Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week 20 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - December 28, 2015 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

WELP... don't have much time today! I utterly loved seeing all of you on Christmas! It was good to have a few laughs and I was happy to see you all pretty much look the same:) haha! Serious tho, I love you guys and thanks for that Great Christmas gift:) 

I am leaving Kalgoorlie! It is bittersweet. I have loved it here and I love the people soooo much...I am going to miss it but I am excited to see what awaits:) 

I have been called to be a zone leader of the Southern River Zone. It is the largest zone in the mission and all I have heard about my area is that it is somewhat near the coast near Free Mantle, a poplular beach.

Saying goodbye to everyone here has sucked:( especially L. She just started crying and I wanted to give her THE BIGGEST HUG! But obviously that is highly restricted - so I denied myself. 

I love being a missionary. I love all of you more than anything! and I am excited to pour my heart into the work in the CITY AREA! I will leave for Perth tomorrow morning on train. btw. My boy Elder Jensen is training and he is the new district leader! 

Love you guys! HAPPY NEW YEAR!


The end of an era.  The Kalgoorlie Family.

Kambalda, a small country town we just went to.

Christmas Eve 
S.S. - MY BOI <3
Kambalda again

Little M - from a part-member family.
An emu.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 19 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - December 21, 2015 - SEASONS GREETINGS!

This morning me and Elder Fowler ran like 5 K's to a members house worked out, 
ran home and got on the bikes went to play bball for 2 hours and then rode our 
bikes to the church. Haha I feel good! I have lost a lot of weight by 
the way Haha mostly just muscle. The other elders just followed on their bikes. 

So first thing first.... skyping will commence at 6pm on Christmas eve...for you guys. It will be 9 o 'clock in the morning here! So hope that works for you guys! You will have to step away from the prime rib for a few minutes but I will keep it quick so you guys can get back to your festivities;)

So President Fife was down here on Wednesday and we were a little nervous. He brought with him his RM son who is like 25 and went to Brazil on his mission. So the night he got here (he flew in) we rode our bikes to a restaurant where he treated us to a meal (a delicacy only country missionaries have the privilege of enjoying) but then the next morning we met early at our flat for studies with President which was really awesome. He just dropped atomic doctrine bombs on us! Then all day he went out with Elder Jensen and I and his son went with the other Elders. We had prepared a super solid day with tons of appointments so we pretty much just drove from appointment to appointment. He really helped us with some concerns the people we are working with have that are surrounding marriage and baptism and stuff like that so it all went super good! He was very impressed with the day and went on his way! So I guess it was a successful exchange! 

Not much else this week that I can recall. I can't wait to skype you guys on Christmas Eve in America:) Thanks for all the letters they are much appreciated! I hope all of you have an amazing Christmas.  While you are bundled up by the fire with the delicate snow flakes falling sipping on a cup of cocoa, think of my dust covered face and chapped lips biking through the Australian bush. 

I love this true and living Gospel. I love Kalgoorlie and serving the people with everything I have! Don't worry about me getting enough to eat this Christmas. The Polynesians will have that one covered....I am sure I will eat more Pig this christmas than any of you:) I love you all MERRY CHRISTMAS!


P-Day with Zone Leaders

These pics are from our country trip to Leonora and Laverton.  Elder Preston from NZED and 
I were in Laverton. It was one of the coolest days of my mission. We saw miracles this day.

Elder Preston and I were driving back from Laverton to Leonora and a 
wild dingo ran across the road in front of us and this is the shot we got! haha

Creepy cemetery.... btw...sorry I am not very sentimental and did not send you all 
christmas gifts.I have always struggled to do awesome stuff like that:( sorry and yes 
I got the ties in the mail thanks so much! but I haven't gotten the other 
package. don't worry tho I don't even care. I love you all:) 

Elder Fowler and I on exchanges. Some guy we visited gave us some peppers. 
That little crusty brown one is the hottest in the world.. even smelling it saddled me haha.
(It looks like Elder Fowler just ate the hottest one:)

The Solipas the Iosefas and T from Samoa and NEW ZEALAND.

A and his bike.  (Yes...I know Mitch needs to get some longer shorts!)

And I took a pic of these plumerias for you least 
thats what they smelled like:) love you mom:) (My favorite flower:) Thanks Mitch)

Christmas caroling!
Made a birthday cake for a member.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 18 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - December 14, 2015 - Big Baboon

Big mining hole!
How is my family doin??? As we approach Christmas, I have often pictured in my mind, Uncle Jared lying under his little tree in New Mexico and crying himself to sleep while listening to Breath of Heaven.... hahaha (Mitch's Uncle Jared shared this story with him about his first Christmas on his mission.  Sorry Jared - hope you don't mind the whole world knowing now) Makes me laugh every time:) well this week has been busy. We went on a country trip to a town called Leonora. It is like 3 hours from Kal, but it was totally worth it. We taught so many lessons and actually met some part member families clear out in the middle of nowhere. Elder Preston ( the zone leader) and I went just outside of Leonora about an hour and a half to a town called Laverton. It was sweet! We taught some awesome lessons out there and helped out a part member family. There could possibly be a little branch opened up there some day. 

Pres Fife is coming up to Kal tomorrow night and is staying all Wednesday. He is coming on splits with Elder Jensen sand I o we have been setting up appointments for that. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous:) but it should be good. I will learn HEAPS. I am so excited to skype you guys on Christmas! I love you guys so much! Sorry this letter is lame:( Have an awesome week!

Love Elder Cordner

A cake we made for Brother Heke's birthday!

With the zone leaders playing bush frisbee last P day.
'Twas violent jumping over bushes and logs haha. One is 
from South Africa the other is from NZED.

Carol singing the other night. btw we sang hark the herald angels sing...  
in sacrament meeting in which i had several solos haha. turned out good. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week 17 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - December 7, 2015 - Greetings from the Bush

These are everywhere.

I am sorry I didn't have time to write you all an email last week hopefully I can write one that can make up for it. 

So Elder Jensen and I got our bikes stolen again....We went to follow up with an former investigator and she invited us into her backyard...We totally forgot we just left the bikes sitting in the front yard. Well, in Kalgoorlie if you take your eye off something for more than 20 seconds, I kid you not, it will be GONE. So as soon as I remembered we had left them there, I ran to check on them but they were gone....UGGGHHHH!! We were so mad at oursleves. We took the long 1 hour walk back to the flat in the blazing sun. But I was not going to just give up. We got in the car and went hunting. I knew that if we went to the most ghetto part of town we might be able to find them but we had to hurry because they always immediately take them home and spray paint the bikes a different color. So we were driving around, we said a prayer and kept driving and just as I was about to give up, we rounded the corner and there in gleaming orange was Nemo, my bike and with a mole riding on top contaminating her. He immediately saw our white shirts and he took off. But he was not quick enough. I throttled the car into park and before Elder Jensen had time to take a second breath, I was sprinting full speed down the road after him. Haha! I was screaming at him telling him to get the heck off. Well, he was bewildered when a man in slacks, church shoes and a tie caught up to him and as I reached out for him I saw the fear in his eyes. Just before I throttled him off the bike he jumped off and went smacking to the ground. I figured since I am a missionary, I should just take the bike and let him go but I felt like doing a little more. He went sprinting off with his buds but the good news was I retrieved Nemo. Somehow, later in the week, Elder Jensen retrieved his bike also because someone put up a facebook post because apparently the kids who stole the bikes got scared of us so they ditched his over a fence. We were blessed to get them back. That would not have been a fun call to the head office:(
After I reclaimed Nemo

Other than that, we have been working really hard on finding new investigators. It's hard but I know as long as we are just doing our best and going boar mode every day, that that is all we can do. The rest is up to the Lord and his timing. We had a ward Christmas party the other day and we got A LOT of less active members and a few investigators to come. It was super good for them to see and meet everyone in a setting like that. The zone leaders are coming up from Rockingham today so we are about to leave and go pick them up they are staying up here till Wednesday. Should be fun:)

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

As we approach Christmas time, my thoughts have been heavily turned to the Savior. I have been reading all of the talks from last General Conference every spare second that I have had. My testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and his role in each of our lives, individually, has grown each day as I have read, pondered, and prayed seeking greater faith, understanding, and power. I want you all to know that I know more so now than I ever thought I could know, that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. It is ONLY in and through him that our souls can find peace and fulfillment in this life and in the life to come. I testify to you all that I know Jesus Christ's Church is on the earth in its fullness. I testify of Christ and His Gospel every day, and it doesn't matter if people mock me to my face, or swear and tell us to go away, the Spirit confirms my words to my heart. Matt 28-30 has been written on my heart this past week. Christ is the only way. 

I love you all and thanks for all the letters and support. Have an amazing week:) 

Last P-Day in the Bush

We found these massive gold mine shafts in the middle of the bush. 
They are so deep. When we dropped rocks they never hit the bottom to our knowledge. Haha 

Doing the Haka

This is Tai. He gives us smooth hair cuts. 
This is L and her partner J and their three children.

L did not want her picture taken.

BBQ with J

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 14 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - November 16, 2015 - KALGOORLIE Round 3

This is the hat I just bought to shield the sun.

Wassup family:) It was good to hear from some of you! Transfers was last night and I am staying in Kalgoorlie. Actually, all 4 of us are, so there won't be any changes! I am pretty happy about this! I wanted another transfer up here. I am excited to continue to work really hard and make some differences out here! This week was really good. It started with like 5 hours of service in 105 degree heat so I got super sun burned because I wasn't wearing a collar shirt and my tender white skin was exposed to the beastly Australian sun so it was a one button undone kind of a week;) But service was good. It felt nice to go boar mode in the dirt. Well, we fasted with G this week. It actually was the same day as the service haha (we drink water when we fast - maybe because of the heat??) and G didn't feel like he received  an answer to his prayers and scripture study but he is sincerely seeking and he is willing to keep trying so that is great. I love him! 

I love working here and I am so grateful for the prophet Joseph Smith. People try to tear us down through exposing his flaws and what they think to be sins but when we bear sincere testimony of him and his real and prophetic calling the Spirit cannot be denied...We had some interesting conversations this last week :) I love you all and I love being a missionary!! Have a great week!

Elder Cordner

This is Brother HEKE.  We are best buds.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 13 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - November 9, 2015 - When it rains it pours

FAM! It was good to hear from you all and see some pics of what's going on back home. Kalgoorlie got some RAIN this week which is rare. It was flooding and the streets were rivers.  It was fun riding around in it haha. I guess when it rains in the outback it really comes down....But i don't expect to see any more rain.... This week was fun we went on a country trip to Norseman and Kambalda. These are two small country towns like 2 hours outside of Kalgoorlie. We visited the few members out there and then tracted like half the town and taught some lessons to some old redneck coots. Seriously, this was such a redneck town. We sat down with these 3 old men in this shack and while they drank and smoked in our faces, they showed us all these super cool pictures of them fishing off the coast of Australia. Haha!  These guys were such Legends! They were telling the most wild stories about sharks and crazy stuff they used to do. Haha I was laughing but the pics they showed us were really cool. It fun just cruising through the Outback. The Bush is so thick on both sides of the road in most places you can't see anything it was pretty tight. I drove most of the way.

 On Friday, we went on this food truck run to a lot of poor people in town with a cool family in our ward. The rain was poooouuuuuring that night so people would just wander out of the bush soaking wet for some warm soup. It was nice to see them happy to have some food!

We are still working with G, our atheist investigator. (As of yesterday, we actually have 2 atheist investigators) We had an awesome lesson when I was on exchanges with Elder Fowler. The spirit was very strong and after we knelt down and said a prayer, he told us that he felt very weird like he never has it a placebo or the spirit G! We will be fasting with him on Wednesday to receive an answer... I can't think of much more to say. We have found 2 people who want to be baptized but they live in Perth... so we referred them. We are working hard on trying to involve members with the missionary work.  We will LOVE them into missionary work! 

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When people are honest with themselves, they simply cannot deny our message. We go into people's homes and we absolutely testify so boldly and they know it is true but just like with Kenzie, people have their agency! They would rather go to the church with the electric guitars and a bar serving free beer!!! I know that this is Christ's church and he stands at the head...I love serving him, but I need to continue to improve in every way to be of more use to God. Love you all!  Have a mule of a week. 

Elder Cordner

Always has to be climbing something!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 12 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - November 2, 2015 - Kalgoorlie Cowboys

MY boys Craig, Jyles and Tyrone in the background. At first they hated us 
but once they realized we were (Jesus People) they utterly loved us. 

We are the Kalgoorlie Cowboys and I've been looking for a place to buy a leather Kangaroo hat to wear around but I can't find one. President says we are going to need one once it gets up to 115 degrees and's mostly just been around 100 lately but it feels so much hotter.  The Australian sun just sizzles! This week was a good one because every week is good as a MISSIONARY, although we did get our bike tires slashed because they were frustrated they couldn't steal them...(because of our 50$ locks we bought.) So the bikes are in the shop because there was some damage done to the rims and such.

We set someone on date who I had been teaching with Elder Matthews.  We lost contact with her but now Elder Jensen and I  have found her and she is excited to be baptized! Now if it was only that easy.  There are always word of wisdom problems, addictions, chastity, and tithing....but I have faith! If the Lord knows them and has prepared them, then who am I to doubt!

It sounds like Kenzie is doing wonderful.  She has a hard mission but she is so dedicated I try to be like her every day! This week's weather has been surprisingly all right with some clouds (of which are as rare as jackalopes) but it has been a blessing! I had a fever yesterday and was feeling lousy but I am feeling better today:)

I am excited for this coming week! We have a lot of good things that could happen.  Now we just need to put our trust in the Lord and Work! Thy will be done... We are starting up an addiction recovery class so we will be advertising that for the next couple weeks...I'd say 99% of this town has an addiction so we should get somewhat of a turnout. I love The Savior Jesus Christ, I love the presence and constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  I seriously feel it almost every second of every day.  I KNOW the Lord is putting words in my mouth and assisting us in His work. I have learned you just have to rely on HIM because you will fail if you think you can do it on your own. I love you all!  Have a good week. 

Love Elder Cordner <3

ME and Elder Teffingatoto on Halloween.  We teach this woman 
who loves Halloween and she and her family LOVE US!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 11 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - October 26, 2015 - G'day Mate

Some wallabies in the Bush - a momma and her joey. 

SUP FAM:) I love reading all of your letters! They mean so much to me:) Twas a good week here in Kal.  Just beasting it daily, kicking into mule mode and getting the work done:) IDK If I told you in the last letter, but I named my new bike Nemo and I take good care of him with this massive 60$ lock we bought. If you leave anything out, including cars, bikes, motorcycles, scooters....they will be gone within 5 minutes guaranteed. The people (I'm sure not everyone..just the punks) just steal things when they see them. haha So we were walking this street and this group of 14 year old boys start laughing at us and saying that they know where our bike is. Man, it's pretty annoying because my comp and I could have easliy taken the group of 10 but we just kept walking....obviously. 

We have been working with a man named G who claims to be an atheist but was raised in a Christian home. He is one of those people who just let us come around because he thinks we are cool and he likes talking to us, but this last week we went by and chatted for a while and asked him if we could show him a mormon message. I carry around a ton of them on a flash drive. He agreed so we plugged it in and I couldn't find the one I wanted to show so I just clicked on this random one that I had never seen thinking that it was the one. So we just watched that one....AND of course it was EXACTLY what he needed to hear.  It was absolutely powerful. You could not have walked into that room and said that it didn't feel unique.....I shared with him my testimony and I know for a FACT he cannot deny that he felt something that he has never felt before. Cool experience! God really does want ALL of his children to return to him! For some it needs to be a slow progression. We also met with a lot of our investigators and potentials. It's hard to find people who actually have the ability and self control to change their ways....Addiction is the poison of the people here in various forms, but we met with a man from Paupau, New Guinea named K. Elder Jensen got to give a large portion of the Restoration which was a good experience for him and he was smiling from ear to ear for the day. 

I gave training this last Tuesday for district meeting and started it off with a story about me and King Louie (a nickname for Matthew, his younger brother).... man I didn't even think anything of it but the minute I started talking about him the tears just, I miss him! I seriously think often what would Matthew do in this situation because he was always the Christ-like example I needed. But the training went well. The spirit comes most strongly when you testify of things that you know and feel very deeply. Being set apart to be representatives of Christ, and living our lives the way we do every day truly does make us different than anyone else. People don't know why they feel the way they do around us but they just keep inviting us back because of the way we make them feel. I know that this can be lost quickly so I strive daily to be the missionary that is different from the rest. 

Something President Fife taught us this last week was this, he said, "Elders, when it boils down to it we have to have miracles. This is the only way that people can come unto Christ is through miracles." He encouraged us to pray more specifically and more often. I know that the God of this world is a God of miracles. I read it in the Book of Mormon this morning and felt the truthfulness of it. He isn't afraid to show forth his power but we do have to live worthily of it and he also wants to mold me into what I need to become. I am learning to trust in the Lord's timing. Some days I don't see the Lord's hand helping us out as much but the minute I start to search for him and his help in the work, I can always see the blessings and the guidance. 

I love being a missionary and I love Kalgoorlie. It is getting hotter and hotter but "since when did that matter" - famous quote by Pres Fife... What else can I tell you....We invited like 8 investigators to the baptism on Friday..(the other elders baptized a member's 9 year old)  but none of them came:( I guess we will go see what their excuse is tomorrow...I was pretty bold with this less active guy from New Zealand and told him he needs to bring his family back to church but he didn't come either.....I love the members though. Our ward is pretty much a mini New Zealand.  I love you all! Have an amazing week! I challenge you all to tame the natural man within you in some way this week!

Love Eldah Cordnah

^^^^^^that's how they pronounce my name here. 

ps... sounds like my other half in Brazil is doing just great! My prayers and love go out to you Kenzi:) love you!

Tracting in the Bush

Exchanges with Elder Toffingatoto from Tonga.  He's hilarious!

Helped a guy tame his palm trees. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 10 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - October 19, 2015 - Red Dirt and White Shirts

Picture from Elder Matthew's era.

It has been a good week and you might be let down because I don't know if I have it in me to write a really good letter. haha! I wrote a ton of people and kinda got sick of typing. Well, this week me and Elder Jensen have been really focusing on finding new people to teach. We have been doing a lot of tracting, and also a lot of contacting randomly. I don't let anyone go by without talking to them. We ran into several JW's this week and I now know why Rio (Mitch's cousin) always said to not get caught up in it. haha. This one guy was super nice and he invited us to come back to his house in a few days. haha I knew we were in for a bible bash. We got there and sure enough they were ready for us with all their anti- Mormon material but it was all right. We just bore our testimonies and left as soon as we could. 

This week while tracting we got our bikes stolen even though we locked them up (which isn't uncommon at all) They will steal anything here...but it was funny because a few days later we were driving the car at night and Elder Fowler saw some guy riding Doug...(I named my bike Doug) but we pulled over and this guy was just casually siting on my bike looking at us so I told him to get off and that it was my bike so he took the seat off the bike and ran off. IDK Kinda random. We got other bikes now though so all is good. I'm excited for the coming week and what it holds. It's a new experience every day out here. Oh and we actually put two guys on date to be baptized the other day. The only problem is they live in this town called Leonora like 3 hours from here haha! So we will see what happens with all that. Love all of you have a good week!:)

LOVE Elder Cordner

Picture from Elder Matthew's era.

Elder Zink back in Perth I LOVE this guy...

Chicken feast in Perth.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 9 - Kalgoorlie, Australia - October 12, 2015 - Back into mule mode

The new incoming "Goldens" and their trainers

It has been a very exciting and eventful week here in WA. We went down to Perth on Tuesday and stayed with the Assistants that night. Then we had meetings the next morning for trainers. I got assigned to spend that night and the next day with Elder Zink. I wish I had pictures but I left my camera at the flat. Elder Zink is training too, and we got along so good! haha It had to have been one of the funnest few days on my mission hanging out with him. We went contacting in downtown Perth because he is the District Leader down there. Man, we had a good time. He's from New Zealand. 

The next day we got assigned to our new Goldens (we don't call them greenies here) and it was funny because I stood across from my MTC companion and several that were in my district that were visa waiting in California. But no I did not get one of them. I got Elder Jensen from American Fork Utah. I have never met him before but he is really nice and we get along well. The next day we saddled back up to ole Kalgoorlie. haha Perth was really cool and I am excited to go back "some day". 

Everything is good! I just got cleared to drive in Australia and I was driving all around in downtown Perth on the "wrong" side of the road but I'm pretty much a pro now. We have a car up here too that we share between the 2 companionships. We don't use it much though, usually only when we leave Kalgoorlie and go out to the other remote towns. 

General Conference was amazing! I loved all of the talks especially President Monson's. When he spoke I felt the Spirit telling me that he speaks with Jesus Christ directly. It was such an uplifting weekend and I can't wait to get the Ensign (if we ever do  - they forget that we exist out here). It has been good to train myself and also train someone else. I can tell you I am going to be really pushing myself out here for a while but I know that as I do so, the Lord will not leave me to fend for myself. I feel the Savior near me EVERY DAY.  I love the mission!  I have much to work on but as I boldly stand and testify of the Savior I know that the Lord will qualify me to do His work. When people are screaming at us and swearing and cursing God, it is my sacred privilege to stand as a representative of Jesus Christ and defend his name. I will always defend My Savior.  How could I not? It is as simple as the General Authority who gave the talk about the shark reef barrier in Australia. Those who sin will never find happiness and lasting peace. Those who serve the Savior, Jesus Christ will be uplifted and strengthened in their trials, and blessed with things both temporal and spiritual. The trials will never cease. That is just how life MUST be, but those who humble themselves and submit their will to God's will, will never, ever be forgotten because HE knows exactly how it feels to be utterly forgotten and forsaken. I love this restored Gospel! It is a sign of God's love and  mercy for him to allow someone like me to serve and represent him...This is truly how I feel. You Guys are all the best! I love you!  Have the best week as you look constantly to serve others:)

Love Elder Cordner

Me and my new Golden (Greenie) stepping off the train into Kalgoorlie.