Sister Abigail Cannon

Sister Abigail Cannon is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the England London Mission. She began her service on July 26, 2006, leaving from her home of Provo, Utah. This Blog is a record of her missionary service.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Home again

So, I don't know how many of you will check this any more seeing that I'm home. But I was prompted by the Spirit and others to post-post some thoughts and impressions I have had because of or since my mission.
As you can imagine, 18 months of intense spiritual growth can be a bit daunting to put into words. This is probably why I my first journal entry in the two weeks I've been home was last night. But I will make an effort though like Ammon "I can not say the smallest part of which I feel."

Important lessons that I learned from the Holy Ghost and personal experience:

Agency is an eternal gift given to us that is directly linked with accountability. Our lives are made up of choices that bring us either closer to or farther away from God. Light and darkness, in all things. Each of us will be personally judged based on that incredible power we have been given over circumstance. Agency is never taken only forfeited by the one who possesses it.

Love is the only motivation for change and it is the source of the Light that draws us to God. Love is the only thing that will change people, inside and out. Perfect love casts out fear. The ultimate expression of love is the Savior's Atonement which deserves a post of it's own. I won't even try to explain my experiences and increased testimony regarding that subject in this simple bullet point style madness.

Most if not all of the worlds problems (as necessary as they are for progress) are a result of people not wanting to change. This is the fear that love banishes. Fear of change. Addiction to sin. The Atonement (pure love) is the only thing that can fix it, if they WILL.

Faith Works. Faith works hard. The Lord knows that our legs are not painted on. He gives us our gifts and talents so that we can use them. Because faith is a gift that is worked for it only grows when it is being used. Thus why revelation that God is real, or any eternal truth, comes when we exercise our faith in sincere prayer or obedience.

By the power of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truth of ALL things.
It didn't happen to me that often but I know I have heard other missionaries tell stories about how the Spirit revealed a detail of an investigator's life that caused them to answer their main objection to the church. To me, this principle was taught to me more subtlety and the Spirit's whispering came to me by way of logic, deduction, and I guess just gut feelings. Those gifts that I spoke of in the above paragraph.

All things are related and connected. Each principle discussed in this brief outline runs through and over the other, over and over. Making the gospel the one true thing that never changes and never gets boring.

These things I know and love in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

E-mail - February 5, 2008

"It's the final countdown or so Sister Besso says. There is a lot going on, a lot to do and a lot I have to leave until the last minute. Tomorrow morning we will get the 09:23 train to London Liverpool Street Station for the awkward ritual of swapping companions. After that I don't really have any idea what will happen to me. Something about dinner at the mission home and there is a shadow of a plane ticket or something. I'm kind of glad I've been left in the dark. There must be an awful lot of people praying for me because "I am as calm as a summer's morning". I don't have any regrets that is for sure. The only guilt I feel is the amount of people (from my mission) I need to write and haven't had the time to . To be honest it doesn't feel real. I've just been carrying on as usual. Sister Besso was teasing me yesterday, "You don't really live everyday like it's your last, more like you live everyday like your 9 months out." I will miss her. I will miss a lot of these things. But it's not like I have the opportunity to because, it's here, right here is the best place to be right now. God is showing me a lot and it's only when I think about it that I get scared. So I don't. Hope you are all prepared to engage me in intense selfless activity.

I have had a really great last week. The Cambridge Sisters are going to rock and roll. We have found some really solid people. And Sister McPhee and Marion are doing so well. She takes every opportunity to bear her testimony. We took her teaching on Saturday and it was so perfect. Sharon was speaking purely by the Spirit and said everything just right for this brother that we saw, Ade. It was a wonderful experience. I love being a missionary. I am learning that, yes, I would be thrilled if I could do this forever, but I won't. It's strange how unemotional all of it is. All of the missionaries bore their testimonies on Sunday. Mine was longer than normal but I wasn't even choked up. It's just another moves in my mind. I love this ward.

Sister Bidwell is coming to replace me. She will be great. She just spent six months with her trainer in Britannia, unusual. But what is normal on a mission? I have had nine companions, and five areas. Sister Miller is going to Ilford, she'll love it and Sister MtNonishi is going to die in Milton Keynes. Elder Smith is going to Bury St. Edmunds and I don't really know who else I will see at Liverpool Street. You don't really care about all of that do you? I guess we can talk about it later.

I saw a dog this morning and thought it was Lucy. It made me smile.

I don't know if it's really healthy how calm I am about all of this. I hope it doesn't all hit me at once when I actually do get home. I'm planning on applying at the MTC, cycling, and going to the temple daily. Beyond that, I don't know. I will need a lot to do so you can get your February list out. I don't really have anything to respond to so I guess I'll just see you soon. Love you a lot. Sister Cannon"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Christmas - 2007

Mission Temple Trip


London England Mission Sisters

E-mail - January 30, 2008

"I have had a really good week. We have been really building bridges with the members and we also had a "mini mission" with some of the YW and YSA in our ward. My companion was Ruth Reed who is a British version of Katie Cannon. 17, ginger and sporty. We covered all aspects of missionary work, finding , teaching and planning. The Baptisms were amazing. The Spirit was very nice and there was a good turnout including our newest primest investigator Ade (aaday). I bore my testimony and so did Sharon. It was wonderful. They are so happy to be members of the only true and living church on the face of the earth.

I don't feel any different to any other moves. Elder McRobb gave me a blessing yesterday morning and I haven't been able to manage a worry fit since. Darn it. It's just like any other moves. We also received information that the Elders are moving out of Cambridge and into Bury St. Edmunds.! The Bury Sisters are going away and Sister Besso will be the remnant of the original district. Lucky.

I'm glad to hear the nice things done to honor out beloved Prophet. It doesn't really feel real. Sister Besso was pleased that he also gets to meet Sergio (her brother). Things will definitely be different when I get back, but I don't think I'll be able to notice until General Conference.

I don't have much time. Things are good. I'm shipping stuff and making sure everything is the right weight. This is madness. Lots of love, Sister Cannon"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

E-mail - January 23, 2008

"I haven't much time today, but a brief update on my doings...

Sister Besso is feeling much better about things. The Atonement is real. I love it. Yesterday was Zone Conference, I gave my "departing testimony". I mostly shook more than anything. I was like King Benjamin's "trembling frame." My feelings are very strong. It's good. My mission means everything to me. I don't really know how else to say it. Sharon, 33 and her DAUGHTER, Marion, 13, will be getting baptized on Saturday. They are very very excited. It will be wonderful. We met a new investigator named Ade who is deadset on getting baptized before I go. He's very excited about the Book of Mormon. It's fun.

And today is Zone Preparation day which is why I don't have much time. We are going to be playing games at the Bury Chapel. Good times. I can't really think of anything else very exciting to tell you. I'm well. Oh yes, I would cancel my debit card. God blessed me when I already withdrew all the money I was going to need to send stuff home just before I lost my wallet.

Love, Sister Cannon"

Monday, January 21, 2008

E-mail - January 17, 2008

"These e-mails are supposed to be an accurate account of an entire week of my life and they end up being a small summary of my present emotions! Before I attempt to capsulize the last seven days, I'll just tell you that at the moment I'm a bit shaken up because I just lost my wallet. (I think I left it on the train so I'm not panicking, but still).

My little missionary world is becoming so comfortable (probably dangerously so). There is good news. Sharon and Marion have been found worthy to be baptized on the 26 January, 18 months to the day I touched down in this country. I am so happy for them. They have worked very hard and the ward really loves them. We are struggling to keep the pool full and I feel a renewed commitment from the ward to help us out.

Last night I attended the Ipswich Stake Priesthood meeting! The full time missionaries were invited to train on the use of Preach My Gospel. It was wonderful. A very spiritual experience, as was my interview with President. We also received training from the Zone Leaders and other missionaries (Elder Smith from South Africa and um, me) on the Atonement. Pres. Foulger has really stressed that we focus our studies and our teachings on the Atonement. In everything we do, refer to and remember it. It's exactly what we need. I'm sure you've read the quote from Joseph Smith that "all aspects of the gospel are appendages to the Atonement." It is the real thing. All suffering, all pain, all sin, for every human that walks the earth. All means all. Every means every.

Which brings me to the "other" news. There is no point in calling anything bad. Like Dad always says, "There's no bad news." anyway, rushing home late from an appointment Sunday night we got a call from President Foulger that Sister Besso's brother had passed away. He actually had had MS since he was 18 and was 30 when he died. She's handling it well, but I guess what else is she supposed to do? I've been at a bit of a loss to help her. I know the Lord is definitely helping us. What a wonderful place to mourn? In the service of God, literally in His Hand. It's great to belong to the only true church and to have the Holy Ghost all the time. There is wisdom in this, I know it and she knows it. Especially now. The Atonement is real, really real.

We sat in St. Andrew's cathedral. It was pouring rain and we reflected on what it means to atone. It was not the first restoration-gratitude moment of the week. Monday night we attended a special "science meets faith" seminar at Wesley Methodist Church. It's a beautiful church about two minutes from where we live. We meet people that go there for the "lovely windows". It was an interesting discussion. (I in no way want to offend anyone). I really agreed with the priest for most of it aside from his "I am so smart" attitude, but that's just normal. It wasn't until the Q and A portion that I began to appreciate how badly everyone needed the Restoration. In his answering a question about "facts" he said that "Truth is often more important than facts" and when questioned further about what is truth, he admitted that he was tempted to just quote "the Creed"!! I couldn't believe it! so lost! I was filled with charity for them and it actually made me quite sad. I loved them so much. We have all the answers or at least how to find them. We are so blessed. I am so humbled by it. I am humbled to represent the Church of Jesus Christ and not the one with pretty windows. (Does that sound mean?) No disrespect. It just strengthened my testimony so much that Joseph Smith really was a prophet and we really have the restored truth. It's amazing.

So, that's what's been going on. A lot, I know. I'm grateful for every breath. Love, Sister Cannon"

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

E-mail - January 9, 2008

Another amazing week as Sister Cannon. Where do I begin? My terrible cold proved fully flegged sinus infection. I finish up the antibiotics tomorrow. I haven't felt pain like my teeth were growing in again. I have been extra grateful for my body lately.

We have been finding a lot of really amazing people lately. Especially a family in Trumpington. We are going to see her tomorrow. What we really need now is new investigators. I have had some real character building experiences this week. I have officially accepted that I am a missionary. I have accepted that I have the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have the most precious thing on earth or heaven. It's real. It's good.

Goal setting has been another thing that Sister Besso is helping me with. She has done this before (been someone's last companion.) So she knows what to say. At first, I would have said that setting goals is being "trunkie". But I am learning (from Chapter 8 in PMG) the technique of how to set and achieve goals will help me focus on being what the Lord wants me to be and when, which is what makes me the most happy.

I learned a lot in Sacrament meeting. There are loads of really good families in our Ward. I love Church. It's my favorite three hours of the week, and that is saying something. I have a feeling that when I get home church will seem much shorter. Sundays as well.

Did I tell you that Brother Soames got baptized? Sister Halladay showed me the pictures and the programme at the temple trip. He's doing really well. He bore his testimony and everything. Seeing the picture was like the Celestial Kingdom. I was so happy. I still smile thinking about it. Individuals are so important! EVERY soul is precious.

I must be feeling better. I've been in a cleaning mood. Our flat is spotless! I might even take pictures. I don't blame you for taking the decorations down. We also did that. Have you had much snow? That's not something I usually think about. It rarely snows here. I has been quite cold lately but no snow and it doesn't feel like January.

I love you all very, very, very much. I pray for each of you. And I know that it works.

Cheers, love, Sister Cannon"