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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The end of Elder Crandall the Vandal and the beginning of Cody Steven Crandall

I could not have asked for a better week to go out on.  We taught tons of lessons found awesome investigators, and saw lots of people at stake conference.  It was a tender mercy to have my last Sunday as a stake conference because I was able to see all of the members from the Ana Verde ward!  My heart was full of love for all these amazing people I have met that have played a part in the mighty change of heart I have had on my mission!

We were able to go to the temple for my departing temple trip.  While in the Celestial room, I thought back to when I was in the Ghana temple in the Celestial room.  I was just starting my mission and was so scared! I remember crying in the corner by myself as I felt what has become a constant feeling to me over these past 2 years.  The Holy Ghost has always been there to comfort and uplift me.  I am a changed man.  I can say with full confidence that the person I was when I started is very different than the person I am leaving as.  The peace I felt was unreal! A goal I set for myself from the very beginning of my mission was to learn how to feel at peace with myself through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  This quote has helped me many times....

Grace is God's acceptance of me.
Faith is my acceptance of God's acceptance of me
Peace is my acceptance of me.

I know without a doubt that the work I have done for the past 2 years is of God.  If I didn't have a personal testimony of the doctrines I've been teaching I would not have given the time, the sweat, or the tears.  Many days I felt exhausted and wiped out to the point of needing to be carried, and many times that's exactly what my savior did for me.  His Grace is sufficient to clean, cover, and carry anyone through anything.  Missions are not easy, they are amazing.  I know with a very strong conviction that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I finished it for my fourth time this last week while on my mission.  If something is true now... then it was true then.... and will be true in the time to come.  I've been reminded and reassured thousands of times of its truth.  Joseph Smith was and is a Prophet of God.  He was chosen at a young age to take part in the Restoration of Jesus Christ's Gospel and True Church.  He is not perfect, but the revelations received through him are.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living Prophet.  I know that God is the same yesterday today and forever and that it only makes sense that he calls and appoints someone to lead us in such perilous times.  I know that Heavenly Father has a glorified body of flesh and bones.  I know that I was created in his image.  I know that He celebrates when I do right and weeps when I weep.  I know that He is in the details of ALL of his children's lives.  I know that by having faith in him miracles will happen.  I know that as saints in the last days we can expect miracles.  We can experience the miracles of forgiveness and healing through the Atonement.  I know that there is nothing more important or satisfying that I could have done than serve a mission for these last 2 years.  It doesn't matter who you serve or where you serve, but how you serve.  I know that I served a successful mission.

I will see you very soon.

I love you all and appreciate the many many prayers in my behalf!

Elder Crandall the Vandal

Monday, February 15, 2016

Returning and Speaking

No letter last night from Elder Crandall but hoping one will still come.  I know he is very busy with transfers and training his replacement, but hoping he still has time for email.

Elder Cody Crandall will be returning from his mission in 2 more days, on Wednesday, February 17th.  He will be speaking at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at our church located at 1845 East 7200 South, Salt Lake City, UT  84121.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

She is one of the sweetest ladies I have known on my whole mission.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Why do I have to come home?!?!?!

J** M** was baptized and confirmed!  She is one of the sweetest ladies I've been able to teach on my whole mission.  She has known about the church for over 20 years but has finally put in the effort and made up her mind that this is what she wants!  Earlier in the week she was about to come over to the church to have her baptismal interview.  On her phone she has a contact named "My Love" which is her nickname for her husband who passed away 2 years previous.  The contact doesn't have a number connected to it... so whenever she misses him or wants to let him know what she is doing in her life she will text that contact.  Well, right before she left to come to the church she decided to text that contact and let him know that she was really excited to get baptized and hoped he was proud of her.  A couple of seconds after she hit send... in which it wouldn't send to anywhere... her phone spoke out loud as if she was getting a text message and it said, "Message from.. My Love"  She told us about this as soon as she got to the church! She was sooo happy to KNOW that not only is Heavenly Father Watching out for her but, her husband is cheering her on from the other side of the veil so they can be sealed!  Why do I have to come home?!?!?!

We had Mission Leadership Council again this week.  I think this was the 11th one I have done and sadly the last.  We talked a lot about turning our finding into baptisms.  We fasted today to see the fruits of our finding.  Now comes the hard work and the plethora of miracles!:) I was able to share my testimony at the very end and got a little emotional as it hit me how amazing my mission has been and how much I love being a missionary.  Nothing brings the spirit stronger than testifying of something you know to be true.  Why do I have to come home?!?!?!

Wednesday night was so awesome! We went to a returning less-actives home to try and share a message with some of the non-members in his home.  We were able to teach his 20 year old niece T**.  We shared the restoration with her and right in the middle of it she started crying.  She could feel the truth and it spoke straight to her heart.  We invited her to the Book of Mormon class that night and she came!  We met with her the next day and commited her to read and pray about the book of mormon that night.  We texted her the next day to see if she read the chapter we left her with.  She read it.  We asked if she prayed about it.  She said she did and already received an answer and she knew these things were true.  She sent another text that said I have found my new church home and I want to thank you both.  She literally met us 2 days before and hadn't even been to church yet!!! She is a spiritual giant!:) It gets better people!! She came to church and afterward we asked her 1-10 how much did she like it... and she gave it a solid 10!:)  She reminds me so much of Tray T**.  Why do I have to come home?!?!?! 

The E** family is becoming even more like family.  They came to the book of mormon class as well and their kids went to mutual.  They had a blast:)  We also went over on Friday night and watched part of the prophet of the restoration movie.  E** (mom) was sharing how in just 1 week of listening to the Book of Mormon in the car as she commutes and having us come over she can feel the difference in the peace she has.  I wish you could see how cold she was when we first met her at the door.  Now she wants to hug us everytime she sees us but gives us a handshake with both hands instead:) haha I love them!!!!  Why do I have to come home?!?!?!

Friday Elder Houghton and I had the coolest privilege ever!  We were able to take President Wilson out with us for 3 hours in our area!  We had some really powerful lessons all in members homes!  When he teaches you can just feel the warmth from the Holy Ghost.  That was my first time ever teaching with President and all i'm gonna say is we make a pretty great Trio! We even took him knocking for 30 minutes before one of our lessons and we found a new investigator together!  Why do I have to come home?!?!?!

I wish I could remember all of the details of this week because it was honestly one of the best ones of my mission.  We had at least 2 lessons everyday that were action packed with the spirit:)

Shout out to my mom.... I know I have to come home... but I will only do it because I love you:)


Love Elder Crandall the Vandal

Friday, February 5, 2016

Photos at Mammoth Lakes California

Studying in front of the fireplace.  So sureal.
Beautiful view of the sunset.
Perfect setting for studying.
The streets of Mammoth Lakes.  Watch out.  Here he comes.
Book of Mormon class at the Mammoth Lakes Branch.
Probably travels up to Mammoth.  It looks like Bryce National Park in Utah.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Another week in Paradise!


This week couldn't have started off better! We drove up to Mammoth Lakes (5.5 hours) on tuesday.  We got there earlier than expected so we were able to wander around and check out a few cool places!  We got some incredible Thai food and some sweet Mammoth T-Shirts.

My whole mission I've heard rumors about Mammoth and how it is near impossible to find and even harder to baptize.  It reminds me a lot of Park City because it is a tourist town and everyone is all about skiing.  My goal for the exchange was to treat this area just like any other area I've been in.  Wow. It was such an awesome exchange! We found lots of new investigators including 2 families!  We also taught several lessons and had a book of mormon class at the church.  It is a small but powerful branch.  I felt such strong feeling of love and acceptance.  It felt like a family home evening but with the whole branch. I would love to live in a place like this one day and go crazy with member missionary work!  This exchange reminded me that it doesn't matter where you are, the Lord is and always will be preparing people to come unto Him.

We didn't get back to Palmdale until Thursday afternoon so it was a shorter week in our area.  We were able to find a super awesome Part-Member Family that wasn't on the ward list.  The E** family. He is the only member, and when we first met his wife she was pretty closed off. She wasn't rude but just did not seem interested at all. Luckily, we had an absolutely incredible member (who was baptized less than a year ago) with us to bear some awesome testimony. They got along really well and by the end of the conversation the Spirit had completely changed the situation, and she invited us to come back on Sunday to talk with her when her husband was there. We went back on Sunday and had an absolutely incredible experience. The Spirit was so strong and I am so excited to work with them! The dad works on Sundays so it's hard for him to make it to church right now, but we are praying for a miracle and know the Lord will provide. He always does:) The Gospel is awesome!

J** is doing so well. She is so awesome:) I love her to death. She has gone without a cigarette and coffee for 8 days straight now! Her baptism is scheduled for this Saturday so we are super excited. Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for her baptism this week!

Shout out to Cassi! Congratulations on having your new Baby! I can't wait to meet him!

Elder Crandall the Vandal