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Monday, April 27, 2015

Baptism of a beautiful young lady surrounded by her family.

Cody with the other AP's.  The one in the middle is the AP whom
Cody replaced 6 weeks ago.
Elder Matheny and Elder Crandall

Mucho Miracles

I wish I could make some of these days slow down sometimes so I remember all of the little details.  This week was like a rocket.... super fast and on fire! haha  

C** V** was baptized on Saturday!  Her whole family came out and supported her! All of her siblings were coming up asking if they could be baptized too... so I guess we'll baptized em;)  She is such an awesome young lady.  It is amazing what happens to a family when one person acts upon the feelings that come from the Spirit.  C** got a temple recommend this Sunday and will be going down to L.A. this weekend to do baptism for the dead with all of the youth in the ward.  I will undergo any amount of stress or pain to see someone choose to accept the gospel for themselves and develop a personal relationship with God.  I was able to confirm her on Sunday as well as pass the sacrament, and give a talk.  There was so much on my plate that I didn't have even a second to worry haha!  Staying busy=Happy Elder Crandall

We made an investigator $35 today... we commited her to live the Word of Wisdom... So we were able to take back her unopened coffee, and coffee maker for her! She's had it for a month or so and said she didn't really know why she hadn't opened it yet... but sounds like the spirit sure whispered something to her:)  If you set your mind to doing something... then with the Lord's help you can do it!
 
Another Story of the same investigator... She made 2 manda's... which are promises in the mexican culture.  She promised herself that she would never smoke again... and later.... that she would never drink again.  Both of which she has kept her promises.  It is just cool to me how God prepares people to hear and live the Gospel. 

I was able attend the temple this Friday! We take the departing missionaries every transfer.  I am not a big fan of driving in traffic... however, I am a big fan of the Celestial room.  That place is the closest thing to Heaven.  Wow it feels good.

There is going to be quite a bit of chaos coming up tomorrow with transfers. It isn't as fun anymore when transfers come around... I already know all the secrets. ha

Shout out to Haley Babe! Well done thou good and faithful servant.  I hope to be half the missionary that you have been.  You've put a lot of heart, tears, and tough work into your mission. I love you! One day we are going to be leading a whole host of heaven at DANCE TIME! haha

Love Elder Crandall

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#GetSheaves

It has been another wonderfully busy week with a lot of exchanges and a lot of teaching.  We found and taught more investigators this past week than I have any other week in Bakersfield so far.  Our main focus for this last while has been to expect miracles and wowsers.... we've seen a lot.  I just finished my 24 hour fast for missionary work and I am breaking it with candy... so bear with me if this email is scatter brained! haha

There was a zone that has been struggling this past little bit so we scheduled a little zone meeting to talk with them and get them pumped up.  It is so easy to become casual with the work and fall into repetitive habits that don't require real faith.  Real faith is so interesting. I could study it for years and years and learn more and more about it.  Anyways, as we talked with this zone we very quickly realized that they were simply going through the motions.  We need to have conversations with God and figure out the specifics of how we should work in a certain area.  If your mission is feeling dull or lame... then my heavens you need to switch it up!! With faith comes creativity.  One of the funnest things is to pray for something to happen... and then to see it happen!  If you want to get pumped up... then go out... put your faith to the test... and experience a miracle!! We've received several texts from that zone since... they are already tripling what they were doing before and have seen many miracles!

C** V** should be getting baptized this coming Saturday!  We are really excited for her and have seen tons of progress since we first started meeting with her.  She is 15 and is the leader in her family.  Her faith reminds me of my mom's.  It is not easy to take steps into the darkness without your family taking those steps with you... but once she has walked the path she will be able to bring her family with her.  

We just recently started teaching this guy named A***.  He is an ex Navy seal.  We have only taught him one lesson... but he came to church and felt the Spirit like no tomorrow!  He has had some rough couple weeks... but you could see him glowing all day today at church.  Sometimes we can't describe why we are happier when we live the gospel or go to church... but we just are!  

I found out that the family that I was teaching down in Palmdale go married on Saturday and that they are going to be baptized this coming Saturday!  Woot!!!  It is so cool how you really do develop a love for the people you teach!  When you have a spiritual experience with some one they become like family!

There is a missionary right now with some interesting circumstances at home and is going through a hard time.  We decided to read the Book of Mormon with him in 1 month. I have already been reading like crazy and I have caught so many more things that I never did before.  No matter how many times you read the Book of Mormon... you will always feel the Spirit and strengthen your testimony in Jesus Christ.  It is so much more helpful when you read it because you want to... than because you are told to.

I have felt the Spirit many times this week as I have born my testimony.  Whenever I share what I know to be true the most overwhelming feeling comes over me.  It is so amazing to feel the Holy Ghost.

I stumbled across these versus in one of my scripture study which explains very simply and beauitfully some of our basic beliefs in the church.

Romans 10:13-15,17
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? 
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Shout out to Gracie and Milo! I love both of you so much! I've got the cutest niece and nephew ever!

Love Uncle Cody Crandall the Vandal

Monday, April 13, 2015

He said he is half smiling and half struggling to keep the sign up as it was beginning to fall.
This is the greatest birthday present he could have sent his mom. 

Seeiing with Heavenly Glasses!

My mission has definitely been different this past month than it has been the entire time.  I feel like a parent wanting, wishing, and praying that my children will all do their very best and be successful.  I am learning to develop a greater love for the missionaries and cheer for them in whatever circumstance they are in.  We all want everyone to be perfect... especially ourselves.  We must learn to look at others in the way that God looks at them.  One of my assistants in Sierra Leone told me that every time he would ride on a taxi motorcycle he would look at every single person... smile... and in his mind say to himself "He/She is a child of God."  I was behind him one time on one of these occasions... and he would really do it.  He was such a good example to me that everyone needs to feel loved in their situation.  When you look at people through Heavenly glasses, you see their potential.  They can become a God.  That is no hocos pocos, greek mythology stuff... that is part of Jesus Christ's Gospel.

I found that I expect a lot of myself.  I am definitely a perfectionist.  I really want to be my best self 24/7 but I can't be.  We are mortal and are given weakness's for a reason.  If we didn't fall short sometimes then we wouldn't rely on Jesus Christ's Atonement to make us better.  I was pretty wiped out at the beginning of the week and felt guilty for it.  If we are a broken tool then Heavenly Father can't use us.  

We finally got our investigators to church this week! We had to bang on their bedroom window to wake them up but they came haha!  They even brought some cousins!

Our exchanges this week went really well. I was with an Elder and we didn't have the van.. so we were on foot the whole day! We pretty much got lost in the neighborhoods...but we were following the spirit and found 3 new investigators.  At one point we had no clue where to go so we found ourselves a little corner... said a prayer.. listened for the spirit... next door we knocked we taught a lesson and had a new investigator! I love when stuff like that happens cause it sure isn't a coincidence!

Something I really love doing is saying vocal personal prayers.  I like to call them closet prayers.  I was feeling really burden down and wiped out yesterday so I decided to unload all of my concerns on my Heavenly Father and ask him for guidance.  As I said the prayer my mind was opened and I really felt so connected with Heavenly Father. As I would ask for something... a simple answer would appear in my mind.  I felt the spirit really powerfully and I know that Heavenly Father was listening intently to my prayer.  I felt so relieved and energized! 

This coming sunday our mission is going to do a Fast for missionary work.  Almost all of the stakes are on board and will be praying along side the missionaries to have 75 baptisms in the month of June.  I can't wait to be a part of the miracles that are going to happen in this mission in the coming months!  This week alone we found 180 new investigators... we normally find around 100!

D&C 75:5 And thus, if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life.

Our new mottos for the mission is #GETSHEAVES 

Shout out to my mom. I love you way to much. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father would send me to you and Dad. You are such a great example.  Happy Birthday! 

Shout out to my mom look a like... Aunt Bets! Happy Birthday this week as well! You are so wonderful and sweet to everyone!  

I have the best family:)

Elder Crandall the Vandal

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Elder M and Elder Crandall preparing for Leadership Training


Leadership Training and General Conference

This has been such a fun week.  So much has happened that I don't know what I'll have time to tell you.  

So this week we had our Mission Leadership Council.  Basically all of the zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet together and we discuss problems and set goals.  Well, I had been to 3 of these before as a zone leader, but this was my first time being in charge of it.  We made some pretty big changes to the format and really wanted everyone to participate and be involved.  The 4 of us Assistants have really been praying and asking Heavenly Father what our mission needs.  Before we got into our training President Wilson lead all of us in a kneeling prayer that was so powerful and motivating.  We decided that we needed to set a mission goal of how many baptisms we could have in the month of June.  We opened it up for discussion and really set the stage with some powerful scriptures talking about the miracles that can happen when everyone is unified.  We set a goal of 75 baptisms in the month of June.  That is something this mission has never seen.  We all got on our knees as a council once again and had the Spirit confirm to us through prayer that this goal was what Heavenly Father wanted us to work towards.  I cannot explain the incredible feeling that I felt and the excitement to help as many people as possible.  I don't want to coast through my mission without seeing real miracles.  The California Bakersfield Mission is changing.  We aren't here to stay the same... but to see miraculous changes due to our Faith in Jesus Christ.  I was nervous to give the training but my prayers were answered and the spirit took over and helped me to be confident.

Friday we went on exchange with the zone leaders in West Bakersfield.  I have always loved exchanges... but they are even better now.  Our focus has been to expect miracles and find the Elect.  When we go out with real faith.... we come back wiped out having seen some real success.  We literally spent the entire exchange teaching!  There wasn't a single minute where we were wandering and wondering. I love the feeling of being in the right place at the right time.  We taught this guy named Freddy who is really really smart.  We taught him about the Plan of Salvation.  He wanted to know why good people wouldn't be able to go to heaven because they haven't heard of Jesus Christ.... Actually, the person he was worried about was Ghandi haha.  We taught him and what do you know... it just made sense.  God is a loving and fair God.  We might not all have the same opportunities in this life... but thank goodness this life isn't the end:)

I loved General Conference.  I had some pretty specific questions that I wrote down before it started and I got some pretty specific answers.  I really really loved Brent H Nielson's talk.  It was so personal and what I needed to hear.  

Jeffrey Holland is and always will be THE MAN!  The story of the 2 boys climbing hit very close to home.  I have had the feeling of falling.  I've been in situations while skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking that gave me the same empty and ugly feeling that I might be going down.  I've also had times in my life where I felt like I was falling spiritually.  The Savior really will wait in silence until we reach out to him... the very instant that we feel helpless or like we are falling He will grab us and pull us to safety.  

Dieter F. Uchtdorf is very inspired.  He talked about how the desire to impress can become deceitful when taken to extremes.  It is always better to inspire than to show off.  The condition of our heart is more important than any kind of statistical measurement we can try and gauge from.

"Saint: A sinner who keeps on trying.  If we don't try... we are just latter day sinners." -Dale Renlund

 Shout out to my boy Blaize! Happy Birthday on April 6!! I couldn't be happier for you and what you are doing!!