"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, September 28, 2015

FARMER"S TALK

September 28, 2015

El Parque Branch
Santa Marta District
Companion:  Elder Wooden

Hey guys!

This was a great week.  I'll start out by explaining the title of my email.  Well, if you didn't know, my president is a potato farmer from Idaho.  I'm like 95% sure he sells his potatoes to McDonalds.  It's way cool!  This week, because of the interviews and other meetings we had, I had the chance to spend a lot of time around President and Sister Searle.  They really are great people.  It makes me feel like I'm around my grandparents, and I like that feeling!  They just have a contagious spirit that feels good.  Anyway, I had what was my last normal interview this last week.  It felt weird!  I renewed my temple recommend and we just kind of talked.  It was really neat though because we were just talking and he was like ´hey look at this!´  He then pulled up on google maps his farm back in Idaho and was showing me a program his son had made that tracks their watering system and everything.  He used a lot of words and terms I didn't know existed, haha.  He was talking about using infrared lights to test the fertilizer and how he was thinking about buying a drone to track the calves when they are born.  I never knew, or at least never thought, that so much went into farming!  Then Sister Searle made us a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Gotta love President and Sister Searle!

I also went into a sugar coma this week because my companion and I totally pigged out on the package my mom had sent me.  We ate nearly everything in 2 days, haha!  That was great.

Another great thing happened this week!  V--- and his family came to church for the first time! V---, his wife Y---, his children L--- and L---, and even his mother-in-law!  They loved it too!  They are really progressing along and are gaining their testimonies.  It's so great to see how the gospel really changes our lives!  I love it!  

What is even better is that this upcoming week is General Conference!  We are really going full speed to try and get everyone to attend with us. Like Elder Moreno, from The District says, "you can put your money on the prophet"! Conference is always so great.  I think this time I will be able to watch it in English which will be great as well! Anyone can watch online at www.lds.org

Well all is going well.  This is the last week before transfers.  I may stay or I may go.  I have no idea!  I'll go wherever I am needed!  Have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall

P.S.:  I don't have any real pics of the week but the pic I'll send is one of a soda from here called Pony Malta.
Pony Malta soda

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

TAYRONA ROUND 2

September 22, 2015

El Parque Branch
Santa Marta District
Companion:  Elder Wooden

Hey guys! 

Sorry I didn't write yesterday.  We went to Parque Tayrona again!  Actually every 3 months the mission does a Tayrona trip for all of the missionaries that are leaving in the next 3 months and I oddly enough am one of them!  Since I've already been before they asked me to lead the trip!  It was pretty fun because I got to see a lot of my old friends!  Also, Elder Frost from good old Mesa came and went with us.  It was nice getting to chat and catch up on things. How coincidental is it that we are in the same mission?!

Another cool thing is that McDonalds is having a sweet 2 for 1 special!  All the sodas here are in bottles so sometimes you just walk by a store on the street and there are a ton of bottle caps.  We found some from the Coke bottles and if you find the right ones they give you a sweet deal.  We've been taking advantage of that lately.

As for investigators things went a little downhill this week.  We found some really neat people but no one has been progressing too much.  We are however, staying super positive. Actually we found a less active member the other week and her and her part member family are progressing a lot.  We have been passing by there a lot and they are beginning to read and say prayers as a family.  But we passed by on Sunday and they are now passing through some tough times family wise.  We are supporting them as much as we can and testifying with all of our hearts that the gospel really does help us.

I am learning and growing a lot!  A lot of my growth is internal.  A lot of it has come through my understanding of Christ and His Atonement.  I now know that he really can make us clean and can change us.  I trust Him when he tells us that!

Also looking forward to conference these next couple weeks!  Have a great week everyone!

Elder Crandall
Parque Tayrona

Beginning the walk on the trail

First view of the beach

Arriving at the first beach

Elder Crandall was here

With the wild monkeys

More wild monkeys

George of the Jungle!

Giant Ants carrying leaves

The last Beach, El Cabo

With my companion, Elder Wooden

Scenic view

With Elder Riquelme 

The Mesa Boys - Eder Frost & Elder Crandall

Selfie Smile!

Giant Crab that was bigger than my hand!

Elder Wooden and Elder Crandall

Cool rocks

Beautiful Beach

Giant Centipede - about 8 inches long!

Heading back on the trail

Beautiful clear, blue water

More wild monkeys

Monday, September 14, 2015

INDIGENOUS

September 14, 2015

El Parque Branch
Santa Marta District
Companion:  Elder Wooden

Well hey everyone!

Things are going great as usual.  The mission is teaching me a lot!  My companion coined a phrase this week:  "We are here not to change the area, but so that the area can change us."   Deep, haha.  This El Parque branch is known for being a tough area, but I like a challenge! I like being creative and thinking out of the box to get things done.  It's great!  We are actually having a lot of success!

One success story is with E***!  If you remember, she is the one that came to church this last week.  Earlier in the week her only daughter got really sick so E*** went to Cartagena to help take care of her grandkids.  She did, however, return Friday night.  We passed by and just by chance her birthday was Saturday.  She invited us to come and eat the next day on Saturday night.  She made a tasty potato salad by the way.  Anyway, I'm not sure I told you last week but she likes to drink alcohol.  So we were talking a little about that and she was kind of a little hesitant to the subject because she wanted to drink on her birthday.  We promised her a lot of blessings if she stopped drinking and she commited to come to church and everything.  But the next day on Sunday, she didn't come to church nor did she answer her phone!  It was weird so later in the day we passed by her house and she said she had been throwing up and was really sick because she decided to drink!  It was cool because it was then that she was able to see the direct promises and consequences!  So she is progressing a lot.

Another cool investigator that we have is L***.  Side note: her husband's last name means 100 fires (cienfuegos).  Anyway, she is Indigenous from the Sierra Nevadas right here in Santa Marta. These mountains are actually the tallest in all of Colombia and are home to a number of Indigenous tribes.  Her pueblo in the mountains is really far away.  You first take a bumpy car ride for 8 hours on a windy road and then when you can't go farther you have to walk or ride a horse for another 12 hours!  She also speaks another language and taught us a couple cool words.  For example, zayzay, means happy and nepaow is God.  She is a real self-driven person.  She grew up with the normal Indigenous beliefs and then converted to Christianity and helped some of her family change as well.  She then came down from her town in the mountains to live in Santa Marta and now runs a multinational business sale of authentic Indigenous handbags.  She actually travels to Canada and Europe to present and talk more about her culture.  It's way cool.  It's been fun teaching her.  The best part was giving her a Book of Mormon.  We were really able to testify that her ancestors had been part of this story.  It was like giving a diary of ancestors back to its owner.  A real seldom feeling.  The spirit was really strong in that lesson.  We will see where it all goes!

So we are doing real well.  Today we went to a boardwalk kind of a place and took some pics.  There were a lot of statues of the Indigenous people here.  Oh and next week we get to go to Tayrona park again!  That will be awesome!  Well anyway, have a great week everyone!
District Activity
Boats in the Bay

With one of the Indigenous statues

With another Indigenous statue
With Elder Wooden chillin' on the beach
Elder Crandall & Elder Wooden
With Elder Munoz wearing traditional hats of Indigenous people
On the Boardwalk

Elder Crandall

Monday, September 7, 2015

TOM CRUISE IN SANTA MARTA

September 7, 2015

El Parque Branch
Santa Marta District
Companion:  Elder Wooden

Hey guys!

Yes, the rumor is true, Tom Cruise was indeed here in Santa Marta this last week suposedly filming a movie about a famous Drug Lord or something like that.  We didn't get to see him, but everyone was talking about him!  That's the 411 for the week.

Other than that we had an pretty fine week.  We went to Barranquilla Wednesday and had a good training meeting.  Thursday we bought a cool little bonzai tree for the zone.  We made this cool example of how the tree will represent our growth and personal progress.  Everyone signed the plant´s pot and now it's in our house.  I'll include some pics.  It's pretty fun taking care of a tree!
Bonzai Tree
This week we found a new investigator named E---.  She turned 50 this year and is pretty funny.  She still likes to do young things like go swimming in the river and go out with her friends.  The coolest part is that she came to church Sunday!  Here in Santa Marta it's been pretty tough to get investigators to come to church so we were freaking out when she walked in.  She really enjoyed the hymns and the classes.  We then passed by her house and taught her a little more.  She is pretty excited to read the Book of Mormon and find out for herself if these things are true.

We haven't visited A--- this week because she wanted a little break.  It's a bummer because she was progressing so well.  She just got caught up in other things, but we are going to see if we can stop by this week to see how she is doing.

Well all is well here.  Today we went to the Quinto de San Pedro again, the place where Simon Bolivar died.  This time the museum was opened and we got to see the bed where he died and everything.  Simon Bolivar is like the George Washington of the northern part of South America.  Well I love and miss you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Crandall




Big Foot?
Elder Wooden & Elder Crandall
Elder Wooden & Elder Crandall


In the basement of the Simon Bolivar Museum
In the basement of the Simon Bolivar Museum