Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25 e-mail

Hey I am glad that you got the photos that I sent. I was trying to send more but it was taking forever and the thing about the cashews is a video so I tried sending it but it was taking too long, so I didn’t send it. Speaking of pictures I am taking more pictures than what I am sending home but I need somewhere to save them so I can send them home. If you could buy or send me a flash drive or memory stick or whatever you call it so I can back up all of my pictures and then send that home every once in a while. The problem with sending stuff home is that it is kinda expensive and I don’t know how safe it is to send it but if you send me a flash drive and some CD’s I will back it all up and send some home. One of the streets that I live on is called Idelfonso Cavalcante but our apartment is on the corner across the street of that live market. I hope that helped, if you want to know I don’t know if it will show up on google maps but my area has a group of homes in it and its called Dom José maybe that will help it is right close to our apartment too. I miss snow! Zone Conference was good. We left Thursday afternoon at 2 and had a 4 hour bus ride to a city called Parnaiba. Zone conference was good I didn’t understand everything but I understood quite a bit. It reminded me alot of what the MTC was like, sitting for hours at a time. I like walking around alot more. Also this Sunday we had not only Stake conference for Sobral but we had a baptism too. Stake Conference my companion and I were in the choir and we did really well, because a few weeks ago we were not sounding good at all, but it was a miracle. The baptism was good too, we baptized a girl that we have been teaching for 2 weeks now and it was really awesome to see her get baptized because she has been excited about it for a while now. We are teaching 2 other men and preparing them for baptisms this next week so hopefully they will still be baptized. I think I talked about them last week but there names are Zacarias and Tarcisio. It has been amazing to see the change in their lives. Zacarias has a son who is handicapped and he is really funny, when we first came to the house he wouldn’t even talk to us but now he gives us hi 5´s and we can talk to him and although he cant speak in sentences it is fun to talk with him. Some food that I ate this week that was really good it is called "Cha de Burro", which translates to "tea of donkey" which sounds really funny but it was so good. All that it was is corn, condensed milk and sugar and it was good. We have interviews with the President this Wednesday and when he saw me at Zone conference everyone comment on how much that my Portuguese had improved and how good it was. To tell you about my mission area yes it does cover those two states but it also has a little bit of the state that I am in which is Será but not much of it. I will try and get some more photos to you but right now the computer that I am on is not working with my camera so I don’t know, I really need that memory stick. I don’t know what else to talk about but I will talk to next week. Love you all very much and I am praying for you all. Love Elder Crittenden

Monday, January 18, 2010

e-mail of January 18, with photos

Hey everyone! As far as I know the address that I sent you in the email is the correct one. I will try to write letters but I dont know what it will cost to send it to the US so I will try and find out and try to send home a letter. I dont know my street address here in Sobral and neither do the other elders that live here but it is right across the stree from a feira livre ( live market) if you can find that I dont have accesss to google earth otherwise I would look up the coordinates and let you know them. The train depot is also really close to our apartment. Everything here in Sobral is good, we have been teaching alot and having good success. Yesterday we were supposed to have a Baptism of one of our investigators but we had lots of appointments and my companion is the District leader and we ran out of time to do the interview and so we postponed the baptism until next week. We have a couple of other baptisms lined up for the next couple of weeks too. We have been teaching some men named Zacarias and Tarcisio, we taught them the Plan of Salvation and they had lots of questions and it was a really good lesson. We invited them to go to church yesterday and we didn´t expect them to go but a miracle happened and they were there. They really enjoyed it and the members really helped them feel welcome. Zacarias´ wife and his kids are members but he is not. Tarcisio is Zacarias´ wifes dad, so we have baptisms set up for them on the 31 of January and yesterday after gospel principles class I was talking with Zacarias and his wife and they wanted to know if after the baptism if I would send a picture of the baptism to the United States, I thought that was weird but I said I would so I think that they will be baptized. I really hope that they do because I know how much it will bless their life. As for other weekly happenings my companion and I had to travel to Tiangua on Thursday so he could give a Baptismal interview. We left at 11 on Thursday night and Tiangua is only an hour and a half drive from here so we got there at about 1. I loved Tiangua it is up on the mountains and it is really cool there. It was the perfect temperature there for me, but for the Brazilians, it was cold at about 85 degrees. Any way I bought a hammock and it is really comfortable to sleep in. As for the best way to get me mail, it doesn´t matter email I can check every Monday, but mail I will only get about every 6 weeks so if you send me a package with food make sure it can last for that long because I will only get it when we have zone conferences which my first one is this Wednesday I am excited. I dont know if you will get these pictures and videos but I will try and attach them they take a really long time. If you get the one of the man with the fire that is our investigator Zacarias and he is cooking cashew seeds to get the nut out, because apparently cashew seeds have acid that surrounds the nut and you have to burn it out so that is what he is doing and it was really cool to watch because they pop and shoots fire everywhere it is amazing. Thats all for this week love you all

Love Elder Crittenden

James and his companion. He mentioned how steep the hills were in Sobral.

James mentions the fiera livre (live market) in his letter. He says it's close to his house. I guess this is what that means. One of the arches in town.

Monday, January 11, 2010

email of Jan 11, from Sobral

HI Everyone Everything here in Brazil is Great! My first week here has been full of work, my companion and I are both new to the are so we have lately been using the area book to find investigators, but everyone here is pretty open to the message of the gospel. Almost everyone here that doesnt work during the day will sit out on their front porch and talk or just relax, so you get to talk to alot of people. We have been finding alot of people and yesterday was Sunday and we committed a bunch of them to go to church with us but when we went to go pick them up for church they either werent home or couldnt go for other reasons. We have been teaching alot of lessons and my portuguese is coming along. It helps to have a Brazilian companion that doesnt speak alot of english also. We have a few baptisms lined up this week and for the next couple of weeks so we will see how that goes. The streets here are crazy they have hills and they are steep hills its amazing how the people built houses on them. Because yesterday was Sunday and it was our first Sunday in the area we got to give talks in church. Mine only had to be 5 minutes and it went pretty good. To tell you about my companion he is from Rio De Janiero, he has 5 people in his family, and he loves to draw and is amazing. Something funny about the people here is when they TRY to pronounce my name they say about the first syllable and then give up and ask me how to prounounce it. To tell you about my apartment, the pipes are bad so we cant drink the water out of them, we get to buy our water. The first couple of days the showers didn´t work so we had to shower out of a bucket and then we got them fixed so now we get to shower with them, and Brazil is the only place that you can take a cold shower and have your body heat after steam up the mirror. There are 4 of us living in the apartment so its nice to converse at the end of the night with each other, I am the only fluent english speaker, one of them speaks pretty good english and can help explain things sometimes, but I get to use my dictionary alot. Well I had some pictures to send home but I am emailing you at an internet cafe and it takes forever to attach them so I will try to find somewhere next week with faster internet and send some. But last night I taught the elders in my apartment how to play phase 10 and they loved it. They liked it so much that they want me to ask you to buy a couple more sets and send them to me becuase you cannot buy this game in Brazil. Plus I could use a new set the one that I have is pretty sticky and its hard to shuffle, but if you cant then that is fine we will live. To tell you about the wildlife here, I have seen one tarantula but it was in Teresina and it was about as big as my face, then my camera somehow deleted all the pictures that I had from before the mission, the mtc time and what I had in Teresina, so I will have to send you more later. They also have here this type of ant that has a big butt, and if you smash it on your skin, they carry acid in this sack on their butt and it will give you second degree burns. The food here is amazing, everyday we have a lunch appointment with a member and they make some excellent food. They said the best way to send me stuff, because I dont know my address here in Sobral, send it to the mission home. the address there is: Elder James Crittenden Missão Brasil Teresina Rua Tersandro Paz 2129 Piçarra Teresina PI CEP 64015-015 Send my stuff there and I will get it when they do transfers and what not Well I need to go now But I love you all and I am keeping you all in my prayers. Love Elder Crittenden

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sobral, Ceara, Brazil James' first assignment is in the city of Sobral. It is in the state of Ceara, located 7 hours by bus from the mission home in Teresina. It appears to be a very modern city, very beautiful.

First e-mail from Brazil 1/4/2010

We actually received three e-mails from James today. I will attach all three here, in the order they were sent. HEY Everyone How is it going? I am finally in Brazil and I love it here. I get to go to my first area tonight. It is called Padrao and tonight at 9 I will take a bus for 7 hours to my new area where I will meet my trainer, Elder Nascimento. From what I hear about him he is really funny and he is an amazing artist. He is a native Brazilian so he only speaks a tiny bit of English so it will be fun. My area has about 700,000 people in the city so lots of work to do. As for the weather it is pretty hot, but apparently this past week has been one of the coolest. I went out with Elder Harmon the past two days and we have been working in his area, he is one of President Dias' assistants and he is really cool. We were out and about yesterday and talking with people and picking them up for church and some of the people say that the hottest it got this past year was in October and it was about 122 plus humidity. Crazy! So to tell you a little bit what has been happening,I have been Going out with Elder Harmon and I have done a few street contacts. We have had 2 lunch appointments and I love the food. On Saturday night we were heading to a bus stop and we stopped at a street vender and I ate lingua de vaca, which translates into tongue of cow, or cows tongue and it was AMAZING!! You are probably thinking right now what kind of son have I raised but I am not going to lie it was really good. It was really soft and it like melted in your mouth. It may sound gross but I liked it. I forgot to bring my camera but I will send you some pictures soon enough. I have to go now, we get to go get registered with the police here in Teresina and then since it is P-Day we are going to eat at a restaurant and then we are going bowling. So write back with any questions and I will try to answer them. Also I will get you the address and find out what is better for sending letters and stuff to me. tchau Love Elder Crittenden Oh something else that I forgot to tell you, I had in my email today a Pastor from India telling me that he visited my website and that he was a missionary for his church and wants my help with sharing the gospel. Did you make a website for me then? Did you put pictures of me and my companion Elder Cook also because the email was addressed to both of us? Just a question write back Love you Dad Love Elder Crittenden Hey Dad, I messed up on the name of my new area, its not Padrao, its Sobral. If you want to look it up on google earth so. Love Elder Crittenden

Friday, January 1, 2010

James is in Brazil

We got a wonderful surprise on the morning of New Years Day. James called home from Teresina, Brazil. What a terrific way to begin 2010. James flew out of Salt Lake City on the morning of December 29th. His travel companion is Elder Cook from Shelley, Idaho (see photo below). They flew to Atlanta, Georgia, where they had a three hour layover. James was able to call home from there, but we had a terrible connection and weren't able to hear him very well. It was still wonderful to hear his voice. Elder Crittenden and Elder Cook James and his MTC roommates: Elder Cook, Elder Banks and Elder Ashton From Atlanta, they flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil, arriving around 8:00 on the morning of the 30th. They had a layover until 3:00 that afternoon, which delayed until after 5:00. From there they flew to Brasilia and then on to Teresina, arriving around 8:00 that evening. We tracked his flight on flight tracker from S.L. to Atlanta and then on to Sao Paulo. We lost him as they passed the Virgin Islands. It was kind of sobering to realize that we were watching him leave the United States officially for the next two years. James reported in his call this morning that he enjoyed watching the Brazilian New Years celebration last night. He said there were fireworks coming from all over. He thought it was pretty exciting. The weather change hasn't hit him too hard yet. It's only around 80 degrees there today, and he said it was raining a bit this morning. They were just returning from the home of Pres. Dias. They are staying in an apartment with the assistants to the president and other mission office staff and missionaries. Transfers take place on Monday. so he will find out at that time where his first assignment is. We are anxious to hear where he will be serving. He said his Portuguese is okay, but he can understand a lot more than he can say. We are excited for him and look forward to sharing in his mission with him. He's not the best letter writer, but we hope he will share with us what he is doing and stories about the people he is serving among.