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!