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Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Mighty 5th Ward


Words cannot express how amazing my experience has been in the Bakersfield 5th Ward.  I have met some of the most amazing people and seen some huge changes in the 6 transfers I've been here.  I had the strongest feeling when I left the 5th ward the first time after only being here for 2 weeks... that I had much much more to accomplish in this area! I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for Providing a way for me to return and accomplish all that He asked of me.

 

This last week was filled with a lot of goodbyes and a lot of preparing for transfers.  We were still able to teach and find as if it were a normal week though! Little things like that are just a miracle to me.  I can't wait to bring my family back to visit all these new Family Members.  I always wondered when I was little why we would call people at church brother or sister... After being on a mission, calling someone anything else almost doesn't cut it, especially when you've had spiritual experiences with each other!

 

I am going to be Companions with Elder Houghton the Mountain.  He might not live up to that name in stature... but he sure does in spirituality.  I am ready to hit the ground running in Palmdale 1st and work as hard as I can until the end of my mission.  I am giddy to see the miracles that will surely come as we build each other's faith and those we will teach!

 

Shout out to Elder Bird, He was one of the assistants serving with us who just went home.  I've never met a more up beat, lively, impressive missionary.  If you are looking for the Ideal missionary... He is the one! We will miss you!

 

Love, 

Elder Crandall the Vandal

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Travel Plans :)

I got a short note from Elder Crandall on Sunday night.  It said,


" I love you so much mom! Sorry I don't have time to write you tonight, we had tons of last minute changes we had to make and we will be busy with all of the other crazy transfer stuff going on...so if I find time to write you an email I'll do my best.  Have a great night!"


He was right.  He has been so busy, I haven't received an email from him yet this week.


But on Monday, I got this:




Your trip
Booking ref:
6LOXQB
Issued date:
23 November 2015
.
.
Traveler
Cody Steven Crandall
Agency
CHURCH TRAVEL CWT
Jacob Kyle Harper
50 East North Temple St
Mckale Simpson
SALT LAKE CITY UT 84150
Kennedy Tidwell
Telephone
801 240-5111
Fax
801-240-5115




He will be returning home on February 17th.  I'm more than happy to receive his travel itinerary in place of a letter this week.  Less than 3 months to go.  I'm not sure he will get on an airplane when the time comes, but I can hope.


I know he was transferred back down to Palmdale yesterday.  He will still be an AP, but just at the other end of the mission.  This means he will be traveling up to Bakersfield every Sunday evening and returning on Tuesday, so he will be able to spend time in both of the two areas he has served in while in California.
Unloading Cases of Books of Mormon

Sister Cox left here on Wednesday 11/18 to return home to Bakersfield.
She delivered Cody's box of Christmas to him as soon as she got home.
He is still just like a little kid at Christmas.  I love his smile.
Merry Christmas Elder Crandall

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Scooby dooby doo.


This past week was really fun! We were able do a lot of work in our own area.  We have been “cycling” a lot of our investigators and picking up lots of new ones.  Cycling is basically were you spend a proportional amount of time with the effort investigators are putting forth to learn for themselves.  Missionary’s time is one of the most important things.  If there is one thing I’ve noticed lately, it’s that 2 years is an extremely short time.


We met a guy this week with a very interesting view of the Atonement.  We know that the Atonement is for EVERYONE  and is sufficient to cover any sin, struggle, or short coming. Faith---->Repentance---->Grace.  This man said that Faith---> Grace---> Repentance.  We are in fact saved by grace… but it is conditional on OUR choice to repent.  One of the miracles of the Atonement is not that we can just go home… but that we can learn to be comfortable there.  We don’t have to be perfect before His Grace will start to apply to us.  We don’t have to be worthy to have a 2nd chance.  All we need to do is simply keep our head up and to never quit… eventually we will become like the savior.


We finally got someone to church after having a dry spell for a couple of weeks.  We have started teaching Sheila’s daughter Erica again.  She is 40 or so years old.  As we’ve had lessons with her, it is very evident that she has a “head” knowledge that our message is true… but it hasn’t quite transformed into a “heart” knowledge.  The only way for that to happen is to receive a personal witness from the Holy Ghost.  Why do people think it is so hard to receive an answer from Heavenly Father?  The scriptures are filled with versus saying all you need to do is ask and you will receive.  The scriptures aren’t there to suggest blessings…. They are there to PROMISE blessings.  It is just a matter of time before we go back and she will have the same look on her face just like her mom when she had receive her answer from GodJ


I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.  He isn’t just the prophet when he tells me what I want to hear… but even more so when he tells me what is hard to swallow.  Build your foundation in Jesus Christ and his Gospel that is taught to us through prophets… and when the chaos comes… nothing will affect you.  Heleman 5:12


I am so thankful for the companions I have had on my mission.  Elder Horan is not just a companion… but he is a life long friend and brother.  I have sincerely loved all the time we’ve spent together.  We’ve been a part of some pretty amazing miracles that are sealed within our hearts.  There is no bond that can bring someone closer than the Holy Spirit of  promise.


Shout out to Rach! Happy Birthday today!!!!!!


Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, November 9, 2015

Novembaaaa


This was a great week.  By the time Sunday comes around so much has happened I don't even remember half of the things I've done.


We had Mission Leadership Council (MLC) on Wednesday.  We put a lot of preparation into it, yet I was still feeling a little unprepared by the time it came up.  One of the best ways to receive revelation is to counsel with one another.  As you discuss principles about anything... the more you counsel the more the truth will rise to the surface.  So the way we run our MLC's is by counseling with one another.  Let me just tell you... it is not easy to facilitate a council with 38 people in it.  I've done it many times before... but every time it requires so much spiritual focus and attention that it just wipes you out!  There were moments when it would feel like we were way off topic and no where near the vision of the mission... but as things wrapped up it all came together.  The last thing you want as a leader is to send mixed messages because then the vision can never really be carried out to the rest of their stewardship's.  As weird as is sounds...my testimony of council's has definitely increased this past week.

We had Stake conference this weekend and Elder Bragg of the Seventy came.  He seemed so young! There was no question that he has been called of the Lord.  He was so personal and so genuine.  He shared some amazing stories.  One of the stories he shared was about how as bad as the world may seem at times with all its doom and gloom... The good still outweighs the bad.  There was a church building in california that burned down a couple months ago... and he shared how the firefighters fighting the fire wanted to save any of the "Sacred Relics" that may be inside... they ended up saving all of the pictures of Christ that were hanging on the walls. They even set the picture of Christ praying in Gethsemane on the engine of the firetruck facing the fire hoping that He was there watching over each of the firefighters as they fought the fire.  The chief of police had a gut feeling to clear everyone out and within 10 seconds of everyone being clear, the building collapsed.  He testified that there are still many miracles being performed even when things don't look the way we want them to.


I heard a story this week that I really liked that helped me understand the role of the sacrament.  A lady volunteered to go and help clean the temple.  She was given a white rag and went around cleaning different things for about 2 hours.  After wiping things down during that whole time she returned with her rag still completely white.  As she left she felt disappointed because she felt as though she didn't clean a single thing while she was there.  Then she realized that the temple is cleaned so often that it never has the opportunity to become dirty.  She related that to our lives.  If we are going and partaking of the sacrament each week then it keeps us constantly clean.  If you clean as you go then there is never a big mess that will take a long time to fix!

We have been struggling lately to get people to keep return appointments.  No one can progress in the gospel unless they are willing to keep commitments.  We gave a training about the simplicity of giving commitments and how if someone doesn't have a goal they are working towards... then they will never accomplish anything.  You know someone has been prepared for the Gospel when they are ready to Act.



We will be working on Transfers tomorrow.  I can't believe it is that time already!


Love, Elder Crandall the Vandal

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Be a Little Bolder

I don't have much time to write a lot so I'll write as quick as I can.

This past saturday almost all of the recent converts I've had while in this area were able to go down to the temple for their first time and do baptisms for the dead.  The ward put together a "ward temple day" and it sounds like it was quite the success.  Unfortunately we weren't able to go because it is out of our mission boundaries... but listening to all of them talk about the spirit they felt and how amazing the temple is was music to my ears.  I think spiritual experiences are just the coolest things.  As a missionary I strive to create the perfect climate in which others can have a spiritual experience... well, if you take someone to the temple the climate is created for you!!  Many of them were able to take family names and be baptized for their parents.

Something that we have heard a lot this week as we've talked to people is that..."You don't need to go to church to have a relationship with God... I just stay at home and pray"  That is such a contradictory statement to me.  Relationship: the way in which two people are connected, or the state of being connected.  All relationships take effort to make them a GOOD relationship or a STRONG relationship.  I think that the most important thing in our lives should be our relationship with Heavenly Father.  There is an actual being who puts 110% into watching, listening, loving, and helping us with whatever we need. Yet we often say to ourselves "ehh I'm gonna skip out on church"  We decide what kind of relationship we want to have with him through our actions.  Going to church is one of the most basic things we can do to show Heavenly Father that we care about the personal connection we have with Him.

I've just begun reading the Book of Mormon again.  As I've read in 1 nephi it is amazing to me how quickly Laman and Lemuel begin to murmur.  They have amazing experiences... they even see an angel... and quickly complain and make excuses.  I hope and pray that I will be like Nephi.  I want to go and do anything Heavenly Father asks of me.  We had zone conference this week in which we had a really really sweet instruction from President Wilson.  He used the story of Nephi when he breaks his bow and quickly takes action while trusting in the Lord.  Nephi is a master problem solver!  

President wilson handed us all a little rock and asked what we saw... He said to him that rock was what he wanted us to be.... He wants us to be "A little Boulder"  I'm a sucker for puns:) haha

This coming week is going to be quite hectic with many many meetings and exchanges.  I love the life of a missionary!

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal!