Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 69

September 26, 2016

This week Abraham celebrated his first re-birthday: he was baptized one year ago. He is a studly missionary who will just call missionaries' contacts to see how they are doing and anyone he knows who didn't come to church.  He is also very humble. He's 29 and refers to a 40-year-old Nigerian member as "Uncle George". He's really just grateful to everyone who played a role in his conversion.

In other news, I made pizza for the first time this week. I was using expired yeast. Learn from the mistakes of others. The thing about us missionaries is that we always think "well, I don't want this food
item, but maybe the next elder will". Do that a couple times and I start finding stuff that went bad in 2014. The yeast, in my defense, had been approved by a senior missionary.

Rose got to lift some spiritual conversion weights this week as she got offered a job on Sunday that she really could use. We are still hoping she will be ready by the 8th! Apparently all of her Pakistani
friends were super stoked to come to it so we'll see.

I got to go on a scambio with Anziano Ruiz this week. He kind of defies the description of greenies.  Maybe it has something to do with the work he put into become a state champion track athlete but so far he thinks the mission is too... easy? We had a great time and got sidetracked from going home to lunch by the Spirit helping us to find a new investigator!

Anziano Cannon


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Week 68

September 17, 2016

Well I guess I've been transferred! I am no longer serving in Rome 6.  Yesterday, the stake presidency came to join Rome 2 and Rome 6. What had happened is that a year or two ago they had created Rome 6 so they would have enough wards to split the stake. Since then, many families from Rome 6 have moved away, while other units that had been branches have become wards, so the need for Rome 6 no longer existed. Plus, several American families have moved in recently, so we are very blessed to now have Sunday school and third hour in English.

We met with Will this week, unfortunately it was at a bar since he was in a rush. But this guy, who initially wanted us to teach him English, apparently frequented our church with his family for two years in Venezuela before returning to "il mondo Cattolico". We hope well because we aren't sure he ever worked with missionaries while he was there, they may not have had them in his unit.

Thursday we had a mission conference with President Kearon of the Seventy! Elder Sabin was also there. The conference was held in Rome 1, my old church. But I tell people Rome is its own country for a reason. Anziano Jorgenson left early to practice a musical number, but it was quite the miracle that we did an exchange and had me leave later with the other missionaries to help them find the church, as you'll see. I was happy to host the Cagliari elders, among which was Anziano Chugg!  We took a metro ride to centro and then had to switch metros – we saw some companions from Rome 3 on the metro, but there was no room. That came into play later as about halfway through the metro we fit on it broke down. We got off and decided to take a bus (it was pouring rain), but the first bus that came after 15 minutes was too packed to get on. We finally got on another one after 15 more minutes, which was also packed. We then walked the rest of the distance to the church, and got there at 10:15 after nearly three hours of travel. We were supposed to have arrived at 9.

Anyway, they said some incredible things. President Kearon remembered meeting me in February I believe! Crazy stuff. He quoted Elder Holland saying "it takes a great conference to last past Tuesday" in relation to making goals based off spiritual impressions and what we learned from the conference. I certainly did and think we should all apply this with General Conference in a couple weeks.

I guess the biggest news is Rose, who had an obstacle preventing her baptism but she prayed after one of our lessons that she would receive an answer.  The following morning, and at 6 am, she got her answer. Her date is October 8th! She bought a notebook to start taking notes of what she learns in church and from the Book of Mormon.


Anziano Cannon

Anziano Jorgenson and I try to recreate the picture 
did with Anziano Saffer several months ago

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 67

September 12, 2016

My friend Elder Dini Ciacci sent a letter out to be read in church...  On the 25th we are fasting in gratitude that the temple is moving forth at full speed again!!!!! These days I have stopped praying that the temple will be completed but instead that the Saints' hearts will be prepared, because I know that when they are ready, the temple will be too.

President Pickerd is a champ. Even though I'm here in Rome I never see him, but his influence is felt. He "fulfilled the law" in my opinion with the old standards of excellence and made a simple, new one – one baptism per companionship per six-week transfer. It goes right in line with the Europe area plan, which has been called the best in the world for its simplicity. We really are working to get Rose there for October 8th, the last Saturday of the transfer. This week she has been reading every day, and says that her friends have noticed a big difference in her in the past three weeks. She tells them two angels were sent to her.

Yesterday I translated sacrament meeting for about 30 Americans who came on a tour. They are so nice but all I want to do is speak to our members in Italian ha-ha. There are a couple American families who live here whose dads are working on the temple and who are studs. But one thing I forgot since I have been in Italy is how normal American teenage kids are. One thing I love about Italians is that right off the bat you and the youth can be good friends. With the American kids we are going to have to win them over a bit. We'll definitely be using them; there is a strong nucleus of about 30, most of which are new, that are going to an international school here.

Anziano Cannon

Sorry no pictures... Hint for next week, you'll see a picture of something from the British Isles that is coming here to Rome!

[From President and Sister Pickerd’s blog]

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Week 66

September 5, 2016

Next week Rose (new fake name) wants to bring several of her Pakistani friends to church! One of them had asked for an Urdu Bible, but we obviously didn't have one, so we asked if a Book of Mormon would do. She agreed! Mwahaha.

Super cool miracle on Saturday when we met "Jeff" at the park! I thought he was giving us a fake number when he looked up his own number in his phone and said "seven" twice where there was clearly an
"eight". But my companion attributed it to English being his second language, and he was right! We were able to meet Jeff again yesterday.  He is a 20-year-old from the Philippines and was so grateful for his Tagalog Book of Mormon.

Sunday we got a new member family from Germany. They had just moved in on Saturday. Apparently he doesn't have a job or anything here, he just felt inspired to move his young family to Italy. I love people who are instantly focused on looking outside themselves and serving others. I believe they are far happier that way. He has already been inviting people to dinner at HIS house, and last night the assistants took an investigator to eat and do a lesson with them.

Anziano Jorgenson defines a miracle as a set of circumstances that is super improbable that shows God has a hand in your work. Regardless of what you think, we believe the chances of Hector, a South American guy, finding an old strip of paper on the ground advertising our English course, should have been pretty small. Nevertheless – It happened! We'd like to start teaching him no soon.


Anziano Cannon

Zone calcio. That’s my companion on the far left at top.