Monday, June 29, 2015

How are you looking at life?

I realized this week in a big way, that my attitude and my outlook are what can make or break me. Being in a completely new country, with a different culture and a different language is hard, and it's hard having a companion that doesn't speak the same language as me. But though it is hard it is not impossible, nor is it horrible. I realized to make a day better or brighter I need to make it better or brighter. I need to focus only on the good and how the Lord has been blessing me, and through that outlook I can make it so much more better and brighter. Once I started doing that and focusing on how I can make each day better, I found myself happier and more easily able to participate in a lesson with our investigators. I was more easily able to accomplish the things the Lord needed me to accomplish by having a positive outlook and moving forward with faith. As many people reminded me this week, the Lord doesn't give anyone a trial they cannot overcome. So the lesson I want you all to learn is to change your outlook and to see the good rather than the bad. And focus on the people around you that you can help rather than focusing on yourself.

We have started teaching 2 new investigators. One is Santiago who has seen missionaries several times before and his girlfriend accepted the gospel and was baptized a while ago, but he never could accept the message that the missionaries were giving him. His girlfriend told us though after the first lesson, that there was a different spirit in this lesson then she has felt before and that we were actually able to help Santiago feel the spirit and to recognize something different about the same message he has heard several times before. Which to me was a huge blessing because the Lord was reminding me that I needed to be here and that I was taking part in helping someone understand the truth.

The other new investigator is Martin, who lives with less-actives and is not a member. He accepted the offer to sit down and listen to our message, and I doubt he had any idea what to expect. And through the lesson he had lots of questions and was intrigued the whole time through. It was awesome to see someones interest piqued on a message that they had never heard before. He has been keeping commitments and is excited to learn more everytime we set a new date for another lesson. I am excited to see where they gospel is going to take these two investigators.

This work is true, the Lord is amazing and I have been blessed beyond belief in my short time here in Ecuador and I can only imagine how the Lord is going to bless me more in the months to come. I love the people here and I love the opportunity to share the gospel with all of them. I am grateful for trials and learning experiences, because it makes you a better person and brings you closer to the Lord. The scriptures can bring so much comfort if you truly seek comfort from them. 

Love you all and thank you for the prayers and support!
Love, Hermana Cordon

Monday, June 22, 2015

First Week in Ecuador

Well 5 days in my area is said and done! I am in the Turubamba Norte Area and my companion is Hermana L√≥pez. She doesn´t speak any english and we are opening a sector. So basically my mission president threw me into the water head first, but for that I am grateful, because I feel like I am going to learn so much faster this way and so much more about what I need to do to find people and to get the work moving. My patience is definitely being tried, but everyday I am striving to be more and more patient. I am grateful for this opportunity to improve my weaknesses.
The area we are in used to be a Elder´s only area, but we are the first hermana´s in this area for over a year. Which is exciting, but the work has been pretty slow, because we are both new to the area so we are trying to figure things out and get things going. We were are able to meet with three investigators though and set a baptismal date for all of them! Two are the kids of a recent convert and they all came to church which was awesome! The other met with the elders previously, and came to the ward activity on saturday, but did not come to church and we were unable to meet with her yesterday. Hopefully we can meet with her soon and figure out why she didn´t attend church. It was a new experience for me sitting in church hoping and praying she would show up. I just want everyone to accept this gospel and I have such a strong desire for everyone to keep commitments.
My spanish is rapidly progressing. I can understand a lot more things and I get the basic idea of every conversation which is such a huge blessing! The Lord is definitely blessing me with the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. I am still not able to communicate cery well and I am not able to express myself very well, but everyday is better than the last. One day at a time, I just have to remember that I have only been learning spanish for 1.5 months, and so I cannot be expected to be perfect or even close to knowing everything! But the Lord is definitely helping me to understand a lot more and do as much as I can in his hands. 

A huge blessing is the Lord helping me to be positive when everything seems to be going wrong or I feel completely alone. I continually have a prayer in my heart to be strengthened through His atonement to bear this time with patience and happiness. If you need help, pray to Him with faith and He will help you.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thine ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
 Much Love, Hermana Cordon

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

¡QUITO!

I officially made it to Quito! The city is absolutely beautiful and I already love it! It was weird, the second I was off the plane, I felt right at home. It didn´t feel unfamiliar and I know that´s because I am supposed to be here! My mission president Presidente and Hermana Christensen are really nice and they came and picked us up from the airport. It was a very warm and friendly welcome which immediately made me feel loved. 


I find out tomorrow who my companion is and where I will be serving, which I am so excited about, and slightly nervous because of my limited spanish ability, but with trust in God I will learn all that I need to. 

Love, Hermana Cordon

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Final Days in the CCM

¡Hola!
Well first off the fact that I can say I am down to 4 days left in the CCM does not feel right. These last couple of weeks have flown by and I am more than excited to be finally getting to Ecuador and the real life of a missionary!

This week has been a really interesting change to the normality, for the ccm, of the first 4 weeks! I have a latina companion and a Latin district so A LOT more Spanish and a lot more guessing of what people are saying to me and what exactly is going on! :) My companion is Hermana Willson, she is from Argentina, but she also speaks really good English! It´s way nice, because I´ve actually been able to get to know her and to have real conversations with her, but at the same time she has helped me a lot with my Spanish and specifically my pronunciation. My goal is to not sound like a gringa when I finally actually am conversational in Spanish! :) My district is me and my companion Hermana Brimhall and her companion and 6 Latino elders. The Elders have been a lot of fun and always make sure to remind me and Hermana Brimhall that we shouldn´t be speaking English :) They are all really helpful as well making sure we know what´s going on and trying to slow down when we cannot understand them. It´s been really nice and I´ve truly enjoyed getting to know all of them, as well as I can with the tiny bit of Spanish that I know! I definitely have learned a lot more Spanish this last week and half and it´s been really helpful, but I am definitely more then ready to get out of the monotony of my schedule here!

Today was my last temple trip for the next 17 months, but I am very grateful I had the opportunity to attend the Colombia temple 6 times while I was here! One of the highlights of this last week was the bus ride back today. For the full 45 minute ride back to the CCM the whole bus was singing hymns the whole time. In spanish of course, but it was so much fun! It´s weird how the littlest things can put a smile on my face and make something so fun! It truly is the Lord blessing me to enjoy the small things and to enjoy the ride along with all the hard work that accompanies mission work. 

Well the next time that I will be emailing home, I will be in the field. I am so excited for Ecuador and for the ride ahead that the Lord has planned for me! Just remember to look forward always, but take life one day at a time, because if you don´t you´ll miss everything going on around you!

A simple reminder for you all from one of my devotionals this last week "Be grateful for the mercifulness of God." and "You need to cause things to happen, you don´t just let them happen."-If you have a goal in mind take it and make a plan and do all you can to make sure you accomplish it. It´s only going to be accomplished if you put in the work. 

Love you all!!
Hermana Cordon

P.S The first picture is me and my new companion and the second is my new district!







Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Just Two Weeks Left in the MTC!

¡Hola!


Well basically my weekend was the normal MTC routine of class and more class and learning a lot of Spanish! But that is what I am doing, learning Spanish and I notice it more and more everyday and it`s awesome! The Lord really is blessing me! I also did the temple session is Spanish today, and I understood quite a bit, which surprised me!! :)



Today was definitely the big highlight of my time here in the CCM. My district, for our last day as a district, got to go on a "tour" of Colombia! We went to this mountain tourist thing called Monserrate. It is at an elevation of 10,000+ feet and had the coolest views of Bogota. Bogota is a GIANT city. I never realized just how massive it was, till we could see the entire thing! 

On top of Monserrat overlooking Bogota City 
We rode this really sketchy tram type thing that we rode up the mountain in. And it basically going straight up or straight down, which was kind of intense! The mountain itself is pretty with really tall trees on it, since it basically rains everyday the mountain is really green! At the top we just looked around and saw the view and it was awesome just being able to walk around. 







Then we went into the church that was built on the top, because it was originally a religious sanctuary type place. It was a cool church, but it definitely was centered around Christ`s death. That`s something I really appreciate about our church is that we focus on the Resurrection and how that was why he had to suffer for us. I did appreciate the elegance of the church though and how much religious devotion they have, whoever built it. After we came back down, which was really sketchy cause it basically like we were staring at the ground because of all the windows. But it was fun!


Then we went shopping at a little flea market type place, and I got a Colombian souvenir of a llama sweater! It`s awesome. It was cool to see the little trinkets they all have and I am sure I am going to be coming back with a lot of Ecuadorian trinkets after my time there! :)


Hermana Cordon in her Llama sweater along with two missionaries who got one as well!
This picture is of me and my companion in front of our picture that they have hanging up in the CCM. We are CCM famous now! They will probably leave it up for several months even!
I get my Latina companion tomorrow and I am more than excited! It`s going to be hard, but it`s going to push me to use my Spanish more than I have been using it now being surrounded by people that speak English! I`m gonna miss English, but my mission is Spanish, it`s time to say goodbye to English! :) Thank you for the support and love and all the updates! I am blessed with many wonderful people who are sending love my way!

Love, Hermana Cordon