Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27th

Another busy week in the Cambridge 1st Ward. We got back into contact with an investigator that we haven't seen in a long time, and he came to church this Sunday. That was definitely a blessing to see him there! We will hopefully be able to meet up with him and a few other people this next week.

General conference is here! We are very excited to get people to come to that, and the members we have talked to said they would all work on bringing their friends to it. General conference is pretty much the Superbowl for missionaries; we are happy that it's here. We get to listen to the apostles, prophet, and other inspired leaders talk directly to us, that doesn't happen every day.

Gonna be a short email for this week, sorry, but time is short today. Everything is awesome, and I am glad that I have been given this opportunity to search for myself what I believe and who I am. I keep finding things I can do differently that will make me a better person, which I'm grateful for. It's really hard to change, though, so good thing it's 2 years!

Elder Crandell

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20th

Oh, hey there friends. It's Elder Crandell. I'm still on a mission, and still with the Cambridge 1st Ward. The work is going great- we had a weird week, it seemed like every day didn't go as planned, but they all went well at the same time. I feel like this really is my new home. There are members and nonmembers that have taken the role of being my mother and father for the time being, it's really interesting how that has happened.

Elder Ichi and I taught a guy a first lesson in Portuguese, although I'm pretty sure I had no idea what was being said the entire time. I don't understand anything in Portuguese. I'm assuming (and hoping) that Elder Ichi was teaching the man about Heavenly Father, prophets, and Jesus Christ, and not saying to the guy, "My companion here is a dumb, ugly fool". I wouldn't know either way, I just nodded and smiled most of the time. We are passing him off to the Portuguese missionaries this week.

We had an interesting talk that discussed agency during church yesterday. It made me think that while we always have the ability to make decisions for ourselves, sometimes if we make a "pre-decision", or choose to do something before another decision is made, that the previous decision will actually limit our agency in the second decision. The limitation on our agency seems like it could be both good and bad, depending on our previous decision. Not sure if that made sense, but for things like choice of friends, music, and daily routine, those things seem capable of shaping our choices that we make for the day, week, or year. Maybe even a lifetime. I kinda like the idea, and I do know that we all have the ability to choose for ourselves.

Elder Crandell

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13th

Great, great week. Thanks for the emails and letters, give thanks to Kelley for the drawing, and thank you Dad for the email. It is nice to hear things are going well with the business/family/home and whatnot. Christmas/Thanksgiving/Birthday gift request for me- I really miss those audio tapes that talk about Jesus Christ's life as a story, Dad used to listen to them in the car. I keep thinking about those, ask him if he knows what I'm talking about!

(For friends and family)

Once again, great week here in the Cambridge 1st Ward! The work is going well; we were busy last week, and next week is lined up to be busy, too. The members are awesome, I love this ward. I would definitely be ok with coming back and going to Cambridge 1st. We are working to get members to set appointments with nonmembers so that we can work our schedules around theirs after they set up a visit, and that should make it easier on us to meet with people.

We had an interesting encounter a couple of days ago. A man approached us on the street, walked up close to us, and said right into our faces, "I just need to tell you guys that you are a racist organization. You look down on us blacks and treat us like dirt. A religious leader of mine said that black people are gods and white people are devils." So I asked him, "Are you saying that white people are devils, and that we are racist?" and he simply replied, "Yes." We started walking away from him and wished him a good day. Elder Ichi and I were greatly amused at how ironic that guy's claim was, and Elder Ichi informed me that he had wanted to say, "Sir, look at me. I don't know if you have noticed, but I'm not white!" It must have been funny for my trusty Brazilian companion to be called a "racist, white devil"! We had a really good laugh, that's about all you can do after experiences like that happen.

I have a testimony of missionary work and the blessings that come from it. I know that the commandments are given to us as an opportunity to receive blessings. I guess the saddest way to gain this testimony is to see countless people break the laws of God, and for even nonreligious people to say that the things they chose made them lose the ability to freely choose. Hopefully we can show people that there is a way to escape from those chains that they are in!

Elder Crandell

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

August 8th

Hello everyone! This week was awesome, we had a baptism! I was lucky enough to baptize Kentra, who is 8, and Elder Davies (my previous companion) came back to baptize Phillips, 11. There were a ton of people there, and the program was great. It was awesome to see the whole ward come together to make this a memorable experience for these kids.

Transfers are this week, that's why I'm emailing today and not Monday. We found out that both Elder Ichi and I will be staying here for at least one more transfer. It's crazy that I'm going to be in my first area for so long, but I'm grateful because I want to keep working with the people we have found. I can't believe I've already been out for 6 months! Time is flying by, and it's because we make sure every day is a busy one.

I am grateful for this church, as an organization. The role of each calling and position in the Church is inspired, and miracles happen when they all work together. The priesthood is a blessing and an opportunity. How lucky we are to be involved in the work of Heavenly Father, working to help others obtain eternal life! I will be eternally grateful for my mission, because I already have been blessed in ways that nobody besides myself would understand. One of the most comforting things about my faith is that I can know for myself, not faking it for others.

Well, time is short. Hope everything is going well back home! Stay strong!

Elder Crandell