This week can be summed up in one word - SERVICE! And it was glorious :) December first was the Worldwide day of service, and the kick off for the 25 ways in 25 ways of service the church has been inviting everyone to do. If you haven't watched this year's Christmas Initiative, pause reading this email, go to Mormon.org, and watch it!!!!
...everyone's seen it now? Good.
Let's start at the beginning of the week though. We started by going to MLC. I was given an unexpected surprise... that was my last MLC. I was expecting to go to one more the day before I fly home, but nope! They moved it to the day **after** I go home. I started to cry when I saw that change on our agendas. I was mostly shocked... I wasn't ready for that to be my last MLC. As much as I know the fact that I'm coming home soon, it still doesn't feel real. I still feel like I'm going to be here next transfer. No one pop my bubble, please.
After MLC I started my exchange with my STL. Last one for me. Not the last exchange I'll do cause we've still got to do the ones we're in charge of, but it was the last one that will be for myself. It was weird. Sister Woods (who we decided is my unofficial companion from the mission since I've been her STL for over half her mission, thus we've been on lots of exchanges together and we know everything about each other. She's even from North Ogden! :)) trained me on enduring to the end. It was really great to just talk through things with her. Shockingly, I didn't cry in the exchange form. I was fully expecting Niagara Falls to be falling down my face. Guess I had gotten it all out Monday.
Oh wow, before moving on I need to tell you about the pretty comical situation that happened on Monday. For the record, this week was FULL of crazy situations. So, for some reason I was extremely stressed on Monday and I was just done with everything that's been going on. So I convinced Sister Ledford that we should go to McDonald's (the only fast food place around here aside from Taco Bell) for a peppermint hot chocolate. We get to the drive through, I order my hot chocolate and some chicken nuggets, and Sister Ledford doesn't get anything. We park in the grocery store parking lot and I just cry. I'm sitting behind the wheel, dipping a chicken nugget in the sweet and sour sauce and not able to actually eat it because I'm crying so hard. I calmed down a little, then offered Sister Ledford one of the chicken nuggets... that's when I find out she is fasting that day. Wow. So I continued to finish the chicken nuggets and hot chocolate by myself. It was a pretty pathetic moment. But it was good. It's always nice to have a good cry. But chicken nuggets will never be the same again.
Exchange miracle - We had dinner with a member in Farmington and they suggested that we visit a less active that lived a few houses down. They're her home teachers, and give service to her all the time, but can never get a spiritual message in because she always declines. Well, we knock on the door and we're let in after we confirm that we're not carrying a knife on us (I forgot about the pocket knife I always have in my bag...). We're getting to know her, then we find out she lived in the St. Michael's area a few years back. We knew basically all the same people! It was great connecting with her on that, she really opened up after that. Then, miracle of miracles, she let us share the Christmas initiative with her!!! :D Oh it was amazing! Then she showed us around her home, and gave us some Navajo Tea supplies (people call it Mormon Tea around here). Just... I'm so thankful for the inspiration of leaders, even in something as simple as who goes where for exchanges. Because there definitely is a reason for everything.
Thursday was the kickoff for 25 acts of service over 25 days in December! It was incredible! To start off the day, Sister Ledford and I made the Elders breakfast, then later in the day we made a massive pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and went to the flea market to give bowls to homeless people. It was so heartwarming. Then we delivered a good portion of the soup to a family in the ward that just had a baby a week ago. Then we chopped wood in our skirts for a less active that didn't have wood to heat her home, then we went to dinner at a member's home and afterwards helped them put up their Christmas decorations. It was the greatest :) Oh! Fun fact from the dinner- we had to choose if we were part of the dark side, or the light side. I had no idea, but apparently another Star Wars movie is coming out soon. So the member thought she'd be creative in the dinner she served us. I, of course, was on the light side :) It included rice/quinoa, chicken soup, and green grapes. Though, I did dip my toe in the dark side for the chocolate milk. I still just can't do normal milk. Dinner at this member's home is always the greatest.
Crazy experience that happened on Friday! We went out with a member to a lesson, which is totally normal. The only thing was that she was driving a rental car that is electric while her car was in the shop. Well... we came out from our lesson at 8:00 and couldn't start the car. The member tried. I tried. Sister Ledford tried. We were all trying for an hour before we called the Elders. Then when they got there, it took another hour, and for the Bishop to come over with his wife, for this car to start up again. Needless to say, we came in late for curfew. We were trying everything to get this car to run... I think I read the owner's manual at least 10 times on how to start the stinkin' car. It was crazy. And cold. But, thankfully, it all worked out in the end.
Awkward moment - Sister Ledford and I were trying to contact a referral that lives across from the Denny's in town. We parked at Denny's, then crossed the street to get to the house. Well, I looked behind me as we were about to cross the street, and I regretted my decision as soon as I looked over my shoulder. For, what did my eyes behold?? A teenage couple making out in the front seat of their car! Broad daylight, parked facing the main road in St. Michael's, in the Denny's parking lot no less... bah! I quickly turned away and ran across the street. But they were going at it for forever! We went to the house, stood outside the gate for a while, decided to open it and go in, knocked on the door twice, then started walking back and they were **still** going at it! Gross, gross, gross. Sister Ledford and I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculous situation. We were half tempted to knock on their window and Teach, Testify, and Invite them on the Law of Chastity. It would have been an experience to remember.
So, as you can see, this week was quite the adventure. Other random events would be that we got to watch the church's Christmas Devotional on Sunday night. Wow. If you want to feel the true Christmas Spirit, go watch that. It was only an hour long, and it can be found on lds.org, and it will be WELL worth your time. I loved President Eyring's talk at the end. As well as Douglas someone's talk from the Young Men's Presidency. I love the story's of Christ. And the hope that we find in this season. One point they said that I really enjoyed was that the feeling of the Christmas Spirit is the same feeling we feel as we feel the Holy Ghost in our life. Mind blown. It's so true! We truly can have the "Christmas Spirit" with us throughout the year as we feel the Spirit of God always.
Side notes, the missionaries are putting on the Christmas programs in both of the wards' Christmas parties this month. It's going to be great :) We've got a uke, piano, and singers. We'll be attempting to do a nativity story... we'll see if it comes anywhere close to the nativity stories I've grown up doing with my cousins.
And that's about it! I hope you know that I love you all SOOOOO much!!!! And I'm so thankful for all of the support you've given me throughout my mission. All of you are simply the best :)
I LOVE YOU!!!
Sister Cardon :)
ps- if anyone is thinking of sending Christmas things my way, could you wait to give it to me once I come home December 28th? It'll be easier to take it home that way, cause I'll already be there.
pps- Sorry this email is so late. We've literally been running around all day and this is the first chance we've had to get on a computer