Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week #66- Pray for Larry

October 26, 2015

Dear Family and friends,

Buenas Tardes from down in the boonies of North Carolina! 

This week I hit the 15-month mark.  It is just crazy how fast time is flying by! Elder Dickerson and I did not receive a transfer call this week, which means that we will be staying in the area together.  This will be Elder Dickerson’s last assignment, as he will complete his mission in 6 weeks. He’s a good friend, so I’ll be happy to be his companion at the end of his mission.

We got out and tracted quite a bit this week and found lots of new investigators!

We had a lot of Spanish speaking members attend church this week! There were 10 members that we translated the meetings for. We met a new member of the ward who is originally from Puerto Rico and just moved from Richmond, Virginia. 

We were busy this past week. Elder Dickerson and I went on two sets of exchanges this week with the YSA (the singles ward) Elders and the Elders for the Greenville 2nd ward. 

We heard from Larry this week and he got in a really bad car crash in Raleigh, and as a result was not able to make it to church. Now he doesn't have a car to drive back to Greenville in so we probably won’t be able to teach him for a little bit. Please keep him in your prayers. 

I know the church is true and I am so grateful for the chance to be a missionary!

Love y’all,
Elder Cannon

    I caught this small fish on P day.  I ended up throwing it back in.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 65

Zone Preparation Day

October 19, 2015

Hey Family and Friends,

I don't have much time to write this week. We were in Morehead City, North Carolina all day. We got special permission to drive completely out of our area for a Zone Preparation Day with all the elders. We woke up at 4 a.m. to drive for two hours so that we could see the sun rise at Atlantic Beach.  Then we visited a fort called Fort Macon and played volleyball on the beach.

The highlight of the week was that Larry came to church! We will have to move his baptismal date however because he is still struggling to stop smoking. We also have been working really hard with the Canseco’s, a family that is less active.  They came to church for the first time during my eleven weeks in Greenville this past Sunday!

I know the church is true and that obedience brings blessings.
I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Cannon

Helping with the Mormon Helping Hands Service Project

Me and my companion Elder Dickerson at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina, which is at the Southern edge of our mission.

                                     My Zone at Fort Macon in Morehead City, North Carolina

                                        Me at Fort Macon in Morehead City, North Carolina

An abandoned tractor that we found while tracting 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 64- Two Returned Missionaries Teach With Us

October 12, 2015

Hey family and friends,

The Anderson family in our ward had two of their sons come home at the conclusion of their missions. Joe served in Argentina and Jacob served in Brazil. Apparently, their parents showed up three hours late to pick them up from the airport because they read the itinerary wrong. We've been taking both of them on exchanges with us, which has been sweet. Since Joe speaks Castilian Spanish, the type of Spanish that is spoken in Spain, we've been taking him with us frequently when we teach lessons. 

 On Monday, we helped with a service project in Kinston, North Carolina.  Our Mission President has instructed the missionaries that we should wear long pants and not shorts while doing service.  Note that in the picture below I am wearing jeans, something that I usually don't wear.  After the service project was completed, we went to tour a Civil War Battleship called the USS Neuse.  It is the only Civil Ship that has been reconstructed to the actual size.

I received two new pairs of shoes from my parents this week.  They have been trying to get them to me since August.  The original package from DSW was sent to the Mission office in Portsmouth, Virginia.  I planned to pick the package up at the next Mission Conference which is held every month.  When I arrived at the Mission office a few weeks later, the package was not there and one of the secretaries told me that the shoes were sent to my apartment in North Carolina.  It turns out that the package was scanned into the Greenville, North Carolina Post Office and then after that it was lost.  The Post Office tried to find it but they were unsuccessful.  Two weeks later, my parents received an email from DSW to notify them that the shoes had been returned.  We don't know who returned them but we are so grateful that they did.  My parents reordered the same shoes but this time they had them sent directly to my apartment in Greenville, North Carolina and I received them two days later! You can see by looking at the picture of the shoes below just how much the old shoes have been worn out by walking and tracting in all the rain and snow. 

We were teaching a lesson to one of our investigators, and he didn't agree with what we were talking about.  Elder Dickerson bore his testimony and our investigators denied his testimony, telling him he was too young and inexperienced to know that. Then he proceeded to tell us that we were too young to be Elders. Yes, I am young but I have the Holy Ghost to guide me in what I say and do. He is the one teaching and testifying to the people, and he knows how to touch people's hearts. I am simply just the mouthpiece. I am grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost, whose guidance makes all the difference.

We met an amazing Hispanic family while tracting this week. We have already taught them about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.

On Sunday, we were invited to eat dinner with the Andersons. When we arrived we saw that there were other families there as well. Most of the families that were invited speak Portuguese. The Portuguese language sounds like the speaker is speaking Spanish with marbles in their mouth. I can understand some Portuguese words but other words are not similar at all. 

I know the church is true and I am so thankful that we have a living Prophet and Apostles who guide this church. I know that God loves all of us and he wants us to be happy and we can find that happiness as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Elder Cannon

                       Here I am in front of the CSS Neuse located in Kinston, North Carolina. 
                                     It is the only Civil war warship that is rebuilt to actual size.

            Compare my old shoes are on the left to the new ones on the right that I just received 
                                    from my parents.  They are the same brand and style.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Week 62- A New Car Device and Week 63- Hurricane Season

September 28, 2015

Hey Family and Friends!!

My companion Elder Dickerson and I went grocery shopping at a store called Aldie’s. It has the same type of food that other grocery stores carry but they are off brands and they cost less. I am super happy about that. I love saving money!

On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference in Kinston. All the missionaries in the Kinston East, Kinston West, and Goldsboro areas met together, which is about 70 missionaries. Elder Dickerson conducted the first half of the meeting and I conducted the second half. I was pretty nervous, but it turned out well. For the first part of the conference, a guy from the mission department talked about new devices that he will install into our cars. These devices beep when we go over the speed limit, accelerate too fast or slam on the brakes to hard.  It also keeps track of whether we pass our area boundaries and whether we are driving at odd times during the day. The device sends all this information to President Baker. Some information gets sent to President Baker right away, like a speeding violation, if you are driving 10 miles over the speed limit or an rpm violation. I'm just glad I'm not driving right now. The device has beeped at Elder Dickerson constantly this past week. 

We have had some really good lessons with Hispanic families this week. We were able to bring Spanish members with us to those lessons, which we were really happy about. 

It rained most of this past week.  We did a lot of knocking on doors in the rain and as a result we got soaked. While tracting in the evening, I saw a man on his porch.  I began to talk to him in Spanish because he looked Hispanic, but it ends up that he is from Iran. 

While we were tracting in a trailer park, we saw an older guy walking back to his home after getting his mail, so we stopped to talk to him. It turns out that he is really into family history.  He told us about some of his ancestors. We asked if we could share a message with him and he brought us to his trailer. His trailer was the most disgusting place that I have ever seen. He told us he had only 6 cats but I counted over 16.  There was trash and food all over the place, and the walls were covered with cockroaches. 
However, this guy was super prepared. We were taught him about Priesthood authority, and he talked about how he completely agreed with that.  He talked about how other church ecclesiastical leaders call themselves prophets, but he said that it is a calling from God and not from man. He mentioned how he could relate to Joseph Smith because he has researched many religions looking for the truth and hasn't been able to find it. We also talked about how Christ came to the Americas. He interrupted us and told us how he believed that was true because there are many Indian legends concerning that. He talked about the "other sheep" that Jesus mentions in John and how those other sheep probably were the people here in America. Then he quoted the scripture at the end of John about how all the writings about Jesus Christ couldn't be contained in one book. So he believed in the Book of Mormon before he even knew what the Book of Mormon was!  Sadly, we had to pass him off to the English elders because he doesn’t speak Spanish. 

Larry came to church this week but ended up showing up late and missing sacrament meeting because he had slept in. This means that we are going to have to move his baptismal date another week since he has to go to church two more times before he can be baptized. He is doing really well in other respects, though. He attended the baptism of 8-year-old twins in our ward and he seemed to really enjoy the meeting. He has cut down enormously on his smoking.  He is only smoking 3 or 4 cigarettes a day, which is a huge improvement. 

Something happened last night that was pretty funny.  Another missionary companionship that live in our apartment complex knocked on our door at 10:28 p.m. because they got locked out of their apartment. They went outside to look at the blood moon and shut the door, which locked them out. We tried to help them break into their apartment. We finally found a window that was unlocked and were able to get them in. 

I hope everyone has a great week!!

Love, Elder Cannon

All of the Spanish speaking missionaries at Zone Conference

New device that was installed in our car

October 5, 2015

Hola Family and Friends,

This past week Elder Dickerson and I have been very busy. The hurricane Joaquin has been forecasted all week to hit our mission area directly by Sunday morning. President Baker had plans to evacuate lots of missionaries to safer areas.  Our area here in Greenville was one of those locations picked to house lots of missionaries if the hurricane continued in its course. Greenville was pounded rained with rain every single day this week here.
As a result, flooding was expected to be pretty high all over the mission. Elder Dickerson and I drove to Wal-Mart on Friday night and bought some extra water and food in case we would have to be stuck in our apartment for a few days. When we arrived at Wal-Mart, it was pretty crazy to see that almost all of the bread, milk, and water were gone, as lots of people had been stocking up. Then we got a text from President Baker late Friday night that the hurricane was heading back out to sea.  We were lucky, but we still have had lots of rain and some flooding. Now we have a ton of food and bottled water in our apartment but hey- I'm not complaining. 

On Tuesday, we had to drive up to Portsmouth, Virginia for the Mission Leadership Conference on Wednesday. We got there early since there were a few things I had to check up on with my old doctor's office in Norfolk so we went on exchanges with the Assistants to the President the rest of the day. On Wednesday, we attended our meeting and it went really well! During both our driving trips up to Norfolk, Virginia and then back down to Greenville, North Carolina it was dumping rain on us the entire time because of the hurricane.

On Thursday, we had our normal weekly planning and then we also had to plan for the Zone meeting for Friday. The Zone meeting went really well and we had lots of participation. 

We had exchanges with some of the Elders in Kinston. Two of them came to Greenville to teach with me and Elder Dickerson went down to Kinston to join two Elders there. I had to teach the lessons by myself and then translate for the other Elders because neither spoke Spanish.  I tried to include them in the lessons the best I could so I had to translate what they were saying in English to Spanish. It was pretty crazy but it was a lot of fun. 

The General Conference sessions on both Saturday and Sunday were great! We watched the first session in the Anderson's house, a family in our ward. The Andersons have two of their three sons on missions right now.  They are finishing up their missions and coming home on Wednesday. We watched the other sessions at the church. Larry came to afternoon and Priesthood session on Saturday and the Sunday morning session and that was really cool! After the Sunday morning session we were invited with Larry to go to the Smith's home where we ate lunch/dinner and then had a really good lesson! Larry is still working to stop smoking but he has been cutting back a lot. We reset a baptismal date with him for the 31st of October. 

I am so thankful that we have living apostles and prophets who guide this church. I'm thankful for the counsel they gave us and I know it is from God. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives and I know that the atonement works. I love my family and I know that we can be together forever if we keep our covenants. I love this gospel and my mission, and I love all of you.

Elder Cannon

Elder Berry and I on the morning he was transferred

Elder Berry and I with the Anderson kids from our ward