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Sunday, June 28, 2015

P B is now a member!!!

Highlight of the week was definitely P** B**'s baptism.  She is one of the coolest people I've met. Elder Matheny and I both feel as though we knew her in the Pre-Earth life and promised her we would come find, teach, and baptize her!  We had so many lessons in which we planned to teach her one thing... and the spirit took the lesson to baptism.  She was really nervous to actually take that step and decide to be baptized.  I know that she has felt an overload of the spirit this weekend.  She told us she has never felt as happy or blessed than she did when she was being confirmed.  I could just see it in her eyes and I could feel the same feeling myself:)

Something I really loved that my brother shared in an email this week was being in the moment.  Everyday we are around people and talk with people... but how often do we give them our full love and attention?  We live in the moment... not the past, nor the future.  Spiritual experiences only happen if we act in the present!  When we worry about the uncontrollable, we leave the present and leave the people we are with.  It is so important to let those you are with know you are there with them!  Heart felt compliments and encouragement will go a long way!

The month of June did not turn out the way we had hoped as far as baptisms... but that is nothing to get down on.  These past 3 months have been the biggest learning experience I've had my whole mission.  I've had some of the toughest days and some of the best days.  We should come to a total around 40 baptisms.  We were shooting for 75.  It made me think about the experience of Zion's camp.  No fighting actually happened...They didn't accomplish what they had planned to do.  However, all of those that showed their faithfulness to the Lord ended up growing in testimony and conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Many of them later became the future leaders of the Church!  I'm not saying that because of this I'll be a future leader... but I have definitely strengthened my testimony in trying my hardest and letting Heavenly Father make up the rest!

We had a pretty great lesson with T** this week in which we asked him what he wants more than anything else in the world.  His answer was to go to Heaven... which I think most of us would say the same.  Well in order to go to Heaven you have to be baptized... in order to be baptized you have to stop any behavior that keeps you away from Christ... in order to do that you have to feel the spirit so you have the strength and the desire to overcome those bad habits... and the way you get the spirit is by good ole' fashion CPR... Church... Pray.... Read....He felt exactly what we were talking about when he came to P**'s baptism the next day and had no desire whatsoever to smoke!  
There is a Sister in our ward that just reminds me so much of my Nana Banana.  Her name is Sister L* (She's Hawaiian) and she is one of the sweetest, most kind, and genuine people I've met on my mission.  She shared her conversion story in Sacrament today and it amazes me at how she hasn't always been the way she is... but through the Atonement she has changed completely!  She was baptized when she was 8 but went less active until the age of 50.  She was talking to her father on the phone one day and he asked her like he had many many times before.."Are you going to church?"  She wanted to please him after so many years of disappointing him so she responded yes just to make him happy... the second she said that she said she could hear him in tears on the other side of the phone and he told her that his prayers had finally been answered after such a long time of waiting.  She finished talking to him and realized what a horrible thing she had just done... she had lied to her father!  She about broke down and went into her bedroom and at the top of her lungs she prayed and wanted to know if there really was a God!  Her father seemed to be best friends with him yet she didn't even know if He was real!  As she offered that very sincere prayer with real intent she said that it was then that she received an answer that she cannot ever deny!  She was rebaptized because her records had been lost. It wasn't for another 4 years of going to church on her own that her less active husband decided to return to church with her!  She was sealed to him but he has since passed on.  She continues to spread the Gospel and won't let anything slow her down from serving another in need:)

I'll be playing tennis with a new brother from our ward tomorrow! He played in college so I'm pretty stoked to get a good hit in! Woot Woot!

Shout out to many of my friends that have returned from their missions!  Well done! Can't believe how fast time flies when your having fun!!
Love Elder Crandall the Vandal!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Having a great time with these adorable girls.

This is the awesome Bishop Tanner worked
with in 2012 and 2013.
We are leaving for Lake Powell tomorrow.  I wanted to make
sure he had a fun care package so sent everything needed to
make Smores.  I assumed he would fix them over the stove.
I had no idea he had a gas fireplace.  This is a lot different
from his living circumstances in Sierra Leone.  It is amazing
how different things are in different parts of the world.
He always burned his marshmallows when he was little too.

So nice to see him just relaxing and enjoying his treat.  Go Coders.

I'm Alive!

I've decided I'm no longer going start my email's with this was a crazy/busy week.... because they are all crazy/busy! haha

I have felt Heavenly Fathers hand in my life quite a bit this past week.  There are so many things moving and going and changing in this world that you wonder how Heavenly Father is in ALL the details... but He is!  We've been teaching the Sacks family for about a month and loved every minute of it.  Their Grandparents came into town this weekend so that Grandpa Sacks could baptized K** and S**.  Well, they had told me in the past that their grandpa was a bishop in a ysa ward in Provo... and a tiny thought came to me... that would be really cool if he knew my brother!  Well, Bishop Sacks happened to be the very Bishop my brother was a counselor to!  When he asked me if I knew a Tanner Crandall I about jumped out of my seat to hug him just for saying his name!!! haha  I've felt close to the Sacks family this whole time... but as soon as I found out how even more connected our lives are together and how Heavenly Father has crossed our paths I felt the spirit so strongly!  There are around 26 stakes in Provo... what are the chances!!!  I'm honored to be one of the tools Heavenly Father has used to help another family come one step closer to living with each other for eternity!:)

One of the best parts of my week was when Bishop Sacks came up to me at the baptism and said Tanner had asked him to do one thing... He grabbed my arm and said, "They are SO proud of you"  If that isn't the best Crandall inside joke I don't know what is! haha :)

We had a lesson today in Sunday School about the gifts of the spirit.  It really opened my eyes and helped me realized that the only reason Heavenly Father gives us these gifts is so that we can become as he is.  The gift to learn knowledge really sank in deep.  Heavenly Father knows literally EVERYTHING!  He expects me to learn as much as possible so that someday millions of years in the future... my knowledge can become perfect as well.  Moroni 10:5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.  The Holy Ghost is the perfect catalyst to help us excel in our learning process.  If you read the scriptures without inviting the Holy Ghost to teach you as you read... then you will miss many insights and answers you are searching for.  My mom had me pray before playing a sport... not so that I would win... but so that I would play my best... my opponent would play their best... and I would learn something I could improve on!! Hanks mom!

We had a lesson with C** this week to go over the baptismal interview questions.  She is so ready.  She used the word atone and atonement in the right context! No investigator ever does that! haha  I'm so excited for her baptism this coming Saturday!

This scripture describes how I feel. Alma 26:11-12

11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Shout out to Tanner, Rach, Jenessa, Milo, and Gracie.  I would have lost it if I'd seen you at the baptism.  You mean the world to me.  I'm so glad I'm stuck with you for eternity!

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, June 8, 2015

Elder Crandall doing Missionary Work!!!

Elder Rai from Nepal


I've had such a great learning experience these past 2 transfers.  I really love learning to learn.  The most useful things to learn a lot of the time aren't book smarts but rather learning to deal with different situations.  Missionaries live for awkward moments because we have so many of them! haha  I've always been a perfectionist so when I was taught in math to "guess and check" that drove me nuts! Here I am today though... guessing... and checking! Another way you could say it would be... trying... and repenting!  There aren't many other missionaries I can ask how to do the "assistant stuff"... and a lot of the time we are just trying to follow the spirit and do what feels right.  I know that Heavenly Father needed me to leave Sierra Leone so that I could develop certain skills and help specific people while I'm here.  Its tough and exhausting... but all a part of His plan for me:)

Funny moment for the week... Elder Matheny and I were walking up to a less-active families house and saw these two fake looking birds sitting on the window seal.  I thought out loud... That'd be cool if those were real.. Elder matheny looked at me and said... There is no way those are real!  We stared at them for a good 30 seconds and decided they must be fake... All the sudden one of them just disappeared! We kept looking back and forth at each other and at the one bird still there and just bust out laughing!  We decided we now have faith to turn a fake bird into a real bird! haha  We'll try moving a mountain this week and let you know how it goes;)

We taught a couple of really powerful lessons this week that reminded me how important the spirit is in conversion.  The first one, Elder Matheny and I felt really strongly to invite C** to pray about being baptized before she returns to work at the beginning of July.  She has already felt that this is where she needs to be and what she needs to be doing... but had not quite asked Heavenly Father directly if that was his plan for her.  So we text her the next morning to see how her prayer went and she sent back this, "I prayed early this morning.  It was very emotional for me. I definitely felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost with me."  We heard her tell several people at church how excited she was for her baptism on June 20th:)  God's timeline is now.  The longer we wait to take action... the longer we wait to receive blessings!  I love C** and love the change I've seen in her in these short 4 weeks that I've known her:)

The other lesson that was powerful was with P**.  She also has been scared to solidify a baptismal date.  We were planning on teaching one thing... and ended up teaching something completely different.  Elder Matheny shared a personal experience that connected perfectly with her.  I haven't teared up in awhile... but the spirit was so heavy in that room I couldn't hold them back.  We gave her a blessing to have the strength to overcome her fears.  She now has a baptismal date for June 27th!:) Baptism is the key to helping us leave the past in the past.  I know the best way to help anyone in this world is to baptize them.  Jesus Christ's atonement works miracles that no other coping strategy can.

Transfers are going to be this week and will be quite exciting.  We have over 40 missionaries leaving in the next two transfers!

Shout out to my brother! I hope you are having a blast and taking care of Africa for me while I'm gone;)

Elder Crandall the vandal

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Los Angeles Temple with the Departing Missionaries.

I'm not quite sure what he is trying to do.  Maybe pretend he is a rabbit?

Minor car accident.  Not their fault and no one was injured.

The Work Goes On

We had such a great time this week and saw a lots of increase in faith... both in ourselves and with a lot of the missionaries we were able to go on exchanges with.  I think I spent about the same amount of time in my area as I did in other missionaries areas!  

I got in a car accident on one of the exchanges so that was real exciting.  Everyone was ok and the lady that hit us happened to be a less-active member!  So she was able to not only walk away from the crash... but walk away with a Book of Mormon in hand:)

We were able to go to the temple for the departing missionary temple trip!  It is weird being around a lot of missionaries who are a week away from being home... makes you think a lot about how well you've served your own mission and what you want to be like when you head home.  I've been changed by my mission more than I ever thought possible... I pray everyday that the lessons I've learned will stick with me and I will be an even better missionary when my full time service is up.

We had stake conference this weekend!  There was a lot of talk about the ward council!  Growing up I always knew my dad was away at meetings... but I had no clue what those meetings were for!  In the church we talk about the ideal a lot... I've realized that it is soo hard to accomplish the ideal!  I've sat in a lot of ward councils on my mission and the ones that are the most effective are always those that use the power of delegation.  When one person tries to do everything... they burn out and their area of influence is much smaller than it could be.  This is a lesson I'm trying to learn while being an assistant.  It is hard to trust others with "big jobs" but I can only imagine how Heavenly Father feels.  Trust is such an interesting topic.  There is nothing that brings more inner peace than knowing your Heavenly Father can trust you.

I'm thankful for my Savior this week.  It is so important to know that we can't work our way to Heaven but that it is only possible to return through His Grace.  We must constantly be begging for forgiveness rather than replaying our greatest hits of righteousness as Elder Uchtdorf put it.  His Grace is sufficient.

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal