Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26th e-mail / Zone Leader

Well my week has been crazy! So on Tuesday we had transfers and my companion Elder A. Santos was transferred. I stayed here in Sao Luis, but President made some really big changes to our mission. For instance I am Zone leader here in Sao Luis. I have 18 missionaries that my new companion Elder Alonso and I are over. So I found out about that on Tuesday, and on Wednesday we had a meeting with President in Teresina. So Tuesday night we headed to Teresina (6-7 hour bus ride) and had a meeting there from 8 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon. We had lunch there and everything and we learned about all of our responsibilities. We have to call all of our district leaders on Sunday night and collect all of the numbers for the week and we have to do a training at zone conference. So that was a big shock when I heard about that. Elder Cook was called to be an assistant, Elders Daniel and Banks were also called to be zone leaders and so when we all got to the mission office in Teresina we had a little district reunion it was awesome. I also while I was in Teresina picked up my package so I have my package and everything was in it Thank you. To tell you about my new companion he is from Sao Paulo. He is tall like me and everyone thinks that he is from somewhere else. This past week was pretty good we found a lot of new investigators but not many went to church so we will have to work on that. We didn’t have any baptisms but we should have some in the weeks to come. We are teaching a man and his family right now that is really interested in the gospel and will for sure be baptized but the problem is that he and his wife aren’t married so we have to marry them first. So that should be fun, my first marriage in the mission. As a zone leader, we have to give baptism interviews to our district leaders investigators and I did my first this last Friday. It was really fun, they baptized two boys, one was 11 and the other was 9. I have been teaching English to some of the ward members in our ward and in Vila Palmeiras ward and that has been really fun. In my package I really liked the Crittenden Clan Plates. They were awesome and the photos were good too. In my next package that I won’t need for a while I would like some new family photos or photos of stuff. We went back and visited that man that I bible bashed with on Thursday and bible bashed again and left him basically without a religion. He would try to answer all of our questions with his knowledge of the bible that had absolutely nothing to do with our questions and it was really ridiculous and a waste of time. I have not heard anything about this Dengue Fever or any missionaries in our mission having it but it’s good to know and I still have plenty of repellent. I hope that the boys’ soccer team continues to do well and get bishop Wheatley a state title. Give them my best wishes and good luck from me. I can’t believe that the recreation center is almost done. I am excited to see it when I get home. Dad you should send me some photos of it if you get the time. I passed my 6 month mark this past Wednesday and that was the same Day as mom’s birthday. I hope she got her card and the same day as our District reunion from the MTC so it was cool. I don’t really have much else to say or tell you that happened this past week so I love you all and am praying for you all. Love your Son Elder Crittenden

April 19th. e-mail / Apartment Robbery

Dear Family, Today has been a good day I always love P-Days to relax do laundry and I get to email and find out what is going on. I am doing great. The work is pretty good. My companion and I worked a lot this past week. We had a baptism of a 14 year old boy. It was a miracle that we were able to baptize him because his mom is very Catholic and she had a really tough time giving us permission. But she came to church on Sunday and I think that she liked it a lot and she asked us to come by her house this week if were not transferred. We have transfers tomorrow and President said in our interviews this past week that a lot of things will change so I will find out tonight hopefully if I will stay here in Sao Luis or go somewhere else. I didn’t get my package yet but I hope that I get it soon. I think that the tenth day that it arrived was on Tuesday when we had interviews so I will probably get it at zone conference now. Yesterday my companion and I did splits with some ward members and I kinda Bible bashed with a guy. He was a Baptist and he had me read some scripture in Ephesians about someone who will have an angel visit him and will preach other doctrines. He knew about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and was trying to convince me that all of that was false. I just talked to him about the Book of Mormon and that it was written by prophets chosen by God and about Joseph and we will teach him this week maybe too. I just had to laugh because they really don’t know what they are talking about when they try to convince us they just repeat what their Preacher tells them so it is fun to prove to them the truths that we have in our Church. This Wednesday on MOMS Birthday I will have 6 Months in the mission, WOW its amazing how fast time goes. Something really exciting happened this past Wednesday, My companion was robbed. We live on the second floor of another house and we have a balcony which is right next door to the other houses. We sleep in the front room which has a door to the balcony that we leave open all night because it is hot. So Wednesday night while we were sleeping someone came into our house in the same room that we were sleeping and on my companions desk he left his wallet which had 500 reais ($285.00) and his camera. Well this person came in and took my companions money and his camera without us waking up. Don’t worry I didn’t have anything on my desk or anything. I left everything in my suitcases and I didn’t get anything stolen but yeah so that’s what happened. So we talked to the owner of our building and he will put a screen door thing that we can close and still have the door open. So for mothers day I talked with Pres. and he said that the way that we call is by us paying. We can’t have the church or anyone else pay it has to be our family. So what I will do is this. I will have you guys call me I will give you our cell phone number and you guys can use the card that Kendra has to call me. I don’t know if I will still be here in Sao Luis or not so I will give you the number of the cell phone later, but that’s what I think will work the best. We can set up a time and everything and it will all be good. That’s about all that I can think of that happened this past week. So how is the boys’ soccer team doing? What’s kew that’s going on in Heber? Anything else new in the family you know, is anyone Pregnant, expecting, etc.? Well I love you all and will talk to you next week Love Your Son, Elder Crittenden

e-mail from April 12th

Hey family, Everything is okay here in Brazil, my last week was a tough one. A lot of our investigators were not home when we passed by all week so we didn’t teach much. Also I said that we had 4 baptisms set up for last week and they all fell through. Three of them needed permission from their parents to be baptized and they wouldn’t allow it. The other one he is 18 so he doesn’t need authorization but he felt like he wasn’t prepared so he moved it to this week and hopefully it will work out. We also have some other men that we are preparing to be baptized this week and I think that we should have at least one. Some good things that happened this week, one was that on Thursday Elder Daniel (Ashton) from my group in the MTC. He is in my district and we got to do a division together, it was really fun to be companions for a day. Also Elder Daniel and I started teaching English this past week. It was really good. We only had 4 people to teach but I think that we will have more this next week. On Saturday we had lunch at a member’s house in our area that was 35 minutes walking to get there. Then yesterday we had to take the bus to lunch and it was an hour on the bus to this ladies house. I don’t quite know how it is in our area but I did like her house. It was out in the forest in a little city called Reposa. This lady had coconut trees and Mango trees that we got to eat and I really love both of those. There is almost nothing better than walking for a day and then having a really cold Coconut milk to drink. I like my new area it is really nice, kinda tough but good. The people here are friendly and it is a good area. Our apartment is really old we live above another house and there is a little store next door and they sell alcohol so sometimes at night they will have people there drinking and people here in Brazil love to play music really really loud so sometimes we get to have a concert below us when we are trying to sleep but it’s alright. It is only my companion and myself in our apartment. He likes to play soccer and volleyball and other sports but we haven’t been able to do any of that because President put a rule into place for now that on P days its only you and your companion but hopefully we will be able to do stuff with other missionaries soon and play soccer and everything. I don’t really know much about mother’s day yet but I will ask President tomorrow and let you know next week. I think though that I will use Kendra´s card, and yes you are 3 hours behind me. I was sick but it was nothing serious. I am better now. Also last week we got flu vaccines for some flu down here so I am good now in that department. I am taking my vitamins and yes I still have plenty. Some scriptures that I really like and have found about prayer and that have helped some of my investigators are in Alma 37:37. There is another one about family prayer in Alma but I can’t remember exactly where so next week. I also use a lot for our lunch message my mission plaque scripture 2 Nephi 32:18-20. Just the basics after baptism and the promise of eternal life if we do those simple things of feasting on the scriptures, use our Faith, and Endure to the End. I really liked the mission story that you included. It was really cool and it is really sad when someone has that big of a miracle in their life and didn’t even think twice about where it really came from. The fact that it was from members of a different church who have the true power of God. I really liked it dad. Thanks for sharing that. Iit was awesome. As for the question about the sweaters I don’t have any and I probably never will. I won’t buy one or anything so you can tell him not to bring one. I don’t really know what else to say other than I love you all very much and will continue praying for you. Love Your Son Elder Crittenden

Monday, April 5, 2010

e-mail for April 5, combined from Mom and Dads

Dear MOMMY, So for Easter we helped the Primary president in our ward to paint eggs for an egg hunt. But to paint the eggs we used real paint and paint brushes so it was a little odd. It was fun none the less for the primary kids to find them. I didn’t receive anything really for Easter except president gave us these big chocolate eggs I will take a picture and try to remember to send it. But the crappy thing about it was that he wouldn’t give them to us until after we had taken our worm pills that we get every 6 months, and you had to chew it, and to make things worse, the water in the church wasn’t working so we couldn’t even get a drink afterwards, but I LOVE THE MISSION. For some reason here in Sao Luis the water gets shut off and people go without water. In some of the neighborhoods that we teach in poeple were going 3 or 4 days without water to take showers and wash dishes and all that. Two missionaries in our zone actually Elder Niksich and Elder Daniel(Elder Ashton from the mtc) were without water and so they stayed at our house this past week with us to take showers. Our water was shut off for only one night and that was Friday so we all slept dirty. I was a little sick this week too but I am okay now. I really enjoyed conference this year. I watched the first to sessions on Saturday in Portuguese and understood alot. We watch conference in the Stake center which is our ward building and is in our area. They were all live sessions, so the sessions were at 1 in the afternoon to 3 and then 5 to 7 at night, except the Priesthood which was a 6 am on Sunday it was a re-broadcast, and I watched it in Portuguese. The Sunday sessions they had English for us Gringos so I got to hear it in English. I really liked the talk on Sunday I don’t remember who it was its in my notes but he talked about mothers and the importance of them in the lives of their children and it really made me think of you and the influence that you had in my life and I want to thank you for that. That was about it for conference and Easter. To talk about the work we are preparing 4 people to be baptized this week but 2 of them need permission from their parents and so it might not happen. The thing is here that everyone is Catholic but they don’t go to church except maybe on Christmas and Easter so everyone baptizes all their kids in the church too and don’t think that they need to be baptized again so it is very annoying. But that is how it’s going we are working alot and there is still alot to be done. My new area is pretty cool not in temperature but cool. It is hot, it rains alot and it’s really green. Today we did some service for a lady in our ward helping her move and I moved some stuff and there was 2 spiders about the size of well I can’t think of anything to compare them too but they were big. There are tons of lizards and alot of people here have parrots. I like all of the fruits and the different kinds of Juices I have almost heard of a new kind of Fruit every 3 days here since I have been here. I am going to start teaching English in our church this Saturday so that should be fun. I love you all very much and keep writing. Oh I forgot to tell mom that I would let here know when I get the package and if everything is inside thanks for getting that all done and tell mom thanks too for getting everything ready for it. We have interviews with the President next Tuesday so I think it should be here and I should get it I hope so at least. Um I am about out of things to say other than I hope that everything is going well at home and I know that the Lord is blessing our family. I love you all very much and keep writing. Love Elder Crittenden

e-mail of March 29

Oi Everything is going good in my new city, we had a baptism of a 8 year old boy Saturday and we have a couple more for after this next week. I am excited to have my first general conference in the mission and my first Easter too. We are going to help the primary president this Friday I think paint eggs for an Easter egg hunt for the primary so that should be fun. My companions name is Elder A. Santos and he is a Brazilian from Sao Paulo. No the 2 that I traveled with one is a sister and the other is an Elder working in another part of the city. There are 12 Elders and 4 Sisters working here in Sao Luis, with 8 areas. Yes me and my companion both got moved out of the Sobral, he is in Teresina and I am here, the other Elder that was living in the same house as us in Sobral is here in Sao Luis too and he is still my zone leader. Tell Jessica that I say congratulations on the clogging and she should email me because she is almost done with school and I would like to hear from here and Justin too. Bairro is like the area we have a bunch of different Bairros in our area it’s just an area in which you live. I think that I spelled the other word wrong I meant Rua and that means street, that is our address here and that is all that I know. I really like the Ward here it is really strong but is kinda small. it reminds me alot of our ward back home. We have zone conference this week too it is actually tomorrow I am excited for that and to hear President talk to us. I think though that tomorrow he is going to talk alot about the rules and what not because a lot of Elders have been breaking them. I can’t believe how fast that the months are flying by it is amazing. It rains here in Sao Luis alot too. Yesterday we were at our lunch and alot of people here in like the front of their houses run little stores or bars and yesterday the lady had a bar in the front. As we were waiting for lunch to be ready there were 2 guys there drinking and 1 was already drunk. We started talking to them and they were interested in what our church believed so we began to explain. Well one of them is going to visit the church this Sunday and we will teach him this week too. I am excited to teach him I think that it will be good. My Portuguese is really good I am speaking really well. I don’t really have much to say other than continue to save the emails that you send and that I send because I really want to remember all of this. Elder Ashton is in my district and I get to see him. His mom printed off my blog and sent it to him. My other zone leader Elder Perry is the nephew of Mont Wade so if you see Mont tell him that I met his nephew in the mission, and that I say HI. Thanks for everything and can’t wait to hear from you. Love your Son, Elder Crittenden

e-mail of March 22, to Mom

Dear Mom No I am fine things are going good here. I know that you are worried about me but you don’t need to worry yourself too much the Lord is with me. Well to tell you about my week I have been transferred. I am no longer in Sobral, Ceara, I am now in Sao Luis, Maranhao. I got a phone call from the assistants on Tuesday morning at 6:30 telling me that I would be transferred and so I began packing. I like my new area it is the capitol city of Maranhao and they have a Guarana here called Guarana Jesus and it is so good!!!!! My Portuguese is really coming along everybody here complements me on how well I speak for only being in the mission field for 5 months. I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday in my new ward on repentance. I don’t think that I am still losing weight but I really don’t know. The ward members help us out with our investigators at church meetings. Well That’s about all that I can think of for this week mom. If you have sent my package, if you could email me a list of things that are in it, so that when it arrives to me I can make sure that everything is in there and it all arrived safely. LOVE YOU LOTS MOM!!!!!!!!!!!! Love your Son Elder Crittenden

e-mail of March 22, to Dad

Dear Dad, I have been transferred. I am now in Sao Luis, Maranhao. Our address is Bairro Redencao, Rua 3 casa 10. I hope that you can find our apartment it is really small and not in very good condition. My new area is pretty good the people here all complement me on my Portuguese and I gave a talk in church yesterday on repentance. We found out that we were being transferred on Tuesday at 6:30 when the assistants called. So we began packing and then spent the day telling our investigators and the people in the ward that we were leaving and got addresses. Everyone was sad and didn’t want us to go but we had no choice. We left Sobral at 11 that night and had a 6 hour bus ride to Teresina, where I met up with 2 new Brazilian missionaries and at 7:30 on Wednesday morning we left Teresina for another 7 hour bus ride here to Sao Luis. I am now here and it’s pretty nice, we have beaches that we will be able to visit. My companion likes to play soccer and other sports so we will be doing that. They have a Guarana here called Guarana Jesus and it is the best Guarana in the world I will try to send one home. I will attach some pictures of it and some other things. If you would like you could send me a letter every once in a while, I am not printing off my emails because that would be alot of paper to haul around. Instead I am saving them all and will print them off in 2 years when I get home. When did soccer season start up there and what is their record thus far? I am mad to hear about the things that Obama is doing, what else has he done and what does this health care package mean for me in the future because I want to go into medicine? How is the economy? has it picked up or still slow or what? I don’t really have much else to say about this week other than I love you Very much Dad. Love your Son Elder Crittenden

e-mail of March 15

Hi Family, Well this past week was pretty good, we have just been working with our references with people in our ward that we have received. My companion and I went to Tiangua this past week again because they had a baptism and my companion had to do the interview. While we were there I bought at the bus station a really cool thing I will take pictures of myself with it and send home. It is a bottle but it is inside a cows leg and the cows leg has the hoof and everything it is really cool. We had a baptism here yesterday of a kid named Alexandre, my companion baptized him. We didn’t baptize anyone else this past week but hopefully we have some next week if not then we have one for sure the following week the 28 a kid named Luis Carlos and he definitely one of the elect. It is really true how hard that Satan works on people when we ask them to be baptized. Two people here that we are teaching in particular, Raylum and Erika are having a tough time deciding whether or not to be baptized. Transfers are today and we haven’t heard anything yet if I will stay with my companion or if we will be transferred, but I hope to stay with my companion here in Sobral. For your question Dad if we are transferred we will get a phone call, we have cell phones in our mission, so they will call us and let us know tonight. Yesterday we had one missionary from our house go home because he is done with his mission so we will be getting someone new in our house this week maybe two and maybe someone else leaving. My companion and I gave talks yesterday in church, I spoke on the Book of Mormon and the peace that it brings into our lives, my companion spoke on the spirit. We wear our suit coats on Sundays if our chapel has air conditioning and ours does so. We don’t have daylight savings time down here so nothing changed here. It is still hot and rainy and the work is still good. It is really fun to study the scriptures and try to find things that will help our investigators with specific things and I am learning so much from the scriptures. That story that sister Thurber told I can’t believe that I said that, I wish that I could remember but that is really funny. Thanks for everything mom and dad and I love you both very much. Love your Son, Elder Crittenden PS dad how is the Portuguese coming, from what you write in my emails it looks pretty good. People say that once you learn Portuguese you can understand Spanish perfectly so we will have to converse when I get home. Love you.