Monday, January 27, 2014

Half Way There!!

Half way done! The glass is half full and ive been really optimistic! Its so great hearing from everybody! Last Wednesday was my half way mark. It was a pretty exciting day! All the elders got together and had some candy to celebrate. A week from today we should be getting our travel info! We are all looking forward to that day and is one of the most exciting days at the mtc (as we hear from others). Nothing much has changed too much. The MTC gets better and better as I go. The language is coming along, slowly but surely. Cebuano literally seems like a mushing pot of languages. There's a ton of Spanish in it, basically after 10 all the numbers are Spanish till you get to the hundreds then they just speak English. There are words that are also very similar to Chinese and there's a very strong influence of Tagalog on the language and a lot of English as well as we hear from our teachers. Our teachers on Thursday let us ask all sorts of questions about Cebu and Negros and the southern island of Siquijor since we had some extra time! It was super fun to hear all the stories. Last week a group from our zone went out to the mission field in Bacolod. Its pretty crazy that now we are the older guys in the zone. Today I got my haircut and now its a lot shorter! It was getting real long and it was time to get it cut. We've really been working to grow more spiritually. Its been awesome. I've had the opportunity to read a lot more of the scriptures, more specially the new testament the book of Mormon. Its awesome how the BOM really does testify of Christ and how it validates the Old and New Testament's truth. So last Sunday we had our temple walk and there was a protester outside just hollering at all the missionaries saying that we're going to hell and we're sending people to hell. It was honestly really sad because I knew it wasn't that he was truly trying to "save" us but rather had some sort of vendetta against the church. But props for him to profess what he believes to so many. It really made me start to think about the importance of church no matter you're faith. I loved talking to Nick about it before and something he said really stood out to me. He said something like " Leaders of Churches are suppose to build up people's faith, not tear down other faiths." That is something that I have really come to appreciate about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) as they really emphasize building up other's faith and encouraging others to go to church. Its always important to build other peoples faith in Christ or in God depending on the religion no matter their religion. The mission has really been an amazing experience and I haven't even been out for a month yet but I've truly seen personal growth and blessings just in my life. I'd recommend everyone to watch whether you're LDS or not the Mormon message " Earthly Father, Heavenly Father". Its an awesome message and applicable to everyone. Its awesome getting Dear Elders from everyone, its the most convenient way to receive mail and its the highlight of my day when I read them all at night. It also makes it easier to respond as I can write a lot more since my email time is only once a week for an hour. Hope all is well!
Elder Crandall

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Our First Email Has Come!

Dear friends!
Hows it going? The first week has gone by, not as fast as others make it seem. The first 3 days were really tough since they were all day and before I entered the MTC i wasn't the best about getting to bed early. I have 2 companions here at the MTC, Elder Dunford and Elder Christensen. Elder Christensen is from Portland and Elder Dunford is from LA. They are both real chill. Each day in our class room we spend around 4-6 hours on Cebuano. For those who arent familiar with Cebuano, it is the main language used in central Philippines. Its been pretty tough to pick up as it is so foreign to me, but its not too bad. Our teachers are very good and really help us out on anything we need. What's interesting about it is that there are a lot of words they dont directly have so they explain it. For example Faith is - hugot nga pagtuo. Hugot mean firm or strong, Nga is like in and Pagtuo is like belief. So faith is firm in belief. So it ends up being a lot more words to describe stuff. But something cool about it is it wasn't a written language so the spelling is just how you sound it. From talking to the teachers who spoke Cebuano on their mission i found out that generally if you speak Tagalog you cant understand Cebuano, but if you speak Cebuano you can pick up most of what the Tagalog speakers are saying which is pretty neat. I have 2 teachers who are both awesome and i really learn alot! Theres a program called SYL: speak your language which basically means just try to speak cebuano in all conversation so my companions and I try to speak it as much as we can. Well I have to go, hopefully next time I'll be able to attach photos. 
                -Elder Crandall
Elder Crandall with the other missionaries going to Cebu, Philippines

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

...And he's off to the MTC

After a whirlwind of packing, celebrating New Years Eve and finishing last minute phone calls/visits with friends, Jacob entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center) today! He will be here for 6 weeks learning the Cebuano language. His email is and his mailing address is:
Elder Jacob Gerald Crandall
2005 N 900 E Unit 106
Provo UT 84602
Also you can write to him on under the Provo MTC section and they will print it and put the letter in his mailbox that day.

Jacob with his friend Pierce 

Moriah, her husband Nick, and Pierce dropping Jacob off at the MTC