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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Faith is Fulfilling

We had some sweet times this past week.  I really enjoyed every single day and saw some miracles every single day as well!  When you hope and pray for something righteous... God wants to bless you with it!

Zone Conference with Elder Carlson of the Seventy was so great!  He is a 4 star General in the Air-Force so I thought he was going to be super intense and straight laced... but he had me laughing like no other!  I hope that one day I can be a funny old man with the best case of old man humor out there haha!  He was serving in the Primary when he was called to be a Seventy!  He taught so powerfully and helped me to realize many things that I can change and repent of to become a better missionary.  One thing in particular I realized is that we as humans work well with a pattern.  Since I've been an Assistant... my missionary schedule has been disrupted dramatically!  We often have meetings early in the mornings, or need to stay out late talking with missionaries and it throws our pattern for a loop!  We've worked really hard this past week to be more consistent and it has helped a lot!  Without studying the scriptures on a daily basis... it is impossible to battle the evils in the world today!

I went on an exchange with Elder Monzon this past Friday.  He is one of the most impressive missionaries I have ever met on my entire mission!  He will be finishing his mission in one more transfer and is far from burning out or slowing down.  We started and didn't stop or take a break until 9:30 at night!  We saw so many miracles and felt the spirit very strongly together.  I love getting to know missionaries and their backgrounds.  We come in a whole bunch of different shapes and sizes... and you can tell who really understands their purpose.  There is nothing that makes me happier than to see a missionary really "get it" and do all they can to help those around "get it" also.

I know that healing takes time.  We often think that if we repent of something then the temptations will go away and we won't have that struggle in the future.  We are teaching someone who is has some seriously deep spiritual wounds.  The Gospel will fill those scars but it takes a consistent effort.  I know that is true.  My own personal healing took time and still takes time.  Becoming perfect is a day by day process.  I also know that we don't have to be perfect to be worthy.

We have started teaching the S** family!  They moved from Utah recently so when I got their phone number and it started with 801 I got pretty excited haha!  The daughters haven't been baptized but are excited to be on June 13!  I know that we were given the opportunity to teach them through the fasting and prayers we put forth to see 75 baptisms in June!  They are such a cool family and understand that the Gospel is the only way to find true happiness!

I came across this scripture this week while studying about prophets...  Mosiah 15:11-12

11 Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord—I say unto you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God.

 12 For these are they whose sins he has borne; these are they for whom he has died, to redeem them from their transgressions. And now, are they not his seed?

Those who Follow the words of the prophets receive the full blessings the Atonement has to offer!
Shout out to my Uncle Rob! Congrats on your new son! You are such a great example to me and I'm happy to have you as my UNCS!!

Love Elder C the V!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


This past week has been an interesting one!  I've been lucky to have made it so far without getting sick enough to have to slow down... but Heavenly Father sure sat me down.  Elder Matheny was sick and did a great job at fighting it through the many trainings we gave and as soon as he was over it... of course... I got it. haha.  I'm still recovering but doing a lot better!  Amazingly, we were still able to teach all of the lessons we planned for and were able to go on exchanges and see some miracles with some Elders that could use the boost.

So today was one of our first P-day's in a while because tomorrow we will be having a zone conference with Elder Carlson of the Seventy.  We get to have 8 hours worth of personal revelation!!!! I am sooo excited!  I've never conducted for a Seventy before... but I guess I can't say that for very long!  He is going to instruct on how to become a fully consecrated missionary.  That is a topic I've thought a lot about through my mission.  It is really hard to give everything you've got to the Lord.  It takes serious faith, because you don't quite see what you will get in return.  I can tell you... the more you are willing to sacrifice... the more Heavenly Father opens the windows of Heaven and dumps out his blessings!

I've been studying how to "inspire" the past couple of days.  I've realized that the only way someone will act is if they have a cause to work for and a witness of it by the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost can touch and teach a person better than any amount of well worded sentences.  The best way to invite the Holy Ghost is to teach true principles.  The Holy Ghost literally has to testify when something is true.  When a person states something like, "Jesus Christ is the Son of God" it is not only heard... but felt.  I've noticed that when missionaries quickly begin to testify, they are more likely to listen because they can feel a difference. 

I listened to a talk while I was out for the count called social conversion.  I recommend every member to listen to it.  For a person to join the church, they must be converted both socially and spiritually.  The job of the missionaries is obviously the spiritual conversion. The job of the members is the social conversion.  I encourage you to not only make friends with members of the church... but to talk with everyone.  I've noticed in California that members flock with members.  If you don't ever reach out to others because they aren't the exact same as you then you cut off all opportunities to do missionary work.  Use good judgement, but remember that the good shepherd will leave the 99 in search of the 1 lost sheep.

Personal prayers bring peace.  It is so nice to remind myself that Heavenly Father is a real being who controls everything and wants me to succeed.  There are many nights I just need a good chat with him to comfort my heart and remind me that he is in control!  We can't do anything of our own power.  If we humble ourselves, then he will help us with everything!

Shout out to Tanner Bear! Happy Birthday! You are the #1 brother, dad, friend!

Shout out to Papa Bear! Happy Birthday to you too!  I am so happy I get to carry both Christ's name and your name on my chest everyday! I love you!

Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, May 11, 2015

Awesome picture.  This could tell the story of the great journey these missionaries are on.

Another wonderful baptism.  Congratulations Sister.

The smiles on their faces tell of a great relationship and bond
between these two.  Priceless.

Happy Mother's Day!

I didn't expect a letter from him today because he had such a busy day, but we did get a short message.  Enjoy!

It was soooo awesome being able to talk with the Family! I love to see the energy that you all have and the spunk my new family members are bringing in!  Keep your mom and dad busy Milo... and you better teach Gracie how to do the secret handshake when she gets older! haha

It'll be awhile until I talk to you again and I hope it goes kinda slow... because next time I talk with you it will be very close to the end:( 

Something I realized as I talked last night was how deep the Gospel really is.  I don't want to be in heaven alone. I want my entire family there... both immediate and extended.  However, doing missionary work is different as a family member than it is a missionary.

J** N** was baptized on Saturday.  She has been one of the funniest people to work with.  I don't think she canceled a single appointment or didn't keep a single commitment.  God prepares his people and then leads us to them.  I was able to speak at her baptism and then confirm her a member.  She is one of the many adopted mom's I've found while out on my mission haha!

P** came to church this week for her first time.  She loved it and the members did such a great job at making her feel welcome and loved!  The whole V*** family came also! We are seeing step by step progress with them and their desire's are right in line with becoming baptized:)  

Shout out to Brandon and Warren. I love you guys and hope you know I pray for you every night!!!

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal
It was hard to get a straight face out of Elder Crandall yesterday.   He was pretending  like he was in a box.  The picture below was his pose when I told him to smile so I could take a picture of him.  He hasn't really changed too much I guess.  He is still my goofy little boy who loves to tease his mom and loves to have a ton of fun.  He has always been confusing because he is a goof yet is very serious about his responsibilities.  I guess he is a good cross of someone who works hard to do what he is supposed to do, then can relax and have a ton of fun.

Mother's Day Phone Call

We had a great visit with Elder Crandall on the phone last night.  He is working in the office and was able to share with us what a typical week is like.  They have 2 sets of AP's so the other set drives in to Bakersfield every Sunday and spend Sunday night and Monday night with the Bakersfield AP's.  They are able to get a lot of office things done on Monday where they are connecting with all the Zone Leaders and taking care of anything President Wilson needs them to do.  Cody is grateful he gets to continue to teach people in his area, as that is very meaningful and fulfilling for him.

His sister is currently in Brazil, so we were able to get her on one of our phones and let them talk via 2 phones both on speaker.  How grateful I am for modern technology.  We were also able to connect with most of his grandparents as well.  It was a wonderful day for us.  He looks healthy, happy, tired and ready to take on more.  His sense of humor continues, which is evidence that he is the same person who left here 15 months ago. 

We were also able to speak with Elder Salas in Bolivia yesterday.  He is also doing very well.  He will be released from his mission on August 25th and will be returning to Peru.

Yesterday was a wonderful day.  Happy Mother's Day to all of you, but especially to all the families who were able to speak with your missionaries yesterday.  What a special day.

Monday, May 4, 2015


I always thought it was weird when old people would say they are pooped… but after this week I know exactly what they are talking about. Whew! We had so much going on with transfers, and investigators that I can officially say I’ve been pooped! Haha Nonetheless, I don’t have time for that and God somehow rejuvenates me at the beginning of every week.  So bring on another week full of fun… cause next Sunday I get to talk with the Fambo!

 Our mission set a goal this past month to find 750 new investigators. That was a pretty hefty goal compared to the 430 new investigators we had actually found the month before.  We ended up finding 709 new investigators! We didn’t quite hit our goal… but raising our vision, stepping out of our comfort zone and trying to achieve something that hasn’t been done before really got the mindset of the missionaries into a higher plane of thinking.  The very best part of it too is the fact that 709 people were introduced to the way that they can return back to their Heavenly Father.

J** N** should be getting baptized this Saturday.  She is one spunky lady.  We found her through knocking and I can’t believe how prepared she was to hear the Gospel.  She has not missed one Sunday since the day we talked to her.  She loves to share stories from her past that just crack me up.  She fed us a delicious Roast this past week in which we took a recently ordained Priest with us (a Priest is a level of responsibility in our church.  He is not referring to a Priest from a different religion).  The Priest had canceled on us several times and we could kind of tell he didn’t really want to go out with us… but we had a feeling that we needed to take him.  He came, bore a beautiful testimony and we sent him home to his family with a Box of Black tea as a trophy (we confiscated it)!  Haha We talked to his dad (our WML (Ward Mission Leader)) the next day and said he had never been so excited about the Gospel! J

Some amazing things are beginning to happen with C**’s family (the girl who was baptized last week).  We taught her mom a lesson about temples and eternal families.  We asked her, “What would you be willing to give up to live with your family forever?”  She never really came to a conclusion while we were there… but that night at 2:42 A.M. she left us a voicemail in which she said, “I have felt the most overwhelming feeling and I had the sensation that I needed to call you and tell you that I’m ready.  I will give up anything I need to. I am ready!”  When we woke up and listened to that voicemail the next morning Elder Matheny and I just looked at each other with blank stares wondering if we were both still sleeping! Haha

C** went with the ward and did Baptisms for the Dead on Saturday!  She said everyone was trying to explain what was going to happen and why we do this…and she kept telling them, ”I know… my missionaries taught me!” she ended up going first out of everyone.  If anything she had had the most recent experience with being baptized!;) haha

Last night we decided to try a referral we had received and hadn’t been able to get in contact with yet.  As we approached the door it was open and the lady was unloading groceries.   She set up a couple of chairs for us outside her door and we chatted.  We quickly realized that she was quite familiar with the church and really thought a lot of it because of a friend she had that is a member.  She just revered her friend.  It made me think about how important our example we set as members really is.  People see our church as what they see in us.  This member she loved sounded like one of the most Christ like friends I’ve ever heard of.  The reason why I believe she was so drawn to her was because she was the closest person to Christ that she knew.  Anyways, we ended up returning a couple hours later with a member that fed us for dinner… and she fed us dinner haha! We taught one of the most powerful lessons about the plan of salvation I think I have taught on my mission.  The spirit was so comforting and reassuring.  She is definitely what I would call a Golden Investigator. 

I read one of the talks that my dad gave for stake conference and it really touched me.  Sometimes, we worry so much about tomorrow … that we don’t give our best effort today.  I found myself worrying about all the trainings coming up, the struggling missionaries, and my own investigators that I couldn’t focus on the here and now.  We need to eat what’s on our plate one bite at a time.  Thanks Dad… I love you!

Shout out to all the prophets… What would I do without you!  I’m thankful that you would write down your spiritual experiences so that I can find answers to my prayers!

Love, Elder Crandall the vandal