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Monday, February 23, 2015

Ceremonial shirt burning after 1 year of service.  Isn't this little boy adorable holding on to Elder Crandall.
My dramatic missionary gets excited about everything.
Including burning his shirt for his 1 year mark.
This is Elder Johnson.  His Aunt and Uncle
are our neighbors.  He is from Texas.  So fun
for them to become friends in the same mission.
Cody and his buddy burning Cody's shirt to celebrate
being a missionary for 1 full year.
I'm not sure why he always sends so
many pictures of food.  He loves to eat.

I believe this is Corn on the Cob.

View outside the Palmdale apartment.

It's Raining. It's Pouring. And work in Palmdale is far from Snoring

We have been seeing miracles and I love it.  Heavenly Father is so good.

I have still been feeling under the weather, but I have said a lot of prayers for strength and energy this week that felt as if they were immediately answered.  One second I was falling asleep in the middle of planning, the next second we were knocking doors getting attacked by a vicious dog.  Nothing wakes you up more than when your life flashes before your eyes! haha Elder Burke and I about collapsed from laughing so hard once we were out of danger haha!  Be careful for what you pray for sometimes;)

We have been doing a lot of things with my recent convert Tray lately.  She is so pumped about the Gospel!  It was her Birthday this last week and I was happy she invited us to come and celebrate with her.  She is so stoked about sharing the Gospel with her friends and with living the commandments to the fullest.  She joined us in 2 lessons this week in which her testimony was so stellar and really invited the spirit.  No doubt I was ment to come and teach Tray in this area.  I know that we are gonna be life long friends!

One of the times I felt the spirit the strongest this week was in a lesson we had with a family we have been teaching a lot lately.  We were discussing how when you feel the spirit it is so vital that you act on what it is telling you.  I shared an experience that I had in High school that I haven't shared with many people.  I went to a special needs mutual for a year and I was paired with a buddy named Kam Wilhite.  It was the first time I had really spent any time one on one with someone with special needs.  After about 4 or 5 times going I had a huge revelatory experience that I owe to all of the special needs people there.  I felt the spirit so strongly while we were doing an activity and it pointed out to me a specific thing that I need to repent of.  I had denied that prompting many times in the past but this time it was different.  I looked around at all the special needs people that I had come to know and love and I realized that they were all going to the celestial kingdom.... but I on the other hand was not doing things that would lead me in that direction.  I decided right then and there to act on the prompting I had and I changed what I needed to change in my life.  That was one of the times I felt soooo close to my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and his choicest spirits (special needs).  I shared that experience with them and the exact same feeling of peace, love, and warmth were ever present in the room with us.  God does speak to us... but what good is that if we don't listen.  

Also, that same family is working on getting married... and when we talked to them about it the first time they weren't too set on it.  The very next time we saw them before we could even sit down they told us they had picked out a date to get married on and already bought a wedding dress!!! Not to mention they want to make it a double wedding with our other investigator family! Sounds like I am going to have more wedding dates than baptismal dates for a little bit! haha.  They all came to church this week and loved it.  They are probably going to get married at our church which will give the ward a great opportunity to do missionary work and get very involved with the family! Woot!

Shout out to the missionary with the same name as me! Elder Crandall (papa bear) I love you. I am grateful to be part of your posterity.  We are so lucky to have the plan of salvation.  I can't wait to live with our awesome family for eternity!

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

This is Elder Barrick.  He is the other missionary who was evacuated from Sierra Leone and was reassigned to the California Bakersfield mission in August of 2015.  They are both serving in Palmdale together now and are very excited to be back together again.   They both served well in Sierra Leone and are also giving their all in their new mission in California.

Elder Crandall was doing
service by chopping wood.
These two pictures show Elder Crandall and Elder Burke outside a home. 
They are obeying the rules that they are not to go inside a home where there
isn't another 16 or older male in the home.  They pull the table up to the door,
and the Elders stay outside while the family is inside the home.

The view from outside the house.  Awesome missionaries.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Perfect Palmdale

Fun week this week but it was also the first week on my mission that I was sick.  We were able to do some tracting this week which we didn't have any time for last week.  Something we are training our missionaries on is the importance of contacting people with love.  It is soooo easy to go up to people and say "We are the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints and we are here today sharing a message about Jesus Christ" and it is even easier for them to say no right after that.  My favorite contact of the week.... I talked to a guy about wakeboarding and skate boarding for about 15 minutes.  When we first went up to him he looked as if he wanted to hide (which happens often haha) and after "loosening him up" we compared the fun of temporal things to the joy of spiritual things.  He wants nothing more than to be with his daughter for eternity and now that we are going to start teaching him he will get to learn how.  I love making someone smile.  You feel good... and they feel good.  I also love the surprised look when you talk to people and they realize you are normal and cool.  You just have to learn how to let people feel comfortable with you so they feel comfortable listening to your message.

I went on exchange with the Assistants on Friday.  I went with Elder Haubner and Elder Burke went with Elder Hyde.  It is always so great to see Elder Hyde.... He is like a brother.  We saw some miracles and I know it is directly related to the faith we had while we were out and about.  I got sick that night so to stay as effective as possible that next morning I drove with Elder Hyde all over the Antelope Valley and Elder Haubner went and chopped wood for Bishop.  It is not often I like to share Bishop with other people cause he is so awesome... but Elder Haubner is one of the few.  Later that day I didn't want to just take a nap at the apartment even though I really needed it... but pushing myself helped us find 2 new investigators!! So worth it.  I can sleep when I die... or on P day today haha.

We taught an awesome Restoration lesson to a lady named Rosario.  We had stopped by her house looking for her nephew who we had talked with a couple of times.  It was on a street called Carolside.  I have walked that street so much and taught so many people on that street but nothing has come of it yet.  Well, God puts you in places for a reason and you better figure it out before you just give up.  Well, I gave one of the weirdest commitments to Rosario when I met her.  She said she recently watched a video about mormon missionaries in Africa (made me chuckle a little bit) and she loved it.  I invited her to look up "Prophet of the Restoration" and watch it.  We got a call from her 2 days later and she had watched it twice... once in English and once in Spanish.  She explained the feeling she felt as she watched both the missionary movie and the restoration.  She said it was a feeling she never felt all the years she has been going to the Catholic church.  She asked if we could meet 2 to 3 times a week and in a quiet place.  Well, she speaks English very well but I had a feeling that she would enjoy the Spanish branch more... It took a lot of faith... but we referred her to them.  I know that when you do good things for others... good things will happen for you.  I care that people are baptized... not that I am the one baptizing them.  It felt good passing over one of the most Golden investigators I have ever found.

I wish I had more time to tell you about other things in my week but I am being rushed for time. I love you all! 

Shout out to my Nana Banana!  You are so strong in the Gospel and I love your incredible example.  Thanks for letting me get gumballs at your house when you would baby sit me! haha

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Salone bor bor's (bobo's) together at last!! (He is referring to Elder Barrick, whom he served with in Sierra Leone.  They are now in the same Zone in Palmdale.)

Monday, February 9, 2015

This is the Zone that Cody belongs to.  President and Sister Wilson are in the middle of the picture.

These are the missionaries who made his party happen.
Elder Hyde and Sister Mataipule and Sister Fuatia
They did the decorating and cooking. 
Thanks Sisters and Elder Hyde.  Well done!!!

Even though they are missionaries,
they still love to climb in the trees.

Hump Ditty Dump Day!

I had such a fun week.  My new companion Elder Burke and I ran off ice breaker mints the whole week because we never had time to sit down for lunch or dinner! (wish I was joking hahaha)  Don't you worry though.... we went to the mexican market this morning and loaded up on all kinds of crazy meats and tortilla's! 

We had mission leadership council this week with our area 70 Elder Garnes.   He talked about smiling.  There are so many positive things that come from smiling and it is the most simple thing to do.  You never know who's day you can make just by smiling at them.  The missionary in me is about to come out.... "Will you smile at one person a day this week?" hopeful answer: yes..."I promise you that you will make a new friend or help answer someone's prayer." haha

We also had a Zone Training Meeting.  Elder Burke and I felt very strongly about focusing on enjoying your mission and how you can better work with members.  We asked Sister Jacobs (one of our STL's (STL stands for Sister Trainer Leaders) that just finished training) to give a talk on being enthusiastic.  She is from the south... so you know it was the best talk I have ever heard.  She talked about how one night she came across one of her recent converts drunk.  She started to pray that she could talk to this man in a state he would understand and not be completely drunk.  That instant he started throwing up nonstop.  Her response to that" MMMHMMM that's right!"  She said when she felt lower than low staying positive and taking her problem immediately to God it all worked out.  Another quote that just kept me laughing was, "Ammon was so enthusiastic he passed out!!!! Several Times!" haha Oh I wish you could have been there to hear it.  She is going to be an incredible leader and inspirererer(don't know how that's spelled ha!) for this mission!  Elder Boy also gave a talk about enjoying your mission.  He talked about how if you repent and don't fight the change, then you will love every minute.  When we try and hold on to disobedience, girlfriends, whatever it be, then we can't fully immerse in the mission.  I loved it.  The spirit was soooo strong for the whole meeting.  Also, a miracle that happened.... last month Elder Hyde and I were really emphasizing achievable goals that will help you stretch.  We set some tough but achievable goals as a zone and we were 3 short for people at church for the month.... AND... We hit our goal right on the money for member presents! So awesome.

Regardless of all the craziness going on.  My own personal goal this week was to make sure we had a member at our new investigators house and that the member did the inviting to church.  We did just that and we had 5 new people come to church!! Oh my goodness I can't tell you how excited I was.  I have been trying soooo hard for so long to get some new people to church and the answer was so simple!  Brother Williams is one of the coolest members I have met.  He is a convert so his contributions in lessons are always stellar.  He picked them up for church and gave a talk with his family in sacrament.  His non member dad was there and as he spoke about the Plan of Salvation you could just see how hard the spirit was hitting him and how much he wanted his father to feel the same thing.  I love Brother Williams.

I am so thankful for all that I have.  I would not give my spiritual experiences for anything.  I love recognizing divine help and I love when others recognize divine help.  I've heard a lot about agency in the past week.  How lucky are we that we can choose whatever we want.  We get to choose our consequence... by making that first choice.  I love the comparison of this life being a 4 minute bobsled race.  We trained for an eternity before we came to this earth... we make the choice while we are here to stay in the bobsled and endure or to jump out and lose everything. By reading your scriptures and praying daily you are practically duct taping yourself up so there is no way you could even think about hopping outside of that bobsled haha!

I love you much! 

Shout out to Both my uncs. Happy birthday this week to Uncle Greg and Uncle Rob!  I am sure lucky to have your examples!

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cody's Birthday Party.  I think he still likes hats and horns
and to just play and have fun.

CafĂ© Rio Pork Burrito.  Delivered by Sister Gifford
who was up visiting in Pleasant Grove in January.
Thank you Sister Gifford for helping make his birthday special.
You can tell that Sierra Leone is still very special to him,
as he had to plan ahead to take this picture.
Sierra Leone is still in all of our hearts.
You can see the happiness in his eyes and smile.
Some of the missionaries from the Palmdale area
at Devil's Punch Bowl park hiking on 1/26/2015.

Devil's Punch Bowl on his birthday, 1/26/2015.
20 years old today.

Devil's Punch Bowl with Elder Hyde

Elder Crandall letting out some energy and being his normal
crazy self.  Glad he had so much fun on his birthday.

These are the missionaries in the Ana Verde Ward 01 26 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week Before Transfers is Always Crazy!

Well it has been such a great transfer.  You never know what is going to happen or where you are gonna go, but Heavenly Father is well aware of where we need to be and when we need to be there.  Apparently there is more work that I need to accomplish in the Ana Verde ward.  I am glad I am not leaving yet... because when I do leave... it is gonna feel like saying goodbye to my family.

I love Elder Hyde so much... and apparently so does President Wilson because he stole him right out from under me and he is now an assistant.  I am so excited for him because he has so many great ideas and inspires me so much.  I know he will be a great leader and will help lift this mission to its potential.

My new companion will be Elder Burke. I don't know anything about him other than that he has been out for 6 months.  I am gonna work him hard... but hopefully he works me harder.

There were a lot of ups and downs this week as far as investigators go.  We finally got a new investigator to church and she loved it!  I love seeing someone show their faith by coming to church.  There is no better place to be on Sunday than in the Lord's hospital.

This next week is going to be very busy with transfers, missionary leadership council, stake president meeting, finding, teaching, and baptizing.  I love being busy but I love not having the distractions of the world.  I was writing back and forth with my #1 chiner warren and he helped me realize the blessing of being in the world but not of the world.  Don't forget to stop and talk with God.  He is the only reason we are here and he should be the only think we are focused on.

My birthday was awesome.  Thanks again for all of the love and emails that I received.

I will be coming up on 1 year in the mission this Friday.  I don't know what I am going to do in a year from now... President Wilson is gonna have to drag me on to that airplane because I love being a missionary.  I know there is a lot I still need to learn and a lot I can do for others.

Love your Elder Crandall the vandal