Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 28th

Hello everyone! Things are going great here in the Cambridge 1st Ward! This week has been a little hectic, so I'll start from the previous week.

We went on a tour around Boston with our friend Mike, and the tour guide was actually Steve, the man who played the organ for us a couple of weeks ago. It was insightful and interesting to see all of the stuff that as a kid you learn about, and also funny to hear how much of the history that we are taught is either exaggerated or made up completely to make a better story. For someone interested in political science, it was refreshing to hear that the founders of our country were just as opinionated, stubborn, and willing to propagandize to get their way as politicians are today.

We have a couple of baptismal dates we are working with, but there are some things that need to happen before they are ready to be baptized. We need to help one lady quit smoking, get the mother of two kids that we are working with to be more active in the church (she is a member), find out where the parents of a 16-yr-old kid we're teaching live (and get their permission for his baptism), and for another man to understand that our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are two distinct beings.

Things are going well with everyone though, and we are still busy teaching! It's awesome to have the opportunity to teach those people that we have been blessed to find. Oh, and I'm going to be training next transfer, so this will be a unique experience training someone in the same place as I was previously trained. It will be challenging.

Crazy stuff! It's going to be a completely different transfer, but I'm excited for it. The ward is doing well, and the members have been helping us out a whole bunch with getting involved in the work. Seriously, missionary work is incredible when the members and missionaries work together!

Hope all is going well, love you all.

Elder Crandell
Hello everyone!

Another great week here in the Cambridge 1st Ward. This was our second week in the new stake center, and it is still awesome. Members are doing well and helping us out by giving some of our investigators rides to church, and coming with us on lessons. Sunday was sweet too, because we were able to walk to church with an 18 yr old named Steve that had promised us that if we came by his house at 12:30 on Sunday, he would go with us to church... So naturally, we were prepared to be disappointed, but a miracle happened. He was actually at his house, and all dressed up to go to church! Even with our foolish lack of faith, this guy was responsible enough to keep his promise. That may have been the miracle of the week.

We also met with a guy from China (he was a media referral who had visited the Salt Lake Temple) that says he has no background in religion, never thought about if there was a higher power, and never thought there was any special or grand purpose to life. Needless to say, we taught a very simplified lesson! He asked some incredible questions during the lesson: "Why are there so many churches here? That is something that troubles me about America- how can anyone know which church is really the right one?" We opened to Joseph Smith History and read some of the things that Joseph Smith himself had felt about his own experience; it was so cool to hear this man explain the same exact concern that a prophet of God had. We taught about the importance of having the priesthood authority, and challenged him to read and ask God for himself. He said he would read from the Book of Mormon and pray about the things we had taught. And he wants to hear more!

Miracles do happen, faith leads to those miracles, and the tender mercies of the Lord are all around us if we take the time to look for them. Love you all!

Elder Crandell

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 7th

Happy 4th of July! We had an awesome week. We were able to set two baptismal dates with people that we have been teaching. One is set for July 18th, and the other is July 25th. The July 18th one might need to get pushed back a couple of weeks, but the 25th date should be pretty solid if we work well with the members. The work is going great! We have been teaching quite a bit, and we are excited that we have a baptismal font in our own church building!

We celebrated the 4th by going over to Herbie Kenney's house, a blind member of our ward. He has been feeling pretty weak, and we haven't been able to visit him for a long time. It was great that we were finally able to see him again on Saturday, and we went and did his shopping so that we could have food to party with him on Sunday night. We watched the fireworks together on the balcony of his building; even though he couldn't see them, he had a great time with us. Two other Elders that used to be in the area before came as well, so we all had a great time with Herbie. Hopefully he keeps feeling better. Herbie is an incredibly generous man.

Another awesome experience after church on Sunday- we went with our friend Mike to his church, and got to see their organ that they have there. It is one of the biggest in the world! His friend Steve played a couple of songs for us, and he "opened up" the organ for some of the songs and used some of the louder pipes. The building was shaking, it was really cool. Steve also played "Come, Come Ye Saints" which was awesome to hear! Mike and Steve also took us on a little tour around their church grounds- they have a bunch of stained glass paintings that were pretty cool. We recorded some songs and took pictures, so you should get them the next time I send the memory card home.

We taught another guy this week that disagreed with what we do as missionaries. He said that it doesn't matter what church you go to, because most churches teach the same principles anyways, so we shouldn't try to teach anyone that has their own religion because it leads to people being "ripped from their communities and families". It was a very interesting view that he had, and while I won't write all of my thoughts or reactions to his views, I do have to say that I am ever more grateful for the Restoration of the gospel and the priesthood, because that is what keeps the teachings of Christ pure and correct, and separates us from other churches. In Preach My Gospel, it says something like "The message of the Restoration is either true or it is not." I love that sentence! It is very bold and clear. To me, it says that without the Restoration, all of the things that we teach won't last or endure, because they aren't built on the rock that Christ built His church on- apostles and prophets.

Things are going well, and we (Elder Davies and I) are still having fun serving here in the Cambridge 1st Ward. I've been out on the mission for 4 months now! Time is flying by. I have a testimony that this work that we are involved in is true in itself, and that the blessings of it are innumerable. Oh, and I'll also throw in that the Demattia family is awesome. And some crazy guy named Tony makes church fun every week hahaha, hope he reads that.

Love you all,
Elder Crandel