"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, April 28, 2014

STRANGE THINGS ARE AFOOT AT THE EXITO!

April 28, 2014


BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal



Hi Everyone!

Hope all is going well because all is well here!  Our investigators are doing well and we are planning on having a baptism for J-------- and K-------- this week.  They have really come a long way, its awesome to see how much the gospel can change people.  Way neat!  Also, the G-------- family was able to attend church and are loving it!  Awesome!

Tonight we are heading over to the O-------- for FHE and I think we are going to watch a movie and share a little message. They're doing great.  Another cool thing this week was that M-------- was able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  How cool!  Its great to be in the midst of these changing lives and its a great experience to be a part of!  

With regards to seeing things on P-day, there aren't really any museums or things to see here in my area of Barranquilla so we don't really do that.  The only thing I can think of here that's kind of a touristy thing to do is go to the big soccer stadium for Barranquilla's team, Junior.  Everybody loves them here and I think I will go buy a jersey of them soon.  I've only gotten a glimpse of water and that was when we were at the mall.  Other than that though my area is not near the water. 

Also another cool thing I found out.  On Mother's Day we get to Skype our families!   What time would be best for you on Mothers Day?  

Last Monday we kind of had a crazy experience!  So we had to go get money (because we were totally out) and so my companion had a number to pick up money.  We took a taxi to Exito, it's kind of like a Wal-mart but smaller.  Once we got there and got to the counter to get money, the lady told us that the number didn't work.   That meant we had to leave and find an internet store around Exito and get back on the computer and write down the number again. Once we got the number we began walking back to the Exito.  Just before we were about to enter I guess a big gang fight or some sort of fight broke out in front of us so the police and everyone shut down Exito!  We only had 7mil (almost 4$) left, or one taxi ride worth of money. Now we had to make the decision whether to take the taxi back to our apartment or take a taxi to another Exito to get the money and hope that the number was right this time... we decided to go to Exito haha!  Luckily though we had the right number and were able to get money.  We used a ton of time though doing this and we still had to send in the bills for our electricity and water and by the time we got back and did that we had missed our first appointment!  It was kind of a hectic day, but fun nonetheless... I guess!

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

E´ Crandall







Monday, April 21, 2014

A CRAZY EASTER

April 21, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal


Hey Everyone!


Hope all is well and everyone had a fun Easter. I nearly forgot that yesterday was Easter because we had a pretty hectic day, that I'll explain later, but all is well!

This week was pretty difficult but in times like this you have to just keep on keeping on!  Wednesday my companion was pretty sick which wasn't very fun so we couldn't really do that much.  Friday, however, was great.  An area authority, Elder Waddell, came and spoke to us from like 8:30 to 4:00.  We had breaks and stuff and even ate Papa Johns Pizza (I didn't know they had that here).  It was very uplifting and we had awesome discussions.  After he finished with the missionaries he had another meeting with the members of our stake so we got to go to that meeting too.  We were pretty much at the church all day but it was great!  Then on Friday we worked really hard, we had 11 lessons just on that day!  Way cool, but then we went back to our apartment only to find that we didn't have any water for the house.  Luckily we have a big barrel that we keep full of water that we could use.  We didn't get our water back on until last night!  It made me very grateful for running water.

So our baptisms went through this weekend, but they were anything but smooth. Saturday we went to the Church at 6:00 PM to get everything ready for the baptism on Sunday.  We were cleaning the font and all was going well.  Then, when we tried turning the water back on, nothing came out.  So we had no water!  I guess someone didn't refill the church's water supply or something.  I'm not entirely sure, but the whole building didn't have water.  So we searched around outside and found a hose nozzle that had water, but it didn't have good water pressure at all.  We had to fill up buckets of water to fill up the font.  




By this time it was like 8:00PM and we then realized that the water level was kind of going down a little so we went outside and found out that the drain had not been shut all the way and that water was leaking out of it haha!  But from this we found another hose nozzle that was closer to the font so we were able to put the hose kind of directly into the font haha!  I'll include some pics.


 
The other Elder (left picture) pointing to the hose is one of the other Elders in our ward, Elder Arana, from Paraguay.  But anyway we had to leave the hose like that all night to fill up the font. Crazy.  But the next morning was a little more hectic. So Sunday morning we woke up at like 5:30 because the Bishop said that the baptism needed to be at 7:00.  So we go to the church and set everything up and were waiting for Sister B-------- and her two kids, M-------- and V--------, the two that were going to be baptized, when we get a call from Sister B--------.  She told us that on their way to the church a man with a knife tried to rob them and take their cell phone. The three of them scattered and Sister B-------- and V-------- were together but they didn't know where M-------- was. By this time it was like 7:00, but one of the counselors of the bishopric had come and he is one of the members that has a car so he offered to drive us to go help and pick them up.  We then picked up Sister B-------- and V-------- but we didn't know where M-------- was so we just went to the church building where M-------- shortly arrived.  Haha!  Wow so crazy!  
After that though, everything went smoothly!  








It was way fun and the spirit was awesome.  I guess the lesson here is that we shouldn't give up despite opposition or obstacles, both obvious and not obvious, until we have reached our goal. Such a neat experience though!



The Elder in the picture with me in the baptismal clothes is my companion Elder Villarreal.  


salchipapas
Oh and the food is called salchipapas (I'm not sure if i spelled that right) I'm not quite sure what exactly it is, but it has a lot of stuff like bananas, chicken, sausage, fries, lettuce, and a lot of stuff haha!

Well, love and miss everyone lots! Have a great week! 

Elder Crandall

Monday, April 14, 2014

FEAR FROM SATAN

April 14, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal



Hey friends and family,

Hope everything is going great!  All is well here.  This next week we have 2 baptisms, of M-------- and V--------.  They're really awesome and are so spiritual.  I also will have pics next week too from the baptism.  Excited and nervous!  I want to try really hard to work and bring people close to God.  It's a little challenging though.  My Spanish is coming along and I'm becoming more and more fluent everyday.  It's just a process so I know that little by little I will learn!  

Yesterday there were some people carrying around the palm tree leaves for Palm Sunday. Most everyone we talk to is Catholic.  They celebrate a lot with a lot of parties and loud music. Like Saturday night it was hard for us to sleep because the block over was blasting music until about 3 in the morning!

Also this upcoming week Elder Waddell from our area presidency is coming and we get to talk with him.  He said one of the prayers during General Conference.  He is awesome and I had the chance to meet him in the CCM in Bogota.  I think I remember our mission president say that he is going to tour our mission but I'm not sure!

This week we also had the opportunity to teach English which was fun and funny.  We had 6 of our investigators, 4 future investigators, and 1 recent convert show up.  It was a fun time teaching pronunciation and other things.  A lot of the schools teach English but I guess they only really teach grammatical things so the kids didn't really know how to speak it!  Too fun. We are planning on doing that every Saturday.

J-------- and K-------- also have been progressing well and opening up more to us.  They want to learn more and more and are keeping every commitment which is so great!  We didn't have a chance to meet with G-------- and his family this week due to meetings and other last minute changes to our schedule but 2 of his kids came to the English class which was great!

Tonight for family night we are going over to the O--------'s house and watching a church movie.  It will be fun.  It always is!

Well my thought this week has to do with a talk that I received in the mail from a member of my ward (Bro. Dave Bang) titled "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence" by Elder Holland.  Wow, such a cool talk!  It has many points in the talk but the one I wanted to talk about is about fear being one of Satan's tools.  The scriptures that he cites are Hebrews 10:32,35,36,38,39.  The scriptures tell us to fear not, do not draw back, do not give up or doubt knowledge you once experienced.  All too often in this world we will feel so confident about something but then doubt and quiver due to second thoughts or other fears.  A great example of this in the scriptures is when Moses was going to split the Red Sea in Exodus 14.  The children of Israel, when they see the Red Sea in front of them, the desert on all sides, and the Pharaoh and his army behind them begin to doubt and say something like ´it would have been better for us to be servants to the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.´  This response may seem like a reasonable choice unless you know the entire story.  Earlier in the history The Lord had given many miracle signs to the people like locusts and the river of blood and even delivered them out of bondage from the Egyptians.  But, when they were good on their way and came to an obstacle, they doubted.  Doubt truly is a tool of Satan.  He will use this tool in times when we have felt so sure of something or felt such great light and then he will have us doubt that only to miss out on a great opportunity.  The lesson here is to not doubt previous light and stick to the Lord and the Holy Ghost and we will be happy.

Well I hope everyone is doing great and has a great week!  

Love and miss you all!
Elder Crandall

Monday, April 7, 2014

CHILDLIKE

April 7, 2014
BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal




Friends and Family,

Hope everything is going well!  All is well here.  This last week has been a great one, especially with conference. I had to watch it in Spanish and was only able to understand main points, but the spirit was still the same and it was very uplifting, especially the MOTAB songs!  My two favorite songs were "A Child's Prayer" and "I Lived in Heaven".  The Sunday morning song [A Child's Prayer] that goes "Heavenly Father are you really there?" brought the spirit to me so strongly.  It is one of the songs I like to have stuck in my head out here and when they started singing it I couldn't help but take it as a sign from God that he is looking out for me.  It was really great.

What was also great was that some of our investigators showed up.  M--------, J-------- and V--------, or the O-------- family came.  They're really progressing and coming closer to Christ everyday and its great to see the change!  Also, two of our other investigators, J-------- and K--------, were able to come to the Saturday sessions.  They are referrals to us from a recent convert named E--------.  She owns a pizzaria place and these two sisters work for her.  E-------- is a great missionary and has given us a few referrals.  J-------- and K-------- are shy but they're really started to open up to us which is great and they keep the compromises we make with them!  I feel like they're very spiritually in tune. Also this week we met a new family named the G-------- family.  They were a referral to us from someone in a different city here in Colombia. They are really nice and very receptive.  Stay tuned to hear more about them!

I'm learning to grow and learn despite challenges.  I know God is giving me these challenges for me to learn and grow and it's up to me what I learn from these things.  When things are difficult I keep trucking and moving on.  Life is hard and what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger (haha) which is good. 

Well something spiritual that I wanted to share has to do with something that I've been working on personally here.  I've been working on becoming more childlike instead of childish.  As the scriptures state we need to become as a little child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things from the Lord.  These qualities will help us become more Christlike for they are the attributes of Christ.  I've really been trying to analyze my life and try to change to meet these standards.  It's something that I've been working on and will continue to work on for the rest of my life.  We should always be trying to change from the childish things like whining, lying, being selfish, and other things and try more to change to being more like the qualities mentioned in the beginning.  I can testify that as we do so, our countenance will change and we will see a brighter person in ourselves and everyone else!

Well I hope that everyone is doing great!  Love and miss you all lots!

Elder Crandall