Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 97

May 19, 2015
Que tal todos... Another good week, despite some challenges. This has been a tough change. But we've had lots of miracles too... Let's focus on those.

About a month and a half ago we baptized a 19 year old girl named Janet.  We then baptized her two younger sisters. As we were teaching them, their mom was receptive but their dad was very closed because he was very active in the evangelical church and didn't have any intention of leaving. Slowly but surely his heart began to be softened and he was just beginning to warm up when he fell into his old addiction of alcohol. He spent almost 6 weeks drunk until he finally managed to stop. However, when we talked to him for the first time after he was finally sober, he was a completely different person.  He was so pilas that we thought that he was still drunk or on drugs. Turns out that the Lord often works in mysterious ways. His addiction had brought him to the depths of humility and he finally found the motivation within himself to seek the promised changes and relief that the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ offers us. In this last week he was reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day.  The great miracle of Sunday was that he was there, sitting with his daughters, before Sacrament Meeting started.  It made me think about what the Lord says in Ether 12:27, that he gives unto us weaknesses that we might be humble, but if we humble ourselves before Him, then is His grace sufficient to make our weaknesses become strong. I don't think that the Lord gave this man his addiction to alcohol, but I certainly believe that the Lord will use that weakness to help him come unto Christ so that he can overcome it. That made me think about the weaknesses the Lord has given me, pride, impatience, lack of charity, etc. Clearly the Lord wants me to improve in those areas, but as long as I'm trying and doing all I can to work on those weaknesses, the promise is that they will bring me to Christ. Interesting... I guess that means I need to have a little more patient with myself and not  just wish that I was perfect instantly. If that were the case, then where would the force come from than brings ME down to the depths of humility and to Christ. That being said, there's certainly some weaknesses that I would not miss if I could wave a wand and make them all go away.

Hmmm, I've got 5 minutes left and am not sure what else to say. If I sit here thinking, I won't have time to say anything at all. It's quite a dilemma, no? Anyway, I will testify, as a personal representative of Jesus Christ, that I know that He lives and that He loves me, He loves you all, and I can especially testify of His love for the people here in Guatemala. I know that through His prophet Joseph Smith He has restored His true church to the earth in order to help us come unto him and prepare to have happy families here and in the eternities. I know that the Book of Mormon is powerful and convincing evidence of this and have seen and dozens of people have gained this testimony for themselves.

Con mucho amor,

Elder Cannon

Also, a picture my companion took with the phone as a drunk man was trying to kiss me. He had some weird infection on his face too. The couple sitting on the street behind my companion couldn't stop laughing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Week 96

May 12, 2015

Happy mother's day everyone! As always, it was great to see the family and remember how blessed I am to have such a wonderful mother. Crazy to think that Ethan will enter the MTC (come to think of it, I don't even know which MTC), in just a few weeks. Other than that, the week was pretty hard. The zone is really struggling because as a mission, we are incredibly young.  A huge wave of missionaries left the mission a few changes ago and a huge wave came in so the average missionary in Gmala City Central has much less than a year. In our zone there's two companionships where both companions have six months or less. It's a challenge, but we're blessed in that they are all great missionaries and very willing to do the things they should, we just have to help them learn how to do it. Also, Mother's day did kind of kill our church attendance. Most of our investigators were with their moms and not at church. Still though, I'm so grateful for every week and every day I have. I love being able to help others come unto Christ, I especially love helping families receive the same blessings that mine enjoys. I love feeling the Spirit guide us and testify of our words. 

Moving on, due to some challenges with DearElder, it would probably be advisable for all wishing to write me to use email instead, thank you.

Love, Elder Cannon

A picture of us at Pablo's house on Elder Caton's last day. Sometimes 
missionary work is hard, sometimes, not so much...

A zone service project we did, helping an investigator clean out the abandoned gym 
he just bought. Honestly, it's hard to overestimate the power and utility of a machete.

Our lunch yesterday. I love crepes. I love pesto.

Sunday, when it started raining and the street flooded. Pablo, our recent convert, 
followed the example of the pioneers, as he bravely stripped off his shoes and 
offered to give us all a ride across. Afterwards, a random lady walked 
up and was trying to cross so he just grabbed her and walked her over. Pilas.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week 95

May 5, 2015
Well, yet another change meeting come and gone. My new companion is Elder Stewart from Orem Utah. I was convinced that I would be receiving a Latino, but it would seem otherwise. Still, it's been fun showing him around our area and the zone, both of which are way different than any other place in the mission. We've nicknamed this zone the comfort zone. No one really every wants to leave their comfort zone. 

Anyway, we've started out the change with lots of miracles (one of which was that we finally cleaned the house) and I know that it will be a great change. I think that this change God has given me a chance to apply all that I've learned during my time here, all the Christ-like attributes that I've fought to develop in every area. The challenges continue but it is cool to see the difference from when I started. I've got a long way to go still, but at least I recognize it. I've decided that we really can improve in any Christ-like attribute when we want it enough. When it finally becomes too painful and we are finally willing to make the necessary sacrifices to be able to change, that's when the miracles happen. Just like with the Spirit. If we really want it enough, are praying with faith and purifying ourselves, we will be able to receive the spiritual gifts we most desire. I've seen that in the last 5 months and it's something truly incredible.

Love you all.