"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, January 26, 2015

GORDITO AND BONITO

January 26, 2015

TURBACO
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Montoya

Family and Friends,

This week wasn't the best because I got super sick and in bed for 2 days.  On Monday during our activity in Cartagena, one of the other elders had to leave for an emergency transfer so we were in a trio from Monday until Wednesday.  The other Elder that came to stay with us was a little sick and so I got super sick too.  I had a fever of 39 C (like 102 F) and my tonsils were unbelievably swollen that they were practically in my throat!  It hurt so bad to swallow that I barely ate!  


The office missionaries told me to take some stuff for the pain, but I thought I needed antibiotics or something more.  So when we finally left, we by chance passed by a sister's house and I described my symptoms and she told me she had the same thing a couple weeks back and she told me what the doctors told her to take.  So I went to the pharmacy and bought the antibiotics.  You know how much they costed? 3 dollars, haha!  Medicine is so cheap here! Anyway, there were 3 pills I had to take, one every day for 3 days.  After that, I felt a lot better. So I'm good now!

Another funny thing happened to me this week.  So Saturday we were looking for a reference in a neighborhood called La Cruz and there is always this "Jabba the Hut" sized lady (no harm intended) sitting in her second story window in this one street eating and shouting (she is a little mentally slow).  We usually try to avoid her because she always shouts at us and stuff, but this day we didn't even notice that we were walking by her house until it was too late. She began saying some stuff to us and trying to call us over, and she called me ´gordito y bonito´. It means fat and beautiful.  I always knew that the ladies like their men thick and this experience affirmed that myth.

Things are going pretty good here in Turbaco.  We are teaching some really great people. This week we found a guy named Edwin.  He was reading the newspaper in the street and we went up and started talking about this and gave him a pamphlet and took out another appointment for the next day.  He seemed pretty solid and told us that his brother was baptized but that he doesn't attend church anymore.  So we went there the next and found him helping his grandma, too golden!  He is a super sweet guy and has a lot experiences and has changed his life a lot. We now are trying to help him change even more.  I'll keep you updated on how he is doing.

Another person that we are teaching is named Moises.  He is an adoptive son of a less active sister in the ward. He is doing pretty good but doesn't focus too well on things.  So yesterday we were teaching him about The Word of Wisdom and when we went to challenge him to keep this commandment he flat out told us no, haha!  I think that was the first time that this has happened to me!  Usually people just say yes and do it, or they say yes and don't do it.  I've never had anyone say no!  Anyways, Moises likes his coffee and ice tea.  So we will be working on that a little with him.  He's a pretty great kid though.

Well I love and miss you all!  I hope you have a great week!

Elder Crandall

PS. Dont mind the up-the-nose shot, just look at my tonsils if you can see them!

Monday, January 19, 2015

OCEAN'S 10

JANUARY 19, 2015

TURBACO
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Montoya


Hey everyone!

Glad to hear that all is going well! This was another busy week and was kind of a blur and I don't have too much to say!

So on Thursday we had our interviews with president and the assistants and all that stuff. It went good and I learned a lot. I have definitely changed a lot since I came here, I feel, but in a good way!  After the interviews we went and ate Subway in a mall close by.  How great!

On Saturday we had to go back into Cartagena for a meeting for the Trainers and Trainees.  President, the assistants, and the zone leaders talked to us about being an effective missionary beginning with the things in the house such as studies.  It was good overall!   Also during the interviews with the assistants we worked and focused a lot on finding the needs of the investigators and others we are teaching. 

Elder Montoya and I decided we needed to improve on this so we tried it out in the first appointment we had when we got back from the interviews. We had an appointment with a less active named Maria.  Her partner, Jose (not married) is also a less active with their daughter and infant son.   So we got there and only Maria was there so we start talking with her and applying the things we learned and she just opens up to us so many things about how Jose struggles with alcohol and how she wants to return to church.  She commented to us about some goals she put to attend church this year and eventually go to the temple. We were able to apply the gospel to her personal needs and she commited to church.  At first as a missionary, when someone says that they will go to chuch, you always feel a little reluctant because almost everyone says they will go and almost nobody does haha.  But then Sunday came and she came to church with her daughter and everything!  Then later on Sunday we passed by again and were able to talk with Jose again and help him set some goals with Maria to get married.  We, as missionaries, have so much potential if we just apply the teachings to ourselves.  The gospel really is for everyone, we just have to follow the spirit to know how to apply it!

Today we are in Cartagena again, but this time with our whole zone.  We came here last night with the missionaries from Turbaco and Arjona who are far away and have to travel to get into Cartagena.  We all slept in the house of our Zone leaders.  

Our Zone sleepover - 10 Missionaries sleeping wall to wall!
There were 10 missionaries and we had only 2 twin matresses and 2 more air matresses. Also we only had 2 fans, but I'm used to the heat now and don't sweat so much. Nevertheless, it was a pretty fun and funny night!  And now we are sending the informs and writing and then we are all going to get on a cheeba (a tour bus) and we are going to go see a lot of the touristy sights and take pictures for Like 4 hours.  I think it will be a pretty sweet day!  I'll send pictures in the afternoon if we have time!

Well things are going good here. I hope you all have a great and safe week! Take care!

Elder Crandall


Monday, January 12, 2015

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

JANUARY 12, 2015


TURBACO
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Montoya

Hey everyone!

This was a great week.  I'm really not sure what happened, but Elder Montoya and I had renewed spirits and morals and we worked super hard!  We are some of the leading missionaries this week in the numbers! We did divisions twice and found a ton of new less actives and investigators.  What's even better is that a ton of investigators and less actives came to church yesterday.  We are seeing the fruits of the labors!  We are going to keep working super hard these upcoming weeks!  We came back every night super exhausted but super satisfied. This is is the Lord's work!

Old Church in Cartagena
Bro. Yacit & Elder Crandall
Well, we just worked a ton this week. Also on Saturday we did exchanges and I was with Elder Paredes. He was in my same ward back in Barranquilla and is here now with me.  He is a pretty cool dude.  We taught English classes and ate a lot of food and taught some good lessons.  It was a good day to say the least.  I'm trying hard to serve selflessly here.  I'm trying my best to be a good example to all and be as obedient as I can.

Also yesterday I went on exchanges with a kid about to leave on his mission named Christian. He is obsessed with speaking English and know how he learned?  By reading the Book of Mormon in English, how cool!  Proof that the promise is real:  if you want to learn a new language, read the Book of Mormon in that language! Anyway, he had a reference for us, one of his friends, so we went there and found the whole family there which was way neat.  Although next door there was a big party with loud music, the spirit was still strong and we were able to teach.  I love Turbaco!  The people and ward here are just so great!

I can't believe that this week marks my year mark on my mission. The mission has seemed super short as well. I think the more confident I've become as being a missionary, the easier it has become to work hard and try new things.  Some of our converts are progressing but some aren't.   We have lessons and they are so powerful and everyone participates and says they will go to church and read, but then don't.  It's a struggle.  People struggle with understanding the concept of faith.  It's the most popular and most discussed topic, yet no one fully understands it.  FAITH IS WORKS, WORKS MEANS GOING TO CHURCH, PRAYING, and READING THE SCRIPTURES. 

This upcoming week we have our interviews with President and that means Sister Searle will most likely make us chocolate chip cookies.  I definitely miss those.  But the work here is going great.  I really feel that in my second and last year as a missionary I can really do some work and help a lot of people.  I really want to pay more attention to the spirit and his promptings and more importantly follow them.  I've found that is an important part in listening to the spirit, we have to be willing to do what he tells us, because if we aren't willing, we aren't going to recieve that essential personal revelation.

WOWOWOW at Cartagena! It is a really charming city!  We went there today and it is amazing, truly beautiful!


Elder Crandall & Bro. Cuetto
El Espíritu Santo (the Holy Ghost) Restaurant with Elder Montoya, Bro. Cuetto, Elder Crandall & Bro. Yacit.


La bandeja paisa, a more typical plate from Medellín


Plaza de San Pedro
Plaza de San Pedro
Plaza de San Pedro 
Statue of a Pastor who helped slaves that built this old cathedral.  The Pastor really helped them out and gave them food and a place to sleep and so he was praised by them
The man in the New York T-shirt is Bro. Yacit.  He is the one that lived in the US for 9 years and speaks perfect English. He worked as a tour guide in Cartagena for the foreigners for some years. He is our neighbor and this morning he was asking what we were going to do today and we told him that we were thinking about going into Cartagena and he said that he wanted to come along with us so he did.  He lead us and showed us some cool spots. He's a way great and friendly guy.  I'll include some pictures but not all.  We were there for only like 3 hours and I have 115 pics, haha.  It's way cool though.  Yacit knows the city and all the cool places, he is a way cool
guy.  So we didn't go to San Felipes Fort, but a big portion of the city is surrounded by a wall that's like 500 years old with cannons and stuff. We only saw a small portion and I'm looking forward to going into Cartagena more to see the cool sites!  It's also the first time I've seen the ocean since I've been here.

Elder Crandall & Elder Montoya




Bay where the pirates would come and the fort would shoot at them. 
I heard that the pirate Captain Morgan came here









Hotels and Museums that used to be houses for the really rich people



Bolivar Plaza
Simon Bolivar freed the northern part of South America
Well I really love and miss you all and I hope you have a great week!  Take care!

Elder Crandall



Monday, January 5, 2015

THE FIRST OF 2015

JANUARY 5, 2015

TURBACO
Turbaco Ward, Los Alpes Stake
Companion:  Elder Montoya

Family and friends,

Happy new year!  It's already 2015!  Time really is going by fast and I bet it will go by even faster this year.  This week was pretty busy and hectic with all of the parties, but we were still able to work and have some good lessons.  Well, Monday, last monday that is, is when all of the parties here in Turbaco started.  There was a big rodeo that lasted all week. They build these big wooden bleachers and ride wild bulls and stuff.  Supposedly it's pretty dangerous there.  A ton of people from Cartagena and the surrounding pueblos come into Turbaco for this week so there was a ton of drunken people and crazy stuff happening. A brutal saying that they say about this week is -  "if someone didn't die, it was a bad party". Pretty brutal right?  Well the good news is that we were safe! 

Also the New Year was pretty cool for us, although it was just another work day here. We ate some food and that's about it for us.  But it's neat that we are now in 2015, a new year! With new years and new resolutions.  It's really like another ooportunity to change and become better. How great the opportunity to change!

Well I forgot my paper that I usually bring where I write the things I like to tell you all. I can't really remember more!  But know that I am doing good here!  Also today we are in Cartagena and are playing soccer so I might send some pics of that later if I get some! Well thanks and I love you all and have a great safe week! 

Elder Crandall

Sorry, I don't have any pics today.  We went into Cartagena to play soccer with another zone but there was just a ton of missionaries so we didn't really play. Then we went to Subway and then we came back here to Turbaco