"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, July 28, 2014

SPICE GIRLS

JULY 28, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Acevedo


Hey everyone!

Hope all is well.  All is well here.  The guy next to me in this computer cafe is blasting Spice Girls. If I was back home I might have been a little annoyed, but right now, I don't mind.  It's a nice change from all the Champetta!   When does Rachel start school?   Send me some pics!

Well, what to say!  This week was pretty good.  Our numbers were a little low so we´re probably going to get a little heat from our leaders but oh well.   I feel like this was the most successful week we've had yet and the only opinion that really matters is God´s!  So this week we had our interviews with our mission president.  He is awesome and way nice.  The focus here in our mission is changing and so now we are focusing a lot more on recent converts and less active members.  I think it's a really great change in focus.  I have seen in the time that I have been here that by working with less actives and recent converts, we find more investigators.  It's the famous double!  But really, when investigators are connected to one of those two groups they progress and understand so much!  It's great!  The problem here in Ciudadela is that we have about 1000 members on the records and only about 140 attending.  If we rescued every member on our list we would have a new stake here!  But anyway, everyday we try to find more and more less actives and sometimes we find that people haven't lived at an address for more than 15 years!  This last week we found one lady that had died even.  A lot of work to be done! But it's fun and I'm enjoying it.

Also while looking for those people we found one lady that spoke only English!  She was from a tourist island and was vacationing here.  She said "Sorry guys I don't speak Spanish" so I responded, "Hey, me neither!" so we got talking to her a little which was cool.  The first person that I've been able to talk with in English here!  The Spanish is coming along though.  I feel like I can really talk and communicate with everyone now.  Such a blessing!

Another cool thing that happened this week was that G-------- quit drinking coffee!  Wow!  And what's even cooler is that we didn't even do anything!  He just did it by himself!  So now he has a baptismal date and everything!  The only problem is that it's after the next change and there's a chance that I'll be leaving this change since I've been in this area for 6 months.  I'll definitely be sad to leave here.  I really love all of the people!  Nothing really has brought me such joy as watching the gospel change lives!  I love being one of God´s foot soldiers!

Also -------- keeps coming to church.  So he's been working on some new songs that he shows us.  He showed us one of his old songs that was a "hit" but the cool thing is that it actually was a hit here on Colombia!  My companion actually knew this song!  Before we just thought him saying "my hit songs" was an embelishment or something like that.  But hey, way cool!

The pics included are of my companion and a big centipede we found in our house




That's about it for this week.  I'm still keeping on and I hope you all do the same!  This mission is transforming me soo much and really solidifying my testimony.  Love and miss you guys so much!  Keep safe, keep faith!

E Crandall

Monday, July 21, 2014

WILD IGUANAS & INDEPENDENCE DAY

JULY 21, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Acevedo

Hey everyone!


Hope all is well!  Sorry in advance if I have some grammatical errors and you can't understand me all too well.  I feel like I'm in the limbo stage where I only talk Spanish and then am trying to talk English now in this email.  Hopefully it will make sense!

Well, where to begin!  So this week I saw some wild Iguanas!  I guess they're all over here, especially in the more eastern parts of the coast here.  My companion said in Maicow, another city, he ate iguanas and other weird things like that.  But luckily for me, Maicow and that area surrounding it, is too dangerous for gringos like me so I will not be serving part of my mission there.  Also this week my companion's mom had her baby!  He's no longer the only child, but an older brother! How cool!

Also this week I had an interchange with one of my zone leaders, Elder Bastos, from Brazil.  It was way fun.  I've known him for a while now and so it was a fun day.  We went to an old investigator and she just argued with us a lot, but other than that it was a pretty normal fun day! Oh, and he also taught me how to pray in Portuguese!  Another thing he told me and that I found out this week is that Elder Christofferson from the Twelve Apostles will be coming here next month to talk with the missionaries and with some of the stakes here.  How cool!  I'm definitely excited for that.

The houses here about the size of our kitchen at home.  All the houses have bars on the windows and doors and stuff, but it's okay.  They're very modest.  It's just a different way of living which has provided me with a different view and aspect on things as well as different problems to solve.  I also met some really neat people this week.  So this week we went to visit this elderly woman (the same that we found the rat in her house) and one of her daughters was there also.  This daughter of hers, with her husband, is currently serving the first Genealogical Mission here in Colombia in Medellin.  She is there with her husband high up in the mountains with some other priests from the catholic church and they are sorting through very very old books and records finding names and dates.  She showed us some pictures and I was just amazed!  It really makes me want to be that kind of missionary later in my life!  Who knows, maybe I will!

So yesterday was the Independence Day of Colombia.  It was pretty crazy and there was crazy traffic.  To makes things more hectic, the futbol team, Junior, played against a team from Europe called Monaco.  It's a pretty famous team that has Falcao and James Rodriguez, two of the best from Colombia.  Also the stadium is in my area, so things were pretty hectic. We needed to get to an investigator's house and it took us like an hour to find a taxi that would actually take us there.  But things all ended up good and safe.

Well this week was pretty busy and my eye is still twitching, but all in all, I'm good!  I'm growing so much spiritually and personally here.  Things are great.  Well I hope everyone has a great and safe week!  Take care!

E Crandall

Monday, July 14, 2014

THE REFINER'S FIRE

JULY 14, 2014


BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Acevedo

Family and Friends,


Hope all is well!  All is well here.  A very busy week!  I feel so tired and my right eye has been twitching for 3 days straight!  This week felt really long and better and worse all at the same time!  But we have been doing a lot of work lately!  And sorry in advance, I didn't have a chance to take any pics this week!

Well, where to start!  So my companion is an only child... but right now his mom is pregnant and is going to have a baby this upcoming week which is pretty exciting for him and his family.  A new baby sister for him!  He's been pretty anxious because I guess it was supposed to come this week but he found out today that she still hasn't had her yet, so we'll have to wait and see!

Also we have been continuing to teach ¨--------,¨ the champetta singer, and he has been progressing great!  He has even come to church 3 weeks in a row and brought his family!  The only thing is that he needs to get married.  To be honest that's a real problem here in this mission.  Many people are just living in free unions for 10, 20, 30 years sometimes.  All 6 of our serious investigators need to get married!  It makes the process a little longer, but hey, I have patience!  Another cool thing is that they have a miniature German Schnauzer just like my family had when I was little!  It pulled my heart strings a little when I first saw it.  Too fun though!

Another thing I found out this week is that my companion loves playing dominoes. Many Colombians play dominoes and are out in the streets, with their friends, just everywhere playing dominoes, and, well, Elder Acevedo is Colombian also so he loves it too!  So I'm learning through him.

So the World Cup has ended!  It's made the missionary work kind of hard at times because many of the people are glued to their TVs watching the games.  But it has been fun to see more fully soccer here in Colombia than I ever have.

A cool thing I have been thinking about lately has been about challenges we face everyday in our life and how much we really grow from them.  (Also my brother Brett sent me an email in which he relayed to me a neat example that I would like to share).  So for those of you that have never been to Barranquilla, Colombia, take my word for it, it is HOT here.  It also doesn't help that there is a lot of humidity.  I'm sweating bullets all day and don't understand how the people here don't sweat!  So the heat here that I am enduring can be paralleled to the heat of a gold refiner.  A gold refiner takes raw rock and material and basically puts it into a really hot fire stove.  With time and heat the once raw material becomes a precious gold.  Challenges too in our life are as a refiners fire.  They're hard, and they can be hot, trust me, and we may not like them.  But after the process, we come out new and more precious than before.  With hope, patience, and faith, we all may view life¨s most bitter moments as a refiners fire, a time to learn, grow and progress.

Well, I'm still keeping on and I hope everyone else is too!  Love and miss you all!

E Crandall

Monday, July 7, 2014

NEW COMPANION

JULY 7, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Acevedo

Family and Friends,


I hope all is going well!  We had a busy week with transfers and appointments, but all is going well.  So I'm still here in Ciudadela, but with my new companion, Elder Acevedo.  He is 19 years old like me and from Bogota.  He has been here one year in the mission.  He is a very hardworking guy which is cool and we have been teaching really well together.  I'm excited to do some work here and progress personally.  Elder Villarreal went home.  He was from Panama. He sent me pictures today of his city where it is raining all day every day and the weather is cool.  I'm a little jealous!  What I´d do to go a day without sweating!

Sounds like a blast at Natalie's wedding.  Wow so much fun! So fun to hear that many were able to make it.  That's neat, Dad, to hear about the honor you received from U of A.  Also happy birthday Mom!  Too exciting and fun.  I love having that calender with all the birthdays and things because I would forget if I didn't have it.  Hope it was a great one!

Thanks for the update. I love hearing about the family and what everyone is up to.  I almost saw Nug!  I was waiting at the church where all the missionaries that were leaving and to go to.  But I had to leave to go pick up my new companion, so unfortunately, I didn't get to see him.

So we kind of had a busy week.  I almost forgot that it was 4th of July this week until I was laying in bed about to fall asleep and thought ¨hey it's Independance Day!¨  It was just a really busy day.  We had to redo all of the baptismal paperwork and things like that because on one of the registros it said that D--------, the 8 year old that we baptized last week, was only one year old.  So the office called us asking us if we were baptizing babies and stuff which was pretty funny!  But it's all good now.

Also this week --------, the champetta singer, came to church again and this time he brought his whole family! Way cool! He is a way nice guy and we are going to go and help teach his family!  Another thing we are going to do is help G-------- quit drinking cofee!  That's the only thing he really needs until he can progress more.  I think having his family who was baptized last week will be able to help him as well.  We´ll see!

Well this week was okay.  A lot of work.  There's a lot to be done here in this area.  I have a lot more appreciation for bishops and others in charge of a quorum because I'm just worrying all the time about my recent converts here.  We have 21 recent converts in my area which is a lot for this mission.  They're all super good and wonderful.  A lot of work to be done, but you can feel the Savior's love for them.

Well, I don't have too much to say!  I'll include a picture of the last family night we had while Elder Villarreal was here




and I'll include pictures of my new companion playing with that glow in the dark Slime that my mom sent me.  The Slime has actually proven to be a good ice breaker.  All the Latinos love playing with it.  I'm not quite sure why, but they all like it more than I do!



Also this week Colombia played in the quarter finals for the World Cup and sadly lost. All the missionaries had to stay in the house all day because it can get a little dangerous during these times plus nobody will attend you because they are watching the game. So during the game we just slept, watched church movies and read. We also put up some clothes lines in our house because the ones outside don't really work, especially when it rains!   Here is a picture of futbol from today's game.  Almost everyone in our zone changed.


Well anyway, have a great week! Love and miss you all!

E Crandall