Monday, October 31, 2016
This week has been amazing. First and foremost, it was ended with James' baptism, and it was so amazing! Wow, that kid. I haven't talked about him a ton in my emails before, but his family was baptized a little over a year ago, and my first week in St. Michael's he said he wanted to be baptized. So we've been working with him since then. There were some set backs, like 2 weeks ago he didn't stay all 3 hours of church, so he had to hold off 2 more weeks to meet the requirements for church attendance. But wow. He was so excited, it was darling.
Week Summary: We went on exchanges with Joseph City Sisters once again. We had Zone Training. We had a baptism on Friday. Members came out with us on Sunday.
Funny moments - James was trying on the baptism suit and when he came out to show us how it fit, all of his clothes were still on under it.
Then as we were cleaning up the church, we found all his wet clothes everywhere in the boys bathroom. Elder Gray was the one to find them, and Sister Ledford died from laughter when Elder Gray said that James left his "undies" on the floor. She just couldn't believe that an elder would call underwear "undies." I think Sister Ledford laughing at the whole thing was a lot funnier than the actual situation.
I got to do a musical number for the baptism! ...And it was put together in less than 24 hours... Man, that was a little nerve racking. I did the song "I Will Stand as a Witness of Christ." I didn't have a piano player, so I downloaded the accompianment online and sang to that. It was playing all day and all night. Sister Ledford captured some of the moments on my camera. In the actual performance I messed up pretty badly twice... like messed up the counting of things, thus getting behind, thus humming for a few seconds before getting back into the song. But other than that it went well! I think it went really well for only 24 hour notice.
The Zone Leaders thought we were total mothers yesterday (oh, and by the way, according to the second councelor here, the Elders are future stake presidents. And while we were all chuckling at the Elders looks of shock and such, we were quickly serious and shocked as well when he turned it to us and said that we were future mothers of stake presidents.) See, we texted the Elders when we saw that their trucks were home and asked if they were eating dinner or weekly planning. We needed someone to babysit the baptism font while it was filling up since you can't leave it unattended, but we still needed to eat a quick dinner before the baptism. They responded with "yes" so we didn't want to interrupt so we responded with "okay." We figured we'd figure something else out. Well, they didn't know the whole story so they thought we were making sure they were doing something productive with their time... thus, we became the mothers of our missionary neighborhood.
Other happenings this week - We failed at hiking Window Rock. So we made our own trail and had our own adventures. We're definitely making memories. We sent pictures to President Adams and he said he only had two comments - We should be wearing Utah State Aggies shirts, and he was happy to see we were having fun.
Aaaannnddd... I totally forgot to bring in my planner, so the rest of this will be pretty scatterbrained.
We had two members come out with us on Sunday! That was a miracle and a half! We're trying so so so so hard to get members involved here. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get members to like you, we'll take all the help we can get. For some reason we're just getting major pushback from it all. But, at least it's not with all the members. There are definitely those that are incredible beyond belief and we love ALL of our members so much!
James was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday! It was incredible!!!! Some things I remember from the blessing - he was told he would serve a mission. (BAAAHHH!!!! How great would that be?!?! :D) and ... yeah, that was my favorite part. Everything else was amazing, but that was the greatest.
Oh, and then the other thing that's happened this week was I prepared for BYU by kinda sorta working out a class schedule. This is weird beyond belief. Normal life... bleh! Sorry folks, but I'm really enjoying the life of a missionary. It's a lot less worrisome. I don't have to be updated on the news, I can avoid all forms of worldly entertainment, there's no stress about normal stuff... no school... Just Heavenly Father and His work! But it's okay. I'll get used to normal life I guess. Ew.
Today for Halloween I Disneybounded as Mickey Mouse. It's a party :) But not nearly as much of a party as tonight will be! We're staying at Farmington 8th's apartment since we have MLC tomorrow so it'll be me, Sister Ledford, and Sisters Breakall, Stringam, Nielsen, and Knapp. Two of my trainees! We're gonna have a blast together :)
Well, I love you all!!! Hope all is going well!!!
Posted by Linnea at 2:56 PM
Monday, October 24, 2016
Hey Family and Friends!
HIGHLIGHTS: We gave a roleplay in Zone Conference, I gave my departing testimony, I SAW THE CHEE FAMILY IN GALLUP!!!! All is well in the mission :)
Wow, this week has been a good one. There wasn't a very high lesson count, but we still did a lot. I guess this week was more of meetings and exchanges and such.
First, Monday happened. We did service during the day. We have an older member who's doing an online class through BYU-Idaho, and we are her tech support. It's so funny. She'll call us up randomly to help her out with uploading things to her class page or something along those lines. It's honestly the weirdest thing in all the world being on BYU-Idaho's page. It kinda gets me excited for school, or at the very least feel like I'll be able to handle it. Funny moment - We were helping her download something and it was talking about a plug-in and Ann, in her cute monotone voice, simply said "plug it in, plug it in." Man, I so wish you could understand how hilarious it was! Her voice! I love her with all my heart.
OH! Also on Monday I found out that I was accepted into BYU Provo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited!!! I'll be starting school a week after coming home, and I'm just stoked beyond belief for it. Never thought I'd actually get in!
Tuesday was nice. We had amazing lessons, went to mutual, and had a ward correlation. Sister Ledford and I decorated a cake at mutual, and it actually turned out super cute! I will send pictures :)
Wednesday was Zone Conference. My last one in the mission. So that translated into Sister Ledford and I giving a roleplay on extending commitments and following up. It was actually a pretty neat roleplay. We had President and Sister Adams and President and Sister Solomon involved where they were the distractions. See, the missionary would invite the investigator to church and to read Moroni 6, then there was time for the investigator to read, then the missionary would follow up. Well, while the investigator was reading, we would go around asking them questions, getting them to go up and draw something on the board, erase the board... all sorts of random things. And then President and Sisters Adams and Solomon would help with the distractions. It was so good :)
Then the sad part of zone conference happened... I had to give my departing testimony. Wow. I didn't cry, shockingly, but it was still hard. My mind blanked. I forgot to share the scripture I was going to, but I did talk about how President Adams once told me, "Imagine if you would have gone home." And I honestly can't imagine where I would be without the mission. I'm so eternally thankful for the time I have to serve. It is the best decision I've ever made in my life. And I know it will bless my life for the rest of forever.
We started exchanges immediately after zone conference with the Gallup Sisters. I got to go to Gallup and wow! I love the people there so much! I met some new people that they're teaching, but I also got to see the Chee family. Oh my heavens. That family owns ALL my heart and soul!!!!!! And then some more of me! I just about cried when I saw them. And it was seriously such a blessing for all of us that night. Story time! When I got into Gallup, I sent two texts from the Gallup Sister's phone - one to Deb and one to Sister Chee, both of them simply stating that I loved them and that they are the greatest. The Chee's responded saying that that text was so needed that day, because they were going through a tough trial. So we immediately called them to see what was going on. That's when I broke the news to them that I was actually in town for the day. See, the text was something along the lines of "Sister Cardon just wanted to let you know that she loves you!.... blah blah blah..." So they didn't know I was in town. Well, we set up going over there at 8:00 that night, miraculously all of our schedules were open at that time. And goodness, I'm so thankful we were able to. We got to comfort each other, catch up a little, comfort some more, and share a scripture. We shared Alma 37:3, one of my favorites. And then after talking about it, Faith shared with us that she had prayed after coming home from the chaos meeting that was their current trial that Heavenly Father would help her feel better. Then my text had come in. Ah! Faith just amazes me every time I talk to her! She's always been the first to turn to Heavenly Father in her time of need, and it's such an example to me on what I need to always be doing. I LOVE THE CHEE'S!!!! Great side fact, the oldest daughter Kim might be going to Utah for college... yes please! I think this family is like my obsession family... I just can't get enough of them.
We learned how to make frybread! It was the greatest :) Sister Chee is a less active and she helped us with the recipe and stretching techniques. I'm pro now :)
Then I got to go on exchanges with Sister Scoffield, my MTC comp!!! Oh man, I love her with all my heart! It was so nice to drive and talk! And then we have classes at BYU together now :) Yay!!! :D
Then we finished the week with Stake Conference. So good :) I love church! It's such an uplifting experience!
Aaaannnddd... yep! That's about it. My life is a good one. I absolutely love being a missionary!
Love you all!!!!
Posted by Linnea at 11:19 AM
Monday, October 17, 2016
We had a righteous bet with the Elders. They said that they would wash our truck if we handed out 60 Book of Mormons last week. Well, we did!
...Poor Elders though... it was Elder Larsen who made the deal, and then he went home. So Elder Christiansen (related to the Clay Christiansen organist) washed it for him.
This week has been a good one. Not as crazy as last week, but still pretty great. Our companionship is back to just me and Sister Ledford. It's so weird not having Sister Brown with us :( Our trio had felt so natural and like we had been together forever. But Sister Ledford and I are loving being together still! And we're excited about our new calling as STL Leads. This week has been interesting as we've been trying to figure out what exactly we're expected to do... A lot of our work is phone work as we call not only the Sisters we serve in our normal STL calling, but now also all of the actual STL's. We're finding out when everyone's exchanges are happening... and soon we'll be calling and giving trainings over the phone... then we'll be following up on exchanges... and we'll be trying to keep in contact with them just to be able to keep up a relationship... We're definitely trying to stay on our toes!
Adventures of the week:
I lost my Tiwi card :( We have a little car monitor thingie called Tiwi that's connected to the truck and it tells you if you're speeding or if you hit a bump too hard or if you're not wearing your seatbelt (never gotten that one at least!). Thing is, you have to log in every time you get into the car so it knows who's driving. Well... I lost my card the day we dropped off Sister Brown for transfers... No bueno. So, we've had to switch designated drivers in our companionship until I get a new card on Wednesday at Zone Conference. Which is really nice that I'll be able to get my new card then, because we start exchanges right after Zone Conference and I've gotta be able to drive.
We also had an adventure trying to find a digital camera for Sister Ledford when we went into Gallup on Tuesday. Walmart was out of stock, and then everywhere else didn't even sell digital cameras! I was shocked. But then someone made the connection that everyone has phones now. So, while I appreciate phones and their high tech cameras, poor missionaries are put in a pickle because of our lack of technology. But we'll be finding out when we're getting iPads on Wednesday hopefully. But, it'll probably be once I'm off the mission. Oh well.
We learned how to can! ...Kinda... We sorta helped, but not a ton. We would go in and out of the kitchen where they were canning as we were cutting fruit or whatever. We also blanched and peeled tomatoes! That was kinda gross, but really fun at the same time. The gross part was when the juices exploded on you as soon as you broke the skin. Aside from that, it was good.
Our clothes dryer is broken. And has been for the past 2 weeks... this is week #3 of drying things by hanging them all around the house. You should've seen it when we were in a trio. Clothes were **everywhere**!
We successfully got our recent convert's (Arlene) wifi working!!! You have no idea how many times we've tried to get this thing to work so she can use her gospel library app... So it was a very happy day when we succeeded! Now we'll be able to pull up Mormon Messages and general conference talks when we go over to visit her. Improved lessons - check!
Speaking of improved lessons, we've been working on visual lessons. It's actually been the best thing ever! We printed off pictures for the different levels of the priesthood, we had service/missionary work ideas on pieces of paper in a jar so the kid we were teaching would pull one out and we'd discuss it, and we made a baptism interview questions trivia game/flash cards. We've been needing to be creative and interactive with our investigator James. He's 8 and gets distracted SUPER easily. So we've been having fun with it :)
Update on Monica: She is doing SO WELL!!!!! She came to church, was there for the sacrament and stayed all 3 hours! And she knows the difference it's making in her life!!! Wow, it was just so heart warming to watch her in church this past week.
OH! And miracle!!!!!! We found a new investigator on Friday, and then we went to Monica's house and she asked if we had found any new investigators and when we told her yes she told us that she had prayed that we would! So it was an answer to her prayer!!!! Wow, power of prayer.
Oh, and all the missionaries gave talks in Sacrament meeting this past week. That was an adventure. Sister Ledford and I planned out about 15 minute talks each and then we found out the Elders were asked to speak as well last minute, so we only had about 5 minutes each... It was still really good though.
Well, I definitely know that this church is true! I'm so thankful for the peace, joy, direction, and purpose it give me. The Book of Mormon is definitely the word of God, and I love learning about my Savior Jesus Christ through it. I'm so thankful for all that He has done for me.
I love you all!!!
Posted by Linnea at 6:23 PM
Monday, October 10, 2016
Mother, feel free to condense this down. I've bolded things to help follow along with the major happenings.
And it came to pass, that in the sixteenth month of the mission of Sister Cardon, many great and wonderful miracles were brought to pass...
Wow, what a week!!! This week we had the goal of handing out 100 Book of Mormons and... whoa, my testimony was strengthened a million times!
Also, transfer news came! Our trio is being split up :( Sister Ledford and I are staying here in St. Michael's together and Sister Brown is off to Farmington YSA. (blessed child... YSA is basically my dream area. Oh well. St. Mikes for the rest of the mission won't be too bad! :D) Sister Ledford and I also got news that we are the new STL Leads. It's similar to being an assistant. We oversee all the Sister Training Leaders in the mission and train them and are there for them if they have any questions. It's looking like I'm gonna finish out my mission in leadership, but I've still got one more transfer after this to solidify that. Who knows.
P.O. Box 203
St. Michael's, AZ 86511
But, the Book of Mormon challenge we did this week was amazing. We ended up only handing out 60 books, but that's okay. The Elders told us at the beginning of the week that if we hit 60 then they would wash our truck for us today. Guess who got a free car wash?! :D And we still saw a TON of miracles! Some things I learned- 1. Elect people ARE out there! We just need to diligently find and make sure we're praying with faith and being faithful. 2. Heavenly Father WILL put people He's been preparing in our path as long as we trust Him. 3. Miracles happen AFTER the trial of our faith (Ether 12:6). 4. The Book of Mormon is TRUE! 5. Daylight procelying hours are PRECIOUS!!! Night time is rough. We have to make the most of every single minute of daylight so we can accomplish our goals. One huge reason being that we can't go door to door once it gets dark. It's just not safe. 6. I can do more than I thought I could! I can be pushed, and be better for it.
So, there was definite opposition in our goal this week. Day 1 we handed out zero books. Day 2 we only handed out 6. Day 3 we reached our goal in handing out EIGHTEEN books!!! That day was just incredible. Day 4 we handed out one. Day 5 we handed out 12. Day 6 we handed out 13. Day 7 was 10. But even on the days where our number was lower than we had hoped, we still were really excited that at least one book was placed. And since we've been diligently praying for Heavenly Father's help, we've been guided to people who are sincerely going to read the book we leave with them. So even though we only placed one book on Thursday, that's one person that has the potential to find pure joy and completely have his life changed. This gospel is all about individuals. What a wonderful, loving, Heavenly Father we have!!! :D
Miracle People we met - Marilyn. We found her house completely by accident. We thought we were on one road, when actually it was the next. So we were lost. And when we found her house she opened up her door graciously and listened to a message from us. She talked about how she had been thinking she needed to come back to a church, and was more than willing to try out ours. She is so ready for the gospel! She's got a lovely family too that we hope to teach after a while. Cause this gospel is all about family relationships and strengthening them :)
Troy. Kay, miracle night on Thursday. We're not allowed to tract (go door to door) after dark, especially since we're on the rez. So we had about 30 minutes left before it turned dark and still needed to place 3 more books. We prayed and started out with a few more houses. We knocked on the first door and Troy opened up the door. He's catholic, but has LDS members in his family. He was talking about how he's visited the Vatican 3 times (so cool!) and when we started talking about the Book of Mormon he seemed genuinely interested. Oh man, it was so exciting! So we gave it to him, he said he'd read it, and then we will drop by again maybe next week or so. I know he will be baptized eventually. He is definitely on the right path, and has some good influences.
Then as we're walking away from Troy, we see a kid walking home. We kinda awkwardly start talking to him... cause I never know if it's okay to talk to kids without their parents. I never ever want to sidestep a parent's authority. We say hi... get his name... and kinda keep walking. He went into the house a few doors down from where we were at. We knocked on the next door, no one answered, and then we get to his house and WOW! This kid's name is Ryan, he's 12 years old, and is the definition of childlike faith. I was floored by everything he said. We had a lesson with him, shared the story of Nephi going back to get the brass plates and related it to how Ryan could do anything the Lord commands him to do, including being baptized. Ryan told us about how the missionaries had taught him when he was 8, and he still wanted to be baptized. When does this ever happen?? Finding golden person after golden person in one day??? We're so excited to teach Ryan, and hope that we'll teach his entire family. If they're anything like Ryan, then this family is incredible beyond belief.
We also met a man named Jonah. He's actually the brother of one of our favorite returning less active members, Shirlene. She is the definition of Christlike! Her love for everyone around her, and her selflessness is just astonishing. She serves at EVERY opportunity, and I look up to her so much. So it was great to run into her brother as we were tracting on Thursday. Best line of our conversation was when we asked him if he was a member and he said "No, I'm not a member yet." Ah!!!! He's very open to learning and we have another lesson set up with him later. Eeeekkk!!!! Loving all of this! :D
We also met a man named Neil. He has never committed to one religion, because he feels like he doesn't know enough about any of them to dedicate himself to it. So we got to talking about the Book of Mormon, he had some questions, even asked if people had more than one wife which we promptly told him no, and in the end he said he'd think about coming to church on Sunday at 1:00 after reading some of the Book of Mormon. Bah! I really hope he comes!
We even managed to hand out a book of Mormon while we were checking mail at the post office. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways! And Sister Ledford is just too good at handing these books out :)
One thing though, that I hope everyone will learn from and apply into their lives - never ever be a nay sayer!!!! Wow, it's a major kill joy. Throughout the week, we would be experiencing miracles, and we'd be getting so excited for the things that were happening, and then we'd tell a miracle to someone and they'd downplay it! Don't do that!!!!! Let the glory go to God and be excited about it! We'd hear a fellow missionary tell us that they didn't think we'd pass 50 and that would honestly discourage us for a minute then we'd tell ourselves that with God, anything is possible and things would look up. Then we had dinner at a member's home, and we told her about how we had just met her neighbor and that he had told us he would try to make it to church on Sunday and she responded with "Well, they always say that. They never actually mean it." And we tried to keep saying positive things, sharing miracles we witnessed, and the experiences would be basically shot down. It was disheartening. So please, if someone ever says something good, or shares a goal they have with you, take some advice from a theater exercise and say "yes, and...!" Don't downplay it! Don't discourage them! Encourage them and help them out! Be excited for them, even if you personally don't think they can do it. People trust you when they share something with you. And it's really sad to get a negative response. Just... be kind. Please. Miracles DO happen every day! And we need to be thankful and excited about them!
Other random happenings - I managed to get sunburnt on the coldest day this week. Bleh. But it's exciting to see that even as winter is coming on that I'm managing to keep my tan! Haha, I've actually tanned more this past week than I have in the past month.
I finished the Book of Mormon again! AND GOT AN HONOR BEE!!!!!!YYYAAAAAAYYYYY!!!! :D It looks gorgeous :)
We had two birthdays this past week- Elder Stevens and Elder Larsen. So they got Grandma Cardon's chocolate chip cookies, and super delicious brownies. Twas good! :)
We've got a system down for meal times in our little trio. It usually goes something like this - Someone decides on a meal, two people start prepping (one the main meal, one a side), and the third does dishes. It's so nice! Cause dishes in a trio are just rough. And this way we get delicious meals without the extreme mess :) Don't know how we're gonna manage going back to only two of us...
Our recent convert Monica was so cute the other day. We were talking about temptations and she said "I woke up today, and I just couldn't wait to say no [to Satan]!" We all got a massive smile on our faces after that :) Then Sunday morning came around... I woke up to turn off the phone alarm, and then opened up the two text messages we had received during the night. They were from Monica saying "I give up." "I'm sorry." ...My heart dropped. Please, please, please pray for Monica! She is just too important to be lost. **Update** MONICA CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our other recent convert told us that she was going to go out and get drunk. Then after our shocked faces she said "yeah, drunk on the Holy Ghost!" Not sure how that one works out, but as long as alcohol isn't involved, then we're good!
I was talking with some ward members... Aunt Chamie helped birth some of these members' kids! Then it was an even stranger moment when one son comes out from an interview with the Bishop and his mother says, "yeah, Sister Zuniga helped Cody come into the world!" talking about the son that just finished the interview... ha, I just had to turn to him and smile. Slightly awkwardly. Jacob and Ann Zuniga are pretty loved people out here! :) So glad that we're related! (Even if it's weird to hear Chamie be called Ann... Half the time I don't comprehend who they're talking about until a few minutes have passed.)
Sister Ledford and I are redecorating/rearranging the house! It's been pretty fun :) Especially since we've served together before, so we have pictures of the two of us together in Aztec/Flora Vista hanging up. It's seriously feeling like a home, which is weird, but so nice at the same time. Maybe we'll invest in some Halloween/Fall decorations. Maybe winter. We'll see!
Well, I love you all so much! Keep being the amazing people you are! If you made it to the end of this email, congrats. You should win a prize or something, cause this thing is a novel.
Posted by Linnea at 7:17 PM