Monday, December 26, 2016

Curtain Call

Well, the time has come... This is my last email as a full time missionary.  Sad day. Curtain call, take my bow, I'm moving on to the things life has to offer a returned missionary.  My brain still manages to be in denial.  But, it's gonna get a wakeup call tomorrow as we head into Farmington for my departing interview.   

This week was a good one.  Food definitely was in abundance.  We don't get fed any other time of the year, then Christmas comes around and we get double dinners for most of the week.  I feel like I could go on a four day fast and still be full.  Our dinners had lots of adventures tied to them.  I'll name off a few.

Dropped plates became a regular.  Most of our dinner appointments had all six missionaries invited to them.  The first dropped plate happened with Elder Gray.  We're at this single lady's house, he's the last to dish up, and as his plate is *full* the plate slips from his fingers and falls all over the kitchen floor.  It was hilarious, but so sad.  The second dropped plate happened with Sister Ledford.  We were invited over for Christmas dinner at another single lady's house, we were 20 minutes late so the Elders and hosts were dishing up already, then as Sister Ledford is dishing up her dinner she drops the plate and it lands on her toe/the floor.  The only awful thing this time around was that the plate was glass instead of paper, so the plate broke.  It wasn't our best night ever.  

We had to walk through a **ton** of mud in order to get to a different dinner appointment this week.  We walked through a wash and everything.  The only thing was that the Elders didn't tell us that we'd be walking through mud, so Sister Ledford was in flats and I was in my nice dress boots.  Well, the Elders were kind and let us wear their boots while they walked alongside us barefoot.  Keep in mind, it's super dark, we're walking with flashlights, it's freezing, windy, and snowing.  Those poor Elders.  The walk took a good 10 minutes or more to make.  True charity, right there.

Oh!  And there was a dinner we were invited to but couldn't go inside for.  It was so sad.  Our wonderful bishop invited us over for dinner, and we were there on time and everything, but then his wife wasn't there.  We thought she'd be there soon, so we waited in the car while the Elders went inside.  ...We waited for an hour...  And the wife still didn't make it.  So we got little takeout boxes from our Bishop and went home to eat our dinner.  It was the saddest thing ever.  I might have shed a quick tear over the night.  But it's okay.  Our Bishop is still incredible beyond belief and I love his family ***SOOOOO*** much!  Miscommunication just gets to you sometimes.

Ha, then there was a lunch incident.  Sister Ledford and I volunteer at the senior center sometimes to help them dish out food.  Well, we go over there on Wednesday and we find out that the chapter house (kinda like city hall) is serving lunch that day.  So we go over there to ask if they need any help.  They immediately put us to work, which was great!  And slowly things got more intense... and we were being picked apart for the tiniest of mistakes... Poor Sister Ledford was trying to serve about 4 different things and was getting chewed out for being slow or missing something occasionally.  I only had to serve the turkey and mashed potatoes.  Bah, it was the craziest lunch of my life.  We were thankful we got to help out though.

We also had our ward party this week.  It was so much fun!  And two of our investigators came!!!!! :D  Armando and Kamariyah! :)  The dinner was Mexican themed, so we took some of Dad's cheese enchiladas as our contribution.  Then there was a pinata!  They had three of them.  First one was for the little kids, then there was one for the young adults, then they surprised us by having the third one be for the missionaries.  Oh my goodness, it was so much fun!!! I had to go first, so Sister Ledford blindfolded me then spun me around.  No one else had been spun around before me.  But I got some good hits in!  Then Sister Ledford went, then Elder Christiansen broke it open.  It was a party.

We had an amazing miracle where we went to visit a former investigator and give her a plate of goodies for Christmas, then we found out that she was going through a *really* rough time.  We've seen her basically every day since.  It seems like her heart has been softened towards the gospel and actually wants it in her life now because she knows it'll give her strength.  YAY!  She wasn't able to make it to church yesterday because of a flat tire, but we really hope she'll come this week.  It's incredible how the gospel helps everyone no matter what situation they might be in.

Well, I love you all so so so much!  Thank you for supporting me throughout my mission.  It means the world to me.  I'd love to close with my testimony, something I should be better at doing in these emails...

I hope you know that I *know* this church is true.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the exact same church that Christ established when He was on the earth.  Christ is the head of this church, and it's lead by a living prophet.  I'm so eternally thankful that we have a living prophet on the earth today.  I love listening to his counsel and know that as we follow what the prophet says, we will always be led back to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  It teaches and testifies of Jesus Christ, someone I am so thankful for.  Christ has done so much for me.  I know that it's only because of Him that I can improve and return back to my Heavenly Father.  Christ truly is the only way to happiness.  I know that I'm a child of God.  I have a loving Heavenly Father who is the Father of my Spirit and I love Him so so so much.  I'm thankful for the direction He gives me in life.  I know that direction can be found through the scriptures, prayer, church attendance, and temple attendance.  I'm so thankful for the Priesthood.  I know it's been restored to the earth and that it is the power of God.  I've seen it bless my life all the time, as well as other people's lives. I'm so thankful for the joy that I find through this gospel.  I'm thankful for the time I've been able to serve as a full-time missionary, and through that service be converted to this gospel.  I'm thankful for the Spirit and know that it comes from God.  I'm thankful for the many blessings that I receive daily.  I know the church was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I know the Plan of Salvation is real and that we are here to prepare to meet God one day.  I know that the Gospel is the only way back to God.  I know that revelation is so real, and we need to pay attention to promptings we receive daily.  I know that my family will be together forever.  I know that Christ lives.  There's so much more that I know, but this is the basics of it all.  My heart is overflowing with gratitude for the time I've been able to serve and strengthen my conversion.  I know I've seen many mighty miracles throughout my mission, but I will never boast of my own strength, I will always boast of my God.  (Alma 26:12) It truly is because of Him that I see so many wonderful things happen in my own life and in the life of others.  Once again, I know this church is true.  And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

I'll see you Wednesday!  Don't get too excited ;)

Love you! 
Sister Cardon

ps - If anyone wants to come, I found out that I'll be giving my homecoming talk on January 1st at 9:00AM in my homeward in Ogden.  I'm sure there will be a facebook event or something you can join cause... technology.  Bah, technology is one thing I'll have to get used to again.  Ready or not, here I come! 

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