Week 21: We’ll See What Happens

This week was a little hard. The end of the month always seems to be the time when a lot of people just drink and stuff, it made it really hard to find new investgators. It made me really grateful for how easy it usually is!I had a really cool experience this week when I really felt like I was teaching a person and not a lesson. We were with a less active sister and she was telling us that she stopped coming to church because of all the desafios (challenges) she had. We asked her if she was praying daily and she said no. We said a prayer right there together that she could feel God’s love for her and the Spirit testifying that what we were about to teach was true. After the prayer I felt like I ought to read 2 Nephi 32:5 and so we did and then we talked to her about how God can help us overcome whatever struggles we have through personal revelation. We explained that that’s what the Holy Ghost can do for us and how she can recognize it. We taught her about how going to church helps us be worthy of and more sensitive to the Spirit and how there we can learn things that we need to know to grow from our struggles. She was so intensely focused on what we taught her throughout the whole lesson and then told us that we were angels, and asked if she could say a prayer right there in which she then thanked our Heavenly Father for sending us because we said the things she needed to hear. It was really cool, and she said she is couldn’t go to church this week but she will next week. We’ll see what happens!!

Another cool thing was that my companion and I were deperately looking for someone to teach because it was getting near the end of the week and we still had 0 new investigators. So we were talking to this lady who was cleaning and all of the sudden this lady on the other side of the street yelled, “Where are you from?” and I said, “The United States!” and she said, “But you speak castellano?” (This was all in Spanish, by the way.) I said yes, and she said,”Come here,  I need your help with my son. He is into drugs and I don’t know how to help him.” So we crossed the street and I felt so full of the Spirit as I testified to her that it’s a lot easier to teach someone not to use drugs when we understand why. My companion and I told her that we could come and teach her and her son together and she said please and asked when we would come. We are going to visit her and her son this week. We’ll see what happens!

I love you all and hope you know how much I pray for you guys. I don’t know how I was so lucky to be Marci and Paul’s daughter, or Kayla and Dallin and Aubrie’s sister, but I thank my Heavenly Father that I am!!

Love you guys!
Hermana Cardon

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Week 20: 21 and Lovin’ It!

I had a great birthday, thanks for all the birthday wishes!
This week Sister Hualinga and I had a big zone conference and at the end the President opened it up to questions. I had a little/big question on my mind about how we address the members. Here in Peru they use first names, not last names, at church. So, ¨Obispo Javier¨ or ¨Hermano Diego¨ and in the mission manual it clearly says we should use last names. So I had the mic and I asked what we should be doing.
Why I ever diverted from the clear instructions in the mission manual I do not know, but I was very publicly called to repentance (haha) and the past couple days my companion have been working hard to learn everyone’s last names! It’s going to be a hard transition but we are committed to doing it!
This week was great nonetheless. I am learning to have patience; it is not always easy. Helping people repent of things I have never personally had a problem with requires more from me than I thought I had to give, but the Lord is helping me. Not only am I stregthened when I think that it is possible because He has done it, but also when I feel His Spirit it is easier
I love you all! Sorry I don’t have more time!
Hermana Cardon

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Week 19: Hualinga + Cardon = Match Made in Heaven

       Man, I love being a missionary. It’s kind of weird because on the outside, in terms of my quality of life, I’ve never been worse off. (Like, for a brief example, showering here is like a non-immersion baptism…. sprinkle here, sprinkle there….. which is actually a blessing because the risk of accidentally getting water in my mouth is really low!) On the inside, though, my quality of life has never been higher. I just feel so good all the time, happier than I was before. Stressed sometimes, yes. But overall I feel like I’m just so much better than I used to be, a lot better. I was reading in my journal the other night from when I was in the MTC and the struggles I had there. Looking back, my life was so much easier and yet I wasn’t as happy as I am now. For example I was so stressed out about teaching our investigators and getting along with my companion. THEY WERENT EVEN REAL INVESTIGATORS, THEY ALREADY RECEIVED THEIR SAVING ORDINANCES. AND BACK THEN MY COMPANION SPOKE ENGLISH. Now I’m teaching and inviting REAL people who still need these ordinances! And I still have to get along with my companion! And she doesn’t speak English! Logically, it doesnt make sense how good my life is or how happy I am. Haha.
       This week was good, we had a baptism which was good! I’m short on time but I want to share this thought with you from my personal study this week from my mission president:
Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness, every conflict, sadness, tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation and every opposition happens for one purpose only: to give you the opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus. 
       Hermana Cardon

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Week 18.2: A Bonus Email

Hey! My companion has to take a survey and so we’re here on the internet again!! I can’t believe I forgot to tell happy birthday to Aubrie yesterday!  It wasn’t because I wasn’t thinking about you Aubrie!! In fact, I thought about you a lot! Yesterday I was really rushed because I had to take this really long survey (the same one Sister Hualinga is taking right now) and so I had like 5 minutes to write something to you guys and that’s when my brain fell out.

So I have to explain why I don’t have any pictures…. a virus entered my memory card last week when I was trying to send them and ate every last one! Public internet is so unsafe… I heard the bishop of a ward that shares our building knows how to recover photos eaten by viruses so I’m going to see if maybe he can help me…. but this means that I should be really grateful for mom encouraging me to send pictures because the only pictures I have now are the ones I have sent in emails! I am going to take more pictures this week and try to send them safely next week. I think one of the members in our ward has wi-fi….. we’ll see!

Something really cool that happened this week that I didn’t tell you guys yesterday but is really a good story about one of our investigators!

Ok so he is the husband of a recent convert and a very good man but he used to hate the missionaries. He had all these mean names for them and stuff… He’s the one I told you guys about that heard us singing and then asked us to teach him! That was really cool and when we were teaching him back in July/August you could see in his eyes that he was changing within, that he was experiencing true conversion. The lessons we had with him were so powerful because he had such sincere questions, such a sincere desire to KNOW. Things like, ¨How do I really know if I’m forgiven? How can I help my children believe in Jesus too?¨I loved teaching him!

He was preparing for baptism and things were going good, but there was this girl at work that kept calling him and that made us really nervous. We fasted three different times that he would have the strength to resist temptation.

A week before his baptism he called us, inviting us over to teach him. Right after we got to his house and said a prayer together he told us that he invited us over to tell us that he didn’t want to get baptised, that the Church wasn’t true, and that he was divorcing his wife and that we were welcome in his home but he wasn’t going to talk with us anymore.

That’s when I told you guys about how much I cried because one of our investigators was struggling! I just felt so sick inside about what he was choosing for himself.

Well, basically two months have gone by and they’ve been a little weird with him. When we see him we treat him like our best friend but he always looks really angry/sad. He’s a taxi driver, though, and two elders rode in his taxi two weeks ago and invited him to general conference AND HE WENT. I heard that from his wife (plus that after general conference he told her that he wants to do everything to keep his family) and this week Sister Hualinga and I went to his house because I wanted to introduce him to her and ask him about general conference. He gave me the WARMEST handshake (two hands!) and asked if we could come over the next morning. That was Saturday and we went over that day and asked him how he was doing. He told us he had a dream he got baptized and the feeling he had in his dream he wants to experience in real life. I felt prompted to ask him the baptismal interview questions and he responded to every single one, he responded to all of them honestly and in the end he said, “I am living the law of chastity. I just need to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.¨

We went over again this morning and talked about how if he reads the Book of Mormon and asks God if it is true, he will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Near the end of the lesson he said that he will read and pray if the Book of Mormon will help him with his family. LUCKILY FOR US THE BOOK OF MORMON IS ALL ABOUT HELPING US IN OUR FAMILIES!! We left Mosiah 2 and told him to read it with the intent to receive answers for his family. We’ll see what happens next! I am really excited. I feel the Spirit so strong when I am teaching him that I just know God loves him so much and is doing all He can to draw him near.

I know that God loves His children so much, yet He respects our agency too SO MUCH. I am learning that more than anything right now. I feel my job as a missionary is to help people desire for themselves the blessings God is willing to give them, desire enough that they will choose to act for themselves. It’s a great job!

I gotta go but I’m glad I had this extra time to tell you guys that!

Hermana Cardon

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Week 18: Great Week!

Wow this week was awesome. My new companion is cheerful, kind, hardworking, outgoing…. everything I could ask for! Her name is Hermana Hualinga and she is from Lima and she is the 15th of 15 kids. Her mom is 73 years old!! We did more work together this week (meaning we achieved more goals) than I have in any previous week on my mission. I love working with her!

I never told you guys very much about my first companion, my trainer, but I do want to share a very cool experience:

So, in the beginning I was really scared of her. In fact I think I cried every day just because I couldn’t figure out what she wanted from me! No matter what I did I felt like she was mad at me! And I was frustrated because I didn´t want to have to worry about that type of issue. I prayed A LOT just to maintain positive thoughts and for help to be kind and loving.

Things with us really changed after I first noticed that she spent our internet time on the church website. I began realizing that she literally has no family support. As I talked with her more and more I realized how many blessings I enjoy like a relationship with my mom, a supportive family, EMAILS, etc. Things she doesn’t and has never had!

Our last day together was awesome. I saw her smile LITERALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME and in near perfect English she told me, ¨Thank you for to come on your mission sister.¨

I felt a warmth and a peace inside that if I returned tomorrow from this mission I did a lot of good, even if it was just to help her feel loved and trusted.

That’s all, I love you guys! Sorry I don’t have more to say!!

Hermana Cardon

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