"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, October 27, 2014

PANCHO PEPITO & STAKE CONFERENCE BROADCAST

OCTOBER 27, 2014


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

Hey!

Todo bien!  Like they say here!  It means like all is well, or like everything is good! And I hope all is well over there!  Thanks so much for all of the love and support from back home. I really am so very grateful and lucky.  Many missionaries out here don't have family in the church and so they don't have much support and some missionaries families don't even write them.  I am very blessed and hope that I am never ungrateful for you guys.

This week was pretty good. We had a lot of work finding some new people to teach and help, but we also a couple days where literally every plan fell through so we did a lot of walking and a lot of talking with everyone.  Pretty exhausting, but really all is good now!

No we did not go to Pricemart last week.  We ended up going to BuenaVista Mall and walking around buying things.  I bought a little pocket Atlas for like 4 dollars so that is cool. It's in Spanish so a lot of the places have different names, but it's still pretty cool.

Last week in the interviews with President Searle he was asking about you guys (mom and dad) and I told him that you are adjusting to being empty nesters.  He laughed and said yeah it's an adjustment, but just another chapter in life! Too funny. He's a great man and I am very happy and grateful to serve under him.

Also this week we came home one night and found a dragon fly flying around the house. We decided to name him Pancho Pepito.  I'll include some pictures of him.  I think he liked me too because one time he just came and landed on my shoulder! Too funny!  We are not sure where he is now.  I think he probably flew out the window or something, but we had a pet for a day!  I'll send some pictures.

with Pancho Pepito!




Awesome to hear about your new church callings Mom and Dad and that you guys are involved in the community (National Volunteer Day) with the ward and everything.  We don't really have anything big like that here, although I wish we did. I think it would really help a lot of people if we put together a big service project.  I think it would have to be different than cleaning a park or something like that because the government here pays people to clean the streets like 2 or 3 times a week.  Literally they are in the streets with brooms and stuff which is pretty cool.  I'll have to suggest something like that though.

Another pleasant surprise happened yesterday!  So we had a stake conference yesterday and we showed up just thinking it would be a typical usual stake conference, but then after the Stake President spoke they pulled down the projector screen and on the screen were numbers counting down like at conference.  I then remembered that last week President Searle sent us a message saying how great a privelege we have to have our own mini general conference from Salt Lake, and sure enough, after the short countdown, on the screen pops up a couple general authorities including Jeffrey R. Holland from the quorum of the 12 apostles.  So from Salt Lake we had a stake conference broadcasted to us and 30 other stakes in the area.  It was way neat and definitely a pleasant surprise!  The messages were way cool and directed specifically at us here in South America.  It was a way cool experience!

Sunday morning we woke up without running water and electricity which was kind of a bummer.  The water luckily came back shortly after but the electricity didn't come back on until around 6:00 that night.  Buuuut then it started to rain harder than it's ever rained here since I've been here and the power went out again.  Then it came back on, then off again, haha.  It came and went like 5 times yesterday!  But luckily now it's back on!

Well everything is going well here. Next week are transfers and it very well be that my time is up after my nine month reign here in Ciudadela, but we will see! Have a great week everyone! Love and miss you all!

Elder Crandall

Monday, October 20, 2014

INTERVIEWS WITH PB&J

OCTOBER 20, 2014

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

Hey everyone!

This week was nice with the interviews with President Searle and everything.  It was a really neat experience.  He always asks us how our best convert is doing (our best convert is ourselves).  Without me even saying anything he seems to know my thoughts and concerns. I know he gives divine help and inspiration.  It's really neat to experience things like that. When Elder Christofferson came here he told us that one of the reasons that we are here in this mission is to serve under President Searle.  This time Sister Searle didn't make cookies but she did have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which was way nice!  

This week we worked a lot at finding more less actives.  Really through them we find our investigators so it's a win win situation.  During one of the lessons I sat on a cat. It was under the chair and it started screaming or meowing in a scream like tone.  I didn't even realize it for like 5 seconds.  I thought it was just someone out in the neighborhood! I felt kind of bad, but oh well!  Also we have this less active that we are teaching named Luis. So we went to visit him this week and he could barely walk.  I guess on his inner thigh he had this HUGE bug bite and he could barely move his leg.  Of course, he had no shame and willingly showed us and that is an image I don't think I'll ever forget!  Literally the bug bite was so swollen, about the size of a softball!  It was pretty nasty.  He said he went to the hospital and they thought it was a spider or something.  Pretty nasty!  But now he is doing better.  We stopped by there on Friday and he is back walking and everything but a little slower.

We are doing pretty good here though.  We found a new less active this week named Ronald.  We actually found him kind of by accident!  So we have these big government apartment buidlings in our area called the blocks, or los bloques and so it's really easy to find people there because theyr'e so close by. Anyway, we were searching through the ward list looking for less actives and we saw this Ronald guy that we thought we should go visit. So we went to his house like two times last week but just talked with his mom and sister and never found him.  Then yesterday we were still looking for some more less actives in los bloques and so many of the people that we find have moved.  So while we were filtering through the list we came to an apartment and start talking with the people there and Ronald just so happens to be there too!  His friends in the apartment go to a different church and just before we showed up they were supposedly talking about religion and he was talking about our church and how he wanted to go back.  Way cool!  So we are going back over there later this week to teach him and his friends.  Definitely a win win!  And it shows how the Lord's work will always go on.  How grateful I am for such neat experiences like this, really being God's hands in this work!

Sorry my ideas in this email are a little unorganized but I hope you get the point! Things are going good though. We deep cleaned the house this morning and now it feels nice. There was a ton of dirt.  I think today we are going to a store called Pricemart, it's like Costco. It's the only place where I can buy my Mac n Cheese so I'm pretty excited about that. Well I love and miss you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, October 13, 2014

UPS AND DOWNS

OCTOBER 13, 2014


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

Hey guys!

Sorry I don't really have too much to say this week!  Not too much happened!  Teaching and becoming better everyday! But I guess that's the goal.  Also this upcoming week we have our interviews with President Searle and all that comes with that.  Usually when we have our interviews Sister Searle makes cookies and I'm really looking forward to that.  It's been too long since I've had some cookies!

I'm already 9 months into my mission.  Sometimes it feels like I just got here and other times it feels like I've been here an eternity.  The ups and downs of a mission!  Something I've come to learn and accept here in the mission is that friction, or to say adversity, helps us grow stronger.  It's definitely hard to accept and it does sound appealing to have a nice easy life, but that's not how it's suppose to be and even less how it's going to be.  But oh well!

I definitely had a tough week. This Sunday we were having just a good day and then one of the members came up to me and started yelling at me that I was the reason why his nephew hasn't been baptized yet because we didn't go by his house.  Really we did but his nephew wasn't there.  That just kind of hit me in the heart.  I mean we have people reject us all the time and I've heard hurtful things in the past, but this one really hit me home. I really enjoyed the talk during General Conference, I forget which talk, but he talked about the little boys.  One of them got hurt and the other helped him feel better, and the best part was that the hurt little boy, after he was all fixed up, went out to help others. This one really hit me. I feel as though we all are hurt in one way or another, at one time or more in our lives, but we can all get up and help others the way that we have been helped. Way cool!

So yesterday we were at Pedro and Yorman's house for a lesson.  After they told me to coordinate with Elder Wilson, the missionary that taught Pedro who just so happens to be in the same stake as us, when we can come over for a BBQ type thing.  They both love to cook and cook differently than the normal rice and chicken we get all the time since they are not from here in Baranquilla.  So hopefully, we will be doing that soon if we can get it approved!

Well everyone seems to be doing good and progressing here in Ciudadela. Time is really going so fast!  Tonight we also have a Family home evening activity planned with the Sarmiento family:  Grey, Glosber, Camilo, Paula, Stefany, and Didier.  They were all baptized (except Glosber) about 4 months ago and Glosber is scheduled to be baptized November 8th, the Saturday after transfers.  I really hope I can stay one more transfer to be here when he gets baptized!  Their family is so fun and I'm excited for tonight.

All is well here!  I can't believe it's almost mid way through October!  I'll try to get some pictures today if I have time.  Stay safe and choose the right!

Elder Crandall

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NO SWEAT CONFERENCE

OCTOBER 6, 2014


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

Hey Family and Friends,

Hope all is well.  This week was awesome with General Conference and everything. The Saturday session is one of my favorite days in the field because we stay and hangout at the church all day in the air conditioning and we don't have to sweat!  Also, it was cool during the General Priesthood Meeting that I saw Nate Schlappi and also Jason Hall in the missionary choir, how cool!  Also this time around was a little better than last because I actually got to see it in English! There are 2 new Americans in our zone that don't really know Spanish well, so our zone leader asked the stake president if he could put it in English.  So the 6 of us Americans went to the family history room in the church and watched it on the computer there.  We all filled our bags up with Oreos and other junk food which probably wasn't the best idea but hey, it was still fun and very spiritual!

This week was also pretty good at working with the recent converts.  I feel really pressed to work really hard with all of them in our area because I don't want to baptize just to baptize. I feel as though our goal as missionaries is to baptize converts, and our president really has been pushing that.  It's really great too because the converts are all so awesome!  I really love this ward!  The bishop keeps teasing me too about giving me a calling in the ward since I've been here so long, haha.  I just love this area! 

So something bad happened this week!  All the mosquitoes came out.  There are like a billion everywhere you go.  I have so many bites on my arms and they even bite me through my pants.  I'm starting to have to use repellent and stuff to keep them away.  I guess it's just that time of year!

Here are some pics!  One of the pictures is of the Barranquilla flag that one of the members gave us and the other is of our district after we played soccer this afternoon





Well other than that, things are going great here.  Lots of work to do for the Lord and I feel very grateful that He has chosen me to be here to help serve.  "How great is your calling", as the missionary handbook says.  Well I love and miss you all!  Have a great and safe week!

Elder Crandall