Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 94

March 27, 2017

What a week!

My new companion is Elder Redaelli, from Milano! He is my second companion from outside the states and my first Italian. It's been great to relearn Italian in conversation with him without sacrificing the Maltese I speak with the natives. He is also my first convert companion. His family was baptized when he was nine. He spent some of his life inactive, but now is spiritually strong and mature (literally as well - he is physically strong and almost 24).

This week on the bus we met a member from Brazil! It was the third member we had randomly met who was living on Malta in the past couple weeks. The fact that he hadn't gone to the work of looking up the location of the church on the Internet didn't bode well for him actually coming once we told him.  But I was super surprised because before church on Sunday morning he called and told us "the bus still hasn't come yet...don't worry, I'll call a taxi!" He did and he showed up! We were stoked.

Yesterday was a miracle. I taught Maltese gospel principles on my own.  My companion was S, a Maltese member. O, who was baptized a few weeks ago, basically helped co-teach. We talked about the plan of salvation, and I was really amazed that for the first time in Maltese I really felt the spirit as I spoke. It was so cool. On a side note, I really do love O. My love for him has grown as I am able to communicate with him better and better.

Quote of the week:  "I want to get baptized on Sunday!" From a former friend of ours in Bari that we met at a gesso [street contact] and who we taught once but was NOT ready at the time for the lessons.  He had kept his Libro di Mormon and remembered us.  He called the missionaries up just recently and asked to be baptized. Obviously, his wish was not granted, but he has been preparing himself for that event.

Another cool thing: we got off a bus and met two super cool French kids about our age. Their mom used to take the lessons and they know Mormons really well. So, they invited us to come over! We had an appointment but will visit them this week. As we were talking to them, a couple came up to us and asked "hey Elders, when is sacrament meeting tomorrow?" It was a British couple on vacation. We felt super overwhelmed and happy about all that.

I hope you all prepare for, learn from, and LOVE general conference!


Anzjan Cannon

Unlike my companion Elder Grizzell, Elder Pineau didn't have to leave 
for the airport during sacrament meeting, so I actually got a picture him.  
[Ethan doesn’t like to take pictures unless it is P-day]

[Angel Moroni finally atop the Rome temple!]

Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 93

March 20, 2017
Another one bit the dust yesterday as my companion elder Grizzell couldn't take the heat of working with me (just kidding! he honorably finished 2 years as a missionary and went home to Chicago)! 

I was fasting yesterday which turned out to be quite helpful for being more spiritually in-tune because I was on the spot having to do a lot of stuff. We stayed in the other elders' house the night before (miracle of the day: I have never slept better on couch cushions) so Elder Grizzell could get to the airport in the morning.  The next morning, I spoke in the south branch sacrament meeting. Next, I taught Sunday school in Maltese with the branch president, and then spoke again in the north sacrament meeting.

After church, we went to a couple investigators they have in the south. I was super impressed! One was a family of nine people!!! The kids are all young adults and are very well educated. Teaching in a trio went surprisingly well, and hopefully the Spirit did most of the teaching anyway. Later we saw another family. It was a Maltese man and a Filipino woman. They were really great people. Their faith was incredible, I rarely see anyone who understands the Restoration and accepts it so quickly. But they did! Then they gave us spring rolls and an envelope with 10 euros to help with transportation costs which we had to refuse three times!

In Maltese, the words for "winner" and "spring" are almost the same. I know it sounds weird, but this really touched me when I discovered it. I love springtime because we get to celebrate the biggest win of all time, when Jesus Christ conquered sin and death through His miraculous atonement!


Anzjan Cannon

The Baptism

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Weeks 90 to 92

February 20, 2017

First of all, a shout out to my five-year-old sister Elissa who would do a way better job fellowshipping some of the friends we are working with right now than I do. Last night I showed a picture of her after she lost a tooth to B, who is her same age and has her first loose tooth. They asked is Elissa might ever come on holiday... Yea, we'll see about that.

Miraculously we were able to get both her and her brother to say prayers for our lesson, and, at the end of the lesson, M asked if he could come to our church on Sunday! That was super awesome, because our church is not the coolest or most fun place for your typical 9-year-old boy to go on Sunday.  I'm grateful that the Spirit was able to touch him, too.

As a follow up about the FHE dinner from last Monday, unfortunately, O had car problems and was super sad he couldn't come. So, we were there with the Swiss visitors and a non-member woman who comes to church with her son. The food was great, I tried rabbit and sword fish for the first time. If any of you know how fast I can eat, this time it came back to bite me because I also had a dessert that I thought had included "cherry" but really was "sherry" and by the time my chef companion found out, it was too late.

On Friday we had one of the best lessons ever, with A. We taught the gospel of Christ and it came out like melted butter, totally with the Spirit. He basically invited himself to be baptized and we were so impressed at how the spirit taught him during the pauses. You really can be the smartest person in the world and use every analogy or object lesson to convey a point, but if the Spirit doesn't teach it to them, they will never learn.

The Sabbath day! "The Sabbath is a sign between me and you... That ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." (Exodus 31:13) So the Sabbath is not just a sign we make to the Lord of our obedience. It is also His sign to us that he can sanctify us. I know there is no cleanliness or renewal I can receive on a weekly basis that at all measures up to what I feel during sacrament meeting or on Sunday in general!

Our branch mission plan is:

1. Be a witness
2. Be a friend 
3. Be a believer. 

Ideas for these:

1. Tell someone "and that's one reason why I love my church!" This week. Invite them to do something. 
2. Contact an investigator outside of church (you guys probably do this anyway). Do your home teaching. 
3. We are taking a different spin but if people pray in faith with real intent to have opportunities to act, it's that simple. 


Anziano Cannon

At the Mosta dome today. This is near our current church. The hope is 
that we expand and build a chapel on the plot of land we own!

February 27, 2017

Saturday was one of those days you have a couple times in your mission where you have no scheduled appointments. So we thought and thought and prayed about what we could do for finding. And then, boom! The idea came. Scriptural horoscopes, taken from the bible but mainly the Book of Mormon! So that afternoon we found ourselves handing out "scriptascopes" in Valletta, the capital city, on one of the craziest holidays of the year called Karnival. The place was packed with costumed people and floats. But we had a great time and met some really great people! As a side note, my favorite costume by far were a couple of young teenage girls who had black, long-sleeved shirts which said "modest and perfect" in French. I'm glad there are still people like that outside of our church. 

Yesterday O passed his baptismal interview. He proudly told another non-member friend who comes to church: "I'm getting baptized on WEDNESDAY and YOU'RE next!" 

The primary was smaller than it sometimes has been but I was quite impressed. Little M totally remembered the story of the Tree of Life which we had taught him and his mom using the illustrated Book of Mormon! 

As we got on the bus to go home from church, I didn't see many people to talk to, and ended up sitting near a lady who looked asleep. I said hi but she didn't respond. After my companion and I talked for a couple of minutes, she woke up and told us she "used to be Mormon". Well, she still is by our standards ha-ha. She had prayed earlier that day that God would send her someone to heal her. I felt the pressure of what God has sent us to do but gratitude that, as a missionary, cool stuff like this happens every day. In a polite way, I said "look lady we can't do anything for you but the Gospel is the best medicine you could ever take!" We hope she comes to the baptism on Wednesday.  It will be the first baptism in Maltese in a few years! 

This week I have been thinking about a phrase from the Book of Mormon. I used to think that you had to come to church on Sunday having repented of all your sins. Then I would get frustrated when I would do them again the next week. I realize now that repentance is important, but it often takes much more than just a week. If we have a "favorite sin", then we aren't fully repentant yet, because when we are really there, we will have no more desire to do evil. What a great state to be in! 


Anziano Cannon 


Went to a museum about Malta's military history today. SO. COOL. I feel so much 
Malta pride now. The siege against the Knights was built up to be super insane. 

Outside the museum, at fort st. Elmo 

March 6, 2017  

ħsibijiet fuq il-ħobż.  That means "thoughts over bread", which is quite delicious here in Malta I might add.

It was one small step for the branch, and one giant leap for our friend O when he got baptized on Wednesday! There are pros and cons to doing a baptism in a hotel. One pro was the Polish women who were watching from behind the glass wall and who we invited to come in. They didn't speak much English but enjoyed it and in a typical European way took nonsensical pictures of themselves with the papers that had the music lyrics on them. Whatever.  The downside was that the hot tub every once in a while, made a ferocious sucking noise and then there was the general atmosphere of being in a sauna. But a baptism is a baptism! He was so happy to finally take the step.

Yesterday was quite fun. We have a new American family with five boys!  They actually come from my aunt and uncle’s ward! We were excited to have lots of new faces but then I realized that the Maltese people had gone upstairs and didn't have a teacher since the branch president was gone with his son as he received his endowent. So, we just ran up there and started teaching on the spot (about the gift of the Holy Ghost which O was about to receive). After brother V arrived to take over, we went down stairs where a primary teacher told us she hadn't prepared her lesson so could we please do sharing time instead? Once again, and in a very different language, I feel like the Lord filled our mouths with what to say and to teach the kids about prophets. A third instance of this happening was in sacrament meeting, where my companion and I bore our testimonies in Maltese, English, and Italian to accommodate the needs of our friends who had come.

After church we went to lunch with the P family and H.  It was super cool. Being the typical African mother that she is, she made sure her kids behaved well, but I think they did fine by saying things like "this is the best day ever!"

Respect moment of the week goes to D, our member friend from the bus last week. We called her yesterday and the first thing she said was "where are you?" We happened to be in her city so she had us come over immediately. We told her we couldn't be in her house without someone else there but she had no problem, she just set two chairs out in the hallway and sat on the stairs while we talked! It was great!

This week we taught H about fasting, so I had the opportunity to study it a good bit. I think fasting shows us how we are supposed to live.  Alma 34:28 explains in depth the scripture "blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy". Often, we think of fasting as a way to magnify our prayers, and I would agree with that.  When you are fasting, you are usually involved in activities where you are taking care of others such as paying a fast offering and doing Sabbath day service. Heavenly Father is then more able to answer your prayers to Him. Isaiah 58 also talks about how we should be happy to fast.  Fasting shows us how even when we don't have our temporal desires (such as food), we can still be happy if we have a Christ-centered life!


Anziano Cannon

We actually got to see mass in Maltese!