Monday, December 27, 2010

e-mail for Dec.27th. Transfer to Teresina

James mentioned in his phone call on Christmas Day that he wouldn't be surprised to get transferred at any time. He had served in Acailandia for around 4 1/2 months. He loved serving there, but thought a move might be coming soon. Well, it happened perhaps a little sooner than he thought. He was transferred to Teresina the day after Christmas, as you can read in his e-mail below. New adventures for him now in a new city. The big strip he talks about in his letter is a strip of land that goes clear across Teresina. It shows up on Google Earth and I have asked him about it. Now he says he can find out what it is.
Hi Dad and Mom,
I don't have much time to write because I was transferred from Acailandia. I am going to Teresina and I don't know how long that I am going to stay there but looks like I will be able to see what that big old strip is after all. I love you all it was so good to talk to you all on Christmas and I will write more to you all next week.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas phone call

We enjoyed a wonderful phone call with James on Christmas Day. We called him at 3:00 p.m. He was at a phone in the ward clerks office. The connection was crystal clear and he sounded great. We talked to him for over two and a half hours. Part of the family was here for dinner and we passed the phone around to them. His nieces and nephews had a fun time talking to him, as did his brothers and sister who were here. His dog wouldn't say Hi to him. In fact, she left the room when she heard his voice on the phone. She's still mad at him for leaving. His mother and I had a wonderful visit with him. It was hard to hang up when we were done. He put his companion on for a few minutes and he coached him as he thanked us for James. He said he loves him and that he has helped him a great deal as a new missionary. It's a wonderful blessing to hve a son serving in the mission field. We are proud of him and for his choice to serve the Lord and the people of Brazil. It's hard to have them gone, but it is worth it. James and the other missionaries in Acailandia live in a house around the letter "A" on the photo below. It is across the street from a school.

Monday, December 20, 2010

e-mail of Dec 20th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
So I will be noting some things to tell you about on the phone call on Saturday, I still can't believe that Christmas is this Saturday. This past week was a little bit difficult and I don't remember what it is in English but in Portuguese its Corrida so look it up on google translator. (I think he means life has been really hectic) This past week I went to Sao Luis because we had an area 70 there. He spoke to us about a lot of different things, it was really good I liked it a lot. While I was there I saw a woman and her two kids that I had baptized and found out that they are still really strong in the church and are helping out in the Ward a lot there in Sao Luis. I don't remember my password for my cell phone. I know that it is not my password for my email. I think that it might be the last for digits of the cell phone number. I still haven't gotten my Christmas packages yet. I called the secretaries this past week and they said that they still hadn't gotten to Teresina but they get packages there every Wednesday or Thursday so maybe this week they will get there I hope. I still don't know what time that I will have you all call because we are going to an activity at the ward and I don't know what time that I will be getting back to have you call. But tomorrow we have a meeting with the bishop and I will plan out the time and send a quick email to you all. The area code here in Acailandia is 99 so just put that into the number that you all have and you will get a hold of me. Well I am out of time, but I love you all and can't wait to talk to you all on Saturday and wish you a merry Christmas.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dec. 13th e-mail

Dear Dad and Mom,
I don't really have a lot to write about either this week. Things have been kinda slow and it is kinda tough to find people to teach, because everyone is traveling and going to visit their families in the interior. I still haven't heard anything about my Christmas packages but I will call today about them and let you know next week. There is going to be a community marriage tomorrow at our church with 120 couples getting married and a majority of them are not members of the church so we are going to be there to take pictures of each couple and then give them a copy for free and get a lot of references. On Wednesday or Thursday we are traveling to Sao Luis to have a special training from our Area 70 Elder Mazzagardi and we will be there in Sao Luis so I am going to try and visit some of the friends that I have there. I have got a number for you all to call me at. It is the number to the bishops office here and the number is 3592-2836. I will plan out a time for you to call me and I will let you know next week. That is about all that is going on this week for me. I am ready for Christmas and I am missing the parties at home but it's good to know that this will be the last one here in the mission for me. I love you all very much and will talk to you next week.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, December 6, 2010

E-mail for Dec 6th. Great letter

Dear Dad and mom,
I really wanted to watch the Christmas devotional but the time that it previews there meant that it was 10 o clock at night here and we had to be at home so that didn't work out but its ok. So for our zone conference we didn't stay in Imperatriz. We just caught a bus back home after the meeting because it is only an hour away. The new MTC curriculum is the new things that they are concentrating a little bit more on while the missionaries are in the MTC, like teaching people, not lessons and revelation through the book of Mormon and some other things. They concentrate on 7 subjects to help new missionaries. They have instituted these things here in the missions too. That 4 day conference that I had a little while back was all about these 7 subjects. A churrascaria is exactly like Rodesios. It is just a Brasilian restaurant. The Jello was made like normal with water, but it was covered in condensed milk. I will try and think up a Christmas message to share with you all and I will send it in my next email. I still haven't got my Christmas packages, but I did call the mission office and they will let me know when they get to Teresina and try and get them out to me by Christmas. So something that happened yesterday I will share with you all and maybe it can be my Christmas message for the family. Yesterday, after we got done eating lunch we headed back to our house to drop off our suit coats at the house, just my comp and I. When we got about a block away I saw a man with this cart that had a box of full beer bottles and some empty ones to the side of the box. This man had his head down and was resting under the shade of a tree. He was really dirty, his shirt was ripped and torn a little bit and yesterday the sun was really hot. As we passed the man I looked over at him and I heard the spirit tell me that I need to talk to this man and offer him a glass of water. So I told my comp to hold on a minute and I went back and talked to him. I asked him if he was ok and he said that he was fine. He was a little bit drunk and I asked him if he wanted a drink of water and at first he said that he was fine, that he was just resting, but I persisted and told him to come to our house and drink some water. When we got to the house I asked him some more questions while my comp went inside and got water,I asked him if he had a family and he said that he did, a wife and three kids. I also asked him if he had eaten lunch that day and said that he had but I wasn't sure. I asked him if he had food to eat that night and he said that he didn't. He began to tell me that he was unemployed and that he had used the last of his money to by that box of beer to resell and try to sustain his family. This man began to break down and cry and my comp and I decided to give him some food to feed his family for that night. We gave the man some rice with some ramen noodles that we had, some crackers and some other things. At first he didn't want to accept it because he said that there were other people in worse conditions than he and that we should save it for them. I shared a little message about God with this man and he told me that he was ashamed to ask God to help him because of the way he had lived his life. I told him about God being our Heavenly Father and that he always wants to hear his children. The Spirit was so strong in that moment that this man just started bawling and thanked us for the help. We got his address but unfortunately he is in the other Elders area so we won't get to teach them, but I know that the Lord is in this work and that he always puts people in our paths to help and to share the Gospel with. I don't know if that man is going to remember me, but I know that the Lord taught a whole lot to this man, that God has so much love for each one of us his children and wants to hear each and everyone of us. I am out of time for this week but I love you all very much I will get the number for you to call me at on Christmas by next week.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, November 29, 2010

E-mail for November 28th

Dear Dad and Mom, It may seem like the weeks are long for you all but for me this past week flew by. This past week was really good I had a meeting with president on Wednesday and that meeting was really good I loved every single bit of it. President taught us a little more about the new mtc curriculum and how to incorporate it into our teaching and we also got into some deep doctrine. So on Wednesday morning I left at 5:30 from our house to catch a bus to Imperatriz. We had that meeting and it was supposed to go until 4 in the afternoon with lunch around 1:00 o´clock. But there was a mix up and lunch didn't show up and so President just took us to a Churrascaria and it was the first time that I had eaten at a Churrascaria and it was really good food. After that President had to look at some of the houses in Imperatriz and then he would go back with us to Acailandia to do our interviews. He interviewed Deusa and she was baptized on Saturday, and he also had to do another interview for the other missionaries and he went with Elder Goncalves to do that interview while we were teaching English. Well English class got over at 8:30 and they still hadn't come back from the interview and they didn't even get there until 9:15 well when they got there the lady that President interviewed wanted to be baptized that night so we had a baptism at 10 at night. It was cool. We didn't get home until 10:30 and by the time that we were sleeping it was about 11:30 and we had to wake up the next day at 5:30 to get another bus back to Imperatriz for zone conference. I loved zone conference, I did a training on revelation through visiting the church it went well I thought. Zone conference was on Thanksgiving and so we thought that we would have a huge meal but that didn't happen I don't know why but the food was good we had the regular rice and beans with salad and for desert, Jello with condensed milk. I will sure be looking forward to Thanksgiving next year with regular food. Like I said Deusa was baptized on Saturday. Sunday was the Primary program for the ward that was cool to be here for that. Today my comp and I went back to Imperatriz and we played soccer and basketball with the Elders there in Imperatriz. Elder Plewe was transferred this morning when we were leaving and so I don't know what is going to happen, I don't know if I will stay here for Christmas or if I will be in another place but as soon as I know I will tell you and send you a number. Alright so three Christmas packages is enough what on earth did you all send me? Well I am about out of time so I love you all and can't wait to hear from you next week. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22 e-mail

Dear Dad and Mom,
First off Dad and Justin HAPPY BIRTHDAY I have bought you some presents but I haven't had time to send them out yet so I promise that they will get there just give it a little time. I cant believe that its snowing I miss the snow soooooooo much. I have been talking to Elder Plewe which is an American that arrived at the beginning of last transfer and talking with him about all of the things that I miss from the US like types of cookies and other things types of food that I miss and it has left me really trunky, so we have stopped talking so much about that. Oh just to let you all know I was not transferred and neither was my comp or really until now no one in the mission was transferred that I have heard of. President didnt transfer anyone and I think that its a test kind of that he is doing to make us forget about transfers and I think that we will have alot of transfers by surprise here in a little bit. We didnt have any baptisms this past week but we had quite a few investigators at church yesterday and we have quite a few that are ready to be baptized. We have zone conference on Thanksgiving which I cant believe that its Thursday WOW. But I have a leadership meeting with President on Wednesday in Imperatriz which is where zone conference will be too which is about an hour by bus from here. Then after our leadership meeting President is going to come back to Acailandia with us and he has some interviews to do for us. It should be good we have marked to baptize Deusa on Saturday and she is really excited. For zone conference I have to do a training for 45 mins, the zone leaders called me and because we don't have assistants right now in our mission there is a 45 minute time gap where they usually give their training so they asked me to give a training in that time slot. Hey what is this about finishing up the basement how come I haven't heard anything up until now about this. So what all have you guys done or are going to do down there in the basement? What other things have been happening in the house that you guys haven't told me? How is Missy'? I don't think that my birthday package ever will arrive just for curiosity what all was in my birthday package? I think that it got lost in the mail so anyway. I don't really have much else to write for today I am going to go play basketball today. But tell everyone that I wish them a happy Thanksgiving and that I miss them all and love them all very much. Until next week.
Elder Crittenden

Monday, November 15, 2010

e-mail of November 15th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
That is really funny about U of U send Drake my love and tell him that maybe they will win some games ha ha. I am glad that BYU is at least winning. I am doing good as far as health and everything I cant believe how fast that the time is flying by here in the mission, today is transfer day but I still haven't heard anything if we are going to be transferred or not. We had a baptism this past week a kid that we have been teaching for about two weeks and it was my companions first baptism and then I let him confirm him too which was also the first time for him to confirm someone. I think that its funny about when you and the Elder knocked on the door and the lights went out and everything and I have had some of the same experiences here in the mission. We have been helping some of our other investigators we have a kid that we are helping but he still hasn't decided if he wants to be baptized and its a little frustrating. I have been praying a lot for him and I know that you all have been praying for my investigators and I think that he will change and accept it one day. I have been teaching English here and it is really good here I have at least 15 students each week and this past week I taught them the parts of the body and I am going to teach them head shoulders knees and toes this week if I am not transferred. It is a little hard to find some new investigators that are interested in hearing our message. But things are going good here in Acailandia I am going to try and send some pictures today, if I have time. So I will have to let you all know next week if I am transferred or not. I love you all very much and miss you all very much. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

Monday, November 8, 2010

e-mail of November 8

Dear Dad and Mom,
So these past few weeks have been going pretty good other than we haven't been having any baptisms. We have two people ready to be baptized they have already been interviewed and the one passed but the other has to wait for President to interview her because she had a problem with one of the questions. So we have just been helping the one he was the one that told us that he wanted to be baptized and everything and the night before his interview his sister talked him into rethinking and learning more about the church before he gets baptized so that set us back a little bit. We only have to teach our investigators the first lesson they have to know about Joseph Smith and have to pray and have a desire to be baptized. Then we teach them the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, the law of tithing, and the sabbath day and that is basically all that they need to know to be baptized. We have been teaching both of them too about the Book of Mormon and they are reading it, we leave them a chapter or some passages for them to read and then the next time we talk with them about what they read and answer any questions that they may have had about it. Deusa is really loving the Book of Mormon and yesterday when we passed by her house to take her to church, she also invited her boyfriend to go and they went together. It was fast Sunday as you all know and alot of the members were bearing their testimonies about the Book of Mormon and her boyfriend during sacrament leaned over and asked us what it was and we gave him a copy and Deusa explained to him about the book it was awesome. We also have another investigator a man called Rober and he has been reading it and our search for happiness and we havent had a chance to talk with him for about 4 days because he is travelling but hopefully we can catch him at home this week. Our new house is wonderful it is big and has lots of space and its just amazing I love it. We got settled in this past week completely and now its close to the end of the transfer and I might be leaving. As for time change they dont have that here I think that its because we are so close to the equator that it doesn't effect us. I still haven't got my birthday package but I will call the Elders at the mission office and see if they can go to the post office and maybe its there. I don't really have much else to tell you other than I really miss you all and I love you all very much thanks for the support and love.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, November 1, 2010

e-mail of November 1st.

Dear Dad and Mom,
So Halloween here was pretty uneventful too we didn't have anybody pass by our house to get treats either he he. So this past week was pretty crazy so last Monday night it rained really really hard. We were still in our apartment and my bedroom started leaking and the pouring and it was a basically a swimming pool in our room. I made a video of it and I basically didn't sleep because it rained all night and we had to use a squeegie to clean up the water and I don't know how to spell squeegie. Then it rained again on Thursday and last night too, but it didn't matter to us last night because were in our new house now but the power went out last night. So Saturday morning we moved into our new house and it is amazing it is really spacey and my room has an air conditioner. It has got an electric fence to keep all of the robbers out of our stuff and its just a really nice adjustment. It is also in our area so we don't have to walk very far to our appointments. So we had a baptism marked for this Saturday too and he passed the interview and everything, but his sister was talking to him and told him that he should wait and learn a little bit more about the church before he gets baptized so we are going to talk to him and try to baptize him this Saturday. I was supposed to go to Teresina this week for a training but President changed his mind. I am writing in my Journal and I am almost to page 100 so I think that I will be good for the next year I shouldn't need a new one. I learned how to make pizza this past week the dough and everything so that should be good. I would love to make bread if Mom could send me the recipe that would be awesome but I don't really have much else to write about for this past week. So I love you all I am going to go play basketball now but I am always praying for you and thank you for your prays they are helping out alot. Thanks for the scripture help too Dad it will be good to burn them now with it ha ha.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, October 25, 2010

Great e-mail for Oct. 25th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
This past week was a really good week. We didn't have a baptism but we taught some really powerful lessons where the spirit was really strong and helped sort out some peoples doubts. We had a baptism marked and we had the interview but it turns out that she had some problems with one of the questions and needs to be interviewed by President Dias now so we have to mark a date with him. We have been teaching a lot of really good people, there is this teenager that we are teaching, his name is Helio his older sister and her husband were baptized a little while back and got him interested in the church and now he wants to be baptized along with his little brother and his other sister so that was really amazing. We have also been teaching another guy called Rober and he is really cool. He went to church yesterday and loved it a lot, he said that he felt something different about our church. Well yesterday we passed by there to talk to him and his friends and ended up meeting another man who now is interested, the Lords hand is helping us out a lot. This past Thursday I had my Hump day and we went to one of our investigators house and my comp taught us all how to make pizza and then we watched a church movie and ate the pizza. It was a great way to celebrate one year in the mission. On Saturday we were teaching Rober and his friends and it was more of a question and answer session for us which was awesome, but one of them asked us a funny question she asked us why we had the steeples on our church because she said that someone told her that the steeples were to poke Jesus when he returned to the earth for the second coming. I started to laugh really hard when she said that and almost couldn't stop, I have heard some pretty ridiculous things about our church here in the mission but this tops them all. It is amazing some of the things that people say or what the pastors of other churches say and tell there members to say to us. I think that it was about two weeks ago we were drinking Guaraná da amazonia and this guy from another church came up to me and my comp and started asking harmless questions like why we both had the name of Elder and other harmless questions like this. Then he started calling us and other members of our church crazy because we didn't worship God we worshiped Joseph Smith and other things like that we had a recent convert with us this day so it was a little bit strange for her but it is a thing that happens almost daily here people here try to burn us about our church and everything that their pastor tells them to say. One of the things that they try to get us on is a scripture in Galatians 1:8 that talks about an angel that will come down from heaven and announce another Gospel and it will be spread across the earth, and they say that this is what happened to Joseph Smith with Angel Moroni that appeared to him just ridicules things like that. Anyway so we still haven't moved to our new house yet but we have permission from President to do so we are looking for a moving truck and we will be moving. Our new house will be the one of the biggest and nicest in the mission it will be good. I thought about some other things that I think that I would like for my Christmas package, I would love more starbursts and Rootbeer barrels would be great too but for right now thats it. I dont really have much else to say for this past week. I love you all and I will see you all here in less than one year now
Love your Son
Elder Crittenden

Monday, October 18, 2010

e-mail of October 18th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
Things are still going good here in Acailandia and in the mission field. It is really cool to train a new missionary and to be his first companion. This past week nothing big happened really, we are teaching a couple of really good investigators ones name is Rober and he is really cool, he made contact with us in the road and always had the desire to talk to the missionaries but never had the courage to do so until the other day. While my comp and I were walking in the road just talking he came up to the side of my companion and my comp greeted him and began talking to him and he told us that he wanted to hear about what we did and we marked Sunday to go by his house. We also invited him to movie night in the church and he invited some friends of his and all of them went. So on Sunday when we got there he was in front of his friends house on the other side of the road and we went over there and started teaching them all. Well thus far they have done everything that we have asked them and they are reading in the Book of Mormon. They couldn't go to church yesterday because Rober was working and the other ones just had an excuse not to go. We are going to keep teaching them and invite them to be baptized this next time that we teach him. We are going to baptize a girl this week called Deusa we have been teaching her for a while and when we taught her the Plan of Salvation and explained about baptism she had a lot of questions and we helped her understand the importance of it. When we invited her to be baptized she accepted it and will be baptized this week. We have two other people who are marked to be baptized this week with Deusa, but they didn't go to church yesterday and one of them drinks coffee and is having a tough time quitting. I hope that all works out and things continue forward. So here in Brasil they don't have Halloween here or don't even celebrate anything that is close to it. One thing I do know is that because the catholic church is so strong here in Brasil they have a lot of holidays for Saints that the catholic church has. So my comp is really cool I like him a lot as my first son in the mission I am proud of him. When he got here the first couple of times I could tell that he was nervous about talking and teaching and sometimes got lost in the lessons but he is over that now. He is a convert to the church with 9 years as a member, he told me a story about when they converted to the church that all of the people on their road are catholic and when they converted and began taking part in the church the people on their road excluded them and I dont remember the other word in English but I think you know what word. Anyway the people on their road wouldnt sell food or other things to them because they were members of the church. He has a girlfriend waiting for him he thinks but she hasnt written him since he got in the mission, but said he recieved an email today from her so hope it was a good email and not a blue email ha ha. He has the best Penmanship that I have ever seen and he likes to write things for me, I will take a picture of it and send it to you. My shoes are wearable still but I don't walk with them in the road because they have holes in the bottom and what not but these wolverine boots are really nice and I bet will last another year still. So President approved the house that we want to move into so we will probably be moving into it pretty soon I hope. It will be the nicest house in the mission I think. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 living room type things, a garage and a little backyard. In the backyard it has a Goiaba tree and we will be able to eat it. It also has a big gate in the front and the wall has an electric fence that works to keep out intruders. With my card I can pull out money but I cant look at my account info online, it says that my online access has been blocked so if you could talk with them and send me my login in and my password just to know if its right that would be great. Dad I am still waiting on those fotos of the rec center and one thing that I would love for Christmas is photos of the last years happenings and of the family that would be wonderful. I love you all and thanks for praying for me and please continue to pray for my success here in the mission field. Thursday the 21st is my one year mark and the 22nd is Olivia's birthday so tell her a happy birthday from her Uncle James and then give her a hug and a kiss. I love you all very much and until next week.
Love Elder Crittenden

Monday, October 11, 2010

e-mail of October 11th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
WOW things are going good here in the mission and here in Acailandia. So this past week was a little bit slow going for the work but flew by in terms of time. Like I said I had a 12 hour bus ride to Teresina on Tuesday, we left at 9 in the morning and got there at about 9 at night when we got there we grabbed the bus to the staffs apartment that is where we stayed for the night and I met my new companion there. So my new comps name is Elder Costa and he is from Manaus Brasil, he arrived from the MTC this past week and I am training him about everything in our mission. This is his first area in the mission field and thus far he likes it a lot. I like to joke around with him a lot and I am having a good time with him. He knows how to
cook pizzas and other things so I talked him into making pizzas on my one year mark in the mission. I cant believe how fast that the time is flying by here in the mission, I dont know if it is flying by there at home but it is here. So to tell you a little bit about the cities and the people here quite a few people have cars but it is more common to have a motorcycle here or like a moped. I have seen some of the most amazing things here in Brasil of people carrying things on motorcycles and bicycles. My last comp Elder Donizeti said on his first day in Teresina he saw 5 people on one motorcycle a man and his family and I have seen some things just as incredible. So alot of the roads are just cobblestone but alot are paved with asphalt too. The bus ride to Teresina was cold, those buses have some of the best air conditioners I have ever seen and in fact because of the two days in the freezing cold bus I got a little bit sick but I am better now. So this past week we met some new investigators and yesterday actually my comp and I taught a man and these two girls and it was a really powerful lesson. These people had a lot of questions and it was just really cool I could tell that they were accepting what we were saying and now we just have to see if they will pray and find out for themselves. We have gotten a lot of references from members this past week and so we will have a lot of work in front of us this week. We didn't have any baptisms yet but we should have some this week and next week if they don't fall through. To answer some of the questions from the letters I still cant access my online account for my debit card it has been blocked. I also still haven't got my birthday package but hopefully here soon I will get it. I don't know what I need for Christmas I have everything that I need and I just barely got a package so its a little bit soon to be sending another one so soon. My shoes are holding up well, at least one pair is. I will take some pictures and send them to you and have you forward them to Doug's dad and if he could just send them home they would be great to have when I get off of the mission. They are okay to use every once in a while but for walking in the streets of Brasil they just don't hold up but my other pair is still really good. I don't really have much else to say about the week, but I love you all very much and thanks for everything that you do for me. Until next week.
Elder Crittenden

Monday, October 4, 2010

e-mail for October 4th

Dear Dad and Mom,
This past week was alright. We had a lot of appointments fall through and it was a little bit difficult too, because it was the end of transfers. We didn't have any baptisms this week it fell through so that was sad. The weeks are sure flying by for me here I can't believe it. I am so excited to hear that Lex got his call. That is so cool that he will be my neighbor, kind of. I am glad that you got to find the apartment that we are living in. I don't know how much longer that we will be living there because we had a little bit of a mix up with the owner and we might be moving now. It's a really complicated thing, but were in the process of finding a new home here to live in. So I really liked conference a lot. The talks were really good and I felt really uplifted. I didn't get the chance to watch the priesthood session but I will read the talks here next month. Like I said we had transfers this week and my companion was transferred to Teresina. He will train a new missionary and he will also be District leader there in Teresina. I will stay here as District leader in Açailandia but I will also be training a new missionary WHOO HOO I am going to have a son haha. My sons name is Elder Costa I don't know where he is from or much else about him except his name but I have to go to Teresina tomorrow for a meeting with President on Wednesday and then I will get my new comp and come back here to Açailandia. It is a 13 hour bus ride so I will have plenty of time to sleep and rest in time for the meeting. So I haven't got my birthday package yet but probably tomorrow in the office I will get it. So that's about all that happened this past week and I will try and write to those that wrote me. Tell Jessica to write me that would be cool I love you all and until next week. Dad I would like to see the rec center so take pics and send them to me thanks
Elder Crittenden

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Living quarters in Acailandia

This is a screenshot of the area where Elder Crittenden is living. The Elders live on "Rua de 7 de Setembro" The blue arrow points to the building where they live.
Here is a photo of the building where the Elders live in Acailandia.
They live in an apartment on the fourth floor.
This screenshot is of the street "Rua 7 de Setembro." These shots were taken looking down the street towards the Elder's apartment. You can see their apartment at the end of the street in the top picture, the yellow building.

E-mail of Sept 27th. from a crazy American (see letter)

Dear Mom and Dad, So everything is going good here in Acailandia still we didn't have any baptisms this week they fell through but the work is still good. I can't believe that September is almost over already and October is here already which means that I am coming up on 1 year in the mission. Just one more transfer and I will be there. It's crazy. Alright so I have got a lot of questions to answer so here goes, as far as I can tell they don't have the primary program here in our ward here but in Sao Luis they had one. So this week is General Conference and I will be able to watch all of them as far as I know except the Priesthood session maybe because here it starts at 9 at night and President didn't authorize us to stay so unless they have a rebroadcast on Sunday like they did in Sao Luis on Sunday morning I will miss it. But I will be able to watch all of the other sessions and I am really excited its really cool to be able to listen to the conference in Portuguese. I am really loving the language and the people everyone here says that I am a crazy funny American. There is only one ward here in Acailandia and they recently constructed a chapel so now there is a really beautiful chapel here it was a house chapel until recently. Yes the sessions will come to our chapel so we don't have to go to Imperatriz which is about an hour from here and where the stake is. So Dad that bean looking thing that I sent to you is a caju fruit, it is really sweet to eat and it makes your mouth pucker when you eat it. That other part on top of it is the cashew nut that everyone eats, but that nut has acid inside of it and you have to burn it first to get rid of the acid and then you can eat it, very interesting to watch. So my street address to our apartment building is, Rua 7 de Setembro S/N Centro (Ferro de Engomar Ed Alcides Costa) CEP- 65930-000 Acailandia Maranhao So yeah that is our address and yes all of the Elders live here in this apartment building and we live on the 4th floor. On the ground floor there is a store called Sacaria Brasil so that should help you and it is situated on like a fork in the road, it divides a road into two roads. I don't know the address of the new chapel still but I will try and get it for you. There is a soccer stadium here but I still haven't seen it and don't even know where it's at but I know that there is one. There is no bus system here so we walk everywhere that we go and my area is a little ways out of the center of the city so my comp and I get to walk a lot. So something that happened this past week as a surprise, Elder Bailey the other American that was here with me and my district leader was transferred. President had an Elder that was waiting for his visa in the US that got his visa and arrived in the mission. So on Thursday morning Pres. called us and we were all sad. So Elder Bailey´s comp was called to be a trainer of this new American and his name is Elder Pearson he is from Provo. I got called to be the District leader here now and this next week we have transfers again so it should be interesting what is going to happen this next week. I dont know if I will stay here as District leader or if I will be transferred or what will happen. There was a wedding in our ward on Friday that was cool and then on Saturday there was the owner of the apartment building where we live and a member that had a Birthday on Friday shared with her daughter. Her daughter turned 15 and apparently they have a tradition here in Brasil that when a girl turns 15 they have a BIG party. Sister Claudia threw a PARTY it was amazing I will send photos next week to you all. But it was really nice and very fun to be there. So that's about it that happened this week I love you all and I will pray for you. Love your Son, Elder Crittenden

Monday, September 20, 2010

Photos of Acailandia from James

James modeling Brazilian mustache he's grown, sending his love.
Some of the local animals of Acailandia
Brazilian campaign vehicle. Refer to letter of 10/13 for explanation.
Some of the flowers in Acailandia.

Another great letter from Acailandia 9/20/2010

Dear Mom and Dad,
I am doing really really good here in Açailandia, we had President here for the weekend because he gave a talk here in the Ward about Marriage and Families and what not so he and Sister Dias were here for Saturday and Sunday. We had another baptism and President was really pleased with our work that were doing here in Açailandia. So the week has really flown by for me too. It is amazing how fast that the time is going by I am almost to 1 year and General Conference is coming up and WOW it is crazy. I am really loving the mission a lot I like the guys that I live with here I like my companion and the work is really good. So not a lot else happened this past week we had lunch on Saturday in a little city a little bit outside of Açailandia and it is our area still, but anyway when we were there we passed by this park and we saw these kids riding their bikes doing wheelies, but the thing is that they had taken off the front tires of their bikes and were riding normal in a wheelie. It was crazy, well I wanted to try it so I asked them and they let me and I couldn't even get started it was kinda ridiculous but at least I tried. I don't really have alot to say other than the weeks are flying by and everything is ok with me. It is starting to get really hot here during the months of Setembro, Outubro, Novembro, e Dezembro it will be really hot. The BRO months as they sey are the hottest months of the year. That picture of the bison is really cool and makes me miss the mountains a little bit but that's alright. I still haven't got my birthday package and might not get it till the end of this transfer. I am in need of those other two pen drives now my other ones are getting full of pictures and so if you could send them in an envelope or something that would be great. Just one more question I was wondering if you went to the bank and sorted things out for me? But thanks for the prayers and support I love you very much and miss you.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

exciting letter of 10/13

Dear Mom and Dad,
Wow I really miss going camping it sounds like alot of fun what you guys did and wish I could have been there, but I know that I am where I need to be right now in my life. So this past week was really good we had two more baptisms here in Acailandia and the entire week was really good. We had a friend of the girls that we baptized last week come up to us and now she wants to be baptized so we will baptize her this week. President will be here in Acailandia again this saturday because he will give like a talk and what not I dont really know what this word in Portuguese translates into in English but he will do a Serao in this church, so I might get my birthday package of rice krispie treats then but I still dont know. We found a bunch of new investigators here and we are now working with them to get them ready to go to church and be baptized. Something that happened yesterday when we were at the house of one of our investigators when she was getting ready to go, we met three young men here and one of them wanted to talk to us a little bit about our church. He was the member of another church and for only 7 months. He knew alot about the bible and tried to confound us with some of the scriptures, we didnt bible bash with him but we just taught him some principles and what not and everyone else in the room liked what we were saying and agreeing with us except him. We are probably going to try and teach him and his friends but I dont know if it will go anywhere. If he does become converted he would be a very strong member in the church and one day a great missionary. So that is what has been happening here in Acailandia Brasil. I have been trying to take money out of my account but it wont let me and I also cannot access my account online so if you could go to the bank and talk to them and see what is going on and transfer some money into my checking account it would be great. I really enjoyed the birthday cards and they have been a blessing to me thanks for all the wonderful things that you have given and done for me. Something that I wanted to tell you all is that right now here in Brasil they are having campaigns for President and State positions and politics here in Brasil are a little bit crazier then in the US. It is really cool I will send home some pictures today to show you what I mean. But they have trucks or cars and they put these big old speakers on top and each candidate has a song that these cars play really loud and some of them are pretty creative. They also have these big old parades and they shoot off fireworks and everything. It is sometimes annoying when were teaching and the cars pass by playing the music really loud but I have gotten used to it. So that is something interesting that is happening here that I wont forget. So everything is going good here I am missing all the family but I am where I need to be and I am ok. I love you all very much and thankyou for the support.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Thursday, September 9, 2010

e-mail of September 6th.

Dear Dad and Mom, So this last week was pretty good we had a visit from President on Friday because he had to do a interview for us here. When he was leaving he gave us card and I got my package and it was really good to finally get it and to know that it wasn't just sitting in Teresina. So Thank you for all of the things in the package the deodorant will be well used, the deodorant here in Brazil is different than what we have in the states and sometimes doesn't last all day so I have to put it on a couple of times some days. But I also was happy to see the maple syrup extract and I made Pancakes on my Birthday for everyone and then today I made French toast and we had maple syrup it was excellent. My pancakes weren't as good as moms but the Brazilians here liked it alot and they want me to make more. Just a question with this maple syrup extract how exactly does mom make it so good, does she put sugar or how? I put sugar in it but it wasn't as good as moms and I would like to know how you do it mom. We had 2 baptisms on Saturday too I baptized one of them it was a girl called Elizabeth so that was cool to have baptisms on my B-day. The other Elders here also bought a cake and we celebrated my birthday with cake and everything it was good. We have got 2 more baptisms marked this week in fact they are tomorrow and it will be good the woman that President and her husband will be baptized. So I don't really know what else to write about other than it was good to get my package and I won't need one for a really long time. Oh I also got some of my birthday cards I got Justin's and Kendra's so Thank you I should get the rest of them this weekend because they have that 4 day meeting in Teresina again this week and Elder Bailey is leaving for it tomorrow and should bring cards back with him. But I love you all very much and am praying for you all. Until next week. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Acailandia, Maranhao, Brazil

Acailandia is a Brazilian city in the state of Maranhao. Its population is around 103, 000. The name of the city means "land of the acai", which is a palm tree. Acailandia was settled to support the mining of charcoal and to house the workers.
Aerial view of the city
The City Market
City Streets
Local Churches

August 30th e-mail, first one from his new city, Acailandia

Hi Dad and Mom, So yeah last week a I was transferred and like you guessed didnt have much time to write an email so sorry about that. I was really sad to leave Sao Luis I have lots of friends there that I will miss alot and the ward was good there too. In fact dad I have a friend there that is learning and already speaking really well in spanish and she wants to talk with someone in Spanish so I told her that I would give your email to her and she can email you in spanish and help her out and keep your spanish up to speed alright. So anyway I am now in a little little little city 8 hours from Sao Luis. I am still in Maranhao, but it is a city called Acailandia the C makes an S sound. But this city reminds a little bit of Heber, but Heber has more things to do than here. This city has lots of Farms and cows and Horses and all that good stuff. It is really nice here in the mornings it is cold, yeah cold here in Brasil, but during the day it gets hot. It hardly ever rains here so it isn´t as green as other places but still a beautiful place. We live in an apartment on the very top floor and really it has 2 apartments and we use the one to sleep and put all of our stuff and the other we use to take showers and stuff like that. There are 4 Elders in the same apartment so its a nice change to have more people there. There are two Americans and two Brasilians, Elder Bailey who was in the MTC with me just not in our district is the other American and the 2 Brasilians are from the MTC they were there together so they have the same amount of time in the mission too. So its pretty cool. My companions name is Elder Donizeti Santos and he is from Sao Paulo he is really cool he knows alot of scriptures and teaches really good. So the ward here is pretty good I am liking it, our area is kinda big and a little strange. Like I said there are 4 Elders but only one Ward so the other 2 Elders have like the center of the city and we have around them its really weird. But anyway I haven´t got my package yet I dont know why but I will call the mission office today and ask them about it. So I now that I got transferred I am no longer Zone Leader I am just Senior Companion which will be nice to have a break for a little bit from that. We dont really have much to do here on Pday but we will try to find things to do atleast I have some card games to play and teach to the other Elders. So I am running out of things to write about but anyway oh to respond to you about my facebook I had some members from here looking at it for me so you dont need to worry about that and I did send a message to Steven on Facebook because I didnt have his email but its alright I am not using it that often just when the members look at it for me. Well I am not surprised to hear about that and Obama and everything that is happening but I hope that things turn around here soon because I want to work and be able to find a good job when I get home. So anyway I love you all and sorry about last week but I will continue praying for you all and I miss you all. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

August 23rd.

No e-mail from James this week. We suspect it is because he was transfered, as he suggested in his letter last week. It is still rough to have a week with no news.

email of August 16th.

Dear Mom and Dad,
I am doing good here in Sao Luis still. We have transfers this next week and I dont really want to leave Sao Luis. I like the ward here alot, we are helping the Bishop right now with a census in the ward and we have lots of non-members to visit. This past week we baptized 2 people this past week. I baptized them both one was the mom of the two kids that were baptized about a month ago here name is Celia. I also baptized the granddaughter of a member here called Carol. We had alot of baptisms here in our Zone this week in total 10. We had to use the bus alot in this past week and alot of money too, but that is part of being a zone leader. So next week we have another transfer and I am a little nervous that I will be transfered but I dont know I hope I stay for atleast one more so I can be here for my birthday which would be cool. This past week not much has happened, just the normal out here working. I heard today that Elder Cook who is an assistant to the President and my companion from the MTC is sick in the hospital with a bacteria in his stomach. Mom dont be worried I wont get anything I am very healthy, and not planning on getting any sicknesses or anything. I am loving the mission alot, but I miss you all alot. I love you all very much and I will let you all know if I got my package next week.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9th. e-mail

Dear Dad and Mom, All I have to say is that the weeks are passing by really fast for me here it seems like. I am getting closer to my time leaving Sao Luis and I dont really want to leave. I am loving my time here in Sao Luis, there is a family in this ward that they take really good care of us and I am planning on coming back here to Sao Luis in 2012 just to visit the family here and some of the places that I cant visit as a missionary, like some of the beaches and other things. Today we went with them to a city called Ribamar and it was awesome, it was right by the beach but unfortunately we couldnt visit the beach so we just took photos. They also had a church there that was really cool. I love the catholic churches here, they are beautifully decorated and it is sad that they dont have all the truth. But yeah so these weeks went by really fast. We had our trainings in Teresina 2 weeks ago and they were really good I learned alot of things and it just gives us more responsibility as Zone Leaders. We also had another meeting with President on Tuesday this past week and we mostly just talked about preparing our trainings for zone conference this next week. Everything is going good with me here I am still going good with clothes and everything I things I should be good the whole 2 years. I still havent recieved my package but by next week it should be here so I will let you know. I cant believe how much is changing there in Heber. Yesterday at our lunch at a members house I showed him Heber City on google earth that he had on the computer and marked our house for him. I really love the work here in Sao Luis its a little bit difficult because there are alot of people lazy for going to church but the members like me and what I have done here. I have just one more thing for you to send for me here, There is a sister missionary here that really wants some Crocs those rubber shoes you know and they are really expensive here 50 reais so I said that if you could send some to her because she is leaving this next transfer. Her shoe size is 5 so if you could look around and try to send them to her she will be home around August 24th. (James sent her address in his letter) I am good here I love you all and we will talk more next week. Love Elder Crittenden

e-mail of August 2nd.

Dear Family,
I am doing good this past week we went to the center and yes we got to see the sites it was good. The meetings with President were good, They started everyday from 8 until 4 and then we did divisions with the elders in Teresina. I am staying healthy and all of my shoes are still in good shape so yeah. The work is going good we are teaching alot of people and preparing them for baptism. I am eating plenty there is a sister here in this ward that always makes sure that we have food in our bellies. I am doing really well. Dear Jessica I am sooo happy that you have got a great schedule for school this year and that your excited to start. I know that you will do great. This week we have another meeting with President in Teresina so we will leave tonight again at 10 and get to Teresina about 4:30 tomorrow. So it should be fun. I will pray for Jared and his wife, I am happy that they were approved to adopt a baby and even more of a surprise that its twins. It is hard to believe that I have been out almost a year. My companion completed 1 year on Saturday, so we made a cake and celebrated a little bit. But thats about it that is happening I love you all and will talk to you next week.
Love Elder Crittenden

e-mail of July 26th.

Hi Family,
Well I am still here in Sao Luis and loving it. My new companion and I are getting along really well and yes we are doing something really fun for PDay. We are going to the Center of Sao Luis and seeing some of the museums and the old catholic churches and some other fun stuff like that so it will be good and I wanted to have money in case I saw anything good that I wanted to buy I could buy it. I am glad that Kendra and everyone got to North Carolina safetly without any other mishaps. The mission will pay for our trip to Teresina tonight we leave at 10 and should arrive there around 6 tomorrow morning and we have 4 days of training and I have no idea what else planned but it should be good. I baptized another person this past week her name is Talitah Rebekah and she is 9 it was really cool. We should have maybe 4 more this next week when we get back on Saturday to baptize I hope. Well I need to go but I love you all and until next week.
Love Elder Crittenden

Monday, July 19, 2010

Better e-mail for July 19th.

Dear Family,
I have been really busy these past couple of weeks and lots has been happening. As I said in my last letter my companion got transferred and now I am with Elder Ribeiro Da Silva. He is really cool he was the finance secretary for the mission when I arrived in the field and so I knew him a little bit before. He is really cool he is from Curitiba Brasil. He is going to have one year in the mission the 30th of this month. I am only three months behind him in time in the mission so its really good with him. I am still Zone leader here in Sao Luis and I was excited to stay here in Sao Luis one more transfer. We had a meeting in Teresina on Tuesday and I passed through the mission office and I got my pictures and Debit card, but now I need you to activate it for me so I can get money. I thought of one other thing that I would like in my package the other day, A little hymn book in English would be awesome so if you could include it in there. So the area is excellent we will have another baptism this Thursday and we have some others who are ready to be baptized just have to teach them and get the interviews done so it should be good. Yesterday in church I confirmed the two kids that I baptized the week before and they are the first that I have confirmed in the mission and it was cool. It rained really really hard yesterday and we also got to watch the devotional of the Mormon tabernacle choir last night at the church. It was broadcast to us and it was good to hear some hymns in English. Last Pday we went to this place here called Ribamar and I took some awesome pictures of the church there and the sites there I will try to send them in my next email. We have interviews with President tomorrow and we found out today that the 27th we have another meeting with President in Teresina but it will be for 4 days from the 27-30 so we get to go to Teresina again which should be good training there. Well I am glad that you all got to see Uncle Steve I wish I could have seen him if you took pictures of them could you send them to me? I would also like some more family pictures in my next package of us in Goblin Valley and that place in Colorado where we went to the Indian ruins in the sides of the cliffs that would be awesome. Thanks family for the prayers and your support, I love you all and I am praying for you always.
Elder Crittenden

Short e-mail for July 12th.

Dear Family, This week will be another short letter but next week I promise I will write a more extensive one to you all. We had transfers today and I will be staying here in Sao Luis and my companion is going to Sobral and will be Elder Ashtons companion. I baptized 2 kids on Sunday, we wanted to baptize the entire family but the mom had some other problems and has to be interviewed by the President. I Love you all and I promise a bigger letter next week Love Elder Crittenden

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th. of July e-mail, July 5th.

Dear Family,
I dont have alot of time to write today because were going to the center of Sao Luis today to look around and we need to leave but I will write a few things and next week I will write more I promise. So we didnt have a baptism this week but some good things happened we found alot of new investigators and my interview with President was really good he helped me alot. We also did a split with the assistants on Tuesday and I was with Elder Cook my companion from the mtc and it was really cool to be with him too. On Tuesday night the stake here had an activity at the church for a celebration that they have here in Sao Luis call festival of the Boi which is bull. They had each ward do some kind of dance and what had all kinds of things there. We ended up setting up a little table with things from the church and got alot of references from that. The world cup is over for Brazil and everybody took it pretty well. Alot of people were sad and now everyone just grumbles about it but not much that they can do until 2014 when its here in Brazil and hopefully win. I didnt get my photos and card yet so I dont know if its arrived but I will let you know when it gets here. We have transfers next week so I might be leaving. It is crazy how fast the time is flying by. Sorry to keep this short but until next week. I love you all very much.
Elder Crittenden

June 28th. e-mail

Hi family,
So this week has been pretty good, sounds to me like you all had a good time there on the trek. It has been a little bit difficult to work with all of the world cup games going on and the funny thing about the US game is that I was told that they had lost about 50 times that same day. Everybody here was telling me that they would lose, so now I will have to cheer for Brazil. Today is their game and we wont even get a full P day we have to go back home at 3 and stay there until 6 which is when we will start working. I baptized someone on saturday but I forgot my camera so I will have to send you the Photos next week. The girl is the sister of Jonatah that we baptized about 4 weeks ago, she told us on Tuesday that she wanted to be baptized so we taught her the things she needed to know for baptism and baptized her on Saturday. Now we will be teaching her the rest. tomorrow is interviews with President, and we are doing a division with the assistants too. This week is also a big party/ festival for Sao Luis called Sao Joao and it is pretty crazy everyone has these costumes that they are buying and getting ready for it on the 30th I think. Even the church the youth here are doing a dance for it. We use the internet in Lanhouses or internet cafes and yes we pay for it. It usually isnt very much its only 1.50 reais for 1 hour so its not too bad. One thing that is using up my money really fast is using the busses which we have to use to go to other areas to do baptism interviews and divisions in our zone. To use the bus its 2.10 every time that you get on so its kinda expensive. I dont really have much else to say for this week other than things are going good and hopefully tomorrow I get my pictures and my card I will let you know next week. Also if you could please give me an answer about the Jazz stuff he wants to know about it so next week let me know what you found please. I love you all and until next week.
Love Elder Crittenden

Monday, June 21, 2010

E-mail of June 21st.

Dear Family, This week has been ok but a little bit difficult. With the games for Brazil and zone conference it was a long week. We had zone conference on Tuesday and it went really well it was also the first game of Brazil so after the conference we all went to our houses and waited til the game was over. President visited our house and he will reform it, that sounds weird in english but I cant think of the real word in english for it right now because in Portuguese it is Reformar so I will go with it I hope you understand. So he will reform our house and repaint it and some other things that should be good and I might be leaving here before its done so it may not even matter to me. When President was at our house on Tuesday it was during the game and when Brazil scored everything exploded the people in the bar below were watching the game and everyone cheered and there were fireworks going off and all these horns blowing and it was just crazy. Well President made the comment, `Wow you guys dont even need a tv to know what is going on with the game.´ I just realized that the keyboards here dont have quotation marks strange. Yesterday was a difficult day for people to go to church, because of the other Brazil game. We only had two investigators at church, also when I got there one of the speakers didnt show up so they asked me to give a talk. So yesterday I gave a talk in church on Prayer and it was good. We didnt have any baptisms this week and we are working on finding new investigators but it has been difficult because of the games. We havent had much else happen this week other than that. I have really had a desire to watch the games but we cant unfortunately and its worse because everyone talks about how great the goals were and everything. It is pretty funny all of the people here keep saying that the United States is going to lose but we are still in it. So for the bald man joke I think that they would put Unapplicable for him, and for the Oriental man I think yes he would become disoriented. These are really funny Dad I will tell them to some of the members here. Well I just would like to know about the Jazz Jersey and shorts for that other Elder so after the trek if you could give me an answer if you found some or not and just keep looking. I havent got my card with the pictures yet but it should have arrived in the mission office by now and we have interviews next week with President on Tuesday so I should get it next week I will let you know. I will be doing divisions the next couple of weeks so that should be fun. It is crazy to think but today is my 8 month mark. I have been in the field for 6 months already it is amazing how fast the time is flying. Well I am running out of things to write so I will finish this up with some questions. How are things in the US? What is Barrack Obama doing now? How are things in Heber? Who are some others who have got their mission calls in Heber and where? I love you all very much have Jessica write me and tell me how it feels to be graduated. I also want to hear from My big Bro Justin so he should write me. So until next week Love Elder Crittenden

June 14 e-mail

Dear Family,
I have been doing pretty well, this past week was kinda difficult to work because of the World cup, everyone is watching the games and its hard to find new investigators. We didnt have any baptisms but we are preparing this kid that wants to be baptized right now and we talked with his mom for the first time yesterday and she said that she would let him get baptized. I cant believe that Jessica has graduated its crazy. So yeah it is starting to be summer here now which means that it wont rain quite as often and it will get hotter and I am already beginning to feel it. Yesterday at 7:30 in the morning as we were getting our investigators to take them to church I was dripping sweat just walking and it was nice to finally arrive at the church for the air conditioning. To let you know mom my card really did expire at the end of May, and I will let you know when I get my new card I might get it tomorrow but I dont think so. Tomorrow we have Zone conference and so we have been preparing our training that we are going to give to our zone so it was kind of a stressful week. Also tomorrow is the first game for Brazil at the World cup so after zone conference President said that we all have to go to our homes and stay there. But underneath our house we have a little bar and store and the other day the owner put this big flat screen tv in the bar and they always have people there so we will be able to hear everything that is going on it should be good. Yes the tv stations broadcast the games here and everyone that is not working is watching. Tomorrow is basically a National holiday for Brazil because of the game everything will probably shut down and everyone will be at home or in a bar watching the game. I had another Elder ask for something else if you can send it to me in my next package, he wants a little Book of Mormon in English to read from. You can buy them at the MTC bookstore if you cant find one at Deseret Book but the little one. Well I am running out of things to talk about here I love you all and am praying for you always.
Elder Crittenden

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 7 e-mail

This was a fun letter. The family especially enjoyed the part about the coconut tree. James' sisters all agreed that they could picture him doing that. Read the letter.
Dear Family,
I am glad that you are all feeling summer there now, I have been feeling it down here for a while now and I think its nice of the Lord to share the heat with you all up there. The past week was a little bit cooler and it was nice for a change. Right now winter is ending here too and it is beginning to be summer here so it will probably just get hotter. Things are going good down here the work is still progressing well and everything is good with me. We didnt have a baptism this past week but we should have one this week. It has been raining everyday here and so we get wet all the time. Today we had lunch at some of our investigators house and she let us get coconuts from her tree. So I climbed up and got 12 coconuts and now we have them and will drink the milk tonight should be good. Right now my companion and I are preparing our training for zone conference on the 15th of this month and also busy with the work. That Elder would like an answer on the Jazz shorts and Jersey of the Jazz so next week if you could send a yes that you found them or no but he doesnt really care on the color he just wants of the Jazz ok. I will look at my debit card and see if it has expired or not, that is probably why I couldnt take out some money from it. This next week the world cup starts so things should be interesting here I dont quite know how they will be but we will see. So what are some of the other happenings in the USA and in good ol Heber City? What are the Pectols doing? Oh I met a guy at the bus station last Monday and he began talking to us about our church and everything and then he asked me if he could speak english with me and I he began speaking fluently with me. Turns out he is an English teacher here and he said that I speak Portuguese really well, and that I almost dont have an accent so that was cool. I dont really have much else to say other Than CONGRATULATIONS JESSICA FOR GRUDUATING and I wish I could be there but I want pictures. I love you all very much!
Elder Crittenden

e-mail of 5/29

Dear Family, So this past week was pretty good, we had another baptism I baptized a kid named Huan on Saturday. This past week it rained everyday and so we got wet everyday. I will be staying here in Sao Luis for another 6 weeks as Zone Leader with my companion Elder Alonso. We have a meeting in Teresina tomorrow so we will take a bus tonight at 10 to Teresina. So with this Jury Duty if I am not excused from it what does that mean really? So to talk about the World cup here as far as I know it gets really really really crazy people drinking and in the bars watching the games and all of that, but we will still be working as normal President hasnt said anything otherwise. As for Jessica and her talk on commitment, I have been reading in Nephi lately and thinking about it and she could use the stories of Nephi how many times that his brothers went against him and tied him up or tried to take his life, or through all of his trials he always stayed committed to the Lord and didnt ever faulter from that. So she could tell some stories of Nephi and his commitment that he had to the Lord and relate it to our lives. I cant think of a short message for the newsletter right now I dont have my scriptures with me right now but I will try to think of one and send it home. As for the jersey for Elder Araujo he wants one of the Jazz and he wants a Jersey not a t shirt with shorts he needs them in size m and if you can get one of the blue ones thats what he wants so keep looking please. The shoe inserts that I have are just fine but I dont need anything special just some shoe inserts to change out with my other ones. One other thing that I still need here that would be really helpful is rechargeable batteries and a charger for my camera because I am using alot of batteries or a package of AA batteries because they are pretty expensive here in Brazil. I dont really have much else to say for this week other than I am excited to stay here in Sao Luis for atleast another six weeks and teach some of the people here that we have been preparing. We have quite a few Elders leaving this week and new ones coming in, one that is leaving his name is Elder Perry and he lives in Blue bell Utah he is related to Mont Wade and we are good friends now, it will be fun to see him again in a year and a little. Time really is flying by here in the mission field. Well thats it until next week I love you all, and I am praying for you always. Love Elder Crittenden

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

James and Gustave Gustave and his sister Vaness. I would love to visit with these two. Gustave and Vaness with family, James and his companion. James, Jonatah and companion

e-mail of 5/23 A great week

Hey Family, This past week has been excellent! It flew by so fast because of all the things that I did. On Tuesday we were supposed to have interviews with President but he changed them to Friday, but I had a division with the assistants on Tuesday. It was pretty good I was with Elder Araujo for the day. He is pretty cool and he would like something, if you could buy a UTAH JAZZ jersey and shorts he will give me money for them and if you could send them in the next package. You can take money out of my account to buy them and he needs a size M or medium. Please buy them that would be great, I also need in my next package new shoe inserts would be nice, and some maple syrup extract to make maple syrup for pancakes. So back to my week, on Thursday my companion and I were walking to visit one of our investigators and met up with him by his school so we went in to his school with him and were waiting for his friends to show up so we could talk to them, he introduced me to his old English teacher and she had me talk with her class about the foods that we eat in the United States it was really cool. While we were waiting for his friends some of the other students from his class came and talked to us and we met this girl who is interested and curious about the church so we talked with her about it a little and said that we would pass by her house one day and teach her and her family. She said that she didn't know if her mom would approve because she is catholic but she would talk with her. So that same day we passed by the house of another one of our investigators and he wasn't home but his cousin said that he was at the house of a friend so we went to his friends house. Well it turns out that the house of the friend is the house of the same girl that we talked too at Huans school and we talked with her mom, and her mom said that we could pass by one day and talk with them. It is so amazing the way that the Lord is working here in the mission field. On Friday I did another division with Elder Costa in a part of the city called MaioBao. Me and Elder Costa had a great time he is really cool and he will probably visit me in the United states after the mission. But the division was great, it ended on Saturday afternoon when I went back to my area to teach English class. English class was great too there was quite a few people there and it was really fun to teach. I had them bring pictures of their families and introduce the members of their families and showed them pictures of my family. Then I think the best part of the week happened, We had 3 baptisms this week. I baptized a boy called Gustave, we also baptized his sister named Vaness and another man named Jonatah. It was awesome. I will add pictures of them to my email. My companion baptized vanessa and Jonatah. We confirmed them members of the church on Sunday too. After church we went to lunch and then to the house of the girl that we met on Thursday and met the family and taught the first lesson, they were very receptive and we will pass by there again and teach them. So that was my week. It was awesome and this next week should be good too, we have got some people lined up to be baptized and I hope that they go through. We have transfers this next week and I hope that I stay here in Sao Luis one more transfer atleast but we will see. So I love you all and until next week. Love Elder Crittenden

Monday, May 17, 2010

e-mail of May 17th.

Hey Family, I felt like this last week went by fast too. We have been teaching a lot and it is making time fly. We have also been doing divisions here every Friday that we need to get done so the past two Fridays I have been in other areas of Sao Luis. I will be in another area this week too on Friday, called Mai ou bao, with Elder Costa. We had a baptism marked this past week for a 14 year old boy who we have been teaching, but his parents wouldn't allow him to be baptized so now we will talk to them and hopefully this week. He has a desire to serve a mission too but its difficult when the parents don't allow it. We are also teaching some other families and should baptize them this week and we also need to marry some of them so that slows it down a bit. We have interviews with President tomorrow and we will also do a division with the assistants tomorrow. I have been a little bit sick this past week but I am getting better, yes I have been taking my vitamins too. English class this past week was good we had quite a few people in there and I taught about directions and how to get somewhere and we did an activity where I drew a map and they had to tell me how to get there. It was pretty good this next week they have to bring family photos and they will describe members of their family and who they are, these were both activities that we did in the MTC and I think they will help. So what is the weather like there is it summer there yet or is it still cold? How are things going there? Is there anyone else from my graduating class that got their mission calls that you know of? I could use more deodorant and black shoe polish are some things that I will be in need of here in a little bit. Love your son Elder Crittenden To Jessica, I wish that I could be there at your graduation too but I am here and its impossible. You bought a car that's awesome I want you to send me some pictures. How big of a loan did you take out to pay for it or how much did you have saved before the loan? For that Alyson girl I wrote her some in the MTC but I haven't written her since and maybe I will write her and see how she is doing there. Anyway I love you too Jessica and keep writing me. Love your big Brother Elder Crittenden

Monday, May 10, 2010

James's address

James is now serving in the city of Sao Luis. He lives on the street Rua Tres. His house is right down the street from the Pam Filipinho (see red arrow in photo 1. The Pam Filipinho is a bar that he says plays real loud music, all night, but he is getting used to it..

Photos 2 shows a closer look at the street. The red arrow points to the corner with the bar.

Photo 3 shows a wider view. I’m sure he loves the close proximity to the stadium in the upper right corner.

Soccer is alive and well in Brazil.