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... "

Monday, October 24, 2011


Hey there everyone, it's me again. You know, that one gringo you sent to Colombia a while ago? Yeah...hehe. Well, I'm still here, just in case you were wondering.

I'm sure you're all curious about the cambios, but I have to write about Julian primero, so you'll just have to wait.

Julian showed up on Saturday without a single piercing. Ah! :D He chose me to baptize him, which was an amazing experience. Even though we had to redo it twice because his leg kept coming out. I finally just stood on his left foot, and that worked. Should've thought of that the first time. :P Anyway, he got baptized!!! It was such an exciting moment. What's even better, he was at church the next day super early, received the Gift of the Holy Ghost during Sacrament mtg, and he told us later that he had thrown all of his piercings away. How amazing is that? Thank you all for your prayers on his behalf. It really helped. Thank you thank you. :) It was really one of the happiest days of my life. Knowing that he was using his agency to choose to keep the commandments and to follow Christ by being baptized. :) Man. Chévere.

Anyway, now about the cambios. My companion is going to Bogotá. And me, I'm staying here. :) Elder Acosta will be my new companion. He's from Peru. Crazy. It's really kind of weird that my companion is leaving. Here in the mission, you don't call your trainer your trainer. You call him your dad. So, mi padre is leaving me and going to the "cold" city of Bogotá. Ha! There are days here when people say it's cold. Honestly, I've only been cold once in this area. And that was after 4 days of straight rain and no sun. I was cold until we left our apartment and started walking. I really would love to go to Bogotá and really be cold for once. Y'all will have to enjoy the snow for me, because I don't think I'll be seeing any this winter. Hehe..."winter." Winter doesn't exist here. People ask me sometimes, "in the United States, you have seasons, right?" Hah...yeah, we do. Then they start telling me about the seasons. "Fall is when the leaves turn colors and fall, and then there's winter, then...what's next? Oh yeah. Spring. Then summer." Haha. 

I distracted myself. Tomorrow, my companion will leave at around 8 am, and my comp will probably get here around 8 at night, if not later. Bucaramanga to Bogotá is an 8 hour drive, if you go during the night. During the day, it takes more than 12 hours. That's Colombian traffic for you. :P Sorry I can't say more about the cambios. Next week I'll actually have met my companion, so I'll tell you more then. For now, All I know is his name and his nationality. Which reminds me, my companion is going to be companions with an Argentine. case you wondered.

This cambio, we've been really short on investigators. And the majority of the ones we've had don't want to commit to baptism, don't 
want to keep commitments, don't want to come to church. I'm hoping that changes in these next six weeks. 

Well, I hope all is well in Utah. I love you all! :)


Elder Joey

P.S. Yes, my pinky promises...

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[Note: Tree tomatoes are not the same as regular tomatoes from the USA. Tree tomato juice was Joey's Mom's favorite jugo in Ecuador. The whole fam loved it. So, Joey sent his Mom the following email. So far, no luck in finding tree tomatoes in the USA]

Today we made tree tomato juice, and I'm sending you pictures, as well as case you happen to come across some tree tomatoes? I don't know if they even exist in the US. If they do, the juice is super-fácil to make. First, you boil the tomatoes. We used a pound of tomatoes, and it made enough for 5 people. Boil them for 10 or so minutes, then let them cool (the freezer helps speed up that process for the less patient). Peel them (the skin should come off really easily after boiling them) and put them in the blender with the water you boiled them in, as well as milk. Blend it up until it's nice and frothy, strain the seeds out, add sugar to taste, and there you have it! Piece of cake. It's not an exact recipe, but my comp doesn't cook from recipes, just from his head. Like you, Mom. :) Anyway, maybe the pics will help. ...maybe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I made this for you.

Hello all. :)

How is everyone? I'm doing fine, thanks for asking. This week has been amazing, and crazy, and...amazing.

First of all, Hermana Marina, that got baptized last week, moved to another ward during the week, and attended church there, so we didn't see her get confirmed. But the Zone leaders called and told us that it still counted as our confirmation (it's not that I care about the numbers, that just meant that we had to fill out the baptismal registry. I'm just glad she got confirmed). On Sunday, we were visiting Martina, a recent convert, and Julian was there. Julian, in case I haven't told you already, is a really cool guy. Almost as cool as Julian Smith. ;) Hehe, jk. He's super-chill, and we taught him for several weeks, and even commited him to baptism, but when we asked him to live the law of chastity, he never did. Now, don't go thinking bad things about Julian. Let me finish. He has 2 piercings in his eyebrow, and another in his ear, and when we talked about the law of chastity (that includes piercings), he never got rid of them, so he could never get baptized. Well, Sunday, we were chatting with him, and he asked us, "When's my baptism?" Haha. Every missonary's dream, right?. ;) We told him that as soon as he started living the law of chastity, he could get baptized. He told us it wouldn't be a problem, and that he wanted to get baptized this Saturday, because cambios are this weekend, and this is probably the last chance he'll have for us to baptize him. Ah! :) Haha. The next day, he had gotten rid of all of his piercings, and was doing just great. But when we went back yesterday, he had put one back in his eyebrow, and told us that it was because it was getting infected, and he had to put it back. We told him he just needed to trust in the Lord and have the faith that God would help him be able to keep this commitment he had made. If you can, please pray for Julian. I'm worried about him. Pray that he'll be able to live the law of chastity until his baptism and forever after. He just needs a little extra help from heaven.

Other than that, the week's been pretty average. We taught a new family yesterday, which was cool. We've really been lacking investigators this cambio. Although, we've had a lot of success, especially compared to the rest of the zone. Some cambios are just more fruitful than others. We keep working though. Working and working and working. Trying to find people to teach, trying to get the people we're teaching to come to church, to commit to baptism. Work, work, work. :)

So, I found a talk by Elder Holland in my scripture case the other day, and it has become my absolute all-time favorite. It's called "And High Priest of Good Things to Come." There's a Mormon Message about it, I believe. It brings me to the point of tears every time I read it. Just the part near the end, where he says, "Don't give up, boy. Don't you quit. There is help and happiness ahead--a lot of in God and believe in good things to come." Sigh. I love Elder Holland. I absolutely love him. His messages are always just so inspiring. Anyway, I reccomend you read that talk. It'll help you out, whatever trial you're facing. :)

Cambios, like I said, are this weekend. They let us know Sunday if/where we're going, and then Monday is P-day. So if you're going to write me (wink should write me), you'll have to do it before then. Tuesday, those who are leaving leave, and those who are coming come. I honestly don't know if I'll be going or staying, but I am pretty darn sure my companion is leaving. He's been here 7 and 1/2 months. I'm pretty sure I would laugh my head of if he stayed though. Hehe... Not in a mean way, just in a...loving, companion-type way. ...that didn't make sense. Oh well.

Anyway, life's good. Just here...working and working. Praying and walking and teaching and learning and preaching and baptizing. ¡Que te digo! Haha. I hope all is well, wherever you may be. God bless and God speed. :)


Elder Cannon

P.S. Don't drink that racist coffee! Actually, just don't drink coffee at all. Hah, that reminds me, we got offered coffee last night. :P You know you're in Colombia....

P.P.S. I never would have invented my fireproof pants! ...still working out the kinks.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This is an email. You can read it if you want.

Hello, family and friends. It's me again. Your favorite missionary. ;) How is everyone? Good? Glad to hear it. I'm doing pretty good myself. Thanks.

This week has been pretty sweetawesome. We had the baptism of la Hermana Marina. It was a really neat experience. There were almost as many missionaries there as there were members. Apparantly we're not the only ones that have taught her and her family. ;) It was a really neat service. I got to play interlude while they changed into dry clothing. Usually we just put on a DVD and let them veg for a bit, but we were in the chapel, so they had me play. I really, really love playing the piano, if you didn't know. And playing church music is even better.

Anyway, y'all are probably getting bored. I'll tell a joke. Ready? ¿Qué hace un pez cuando está aburrido? Nada. Hahahaha...get it? Nada! Ahem. It's funny, I promise. Just google translate it. Or ask your Spanish teacher. That works too.   

I can't believe that October is halfway over! I turn 19 and 1/2 in 5 days! Crazy. Time really does fly here. It doesn't seem at all like I've been here almost 3 months. Ridiculous. I've still got a ways to go though. Haha. I'm not nearly done with these here Colombians. ;) So, I don't really know what to say. Everything is great. The work is going well, although we've had kind of a shortage of investigators this transfer. Ever since the first couple weeks, our numbers have been really low. Not that we're here for the numbers, but they do reflect the amount of work that goes on. Maybe you could pray for us to find investigators? My companion told me today that some transfers are all harvesting, and some are all planting. Some are a mix between the two. This transfer, we harvested at the beginning, but haven't had much success since then. Pero, hay que luchar, y trabajar. Pon tu hombro a la lid. Onward, ever onward.

Today, I was reading Alma 62. The war with the Lamanites is wrapping up, and everyone is going home to finish their days in peace. I absolutely love verses 48-51. This is one of the few examples in the Book of Mormon where the people skip the pride part of the pride cycle. I love it. They're righteous, so they prosper and get rich, but they don't forget to pray and to call upon the Lord. They don't forget the captivity of their fathers, and they continue faithful. This is how we should be. It seems like sometimes we're only faithful in our prayers when times are hard. We need to remember our Heavenly Father in the good times as well as the bad. Prayers aren't just to ask for stuff we need. They're to show our gratitude to Heavenly Father for everything He's done for us. That's how we can skip the pride part of the pride cycle.

Well, I'm about out of time. I hope your lives are wonderful. :) Have a nice day, eh?

-Elder Cannon

P.S. I was about to make my frontal assault, but then like 50 ninjas attacked me, and I had to beat 'em all up, and I did...

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

General Conference is officially my favorite thing EVER!

Aaaah! They're turning my tabernacle into a temple!!! Ahem...   

Hi everyone. This week was General Conference, and President Monson announced that they're not only restoring the Provo Tabernacle, but they're turning it into Provo's second Temple!!! When I heard that, I pretty much flipped out. For like, an hour. I had to wait for the session to end to find the other gringo here from Utah and freak out with him. I gave him a huge hug and tried not to scream. Haha. Holy cow, was that the most exciting piece of news I've ever heard. And I'm glad I heard right. I was worried that maybe I misinterpreted the Spanish (we only had conference in English for the last session), but thanks to a few emails from y'all, it's been confirmed that it is in fact, the truth. Man. I was so worried that it'd end up just an old, abandoned building. I seriously almost jumped out of my saet in the middle of the chapel when President Monson announced it. Ah! Haha. Okay. Freak out time is over.

I absolutely loved the rest of conference. So many amazing talks, even though I only heard a few in English. And we got to hear Robert D. Hales! I've been worried about him, because he didn't talk last conference. I hope we get to hear from him again in April. :) It was just an amazing weekend. I loved it. :)

The rest of the week was pretty good too. We got our blender fixed and made homemade tree tomato juice. Mmm... I bought a new fan, because mine broke. Now I won't lose so much weight when I sleep. Um. That made sense in my head. It's because it's so hot that if I don't have a fan, I sweat all night. Some nights are cooler than others, but not usually by much. :P Also I bought a jump rope. I hate to say it, but I think I'm gaining weight. Every day there's a huge lunch from the members, various snacks and sodas and cookies and juices given to us as well...and we get 1/2 an hour every day for exercise. Not really working. Yeah, we do a lot of walking, but it doesn't seem to do much. The only thing is, we don't have a scale, and the only way to weigh myself is to use a public scale where you pop in 200 pesos and it'll tell you your weight. It's not that I'm embarrassed to weigh myself in public. I'm just not sure how reliable it'll be. Also, I'd be in my church clothes and shoes etc. Not to mention the conversion from kilos to pounds. Haha. Maybe I'll just stick with the ignorance is bliss approach... ;)

The work is going good. This Sunday we're going to receive a wonderful gift. A lady that lives here in the ward has been going to church for almost 3 years now, but hasn't been able to get baptized because her "husband" that wasn't really her husband still lived with her. They didn't sleep in the same room, and there really wasn't anything between them. They pretty much detested each other, but the President said that until he moved out, she couldn't get baptized. So, the bitter-sweet news came a couple weeks ago that he had finally packed up and left. The hard thing is that she had to find a job and start paying the rent, etc. but this Sunday, she's getting baptized! :D Por fin! We call it a regalo, or gift, because we didn't really do anything as missionaries so that she could be baptized. Things just fell into place while we happened to be in the ward. Cool. :) I'm super-happy for her. 

I hope all is well in Utah. You'll have to send me pics if/when they start work on the Tabernacle. What are they going to call it? Provo Temple the second? The Tempernacle? Hehe... Anyway. Send pics. Keep on keepin on, and know that all is well here in Bucaramanga. :)

I love you all,

Elder Cannon

P.S. Two at a time, eh?

P.P.S. Frying pans! Who knew, right?

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