Thursday, December 31, 2015

Week #73- Christmas

Dear Family and Friends,

Feliz Navidad!!!! 

It is so crazy to think that Christmas is here again. It literally feels like it was just a few weeks ago when I skyped my family last Christmas. Time is continuing to fly by especially since I hit 17 months on Wednesday! I am excited to be able to Skype with my family on Friday.

We had a really good week. We have a few progressing investigators right now. We are teaching Humberto who lives in a trailer with lots of other guys. When we visit, everyone is super excited to see us and they all usher us in to sit down at the kitchen table while they all either stand or sit around the table. When we visited yesterday, it was just Humberto which was fine with me because I think it was good for him to be with just us during the lesson. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and has read the past two reading assignments that we have given him. We talked to him about the Plan of Salvation and about the Five Points of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, and enduring to the end) as one of the things we need to do in this life. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes but he needs more time to learn what we are teaching him. If he keeps reading the Book of Mormon, he's going to receive an answer.

We are also teaching this woman named Laudi. She also has been reading the assignments that we have given her. She really enjoys the lessons and she seems to understand what we are teaching her.

We are also teaching Salvador. He asks us a lot of questions when we come over which is great because it helps him understand what we are teaching him. When we asked him when he came to know what we were teaching him to be true, if he would be baptized, he said that he would.

Most missionaries here have commented how a lot of their investigators are going out of town and so they won't have too many people to teach. But it sounds like a good amount of our investigators will be in town this week so hopefully we will have a pretty busy week! 

Although I have to be away from family during this holiday season, I am so grateful for the chance to be a missionary during Christmas, to devote everything to our Savior Jesus Christ and to help people draw closer to Him. I hope that everyone this week takes time to think about why we really celebrate Christmas. I love one of the videos on  It says: "He understands you, He heals us, He can bridge the lonely gap between God and Man and bring us home, if we let Him, if we love Him, if we follow Him. That's why we celebrate, that's why we sing, and that's why He was born." 

I love Jesus Christ so much and I am so thankful for Him. Hope everyone has a great Christmas!!

Love, Elder Cannon

                                                Funny Ward Christmas Party Backdrop

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week #72- A Baptism and a New Companion

December 14, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
Last week I forgot to mention that Elder Dickerson and I went to Alan’s baptism. We met him while tracting two months ago and taught him the Restoration lesson. Since he speaks English, we had to give him to the English Elders.  He got baptized last Saturday, December 5!

Elder Dickerson went home Monday afternoon.  It seems weird to think that he has been home for almost a week now. Most of my previous companions are home now with the exception of Elder Garcia and Elder Edwards.  My new companion is Elder Claridge.  He is from Mesa, Arizona and he is a huge fan of the ASU Sun Devils football team just like I am! He was born in October of 1996 so he is the first companion that is younger than I am. All of my other companions have been older. The other two times that I trained a new missionary, my companion Elder Garcia and I trained them together.  This time it’s just me who will do the training. Since Elder Claridge is new he doesn't speak much Spanish yet, so I've done lots of translating to help him understand what's going on. It's helped me realize how much Heavenly Father has helped me learn Spanish these past 16 months.

On Sunday, I translated all of Sacrament meeting into Spanish for our Spanish speaking members.  Then, second hour, I helped Elder Claridge understand what was going on in our Spanish Sunday School class.  Then Elder Claridge and I taught our Elders Quorum class together.  Sunday was crazy but it all turned out pretty good. 

As Christmas nears, I want to invite everyone to remember the true reason why we celebrate Christmas, which is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for His birth and His sacrifice for each and everyone of us. I know He lives and that as we use His atonement in our lives we will be able to live with Him and our Father in Heaven again.

Elder Cannon

Alan's Baptism

Me and my new companion Elder Claridge

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week #71-We Are an Answer to a Prayer and #72- Maria Bears Her Testimony

November 30, 2015
Howdy Family and Friends!!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving was pretty good. It was a proselyting day. We tried to visit some less actives as well as a few investigators. We were invited to eat lunch with the Willet family, who have 8 kids.  Brother and Sister Willets grew up in Arizona. So I ate with Arizonians on Thanksgiving day! We were invited to eat dinner with the Starnes family. They served us fried turkey.  It was way better than regular turkey because it isn't dry at all. Mom and Dad, we will have to try frying a turkey next Thanksgiving

We found a couple new investigators this week. We went to visit a potential investigator that we met a few weeks ago. We knocked on her door and her husband answered. He called his wife in. When she came in she told us that she was just praying to God for knowledge when we knocked on her door. She is a hair stylist so while Elder Dickerson gets a hair cut on Wednesday, we will talk to her about the Book of Mormon. 

Araceli, Estela, and Maria are doing well. We taught them for the third time this week. However, they will all be out of town this week since they are helping their mom Estela move back to Mexico. One of our investigators named Ricardo is also going to be gone for the next week or so while he is visiting family in Florida. Everyone is just leaving this week!

We almost ran out of gas last night. We are supposed to fill up when the car is at half a tank.  We were going to buy gas on Saturday but we got super busy and Elder Dickerson and I totally forgot about it until the gas light went on while we were driving out to Grimesland for dinner Sunday night. We figured that we would have just barely enough gas to get to our apartment but not enough to go to some of our appointments later in the night. Luckily, the member we ate dinner with offered to give us some gas from a gas can that he had in his garage so we ended up making it back to our apartment that night just fine. 

I hope that everyone has a great week!
Love, Elder Cannon

December 7, 2015
Hey Family and Friends!

Well, my companion, Elder Dickerson has completed his mission.  He is leaving for Virginia in a few hours and then he is flying home tomorrow. I got transfer calls. President Baker wants me to train a new missionary again! I will be staying in the same area in Greenville.

We had a really good lesson with Maria, Araceli and Estela. We asked them if they had read the chapters in the Book of Mormon that we had asked them to read. Araceli and Estela hadn't read but Maria did. Maria explained exactly what happened in 1 Nephi 1-4. She asked us some pretty in depth questions like, "So Nephi and his 3 brothers who are Laman, Lemuel, and Sam went back to get the plates from Laban. What are the plates, are they like scripture?" Then, Maria bore her testimony to her sister and mother.  She told them that when they start reading the Book of Mormon, they won't be able to put it down. Then, the three of them started to compare churches.  Maria talked about how she saw in us, unlike people from other churches, a hope and happiness. It was the best lesson I have ever been a part of. Sadly, Araceli took her mom back to Mexico.  She will be gone for the next week or two.  The number that we had for Maria is not working and we have no other way to contact her, so I'm not sure what to do about that. Hopefully, we will be able to get in contact with her soon or we will just have to wait for Araceli to return from Mexico. 

 Elder Dickerson and I were also in an auto accident last night. We were driving on a highway to a dinner appointment in Ayden when some guy did a U-turn from the opposite side of the highway into our lane right as we were going to drive by.  I seriously thought we were going to T-bone his car because he was turning super slow. Miraculously, his car flipped around as we were trying to swerve out of the way and the side of our car hit his car.  After we got hit, the wrong way driver sped off.  Elder Dickerson and I took off after him but after a few seconds I think he realized that we weren't going to let him get away so he pulled over.  We called the police and he ended up getting a citation. In the process of all this Elder Dickerson got ten violations from Tiwi, the installed machine in our car that yells at us if we drive too fast, drive aggressively, or speed up too fast. Thankfully, no one got hurt and neither car was that damaged. The only thing that is a bummer is that my new Greenie and I will probably be on bikes for a few days while our car is getting fixed. Ha, ha.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Cannon

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week #70- An Ox in the Mire

November 23. 2015
Dear Family and friends,

This week has been such a busy week!!  Tuesday morning we woke up early to drive to Goldsboro where we had a mission conference/tour with Elder Arnold of the Seventy. We had a leadership meeting before the actual meeting where we talked about what was going to happen in the meeting. Elder Arnold is an amazing guy. He has a strong testimony of the Savior and he is super bold. Rather than eating lunch during lunch hour, Elder Arnold interviewed each of the Zone leaders and Sister training leaders individually. So, I had a two or three minute personal interview with a general authority. He asked a lot of questions about my family. After the conference, we had planned to drive up to Portsmouth, Virginia since we had a conference with just Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders from the whole mission on Wednesday morning. It was kind of like a Mission Leadership Conference. But Elder Arnold overheard that we were heading up right after, and he told us to go back to our areas and work and then to drive up in the morning instead. President Baker couldn't really do anything about it so he told us to do what Elder Arnold said. We had the Elders from New Bern with us and we couldn't really drive them back to their area since they are one hour south of where we live so we took them back to our area and did splits. We actually saw a lot of miracles and were able to teach a few lessons.

The next morning, Wednesday, we had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to drive for three hours back up to Portsmouth, Virginia. The meeting with Elder Arnold was super spiritual and he was super bold. He called all of us to repentance and told us that 100% obedience is required at this level of leadership or we needed to be released. We had a counsel where he changed the mission standard of excellence as well as the way missionary work is going to be done in our area from now on. As a result, the mission will be changing a lot in the next few transfers. After the meeting we got stuck waiting at Pep Boys for three hours while we got new tires for our car. Then we drove back home to Greenville, North Carolina.  Unfortunately, I got pretty sick on the car ride home, probably because I had been sitting down basically all day. We ended up arriving back to our apartment at 9 p.m.

We have finally had to "drop" Larry. He has been staying in Raleigh for a long time now so we have passed him off to the missionaries there. We are going to try to keep in contact with him and with the missionaries there.  Hopefully he gets baptized soon!

Some of our most progressing investigators right now are two friends named Jorge and Ruben.  We are teaching them together since they live in the same trailer park. We have taught the first couple of lessons to them. Ruben knows a lot about the Bible and other gospel topics.  Jorge doesn't have the same level of understanding but he is willing to learn. We are trying to get them to church but they are always working on Sundays. They are reading the Book of Mormon slowly, but they are reading!

We had Stake Conference this week.  We talked about the importance of holding family counsels and keeping the Sabbath day holy. Since I’ve been out here in the mission, my understanding of the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy has grown and I have grown to love the Sabbath day even more. Our Stake President, President Walker, talked about being in the right place at the right time, and how we should strive to never miss Sacrament meeting even when we are on vacation with our families. He told a story about when he and his wife were on vacation with their three daughters.  One of his daughters was older and really wanted to get married but wasn't really having much success finding a husband.  They were on vacation and attended the local ward, and his daughter ended up meeting her future husband there. It was kind of a funny story but President Walker said that the Lord will always bless us for keeping the Sabbath day holy.

Speaking of keeping the Sabbath day holy, we had a ox in the mire incident on Sunday. We were at a trailer park where it had been raining pretty hard all day. Elder Dickerson tried to do a U-turn but we ended up sliding into the mud and got stuck. We knocked on one of our old investigator's doors and he used his truck to get us out of the mud. 

I hope everyone has a great week and a fun Thanksgiving!

Love, Elder Cannon

Our "ox in the mire"