Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13, 2014- Improving Every Day

August 13, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
I can´t believe that I am halfway through the CCM. Time is definitely picking up here now that I am used to the rigorous schedule. I am basically either studying the scriptures or studying Spanish from 7:30 in the morning to 9:30 at night. Although it is difficult and I am always tired, it definitely has been worth it. My ability to understand and speak Spanish has been improving a lot. I can understand Spanish better than I can speak it, but, but I am definitely improving my speaking skills. My companion and I have gotten to the point where we teach lessons to our investigators, who are really just our two teachers, completely in Spanish. We can teach a 20-minute lesson without referring to notes at all which is definitely an improvement from our first lessons our first week here where we just read off our notes. In addition, earlier this week, I was asked to act as a practice investigator for some Hermanas who are leaving for the mission field in a week. They are completely fluent in Spanish and they talked so fast. I was actually surprised that even though they were speaking so fast to me for those twenty minutes, I understood 98 percent of what they were saying and I was able to respond back to their questions. 

At the beginning of this week our teacher pulled my companion and I aside. He had us write down two things that we felt like we had accomplished here at the CCM so far. He kept asking refining questions until we were able to identify a strength that was a Christ like attribute. He then asked us to do the same thing with a weaknesses until we discovered a Christ like attribute that we can work on developing. This activity really helped me to realize how I can become a better missionary. 

One of the days this week we played cage soccer with a bunch of Latinos. Cage soccer is soccer in a fenced in outside basketball court.  It was so much fun because there were the four of us white guys and then like 10 Latinos who didn’t speak any English at all so we had to try to communicate with them with our limited Spanish. (Our Spanish is so limited right now because basically the only Spanish we know is gospel related terms and phrases.) 

Every Wednesday, we get a bunch of new missionaries coming into the CCM. One of the guys who came in is Elder Mann who is from New Zealand. I talked with him and found out that he played rugby in New Zealand. So we both decided that during one of our gym times we wanted to get people together to play some touch rugby. We ended up playing a 60 minute game of touch rugby, my district vs. his district. It was actually a ton of fun. I miss rugby so much and I never would have guessed that I would have been able to play rugby in Mexico City. 

A couple nights ago, my companion and I had a rap battle with a bunch of Latinos. We rapped in Spanish and the rap had to be about the Gospel. It was way cool because the Latinos are really good at rapping on the spot and a lot of them are really good at beat boxing. 

A virus has been passing around the CCM again this week. They think this virus might be Salmonella because all of the sick missionary's symptoms are the same. Over 100 kids out of the 1200 kids here got it. I was lucky enough to not get it, but one of the guys in my district ended up getting sick with it. He got so dehydrated from the effects of the illness that he had to go to the hospital. He’s the same guy who had to go to the hospital two weeks ago because he fell and hit his head.  So in the three weeks that he has been here, he has been to the Mexican hospital twice. He’s been super unlucky. 

The guys in our district and I have started to be assimilated into the Latino culture. Anytime any Latino sees us they ask us, ¿Que Pasa? Or ¿Como le va? and then we bump each others elbows.  I’m going to miss seeing these Latino missionaries every day when I leave the CCM. 

Every week, a district in our zone leaves for the mission field. District 9D left on Monday. It was actually kind of sad because I really liked all the people in there. Everyone in the district has been so inspirational. They have shown me that the Gift of Tongues is real, especially Elder Stern. Elder Stern came into the MTC not knowing any Spanish at all, and when he left this Monday he spoke excellent conversational Spanish. In fact his Spanish was so good that for the last week, they put him and his companion in a new district of just Latino Elders so that he could help teach them Predicad Mi Evangelio (Preach My Gospel) and help the new Latinos get used to being in the CCM. 

Every Tuesday, we have a devotional where a general authority comes and speaks with us. Then after the devotional is finished, we are supposed to go back to our district´s room and discuss the devotional and how we felt. All of the devotionals since I have been here have touched on the subject of exact obedience. Our district has been struggling with this especially when it comes to being a little lazy about studying Spanish. Most of the Elders in our district are actually really hard workers, but there is one Elder and two Hermanas who just don’t want to work. Last night while we were back out our district´s room and we were talking about the devotional I felt like I needed to chastise them a little bit about working harder. I got up and talked to them about it, and I felt like I was being directed on exactly what to say. I committed everyone to work harder and we are all fasting together tomorrow as a district that we will all work harder and be able to receive the Gift of Tongues. 

My three weeks here have been so amazing and I am so glad for the opportunity to be out here on a mission. The past week I have realized that I am not giving two years of my life to the Lord but he is giving those two years to me as a blessing. I know being out here on a mission will bless me for the rest of my life, and in fact coming out here on a mission has already blessed me in so many ways. 

Elder Cannon

Here is a picture of a typical Police man in Mexico City. He is carrying a fully automatic and loaded AR 15. So as you can guess, nobody around here messes with the cops.

​Here is a picture of all the guys in our district and our new Latinos. The Latino on the far left is from Salo Paluo Brazil. The other three are from Mexico.

Picture of me and my companion Elder McCall, and Elder Stern. Elder Stern really exemplified how the gift of tongues is real. He came into the CCM knowing nothing and is now completely fluent. He left on Monday for the mission field.