Sunday, November 6, 2011

One of those..

I can't decide if I should say it was one of those days, weeks, transfers, months; not quite sure. But we can go from there.
My companion decided to go home a transfer early. Hence, this past week was quite a rollercoaster of trying to get everything ready for her to leave this Friday. It is hard for me not to be able to fix things that I want to fix. I have been battling with the fact that people need a desire and that is something they need to decide on their own; I can't force people to have a desire to change. I have realized the importance of agency, because if we didn't have agency, there would be no point in being here. But how do we help people to gain that desire? I feel like I have not been able to accomplish this, and it has been difficult for me. Any thoughts?
Second, I got a speeding ticket. UGH. I could tell the whole story, but all in all I was in an area I didn't know for district meeting and didn't know what the speed limit was. And Mass cops are SO RUDE! I was convinced I was pulled over because the cop needed to hear about the gospel, so after he gave me the ticket, I said, "Can we give you a card for our website? We are missionaries and we teach people about Jesus Christ..." He didn't take it because of the "nature of his job." So then I thought I would ask him about his beliefs, and he said, "That is a really personal question." He had the grumbles, and they passed on to me. Oh well I guess, hopefully he will have a change of heart one day.
My new companion is Sister Takanoi, I don't know her, but she is from "a little Island in the middle of nowhere". That is what my comp told me. So next week will provide further details.
We had a chili cookoff and Sister Halverson and I were the judges! It was fun, and we had a great time. We carved pumpkins which was great. The storm kind of ruined everything though, everyone is still without power and no one can go to school. It was quite the storm.
The Lewis family fed us lobster and it tasted AMAZING! I absolutely LOVE that family. They are Utah fans, so they are great. I know mom will love the picture with all the lobster haha.
Nice job on the UTES! Sister Burt texted me with updates and I was very excited we won, I was feeling nervous for that game.
This last week was quite interesting, and we didn't get to do much teaching because of everything that went on. So this email is kind of depressing, I am sorry for that. But I do know that the gospel is true and I love sharing it with other people. Without being able to teach as much, I have missed testifying of what I know to be true. I Love this work and can't wait to get back out and share the gospel.
I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

When you are insane, you are the last one to know it.

I never realized someone could go crazy by sitting in an apartment for so long.... Now I know, because I did....
My companion was sick for 3 days this past week and all she did was sleep. I WENT INSANE! It was the most quiet I have ever been in my life, because I rarely talked to people. What a strange experience. Luckily I recovered, the fresh air was incredible.
Something very exciting happened yesterday! One of our investigators, Ann, has been having missionaries come over since May. She wanted to come to church, but hasn't been able to because she had foot surgery. Then she was putting it off because she kept getting sick. SO FINALLY yesterday she came to church!!!! I cannot even tell you how happy I was! We have been teaching her for so long and she finally got to come! It was the primary program and she just loved all of the kids. In Sunday School, we were talking about marriage and the roles of parents and she isn't married, and has been divorced for a while, so I was worried what she would think. So I asked her after what she had thought of church, and she said, "I LOVED it!! I feel at home here and it just feels so good to be here." I was so happy! My smile was huge! It was just incredible. It is amazing how the spirit works and touches people's hearts who are ready to receive it. She wants to come back next week. I can't wait, and am so grateful she enjoyed it.
We had another investigator come and she didn't like it because the kids were too distracting. She says our church isn't for her and wants all the kids to leave. Haha well if ya hate kids, this definitely is not the place you will want to be. Oh well I guess.
We taught Nicole and Paul this past week, and the spirit was strong! Nicole is searching for her testimony, she was baptized a year ago and is having a hard time. She has been asking a lot of questions and loved having us over to teach her again. I asked her if I could hear her conversion story, and she typed it up and was so excited to give it to me. I am excited because they both are progressing and gaining thier own testimonies. They are becoming truly converted.
I love this work and I am so grateful for it! There is nothing greater than bringing souls unto Christ. Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elizabeth

Salem Witch Trials!

Well, lucky me, I got to go to Salem, Massachusetts and see the city around Halloween time. It was so cool!!!! Some of it even had Harry Potter themes and there was a store dedicated to Harry Potter!! I bought some Floo powder so I can come home for a little bit and come back. I felt like I was in Diagon Alley, because that is what it looked like! It was an experience to remember, let me tell you! There were witches everywhere, and people dressed up, so it was very fitting for the season. Our District made shirts to wear to Salem, so we looked pretty legit. So yes, I have experienced Salem around Halloweentime and it was EPIC!
We had interviews this past week, and as I went in and sat down, President Evans said, "Now before I forget, missionaries keep asking about a video you made last year at Christmas for the mission. I was wondering if you would make another video of the mission this year! Would you mind doing that?" Well, if you have to twist my arm... YES!!! I am so excited!! I can't wait to make another video. Definitely awesome to be here for 2 Christmas seasons. Its gonna be good!
So I remember back when we went to Boston for the 4th of July, we met the RS president in the Worcester ward, and she had said she was from Thailand. So I was sitting there this past week, and that thought came into my head, and I realized how perfect it would be if she came to our lesson with Bee! So I got her number and called her and she had just been thinking of ideas of how she can serve more in the church. Pretty cool. So she came with us to our lesson with Bee and was able to share her testimony and what we were teaching in Thai so that Bee could understand the gospel better. It went so well! Bee loved her and really loved what she had to say. Bee and Everett just happened to buy an apartment in Worcester earlier that day, so they will be moving into this ward. I am sad that we won't be teaching them anymore, but it is perfect for Bee to be in this ward where she can talk to someone in Thai. It was so perfect and such a blessing!
One night, after a dinner appointment, I had an impression to go visit an investigator that we hadn't been able to get a hold of for a while. It was totally out of our way, and if she wasn't home, it would waste time and miles so I was hesitant on going. And it was late, so I was worried to bother her husband as well. But, I received the prompting again, and after waiting for too long, I decided we would go. We drove past the house, and all the lights were off, and I felt ashamed that we had waited too long and the opportunity was now gone. We sat there for a minute, and suddenly, the light in the house went on. SO, I didn't hesitate, and I said, "LETS GO!!" I got out of the car and quickly walked up to the door. We knocked and she answered, and she was not too excited to see us. In fact, I think she was mad that we were there, but she let us in any way. SO we sat down, and she wanted to know why we were there. Ha, so I just said we wanted to see how she was doing. After a while of talking, it all came out. She said she has been feeling so sad and unhappy and doesn't feel there is a purpose to life. So I felt impressed to talk to her about God's love for her individually and how important prayer is. Tears came to her eyes, and she said, "I should pray shouldn't I?" It was a breaking point where she realized she needs Jesus Christ in her life, because otherwise she has nothing. It was an incredible experience for me. The Lord has truly blessed me, and I am so grateful for it.
I love you all, have a great week!!
Love, Elizabeth

Grumbles gonna get you...

Ya know, a lot of people have the grumbles out here and I don't think they realize it. But if you tell someone they have the grumbles, they either become happy, or they get even more mad. I learned that one the hard way.
We were out street contacting, and for some reason, it was just a grumbly day for people! Everyone was really mean, but we of course stayed happy. So after a while of this, a man walks up and says, "Can I have one of those cards you are handing out?" He had been sitting on a bench watching us and then he said, "How do you stay happy with how people treat you?" It was really interesting to me, because I noticed after that I had a huge smile on my face. It didn't bother me that people had the grumbles that day, because I enjoyed what I was doing. Because of what he saw, he was interested, and that was really neat for me to see. It also made me realize how important it is to always be happy, not just act happy, because we had no idea he was watching us from a bench. I didn't need to fake anything, I just was happy.
So Ian was baptized! He was so excited and all of his friends came to support him. He asked me to give the talk on the Holy Ghost and it was such a neat experience to testify of how wonderful the Holy Ghost is. I love how the Lord works through me to say what someone needs to hear. I focused a lot on how the Holy Ghost comforts us so that we are never alone and so we can be lifted in times of trial. I also fcoused a lot on how we should never give up because we have the Holy Ghost at our side. That has been on my mind a lot lately. Just how we need to keep enduring and we cannot give up. Too much is at stake to just give up. With the Holy Ghost at our side, we should never give up. It was an interesting twist.
Everett and Bee had their baby blessed yesterday and they were so happy! They are progressing so well and things are great with them.
A lot of changes are happening with people we are teaching. We will see how this week goes.
Last week we went on a crazy hike in our area and it was fun!! That is what the pictures are. And it was sister allen's birthday, so we got to meet up with them and go to dinner. We are wicked close so it all worked out.
I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

It is better to look up!!

I am sure all of you agree with me saying this, but wasn't conference incredible? General Conference is like Christmas for me! The Spirit is always so strong, and the words they say always speak right to me. I wrote down a list of questions before I watched conference, and they were all answered in one way or another. I am so grateful for the love that Heavenly Father has for me in that He would answer all of my questions. I loved seeing President Thomas S. Monson speak. The Spirit is always so strong when he speaks, and I am able to know that he is a true prophet. I am so grateful to have the knowledge of the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt like a central theme to the conference was that the Book of Mormon is true and Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to gain a closer relationship with Him. He loves us so much.
Yesterday was Ian's birthday, and he said, "There is no better birthday present than hearing the prophet of the Lord speak to me." Ya, he is great. He is still on for being baptized this weekend, and I am very excited for it! He loved conference, and hung on to every word that was spoken. He was feeling nervous about his baptism before this past week, because he didn't feel like he was ready yet. So we told him to pray and read the Book of Mormon every day and he can receive an answer that he is ready. So we went over last week and he told us of his story. He had been praying to know if he was ready, and he felt sorrow. He thought at first that it was sorrow because he wasn't ready, but then he received an answer that it was sorrow that he thought he wasn't ready. He then thought "If I don't have faith in myself, I don't have faith in the Lord." It was such a neat story, and after that, he said he couldn't be more excited to be baptized. I love hearing the answers the Lord gives us to our prayers. He truly does love us and has answers to our prayers if we open our hearts to receive them.
I was studying this past week and felt impressed to study a specific chapter in the Book of Mormon. It was one of the war chapters in Alma, and so I thought that was strange, but I did anyway. It really gave me an appreciation for what the soldiers do for our country and why things have to be done to keep our religious freedom. So that same day we went to an appointment with Ann, and we were reading in Mosiah about a war that went on. She then asked, "I keep thinking about the commandment, 'thou shalt not kill'. Why are they killing so much?" Right then I realized why I was prompted to study what I did that morning. I was able to answer her question with another reference in the Book of Mormon and it made so much sense to her. It was something so simple, but I was grateful that I was able to answer her question.
One thing that really stood out to me in conference was that we need to always be worthy to receive spiritual promptings. That is something I really want to work on and I hope that all of you will as well. The Lord needs us to be ready to receive His promptings to help His other children.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elizabeth

Turns out pudding pictionary is very entertaining

So this past week we were at the library emailing, and we had an appointment that we had to hurry to. So I told my companion we had to end at a certain time so we wouldn't be late. So that time comes, I get off, and she isn't quite finished. So I sat there and waited for her to finish, worrying that we are going to be late to this appointment. So finally she finishes, and we are walking out and we run into a lady named Vera. We were teaching Vera right when I first got here and she just wasn't interested in changing so we stopped going. The interesting thing, is that the night before she had called us but we missed it because we were in an appointment. So we tried calling her back and she just hadn't returned the call. So of course we run into her on her way out and she explained to us that the reason she called was because she is pregnant and wanted us to come over and pray with her. She hadn't told her husband yet because she wanted to talk to us first. She then said she never comes to the library and we are never there on Wednesday nights. From this she said she knew she needed to meet with us, and that what we have is important. It was incredible. So we set up a time to meet with her this week and I am excited. The Lord truly has timing for everything. And I also realized I need to be patient because if we had left on time, we would have missed her. I love things like this!
So we have a lady we are teaching named Christina and when we found her, her life was very low. She said her life has been terrible, and her boyfriend wanted to leave her and her 2 kids, and everything that could be messed up in her life was. SO we began to teach her and have been continually going over there to help her. This last time, we went over and she has cut down her smoking tremendously, and told us all of the amazing things that have been happening since we have come and how much happier she is. Her boyfriend has seen a change in her as well and wants us to teach him too so they can be taught as a family. It has been amazing to actually see a difference in this family since we have been teaching her. That is what the gospel does, it brings happiness and meaning into people's lives.
Things are going great! I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

Sunday, October 16, 2011

You may wear blue, BUT YOU STILL BLEED RED

Well, let me just start off right.... GO UTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How EPIC was that win?!!?!!? So Saturday night, Sister Burt called me with the update of the first TD by us and how crazy that first play was. Oh goodness how exciting was that!? Then for the rest of the night, she continued to text me with updates of the game. Luckily the game started after 9 so it didn't affect any of my missionary work..... But, then it was time to go to bed and I just sat there in bed because I couldn't sleep. I had to know who won and what the final score was!!!! Finally, I received the final score, and yes... I went to bed VERY happy. I wore my red shirt to church the next day with honor and pride. Sister Burt's entire family came in red. Man, I love this ward. After Sacrament, all of the Ute fans huddled and talked about the highlights of the game... Sister Burt also printed out a play by play for me of the whole game. Awesome. GO UTES!!!!!!!!!!

We had transfers this week, and Sister Halverson and I are both staying here in Oxford. I am happy about staying here because I feel like there is so much I still have to do here. So this is why I am emailing on Wednesday.

This past Saturday T was baptized! It was incredible, as every baptism is. I just loved seeing T make such an important step in his life and knowing that they are going to be an eternal family someday. President Evans interviewed him, and after, he said to us, "By T being baptized, you just baptized an entire family." It is incredible to know that they will be able to be an eternal family and their children and generations to come will be affected by this. So amazing. These two truly do appreciate the gospel with everything they have and know it is the most precious thing to them. Tim is so happy. His father came to watch the baptism, and now the elders are going to teach the rest of Tim's family where they live. I love it, the spirit was so strong, and he couldn't deny it!
The best story of the week that I want to talk about is so great. So.. Lets start from the beginning. We went to see a guy who is less active, and had gone several times, but he was never there. So we continued to go and finally he was home and we were able to meet his wife and sons. His wife is from Thailand and she doesn't speak english pretty much at all. So I told him we would love to come back and teach her english. So then he said, "I know what you are trying to do. Don't think you will get me back to church because it will take someone very special to get me to go back. So don't count on it." I told him we just wanted to help his wife, so he agreed to let us come back. So for about a month now, we have been going over and helping her with her english by reading the gospel pamphlets out loud with her. So, of course we order a Book of Mormon in Thai as well as the pamphlets. We gave them to her, and she began to be very interested in what we were saying. SO... Last week, he calls us, and I answer and he says, "Hey, I just wanted to confirm our appointment tomorrow for you to come over..... GUESS WHAT?!?!?! We have been reading the Book of Mormon together every day and she loves it and.... I think I want to bring her to church this Sunday!!" AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! And yes, I screamed on the phone haha. He said, "Whoa sister cannon, don't reak out, I said I THINK I want to bring her to church, I didn't say we were for sure." So we had a great appointment, she taught us how to make Thai food (which tasted AWESOME!) and she is speaking great! So Sunday comes, and we are waiting as people come in, and in walks this family! I about had a heart attack!!!! I was so excited!! They stayed all of church and really liked it! In Relief Society this lady in the ward who found the church in Japan bore her testimony on how she was so grateful she found the church and she was able to come to America and learn english. I mean are you kidding me? It was perfect for her to hear! SO great, the spirit was so strong. They are going to have their new baby blessed in a couple of weeks and she is working towards joining the church. Seriously, amazing. I was just so happy on Sunday with 2 other investigators there who are also working towards baptism. There is nothing so rewarding as this work. Seeing families work towards being an eternal family is so incredible.

We had a Fiesta with our district and their wards this past weekend and it was really fun! Hence the Spanish picture.

Have a great week! I love you all!

Love, Elizabeth

A wedding on my mission?

Before I get into my email, GO UTES!!!! I walked into church on Sunday, and the second counselor said, "Why aren't you wearing red?" Haha so I instantly knew they had won. I will be getting weekly updates on how they do. The bishop's wife wears red to church when they win and black when they lose. So I will always know. Yep, this ward ROCKS. Let me just say it again.... GO UTES!!!!!! I hope they start playing better though.

So... L's then boyfriend started taking the lessons about a month ago, and now he is getting baptized on the 17th! Yes, this area is BOOMING!! Incredible. And, they are getting married November 11th. So they are now engaged as of last week. Since they don't have much money for a wedding, they were just going to go to a courthouse to get married. Umm... NO! When she told me that I about freaked. I told her she HAD to have a wedding because this only happens once! And the bishop can marry them and it can all be at the ward building for free. So we had dinner at the Lewis' and she is so creative so we started to plan the shower, reception and all that. Its going to be so cute. AND of course she needs wedding pictures done right? Oh how crazy that I did that back home. And how crazy that Sister Lewis has a very nice camera and isn't quite sure how to use it.... I may have found my purpose in being her missionary.... So I am going to borrow Sister Lewis' camera and take their engagements next week. I never thought I would be shooting wedding pictures on my mission. I am definitely excited!!

So we will talk about Sunday. This past week we were so incredibly blessed with so many people to teach and who are so ready to hear the gospel. There aren't words to describe this past week. Just incredible. So Sunday came and so many people came to church that we are teaching! J came, he is a man we have been teaching and everything that could go wrong in his life does. His house was hit by the tornado and then made worse by the hurricane. He is so unhappy in his life, and feels alone. He came to church and LOVED IT! Everyone was so nice to him and he was so happy. He cried when we sang the closing hymn, and he kinda yelled to me while the closing prayer was being said, "You will have to excuse me I am kind of emotional right now." It was adorable. All of the testimonies from sunday were just perfect. It is amazing how people say exactly what our investigators need to hear in their lives. I could go on and on about Sunday because everything just went so perfectly!

We have a baptism this Saturday and her name is S and we have been teaching her since the first day I got here. She is adorable and very excited to be baptized.

We got to go to the fair in S for p-day yesterday and boy are there some crazy people here. It was really fun, and great to go with our district. That was my first time to a fair, and it was quite the experience! That was what all of the pictures were from. We also had a conference in Amherst, and as we were walking, these 4 kids were sitting on the sidewalk and I stopped and said, "What do ya'll play?" So the lead singer kid said, "We can play Three Little Birds by Bob Marley for you!" So of course I get all excited. They played it and I loved it. So I had to get a picture with them. It was great.

I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

Work hard and look good while doing it

So I walked into church yesterday to see Sister Burt wearing black. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! That means the Utes lost. So sad. What a bad way to start the day. But then she told me that BYU lost too so that made me feel better.... I can't believe they are playing each other this weekend. That just isn't right. It should be the last game. Oh well. I sat and talked with Brother Lewis about how the Utes played, and his wife walked by and shook her head when we said we were talking about football. I love this ward!
So Timmy sent me the most LEGIT watch, so of course I wear it to church as well, and this girl comes up to me and says, "I didn't know sister missionaries could look cute." Well, little known fact they sure can! I think one of the reasons I came out on a mission was to prove that sister missionaries don't have to look ugly.
Well, S was baptized on Saturday and it went so well. She is such a sweetheart, and everything ran so perfectly. I always feel the spirit so strongly when they are actually being baptized because I know how important their decision is. This gospel is true and I love it!
SO quick story, this past week we went to teach our investigator, J and as we walked up to the door, he said, "I meant to call you to cancel because I have company over." Well, we didn't take that as a no, so we pretty much walked in and sat down. We were going to teach this lesson! We also had members with us so we didn't want their coming to go to waste. He had a friend there with him so she was pretty much forced to sit in the lesson. We had planned to teach about baptism, but he started talking about his dad's death and how hard it was on him. So of course we talk about what happened to his dad and where he is now. The spirit led us through this lesson, and it went so well. So his friend says, "My cousin just died and I have been wondering if I will see him again." Wow. Obviously she was supposed to be there. So we are going to teach her this week in her home. We also set a date for J to be baptized in October! The work here is just going so well, and I love it!
Have a great week!
Love, Elizabeth

Friday, September 16, 2011

Come on Eileen... I mean Irene!

Yes, hurricane Irene made a MASSIVE stop here in the backeast. That was quite the interesting experience! Natural disaster NUMBER 2!!! What a good time to be serving here in the backeast! All last week, we were receiving texts on what to do to prepare for the hurricane to come. We were told to stock up on water, flashlights, food, gas, etc. The grocery stores were ridiculous! People were freaking out acting like the world is going to end! COME ON PEOPLE! The thing I did notice, was that as we were walking through the grocery store, I had a smile on my face. I thought to myself, I am smiling, why? Its because I know that no matter what happens, whatever natural disaster comes our way, the gospel brings a peace that blocks all of that fear away. I love the gospel and how I felt peace the entire week. John 14:27.
Sunday was intense, there was a lot of rain and wind of course; I have never seen so much rain in my life! But I think we got the easiest part of the storm, we live on the second floor, so we didn't have any flooding either. Our power didn't go out, no windows broke, so we had it pretty easy. I am sure all of you know a lot more than I do about the storm! We don't know much out here with what is going on which is nice I guess.
So on to the exciting news of the past week. We will first start with my companion. When my companion was 2 years old, they found that she had a brain tumor. When they went to remove it, she had a stroke, so she has a hard time moving the left side of her body. As you can imagine, walking isn't some normal thing for her. She only has use in one hand, and everyday things that seem easy for us are not for her. Sister Halverson has never been able to run which is hard because her entire family runs marathons, iron man, any race you can think of. So every morning I go running, and one day Sister Halverson came to me and said, "Sister Cannon, I want to be able to run. I want to say I can run a mile." So, of course I thought this was great, but wondered how we would make it work. We started out slow, running 2 minutes, walking 2 minutes and went from there. So one morning we didn't have much time, so I said, "Lets just see how far you can run without stopping." To my surprise, she ran 15 minutes! Every day from there, she continued to add on to that, and I am proud to say last Wednesday, Sister Halverson ran a mile!!!!!! It was the most exciting day! I felt like a proud parent when she made it to the mile mark from our apartment. I filmed the whole thing and took pictures! (See attached.)
On Saturday, we got a text from an elder saying that he was with a bunch of people from Torrington (my first area) and they were stopping in Oxford for dinner on their way back from the temple! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I got to see the TILLINGHASTS and the ZEINERS from TORRINGTON!!!!! I cannot even tell you how happy I was. My smile was the size of the hurricane. It is amazing to think of these wonderful people I meet on my mission and although I am only with them for a matter of months, they become my family out here. I got to talk with them for a little bit, and I just was so happy. Words cannot express how happy I was talking with them.
I feel like I have so much to say, but this email is already a novel. So I will end with 2 cool spiritual moments this past week. First we will start with L. A family invited us and her over for a family home evening this past week and we taught the lesson on service. I remember having the impression to teach about service, but I didn't really know why. While preparing, nothing was coming to me, and I almost changed the topic, but decided to stick with it, and finally ideas came. So as we were teaching the lesson, it went well, but I didn't feel like it was anything special. As we were driving home, Lauren said to us, "I just loved tonight. That lesson was INCREDIBLE! I was in tears the entire lesson, because it was exactly what I needed to hear. My whole life I have been told not to serve people who don't deserve or appreciate it and here you are telling me that we should serve everyone! I have always agreed with that but wondered why I was taught differently. I love how I can get answers and feel the spirit!" The Lord truly blessed us as we were instruments in His hands.
Last story. So we have been meeting with this less active and the first thing she says to us when we go into her house is, "my sister is trying to shove the church down my throat! I am not going to go back if she keeps doing this! She is pushing me further and further away!" Great. Perfect start to a lesson. We had planned to teach her something, but as we started talking to her and about the death of her son, I was prompted to teach her about the Atonement, and how Christ has gone through everything we go through. The spirit was so incredibly strong, and I could see the wheels turning in her head and how it all made sense. This is what she needed to hear. After the lesson, I felt impressed to ask her if she wanted the spirit back in her life, so I did. She sat there for a minute, and finally, she looked up and said. "Yes, I do." We asked her to come to church and she said yes. It was incredible.
We had many people lined up to come to church yesterday, but because of the hurricane, church was cancelled. LAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had such a great week, too bad it couldn't end with church! Hopefully these people will have the same desire this next week.
SO MUCH IS HAPPENING HERE AND I LOVE IT!!!! We are being so blessed.
Love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

Blasted Mosquitos!!

So we got a call saying a member from the Rhode Island stake wants to know what it is like to go on a mission, so she is coming to spend 4 days with us this week to see what it is like! I think it will be fun, and interesting I guess. It is funny, because every area I have been in, on the second transfer we get a third sister in the mix. It is always fun to be in a trio for a little bit.
Every week we give service at this church that gives food to people who need it, and B comes with her saxophone every week and plays. So, I got on the piano and played the similar hymns we both knew and everyone loved it! It was so cool! Anyway, that is what the picture is of. I found it interesting how many hymns are in our hymn book that were in her hymn book.
So Sister Halverson and I were running one morning and came up to sutton ave and people were lined all across the sides cheering us on. Yes, I was a bit confused, so we ran to the sidewalk and asked this guy what was going on. He said it was the "Pin Mass Race" or something like that and that Lance Armstrong was going to be riding through any minute. Well, I never thought anyone famous would ride through our little town of Oxford! So we sat ourselves down and waited.. and waited... and realized we needed to go get ready so we had to leave... Sad day, but I guess he rode through after we left! Pretty cool stuff.
Lauren is doing amazing! She is still on for this Saturday, and she is so excited to get baptized! She absolutely loves everything about the church and wants to be involved in everything! It is so great when someone is ready for the gospel, the Lord blesses them with hearing it. SHe got together with an old friend and told him about the gospel, and now he is interested! So great!!
So the other night I got a text from Manchester saying that Sister Jacob broke her foot playing speed ball and that she has to go home for surgery. So I tried calling and they didn't answer so I figured they were joking. NOPE! She was at the hospital when I called so there was no service. I found out she was being serious when they stopped at our apartment before transfers and I saw her foot wrapped up in a cast. I instantly started crying haha. It was really hard saying see ya to sister jacob because I wasn't planning on her leaving. It was terrible! It is amazing how close I get to the people I meet out here on my mission. I love the people out here.
Have a great week!
Love, Elizabeth

Ya Lucky Ya Didn't Break Ya Leg!

So we got a call saying a member from the Rhode Island stake wants to know what it is like to go on a mission, so she is coming to spend 4 days with us this week to see what it is like! I think it will be fun, and interesting I guess. It is funny, because every area I have been in, on the second transfer we get a third sister in the mix. It is always fun to be in a trio for a little bit.
Every week we give service at this church that gives food to people who need it, and Br comes with her saxophone every week and plays. So, I got on the piano and played the similar hymns we both knew and everyone loved it! It was so cool! Anyway, that is what the picture is of. I found it interesting how many hymns are in our hymn book that were in her hymn book.
So Sister Halverson and I were running one morning and came up to sutton ave and people were lined all across the sides cheering us on. Yes, I was a bit confused, so we ran to the sidewalk and asked this guy what was going on. He said it was the "Pin Mass Race" or something like that and that Lance Armstrong was going to be riding through any minute. Well, I never thought anyone famous would ride through our little town of Oxford! So we sat ourselves down and waited.. and waited... and realized we needed to go get ready so we had to leave... Sad day, but I guess he rode through after we left! Pretty cool stuff.
L is doing amazing! She is still on for this Saturday, and she is so excited to get baptized! She absolutely loves everything about the church and wants to be involved in everything! It is so great when someone is ready for the gospel, the Lord blesses them with hearing it. SHe got together with an old friend and told him about the gospel, and now he is interested! So great!!
So the other night I got a text from Manchester saying that Sister Jacob broke her foot playing speed ball and that she has to go home for surgery. So I tried calling and they didn't answer so I figured they were joking. NOPE! She was at the hospital when I called so there was no service. I found out she was being serious when they stopped at our apartment before transfers and I saw her foot wrapped up in a cast. I instantly started crying haha. It was really hard saying see ya to sister jacob because I wasn't planning on her leaving. It was terrible! It is amazing how close I get to the people I meet out here on my mission. I love the people out here.
Have a great week!
Love, Elizabeth

She Said I Think I'm Going to Boston!...again

I am still trying to get used to this "switch p-days for transfers" thing. It is funny how many little adjustments happen when a mission is merged. So, as you can tell, p-days are on wednesdays for the last week of the transfer. And, I am staying in Oxford, no surprise there. My companion is also staying, and by the end of this transfer, she will have been in this area for a year. Crazy.
This past week was absolutely incredible. It is amazing how the Lord continues to just pour out blessings in this area and for us.
We will start with Saturday. I was SO BLESSED to be able to go to Boston again and be able to go to the TEMPLE!! It has been almost a year since I have gone, so I seriously was so happy to go! We spent the whole day in Boston, and then ended with a session in the temple. The city was great, we were able to spend it with Sister Allen and Sister Dixon. But the most amazing part was being able to leave the crazy city and go to the temple. The second I walked through the doors, there was an instant peace that came over me. I have had so much on my mind, and to be able to go to the temple and just leave the world behind was incredible. I love the answers that are received in the Lord's home. We were able to see P, a recent convert from CT, receive his endowment and that is amazing to see. Needless to say, I had an INCREDIBLE weekend.
So the coolest story of the week is about L. We received a text last week from a member who went on a business trip and talked with a colleague about the church and she needs to be contacted asap. So we call her and she says, "I want to meet with you soon! I am VERY interested and I will be at church on Sunday!" Wow, when has that ever happened? So Sunday comes and we meet her and she is just so happy to be there. Her eyes were glued to the speaker the entire meeting and she even commented in class. After church, she said how much she loved it, and can't wait to meet with us the next day. So we met with her monday, and she knew EVERYTHING. When she was on this business trip, a bunch of byu students were there and someone asked them why they believe what they believe and this overwhelming feeling came over her and she didn't know what it was. So she told him what had happened and how she had felt so lost lately and didn't know what her purpose in life is. So he taught her for the next ten days about everything. She prayed about it, and received her answer that it was true. So we reviewed the first lesson with her and she loves it. She told us she wants to get baptized on the 20th of august. Done and Done! It is amazing how the Lord has a plan for each person, and I get to see that out here. She is so happy and is so grateful that she has found the truth. I love it!
Last thing, ever since P baptism she has had no problem taking off her prosthetic leg. How interesting. BUT, her actual leg was hurting, and V looked at it to see it was all black and had a huge cut in it. So they took her to the doctor to see what was wrong, and the doctor seemed extremely worried and told V if it got worse by Monday to bring her in immediately. So that was Saturday, and on Sunday, she received the Holy Ghost and a blessing. That night, they went to look at her leg and it was white as snow, and the pain was gone. It has been incredible to see the faith of their family and since her blessing of being healed and her baptism, the Lord has kept His promise and done just that. I love this gospel and the truthfulness of it!
Have a great week!
Love, Elizabeth

Monday, August 15, 2011

Does anyone know how to fix a prosthetic leg?

SO GUESS WHAT??? My mission president is a Sigma Chi!!!!!!! Yep, he became so much cooler. We had interviews this past week and once I found that out, it just made my day! We are also related because he has Cannons in his family. Lucky him! He told me I was his favorite missionary. We are like family! He also went to east high, dad do you know him? William Evans?
So I really think that D&C 84:114 is coming to pass considering we keep having tornado warnings in my area. Boston is going to be destroyed and I will be in the middle of it! We drove by all of the damage the other day and it is so sad to see the destruction. People need to be humble and realize they need God in their lives! I wish it made the gospel more readily heard, but people still won't accept it. It is so sad. I am guessing the tornados will still keep coming until people do start to listen.
And we will end with the most interesting story... P's baptism. So, some background knowledge, Phyllis has a prosthetic leg, so she was worried about being baptized and not getting her leg wet. We all assured her that everything would be ok and that the leg would not get wet. HA! Good one. So the meeting went so well, she was crying during the entire thing because she was so happy to be baptized. She saw everyone that came and was so grateful that so many people loved her. It was such an amazing experience to see her so happy. Although she is in her 70's, she is so excited to start her new life. She was just so incredibly happy. That is what the gospel brings, true happiness. ANYWAY, so we walk with her to the font, and she and her daughter in law, Verena go in the bathroom to be baptized and several minutes go by. Then, Verena opens the door and waves me in. I go in and she says to me, "Her prosthetic leg broke! The device that takes it off broke and we can't get her leg off!" I look over and her son is pretty much trying to yank off the leg, and I was sure he would have broken it off to get her in the water. So finally, V says, lets say a prayer. By this time, a member in the bishopbric had come in and he offered the prayer. Although it was stressful, I knew everything was going to work out and the prayer brought peace to all of us. So after the prayer, we thought of an idea of covering the leg with a plastic bag and taping it so it wouldn't get wet. So, I went to get all of the supplies and I bring it back. Then, the idea was brought up to try a hanger. So, they bent the hanger and put it in the hole, and it popped off the leg. YES!!! So after about 20 minutes of waiting, the leg came off. Prayers are ALWAYS answered! P kept saying, "I can't believe after so many years of a working leg, it breaks NOW!" V told her it was because this was such an important ordinance that something like this would happen. So, P's son, A carried her into the water and Phyllis became terrified of going under the water. A tried to baptize her, but she kept her arms out because she was so scared and kept holding on to A. So he told her she had to put her arms down and she said, "A I am scared!" Right then, K, her granddaughter said, "It is ok grammy! We are right here with you! You don't need to be scared!" It is amazing the peace that instantly came over P, and she said, "ok." She crossed her arms, and was easily baptized. Children have such incredible faith. I loved it. Such an amazing experience to see. Other than that, everything went perfect with the baptism! Oh I forgot to say, after the first time she was dunked, she pulled the cross and looked up to heaven. Elder Ficklin said that is why it didn't work the first time... haha pretty funny. That was great.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Elizabeth

Mishamaries, my grammy's getting baptatized!

So P's granddaughters call us mishaMaries, and it is the funniest thing. They also say bapTAtized, and that cracks me up as well. One of them will always randomly come up to me and kiss me on the arm and walk away. Lessons with P are quite entertaining, let me tell you.
Speaking of P, she is doing so great! Ever since she made the decision to be baptized, she has been going full force! She wants us to teach all of her sisters and everyone else in the family. I love it. It is amazing how happy we become and how we want to share the gospel with everyone when we feel the spirit and see how much happiness it brings us.
We have been blessed with many opportunities with teaching people who aren't as active in the church and it has been really neat. These people feel the spirit again and remember how happy it made them. So great.
The ward had a pioneer day party and it was a blast! It has been great to get to know the ward members better.
Hope all is well! Love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

Keep Calm and Carry On

I just love my mission. Just when I think things can't get any better, they do.
So we will start with something LEGIT! So we went to dinner at the bishop's home and his wife says to me, "So Sister Cannon, I hear you aren't a typical Utah missionary..." So I respond with RED pride, "Yes, I am a University of Utah fan!" Her reaction is what made me so happy... "YES!!! FINALLY! I AM SO HAPPY! GO UTES!!!!" Yes, the bishop and his wife are Utah fans as well as the second counselor in the bishopbric and his family. I have a feeling we are going to get along very very well....
So back in February in my last area, we ran into this guy and talked to him about the gospel. He was very eager to learn more and even called us to set something up. We played phone tag and kept missing each other and then he never called us back. So this past week over 3 days he kept coming to my mind. Everyday I kept having a feeling to call Manchester and tell them to call him. Finally, I don't know why I waited for 3 days, I called them and told them to call him. So they did and he said he had been thinking about calling us and wants to learn more. What a blessing. It is always very humbling when things like that happen.
We went to visit some less active people and no one was answering. No one answers their doors in Mass, its so annoying! Anyway, we had gone on a roll with no one answering their doors. So before the next home I really prayed, well more like pleaded for them to be home. I got out of the car and was determined to talk to someone about the gospel! So we walk up to the home, and there this couple was sitting on their lawn chairs enjoying the beautiful weather. So I introduced myself and said I was new and wanted to meet all of the members. Its a funny technique but its been working. Anyway, they were so nice and introduced themselves and started talking about their lives. You don't find friendly people from the getgo out here so I knew they weren't from Mass. Turns out they weren't from here, but they pulled up a chair and we started talking more. I asked them how they found the church and they told us they hadn't been active for like 25 years and they had found the church when they were in the military. They loved the church but felt guilty when they weren't obeying every rule so they just stopped going. So I asked them if they still prayed and he said he did and he always thanks God every day for his many blessings. I was then prompted to ask him why he feels he can't ask the Lord for things in his life, so I asked. He then teared up and the spirit became so powerful as he told us about his life and how he isn't doing the things the Lord wants him to do so the Lord is angry with him. I talked with him about God's love and him and his wife both started crying. The spirit is such a powerful tool! I can't teach without it! I am so grateful for the spirit, because it leads me to do what needs to be done. They invited us back this week, so I am pumped for that!
Last story. So my comp has been in this area for 10 months and has been working with one of the member's mom for that whole time. In fact, they have wanted her to be baptized for 10 years now. She goes every Sunday but doesn't want to be baptized because she is Catholic. So we get a call from her son yesterday and he says, "My mom wants to be baptized!" We were both SHOCKED!! So last week she received a blessing because she has been sick and in the blessing, he said that she knew the gospel was true and if she were to be baptized soon, she would be healed. She took time to think about it and pray about it because it meant a lot if she were to be baptized, so she went up to her son and said, "It is time. I am ready to be baptized." AMAZING! The power of the Priesthood is incredible! She needed to feel the spirit to be truly converted and she did. She received her answer! I am so grateful I am in this area to be able to experience that. So cool.
I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

Nothing like a walmart greeter to make you feel empowered...

Well, the area of Oxford is great, one reason to celebrate is that the shudders on the apartment building I live in are bright pink. I thought it was quite fitting. It also brightens my spirits before I enter our un-airconditioned apartment. It helps us stay out of the apartment as much as possible.
Yesterday we had 4 baptisms of a family we have been teaching. Obviously I didn't do too much considering I have only been here for about 2 weeks, but it was exciting nonetheless. I love seeing families saved through the gospel. The dad of the family is not converted to the gospel yet, but I believe soon enough he will allow us to teach him about true happiness.
We have started to teach this sweet little girl named S and she is the definition of 3 Nephi 9:22. Her parents were inactive for a while but her father has started to come back and so has she. We set a date for July 31st so we are excited for that! Her dad is such a great guy. We were teaching her the plan of salvation and she wasn't quite understanding Adam and Eve, so her dad says, "S, remember in the Simpson's episode where Homer is Adam and Marge is Eve?" She told us every detail of the Adam and Eve story because of that episode. Who knew the Simpsons would be involved in our teaching lessons. Her mom isn't too interested in coming back to church, but she is such a great person. I really enjoy talking with her. She told me to not waste my time because she is a lost cause. That was not cool! I said, "YOU ARE NOT A LOST CAUSE! DON'T EVER SAY THAT." She probably thought I was crazy, but I think she likes my spasticness. I love meeting these people and helping them realize the love the Lord has for us. This work is so great!
Work is going to pick up in Oxford soon enough! It already has made huge changes since I have gotten here. I love you all, have a great week!
Love, Elizabeth

Boston on the 4th of July

Well, I suppose I will start out with the BEST news!
So since I am in Massachusetts now, we were allowed to go to Boston to watch the Fireworks for the 4th of July! How LEGIT is that?! So we left early in the morning and got into Boston and spent the whole day there. We started in Cambridge and of course visited Harvard. I love that place. So we are walking in Harvard Square, and this guy walks past us and a couple elders and I stop and look at each other and say, "do you know who that was?" So Elder Ficklin and I go running across the street after him and guess who it was???? RYAN FROM THE OFFICE!!!!! So this is the conversation...
Elder Ficklin: Excuse me sir? Sir?
Ryan: (Turns around after many 'sirs') Hey thanks for calling me sir, it makes me look good in front of the ladies.
E F: Hey we just wanted to thank you for what you do,we love the office.
Ryan: Hey ya, so where are you from?
Us: Utah, Idaho
Ryan: That is awesome, there is no better place to be on the 4th, where are you guys sitting?
Us: The Cambridge side
Ryan: Cool, I am too, maybe we will see you there!
Me: Thank you thank you!! (Don't ask me why I said thank you, he didn't even do anything, I was just FREAKING OUT!!!!!!)
We ran away jumping and smiling so big! The rest of our group just sat and watched the whole thing and took pictures from a distance. SO AWESOME!!!!
Anyway, we spent the rest of the day just seeing the city and having a blast. It was so fun to spend the day there. There was a ward that camped out right in the front and they had saved a spot for us missionaries so we got to sit in such good seats! The second we got there,they all asked us, if we wanted food or snacks or anything. The wards out here treat missionaries like gold! There were a couple people from Sandy too! They went to Brighton and were in Alex's grade. Pretty funny.
A couple of us were walking around and found a tennis court with people playing on it. One of the Elders in my district played first singles in high school so I turned to Elder Ficklin and said, "Maybe you should go ask them if we can borrow their racquets and play for a little bit." TOTALLY JUST KIDDING. So of course he goes and starts talking to them, they nod and stop playing and he comes back to us and says, "Hey I just told them that you two want to challenge them to a match. No pressure, you better not lose." My heart dropped. I haven't played in forever! So we go in and introduce ourselves and of course the church. They all said they were going to utah in the enxt couple weeks and wanted to see the temple. So we start playing them and while we are playing, Elder Ficklin teaches this other guy that was with them but sitting out the first lesson. He loved it and can't wait to see slc. I don't think it was a coincidence that all of this happened. I love how the Lord works. Oh, and we won the match by the way. They asked if we were professional hahah obviously they don't play much to think we were pro. But I did play very well considering i haven't played in a year. It was so legit!
Needless to say, the fireworks were incredible and the Sonic Boom at the end blew me away. What an EPIC pday.
I am grateful for this country because if we weren't a free country, Joseph Smith wouldn't have been able to restore the true church. What a great holiday to celebrate our country and religious freedom.