Monday, April 25, 2011

Hello everyone! I don't have too much time to write this week. Elder Yurevich and I are still out there teaching the gospel and trying to find more people to share our message with. One insightful comment that Stephen (guy that we have been meeting with) said during one of our lessons about the plan of salvation was, talking to his wife, "But Deedee, they're all mansions. He's not going to put you in some hut!" talking about the three kingdoms of glory described in 1 Corinthians 15: 40-41, and referring to John 14:2 when Christ refers to the "many mansions" in His Father's house. It was cool seeing him put together the fact that although there are different levels of glory that we can rise to depending on our obedience to God, they will all be mansions.
I love my mission, even though it is difficult. There is more to this life than what we can see with our eyes, and there is something greater than us that moves and shapes our lives. Everyone is on a journey, whether we want to accept it or not. I love reading from the Book of Mormon because it helps me to see my journey more clearly. Keep the faith, stay strong!
Elder Crandell

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Greetings from Massachusetts! The work is going great here in the Weston 1st Ward. This Sunday was excellent- a nice married couple we have been teaching, Stephen and Diane Fay, came to church together. This was Diane's first time at church. Incredibly, everything went as planned; all of the talks were spiritual and nonmember friendly, we sang somewhat normal hymns in sacrament meeting, the lessons were simple and stayed on course with the teachings of the Church, and there weren't any awkward moments thrown at us. If any of you don't know why I find that incredible, please ask your nearest return missionary what it is like taking someone to church for the first time.
In all seriousness, Stephen and Diane had a great time. Stephen has come four times now, and has really become comfortable with the members. We have a baptismal date set with him for May 31st, which is his father's birthday. The only difficult part about it is that Stephen has the desire to be baptized in a river, preferably one in Maine where they have a summer getaway. We'll see if we can get approval to go up with him since that is definitely outside of our mission, but it will still work out if we aren't able to.
I have enjoyed serving with Elder Yurevich, we are getting along great. We have been together long enough for us to both know how the other will react to any situation, which is either comforting or frustrating (just kidding). The work is going well for us; we spend most of our time trying to find new people to teach. We are looking everywhere for them, believe me. Sometimes you just need to wait for something to happen, I've definitely learned that on my mission. For some reason, you can find 10 people to teach in one month, and then 0 people in the next month, even though you are doing the same exact things. There are always lessons to be learned from the ups and downs.
Thanks for all of the support from back at home, I wish all of you a Happy Easter! Remember the sacrifice that our Savior gave for us, and follow His example by looking for opportunities to serve those around you.
Elder Crandell

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hello everyone! The mission is going great. This week, Ani Miranda was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Her family, some of them not members of the church, attended, and it was a very sweet experience. Ani has an amazing testimony, and she will be a fantastic example to everyone around her, especially me!
We tracted a bunch this week, and we are still working on finding new investigators. Things are going great for those that we are teaching, we can't ask for very much more. I have found through reading the scriptures daily that no matter what happens outside of me, I am able to stay secure on the inside. If I can make that, and other small changes, habitual, then my service on my mission has already paid me back more than I could have imagined. Being a representative of Jesus Christ for these two years definitely brings forth the blessings of heaven, that's for sure!
Hope you all are doing well. I challenge whoever reads this email to read and pray from the Book of Mormon, because reading and praying brings me more peace than anything else I have found in my life. I promise that it is worth sacrificing a couple minutes to find out what the Creator wants you to do today.
Elder Crandell

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hello everyone! We had an awesome week here in the Weston 1st Ward. Ani Miranda got baptized on Sunday! The service was excellent, lots of people showed up (including many nonmembers from her family and some of the people we have been teaching). The Spirit of God, like a fire, was burning! We are very excited for Ani, she has a strong testimony of the restored gospel. She is a better Christian than me, that's how I feel.
General Conference was good, but it went by too quickly. I'm not sure how it happened, but suddenly I can watch 10 hours of talks within two days, and wish that there was more. Staying wide awake during all of it is also astounding. In all seriousness, I thoroughly enjoyed conference and feel a great desire to improve myself. That's the amazing thing about listening to the modern apostles and prophets, they give us messages from God.
One funny experience from this week came during a lesson with a man named Stephen, who we have been meeting with for about three months now. He joked that we weren't giving him all of the material that we read from, and insisted that we give him "Doctrines and Consequences", which is what he calls "Doctrine and Covenants". He jokes about how I'm going to write Doctrines and Consequences when I get older.
Wonderful week, I'm looking forward to the next one. Elder Yurevich and I found out that we will be staying together for another transfer! This will be three transfers together, it's kinda crazy. I'm excited to continue working with him, we have some good stuff happening here. Miracles happen, and God definitely provides a way for us to ease the burdens we have if we are looking for His help. Love you all!
Elder Crandell