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