The other day this lady says to us, "You three look like Charlie's Angels!!" A few days later, a guy in our ward says, "You three look like Charlie's Angels, but that isn't very fitting, so what is your mission president's name? We will change it to Evan's Angels!"
So the nickname has stuck. Now everyone in our building and some of the ward members do it. Kinda funny, but we don't go around killing people. We try to do the opposite.
Yesterday was Juan's baptism and it went so well. He was glowing and so many of the ward members supported him. The ward is so great with support out here.
It was Sister Irizarry and my last Sunday and it was a neat day. SO many wonderful testimonies were given and the Spirit was strong. I love this ward so much, they have become my family.
On Friday we received a call from a guy named Mike that we had been teaching a month ago, but he stopped answering our calls. So when I picked up the phone to see he was calling, I was surprised. I answered and he seemed surprised that it was me. He then told me he didn't mean to call me but that he felt it didn't happen for no reason so he decided to meet with us. So we met with him the next day at a Papa Gino's and had an incredible lesson. He said he made some bad decisions and knows he needs to come closer to Christ. We felt we needed to comitt him to baptism right there so we did. He was hesitant so we asked him to pray right then and there if he should be baptized. He said that he hadn't been feeling the spirit because it was so hot in the restaurant and he feels it when he gets goosebumps. So he prays right there and he ends and says, "It is hotter than HECK (modified) in here and I still got goosebumps. I need to be baptized. I like the number 22, how about march 22?"
Well, yesterday we were sitting in a cafe having some hot chocolate and we get a call from the mission office. I answer it and they say that Sister Irizarry got her visa and she is going to Ukraine next Tuesday. It was quite shocking, because we didn't think she would be leaving this soon. It was sad, but exciting for her because she finally gets to go to her mission. It has been a blast while she has been here. I have even learned to pray in Ukranian, that is pretty cool.
This past week at the last minute we got permission to go to the temple with Angela for her first time!! It was incredible. My smile was huge as she was so happy to be in the temple. It was such an incredible blessing to see her whole progression. And guess what?!?! She decided she wants to serve a mission!!!!! How cool is that? It has been such a blessing to see her grow. I have been so blessed to have her in my life.
Last night I was feeling really lousy and we had one last appointment to go to. I felt so sick, and we decided to take me home because I just didn't feel well at all. We still had one last appointment that we were going to cancel. But then, I did not feel right about not going over, so we did. It was with this wonderful family that has been struggling, and it was the most powerful lesson I have ever been a part of. The Spirit was incredible and so many wonderful things happened that I cannot even begin to explain. It was without words. But I do know that the Lord loves us individually and we are always worthy to pray to Heavenly Father no matter what happens because He loves us.
Last week we made it to nordies and I found the perfect shoes but I wanted ot wait until i got the outfit to make sure they were right. So we told Vaughn we would be back the next week to buy them. We went back yesterday and went straight to Vaughn and he went to grab the shoes. He came back out with sadness and said they were out of my size.
I cried. Quote from my comp, "She won't cry when she shares her testimony but she will cry over shoes. The rock is crying."
So I had to find another pair, and was distraught, and then about 15 minutes later he comes out with some shoes and says,"I was looking in the wrong place, and found the shoes you wanted.
I may have cried again.
I love these shoes, hopefully I don't fall in front of everyone.
Another week is gone. It is so crazy how quickly these weeks are just flying by. They are so much fun and so many great things are happening; so crazy.
So, there has been no snow here. It is absolutely crazy from last winter, because by last winter we had 70+ inches of snow by now!! This year we have had 5. I really think it was because I prayed for no snow.....
This past week I hit my 18 months mark on the 18th! Golden birthday... Anyway, I burned a pair of tights... That was exciting!
We made stamps this past week with the Wrubel family, and mine were 2 feet... It is for a quote I like... BE WHERE YOUR FEET ARE.
For Valentine's Day we had dinner at a member's home. Her son was really upset that it was Valentine's Day. He said he hated it because he doesn't have a Valentine and never has had one. So I said, "Will you be my Valentine?" His face got red and he smiled. "Yes." Then the rest of the night he wouldn't leave my side. Ha that was funny.
We are teaching this new family the gospel, and the mom is less active. Her husband and step children are not members, so she wanted them to hear the gospel. He mostly wants his kids to be baptized, he doesn't really care what church it is in. So we have been teaching his daughter because the son didn't really want to participate at first. The lessons have been going so well with her, but we have been trying to get the whole family involved.
We decided on Saturday that we wanted to do another Flicker-Tan (pray for an hour straight about the area while fasting), so we started our fast and prayed on Sunday morning before church. It was so neat, of course and went well. We headed to church and the first person we talk to is the mother of this family. She said that her husband decided to ask the son if he wanted to hear the lessons, and he said, "Sure, I have been listening from upstairs actually." It was incredible. So now we are going to be teaching the whole family!
Later at church, about 4 people came up to us telling us they had people they want us to teach. One after another, and all of us would just look at each other every time and smile. Heavenly Father listens to us! He answers our prayers!!
Last night after our dinner appointment, we had plans to go see some people. I had a prompting to go see if a former investigator was home, so we went there instead. I have been going to his house for almost 8 months now trying to find him home and have had no luck. Last night we went, and he was home and wants us to come back to teach him again. He said he loves our church and felt something so powerful when he went.
I am so grateful for these experiences I continue to have. They are wonderful.
I can't decide that the amount of fun that my companions and I are having is a good or a bad thing. We are working hard, so I am going to go with a good thing. I am having so much fun with them right now, and we are constantly teaching, so I am doing pretty well. What a great time to be serving a mission. We have been incredibly blessed, as usual, and I just love it here.
This past week was exciting!! I received a call from my zone leaders asking if we wanted to do exchanges with the Manchester Sisters. OF COURSE!!!!! I was blessed to be able to go back to my old area and serve there for a day! I can't even tell you how excited I was to be able to see all of the wonderful people in my last area. I didn't tell anyone I was coming, so everyone we went and saw were so shocked/surprised/excited to see me! I think I was more excited to see all of them. It was neat to go back and see how everyone that I taught is doing. Gordon is doing incredibly well, as I knew he would be. We went to Brenda's home, a less active we were working with, and she about had a heart attack when she saw me. That was very fun. The lesson was on something we had taught her a year ago, and she said I had taught her something last year that meant so much and stuck with her, and here we are a year later talking about that same thing. It was cool. We talked about the temple being announced (The Connecticut Temple will be built in Farmington!!!!!!) and I told her she needed to be there and that is where Heavenly Father wanted her to be. She knew that and said she was going to come back to church!!!! She finally committed to come back! It was neat, and I loved seeing her again.
That morning, we were leaving for appointments, and we were running a few minutes late. As we were pulling away, I saw the mail truck drive into the parking lot!!!! I jumped out of the car to see good ol' Troy, my mailman!! Here is our conversation...
Troy: Sister Cannon, what are you doing here?
Me: I am on exchanges for the day. You have missed all of my crazy packages haven't you?
T: Ya, they don't get ones like you used to get.
Me: Have you read that book we gave you?
T: No, but it is sitting right here in my truck! My friend took my truck one day to deliver the mail, and he said, "I read your book on my break, it was good!" So I am letting other people read it!
Me: That is good, but you need to read it!
T: I know, I know, I will.
Me: Well how are you doing?
T: Pretty good. My 15 year old is being rebellious and I don't know what to do.
Me: Well in that book it starts with a father and his sons are very rebellious, they even try to kill their brother! But it talks about what we can do to raise our children.
T: What chapter is that in?
Me: Its in the beginning, so just read it and you will find it!
T: Ok I will!
It pays off to be nice to your mailmen. I always told him that he was most loved by missionaries because he brought happiness when he brings us letters. So be nice to your mailmen!! I love how the timing was perfect, because if we would have left any earlier, we would have missed him!
As we were leaving Manchester, I told Sister Caldwell that she needed to go see this lady named Sandy that we had found street contacting, because I felt that they needed to see her. The next day, she texted us and said they went to Sandy's home, taught her a first lesson, and had a return appointment! They said she is very interested. I love seeing how Heavenly Father plans everything just perfectly. I was blessed this past week, that is for sure.
We got to go to Boston yesterday and it was a blast!! We met up with Virginia Willliams and went to lunch and shopped. I just love the city. I don't think I have served there because I would have too much fun looking at all of the clothes in windows rather than talking to people. We went early and watched the sunrise on the coast!! It was a morning to remember.
The other night, we were at a member's home for dinner, and they asked me about my plans for home. Suddenly, their 14 year old son turns around and says, "Wait, you are single?" I nodded yes and laughed and he said, "YES! NOW'S MY CHANCE!!!!" Haha I died laughing. I have a 14 year old admirer.
One of my comps started driving this past week to get used to the area before I leave. She is not used to the New England roads that are about the size of one and a half cars and hit a mailbox this past week. Thought I was gonna die. She needs a little bit more practice...
There is a famous artist in our ward, and she had us over today to paint, and I sent a picture of what I painted. It is really spastic haha. We also found this huge chair that we climbed on top of. It was hard in skirts but really fun.
We taught Karen this past week, and she has been trying to stop smoking for a while now but has been struggling. So we met with her, and she said it wasn't going too well. We talked to her about how many blessings she would receive if she were to stop smoking. Then, my companion talked about how as missionaries, we aren't capable of doing this work without the Lord. It is the same with quitting smoking. She cannot do it by herself. The Spirit was incredibly strong, and she started to cry and said she would quit. Brother Yaede came over and gave her a blessing and she is doing great!!
We have been working with a family with coming back to church, and some of the most incredible miracles have happened. So many experiences have gone on in their home that are too special to write about. Heavenly Father wants their family back, and we have been blessed to be His instruments to bring them back. Yesterday, they walked into church, and I don't think I have been happier than seeing them there. Heavenly Father loves each of us individually, and cares about us. It is incredible to see His love for His children.
Well, we had transfers on Thursday, and all of the trainers and new missionaries all go into a room. Everyone stands up, introduces themselves and tells something they love to do. So a Sister stands up and says she loves to run, and the Sisters on either side of me lean over and say, "You are totally going to get the runner." I sure hoped so! Sure enough, I got the runner, and she is adorable.
On the drive home, I of course ask her all of the questions that need to be asked and start with, "So... Where did you go to college?" We need to find out right off if she bleeds red. She then said the most beautiful words..."I went to University of Utah! I am a Utes fan!" WHAT?!?! Woo woo!! Turns out, we are the same age and went to the U. So then I asked her what she did for the social aspect in school and she responds with..."Well, I was actually in a sorority at the U." WHAT!!!!!!!:???????!?!?!?!?!?!? I am sure you can all imagine that I freaked. I was so excited!! Turns out she was in my same pledge class but was an Alpha Chi. She is adorable. We know all of the same people, and were at all of the same things, just never knew each other by name. How funny is that? Its so cool to see how inspired President Evans is. She is just like me in so many ways and has the same thoughts that I did when I first got out here. It has been so fun! We are twins on literally everything. This last transfer is going to rock.
We were able to go to Boston with some other missionaries and it was a blast! I love Boston, it is always so fun going up there.
This past week was a bit crazy, but it went well. Jennifer and Angela are doing so well! We set a date for March 4th with Juan to get baptized because there are so many other things going on until then with him and his family. But he is more excited than ever and cannot wait to be baptized. He is always the first one ready every Sunday and loves reading, praying and going to church. We are so blessed with these people who want the gospel!!
A member called us and said that she waas helping her daughter move into a new home and her friend was there helping her move. He was talking to her about how he had just made huge changes in his life and wanted to come closer to Christ. She bore testimony of our church and the prophet we have on the earth today and he felt the Spirit so strongly. So of course he wanted to meet with us and know what we have that is different. So we met wtih him, and the lesson was incredible. Heavenly Father prepares people so perfectly to hear about the gospel, I love it.
Wow, of course we have another incredible week full of complete miracles. Seriously, day after day just gets better. I love it out here, and I think we are receiving so many blessings because Sister Williams needs to experience it all in her first little while. I remember it was this same way when I trained Sister Allen. No room to complain, things are absolutely incredible.
I had quite the surprising morning! I received a call telling me that I am going to be getting another greenie and going to be training my last transfer. This means I will be training a new sister and Sister Williams. This is going to be tricky because I have to train both of them on two separate things. Then, once I leave, Sister Williams will finish training this new missionary on her last 6 weeks of training. We will see how this works out. It was quite the shocker! I had no idea this would happen, but it will be fun and interesting all at the same time. We will see what she is like. I am just grateful that I get to stay here in Oxford for my last transfer and Sister Williams gets to stay.
Well, very exciting news, Jennifer was baptized!! It was such a wonderful day, and this week was incredibly spiritual for her. Every day she would text us with a count down of days until she was baptized. She loves the gospel so much, and the gospel will bless her life as well as her son's.
There is a family in the ward that kind of adopted their son's friend into their family. He has been coming to church and had been taught before by missionaries, but lost interest. Last week, he came to us and said he wanted to be taught the lessons again. We went over this past week to teach him, and felt prompted to teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So we did, and by the end of the lesson, we asked him to be baptized and he responded with a quick YES!! It was awesome! He just has to have his legal guardian sign for him and he can get baptized! He stayed for the baptism yesterday and had his whole program planned by the end for his own baptism. He is very excited.
We have had so many more teaching opportunities, and it is wonderful to see how Heavenly Father prepares these people to come closer to Christ.
Well, this past week, we moved Ann out of her apartment with some of the men in the ward. We moved her into her new apartment, and it went well! Ann told her friend we are just as strong as men are.... We don't work, we work out... Anyway, we left and came back later to check on her and see how she was doing with moving everything. She opens the door and says, "I'M GONNA KILL YOU GIRLS!! YOU DIDN'T PACK MY COFFEE POT!" Oops... She told her friend that we did it on purpose because we don't want her drinking coffee... We really did forget it, but I think there is a reason we forgot it. I told her its about time she stops drinking coffee and she doesn't even need to unpack the coffee filters that I had packed. She didn't like that too much...
We had so many incredible experiences this past week. Such an amazing week!! I wish I could write everything that happened, but I don't have time. So I will just tell about what happened with Jennifer...
Jennifer has been doing incredibly well. She studies hard and has been so excited for her baptism date. Well, this past week, Satan was working really hard on her and it started to tear her down. She kept cancelling and saying she didn't know what she believed anymore. We tried to meet with her, but she was never there. So, we decided to fast for her. Sunday morning she tells us she isn't coming to church because of many things. So we decided we were going to drive to her house and get her out of the house to go to church. We knew she needed to go and that she would feel so much better if she went. So we called her ride, and he headed over to her house and talked to her. She said she didn't want to go, and then he said, "Jennifer, the Sisters are on their way to get you to church and they won't stop until you get there. There is nothing I can do to stop them." Jennifer sat there for a second, and said, "I'll be ready soon." YES!!! Brother Yaede called and said, "Don't waste your miles, she is coming to church." We instantly got to our knees and thanked Heavenly Father for blessing us so much. I have such a strong testimony of fasting. He knows how important it is to us, and so He blesses us. She came to church and literally every lesson or talk that was given addressed one of her concerns. In her words, "It was like the entire day of church was speaking just to me!" Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. We had a lesson with her today, and she is incredibly excited for her baptism, because she knows He cares and she is doing the right thing. We were teaching her, and in walks her mom, sits down, and starts listening. She participated in the entire lesson, and Jennifer said, "Mom, you need to be a part of this. We can all do this together. You need to be there with us." Her mom said she would come to the baptism. Seriously, things just keep getting better and better here. Simply incredible. We are so blessed.
My companion is amazing. She works so hard and loves it out here. Things are going great!! I Love you all!! Have a wonderful week!!
Well, this past week we were meeting with Ann and she is moving, so we were helping her pack up. I accidently packed her coffee filters, and she was NOT happy about that. I said, "Well, Ann I guess you will just have to go without coffee until Friday! Do you want me to pack your coffee pot as well?" She looked at me and said, "I'll break your little fingers off!" Haha I love these old ladies out here. Classic.
Angela received the Holy Ghost yesterday and it went so well. In her blessing, it said that her family would see her good example and follow it and be happy in their lives because they found the true gospel. It also said many other things about her family, and that is something she has been struggling with. It made her so happy, and we were grateful for the revelation she received. We have been praying for her brother to soften his heart, and our prayers are defiinitely being answered. Angela loves having the Holy Ghost and says she feels more confident and happy. We are so blessed to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
We taught Jennifer twice this past week, and one of the lessons was the Plan of Salvation. I have never seen someone more excited to learn about God's plan for us than she was. As we taught this lesson, I could see the light in her eyes as she realized why she is here and where she is going. Absolutely incredible. She looked at us and said, "I have been wondering these questions my entire life. I am so happy to finally know! Seriously, this is amazing!!" She came to church and loved it. Her son came out of primary and said, "THAT WAS AWESOME!!" We are being so blessed here.
We continue to do the Lord's work, and He continually guides us to where He wants us to be. I love doing His work.
When I found out my new companion was from the U.S., I was sad to think that she wouldn't randomly spazz out at all of the different things here in America like Sister Takanoi would. Well, I was definitely wrong. The other day, we were leaving a member's home and it was freezing outside. We were running on the grass to get to the car, and she starts yelling, "THE GRASS IS CRUNCHY!!! OH MY THE GRASS IS CRUNCHY!!!! WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I forget that she has never been in the cold before and the grass doesn't freeze in Arizona. That was funny to witness.
We were incredibly blessed this past week. Angela was baptized on Sunday! It was a perfect way to start out the new year. She was so happy and everything ran perfectly..... except for the heater in the water. Ya, it didn't warm up for quite some time, so the water was freezing. It reminded me of my baptism when the water heater was broken.... I hated it.... Luckily Angela was still happy and loved the entire day. Sister Takanoi was able to come back for the baptism!!!!! Everyone was so excited to see her, especially me. I have missed her so much. One of the first phrases she learned in the English language was "Punch you!" Ha so she came in and yelled "PUNCH YOU!!" So funny. She is awesome.
We taught Ann this past week, and she was talking about her 2 children that passed away when they were younger. We then went into the Plan of Salvation, and how she can see her children again. It was an incredible lesson filled with the Spirit. Tears came to her eyes as she said, "I want to go to the Sun", (The Celestial Kingdom). We then asked her to be baptized, and she said yes. She is getting baptized on February 26th!! How great is that!? We are excited and so is she. The blessings just continue to flow in this area.
This morning was Phyllis' funeral, and it was very interesting. Her daughter spoke and was barely able to speak because she was so upset Phyllis had passed away. This is understandable, because of course her mother is gone, and she misses her. But the sad part was that her, as well as most of the congregation, don't believe or have the knowledge that they will ever see her again. It was so sad to hear her and some other friends speak and to see the sadness in their eyes. Her son and daughter in law both spoke and they are both members; their talks were not depressing, but happy. The Bishop then got up and explained the plan of salvation in accordance to Phyllis' life, and it was incredibly inspiring and joyous. That is what the gospel does, it brings us joy and peace! We are INCREDIBLY BLESSED to have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation!! The Spirit was so strong as the Bishop spoke of hope and of returning to our Heavenly Father. We miss her so much here, but we KNOW we will see her again. Isn't that incredible?
I am 23 today. SO STRANGE. We had a great lesson with Angela today, and she made me a cake. She is great. Her baptism is on Sunday, and she is very excited! I am as well.
Christmas was so much fun, we went to the Lewis', Burt's and Olivo's. I love the ward members here. They are incredible.
My Greenie reminds me of myself when I first got out here. They have such an innocence to them and think everyone is going to get baptized. We found a new investigator, and as we came out of meeting her, she said, "I can't wait for her baptism!!" I laughed to myself. I wish that was how it worked. I also wish I still had that thought of everyone I met was going to be baptized. How nice would that be? I am excited for her enthusiasm, because it reminds me of how I was the same way. She has an incredible testimony. She cares so much for this gospel, and brings the Spirit so quickly in appointments. Our lessons are incredible. I have been so blessed with this new missionary to train. She knows so much and teaches by the Spirit. What more do I need to teach her? By the way, her name is Sister Williams from Phoenix, Arizona. Ya, the cold is a bit much for her. IT IS SO COLD HERE. It just cuts right through to your bones. Makes me want to cry. She is 6'1, and my second companion that is taller than me. Our landlord calls her stretch haha.
For the main story, I am going to talk about Phyllis. If all ya'll remember, Phyllis was the old woman that was baptized back in July and she had a prosthetic leg. About 2 weeks ago, she went into the hospital, and we went to go visit her to see how she was doing last Sunday. I was not expecting what I saw. She had had a stroke, and she just wasn't her normal self. She was completely out of it and would barely respond. Sister Takanoi and I had such a hard time with it, because we didn't realize how bad it was. I just sat there and cried thinking she isn't going to get better. One of the nurses came in and asked if she was our grandma. I said "Pretty much." It is incredible how close I have become to the people I teach out here. We went back on Wednesday, and she had had another stroke and it was as if she was no longer there. We said our final "see ya's" and left knowing it was the last time we would see her.
I have had a lot of time to think about this and the timing of her last 6 months. She has suffered from Alzheimers (sp?) and during the time that we taught her the lessons, she was very in tune and much more prompt and remembered things a lot better. During the lessons and her baptism, she had never been better. It is amazing to see how Heavenly Father prepared her for that time and she was baptized just in time before all of this happened. The Lord's timing was perfect on this and now she will be happy with her husband. While we taught her, she said she was most excited to be with her husband for eternity. I never thought someone I taught would die. It is an experience that has taught me so much and I am even more grateful for the Plan of Salvation. The best part, is that although we are sad here, she is so happy, and that is what she deserved. What an incredible experience I could be a part of.
As you can imagine, we have been extremely blessed in this area. This past week we taught like crazy and found many people to teach. I am in awe with the blessings that He keeps pouring on us. I love it.
Sister Takanoi is now in Manchester, my old area, and I miss her so much. I love meeting these incredible people that I would have never met otherwise.
Well, I am reminded of what President Pehrson used to always tell me,
"All good things come to an end, Sister Cannon."
That never makes me feel good in any way.... Ha. But the awesome thing to know, is that although something good is ending, something good is going to be starting.
We had transfer texts, and Sister Takanoi is getting transferred and I am staying here in Oxford. I am sad she is leaving, because she is hilarous, and a hard worker. Nothing better. We have had a blast together, and I have learned so much from her. I have been extremely blessed to have her in my life. People in the ward say that she has to keep moving around to bless as many people as possible. So true. I am grateful for her in so many ways. What a fun, incredible transfer.
I will also be training, and the new training program lasts for 12 weeks. So for my last 12 weeks, I will be with my new companion here in Oxford. I am excited and a bit nervous. Here comes another adventure.
To say we have been extremely blessed in the past week and a half is a huge understatement. The blessings that have been poured upon us are incredible. But they have all come through some trials beforehand. Last week, Angela came to us and said that her brother wasn't talking to her because we were meeting with her. Then he told her all of these things about the church that weren't true and she came to our lesson so confused. It was interesting to talk to her about having that firm foundation and that if we have that, nothing can get in our way. When she left our lesson, she felt so confident in the things she felt and knew that nothing would stop her from doing what is right. We helped her realize the answers she has received from the Holy Ghost and the blessings she has received. Satan is trying hard with her to not be baptized. This related to everyone's lives in general so much. We have to have that firm foundation so that when satan does tempt us, we won't be moved by it. We know the testimony we have, and we know what is true. We must have that foundation, or we can't stand.
For the past couple months, we have stopped by a former investigator's home every so often and every time she was busy. About a month ago, we stopped by, and she made it clear it was a bad time and didn't want us to come back. The other day we received a call from the Bishop's wife saying that they had received a call from a lady named Jennifer saying she wanted the missionaries to come back and see her. I knew exactly who it was. We called, set up an appointment, and headed over. She went on to tell us that she had been putting God on the backburner for too long, and had realized that is why she was so unhappy in her life. She wants happiness and God told her to call us and bring the gospel in her life. We set a date for her to be baptized on January 1. I cannot even tell you the happiness and light I saw in her eyes after we left from when I had seen her before. That is what the gospel does. It is incredible.
We have been working with Karen who has been less active for years. She has slowly been coming back to church and on Sunday, she was asked to say the prayer in Relief Society. The prayer she said was so wonderful. She talked about how grateful she was to be coming back to church and that the missionaries came back into her life. It is moments like that that I am so grateful for.
We had our ward Christmas party and it was called "PIcture a Christmas". Part of the night each family was able to get their family picture done, and they asked me and another lady in the ward to take the pictures. It was a blast! They turned out really cute and I had so much fun taking pictures. The picture attached is Sister Takanoi and my family picture... ha ha.
We give service at a food pantry, and we were featured in the newspaper. Fun! Check it out.
My companion has this thing where she asks these random questions that make me laugh. I would like to share them with you.
If she hears someone in our ward that has the same last name as someone famous, she asks if they are related... For example...
"Are the Trueman's related to President Trueman?"
me: "Who is that?"
"The man who was President of the United States."
me: "Oh... right... how do you know who he is? No, he is from England, they aren't related."
How is it that she, who grew up on an island in the middle of nowhere, knows who he is?
This one is what was hilarious.... We were listening to Natalie Cole with MOTAB and she said,
Sister Takanoi: "Are Nat King and Natalie Cole related to the Coles in our ward?"
The Coles in our ward are white. I told her that he was the Cole's uncle. Then I decided to tell her the truth after I was laughing so hard.
ANYWAY... This past week was great. I cannot believe it is December. For our Christmas present, all of the missionaries got to go to the temple. Our day was Wednesday. I loved it. It was the second time I have been since I have been out here and it is incredible how much more it means to me. I love it and am so grateful I was able to go.
Angela is doing so well. We taught her the commandments and every single one she accepted right away even though they require sacrifices. She gets it. She understands how important it is to keep the commandments. She also realizes that she will be blessed for her sacrifices.
Ron's nephew passed away this past week and that has been hard on him. It is interesting that we were planning on teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. The Lord's timing is perfect. He knows what Ron needs when he needs it. We are meeting with him this week.
We went to Sister Lewis' this morning and she was doing a woman's hair in her studio. I of course ask where she is from... This is our conversation...
me: Are you from Mass originally?
her: No, I am actually from Sandy, UT.
me: No way, me too!
her: What stake were you in?
me: Willowcreek Stake. You?
her: Me too!
me: What? What ward were you in?
her: Sixth ward.
me: Oh I was in first ward.
Turns out she lives on Treasure Mountain Drive. I could walk there. Her name is Amy Easton and her parents are Mike and Nancy. What a small world. I thought that was so cool!
About a month ago, we were talking with our ward mission leader about our area. We were in a slump, and not much was going on. We were asking him what we could do to pick up the work and our area. He suggested we do a "FLICKER-TAN". A what? He went on to explain that in his mission, there were two elders, Elder Flickerson and Elder Tanner. There was an area they were in that had no success and they didn't know what to do. So they decided that they would show the Lord their dedication to Him and they would fast for a day and pray for an hour straight about their area, the people in it, what was going on; pretty much everything. After that, they saw success and it became a mission-wide activity and the Mission President named it "Flicker-Tan". We decided we had nothing to lose, and we would try this out. So on November 13, we had a "Flicker-Tan" where we got on our knees and prayed to Heavenly Father for an hour straight and talked to Him about so many different things. It brought on a whole new perspective on prayer and to go deep in discussion with the Lord and what is going on in our lives. Sister Takanoi and I were both spiritually fed on that beautiful Sunday.
As I look back on the blessings that have been poured out upon us since that day, I can testify it was because of what we did. The Lord is mindful of us and blesses us when we show Him our diligence. We taught Angela this past week, and she said to us, "The whole week I am so sad, but when I get to come to lessons with you guys, I become so happy! This all makes me so happy!" She told us she knows what we taught her is true and she is so excited about the gospel. She came to church yesterday and she loved it. She is progressing so well, and it has been such a blessing to see. She is still on for December 18th to be baptized.
Our next blessing was Ron. Ron works with a member in our ward, and his story is so neat. Brother Berthiaume in our ward worked for a contracting company and was working with Ron. One day Ron came up to him and asked him some questions about the Book of Mormon and his religion. Brother Berthiaume answered his questions and invited him to church that following Sunday. Shortly after this day, Brother Berthiaume was laid off his job. His response to this was, "I know I was supposed to stay in this job until Ron came and talked to me. If I would have been laid off any earlier, I would have never invited him to church. The interesting thing is, is I was expecting to be laid off much earlier than I was. The Lord kept me there until I fulfilled what I needed to do." Ron came to church that following Sunday and has gone 3 times since. We were able to start teaching him, and we asked him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. His response, "Oh, I already have read the whole thing. And I have prayed about it too. I just have some reservations about it. Where are the gold plates? I want to see them to know it is true." Brother Berthiaume then said, "Where is your faith?" Haha that was funny. He is blunt. It is good that way though. We had a discussion about this, and he is going to pray again and expect to act on his answer.
Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful. I LOVE THIS WARD!!!!! We went to the Graff's home where the Lewis', Campbell's, and Gibson's went as well. It was a party and absolutely hilarous. SO MUCH FUN!!!! The food was of course delicious, and there were so many desserts; I think there was a 3 to 1 ratio of pies. Dad would have been in heaven. I have been so blessed with the wards I have served in on my mission. Seriously they have all been so great and loving. I have been blessed.
There was a reception for a guy in the ward, and Sister Lewis shot the candids at the reception. She let me take the camera to shoot the cake shots while they fed each other, and it was so much fun. I have missed it and can't wait to shoot weddings again.
I love you all! Have a great week!!
Love, Sister Cannon TAWANDA!!
p.s. I made a chicken/turkey out of a dish towel. Those towel folding classes did me good!