"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)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

BRIGHTLY BEAMS OUR FATHER'S MERCY

JANUARY 28, 2014

Bogota, Colombia CCM

Hola Amigos y Familia!
      
Things here are going awesome! I love being able to wake up every morning and play basketball with some guys and we have a lot of fun learning. We actually got to go out tracting this past weekend for a few hours and it was truly amazing. I really felt filled with the pure love of Christ and felt his love for all of us, His children. My companion and I were our just walking around saying hi to everybody but no one was really saying hi or talking back too much until we walked down this one street and met this lady, Marta. She seemed very interested in the gospel, almost like the perfect investigator because she wanted to read the Book of Mormon and come to church on Sunday. She even asked us to pray for her. How cool! With a new and improved morale we kept walking to find more people to share the gospel. We came to a street and crossed it with cars coming both ways. I quickly ran across and turned around and Elder Nieman, my companion, was not right behind me. While trying to cross the street while some cars were coming he got stuck in between two cars going like 35 or 40 mph and the cars didn't even slow down! It was pretty hectic! We were so blessed and thankful that nothing happened and laughed it off. Better to learn sooner rather than later that cars don't slow down right? ha ha!!  



Anyway, we kept going until we got to a park and started to talk with this guy, Luis, who was around 23 years old. He had awesome long dread locks and skateboarded and was really friendly to us. We had a half hour conversation with him in our broken English and gave him a few informational things about the church. All in all, it was a pretty fun day and great because we got to get out of the gates for once!

       
Also today all of the Latinos and a few north Americans left the CCM for the mission field. It was a little sad saying goodbye because we´ve all grown so close together over the last 2 weeks. One of the kids I had gotten pretty close to these last 2 weeks was named Juan Ishkra and he was from Argentina. He had such a great spirit about him and was a way fun guy to be around. It is amazing how much he loves the Lord and sacrificed to be on a mission. He is such an example to me. Last night before he left he pulled me into his room and gave me this awesome chocolate caramel bar thing that was soo good. He said it was only in Argentina and that he had stocked up on them before he came. ha ha such a funny kid! I gave him one of my crayola twistable crayon scripture markers so that he would remember me whenever he was marking his scriptures. I think I will give all of my companions one of those to remember me by since I have the 24 pack! He then came into our room along with some of the other latinos to say goodbye to all of us north Americans. As he was leaving he turned around and began to tear up and said "remember, always serve the Lord with all of your heart" Such a great example to us all, in fact all of the Latinos are. They each have their own amazing spirits and each love the Lord so much. I can and have learned a lot from them.
Elder Crandall & Elder Ribeiro
So the spiritual thought of this email has to do with a hymn titled Brightly Beams Our Father´s Mercy. On Sunday, Jeffrey Bittner and 4 other guys that left today sang this song acapella for the congregation.
Elder Bittner & Elder Crandall

The spirit was so strong and I'm not sure if there was a dry eye in the crowd. I love this hymn and it is probably my new favorite. The symbolism in the song is so great and I guess everyone probably knows that I love symbolism.  ha ha. Anyway, the song sings about how our Father´s mercy beams brightly like a lighthouse light in night. 

"But to us he gives the keeping Of the lights along the shore, Let the lower lights be burning send a gleam across the wave, Some poor fainting struggling seaman You may rescue, you may save" 

The Lord has given us charge of the lighthouse and it is our responsibility and even opportunity to help guide the struggling seamen back to shore. I love relating this song to my mission work out here. How great. I would invite everyone to search YouTube or something and find an awesome acapella version or rendition of some kind and listen to it either for the first time or for a reminder. It brings great joy unto me!
     
Well, I'll add some pictures from today in this email if I can get it to work. Sorry for the effects of the pictures too. ha ha!  I was just trying it out and they looked cool so I sent them.  

We only get our cameras on Pday so they're all from today! I'll try to add a picture of the temple, of the other missionaries going to Barranquilla with me, my companions and me, and maybe some more. Thinking of you all and love you all too!

Bogota Colombia Temple
Bogota Colombia Temple

Oh yeah, Elder Ryan Porter does know the Nielsens! He is a good kid and plays basketball with me everyday!

Love,
Elder Crandall