Monday, February 29, 2016

De Guaranda soy!


I seriously love it here in Guaranda! It is so different from my last 2 areas and I am loving the different atmosphere!! The only thing is it is so cold here!! I had to buy a jacket today, because I was freezing all last week, because I don´t have any warm clothes. I am grateful I was able to find something cheap and warm :) 

Here in Guaranda is a branch, and about 80 people come to church every week. Something cool is that they have family home evenings every monday and sunday, which is great! The only thing is the same group of people go to the family home evenings and they are are really active. Now we just have to focus on getting them to invite less actives to come with them and none members as well. If they start doing that these family home evenings could have a lot more success! This branch hasn´t really been progressing for the last year here, and so I am hoping that we can get some things moving here this change! There are some really awesome members here and I am excited to get to know them and to start working with them! 

There are not many investigators here right now, so we ended up doing a lot of contacting this last week to hopefully find some new people. We found 6 new people which was awesome, but none of them were able to go to church, but hopefully we can help them to get to church next week. Sunday is the biggest obstacle here for the people. Hopefully we can find some good people and help them all to progress!

My area here is so beautiful! It is a lot more country and its away from everything! Our sector has the center of Guaranda which has all the shops and everything, but we also have a mountain in our sector and the streets are dirt roads. But, when we go up we have a really awesome view of everything around us! It is great! I seriously love nature and there are really beautiful mountains here in Guaranda! 

One interesting thing here, is the garbage truck plays a song so that people know the garbage is coming to take their trash out. The song plays is "De Guaranda soy, de Guaranda soy.." Over and over again, it is in a beautiful way, but a lot is annoying :) De Guaranda soy, means I am from Guaranda. It is kind of interesting, I thought that, that was a ice cream truck kind of thing. haha

Also a recent convert gave us cupcakes on my birthday to celebrate me and my companions birthdays! Her birthday was one day before mine! It was so nice of him! 

I am excited to see what this change brings here is Guaranda! :) I love you all and I hope you all have a fantastic week!!!

Hermana Cordon
Photos: Guaranda!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Totto we are not in Quito anymore


Well.. first things first I am not in Quito anymore!! I finally left!! haha My mission is half of quito and the outskirts of south of quito. There are 4 zones in quito and 4 zones out of quito. I have spent the first 9 months of my mission in Quito and there isn´t a lot of difference between my 2 sectors. But today was changes and now I am the farthest from Quito in our mission. I am now in Guaranda!! I am here with Hermana Varney who has one transfer less than me and is from Wyoming! She seems really great and I am excited to be working with her!

An interesting experience happened today. So for transfers, if you are in Quito you go to Quitumbe. And you wait for people who are going to the same place as you to travel together. As  I was waiting the other Hermana wasn´t showing up. And I was going to go to Riobamba, that is close to Guaranda first and then meet my companion there and then travel to Guaranda. But, as we were waiting my hermana leader and a zone leader were thinking that it probably would just be better if I just go straight to Guaranda and they will tell my companion to meet me there. Well, they put me on a bus by myself and I went to Guaranda. It was a 5 hour bus ride and I felt weird being alone so I wasn´t really able to sleep or focus on reading or anything. Then I got here to Guaranda, not knowing where I was or what I was doing. The bus dropped us off in what seemed like a random parking lot. And so I got off in the pouring rain and struggling to take all my luggage to a canopy thing that was close by. There was a couple of people hiding from the rain there and they were all laughing at me as I was struggling. It probably was funny to see a lost gringa struggling with her bags.. haha Then I asked someone if they knew where a pay phone was and they told me that it was inside the terminal. And I realized that they had dropped us off in the parking lot of the terminal. So I went there and there was no one waiting for me... so I went and called the asistents to ask where my companion was. And they were like "You´re all alone??? Ya don´t worry Hermana we will send them to you right now." I then sat down and waited. Then after about 20 minutes came running over 2 elders and they were like "Hermana, hi we are going to take you to the wife of the district president here to wait with her while you wait for your companion who is in Riobamba still" So then I ended up traveling in taxi with these elders to find this hermana and when I got there after about 5 minutes my companion showed up. I have no idea if this made any sense, but I am just really happy to be with my companion and to not be alone anymore :) hahaha it was quite a funny experience!

Yesterday was a sad day saying goodbye to people! 5 months in one area you get pretty attached to some people! The hardest goodbye was my converts the Flia Medina! They are so amazing and they were really sad to see us go, because both me and my companion left and two new hermanas are coming in. But, they knew that my birthday is this week, so they had bought me a cake and sang me happy birthday and it made me feel so loved!!! They are so amazing!! We had finished our lesson and Enny ran to the kitchen and then the next thing I knew they turned off the lights and brang out a cake with candles and started singing happy birthday in spanish and then in english!! It was so sweet of them!!! They seriously are my family here in Ecuador and it was hard to say goodbye, but I know that they are going to stay strong and be able to go to the temple in december! I have photos, but I left my camera in the house so next week I will send it!

With my birthday coming up I have been thinking about what has happened since my last birthday and who I have become and now who I wish to become this next year. I cannot believe that I am going to be 20 years old, but I am so happy to be spending my birthday on the mission serving the Lord. This will be a birthday I will never forget and I am excited to keep growing and learning on my mission to become an even better person and more like God wants in this next year. I just have to put my trust in God and then He will lead me and mold me to His will.

I love you all and I hope you have an absolutey amazing week and thank you all for the birthday wishes!!!

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Most Important Work!

So this was a very exciting week, because Elder Holland is here in Ecuador and we had a conference with our whole mission on saturday. And boy was that a very special experience. We had an apostle yelling at us for over an hour, but yelling at us with the spirit and a ton of love. We could just feel the love he has for the Savior, for missionary work, and for missionaries. It was a privilege to sit and listen and be taught by him and the Holy Ghost. He was very firm on the fact that we are engaged in THE most important work on the planet, and that is bringing the gospel of Christ to the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. He was emphasizing how we take our calling very lightly, and don´t realize the importance of what a mission really is. He also was saying how when Christ suffered for us so that we could have the atonement, he was COMPLETELY alone. Now we, as missionaries and members, enjoy the blessing of the Atonement. But, we should never leave Christ alone again. And we can stay by His side when we help others know about this gospel. and thats the most important thing. We should not leave Christ alone again, we need to make sure we stay with Him. I also liked something he said about missionaries are shepards. We guide His sheep back to Him, and a shepard CAN NEVER LEAVE THE CHURCH. We made a lifelong commitment to stay faithful when we signed up to be a missionary, and we made a covenant when we went through the temple to go on a mission and we expect people to change on the mission and so we need to make sure we change and we stay changed. We cannot leave the church, because we have to show the importance of the church to the people we are teaching here. When a missionary leaves, they tell their converts that the gospel doesn´t matter. But it does, its THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. He also emphasized how the Book of Mormon is the evidence and the most important tool that we have right now! We need to use it and to testify of it and to always strengthen our testimony of it.

I hope all that made sense, because I am trying to type really fast, but really was a huge blessing we had to listen to an apostle of the Lord share his testimony and to really be blessed and edified by him. 

I know that this is the true church, I know without a doubt. I know that this is the most important work, and I realize I have a lot to change to show the Lord that this really is important to me. 

Also this week we started exploring a new area that´s called Ontaneda, its on a mountain and really high up! It has an amazing view and it´s gorgeous!! And we have found some really interested people and have found a couple of new people from exploring up there!! 

Funny story: I was saying, when we were talking with some members, how if missionaries don´t get to the house on time at night, we turn green (like shrek) and then this member replied, and he said ¡Claro, por eso se llama gringo!-Of course, that´s why they are called gringo! (Pronounced green-go) I thought it was a pretty funny joke, and I hope you guys do too :)

I love you all and sorry that this letter is kind of all over the place!!!

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

My group from the MTC, first time we were all together again, since verification meeting in June!

Monday, February 8, 2016



Well its carnival season here in Ecuador. Its been quite the experience. This saturday as we were walking down a street we got covered in carioca (like shaving cream) and it was all over our back. 

And it was perfect timing, because right where we were happened to be a less-active family and they started laughing at us and then the mom came and put the foam on our face, because it was only on our back. They thought it was very funny and it was :) Luckily the foam disappears and doesn`t leave any mark! Then as we kept walking my companion then randomly "Hermana we need to cross the street" and we quickly crossed the street. I was confused at what happened and why we needed to cross the street and then she explained that there were people throwing water balloons off the top of their roof at the people on the street so we crossed to hide. And as we were making a game plan to not get smacked with a water balloon and get soaked, a car passed by and threw water at us and completely soaked us. So we gave up and just went, and they didn`t throw any water balloons at us, which was nice. And then like 20 minutes later as we were still walking on the street a car pulled up to us and seemed like they were going to ask for directions (because people a lot of the time stop and ask for directions from us). But, the guy kept hesitating and I saw his had move and I knew he was going to throw or shoot something so I quickly dodged just in time and got foam on my arm. But I looked back around and my companion was looking at me with her face completely covered in foam! And so I had to help her clean off her face, but I was dying laughing and she was as well after she could open her eyes again :) But, I was content that that was going to be the worst of stuff, foam and water. Its fine, but the worst was yesterday. We left the house where we ate lunch and as we were walking down the street we passed by a bunch of people playing with water and foam for carnival. But someone noticed us and yelled "Get them!" So we started running and the people ran up to us with a tub of PURPLE WATER! They put purple paint in the water and threw it on us. I was completely soaked and my clothes were all stained purple! Hopefully it comes out of my clothes. 

Covered in Purple Water!

Later today we are going to scrub our clothes and everything to hopefully get it all out. This is the tradition of Ecuador, it doesn`t matter who you are or if you know the people or not, you will get attacked with purple paint water. For that we are going to be in our house for today and tomorrow to avoid carnival, because it is officially today and tomorrow, so more days in the house! Yahoo! :) haha I am sure we will work at some point :) But, I am happy we won`t have purple water thrown at us again, hopefully!

We went back and contacted on that street that I mentioned last week and we ended up finding 4 new investigators and 2 are from the same family and we just need to meet the other peole in the family now! They are seem like they have desires to know the truth, we just haven`t been able to have a second visit with any of them yet, so we will see how they progress this week! And we also found 2 other investigators this week and when we contacted the mom she told us her spouse had passed away a couple of years ago and so we shared with her about the Plan of Salvation and how she can see and be with her husband again. And when we asked if we could share more of this message with her, she got super happy and told us she really would like to hear this message. I know that the Plan of Salvation really is the plan of happiness and through this plan we can find dirrection and the knowledge we have of this plan, makes us really blessed. I know God´s plan is perfect and sometimes we don`t plan on the way things work out, but if we are always focused on following God and obeying His commandments everything happens for a reason. So we just always need to ask, what do I need to learn in this situation? So that you can experience and grow through your trials, not suffer. 

A cool experience that happened this week: Our mission has a goal for this month to have 15 contacts everyday. And so me and my companion put that goal and wanted to do everything we could to complete it. One night we went into an appointment at 8, and we had only 13 contacts. So we were there, we shared our message and we were ready to leave at 8:45. Then the husband invited us to dinner, but they hadn`t prepared it all the way yet, and so we tried to ask if we could accept another time, because we need to go. (Because this house is about a 15 minute walk from our house and there are never any taxis either) And they wouldn`t accept a no without being offended so we decided to stay. As we were eating I remembered that we only had 13 contacts and I really wanted to complete the goal we put, so I said a little prayer that we could find 2 people together on the street to talk to them and to share our message. Because here at night, hardly anybody is on the street and if there is someone it is almost always one person. So we finally were able to leave there house at about 9:10 after we had finished eating and everything. And we were ready to leave and start basically running for the house. And as we left we started walking and saw two people about 5 feet from us! So we were able to talk to them and share with them our message! They didn`t accept the invite to listen, but we were able to let them here about the gospel. And we even got to our house with 3 minutes to spare for 9:30! God really does answers prayers and really wants you to be able to complete your goals, when you prayerfully make your goals. 

Well this is a long letter this week, but it was an exciting week! The mission is full of brand new experiences! :) 

And this week I officially completed 9 months in the mission! I´m halfway there! It is crazy to think that I less time left than that I have, I still feel like I just started the mission.. I just have to make the most of the next 9 months!

Editors Note: When a sister missionary reaches halfway through the mission they do a nine month pregnancy picture (weird and funny all at the same time).
I love you all and I hope you all have a fantastic week!!!

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon

Monday, February 1, 2016

La Casa


Well after 5 days in the house I was going a bit stir crazy and really excited to get out and finally work, but we ended up only having 1 full day of work, because we would work and then went back to the house so my companion could rest, because of the walking she started to hurt. But, I just was happy to work!

We kept ourselves busy by watching movies, reading Jesus the Christ, playing uno, and making cookies. We made no bake cookies, which were delicious! I did get a little sick though from the amount that I ate... oops. I just didn`t have much else to do so I ate a lot :) haha which was bad, because we weren`t doing anything either... but so worth it :). We also made the cookies again and took it to our zone meeting and now all of the missionaries love us, because they said that they were delicious. One funny story is that I still don`t have good spanish so during the days that we were in the house we were talking and I said "It smells like cangrejo (crab)" when I wanted to say cangill (popcorn). And my companion died laughing and this was monday night and she still had a lot of pain and so laughing really hurt so she was laughing and crying at the same time. And then she was getting mad at me for making her laugh, and I didn`t mean to do anything I just don`t know spanish and she finds it funny... it got pretty complicated because this same thing happened several other times and she always ended up crying from pain and me sitting their confused how I had made her die laughing. It was an interesting week :)

We had set up an appointment with an old investigator this week and he had told us his address, but we had never heard of the street that he lives on before. And there are a lot of little random streets here in Ecuador that they don`t even show up on google maps and this street was one of them, because our mission leader couldn´t find the street on google maps for us. So we were a little worried about finding this street and all the references he gave us were other things that we had never heard of as well.. but as we were contacting saturday morning (and our appointment was scheduled for saturday evening with him) we walked by a street and I remembered to look at the street sign and it was the street we were looking for!! We were so happy that we were able to find the street! We then ended up contacting this street and found a new investigator from contacting doors! It was a good morning and we know that the Lord guided us to find this street and we still have like 50  more houses on this street to contact so we might find even more new investigators!

We also visited some investigators that we have and this week we discovered that the wife really doesn`t want to change her religion, because she loves the Catholic church. So as we were talking and explaining to her that God isn`t religion, but He has a specific way for us to return to Him and that´s only through His true church that he established through a prophet that has His authority. And we asked "If God told you that this is the true church, would you accept it?" And she replied "I don`t know...". It is so easy for us to put our fear of change or are fear of something different in the way of the path of God. We need to always be very careful that we are not putting anything in this life before God, even if that means choosing God over your family. She ended the lesson with a little bit more willingness to pray and ask God what the truth is. Hopefully we can help her to see that this will of God is the best thing that can happen to us.

We also taught some members yesterday to ask for some references and we shared with them a promise of 21 days. And this promise is that by writing down the names of some friends or family that they want to share the gospel and then for the next 21 days include them in all of their prayers and start inviting, by giving pamphlets, pass along cards, and a book of mormon. By inviting them to a FHE and introducing us and a bunch of other stuff. They also have a list of scriptures for 21 days that they read one a day that they can find help from the Lord. And the promise is by doing this effort that at least one of the names that they have on the list will accept the invitation to listen to the missionary discussions. THey got super excited to try this new thing, because they have been sharing and no one had been accepting their offer to listen. So through if they have faith the Lord can help them, they will finally have the opportunity to have someone accept the invitation to listen to us missionaries. It was cool to see how excited they were and hopefully we can help them to keep up this excitement and help bring their friends to the gospel :)

It truly is a blessing to be able to share my testimony day after day to many different people, and though many people reject the opportunity to listen. We have people that accept and listen to us and pray and read and really do all they can to know the truth. And when that happens it is such a cool experience and a blessing to invite people to accept the blessings of this gospel into their lives. I invite you all to just keep opening your mouths and keep sharing and praying for your loved ones and you will all have this opportunity as well.

I love you all and I hope all is well in all of your endeavors!
Mucho Amor,
Hermana Cordon
1- we were really happy with our cookies

2- the main street by my house in conocoto
3 -We found a random horse tied up in the middle of the street, and it is like the only dirt road here in concoto. 
4- Purple coal that we had for a salad for lunch. It was delicious!