"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."


"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)

Saturday, January 25, 2014


JANUARY 24, 2014


Hola friends and family!

Well I hope everything is going great there in the US! I am here safe in Colombia at the CCM (Spainish MTC or missionary training center) preparing to aid in the Lord´s work. The keyboard on this computer is different than the english one so bare with me if I make any mistakes! Also we are only allowed an hour so sorry I wont be able to proof read my letter!

Where to begin!... So I am here in Bogota, Colombia! Wow i still cant believe it! My companion here for the first little while is Elder Nieman and he is from Seattle, Washington. He is a great guy. We are two out of the eight Americans that are new this week and 78 other Latinos came at the same time we did as well. It's great practice having them around and they're all great guys. We are kind of forced to speak spanish here too because of all them but it is good practice. They have great spirits and its great to see the sacrifices they made to come on a mission. The spanish is coming along though. I feel as though I can pick out like 60 to 70 percent of the words when they are speaking and can kind of respond back. We have classes all day for spanish and we learn this spanish through learning gospel discussions. I guess you could say its like hitting two birds with one stone!

The food here is a little different but that is okay with me. I never have been a very picky eater, but I do think some of the food is strange. Colombians really like hot dogs as weird as it is to say, so we have them at least once a day whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We usually always have rice and potatoes too. Lunch is the biggest meal here so at that meal we usually get a little bit of them all. The other day though, we had chicken soup (I think) and I found a few bones in it! (ha ha) It was kind of strange but I guess that's how they like it! We had a catering service cooking for us for a while during the renovation of the kitchen here and so it was their food.  The kitchen just finished [it's renovation] so now we have the kitchen staff cooking again and they are good. They consist of three Bishops from surrounding wards in the area.

Well I think it would only be appropriate if I included a scripture in this email.  The scripture is James 1:5 and it reads:

"If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

I feel as though this scripture can be very important in all of our lives. I feel as though there is a definite difference between "feeling good" and "feeling right".  All too often I think we make decisions and do things that feel good to us but not right.  I know that I have. This scripture states that we are able to pray and ask God to know the truth. I can truly testify that this scripture is true and that we really can ask God for a real and true answer.

Attached (assuming that it worked) is a photo taken today on our Pday (preparation day) of my district consisting of all the people that are learning spanish. LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL!

January 24, 2014 - First P-day at Bogota, Colombia CCM

Jeffrey Bittner is here.  It's good to see a familiar face.  I don't really get to speak too much english but it's okay.  Out of all the Americans in the CCM, I'm the only one going to Barranquilla!  The rest are Brazillian or Colombian!  Also, my Pdays are every 10 days and then every 4 days if that makes sense. [while at the CCM] So my next Pday will be Tuesday, but after that it won't be until the following Friday.

Elder Crandall