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.


e-mail of May 10, The day after the phone call

Dear Family, I don’t really have much to say after the phone call yesterday so this will probably be short. It was really nice to talk to everyone that was there at the house and to hear how things are going. The next time will be at Christmas and I hope that everyone can be there. I am still doing really well today I made feijao and rice and we will eat that for lunch and some meals for the next couple of days. The ladies that take care of us here we call them Maezinhas which translates to little mothers. The one whose house you called me at yesterday, her name is Aldieds and she made us caju juice and gave us some crackers, while we were talking. To answer your question dad they don’t do gardens here. Most everyone if they want fruit or vegetables they just go to the market that they have in the street. The phone cards that I bought were 6 reais ($3.20) and my companion used one to talk to his family so I only have one left and I will probably just sell it to him. As for the package that you’re getting ready I do need a thing of black shoe polish. I am almost out, and then the family pictures and oatmeal. I don’t need a lot of pictures of myself, maybe just like 5. Well that’s about it for me from here, I love you all very much and can’t wait to hear from you. Tell Bishop Wheatley that a lot of people here are Catholic and Brazil wins a lot of soccer games so maybe he should convert hahaha, just kidding. Love your son, Elder Crittenden Follow up e-mail in answer to the question of where their apartment is. I haven’t been able to find the area on Google Earth. OK go to Sao Luis and look for Avenida Joao Pessoa, look for the words praca labota, zoom in a little more, Then look for a Rua Tres and I live on that road close to where it says Pam Filipinho I live on that road. The Pam Filipinho is a Bar on the corner and they play music really loud. My area goes from the Avenida Dos Francesses over to the Avenida Sen. Vitorino Freite and From the Side of the stadium down to the river and yes it is huge and then that little little city of Raposa. Hope this helps Elder Crittenden

Mother's Day phone call

We enjoyed a wonderful phone call to James the afternoon of Mother's Day. He gave us the number to call, but said that he would call us first, when they got to the member's house with the phone. They had a dinner appointment in Raposa, a two hour bus ride outside of Sao Luis, but thought they would be back by 5:30 to 6:00 (2:30 to 3:00, Heber time). As we were waiting for the call, I opened my e-mail and there was a message from James. He said he wasn't able to call because the member didn't have international calling on her phone. He said to go ahead and call him at 6:00 (3:00). I looked at my watch and it was already 5 after. We called the number he had given us and reached the house, but James wasn't there. The person tried to tell us in English that he would be back in a few minutes, but it was mostly in Portuguese. It was a good thing that Jeff, our son-in-law was at the house. He served a mission in Brazil so he talked to the lady. We called back a few minutes later and James was there by then. He and his companion had gone up the street to try and find a pay phone to call us. We had a wonderful visit with him. Everyone had a chance to talk for a few minutes. Anna and Jeff and her family were home, as was Kendra and her kids. James sounded wonderful. As his mother said to him in an e-mail to him last night after the call: "I could feel your smile through the phone, and your voice was like an angel." He sounded great and very upbeat and positive. He told us a little bit about his area and what they are doing. He is busy and excited about the investigators they are working with. He is positive about the leadership assignment he has now and is trying his best to do what he is asked to do. We are grateful for his service and attitude and for the opportunities and growth he is enjoying. Jame's father, Kendall

Monday, May 3, 2010

e-mail of May 5th

Dear Family, Well to talk about Mothers Day I don’t have a number for you to call me at or a time yet because President doesn’t want us to use the mission cell phones to make the calls but I will probably call you at the house of a member and then have you call me back at that number because we have to pay for the call. But I did find out the numbers for you to call me at and this is how you do it, 1: dial 011 to get outside the US 2: dial 55 because that is the code for Brazil 3: dial 98 to call to me here in Sao Luis 4: dial the number that I will try and give to you later this week if I can get one if not I will be calling you from a payphone type thing that they have here in Brazil. I don’t know if you will be able to use that phone card that Kendra has to call me but you can try. I am excited to call home on Mother’s Day too it will be good to hear from you all. To talk about my week it has been pretty crazy, my companion and I have been preparing our training for tomorrow which is Zone Conference and it should be interesting. We have also been finding alot of new investigators and teaching them and preparing them for baptisms. I might have my first marriage in the mission too here in a little bit. We are working on marrying a couple and then baptizing the family. I had a pretty cool experience happen this past week too, my companion and I were walking in the street and this kid saw us and asked if we spoke English I said that I did and he started to converse with me in English with the little that he knew like basic conversation. Well I told him about my English class that I teach on Saturdays and he was interested and was there and brought 3 friends with him. We also invited them to hear about our church and he accepted and we have been teaching him. When we invited him to pray about Joseph Smith and the church he did and said that he had such a strong impression that he almost cried. He also asked the Lord to give him a sign that if the church was true that the next day if it was sunny that the church was true but if it wasn’t it would be cloudy. It was good to try and explain to him that we don’t always have a sign to our prayers but that the spirit uses our feelings as a witness and him and his friends had lots of questions about the church and were at church on Sunday and really liked it there. It was fast Sunday so it was even more special to hear the testimonies that were given. We didn’t have any baptisms this week but I am glad to hear that Tristan was baptized. I am still doing good health wise and everything is going good here in the Mission. I hope that we will start having some baptisms here in the next couple of weeks. I will try to send an email later this week probably on Friday with the number for you to call me at. So if you have any questions send me an Email before Friday. I love you all and I will talk to you here in a little bit. Love Your Son, Elder Crittenden