Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016- Last Blog Post

Dear Family and Friends,

Well here I am at the end of my mission. I'm heading out on a plane tomorrow morning for home.

I just can't believe how fast these two years have gone by. I'm so grateful for the chance I have had to be a missionary. My mission really has been the best two years of my life. I have seen so many miracles in the course of my mission. I have loved teaching people and bringing them closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Now it’s my turn to live guided by the same gospel principles that I have been teaching the past two years. 

I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ and that He is at the head of it. I know we have a living prophet. And I know that the only way that we will ever have happiness in this life and in the next is through living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I love you all and will see you soon.


Elder Cannon

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Week #101- Teaching Jesus and His Roommates

July, 4, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,

Happy 4th of July!

This week, Stake President Hamilton and his family invited all of the full time missionaries that are serving in the Stake to their home for dinner. While we were there, they asked all of the Elders to sing The Armies of Helaman song.

Well, President and Sister Baker are officially gone. President and Sister Weed flew in Monday night. President Baker and President Weed had only two hours to talk before the Bakers left the mission Tuesday morning. All of the missionaries in the Virginia part of our mission got together to meet the Weeds. They are sweet!!

We found this really cool family from El Salvador. Guanacos (people from El Salvador) are by far my favorite Hispanic group. We went to a flea market on Saturday to find some Hispanics to teach.  I bought an El Salvador flag for a super cheap price and then I realized that it is a little crooked, oh well. 

When we showed up to one of our appointments on Wednesday, our investigator Jesus was waiting outside with a few other people that live with him. Yes I am teaching Jesus. He told us that when we came over to teach him the first time that he felt happy and the problems that he is having in his family seemed to disappear for a moment even though they are still there. He told us he just didn't know what that feeling was, but he was exciting for us to share our message with his roommates.

We have been having problems with our car the past few weeks. We woke up on Sunday morning and felt like we needed to check the oil level in our car. It’s a good thing that we did because we were completely out of oil. We called Brother Flores, our branch mission leader, to help us. He helped us fix our car and put more oil in. Unfortunately, we ended up being an hour late to church. That was the first time I've ever missed part of church.

My time on my mission is coming to a close soon. Everyone, including missionaries, members and even some of our investigators know that I'm heading home in a week. It is the weirdest feeling to realize that I’m leaving and it doesn't feel real. But- I'm going to make this the best week of my mission. I know this church is the church of Jesus Christ and that He is at the head and that He talks to our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. If we heed the counsel of the prophet and the apostles, even with everything going on in the world, we will be happy.

Elder Cannon

The Hamilton family

at the Hamilton home

Elders singing The Armies of Helaman

Eating dinner at the Hamilton's home


Full time Elders and Sisters who are serving in the Stake 
(I am taking the picture so I'm not in it.)

Wearing sombreros

My District marked the end of my mission.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week #100- Learning the Kechi Dialect

June 27, 2016
Chanxacuil Everyone!

Everything has been going great here! We have been super busy. We've been teaching lots of people and finding new people to teach and we are still trying to get our investigators to church.

We had a lesson with Gerson this week. While we were visiting, several returned sister missionaries from the Richmond mission   arrived.  Apparently, they had taught him before he had been baptized. They stayed for the lesson which felt super awkward. Afterwards, he let us take some pictures with his dad's Humvee which was sweet. 

We went to go teach an investigator who is from Mexico.  He lives in the same apartment with his son and happens to own a Spanish restaurant here in Newport News. He told us to come to the restaurant where he would serve us personally and give us free food.... So, it looks like we are going to eat in his restaurant sometime this week. 

We have been running into a bunch of chapines, people from Guatemala.  Everytime we talk with them we have them teach us a word from their dialect. (There are 25 different dialects in Guatemala and none of them sound the same.) I have learned how to say hello and goodbye in four different Guatemalan dialects. I like the Kechi dialect the most. We have an investigator that speaks Kechi and he teaches a word every time we come over. He always get a chuckle out of us saying hello and goodbye to him in Kechi.

Our Mission President and Sister Baker went home today.  I will miss them!  

Have a great week everyone.

Love, Elder Cannon

I am saying goodbye to President and Sister Baker.  I will miss them!

Elder Valentine, me, and Elder Armstrong in front of Gerson's Humvee

Inside Gerson's Humvee 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Week #99- Two Temple Endowments and a Sealing

June 20, 2016
Dear Family and friends,

Everything is going great here in Newport News.

Miguelina is so close to baptism. She knows that the church is true. We set her with a baptismal date for the 2nd of July but then she backed out. She wants to get baptized but she is nervous because she doesn't have support from Leopoldo or anybody else in her family. She will get baptized one day, but if she doesn't get baptized before I go home, it’s alright. It's been really cool to see how much she has grown and changed from the first day that we met her.

We had our last Zone Conference with President Baker before he goes home. President Weed will be here next Monday. It is going to be tough to see President Baker go, but luckily I have my exit interview with him on Friday.  I'm will be a missionary under President Weed for two weeks.

Edwin and Miriam have been coming back to our branch.  They blessed their new baby on Sunday. They are going to the temple on July 9th to get endowed and sealed in the Washington DC temple. 

La iglesia es verdadera!

Love, Elder Cannon

 We cooked tostadas for our dinner.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Week #98 - New Investigators

June 13, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,

Everything is going well here. Its been a pretty busy week. we have been teaching a lot of people. President Baker is finishing up his mission too. He is going home the end of June and our new mission president named President Weed is coming in. He will be my mission president for only 2 weeks. 

We have an investigator named Nancy, and when we showed up to teach her for the third time she told us that she had read the assignment that we had given her. She had read from 1st chapter of 1st Nephi to chapter 8, and she explained to us exactly what happened and she understood it all!  We are hoping that she and her husband can make it to church next week.

Gerson is a less active youth who just returned from El Salvador last Sunday. He's like the most committed youth that I've ever met. The only reason that he doesn't come to church is because his father won't let him.

I have working on My Plan, a program that the church asks returning missionaries to complete during their last six weeks in the mission field. Normally I would need to spend one hour every week for 6 weeks working on it.  However, since President Baker would like to interview me before he is released as Mission President, I need to complete the tasks in half the time. The tasks include setting goals about what I plan to do when I get home. It is very hard to think about future plans while I am still engaged in the work.

Elder Armstrong. Elder Valentine and I visited Colonial Williamsburg.  We visited the Governor's home and took a funny picture at the stocks.

I received my “trunky papers” (return home flight itinerary) on Saturday. I could barely bring myself to look at the details. I gave it to Elder Armstrong to hold for me for now so that I don't have to think about leaving yet.

I hope everyone has a great week! The church is true!

Love, Elder Cannon

Me and Elders Armstrong and Valentine in front of the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg stocks

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week #96- Last Transfer and Week #97- New Companions and Old Friends

Week #96- Last Transfer
May 31, 2016

Hey Family and Friends!

This week I entered my last transfer! A big group of missionaries flew home this morning, so now I'm in the group of the oldest missionaries in the mission. It is pretty crazy! My old companions Elder Free and Elder Hess are being transferred to North Carolina tomorrow. Elder Armstrong and Elder Valentine will be my last companions.

We had a pretty fun Memorial Day. We were invited to the homes of Hermano Piggot, the 1st councilor in the branch presidency and President Ojeda, the branch president.  We had a lot of fun and we ate a lot of food.

The church is true!

Love, Elder Cannon

Week #97- New Companions and Old Friends
June 6, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Well I finished my first week of my last transfer with a bang!

On Wednesday I dropped off Elder Free and Elder Hess at the mission office in Portsmouth.  Then, the current Norfolk Elders, Elder Kelly and Elder Armstrong picked me up. Elder Armstrong is one of my new companions. While Elder Armstrong and I waited for Elder Valentine to arrive, we went to Norfolk to do some teaching. It was great to go back up to Norfolk. We were able to see some old people that I taught.  I was able to talk to Lani (someone that I taught and baptized in Norfolk) on the phone. She's doing well and is expecting a baby girl. We ate dinner with the Mencia family at a Hispanic restaurant and I ordered some tacos de lengua (cow tongue tacos).

Elder Armstrong and Elder Valentine are great and we already get along super well. Elder Armstrong is from Hurricane, Utah and has been serving for 15 months. I got to know him when I was his Zone Leader in Greenville, North Carolina where I went on a few exchanges with him. Elder Valentine is from Denver, Colorado and has been serving for 6 months.

We taught a few lessons to Miguelina and Leopoldo this week. Miguelina is so close to being baptized. We went over the baptismal questions and she is totally ready. She knows all of it is true. She just still doesn't feel prepared. She feels like she needs more time. So hopefully, we will be inspired to know how to help her feel more prepared.

We ran into a lot of strange people this week. A Jewish pastor asked us if we knew the three things that we needed to do to be saved. He told us to worship God with all our heart, multiply and replenish the earth and then love everyone including our enemies. Then, he walked away backwards as he played a harmonica. He was pretty funny.

My watch stopped working so I stopped wearing it.  I am sure that it needs something simple to fix it like a new battery. Branch President Ojeda happened to notice that I wasn’t wearing my watch anymore and asked me to wear his.  I tried to politely refuse but he insisted. So- now I am wearing the watch that he so kindly lent to me.

We found an old Hawaiian shirt tucked away in one of our closets in our apartment. Elder Armstrong decided to make matching ties for all three of us.  We plan to wear them to our last Zone Conference with President Baker before the new mission president comes in.

We went to a thrift store today and bought a cd player that we are going to give to one of our investigators named Alvino.  He can't read and his phone won't let him download the app to read the Book of Mormon. He will be able to listen to the Book of Mormon on CD now.

I also had to start the "My Plan" program for missionaries that are one transfer away from completing their mission. I have three weeks to complete it. There are a bunch of questions for me to answer and videos to watch that will help me prepare to go home. I will miss being a missionary.

We have a pretty busy week of lessons planned so it should be a really good week. I will talk to everyone next week.

Love, Elder Cannon


The Ojeda family

Dodanim and Gregoria from the Dominican Republic

Farewell cake and milk with Elder Hess and Elder Free




Miguelina and Leopoldo

The Ramirez family

Saying Goodbye to Elder Free and Elder Hess