Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week #95- It is Important to Attend Church Each Week

May 23, 2016

This past week several Zones were invited to a Specialized Mission Conference. During the training we got instruction from President and Sister Baker about missionary health. They talked to us about how to stay healthy spiritually, physically, and financially. In our mission, it is a tradition to play a game called Oompa Lumpa. The game mixes basketball and ultimate frisbee but it is played with a football (or in my case since I have a rugby ball, a rugby ball). We normally get a bunch of Elders together every Monday morning.  We all wake up early to drive to the church building and play the game together. This week, after our mission’s specialized training we played Oompa. Even the sisters played the game which was actually super awkward. But playing Oompa was a ton of fun. President Baker would have played except for the fact that he had sprained his ankle the week before in one of the other conferences, however his wife Sister Baker played too.

Earlier today, my old companion Elder Garcia and his current companion came down from the Eastern shore to say goodbye to me. Elder Garcia is finishing his mission here next week. We all went to the Virginia War Museum together.

While I have been on a mission, I have gained a huge testimony of how important it is to go to church every week to partake of the Sacrament, no matter what. It is so important because we are able to renew our convents that we have made with our Heavenly Father, and in turn, we receive the renewed promise that we can always have the Holy Ghost with us. At church we can learn about the gospel, put it into practice, and learn from others.  I've taught a lot of less active members, who haven't come to church in awhile.  Unfortunately, they have forgotten some of the simplest of truths. For example, we are teaching a less active brother right now, who a few weeks ago tried to prove to us using the Bible that we aren't children of God. And then this past week, when we invited him to church, he told us that he couldn't because “Sunday was the day that he kept the Sabbath day holy by reading the scriptures only, and because of that he didn't need to come to church.”

I know that we are children of a loving Father in Heaven.  I know that it is vital that we attend church each week so that we will not forget important truths and so that we can renew our baptismal covenants. I know that this is the only true church on the entire Earth. We possess the same priesthood authority that prophets of old, and even Christ himself possessed. I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the Earth today. God talks through his prophet to guide us today.

Have a good week.

Love, Elder Cannon

Elders Pugsley, Free, Hess, Cannon and Garcia at the Virginia War Museum

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Week #94- Lunch with Nike Security

May 16, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Everything is going pretty well here in Virginia.

On Saturday, we were walking through an apartment complex. Our appointment had fallen through and so we were walking across the way to visit with some potential investigators. All of a sudden, a guy yelled something in our direction.  He was standing across the street in a Wendy’s parking lot. We didn't think he was talking to us, so we kept walking and turned the corner. Well, the guy chased us down and asked if we could come to Wendy's with him and he would buy us lunch. It turns out that he is a member from Florida who was in Virginia for work.  His coworkers were already seated in the restaurant when we walked in. They were ten LDS guys who all work for Nike Security. They were all huge Polynesian guys that were over 6'4" tall. It was pretty sweet to be able to eat lunch with them.

Saturday night we had a branch party for Mother's day. Alvino, one of our investigators, attended the party with us and and he seemed to have a good time.

One of the gifts that my family gave me for my birthday this year was enough money to choose a nice restaurant to eat dinner at on my birthday with my companions.  I had a pretty good birthday. We went to Red Robin and ate as many bottomless fries as we could. Thanks to my family for all the gifts you sent to me.

We got "welcomed into the hood" this week. We were walking through a pretty ghetto part of Newport News when a guy came up to us and asked us for some money. All three of us didn't have our wallets on us and so we told him that we didn't have our wallets so we didn't have any money to give him. He didn't seem too happy but he told us that that it was smart to not carry our wallets around with us in a place like that because we could be jumped and then he said, "Welcome to the hood."

I've been pretty sick the past few days. It came on super quick. I felt fine Friday morning but by Friday afternoon I was super sick, so I've been sick all weekend. I'm still pretty sick but I think I'm through the worst of it.

Well, I hope that everyone has a great week!

Elder Cannon

Lunch at Red Robin on my birthday

The Farmer in the middle picture (at Red Robin) looks like President Eyring, don't you think? 

Lunch with the LDS Nike Security team

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Week #93- Word of Wisdom

May 9, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

It was great to be able to Skype with my family yesterday. They have changed so much since I left. It’s hard to believe that I'll be seeing them again in a few months. I'm blessed to have such a great family, especially my Mom. I have the best Mom in the world. I love you, Mom!

We finally caught up with Maria again. She has been busy with relatives that keep going to the hospital. She told us that she still wants to get baptized.

We taught Miguelina and Leapoldo on Thursday. We taught them about the Word of Wisdom. Miguelina told us right away that she would obey, without hesitation.  Although her husband Leapoldo was hesitant at first about giving up coffee, in the end he committed to live the Word of Wisdom as well.

We ate some really good Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo with the Onejda family. It’s too bad that Cinco de Mayo isn't a real Spanish holiday. Only one small city in Mexico actually celebrates it and nobody else does.

A family in our branch had a daughter finish her mission this week. She left when I was serving in this ward at the beginning of my mission.  It is weird to think that I have been a missionary three months longer than she has and she has already completed her mission.

The temperature here has been changing a lot. It has rained hard this week and was pretty chilly most days but we ended the week at 80 degrees.

Our Zone leaders exchanged cars with us for one day this week so that they could take our car in for repair. It felt funny to drive to our teaching appointments in a van.

I hope that everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Cannon

Using the Zone Leader's van for the day