Monday, June 29, 2015

June 22, 2015 and June 29, 2015- Lani's Baptism and Teaching Lani's Family and Friends

June 22, 2015- Lani's Baptism  
Hey Family and Friends!!

This week was an amazing week!! Lani got baptized!!! She was pretty nervous when she showed up but the spirit was super strong during her baptismal service. It was a sweet experience to be able to baptize her. Elder Edwards told me afterwards that I had dunked Lani so deep that he didn't thing I'd be able to pull her back up but it ended up being alright.  After her baptism she bore a super powerful testimony about how she received an answer that this church was true. Her whole family was there so I hope that her testimony touched one of their hearts.
After the baptism, we had a branch party for dia de los padres (Father's day), which was a ton of fun.

On Sunday night Martin and Lani invited us over to eat some of Lani's tres leches cake, a cake from El Salvador that has 3 kinds of milk in it.  Oh man, it was the best tres leches cake I've ever eaten.

Transfer calls were pretty crazy on Saturday! When the phone rang, I thought oh no, I'm leaving- its going to be me. But it shocked all three of us to find out that both Elder Garcia and I are going to stay in Norfolk and Elder Edwards is being sent to Newport News halfway through his training. Elder Garcia and I will be training a new missionary who is flying in from the MTC on Tuesday. So looks like I'm going to have another son (trainee), and that means I will be here in Norfolk for almost 8 months! (January to August) I'm glad to be staying here, because I love this area! 

I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Cannon

June 29, 2015- Teaching Lani's Family and Friends 
Hola Everyone!

It is awesome that Lani is a member now because she has been a huge help in our lessons. We started teaching her daughter- in-law and her daughter- in-law's friend earlier this week. Lani has been a huge help during the lessons because she is willing and happy to bear her testimony. Lani and her daughter-in-law and friend are having a competition to see who can finish reading the Book of Mormon first. We set Jazmin to be baptized on August 1st.  It would be awesome if she met that date because that would be the last week before the next transfer and that would mean that I could be there for her baptism.

On Wednesday, Elder Garcia and I dropped off Elder Edwards, and picked our new greenie. His name is Elder Thompson and he is from Utah, just like everybody else, ha ha. That makes him my 4th companion, out of 7, from Utah. Elder Thompson's Spanish is actually pretty good considering he just came out of the MTC.

We had a really sweet experience on Thursday. We had received a referral from a member.  When we went to contact Ramon we realized that it was the home of the member who gave us the referral. We knocked on the door anyway and asked for Ramon and the member told us that he lived next door. We went next door but no one answered.  Apparently, the member owns the house next door and rents it out to a bunch of people, because the next thing we knew the member brought some keys over and unlocked the door. He told us which bedroom was Ramon’s, so we walked upstairs and knocked on his bedroom door. It was a little awkward at first when Ramon opened his door since we were knocking on his bedroom door, but we ended up having a sweet lesson with him, and he said he would read the Book of Mormon and come to church. Ramon is from Puerto Rico and has only been in the United States for a couple months. However, on Sunday the member told us that Ramon had turned in his keys and left the area.  Hopefully we'll run into Ramon again.

I called Christopher on the phone Saturday night.  He's a less active 19 year old from the Dominican Republic.  I invited him  to go to church and he said he'd come if could take him there, and he ended up coming! It was pretty sweet because that was the first time I've seen him at church in the 6 months I've been living here.

Sunday was a pretty crazy day for eating. Lani told us that she was going to feed us late Sunday night, but when we got our food calendar that they pass around church for people to sign up to feed us, it had a different family's name written down, so we talked to our Branch Mission Leader to cancel the dinner appointment for us.  He said that he would take care of it so that we could eat with Lani.   While we were knocking an investigator's door at 4:15 p.m., we got a call from the family who signed up asking us if we were going to come eat.  Apparently our branch mission leader didn't take care of canceling the appointment, so we headed over and ate dinner with them anyway. Then around 6 p.m. we were in a middle of a lesson with a new investigator named Santos, the brother of Martin's sister-in-law, when he told us he was going to order papusas for us.  He had previously told me that he would order papusas for us because I had told him before that I like them. So, we ate a second dinner of papusas. I'm not going to complain since I love papusas. Then, when we showed up at Lani's at 8 p.m. she had dinner ready for us.  We couldn't really tell her that we weren't going to eat it after she had planned and prepared for us, so we ate a third dinner... I think that I gained 5 pounds on Sunday.

We were told that the 4th of July is going to be a normal proselyting day.  Last year President Baker said that July 4th would be a non-proselyting day.  I'm not sure how many people will want us to come by and teach them on that day but we will do it anyway.  With any luck, it should end up being a good day.

I hope everyone has a great week!!

Elder Cannon

Lani's baptism day
Me, Lani, Elder Garcia, and Elder Edwards

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 15, 2015- 4 Baptisms in Newport Beach and 1 Coming Up in Norfolk

June 15, 2015- 4 Baptisms in Newport Beach and 1 Coming Up in Norfolk 

Hey family and friends!!!! This week has been a great week!!

On Monday night we had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with our branch.

We had a couple of lessons with Lani this week.  She told us that Satan has been trying really hard to stop her from getting baptized. She said that things are getting really rough.  She has been a little creeped out because a few times there have been spirits that have appeared to her during the night. She was sleeping and she woke up to use the bathroom when she saw a shape of something next to her dresser.  She knew it wasn't any of her kids because she could hear them snoring in the other room.  When she came back she closed the door and checked around and there wasn't anything there, so she laid down and closed her eyes. When she opened her eyes again she saw a shape without any features or anything that was standing next to her bedside.  She said she tried to scream but she was completely frozen with fear for a couple of minutes.  Then, she saw the shape walk away and disappear and then she wasn't frozen anymore.  She told us that Satan can throw anything in her path because she is going to go through with her baptism- no matter what! She got her baptismal interview on Saturday and she passed, so she is going to be baptized this Saturday!! And she is super excited!

On Friday, we had zone conference where both of the zones in Virginia Beach met together. It was a really good conference where we talked more about the new 7 minute teaching method.

We got a chance to go to Newport News for a baptism! Ramon, Belkis, Madeline, and Dyana, four members of a family that I taught when I was there, got baptized on Saturday! It was awesome to be there for the event and it was fun to see everybody in the branch.

We are getting transfer calls this Saturday. I'm hoping that I get to stay here in Norfolk for one more transfer because I love this area.  However, I've been here for 6 months now- so I guess we'll see.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Cannon

Me with Ramon, Belkis, Madelin and Dyana on their baptism day

Branch Family Home Evening 

Me and Elder Edwards eating papusas that we cooked ourselves

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 8, 2015- An Upcoming Baptism

June 8, 2015- An Upcoming Baptism

Hey Family and Friends!!
This week we have been really busy. We taught 14 lessons this week, the most lessons I've ever taught in a week. It may not seem like a lot compared to some of the missions elsewhere, like in South America, but 14 is a lot for us.

Something we've been focusing on this week is helping Lani prepare for her baptism. We had a lesson with Lani and the Lopez family on Wednesday and it was a super powerful lesson. Lani told us that two Sundays ago while she was at church, she received an answer to her prayers as she was talking to Hermana Lopez.  She received an answer to her question about whether the Book of Mormon is true when Hermana Lopez said something that was phrased exactly how she had been saying it in her prayers. During the lesson the spirit was super strong and she started crying a lot. We've been able to meet with her a couple other times this week and she is getting excited for her baptism on June 20th. She just has to meet with the zone leaders this Saturday and if she passes that interview she will be able to be baptized on the 20th. She has also asked me to baptize her.

We attended a branch party this week where the members played soccer and ate carne asada for dinner. Martin and Lani came and so did Cesar and Hermana Sabillon. We didn't get permission to play in the game since it wasn't our preparation day so we just had to sit and watch. Martin was tearing it up out there.

I hope everyone has a great week!


Elder Cannon

                               Me and Elder Garcia at the Ward BBQ

Monday, June 1, 2015

May 18, 2015- Three Letters

May 18, 2015- Three Letters

Hey Family and Friends!!!

This week, I felt like I entered into a time warp. This week probably went by really slowly because there was so much change.  It still was an amazing week!

Monday afternoon, I drove to Chesapeake with Elder Bradshaw and our zone leaders Elder Brown and Elder Crump.  Both Elder Bradshaw and Elder Crump had completed their missions and were scheduled to go home so we dropped them off at the mission home. It was weird to think that they would be with their families in the next day or two. While we were at the mission home, I saw my first companion, Elder Remund because it was his time to go home too.  It was sweet to be able to say goodbye to him one last time. So now besides the companions I have now, all three of my previous companions have completed their missions.

I spent the rest of Monday and Tuesday with my zone leader, Elder Brown. Monday night we went over to the Rodriguez family home, because they wanted to cook me a birthday dinner. They also invited a few more families in our ward over. The dinner was delicious and it was lots of fun spending my birthday with members of our ward.

Tuesday night, Jorge, a ward member, accompanied us as we taught a lesson to Torino.  It was the best lesson I've ever been involved in. Jorge and Torino got along really well.  We were thrilled to find that Torino had read up to 2 Nephi 27.  I taught the entire lesson since Elder Brown couldn't speak much Spanish yet. Unfortunately, Torino has been working lots of hours and as a result we haven't been able to meet with him much and he hasn't been able to come to church either.

Wednesday, we drove to Portsmouth so that I could meet up with Elder Garcia who was coming from his last area in Albertson, North Carolina. Elder Garcia is a sweet missionary. He was born in Mexico, and he moved to California with his family when he was eight. His family met the missionaries when he was twelve and his family got baptized. After talking with each other for a short time, Elder Garcia and I attended a transfer meeting with President Baker where all the new missionaries were seated and waiting for their new companions to come in. There was only one Elder in the crowd that had a Spanish name tag so it was pretty easy to tell which one would be our new companion. His name is Elder Edwards and he is from Utah. He's a sweet missionary. Although his Spanish isn't very good, yet he's been trying really hard to try to speak during lessons. Elder Garcia and I have been doing our best to encourage and help Elder Edwards with his Spanish speaking skills. It is crazy to think that I was in the same situation not too long ago.

Since Elder Garcia and Elder Edwards don't know any of the people we have been teaching or the area and I since I'm District Leader, I've basically been doing everything: deciding where we are going to go and who were are going to teach, what we are going to teach them, taking all the phone calls, and setting up appointments.

On Saturday, we taught a lesson to a man named Dixon.  His air conditioning was very loud.  I could hear because I was sitting closest to Dixon.  Elder Edwards sat next to me so he could hear a little but he didn't really understand anything he heard.   Elder Garcia sat at the end and couldn't hear anything that was being said.  As a result, only Dixon and I were talking with each other for an hour and a half in Spanish. The roles have really switched this past week from me looking up to Elder Bradshaw because of his command of the Spanish language to having Elder Edwards looking up to me because he says I speak really good Spanish. 

Have a good week everyone!
Elder Cannon

May 26, 2015
Hey Family and Friends!!!

I attended a leadership meeting on Thursday and Friday with all the District Leaders, Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, the two Assistants to the President and President and Sister Baker in Portsmouth. On Thursday, I left my two companions in Norfolk, and I drove with my Zone Leaders to the meeting. At the meeting, we skyped with Brother Donaldson, who is the head of proselyting for the Church Mission Department. He talked about teaching shorter lessons more times a week.  As a mission we are going to have to change how we teach and began to teach shorter lessons. I'll be honest, I wasn't really supportive of shortening the lessons, but after Brother Donaldson demonstrated an example to us in a role-play of a seven-minute Restoration lesson, I was shocked at how good it was.  

Afterwards, two Spanish Zone Leaders from Wilson North Carolina and I were assigned to proselyte in my area to practice this new technique. As we were knocking on doors, a Hispanic man was passing by across the street.  We asked him if we could share a quick five-minute lesson with him.  He said we could so he led us over to his porch.  We taught him the Restoration lesson like Brother Donaldson showed us by using the Restoration pamphlets. It was hard, and since it was our first time actually doing it with a real life person it took us 25 minutes.  It was a super sweet lesson and it was definitely a sign from God to us that this is how he wants us to teach lessons now.

Following the lesson, we drove down to my companionship’s apartment and slept for the night.  With all five of us in the apartment, it was pretty cramped. We woke up on Friday and drove back to Portsmouth where we met to skype with Elder Donaldson again. Elder Donaldson said that he's been looking for a mission on the East coast to show all the other missions in the world that this is how we should teach lessons and that he has decided to pick our mission. He told us that as we adapt to this new teaching method, we are going to see tons of miracles and be able to help more people come unto Christ because we are sharing, short and powerful statements with people multiple times a week. Elder Baker is really supportive of this new teaching style, so in the next couple months all missionaries in this mission are going to learn how to teach like this.

On Saturday, there was a birthday party at a member's house. We were invited to come over for dinner. I didn't bother to ask the hosting family if there was peanuts in the food since all of the times that I had asked them in the past they had told me “No.” In addition, the food didn't look like it had peanuts in it; it was just potatoes, and rice, in a sauce. Within a couple of minutes of eating, I started feeling really, really sick. At first I thought that all of the hot sauce I had put on my food was the culprit, so I didn't think further about it. But then, I just felt much more sick so I had to leave and lay down in our car. Elder Garcia and Elder Edwards asked the members if the food had peanuts in it, which the members told them it did. So they rushed back outside and told me, they quickly gave me a blessing, and then they rushed me to the Hospital Emergency room. There was a long wait but they luckily they were able to get me back in a room within a couple of minutes. The entire time I was holding my Epipen in case I started to have trouble breathing but nothing like that ever happened. I just got blessed, I guess, although I did get super nauseous and sick. They put in an IV and put a bunch of Benadryl and nausea medicine into me. We ended up not getting back to our apartment that night until 10:30 p.m., but I ended up being just fine. I'm just going to ask everyone every time before we eat now, even when I've asked them a hundred times before. 

On Sunday, it was really cool because 5 investigators came to church with us. Hermana Sabillion, her husband Cesar, and then Lani and her two kids came.  Lani’s husband, Martin didn’t come because he was off playing soccer. We are working really hard with Lani and Hermana Sabillon. They are so close to accepting a date to be baptized!

June 1, 2015

Hey Family and Friends,

What an amazing week to finish off Miracle May!!! We taught a lot of lessons this weekend with about half of them we were able to have members in the lessons with us. We also set three people with a baptismal date.

On Wednesday, we taught Ruben, who is from Mexico City. His wife and father in law are less active members. We set him with a baptismal date for June 20.

On Sunday, all five Spanish missionaries that are assigned to the branch had to teach a lesson in the combined Priesthood and Relief Society class. Each of us were given 8 minutes to talk on an assigned topic.

After church we had a sweet first lesson with Ramon from the Dominican Republic. Following that lesson, we taught a lesson to Jaime from Honduras and we set him with a baptismal date for July 11. The catch with Jamie is finding the time to be be able to teach him because he is always super busy with work. We are really hoping that we'll be able to see him more than once every few months like it has been in the past.
 I think the biggest miracle of the week though was with Lani. We visited with her on Sunday night because we haven't heard from her for a couple of days. We talked to her for a couple minutes about how they had been doing and then she said, "Guys, I've been thinking a lot the past couple days...and I want to be baptized. What do I need to do to be baptized?" We talked to her and then we set her with a date for June 20!!! We are going to have to work with her a lot to make that date, but she definitely can make it!

Something that really stuck out to me was when we were talking to Jaime and he told us that he knew the Book of Mormon was true. We asked him how he knew it was true and he said; “I know it’s true because every time I open the book and begin to read it, I feel really good inside.” I just want echo what he said and let you all know that I know the book of Mormon is true, too. Every time I open it and begin reading I just feel something down deep in me that is telling me it’s true. I have no doubt that this is the true church and that through Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice, all of us can make it back to our loving Heavenly Father.

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

Saying goodbye to Elder Bradshaw and Elder Remund

New companions Elder Garcia and Elder Edwards

My Birthday dinner at the Rodriguez home