"Dear Elder Crandall: you are hereby called to serve as a missionary
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You are assigned to labor in the Colombia Barranquilla Mission.
It is anticipated that you will serve a period of 24 months...
You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish Language."

FAVORITE SCRIPTURE

FAVORITE SCRIPTURE:
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God,
that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb,
and upon the covenant people of the Lord,
who were scattered upon all the face of the earth;
and they were armed with righteousness
and with the power of God in great glory."
(1 Nephi 14:14)

Monday, December 14, 2015

DREAMS: A MISSION COMPLETE

December 14, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Cardenas


Hey guys,

I had probably the busiest week of my whole mission!  On Thursday my 2 companions left me and had to go home so I got a new companion for my last week.  His name is Elder Cardenas.  He is from Chile.  He's a really great guy.





Also, President changed our area.  We are opening up a completely new area.  We first get on a bus and then go to our new area.  When we get off we look at a map and just start talking with people and looking for members.  It is an area of the mission's secretaries but they divided it in 2 and now we have part of it.  In the mission there are secretaries. They are in charge of baptismal papers, flight plans, hospital and medical things and all that jazz. They work more in the office but they have some time in the streets preaching. So they divided an area of a companionship of secretaries and gave us that area. This week we also had the privilege of having a little chat with an Area Seventy.  He announced that the ground breaking of the Barranquilla Temple will take place on February 20, 2016.  That's very exciting! 

Lets see... we also had interviews so my companion and I had to be at the mission office all day helping with things. We Helped with the interviews with Sister Searle and the meetings with the asistants.  Something fun about that was that Sister Searle made the funfetti cake my mom had sent me for my birthday!  That was awesome!  

Funfetti birthday cake Sister Seale made
On Wednesday I participated, with the rest of the missionaries that are leaving, in a day long self reliance meeting.  That was pretty fun.  

Missionaries enjoying Funfetti cake
Then, as is custom, President and Sister Searle took us out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.  They take all of the missionaries that are leaving out to eat and there was a group of missionaries that left last week so I went with that group.  

Departing missionaries with President and Sister Searle
Many more things happened as well!  It was a very busy week and this one coming up will be busy as well.

On Saturday we had our ward Christmas party.  Elder Clark, one of the missionaries, and I were the angels in the nativity.  I'll include some pics!

Angels bringing "glad tidings of great joy!"
Well, as you know, I go home this Friday.  I complete my full time mission as a missionary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I have so many thoughts and feelings right now. I cannot come to fully express my appreciation and testimony of Christ in this e-mail. These 2 years started out tough.  I have passed through some challenging times.  But hard is not bad.  I know those experiences made me grow so very much.  I have truly matured a lot spiritually.  In my time here I came to learn how to leave my own will for God´s will.  I have come to really use and help others use the Atonement in their lives.  I know that because of Christ, we have second chances; Christ can clean whatever mess we have made.  God really does have a plan for us and it's not by coincidence that we are here. There is satisfaction and real, true peace in making the covenant of baptism by the only existing authority on this earth.  I know Jesus Christ restored his gospel on this earth through the prophet Joseph Smith to bless us and our families.  The proof is the Book of Mormon.  I did nothing here, but it was the spirit that touched the hearts of these wonderful people.  Their humility is heart touching.  I will forever be grateful to God for the opportunity to be a part of and to lend a hand to all the people I have come in contact with.  I know the spirit can touch the heart of anyone.  The good and the bad.  It may seem crazy to put my studies, life, and opportunities on hold and even forego some of the prior to come here for 2 years, but every second was worth it.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I know that anyone can come to feel what I have felt if they but ask of God in prayer if it is true.  I know God hears and answers our prayers and they are important to him.  We are important to him. I really want to testify to all who read this, as a last testimony while still a missionary, in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
President and Sister Searle
I'll see you on Friday!
Elder Crandall

Monday, December 7, 2015

MOM, I'M IN THE CHURCH MAGAZINE!

December 7, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey

Hey guys!

Things are crazy right now.  So this morning President advised us that tomorrow my companion from Arizona goes home due to sickness and my other companion from Costa Rica goes home Thursday also due to sickness.  So as for now, I'm stuck without a companion for a week until I get back home!  Still not sure what's going down with all that but I'll keep you updated!  We also have a pretty busy week so we aren't sure what's going to happen!

Things are going great though!  It was nice skyping with the family on Sunday on my birthday.   I also enjoyed going to the First Presidency Christmas devotional.  We were going to bring 2 investigators with us but they both cancelled last minute.  They missed out!  I really felt the spirit and really liked the music.  It was very spiritual. 

J--- D--- is also progressing a lot.  He gets along super well with the members and they are always asking us about him.  He currently lives here in Barranquilla with his aunt while he is studying.  His aunt doesn't really like ¨the mormons´ so there's been a little conflict there. We just want to show her that we are nice people too!  We are going to try and pass by to see what happens.

Alright so to explain the title!  This last week we had a meeting with President Searle and the stake president to talk about the wards and their progress.  When we got there President Sealre asks me ¨did you see your picture in the Liahona (one of the church magazines)?¨  That confused me because I didn't remember anyone taking a picture of me or anything.  So the next day I got a hold of a Liahona magazine and looked for my pictures.  Sure enough in the local section there was a picture of me with a convert that I got to baptize in Santo Tomas, Erick Ramos.  He was the one that was 14 that was literally the golden investigator!  Oh that made me feel so good.  Erick submitted the story of his conversion and sent in a picture.  He is such a good guy.  He will have an influence in the church here in the furture!  I'll include some pics.  I'm so happy!



Well I'm so grateful for my mission!  I've learned and grown so very much.  Well have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 30, 2015

BOCA DE CENIZA

November 30, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey

Family and Friends,

I had a great week!  We had some great lessons and we are starting to get used to teaching in a trio and it's been pretty fun! We found some pretty great people this week and had some great lessons.  We had an awesome lesson with J--- D--- at the 2nd counselor in the bishopric´s house.  It was really spiritual.  It really helps that J--- D--- is getting to know some members and form relationships there.  That really makes a huge difference in the mision work!  The only bad part was that he cancelled on us yesterday and didn't come to the stake conference.  We´re not sure why yet, but we will pass by later to see.

Boca de Ceniza
Boca de Ceniza
So today we went to a place called Boca de Ceniza.  It's a big bank like maybe 10 yards dividing the ocean and the river.  It was pretty neat!  I will include a lot of pictures.  The only bad part was that I got a little sunburned. It was fun though!  We went with the district.  The bank I like is 4 miles long or so.  We had to take a rickety train cart out to the end.  It was pretty sketchy, haha!  We had to get off a couple times because the cart fell off the track.  At the end there were some people fishing and I got some pictures of their fish.  There are some people that live on this long skinny stretch.  I'm not sure how, but they seem to do fine there.  It makes me so very grateful for the many blessings I've been blessed with.

The river
The beach
The bank


The track 
A house on the bank
Our trio companionship:  with Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey 
The trio


The fish the fishermen caught
With my friend Elder Marecos




We had our stake conference this week which was pretty neat!  I saw a family I met on my first day here in Barranquilla.  We lived in their house and then they moved away.  They moved away to this part of Barranquilla and were there in the conference!  It was awesome because they still remembered me and my name!  That made me feel happy.

The drawing Davis sent me for my birthday
I bought an accordian!
With my friend Elder Atwood
With my friend Elder Santos
Well I'm really loving being in the service of God.  There's nothing better!  I want to take advantage of every last minute I have!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 23, 2015

BARRANQUILLA GETS COLD?

November 23, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey

Hey guys!

Im doing great! It was a busy week. So Barranquilla is NOT cold, but on Tuesday it rained sooo hard.  My bed is close to the window and I woke up in the middle of the night because rain was hitting my face!  It was crazy.  The house flooded and we live on the 4th floor!  How does that even happen?!  It was awesome because it really cooled things off for like 2 days.  When I say cooled things off I mean it was like around 78 degrees or so.  Humid still, but a lot fresher! We definitley enjoyed that.

So something so great happened on Sunday.  J--- D--- came to church!  We have been having awesome lessons with him this last week at members' homes and he is getting right into the grove of things, learning and growing a lot.  I'm really excited because we have been working with him for a little while.  I think what helped him really come to church was that we helped him meet members and make friends with them.  That way he wasn't so nervous to come into a completely new environment not knowing anyone.  I was definitely so happy about that!  The only bad part was that on Sunday the power went out so we were sitting in a sauna.  I know I said on Tuesday that it was fresher but on Sunday everything cleared up and it looked like a Mesa summer sky, with no clouds and super hot.  We sweated a lot but that is normal for me now.  I've been sweating about the last 700 days in my life so I think I can live through a few more!

I'm also happy to be in a trio with Elder Godfrey.  He is a crazy missionary, haha, but he makes things so fun!  We are always laughing and joyful.  I don't think there's been a dull moment!

Well, sorry I don't have any pics!  I left my camera today.  I'm excited to work hard and finish my mission with a bang!  Have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 16, 2015

ARIZONA

November 16, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino


Hey guys!

We had a good week.  Im doing great!  Today we found out that tomorrow my companion and I will be getting a new companion so I will be ending in a trio!  His name is Elder Godfrey.   He is from Tucson Arizona!  So I will be with someone from my home state! Awesome!

Not too much happened this week!  It was actually tough in a way because all of our lessons fell through.  Something fun that happened was that we organized a ward talent show!  We missionaries, did a little dance thing.  It's hard to explain.  I'll see if one of the other misionaries can send me pics to include in the email.  It was pretty funny!  It was a great turnout though!  We had fun doing it and everything.

Also, J--- D--- is going good.  We actually just saw him here by this internet cafe.  Tonight we are going to try and watch the Restoration with him because last week we couldn't.  He also wasn't able to come to church Sunday because he had a ton of work, but hopefully this week he will be able to come!

Elder Tijerino and me at the mall with Rudolph!

Well this will be an interesting week I think!  I'll let you know how it goes!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 9, 2015

OLD FRIENDS

November 9, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino


Hey everyone!

Things are going great!  We had another great and busy week!  So this week a sister invited us over to eat dinner at her house and she had invited Sister Eva, the really nice lady from my first area that owns the pizza restaurant that always gave us free pizza!  Eva´s daughter is in our ward and Sis. Eva supposedly asks about me sometimes because I was in my first area where she lived for 9 months!  Crazy!  But it was nice to be able to see her again.  She is such a nice lady and has the biggest heart. She even brought us food!  So that was a nice reunion.

Also this week we ran into J--- D--- again!  He's the awesome investigator that called us over and was amazed at the dedication of missionaries and everything.  Suddenly he disapeared around 2 weeks ago and we had no idea what happened! He says he just had a couple of busy weeks at work and school and everything.  He got his wisdom teeth out Saturday so he didn't come to church but he commited to come this upcoming week!  We also have a lesson with him today and are hoping to have a great one!  We are going to watch the Restoration video with him.

We have been teaching this less active guy recently whose name is A---.  He is an older man that lives alone and has no family.  He plays guitar and so do I so we hit it off pretty fast.  Sometimes when we go over to teach him we play together and he teaches me to play salsa and other latino music.  He's been pretty excited with the gospel as well recently and are hoping that this upcoming week he will come to church with us!

Today we had a fun P-day activity watching a movie called Metagol.  It is an Argentinian animated movie about fooseball and soccer.  

Today's P-day Activity watching a movie
Well I'm doing great!  I really can't believe how fast time goes!  I'm enjoying the mission and am going to go out with a bang!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 2, 2015

GEOLOGY

November 2, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino

Hey guys!

So I met a geologist this week!  The first person here in Colombia that I've met that is in that profession!  He actually is in the ward that I'm serving in!  We went and visited him last night and I got to see a ton of cool rocks. He also had some dinosaur fossils and things that were pretty cool.  I've always loved geology.  What a coincidence right??

Well I'm doing great!  We had another busy week but seriously all of our lessons fell through! Even the most secure and sure people bailed on us!  But that's okay.  We were able to find a couple of new people and explore our area some more.  It's actually way big! Things are going good!

Sorry in advance because I forgot my camera memory!  But I didn't really have any pics for this week anyway!

This week I learned something pretty interesting.  We have an investigator named F---.  He is a man of little faith but has the desire to improve it.  We've been teaching him a lot.  He has a lot of doctorinal questions and we couldn't really help him come to a sure standing on all of it.  We decided to talk to him and just teach about faith.  He is a guy that really likes movies and so we used the example of Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade when Indiana has to walk across the invisible bridge.  For those of you who don't remember the scene, Indiana has to take a complete step of faith onto what appears to be an invisible bridge. Without being too sure about it, he steps and comes to the knowledge that the bridge actually exists.  Every step after that he becomes more and more confident.  That's like us. We have to act first and then comes the blessings.  I'll admit, sometimes it's hard to act, but God promises that if we do act, we will be blessed.

Well I love and miss you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall