February 23, 2015- Driving in the Snow and Training the Mission
Dear Family and Friends,
As of today, I have been out on my mission for 7 months! It has just amazed me how fast time is flying. In the moment it doesn't seem fast until all of a sudden I'm at P day again and then I look back and think, wow that week went by super quick.
Monday night, it began to snow. At 7 p.m. we ate dinner with a member named Hermano Villacherrez and his wife, who isn't a member. We had some really good Peruvian food. When we left at 9 p.m. there was a lot more snow. Our mission president called us around then and told us that the whole mission was going to be shut down tomorrow because of the snow. We were asked not to drive or bike on Tuesday. My companion and I were way down in Virginia Beach and we had a 20 minute drive back to our apartment. So I had to drive home in the snow. I've never driven in snow before so it took me a little while to get the hang of it. It wasn't too bad at all, you have just got to drive slowly and not slam on your brakes.
Tuesday was a snow day! We got up and technically we didn't have to do anything since the entire mission got shut down, but Elder Bradshaw and I decided that after our studies that we'd just walk in the snow to some appointments. I think I got to experience a little bit of my Dad's mission in Germany by walking around in the cold and snow. We walked to Martin and Lani's house and we ended up being there most of the afternoon. We talked to them for a little bit and ate dinner there. While we were eating, Martin searched for El Libro de Mormon on You Tube on his television, and the video he picked just happened to be a documentary about El Libro de Mormon made by BYU. Elder Bradshaw and I are hoping that that video will help Martin develop a desire to read the Book of Mormon.
Wednesday, we were allowed to drive again but the roads were still super slippery and still had snow on them because here in Virginia they don't have the equipment to pick up all the snow like they would have in Utah. It took them about a week to actually clear all the streets of the snow. We visited la familia Sabillon and we watched the movie Meet the Mormons with them. Wednesday night it also got down to 16 degrees, which is freezing compared to the winters in Arizona that I'm used to.
Thursday, we met a woman named Estela while knocking doors and she let us in. We started talking with her and she said that she had heard of our church before and she said that she didn't like some of the rules we had. So we asked her which rule bothered her. I was thinking she be concerned about Joseph Smith and modern day prophets or that we added to the Bible because we have the Book of Mormon. However, her concern was that we are strict about modesty. I was surprised that a middle-aged woman who was wearing a turtleneck sweater and long pants was concerned about modesty. To be honest that was the strangest first concern I've ever heard so far, but we talked to her about it a little and then we ended up teaching her about the Restoration. She said that she would read the Book of Mormon and we have another appointment with her tonight.
On Friday, during the District Meeting, I was asked to give a training to our whole district about the importance of extending commitments.
We are continuing to go through the 12 Week Program as a mission. We call in every Saturday as a whole mission to talk a little bit about what we are learning and about our experiences. President Baker assigns companionships to talk about certain things on the calls, and this time Elder Bradshaw and I were assigned to give training about the white handbook to the whole mission. And the end of the call President Baker said he had an announcement for the whole mission. He was able to get special permission from the Salt Lake to allow the mission to drive down to the temple in Raleigh, North Carolina in March to do several endowment sessions!!! Normally, if you don't have a temple in your mission, then you just don't get to go to the temple for two years but we actually are going to leave the mission to go to the temple! We are going on March 11th.
The rest of Saturday was super crazy. We met an old Honduran woman who invited us in. We tried to teach her but she basically believes that God is the Bible. Whenever we tried to say something she would say, “My advice to you jovencitos is to study the Bible.” She wouldn't let us pray either because she said we should save our prayers for people don't know God, and since she already knows God she didn’t need our prayers. We asked her if she would pray about the Book of Mormon and she said she'd pray for us but she didn't want anything to do with our book. After we left her home, we ended up running into an older Caucasian man on the street. We talk to everyone whether they are Hispanic or not so we began talking to him. He had some really good questions about the church and we ended up teaching him about the Restoration right there on the snowy streets. He said he would read the book of Mormon and that we could come over to his house and talk to him again. Sadly, we'll have to pass him over to the English elders.
Later that evening, we taught a great lesson to a couple from Honduras and then we committed them to read the Book of Mormon.
Our last stop on Saturday night was around 8:45 p.m. We knocked on the door of an investigator, but his roommate answered instead. We started talking to him but he cut us off and said we were filled with lies and he started telling us that we just needed to read the Bible and then we would know that the trinity doesn't exist and there is only one God who is Jesus Christ. As he was talking, I could think of at least 10 scriptures in the Bible that said otherwise, but we felt like we should leave because the spirit wasn't there at all.
Sunday afternoon, we went to visit Carlos, but he wasn't there. Our next appointment was scheduled for later in the day, so we decided to tract in a trailer park to find someone to teach. We met Maulo and his son, who let us in. Maulo brought up the concern how he didn't think Jesus could have appeared to the people here in America. We helped him to understand the importance of reading and praying about the Book of Mormon so that he could know that the Book of Mormon was true and he committed to do that.
I hope everyone has a great week!
Love, Elder Cannon
Snowy streets in Virginia Beach
During the snowfall
This is what the streets looked like for a week
A member's snowman
16 Degrees outside