Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 17, 2015- New Investigators

August 17, 2015- New Investigators

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been a pretty crazy week deep in the boonies of North Carolina! We have been super busy!  

There aren't many solid investigators here in Greenville so we dropped some of them and decided to go tracting and find some new people to teach. Elder Berry and I saw a lot of miracles this week as we taught 17 lessons and found 13 new investigators!

We met this man named Larry. He understands everything that we have taught him. During the first lesson we were able to set him with a baptismal date.  During the second lesson, when we asked him how long it would take to read the Book of Mormon he said it would take a week, and he was dead serious.  Sadly, he has been really sick the past few days so he had to cancel our Saturday appointment.  He also wasn't able to make it out to church, so hopefully he gets feeling better soon. 

While we were knocking on doors late on Thursday night, a guy named Chris opened the door. We told him who we were and he told us he wasn't interested because he was content in his church and he was already saved. Well, we were able to get him to talk to us for a little longer by just asking him questions. He asked us what the difference were between the LDS church and other religions. (Elder Berry later told me that when he asked that question I had the biggest grin on my face.) I told him that was exactly what we wanted to teach him about. We said a prayer and then taught what was probably one of the most powerful restoration lessons I've ever taught on my mission. The spirit was super strong and you could tell Chris could feel it too. I think Chris was surprised that he had felt the spirit and he was a little shy about admitting the interest he had.  We set up another appointment with him.  When we met with him again he asked us a bunch of questions after the lesson. 

Sometimes, people are too nervous to tell us that they aren't interested in speaking with us so they tend to hide or run from us. On Saturday we went to visit an investigator. We knocked on his door and we talked to his brother, but he said that he wasn't there. We went back to our car to figure out where we were going to go next. Then, we saw a car turn onto the street behind us, slow down and then stop.  We recognized that the car belonged to the man that we had just tried to visit, so Elder Berry and I just sat in our car and waited to see what he would do next. After a minute, the car began to drive again, drove right by us and then turned the corner onto another street. The car then exited the trailer park. We noticed that the car was parked with its lights off at the entrance of the trailer park and was waiting for us to leave. So we left and did some more contacting in the same trailer park on a different street.  A few minutes later we saw the same car drive down the street really quick and park in front of his trailer and then rush into his home. I feel like it would just be so much easier if people were just straight up with us and told us that they weren't interested in talking to us. 

I have been really tired this week. I've never been so tired in my life. I'm super tired in the mornings and at night however I've been blessed to not be tired during the day. Missionary work is hard work, but I know that I'm here doing God's work. I know that God loves all of us and that he speaks through a prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson. I know this is the true church, and that conversion comes by the spirit.

Love y’all,

Elder Cannon

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August 10, 2015- A New Area

August 10, 2015

Hey Family and Friends!!!!

This past week has been really crazy!

I had to say goodbye to everyone in Norfolk. It was really, really sad because I've been in Norfolk for so long and I feel like I’m leaving many friends. It was especially hard to say goodbye to Martin and Lani and their family. I've grown really close to each of them. Martin had to go inside when we were leaving because he was starting to tear up a bit. 

Packing up everything was a little rough because I've had everything out of my suitcases for over 7 months so putting it all back in wasn't fun. Elder Garcia and I bought some of those compressible bags that you hook it to a vacuum that sucks all the air out to compress everything down into a smaller space. Even with that, it was still a struggle to stuff all my things in my suitcases.

On Thursday, we left Norfolk for the last time and headed down to Suffolk for a mission wide conference.  There were 180 missionaries in attendance. It was really cool to have everyone there in one place and it was a super powerful meeting. After the conference everyone met their new companions. My new companion is Elder Berry. He’s a great guy! He has been on his mission for 6 weeks less than me but he's 23 years old, which means I still haven't had a companion that is younger than me. 

Later that day, we drove down to Greenville, North Carolina, which was about a 3-hour drive. It is actually pretty nice to be able to go to Greenville and it isn't a culture shock because I've been in fairly large cities for my entire mission. Greenville is still a decent size with about 80,000 people but there is also a lot of open country and farms. There are a lot of Hispanics living near here in trailer parks that are located in the middle of nowhere.

Friday morning Elder Berry and I went over what we were going to do in zone meeting, practiced a few things and then I had to go in and wing it during the zone meeting. It went really well but we talked for 30 minutes longer than we should have because Elder Berry and I didn't know what time we were supposed to end. Elder Berry has only been a zone leader for 6 weeks so we both are pretty new at this stuff.

Our ward here in Greenville is English speaking so this past Sunday was the first Sunday that I have heard talks in English for over a year!!! The ward is great here and all but I definitely miss the Spanish. The bishop here asked me to bear my testimony in front of the congregation. There are only 6 active Spanish members here in the English ward, so we had to translate for them for Sacrament meeting. Elder Berry and I switched off translating during Sacrament and then I sat next to one member during Priesthood and translated for him. Translating isn't that easy since you need to be talking as fast as the speaker person is talking. Since it was only my first time translating I'm sure I'll get better as time goes on. Since we don't really have many Hispanic families in our ward, that means we aren't eating rice, beans, sopas, papusas, posole etc. every night for dinner like we were in Norfolk. So far the members have feeding us pizza and noodles. I miss the Hispanic food a lot but I guess that is how it goes. 

One thing that comes with being a zone leader is that P-days end at 4 p.m. instead of at 6 p.m. since we have to do some paperwork and number checking so we'll see how that goes today.

I want everyone to know that we are in Christ's church. And I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching out for us. Sometimes we don't see His hand in our lives but he is always there. I'm grateful that families can be together forever!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Cannon

Saying Goodbye to Martin and Lani

All of the Spanish speaking Elders in my mission

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 3, 2015- A Transfer

August 3, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Everything is going great here in Norfolk!

We've been trying to encourage Estela, one of our investigators from the Dominican Republic, to pray for many weeks, and we finally we able to get her to pray yesterday!

We had the chance to talk to Martin but it ended up not turning out too well. We ate dinner with just him because his wife Lani wasn't there.  We asked him if we could share a message and he said that we could. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon. Lani showed up part way through the lesson and joined in. During the lesson, Lani called Martin out for not reading the Book of Mormon, which led to a fight between them. So- I just told Martin that we weren't there to convince him that the Book of Mormon was true, nor were we there to force him to read it.  I told him that I know that God loves us and answers our prayers. If Martin really wanted to know about the truthfulness of our message, it wouldn't come from You Tube, it would come from God. I told him that all he has to do is read and ask God and God will answer him. After I said that, we left. We saw Martin yesterday and he's still not that interested, although I know he is or he wouldn't invite us to come over anymore.  He and Lani worked things out.

I had a pretty big shock this past week. We received transfer calls on Saturday. Elder Garcia, Elder Thompson and I are getting split up, so this is my second son that I'm not going to be able to finish training. Elder Garcia turned into a zebra which means he's going to do Spanish work in his new area but he's going to have an English companion so they will do both English and Spanish work. President Baker is transferring me to Greenville, North Carolina as a zone leader! I'm still pretty shocked and a little nervous. My new zone has about 30 people in it, so its pretty big. It will be nice because I won't have to prepare for district meeting every week. We have zone meeting this Friday, and I'm going to have to wing it.  Normally the zone leaders meet with President Baker the week before zone meeting to go over the material, but since I wasn't called as zone leader then, I'm just going to have to go with the flow of whatever is going on in zone meeting. Greenville is one of the bigger cities in the part of North Carolina that is located in our mission. There is a population of 80,000 people so I'm not going to be assigned in the boonies quite yet. I've heard that I might be doing a little bit of English work as well because we cover two English-speaking wards.  One of those English wards has a group of Spanish speakers, so we will be translating the Sunday meetings for them.  It's going to be sad to have to leave everybody here that I've grown so close to in the past 8 months but I'm also excited for the new adventures in Greenville! 

Hope everyone has a good week!!

Elder Cannon

On the beach at sunrise