Monday, December 29, 2014

Good Tiding of Great Joy

Dear Beloveds: 

Thank you for coming here this day. 

This letter´s gonna be a little shorter cuz I just talked to everyone not too long ago. :) Hooray! 

Okay. So, as you already know, I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Fernandez, and she is not from Mexico, but from Salta Argentina. She served for a year in Mexico, went home for a minor sugery from which she recovered in about a week, sat around at home for four months waiting for her reassignment, and has now arrived in San Rafael! She´s great. You always learn a ton from your companion, and I guess some things that I´ve learned from her the time that we´ve been together are 1) the Mexico mission is very different, and a lot stricter on...everything. Not to say that the Argentina mission is slacking on the rules, just that things are a lot more dangerous in Mexico, so the missionaries need a little bit larger boundry lines. I´ve heard some pretty scary stories from Hna Fernandez of stuff that happened to people and missionaries in Mexico. Not to scare anyone away from Mexico, I´ve also heard lots of good things, and she really misses her mission. But, yeah. Lots of precautions. 

BUT I can say I´m way excited to be working with her, because the things she learned in Mexico, the tactics they use in teaching, finding, goal making, planning, EVERYTHING are really helpful, and we´ve already seen lots of results. 

And here´s the news everyone´s been waiting for! Mauricio attended church!!!!! Sunday morning, instead of doing our regular studies at 8, we walked half an hour to his house to ask if he wanted to come to church, and he did! A member found us walking to church with him and gave us a ride, so we even got there on time! 

But wait, it gets better. After sacrament we went with a member to teach Mauricio a lesson, and at the end, he re-accepted a baptisimal date! January 24th. WAHOO! We´re so excited. 

And I guess more than that, I´m a little more committed to doing all I can in helping him prepare to be baptised on that date. Becuase last time, although part of the problem was that we could never find a time when he was at home to teach him and help him prepare to be baptized, I feel like we didn´t really sacrifice all we could in helping him to be ready. We could have tried a lot harder in getting lessons, in bringing him to church, and explaining what it actually meant to have the goal to be baptized. 

So I´m way excited to work with him and Hermana Fernandez. Thanks for all the prayers for him and for us! I can´t wait to see the changes God can help him make in his life, and so thankful for the priveledge to be teaching and working with him. 

Have a great week! 

Hermana Cannon

p.s. The pictures. When Hna Fernandez got in we went with Hna Lopez to a Mexican retaurant to eat dinner with the president and his wife. That was fun! The tortillas were not real tortillas, and the spicy wasn´t really spicy. So, it wasn´t really Mexican, but they did the best they could. Also, we all went to the stake center with the missionaries to make Asado on Christmas, so there´s some pictures of it. Yum! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Wanna Wish You a Merry Christmas

Buen Dìa Todos! 

Once again, it´s a cold day today. Honestly, the weather here is worse than Utah. Scorching hot one day, and the next day you bring your coat back out. It really is weird. 

Anyway, enough small talk. Let´s get to them elephants in the room, eh? 

My new companion! I sent some pictures of Hermana Tirado just before she got on the bus. It felt weird after she left to stand there companionless. There were other companionless sisters there as well, so we kept eachother company for a few hours until the other bus showed up with our companions. No one had told me the name of my new companion, (they´re very mysterious about those things in the officinas...haha) so I just kind of waited as people got off the bus looking for another companionless sister. Sure enough, an Argentine shows up and says, "Hermana Cannon? Soy su companera!" Hermana Lopez. Hooray! 

After talking a bit I find out that she´s only here for a week. Apparently (as the secretary finally called and let me know) My new companion Hermana also-nameless-for-the-moment from Mexico, was serving in Mexico, went home with health problems or the likes, and now has recovered and was reasigned to this mission. So at 6 tonight we all travel to Mendoza for the Mission Christmas Party tomorrow, and either tonight or tomorrow Hermana still-nameless-as-I-have-no-new-information-on-the-subject will show up and we´ll travel back to San Rafael together Teusday. 

Pretty crazy! The good news is Hermana Lopez is extremely tranquila and "Rey contenta" as she keeps saying, as I try and figure out how to run this area without Hermana Tirado. And it´s been a great practice for when Hermana yep-I-think-you-get-the-idea comes in. 

So, yes. That´s how things have been going this week, basically. It´s kind of how it is on the mission sometimes. You just kind of go with what you have, speak spanish, talk and visit with people, and in the end, as long as you keep close to the spirit and pray lots, it all works out just how it´s supposed to. 

Anyway, what else happened this week? We had a Ward Christmas Dinner on Friday, that was fun. Especially since we showed up at 8:30 when it was supposed to start, and hung around till 10:15 when they finally said the opening prayer. Don´t worry, we had permission from the District leader to stay a little later since we live about 30 seconds from the chappel, but we basically just ate and left. Also, during all the hanging around we spent some time talking to Telma, our investigator! She came! Woot! Then we invited her to the baptism in another ward the next day, and even though I made some mean banana bread, she didn´t show up. So that was sad. But we still have high hopes that she´ll keep progressing and hopefully come to church one of these sundays, so any extra prayers for her would be appreciated. 

We also visited with some Antiguos Investigadores, and that went really well. But I think my favorite lesson this week was with a menos activa, Hermana Sandra. We hadn´t passed by in about a month, and whenever we had she hadn´t been home. But yesterday we dropped by and she let us in to share "El es la Dàdiva". They didn´t have internet and I didn´t have my flashdrive, so we couldn´t watch the video. But we read John 3:16 and talked about, well, Christ. I mean, the lesson wasn´t really all the special, but just to be there, bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, and thinking not only on his birth, but his life, his atonement, his ressurection, and especially the love that he has for us, as his family. I know, with all my heart that he lives. I know that God sent Christ to this earth for us, and that because of that, we can be clean. We can change. We can become like Him. Best of all, we can live forever with our families in Heaven. I´m so thankful for Him, and for everyone in my life that have helped me stay close to him, through words, testimony and example. 

A Merry Christmas to all! God bless us, every one! 

Hermana Cannon

p.s. The other picture is my little model christmas card for yalls. Feliz Navidad! (da-nuh nuh-nuh nuh nuh-nuh) Feliz navidad! (da-nuh nah-nah nah nah-nah) Feliz navidad, prospero año y felizidad! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Bit of Change

Dear Fam and Friends: 

Translado day! No one sleeps on translado day, and Hermana Tirado and I were no exeption. Last night waiting for the Translado call was the worst! But, finally, at 11:30 or so the call came. Aaaaaaaaand, I´m staying! Hermana Tirado, for her last transfer goes to Uspallata, one of her old areas. She´s absolutely ecstatic about it, and cried for 20 minutes half becuase she´s leaving and half because she´s going back to her little branch in the middle of nowhere. It´s pretty exciting. 

Oh, and my new companion will be a mini misionera. A mini misionera is an Argentine Hermana who for one reason or another can´t serve a full time mission, but serves in Argentina for a while as a missionary. We don´t know who will be coming in, but we´ll find out Wednesday at least. 

So basically I´m a little nervous to be in charge of the area. But at the same time I´m excited for the challenge, per say. And I know that God has a reason for me here, some things for me to learn, some people for me to serve. So, I´ll stay where he wants me to stay. ;) 

In other news, we had some Christmas things happen! Yep. Some Christmas things. On Saturday we went as a zone to the Plaza to sing Christmas hymns and pass out El es la Dádiva cards. It was great, but it was in the morning so there was basically no one in the park. Turns out just a few blocks away there was some kind of charity carnival going on, with music, and games, and dancing so all the crowds were over in that direction. SO, a few sisters went and asked the people in charge if they wouldn´t mind us setting up in a corner and singing for them. To our surprise they said yes, but they gave us some time in front of the microphone to sing for everyone! It was great. We all sang, and a few elders mingled among the crowd passing out cards and talking to people. It was great! Afterward we gave a Santa hat to the lady in charge and took a picture. (see picture)  

Also, yesterday was the Stake Christmas Devotional! That also was lovely, and turned out very well. Made a few piano mistakes, but whose counting? Not the mostly tone deaf Argentines. No, but the choir sang with all their hearts and souls, and that´s the true spirit of Christmas. ;) 

So, I guess that´s about it for this week. Got some exciting changes ahead, and can´t wait to get working! 

Love you all! Oh, and welcome to the world Baby Sam! Congratulations Joey and Jenna! Remember, I´m the favorite aunt. :) 

Con amor, 
Hermana Cannon

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hola Mis Queridos:

First of all, this week we found out that it is not in fact summer until the 21st of December. So that was embarrassing. Still primavera! However, that doesn´t change the fact that there´s still some cement egg frying heat going on. :)

Also, last week´s email I forgot to mention the reason for the dog picture. This dog follows us around everywhere. He always hangs out outside the carniceria on our street, and when he sees us, he jumps up and follows us to all our appointments and everything. Sometimes he even waits outside of the house or store until we finish and come back out. We named him Tomás. There´s also a smaller dog who follows us sometimes which we have named Tomenos. (más y menos? Get it? ah, spanish humor. ;) )

Anyway, a little update on Hermana Tirado´s health. We went to the doctor un montonaso de vezes this week to finish all of her exams, and this friday we´ll go back in to pick up all the results and meet with the doctor one last time so she can tell us what´s going on. Meanwhile, she´s doing much better, which is weird because this week we had two of the hottest days ever in the history of hot days. I guess more miracle like than weird. :) Anyway she hasn´t died, and we´re just keeping her out of the sun as much as possible.

Since we were at the doctor a lot this week, we weren´t able to visit with as many people as we would have liked, which is always a bummer. And that also means there´s not too much to tell in this email... heh heh...

We did however go to Evening of Excellence! They wanted to sing the EFY medley, you know with As sisters in Zion and Army of Helaman, and they were like, Hey! You play the piano! Play for us! But they didn´t have the music, just the hymnbook and primary song book. So I just kind of played them both and improvised a little of each during the mixed part. All in all, it actually turned out pretty nice. Not to toot my own horn. ;)

The service was really sweet too. Each ward was assigned a value color and all the girls made skirts and dresses in that color that they wore to the evening. But by far my favorite part of the whole meeting was when Cecilia got up to bear her testimony. Cecilia is a special needs YW in the ward, and when it was her turn to speak she got up and says, "Yo sé que Jesu Cristo vive. No lo veo pero lo siento." Then she just stood there in silence for a few minutes until another YW in the ward stood up to help her finish her whisper-repeated testimony. But how sweet it was to hear. It was such a testimony to hear just a few simple sentences and have the spirit testify of them so strongly.

This week we´ve been sharing the church´s Christmas video with everyone, Él es la Dádiva. (He is the Gift I guess is what it would be in English haha) If you haven´t seen it or shared it 5 million times yet, do it! It´s a beautiful message. The church is really pushing that the missionaries use this video in the work this month. We even have passalong cards specifically made for it. Join in the effort!

It´s truly a priveledge to share the message of the gospel, especially this Christmas season, when we can remember Jesus Christ, and the gift of his life, his example. I´m so thankful for our Savior, and I add my testimony to Cecilia´s, that I know he lives. And that this gift given by a loving heavenly father continues on when we share His love with others.

Hermana Cannon

p.s. The pictures! Last week for P-day we went to Los Reyunos. Just like a river/dam thing that´s really pretty. We also toured a winery, which was... extremely smelly. ;) Oh, and guess what we found on display all you Messi fans!?!?!? ;)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy...what´s that canadian holiday?

Dear Friends and Family: 

Happy Thanksgiving! No, we didn´t celebrate it. I did eat an extra helping of pasta last thursday in honor of the great day. And one of the members said he would cook up some pavo for us, but that didn´t happen. Actually, turkey is really expensive here, not to mention the fact that I´ve never seen it...anywhere. So that´s fun. But yesterday we did have this delicious Pollo a la Naranja, that I hear is a regular Colombian recipe. Don´t know if that´s true. Guess I´ll refer that one to you, Joey? Regardless, it was delicious. And I think I´ll take the liberty to call that my thanksgiving experience this year. Woot! 

Actually, this week Hermana Tirado and I learned the real meaning of giving thanks this week. A few months ago Hna Tirado and I started talking about Corrie Ten Boom. She had read a talk that mentioned a bit of her story, and I took the opportunity to share my favorite part (And mom´s!) with her. The short version is that Corrie´s sister while they were in the concentration camp told Corrie that she had to give thanks for the fleas in her prayers. Although it made no sense, she did so. Turns out that the reason the guards never discovered or took away their bible, medicine, and other things was because no one wanted to enter their room, due to the fleas. 

Well, we had a few fleas this week. One huge on in particular. Hermana Tirado suffers a lot with the heat. She´s from Cajamarca in Peru, on the tippy top of the Andes mountains. In other words, eternal winter. It never gets above like, 60 degrees, even in summer. So here where it´s often 85 or higher, especially during the siesta, she hasn´t been doing too well. She gets dizzy, sometimes throws up, and this week she broke out in hives and her throat started closing up for a bit. She´s fine now, breathing and alive, not to worry. We called the mission nurse who said to just keep her out of the sun and heat, and to use a few creams and stuff, but the president and his wife told us to take her to the doctor just in case. 

Just saying, I hope I never have to be treated here in Argentina. The hospital was a few steps above the office scene in Joe Vs the Volcano. Flourescent lights, cement walls, full of sickly and tired looking people, and the nurse was sipping mate as she asked questions and took the blood presure and stuff. 

In the end, Hermana Tirado has to go in for a bunch of tests and x rays, so they can figure out what the problem is. We´re praying for her, and yesterday she recieved a blessing. We´ll be staying inside during the siesta (aka the full concentrated power of the sun), and filling her full of water and juice and using the umbrella to keep her out of the sun while we wait for her appointment with the doctor. Last year they sent her to Uspayata in the summer, the coldest area in Mendoza which still isn´t too cold, so we´re anticipating a traslado coming up here soon. 

Anyway, so this week was a little difficult to give thanks. And yet, there are always things to give thanks for. For the birds singing in the morning. For the members here in the ward. For the chance to sing Christmas hymns in the stake choir (actually I´m playing the piano. Woot!), for my great family and friends, your support, prayers, and examples, and for the opportunity to be here in Argentina, wearing the plaque, and representing Jesus Christ in inviting and helping people to come unto Him. And like Corrie Ten Boom, there´s still room to give thanks for the harder things too. The trials. The hard days. The fleas. Because this is the time to prepare to meet God, and there´s always more to learn when you´re being pushed and stretched, and thrown into the fire. And God knows what we need in order to learn patience, humility, charity, faith. I´ve always loved the Hymn "More Holiness Give Me" and I feel that it´s a great missionary theme song, and motto for life. Because it´s the trials that teach you all the attributes found in the song, and I know that´s true. I´m thankful for the trials I´ve been given, and for the things I´ve learned, and the muscles I´ve strengthened through Christ. And I know that it´s through Christ that our weaknesses become strengths, and for that, I´m truly thankful. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Hermana Cannon