"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, May 25, 2015

UNSTOPPABLE

May 25, 2015

Santo Tomas Branch
Hipodromo Stake
Companion:  Elder Troncoso

Hey everyone!

We had ups and downs this week!  To start it all off, we were progressing super well with E-------- in helping him prepare for his baptism.  We had a lesson scheduled Wednesday, but he didn't come.  However, he did go seminary (seminary here is in the night) so we caught him by the church building and set up a lesson for Thursday, but he didn't show up for that one either.  We were getting worried because this isn't like him and to top it off he wasn't answering his phone or anything.  It was really weird.  But then on Friday we had a training meeting with Elder Godoy, one of the area Seventies here in South America North area, so we tried to set up an appointment Friday night when we came back.  The same thing happened so we had to cancel the baptism.  So depressing because E-------- was so solid and sure about his baptism!  So yesterday we passed by his house and found him and he just said he got super busy. He also told us that he isn't sure anymore and that we shouldn't pass by his house.  Super weird right?  We think that there is something more to this but that he just doesn't want to tell us.  This is the third time this has happened to me in my mission and it's only happened here in Santo Tomas!  It's really weird!

On the bright side, we had the meeting with Elder Godoy!  He is a super funny and lively guy.  I learned a lot.  I also got to see a lot of my old friends in the mission because more than half the mission came in for this.  He taught us about some mistakes that missionarries often fall into in the lessons.  He also taught us about how to really find the needs of the investigators and how we can help them resolve their doubts.  It was because of this meeting that we left feeling unstoppable!  One of the things I really liked from this meeting was something that he told us in an earlier meeting that he held with just the leaders of the mission.  He talked to us a lot about the spirit and that to solve our problems in our areas we have to receive guidance by the spirit.  He told us that we can't have our agendas so full that there is no room for the spirit.  This point made me think a lot because I feel like sometimes I plan so well and want everything to go perfect, but things never do and that can be frustrating at times.  It made me think though that although I have plans and although I have an agenda, I need to have a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and a willing mind to receive and follow the promptings of the spirit.  The spirit is the key to missionary work and it's the thing that I need most to fulfill my calling here.

To top things off I also got sick on Friday. People here sometimes say "I'm not going to shower now in the middle of the day because the change in temperature will make me sick." I used to think that was the stupidest excuse ever until it happened to me Friday, haha. Friday we were in Barranquilla in the air conditioning all day and it was a lot colder than normal and I guess I'm kind of adjusted to the heat now and going without air conditioning. So when we left I felt the heat hit me hard and in the two hour bus ride back to our house I just felt miserable, haha.  My nose was so congested and I had the biggest headache ever! When we got back to the house I took my temperature and I had a fever of like 102.5!  Oh man I felt so bad!  So I just rested up and the next morning when I woke up I felt even worse!  It was definitely pretty weird!  I guess I can't tease the people that say they get sick from the temperature change anymore!

Elder Troncoso & Elder Crandall

Well I love and miss you all!  Stay safe and have a great week!  Choose the right!

Elder Crandall

Monday, May 18, 2015

HE WAS HIT IN THE HEAD BY A MANGO!

May 18, 2015

Santo Tomas Branch
Hipodromo Stake
Companion:  Elder Troncoso


Hey family and friends,

Well my companion and I were teaching a lesson when all of a sudden a mango fell out of a tree and hit him on the head!  It was pretty funny and so I thought it`d be a good title for the email.

Well we had a pretty good week.  A ton of lessons fell through but we were still able to have some success!  E-------- passed his baptismal interview and he will be getting baptized Saturday.  He is sooo smart and his whole story is crazy.  Coincidentally, when we got here to the internet cafe today, he was here.  So we walked over to him to greet him and you know what he was doing on his computer?  He was on familysearch.org doing his family history, haha!  He is too great!

D-------- is coming along really well.  We found out this week that he has a son!  I guess we just never assumed because he is so young and his son doesn't live with him. But D-------- is still learning a lot and growing a lot!  He's a great guy!

It's definitely a little different to work in a branch as opposed to working in a ward. The techniques to find people and teach people are a little different.  My companion and I are going to try a couple more techniques this week to help us out.  It's tough managing 3 pueblos!  But we are doing it happily!  Really, things are going well!

I'll send some pictures of this big open field that is right in front of our house.  We live at the edge of the pueblo Santo Tomas and that might be the reason we have so many bugs in the appartment.  It's pretty cool though!  At night the sky is way blue!  I'll send some pics.

The view across the street from our apartment


The view across the street from our apartment

Well have a great week everyone! Love and miss you all! Take care!

Elder Crandall

PS:  Today we didn't too much really.  We went to Barranquilla and played soccer in our zone.  Our zone has around 16 missionaries or so.   Then I cut my hair and we ate a little. Time on p-days goes by really fast, haha!  

Monday, May 11, 2015

FELIZ DIA DE MADRE!

May 11, 2015

Santo Tomas Branch
Hipodromo Stake
Companion:  Elder Troncoso


Hey guys!

We had a pretty normal week!  Things are moving fast and we getting things more under control here in Santo Tomas. We are continuing to work with our investigators. D-------- attended church again this week.  He is awesome.  He is quiting drinking coffee and continuing to strive to keep God´s commandments.  He is progressing great and we are going to have an activity in his house tonight with the branch.  He is a great guy!

E-------- is also moving so fast.  He will be baptized next week.  He already has 3 talks written for when he gets baptized and is given the opportunity to give them, haha!   He is a funny guy.  He knows everything and the lessons are pretty much just passing over things he has learned on the church´s website and in seminary books.  He is the one that calls us to set up appointments and everything.  He will be an awesome missionary some day!

Nothing else too exciting happened this week other than talking with my family over skype yesterday.  That was fun!  I'm glad to see that my family is doing great!  I'm glad to see that the kids are doing well and they are growing so fast!  They will be so big when I get back.  I can't wait! 
Mother's Day 2015

Oh and I drank zucchini juice this week.  It's amazing that here in the coast of Colombia they make juice out of everything.  You would think that the blender was invented here because they put whatever kind of fruit/vegetable/animal/etc. that they have in it!  It's cool though.  I get to try a lot of types of different foods!

Well I hope to have some fun stories this next week for you guys!  I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

Elder Crandall


We made my superman Pez dispenser into super missionary
and coincidentally, it looks a lot like my companion!

Our District Activity - we ate food and watched the movie, Ephriams Rescue






Monday, May 4, 2015

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

May 4, 2015

Santo Tomas Branch
Hipodromo Stake
Companion:  Elder Troncoso

Hey Family and Friends,

I hope all is well up there!  All is well here.  We had a pretty normal week with a lot of work. I also got to have an exchange with Elder Montoya, my son born in the wilderness, so that was pretty fun to work with him again.  We are still looking for a house and everything but we are still working pretty hard!

On Saturday and Sunday we had our stake conference and I got to see P--------, a convert from Ciudadela.  I was so happy to see him!  I'm not sure if you guys remember from last year, but his whole family is super special to me!  He told me that his wife now is pregnant and that she is in Bogota with her family for the month.  Y-------- and M-------- were working so I didn't get to see them but I told him to tell them hi from me.  Oh and there was another surprise!  E-------- R--------, also from Ciudadela, was at the conference.  She told me that the boundaries changed so she now is in this stake.  She was the really nice lady that has the pizza place and always gave us free pizza.  She is so nice!

Also this week we met an investigator named E--------.  He is 14, but he is so smart.  We went to have our first lesson with him and he pulls out this giant folder and is like "so guys, here's my research on the church" and he's got all these papers with the apostles and biographies and a ton of stuff!  He then goes on to tell us how he came across the church´s webpage and from there he found the missionaries in the street and everything.  It was a really cool story!  I couldn't help but laugh because he is already so prepared to be baptized, haha!  He already knows so much!  If you don't believe me, the very next day after our first lesson with him he went out and proselited with us.  He is really smart, haha!

I learned a pretty neat lesson this week.  I've lately been thinking about my mission and how much I feel as though I've grown. I feel like the biggest part of my personal growth has taken place between Christmas time and now.  I'm really trying to consecrate and purify myself from the inside out.  We found a house this week (to rent so we will no longer be 4 elders in one apartment) and passed by to look at it with the owner and talk about it.  It looked super great from the outside and I was really excited to take a look at it inside.  I was disappointed when the lady opened the door and I looked inside.  It was badly painted, had a weird smell, the walls were breaking down, the doors didn't work, and it had more cockroaches than the house we are in now.  It just wasn't suitable for us to live in.  I thought a lot about this comparison with myself and us as humans trying to come closer unto Christ and be guided by the spirit.  Although we may seem fit on the outside, if we are not good and clean enough on the inside, we won't be suitable for the spirit.  What does this mean? To me, it means that sometimes we have to do some cleaning, we have to repent, we have to make changes.  Some of the changes can be small, such as changing the curtains or scrubbing the sink, and some can be bigger, like changing a door or repairing walls.  Jesus Christ has given us the tools to make this happen and gives us every opportunity here to do so.  I am coming to learn more and more everyday how important it is to be in tune with the spirit and to be consecrated and pure.  Sure we will never be perfect, and us, like a house, needs constant cleaning, but we are promised that it is posible.  How grateful I am for the opportunity to change and repent!

Well I hope you all have a great week!  Choose the right!

Elder Crandall

PS:  Today has been fun so far. We went to Pricesmart. It's a store like Costco and a lot of missionaries go there. 
Elder Troncoso and I at Pricesmart