"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, August 25, 2014

THE RAINS CAME DOWN AND THE FLOODS CAME UP

AUGUST 25, 2014



BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Baquerizo

Hey!

All is well here in hot Barranquilla!  Well, actually it rained pretty hard 2 days this week.  I got some pics of the streets turning into rivers that I'll include!  We also had to cross the street a few times so I had water mid shin and my shoes were soaked! It was also pretty humid with all the rain but all is well!




Yeah crazy that I've been out this long!  I'll be starting my 9th month in September. Too weird! Thanks for reminding me that it is Mark's birthday this week.  I have that calendar with all the birthdays but I just have been a little busy lately and haven't had a chance to look at it.  Thanks! Too fun that you get to go back out to New York this week. Tell everyone hi from me!   

Well, where to start!  This was a really good week!  A cool thing that happened last Monday is that we had a family home evening with A--- and M--- and we talked about living prophets and talked about President Monson, our living prophet today, and then watched the movie about him and they got teary eyed!  Way cool!  The spirit was definitely really strong there.  They are progressing so much and had their baptismal date for this upcoming week but we had to move it due to economic problems.  But the Stake President here has been working with them and everything which is pretty cool and so they are solid for 2 or 3 weeks!

Also this week we had an activity in the ward and played a big game of charades.  I went up and picked the card Spiderman so I was jumping around shooting webs and stuff.  I looked pretty dumb on the video but oh well!  It was pretty fun!  And it was also cool because some of our less active members went.  I know I say this just about every week, but I really love this ward and the people here!  They're all so great and nice to everyone!  I'm really going to miss it!

So on Friday night after a long day of working we got to the house and realized that we didn't have the keys to the apartment and that we left them inside the house.  We can't just jump through the window or anything because all of the houses here have thick iron bars on the windows and doors and stuff.  So as we were thinking about what to do, we decided to try to get the keys.  So we slid the window open, I reached up and grabbed the curtain rod, and carefully took it off as well as the curtains.  We figured the keys had to be on the desk where we always keep them, but it was dark and we have a ton of stuff on our desks and the desks are about 8 feet from the window!  So carefully we purged the desk and slid things around a bit with the pole until we found the keys!  So with the keys in sight we had to hit them off the desk and onto the ground and bring them over to the window.  My arm couldn't fit through the bars to grab them but luckily Elder Baquerizo could!  Haha it was a pretty funny story that I had to tell you guys!

Elder Todd Christofferson is coming Thrusday to talk with the missionaries!  I couldn't be more excited, for 3 reasons!  The first, and most obvious, is that an Apostle of God will be here talking to us missionaries and all the missionaries from the mission will be traveling here to Barranquilla to see and talk to him.  Two: when we have big meetings like this we usually get some fast food lunch which will be a delightful change from rice and chicken everyday.  Three: air conditioning all day!  I am definitely looking forward to that!

Here are some pictures from this week.  We went to the Junior stadium today.   The Colombian National team has played there!  We were pretty lucky that we got in.
















We walked up and the security guy was like, you've can only be in here like 10 minutes.  Then another security guy kind of showed us around a little bit and we got to take some pics.  Way cool!


Well I'm doing good here in Ciudadela.  Working hard and really growing a lot!  Nothing could be better!  Stay safe, choose the right, and have a great week everyone!

E Crandall

Monday, August 18, 2014

CIUDADELA FOR ANOTHER 6 WEEKS!

AUGUST 18, 2014


BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Baquerizo

Hey everyone!

So the unthinkable happened this week!  I stayed here!  So I'll be here in Ciudadela for another 6 weeks!  How great!  I feel so blessed to be here in this ward surrounded by and working with such great people!  So here is the unthinkable part, Elder Acevedo changed!  He was here just for one transfer!  He left for Cartagena, where it's blazing hot!  So... my new companion is Elder Baquerizo.  He is 20 years old and from Ecuador!  This is his last transfer in the mission, but he doesn't even seem trunky yet!  That's a good thing for me though, haha.  But all is well with him. He is a way good guy and he knows the ins and outs of the mission and has been helping me to grow a lot.  I am very thankful to be here and wouldn't rather be anywhere else!

Well where to start!  So yesterday was just blazing hot.  I honestly feel as though it was the hottest day on my mission so far! For a gross comparison, I could probably have filled a good sized bath tub with sweat!  Yeah, nasty! but it was a pretty good day.  We had a family home evening with an investigator and a less active member.  We watched the movie "How Rare a Possesion: The Book of Mormon".  Way cool movie!  I took a picture of us too!  The little girls fell asleep, so in the picture is just my companion, Me, O-------- and P--------, who is a member.  Too fun!

Family Home Evening
Also tonight we have a family home evening with the S--- family.  This isn't the family of G---, C---, P---, S---, and D---, this is another S--- family.  The S--- family (A--- & M---) are the parents of a missionary named E---.  He is in the mission Santa Cruz Bolivia (I was here in this ward 5 months ago when he left).  Anyway, because of the influence of their son, they have been listening to the misisonaries and have decided to get baptized on the 30th of this month!  I'm so excited!  They're super nice people and so sweet to the missionaries!  They just lack marriage and then they can be baptized!  Marriage is one of the biggest set backs of people getting baptized here in the coast. Everybody just lives in free unions!  But we are working on it!  Well I can't express my happiness.  Yesterday in church I literally could not stop smiling. 

Also today we are going to this store like Costco called Pricemart.  Here they import a bunch of American food so I'm looking forward to having my Mac n cheese, Capn Crunch, and peanut butter!  Woo!  I can't wait! 

My junk food from Pricemart

Elder Baquerizo and me in our apartment
Junior Stadium in our area


All is well here.  I'll try to get some pictures today and add them too. Well I love all you guys and hope you have a great and safe week!

E Crandall



Monday, August 11, 2014

DROUGHT

AUGUST 11, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Acevedo

Everyone!

Hope all is well!  Things are good here.  This may very well be my last Monday here in Ciudadela.  We find out tonight if I leave or not.  I kind of want to stay here though.  The people here are so great and humble.  I LOVE THIS WARD!  I really love the people here and love working for the Lord here!  There has been such growth in these last 6 months here and I'm thankful to have been a part of it!   And hope to be a part of it at least for another 6 weeks!  But I guess the Lord knows best and he will put me where I need to be!

Speaking of changes, the bishop in the ward here changed yesterday! The previous bishop had been in for about 7 years. The new bishop is the old Secretary, but the thing is he is only 26! So young! Very humble though!  I think he will make a great bishop! His wife is also expecting their first child within the next month or two.

Here are some pics from this last week!  We were helping a member shuck some corn and in the pic of my companion we found a caterpillar or slug or something eating away at the corn!



Hmm... so this week was just another normal week I guess!  Nothing too new!  Sis. Acosta has been writing me in Spanish. It's helping me in my writing.  That is one of the hardest things to do.  I want to become good though at writing and talking and everything in Spanish.  We had a "noche de hermanamiento" or an activity in the church for everyone including new converts, less actives, investigators, and whoever wants to come!  Usually the missionaries have organized it in the past but we got the ward to help take the load on this one so the Relief Society took charge and planned the activity!  Way cool and fun! 

Well some great things have been happening here in Ciudadela.  Sis. B------ lost her job and they already were suffering a little economically.  They moved a couple blocks away but to a really dangerous area that we missionaries are not allowed to enter.  For example, they told us that they get robbed almost everyday and a person was murdered down there last weekend and a baby was stolen.  Pretty bad.  Also their living conditions are terrible.  They live in a one room habitation with no windows which is just terrible in this heat.  The power goes out nearly everyday too.  To make it worst Sis. B--- told us that she only had a little oil and rice to feed the family for  the week.  But what's even better is that we talked with Sis. E-- (the older lady recent convert who owns the Pizzaria) and when we passed by there the other day we saw Sis. B--- working there. Wow! Sis. E-- saves the day!  She really is a great example with such a sweet heart!

Rain pouring down!
Also yesterday it rained pretty hard!  Luckily we were in the house but wow!  It was the first time in a while that it has rained here!  There's been a drought!  Some areas of the mission don't have running water because of it, like Santa Marta, so the missionaries there have to buy their water in bags or bottles.  Hopefully there will be more rain soon because I might get changed to Santa Marta!!

Well I don't have too much to write or say this week!  Stay tuned for next week though!  I might stay here or maybe I'll go to Cartagena where it's like 20 degrees hotter than here!  I could go to Santa Marta and have to buy my water to bathe, or some other place!  Who knows!  All I know is that it is in the Lord's hands!

Stay safe! Love and miss you all!

E Crandall

Monday, August 4, 2014

ZOOLOGICAL: LIONS and TIGERS and BEARS - OH MY!

AUGUST 4, 2014

BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Acevedo


Hey everyone!

Hope all is well!  I'm good here!  This week was pretty hot, but cooled off a little during the weekend.  I actually used my sheets for the first time since the CCM in Bogota!  Don't be misled, I still was sweating bullets during the day and everything! No relief from that, but oh well!

This week was pretty fun.  I had an interchange with my district leader named Elder Caballero. He is from Las Vegas and a way cool guy.  We just laughed a lot about movies and other stuff. Also with him we had to go help look for a house for some sisters in our district that don't really have a house and are living with some members.  So we looked around for about 2 hours with very little success.  But what was cool was that we found some guys from New York!  They were born here and live here part of the year but grew up in Manhattan.  They had a cool little accent and I could bond with them a little because my brothers live in New York.  They also knew some missionaries back in the states.  It was cool to be able to talk to them for a little in English!  This is the second time I've been able to use my English!



So this week our ward has put together a choir to sing in church next Sunday because we have a ward conference next Sunday.  It's been pretty fun and funny practicing for it.  I think it will turn out good though.  Also a sad thing is that this might be my last week here in Ciudadela.  I've been here for 6 months and transfers are next week.  We'll just have to wait and see! There are so many great people here in this area and I'll be sad to leave.  But the Lord knows best and I trust in him! 


So we just got back from the zoo!  It was a little small but packed with some pretty cool stuff!
Our whole district came so that was cool too.  




























There was this monkey against the glass so I put my face up to him and he kissed the glass!  I got a cool pic if you can tell what it is, haha, too funny!  





Also I got some videos of little monkeys fighting!  Too bad though, the videos are too big.  I'll have some cool videos when I get back though!  Also one of the snakes was eating and had a mouse hanging out of his mouth! too funny!





Also along the way there was this cool older church that I got a pic of so I'll include that too!




















And some pics of the neighborhood!


 That kind of goes with a cool quote I found this week by Elder Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  It says "Faith is not only a feeling, it is a decision".  I think all too often we feel that we can't do things because we don't have faith, or we don't trust, or don't believe because of some lack of feeling of confidence.  Faith, however, is not just a feeling, like the quote says, it's a decision.  It's really up to any individual whether to believe or not, whether to act or be acted upon, whether to follow or trust in your own makings.  Let us choose, resolve, decide to have a little more faith.

Well I hope all is well!  I can't believe its already August!  Time flies!  Have a great and safe week!

E Crandall