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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