"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, November 24, 2014

GANDALF THE WHITE and FRODO

NOVEMBER 24, 2014


TURBACO
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Margarisca

Hey everyone! 

Well I'll start out by explaining the title of the email.  So here in this ward someone found out that my name sounds a lot like Gandalf because in Spanish Crandall sounds a little like Gandalf, from Lord of the Rings, so now everyone remembers my name by that, and I'm one of the only white guys here so I have given myself the title of Gandalf the White, haha!   Also someone commented that Elder Margarisca was Frodo, from the same movie and we were all laughing hard for a while haha!  I'm glad the people remember my name here!

It was nice to be able to go out and work again (after staying inside a week).  I know it's not always the funnest thing walkng around, sweating, and talking to strangers, but it's all worth it in the end, if not for me, for others.Things are all going well though.  Today we will be going into Cartagena so I might send some more pictures later today.  Turbaco is a cool little town and I still don't have Chikunguña thankfully!
After a family home evening that we had this last week
My companion really likes me to take pictures of him - haha!
To answer some of your questions, Turbaco is a small town and there aren't too many people here.  There's only one ward, although it does have a higher attendance than my other ward in Barranquilla.  There also are only 4 missionaries here.  I feel here the temperature changes a little more than in Barranquilla.  In Barranquilla it's always blazing hot.  Here I feel like it's hotter sometimes, but then clouds come in and we get a breeze. It's still hot, but at least there is a breeze!  It also has been raining a lot lately, especially the week we were locked in the house, but this last week it didn't rain too much.  

The food is the same, I think it's probably about the same in most parts of South America, lots of rice!  But every Sunday we go to the same family´s house for lunch and they are way good at cooking!  Some of the best meals I've had on my mission!  I'll include a picture of this last Sunday, we helped make some stuffed bell peppers, which is something totally different than what I usually have!  
My companion and I in front of the house that we eat lunch at every Sunday
My companion stuffing a bell pepper
Me stuffing a bell pepper
Also a lot of the families here have a little more money than the people in my last area, I think, because the houses are bigger. Some people have ranches and stuff so that's pretty cool!  I think I failed to mention that behind our house is a little farm with horses and chickens and stuff!  A lot of families live together, like right now we are teaching a huge family consisting of granparents uncles, cousins, siblings, just everything!  I swear everytime we go there I see someone new!  There are like 5 families that all live next to each other so we don't have to walk too much on the days we pass for them.
My companion and I with part of the big family we are teaching
So another thing I forgot to tell you guys last week was about the addresses here!  There almost are no addresses and so the people refer to their house from reference points.  For example, a reference we got this week was: go to neighborhood San Pedro, go the store on the corner and then follow the second street until you see a house with two stories, then it's the fifth house after that, oh and it's the green house.  The addresses are like that!  I'm not sure how I will be able to find my way around here haha!

I'm so glad to hear that everyone is doing great! I love seeing the pictures of the ASU game.  I remember those games and can't wait to go to them again when I get back!  I pray for the whole family a lot!  I'm very thankful that God is taking care of you all while I am here.  Such a blessing! 

So we went into Cartagena today but we just went to the mall.



Also cool to hear about the family having Thanksgiving in New York!  They don't really celebrate that here so I'm not sure what I'm going to do for that day!  That always has been one of the best holidays at home!  But really all is going well!  Love and miss you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 17, 2014

CARCEL

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

TURBACO
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Margarisca

Hey everyone!

We had kind of a refreshing and dull week. So for Carnival, week long festivals here, we had to stay in the house all day everyday.  It was nice to rest up a bit but then after a while it was a little boring not doing anything!  Today we also have to stay in the house, but tomorrow we can leave!  So we will not be going to Cartagena today, but I think next week we will!  

There is nothing like Thanksgiving here that I know of.  I think I'm really going to miss that these upcoming weeks!  There's a ton of holidays here but I think they're more excuses to not work and have school off, haha!  Sometimes when we ask what they are celebrating they don't always know!

Way neat to hear that the Pheonix temple was dedicated.  It's so weird to think that when I get back there will be 2 new temples to go to for me within the city.  I'm too excited!

So we now are like 90% sure that the little guy living above us is indeed a bat!  At night we hear all these squeaking noises that doesn't sound like a rat, but we are confused because we don't hear his flying around or anything.   We also don't hear a rat running around, so we aren't totally for sure yet!  But one thing is for sure, something lives up there!

Turbaco, although I haven't had too much time to leave and walk around, is a smaller city. The ward here I think has more people attending than in my last ward Ciudadela. The ward though is awesome!  Everybody is so nice!  We still eat lunch with the members and we usually make something small for breakfast and buy something for dinner.  This week while we were stuck in the house the members brought us the lunch and we cooked the rest of the time.  One of our lunches fell through so I cooked a little pasta thing!  I'll send a picture.
To get around here we walk to take a mototaxi, which is a little cart taxi, Im not quite sure how to explain it very well, but I think I sent a picture of one last week! 

Well I don't really have too many stories this week because nothing really happenbed! But the bishop of the ward here gave a talk yesterday that I really liked and about a topic that I've been thinking about for a while so I'll share that!  So he talked about how when he goes to the grocery store with his family his younger daughter is always focused on buying the sugar and how she always tries to slip it into the cart.  He compared that to us today and how sometimes we are so focused on the things that we want that we leave out the things we need.  That sometimes we want other things that we forget and sometimes leave the prescence of the spirit to obtain these things.  I've been thinking a lot lately at why some people seemed to be motivated more than others, especially pertaining to their lives and potential as sons and daughters of God.  I don't think I have found the answer and I don't think that there is only one answer, but one thing I think that plays a role in our eternal motivation is the spirit.  In my life I have seen that I feel more motivated, more capable of doing things when I am close to the spirit and can feel His prescence.  When we have an eternal perspective on our existence and realize just how important our life here on earth is, we can feel the impact of our daily choices.  I'm very grateful for the knowledge of our Heavenly Father for us!

It also rained a ton this week! I'll include some random pictures.

A ton of rain
 Two guys in yellow jump suits riding on the same motorcycle
Bird I saw on the telephone wire, yeah we were kind of bored, haha
Big dark clouds every day!
Well I love and miss you all!  Stay safe and have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 10, 2014

CAMBIO DE CAMBIOS: BIENVENIDOS A TURBACO

NOVEMBER 10, 2014


TURBACO - NEW AREA!
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Margarisca

Hey everyone!

Wow do I have a lot to tell you guys this week!  So the thinkable did happen... and I got transfered to a little pueblo outside of Cartagena called Turbaco!  I'm finally in my second area!  I came here and am finishing the training of my new companion named Elder Margarisca.  He is 24 years old and is from Quito, Ecuador.  Way good guy too! I feel as though he already knows so much and is a already a good missionary.  Way cool!  Also Elder Norberg from back home was in this area and some of the members have already commented to me about how much they liked him. 

Well Turbaco is pretty sweet!  It was about a 2 hour drive on a bus from Barranquilla to Cartagena and then like half an hour from Cartagena to Turbaco.  I'm excited to go in and see some of the touristy stuff in Cartagena in a few weeks when we can go!  But this whole week we will be locked in the house because this week is Carnival here in Cartagena, or pre-Carnival, I'm not exactly sure, but it's pretty dangerous and crazy!  Like yesterday we were trying to get some lessons in but everyone is already drunk in the streets asking for money. If you don't pay they throw big buckets of water and other stuff on you and run up and mark your clothes with paint haha!  Pretty crazy!  Too funny too that I was in Barranquilla for the other Carnival and I was locked in the house for that week and then I come here for these carnivals too!  It was our P-day today but starting at 6:00 we are locked in the house from Carnival until next Monday!  We have a zone meeting tomorrow so I'm not sure how we are going to get there with that!  We have some church movies and stuff that I hope will keep us busy enough! We do have electricity and every companionship has a cell phone so we will be safe!

But anyway, more about Turbaco!  The drive here was actually really beautiful.  Everything was so green and I felt like we were driving through straight jungle.  







At one point we drove by a big lake that was pretty cool. Also here in Turbaco is a little cooler than Barranquilla, though I do hear that Cartagena is hotter than the both. It's also really green here!  Sometimes I feel as though it's straight jungle haha!  Like yesterday we woke up and when we went to leave there was a huge green bird, I think they're called Macaws or something, sitting in front of our house chatting away!  Pretty cool!  Also there are so many people that speak English in our ward!  I am really so surprised!  Our neighbor is a pretty cool guy in our ward that lived in Florida for like 16 years and speaks perfect English.  It's pretty cool!

I got some more pictures from today too. It's our P-day. There's a plaza place here in Turbaco and so we went and took a couple of pictures.  







One bad thing about Turbaco: Chikunguña!  It's some bad sickness spread by mosquitoes!  And only 8 missionaries here in my mission had it, 4 of which were here in Turbaco.  My companion had it!  It's supposedly super bad and I think some missionaries have been sent home because they were so sick.  My companion said he was down for like 3 days and the effects last for up to a year!  But don't worry, I've been lathering up with a ton of repelent to stay safe!  So cross your fingers that I don't get it!   I sleep with a mosquito net over my bed.  I didn't use it in Barranquilla because there weren't really any mosquitos.  Here there's a ton and there's Chikunguña!



When I got here the house kind of sucked a little.  We spent a lot of time cleaning and fixing things up and so it's a little better now!  Also one morning we woke up and there was a little pile of crap on the floor, like little pellets so we might have a rat problem!  My companion tells me that it's bat poop though.  But still, poop is poop and we need to take care of this problem! 

There's also some pretty funky things here!  The first was when we were walking to lunch and I saw a guy that had an umbrella welded to his motorcycle haha!  There's also a lot of little motorcycle taxis, like a cart behind a motorcycle, which is actually pretty nice for us because it helps us get around fast and is a lot cheaper than a taxi like in Barranquilla!

Well I'm super excited to be here working with the ward, of which is super great, and working in the Lord's work! How great!  Oh and we might have a baptism this week too, so stay tuned!  I'll send some pics of last Monday before I got transfered (the first 3 pictures)




and some of here in Turbaco!  

The pictures looking at the rooftops are a view from my apartment.  
I tried to make it so you could see how green it is but it doesn't really do it justice.




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

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 3, 2014

EXCHANGES & ENGLISH CLASS

NOVEMBER 3, 2014


BARRANQUILLA
Ciudadela Ward, El Carmen Stake
Companion:  Elder Arevalo

Hey everyone!

A little bit of a stressful week but really I felt better than last week!  Also, we find out about the transfers tonight which is a little nerve wracking because I've been here for 6 transfers or 9 months.  So it very well may be my time to be transfered.  Today we watched "How to Train Your Dragon 2" as a zone activity.  One of the zone leaders came up to me and gave me a hug and said "Good luck in Santa Marta", but then said he was just kidding right after.  So I'm not sure if it was a joke or not.  We will wait and see!

This week we did 2 exchanges.  One with the Zone Leaders and one with the District Leaders.  For both of them I was with an American which was pretty cool.  So of course on Tuesday, during the exchange, we two Americans taught an English class, and of course a guy that spoke English came and of course after we got to teach him a little in English.  My first lesson in English!  It wasn't the best lesson I've taught but it was still cool teaching in English!  Then on the other exchange I was with the Zone Leader and we just did some errands and stuff and only taught a little.  I like my Zone Leaders though, so it was cool being able to talk and get to know them a little better.

Well I feel a little flustered with this super slow internet right now and can't really think of too much else to say! The people here don't really celebrate Halloween and so the only festive thing I did that day was to wear an orange tie. But it was all good!  Today is also a holiday but I'm not sure why they celebrate it.  Theres a ton of random holidays here!

Well I love and miss you all!  I'll try to include some pictures if this internet lets me.  








Well I'm trying to load some pictures from this week but it's not going so fast so they might come in another email or not come at all. 

Thanks! Love you guys and miss you guys very much!!!  Stay safe and have a great week!

Elder Crandall