Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Weeks 30 and 31

January 28, 2014

Well, I've had a good week. It almost rained yesterday, which made me very happy (the rainy season stopped in October and it hasn't rained a drop since. Apparently we're gearing up for summer right now). Yesterday, for P day, we went to the central market of Escuintal which was quite an experience. Sadly, the color of my skin makes haggling much harder since they equate gringo with pisto (money). 

In the market I also bought a pair of glasses that don't have any correction. The dirt roads here are normally really dusty and when it's windy it can be pretty difficult to see. Twice I've gotten big pieces of dirt lodged in one of my eyes for more than two hours. After the second time I promised myself that I would start wearing glasses to prevent that from happening again. It's not like anyone here knows that I don't actually wear glasses, so it shouldn't be a problem. 
I really like the culture of missionary ingenuity here in our mission. I've seen some pretty cool inventions or modifications designed to make missionary work easier. The coolest is a heads up time display that my district leader made by cleverly attaching a watch to a backpack. I hope to have come up with a couple of good ones myself before I go home.

Our mission right now is preparing for our goal to have 400 baptisms in March. It's more than we've ever achieved so far and we're working hard and strengthening our faith that we will be able to do it. I’m getting pretty excited to see just how crazy that month is. We're starting to look for new investigators right now so they can be prepared by March.
Anyway, things are going well down here in Jacarandas 2, Escuintla. I've got to go now. Hope you all are doing well.

Elder Cannon

This picture is of my growing collection of church movies (and my incredibly messy desk). Sadly, no one here in the coast has a DVD player so I'm not able to use them very often.

January 23 

Well, it's been a full week. The highlight was the baptism of Hermano Marco Tulio Alvizures! I am amazed every time we visit them by how much the gospel has changed their family. The blessings have so clearly followed each good decision they've taken. In fact, just two days after his baptism, a friend out of the blue offered Hermano Marco a job! He'd been out of work for months (one day we helped them crack open motors to remove the copper wiring in the electromagnets and strip electrical cables of their sheathing so he could sell the metal for a bit of money). 

The baptisms (the woman on the right is a member who lives across the street)

As I mentioned, we went to a park in Amatitlan (not to be confused with Atitlan) for our zone P Day. It was pretty cool because they had a bunch of mini replicas of famous Guatemalan attractions as well as a this-couldn't-be-legal-in-the-USA obstacle course which made me almost feel like I was rock climbing again.

Yesterday we also got to go to a multi-mission (Gmala City South, East, and Central) meeting with Elder Cook and some other General Authorities. It was cool to see the clear differences between the missions. Before the meeting began all the other missionaries in the other missions were talking with friends and walking around while all of our mission was sitting in our seats (and had been for an hour), reading the Book of Mormon and studying D&C 107 to learn about apostles and members of the Quorum of the Seventy. I don't know how President Brough does it, but he really is an incredible leader. Speaking of which, the stats are in and last year our mission had 2266 baptisms! Anyway, Elder Cook said some great things about how we need to love the people we serve, love our companion, love our mission president and his wife, and love the Lord.

Transfers were this week and for the first time in my mission I didn't get to go to the change meeting my companion and I stayed together. I was pretty sad to not be able to go as the change meetings are SO. My dad (as in, my trainer), Elder Lopez, is yet again my zone leader as he just got transferred here to Escuintla. Pretty cool.

Speaking of cool, our zone got put on volcano eruption alert this week. Pacai was pouring lava and smoking, but we didn't get a good eruption. Too bad

Pacai smoking a little bit

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well. I know that the Lord will bless each one of you just as surely as He blessed the Alvizures family as you strive to keep His commandments.

Love, Elder Cannon


the city of amatitlan

a weird bug

A cool tree

The following pictures were, unfortunately, not posted with the previous weeks letter that described them.  Josh's comments about them were:

I've included a couple of rather poor quality pictures (I took them while riding on the bus back from the Christmas Activity several weeks ago). Sadly, it's impossible to grasp the size of that volcano from the pictures. I have never, ever seen anything so big, anything that takes up such a huge chunk of the sky. It's like something out of a movie (if Mount Doom was that big I'm pretty sure that Sam would never have been able to carry Frodo to the top and the Sauron would have reclaimed the Ring.) Anyway, I really am sorry that there's no way I can send you guys an accurate picture of that volcano. Honestly, I'm sure that it's so big it's throwing off the orbit of the earth (not really).

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