Ahhhhh ! One Month Already?!

Guess what today is?!?!? It's my 1 MONTH mark!!!!!!! I cannot believe I've been here for a month! Whaaaa, and that we get travel plans at the end of next week, and in-field orientation is next Thursday, and departing devotional next Sunday? Am I really going to be in Argentina in less than 2 WEEKS?!? My mission is real, and not just a myth? I'm not going to be chillin in the MTC for the rest of my life? Oh my goodness, how crazy is that.  Today I learned how to scope out my mission on GoogleMaps. It was way cool and we can look at the street views too! Everyone was looking at their missions (my district is super diverse) and patrolling the streets for "man-eaters", those rabid dog/bear creatures. While terrifying, I'm pleased to report that out of everyone I won the contest on finding the least amount of "man-eaters".

Okay. So highlights of the week:
"His Grace is Sufficient", by Brad Wilcox is one of the greatest talks I've EVER listened to in my entire life! Why am I telling you this? Because if you have not heard/read it, then it must be done. It has seriously changed my perspective on everything!

Loved being loved with baked goods :)
Thanks Kristen & Mom !
So about that no food thing...thank you, but no thank you for NOT listening to me haha! :). The Dear Elder goodie package from the Natives was just delightful (Thank you Hinrich Family!). And the homemade favorite from Kristen and Mom? What's a girl to do? Well...one loaf of cinnamon bread and a box of cream cheese brownies, I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when my jeans were fitting a little too tight the next morning when we were heading to service. Esta bien. It was delicious :)

The days have been flying by!!! It has been determined that Monday, Thursdays, and Saturdays are the longest and slowest yea---I mean days, of all time. But recently, it hasn't been terrible at all. Besides the fact that it feels like we've been here for four years instead of four weeks, the days are really picking up speed. It's so funny though not having a phone or a calendar, you never know what day it actually is. For example, one night for a solid 20 minutes we had my companion convinced that the next day was Thursday, when it was already currently Thursday. I'm dead serious though, no one has any conception of time! We wake up, eat, study, eat, study, workout, eat, study,....and if someone said that it was time to eat again, I'd probably believe them and then just go back to studying. Speaking of studying the language is really coming along, and my teachers said I should survive alright, by the time I get to the field, so that's a bonus, right?
Class with the best teacher ever!

With all of our studying, naturally we get ridiculously unfocused on occasion. It's alright though, because we always end up having serious heart to heart, bonding moments, or just ridiculous discussions. Love my district family. Anyways, we all shared what we'd wish for if we found a genie in a bottle:
1. magic flying carpet
2. own an island/underwater castle
3. communicate with my pets

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Elder Sumsion who had his golden birthday and Queen Georgie who is now the ripe old age of 2. I miss both of them terribly

Fun fact: In the "old" hymn book #70 was, COME THOU FOUNT, EVERY BLESSING! Uhm just my favorite song ever! Whyyyyy did they take it out?! This just further proves my point that I was clearly born in the wrong time, wrong era. They have no idea what they've done, silly gooses.

The Sunday Devotional was given by Steven B. Allen.  He told us to work our tails off every minute of every day, and be able to walk away from our mission with no regrets, only prayers for the people we have to leave behind. He talked about how Satan is going to be getting you down, and pushing your buttons all the time, telling you you're not good enough, smart enough, capable enough, etc. BUT we have been called of God. And that's enough.

love P-Days and laundry !
Okay. So, we've been teaching this "investigator", Mercedes, since we got to the MTC. And while she's been accepting all our commitments, even baptism she's said yes but it seemed a little passive and "job" like in the past. BUT tonight, the Spirit was incredible and was working that lesson and filling the room with this overwhelming feeling...the spirit. right. Anyway, I finally KNOW what it's supposed to be like. I forgot about my terrible spanish, poured my hear out, and was seriously doing all that I could to help her to know how amazing and loved she was. Her eyes were all watery as she listened to our message and I knew she KNEW it was true...Whether she's a real "investigator" or not, now I know what it's like to KNOW the Spirit, and it was awesome.

Going to the temple on P-day is the best. Yes, because it's the temple. Yes, because we get to wander past the walls of the MTC. But, they also have the BEST breakfast. Really though, it doesn't come close to anything I've been eating for the past month. In all seriousness, if you haven't gone to the temple in a while, and you can go, you should, because it's amazing and makes everything all better (well mostly).

CONGRATULATIONS to the future Sister Kirton who just got her mission call to the SOUTH KOREA - SEOUL mission!!!! Totally called that one; them Asians always like their blondes.

I finally got in contact with a Sister missionary that's serving in my mission! Quote: "Welcome to the best mission in the world" yes yes I'm well aware that everyone says that, but it's very comforting never the less. Also she said that all missionaries get to serve in BOTH Paraguay and Argentina! Yay! AND get to travel to the Iguazu Waterfalls 
toward the end of the mish!!!!!! AHHHHHH One of the NATURAL 7 WONDERS of the WORLD SO COOOLLL! I'm very excited.
Iguazu Falls- Spans the border between
Argentina and Brazil; larger than Niagra Falls

Last but not least, I would like to share some funny Spanish findings from the week:

casar= to marry
cazar= to hunt
...you pronounce them the same way, interesante...
and here's a joke: "Cual es la diferencia entre un pera u un novia"?
"La pera es un pera
La novia no espera" hehehehe :) It's funny I swear

Alright, so I'm alive and well and counting down the days till I ship out :) I love this gospel and I love my mission to serve God. I am so incredibly blessed to be here. Thank you so much for everyone's love, support, and dearelders!

Te Amo,

OOoooo Weeee - Finishing up Week 3 !


Today marks week 3, our HALFWAY POINT here at the MTC! Wooooo

Okay.  First order of business:
pretty please STOP SENDING DELICIOUS UNHEALTHY THINGS, unless we've previously discussed and made arrangements already :) The amount of baked goods overflowing from the Residence is dangerous to my health and my dress size.

Hermana Walters tempting me with
crinkle cookies before bed !!
So anytime someone receives a package slip, its as though you've won the lottery, sooo it's the best thing ever.  So of course I pick up Dad's package, and after rummaging through all of the ridiculously random things, Hermana Walters discovers a hackey sac...

We quickly discover that we are all REALLY bad at hackey sac, but we were trying so hard to keep it in the air.  The level of intensity is running high as Hermana Bosse, Walters, and I manage to keep it up in the air for longer than two seconds.  Hermana Bosse catches and passes the hackey sac flawlessly when it launches equidistant between Walters and I.  Being the untalented, yet committed fools we are we go for it with the same karate kick technique, collide, and fall to the floor laughing/crying uncontrollably, convinced we just broke all the bones in our feet. Go us.

One of the best things about this place is obviously that I literally have no worries.  Besides occasionally getting stressed out when I realize I don't know anything, God really is taking care of everything, and it is so easy to forget that there is in fact a real world out there outside the MTC.  Our teachers for instance, what? have real lives and go to BYU? So one of my teachers is *gag* a chemistry major, and Hermana Allen was asking about the classes he was taking and what he was studying for and such...thinking about school and O-Chem and Physics was actually starting to make me sick.  So grateful I don't have to worry about that for a while.

Taking "candid" happy pictures so people
think we like it here :) ha!
Kay. Plot twist! The first investigator that we taught was actually fake.  Not only was she already a member, she's a teacher here!!! Also, just about all the investigators that we teach are fake.  I felt so betrayed and confused when I found out, but then again I'm not that surprised.  I wouldn't really want to be held responsible for ruining someones eternal salvation. PASS. But anyways, the story gets better. So "Karina", our fake investigator who actually works here informs us that just because she was pretending, Karina really was a real person, who had real questions, before she became a member of the church.  We got to learn about her conversion story which was really awesome, and a testimony builder for sure.  Just because these investigator aren't real, the lessons and doctrines are.  The Holy Spirit of God that we feel when we teach is real. And role-playing really is the only way to prepare us to teach REAL lessons to REAL people.

So...lots of funny things happen all the time, but when I try to remember them so that I can share them with everyone 90% of the time they're either "you had to be there" moments, or they're just not funny, which is rather unfortunate, because my already mediocre sense of humor is definitely going down the toilet.

Anyways, I begun to develop less embarrassing, even adequate volleyball skills! Yay! I'm staring to become less afraid of the ball hitting me in the face.  Of course that can be accredited to Walters hitting me in the face with a basketball.  So I'm thinking a volleyball wouldn't hurt nearly as much. Really though, it's so much fun and a great opportunity to meet new people.  The Russian crew always plays, and even though I never know what they're saying, they're way nice!

With my new responsibilities as Sister Training Leader, my greatest fear has been confirmed; our leaderships meeting are incredibly boring...new life goal: learn how to fall asleep with my eyes open.  With great power, comes great responsibility, and lots of boring meetings.  Just kidding their all delightful and inspiring.

Seriously I'm just kidding, my actual life goal is to be as cute, loving, faithful, and filled with the Spirit as the Stevens's.  Sister Jean A Stevens came to talk to us for relief society and her and her husband are assigned to be mission presidents over in London, England! So cool! She was so excited to wear her own name tag everyday, and I hope I never forget how amazing it feels to have taken upon the Lord's name, put on my name tag, and be a part of this great work.  The Spirit in the room was too real and too strong to deny its power and truth.

After Relief Society with everyone, we have sacrament meeting with our district.  Every week we have to prepare 5 minute talks and at the last minute they announce two people that have to speak.  We got there, and I realized I had forgotten to bring mine.  Because of my luck in the past, I wasn't overly surprised when they called my name to speak. classic.  So Hermana Allen was kind enough to loan me her talk, thank goodness her handwriting is excellent.  After, the presidency was thanking me for my words and everyone else was thanking Hermana Allen for my words.  And I was thanking my companion for saving my butt.  Lesson learned.

My super awesome District 

On this weeks episode of, "When Worlds Collide" when we went on our temple walk I saw my home teacher from last semester, with his fiance! Sidenote: he was very single last time I saw him, So either BYU is still working its springtime magic or I've been in here a lot longer than they're telling me...interesante.  Also caught a quick glimpse of my ward crush holding hands with a girl, so that was a slight let down. Oh well. Then, I saw Brent Butler, (the physical therapist I would go to during gymnastic season) ! He's serving as a Branch President here at the MTC with the Japanese Branch! Cool/weird.

For yesterday's devotional, Don R. Clarke of the Seventy came to speak with us, and it was a really good message, life changing all that good stuff, but I LOVED what his wife shared with us before his talk; she told us that our message, "is the tithing for our lives". Being almost 20, and giving almost 2 years to serving God, I know in my heart that I owe Him every ounce of these 18 months. This is my time to walk and talk with God. As we focus on the Savior, we will change, and we will change lives.

While everyday has the same schedule, places, people, everyday is different.  New experiences, new lessons learned, new strange noises I make when I cry, new scriptures studied, and I'm being so fast and so hard, but I love it I love every moment.  And as much as I complain about this place, I know I will miss my safe little Utopian missionary bubble

I love and miss you all mo much! Oh btw: best feeling in the world? Being handed a wad of DearElders during dinner. 

Thank you for your messages, updates, and love :)

Te Amo,

MTC - Woo Woo! End of Week 2

Those late night cravings though!
So, today marks day 15 in the compound, and we're pretty much old pros, but not really. But, we know all the shortcuts, which food to eat and which to avoid, and the best times to shower (the MOST important!).

I wouldn't say that the MTC is growing on me, but I'm more accepting of the fact that I'll have to be here for another month.  Sidenote: Haley Roberts left for Singapore yesterday, and we came in to the MTC on the same day.  Perks of speaking English, I suppose.  Everyday my testimony of the gospel and this work grows more and more, and my spanish is notably getting better, little by little.  Now it feels like we're rafting down a treacherous river instead of going over niagara Falls in a paper bag.

yesss, so productive during personal study !
Of course I'm not where I'd like to be at with the language or with my ability to teach the lessons, but as I've been
studying and preparing for each lesson, the Spirit is with us, and even if its in a really round about way, I'm able to, slowly, express myself and my message

So...the only good thing to eat here turns out to be the desserts, which is not good at all.  Yikes. I've recently discovered though, that the custom wrap/salad bar is rather quite delicious.  Since eating leafy greens abroad isn't the best idea I think I'll try and fill up on my salad fix here in the MTCto cover my next 18 months.  Also, I've had Hermana Allen start limiting me to one dessert a day, which hopefully should help the problem.

Because we're so tired at the end of the day, I've been getting THE BEST SLEEP IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, accompanied with some very interesting and detailed dreams.  Dad said that soon enough I'll be dreaming in Spanish, so basically I'll be starring in my very own Telenovela series!  Woo Hoo :)

Feelin' so fancy with my cool flip phone!
Hermana Allen and I have been assigned to be Sister Training Leaders of our zone, which basically means that we get to deal with everyone's emotional problems, and prevent cat fights from breaking out.  Oh, and we get a genuine flip-phone! Don't get too excited though because:
1). we don't know the number
2). the entire thing is password locked and
3). it only calls the front desk, not even 911. so...it pretty much is useless, but maybe we can scheme and get some Domino's pizza up in here.  Probably not, but it's fine.

So the Zone Leadership positions were all reassigned because the other district left.  Saying goodbye to them was pretty hard, because we realized that we'd probably never see most of them ever again. Sidenote: we had a certain Hermana Nordfelt, who was in fact LARS NORDFELT'S,, DAUGHTER! small world!!!! (Lars Nordfelt was Emily's AP Calculus teacher from High School)

Anywhoo, on the last night we were all together I said the last zone prayer, and after everyone was crying and it was super depressing.  Hermana Walters said something funny and I burst out laughing and SPIT right into Hermana Pula's eye. Oops.  Everyone was laughing so hard, the sad part is, is that nothing is ever really that funny, but it's always funny just because we're always so tired.

Wanna hear something completely bizarre, awkward, and uncomfortable?  So I totally managed to get a stalker, within the first 10 days of being here.  Just to set this story up, in the cafeteria you only sit with your district, and you don't really ever talk to anyone else.  So we're all together sitting at our district table, and this guy who looks familiar sits down across from me makes some small talk, which should be totally normal because everyone is super nice here.  But then he says, "Soooo... I leave tomorrow and I'd really like to keep in touch".  Wait what? I look around, and I'm completely alone, not even my companion is there, and I'm sitting there wide-eyed and completely shocked. "So can I have your email"  I didn't even know what to say, I was so confused on what was happening.  I quickly scratched my email address down, at least I had enough brain power left to spell my name incorrectly.

Seriously that was the most unexpected encounter at the MTC so far, and everyone keeps bringing it up and making fun of me for it.  You're NOT supposed to get hit on at the MTC!! The boys even told Hermano Draut once we got back to the classroom and they kept laughing and asking me, "Hermana Cannon, una coqueteadora??" It took me a solid 10 minutes to figure out that he was asking if I was a flirt! Flirting and being friendly are NOT the same thing. blehhh.  (Mom's question..... well was he at least cute?!" ha ha.  That's my cute Sis oh well !)

On a more important note, Elder Cook (one of the twelve apostles) came to speak to us at the devotional last night! They did a live broadcast to all the 49 MTC's all over the world, it was amazing! He talked about the process of how we get our mission calls and how we have truly been chosen by God to go to wherever we are assigned.  First, our headshot photo and information is up on a big screen, and next to it is a map of all of the different missions around the world.  He said immediately he would get a feeling that this person needed to get sent to a certain mission for the mission president, people, or the language.  Such a cool spiritual and very calculated process, and I truly believe that I'm meant to serve in Posadas, Argentina for all of those reasons.

Thank you so much for all the DearElders, letters, package, especially to Mom who writes everyday, I know that they will be my most prized possessions when I'm sad and lonely in the mission field. Kay, but S/O to Wade & Katie Peabody who sent the box of KrispyKremes! Mondays are THE WORST, and you guys made it 100X better!

Till next week :)
Te Amo,

Welcome to the MTC - Surviving Week One


Life here is hard.  The MTC is a crazy place, but I've finally figured it out! It's a cross between EFY, freshman year, finals week, and Spanish class.
EFY: because this is clearly just a super intensive church camp, with exactly 403 rules.
Freshman year: because everyday invites random hellos with 30 second conversations with friendly people of whom which you'll probably never see again.  'The Residence' or dorms are 100% the same size as Helaman Halls, except there are 6 beds per room instead of 2.  Of course it never feels crowded since we spend approximately 10 hours in quarters and 8 of those hours are for sleeping.
Finals week: because on average we study 10 hours a day.  It is intensive, completely focused study with ZERO distractions.  I AM GOING TO BE SO GOOD AT SCHOOL WHEN I GET HOME!  But anyway, its like cramming 3 years of material into 6 weeks.  
and Spanish Class because that all we do !  My companion and I tested into the intermediate class which has been sooooooo hard.  The only way to describe it is that it's like drinking from a fire hose. I seriously wish I could leave today for Argentina.  I honestly know enough spanish to survive, but sadly I'm definitely not yet prepared and I'm going to need every ounce of training I can get in before I ship off on April 6th!!!!

Check out ma-cool name tag !
This has been the LONGEST week of my entire life.  I feel like I've been here for at least a month, not one week.  The days are all the same: we...study, eat, exercise, sleep.  So...its kind of like jail.  But everyone is super nice, so happy jail!

I adore all of the sisters in my district and zone.  My companion is the BOMB!  She is everything that I needed! She is better than me in every aspect and with her help I will be able to slowly grow into the missionary I want to be.  She will be serving in the San Diego, CA mission at the Mormon Battalion visitors center, also speaking spanish, which is so legit because she gets to dress up like a pioneer.  Anyways, Sister Allen is amazing and the best companion I could've hoped for.  I decided however, the numero uno reason she was sent to me was because she is NOT lazy.  We get up early every morning and go to the exercise class at 6am!  We try to only speak spanish, and we're doing our best to follow everything with exact obedience.

The environment here is honestly so bizarre though.  I am back in a world where I'm learning to say things like, "This is my shoe", we practice the buddy system 24/7, and boys once again have cooties.  Also, it always feels like 2:00 AM in the morning.  We go through waves of being exhausted, to being starving, to being hyperactive.  I can already tell that I'm going to be super weird when I get home...

Maligayang pabati and Buen Suerte mi amiga!
(Tagalog & spanish for best wishes and good luck
my friend!)

Being inside so much of the day is driving me insane.  Thankfully its been pretty gloomy outside lately, so it hasn't been too tragic.  The worst part about this place is definitely how close to BYU Campus it is.  In the gymnasium, upstairs, on the track there is a window that looks directly towards the Hinkley Bell tower, and the SWKT.  Knowing that my friends are less than a block away is pure torture.  However, I did get to see Sister Sheffield who is headed to Cambodia, Sister May and Sister Allegretti who are headed to the Philippines, AND Isabella came and visited us all on Friday, so basically it was a Freshman year - Stover Hall reunion! It was exactly what I needed to realize how homesick I already was/am.

The hardest part about this last week, was realizing how truly incompetent I am as a person, and how I am nothing without God.  On the plus side, I know that with Him on my side I can accomplish anything.  This work is real, I can feel it in every part of my being as I preach to our "pseudo" investigators in a language that I can barely express myself with.  I love my mission and my calling to serve the Lord and the people of Argentina.

DearElders have been what has been keeping me going this week so thank you to those who sent them. I LOVE YOU! Seriously, mail is the most coveted thing here and now that I'm in the shoes of a missionary, I absolutely despise myself for not having been a better letter writer, in the past to all of my friends who are currently serving.  So...send me love at DearElder.com! :D

I could honestly write a book about all of the happening of this week, but it wouldn't even come close to the reality of this abstract lifestyle.  So basically, I'm alive, getting 8 hours of sleep, working my butt off, and completely being shaped by the Lord's hand for a purpose that I never knew was in my cards.  I can not wait to find out what these 18 months have in store for me.

Te Amo! Ciao!
Hermana Cannon :)

PS don't judge for my poor grammer and choppiness, my English is slowly deteriorating haha so now I'm about 25% lingual in each language.  Adios!