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.

The Masseticut, Bosford Mission

Well, as of tomorrow, we will be the Masseticut, Bosford Mission. I bet none of you can say that cool name! But really, tomorrow is the merge, and I am getting transferred to Oxford, Massachusetts. We had p-day today to prepare for transfers rather than Monday. That was a strange experience! But that is the reason this email is so late.

Last Saturday was G's Baptism and of course it went perfectly! The water wasn't warming up and it reminded me of my baptism when the water heater was broken. G of course didn't mind because he was just so happy to be getting baptized. I remember myself on the other hand who cried because it was so cold and hated it. Quite the comparison, right? Anyway, the ward was extremely supportive, and there were many people there. The ward has done so well with fellowshipping him and making him feel part of the family. After his baptism, he bore his testimony, and it was incredible. He looked so happy! It is just amazing to see how the gospel changes people's lives and brings them HAPPINESS. The theme that everyone seemed to present at the baptism was the love that Heavenly Father has for us. Sister Gilmore talked about how there are 14, 486,767 members of the church and now he makes 768. She related this to the fact that he is a number, because God knows him individually and knows him and is proud of the decisions he is making. I loved that analogy.

In Sacrament on Sunday, they asked me to share my testimony because I was leaving and it is amazing how my testimony has grown so much of the Savior and His Atonement. To repent means to have a change of heart. I have learned that it can not only make bad people good, but good people better. I love the knowledge I have gained and the comfort it has brought me.

In relief society, a member of our ward came up to Sister Jacob and I and said this, "I just want you two to know that you made a difference in my life that you may not know of. Before you two came to my house when I was less active, no members of the church had come into my house. Ever since then, you have opened opportunities for other members to come into my home and my husband has been more open to it. You have made a difference in my life." It is interesting to hear stories like this where we had no idea we did anything, but it made an impact just to go and see her.

I am not going to lie, I am so sad to leave this ward. They have been so incredible and supportive of us. I have been here for almost 6 months so it is crazy to leave here. There is so much work to be done here, I hate leaving it undone. But, I am so happy with the work that we have done, and I know Sister Jacob will do amazing.

So some VERY good news! P (who was baptized in April) passed the sacrament!!! I was so excited! It is probably pretty hilarious seeing me when people progress in the gospel because I slightly freak out as much as I can in Sacrament Meeting. He has progressed so much and is doing so well! Him and T are working to go to the temple together and be sealed. I am just so proud of them and am so excited that the gospel is going to make their family eternal. We went to see them for my last time and it is always hard leaving these people we grow so attached to. They have become some of our closest friends out here in Manchester. It is good to know I will see them again as well as everyone else in the ward.

I love you all! Have a great week!


Connecticut, Hartford Mission

Well, this next week is my last week as the Connecticut Hartford Mission. We had our last mission conference this past week and it was sad! Right now there are only 65 people in the mission, so we all know each other really well and are all great friends! After the merge, there will be close to 200 of us. Quite the change. No more special treatment for us with special trainings or conferences! We have been very spoiled, that is for sure! It will be different, but it will be exciting. President and Sister Pehrson have been so incredible. They have taught me so much and I am going to miss them.
So during the conference, President would randomly pick on people to give a 5 minute talk on the topic he assigned. He would pick 3 people, sing a song, then they would speak, then he would pick 3 more people, we would sing, they would speak. He did about 3 rounds of that. Anyway, he gets up on his third round, and asks me to get up and talk about what Moroni 10:32-33 mean to me. So I open my scriptures and the first line of 32 says, "Yea, come unto Christ and be perfected in Him..." President has been talking to me about not being such a perfectionist and chilling out. So of course he gives me these scriptures about how we can be perfected in Christ. I got up and said, "Very funny President." He just smiled. As I thought about what I needed to learn from this scripture, I thought about 3 Nephi 9:22 where it talks about becoming as a little child and told of a couple of experiences and even related Abby a couple of times. This turned out very well, but then as I was talking, I looked at the last line of vs. 33 where it says, "that ye become holy, without spot." I stopped and read over it again as it hit me powerfully in a way I wasn't expecting. It was then I knew what I was supposed to learn from this situation. To be truly perfect is to be holy and without sin. That is all that matters. It doesn't matter if I look perfect to the world or do everything people see perfectly, it only matters that I am continually changing and becoming more like our Heavenly Father. My relationship with Him is all that matters. If I continually repent and have a change of heart, it is then I can strive to be perfect in His eyes. It makes sense in my head, and I had a really neat experience I was not expecting to have. I later thanked President because I know he was led by the Spirit to have me recognize something I needed to learn.

Well, I am going to start off with Sunday, probably one of the best days on my mission. I say this because we were more blessed than I have ever seen so far on my mission. As we were thinking about who was going to come to church yesterday out of all the people we were teaching, we were thinking maybe 2 or 3 people would come. Nope, not just the two people showed up, but every single person we are teaching besides 1 person came to church. I was completely shocked! As we sat in sacrament with all of these people around me that we are teaching, tears came to my eyes as I thought of how the Lord just continues to bless us. I don't know how we deserved this, but it was amazing. Our sacrament meeting was packed! It was just amazing.

Well, just as I am sitting here emailing, this kid comes and sits by me and says, "Hey I remember you! You told me to go to once!" Haha so I start talking to him and he said he went to the website and he wants to go to church with his family, but they don't go. He wanted a Book of Mormon, so I gave him one and talked to him about it. As I am talking to him, the lady that is sitting next to Sister Jacob says, "Where is your church located?" So Sister Jacob just started talking to her and she is interested. WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I am sure you are all wanting to hear about G. So G came to our Book of Mormon class we teach, and we were discussing the story of Alma the Younger and his conversion. So he raises his hand, and says, "I have gone through this same situation that he is talking about in vs. 28-32 (ch. 27 of mosiah). When you taught me how to repent and told me to repent, I spent many days in prayer repenting for the things I have done wrong. These past couple days, I have been able to thank the Lord for what He did for me so that I could repent and that I have found the gospel!" Wow.. I had the biggest smile on my face. He isn't even baptized yet and he is relatiing the scriptures to his own life! He is incredible! On Friday was his interview and he passed, of course! He is just so excited. He wanted to take some time to think about his program for the baptism because it is a very important decision. His whole family is coming as well! Yesterday in Sunday School, we were talking about the Priesthood and how missionaries are called to specific places for a reason, and he said, "I know that they were called here at a specific time as well. If they would have come to me 10 years ago, I wouldn't have been ready. But I had to be prepared and humbled to know the truth, and when I needed them most in my life, they just showed up!" I know the Lord puts us where we need to be. I just can't even imagine if we wouldn't have stopped him that day when he was running across the street and we somewhat chased after him. Haha that was funny, but goodness the Lord is just pouring his blessings upon us.

T and her family are doing so well! Now they ask us how the Lord blessed us that day rather than us asking them. They have progressed so much just by praying as a family every night and sharing a thought. I have such a strong testimony of that now, because I know it brings love and peace into a home. They came to church and loved it. T can't imagine not going now. I just love it out here! The work is so great and there is so much to do!

One last story. We have been teaching this lady who is less active and she still teaches her kids from the Book of Mormon she is just nervous to come to church. She is so wonderful, but is hesitant about church. So her neice and nephew from Florida came to visit and they are active and sat in on our lesson with her. So then yesterday, the niece calls her and says, "Lets go to church!" So she got her aunt to go to church and she LOVED it! Her kids loved it too! So all because her niece got her to come to church, now she feels great about it. The power the youth have is incredible out here.

Well, I could go on and on, but I am out of time. But I love you all! Keep praying and studying the scriptures! AND GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!! I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth