Monday, October 17, 2016

18 Meses


2 Bananas in 1 :)
Selfie with Companion
We didn´t really get to have many lessons with any of the investigators we already had, they were either super busy or not home. And so we had a bunch of time to visit with less actives and converts and find some new people that seem to have a lot of potential. A cool experience was that while we were knocking doors one afternoon. We had gone to a new place to try and find a contact, and we didn´t find her, so we decided to knock doors until a bus came to go to another part. And as we approached the first door, a bus came, but we decided it would be better to knock this door and we would catch the next one. We knocked, and a lady came to the door, she was hesistant, but as we kept talking she accepted to listen and let us in to share short message. After asking her a couple of questions about her, she opened up and told us how recently her husband had passed away and how she is now a single mom struggling to balance everything in life all the while fighting off depression. We then asked her why she allowed us to come in, she told us that she had just been praying asking God for help and guidance and as soon as she had finished her prayer, we knocked on her door. As she said that, that spirit just filled the room and testified to me that the Lord truly knows and loves everyone of His children and He knew that our appointment would have fallen through and He had put us in her path that night. We were then able to share about how the Atonement of Christ can lift her up and find joy and peace in this life. It was a really powerful experience and I am so grateful that I can be an instrument in Gods hand and be a literal answer to someones prayer. We are hoping to meet up again with her this week to keep sharing this wonderful message.

Pretty sunset with Chimborazo

Fernando and Patricia are transitioning really nicely and are just really great. Good news, Fernando recieved the Aaronic Priesthood this week, and the bishop has assigned him to bless the sacrament next week, so last night we reviewed the sacrament prayers with him. He is so great and is super excited to be able to be an instrument in God´s hands to bless other people.

We are working with 2 less active families, and if all goes well and we find them, they all will be saved by next sunday. They are all meeting with the bishop and have plans to go to the temple. It is great! I am so excited for them and I am so grateful for the chance that we have had to have been working with them.

Well the time has come, though it has seem to come by really quickly and at the same time seems like I have been a missionary for many years, my last week as a full time missionary is starting. Here we go! :) I am just grateful I at least have one more week.

I have learned alot on the mission. 
  1. I´ve learned that God loves each and every one of us, with our weaknesses and everything, He is patient as we work to overcome those weaknesses, and I have seen and felt the promise that He gives in  Ether 12:27 that He will make our weakness strengths, when we allow Him to work on us.
  2. I have learned that the best medicine to having joy, is forgetting yourself. When I have been the most focused on my investigators, less actives, companions, etc.. I have felt the most peace and have truly enjoyed the mission. For a good amount of time I focused alot on myself and on my weaknesses, but once I changed that mindset, the mission changed completely as well. It was a joyful ride, rather than a stressful, overwhelming ride. My weaknesses didn´t just disappear nor did the trials, but I was able to enjoy it alot more.
  3. I now know for certain that this is the church of God, the only true church on earth. I know that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of God, and his words are just God´s words. I know that the full power of God is here on earth and through it we can see miracles and just really feel the full extent of God´s love. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and that because He loves us so much, He literally gave Himself up and suffered and died FOR US. I know that God is my Heavenly Father and that He loves me. 
  4. We are truly here to be happy and to have joy, and through the Lord we can. 2 Nephi 2:25
  5. I know that the most important thing is going to the temple, and being able to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity. This needs to be EVERYONES goal.
I have learned a lot more and I am so grateful for these last 18 months I have had to experiment and learn so much. It was truly a life changing experience that I will forever be grateful for.

I love you all and thank you all for the love and support!

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

We went bowling today as a district, I won :) (sorry it is a dark photo, hopefully you can see it)

We found a dog with no front legs, he was able to walk by bouncing on his stumps.. and he just stood straight up as well.

Monday, October 10, 2016

2 wonderful people coming to Christ

This week, Fernando and Patricia were baptized!!! Such a great week, but with a lot of little to dos to get everything organized good for the baptism, but it all worked out great, and it was a very wonderful service and the spirit was really present. 

Us with Fernando, in his white shirt and pant :)
Fernando was super excited and nervous all week, but just really was looking forward to be able to be clean. There was a baptism in the ward this week for a little 8 year old, so we invited Fernando to come and see what a baptism is like, he loved it! He really enjoyed it and I know that it helped him to be a little less nervous for his own baptism, knowing how a baptism worked. Then in the baptism, he was able to bring his mom, who we hadn`t met yet, and she really seemed to enjoy herself, this week we are going to be able to meet with her and get to know her as well. After he was baptized he said "I feel blessed." Hearing that just made my heart happy, he is such a humble and sincere person with a ton of desire to follow God and he just wanted to change, and when he said that I knew he had been able to make that change and came to know God on a whole new level, and really felt the effects of the Savior`s atonement for us.  Yesterday after he was confirmed we asked him how he felt about everything and he said he felt great, also he was super excited when we reminded him that the gift of the spirit helps him to overcome temptations. He is great, and is heading in a great dirrection.

Us with Patricia, in her white gown :)
Patricia, disappeared on us this week, and we weren`t able to find or talk with her much. But, we had an appointment planned for friday night to finish up the lessons and to keep up her excitement for her baptism. She told us that she was going to come to the baptism of the kid in our ward, but didn`t show up. Then we tried calling her afterwards and it went straight to voicemail.. we were super anxious to talk with her and we were worried that she was getting scared or something that she was avoiding us to not get baptized. At that point Hna Bench was getting super worried, and so we went and found a room and knelt down and said a prayer for Patricia to find her and to help her to progress to her baptism for the next day. As we were praying I felt a bunch of peace and I knew the Lord was aware of Patricia and of us as well. Right afterwards we called her, and she answered right away! She said that she was on her way down and that she would be there in 10 minutes. Seriously was a testimony to me of the love of God. He loves Patricia and also wanted her to be baptized, also He loves me and Hna Bench and was able to comfort us in a time when we were worried for Patricia. I am grateful for prayers and for answers to prayers as well. We were able to visit with her, finish her lessons, and keep her excitement for the next day. She loved her baptism and just looked super happy and content. Afterwards we asked her how she felt and she said that she felt really good, and just couldn`t stop smiling. She also told us that she felt great after her confirmation and is really a great person, I love her so much!

I really love both of these wonderful people, and I am grateful for the chance God gave me and Hna Bench to work with them and to guide them along this path. I am so grateful for their examples and I have been able to learn so much from them. I know that they are headed along the right path and we are going to focus on strengthening them to help them to keep going down the right path and always have the Spirit with them. 

Baptisms always remind me very clearly of my purpose as a missionary. The people as they come out of the waters of baptism are full of light and joy, and that is the effects of being with God and after baptism they are right there with Him. I know that every little thing we do as missionaries when sharing the gospel, brings everyone that much closer to God and to His kingdom. I hope to give it my all these next 2 weeks to more fully fulfill my purpose as a missionary.

I love you all!!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Cordon

This is me with a giant book of mormon we found in our church, while waiting for the font to drain. 
It had pages and everything! It also weighed quite a bit.

Monday, October 3, 2016

"We are not judged, we are admired"


A funny thing about Ecuador is, there are not many white people walking around the none touristy parts of Ecuador, aka everywhere I have worked. And so when there are 2 gringas walking together we turn heads, and a lot of heads. So today, we were carrying a giant bag of boxes, and I said that we probably look funny and people were probably judging, but then I was like, no, we are not judged we are admired.. haha anything that we do just will become the trend here, because we´re white. :) The bonus of being white here. Also a member told us today, that because we are white more people will listen to us and we have more success then the latin missionaries, not really sure if that is true or necesarily a good thing, but it was funny :) I am sure this was a lot funnier for me and my companion, but enjoy :)

This sector is moving along great, we have some really marvelous people that we have had the blessed opportunity to be working with. Fernando, Patricia, and Veronica all had their interviews this week. Veronica, is going to be preparing for the 23rd to just keep increasing her faith, she is awesome and came to conference and really loved it. The only thing is now she is back to going to school and she is super busy, so we are hoping to be able to find her this week at least twice, but we have planned to work out a time with her that would be a good time to call and be able to have a little conversation and give her an inspirational message to keep her excited and progressing. Fernando passed his interview and will be getting baptized this weekend, as well as Patricia. Fernando had asked us, when we explained the interview, or the conversation he would have with Elder Miza, he asked us "What do I need to do to prepare? Should I read all the pamphlets again? What should I read?" He got super nervous and thought it was some sort of test, we explained it wasn´t and that he would be just fine, he was just super worried that he wouldn´t pass, because he wants to be baptized so bad. So he was super happy when he left and that he had been told that all was okay and that he could get baptized this weekend. Patricia was also super happy and loved conference, and really enjoyed the part about having joy. She just wants to be happy, which is the most important. She is excited for her baptism as well. If all works out, we are going to have their baptism Saturday, and we are super excited for them, and I just love the change that I have seen in them as they have accepted the gospel, it really is a marvelous thing when people accept the Savior and His gospel into their lives. 

They are really enjoyed conference, and I am so grateful for conference and the opportunity that we all have to listen to God´s servants here on the earth. What called my attention was the need to pray from your hearts and not just from your lips, because it is easy to get in a habit with your prayers, and also to really know and love the doctrine of Christ. The second coming is nearing and we need to be prepared for what is up ahead.

This week we started meeting with the Chimbo Family. They are 2 sisters and their kids, one has 3 kids the other has 2 kids, and 4 of the kids are over 8. They are all really great, and were able to come with us to Conference yesterday and really enjoyed it and loved listening to it. We are going back tonight to talk about it and see how they felt being able to listen to God´s Prophet. They are a great family and we are excited to be working with them. 

Something I am so grateful for is the baptism interviews. They really help the investigators to keep progressing and really make those final steps of repentance, if they hadn´t been taken, and to really feel the love God has for them. Everytime one of the people I have been working with has gone into an interview, they are always super nervous, but as they come out after having been able to talk to my district leader, they are full of light and joy and really just want to keep following God, and you can just see in them the love of God. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to be working with so many wonderful people, and that I will be able to be present in their baptisms as they take this important step to come closer to their Savior and Redeemer and enter into the kingdom of God.

I know this church is true and I am a grateful for the chance I have to be a representative of God during this time.

Shout out to my sister who got her mission call to South Carolina!! Woohoo!! 

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

Beautiful Ambato:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Leer, Orar, y Asistir

Well this week went great, alot of our appointments fell through, but we kept pushing through and we worked hard and we had an awesome week. 
Selfie with my Companion

We have 3 progressing investigators. Fernando, Patricia, and Veronica, all of which have a baptism date for the 8th. We love all of them and we are working hard with each one of them. Fernando asked us yesterday "Why can´t I just get baptized tomorrow?" Oh boy did that make us happy to hear his excitement to get baptized. I know that he is coming along and really letting the Lord change his life. Patricia is doing great and has come from being scared to be baptized to being anxious which is a great change! A
nd I am finally friends with her little 2 year old daughter, who´s name is Paola Micaela :) I love her second name! She has always been super shy with us and would never greet us or anything, but this week she finally greeted me and took me by the hand! So cute! Veronica is doing great as well and everyday we can see a change in her. 

This week, juggling trying to visit all 3 to get the lessons in, and trying to visit the less actives and converts, we had a hard time having new lessons with new people. I was really trying to figure out what we could do differently to be able to find new people to keep the work progressing, and not just have no investigator work after the 8th. Then, on friday we had a ward activity, and the bishop came up to us and told us about a friend of his that will come to church on sunday, and then came yesterday as well! He came with his wife and they both enjoyed the church. Then yesterday we were able to visit with them and their kids. They have 4 kids who are 13, 11, 8, and 1. They are all super receptive and want to know more. They are not married, but we are excited to be working with them and we have a return appointment set up with them for tomorrow. Really I know that the work moves forward a lot more productively when the members get involved, I have a strong testimony of that now, because for the first time in several months I am working with people who are progressing, and all three of them are references from members. We just got to keep working with the members and we got to keep getting them excited to get involved in the work. I love this ward and I love everyone who is excited to work with us and to help us out. We are seeing great things here in El Recreo. 

Watching Conference
Women´s Conference was great, if you didn´t watch it, do it. Some of the things I liked was "In the end everything will make sense." Dieter F. Utchdor. And I liked the general theme and what Sister Oscarson talked about how we are essential parts in the kingdom of God and a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ. I loved it and I am excited for conference this weekend!

In personal study this week I was studying a little bit of Joseph Smith´s story and I was thinking in the people we have been working with. Joseph Smith, to get an answer, went to many churches to see what they teach and how he feels. He searched in the Bible, he read it alot and really pondered on what he was reading. And he finally took it to God and prayed, with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith that God would answer him. And he got an answer, an answer that has changed my life and millions of others as well. While pondering on that, it just reinforced to be the reason we need to make sure that everyone we are visiting (investigator, convert, less active, member) is reading the scriptures, going to church, and praying to God. And if they do that they will have a testimony. Sometimes it seems so simple and so easy to do all those things, and it is. But, we need to make sure we are doing it with all of our heart and a true desire and then we will see miracles in our own personal life. No, not a vision and talk to God and Jesus Christ face to face, but something very powerful and very spiritual personally. I know that if everyone makes time, and really does all with their heart, that reading the scriptures and praying to God daily and a weekly church attendance will change your life spiritually. I testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Les Amo Muchísimo!

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

The typical cudor meal. You just have to have your rice, fries, and chicken.

We love Kinder Eggs. You can´t find them in the states, because they are illegal because they come with a little toy. But, they are delicious.

Called to serve, but written into how to pronouce it for a spanish speaker. 

Me with Deyni, a less active, and beautiful Ambato

We made mac and cheese with our mission leader and his wife, for our activity. We had a ward activity and each organization was assigned a country to present a food and a talent. So we got assigned the USA and we presented mac and cheese :) And we sang in english with the elders and our mission leader.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Baños round 4


Well today as a zone we went to Pailon del Diablo. It is a REALLY STRONG waterfall in Baños and seriously it is so pretty and really just puts me in awe about nature and about the creations of God. I seriously love this beautiful planet, and especially beautiful Ecuador and its wonderful waterfalls. We got completely soaked again, and so we came back super cold, so we were happy to put on nice warm clothes. Just my hair has a nice after effect of the humidity of Baños and being soaked :) 

This week I kept focusing on focusing on the spirit and really noticed a difference. This week a ton of appointments fell through, everyday. And we were found where all of our appointments, including backup plans, were null and we weren´t sure what to do. But, this week I noticed alot more of the hand of God in this work, and I am convinced its because we turned to Him more. We found ourselves praying to Him, letting Him guide us, and really trying to focus on what the Spirit was saying. And I know that if we keep doing that, we will see a huge difference. 

One miracle was that we were walking in the rain going over to try and find someone we had contacted a couple of days earlier. While walking there, we noticed some kids huddled under a poncho running to their house, and then they noticed us. They all started waving, and we waved thinking it was probably some little kids that wanted to wave to the two gringas, but then one of the kids asked us if we remembered him, and then it clicked in my mind that it was the kids of the person we were headed to. So we said yes, and we asked if they were going to their house and if their mom was home, they said yes, and then they showed us to their house. Their house was really complicated to get to and so we never would have found it if we hadn´t had run into them. They are a cute little family, and we haven´t been able to visit with them again, but we are praying that we find them this week. We were really grateful for that little "coincidence" or better said miracle from God. 

We also were able to visit with 2 other new families this week that are really great and seem like they have a lot of desire to follow God and to learn more about Him, we have been praying to find a family and we were able to find 3 this week. I know that families can help each other progress and really come to God, so I am grateful for the chance to be teaching them and helping them to know the way that can bless their family. 

We have 2 progressing investigators right now, and they are really great! One is Fernando, and he is a 18 year old boy and has a ton of desire to know God and to follow Him. One thing that really respect about him, is his prayers. He really has such sincere prayers and pours his heart out to God, and with that desire we have seen him grow over the last 2 weeks and really have come so much closer to God. The other is Patricia, she is great and has been really doing all she can to follow God and to change her life for the better. She loves what she sees in the church and she wants her daughter to grow up in the atmosphere of the church. We are excited to be working with her as well and to really see the change in her from the gospel. They both have baptism dates for the 8th of October, and we are praying for them.

Hermana Bench and I are getting along great as well. We work hard and I love her desire to work and her desire to just do that much more. She is great and I love working with her.

It was a great week and I really love this work and these people.

Con mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

Me with Fernando (our investigator), Gaby (a member, and his girlfriend), and Jessica (the less active we have been working with). I love them!
Us with a member that came with us for the afternoon
We had divisions this week and I was with Hna Loayza, she is great

Monday, September 12, 2016

El Recreo Round 3

Great news, I am staying in El Recreo with Hna Bench to finish out the mission!! I am super excited to be able to be here for the next 6 weeks and to keep working with these wonderfully amazing people here in El Recreo. Also I am stoked to be able to keep working with Hna Bench. It also means I will have about 7 months here in Ambato, but thats okay, cause it is the best!

We went with Jessica and her Mom to feed
their animals, we forgot our cameras.
Her mom gave me her shall to put on,
because it was super windy, and she put it on
the Ecuador Way.
Jesica, our less active, is doing good. She has never come to the first hour, but has been coming to church for awhile now. So we talked to her about why we need to go to the first hour, mainly for the sacrament. She thought you had to be basically perfect to take the sacrament, so she didn´t go, because she didn´t feel worthy enough to take the sacrament. So we cleared that right up, and testified to her that the sacrament is for the imperfect people who are trying to do better. I love the sacrament, and here on the mission I have been really able to understand it on a whole new level. 

This week was sad, because we had to drop two of our investigators. I come to love every one of our investigators and I am able to learn so much from them. But, there comes a time when the person isn´t progressing and is not doing what we are asking them to do, we have to love them enough to let them go and to allow them to come back, when they will progress. I am just super grateful for the chance we had to meet with them and for all that I was able to learn from them. 

We had a service project this week, and we painted. It was fun! Fun fact: Ecuadorians think you need to put half water and half paint, so we basically painted the wall with water. And it was a white wall, that we sanded last week, and so we were putting a new white paint on it. But, it just ended up being gray.. It was kind of funny, just painting the wall and just finding gray in our paths.

Use with Deyni, a less active we are working with
that goes to appointments with us.

The members here are great, and we have been able to work with so many here. Hopefully we can just keep working with them and finding more people to work with.

Not much to share, but I love the work and I love the mission. Just keep on keeping on :)

Love you all!!
Con mucho amor y cariño,
Hermana Cordon

Our District, Elder Paiz left, but everyone else is staying

Beautiful Ecuador, the view from our front door.

Our Zone

Monday, September 5, 2016

Just Working Hard

At the service project

Well time is flying by and I cannot believe that it is september already. People are so kindly reminding me of how little time I have left, but at the same time it is really helping me to use every moment I have left. I love the mission, I love this time I have to focus on the Lord and on His work and to really dedicate my time and talents. I just want to be able to completely focus on the work and give it my all, and I am so happy to be with a new missionary in this time to really keep me focused and to feed off of her new missionary energy and diligence. Hna Bench is amazing, I really do love her. I have learned so much from her and her diligence and I can see myself getting better with her example. She was sick a bunch this week, and we weren`t able to work as much as we wanted to, but we kept a positive attitude and we are excited to get out and work harder this week. Seriously I think I am learning more from her, than she is learning from me. 

This week we had a service project with our zone, and so we sanded some walls for about 4 hours. We were sanding off white paint, so we got covered in white chalk, and it looked like christmas in the rooms! haha It was fun, but I ended up coughing all day :) Pictures attached, we look great. Our zone is great and we always have such a great time together, and we are all super diligent in the work and are supporting everyone together.
Us with 2 hermanas and the cookies

Also today for Pday we learned how to make donuts from an hermana that has a bakery, and the trade off was that we taught her how to make cookies. No one here knows how to make good cookies, and so she now knows and is going to start selling chocolate chip cookies :) It was a fun afternoon.

Though we didn`t work too much this week, we worked hard and did our best. We were able to visit with 2 member referrals this week. And they are great! It really makes such a difference in the work when the members get involved and really share the gospel. All of our progressing investigators right now are member referrals, so thats cool. 

One of the new investigators is Patricia, she has gone to church 2 times in a different ward with some family. She has a little girl and she really wants to change so she can give her daughter the best life possible. She has loved what she has seen in this church and what she has seen in her family as well. She is super receptive and just loves this gospel and I love her sweet spirit and the love and patience she has for her daughter. She is really seeking to know the truth and is really searching it out in her mind. I just know that she is going to find the changes she wants to see with time, because that is true conversion: A change in your heart and mind.  

The other is Marisol, she is super nice and really likes this message as well, we only shared the first lesson with her and then she was going to come to church, but had an inconvenience so she wasn`t able to come, but we are excited to keep working with her and to see where it goes. 

Jesica, our less active, finally accepted and had an interview with the bishop, it was a big step for her and she looked a lot happier and a lot more at peace yesterday when we visited with her, she is super close to being saved! I just love her and I have been able to learn a ton from her in our time visiting with her and helping her, the spirit is super strong in every one of the lessons that we have with her. 

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support!

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon
After the service project

Hma Bench and I at the service project

our two donuts

Me with my donut