"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, December 22, 2014

CHRISTMAS BANANAS

DECEMBER 22, 2014

TURBACO
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Montoya

Hey everyone!

What a busy week!  So we had transfers on Tuesday and President sent me to train again. My new companion is from Argentina, his name  is Elder Montoya (Montosha with his accent).  He is 24 years old.  He is a way good guy with a ton of energy and is a lot more hyper active than my personality but I guess that's fine!

With my new companion, Elder Montoya
So early morning Tuesday I had to leave to go to Barranquilla to be trained how to train. Just some meetings and stuff!  But there I got to see Elder Frost, from Mesa!  
With Elder Frost from Mesa
How cool was that!  Anyway, we, the other trainers from Cartagena and I, get to the bus station and leave super late so we get to Barranquilla more than halfway through all the meetings.  Then we finish the meetings and everything and we (some other missionaries training in Cartagena) get in a van to return to Cartagena.  My companion and I need to get to the bus station in Cartagena because we are in Turbaco, a town just outside of Cartagena, and need to take another bus to get there but the van driver is scared of the police and dumps us on the side of the road next to the station. So we find our way into the station only to learn that there are no longer buses leaving to Turbaco. We get on a bus going to another city a little farther and talk to the bus driver to let us off when we pass through Turbaco.  Everything was going good until we get to Turbaco and our stop. The bus stops to let us off and then we unload our bags and then I gave the guy 10.000 pesos (like 5$) and waited for the change (because the price was only 5.000 pesos) and asked the guy to sign this paper so that we could recieve reimbursment from the mission for the bus and everything, but the guy gets super nervous.  He won't sign the paper and runs back onto the bus and they take off without giving me my change and without signing the reimbursement slip. Robbed! To make things worse I cut my finger super bad on my companion's suitcase and it was bleeding pretty bad!  What a day that was!

My new name tag arrived
The next day we also recieved bad news on our way to our mission Christmas party. Olypmia, the mom of the big family we are teaching, passed away early in the morning that day.  It was definitely a devastating shock to me and even more so to her family.  We passed by the following day and the whole environment just felt heavy with sorrow. We missionaries and sister Yadelsy, the only member of the church of the family, were able to find a lot more peace than the other people that were there and that came to visit. How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation that God has prepared for us and for the knowledge that this life is not the end.  I also feel as though President Searle was really inspired in sending Elder Montoya here because only 3 months ago Elder Montoya's father passed away from cancer.  He was able to share that very intimate experience with the family and is able to be an example to them in this time of trial.  He definitely helped comfort them in a way I was not able to.

On a more happy note, we had our mission Christmas party this week!   We watched "Ephriams Rescue" and sang songs and ate food.   It was all way good! 

Mission Christmas Party

Mission Christmas Party
Each zone had to prepare a little presentation and so our zone planned to sing a song and I got to play the accompaning guitar which was pretty fun.  I also got to see some friends and my old companion, Elder Arevalo from Ciudadela who just got transfered out to Cartagena this last week.  
With my old companion Elder Arevalo
I regret not taking more pictures, but I'll include the ones that I do have!  President and Sister Searle gave each missionary an ornament with the Temple on it.  So cool!  

Christmas Ornament President & Sister Searle gave each missionary
Also all of my packages arrived that day!  I have so much candy!!  And I'm so happy about that!  I am going to go into a suger coma!  I love it!   
Our fridge packed with my box of candy and treats
I'm loving Rachel's package with the presents she prepared for each day, such a cool idea!  
Christmas socks from Rachel that I wore to church
Things are going great!  I think Christmas day we are going to spend time with the other missionaries and have a zone activity/party.  I'm also looking forward to calling home on Friday!  What a great and busy week this will be!

Well all is going good with me.  A little bit of a challenging week but I know God is giving me some tests to grow stronger. Thanks for all of you love and support, especially during this season!  Well I love and miss you all!  I hope you all have a great Christmas!

Elder Crandall