Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 60

July 18, 2016

G is doing awesome! He's going to be gone this week but we had the coolest lesson ever last week showing him "Finding faith in Christ".

This has been a bit of a turbulent week. We heard about something happening in France. In addition, there was a bad train wreck near where we are this week. And on top of that, Bishop V's dad, an incredible pioneer in the Church in Italy, went into an almost for sure fatal coma on Monday, one day after giving a talk in church. By the time we had sacrament meeting yesterday, everyone was searching for healing. And we found it. I don't know if I've ever felt the Spirit that strongly as I was translating Elder Fitzner's talk about having a change of heart. The closing song was "How Firm a Foundation", which is one of my favorites anyway. This time, the Italian words struck me really hard: "Qual dolce rifugio, abbiamo in Gesรน". "What sweet refuge we have in Jesus". How needed was that!

The new district is going to be interesting, lots of young people. When you put them on the spot and make them take turns teaching the Plan of Salvation you find out whose actually been studying preach my gospel haha.


Anziano Cannon

Week 59

July 11, 2016

Transfers... We are staying. Thank goodness! I definitely haven't finished my work here.

This week we got on the wrong bus and forgot to validate our tickets because I was busy talking to a guy who had apparently taken the lessons before, and because we had done a scambio that day and I had forgotten to move my wallet to my other bag it was maybe the first time ever I didn't had my permesso to be in Italy on my person. Add those things all up and then guess whether or not the ticket checkers,
who we normally never see, got on the bus.
Yep, they did. It ended up being just a €50 fine, but that's what I call bad luck.

I might just use abbreviations cuz my fake names are confusing me. S is pretty incredible, he doesn't even have a date yet but he should be getting baptized here in a few weeks. It's also really nice to have an African who speaks Italian actually quite well, it'll help him get more involved with the ward.

G is still worried about quitting smoking, but he totally GETS IT. We are really just showing him what he has to do to come unto Christ and he's doing it.

It is getting super hot and everyone is complaining but weird Anziano Cannon is just sitting here more concerned about burning calories and losing weight so honestly that feeling of cleaning the house on p day and have sweat dripping down your nose because you're so hot is kind of satisfying to me.


Anziano Cannon

Saying goodbye to the dying zone leaders

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 58

July 4, 2016

A year ago today, I was about to leave the MTC, and to avoid offending those who came from other countries, we held a devotional called a "Celebration of Freedom". At a certain point, a few elders broke out with some immature chants of "USA! USA! USA!" Today my experience was a barbecue at the church with the other missionaries and YSA.

If I asked you which of the following is the most powerful, effective, and righteous missionary, who would you say?

A) Alma the Younger
B) Ammon
C) Dan Jones
D) Sister Meyers, from “The District”

Anyone familiar with this would know "D" is the clear answer. That's one of the things I've learned from watching "The District" over again with Anziano Haws.

This week President Pickerd came!!! I am so excited! President Waddoups was great.  Now I felt an instant connection to our new captain. One memorable thing he did at our multi-zone conference was have all the people stand up whose parents (or they themselves) joined the church when they were between the ages 15 and 40. 13 of the 38 missionaries stood, including Anziano Haws and Anziano Saffer, whose parents accepted the gospel in Italy and Sweden, respectively.

President also told a bunch of cool stories. He knows the General Authorities pretty well, having been an Area Seventy before. One time, after reorganizing a stake, he was driving home with President Nelson (then 85 years old) and asked "Aren't you tired? I'm exhausted!" President Nelson responded, "I feel great! Tomorrow I'm going for a hike", then added, "after I hit the ski slopes with my daughters in the morning". A few years later President Pickerd asked if he still skied, and he said "Next week I'm going to take down (a certain Utah ski resort) with President Uchtdorf".

The war is about to begin!!! I've never helped anyone quit smoking, but now we are about to get started with Ronaldo (name has been changed at the request of President Pickerd).

We also had a new friend, Steve, from Ghana, who showed up at church Sunday! John is still being a stud, he was SO sick last Saturday but came to church Sunday to pass the sacrament as he had been assigned to do.

So on Saturday we went to Godwin's house. He's been a member for a little over a year. We ate a SUPER good fufu [
staple food with deep roots in Ghana's history and common in many countries of West Africa and the Caribbean. It is often made with cassava flour.  Other flours, such as semolinamaize flour or mashed plantains may take the place of cassava flour.]  It was honestly better than the hairy cow leg stuff I ate at someone’s house last fall. This one was done with fish. At one point Godwin grabbed a piece of spine, and showed us how he chewed it up and sucked out the juice before spitting out the dry bones. Channeling my inner Nigerian, I asked if there was another one and had the same yummy experience myself.

This week I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission.  I was able to watch "How Rare a Possession" for the first time on my mission. Holy cow, seeing Vincenzo DiFrancesca was such an emotional rollercoaster. He was baptized in Termini Imerese, a train stop near Bagheria. And watching him walk up to the Swiss temple to receive his endowments, just like the saints still do here in Italy today, was something I can't describe.


Anziano Cannon