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Monday, December 29, 2014

Elder Crandall and Elder Hyde on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2014

There was a Santa sighting at the S's home.
Playing with an adorable little boy.
Apparently both Mom's had similar ideas for Christmas trees
their missionaries.  I'm so proud of them for not opening
their gifts early, but putting them under the tree.  One of the
missionaries in our home Stake opened all his presents
when they arrived 2 weeks before Christmas.  So sad.
Santa's Elves dressed up and ready to play.






Elder Hyde and Elder Crandall in their matching Onesie Ninja Turtle Jamies.
Both going crazy with the anticipation of Christmas morning.


Elder Hyde in their fort in his jamies.  Crazy Missionaries.



The traditional Christmas Eve fort found its way to Palmdale California. 
The Crandall children love to sleep in forts on Christmas Eve.



He can't wait any longer to open his presents.  Woooot.  Merry Christmas
Elder Crandall.  We sure do love you.

Christmas was DA BEST

This last week was soooo much fun.  We worked hard when we worked and we played hard when we played.  Since it was the week of Christmas we weren't able to meet with as many people because they were either out of town or busy... but we found some new investigators so that was pretty rewarding.

Family is everything.  I can't express how great it was to talk with you guys.  I know that the Lord is not only blessing me while I am on a mission but he is blessing you as well... and for that... I will always do my best... because I want the best for my family.  You are in my prayers daily.

We made the COOLEST fort you could imagine on Christmas eve... took me back to the good ole days.  That will definitely become a Crandall tradition when I am a daddy.

I realized once again how awesome the Ana Verde ward is.  They made sure we missionaries were taken care of and well fed.  The Soukups, Spencers, Giffords, Hendersons and Macfarlanes are practically family.

R*** K*** spent Christmas in the Hospital.  He got another issue on his other bum cheek.  We went and visited him.  He was very tender but it was apparent how much he appreciated us stopping by.  He is going to look dang good in the new ties we got him:)

I want you all to know that I know this is Jesus Christ Church because this is the only place that the FULL Gospel is taught and the full authority to teach it and administer the ordinances is found.  The book of mormon is the BEST book you could read if you want to develop a personal testimony of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ suffered for me personally and helps me daily to overcome my struggles and temptations.  Eventually through my relationship with the Savior I will be able to become like Heavenly Father and live with my Family for eternity. This life is a test... The Holy Ghost whispers the answers to us every minute of everyday as long as we are willing to listen and act.  Helping others to find the answers to this test is life changing.  When you teach someone about a subject you in return learn and grow.  Let's pass the test and help everyone we can to pass theirs as well!

John 13:8  If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.  

Let the Atonement work in your life.  Don't walk away from the cleansing power that comes through repentance.

Shout out to Nick Tracy.... Happy birthday!!! and Happy year mark!!! I will never forget the sleep overs at my house on Saturday nights so that we could get each other up and go to church! Thanks for being such a good example to me!

Shout out to my fee fi fo nana bo banna banana!  I love you. You make good shakes.  You can probably still do the splits... and for that I will forever be impressed.  Don't worry... be happy!

Monday, December 22, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I am super excited to talk to the FAM BAM!  Holy smokes.  I have also realized that I am a sucker for anticipation... so if for the rest of my mission someone just kept telling me I was gonna talk to my family in 4 days then I would stayed energetic and animated constantly!  

The Ana Verde ward feels like my family.  God couldn't have put me in a better place to adjust and feel loved than in this ward.  It's almost like God knows me perfectly or something;) haha.  I know everyone's name and what they like to do.  I never realized how easy it is to make someones day just by greeting them with their name and then asking them about their week.  One thing that was hard for me when I worked at my dad's clinic was small talk with old people.  I wanted to care about what they had to say... just never clicked... because rather than thinking about the needs of that person I would be thinking about what I was gonna do when I got off work.  I can't tell you how much that has changed!  I love small talk now!  Nothing makes me happier than to hear someone talk about something that makes them happy.  

"People are intensely interested in people who are intensely interested about them."

Take some time this Holiday season to sit down with someone and genuinely show them you care about them just by listening.  Charity is an attribute you have to develop... so if you want it to be a part of your character... then prove it! 

Joseph Coronel invited us over for dinner Saturday night.  We had a dinner planned but they ended up having to reschedule so we were able to go have dinner with him instead.  His son left to his mothers for the holidays so he was alone.  We had a great dinner as we shared our thoughts on repentance and forgiveness.  We didn't think much of it.  The next day in Elders quorum we had a lesson on the birth and life of the Savior.  Joseph shared how just the night before he felt completely alone.  He was torn between  traveling down to San Fernando to be with some old friends... but he knew if he went he would end up drinking and smoking.... or staying home.  He called us instead.  He was crying as he talked about all that the church has helped him to do and the change he has seen and felt.  He gave Elder Hyde and me a shout out for being his best friends and always showing up right when he needs us.  I had no clue our visit the night before had touched him so much.  He is trying soooo hard to leave his past behind... and it is evident every time we meet.  (He literally just called us and asked if we wanted to join him for dinner on Christmas.)  He is like a brother to me. I love him so much.  It is awesome to see your love for someone grow the more time you spend with them and the more spiritual experiences you have with them.  It's a cool thing to know you personally have been a blessing in someone else's life.  I can't imagine how connected Jesus feels to each one of us.

I am so grateful to be on a mission this Christmas.  As much as I wish I could spend it with my family.... I couldn't ask for a better way to spend it than by sharing the gospel to those who don't have it.

God Bless you..... Every one.

Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, December 15, 2014

4 Baptisms this past week. What a wonderful way to celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas





Of course we get another shot of Cody's food.  Food is a priority for him.



Crandall, K***, and the C***s

We had an awesome time this week.  We had one of our best teaching weeks we've ever had.  This ward has been doing such a great job at supporting us missionaries.  We were able to teach 9 lessons with members help... we normally only teach about 4 or 5 on a good week. 

Alright... Now time for the fun stuff.  So Elder Hyde and I promised each other that we would do ALL we could to help the K***'s and R** C*** be baptized this last Saturday... and oh boy that is a promise we kept... but it wasn't easy haha!  So brother K*** had a boil on his behind that was removed 2 or so weeks ago.  He has had a nurse come over every day since to change his bandage.  Well, she normally comes right around the time the baptism was being held... so he told her not to come that day... and instead... he asked us if we would bring him some Neosporin he could put on before he put on the water proof bandaid.  We got to his house and the first thing he said was... "I'm sorry Elders" we both looked at each other very confused and were expecting him to say something like... I can't make it to my baptism... but instead... he let us inside and handed us a big bag of rubber gloves.  In that moment we realized how real our promise to do all we could to help him be baptized was haha! So he layed on the couch while we changed his bandage for him! haha!  I pray that I never get a boil back there... cause that thing looked ridiculously painful! haha..

So after being scarred by looking at a little Asian mans bum....I was really excited to feel the spirit at the baptism! haha  We got there and helped everyone find their baptismal clothing... There were 4 people being baptized by 4 different people so it was pretty fun trying to figure out what clothing would fit.  R** C*** was baptized by Brother Bird (reminds me of dad and Uncle Greg... he is my favorite)  Elder Hyde baptized P** K**.  I baptized R** K***.  L*** L** baptized his wife K*** L*** (really awesome because he was less active for a LONG time and saw the Elders on the side of the road... told them to come by... and 2 months later he was worthy and ready to baptize his wife).  I don't know if you could tell by their name... but the L**'s are Tongan... so their WHOLE family came.  We ended up having the baptismal service in the chapel.  I seriously love the glow on a newly baptized person.  They are always bright and smiley!  After the baptism... we had a luau in the relief society room.  I was in heaven.  I love food!!  The baptism couldn't have been any more perfect than it was.

Later that same night was our ward's Christmas party.  It reminded me of B-27's Christmas party.  All of our newly baptized friends came and had a blast.  2 mega feasts in one day! WOOT!  We sang a Christmas carol with the bishop and his wife as part of their Christmas tradition.  We are also going caroling with them tonight with some non-members... I'm stoked!

Church was awesome this week. Everyone was confirmed and I was given the opportunity to do P***'s confirmation.  I just followed the whisperings of the Spirit and it was a great experience for both her and me. 

Later day we went and helped sister Mc*** make carmel popcorn... and then we went over to the C***'s for a bbq.  It was R** C***'s birthday on Sunday and he received the best gift he ever could, a new best friend... the Holy Ghost. He looked happier than I have ever seen him and I asked him how he felt now that he had the Holy Ghost.  He said "I am so much happier and I don't even know why!"  I Love the C***'s soooooo much.  J** was definitely one of my homies in the pre-earth life.  Guess what... he and I both thought I would be leaving... so he gave me a snowboard!!! haha!  So now I have a snowboard that I have to figure out how to get home!  One of the best days I've had on my mission for sure.

That night we got transfer calls... It was a 50-50 chance that I would be transferred.... When we found out  we were both staying.... Elder Hyde and I both yelped out a girlish scream! (maybe just me.... but I was so loud that he might have too haha).  I am so pumped to be with him for another transfer!  We have not had a single day that we didn't laugh hard and work hard.  I get to stay with my home ward for Christmas and it is going to be a blast! 

I could just keep going with all the awesome things that happened this week... but I'll call it quits and send you pictures instead! I love you all!

Shout out to Jen... Glad you are alive.  That car reck looked pretty intense.  You seem to be car accident prone... just glad you didn't bump your head this time.  I love you and I am so grateful you are MY sister!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Elder Crandall saw a tank driving down the street in Palmdale.  I'm not sure if it was because of the rains they had
or what the reason was, but it was significant enough that it is the only picture we got this week.  Enjoy.  :)

BUSY WEEK

I was sooo nervous and stressed going into this past week.  We had a leadership meeting Wednesday, a meeting with the Stake President on Thursday, a Zone Training Meeting on Friday, and our last exchange with a District Leader.  Just thinking about what was coming scared me out of bed every morning so I would get to work.  With all of this going on.... we had one of our best proselyting weeks.  God is so awesome.  If he wants something done... he will help you to find a way to accomplish it... every time!  We have 3 baptisms this coming Saturday that I can't stop smiling about every time it comes to mind.  They have all come a long way and are changing every time we meet with them.

On exchanges Elder Hyde and I have really wanted to be able to show our missionaries that miracles are real and that they can happen everyday.  I prayed real hard that I would be able to find a new investigator and set them with a date.  Well, because of weird circumstances... we only had 3 hours to proselyte and all three hours we had set lessons.... so I was curious to how it was going to happen.  Well, if you pray for something that is good and in agreeance with God's will... then prepare yourself... cause He is gonna help you out with it!  We had  30 minutes before we needed to be home and we went to one of our planned appointments.  The guy we were hoping to see wasn't there so we talked to his brother... Taught him the restoration... and set him with a date! BOOM!  Knock and Daniel will open unto you... Ask and he will receive the baptismal date of Jan. 24 haha

The Christmas Devotional was incredible.  It was almost like Heavenly Father's treat for me at the end of the week.  "Elder Crandall.... just sit back.... I'm about to explode your insides with the amazing feelings of the spirit."  Probably word for word what Heavenly Father wanted to say to me right before I watched it.  I am just a sucker for stories like the one Elder Christofferson shared.  It is good to hear about people going the extra mile to make memories that will last an eternity.

Well, after that.... I thought I had felt the Spirit to the brim for the night.... but apparently Heavenly Father likes to stretch our souls sometimes and cram all the happy feelings He can inside.  We went to the Kangs house... (Pauline and Robert are being baptized this Saturday).... and watched the Restoration video with them.  Pauline is easily distracted and so we really wanted her to have a powerful spiritual experience before she was baptized.  I told her to really focus on the feelings she felt as we watched the movie.  She didn't move once from her seat or look at her phone.  She was glued to the T.V..  Afterwards, we asked her what she felt... and she explained the exact feelings I felt in that moment.  It was a cool experience for me too because I felt the Spirit in a different way than I have before... yet we both had the exact same feeling.  We pointed out to her that that is how God speaks to us.  She was so excited to be feeling God's love.  We promised her that she will have that feeling constantly once she is baptized and receives the Holy Ghost.  Awesome Sunday.

Shout out to Jesus Christ.  Thank you for being the perfect gift.  Thank you for continuously giving your love and support.  I love you Brother.
 
Love,
Elder Crandall

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Pictures with 3 families Cody adores. Thanks for making his day so awesome.




Thanksgiving Hangover

Lot's of fun things happened this week including thanksgiving, and a couple of exchanges.  I guess I'll start with exchanges.  The first exchange we went on was with the District leader in the Palmdale 4th ward and his 2 companions.  Elder Hyde went with the District leader and I went with both of his companions.  They just changed the way that exchanges are done so now all of the Elders work in one area... the leaders area.  So we had 5 missionaries in my area on Tuesday.  Which also means we had 5 elders in an apartment for the night with only 2 beds and a lot of candy and soda.  Anyways, both the Elders I was with go home in less than 2 months.  I have noticed that missionaries either go out with a bang.... or they crawl to the finish line.  I hate to say it... but both these Elders have just been enjoying the ride on the back of their District leader companions coat tails.  It was a really hard exchange to be on because neither of them were that motivated to fulfill our purpose as missionaries.  That didn't slow me down though.  I made sure that I would stay positive and excited the whole day... Oh boy did I do it.... but oh my heavens it sure wiped me out for the next couple of days haha.  In our companionship study on the exchange we were talking about how we feel about what we have accomplished on our missions.  They both were really deep in thought and expressed some really tender and regretful feelings.  I WILL not have any regrets from my mission... because I will do all I can NOW.  If we want to avoid problems in the future... then we do what we can to align our will with God's will today. Or in other words... we don't procrastinate the day of our repentance.  I invite any missionary or any person who is thinking about going on a mission to read "The Fourth Missionary"  My brother sent it to me... and it made me realize what it takes to be the best missionary I can be... sacrifice.  Sacrifice what I want for what God wants.

The other Exchange we went on was with the assistants.  So it was a much different experience than the first.  I learned a lot and felt the spirit.  In both of the exchanges we had blown through our plans much much quicker than we thought we would... but miracles were apparent with the assistants because we were optimistic about the work even if it was simply knocking on doors or street contacting.

Thanksgiving was awesome.  We started off the day in the best way possible.  We played football with 30+ members at the park and it was a riot.  We played on the nice wet dew and everyone except me had cleats... so I think I won the award for most times on the ground.  I hustled my hardest and my dad would be "so proud of me" if he was there.  After that we had to plan for the coming week which was overwhelming because this next week we will have lots of meetings and then have to do a lot of trainings for the missionaries in our zone.  Back to the good stuff. Then we went to a thanksgiving feast that my bishop and his wife put together for anyone in the ward who didn't have family to spend it with.  6 of my investigators showed up for it and it was so great.  I have never seen them so happy and so thankful.  Bishop Mcfarlane is the best bishop ever.  He truly lives a "number one christian life"  I want to be like him when I grow up.  After this we went to the So***'s and had some more delicious food and got to play with their kids for a bit!  We played dark tag... it was a blast.  I love that family so much!

We had a couple of baptisms planned for this weekend... but they weren't able to come to church this week so that was a bummer. However, we might just have a big baptism the following week! Pray for the Ka***'s and the Co***'s.  They are so close they just need a little heavenly push!!

Shout out to my Sister! I love you and I am so proud that you are smart!  Can't believe you are graduating this week! WOOT! I would love to have a elementary teacher like you!

Check out the He is the gift video... super great.

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal