Thursday, December 24, 2015

Weeks 27-30

Well... What a week it has been. I like to be optimistic but honesty is important too. It's kind of hard because in my life there have only been a few things that I've really wanted to be good at, but when I decide that I do, I go full boar 101% until I have success. Being a missionary is one of those things. Only God will ever really know the mental and physical dedication and discipline I have put in to being the missionary He wants me to be each minute of the day. (Speaking of which, a funny thing I thought the other day is "wow it's so cold, thank goodness I'm a missionary and don't have to complain about it". Ha-ha. Maybe there is some wisdom in that). But as a missionary it doesn't exactly work like that. You can be cleaning up every part of your work - being more obedient than you've ever been on your mission, working harder and smarter and with more faith than ever and there's no guarantee that you'll have immediate success, despite how logical that might seem. So I guess what I'm saying is that I don't need any prayers for my own well-being; just pray that we can find success! 

Got a nice bunch of contacts this week, once we can meet with them things will start rolling... I've been very blessed. I would never recognize myself four months ago with how I contact now. We get better and better each day. And we had a nice, successful third hour in church where we missionaries talked about missionary work. It went pretty well; I'm excited for them to start helping us teaching their friends. 

We had inter-zone thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  Good to see some old friends from the mission. I've been becoming quite the jump-roper lately during morning exercise, but I'm REALLY hoping President lets us do this massive Rome 10K that Nike sponsors on the 31st as a proselyting tool like they did last year. 

Referring to the title of my email: I know I said I've been being obedient, but on Friday I went to a movie theater to watch a movie that didn't even get done until 9:45. But I did it with my mission president! Ha! “Meet the Mormons” premiered here so a bunch of politicians and people apparently came to watch it, and they wanted us missionaries to be there for our presence, so we got permission to go! It was great! 

Excerpt from our lesson yesterday: "As member missionaries, who we are is the first act of missionary work that we do. I have a journal where I write down impactful scriptures, and I testify that as I have studied them, they have helped me to better myself and become a better example and light for non-members." Read the scriptures! If you feel that the Spirit does not communicate with you as much as you would like, I suggest you study and memorize scriptures. 

Anziano Cannon 

Not a very flattering picture of some of us, but here we are caroling before the movie.

4/10ths of my MTC district on thanksgiving 

Don't worry, I ate thanksgiving dinner with family this year ;)

December 7, 2015

What a great, insane week! Woo hoo! Things are starting to get moving here. It's been hard work but I am grateful for the lesson of humility I have learned this transfer. You can never come into a city and just "fix" it and get the work rolling. Sorella NaBita, the sister from my district who just finished her mission, hit me hard when she said that every miracle or good thing that comes in our mission is a tender mercy from God. At the          same time, that does not mean we should be pessimistic or down on ourselves! The past couple days especially I have felt a strong confidence - that if we do what is right, GOD will provide us with success. 

Saturday the sisters had a baptism. It was incredible. I left the building that night just ready to GO and with a renewed vigor that comes from remembering that although the lows come a lot more often in the mission, the highs totally outweigh them and make them worth it. So literally the second guy we talked to turned out to be a young man who isn't very satisfied with his experience with Catholicism and is looking for truth. Normally we call contacts the next day, but Anziano Saffer called him that night, and invited him to church. He came yesterday morning, took a Book of Mormon, and set up and appointment with us for this week! 

After church I gave my first blessing in Italian. Boy have I been blessed with the gift of tongues. Also it was seriously a miracle that I could remember these ladies' super LONG Italian names. We've started to do 100% SYL [Speak Your Language] Wednesdays as a companionship. I'll admit that it's easy to slip into English when you're not thinking about it, but for the rest of the week it makes it easy to "slip into" Italian just because it's easier when you might normally speak English. 

Sunday night there was a fireside. We heard it wasn't missionary related, so we had to have an investigator with us if we wanted to come. I thought, "ok we'll try to get an investigator there, if not it's not a big deal". We ended up actually getting two to come, which was especially nice because I walked in there expecting it to be a broadcast, but instead my attention was immediately called to a huge 6'4"ish black guy. Elder Joseph W. Sitati had come to speak to our stake! Well that made it a little more interesting. It wasn't a normal devotional, he was talking about self-sufficiency. But another little blessing is that one of the guys we brought was super into it, he was like making hand gestures to show his approval of what was being said ha-ha. I personally love learning at the feet of general authorities; Elder Sitati was throwing around some insanely deep thoughts and connections between the parables in Matthew 25. Though I will say that I've also come to love the imperfections of these men - like Elder Bednar said, it is faith PROMOTING. If God can take an imperfect man and help him fulfill his calling as a prophet, he can certainly help me be a good missionary. My companion and I gave each other a weird look when Elder Sitati mentioned how the master gave his servants "five talents, four talents, two talents and one talent" ha-ha. 

I've definitely learned to "judge righteously".  I heard some things at the start of this transfer that shook my faith a bit about this ward, but as I have actually gotten to know them, I have started to love these converts (I saw by a raise of hands- they are basically ALL converts). For example, we have a cool door-to-door salesman who gave us tips on going house to house, an awesome member of just two years who doesn't have hobbies anymore because he prefers "focusing on church service now", and an incredible ward mission leader who treats his calling as a full time job. 

For my little spiritual thought, I'll just talk about preparation, having to do with the devotional, but not anything Elder Sitati said. Right when I saw him there, I almost subconsciously felt my sideburns to make sure they were above my ears, checked to make sure my shoes were polished, pants were ironed, etc. Thankfully all was in order. But the point is that there are things we do every day, physically yes but also spiritual, that may seem like a pain or nuisance. But we never know when our "second coming" will be. We have to prepare now so we will be ready when the day of reckoning comes. 

Vi voglio bene, [I love you all]

Anziano Cannon 

December 14, 2015
This week we kind of realized the importance of English course. It actually is a really great opportunity to learn how to be a better teacher. I've found it’s important to go super hard for one hour, being full of energy and enthusiasm and smiles and humor, etc. so you can entertain your students and hopefully teach them some English as well, despite the awkward fact that a couple are more bilingual than you are. But this has been especially important in this area, because we have a big English course (the sisters teach one level and we do the other) and LOTS of potential investigators (which is why we do it in the first place).

This week we had our first lesson with Fransisco, a Peruvian who we very glad to teach in the presence of one of the coolest RMs I've ever met, Fabio. Then we definitely have some other potentials. Bishop wants us to teach more families and I'm like "heck yes I would love to, we just need referrals"- it's really hard to stop families on the street. But we have this new student, a man who brings his two sons and has a wife at home who was asking us about what we do for like 15 minutes after class one night so we'll try to start teaching this week... Along with the Cubans! The problem is, we still don't know their names. But it's at the point where we've known them long enough that it would be awkward to ask, so once we find out their names they'll be baptized for sure! Ha-ha just kidding. But really they are super cool, a pair of friends who are like 30 years old each. I don’t know if they are new or what, but I have no idea why previous missionaries haven't started teaching them. Last week I talked to one of them, who told me he prays to God for 3 or 5 minutes every morning and that he loves what we do. So I told him we'd love to talk to them and explain "what we do" a little better! 

We also started teaching our post-baptism street contact Andrea this week. He's a really interesting guy, but still completely normal. He showed up to the first lesson wearing roller skates - you might be inclined to judge, but if you saw the picture of what he looked like before he had started roller skating (probably 50 pounds heavier) you might quickly realize he has just found a very unique way to exercise. He only missed church yesterday because it was his 21st birthday. 

We also were blessed with some success with less active work this week. Last night right as we might have been about to turn back after ringing at this old ladies house without an answer, her young nephew just happened to walk up and led us up to her. She was sick, but he gave us his number and wants us to come back soon (he's not a member). We also got to go to a less active member and teach "him" a lesson, but his whole family of like eight, none of which have been baptized, were listening super intently the entire time. Next time we come we might just so happen to decide to teach "him" the Restoration. 

In other news... So yesterday I got to translate priesthood meeting. We have these little microphones that transmit to headsets English speakers wear, so I got to be on the hotspot and translate for some Americans, though I'll tell you the vocabulary we use to talk about "strengthening our stakes" isn't easy.

Afghanis are definitely the best dressed people here. Honestly I'm totally wearing clothes like they do when I come home, they wear these sick scarves with their jackets and tan pants... Also, the verdict from president on the 10K was "absolutely not", but at least I have had some athletic success as my jump rope record went up to 443 in a row this week despite my lack of coordination. 

Something I am really passionate about (though obviously not perfect at applying) that we heard from Elder Christofferson last conference:

"In the Church we not only learn divine doctrine; we also experience its application. As the body of Christ, the members of the Church minister to one another in the reality of day-to-day life. All of us are imperfect; we may offend and be offended. We often test one another with our personal idiosyncrasies. In the body of Christ, we have to go beyond concepts and exalted words and have a real ‘hands-on’ experience as we learn to ‘live together in love’.”

As members of the church we do in fact need to get our "hands" dirty as we keep our covenants. Pilate cleaned his hands because he wanted to avoid this. He knew what the right thing to do was but he was too scared to do it. For us it cannot be that way! Though our forms of service and sacrifice may not be noticed by all, or be easy to perform, they are seen by God, and that is what really counts, right? 


Anziano Cannon

Africa right by our house 

December 21, 2015

This week I had the interesting thought the names of the people we've baptized so far translate to "God is with us" and "Savior".  (Speaking of which, I just heard that they are both almost prepared to get the priesthood. Yay!) Maybe next up is Liu, who named his son "Ire D’Angelo" (luck of an angel). We actually just taught him an hour ago. He is our Cuban English course student. The background on his phone is a picture of Ire, who is three years old and he does "everything” for.  Such a good guy, it was so easy to ask him to meet us! The Restoration went great, it was an ok lesson until we started talking about Joseph Smith. Then the room got all quiet and the Spirit was really strong.  Now we just have to figure out what to do because his girl and son live in Venezuela since it is cheaper for them to stay there, but they aren't actually married.

This week I've been praying for miracles every day, and I testify that THEY HAVE COME. my companion got sick earlier in the week, but I felt the reassurance that even though we weren't working as hard as I would like to be, God is the one we really rely on, and He knows we are doing our best and will still put prepared people in our path. This came true on Sunday. I was actually fasting for help with the work. One of the difficulties we face is with mornings. Investigators work.  Members work. Potential investigators should probably be working.

We did a new thing this week as we rung doors, which hardly ever works since people can't even see us over the intercom. We just rang them all at once, then when multiple people started asking over the intercom "who is it?" we responded in a soft voice "sono io" ("it's me"). Then usually someone will open up the gate, and we can proceed to do real door to door throughout the apartment complex. But our success was short lived - the average age of the people at home was like 94. Thankfully, I not only received some revelation afterward on how to handle this morning problem, but we also had a massive miracle Sunday as the sisters brought a less active woman and her whole nonmember family of five to church for the first time! Apparently the mom wanted us elders to teach the dad and 13 year old son since they are guys.

They were the only investigators we had at church though, because one of our Simps [short for the Italian word for investigators] literally showed up 3.5 hours late. Yep, if you think Americans aren't punctual. We also had Gian Piero and Eva show up though!!! Peruvian referrals. A 16 year old and his mom. It was really a blessing because he is kind of shy and when he went to the young men's activity the day before, I didn't think it had gone as well as it could have with him making friends, but later that night he called us saying he wanted to come to church! They had problems though but still showed up on time to see us and the members before we left.

We actually have a lesson planned on Christmas morning. We will confirm the day before, we aren't sure if the lady remembered that the 25th is Christmas. But of course we wouldn't complain to do it. Am I sad to not celebrate Christmas like I am used to? No. I'm sad that not everyone gets to celebrate it as fully as I do by inviting people come to Christ and use his holy sacrifice that we celebrate on Easter and throughout the year.

Merry Christmas,


Anziano Cannon

You when your comp is sick and you have just 
watched the entire "District".  Fun times.

MTC group in the Rome east zone!!! We are starting our fifth transfer!!
Syrian kebab place I went to before zone conference. I heard this is illegal in America? They use this saw type thing to shave the meat off. Super yummy.
This is a picture of the hill we live on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weeks 25 and 26

November 17, 2015

You are assigned to labor in... South America?

Ah, what a great week it has been! Transfer day was great. We were at a random stop somewhere and I got to see my trainer Anziano Borner for a second, just before the train left. Then when we stopped in Napoli I was pretty stoked to see my MTC friend Anziano Lancaster and my BYU RA Anziano Friedman! When we finally arrived in Rome, I met my new companion, Anziano Saffer. After we said hi to each other, he told me something like "well we could wait a second for the rest of the missionaries to get off the train so you could say goodbye real quick, but there's no reason to waste time so after that let's get out of here." Right from then I knew we were going to get along! Ha. He's a super good guy. Out of our district of us and four sisters, I am one of just two from America. 

Anyway, referring to the title of my email: I was a bit surprised to see that tons of people here, and especially tons of members, are from Latin America. Particularly Peru. We were in a lesson with our ward mission leader the other day and all of a sudden he decided to just start talking in Spanish, despite the fact that everyone present was perfectly good at Italian. Afterwards I was like "OK. Cool. I understood maybe four words there I guess I'll just bear my testimony now." There are some great people here though. One of them is our ward pianist, who wrote several songs for the Italian hymn book. Needless to say, I was not asked to accompany the music on Sunday.  :) 

The other day I heard through the grapevine that Rome 1 hasn't had a baptism in a year. And to be honest, the work right now is pretty slow. Suddenly I saw an unspoken challenge from President. Leave two young, hungry missionaries together in a bad area and see what they do. Well, you had better believe I told my comp the streak is breaking during our companionship. I don't like how sometimes missionaries say that areas where there are a lot of investigators have "lots of work" while other places that aren't seeing success have "not much work". In my opinion, the latter areas have the most work in the mission, because we have to catch up to others and GET investigators before we start teaching and baptizing them. We started doing this last night, where we took the subway to the Vatican and found our way the four or five mile walk home. 

Quick things: P-day was on Tuesday because we had zone conference yesterday… with my cousin! Didn't think we'd see each other this soon.

A couple guys from Salt Lake City came to church to take pictures. I will admit it was pretty cool to have someone taking a picture of you making a comment in priesthood while someone else in the back of the room is simultaneously translating what you are saying (there are a lot of English speakers here so they have to do that). Well, if yours truly is on the cover of a future Ensign, don't be surprised.  ;) 

The Italian has definitely improved. I now say all of my prayers throughout the day in Italian except my longer evening prayer. 

This week I had the thought that I am literally "walking on water" in a sense. With the experiences we have every single day, I should be SO exhausted, homesick, depressed, and frustrated. It is such a miracle and a huge evidence of the prayers and heavenly support we receive that we can do this work every day and love it. 


Anziano Cannon

Fratello Mannino. Incredible guy. African branch president. 

English course 

Famiglia Saccone, Famiglia Mantegna (investigators) and Salvatore  

Eman and his friend Endurance came to see me off at the train station.

First P-day.  Vatican in back. 

This castle we went to was part of the movie 
"Angels and Demons" if you've seen that. 

Zone Conference pictures:

Ethan with his cousin Tristan Spencer!

November 23, 2015

So on Saturday my companion and I had an interesting comp study where he revealed to me certain things about our ward that I hadn't noticed my first Sunday there. For example, right now there are so few willing men that only active members have home teachers. Yes, you read that right - only ACTIVE families have home teachers. And WE missionaries have home teaching assignments.

I could give 31 reasons why this is completely inappropriate, but I won't. We scheduled a meeting with our ward mission leader and kind of vented a tiny bit. He's a good guy. But to be honest I felt a bad afterwards. So I repented and decided that this would take a ton of prayer and faith that the Spirit will guide us to know what we can do and how we can do it to improve this ward, trusting that God knows which situations are best for a "cleansing of the temple" approach and which situations are better dealt with in a more positive way.

And I had a potential opportunity to "break boxes" (Italian slang for calling to repentance) a little in my testimony yesterday, especially after the less-than-desirable welcome our investigator Marco had just received, but I let the Spirit guide me and instead ended up expressing a ton of love I felt and knew that God has for each of them. And we have been blessed.

That day we befriended an Argentinian kid, who’s been home from his mission for two years but just came to Italy and is working on switching his Spanish to Italian right now. Being the awesome RM he is, he told us how where he used to live he would go with the missionaries once a week, "if that's ok". "Yes, yes that's fine with us" I quickly responded.  :) 

But yea we've seen some good success. We should have a couple baptismal dates by the end of this week. I have never worked harder on my mission, or prayed harder for guidance, despite this being the least numerically successful week of my mission. We talk to SO MANY people every day. I absolutely would've gotten up on the front of the bus and started preaching to everyone, instead of wasting time just talking to individuals, if my companion hadn't been a little worried they might get annoyed with us! Ha. 

I will just quickly say, without expounding more than necessary, that my health and physical safety have been pretty miraculously preserved during the past six months (OK, four and a half months - nothing can happen in the MTC). But it's good that we went to the Vatican last week, because we missionaries are now no longer to go over there. 

Well I guess my spiritual thought today will just be that Jesus Christ is the center of all we do. Joseph Smith said that all we have as members of the church - rain gutter regattas, relief society activities, cool "I'm a Mormon" videos about Irish runners - they are all just appendages to the real reason we are here. Jesus Christ and His Atonement. And I can't wait for one more reason to help people come to him as we approach the Christmas season!


Anziano Cannon 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 24

November 9, 2015

feel like every day in my journal I start out by writing, "Today has been pretty crazy." I guess that's mission life. Saturday was particularly crazy. In the morning we received our transfer calls and I found out I will be going to ROME!!!!!!! I'm so excited! I love Bagheria but feel peace about this transfer. It will mean a big drop in temperature. Every day has been beautiful here, probably in the 60s and always sunny. On Thursday I will take the same train that brought me here right back to Roma. My specific area, Rome 1, includes the Vatican, so hopefully I will be able to send some good p-day pics! My new companion will be Anziano Soffer from Sweden. He will be starting his fifth transfer (out of 16).  I will be starting my fourth), so I'm happy to have another relatively young companion. 

Saturday night was Salvatore's baptism! We were few in number that attended, but the Spirit was strong. He wrote out a three page long testimony to share, which we had to abbreviate a little bit! It was great though.  He talked about God cleansing the earth with the flood, and how he is now being cleansed with his baptism, and some other great, deep stuff that had Bishop raising his eyebrows. More important than his knowledge, however, was his testimony, which I'm sure grew as well when he received the Holy Ghost yesterday. What a happy couple of days! 

I have been overwhelmed the past couple days over the love I have felt for and from the members of this ward. I never imagined that I could have the feelings I currently do about people who I have known for such a little time, and especially talked with so little (remember I came here speaking barely any Italian!) But I got some pictures yesterday and will hopefully send some more next week of the incredible people I've met. 

Let me read an excerpt from my journal September 23rd. "I have never been this physically tired on the mission...We got bedonaed (canceled on) like 5 times today, twice by Giovanni. Well I guess it happens. Though I don't like admitting that I'm not in control of the situation."

September 23rd was the day we met Salvatore. I didn't even write about it because he didn't seem very promising at the time. But I testify that God is in control of the situation. He sees things that we can't, and out of our trials will come blessings and growth that we could never have imagined. 

Finally, from Neal A. Maxwell, “A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others." That doesn't mean we aren't afraid, or lazy, or have other problems or reasons we don't open our mouths. But we put those all on the altar and share the gospel anyway if we are truly converted. 

Love you all and can't wait to write you from Rome next week,

Anziano Cannon

Christopher- Palermo 3 branch (African) ward mission leader. Besides wearing the same swaggy tie to church every week, Christopher has really taken Eman under his wing and magnified his calling. (Remember that these Africans are some of the happiest people I know, for whatever reason they just can't smile for a camera). 

Joel- Palermo 3 branch first counselor. This guy would give 40 minute long sacrament talks pulling out insane quotes from D&C and the Pearl of Great Price if President Mannino let him. Such a great guy. 

Samuel- Palermo 3 quorum president. Yesterday Italian and African was combined, so he taught priesthood. I don't cease to be amazed that this guy, who hasn't been in the church for more than a few years, could get up and teach a lesson in front of 20 men in his second language (Italian). 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 23

November 2, 2015

Wow, my heart has been so full this week, I can't believe how blessed we've been and I don't understand how we could possibly deserve it.  On Saturday morning Salvatore passed his baptismal interview, which was no surprise to any of us. He got sick and couldn't come to church Sunday (dang it Satan!) but we fortunately live just down the street from him so we will be seeing him often this week in anticipation for the day he has been waiting for for a long, long time.

Later that day our investigator Tomasso came over. He has been in Bagheria for a little bit but was supposed to go back within a month to his home 60 kilometers away. We had just the previous night talked about how it was unrealistic to try and teach him and were planning on probably letting him go, until Saturday when we found out just kind of matter-of-factly that he is moving here permanently! Miracle!

In the past I've thought it best to allow the Italians to have chance to bear their testimonies in fast and testimony meeting, but yesterday I finally decided to get up and say mine, and was really glad I did. I was also there for African testimony meeting at the end of church, and was just blown away as Eman dropped the greatest testimony ever. He's a pretty quiet, closed guy, so to hear him say what he did so openly in front of the entire congregation about how his life has changed and his love for the gospel was just such an awesome experience. I was trying to stop smiling for the next five minutes! Haha. 

On Saturday the Palermo 1 Anziani had a couple baptisms. I volunteered to play the piano for prelude 25 minutes in advance. This turned out to not be the best idea, because the Bishop was half an hour late, so everyone was sitting here quietly while I flipped open to random pages in the Italian hymnal trying to find songs I could play. 

I've been reading "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard again. It is so cool to see how my perspective has changed since I read it in the MTC. At one point he talks about how many missionaries begin serving with the idea that they want to repay God for all that he has done for them in their lives. I bracketed that a few months ago, because that is basically in a nutshell my main reason why I wanted to serve a mission. But Elder Ballard continues that the missionaries will soon find out that we can never compensate God for all he has done for us.  As soon as we begin serving, he will bless us immensely. With my perspective now, I can better see the accuracy of this. This past little while I have worked hard for Heavenly Father, but even for my OWN personal well-being and development, there is NO BETTER way I could have spent the past five months. 

Well I am loving the work here and my companion, I would love to find out Saturday that I'm staying for another transfer!


Anziano Cannon 

Didn't really take pics this week.  Here's one of the beach. 

And Palermo

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Week 21 and 22

October 19

Wow, what an insane week. Yesterday in church I got so confused that I talked to an English speaker in Italian and then immediately afterward an Italian speaker in English. At one point I was "in charge" of helping and befriending three different investigators of ours and the other elders who had no idea what to do and spoke different languages. Our new ward mission leader even had the sister's recent convert teach gospel principles. I just had to hope that our love for the gospel would make up for our inexperience with it.

At the baptism we didn't prepare nearly as well as we should have, so I ended up wearing my suit coat over my wet baptism shirt afterwards. It was a miracle it even worked in the first place because we planned to meet Salvatore at the train station to catch a train that would get us to the church over an hour before the baptism.  But that train didn't come, and then the bus we took had problems, but eventually we met Eman, got to the church and had the baptism. The two talks in Italian and the talk in English were translated for those who weren't bilingual.

As we waited in the bathroom for the sister's baptism to take place, I bowed my head to say a quick silent prayer, and when I looked up, I felt peace as I saw Eman mouthing a prayer of his own. For some reason the water in the font was FREEZING cold, but right as we stepped toward the center the water temperature literally heated way up and felt great. Maybe my dad can explain this using physics, but I thought it was pretty cool anyway. Overall it was a great way to celebrate the road Eman has taken to come closer to Christ, while remembering how much farther he still has to go. He has changed so much and I was so happy to be there to see him take one step further on his journey of discipleship. 

This week we were excited to meet a few new potential investigator families! Helping a family into the Gospel would be great. 

A couple months ago I was a little frustrated that it seemed very hard to get the few members we have in Bagheria to come to teach lessons with us, and I had the prompting that "you can get member present lessons, you just have to baptize the members first" (meaning that we can baptize people and then bring them to lessons to teach other investigators). Teaching Salvatore this week that thought came into my head again as he showed us how he writes these elaborate page-long reflections on his Book of Mormon readings and then puts them into people's mail boxes. I couldn't help but think that if he is already a good missionary now, I can only imagine how he will help after his baptism. 

Sorry for this crazy and poorly written email!

Love you all,

Anziano Cannon 

 For our third transfer pic at zone conference we weren't supposed to 
smile, but as you can see, I couldn't really handle that. 

October 26
Pretty crazy week (as always). I was very blessed to get my "permesso" to preach the gospel in Italy while I was still in my first city, so I don't have to return to my birth city later and get it. This was not the case for Anziano Vrska from Palermo, and I will just say that literally EVERYTHING went wrong for him, so we ended up taking the hour long bus ride to the airport four times over the past few days. Plus a train got derailed going to Agrigento, so many trains that would normally stop at Bagheria have been canceled. Bummer. 

It's been an awesome week other than that though! Yesterday we ate lunch at Sorella Pecorraro's house. She is an older member from Milan who has lots of non-member friends and family here. We basically did a split with her, going to two different "appointments" and teaching 12 people total. The first one went super well, Sorella Pecorraro started crying during the opening prayer so I knew we were off to a good start. It was kind of nerve wracking to teach people in a big group style like that, but our Restoration lesson brought a few of them to tears, so we are stoked for our next appointment! 

Salvatore has still been making great progress, he is WAY too deep into the doctrine for gospel principles so we may need to have him switch classes eventually haha. When we started talking about intelligences during our Plan of Salvation lesson I felt like we might have gone a bit too far.  ;)

Crazy story of the week: we slept at Palermo the night before we sent off Anziano Simmons. We were supposed to wake up at 4 to catch the bus.  But when I rolled over to check the clock it said 5:07. So we called up a taxi real quick to haul us to the airport, and payed him more money than I would like to admit. Unfortunately we paid all of our cash to do that, so we were stuck at the airport where all the ATMs were broken. Thankfully, there was one other guy waiting to take the bus back, and he agreed to pay for our tickets if we paid him back once we got to the ATMs at the station. 

This week I studied the Christ-like attribute of virtue. Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised that most of what I could find was a bunch of old talks by Elaine S. Dalton. :)  But I know that we all have royalty within us so we should be loyal to it. Especially for those of us who have taken upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ through baptism.  There is no friendship more valuable than our own clear conscience, and our own moral cleanliness. 

Yesterday during sacrament I was just flooded with personal revelation about baptism, repentance, forgiveness and the sacrament. Part of this was something I had already heard in conference, that we cannot wait to repent until we take the sacrament. It has to occur beforehand. Then we are forgiven as we take the sacrament. I don’t know how doctrinal this is but it made sense to me. It was wonderful. I realize now how General Authorities always have such perfect answers; they just have been tutored by the Spirit a lot more than we have so far!

Thanks for your emails,


Anziano Cannon 

Zone calcio 

The lady sitting next to me was a little weirded out by how 
much I enjoyed the bus ride to the airport. The weather 
has been changing and I love the clouds! 

And some pictures from the Palermo zone conference courtesy of Sorella Waddoups...