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, January 30, 2012

Hi there.

It's me again.

I don't really know what to write. This week was pretty average. We're not as lost as we were, but we're not all that found either. I'm cold, but only my left hand. Not sure why. Oh, and my toes. Probably because they're the farthest aways from my heart, so the blood usn't as warm when it gets down there. This week and the last, we got to know Carol. She's 19 and is studying medicine here in Tunja. I don't know about y'all, but I don't think I'm ever going to study medicine...ever. It's a truckload of reading, and just...idk. I guess it just doesn't really call my attention. Anyway, Carol was baptized this Friday, and confirmed yesterday. My companion, Elder Ochoa baptized her, and I'm trying to think of something to say besides "it was a really neat experience." I think I say that a lot. Anyway, the baptism was great. :) I always love seeing someone get baptized. It just gives me this wonderful feeling. A feeling I don't get anywhere else. A feeling of happiness. Like, I want to say a prayer of gratitude, and at the same time I want to jump out of my chair and shout hallelujah! We (the 4 missionaries of the Tunja ward) sang the musical number. "Abide With Me." We sang it a capella (spelling?). I would have played the piano, but I wanted to sing. So I did. The wonderful thing about Carol is that she already has a strong testimony of the church. She shared with us about how she gained that testimony reading the Book of Mormon. That's one thing I love about this gospel. That it's TRUE. When Moroni wrote in Moroni 10:3-5 that if we read and pray, God will answer our prayer, it wasn't just a personal opinion. It's real. God does answer prayers. We just need to have a sincere heart, real intent, and faith, believing that He will answer us. And then He will answer us. It's a promise that Heavenly Father has given to us. To everyone. My faith has really grown about the fact that God fulfills the promises that He makes. "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." It's true. When we obey a commandment, Heavenly Father will bless us. He's perfect, and He can't lie. So when He says we'll receive a certain blessing from obeying a certain comandment, it's 100% true. As missionaries, we invite people to obey certain commandments, and as a part of that invitation, we promise them blessings. At first, it was hard for me to promise them blessings, because I wasn't 100% sure that Heavenly Father would keep His end of the bargain. But after seeing investigators experience the blessings I promised them, my faith grew immensly. Now I can promise the investigators and the members blessings, not doubting one bit that Heavenly Father will bless them according to their obedience. 

This work is incredible. The field is white already to harvest. The only thing we have to do is thrust in our sickle with our might. That's really the only thing I've seen lacking here on the mission. We, as missionaries, just need to get to work! That's all we need to do. The 3 keys to missionary work are 1. Work, 2. Work, and 3. Work. That's all there is to it. The missionaries a lot of the time lack commitment, they lack the desire to be obedient...they lack the ganas de trabajar! There are some amazingly wonderful missionaries here, that have a good knowledge of the gospel, that just don't work. Seeing that made me want to make a goal to never put my sickle down. To always, always be thrusting in my sickle with my might. So that's my goal. I think I need to make it more specific and measurable, so I'll get back to you on that. But I'll be working on it for sure.

This work is wonderful. I think I'm going to call it quits, because my hands are starting to slow's cold! I'm sure it's not nearly as cold as it is in Utah, but they don't have heaters here. And the houses are all made of cement. With no insulation. Yep.

Today I read Alma 29. Sometimes I feel like Alma, and just want to preach the Gospel with the sound of a trump to everyone in the world! And sometimes I wish I were an angel, because I'd be able to fly around and not have to walk or take a bus. Hehe. ;) Really though, Alma was such an amazing missionary. I admire his wish, as well as his humility. He says how he's sinning by wishing he could preach the gospel to every creature. He says he should be content with the things that he has. So that's the challenge. Read Alma 29, and then go and make the most of what you've got. :)

I love you all. Any questions, don't hesitate to write me. Even if you don't have questions, don't hesitate to write me. 

Take luck. :)

-Elder Cannon

P.S. There's only one thing that I know how to do well, and I've often been told that you only can do what you know how to well, and that's be you. Be what you're like. Be like yourself. And so I'm having a wonderful time, but I'd rather be whistling in the dark.....

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Remember that one time...

...when I said there was no way they were going to transfer me, because I only had 6 weeks in the area? 

Well...they did. I am now stationed in Tunja. The coldest city in the Colombia Bogota North Mission. I love it. It finally feels like January. I also got my Christmas packages (Thanks so much!!!) and it kind of felt like Christmas. There wasn't snow or's not that cold, but it feels like a late September/early October day. Pretty chilly at night, and in the mornings. And we have hot water! Until this week, I hadn't taken a hot shower since July 29th, 2011. I only remember that date because it was the day I left the President's house for my first area. It's been kind of cool having hot water. I'm pretty sure we would die without it, because the cold water comes out with little chunks of ice. Okay, not really. But it feels like it. Our water heater is one of those where it's just mounted on the wall and heats the water as it runs through. Works great. 

I was really, really sad to leave Cucuta, for a few reasons. Camila's baptism was scheduled for the 21st of January, and I left for Tunja on the 17th. The cool thing was that we got here, and the previous missionaries had a baptismal date for this week as well. It's not really the same though, having a baptism for someone you've never even met. It was still a neat experience. On Saturday night, I got a call from Elder Romero, my comp that stayed in Motilones in Cucuta, and he told me they were there at the chapel at Camila's baptism. I got to talk to Camila and congratulate her and everything. She and Jose, her member fiance are getting married in March, and she invited me to their sealing in Bogota, if I'm there. I'll still be on the mish, but if I'm demaciado lejos, I probably won't be able to go. I really hope I'm there.

My companion's name is Elder Ochoa. He's from Peru, and he'll be in Peru within a month. Jeje. The good thing is, he's not nearly as trunky as some of my other companions that had several months left to go. We've been working hard, and since we're opening the area (we're both new here), we're super lost. But there are 4 Elders in this ward, so Elder Sandoval, the only one that didn't get transfered from Tunja, has shown us around a bit. 

I am loving the cold. Everyone here is dying of cold, but I'm really enjoying it. Haha. One sister in the ward told me to put my suit coat on, or I'd get sick. She may be right, but this isn't nearly as cold as Utah. Or Rexburg. Haha. Cold. 

Anyway, life's good. I hope all is well at home. I love you all. Ttyl. :)

-Elder Cannon

P.S. the pics are of Elder Romero and I the day I left Cucuta. Also there's Cucuta's gas prices. It looks like a lot, but remember that there are about 1800 Colombian Pesos to every dollar. :)

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, January 16, 2012

And then there were cambios...

This week was amazing. 

It didn't quite go how we planned, but it was still an amazing week. Remember that goal we set to commit one person to baptism every day? Well...we ended up only commiting Camila. I'll tell you the details in a sec. We set the goal because in Motilones there are 2 investigators that need to get married before they can get baptized, but they just need to do it. They've already decided to get married and everything. Another investigator we have, Jasmin, has been going to church for about a year now. Ever since she and the rest of her family took the missionary lessons. Her husband and 2 kids got baptized, but she never did. She said that maybe in a year (hint hint) she would get baptized. Then there were a couple people that I don't really know here in Aeropuerto that we were going to commit. Anyway, I got a call this week from the Bishop. It went kind of like this: "Elder, Do you know the Hermana Jasmin?" "Yeah. The one that came to church this last Sunday?" "That's the one. She wants to get baptized. When can we meet?" Wow. Haha. So we met with her on Saturday, and she expressed her desires to be baptized. She's had problems with some of the commandments, but she wants to meet with us and take the lessons again, since she hasn't taken the lessons in over a year. So hopefully that all goes well. :) There's something really interesting about the way Heavenly Father works. We discussed this week in a meeting with President Hacking that the more contacts we do, the more refferals we receive from the members. We decided that it was because when the members see that we're working on our own and bringing investigators to church of our own efforts, they trust us more with their refferals. So my companion and I were in the middle of contacting someone when the bishop called me to tell me about Hna. Jasmin. I love Missionary Work. Because Heavenly Father is so, so involved in every moment. He knows when to send blessings and miracles, and He knows when to hold back for a bit and let us work and learn and grow for ourselves. But no matter how the work gets done, there are always amazing blessings that come. The greatest blessing for me is to see an investigator who keeps their commitments to read and pray and attend church. Because those three things are key to receiving the revelation they need: that the Book of Mormon is true. That Joseph Smith is a prophet. That the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom on the earth today. If they keep their end of the bargain, Heavenly Father will bless them with that piece of revelation. 

We had a lesson with Camila on Tuesday. We taught her about the Law of Chastity. At times that lesson can be kind of awkward, but I've learned to just be bold and tell them how it is. Because if we kind of beat around the bush and say things in "code" then they end up misunderstanding and just being lost (code: send in the brain bots!). Anyway, the lesson went really well. Apparently in the church she came from, they were even more strict with things like that than us. Same with the Word of Wisdom (Except coffee...that's the hardest thing here). So we commited her to live the law of chastity, and then started a segue into baptism, because we had planned on commiting her that night to be baptized on the 21st of January. I extended the commitment, and she denied it. That almost always happens. She said something about needing more time and wanting to learn more. She said that she did want to be baptized, but further on. Mas adelante. That's when I had one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. The Spirit completely took over. I don't remember what words "I" said, but afterwards I re-extended the commitment, and she accepted. :D It was an incredible moment. The Spirit was so strong. It was such a testimony builder for me, knowing that the Lord really did use me as a mouthpiece. Those weren't my words. They only came out of my mouth. It was a wonderful experience. She had her interview on Saturday, and did wonderful. Our District Leader said that she told him about her experience praying and just feeling a joy and a peace that she had never felt before. Camila is really just golden. :)

Some days as a missionary I wish there were 30 hours in a day. Because everyone wants an appointment at 6 or 7 pm, and we have to put off important appointments because we already have previous commitments. Kind of lamesauce. So this week, I think it was Thursday, we were running from appointment to appointment, late as usual. :P It's just that the families we were going to visit lived like 70 miles apart. Even on the bus it took us like 1/2 an hour to get there. Then we were short on time and had to run to our next appointment... I think this paragraph started out as an excuse for why we didn't complete our goal of baptismal commitments. We did our best, and had some really amazing results. That's the best thing about goals. Sometimes things don't go the way you plan them, but at the end of the week, you can still see how far you've come, and adjust your goal for the next week. 

Oh, so we were supposed to know about the cambios last night. They always call us Sunday night and tell us where/if we're going, who's coming, etc. so you can despedirse and empacar on Monday to be ready to leave by Tuesday. Hopefully we'll know tonight. They told us that between now and April, 60 new missionaries will be coming to this mission, so more than half of the missionaries here right now will be trainers between now and then. So...maybe they'll send me an hijo. Here, they're not greenies, they're sons or daughters. ;) Hehe. Anyway, I'll let y'all know next week.

Take care everyone. Stay active. Say your prayers. Read your scriptures. Especially Helaman 5. Look for how the Spirit speaks to us. 

I love you all. :) Take luck.

-Elder Cannon

P.S. Happy Birthday Katie! :) Now your driver's lisence can be upright. Haha. ;) I love you!

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another week...

Time just never slows down, does it? It seems more like it speeds up day after day and I can never, ever catch up...

This week was pretty much the bomb diggity. I think I spelled that right. Anyway, we've been working in Aeropuerto and in Motilones, so it's been kind of crazy to balance all our appointments and such, but it was a really good week. 

Elder Romero had a birthday! Which means that we went to Carrefour and bought an ice cream cake. We were just going to buy ice cream, but then we saw the cake, and just couldn't pass it up. January 3rd was his birthday. :) We had a meeting with the Bishop of Aeropuerto that night, and he brought a cake as well. :) So we got double blessings that day. Happy Birthday, compañero!

This week, we started teaching a girl named Camila. Her boyfriend is a member and an RM, so he wanted us to visit with her. Come to find out, she's Pentecostal, or "Jesus solos" As they call them here. She doesn't believe in the trinity. She believes that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all one person. It was interesting teaching the first vision, when she didn't even believe that God and Jesus Christ were seperate personages. But the lesson went well, and we made another appointment to meet with her. We taught her again on Friday, and after the lesson, asked her what she thought about the church, and about what we had taught. She told us that she liked it, and that it felt right. When we asked her if she had read the Book of Mormon, she told us that she had started from the title page, and is now in 1 Nephi 10. Eek! That NEVER happens with investigators. Usually when we ask them if they've read, they start fishing for excuses. When we ask them if they prayed, their answer is always, "I pray every day." "...But did you pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith?" "...No." Anyway, when she told us that she was in 1 Nephi 10, I freaked out. It was great. This is really the success that comes from working with the members. When the investigators have a friend (or boyfriend) in the church, they automatically have a support system. Someone to resolve their doubts and answer their questions, and to be there with them as they take these important steps in their spiritual progression. Anyway, she's been progressing a ton, and our plan is to commit her to baptism tomorrow. Hope it goes well. :) My companion, Elder Romero, and I made a goal to challenge one person to baptism every day this week. :) We'll see how it goes. I really think we can do it. We have 3 investigators in Motilones that can't get baptized because they're not married. Milton, Yasmin, and Anibal. The good thing is that all of them want to get married. It's just a hassle here, because they both have to physically travel to their place of birth to get a birth record, get together a bunch of other personal records, like of children from other marriages/relationships, etc. and then they can go to the Notary and get married. I think. So hopefully we can get them all married and happy, and then they'll be ready to be baptized. :) 

I think I told you about Sonia, right? She's a deaf/mute girl who's almost 9 months pregnant. It was a really neat experience to teach her. She's just such a sweet spirit. She's always smiling, and she learns and catches on to things really fast. She knows how to read and write, so we mostly taught with a notebook, writing questions for her to answer. We also used the Gospel Art Picture Book. Really useful. :) Anyway, from the beginning, she wanted to be baptized. She would show us the picture of a girl being baptized, and then point to herself. We were planning on her being baptized the 30th of December, but she got really sick, and was in the hospital for a day or two. I was really worried, with the baby being so close and everything, but she got better, and we agreed upon the 7th of January to baptize her. It was an amazing service. There were 20-30 members who came to support, as well as several investigators (Camila was there). Hermano Sanguino baptized her. He and his wife have been taking care of Sonia when her mother wasn't able to be at home, and we always taught her in their home. Another shout-out to member missionary work. :) It works. I'm going to include the photo of the baptism. Left to right, the people are me, Johana (Hno. Sanguino's niece. Not a member. We've been working with her as well), Hna. Sanguino, Sonia's Mom, a little girl who I don't know, Karen (daughter of the Sanguinos), Sonia, and Hno. Sanguino. Btw's, doesn't Hno. Sanguino totally look like Tom Hanks? Hehe. The second picture is me, Sonia's mom, Sonia, and my compañero, Elder Romero.

Anyway, this work is amazing. My testimony has grown so much this week. Especially my testimony of goal setting. As missionaries, we set goals every day, every week and every month. The days when we don't set goals, we don't accomplish hardly anything. But when we're actually working for something, and making an effort to reach our goals, we kick trash! In a...spiritual kind of way. Anyway, Set goals. It's good for you. Not only do you get more done, but then at the end of the day, you can measure your progress and see how far you've come. :)

I love you all, dear family. Don't do drugs, don't eat bugs, and most definitely don't kiss any llamas (yeah, like that would ever happen...). Take luck. I'll probably be back next week to talk at you all again. Until then, have a nice day. :)

-Elder Moscas

P.S. Don't you ever interrupt me while I'm reading a book!

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, January 2, 2012


¡¡¡¡¡Feliz Año Nuevo!!!!!

"We're gonna party like, like it's the end of the world. We're gonna party like, like it's two thousand and twelve..."

So I've pretty much had that song in my head the past couple days. Haha. Funny the things you remember...

This week there were lots of changes. My companion got a call on Tuesday saying that he would be leaving Wednesday to Bogotá to be Zone Leader. So we spent all day Tuesday saying goodbye to the members in our ward. The other Elder in our apartment was already companionless, because his comp left for Mexico on Monday. So we are now companions. Elder Romero is his name. He's from Guayaquil Ecuador, and only slightly taller than my last companion. The only difference is that he's a beanpole. Haha. Anyway, we also got two new zone leaders here. One's a gringo from Vegas, and the other a Costeño from Santa Marta. There've been a lot of crazy cambios to the mission, because we're pretty much missionaryless. 7 left for Chile, 15ish left for Mexico, and more are leaving this month for Ecuador, I think. Anyway, hopefully we get some new missionaries soon. The weird part about this cambio is that we're supposedly working in both areas at the same time. So we switch off days. Makes life exciting. Also, I'm supposedly in a different district than my companion. Haha. Anyway...

New Year's Eve was a PARTY!!! It was kind of just a repeat of Christmas Eve, but with more fireworks and...more alcohol. The President wanted us in casa at 9:30, because the next day we had church at 9 am. And probably for some other very wise reasons. Anyway, our house has a little...terraza...thing. Where we climbed up and watched everything at midnight. It was incredible! Haha. Fireworks everywhere! In a matter of minutes, the entire city was one big cloud of smog. Haha. The funny thing is, fireworks are illegal here! Ha. Yeah right. Anyway, it was a party. Then church the next day was pretty empty. We only had one hour again, like last week. 

Also, today we went and did a service project in an area that was damaged by the rain. There were 12 houses completely destroyed and gone, and a ton that were damaged. So we went around taking down names and ID and such as well as pictures of the damage. It was pretty sad. :-/ 

Anyway...that was basically my week. I'm including a photo of Elder Espinal the morning he left. I'll try to get photos of my new comp next week. 

I love you all. Cuídense. Don't do drugs.


Elder Cannon

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.