Monday, May 30, 2016

Una Semana Buena

¡Hola mis queridos amigos y mi querida familia!

Our Lunch Today
Today we had a relaxing pday, which was nice! We went to our chapel, which is right by our house, and made lunch and cookies! We made a typcial Ecuador meal; rice, egg, maduro, and avocado. But, we are not quite Ecuadorianas and it didn`t really taste that great, mainly the rice, because we didn`t have salt and didn`t want to run over to our house... haha but, it was still good! We also were able to organize our house in a new way which opened it up and makes the place feel better, I hope that will help us to relax more in our house and to not feel so claustrophobic, because our house is really small. But it looks a lot better now!

I always seem to find myself on mondays feeling like I did so much, but not being able to remember anything that we did.. but, it was a good week! We kept contacting and enjoying the work. I am doing good, and I was not stressed this week, I have been able to once again put my trust in the Lord that if we are doing all that we can, He will put the people in our path that need to hear our message. Maybe we are not finding any families right now, or a lot of our appointments fall through, but I know that I am putting in my effort and this week I remembered to really pray for guidance and to seek the Lord in all that I do. It is easy once you get in the routine of things to just do it and forget what source you should be doing it through, but this week I was able to remind myself to seek His guidance and to really stop and ponder on what we should be doing next. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel as though I am making progress, which is always a good thing. 

This week, like I said above, a lot of our appointments fell through. I feel like everyday we have planned like 5 contacts from other days, and then they all fall through. I just know that we just have to keep working and it will all work out in the end. One thing that happened this week was with Stanley, our investigator, we had an appointment planned for saturday night at 7. We had called and confirmed in the morning and then we called at 6:50 to tell him we are going to be there in 10 minutes, and he said that he was going to be another 30 minutes, we changed to 8. We had a member with us and she agreed to join us for 2 hours, so great! So we went and visited a less active close by where we were, which was awesome cause we hadn`t been able to get an appointment with her all week! Then we went back to Stanley´s house at 8, and he wasn`t there. And he also didn`t answer his phone. It was a little weird and we didn`t know what happened. But, we walked the member home and then we ended up sharing a message with her to animate her more. We then tried calling him again sunday morning to verify if he remembered about the church and if he was going to come. And he didn`t answer, so we figured that he wasn`t going to come to church. But, about 2 minutes after sacrament started, he showed up! And without us asking, the member that we have as his friend went and sat by him and everything! It was awesome, he doesn`t have a baptism date right now, because the last appointment we had he wanted more time, and he wouldn`t commit to a new date. We have an appointment tonight so hopefully we can help him to accept a new baptism date for the 18th. We also finally were able to have an appointment with a less active that we contacted awhile ago, but every time we passed by she could never visit with us, but this last saturday she was able to visit with us which was great! We have a lot more confidence with her and hopefully we can help her to feel the spirit and to come back to church, she has been inactive for over 20 years. I do love this work! :)

We also had a ward activity this week focused on families, trying to get people excited to get to the temple and to become an eternal family. It was a lot of success and there were alot of investigators there as well! It was great! Me and my companion helped our pensionista family with a sketch that they put on, because they are one of the families that are sealed in the temple. They put on a sketch about there life before they became members and how the gospel had changed their lives. The Hno was always drunk before he became a member, so they acted that and it was hilarious! And it was sad to see what their family was like, but with the gospel they have changed so much, and now they are an eternal family!! I seriously love this about the gospel, it doesn`t matter where we are at in life, what problems we have, what kind of people we are, we can change and we can become better people, we can become the person God wants us to be.  No one is a lost cause, which is thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I know that this is the work of the Lord, and it is not easy for us, because it was never ever easy for Him. I know that He is with us every step of the way when we are obedient and trust in Him and try to do His will. I love my Savior and all that He did for me, and I am so grateful for this short time I have to offer to Him and to invite and help my brothers and sisters here in Ecuador come closer to Him. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints is the true church of God. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all and thank you all for you love and support!! Have an absolutely amazing week and don`t forget to keep your thoughts centered on Christ!

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

P.S. Here is a REALLY COOL VIDEO you will LOVE IT!

Close up of the Crab

 Me with a crab that my pensionistas granddaughter had 
 Me with a crab that my pensionistas granddaughter had 
Here in Ecuador with creamier soup, we put popcorn in our soup. It actually is really good. 

Cool Pants we bought!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hugs for a Smile


Well a funny experience this week was we were walking with a member to go and visit another member, and as we were walking we saw 4 men in suits sprinting down the sidewalk. We went to step out of there way, when they stopped and said "un abrazo por una sonrisa" (hug for a smile) and came in to give us a hug, and me and my companion both quickly stepped back and quickly explained that we couldn´t hug them, because we are missionaries. They were slightly confused and were hopping we would make an exception for them. We didn´t and I am sure the real reason why they were sad is because they weren´t able to hug the two gringas. I promise you we are probably the most popular people here in Ambato :) haha About every other car passes by and honks and the guys inside are waving like maniacs... it is quite funny and we just smile at each other and say "look, more friends!"

The Girl with a  Skirt

We went to go and visit a less active this week, she is less active because she isn´t married and lives with her boyfriend and he isn´t a member. I hadn´t been able to meet the dad yet and this week he was there!! We were able to get to know him better and to really gain his confidence, and it has been a year since he has listened to the missionaries so we are hoping that this time around he really opens up to the gospel and can become an example for his daughters. They have two little daughters and one was baptized in our church a year ago. We asked him what he likes about our church and he was saying how he likes the difference he sees in his daughters. He likes the way they pray and how they have a relationship with God and all that stuff. We then explained that those things he likes about the gospel can only be amplified if he accepted the gospel and showed his daughters the correct path. He really opened up to that when we said that is daughters would learn and grow even more if he would just show them the correct path. Hopefully we can help him and that they can become an eternal family at one point. 

We visited another less active and she is awesome and really wants to be active in the church, just doesn´t understand alot. Her daughter, who is like 21, is inactive and is always there when we are talking to her mom, but hides in the back. This time we were able to get the daughter to join us and she was super open and accepted the invitation to start learning about the church again to gain a testimony. That was an awesome experience as well.

We were able to find a couple of new people this week, hopefully we can help them to progress and to really relate to this message and to change their lives. Stanley is still progressing, he was able to go to all 3 hours of church yesterday which was awesome!

Our ward has planned an activity for this friday for all the couples in our ward that aren´t married so that they can get married. Hopefully we have success with this activity. It is a lesson focused on families and the temple, it should be cool.

Today we went to a park close to our house that has a bunch of hedge scupltures. Enjoy the pictures :)

I love you all and I hope you all have an awesome week!

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

Jumping for the Stars 
Hidden in the Maze

Me and My Companion

Monday, May 16, 2016

Trusting in the Spirit

Today was a great Pday! We went as a zone to Baños! It is a cool tourist place here in Ecuador, and I haven`t had the chance before to get to know it, so it was cool to be able to finally go! We went to a waterfall called El Pailon del Diablo (The Devil`s bowl) and it was so cool!!! When we got there it was raining, so we knew the waterfall was going to be huge, but it was a lot bigger than we expected. When we got to the waterfall there is stairs to go down to get down to the bottom of the waterfall and we started walking down and within 2 seconds a huge wave came crashing down and we were drenched!! And there was a way to go up behind the waterfall and it was so cool!! Seriously so pretty and a cool experience, and we were drenched from head to foot. Also as we were taking our district photo all of a sudden a giant wave crashed in a soaked us again, we were very surprised! And the problem was, was I was wearing a sweater (Because they didn`t tell us what we were going to do in Baños, and it wasn`t raining in Ambato) and it got super stretched out and now I am going to have to wash it by hand.. Lets see how that works out for me :) But, everyone was laughing really hard and screaming about how cold the water was and because we did not expect to get soaked.. haha just a cool experience! Ecuador is such a pretty country!!

We had a really cool experience yesterday with a less active, Miquel. Our appointments that we had planned yesterday afternoon fell through, so we decided to call the Flia Baus (some members) to visit them and to get to know them better. When we got there, Miquel was there as well. He is the brother of the Hno Baus, and he is a member as well, but hasn`t gone to church in over 39 years (he was baptized 40 years ago). We were talking and then we ended up starting our lesson and we had asked him if there was a reason why he wasn`t going to church, he said that it is because he never felt the spirit and that he was expecting to feel differently, so he left, because he never felt the spirit. Then he told us a story of how he had gone to a christian church service and just had a really overwhelming feeling of happiness and he was like that was the Spirit, I know that is what I felt and it is what I didn`t feel in your church! I then shared how growing up in the church I always had the doubt that I never felt that I had felt the spirit, because everyone always explained it as a burning in your chest, but I never felt that, so I was convinced it was just because the spirit wasn`t talking to me. But, over time I began to recognize the way it talked to me and how he testified of the truth of the gospel to me. We then explained how everyone feels the Holy Ghost differently and it is different for everyone. Then the granddaughter of Hno Baus was able to share her experience as well, and she explained how she had the same experience as Miquel. She felt great in another church and she was convinced that she had never felt the spirit in our church, and she was confused. But, as she kept explaining her story the spirit just filled the room and we were all developed with the spirit, honestly the strongest I have felt the spirit in a lesson, and we all were crying. And she was saying how she began to look back at her life in the church and realized the many moments that she had felt the spirit and didn`t put much importance in it, and she had just forgotten. She explained how there were many moments that the Lord had completely lifted off her burdens when she was weighed down and she had just forgotten. It was a really powerful experience and you could feel the spirit literally confirming what she was saying was completely true. Then we were able to testify to Miquel that what he felt why she was talking was the Holy Ghost confirming that it was true. He then started crying and saying that he has always been looking for Christ and has just wanted to follow Christ. He said that what she had said really got to him and touched his heart and he felt really good. When we testified again that that was the Holy Ghost, he was like Really?? That is the Holy Ghost?? And he really changed, his whole demeanor and his outlook changed. We commited him to keep listening to the missionary discussions and to come to church this sunday. He doesn`t actually live in our ward boundaries, he lives in a different ward. But, I am so grateful for the experience to have felt the strength of the spirit and the importance of having the spirit testify in a lesson, because we can talk all we want, but if they don`t feel the spirit than it won`t change them.

We were guided to three new people and were able to visit them this week! One is Monica, who doesn`t believe alot in religions, but God is the most important thing for her. Hopefully we can keep helping her to enjoy and love even more God and realize that His was is an organized way. Also we met with Ruth on tuesday and she was really receptive and had lots of questions, then on friday when she came to our second appointment she brought her son as well!! He seems really receptive as well and wants to know the truth of all things. Hopefully we can help them to keep growing in faith and to feel the spirit. 

We contacted a lot this week, but really I enjoy contacting and I just remind byself that whether we visit them or not we are planting seeds for when missionaries come around again they will be more receptive. I love this work and I know that this is the Lord`s work so I need to make sure to give it my all and to trust in Him and give myself over to Him. I just need to forget myself and get to work!! 

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!! 

Mucho Amor, 
Hermana Cordon

The Hermanas

My District

Me of course!

My companion and I
My Zone on the bridge

Monday, May 9, 2016

Feliz Dia de la Madre!

Well it was really awesome talking to my family yesterday and hearing from my big crazy family! Technology is so amazing that we were able to have 8 different connections on our skype call, pretty cool :) Thank you for always dealing with me and sending me your support, I love you all!

Well, I have to say that this was a really long week in the mission for me. I am sad to say that yes at times I got a little discouraged and thinking that I must be doing something wrong for all of our appointments to be falling through. But, I was able to keep moving forward and I am excited and looking forward to another week. I am really happy that me and Hna Stoneking will be staying together and we are going to be able to keep putting our efforts into this sector and we hope to start seeing some fruits of our labor! Now, don`t get me wrong, I still love the mission, I love the work and honestly I am so grateful for these trying moments that I have in the mission, because it keeps me growing and improving. I learned a lot about focusing on the Spirit and learning to keep moving forward even when the disappointment comes. I was reading a talk about the Fourth Missionary again this week, and it mentions a lot about a 3rd and 4th missionary. They are both obedient, righteous missionaries, but the 3rd one does it out of obligation and the 4th one does it out of desire to do the right thing and out of love for the Lord. Though at times I was discouraged I kept going, because I wanted to do the work I was called to do. I wanted to keep giving people the chance to accept the gospel, even if they kept repeatedly rejecting us. There is a quote that I really loved from this talk; "Just give upSurrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. Withhold nothing. Turn it all over to Him; all of your desires, wishes, dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just in your behavior. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all thing. Trust Him who has all power. Trust Him whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him, who alone suffered, paid and atoned for you sins, and for your weaknesses as well. Trust Him that He will make of you, immeasurably more, than what you will ever, ever, in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God." (Anyone who would like to read this talk, just shoot me an email and I will forward it to you :) ) And the best thing about this quote is it applies to anyone and everyone, whether you are a missionary or not. If you give it up to Him, He will shape us into the person we need to become. I truly love this.

A cool experience was yesterday we had a lesson planned with a family that we contacted a couple weeks back. In the contact the husband was very contentious and just kept telling us that all churches have been formed to confuse people and that unknowingly we are following Satan. We testified to Him that are purpose isn`t to confuse but to help people to understand and we never try to convince only help people to know for themselves. After a little conversation we were able to set up a time to come back. That time kept changing, but yesterday we finally were able to visit them. I was really worried yesterday morning for this lesson, because I didn`t want a lesson where he is fighting and we are desperately trying to get him to understand our point of view. I kept a prayer in my heart as we went into this lesson making sure that the spirit was going to be teaching that lesson not me or my companion. A couple of months ago I would have gone into that lesson, ready to whip out whatever scripture I had that would prove him wrong or whatever point I had that would should him what he needs to change, but I would have walked out of that lesson feeling frustrated and drained from not having the spirit. But, yesterday we testified simply instead of trying to prove. We testified that this gospel is a gospel of truths and enlightenment and through this gospel we don`t have the confusion from the world anymore. Now we didn`t even get to really teach a lesson, but we let him feel the spirit and we were able to set up a second visit. That strengthened my testimony that if we testify rather than prove we are going to help the lost sheep more than if we tell them they are wrong and they need to change now. We need to guide them to change we can`t push them to change. It was a faith strengthening moment for me the importance of focusing on the spirit. 

I hope that you can all take a minute to think about how you can even more give up your will and surrender to the Lord. We can all work on this together. I know that this is the way of the Lord and that this is the way to true happiness. Don`t let the world convince you that giving in and surrendering yourself to His will makes you weak, because in reality it makes you strong. I love the Lord and I am so grateful for the patience and love that I know He has for me.

I hope you all have an amazing week and know that I love you!!

Hermana Cordon

Photos: My pensionista family, they are seriously the greatest family and my family here in Mira Flores. We even bought our pensionista a mothers day gift and they always call us their daughters :) I love them!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sleep Contacting

Well my brother came home from his mission and my other brother got married this week, a lot for my family. And with a bunch of things going on, I kept doing the same thing here, and I couldn`t be happier. I am so grateful for this time to serve the Lord and I wouldn`t trade it for anything else. It was a good week and I am grateful that I was able to stay focused and wasn`t distracted thinking of my family and home.

Indigenous Statue at the Market
Well first off my companion told me one day that I had woke her up during the night, because I was talking in my sleep. Apparently I was contacting someone and it was in spanish! I guess that is a good sign that I am spanish sleep contacting! haha I thought that was a pretty good sign! And back that up with the husband of our pensionista is always giving me a hard time about my gringa accent, but I am secretly grateful, because it is helping me to improve my spanish! My accent still has a lot of room to improve.

My companion was sick this week, so we lost of little of working time, but I just kept animating my companion and making her feel bed. It is so hard to be sick on the mission! And she has been sick like really bad 4 times already and she is still in her second transfer.. so difficult, but she is awesome and keeps pushing through! During this week trying to help my companion realize why the mission is so awesome, because sometimes it can get hard, it just makes me love the mission even more. It is a great time to learn and to grow and to become like Christ. I won`t have another time like this, this time completely to focus on how I can become more like the savior and to really put all my energy in His work. It is quite the blessing. My companion is so awesome and I am learning so much from her about being really diligent and truly giving the work your all!

We went to the Market for P-day and I found
 this cool hat... I didn't buy it though!
We were blessed with a bunch of little blessings this week from the Lord and He was guiding our footsteps. I am really trying to focus on truly following the spirit as I teach and for everything that I do really. Sometimes I just get in the habit of being a missionary and forget to really focus on what He is telling me to say and do, I just need to remember whose work this really is and that without His spirit I am not going to have much success. I know that it will be a huge blessing if I can learn how to follow the spirit in everything I do, and this has been my focus this last week and will be for the rest of my mission I believe. I am also learning that I need to think less about myself and my needs and a lot more about the people around me and my companion. I am here to serve and sometimes I think to much about myself and my personal struggles. I still have a lot to work on, but when I focus on the work and the people, those things will come as well. The Lord blesses us a lot more, when we forget ourselves. I really love the quote from what Gordon B Hinckley´s dad said, "Forget yourself, and go to work." I just need to forget myself even more and to really just focus on the work and the service I am here to do for others. 

I found myself in a lot of moments of reflection especially with the last email from my brother, I began thinking about where I want to be and who I want to be when my time has come to a close, and as I started thinking about that I realized that I still have a long way to go. Gratefully I still got time, I just have to use it wisely. 

Selfie with the Statue
I am so grateful for this work and the love that the Savior has for me and every one of you guys. I know that this is the true church and it doesn`t matter how many times people try to tell me why we are wrong or confused or ignorant it just makes me love this church more and know with a stronger assurance that this church is true. We have so much opposition, because it is the true church. It wasn`t easy for the Savior so it won`t be easy for us, that`s what Elder Holland has said many times. Today a guy in the mall, as we were eating lunch, was trying to argue with us about how the Book Of Mormon contradicts with the bible and all that fun stuff, but as he was talking I just had a strong feeling, that okay if you want to find mistakes and contradictions, you`ll find them. Because, you won`t understand what it is trying to say and you are going to find what you are trying to find, you`ll make anything work. I know without a doubt that the Book Of Mormon is the word of God and is a compliment to the bible. And with them both together we have everything we need!

This is the work of Jesus Christ and I am so grateful to be His representative and to be working in it.

I love you all!!
Tengan una maravillosa semana!!
Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon