation. Its such a great way to get the members involved with these converts.

An amazing miracle has also happened on this very same day after teaching another investigator we heard a knock on the church door. Can it be that baptism are knocking on our doors? Well it just so happens that a lady feels very strongly that she must be baptized in our ward. She also wants her daughters family to be as well. So she came to english class than to church with her daughter and her kids and after church we taught them the first lesson and it went so well. That have committed to coming to church every week!

The young men in the ward have also stepped up their game. They showed up to church with two investigators that we have taught previously. Its great to see these boys start doing some missionary work.

Cheui HD (*editors note: HD means something similar to brother, so it would be Brother Cheui) a ward missionary also brought his dad, sister, and his sisters friend to church. We scheduled them for english class!

Heui HD also brought a relative to church He seemed to enjoy himself.

Things are going really really good here in the Butterfly Ward. Its crazy for me to think anyone ever could dislike this ward.

Also I got an amazing opportunity to attend the temple and man probably one of the best sessions I have ever had I am still on cloud nine!

Love you all,

Elder Jared Cordon

Who knew missionary work could be so INTENSE!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this week was truly a terrific week! So many great things happened and I have been blessed beyond measure. Anyone who thinks of their mission as a sacrifice doesn’t understand the bigger picture. It seems like there is this attitude of referring to missions as a sacrifice, but I never could even from the very first hour of my mission. Looking back I can’t help but just laugh at how I thought I knew the blessings that would come from a mission then, but oh how my mind as been opened to the beauties and blessings of the Gospel. I can’t wait to laugh at myself again 6 months from now. OH HOW BLESSED I AM TO BE HERE! I wish all of you could be experiencing this as well. On that same note, thank you Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and my home ward, along with anyone else I have forgotten, for making sacrifices in your lives so that I could have this experience.

The experience I want to highlight this week was a lesson with the wonderful Lily. She is the 17 year old sister of Hugo, a recently reactivated member. My wonderful companion found them street contacting back in September and has been teaching them ever since. On Friday we felt that it was finally time to get her to commit to a baptismal date. They have tried in the past, but she always said that she wasn’t ready. Our last few lessons have all been really powerful and we just knew that the time was now. We also knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, and that without the spirit it would be impossible.

We started out with some ice-breaking gentile conversation to lighten things up. After a few minutes we got to business by inviting the spirit in with a wonderful prayer. After the prayer we began with our plan of reading Alma 32. When I say that that scripture was perfect, I am serious! There truly could not have been a better chapter of scripture that one at that time for her. It addressed all of her concerns and we knew as we read that the spirit was confirming with her the truthfulness of those words. After reading I transitioned the lesson to our main objective of committing her to a baptismal date by giving a short shpeal (not a word, i know) on the importance of goal setting. She saw right through us and new exactly what we were trying to do. Nevertheless, we pressed on as we talked about how we know that she is ready and that it is within her grasp. I knew that it wasn’t too well received so I called an audible and told her that what we are going to do is to have everybody close there eyes for thirty seconds and just feel the spirit in the room, and then I would read to her the baptismal covenant in Mosiah 18. As we sat in reverent silence the spirit thickened to the point of tangibility. In a hushed voice I read the covenant and then looked her in the eyes and said, “I know you love God, so why not show it to him by committing your life to him.” Elder Hamilton followed up by bearing a powerful testimony and then he introduced the date of Jan. 26 as the day for her to be baptized. She seemed still hesitant and then he said, why don’t you pray about it? She responded with “okay, I’ll do that,” thinking that she was off the hook. Then Elder Hamilton said you should pray about it right now. She surprisingly agreed and said that we should join her. So we all knelt in a circle as she gave a humble and sincere prayer. She even said in that prayer that she knew that what the Elders have taught is true. After the prayer we sat for a few seconds to let her think about the answer she received. After about 5 seconds she was like, alright I know that is what I need to do. OH MAN!! I so excited, but in an attempt to keep the spirit by not shrieking with joy, I just sat there with a grin on my face simply nodding my head in agreement. IT WAS SO GREAT!!

Anyway, I hope ya’ll enjoy the story and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

I love ya’ll!

Elder Joshua Cordon