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Monday, July 7, 2014

Oh boy....what an adventure!!!

This week was so sweet and one of the craziest things happened that you are not even going to believe!  Mom... if you don't want to worry then don't read the next part of my email ya? haha  For those of you who want to know what the culture is like here in Sierra leone... continue reading haha
So it was just a normal night at our apartment with 7 elders.  We all went to bed doing the same old thing.  I am a pretty deep sleeper for those of you who know me so I generally can sleep through almost anything.  Well at around like 3:30  I knocked my alarm clock that I put right by my pillow off my bed.  It woke me right up.. I was fumbling in the dark for it and finally found it.  As I was laying there trying to fall back asleep I had a really weird feeling. I heard a loud bang from the front of the apartment... I knew something wasn't right but I was still so tired I didn't think much of it.  I said a prayer to make the feeling go away and I listened to what the spirit was trying to tell me.  I continued to lay there just thinking.  about 2 minutes later I heard one of the other Elders in a very panicked voice calling us to get out of bed.  He rushed into our room and said one word... TEEFS! (Thieves)  Oh man I just flew out of bed and rushed to the front of the apartment.  There was a stick wedged in between our front door being used as a crowbar!  We grabbed some sierra leone machettes called cutlasses and tried to get out the front door but the stick was wedged in sooo hard that we couldn't even open the door!  We went out our back door and rushed to the front.  The gate was wide open and some of the barbed wire on our wall was bent and pushed down.  They apparently have a key to our very generic lock we put on the outside gate.  The only thing that kept the door from opening is this little slide lock that we have on the inside.  I am seriously amazed they didn't get inside.  We did the less smart thing probably and went outside our gate to chase anyone we saw down.  We weren't able to find anyone but oh man my heart was pumping!  It was so fun!! I miss getting adrenaline rushes like I use to!  A rush of the spirit is far better but it was still pretty fun!  When the first elder got up he went and checked the front.. They had taken out our front light bulb and set it on the ground so they could work in the dark.  He said he saw a flashlight and at least 3 or 4 guys!  When he flipped on the light and we rushed into the front room they took off!  The coolest thing about the whole experience for me was how safe and secure I felt.... even though I had adrenaline pumping through me... I was never scared.  I know the Lord was watching over all of us.  I know that if they had gotten inside... we would have been ok.  However, the Lord blessed us by using that tiny slide lock that I have often laughed at myself in the past when I use it.  God would never let anything happen to us that wasn't suppose to happen.  

It was pretty hard to fall asleep after such a rush but I finally managed to get like 5 hours of sleep!  We were all pretty tired the rest of the day and some of the other elders were pretty on edge.  A lot of other drama happened later that morning with our neighbor who we saw when we were trying to find the teefs.  It made me realize that no matter what the situation... no matter the time... Missionaries need to act like missionaries... We are representatives of Jesus Christ so what we do should portray what Christ would do in a situation.  Then it made me think even deeper.  As members... we have all taken the name of Christ upon us... everyday we need to be able to look back and feel content with our actions of the day.  Lots of people are converted through the example of others... Whether we like it or not.. people will watch us everywhere we go.  We can choose to be good examples.. or we can end up being bad examples.  I am so grateful for all the amazing examples I have in my life.  I truly try and model my life after people like my dad.  He is one of the best examples to me and to my friends.  All fathers should be that kind of example to their children and I pray that one day I will be.
Alright... time to lighten the mood a little.  The funniest part about this whole story and culture... in the morning we found my companions shorts that were hanging up to dry on the ground.  he picked them up and made a hilarious face... There were massive brown streaks all over his shorts!!  We searched a little bit and found some African droppings on our front driveway!! hahaha!  I about died of laughter when I realized what happened!!  Apparently it is semi-normal for teefs in africa to leave a surprise behind! ahhhh!!! My companion didn't think it was too funny cause it was his shorts that had feces all over them but my true laugh definitely came out!  I kinda want to find the teefs and just give them a pat on the back for making me laugh so hard! hahaha

There are weird things that happen everyday here.  I am so happy for the uniqueness of my mission!  No matter what happens in life... whether some one wipes with your shorts or maybe an investigator doesn't come to church.  Push on with hope and trust that the Atonement will wash EVERYTHING clean! ;) I love my Heavenly father and his plan more than I could ever express in an email.  Keep on keeping on!

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal! 

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