"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, May 26, 2014

MORE SOCCER AND SPIDERS!

MAY 26, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal

Everyone!

All is well!  So this week was transfers and... I stayed here in my area as well as Elder Villarreal!  We're still keeping on and so he will be here until he finishes his mission in 5 weeks. So my guess is that I'll be here for at least another 3 months-ish. Awesome!

Thanks for all the updates.  It seems as if time is really flying by.  I feel this way but then sometimes I feel as if it's crawling by. Life's a roller coaster.  I'm glad to hear that everything is going well with the family.  It's really such a great blessing that we have and I hope we never take it for granted.  How fun you went with the family to the cemetery for Memorial Day.  I miss doing that.  That is always a fun tradition to do!  Thanks mom for the packages, they're so great!  I think I'm set with CDs for the rest of my mission!  The Lego Simpsons figures were way awesome!  Pretty much everyone here loves the Simpsons or Los Simpsons so my companion thought the little Lego guy was awesome.  Thanks for the support!  

This week we had a day that we had to go home early because of a soccer game.  So I guess the soccer game last week that I was talking about wasn't the final game!  There was another game this week, or the final, between Junior and the other team and you could hear people screaming when they scored!  But the noise didn't last and we found out later that Junior lost in the final.  Things were a little crazy in the streets that night though!  (Supposedly 5 people died that night due to it??)  As we came back from our appointment in a taxi, there were so many people in the streets around the tiendas (little stores on the corners) watching the game on the TVs.  It was hectic but we made it back safely.

Also this week we got to paint our house a little bit.  I'll include a pic of my companion.

Elder Villarreal painting 

Oh another cool thing that happened!  So on Monday we went to the mall and Burger King again. They gave us these little scratch cards that come with every meal and my companion and I both won these tall Colombia World Cup glasses, haha, how funny!


We also found a giant spider in our house when we came home one night!  I couldn't get a good picture of it but it was way big!  I won't give you the details but I'll just say that we disposed of him safely by fire haha!

Our investigators are all doing well.  The marriage papers of two of our investigators came and so they are going to get married and baptized real soon.  So exciting!  Also, G-------- and his family committed to stop drinking tea and coffee last night.  Way cool!  They're progressing so much! Its great to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes people.  Faith is tremendous! So cool!

Well I hope everyone has a great week!  So crazy to hear that my sister Rachel graduated from high school and that my parents don't have any kids going to high school anymore.  Time flies I guess!  That's neat that Mark was able to be there too. Truly a new era is unfolding for you. What are you guys going to do now?    

Love and miss you all!
E Crandall

Monday, May 19, 2014

SLAPSHOTS AND FUTBOL

MAY 19, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal

Hey everyone!

Hope all is well where you guys live!  All is well here in Colombia.  It felt like an oven this week and our house was super hot but it's beginning to be the norm here.  

I looked at the calendar Mom gave me last night and saw that Dennis has a birthday this week and that graduation is this week.  Happy Birthday Dennis!   That's really crazy and I still remember graduation day and everything.  It doesn't seem like it has been that long since I've graduated or even been gone.  I feel like life now will progressively seem to move faster because I am getting older and will have more time in my life and will have acquired more memories.  It's a weird thing to think about for me.

Well this week was eventful.  On Tuesday we were able to do some service for an older woman in our ward.  We helped her clean out this whole room full of furniture and old things and we found a rat!  My companion took the broom that we had and when it began to make a run for the door he slapshot the rat like a hockey puck into the wall where it became paralyzed or was knocked out or something.  Then he made the final killing blow after that.  It was pretty gross haha!  He told me that a rat used to live in our house before I came and that he has killed like 3 or 4 rats in his mission! Pretty nasty!

Also this week we bought official World Cup sticker collection books!  They're really cheap here I guess and you can buy like 75 stickers for like 5 dollars!  It's fun to have and I'll include some pictures of the book.  I think I'll definitely come home liking soccer more than I did before!



Yesterday the soccer team of Barranquilla, Junior, played in the national cup, or the final match here in Barranquilla.  The stadium is here in our area so it was pretty dangerous to be out. Junior did win 1 to 0.  When they scored the goal, everyone here went crazy and you could hear people screaming and blowing air horns or something.  The people here, at least in our area, love Junior.

I feel like the world is trending away from God.  I see the world becoming more and more ´worldy´ and not giving a thought about who God is or the importance of him.  It's a thing I see here and I saw back at home.  People now tend to believe just what sounds good or fits with their personality.  Some people say they have faith but don't act or some people believe but only what fits for them.  But God is crucial to all of our lives!  This time here on Earth is relatively, and in reality, sooo short but so essential.  It's the test that determines our eternal destiny.  I'm trying now to show people that and help them feel it.

Everything though is going great.  There is a transfer on Wednesday and I will be ending my training.  I'm not sure yet what will be happening because they call on Tuesday night to let us know what is going on.  I might stay here or I might leave, but I think that my companion and I will stay here in this area because we've been doing good and he only has 6 weeks left in his mission.

Love and miss you all! Have a great week!

E Crandall

Monday, May 12, 2014

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS!

MAY 12, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal

Buenas!

Hope everyone's week was great and hope everyone had a good Mother's Day yesterday!  It was nice to be able to Skype and talk to the whole family.  How neat!  It was way nice to be able to talk and see the whole family yesterday!  So awesome! And everything went really smooth which was such a blessing.  Almost nothing goes smooth here in the mission and I had been praying that this could go smooth since we only had a limited amount of time and everyone was in on it. Such a great blessing!

Mother's Day Call!
Well this week we ended up not having the baptism.  The parents of the two girls were all on board with the baptism but then changed their mind the night before and so we didn't have permission to go through.  It's okay though because this week we are going to work hard with the parents and the whole family!  It's also okay because when we went to fill up the baptismal font the water came out dark green. I'll include a picture!

Green water!
Also this week it rained super hard!  On Saturday after our English class we went outside and it started sprinkling a little bit.




When we started walking to lunch with the other missionaries in our ward it started to pour super hard!  The streets literally turned into rivers and the water was super deep and moving way fast.  Dangerous!






All of our stuff including us got soaked literally running to lunch! But, like Mesa´s rains, it cleared up in an hour and the sun came out and it was super hot again. It was all really fun and crazy though!


The rest of our investigators are doing great though.  We have a transfer coming up a week from tomorrow and either me or my companion are going to change because I will be done with my training.  Bitter sweet but I know that it's all is in the Lord's hands.

Elder Arana & Elder Crandall

Have a great week everyone! Love and miss you all!

Elder Crandall

Monday, May 5, 2014

ENJOY THE SILENCE

May 5, 2014
BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Villarreal



Hey friends and family!


Hoping all is well and everyone had a great week!  All is well here.  It rained yesterday for about an hour, actually poured, haha, and the streets became like a river!  Luckily we were inside in a lesson!  I thought that the rain would cool things off but I just found myself sweating just the same, if not more because of the humidity!  Also with the rain came a ton of bugs which was a little annoying, but all is well now!

Also this week I had an interchange with our district leader.  It was cool getting that different perspective in our lessons and other things we did, but it was nice when my companion came back.  We've gotten into a good niche in teaching and everything that seems to be working good. 

So we moved the baptism of J-------- and K-------- to this upcoming week because they weren't really talking so we didn't quite know if they were really ready (hence the name of the email - Enjoy the Silence). I think they are ready and we are going to focus more on them this week.

Another thing that was neat this week was that G-------- and his whole family were able to attend church again. They are really progressing and want to be baptized and the kids in the ward have really befriended the kids of G-------- and his wife!  How neat!

Well this week I heard a cool analogy that I wanted to share in this letter.  The analogy came from a talk by President Uchtdorf and it was about the Golden Tickets from the story Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. He said that once the news concerning the golden tickets was released, everyone went in a frenzy to find the golden ticket.  They began to be unamused and uninterested in the chocolate bar because they were now only interested in the tickets.  They were unable to find satisfaction in the simplicity of the chocolate that they once enjoyed very much because they were to busy looking for the golden tickets.  For me, I need to not be always looking for the ´perfect thing´, in whatever aspect it may be because perfection almost never exists.  Let us find the joy in the chocolate of life instead of always being disappointed that we don't have a Golden Ticket!  How cool!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, especially Mom, Grandma Johnson and MaRu!  Well, have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall