It's not so much "whatever that means." It's whoever...

"Dear Elder Cannon: you are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Colombia Bogota North Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months...You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language... "

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wake me up when September ends...

Holy vaca, where did September go? It seems like just yesterday it began. The work is going amazing as always, and I am absolutely in love with this country.

This week we had 4 baptisms! Wow. Gladys and her 3 grandsons. It was my first opportunity to actually physically baptize someone. I baptized Jhon (that's not a typo...they spell it that way here) and Yordin (that's not a typo either. You say it ''Jordin''). It was an amazing experience. If this computer lets me, I'll attach some photos. :) It was really an unforgettable day. I just hope that it was as unforgettable for them as it was for me. I hope and pray that they will remain true to the faith. Speaking of which, I've been playing the piano every week in Sacrament mtg. and one week, the director chose that song as one of the hymns. That's pretty much the hardest hymn I've ever EVER tried to play. I remember once in our Orem ward, I tried to play it for priesthood, and I almost died! Wow. Anyway, I'm really grateful for the chance I get to play every week. It's realy a blessing, and I enjoy it a lot. The pianos in the chapels here are the only pianos I've seen. I've heard that some chapels don't have a piano, but the two chapels I've been to have both had pianos.

Something I think is funny here is the style of cars. There are 4 kind of vehicles here. 1. Taxis. They're everywhere. 2. Motorcycles. Everyone and their dog drives a motorcycle. Pretty much every time a lihgt turns red, the motorcycles all worm their way to the front so there's like 15 all lined up for a drag race. Haha. 3. Buses. Also everywhere. Different colors, styles, lengths, widths, etc. 4. Regular cars. These aren't as common, but they do exist here. Haha. Most are super-old, but there are some new ones too. The most common brand here is Renault. I don't think they have that brand in the US. Hmm.

So, we've taught David twice now, and he's doing pretty well. The only problem with him is that he works a ton, so he's not always available. We're hoping to be able to talk to him tonight, and we're also (really) hoping that he's read the book of mormon and prayed about it. He kind of is afraid that he won't receive an answer. We explained Moroni's promise, that if we ask with faith, real intent, and a sincere heart, Heavenly Father _will_ manifest the truth of it unto us, by the power of the Holy Ghost. That's what I love about God's promises. He fulfils them. He never excuses Himself, like it says in D&C 1:37. I think. He's bound when we do what He says. :) All we have to do is keep the commandments, and we'll be blessed.

Anyway, I'm loving Colombia. We had a zone activity today, and I got to play basketball! I hadn't played since the MTC. It was lots of fun. In the MTC, I was on the lower end of te talent scale. Everyone there was a baller. But here...they're all short little latinos. Hehe.

Still paddling the old knew,

Elder Cannon

P.S. How come you've never been baptized? Because I never got around to it, okay?

P.P.S. Happy birthday mom! I love you! :)

P.P.P.S. One of the pictures I'm sending is of our chapel here in the Tejar ward. The photo of the baptism goes like this: Elder Cannon, Yordin, Carlos, Jhon, Gladys, Elder Rapalino.

More pictures

P.P.P.S. This is our apartment. It's the green one. The other photo is
just for fun. We woke up one morning,
and everything was super foggy. :) Chao!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Email from a Mormon Gringo

Hi there. It's Pday, so I'm typing stuff on this horrible keyboard. Life is wonderful, and time is short, so I'll just get to the good stuff and save the small talk for later.

This week has been really good. We've been struggling a bit to find investigators, but last week we contacted 80 people, so hopefully some of those turn into good investigators. We've been teaching Gladys, John, Carlos, and Jordin. A grandma and her 3 grandsons. They're getting baptized this Saturay!! I'm so exit! Heh. I don't remember what I told you about them, but we found them knocking doors, and now they're getting baptized. That doesn't happen very often, even here in South America, but it's just proof that the field really is white. :)

We've also been teaching David, who is another miracle. The first time we went to his house, he was asking us what he needed to change, and where he needed to start. He's been to church twice, and this last Sunday, he came in a suit and tie, looking as good (or better) than any of the members. :) He's a cool guy. He calls us muchachos, instead of Elders. His only problem is that he isn't married. Can I just put a little plug in here for marriage? If you're gonna live with someone, marry them first. Please? I'm pretty sure half the population or more of this country is living with someone they're not married too. It's probably the most common problem in the conversion process here. Also, I've decided that any missionary that serves here should come home with a degree in marriage counseling. Not even kidding. :P Haha.

Anyway, everything is going well. I'm eating well, and might be gaining weight...I hope not, but whatev's. I don't have a scale to weigh myself. I have been exercising though, so if I've gained weight, it's probably muscle, right? Heh. We walk pretty much a ton. All day every day. Our budget doesn't let us take taxis everywhere, although if we're really late for something, we'll catch a bus or a taxi. The bus fare is about 75 cents, give or take. A taxi is $2 minimum. 4,000 pesos, if you want to hear it in Colombian. ;)

Today I studied in Alma 12, where it talks about the people that live as if there had been no redemption made. How sad is that? Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins, and yet people live as if He didn't. They reject Him, ignore Him, and live sinful lives...completely ignoring the fact that an atonement has been made. My goal is to use the Atonement more. It's like the story of the pushups and the donuts. He's already payed the price, and He did it because He loves us. Now it's our job to take advantage of that, and repent. Partake of the sacrament each week, repentant and willing to change and become better.

Keep on keepin on. I love you all. :)

-Elder Cannon

P.S. Why am I so much buffer than you?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Still here. Remember me?

Dear family and friends,

This week we had cambios! Transfers, I think they're called in English. Luckily, we didn't get transfered, but we did get to babysit...I mean, gather under our wing out of the kindness of our hearts the Elder that was left without a companion yesterday while he waited for his new comp to get here. It was kind of fun with three of us. Something different, anyway. I'm mostly glad they didn't transfer us, because we found this amazing family the other week that's super cool. It's a grandma and her 3 grandsons. We found them knocking doors, and just a few days ago, we commited them to baptism. :D It's not very often that a door contact turns out like this, but I'm way excited for them. This work is just great. :) So, yep. I'm staying another 6 weeks (at least) here in el barrio Tejar. The Tejar Ward. However you want to say it. My companion will have been here 7 1/2 months at the end of this transfer. I'm guessing he's gonna go somewhere else to be zone leader for the next transfer, but he doesn't like that idea. ;) Haha. He's been district leader for a few transfers now, and I think he's ready for a break. But as he always says, iré donde me manda. I'll go where He (The Lord) sends me. 

I ate some mango this week, with limón y sal. Delish! I had never eaten it that way before, but they were selling it on the street, and oh man was is delicious. Y'all will have to try it out. Plus it was only 50 cents. Ish. I ate a hamburger this week. One of the sisters in the ward made them for us. They weren't In-N-Out quality, but they were pretty good. While we were eating, I was thinking about how I'd have room for another, if there had been more, and they were saying how pesado it was. Or, how...heavy it was. Like they could barely eat one. What I didn't tell them was that I had eaten 4 or 5 hamburgers in a sitting... :P Go me. It's a wonder I'm not obese. I wish I had a scale to weigh myself, but I don't. Oh well. Maybe I'll come home obese. There's an Elder in our mission from Utah that lost 80 pounds since he got here. He goes home at the end of the next transfer. Crazy, eh? You look at his pictures from before, and he's a different person. Miracles of the Mission, eh? Let's just hope I don't gain 80 pounds. :P 

So, my favorite part of the day is personal study. Lately I've been studying about the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit World, and the Degrees of Glory. There's a scripture in D&C 76 that makes it sound like the spirits that receive the gospel in the spirit world will inherit the Terrestrial Glory, but I was pretty sure that wasn't the case, but that everyone, no matter what, would have the chance to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. D&D 137 & 138 clarify the question, saying that those who didn't have the chance to accept the gospel in this life would have the chance in the life to come. I love the Plan of Salvation. It just makes so much sense. Talking to so many people about their beliefs of the life to come, whether or not it exists, how it will be, etc. really makes me grateful to know about this wonderful plan that Heavenly Father has for us. The most important thing is that we Endure to the end. It's the longest step of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it's probably the most important. If we don't endure to the end, it's as if we never embraced the gospel in the first place. We have to do our best every day to repent, to choose the right, to become better people and to keep the commandments. That's when the Grace of Jesus Christ will be able to save us. After all we can do. :) This gospel is just wonderful, don't you think? :)

Anyway, it's been a pleasure talking at you all. I hope that you have a wonderful week, in your school, work, cross-country (Yeah!), and whatever else you may be involved in. Live worthy of the guidance of the spirit, and he'll show you all things that you should do.

Until next week,

Elder Moscas

P.S. Yes, my pinky promises.

P.P.S. I would send pictures, but this computer won't let me. :( Maybe next week...

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hace calor...

Hello everyone. It's your favorite part of the week! The part where Elder Cannon gets to talk at you for a while about stuff that either doesn't make sense or doesn't really apply to you. I'll try to fix both of those things, but no promises.

Time is just flying. I can't believe that it's already been almost 6 weeks. I've been a missionary for more than 3 months now. Crazy, eh? The work is going well. The Spanish comes more and more every time I speak it. It still takes effort, but it's not as hard as it used to be. The funny thing is, when I got to the MTC, I could understand more than I could speak, and my branch President told us that understanding is the hardest part. I disagreed, because I could understand, but it was hard to say what I wanted. Now it switched. I can say what I want, and don't trip up too much, but to understand people, when they're talking 700 kilometers an's just hard. Also, I used kilometers just to throw you off and remind you that you're not cool enough to use the metric system. Or. Something like that. Anyway, the language will come. I'm not worried. I only have one problem. As some of you know, I used to be super shy. Like, couldn't look people in the eye, let alone talk to them. It's been a few years since I got over that, but I'm having the same "breaking out of my shell" problems in Spanish. Because, I have words I can say, I just find myself wanting to keep quiet instead of talking. My comp is Colombian, so it's easy for me to just sit back and let him do the talking, even though I know I need to contribute to the conversation as well. Anyway...I just need to be brave like Nephi and say words.

Why read words when you can just kill the stuff the words tell you stuff about?

Read words kids!

My favorite part about writing emails is seeing the little red line go under almost every word I type. Very entertaining. :P 

Colombia is pretty much awesome. It's different than Ecuador in a few ways though. In Ecuador, there was a lot of traditional style dressing, and homemade stuff and such. Here, it's basically like the United states. Dress-wise, anyway. They do sell furit on the street. I had to ask my companion if they sold mangos here, because I hadn't seen any. He told me they're just not in season. Avocados are in season though. Does anyone remember those huge, green avocados we found at a Walmart once? Well all of the avocados here are like that. Huge. Oh, and the only reason I think they're in season is because everyone and their dog is out on the street selling them. Heh. Another thing that's different here than in Ecuador is the cost of living. It's about $2 minimum for a taxi ride around town. You can take a bus for about $0.75, which we did today. It's quite the adventure. The buses just stop wherever a person waves them down, and lets you off wherever you want as well. The only thing is that they don't really ever stop. It's more of a tap on the brake pedal. You just have to hope you get far enough away from the bus before it runs you over. ;) Okay, so I'm exagerating a little, but you guys remember how the drivers were in Ecuador. Insane. It's hard for me to cross the street, because in the States, I can account for the tap on the brake the person gives as I cross, but here I have to account for the tap on the gas pedal as they speed by. Hehe. Luckily I have a Companion that knows what he's doing. We've been able to stay safe so far. Sanos y salvos, as they say here. :)

Well, it's been nice talking at you all. I hope all is well wherever you may be. Say hello to my mountains for me, and maybe listen to some HTTYD if you have a chance. 

I love you all! Carry on.

-Elder Joey

P.S. Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile!

P.P.S. Near, far, wherever you are....

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