Elder and Sister Cardon Bid a Fond Farewell to the Pacific

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Elder Craig A. Cardon, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Deborah Cardon, recently bid farewell to the many friends they have made in the Pacific Area before heading home to the United States of America.

  

The Cardons arrived in New Zealand in August 2016. Elder Cardon has served the last two years as a member of the Church’s Pacific Area Presidency.

Both Elder and Sister Cardon believe it is an “honour to serve wherever the Lord wants you to serve,” and when they received their assignment to the Pacific they were excited.

“We knew this would be our last two years of service as a General Authority and companion and were thrilled with the prospect of being able to serve among the people of the Pacific Area,” Elder Cardon said.

“We had heard for much of our lives of the faith and devotion of the saints in the Pacific and were humbled to know we would be able to live among them and learn from them.”

Elder Cardon continued: “While the Pacific Area covers a vast area with many lands and isles, with rich histories and varying cultures and languages, there is the common bond of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that provides the foundation for a gospel culture that unifies and strengthens the saints in accomplishing the Lord’s purposes.”

He believes that this is evident in the lives of individuals and families who love and serve the Lord as they love and serve one another.

“The Lord is fulfilling His covenant made with Abraham,” Elder Cardon said, “that through his descendants and by the power of the Holy Priesthood that they bear, ‘the families of the earth will be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal (Abraham 2:11).’”  

“We pray the saints of the Pacific will find great joy therein as they help prepare the earth for the return of the Saviour. We love you.”

Sister Cardon said, “I was delighted to have the opportunity of serving with my husband in the ‘isles of the sea.’ I did not dream that I would have the opportunity to actually see and experience the beautiful people and places here.”

“We have taken many pictures and written journal entries about our experiences here that we will continue to treasure and share with our posterity.

                                  

 

She added: “Our testimonies of the blessings and importance of the Gospel for all of Heavenly Father’s children in all the world have been reaffirmed again and again and we will always cherish those precious feelings and memories.”

Sister Cardon says she has enjoyed the opportunity of participating in mission tours throughout the area as a companion to her husband.  She said that it has been inspiring for her to be with the valiant missionaries, both senior missionaries and young elders and sisters, that the Lord has sent to the Pacific area.

“They are valiant and courageous even in the face of challenges,” Sister Cardon says. “The mission presidents and companions are guiding the missions under the power and influence of the Spirit.  As members and missionaries focus even more fully on uniting their efforts in ministering to the people, we will see miracles and blessings here and throughout the world.”

“I was amazed, and I am very grateful for the eternal connection we now have with this beautiful area and our Heavenly Father’s precious children here.”

In 1983 the Cardons accepted a call to preside over the Italy Rome Mission for three years, taking along their seven young children ranging from ages nine months to eleven years old. Their youngest, a son, was born after their return. They now have 43 grandchildren and one great grandchild with two more on the way.

In 2006 Elder Cardon received the call to serve as a General Authority Seventy for the Church. His and Sister Cardon’s first assignment was to Accra, Ghana where he served for five years as counsellor and then president of the Africa West Area.

Next came their five-year assignment to Church headquarters where Elder Cardon served as the editor of Church Magazines and as an assistant executive director in the Priesthood and Family Department. Over the past two years, the Pacific Area has been blessed with the Cardon’s wisdom, leadership and inspiration as they have served in this part of the world.

“Elder and Sister Cardon have been wonderful servants of the Lord in the Pacific Area,” said Elder O. Vincent Haleck, president of the Pacific Area of the Church.

“Elder Cardon’s wealth of church experience benefitted the Area Presidency from his perspective based on his years of experience in other areas of the world. The Cardons are loved by the saints in the Pacific and while their presence will be missed, we recognize and are gratified that we were the beneficiaries of their remaining years of their service to the Lord. We wish them good health and great happiness as they return home to unite with family and friends in Arizona.”

Elder Haleck also said, in Samoan, “Ia tu  Ieova i lo tatou va i lona Alofa.” This translates, in English, to: “May the Lord stand between us, in His love.”

Fellow counsellor in the Pacific Area Presidency, Elder Ian S. Ardern, said, “I speak for many when I note that Elder and Sister Cardon have made a valuable contribution to the work of the Lord in the Pacific Area. They leave having touched the lives of many through their words and deeds. When we are in the presence of good people we must look to what we can learn from them, and in this case, as I think of Elder and Sister Cardon, I think of their gratitude, gentleness, diligence, knowledge and faith in Christ. Their example is added motivation to always strive to become more Christlike.”

  

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