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.