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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Baking in Bakersfield!!!

I'm very grateful for the time I've been on my mission.  There are often times when I am in my own thoughts and I think of going on adventures with friends, playing tennis, spending time with family and all different kinds of wonderful memories from my past... but as I remember how important my calling as a missionary is and the real purpose of this life, I can quickly put aside those thoughts and feel motivated to go out and serve with all my heart.  There is a quote in Preach My Gospel that I really like by President Gordon B. Hinkley. "We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere.  Let there be cultivated an awareness in every members heart of his own potential for bringing others to a knowledge of the truth.  Let him work at it. Let him pray with great earnestness about it."  If every member in the Church sat back and said ehhh someone else will do it, then nothing would get done.  Heavenly Father has asked us all to do his work.  So ask yourself, am I doing all I can to invite others to come unto Christ? 

This last Monday as we were in a meeting with President Wilson we all felt strongly that the Confidence and power in our missionaries needs to increase.  As we thought about ways of doing that I remembered something that was changing our mission in Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone we often talked about how Preach My Gospel is written by latter day prophet's and apostles and that it is scripture.  What more could a missionary ask for than clear direct scripture teaching them how to do every part of missionary work!?  I have a strong testimony that Preach My Gospel can and will teach anyone who reads it how to share these precious truths with others.  We decided to invite all of the missionaries in our mission to read Preach My Gospel from cover to cover by July 21st (Last day of the Transfer)  I'm so excited to see the re-dedication to developing skills and confidence that will permeate throughout the mission.  A missionary is the happiest when they are working hard and seeing success.

Elder Matheny gave a really awesome training Wednesday in Mission Leadership Council.  He talked about the doctrine of baptism and how the second a missionary truly understands it, they will do anything and everything to get people into the water.  Baptism is our first anchor that fastens us to Christ.  D&C 84:20 "Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest."  Baptism gives people the opportunity for God to really speak to them and feel Him.  When I think back to times that I've received my own ordinances, I will never forget the feelings that accompany them.  I remember going through the temple for the first time with my brother by my side and feeling swollen with the spirit.  Walking into the Celestial room was indeed a flash of what the real thing will be like when I enter Heaven and see my family embrace me.  I love this Gospel and will do anything Heavenly Father asks me to do in order to feel the way I've felt with the spirit.

Shout out to Elder Hyde, Haubner, and Matheny.  I have learned so much serving next to you 3 as we've tried our very best to help the Bakersfield Mission.  The atonement has changed all 4 of us and I know we will be best friends for the rest of our lives.  I feel the closest to those I've had spiritual experiences with... and I've had more than I can count with you Elders! 

Love Elder Crandall

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