Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week #85- Teaching Lots of Lessons and Two New Baptism Dates

March 14, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

There are more families that are moving out of the branch in Newport News in a few weeks, so we have been working really hard to try to bring less actives back to church. We have some really sweet less actives. Two of them are brothers and they are super solid and read the Book of Mormon every day, but their Dad doesn't let them come to church so we are hoping that will change in the future.

Last Monday after emailing, we helped Faustino to send his ID and Mexican passport to power company so that he could pay his light bill. Faustino is a member of our ward.

Wednesday was a really good day for us. We are teaching a family, and Maria (the mother) has accepted a baptismal date for May 7! The day after she accepted the baptismal date, she faced lots of opposition. Her kids got super sick.  She had to take them to the hospital and so she wasn't able to come to church. We talked to her about the opposition she is going to face and she is determined to keep going forward with the date.

Following Maria’s lesson, we taught the first lesson to Rigo.  He is the husband of a less active sister named Elizabeth who wants to come back to church. Rigo talked about how he wants to learn more about the church of his wife and he wants to start attending church. He accepted a baptismal date for April 16th and then he invited us to come back to eat dinner with them. The only thing that makes it tough for Rigo to attend church is that he's a fisherman and he doesn't have a set work schedule. He travels to Massachusetts when his company tells him to.  He can be gone for as short as a few days up to a month at a time. He already knows that he is leaving tomorrow. He told us to come back tonight before he leaves.  Hopefully he comes back sooner rather than later so that we can keep teaching him.

I had to direct my first district meeting alone last Friday. It felt weird planning a meeting without a companion like I did when planning a Zone meeting. Since our district is just composed of 3 Spanish speaking Elders and 2 Spanish speaking Sisters we had our meeting in Spanish. I think the meeting went pretty well.

On Sunday we taught a family that came to the US from Tijuana, Mexico less than 2 weeks ago. They told us that they didn't know anybody here and since they haven't seen any Catholic churches in Newport News they want to start coming to our church. We didn't even invite them, they invited themselves- which was cool.

We taught a Cuban guy named Jose. He made a big deal about how he wasn't into reading the Bible because “he had his own knowledge of religious things.” He had never actually invited people from a church into his house before so we were the first ones. Elder Free invited him to be baptized. and he chuckled and said, “You guys want to baptize me huh? Yeah, I'll be baptized by you guys since I haven't ever been baptized before.” At the end of the lesson, he told us that he liked talking to us and invited us to come back next Sunday.

I want to bear my testimony that we are so blessed to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Through the covenants that we make at baptism and at the temple we can fully access the atonement of Jesus Christ. We have something that our neighbors, and friends, and family members that aren't members of the church desperately need. And we as members have the opportunity to help them feel the joy and peace that we feel in our lives. I would like to invite everyone to invite someone to come closer to Christ. It doesn't need to be something big like asking them to be baptized right then and there, but it can be something small like inviting them to watch the new Easter video that the church put out, or inviting them to a ward party. I know that God and Jesus Christ live and they love us very much.

Love, Elder Cannon