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.

Friday, December 28, 2007

E-mail - December 27, 2007

"I know I talked to a few of you yesterday, but we are still directed to e-mail once a week. So, you just can't get enough. Things are going much better. I feel a fresh start and very blessed with ample time to change the things I need to. We had a wonderful boxing day with the Wheelers and some elderly sisters from the ward and on the way home, Brother Wheeler asked us to visit a Brother Bill Hopper who has been bed-ridden for quite some time. We were still in our non-proselyting clothes, but we went anyway. Still ministering, Sister Besso in her sweats and I in my "Happiness is yelling Bingo " shirt. We brought cheer to our brother's boxing day. Despite our badgelessness, it was a wonderful experience and it gave me the taste of what regular visiting teaching will be like. I'm beginning to understand that I am the same person with the tag as I am without it. I have the same Holy Ghost with me without the bit of plastic. It's good, I guess.

Another thing I am becoming aware of is how my e-mails must sound to you all. The lack of detail is shocking. I'm sorry. It's amazing how rich the last 17 months have been, a completely unexplainable experience. It's really wonderful. I am so blessed. I pray I will be able to collaborate (is that the right word?) all of it and become the "new and improved" all at once. I feel like if I don't, it's going to spill all over the place and be wasted.

I feel a new resolve to increase our teaching pool and build the kingdom no matter what. I feel the Spirit helping to sharpen my focus and in many ways I feel like I'm starting my mission over again. To stand a little taller, be a little more obedient, love more, share more. It's exciting and I have a feeling I'm going to be learning a lot until the very end. Not that we have to mention it often.

So it's the last week of 2007 and everybody is taking this opportunity to make a bigger deal over this fresh start than of any other new day or week or month. It's a wonderful time for goal setting and plan making and to focus on improvement in the future. (SEE CHAPTER 8 IN PREACH MY GOSPEL). I, however, will be focusing on improvement in my week first then my day. I have no doubt that no matter what circumstance I come back to, the Lord will bless me with opportunity necessary for growth. And so I will be here while I can, like Grandma said. Hope everybody's Christmas was magical and shard with loved ones and perfect strangers. And I pray the New Year will bring hope and improvement. Lots of love, Sister Cannon

PS I love the Paul and Sarah Newsletters. It's so adult. It's cool that you're all grown up now..."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

E-mail - December 19, 2007

"Staying in Cambridge for at least another six weeks. With Sister Besso, Elder McRobb is as well and Elder Wilkinson is going to Banbury, Northampton Zone. I haven't written much about the Elders in Cambridge. I think all I have to say is that Elders are very different from Sisters. Elder McRobb is from Scotland and Elder Wilkinson is from Liverpool and you will be able to hear them both very soon. I'm planning to send a big package next week with a lot of my post, at least one tape and a picture CD and probably some summer clothes. I'm sorry I can't send it before. The work is picking up combined with the Christmas madness. Today has been probably one of the most exhausting preparation days I've ever had. It's been non-stop errand running. Otherwise, the week has been fantastic as usual. I mean I AM a missionary, what more could you want?

Saturday was the Ward Christmas Party. Our newest investigator Kadi, Ivory Coast, came and brought her boyfriend, Claude and daughter Luna. It was a good time. Most people wouldn't stop talking about how great last year's Panto was. I enjoyed myself and I think Kadi did too.

Yesterday we went down to Essex, Saffron Walden. I suggest you look at online or something because it is BEAUTIFUL. There are original buildings still in use that date back to 1300. It reminded me once again that I AM IN ENGLAND! We even had time on our lunch break to peruse a book sale in town hall. Something I haven't done for ages. I didn't buy anything but Sister Besso bought a few travel books from her areas. On Saturday, we made an appointment with a man named Barry and we were really excited to teach him in Saffron Walden. We had some negative experiences surrounding the time that we met him and that is usually a sign that they are golden, but he wasn't there. We left a Book of Mormon through the mail slot.

We did have a really good appointment with Sharon and Marion. I may not have written about them but they are our main progressing investigators. Mother-daughter. They really help each other out and it's nice to see them change. Sharon already had such a faith in Jesus Christ, what we teach her comes very naturally. I love repentance. I love it so much it's almost overwhelming.

Sunday we had Dinner at the Guy's home. They just moved in a few months ago from Ashford. Katie--They have a really cool 17 year old boy that I think should be your pen pal. His name is Yaon. It's Welsh. They have missionary sons in Sweden and in Guinea (South America) and it's really fun to talk to people that have missionaries out. Their family felt so much like our family. It was really nice. We will probably go there for Christmas. Anyway, we have some really good members in our ward. Also Tim Bleakley lives in Huntington (small village near Cambridge but in Northampton Stake) and Sister Guy knows him.

Monday I had my last ever moves call. I'm still working out how I feel about that one. The Lord is really blessing me with Selective Amnesia. I don't really think about it ending. Probably because I can't really comprehend it. It might as well be infinity away. So I guess that is good. If anything it just means that the adjustment back will be a bit messier than usual.

I guess that kind of wraps up the week. I'm happy. I'm healthy. I'm a missionary! Love, Sister Cannon"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

E-mail - December 13, 2007

"Feliz Navidad! I received your Thanksgiving/Christmas packages yesterday and they are really wonderful. I love the halo headbands and all the ornaments and the wonderfully decorated Christmas tree from the ward. I am so blessed. We had a really overwhelming (in good and bad ways) appointment in the morning. Interviews with the President in the afternoon and Dinner at Nando's (yummy South African style food) in the evening. Along with your packages I also received a lot of really shocking wedding announcements. Sister McKeen and Sister Anyanwu (she is marrying Elder Kittlesen, the AP!). Also a Christmas Card from the Brummers informing me that Tessa is married. I can't believe how fast life goes. I still feel like I'm ten, riding bikes and scraping my knees!

It's been very, very cold lately. I had some really good experiences this week. One comes in miracle form and I will try my best in the limited time (I recorded a full story on tape so don't fret). We met a woman on the street that was really interested in meeting with us but couldn't set a time but gave us her address and phone number. I say that like it happens all the time. We were working in her area and thought we would just stop by. The first part went really well. She had met members in the Ivory Coast and knew a little about the Church. After a while though we could feel a change and she began to lecture us about the hopeless world we live in. Not an unusual view of those in her situation especially without the Gospel. We prayed with her, and politely excused ourselves. Still feeling we were drawn to her for some reason we planned to tract the rest of her road. On our "last door" a Phillipino woman flung open the door and exclaimed: "You're late! You should have come yesterday! I'm going to the Phillipines tomorrow! Come with me to pick up my grandson. It's too cold in this country to stand.," Her enthusiasm surprised us and we walked with her part of the way, chatting mostly about how the Phillipines is going to be much nicer weather for Christmas. Just before we needed to not be walking with her anymore, I noticed she wasn't wearing any gloves and I quickly gave her mine (I think it was the maroon pair you gave me last year, because that morning I couldn't find my warm Thinsulate glittens) with a leaflet and we went the other way. Not a thought of regret in my mind for giving her my gloves but having very cold hands. LESS THAN A MINUTE LATER, the Ivory Coast woman opened her window and yelled, "Sister, Sister, you have left your gloves here!" God is good and he really does take care of us. I love it.

Things are going very well and to answer some of your questions, I don't really have any idea if I am going to be moved or not. We find out on Monday and then we get to go to the temple. If we move, we move on Friday, but by my next e-mail I should know what number you need to call and when. I can't believe six months has passed since I last spoke to you, can you? I had a minor freak out over Anne's prego-ness. I call Dibs on Favorite Aunt. I may be taking up Woobers offer to live in DC. That is if the bike trip I'm planning with Julia Goeple across the URU falls through. The truth is, I will go where the Lord wants me to go now and forever.

I'll send the details to Sister McKeens wedding if you would like to make an appearance. I'm sure she'd love to talk to you and there will probably be loads of my "mission buddies" there to chat and hear the stories I can't write about.

I love you all and the Church continues to be true. There is no need to write endure to the end in quotations, it's quite validly the fifth principle of the gospel and don't you worry, I will. Love, Sister Cannon"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

E-mail - December 5, 2007

"It's been a really wonderful week. We have worked very hard finding, finding, finding. We currently have 3 investigators. The reason for not giving you my address is simply because we have been pretty much in non-permanent residences until Friday last week. We have moved out of the Elder's (extremely posh) flat and into a high-rise near city centre with coin (pound coins only) operated electricity. Which brings me to the first funny story of the week. It was Sister Besso's birthday on Sunday and I had tricked her into showering (in the electric power shower) first so that I could "decorate" the room with post-its and presents. At 6:47, we lost all power. With only 4 2-pound coins and less than an hour to be ready, we began our quest for change, me in my slippers and over-coat and half wet, half-dressed Sister Besso listening at every door on the floor to know who could be up on this glorious fast Sunday morning. The Polish woman across the hall was kind enough to swap with us. You'll hear more about the flat later. I'm still making tapes.

We had a really wonderful Zone Conference yesterday. I conducted the music, yes, I do that now. I'm afraid I totally destroyed the "I'll go where you want me to go" 6/8! It's a good job no one looks except for one fairly new Elder, Elder Ivy. He didn't seem to blink. President Foulger gave multiple trainings on Companionship Unity and I think that we probably all need to take the hint. The thing is that very few people have moved lately. After the huge turn-over companionships have more or less stayed the same and with moves right before Christmas, four days, I think everyone is a little on edge. I felt the Spirit incredibly. I know President Foulger is called of God.

The ward is very transient, lots of American military and students.

I'm not sure why I'm writing all these not very important details. The truth is that I don't really know what to write. I feel more and more that my experiences are becoming more and more distant from my reality at "home". It's probably just a mood. Christmas-time contributes as well. It's a good time of year. I love you all and will talk to you soon. Love, Sister Cannon