Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 15 and December 22, 2014- Two Posts in One

December 15, 2014

Hey family and friends!

Christmas is drawing nearer and nearer! It's crazy how fast time is flying out here! Its been getting really cold here. Every morning before we leave for the day, Elder Morgan and I go outside to our frozen car. We sit in the cold car with the heater on and wait for the windows to defrost since you can't see anything out of them, or if we are in a hurry we just use a debit card to scrape the ice off the windows. It’s definitely not something that I'm used to handling since it is never cold back home.

We are still handing out "He is the Gift" cards to everyone that we see and people really seem to like the message!

This week we had a mission conference for all of the missionaries in Virginia. Elder Snow, from the Seventy, spoke as well as President Baker.  It was a really good conference. It was interesting because President Snow called on a few of us to give talks about faith.  After each person talked we were asked to publicly analyze the good and bad points of the talk. He explained that public speaking is just like teaching and then he taught us how to improve our teaching.

Elder Morgan and I don't feel like Iris will be ready to be baptized on January 3rd so we moved her baptismal date to February 7th. Because of her old age, it is hard for her to understand what we are teaching her unless we teach her slowly and teach things over again.

For the past couple of weeks we have lost contact with Ramon and Belkis and their daughters Madeline and Dyana.  We haven't had a lesson with them for two weeks because they keep canceling our appointments and they haven't been to church in like a month. But it was such a miracle because last night, one of our appointments fell through, and Elder Morgan and I felt like we should drop by Ramon and Belkis's house and just see if we could talk to them and see how they are doing. When we showed up and knocked on their door, Belkis answered and she invited us to come in.  However, since Ramon wasn't there we couldn’t come in.  This was the same reason why previous appointments had to be canceled.  As we were getting ready to leave, Ramon pulled up in his car. We were able to go in and teach them a lesson after all. It was more of a good talk with them than a lesson, but I'm glad we were able to meet up with them again. After our lesson last night, they invited us to come over for dinner tonight, a lesson on Tuesday, and some food on Christmas Eve.

I encourage you all to continue to invite friends and family members to view the video "He is the Gift" as Christmas comes closer because around this season people are more receptive to hear messages about Jesus Christ. I can promise you that the true spirit of Christmas will enter your home this Christmas as you strive to share this wonderful message about Jesus Christ with others.

Edwin and Miriam are getting married on December 20th. Elder Morgan and I have been invited to their wedding, and then they will get baptized on Jan 10.

-Elder Cannon

All of the missionaries in my Zone

December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad everyone! 
I'm actually pretty excited to experience Christmas in Virginia. Missionaries here have told me that Christmas on a mission is amazing because you are serving the Lord.

This past week has been a pretty good week. We had a really good lesson with our investigators Ramon and Belkis and their daughters Madeline and Dyana.  

On Tuesday we had a really good lesson about la santa cena (the sacrament) with a less active member named Valerio and he committed that he would go to church.

We had our mission Christmas Conference on Thursday. It was super good! We watched the movie Polar Express and then ate some yummy food and then a bunch of missionaries sung some Christmas songs. 

Saturday was the highlight of the week! Edwin and Miriam, our investigators from El Salvador, got married! It was an amazing boda (wedding) and the food was so good. They asked us to pick up the food for them before the wedding and deliver it to the church.  When we arrived at Edwin and Miriam's house, there were two huge coolers as well as a huge container of Horchata, a rice and vanilla drink. It took a ton of rearranging to get the coolers to fit in the car, and we had to scoot both of our seats in the car all the way up. Elder Morgan had to drive with his chest against the steering wheel and I was trying to hold the Horchata on my lap even though there wasn't any room for my legs.  The Horchata kept spilling every time we hit a bump, so we had to pull over. I squeezed into the back and then had to hold the Horchata that was in the front seat from the back seat. Both Elder Morgan and I were pretty uncomfortable and we kept cracking up about it as we were driving but luckily we made it to the church in one piece.
Well I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas! And I encourage everyone to really think of Jesus Christ this Christmas and remember the things that he was done for us.
Elder Cannon

Chesapeake Bay

My District at the Mission Christmas party

Edwin and Miriam's Wedding Day

Edwin and Miriam dancing

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 8, 2014- Seven Baptisms for January

December 8, 2014
Seven Baptisms for January

Hey Everyone!

I can't believe that it is December! Time is flying by so fast out here! I don't know if everyone has heard, but the church is advertising for a new video called, "He is the Gift." They have published it on You Tube and they also bought space on a billboard for a month in Times Square in New York City. This is what we missionaries around the world are going to focus on for the month of December. We have a ton of pass along cards that are printed in Spanish to hand out to people.  We have been asked to hand out ten each day. I believe that everyone should have received pass along cards in the Ensign magazine this month. I encourage all of you to pass them out to friends, family members and those who aren't members!

On Monday we taught a lesson to Ramon, Belkis and their daughters Madeline and Diana.  During the lesson, we set them a baptismal date for them on January 3rd! That means that right now we have 7 people with a baptismal date in January.  Our focus for the next few weeks is to help all 7 meet their baptismal dates!

My new companion, Elder Morgan has been really sick the past couple of days.

Elder Morgan and I are also struggling to find some new people to teach so we had a great idea to visit with all of the members in the ward and teach them a powerful lesson about what happens when members and missionaries work together. First, we ask the members to think of someone who they would like to see become a member of this church whether they are a friend, a family member, a coworker, or a neighbor. Then, we share the story of Alma and Amulek. Alma (the missionary) wasn't having success teaching in the city but after he joined forces with Amulek (the member) and the taught Amulek's friends and family, he had success. We taught our first lesson last night to the Ramirez family, who are branch members and the lesson was super powerful. We asked them to invite the person that they were thinking of to their house so that we could teach them and baptize them.  The Ramirez family got excited and said that they would do that.

Well I hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Cannon

Me and my companion Elder Morgan with our Christmas tree

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 1, 2014- A New Companion

December 1, 2014
A New Companion 

Hey family and friends!

We had transfers on Wednesday this week. Elder Remund and I woke up and drove over to Virginia Beach. After the transfer meeting he headed off for North Carolina and I had to wait for the transfer van with all of the missionaries from North Carolina to arrive. There were a couple of us who were stuck waiting because the transfer van wasn't going to be there in Virginia Beach until 7p.m. that night.

My zone leaders paired me up with another Elder in my zone named Elder Gremmert but he is English speaking. We weren't allowed to leave Virginia Beach while we were waiting and obviously we still had to be doing missionary work so we arranged with some other English Elders in Chesapeake to go on exchanges with them for the day. Their apartment was a couple of miles away and neither Elder Gremmert nor I were authorized to drive so we had to go talk to President Baker. I had an interview with him and then he authorized me to drive for one day. It was super weird driving because I haven't driven a car in forever.  It took me a minute or two to remember that there are some crazy drivers here in Virginia. The Elders that we were meeting live in the same apartment as the Assistants to the President do, and their apartment was super nice.

I ended up tracting with an English Elder named Elder Haddock who went into the MTC 2 weeks before I did. He wasn't feeling well because he had problems with kidney stones the night before and was starting to have pain again, but we were able to go visit a less active member and tract a little bit.

It was pretty funny because I got Elder Haddock really good with a greenie joke that Elder Remund taught me to do when I train a greenie. After we finished tracting in one area, we walked back to the car. I was parked in a spot where I needed to back up. The mission rules say that the companion of the driver has to back the driver up. So I got into the car but he climbed in with me. So I just sat there for a minute to see if he was going to back me up.  When he didn't, I asked him, "Hey Elder, I just want to make sure, if we go into a sketchy area and then I was jumped by a bunch of people on the street and had to fight them, you would back me up, right?" He answered, "Oh yeah, of course." So I just sat there for another minute, and then he got the message and got out of the car and backed me up. It was super funny.

Elder Haddock started to feel sick again so we had to go back to his apartment. I just sat there waiting while he lay in his bed feeling super sick. Eventually, Elder Gremmert and the other Elder he went on the exchanges with came back. Elder Gremmert and I were joking around and talking about how it felt like we were in the movie Inception because we were on exchanges with each other for the day while waiting for our companions and then we went on exchanges with the Elders in Chesapeake.  We were on double exhanges.

The transfer bus ended up being late. They showed up at 8 p.m. My new companion, Elder Morgan is from Highland, Utah so that makes me 2 for 2 on companions from Utah. He is a super cool guy, though. He has been out in his mission for 21 months so he can speak Spanish super well.

My Thanksgiving was super good. We had a turkey bowl with ward members from Hampton and Yorktown.  We had a lot of fun playing.  The ground was super muddy because it had been raining the night before, so everyone got really muddy and everyone was slipping around, which made the game even more fun.

We had dinner with Jeff and his family.  They served the normal Thanksgiving food, all of which was super good. Before we left, Jeff asked us to fill up two plates of food to take home with us for later. Right after our dinner at Jeff’s home, we went to Edwin and Miriam’s home for a second dinner.  They made us pupusas and a Salvadorian and Ecuadorian drink called Quaker.

On Friday we had dinner with our branch president, President Chamberlain and his family. He is in the army, so he lives on Langley Air Force base. As we passed through the main gate, a solider was checking id's and he had an automatic machine gun with ammo strapped all over his body. On the way to his home, President Chamberlain drove by the hanger with all of the stealth planes in it. He told us that the planes that first responded during the 9/11 attacks came from that base.

Iris, one of our Honduran investigators, attended church for the first time yesterday.  She said she would like to be baptized on January 3rd. Hopefully she can meet that date!

Well, I hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Cannon

Turkey Bowl

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 24, 2014- Saying Goodbye to Elder Remund

November 24, 2014
Saying Goodbye to Elder Remund 

Hey family and friends!

I am officially not a verdecito, or a greenie, anymore. I finished my 12-week training with my trainer Elder Remund. We had transfer calls last night. Elder Remund is heading down to Wilson, North Carolina to be a zone leader there, and I am staying here in Newport News.  It’s been weird because our whole district has been together for 12 weeks or two transfers. Normally at least a few people get moved around every transfer but since we have been together for so long, we have become unified, worked super hard and got a lot of work done during the time we had together. Hermana Belnap is finishing her mission today. She is leaving for her home tomorrow morning. Hermana Camps is coming in to replace her. Hermana Valdez is leaving for North Carolina and Hermana Phillipy is going to be training a new sister. With Elder Remund leaving, Elder Morgan will be joining us as our new district leader.

Elder Morgan is going to be my new companion. Elder Morgan has been on his mission a long time. He only has 2 more transfers, 12 weeks, and then he is going home. I’m happy that I get to stay in Newport News because I love this area and I love the people here! Even though Elder Morgan will be the senior companion, since I'm the one with knowledge about this area, he will probably going to be looking to me to make a lot of the decisions for the next couple weeks.

We found out this week that during our mission conference in December, Elder Snow from the seventy is going to come and talk to us.  We are all very excited to be able to hear from him!

We had a great lesson with our new investigators Ramon and Belkis and their two daughters. They all said they would be willing to be baptized, so Elder Remund and I are hoping to set a baptismal date tonight in our lesson with them!

On Friday we had a branch party for Dia de Accion de Gracias or Thanksgiving.  We had a lot of fun. There was a lot of food there, and at the end of the evening there were still two turkeys in the oven, which hadn’t been used for the dinner yet. The members that were in charge of the party gave Elder Remund and me a whole leftover turkey. A Guatemalan sister in our branch had cooked the turkey.  I don't know what she put on the turkey but it was the best turkey I have ever eaten.

On Saturday, we helped teach at a Stake Family History Youth Activity.  We taught the youth how to set up their family search accounts. It was really long activity that lasted for a total of three hours.

I'm looking forward to this next week, and I hope everyone has a great week.

- Elder Cannon

My first district- 
Back from L to R - 
Me, Elder Remund 
Front from L to R-
Hermanas Valdez, Phillipy, Belnap and Hilton