Monday, June 29, 2015

Care packages

Leiana Smith sent some small bags of m&m's with the following poem Linnea had written:
As you hold these candies in your hand and turn them round you’ll see
That symbol can be a W, 3, M or E.
They remind you of the promises you made and plan to keep
That day when you were buried in the water oh so deep.
W is for Water, where the ordinance takes place.
And precedes the Holy Ghost, a gift you will embrace.
The 3 reminds me of the number of promises I make
That I renew each week when the sacrament I take.
The M is for My covenant to always remember him, and is evident
When I take his name upon me and keep the commandments.
E is for Eternal life, God’s promise sure to me
If I but seek to do his will and keep my promises 3.
So as you eat these candies or share them with your friends
Remember your baptismal covenant, for that promise never ends.

Note: After Rebecca requested her skinny jeans, I still had room left in the shoe box care package, so I added some Strawberries and Cream Quaker oatmeal and Swiss Miss hot chocolate.  I included a note which said: Breakfast for two!  (It's the closest I could come to sending chocolate covered strawberries in the mail.)  

"There's a mouse in the house" letter (aka Nature is going to be my "Best Friend")

Oooooohhhh, Holy Hannah, this week has been CRAZY!!!!!  I'm sure sometime in the mission I'll be able to top this week, but it's going to be pretty dang hard to do.  Just wait til you read the experiences I've had. 
So, first things that happened when I got off the plane.... We made a Sisters bathroom break and Sister Schaff walked in on someone in a stall.  That was highly entertaining hahaha.  Poor Sister Schaff.  She's so quiet, she didn't deserve that.  Then I was told I knew Elder Session's girlfriend and she was apparently my best friend back in Ogden.  .... Does anyone know an Elder Sessions???  I need help here.  I'm sure I know the girl, but... I'm just smiling and nodding and praying I don't meet this guy before I know the girl's name.
I now have a drinking problem.  I drink water when I'm bored.  And I drink a ton of it.  Which is really good, and I'm really grateful I have my water bottle again.
Then I met a cousin!! Sister Burnham is someone from the Italian Cardon side of things and actually went to Mexico with mother!  I don't have a picture.. But that was a cool little connection.
Then on Wednesday, first full day in the field, at the end of the day Sister Jessee backed into our neighbor's truck.  So guess who gets to drive the truck now?!  THIS GIRL! :)  It's kinda scary.  It's kinda really big.  But I will grow to love it.  Backing up terrifies me just a little.  But side note, **thank you** Michael for the wonderful flashdrive of music!  I thought you were crazy giving me a flashdrive instead of a CD, but it plugs into the truck perfectly and I've highly enjoyed listening to MOTAB sing Disney songs.
Also, thank you Leiana and family for sending me the cute little package!  It was darling and I loved the notes that came with it :)
BUT!  Highlight story of the week!!  You ready for this?  This is when you know you're serving on the Indian Reservation.  So, we live in a cute little trailer.  I have my own bathroom and a queen size bed.  It's awesome :)  But on Thursday morning I had a bit of a rude awakening.  So, around 4:00-4:50, I don't know entirely when, I discovered a mouse in my bed!  I felt its little claws on my arm and freaked out just a bit.  Since I was half asleep still, I just scooted to the edge of my bed away from the little form and kinda gently said "Sister Jessee...... I think there's a mouse in my bed....."  And she did all the freaking out that I hadn't done.  She jumped up and we moved to the couches in the living room for the night.  As I was on the couch, I started realizing what had just happened.  I had just slept with a mouse... and being fully awake, that's when I started to freak out.  So getting back to bed was a little hard and I basically prayed for prayers.  So, if anyone woke up anywhere around 4-5 in the morning Thursday morning and had a weird thought to pray for me, thanks.  It was quite the event.
Other than that, we haven't had too many friends in the house.  A few spiders and fruit flies.  Oh!  But we did end up seeing our mouse friend!  She's a little thing.  So we named her Winifred.  Winnie for short.  But we decided that it has to be a girl since it is a Sister Missionary apartment.
We've had such awesome opportunities to teach people this week!  I've met a lot of the natives, heard a little Navajo, and was completely lost while listening to it.  People like to mumble out here.  But we're singing Onward Christian Soldiers in Navajo in relief society!!  Don't ask me to sing it for you, but it's pretty cool.  And I also gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting.  They told me super last minute, so I basically talked about service.  It was pretty nifty :)  
Also, shout out to my Florida people!  I miss you all so much!  I pretty much became the coolest person ever out here when I told them I was from Ogden and that I worked at Disney World and that my boss was a mouse.  A lot of people out here went out to Ogden for their placement program.  And the kids (and let's be honest, all the adults as well) love that I worked for Disney.  They all think it's the coolest thing ever!  And little kids love the Pirates League stickers I plundered and am giving away.  Also, I'm gaining a huge appreciation for the Walt Disney World white pens.  Those things are awesome and I wish I had a lifetime supply.
But anyways, I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again!! Have so much fun out there in the real world!!!!! 
Fair Sailin'
Becca :)
ps - I did meet Elder Schellenberg out here!  He says hello :)

pps - Mother, I need you to send me my plain skinny jeans and socks.  My nice skinny jeans don't really work with pulling weeds.  They're the ones with a tan stitch on the back pocket

Sunday, June 28, 2015

family council

It's Sunday night and we are sitting around the big table talking.  Our newest tradition is to pass around a sheet of paper for each of the kids to write a note to Becca in the mission field.  Some talk about their week (Did my first RAMP day at Treehouse.  We had almost 2,000 people!  It was quite the day.  love, Amy)  Some talk about noteworthy events (Walter puked. - Julia; mom's additional note: Don't feed the dog hot dogs!)  Others mention recent accomplishments. (We got a new game.  It is Rock Band.  Paul is good at singing. - Marilee) While others give advice (Give some flowers to Sean. - Emma)  One keeps a historical record.  (Paul embellishes when reading your emails.  For example: "The people I came out with are so strong."  The elders are buff.  They're lifting 200 pounds.  Even the sisters are lifting 180!  Ooo, I found a typo.  I'll fix it for her. ... "Grass is non-existent here ... " (da, da, da - sound effect) I hope Becca keeps those letters coming.  We find them entertaining!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

letter from her mission president

23 June 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Cardon,

It was wonderful to have your missionary arrive!  We are grateful to have her as a full-time missionary in the New Mexico Farmington Mission.

I have had a personal interview with her to get acquainted.  I felt her spirit as she bore her testimony. She met her trainer.  We select trainers that we believe are the most obedient, hard-working and most skilled missionaries.  We talked about how blessings come by obediently working in unity.  She left the mission office with a big smile and great anticipation.

Experience shows that once new missionaries become immersed in daily missionary work, feelings of homesickness dissipate and they begin to feel the warmth of the Holy Ghost.  You and your missionary will be blessed as your communication with her helps her focus on her purpose - to invite others to come unto Christ.  As a reminder, it is against Church policy for full-time missionaries to have visits from family members, relatives, and friends except a phone call on Mother's Day and Christmas for 30-40 minutes.

Enclosed is a picture of Sister Cardon and her trainer along with Sister Batt and me.  Rest assured that next to our own family, our most important responsibility is to love, watch over, and strengthen our missionaries.  May the Lord bless you with the knowledge that your missionary is well card for as she serves the Lord.

with our love,

Doyle L Batt
Mission President

Friday, June 26, 2015

Shiprock, New Mexico

Shiprock sunrise

Shiprock (Navajo: Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings" or "winged rock") is a rock formation rising nearly 1,583 feet above the high-desert plain on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico.  The Shiprock Mountain is sacred to the Navajos - no climbing is permitted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First E-mail from the Field

Well folks, I made it to New Mexico!!!! And I love it SO much so far!  We had crazy travel things that happened yesterday that included 2 delayed flights, but everything worked out in the end.  And I LOVED talking to everyone yesterday!! I wish we could have talked longer, but the focus is back on the mission.  Our mission president and his wife and assistants picked us up yesterday and gave us pepperoni and green chile pizza.  Green chile is a huge thing out here.  And it really wasn't too bad!  So take that all you people who said I wouldn't be able to handle it! ;) (Sean... I'm looking at you) But we ended the evening with more food (taco salad kind of deal) and a testimony meeting.  The people I came out with are so strong.  I have so much to learn from them.  The Sisters stayed the night in the mission home (it was SO nice being in a normal home!  Something that won't happen again for the next 18 months since we'll be in RV's, trailer homes, and such from here on out.  But then this morning we got together with all the trainers, had an orientation, and were assigned companions.  My companion, Sister Jessee, is seriously the cutest and happiest person I think I've ever met!  She LOVES the people around her and it shows.  We were able to go to Costa Vida for lunch (BLESSINGS!!!!!) and she saw 3 people from previous areas and instantly was bringing up conversation and you could just tell how much she cared for them and how much they loved her in return.  I hope to pick that up from her, I just hope it won't be too hard for me.  Oh!! And a sweet, sweet lady bought our lunch for us since we were missionaries!  It was the coolest thing and kindest thing ever!
But in short, I'm doing well, and I love this area already.  I've been assigned to Shiprock New Mexico which is on the reservation.  AH! :D There are only 3 areas for the sisters to be on in the reservation and I'm lucky enough to start out there!! For mail, it's suggested to send to the actual house I'll be in rather than the mission office because they have to pay the forwarding fees.  But no biggie if you do send there.  The address is PO 3013 Shiprock New Mexico 87420.  
But I've gotta go, we're going to our little trailer house now and I get to enjoy the heat and being in the middle of no where.  I love it so much :) Grass is nonexistant here... it's weird seeing it now, even though I've only been here a day.  But I love you and can't wait to hear from you!!!!!!
Becca :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

phone call from the airport

The big event of the morning was when Rebecca called from the Denver airport.  (Their flight from Salt Lake City had been delayed for nearly an hour, but they had made it safely thus far.)  The first question Rebecca asked was who was there.  It was just David, me and the 4 youngest girls at Alex and Erika's house.  Rebecca told me how to make a conference call - something I'd never before attempted, but that actually was quite simple to do - and soon I had AnnElyse, Paul, and Sean on the phone with us as well.  It was great to hear her bubbly voice talking about the devotional speaker who challenged them to be "astonishing" (don't read that word; sing it.  Becca surrounded it with musical notes in her journal.)  She talked about how she doesn't like to eat cold cereal for breakfast - which is all they have on Sunday mornings since the workers are all at church, so she opted for the fruit instead.  They make up for it on Sunday afternoons by serving BYU creamery ice-cream.  (I think she tried Graham Canyon.)  She did get a picture taken by the map with her cousin Matt Giliam in it.  And she asked for me to send family photos right away since all she has is pictures of Sean and Paul.  (The sister missionaries think Paul is cute, but Becca informed them that he is too young for them ... and Sean is taken!)  Sounds like she got all the letters and packages we sent - plus cinnamon rolls from Sean (not sure how he pulled that one off, but Becca said it saved her life that night.)  I'll have to remember the Dear Elder site for when Val is in the MTC.  I asked her if she sent any clothes home, and she said she didn't have to because her companion let her borrow a duffle bag.  Becca's suitcases weighed in at 50.5 pounds and 51.5 pounds (but they didn't charge her extra for going over the 50 pound weight limit.)  The rest of her stuff she put in her carry-on and her "purse" (aka duffle bag.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

First Email from the MTC

FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and friends)
How is everything going in the real world?? I feel like I'm in this intense EFY bubble, but there's no dancing.  It's kinda a bummer, but it's been a blast so far!
Time is SUCH a crazy thing here at the MTC! The first 3 days felt like they dragged on fooooorrrreeeeevvvvveeeerrrrr but now they kinda go at a normal pace.  Kinda.  So, fun thing have been going on here!  I got my first companion and her name is Sister Scoffield.  SHE'S AMAZING!!  We are so alike!  We goof off, but she keeps me in line as she loves to study.  But we have been laughing so hard together and I just love it.
We've been able to teach a few lessons together and they have been a rollercoaster.  Our first member lesson was beyond perfect.  The spirit was so strong and the message was so great and we all teared up at one point or another because we all loved each other so much.  And we left the lesson feeling amazing!!  Then we had our first non-member lesson and it was **horrible!!!!** It was over skype which threw us off and the spirit was so not there as strongly as our previous lesson.  We forgot to pray at the beginning because of the whole skype thing and we could feel it.  The sister didn't have a real knowledge of God and we were making things a little too complicated as we stumbled around.  We left the lesson feeling so bad.  I hadn't cried at the MTC til that point, but after that lesson I was so frustrated with myself that I just sat and cried in class.  It was so bad.  But we've bounced back and have taught this sister again and it went much better!  So word of advice: ALWAYS pray before teaching someone.  It's the spirit that teaches, not you.
Little facts: my district is amazing!  There are 12 of us, 8 elders, 4 sisters, and we're ALL going to Farmington New Mexico!  That's like unheard of here at the MTC to have a district of 12 going to the same mission.  We all have the same flight and leave Monday morning.  It's going to be a crazy adventure, and I have a feeling that the airport will hate us, but it's going to be so much fun.
Sister Scoffield and I were called to be the Sister Missionary Training leaders for the zone!  So that's exciting!!! We basically make sure the sisters are doing alright, and lead relief society, and give orientation to the new missionaries.  So that's what we'll be doing tonight!  The past two nights we've been able to welcome in the new international sisters in our zone and they are just complete sweethearts!!! One's from New Zealand, and one's from South Africa.  They have the sweetest spirits and such strong testimonies.  I love them so much and can't wait to meet the other Elders and Sisters.
So, the MTC has basically been a crap ton of studying, devotionals, studying, lessons, and more studying.  I'm going insane with all the studying.  It's a huge relief when we get to go to gym time (which we do daily) and our district gets together to play 4 square.  I'm horrible at 4 square, but I've made it to the King square once!!!!  That was huge.  There's a saying that the days will be weeks and the weeks will be days.  That is SO true here!!
Gosh, I don't even know what else to say.  I'm loving it here.  I've grown so much in my week here and I can't imagine giving up my nametag.  I love serving the Lord and I love the people He lets me teach. 

So fun things that have happened/fun facts: My host was actually someone I knew from Disney World!  It's a small world afterall!!  We talk Disney things and no one else gets it because it's a completely different language.

Sister Scoffield and she is just a doll.  We discover new things every day as to why we were paired as companions.  She's from California, going to BYU for elementary education, and we just have a blast together!  We are totally the weird sisters, but we laugh a lot and it is such a stress reliever.  The other day we got to talk Marvel and about other silly things.  And workouts with her are just the best.  Haha, I'll have to attach some pretty great pictures.  She's a goof and I love her for it.  She also loooovvvessss studying, and I'm still of the belief that studying = student + dying, so she's really good for me.  We both are super strong in the gospel and are big talkers, so lessons are more or less a breeze.  Except for the one time

Sunday we watched a devotional called "Character of Christ" with Elder Bednar speaking and it was life changing!!!! It was all about turning outward instead of inward and giving service to others.  Matthew 4:11, JST.  Amazing. Christ seriously was so selfless.

Yesterday we had a trio companionship for a day.  We were with Sister Baliff and she's currently in the South SLC mission while she waits for her Visa. She's pretty cool and has an awesome testimony.

Today we were able to go to the temple and it was so great!!! We are now scrabbling around to do everything for P-day before we give orientation to the new missionaries.    It's just crazy.

I can't wait to hear from you guys and what crazy things you have been up to!!

Love you all!   The church is true! 
Becca :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

MTC map

Photos with her missionary companion, Sister Scoffield, and her cousin, Elder Matt Giliam.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

First hand-written letter (a test of the email broadcast system)

Today we received Becca's first hand-written letter from the MTC.  A few excerpts follow:
I'm alive!  I just survived my first day at the MTC and it feels a lot like an intense EFY day without the dance at the end.  I'm realizing that I need to study so many things!  We group taught 3 different investigators today and it got intense.  There was a point where we were talking about how families can be together forever and we ended up singing that song for our investigator.  The power of music is incredible!!! I love music so much!
My companion is Sister Scoffield and she's amazing!  She's old like me!!! She's coming from 2 years at BYU and is an elementary ed major.  She lives in California and is super friendly.  I love her already.
... I love you all sooooo much!!! I miss you, but it hasn't been too painful just yet. It still doesn't feel real even as I sit on my bed at the MTC.
For your information, I do see Matthew quite a bit.  But he refuses to give me a hug.

Friday, June 12, 2015

wrong eye color

Because Becca's driver's license would expire during her mission, she needed to go in early and request her license be renewed.  We did so, but the new license did not arrive until today...two days after we took her to the MTC.  I opened the letter and discovered that they had listed the wrong eye color on her driver's license.  They put brown like her hair instead of blue like her old license indicated.  I called the DMV, but they said Rebecca had to approve the change personally since she was over 18.  (They indicated a phone call would suffice.)  I called the MTC, gave them the message and they will have Rebecca take care of it.  The DMV will issue a new license and then I will mail it to her in New Mexico.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

small world syndrome

I just got a message from my MTC missionary companion Sister Elizabeth Millet Brown.  She was excited to hear about Rebecca going on a mission.  "I hope your trip to the MTC brought back good memories for you."
smile emoticon
Then she surprised me by saying that she and her husband Kent dropped off their daughter Julia at the MTC that same day.  (They should have had the same time slot since it is by last name and B is next to C.)  If only I had known.  I had my camera out and ready!
Elizabeth's response was classic, "Wish we'd known.  We could have had a little 27-year reenactment.
Julia is going to Canada Calgary.  Best wishes to Becca!  And her parents!"


I am constantly amazed at the generous support from so many.  Today ward member Margaret Waterfall stopped by with a card containing a $100 bill.  She said how much she enjoyed Rebecca's missionary farewell a few weeks ago.  "Your enthusiasm and spirit guarantee a wonderful mission."

The widow Karen Miner stopped by last Sunday with a card and a $25 gift.  Her card stated, "Congratulations, you've joined the Lord's search and rescue team."

Our home teachers, Steve and Lori Pierce, had brought by a card containing $100.  In a hand written note they advised, "Good luck on your mission. We know you will be fabulous.  Remember to always look up and know where your source of strength comes from.  We will be praying for you."

Primary President Patti Browning brought by some of Rebecca's favorite scented hand lotions plus a gift of $200 - which Rebecca used to buy her garments and her raincoat - so Patti provided the means for Becca's spiritual and physical protection.  Patti also wrote in her card: "I am so proud of you!  You will be a wonderful missionary!  I know people will be drawn to you and investigate the gospel.  I am excited to hear about your adventures and you will be in my prayers.  Good luck Sister Cardon!"

Primary Pianist Maria Hansen brought by a card "to wish you joy in your service and success in all you do".  She also included two $50 bills.

Neighbor Deb Allred brought by some gum and chocolates with a note: "I am so excited and proud of you.  You will be an amazing missionary. ... I will be thinking and praying for you while you serve."

Sweet sisters Katie and Rachel Berghout gave Becca a card with the following words of wisdom penned inside: "Trust in the Lord and let Him change you and help you as you help and change the lives of everyone you meet!"

And then there is grandma Jackie.  Not only did she supply Rebecca with music for her mission, but she gave her lavender oil when Becca couldn't find hers.  On the way to the MTC, grandma noticed Becca's Captain America watch.  It wasn't very Sister missionary like, but Rebecca had lost the red watch we just bought at WalMart.  So grandma brought out her whole watch collection and told Becca to pick one.  Rebecca selected a pretty brown band with a gold face that had large, easy-to-read numbers.  Jackie commented that she had just been wearing that watch on Sunday and Daisy Schellenberg has one just liked it.  So whenever Becca checks the time, she can think of family!

Sue Huber was quick to respond to Rebecca's need for cash to buy exercise clothing for the MTC.  She went right over to Becca's bank account in Rexburg, Idaho and deposited $50 - same day service!

There are so many people who have given support in other ways - gifts of time and words of encouragement - that it would be impossible to list them all.  However, know that this support makes a huge difference and we are very appreciative of it all.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

going to the MTC

Enjoyed a delicious brunch at grandma Jackie Cardon's house, took a few photos in front of the Provo temple with cousin Matthew Giliam, and then dropped Becca off at the MTC promptly at 12:45. Who would have thought that Hermana Parris (a friend from Disneyworld in Florida headed to Carlsbad, CA Spanish speaking) would be helping Becca bring in her luggage? Enjoy these next 18 months. The adventure has begun!

PS I knew Matthew Giliam had been called to the Kansas Wichita mission, but it wasn't until a week and a half ago that his call was altered to be Spanish speaking.  He still only gets 2 weeks in the MTC.  Good thing he took 4 years of Spanish in high school!
PPS Did you know that Wichita, Kansas used to be a part of my mission?  I attended a zone conference there once.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

setting apart

Tonight at 7 pm, Becca was set apart by stake president David Goff to be a missionary.  President Goff said that his favorite thing to do - besides going home teaching with Paul - is setting apart missionaries.  In addition to our immediate family, she had several friends in attendance: Fiona Jackson, Michael Johnson, Sean Muse, Tia (from SunPlay pools and spa), and Anna Stucki (with Jordan Allen stopping by after she was set apart.)
The meeting began with a hymn ("I Know that My Redeemer Lives") and then Paul said the opening prayer.  President Goff went around the room and let everyone say a few words to Becca - things they admired about her or words of advice.  Then he shared three scriptures that were the keys to being a successful missionary.  (They talked about obedience and the Holy Ghost.)  All of the Melchizedek priesthood holders were invited to participate in the circle when she was set apart (but afterwards she was instructed to hug her dad and give everyone else a handshake!)
President Goff gave her a beautiful blessing.  Although she is not required to learn a foreign language, Becca was blessed with the gift of eloquence of speech.  She was also given every right, power and authority to this calling including personal revelation.  She will have a great love for the people.  As she follows the rules and is obedient, she will be protected.  She will be given sensitivity to the Spirit and be able to share her testimony with a great number of people in the four corners area.  (Interestingly, President Goff mentioned Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico specifically, but left Arizona out.)  She was also reminded that she will be out for a short time, so make the most of it.
We came home to take-out from ABC Mandarin (sesame chicken, strawberry chicken, sweet and sour chicken, beef and broccoli, and green beans with shrimp).  Paul picked up Andeline Beishline, and they joined Becca, Michael and Sean for a game of Life Stories.  Michael returned the empty bowl to claim his refill of caramel popcorn, so I made a batch while they played.  (Becca said she had at least 5 requests for her famous caramel corn today, but only Michael had the bowl with a promise for more.)
It was hard to say goodbye to Sean, and more than a few tears were shed by both, but they stuck to a tender handshake.  David gave Rebecca a father's blessing and she went to bed as she would need to arise early and finish packing.

final call out

**update** if you would like to receive my weekly emails home, please comment with your email address so my mother can forward them to you. 
The time has come! Today I get set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints and won't have access to my phone or facebook afterwards for the next year and a half. If you have any last messages, tell me before 7PM MST.
IMPORTANT!!!: I want to receive news from **everyone** while I'm gone!! Please write me some letters or emails so I can still follow what you're doing.
My email address will be (just keep in mind that I will have limited email time so I would probably prefer snail mail)
And any hand written letters or care packages will need to be sent to...
(For the next two weeks while I'm at the MTC)
Sister Rebecca Lyn Cardon
2007 N 900 E Unit 5
Provo UT 84602
(And for the mission field)
Sister Rebecca Lyn Cardon
New Mexico Farmington Mission
400 W Apache St
Farmington, NM 87401 
I love you all!!! And thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the support you've given me. So, for now, fair sailin'!! And I'll see you in a year and a half!!