I Didn’t Even Realize It Was Raining…

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a pretty amazing week and a half. The work is moving along great and it humbles me more and more everyday as I see the lord at work. We hard 3 exchanges happen and so plenty of learning has taken place! We have also seen some cool success with our investigators!

The first exchange: I went with Elder Anderson(we share an apartment) to his area in Kowloon City. At the start of the exchange we set some lofty goals in contrast to the numbers that they had been seeing. But we were determined. We had a six hour finding block and we wanted to have 3 lessons and 2 of those rescheduled. Well the first hour and half burned by real quick. But as we were passing through a pretty quiet estate we saw a street cleaner resting in the shade we said hello and he didnt respond so we keep going. As we walked away I had this really strong impression that we had to go back and talk and I questioned the thought at firs, then I had the thought “this is a test go back and talk to him”. Well we went back and talked to him and we sparked a really good conversation. We were not able to get him to interested in listening but it brought a smile to all of our faces. 

After him it was only about a minute and we already contacting, later teaching someone else. We couldn’t reschedule, then right after we said good bye there was another lady that we contacted who was a former from Tai Po, we got here number, then we needed to head to a new area just shortly after being there we met someone just getting off work and taught him a lesson, we rescheduled him. At this point its raining really hard but, we didn’t care we were gonna reach our goal. Just shortly later almost out of finding we were teaching someone else and we were able to reschedule him. This exchange was great for the both of us and we really learned a lot, also a great blessing is one of those people is still meeting with those elders!

The second Exchange: This was with the Assistants and it was great! The day we switched Elder Williams and I had already been fonged by 7 people(thats a new record for me), but just right before we switched we went out to make up for our losses and taught two lessons and rescheduled both of them. Putting us in a great mood for exchanges. Elder Ly and I were able to teach another lesson that night as well. The next day was mainly teaching which was really good we had some great lesson and I was able to learn and absorb his great teaching skills. He is really good at being simple, bold, and too the point!

The Third Exchange: This one was was with Elder Ah Mu over in Tsuen Wan. We were also able to have a lot of great success together, given only about and hour of finding time we made several great contacts and taught two lessons. That area is really a great place to find. It was great as well being reminded of what its like training and focusing on a district as well. Elder Ah Mu really knows how to focus on other people. He really has excelled in his assignments. It was also really cool to see how the apartment was so focused that night we all had a really great discussion on teaching skills and how we could improve our studies. Elder Ah Mu came up with a great plan, using President Hawks advice and preach my gospel, on how to improve teaching skills. I took a copy and I am going to try it out over the next couple of days.

These exchanges were all very beneficial and very focused. Another interesting note is everyone that i went with entered the MTC with me. So it was really cool to see how we all have been progressing and working so hard. Truly you can see how the lord has shaped us all so differently!

On another note we saw two of our investigators really start moving along. Emiley a new one we been able to see a few times has accepted a date. Edward another who has been seeing missionaries for several months has finally come to church, although he missed sacrament he enjoyed the other stuff. Things are really going well here and we hope they just keep getting better.

It was an exciting time I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love Elder Jared Cordon!

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Improvement and Progression – Josh

Dear family and friends,

So, it was the first preparation day since Christmas that there wasn’t any sunshine. It’s amazing what kind of difference weather makes on attitude. It is not that am not happy but I’m a little more relaxed when it’s dark and gloomy outside. We are going to take advantage of all the rain though and play some sports out in the mud. This should be a lot of fun!

Fun thing that happened last week was that the day of transfers I knew that my old ward mission leader and his wife would be driving the missionaries from the ward to the transfer building. So I arranged ahead of time for us to meet up and get some lunch while they’re here in town. It was great to see them again and hear about how Deepcreek is doing. It reaffirmed the fact that I really want to go back and visit that Ward shortly after my mission. I definitely have a lot of good friends there.

My mission trainee Elder Barcala got transferred here to Jacksonville, and he is serving in the area next to mine. However, it is across the river and it is not in my zone. I don’t know how often I’ll see him but I am happy that he was finally able to train, something he was really looking forward to doing.

While most of the missionaries in my zone stayed put we did however get a new district leader and new sister training leaders in the zone. In order to get the district leaders up to speed with the vision that Elder Hamilton and I have established we got lunch at chipotle with the district leaders. There’s something really nice about having a meeting outside over lunch. It just really makes things feel official, yet relaxed. I feel like there will be a lot of good things happening here in this in the next couple months.

We have been trying to get our companionship more integrated with the ward. After initiating some game plans we came up with to strengthen our relationship with the bishop and with ward members it feels like things are really starting to change. After having nobody sign up for dinner to feed us the first two months of February we filled our calendar for this week on Sunday. We also lined up several service projects throughout the week for the ward members. Some of the advice that we got from the stake presidents meeting we had on Sunday was to befriend ward members so that they could trust us with their friends.

We had already decided to initiate that idea so it was good to see that as we follow the spirit or vision was aligned with there’s just in time for us to see results the very week they suggested it. I hope that by the time I leave here missionaries will be begging to come to this area knowing the members will help them in all aspects of the work.

I guess one thing I never expected a mission would teach me is that of problem-solving and creativity skills. Truly you cannot just go through the work every day doing the same thing. You will have little success and you won’t be very happy. However, when you do your best to come up with good ideas and good ways to create change things really do improve, a lesson and A skill I hope to apply to everything I do for the rest my life. As Winston Churchill put it “to improve is to change to be perfect is to change often.”

More importantly, I have learned that true change comes from centering our lives on Jesus Christ and making an attempt to be more like Him. Not only is He the perfect example of how we should live, but He is also the way that we change. It was His atoning sacrifice that gives us that ability. What a blessing it is to be able to partake of that blessing each and every day! I Love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I know He loves every single one of us.
How can you change this week to improve your life?

Love,
Elder Joshua Cordon