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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lots of Picutres, but prepare yourself. haha.

They both got Santa Pajamas on Christmas Even.  I'm so glad they had a lot of fun.

 

Baptism on December 26th.  Woot.
 
This dear sister was also baptized on December 26th.  Elder Crandall wasn't able to attend as it was in Bakersfield.
Thank goodness he was able to go up and visit with her the day after.
 



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

White Christmas


This week was so much fun! I loved talking with family and more than anything just seeing them.  It's amazing how much changes in such a short time.  The highlight of the whole skype phone call was when Milo got on to say hi and said "HI Daddy!" Good to know that we are twins with our devilish good looks! Just you wait Milo, we are gonna play so much when I get home that you might even be able to tell the difference between Uncle Cody and Daddy Tanner! haha

 

S** B** was baptized!  The focus in the mission this month has been to give a gift to the Savior by helping someone to the waters of baptism.  S** is so cool and just feels like family.  It was quite obvious that she felt the spirit and that she could recognize her Savior's love for her. I can only imagine how proud Heavenly Father is of us when we take one step closer to him by following the Gospel.  Our Gospel principles class today was on Exaltation so it was a perfect lesson that outlined what comes after baptism.  Thankfully we know that baptism is the gate to begin on the path back to God... he would never leave us or expect us to be perfect from there on out.  There are many tools to be used and spiritual experiences to be had as we strive each day to be more like our Savior. I know that if we are faithful to the end we WILL live with Him and Heavenly Father forever.

 

E** L** was also baptized in Bakersfield 5th ward this weekend! She is the daughter of S** L**.  We had worked with her for awhile and something seemed to finally click.  She wanted me to come back and baptize her... I was at least able to get pictures of her baptism and stop by this evening and congratulate her!  It is amazing how much the gospel can change someone when they allow the spirit to work in them.

 

No one could ever break M** D**'s testimony, so satan broke his leg instead. He had a compound fracture on his ankle while working on his truck in Florida.  We have been praying for him as much as possible and thought we wouldn't be seeing him for awhile.  When most people would be angry at God for something like this... M** clearly recognized his answer from God that being a truck driver is not in is plan.  He is going to be back in Palmdale this week and has already asked if he can wrap a plastic bag around his leg so he can still get baptized.  I wish you could read the texts he sends us... If this man wrote a book on following God, it would be a best seller!

 

Alma and I have the same wish

 

Alma 29:1-2

 

 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

 

I love you all and hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

 

Shout Out to Daphne Ballantyne! Congrats on giving a gift to the Savior for Christmas! My mom sure loves you! I'm excited to get to know you and your husband!  Thank you for your example!

 

Shout Out to my one and only Nana Banana! Happy Birthday! The world would be a different place without you.  You save the world one shake and one hug at a time!  I can't believe you still look 40!:)

 

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas!


Check out this video we made.... Hope this gives you a taste of what the mission field is like during the Holidays.

Elder Crandall the Vandal


If that doesn't pull up, go on youtube and type in 

Silver Bells in the Mission

Monday, December 21, 2015

Ho Ho Ho

December is a Month of Miracles


It is so fun being back in Palmdale and running into people I knew from my first time serving here.  I bumped into the Henderson Family! The coolest one so far though.... was seeing Trayona at Church!  She came back for the break to visit! I about fell over when I saw her at church I was so happy! She will be going to the temple to take out her endowments sometime this week!

 

So last week we had lost contact with S** one of our most progressing investigators.  We were pretty worried about her not returning our calls/texts or answering the door when we would come by.  We left straight from Bakersfield on tuesday and went straight to her house.  As we pulled up... she happened to be outside.  She very quickly told us that she didn't want to talk and that tonight wasn't a good night.  We felt the spirit prompt us to stay there and just keep talking to her.  Satan had definitely done a number on her and she was doubting almost everything we had taught her.  I've never hoped and prayed that I was worthy enough to know exactly what I needed to say.  It was a very humbling experience that reminded me how important it is to ALWAYS have the spirit to be with me.  We set an appointment with her for the next day at the church.  Elder Houghton and I were pretty worried that she just wouldn't show.  We fasted and prayed all day for her... word's do not express the real power that fasting has.  I've fasted in the past... but when your heart is really and sincerely in it... I know the Lord hears and will respond.  She showed up and we had one of the most bosom burning lessons we've taught in a while.  We were able to teach her again later on in the week and with the help of the Holy Ghost we were able to resolve all of her concerns.  She will be getting baptized this Saturday :)

 

A***. is one of my Hero's.  His family has been taught by the missionaries for the past year or so.  Elder Houghton and I prayed really hard to know the best route to take in helping this family come closer to Christ.  We decided put all our efforts into just teaching A***.... (the youngest of the family..13 yrs) He is a pioneer for his family.  He will be getting baptized this Saturday as well.  I've never met a more gung Hoe teenager.  He is so cool he even takes notes when we teach him!!!  I wish I had faith like that!

 

M** continues to travel all over the states driving trucks... but the very moment he sets foot in Palmdale he will be Baptized a member of the only true church on the earth!  He happened to be in Tampa today and was able to go to church... Last week the only one he could make it to was a YSA ward.  This man is dedicated!

 

We had a Christmas Morningside this week.  We watched "It's A Wonderful Life!" I've never seen it before but it was so good!  That was the first movie I've seen for 22 months that wasn't put out by the church!  We watched it with the thought in mind... "What would the world be like if I didn't go on a mission?"   I can't even imagine who I would be or what I would be doing if I didn't decide to serve a mission.  If there is any young man or woman who is questioning whether or not to go on a mission... GO! Don't think twice, just GO! There is not a single thing I regret about coming on a mission... the only bad thing about a mission is that it has to end.
 

Merry Christmas to everyone! I Can't wait to talk to my family!  

 

Love,

Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, December 14, 2015

The exact place Elder Crandall and Elder Houghton met one year ago. Reenactment
This is one happy person.  I love that about him.
Spread the joy.  Tell the world.
MLC Group after Training.  What a great group of people this is.
Bishop and Sister Mac***.  Reunited after returning to Palmdale.

Christmas is Coming!


I am still adjusting to being an assistant on the East Side of the mission because of all the travel.  We spend 2 days in Bakersfield so by the time we finally get down to Palmdale the week is half over!  I'm trying to adjust as fast as possible because I have no time to waste!

 

Elder Houghton was sick at the beginning of the week so it started off slower than normal.  I have been so blessed with a healthy body on my entire mission.  I noticed however that I get super antsy when I don't have anything to do! I was pretty much pacing from room to room trying to think of something I could do that would be effective!  I never thought staying busy would be so satisfying.

 

We spent the rest of the week playing catch up with all of our lessons and exchanges.  As soon as Elder Houghton was back to health we didn't slow down!

 

Friday evening we got a text from M** D**... he was making a special trip through Palmdale in hopes that we could set up a baptismal interview for him.  We were able to have a late night baptismal interview in which he passed with flying colors... We are just waiting now for him to come back in town and He will get baptized! I've never met someone so adamant and excited to follow Christ!

 

I was able to have dinner with my Hero.  Bishop M** is the most spiritual, loving, knowledgeable man I have and ever will meet.  It was such an honor to see him again and ask him all my deep questions that no one else has a clue on.  :) He even made me his specialty for dessert.. triple mac mountain chocolate something or other!  :)

 

My personal prayers have really improved lately.  I've noticed that as I pray for specific people my love for them grows!  It is so amazing that as busy as Heavenly Father is, He is never to busy and we are never too far from his reach.  He hears all of our prayers.  We are never unworthy to pray.  He cares and wants to help us with even the most minute of concerns.  I love my relationship with Him and I am excited to see how much stronger it will become throughout the rest of my life.

 

I've heard a lot of talk and worry lately about how the world is such a horrible place to live now days.  As I read in Mosiah this week the spirit was very warm and reassuring.  Abinadi stood up face to face against the world.  He knew from the very start that he was going to be killed for his testimony. He made sure he delivered God's message before they could put their hands on him.  He was so straight up and bold.  He wasn't doing this to be offensive but to point out to the people at that time that they needed to change.  We cannot change with the world... we need to stand firm by God and His commandments.  If we have changed... then we need to run away from those bad friends, bad influences, and our own natural man. Alma didn't stick around, he felt the spirit and acted on it!!

 

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

 

#ASaviorIsBorn (Taken after MLC last week)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I HAD CAFE RIO!!!!!

One of Elder Houghton's recent converts from an old area drove down to Santa Clarita and picked it up for us!  She is without a doubt my new favorite person.  I took the bag it came in and made myself a shirt:) haha

Weeks Turn Into Days!


This might have been one of the busiest weeks we've had in awhile.  I am most definitely ready for a nap and I'm praying I'll wake up from it! 

 

We had Mission Leadership Council (MLC) this last Wednesday.  The last one didn't go as well as we wanted it to... so we made sure this one would make up the difference.  We probably spent 5+ hours planning it on Monday.  We had a really powerful counsel with all of the leaders in which we received some very specific revelation from the Lord.  If missionaries will teach on the spot and not give people the opportunity to say no by giving them an out... such as asking "are you busy?" "would you like to hear a message?" but rather simply beginning to testify and teach... and also promise investigators blessings when they have legit excuses... then the Lord has promised us that we can find a minimum of 3 New investigators in each area.  We felt the spirit so strongly as we came up with these action plans and we know that the Lord will hold his end of the deal if he hold ours!  

 

We were able to travel up to Lone Pine and be a part of the Ridgecrest zone training meeting.  It was the first time in awhile that I've seen real mountains... I was definitely expecting more trees... but then I remembered the place is called "Lone Pine." haha.  It was a great meeting... it is always awesome to see how excited missionaries get when they talk about the potential they have in the coming month.  

 

M** D** should be getting baptized this coming Saturday.  He is still such an amazing example of faith!  We texted him this morning about going to church while he was on the road.  He said, "Church is going to be me in my semi truck and my Book of Mormon"  We told him that he would need to go to church so that he could partake of the sacrament and also so that he could meet the requirement of going to church at least 3 times.  His next text back was "Alright, I'm going in Blue jeans!"  Real Faith=immediate action.  I love M** and I've only taught him over the phone!  I'm excited to teach him in person this coming Tuesday!  He is truly a Christmas Miracle!!!

 

We also have been working with a lady named S**.  I realized after seeing her the first time... that I had given her a pamphlet and shared a short message with her about a year ago when I was on exchange with the assistants!  She had fallen off the map and has recently reappeared! She came to church last week and this week.  Not to mention she gave us all of her cigarettes and is working towards baptism on the 19th!  Nothing beats seeing investigators progress and put their trust in the Lord!

 

For those of you who haven't seen the video the church put out #ASaviorIsBorn... I would encourage you to go watch it right now.  Every time I watch it I feel the spirit.  I also love the African boy... Every time he says "From our sins... From our sadness"  I can't help but smile and think of the people of Sierra Leone. 

 

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Friday, December 4, 2015

Farewells in Bakersfield and "Welcome Backs" in Palmdale

Saying goodbye to Rita, Misael, and Jerry
Elder Houghton and Elder Crandall
President M has tons of birds and he let us hold them...
I couldn't stop laughing because I thought they were going to bite my ear!!
Every transfer the missionaries serving in the Ana Verde ward would bring me all of the drawings that Soukup kids made for me... they put some extra effort in this time and made life size superhero's to give to me! This time they were delivered in person:)  I definitely felt loved:)
 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving in Palmdale!


Since I don't have a ton of time... and pictures speak louder than words. I'll send a lot of pictures!

 

I was able to eat not only one... but two thanksgiving dinners with my 2nd family!  I love the soukup's so much!  They said they are planning to move in the next several years.. I told Robin soukup that she can't move to Idaho or any other place that I don't have family close by... her response was, "It doesn't matter where we move... if we move to Idaho, then you'll have family in Idaho!" 

 

Every transfer the missionaries serving in the Ana Verde ward would bring me all of the drawings that soukup kids made for me... they put some extra effort in this time and made life size superhero's to give to me! This time they were delivered in person:)  I definitely felt loved:)

 

I wish I had a couple hours to write about all the hilarious times Elder Houghton and I have already had! He feels like a long lost friend and we've finally been reunited!  We sat down on planning day and made a list of all the things we need to do to baptize 8 people while we are together.  We are both ready and willing to do whatever it takes to be apart of some amazing miracles!  I couldn't ask for a better person to serve with for my final 2 transfers of the mission.

 

There is a man named Mark Davis who came to stake conference last week.  He wanted to get baptized the same day of stake conference because of the spirit he felt.  He was taught the first 3 lessons in one day!  He is set for baptism on Dec. 12.  Elder Houghton and I were talking to him on the phone Thursday night to get to know him a little better because he is in our area. He just recently got a job driving trucks so travels all over the country.  He called himself the craved after convert and a golden investigator.  We finished talking to him and were just in complete amazement about how sincere this guy was.  Elder Houghton and I were so excited that Elder Houghton literally started hyper-ventilating for at least 15 minutes.  I haven't laughed that hard since spending time with my bud Brandon Wilde!  

 

Well, after that night we felt like Mark was too good to be true. So we decided to call him and ask him all of the baptismal interview questions. We kept telling ourselves that he had to be on probation, parole, be living with some, or something else! Well, we got a nice "god smack."  He answered all of the questions better than anyone else I've ever taught.  He has been studying on his own and been reading the book of Mormon daily.  He said he shared the message with several different people while out on the road.  He is truly a Christmas miracle!

 

Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

 

P.s. Check out my womping willow model shots;)