"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, September 29, 2014

STILL IN CIUDADELA!

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014


BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Arevalo.

Hey!,

I'm doing good!  I suppose Elder Baquerizo made it back to Ecuador safely.  So the unthinkable happened!... I'm still here in Ciudadela haha!  So at the end of this transfer I'll be going for 9 months here!  Who would've thought!  My new companion here is Elder Arevalo.




He is 19 years old and from northern Peru.  He's a way good guy and wants to work hard. He is about 6 months into his mission.  Also both of the other Elders in this ward changed.




Now there's a missionary from Costa Rica and another American straight out of the CCM. He already knows a lot of Spanish which is way good and will make everything a lot easier for him!

But things are good!  I really am so very happy to be here another transfer!  This ward is awesome!  The Bishop was teasing me the other day about giving me a calling in the ward haha.  But really the people here are so great and nice!  

I'm looking forward to being able to watch General Conference this next weekend.  The first session of General Conference will be streamed live at 10:00 a.m MDT on Saturday, October 4, 2014.  There are also sessions on Sunday, October 5, 2014.  You can watch or listen to it live at:  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch?lang=eng


Scary to hear about Gwen!  Glad everything went ok though!  Poor girl!  There's a virus like that going around down here too.  I forget what it's called.  It's something that starts with a C. It's transmitted through mosquitoes.  It's supposedly like Dengue virus (or something like that) but worse. President told us that the effects can last for years. None of us of down here thankfully has gotten it though. 

Hmm I don't really have too many stories this week!  Hmm we went out to eat one night at a fast food place and a giant cockroach flew and hit me in the face.  That was pretty gross. Oh and also we found this giant moth in our house the size of my finger!  I took a picture but I forgot to bring my camera this morning so maybe when we come back in the afternoon if I remember.





Well all the people here are doing great!  We found Glosber again yesterday.  It's been about a month since the last time we've talked to him.  He was progressing so great and then just fell off the face of the planet!  But he's started up again and should be getting ready to be baptized in November. 

Oh and we went to the stadium today! I will send some pictures! 







































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

Elder Kurt Crandall

Monday, September 22, 2014

ARROYO - Street Rivers

SEPTEMBER 22, 2014


BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Baquerizo

Hey everyone!

Hope all is well.  Another busy week!  We had a lot of rain!  The beginning of the day it would be blazing hot and then in the afternoon it would start to rain and make everything more humid!  I was sweating like crazy!  But it's all good now! Also, when it rains, the streets turn into rivers, and I mean rivers!  We saw our first real river, or arroyo!  






Believe it or not, I really think the water was moving at about 45 to 50 mph.  Really scary! People would throw like old chairs and stuff into it and in seconds it would be half a mile down the way! Sometimes the water moves cars and buses! I'll include a pic but I don't think it will do it justice.  You have to search on youtube arroyos de barranquilla.  Do it! 

Despite all the rain, we were left 2 days this week without water which was kind of a bummer.  Luckily we have a reserve tank so we could fish out water to shower and stuff but it really makes me thankful for running water!  Another cool thing happened this week! So we were walking around from lesson to lesson as usual but inbetween one of them this guy flagged us down.  He looked like a tourist which surprised me because there are never tourists in the area where i am!  So he comes over to us and sure enough he was a tourist, more or less.  His wife is from here in Barranquilla but he is from Italy!  He spoke a little English but he said he has been talking to the missionaries over there in Italy and is wanting to learn more.  Sadly, he was leaving back to Italy the next week but we gave him the address of the church and our numbers so he could call.  He said he will return again in January and would like to come talk to us!  Too cool!


And Andres did get baptized on Saturday!  The spirit was way strong and it was a very sweet experience. I'm so thankful that he has made the decision to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the authority from God.  How great of a blessing!  I know he will be so very blessed and keep going until the end and make it to make those sacred covenants in the temple!

Sunday in church 3 of us missionaries had to give talks.  I was actually a little glad about because I know that there is a chance that I could be leaving tomorrow and so it was kind of like going out with a bang, if I'm going out at all.  Also we were running around all day yesterday to all the members to say goodbye from Elder Baquerizo and maybe goodbye from me.  We also took a lot of pictures which I'll include!  So yeah that brings me to the next sad topic!  Elder Baquerizo goes home tomorrow and I might change areas because I've been here for 7 and a half months now.  I really cannot express my gratitude enough to the Savior for such a blessing to work here in Ciudadela.  I love this ward!  So stay tuned next week to see what happens!









Well love and miss you all!

Elder Crandall

Monday, September 15, 2014

CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014


BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Baquerizo

Hey guys!

I'm just doing great here.  The baptism of Luis Fernando went great!  His whole family came and I hoped they really felt the spirit like the rest of us did.  I'm not sure if I explained this already but he is the cousin of Emmanuel, who is on his mission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and the nephew of Mabel and Alberto who are also our investigators that are going to get baptized soon too.  The whole family is so great!  This area here in Ciudadela is so great! I really love the people here so very much and I wouldn't mind if my mission was Barranquilla, Colombia, ward Ciudadela!  It really is that good!  I'll include some pics of the baptism and of some of the youth here and a family that are all way awesome!



Another great thing happened this week!  So on Friday we went to the church to clean the baptismal font and everything but when we got there there was a big dance for the single adults.  So we didn't have a chance to get it all ready BUT it just so happened that Pedro and Yorman were at the church with their families about to receive the melchizedek priesthood and so we got the opportunity to be a part of that.  How great of a gift!  And then on Sunday Pedro had the opportunity to confirm Sheridlyn a member and also was sustained as the Elders Quorum president.  How cool!  It really makes me so happy to see these people change their lives and come unto Christ.



Oh and yesterday!  So we have this "eternal invesitigator" named Andres that has come to church for about a year now but has never been baptized or anything because he has always been afraid to make the compromise. Then yesterday he came up to us and told us that he wants to be baptized this week.  How cool!  Especially since it will be Elder Baquerizo's last week here (that part is sad though)!  I think his girldfriend had a lot to do to help convince him to be baptized, but either way I'm excited! 

I know I really enjoy comfort and I attribute much of my happiness before my mission to my comfort levels.  But here I've learned a whole new kind of happiness that comes from growing and progressing.  I was thinking earlier this week that it makes me sad to see others throw in the towel before the blessings have come.  God gives us tests and then blessings, it's not reverse.  You have to make the cake before you can eat it.  I like to use the analogy while I'm teaching when I compare life to a mountain.  God is at the top and we want to get to the top. Every step we take is another step closer to Him.  Yes there are many obstacles on the road and yes it is hard to climb.  Occasionally we will feel as though we want to give up, but if we take a chance to look back at how far we have come and see the blessings that have come, we can't really help but want to continue.  We need that perspective that climbing makes us stronger and it is possible for everyone to get to the top of the mountain. I know that if I didn't come out on my mission or that if I came back when things were really hard earlier on, then I would have stopped my own growth, really it's like we are rejecting the blessings of the Lord and telling him that we chose the lower road instead of the higher one.

Sometimes it seems so much easier to just not show up to something than to walk a mile sweating like crazy just to be with the people.  But the thought I had this week was that really it's just between me and the Lord.  It doesn't matter what others do.  It really only matters what I do.  I know I can't account my success that I'm having to my person, not even the littlest bit, but I think if I could, I would say it's because we are really investing in this. We are trying to do everything we can to be involved.  I really feel like a foot soldier in God's army.  Not because we as missionaries are the lowest in this work, but that, at least here, do much of the work that needs to be done. I have found that a lot of the time some people just need a visit, a scripture, or someone to help them feel like they matter.  I'm not sure if my future in God's church is that of a leader, or that of a foot soldier, but either way, I know I want to serve.

Well, as I said, this is Elder Baquerizo's last week here in the mission.  Too sad!  But I know he will do great after the mission too.  So we had a zone conference with all the missionaries here in Barranquilla with President Searle and there they presented Elder Baquerizo with his English test certificate.  He scored Intermediate medium, so cool!  He has improved a lot and will continue improving.  His dream is to go to BYU and study and he has already started his application and everything!  With this test score he won't have to take another English test to be admitted to BYU so he was really happy about that.

It's so great to be here seeing so much change in people, as well as myself!  How grateful I am for this gospel and I do know that it is true!  I'm so very blessed to be here in the service of God!  So so so great.

Well I love and miss you all!  Have a great week!  Keep me updated!

Love,
Elder Kurt Crandall

Monday, September 8, 2014

FEEL THE LOVE FOR FAMILY HISTORY

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, Omaide (the less active) and Paula, 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 (Alberto y Mabel) are the parents of a missionary named Emanuel.  He is in the mission Santa Cruz Bolivia (I was here in this ward 5 months ago when he left haha).  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 haha. 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, September 1, 2014

SPIRITUAL EYES

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014



BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Baquerizo

Family and Friends,

I'm doing great!  Hope all is well!  This week was definitely one to remember with having Elder Christofferson come and talk to us.  He talked to us missionaries for 3 hours in the morning and it was all really good.  He also greeted and shook the hand of every one of the missionaries.  There are 200 of us!  Really spiritual.  I learned this last week that there are only 26 Americans out of the 200 that are here.  Also Elder Waddel of the seventy, Elder Soares of the presidency of the seventy, and their spouses came.  It was cool because every single one of them talked including the spouses and we had the meeting in 3 languages!  Elder Waddels wife spoke in English, Elder Soares wife spoke in Portuguese, and the rest, including Elder Christofferson and his wife, spoke in Spanish!  Way neat!  I feel as though there were a couple main themes: obedience, the importance of the spirit, and taking advantage of our 2 hours of study in the morning.  Really uplifting and you could definitely feel the spirit very strong.

It really made me think about how we can help be representatives of Jesus Christ and how we can help people to feel His love for them through us.  This is what causes people to be motivated to repent and change, this is what caused me to repent and change!  How great of a principle that we can change!  I'm so very grateful for that.  The thing is that people have to look through their spiritual eyes.  Sometimes people confront us and just rant and want answers.  Often times we give them answers but it doesn't suffice, because they are only looking at things with their physical eyes, not with their spiritual ones.  They aren't looking at the eternal aspect of things!  How very grateful I am for the gospel and that I can be here bringing this to people testifying that it is true!

Also this week S---, the daughter of M---, a recently baptized member, will be getting baptized this week.  I couldn't be more happy for her!  I'm really going to miss that family when I leave.  They have been so awesome!  Really everyone has been so awesome!  I really am going to miss this ward.  It's the best!

Cool to hear that mom ate a Colombian dish (Arepa - Colombian Corn Cake, Eggs Sunny Side Up and Chorizo at Norma's in New York City). Did it have rice? Haha, I only eat rice here.  I remember before I left, my favorite dish that mom would make was rice with chicken.  I'm not so sure that it will be my favorite when I get back after eating it everyday... But it's okay!  I'm adjusted to the food, and eating really big lunches and small dinners. I'll have to readjust when I get back!  Also this week we went to Y---'s house for lunch.  He's from somewhere more inland and not from Barranquilla so he cooks things a little differently which is way good.  He also taught us how to make these things called patacom, or something like that.  They're these fried banana things that I think are good, but supposedly the other gringos don't really like them, haha.  I'll have to make them when I get back!

Well I love and miss you all!  I don't have any pics right now to share but later today we are going out to eat and going bowling because it's the birthday of a sister missionary in our district.   I'll get pics then but I'm not sure if we will have time to come back to the computers so we will just have to wait and see.  Well love you all!  Have a great and safe week!











Love,
E Crandall