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"