"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 14, 2015

DREAMS: A MISSION COMPLETE

December 14, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Cardenas


Hey guys,

I had probably the busiest week of my whole mission!  On Thursday my 2 companions left me and had to go home so I got a new companion for my last week.  His name is Elder Cardenas.  He is from Chile.  He's a really great guy.





Also, President changed our area.  We are opening up a completely new area.  We first get on a bus and then go to our new area.  When we get off we look at a map and just start talking with people and looking for members.  It is an area of the mission's secretaries but they divided it in 2 and now we have part of it.  In the mission there are secretaries. They are in charge of baptismal papers, flight plans, hospital and medical things and all that jazz. They work more in the office but they have some time in the streets preaching. So they divided an area of a companionship of secretaries and gave us that area. This week we also had the privilege of having a little chat with an Area Seventy.  He announced that the ground breaking of the Barranquilla Temple will take place on February 20, 2016.  That's very exciting! 

Lets see... we also had interviews so my companion and I had to be at the mission office all day helping with things. We Helped with the interviews with Sister Searle and the meetings with the asistants.  Something fun about that was that Sister Searle made the funfetti cake my mom had sent me for my birthday!  That was awesome!  

Funfetti birthday cake Sister Seale made
On Wednesday I participated, with the rest of the missionaries that are leaving, in a day long self reliance meeting.  That was pretty fun.  

Missionaries enjoying Funfetti cake
Then, as is custom, President and Sister Searle took us out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.  They take all of the missionaries that are leaving out to eat and there was a group of missionaries that left last week so I went with that group.  

Departing missionaries with President and Sister Searle
Many more things happened as well!  It was a very busy week and this one coming up will be busy as well.

On Saturday we had our ward Christmas party.  Elder Clark, one of the missionaries, and I were the angels in the nativity.  I'll include some pics!

Angels bringing "glad tidings of great joy!"
Well, as you know, I go home this Friday.  I complete my full time mission as a missionary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I have so many thoughts and feelings right now. I cannot come to fully express my appreciation and testimony of Christ in this e-mail. These 2 years started out tough.  I have passed through some challenging times.  But hard is not bad.  I know those experiences made me grow so very much.  I have truly matured a lot spiritually.  In my time here I came to learn how to leave my own will for God´s will.  I have come to really use and help others use the Atonement in their lives.  I know that because of Christ, we have second chances; Christ can clean whatever mess we have made.  God really does have a plan for us and it's not by coincidence that we are here. There is satisfaction and real, true peace in making the covenant of baptism by the only existing authority on this earth.  I know Jesus Christ restored his gospel on this earth through the prophet Joseph Smith to bless us and our families.  The proof is the Book of Mormon.  I did nothing here, but it was the spirit that touched the hearts of these wonderful people.  Their humility is heart touching.  I will forever be grateful to God for the opportunity to be a part of and to lend a hand to all the people I have come in contact with.  I know the spirit can touch the heart of anyone.  The good and the bad.  It may seem crazy to put my studies, life, and opportunities on hold and even forego some of the prior to come here for 2 years, but every second was worth it.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I know that anyone can come to feel what I have felt if they but ask of God in prayer if it is true.  I know God hears and answers our prayers and they are important to him.  We are important to him. I really want to testify to all who read this, as a last testimony while still a missionary, in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
President and Sister Searle
I'll see you on Friday!
Elder Crandall

Monday, December 7, 2015

MOM, I'M IN THE CHURCH MAGAZINE!

December 7, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey

Hey guys!

Things are crazy right now.  So this morning President advised us that tomorrow my companion from Arizona goes home due to sickness and my other companion from Costa Rica goes home Thursday also due to sickness.  So as for now, I'm stuck without a companion for a week until I get back home!  Still not sure what's going down with all that but I'll keep you updated!  We also have a pretty busy week so we aren't sure what's going to happen!

Things are going great though!  It was nice skyping with the family on Sunday on my birthday.   I also enjoyed going to the First Presidency Christmas devotional.  We were going to bring 2 investigators with us but they both cancelled last minute.  They missed out!  I really felt the spirit and really liked the music.  It was very spiritual. 

J--- D--- is also progressing a lot.  He gets along super well with the members and they are always asking us about him.  He currently lives here in Barranquilla with his aunt while he is studying.  His aunt doesn't really like ¨the mormons´ so there's been a little conflict there. We just want to show her that we are nice people too!  We are going to try and pass by to see what happens.

Alright so to explain the title!  This last week we had a meeting with President Searle and the stake president to talk about the wards and their progress.  When we got there President Sealre asks me ¨did you see your picture in the Liahona (one of the church magazines)?¨  That confused me because I didn't remember anyone taking a picture of me or anything.  So the next day I got a hold of a Liahona magazine and looked for my pictures.  Sure enough in the local section there was a picture of me with a convert that I got to baptize in Santo Tomas, Erick Ramos.  He was the one that was 14 that was literally the golden investigator!  Oh that made me feel so good.  Erick submitted the story of his conversion and sent in a picture.  He is such a good guy.  He will have an influence in the church here in the furture!  I'll include some pics.  I'm so happy!



Well I'm so grateful for my mission!  I've learned and grown so very much.  Well have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 30, 2015

BOCA DE CENIZA

November 30, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey

Family and Friends,

I had a great week!  We had some great lessons and we are starting to get used to teaching in a trio and it's been pretty fun! We found some pretty great people this week and had some great lessons.  We had an awesome lesson with J--- D--- at the 2nd counselor in the bishopric´s house.  It was really spiritual.  It really helps that J--- D--- is getting to know some members and form relationships there.  That really makes a huge difference in the mision work!  The only bad part was that he cancelled on us yesterday and didn't come to the stake conference.  We´re not sure why yet, but we will pass by later to see.

Boca de Ceniza
Boca de Ceniza
So today we went to a place called Boca de Ceniza.  It's a big bank like maybe 10 yards dividing the ocean and the river.  It was pretty neat!  I will include a lot of pictures.  The only bad part was that I got a little sunburned. It was fun though!  We went with the district.  The bank I like is 4 miles long or so.  We had to take a rickety train cart out to the end.  It was pretty sketchy, haha!  We had to get off a couple times because the cart fell off the track.  At the end there were some people fishing and I got some pictures of their fish.  There are some people that live on this long skinny stretch.  I'm not sure how, but they seem to do fine there.  It makes me so very grateful for the many blessings I've been blessed with.

The river
The beach
The bank


The track 
A house on the bank
Our trio companionship:  with Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey 
The trio


The fish the fishermen caught
With my friend Elder Marecos




We had our stake conference this week which was pretty neat!  I saw a family I met on my first day here in Barranquilla.  We lived in their house and then they moved away.  They moved away to this part of Barranquilla and were there in the conference!  It was awesome because they still remembered me and my name!  That made me feel happy.

The drawing Davis sent me for my birthday
I bought an accordian!
With my friend Elder Atwood
With my friend Elder Santos
Well I'm really loving being in the service of God.  There's nothing better!  I want to take advantage of every last minute I have!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 23, 2015

BARRANQUILLA GETS COLD?

November 23, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companions:  Elder Tijerino & Elder Godfrey

Hey guys!

Im doing great! It was a busy week. So Barranquilla is NOT cold, but on Tuesday it rained sooo hard.  My bed is close to the window and I woke up in the middle of the night because rain was hitting my face!  It was crazy.  The house flooded and we live on the 4th floor!  How does that even happen?!  It was awesome because it really cooled things off for like 2 days.  When I say cooled things off I mean it was like around 78 degrees or so.  Humid still, but a lot fresher! We definitley enjoyed that.

So something so great happened on Sunday.  J--- D--- came to church!  We have been having awesome lessons with him this last week at members' homes and he is getting right into the grove of things, learning and growing a lot.  I'm really excited because we have been working with him for a little while.  I think what helped him really come to church was that we helped him meet members and make friends with them.  That way he wasn't so nervous to come into a completely new environment not knowing anyone.  I was definitely so happy about that!  The only bad part was that on Sunday the power went out so we were sitting in a sauna.  I know I said on Tuesday that it was fresher but on Sunday everything cleared up and it looked like a Mesa summer sky, with no clouds and super hot.  We sweated a lot but that is normal for me now.  I've been sweating about the last 700 days in my life so I think I can live through a few more!

I'm also happy to be in a trio with Elder Godfrey.  He is a crazy missionary, haha, but he makes things so fun!  We are always laughing and joyful.  I don't think there's been a dull moment!

Well, sorry I don't have any pics!  I left my camera today.  I'm excited to work hard and finish my mission with a bang!  Have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 16, 2015

ARIZONA

November 16, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino


Hey guys!

We had a good week.  Im doing great!  Today we found out that tomorrow my companion and I will be getting a new companion so I will be ending in a trio!  His name is Elder Godfrey.   He is from Tucson Arizona!  So I will be with someone from my home state! Awesome!

Not too much happened this week!  It was actually tough in a way because all of our lessons fell through.  Something fun that happened was that we organized a ward talent show!  We missionaries, did a little dance thing.  It's hard to explain.  I'll see if one of the other misionaries can send me pics to include in the email.  It was pretty funny!  It was a great turnout though!  We had fun doing it and everything.

Also, J--- D--- is going good.  We actually just saw him here by this internet cafe.  Tonight we are going to try and watch the Restoration with him because last week we couldn't.  He also wasn't able to come to church Sunday because he had a ton of work, but hopefully this week he will be able to come!

Elder Tijerino and me at the mall with Rudolph!

Well this will be an interesting week I think!  I'll let you know how it goes!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 9, 2015

OLD FRIENDS

November 9, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino


Hey everyone!

Things are going great!  We had another great and busy week!  So this week a sister invited us over to eat dinner at her house and she had invited Sister Eva, the really nice lady from my first area that owns the pizza restaurant that always gave us free pizza!  Eva´s daughter is in our ward and Sis. Eva supposedly asks about me sometimes because I was in my first area where she lived for 9 months!  Crazy!  But it was nice to be able to see her again.  She is such a nice lady and has the biggest heart. She even brought us food!  So that was a nice reunion.

Also this week we ran into J--- D--- again!  He's the awesome investigator that called us over and was amazed at the dedication of missionaries and everything.  Suddenly he disapeared around 2 weeks ago and we had no idea what happened! He says he just had a couple of busy weeks at work and school and everything.  He got his wisdom teeth out Saturday so he didn't come to church but he commited to come this upcoming week!  We also have a lesson with him today and are hoping to have a great one!  We are going to watch the Restoration video with him.

We have been teaching this less active guy recently whose name is A---.  He is an older man that lives alone and has no family.  He plays guitar and so do I so we hit it off pretty fast.  Sometimes when we go over to teach him we play together and he teaches me to play salsa and other latino music.  He's been pretty excited with the gospel as well recently and are hoping that this upcoming week he will come to church with us!

Today we had a fun P-day activity watching a movie called Metagol.  It is an Argentinian animated movie about fooseball and soccer.  

Today's P-day Activity watching a movie
Well I'm doing great!  I really can't believe how fast time goes!  I'm enjoying the mission and am going to go out with a bang!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, November 2, 2015

GEOLOGY

November 2, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino

Hey guys!

So I met a geologist this week!  The first person here in Colombia that I've met that is in that profession!  He actually is in the ward that I'm serving in!  We went and visited him last night and I got to see a ton of cool rocks. He also had some dinosaur fossils and things that were pretty cool.  I've always loved geology.  What a coincidence right??

Well I'm doing great!  We had another busy week but seriously all of our lessons fell through! Even the most secure and sure people bailed on us!  But that's okay.  We were able to find a couple of new people and explore our area some more.  It's actually way big! Things are going good!

Sorry in advance because I forgot my camera memory!  But I didn't really have any pics for this week anyway!

This week I learned something pretty interesting.  We have an investigator named F---.  He is a man of little faith but has the desire to improve it.  We've been teaching him a lot.  He has a lot of doctorinal questions and we couldn't really help him come to a sure standing on all of it.  We decided to talk to him and just teach about faith.  He is a guy that really likes movies and so we used the example of Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade when Indiana has to walk across the invisible bridge.  For those of you who don't remember the scene, Indiana has to take a complete step of faith onto what appears to be an invisible bridge. Without being too sure about it, he steps and comes to the knowledge that the bridge actually exists.  Every step after that he becomes more and more confident.  That's like us. We have to act first and then comes the blessings.  I'll admit, sometimes it's hard to act, but God promises that if we do act, we will be blessed.

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

Elder Crandall

Monday, October 26, 2015

BEACH COMBER

October 26, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino


Hey guys!

We had a pretty good week this week!  We had a bunch of lessons that fell through but that gave us time to find some really neat people!  J--- is progressing a lot actually.  He is the one that contacted us 2 weeks ago.  He is very intrigued about the restoration and everything.  He says he feels somewhat like us because he left his family to come to the coast in Barranquilla to study.  So we are really excited about teaching him.  I'm thinking he will come to church this week!

We also found I--- this week when some of our lesson plans fell through.  She is a cancer survivor.  She changed churches while she was going through her treatments because she couldn't find peace in any of the them.  She now is doing better and is very open to our message.  We will see where things go!

Also this week we had a zone conference with all of Barranquilla.  That was pretty fun!  What made me even happier was that I went and got to talk with the missionaries that are now in Santo Tomas where I lived last spring.  They tell me that D---, the convert that I got to baptize, will be receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood this upcoming week.  That made me so happy!  I'm so very happy that the gospel changes lives.  I'm really just an instrument here because I don't change anyone, the spirit is the one that really does all of the work and changes people!

Today we went to Puerto Colombia, a pueblo close by where the beach is to take some pictures.  Supposedly the temple is going to be built by there and the rumor is that they are going to begin construction in January!  
Street view of Puerto Colombia
Enjoying the view
Broken guitar we found
Puerto Colombia Beach
Ocean view
Elder Tijerino and me
The church website at says: 
 
Temple Site
The Barranquilla Colombia Temple will stand in the picturesque oceanside community of Puerto Colombia across from Colegio Alem├ín, approximately two kilometers west of Barranquilla proper. The elevated property, located on the highway to Cartagena, commands a beautiful view of the Magdalena River—the largest river in Colombia—and of the ocean.


Well I'm very thankful for you all and all your support!  I'm doing great and I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Crandall

Monday, October 19, 2015

WE WALKED and WALKED and WALKED and WALKED!

October 19, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino


Hey guys!

Well we had a good week!  We were really busy!  Oh man, my area is so big!  We walked so much this week!  I think it's because the last year I've been in areas with motocarros that take us to all places for 50 cents or taxis that took us to whatever place in the city for 2 dollars but in this area the taxis are a lot more expensive so we just walk!  I'm going to leave with huge legs!  Also, we can go to the office in the morning to excercise and there are weights there to do weight lifting.  I feel so spoiled!

Anyway, we had a great week!  Something cool happened this last Thursday. We were walking around looking for a recently baptized member that we didn't know and we ran into a guy named J---.  He is from another part of Colombia but is here in Barranquilla studying in one of the universities.  He just flagged us down and was complimenting us on our dedication and was interested to know more about the gospel and everything.  We actually are going to teach him for the first time tonight!  We are pretty excited about that because we haven't been having too much luck recently finding new people!

Also this week we have been running around trying to get to know some of the members in the ward.  It's been pretty great to get to know them!  We even helped a member move on Saturday for around 4 hours.  It's been pretty fun!

Tell Grandma Johnson Happy Birthday from me.  I hope it was great!  

Well I'm doing great!  We had a really busy week and a busier week coming up!  Sorry I don't have too much more to say and don't have any pics!  Next week I'll try and get a few.  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall

Monday, October 12, 2015

CONCRETE JUNGLE

October 12, 2015

Paraiso Ward
Paraiso Stake
Companion:  Elder Tijerino


Hey guys!

So this last week we had transfers and I got transfered back to Barranquilla!  I am in the Paraiso Stake in the Paraiso Ward!  I oficcially have been in the 3 stakes that exist in Barranquilla.  I live in the more "poopy" (rich in Colombian vocabulary) part of town. I live and proselite in really nice apartment buildings and everything.  To explain my point, today we were leaving our apartment building to go and do some informs when it started to rain super hard.  We had umbrellas and everything but we were still getting soaked.  A car then pulls up behind us and yells ´elders´!  It was a member that invited us in their car and drove us to the mall where we had to go.  I'm loving this area!  In my ward lives a recently released Area Seventy and even President and Sister Searle live in our boundaries.  Also the daughter of Sister Eva from my first area that always gave us free pizza lives here in our ward.  This will be an interesting tranfer!

My new companion is Elder Tijerino from Costa Rica! He is the only Costa Rican in the whole mission!  He has been on his mission the same time as I have and is 20 years old. He looks more like an American than I do which is pretty funny!  We get along great.  In our house we also live with 2 other missionaries from the office.  It's always fun living with 4 missionaries in one house!  The two sets of us missionaries have different areas. In my ward there are 8 missionaries currently.  There are so many because 6 of them work in the mission office, so they don't have as much time to go out and proseylite.

The view from my window

The view from my other window

With my new companion, Elder Tijerino.
We were hurrying so our picture quality was bad
So this area, like my last one, is a little bit tougher for proseliting.  It's good, though.  I like having to be more creative and having to think a little more to get people interested in our message.  This week we found some pretty good people to work with.  One of them is R---. He is a reference from a less active member that we are teaching.  He is a great guy and lives alone.  He is very interested in the restoration of the gospel and how God has restored His true church once again on the earth.  It was one of the best lessons we have had and the spirit was very strong testifying of it.  I love teaching this gospel!

Well I'm doing great!  I'm going to end my mission great as well!  Have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall

Monday, October 5, 2015

LIGHTNING BREAKS CHAIR and BRUNCH FOR LUNCH

October 5, 2015

El Parque Branch
Santa Marta District
Companion:  Elder Wooden

Hey guys!

What a week!  We had a packed week with a lot of things to do!  It was a pretty great!

Our last Zone Meeting
Our last Zone Meeting
Our last Zone Meeting
We also got a HUGE rain on Thursday night.  The power went out so the temperature dropped and made things cool, for once!  Since the power went out we couldn't really do anything because it was so dark so we just made popcorn and sat by the door watching the rain.  Some frogs even came by to say hi.  
 A lot of frogs come out when it rains!  

Friendly Frog (hard to see but trust me it was big!)
I had almost dozed off when all of a sudden a bolt of lightning struck really close to us.  It startled me so bad that I fell back in my chair and broke it!  Now I don't have a chair, haha, but what a funny story!

Also this week we had an awesome brunch lunch!  So every Friday we go eat lunch with the Branch President, President Aguilar, and his wife, Jackie, and their family.  I've bonded a lot with them, they are great people!  This week they gave me the choice of food to eat.  I told them that we wanted breakfast for lunch so she made us pancakes with Nutella and peanut butter! I had previously mentioned to Jackie that I love macaroni and cheese so she made that too!  It was so wonderful!  Some of my favorite comfort foods!  What a lunch!  

Pancakes with Nutella, peanut butter and bananas - Yes, please!
Lunch with the Aguilar family and my favorite foods!  
Notice the big bowl of macaroni and cheese!

Happy Elders ready to dig in!

Delicious!
V--- and his family are progressing a lot.  They sadly couldn't come to General Conference this week because of complications. But Y---, V---´s wife, told us that she has read the Book of Mormon and prayed and feels like its true.  Her family is now following her example.  It's great to see how the gospel changes lives!

It was also a great week with General Conference!  I'm looking forward to getting the magazine and reading all of the talks! We sadly couldn't get any of our investigators to come, but what a great feeling to hear living prophets and apostles address us. It's just like in old time when God commanded Moses or Noah to tell the people His will. What a great feeling that was!  It was also neat to be able sustain 3 new apostles!  It strengthened my testimony that Jesus Christ really is at the head of our church today.

Watching General Conference

All the missionaries in Santa Marta

During the Conference sessions Saturday we went to Pizza Vomito as a zone. That was really fun!

Pizza Vomito
Eating Pizza Vomito
Our Zone eating at Pizza Vomito between conference sessions
Our zone played soccer
This morning we played soccer together.  I'm just enjoying being in the service of the Lord!  I really want to take advantage of my time here and do everything I can even if I only have a few months left!
Advertisement for an artist with the first name Elder!
Tomorrow we have transfers.  Hopefully I'll stay, but I'll go wherever the Lord commands! Have a great week everyone! 

Elder Crandall