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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Looks like he needs a little diversion and action.  Nice to see him relaxing and having some fun.
Elder Houghton

Elder Lopez

Elder Crandall the Vandall

We have transfers coming up very quickly and it amazes me how fast they keep flying by.  With so many missionaries having left the past couple of transfers... there are a lot of new/younger missionaries.  We worked on tranfers for 4 or 5 hours with President Wilson this week.  Before I was an assistant I always wondered how transfers were done. It was amazing to me that we all ended up exactly where Heavenly Father needed us.  For example, I know for certain that I was suppose to be in Ana Verde when I first arrived in this mission.  I felt like many people I met and taught were just waiting for ME to find them!  Well, now that I help with transfers, I've thought long and hard about how I was put in the right spot at the right time with the right companion... and if that has been done for me... then I want that to be done for all the other missionaries as well!  We have to have the spirit with us when we make these decisions!  It can be stressful knowing that my input on where a missionary should go can change/effect their whole mission!  Obviously they are the ones who decide how hard they are going to work and how much they change... but as the ones doing the transfers... we are guided, so that they can be guided to certain people Heavenly Father needs them to meet.  By small and simple things are great things brought to pass! That scripture has so much meaning when I think about it in that way!

It seems as though I learned a lot about the spirit world this week.  It is amazing to me that God's plan is perfect and personal for each of us.  We will all die. We will all live again.  It is our choice to decide who and what we want to become.  Alma 34:32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

Our desires and appetites will all be the same when we die.  If we learn to love our savior and his commandments here... then we will love them in the next life as well!  The spirit world is on the earth around us, and because of that, the veil can be very very thin between us and those who have gone before us.  I remember being very very little and missing my Grammy.  I would think about her... even though I really didn't even know her... and I felt as if she was there with me comforting me.  I would get very emotional when I thought about her.  I know she is waiting for me and is cheering me on from the other side.

Also, I remember one experience from back home when my mom was doing Family History work.  She had just completed a whole bunch of names and had them saved on a disc.  She had gone out to do errands and returned having lost the disc.  I remember how sad she was and hurt because of all the time and effort she put in and it felt as though Satan was pushing with all his might against her.  That very second it was as clear as a whisper I felt like I knew exactly where it was. I ran down stairs into the garage, opened the passenger door and in the little cubby on the door I saw the disc.  That was the first place I looked.  I know that prompting came from an ancestor from the other side who wanted their work done for them! At that time I didn't recognize this experience... but looking back I know that's exactly what happened!

I never want my mission to end!  I'm grateful for every minute I have to serve Heavenly Father with all my time and attention!

Love, Elder Crandall

Shout out to Hilario! Congrats on finishing your mission brother! I love you and I'm so proud of the hard work you have put forth!  Say hi to mom and dad for me!! (We are currently in Bolivia picking up our Peruvian son from his mission after serving faithfully for 2 years).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Here it is!

(The title of this email is because his letter is a couple of days late this week, but I am not complaining.  He has never missed, so I knew it would come).

It has been a great week filled with lots of exchanges and lots of time to do missionary work!  This was the first week so far this transfer that we didn't have a meeting or a training.  There is nothing better than getting to work a whole day straight in your own area! Then be able to do it several times a week! I'm definitely wiped out but it was worth it to see and have all the experiences that we did. 

We had a really great lesson with a born again Christian this week who has already come to church one time.  He was really confused about the difference between our church and others.  We had taught him the restoration the first time we met him... but it was interesting to me that people will hear you... but until they have a desire to learn what you have to say... they won't actually listen.  We retaught Priesthood Authority and how it was restored.  The spirit touched him and he kept saying... WOW! I wish I'd have known this before! haha He so badly wants to be close to the spirit.  After explaining that he could have the Gift of the Holy Ghost given to him by that Authority and that it would never leave him based on his own actions he kept saying Hallelujah!! haha it was great!

We had dinner with the car czar Elder Morris, his family, the Shelton’s, and all the assistants on Monday.  We got into a conversation about near death experiences and how they really change a person’s perspective of this life.  Whether someone is religious or not… when they have a near death experience and get a glimpse of the next life… they can’t deny that there is something after this life.  The more and more we shared our experiences the thicker the spirit became.  There is a saying that the second most sacred place to the temple is your own home.  The spirit was so strong that it felt like I was in the temple.  Members’ homes are the perfect refuge from worldly influences.  I am so thankful that I’ve learned to recognize and crave the spirit.  We can do all things if we have the spirit with us!

In my Krio Bible…Galations 5:22-23 (Fruit of the Spirit)  Bot God in Spirit go mek pipul lek den kompin, I go mek den gladi, I go mek den no de mek plaba, I go mek den ebul bia trobul, en I go mek den de ep den kompin motalman, I go mek den de du gud to oda pipul, I go mek den tru to den kompin, I go mek pipul put den yay don en I go mek den no jes de du wetin den at gi den fo du. No lo no de we tok bot den tin ya.

I couldn’t say it better myself!:)  If you have troubles understanding… look it up and translate it. Krio is the bestJ

Shout out to Elder Matheny… or I guess, Tanner Matheny… My mom told me all about your homecoming talk and said you knocked it out of the park! Miss you bud!

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, August 10, 2015

Zone Training Meeting

He said his favorite dessert was green Jello
with peaches because that is what his
daddio loves so much.  So cute. 

Elder Horan and Elder Crandall

"That's always a bonus day" - Oildalian (person from Oildale)

There have been so many things that have happened this week! I'm so grateful for each week I have to be a missionary.  There is no other place I would rather be than sharing the gospel in Bakersfield California.  There is a Vivint salesman in our ward right now who is hooking us up with some of the sweetest referrals... I'm thinking about being a salesman after the mission just so I can still go door to door and share the gospel with people! haha

I went on exchanges with Elder Loertscher this week!  He use to be in my zone when I was in Palmdale so it was really nice being able to catch up on the good times we had in Ana Verde and he filled me in on all the things I've missed since I've been in Bakersfield.  We hit the ground running and made a commitment to each other that we would talk to EVERY single person we saw.  I can honestly say there wasn't one person we didn't talk to.  What was even greater is that we tried teaching and testifying very quickly to help prick their hearts with the spirit so they would have more interest.  We found so many people together and if it wasn't for the sun going down we would have kept it up all night!!  I love talking with new people I don't know and being able to give them the chance to receive salvation!  The more you do it.... the more fun it gets!

Awesome things happened with R** this week.  So we got a text from her Saturday morning telling us she would have to reschedule our lesson for the day because she had to go get a car battery.  We were pretty bummed and a little worried when she didn't text us back when we asked if she was still coming to church.  We decided to drop by that night and see if she got her car fixed.  She was there with her 3 kids who we hadn't met yet.  They are ages 17, 16 , and 15.  We were able to go in and share with them our testimonies and invited them to be baptized.  They all accepted and 2 of them came with Rita to church the next morning!  We ended up going over that evening and had hamburgers with them.  We taught them the Restoration and invited them all to read and find out for themselves if the Book of Mormon was true.  The Spirit was thick and potent in their house! It was incredible!  R** basically bore her testimony about how she already knows this is true and she knows this is the church she was praying to find.  She told Elder Horan and I that we were her Angels.  Nothing beats saving souls! :)

You would never hear me say this before my mission... but I love setting goals and making plans!  When I think I can do something... pray for the Lord's help... and then do all I can to make it happen... It happens!!!! "Goals without plans are just wishes" -Sister Larsen.  Ask and you shall receive... knock and it shall be opened unto you!  The times when you don't think it will happen.. it won't! Heavenly Father is ready and willing to help us out with whatever we ask for that is righteous!  He may not always give us the answer in the way we expect but he will give us one! 

Our mission Leadership Council was pretty awesome this past week.  I've developed a greater love for training in large groups.  I'm not the best public speaker... but I've seen a huge improvement from the beginning of my mission! 

Shout out to Sarah Sturt! Congrats on finishing your mission! It is weird to think 18 months ago we both left the same week to the MTC!  You are the neatest!

Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, August 3, 2015

Elder Crandall looking like a secret agent. 

The AP's and the Bakersfield Zone Leaders

Missionaries still know how to have fun.  I'm so glad.

The Work is Swell

I just want to start off by saying I love being with Elder Horan! He and I have been working hard, playing hard, and laughing hard.  It it really cool how Heavenly Father gives us certain companions right when we need them!  Who knows how long we will be together... but I hope it's a long time!

As a leader, one of the biggest responsibilities you have is to lead by example.  I've seen time and time again that when the leaders are struggling... then their stewardship is struggling.  When the leaders are doing awesome... then their stewardship does awesome!  Well, that puts a lot of pressure on the leaders!  This is something I think a lot about!  I know Heavenly Father is aware of my concerns and wants me to know he is always there.  Going into this past week I was a little anxious with how poorly our investigators were progressing.  We didn't have the best of plans set for the coming week because we had so much going on last week that our weekly planning session was a little poor.  I prayed so hard that we would see some miracles!

First Miracle: We were tracting around an investigators house and only had 15 minutes before we were going meet a member to teach our investigator.  We hadn't found any new people to teach so far in the week and I was getting a little antsy about our lack of performance.  As we walked by a group of little kids one of the girls yelled out, "Hey! You are the people who gave me a picture of Jesus!" We went over and talked to her and I recognized her from 2 weeks before when we had seen her right after we talked to the hard core Anti Christ.  She said she took the picture to her mom and that her mom was going to buy her a little frame to put it in! I asked her if her mom was home and if she wanted to take us to her so we could meet her! We ran 2 blocks down and met her mom A****.  She quickly recognized us as Servants of the Lord and told us she had really been struggling lately. We invited her to be baptized within 2 minutes of talking to her and gave her a chapter to read and told her we would be back in an hour right after we taught our other lesson.  We came back an hour later and she had read the chapter and really liked it.  She came to church this week with her 2 daughters and her 2 month old son.  Boom... Miracle!

Miracle #2: We got a referral from a guy who is staying in our ward for about a month who sells alarm systems for vivint.  He told us to go by and pretend like we had just been working in the area.  We tried by and..... nothing.  We kind of forgot about it the rest of the week until saturday evening.  We decided to go by and the second we knocked on the door. R** answered and let us right in.  She has a sister that is a member and went to church many times with her friends when she was a teenager.  She said she hadn't stepped foot in any church for at least 6 years but that that very day she decided to pray and ask what church she should go to.  Next thing she knew we were knocking at her door.  We taught her the Restoration and the sprirt that was there was really powerful.  At the end of the lesson she said one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard. You could tell by the look on her face that she felt God's love and was starting to recognize the path Heavenly Father was laying out for her. She came to church the next morning and absolutely loved it.  We taught her later that night as well and she is working towards her baptism on Sept. 5th. She reminds me so much of my recent convert C** L**.. they even have a similar background.  I guess we know who to take to the next lesson with her!;)

We have Mission Leadership Council this week and a couple of exchanges.  I am pretty excited for the miracles I get to see this week! I love my mission I just wish it would slow down! 6 months left:/

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

p.s. A member hooked me up with a new camera:)