Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Many Miracles

Its been an amazing week! There honestly have been so many miracles, just so many people that have really progressed.  Things are going so well! I love it so much, such a good week! Its so true that the secret to happiness is hard work. Everyday we wake up tired, but are still so excited to go out. As we understand the magnitude of our calling here on earth (missionaries and members) we literally change to conform with the will of Christ, of what he wants us to become. We have Zone conference so I'm excited to go and see the rest of the zone in Dumaguete (since we really don't see them much)! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A New Companion

Things are still going super good! 

My new companion is Elder Cabaccan from Luzon. His language is a mix of tagalog and another dialect, so english is pretty tough. We  speak bisaya 80% of the time which is really good for both of us! 

In our apartment Elder Asuro is training. He is training a missionary from Tonga named elder Fonua. Its super funny how everyone communicates but it all works out. Yesterday elder fonua ate balut (boiled duck embryo) for the first time. Its so interesting, he has eaten dog a lot before, but he was super scared to eat it but we got him too! He didnt really like it.... I have to be the middle man a lot since we can all speak english but sometimes with the accents its hard for them to understand each other.Its super fun, i love the spirit in the home! We have had a good week! I love it so much! Hope things are going well. Love yall all!

Elder Crandall

Monday, October 20, 2014

More Sleeping "Photo Bombs"

More photos for Jacob's collection of sleeping "photo bombs"

Rat Attack Oct 14, 2014

Things are going very good here! Im sad about Grandma but am so glad that the funeral went to well. I loved seeing all of the photos. Im sure its been a crazy couple of weeks. Transfers are not out yet, we will find out this monday what will happen. We had zone interviews  and conference in Dumaguete so spent 4 days on the island of negros. It was super fun as I was able to go on splits with my batch Elder Ioane, although tough since that was 4 days of no work in our area. Things are going really well! We are finally seeing people really progress from our first transfer. We were also able to watch general conference since its a week delayed here. Elder Bigornia and I are really working hard! Im so grateful for him, I dont feel like im training him but rather just companions as he has progressed so much.
    I loved conference so much! Its so interesting as how we grow and mature how conference begins to mean so much more. It was truly amazing, I loved the saturday talks! Though the Sunday were good too ( I dont think anyone would ever say any of them are bad hah). A couple stuck out to me though i dont have my notes with me right now and dont remember all their names. I really liked Elder Oaks and the one "which way do we face?". I feel that this is a challenge in the church. We must always reevaluate and face the Lord. I am going to download all the talks and listen to them again during the morning when we get ready. 
 Im glad all is going well! I love you all! Also I killed my first rat yesterday. He has been eating lots of our food and putting holes in lots of stuff. 
   Another funny story is we were watching the district ( the missionary video used for training here) with elder bigornia and it was so funny as we would point out all the differences. We would see the carpet floor ( we have cement) cushined chairs during study, microwaves, lamps, nice wooden desks for study, washers. It was kind of funny seeing the differences of difference missions. Sometimes i feel like i would want so of the other convenient stuff but seeing what others have here, im soo grateful for our apartment and love living such a basic life. Ive grown so much, its so amazing! I love yall all! 
Elder Crandall

Washing a cell phone Sept 30, 2014

Hello its been such a good week! I hope everyone is doing well! Its been a super crazy week! We had ward conference which is in Dumaguete as our group is apart of that ward. Then we stayed for the District meeting and then went back after. Tuesday we had a super full day of work!! And then this morning we came back to negros since there is a mission conference with all the missionaries in negros. ( there are 2 conference, one in cebu and one in negros). And then the following week we will come back for General conference. The work is really going well. Since its such a new area its a lot of planting. We have some really good investigators that we are excited about as we see their progression. I went on splits with the ZLs with Elder Wilding from Utah. We had an experience with this lady who did not like the missionaries. She was just like " you just want to baptize me, and then after I'll have to go on a mission like you!"  Elder Wilding talked to her and explained the importance of baptism and then said sister we do not want you to be baptized if you are not ready. We are here to help people get ready and receive answers that this church is true. It was a very interesting conversation as her views of us were so skewed. 
      Funny story, Elder Bigornia was holding the phone and had it in his pockets. We had to wake up this morning early to wash our clothes ( we do it all by hand so it takes a while) since we are in Dumaguete so we had to soak them the night before. We realized that he put in his pants in to the bucket with the phone in it! We are going to try to soak it in some rice. 
      We meet a guy at church in Dumaguete that lives on siquijor but come out once a week for church and to go to the movies. We visted him in siquijor.  He live in salt lake city but works for the FBI and is involved in a human trafficking case in Thailand right now. He is a very interesting guy. It was very nice to be able to speak in english! 
   I love yall! I hope all is going well!
  ELder Crandall

Photo is from our district activity at this beach place! Its so beautiful in siqiujor! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014



Hello Family,
 Things are going soo well here! This week we have really had many blessing finding people. Something we try to do is service and then turn it into a teaching opportunity. It's really proved effective, the only problem is that no one will let us help because they don't want us to get " dirty" since we have our white shirt and pants. Normally we just start helping if they are doing anything like picking up leaves, picking up coconuts, really anything.
     Good news! Siquijor can apply to be a branch!! Last week we had 44 which was so much better than the previous 28 the week before.
      About washing clothes, its all done by hand. I hate it but it's not to bad. It's really funny because every time I was I think of 5th grade on our field trip to the heritage farm museum when the lady was showing us how they washed their clothes back in the day. She said " Can you imagine washing like this everyweek". Sometimes I jokingly think to myself.. yes i can, how about you? hhah but its really not to bad. It gives Elder Bigornia and I time to talk. 
   It's truly amazing how kind and humble people are. I have been spending so much time thinking about families as we have some families that we are teaching and have recently found.  Family here is so important. People don't have money, but they always help their family no matter what happens. Truly family is happiness. In these broken homes the kids often end up getting into drugs, girl/boys, and so many of the things of the world when in reality the true happiness is in the family. It's amazing that we can all live together in the next life and it shows the importance of following the scriptures, prophets, and teaching of the church. 
  Quick funny story. In Pardo I drank only Pepsi. Soda is super cheap here( though I am not cutting it out haha) but it's just coke on Siquijor. We found one place where there is pepsi and I got sooo excited! Some 14 year old kid bought some and I really wanted to try some. I said hey can I try some? He let me! It was kind of weird after drinking just coke but it was so funny. It shows how kind people are here! I love yall so much! 
Elder Crandall

Hello, It has been another very good week! We had transfer calls and Elder Bigornia and I are staying in Siquijor which I'm really excited about! Things are going really well! I'm still working on the language but this transfer I plan on waking up everyday a little early to really work on it. Its funny because I always want to speak Visiya and Elder Bigornia always wants to speak english. We have a pretty funny story. Elder Bigornia was having problems with one of his back wisdom tooth that needed to be pulled. There is a couple missionary that took us to the one in Dumaguete ( as there arent any on siquijor). The dentist is a women and Elder Bigornia was really worried because his other dentist were men and he thought that the lady would be too weak to pull it. Sister Henrichson was saying how its not about strength but about technique but E. Bigornia was still hesitant. She was saying how this dentists was really good and approved by the church and stuff. I'm in the office talking to Sister Henrichson while elder bigornia is on the chair. Afterwards he said he should have went to a male dentist! hha They injected him with a little pain medicine in his gums and then she just went to town pulling, twisting, and turning until it came out. He said it hurt soo bad and he felt it all and was trying not to yell. He said the male dentists before would just get a really good grip of the tooth and then just yank it out in one tug. After she put some cotton in, gave him 4 pills ( 2 to prevent infection, and 2 pain) and thats it. Mom and Dad, Dont worry, I've been taking good care of my teeth so don't worry! Also Elder Ioane will be in my zone!! I'm so pumped, he is my batch from Samoa! Love yall all!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fun Photos - Siquijor Island

Jacob and his companion, Elder Bigornia

Jacob and his companion, Elder Bigornia

Another sleeping "photo bomb", canine version

Welcome to Siquijor Island

Shredding a coconut.  Notice the tongue; somethings never change (even on a mission)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Blueberry Cheesecake

The third week in Siquijor has been so good! Its been so hard, but so fun! Its been pretty crazy, I went on splits with the ZLs and the APs came down to Siquijor so I was able to go on splits with elder Milia from Manilla ( my old zl). It was so fun and such a good experience! He is one of my best friends on the mission. I learned soo much! The McCurdys came down to Siquijor. The 6 Siquijor missionaries were able to  see them at a resort! The resort is so nice!  President treated us to some dessert! I got some blueberry cheese cake! It was so good! 

This week will be a super busy week. We have Elder Shayne Bowen of the Seventy coming for a conference so tonight we will take a boat to Dumaguete and sleep there. Then we will take a boat to Cebu island and drive up to Cebu and sleep at some of the elders apartment and Friday will be our conference! I am super excited. We are blessed because our mission is really obedient so all of our conferences are never about obedience problems but are normally doctrines, which I really love. Elder Bowen asked us to study the Abrahamic Covenant, so for the last week I have really been studying about and our DL did a workshop so I have already learned so much. I'm pumped to learn even more Friday!  Things are awesome here! Love the mission! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First week on Siquijor

So things are going sooo good in Siquijor! Siquijor is soo amazing, I truly love it! The area I live in is what you would think about when you think about a really little beach town. There are not McDonalds or anything like that at all, but there is this little place you can eat that is called Jo's, soo good. My area is really far away, about 3 minutes by tricylce. When you think of the really touristy spots on the beach with clear water.... well that is what its like, except without the tourists. Something that was kind of hard to adjust to is the apartment. Its nice, but the electricity and water goes out all the time. A couple days ago 19 out of the 24 hours - no electricity or water. We cook with gas stoves so we are ok and we shower with a bucket. At night sometimes its pretty hot, but sometimes there will be a really nice breeze so it will be pretty cool.   I'm training... its hard but sooo good! My companion is elder Bigornia from Mindanao. His english is ok, we mostly speak Visaya (Cebuano). Church was an interesting experience... Last sunday there was around 24 people including the missionaries, 2 pairs of elders and 1 pair of sisters. All the missionaries in Siquijor are Pinoy (Filipino) except me so its a lot of Visiya. We opened up a new area where there haven't been missionaries so we are creating a new teaching pool. Basically everyday we just try to talk to EVERYONE and get as many OSTs (on the spot teachings) as we can. Its been tough but real good. The people here are really chill and sooo friendly! I really love it! I hope all is going well with everyone! Love yall all

Elder Crandall

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A new area - Siquijor Island

We just got word that Jacob is being transferred to Siquijor Island, which is a small island southwest of the Cebu Island.  Go here to learn more about this island (  The island boasts some great snorkeling/diving, which Jacob will never see.

Jacob has been asked to serve as a trainer.  He will pick up his companion fresh off the plane from the MTC and travel ~8 hours (mostly by road and ferry) to the island.  Also, they will open a new area that either has never had missionaries or hasn't had missionaries for quite some time.  I am sure it will be a great experience for both of them and those they serve.

Below are more pictures of Jacob's "sleeping photo bombs".

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hello everyone!

Things are super good here in cebu! Well the update this week is record cleaning still! Its hard because sometimes we are thought as the bad guys when we tell people that their children aren't members... But most people are good and helpful about it. Sometimes not.. Its hard when we try to help members and they get mad, but that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Our bishop is really funny, the other day we had a fireside by us missionaries for the ward. Elder Martinez asked him how his scripture study was. He looks up like he was thinking and then said, "Its pretty good.... Every day from 8-5" and everyone laughed. He works for the church as a translator for ensign, liahona, and really anything that needs to be translated, he also does general conference and did the new 3 temple videos. He is a really good member and bishop. There was another member that attended who is probably 60. The sister missionary was talking about inviting friends and family to the church and asked him about his brother. She was like you could invite him to church. He says "well he is really gahit ( mean/hard). And she was like yes, sometimes people are like that, but don't you want to be with him and your family. He responded " With my brother? No."  it was pretty funny. The ward is really good! So my shinning moment goes this week to Ruby john! He is a freakin STUD! He come from a family of 12 kids and he takes care of a lot of them. He and part of his family were baptized about 8 years ago but went inactive after. They returned a couple months ago and last week the whole family who live in pardo came! Most of the kids are below 10 right now. But the dad came! And he didn't join with the rest 8 years ago. But Ruby john really wants to go on a mission, he is 20. He is honestly an inspiring story. He use to be in a kind of a gang group. He drank and did drugs, has this big tatoo but when the sisters went back and he came back he stopped all of it! He stopped hanging out with all the bad friends. It just truly amazes me that even someone who got into trouble and hung out with bad friends, completely turned his life around. He reads his scriptures everyday, helps his mom with his little siblings and comes with us a lot. Just so many amazing stories with his true conversion process and how so much light has been brought to him and his family! His testimony is really strong and he is preparing for a mission by going to seminary every week, going out with us, studying the scriptures and PMG everyday. Things are just going so good with him and our whole area.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sleep Fairy

This photo is with some guy sleeping ( people sleep in the most obscure places).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Its the rainy season

Its turning into the rainy season here! I really love it, it means we have clouds which is a nice break from the sun everyday. We had zone interveiws this week, it went real well. It was kind of short, but thats ok, president McCurdy wasn't feeling to well. He and his wife are really amazing people, there are so nice and loving. This next Saturday is the baptism of mario jn entienza, we are super excited for that. We love the entienza family sooo much, they are so strong and diligent. They have their trials but continue to press forward through it all. Its been amazing the light that she has received and the blessings. 

Elder martinez and I are working really hard. This last week we have had lots of problems with the ward records. According to the records we have 846 members in the ward but an average of 130-140 each week. I am getting better with MLS but I'm sure I will be an expert after it all. Yesterday e. Martinez and I spent all day finding people from the records that aren't members but have been baptized. There were problems with the system so there are about 15 children of record who have been baptized but something got wrong with their record so they aren't members... So we go and ask for pictures, certificates, journal entries, or programs to try to validate it along with 2 priesthood men who attended. Sometimes 
I feel like fbi going to ppls house and asking for evidence of their baptism. If we are absolutely positively sure that they have been baptized we can re-create their record, but if there is doubt or usually not enough evidence we have to re-baptize. Most are below 18 and we have some deacons that pass every week but technically aren't members...

Its been a busy week. All day we were walking and got 3 people with enough stuff to re-create and 2 that will need to be baptize. We are also going to go through the attendance because most likely there are a lot that come every week that are children of record, but have no record. The other missionaries that meet at our building but different ward had to re baptize like 8 and reconstruct a good amount. I feel very knowledgeable with the ward organizational systems and structure haha.  And now we do teach all the lessons before baptism. I am super excited and happy about that. There are SOOO many less active/ inactive members in the Philippines, mainly from 2004 and before but we are cleaning it up and bringing people back. Its been an amazing expiernce and am truly loving it! I apologize if there are lots of type-Os. Hope everyone is doing well! Love ya all
(Photo is of my comp and an investigator, lorenzo is his name)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Spider Bite

Hello all, once again its been a fantastic week! Our new mission president came in, he is a super cool guy and I am really looking forward to getting to know him. The work is going really well. We have seen lots of miracles as people learn the gospel and shape their lives to fit the commandments. Sometimes changing everything. We really see how people are blessed as they sacrifice to do whats right. The work just keeps moving. 

I got a spider bite this week. I went to the office one day and the ladies was like thats a brown recluse bite! I was thinking "man i sure hope not" but i don't know what kind of spider bite (I wouldn't recommend looking up spiders in the philippines, there are some pretty nasty ones 
I've seen haha) it is but its been going down a lot which is good. Sister schmutz gave me some insecticide stuff. I sprayed my bed and all around the area. Lets just say after I found some bed bug friends that had been sleeping there too. It was kind of gross but they are all dead now. I am super grateful cause before i would wake up with bites on my feet and now i don't have to deal with it! Things are awesome here! The mission really changes you and puts a new perspective to life as you see the challenges of others. Hope all is doing well!

Elder Crandall

Going to the Mountains

Hello everybody! Hope things are going well! It has been a very good week! Im really picking up on the language, its coming a lot faster. This week we went back to the really bukid (mountainous\jungley) area for a day.  After a couple hours of hiking through the bukid and asking people about our recent convert we finally found her..... but she was at work. It worked out because we were able to talk to lots of people and find where she lives. People are so hospitable here in the Philippines. We had been walking for so long and were really tired. When we found our recent convert's home there was another family that lived right next to them who were there. He climbed a coconut tree and cut down 3 coconuts, cut them open and gave it to us. I'll tell ya, there ain't nothing like some fresh coconut in the bukid when you are really tired! It was super good. 

We have had a lot of challenges with some of our investigators and recent converts. Its so true when people say its the most challenging but most rewarding time of your life. I really see that, you have some days where things go so good, investigators keep their commitments and really progress and have a new light added in their composure. Then you have days where you are tired, investigators don't care or see the blessings of the church but won't act on it and you just get frustrated. I get frustrated or impatient in my heart but then I really need to realize that we are asking people to change their life. The gospel is so foreign to them, action or going to church, reading scripture, and praying is also new. Most people here are Catholic, but Catholicism is more of a tradition than a religion. It has really taught me to be more patient and put in the effort to understand others. There is a couple named Generose and Reynend. They are live ins and have a son. She is 20 and he is 23. They have been together for about 3 years and are super good! Reynend gave up work on Sunday so that they could go to church as a family. Right now they are working on getting married. They have to get a lot of forms done before but things are really good! We all set a goal together with them for july to get married. Its truly amazing to see their light and happiness as they read as a family and pray together and as they progress through our lessons for them. Their family has really been strengthened. It seems like each transfer gets better and better! I included a picture of a guy we met. He looks mad and isnt smiling but he is super funny and a cool guy. A lot of ppl here don't smile in photos and look mad. He is a farmer and has a little banana farm and eggplant and has lots of chickens. Super nice guy!

Elder Crandall

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Devil Monkey

May 20, 2014

So its been a bitter sweet and interesting week. I'll start out with the sweet! We had a baptism! It was sister Entienza. It was soo good. Her husband has a member but hasn't gone in 30 years and had been coming back for the last 6 weeks as we have been teaching. He stopped smoking and drinking coffee and prepared himself to be worthy to baptize his wife. It was truly an amazing experience. She was sooo good, truly elect! 

For the bitter... So my companion got emergency transferred to Escalante, one of the new areas in negreos occidental our mission recieved as its cebuano. I was getting a new companion. The day before he was going to come, there was some medical issues so he had to go to manilla and so i got a call that i was transferring since i didnt have a companion. I packed up that night and went to toledo zone the next day. It was pretty tough since we were teaching sis entienza's son and had many super good investigators and members. I'm in an area called balamban in the toledo zone. My area is pretty cool. Our apartment is maybe 50 yards from the ocean but theres some sewage water goes so its not a nice spot. But we get a nice breeze! And it smells good, like an ocean. Our area is pretty bukid. Very country like with big feilds and stuff. My new companion is an american which is different but he's cool! We have a big patio upstairs in our apartment. There are 4 elders there. We slept outside since its so much cooler and it started raining on us at 12:30 so we had to move inside. When i came to toledo zone i took a bus from pardo to toledo. i got out of the taxi and took my 2 bags out and went and set them down on the curb and i came back to get my scripture bag and the taxi was gone. It had my camera and all my photos. I was really upset. We have the taxi number so the ZLs are trying to find him. It was on the ground so Im pretty sure he didnt even realize it was there and just thought we were done. 

Now for the funny stories!!
So we were out visiting some members and it was getting late and was dark outside. We were walking on this feild were there were these animals called carabou. They are like cows. We are just walking across and i feel my foot just sink. It was just a big cow paddy! I just kept walking haha. 

We went to this memebers house yesterday. They have this small tree, no taller than 8 feet and had this small devil monkey in it! If we got close he would just start growling sneering his teeth and holding on the tree with one hand and swinging the other one to try to grab us or something. I took my sweat cloth and kind of waved it in front of him and he grabbed that thing sooo fast!!! The member started laughing and got it. He was super nice to her but not to us guys for some reason. My compaion gave the monkey some oreo like cookies. He grabbed it and ripped open the wrapper and started eating it. It was pretty funny! Hopfully i can get my camera back and take a video of it to send to annie!
 Everything is going good! Im really excited for my new area. Hope all is going well!
Elder Crandall

Simon Says ...

May 14, 2014; I hope mothers day was great for everyone!! This week had some funny events.  First, we were walking and some little kid ran up to me and ask if i was circumcised. I was super confused cause i didnt know the word for that, so later i asked my companion what he said and he told me. 2nd, we were walking down this alley along the water line were people's washing, shampoo and toothpaste water goes. There was a pipe out of the back of a home that would drop from the pipe 6 inches to the waterline underneath. It was water that had been used for washing so it was white from the soap. A little kid, maybe 1 years old was sitting on a little plastic tricycle leaning over to try to reach the water. There wasnt anyone around and so we asked what he was doing. He just said " gatas, gatas" or milk milk. We pulled him back and said no, thats dirty water. 3rd, we were in a lesson with one of our investigators. Elder fuentes was talking about the plan of salvation and was talking about our pre-mortal life. Sometimes we use english words for big terms just because the cebuano words are confusing to say. So he was meaning to talk about the pre-mortal life and ment to say during our pre-mortal life but said " So during our procreation" . I tried so hard to not laugh. We had recently taught about the law of chastity and he accidentally switched the 2 words. 
      Just some funnies! The highlight of the week was a service project the relief society did. They got lots of bread from a bread shop, juice, clothes and candy. They invited the missionaries to join, so we were able to go. They went to a little area and gave people food and drink and clothes. People loved it! It was so fun, we played games with all the kids and the adults would go through the clothe and pick the ones they wanted. It was such an awesome experience! We were able to talk to a lot of people about who we are and what we do. We were able to talk to some people that are really interested who we will return to! Service brings so much joy to our lives. Well thats all for this week. I hope all is going well! 
Elder Crandall

Elder Crandall playing Simon Says with the children

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Every Missionary Has a Dog Story...

Its been a super good week! I was able to go on splits with my ZLs which was a good experience. I really learned a lot! The entienza family is still progressing and doing very well! Mario jr committed to be baptized this week and is very excited. The next sunday the whole family came to church! ( except one of the older brothers, 28). We had our zone activity last wednesday. We went to this beach area and had a pick-nic, played Frisbee, flew kites, and tried to play volleyball though our net was a rope tied from one tree to another. We had a traditional filipino meal called budle fight( pronounced boodle) where there is lots of rice, meat and fish on banana leaves ad everyone just uses their hands!
          I have had a request to hear some funny stories so here we go. The other day elder fuentes and i were walking in our area to an appointment. Every time we walk down this one path there is this dog ( we call him devil dog) cause he just starts barking and jumping all over in his cage that is about 15 ft from the path. The cage is probably about 6 ft by 6ft and 4 ft tall. On the top there is a tarp held down but some big pieces of wood spread out across the top to weigh the tarp down. Every time he sees us he starts jumping up and hitting the tarp. So one day we were walking by ( btw this dog is a pretty big dog) and he starts just barking, growling, and jumping all over in his cage. We see the wood start to move and we were thinking "all that wood is gonna come off". The dog kept jumping and hitting the top and to our worst fear all the wood fell off!! We see that and we both literally just book it, not even looking at each other first, out of there, not even looking back!!! We kept going and there was no dog chasing us. We went back and and peaked around the corner and realized that the tarp was tied down on the cage. All the filipino ladies who were outside talking and what not were now just dying with laughter. We felt pretty dumb, but it was funny.
                  The 2nd funny story was during our zone activity. There was this massive cow and i wanted to go get a picture with it. I was standing maybe 5 feet from in when elder fuentes ( taking the photo) was like its coming at you. I thought he was just messing with me and i was laughing but looked back anyway. As i look back i just see this cow coming at me so i just start running. The picture is mid action when i was in my picture pose, and laughing cause i thought elder fuentes joking and the cow coming at me. He was tied to the tree but had lots of slack. All the local people were watching and all started laughing when they saw me running. 
      Im loving the mission! Still working on the bisyian as it is coming slowly, but i know that pretty sure i will be good at it. Hope all is going well with everyone
Elder Crandall

Monday, April 28, 2014

April Letters

April 22

     Hello family and friends! Another awesome week this week! Super good week! We have been teaching this family named the entinza's! They are super awesome! The dad is less active and has been his whole life so we treat his as an investigator as he doesnt remember anything from before. They have 6 kids but one passed away when he was 23. We have been teaching the 21 year old ( mario jr), kobe (14) and marlo ( 9) and the mom ( 50s)( others are younger and sit in sometimes but have a hard time focusing). They are really good and have been coming to church the last couple of weeks. We had a church tour where we talk about the different rooms and sunday school, relief society and things like that ( the ZLs do the tour). After the section where we talked about the baptismal fount we said any questions? Sister entinza raised her hand and said " when can I be baptized?" WE were soo excited and talked to her after and set a date. Its amazing how she has completely changed from the first time we visited her. I was able to do splits with my DL elder valencia ( my old companion).It was super good, he is an amazing teacher, maybe the best in the mission. We talked about the plan of salvation and their whole family were all wet eyed as elder v talked about how mario jr could later do the baptism for his brother who passed away. Also we taught a 16 girl named may. He mother was a recent convert 2 months ago. She wasnt interested at all before. We spent some time being very simple about our beliefs on things she didnt understand ( jesus, god and holyghost, and BOM). elder valencia did such a good job talking about how the church will bless her specifically and her family and the joy that he has seen in his life. She smiled sooo big after when she understood and really saw the blessings, it was such an amazing feeling in the room. She committed to be baptized as well. Her mom was almost in tears of joy and was mouthing to elder valencia after thank you, thank you. 

This week i was polishing my shoes and I was it was like a tube with a sponge that you rub on the shoe to polish it. I was trying to figure it out and so i squeezed it really hard and the polish top shot off and polish was everywhere!! Ill include a photo. It was really funny cause after the one shoe was very very shinny. There was polish across the room, on the wall!

We found the culprit of our mysterious pan on the ground cause it happened again. In our wash room ( super small) there's a window that just has bars and the cat has been coming in and eating the left over food on the pan haha. Thats about it for this week! I love it here, in all the little village/ towns there are karaoke machines everywhere and it always feels so alive. We have a zone activity today that i am excited about. We are going to the beach and have a pick-nick, playing volleyball and playing frisbee! No swimming though aha Hope all is going well! 
Elder Crandall

April 15
Apr 15
   This has been a very busy week, but an amazing one. It started last Saturday with conference. There is a week delay. It was super good, I really enjoyed it. My favorite talks were nelson, holland, and the bishop about 4 min. My favorite quote was from nelson " faith is the antidote for fear" so powerful. They were all very good. I wasn't able to watch the priesthood session because the stake president accidentally took it when he left so I just listen to them while I email. Its been a good week in the Philippines too! Manny P won his fight so all week he has been the center of conversation. This transfer was zone interviews. President Schmutz did a workshop about the light of Christ. He really got into it and it was soo good. He is a big advocate of true conversion. He said something like " in the Cebu mission we aren't here to baptize people, we are here to have true conversions. Some of the requirements are hard, but they are very good because its those that are committed that are the ones who are baptized and they are the ones who stay active. His workshops are always super good! Mostly they are doctrinal. At conference we had some investigators come to watch. We had lorenzo who is 25. He is stellar! He has a baptismal date for may 17th but we will have to change it cause he is currently working on quitting his smoking and most go 4 weeks sober before baptism.We had Sister Entenze come too. She is an investigator and her husband is a less active and has been for the last 30 years. We also had kiano come to conference. He is an investigator, 15, and is really awesome. He has had a hard life, his mom isnt responsible and has kind of just jump from guy to guy and has lots of kids and so he has been tossed around and doesnt even live with his mom but a family that is just watching him. He is really a good kid. We are sad because he is moving to a different area in our missions but are happy because he will still listen to missionaries and be baptized. They are both progressing really well! We are excited because they are married already! So many people we teach are just live in's so its awesome when they are married and have families because our message is really for the families. My shoes are already getting soo worn out! Our are is mountiany so we go up and down all day and walk so much. We talk to around 100 people per week. We saw some kids that were have spider fighting. They put 2 spiders on a stick and then they fight to the death. Things are really going well here! I really love and am so grateful im on a mission.
Elder Crandall

Spider Fighting 

Basketball in the rain

Public Transportation

April 8th 
    It's been a good week! So this week we had a cleaning check. Elder Fuentes and I spent over 3 hours completely cleaning our place since it was super dirty! We found around 30 coach roaches. It looked really good after, but they ended up cancelling the checks, oh well, at least it is clean now! We had a temple tour this week. We spent about 40 min traveling there with our investigators and recent converts. It was really good, a very spiritual experience for them! We went over the importance of the temple, walked around it, talked about what happens inside, talked about the patron house ect. Yesterday it rained real hard, so I took the opportunity to shoot a couple hoops. I'll attach a photo. So if you wondering about the food we eat a lot of rice. We also have meat loaf that comes in the can, It looks like dog food but really isn't bad. I'm excited for this. We also have lots of bread and jam. The work has been progressing well! One challenge that we are having are live ins. So many people have their live in with kids. We have an investigator named Jessa who is really stellar. She always reads and prayers. But she has a live in, which is normal, except that she is 14 and her live in is 21. All is well! I really like my area and my companion. The language is coming slow still. What makes it really hard is the slang. So many words are abbreviated and cut to make it shorter.  I'm looking forward to conference this weekend. It comes a week later here since they have to translate it. Our bishop was actually involved with the translating. They have a room for cebuano and then another room for english. All is going well! 
Elder Crandall

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pardo, Phillippines

So I love my new area! Its called Pardo, right next to my old area. Most of our area is in the mountain area. Elder Fuentes is awesome! He is one transfer ahead, just finished his 12 week program but he is a native speaker. Since I went to the MTC he is only 2 weeks ahead of me in the mission so when I go home he could possibly be in the same transfer home. We get along real well. He is native Bisiyan speaker which helps a lot which my language progression. We have lots of investigators and people are really progressing. Something really cool is the area in the mountains. Little kids love flying kites. So from our area we can look out over the city and see tons of kites with the ocean behind and can see bohol in the distance. Super pretty. Something interesting I didnt know is that it is illegal to have a Philippines flag, which i have. I pulled it out to have elder Valencia sign it when he said " why do you have that?!" He explained it and was laughing cause I had no idea. He said none of the missionaries will care since I'm American haha. This week has been very busy. We go out at 1 and come home around 8-9 every day. The language has really been tough. My district leader said this the other day when I was trying to understand grammar, " cebuano has no grammar. There are 2 ways to speak it, the right way is the one that makes sense. The wrong way is the when it sounds wrong". Most of the words we learned are too deep so I am learning lots of new words from Elder Fuentes.  A lot of the grammar rules I learned at the MTC dont apply. So with time I'm sure I will learn it. People here are so nice. Most people in the mountains really don't have any money. We always look for service opportunities. On Monday we helped some teenagers make a basketball backboard. They didn't think I could work at all cause I was American, so I just grabbed the nail and hammer and started helping.  Well thats all I have! Loving the mission and love all of yall!

Elder Crandall
Elder Crandall and Elder Fuentes

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Hey hows it going? Well I'm getting transferred! It's really bitter sweet. I'm getting transferred away to Pardo. It's super close and all city. I'm sad to leave Labangon but excited too. I really loved it but never really went out. I'm getting a new trainer for the 2nd half of my training. He just finished his training so is just 6 weeks ahead of me but he is a native bisiyan speaker so I am super excited about that. Elder Valencia has been super sick so I really haven't been able to go out. He  has one transfer left so president left him here. I'm glad that now i will be with a native and be able to go out more and really work on the language and teach. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Below are excerpts from some of Jacob's recent letters.

March 4, 2014:
....then later that night we went to a family's house and had dinner! It was a traditional filipino meal, I will attach a photo. It had rice, fish, squid, pork, chicken, snails, and more. I actually really liked it. I'm getting use to a lot of the seafood. The next day elder montanyo woke up in a lot of pain. In my apartment there are 4 of us, me, elder montanyo, elder valencia, and elder Gabriel. We had to take him to the ER. Ended up he had a inguinal hernia which caused lots of pain.  The following day he had surgery and now is recovering. We were all in an out at the hospital.

It is funny how there are a lot of culturally prevalent things here for the filipinnos. For example if it rains no one goes out. Literally no one, even the missionaries. They think if it rains on them that they will get sick and they all truly believe it. Also theres such a strong Catholic presence here

Sunday was good, we had a lot of less actives come to church which we were really excited about! It went very well. We have been doing a whole lot of work with the records. Already just going around to members we have found 10 people who are still on the ward records who have passed away and around 20 that have moved out. The bishop has only been bishop for a couple of months but has really been working hard. The ward mission leader is also brand new so we are working with him a lot.

The people here have such amazing faith whatever their religion. Its mainly catholic though most people don't go to church. But people have no problem talking about their beliefs in God. The people are so kind as well and super inviting.  I would like to share one example of the faith.  We visited a less active older lady who watches her 2 grand kids as her daughter just left them there and ran away. During her closing prayer she started bursting into tears saying how much she loves them but how she is so worried cause she is so old and poor, that if they get sick she wont be able to take care of them. She also said she wants to come to church but she lives in the bukid area (mountains) and she doesn't have the money to come. On sunday she came to church; i don't know how financially but I know that God provides ways. We were super excited to see her there and it was just one of the examples of amazing faith by the Filipino people

March 12, 2014:  
This week has been good. I got sick for the first time but it really wasnt bad. Saturday night elder valencia was throwing up and Sunday i wasnt feeling too well. I just rested all day but i never threw up. Im perfectly fine now. Im surprised after all i have eaten that i havent gotten sick but i very grateful as well.

They have been having problems with the records here and have lost a lot of membership records. About 15 percent in the mission. If members dont have photos or witnesses that are present to validate it then we have to re teach and baptize again.  We are teaching 2 girls, jasmine and jasail who are in this situation.