Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16th. Final Report

Well, James is home and enjoying life after the mission. He is still a little lost and unsure of himself, but he will be fine. He came home on Wednesday, October 12th. He got to us at around 12:30 p.m. Besides his Mom and I, Jessica and Justin were also there. Anna and Jeff and their youngest two boys were also there, as well as Patricia and Jens and their two kids. It was a great reunion and it was wonderful to greet him as he came home. He was released as a missionary by President Horner later that afternoon. I think it struck him hard as he was released amd he realized he no longer had that mantel with him.
James was invited to report to the High Council this morning at 7:00 a.m. He shared a mission story with them and bore a powerful testimony.
James spoke in church today at 1:00 in the Heber 8th ward. It was a beautiful meeting. The rest hymn was a solo number by Anna Bennett Wilson, who was accompanied by Sister Wells on her harp. The topic James was given to speak on was, What it means to be converted to Christ." He did a great job and shared some beautiful stories about some of his converts from the mission.
After church we had a delicious luncheon at the house. All of the family was here, except for Kendra and Caleb and their family. Many of James' cousins and friends came, as well as his Grandpa Crittenden.
We are grateful that James has had the opportunity to serve a mission. We can feel that his testimony has grown and that he is satisfied with his accomplishments. We are thankful as a family for the blessings we have enjoyed while he served. We hope those blessings will continue with our family.

10/03/2011 Last e-mail from Brazil

Dear Dad and Mom,
Well its really hard to believe that this will be my second to last email in the mission. This is going to be a rough week for me with lots of goodbyes and then in the end a long awaited hello to the people that I love the most.
Well to tell you all about my last week. It was wonderful, we had a wedding and a baptism on Friday night and then general conference on Saturday and Sunday. I got to see lots of my good old friends from Satelite and Horto as they came to our chapel to watch Conference.
I really don't have a lot to say. I am kinda at a loss for words because it's hard to believe that this 2 year journey is coming to an end. So I have bought little souvenirs for everyone and I did send a little box home of some stuff this week but it won't get there until after I am home, I think. So I am getting my bags ready and I am ready to go. Well I love you all very much and I will see you all in 9 days. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

9/26/2011

Dear Dad and Mom,
So this past week has been pretty normal for me to, not to much has happened other than we received a reference of a big family with lots of young men, 5 to be exact and all within the age of priesthood holders.
I hope that you all got my flight plans that I sent to you today, if not let me know and I will send them again. I really can't believe that my mission is finally ending and as I was getting my suitcases ready the other night I will need to send some stuff home so if you could put a little bit more money into my account so that I can do that next week that would be highly appreciated. I have been buying souvenirs for everyone these past few days and let me tell you it has not been easy. I really can't believe that my time is coming so quickly to an end, its only 2 weeks and I will be home.
So this week on Friday we are going to have the wedding and baptism of Deusa and her Husband Francisco. Unfortunately he will not be baptized this week but we are working with him and trying to get him to go to church, he still hasn't been and he promises us every week but ends up not going.
I am super excited to go to conference this year and hopefully I will be able to watch the priesthood session too, I am going to ask President to watch it at night the live session, because our house is right in front of the Capella and it would be easy for us to get home, without any problems.
As for the baptisms of Gabi, Junior and Danielly, well Gabi is going to be baptized on the 8th its already marked, Junior is for the 23rd of October but the sisters and his girlfriend is trying to convince him to move it up to the 8th with Gabi, and still nothing with Danielly, but we are all praying for her.
I am going to finish out my mission satisfied with the work and results of my mission. But still lots to do here and we have to go to an appointment now, but I love you all very much, if you could let me know what day and my topic for my homecoming talk that would be great too, and I will see you all here in 2 weeks. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 20th. email

Dear Dad and Mom,
So I didn't write an email to you all yesterday because we didn't have power here in our area when we got back from bowling. But anyway, this past week was really a good week. We still didn't have any baptisms but here in a little bit we will have some.
On Friday night we went to a pizza place to commemorate my comp making 1 year in the mission and Junior an investigator from my last area told us that he was going to get baptized, so that made the day perfect. Then on Sunday his little sister Gabi went to our ward in the morning and then went to her ward in the afternoon and marked her baptism for the 8th of October and wants me to baptize her so that made my weekend really good. They were two of my investigators that I worked with a lot in my last area and I am happy to finally see them making a decision.
I don't really have much time to write today sorry, but everything is ok with me I am safe and the Lord really protects us here.
Mom just to let you know the guy that tried to assault us is now in Jail and will be there for 11 years for drug trafficking so you don't need to worry about me. I am safe.
Just to let you all know about my flight plans. I will be home on the 12 of October around 12 o clock. One of the Elders from our mission office will call today and let you all know what my flight plans are for you all to plan accordingly. If he doesn't call let me know and I will make him send me an email with them. But I love you all very much here in a little while I will be home.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Saturday, September 17, 2011

James on Brazil television program

James and his companion were involved in an attempted assault the end of July. The police arrived within a very short time and there were no problems. A few weeks ago James commented in his email that they were famous, that he and his companion had been on a national television program talking about the assault. He was finally able to find the link to the broadcast, so here it is:
http://assuntospublicoscampogrande.blogspot.com/2011/09/reporter-record-missionarios-assaltados.html.
The link is to a blogspot for the church in Brazil. The text of the blog in Portuguese and English is:

No REPORTER RECORD (03/09), programa jornalístico da Record comandado por Marcelo Rezende, mostra dois missionários (élderes) de A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias, sendo assaltados no subúrbio de Teresina/PI, por Ligeirinho, um dos traficantes mais famosos da região.

Assitam abaixo o vídeo que já inicia com o assalto aos Élderes e a perseguição ao assaltante pelas ruas de Teresina, tudo isso filmado pelo Reporter Record. Aproximadamente aos oitos minutos os elderes falam rapidamente sobre o que aconteceu.

Fica um conselho: Voltem cedo para casa, andem sempre acompanhados e em locais com maior movimento de pessoas. Se forem abordados, nunca reajam.

In REPORTER RECORD (03/09), Record of the news program led by Marcelo Rezende, shows two missionaries (Elders) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, being assaulted on the outskirts of Teresina / PI, by Speedy, one of region's most famous drug dealers. Watch the video below that already starts with the onslaught of the Elders and the pursuit of the robber through the streets of Teresina, all filmed by Record Reporter. Approximately eight minutes to the elders speak briefly about what happened. It is an advice: Go back home early, walk in places and always accompanied with increased movement of people. If they are approached, never respond.

email of Sept. 12th.

Dear Dad and Mom, This past week for me too was basically the same as all of the others, not much happened. We did contact a reference from Carla that is from my last area Horto with her, it was her friend and it was a really special lesson. We got there and started talking just to figure out what religion that they are from and just getting to know them. We found out that they go to the Catholic church and a nice little family of 4, the parents and their 2 daughters. We started teaching the 1st lesson to the mom and 2 daughters because the Dad was at work, and from the start we could tell that the mom wasn't very interested, but the daughters were. As we got done teaching them and inviting them to pray the younger of the 2 girls told us that from the moment that we started to talk about Joseph Smith and the restoration she wanted to cry and after that she started to cry. We explained to her that it was the Holy Ghost giving her an answer and that she needed to follow it. It was a really powerful lesson with the spirit really strong in the room. Well we went back on Friday night to see how their pray was and the other daughter, the older one, prayed and dreamt about Joseph Smith and the first vision. We explained about how the Holy Ghost answers our prayers in many different ways and we explained to them both that they had already received answers from God and that they needed to follow them. We invited them to go to church on Sunday and they agreed. But there were a couple of concerns with them and about changing their religion. They are a family really involved in the Catholic church and they don't quite know what their parents will say or do if they change. We are talking with them about this and plan to talk with their Dad this week. They went to church yesterday and loved it. Also on Friday we went to the Cartorio and we put in the papers for a marriage of a couple that will get baptized here in the Ward on October 1st with the marriage being on that day too. Well other than that the week was pretty normal. We didn't have water at our house for 3 days so we had to go to the chapel to get water to shower and to drink. Flavio came over and made us Tacos on Saturday night which were awesome and reminded me alot of home and Yesterday was the farewell talk of a kid here in the Ward, who is going to Campinas Sao Paulo Brasil mission and he will leave this Thursday for the MTC. Well yesterday was a big day for the U.S. the ten year anniversary of September 11, 2001. It was recongnized even here in Brasil, some of the members were telling me that there were some reports and documentaries about the twin towers and it was also my, I only have one month left mark. I need to know if you guys have a problem with me giving away some of my clothes to some people that will be needing them, I still have all of my shirts and pants and they are all in really good conditions. I plan on taking home 2 short sleeved shirts and I haven't decided what to do with my pants. They are all still in really good condition. They don't have holes or anything. I just need to know what to do with them if you all have a problem with me giving them to people in need or if I should bring them home. Anyways let me know, as for the video link, I still haven't found it but I am looking and I will send it to you once I find it. Well that's about it for my week, I love you all very much. Love your Son, Elder Crittenden

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 5th email / Famous in Brazil

Dear Dad and Mom,
So this past week was really a week of surprises, to start off I was transferred to a new and finally my last area, Taquari. I didn't really want to leave my last area even though it was really difficult but I know that one family was really close to baptism and would have been baptized but I will continue to pray for them.
So another surprise that I found out about on Saturday was that I am famous in Brasil now. On Friday I passed on national tv here in Brasil, because of the assault that almost happened with me. Do you all remember when I said that I was almost assaulted.Well like I said, they filmed us and I passed on a national program about the police here in Brasil. All of the members were telling me about it and I just had to laugh, it was really funny. I tried to find the video on the internet but I couldn´t find it, I will tell some members to look more for it and I will send you all the link. So that was a good surprise for me.
Then on Sunday I had a really nice surprise birthday party visit from some of my friends from my last 2 areas, Satelite and horto. I received some really cool presents from them, a t-shirt that is really nice and a new tie. They also made me a cake and we had a good old party it was awesome.
So I like my new area. It is really good. This past week we were teaching a kid and we taught him about baptism and on Sunday he came up to us and asked if when he could be baptized. We told him lets mark it for Saturday and he said can't it be sooner, but we decided on Saturday.
My new house is a pretty good one, but the only problem is that alot of times we don't have water, but we live really close to the chapel so we can go and get water there to take a shower our of a bucket. Other than that the house is really nice it was really dirty when I got here so we had a total house makeover and cleaned it all up really nicely.
I also forgot to tell you that on Saturday night at 12 o clock I woke everybody up in our house and they sang happy birthday to me and broke eggs and put maracuja juice mix, flower and talcum powder all over me. I have a video for you all to watch when I get home. I don't know why it is a Brazilian tradition but it is, so I let them do it.
Well I don't really have much else to say about this week. Oh I almost forgot my new comps name is Elder Silva He is from Sao Paulo and I already had met him, but he is really cool and it will be fun for him to kill me off here in the mission. Well I love you all very much I will see you all here really soon.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

emaiI for 8/29/2011

Dear Dad and Mom,
So this past week for me was a little bit stressful and tiring and sad all at the same time. We started off the week pretty good. We had quite a few people to contact and visit, but as the days went on and the visits went by, one by one our investigators told us that they either weren't interested in our message anymore, they were comfortable with their religion and didn't want to change or just told us to stop coming by and by Friday we were without investigators to visit or people to teach.
I had a baptism on Saturday that I performed for Elder Daniel because the guy chose me to baptize him so that was a highlight of the week.
I had my last English class on Saturday also and I made them pancakes with maple syrup that I had promised them and I actually ended up making pancakes for almost everyone in the institute because as they smelled them cooking they came to find out what it was and wanted some. A lot of them were returned missionaries and remembered their American companions that would make pancakes for them on the mission, it was pretty funny.
So that was my week. What really left me feeling sad and worried was when Francisco and Iracema called us on Tuesday and simply thanked us for the visits and loved our lessons but they told us not to come back and visit anymore, without any type of explanation. That was like a punch in the gut to me because Irma Iracema was progressing so well. She wanted to be married in the Temple with Francisco and basically marked her baptism date for herself and was just that type of person that is an elect and then they called us and told us not to come back. I was really sad and tried to mark a visit just to talk and try and figure out what had happened but they just said no.
I don't know yet what the Lord is trying to do with me here in this area yet or what trials he is proving me with but whatever it is I will just keep going and let the Lord do the guiding.
I did get my package already and I loved everything that was in there THANK YOU very much Mom and Dad.
So to talk about my itinerary. I haven't heard anything else yet but I emailed President about it and I should know next week and I will let you all know as soon as possible.
I don't really have much else to say in this letter. Today I will be going to the zoo with 6 other Elders so that should be fun. I am out of things to say, but I love you all please keep praying for me so that this week is hopefully better than last, I will pray for you all and I love you.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

email of 8/22/2011

Dear Dad and Mom,
This week a was a pretty busy week too, we have been teaching a new family, Irma Iracema, Irmao Francisco e euma their daughter. Francisco is a less active member but is really smart and has a strong testimony of the church. Iracema is also really interested in the church and basically invited herself to be baptized this past week it was amazing. Her husband Francisco told her a little bit about the temples and eternal marriage and she really wants to be married for eternity so we got to teach them about that. The only problem is that she has quite a few health problems and hasn't been able to visit the church yet. They were supposed to be there yesterday but couldn't make it for some reason unexplained, but they are an incredible family. I feel like they are going to be a really strong family here in the church once they get baptized.
It was really interesting also was that this week we had a lot of people come up and talk to us and wanted to know more about our church which is incredible because we are needing lots of new investigators to teach.
This past week we didn't really have anything extraordinary happen, it was a really relaxed week. I don't really have much to say. I can say that my package is in the office here and I will pick it up this week. I have a guy here in the ward that would like a little hymn book in English so if you all could see how much that is and let me know then I can buy it and send it to him when I get home.
I also am in need of a little bit of money, if you could put like 20 dollars into my account, in this area I have been saving quite a bit but we catch a lot of buses and sometimes it just doesn't cut it and I have been using my personal money so if you could put like 20 dollars in that should be enough.
I really don't have a lot to say. I am sorry. Send my love to Aunt Karen and I will always be praying for you all. I love you all very much.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, August 15, 2011

e-mail of August 15th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
So like Danielly said, (from a conversation on a facebook chat) we had stake conference yesterday but I didn't see her. She saw me but she had to leave early so it didn't work out. But from what she has told me and the Elders from Satelite have told me, her mom still hasn't said anything and it seems like she won't change her mind, so Danielly will just have to wait until she turns 18 I guess. Her mom doesn't not allow her to go to the meetings, but she is wanting Danielly to go to the Catholic church and do, I don't know what it is in English but Primeiro comunhao (First Communion) at her cousins church and Danielly doesn't want to at all. So it will be interesting to see what happens. Just keep praying for her and her mom.
At stake conference yesterday I also got to see Armando and Rita, the family that Elder Moraes and I reactivated and baptized and some others that I helped reactivate and baptize. It was so good to see them and know that they are still strong in the church. I had tons of people from Satelite who talked with me and it was just good to meet up with them again.
Other than the conference, it was also Father's Day here in Brasil, so Dad "Happy Fathers Day". I wanted to call you and tell you that in person but here in a little bit I will be able to do that.
This past week was a really difficult one. Almost every single one of our appointments fell through and we had basically no luck in finding new investigators, until Saturday.
Saturday was a really fun day, for my English class I taught them the parts of the body and I taught them the song, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and it was a blast to see all of them singing and dancing to that.
Then as we were heading back to our house after the English class we were stopped by a man and a women and the man is less active and the women wanted to know about the church. We invited them to go to Stake Conference but it didn't work out. We went and taught them last night and it was an amazing lesson. If you could think of an elect, it was this lady. She had gone to a Catholic church and school when she was a little girl and was baptized there because her parents are Catholic but she doesn't like the Catholic church because of the hypocrisy. She has investigated lots of other churches and was just looking for the right one. As we got done teaching her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, we invited her to pray to know if it was true, and she just told us, I already know that its true, it's impossible to believe that the restoration didn't happen. It was an answer to my prayers, that the Lord blessed us with this miracle because a lot of our investigators are not progressing at all. I have been praying for a long time to have a miracle like this happen and the Lord answered.
I haven't got my package yet but I will try and pass by the mission office this week and see if it has arrived.
Send my love to Uncle Kevin and Aunt Karen and let them know that we are praying for them.
I don't really have much else to write about for this week, I love you all very much.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8 e-mail

Dear Dad and Mom,
Just to start off I am so excited for Kesha and Doug and the fact that there is going to be another Crittenden goober running around and I will be able to be there for his birth. In my English class on Saturday I had them talk about their families and like always I talked about mine and everyone was surprised at how many nieces and nephews and sisters and brothers that I have but it was a fun activity.
This past week we had a lot of miracles happen with us. We went and taught Jucienne that has the son with self esteem issues and is suicidal and she told us that she wanted to be baptized in our church. She went to church yesterday and unfortunately had to leave early, but we will get her baptized here in the next two weeks, hopefully with her husband and son too. We also started teaching another family in Campestre Leste and they are all really interested. Unfortunately they couldn't go to church, but this next week they should be there. It was really amazing. We just started teaching this one lady and more and more of her family started showing up and listened to our message and were asking really good questions and it was just amazing. They all were invited to pray and we will see this Wednesday how everything went and hopefully we will have some more baptisms.
Then yesterday at church we had another miracle happen, Irma Conceicao, Junior and Gabrielle, who is the entire family of Ismaeli went to church yesterday and all of them liked it. It was a really good testimony meeting at our chapel with lots of people wanting to bear their testimonies. It went past 7 o clock.
Tomorrow we have zone conference and it should be interesting because it will be my last one, which means that I will give my last testimony and the last time that I see some of my friends here from the mission. I am excited but at the same time sad. It's hard to explain but Dad or Anna or anyone who has already served a mission I think knows what I am feeling.
We got a letter today from President saying that the mission is going to open up two new cities for work that have never had missionaries, Caixias, Maranhao, and Araguaina, Tocantins. I don't think that I will be one of the Elders chosen to go there but that's alright. I feel like this is going to be my last area here in the mission.
I don't think that I have anything else to write about from this past week, other than I love you all and keep praying for my success. I am praying for you all.
Love your Son, and soon to be uncle AGAIN!!!
Elder Crittenden

August 1 e-mail, the assualt

Dear Dad and Mom,
This past week was really quite eventful, last Pday we went to the mall and we ate an Arabian food that was really good called esfihas, which is like a flat bread but it has some kind of meat inside of it and the meat looks like cat food but it was really good. We did that with Elder Sousa that I lived with in Acailandia and his companion that I didn't really know. After that we just headed home and got our stuff ready for the day.
We did a family home evening at Irma Conceicao´s house, who still hasn't got baptized but we are working with her. Then on Tuesday we had our district meeting and a division with the Zone Leaders. I stayed here in our area with Elder Pimentel, and he didn't really like how big our area was. He was complaining about having to walk so much, kinda funny. So as we got done that night with our visits we were heading to the bus stop to catch our bus home and a guy tried to assault us. Don't worry, the Lord protected us. Within 30 seconds the Rone (slang for police, I think) was there and arrested the guy. But my comp Elder Pimentel was in a state of shock. I will have to tell you all the story when I get home here pretty soon. Also my last companion Elder Gessel was assaulted on Friday night and lost his mission bag but some of our friends helped him get it back.
Then I found out that the first counselor in the bishopric of my last area, Satelite, ran away from his wife and kids or was kidnapped. Nobody really knows exactly what happened but that is the story and he has been missing for about a week now.
On Friday I did an interview for Elder Daniel and he baptized a guy that is 22 and is the most elect I have ever seen in my entire mission. His interview was the easiest that I have ever done and it was such a strong spirit there with him.
In sacrament meeting we had a lady that we invited to go to church without teaching her anything and she went to church. We will start to teach her and her family this week and hopefully it all works out. We are needing some new investigators in this area to teach.
The members down here also don't celebrate the 24th of July. A lot of them don't even know that it exists.
So just to let you all know about the flight plans that you all received last week it is for October but they have changed a little bit now and I don't know when I will receive the new ones but as soon as I get them I will send them to you.
My English class is going pretty well and I am getting more people to come. Well I don't really have much else to tell you all about this past week.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, July 25, 2011

E-mail of July 25th

James sent two messages today. The first one was a real surprise. It included his travel plans for coming home. He is scheduled to come home on October 11th. He will leave Teresina at 5:30 a.m., traveling thru Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Dallas Texas and then to Salt Lake City. He will arrive in Salt Lake City on October 12th at 12:05 p.m., after traveling over 30 hours. We will be excited to greet him at the airport.

Here is his regular letter for the week:
Dear Dad and Mom,
So as you all can tell I got my flight plans today and it left me a little bit crazy, and the fact that we are going to hopefully have a baptism this Wednesday, I am thus far having a great week. So anyway, I completely forgot that there was a pioneers day on the 24th and no they don't have this holiday down here. I will have to buy some fireworks and shoot them off to celebrate. So my past week was alright. We didn't have a baptism but we are getting really close with Irma Conceicao and it was actually her that marked her baptism for this Wednesday, so pray that it will work out. We taught a few of those families again that live her close by our house and unfortunately none of them went to church on Sunday but we will keep working with them and try to find new investigators. This area is actually really difficult because, like I have already said, it is an area a little bit richer so the people are a bit difficult to converse with but I am doing my best. I had basically my last interview with President Dias on Wednesday and it was a really good feeling. My English class is going pretty good, I have about 10 to 15 people every time but most of them are members but hopefully they will start to invite friends and we can get some new investigators. I found out last night that a 3 of the people that I was teaching in Satelite were baptized these past three weeks. Yesterday for our desert after lunch we had cheesecake and brownies which was amazing, but not as good as your Cheesecake mom. It was a little bit dry and had a strange taste but good for Brazilian cheesecake, and the brownies were basically chocolate cake. Yesterday in our sacrament meeting the bishop spoke to us about being more humble and searching more in the scriptures and gaining knowledge. It was a really powerful talk. He shared a scripture in Oseias 4:6 (Hosea) in the Bible. I don't know what the name of this book is in English but it is 2 before Amos. He used it as in if we don't search diligently the scriptures and knowledge we will be lost and perhaps destroyed spiritually. I loved his talk and I felt the spirit really strong. So Dad and Mom, about my plans for colleges that I want to attend and what I want to study. I was already thinking about this for a long time and yes I want to get my nursing license first. but I was thinking of going to UVU or something like that. But I have also been thinking some about going into the army reserves, DONT FREAK OUT FAMILY. It is something that I am looking into and I haven't totally decided yet but I am researching it and praying about it a lot for God to let me know what I should do. I will let you all know the details when I get home. But I would like you all to start looking up stuff about the nursing programs at UVU, CEU, SUU and SNOW if you all could or Dad whoever. But anyway that is about all that I have to say for this week. I don't really have any other news. But I love you all very much. Congratulations Jessica on the new car. I can't wait to test drive it myself and borrow it for dates and what not here in 3 months, actually basically 2 now, But I love you all keep praying for my success. I am needing it lots in this area.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 18th. e-mail

Dear Dad and Mom,
Well it sounds like to me that Harry Potter was just as a big a success up there as it was down here in Brasil. We had lots of ward members who went on Friday morning to watch the last of the series, everyone was telling us that it was way good and it is worth seeing. Well, my week here was actually pretty good. We found a lot of new families to start teaching and our area is really starting to look pretty good. We found a little neighborhood close to our house that is not so high class as all of the other areas and the people there are really receptive so hopefully it turns out to be as promising as it looks. We didn't have a baptism this week but we have Conceicao ready to be baptized this Saturday. She has a son on a mission here in Brasil and has been going to church for a little while now so we just have to throw her in the water and get her a little wet. We didn't have a chance to teach much this week but we remarked with a lot of these families for this week to go and actually teach them. We had lunch at Presidents house yesterday since he lives in our area and Sister Dias made us Chili. It was really good and it was actually more like taco salad but still a change up from the regular beans and Rice. I don't really have much to write about for this week sorry. I am basically out of things to write, but I love you all and keep my investigators in your prayers if you all could.
Love your Son
Elder Crittenden

Sunday, July 17, 2011

e-mail of July 11th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
So just to say I think that I have walked more in this last week then I have in my entire mission combined, just to get from one side of our ward to the other it takes about 2 hours I think. I have been getting to know the area pretty well and we didn't have very many investigators when I got here but now we have quite a few. We are teaching some people in some condominiums close by our house to take to church. Yesterday we only had about 3 people in the church, we had marked to pick up two families in Presidents car but when we went by to pick them up no one was there, so it was a little bit frustrating.
I can already tell that this is going to be probably my toughest area thus far in the mission but I am going to give it my all. I am going to start teaching English in the Institute building this Saturday and it should be pretty interesting. Hopefully we can get a lot of people there to get some new investigators.
We had our leadership training this past week so that was fun to see a lot of the Elders that I hadn't seen for a while and maybe for the last time in my mission, and we had two Elders working in our area helping us out. We had a baptism in our Ward on Thursday of a Medical student who is actually getting married to the Patriarchs daughter here and I got to do his interview. It was very interesting because before he didn't really have a belief in God but as he went to church and starting hearing the lessons that belief changed and he is going to be a very strong member in the church, I also got to talk to him about medical school and all of that cool stuff too.
We are going to baptize a missionary that is in the field his mom this week we are going to mark a date with her tonight at family home evening and I am going to make pancakes with maple syrup for them it should be a pretty fun family home evening.
Well I am just about out of things to say for this week other than my feet were very tired. I love you all and I am always praying for you.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day e=mail

Dear Dad and Mom,
Happy 4th of July
Well this past week was a crazy week of news and things happening. Well as Danielly wrote on her facebook page, I have been transferred, I am going to Horto ward which is actually the Presidents ward and my new area is HUGE. Here is what the President wrote in his letter, Parabéns pelo trabalho e dedicação. Você fez um bom trabalho em Cidade Satélite e agora tem uma nova área e um novo companheiro pela frente. A Ala Horto está para ser dividida e a sua área já está como será a futura divisão. É preciso mudar o trabalho que está sendo realizado nesta área e começar a ter um trabalho mais próximo dos membros e conseguir um bom grupo de ensino onde possa ter batismos a cada semana. Creio que você será uma grande benção na ala Horto e fará a diferença. A sua experiência e diligência fará com que milagres aconteçam. A minha família mora dentro da sua área e estamos dispostos a ajudar em tudo que for necessário. Pode contar conosco. Além disto o Instituto está dentro da sua área, o que pode ser usado como um lugar para levar os seus pesquisadores ou mesmo dar aulas de inglês para pesquisadores da região. Em fim, tem muito para ser feito e confio em você e em tudo que você pode fazer para ajudar a ala Horto. Continue sempre firme. Amo você!
Translation:

Congratulations for the work and dedication. You did a good job in Satellite Town and now has a new area and a new companion to go. The Garden Wing is to be divided and its area is now what will the future division. You must change the work being done in this area and start having a closer working members of the group and get a good education where he has baptisms every week. I think you will be a great blessing in the Garden wing and make a difference. His experience and diligence will make miracles happen. My family lives within their area and are willing to help with everything necessary. You can count on us. In addition the Institute is in its area, which can be used as a place to take your research or teaching English to researchers in the region. In the end, has a lot to be done and I trust in you and all you can do to help the Garden wing. Keep going strong. I love you!

I feel like this is going to be my last area and I hope that I can do work up to the Presidents standards. I am no longer a zone leader, but I am a District leader and Elder Daniel is in my District, for right now. This transfer was kind of an out of the blue transfer and I think there may be another one here in two weeks and don't know what will happen or who will be my new companion.
My new comps name is Elder Goncalves. I lived with him in Acailandia and was actually his district leader there too so I am happy to be with him again. Well we didn't get to have our cookout because there will also be a leaders conference this week in Teresina and some other Elders are sleeping at our house so that didn't work out and also this transfer threw it off too.
I have been here in this ward for 7 months and it will be a hard area to leave, I didnt get to baptize a Jaqueline or a Danielly or some other new people we are teaching but I know that they will be baptized and I helped at least planted some seeds with them. We had lunch at Irma Jaquelines house yesterday and it was a feast like always. I spent the day yesterday saying goodbye to some of the people that I baptized and Armandos family was really hard to say goodbye. Carla, their oldest daughter that didn't get baptized with the family is now getting ready to be baptized and the family will be complete. That was a blessing and miracle that the Lord allowed me to see.
Some other things that happened this past week was we had a baptism of Jorge, which is Rafaela´s cousin, Rafaela is a girl that Elder Moraes and I baptized and then her brothers so the family is growing with members of the church.
So to talk about Danielly and her cousin, I told her that it was my last Sunday in the ward and that if she didn't go I would be really sad with her, and she ended up going which really was a miracle. This cousin of Danielly´s, Raimunda is her name, when we taught her about baptism and invited her to pray about baptism and if she should get baptized. She had a dream of her getting baptized the way that we baptize in the church, but the interesting thing is that she had never seen a baptism at our church so it was an incredible answer from God. I am really sad though because she wouldn't accept it and follow it as an answer from God, but I did my part and she will be baptized one day, I know.
So my comp Elder Gessel was sick and really sick. On Saturday night at 930 I had to take him to the hospital in the center and we ended up spending 90 reais in Taxis and medications. Then Sunday morning he still wasn't feeling any better and we had to have Sister Dias come and take us back to the Hospital again and he got an injection and actually stayed at Presidents and Sisters house the past 2 days. He is getting better but he was really bad.
Mom thanks for the little part in the email. I love to hear from you and find out the things that are happening with you. As for the youth, tell them that they need to take advantage of the time that they have in the youth program of the church because it passes a lot faster then they think and they will miss it a lot. I want to thank you mom and dad for always pushing me in the right direction and making me go to the youth activities. They have helped me out a lot. I love you lots mom.
Justin, I am so Freaking proud of you bro that you passed the HVAC. I always knew that you could do it. I always did like the lab parts of classes too, I wasn't ever a big book person but I work well with my hands. I love you Bro and I will see ya here real soon.
Well Dad and Mom, I am about out of time but I love you all SOOO much and send my love to the family today and a happy 4th of July. Wish I could be there to light off the fireworks, but I am where I need to be.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

e-mail of June 27th.

Dear Dad and Mom, Well this past week was really really good I liked it a lot. We had a baptism and the ward had their Festa Junina (June Festival) party and it was awesome. (see photos below) So this past week Rafael got baptized and it was really cool. He progressed really fast and after I baptized him and we were leaving the font I asked him how he felt and he said that he felt really different, like a different person. I explained to him that he was now the most perfect person on the earth, without sins. He laughed and just had a new appearance about him. It was really cool to see, and the bishop was really happy about the baptism. We are going to have 3 more baptisms this week and some more next week so that should be lots of fun. So on Saturday the ward also had its Festa Junina. It was a blast. There was food and dancing and we had some investigators there that we didn't expect to come. It was awesome. To start off the little primary girls did a little dance and then it was the young womens turn and to finish it all off. There was a play and dance called the Quadrilha, which is like a wedding festival dance and it was 20 minutes long. It was crazy. I took some videos so you all can see them when I get home, it was alot of fun. Other than that the week was really good. We found some new investigators and we taught a lot of lessons. Lucia and her husband went to the party on Saturday but unfortunately he didn't come to church on Sunday, Irma Lucia was there but he wasn't. We also taught a new family yesterday that went to the stake center on Friday for their Festa Junina and ended up meeting the missionaries there. They gave them our address and we ended up meeting them last night before the Elders even passed us the reference. It is sure amazing the way the Lord prepares the way. I am seeing lots of miracles here in this area. I have been here a long time and I may finish up my mission here. I don't know. It would be really difficult, I think, but even if I get transferred I will only have one more area, I think. I am glad that you all had fun at Goblin Valley I really wish I could have been there but I am still here for a little while longer. I can't believe that the bathroom downstairs is almost done. I want to see some pics of everything that is going on down there, or are you going to make me wait until I get home? Anyway that is about all that I have for this week. Love your Son, Elder Crittenden
Photos of the Festa Junina
Food at the Festa Junina

Monday, June 20, 2011

e-mail of 6/20

Dear Dad and Mom,
Well that really was a great announcement at the beginning of the letter. (James' sister told him that she was having a baby, due in November.) It made me really happy that I will actually be home to meet this one soon after he comes out hahaha. As for a name I think that Randolph is a good name or you could call him Joao, which is a pretty common Brasilian name. When I get home I can teach you how to pronounce it.
So our week was really quite uneventful. Unfortunately, we didnt have any baptisms, but we will have one this week.
Yes Dad that city called Altos also has missionaries but not Elders. It's Sisters there and it is part of our zone, in fact it is because of the Sisters there that we had to make the trip out there to Campo Maior.
So this week was just a week of finding new people to teach and continueing with the ones that we were teaching.
We went and taught Lucia on Sunday night and when we got there she showed up with a little box that looked like a little present and she did a little game with us. She said that if we could guess what was in the box she would pray every time that we came, and we managed to guess what was in it, an egg and some little peppers. She said the closing pray and it was really powerful. It was the first time that she had prayed alone without our help and she prayed to have her husband change his mind so that they could get married and she could get baptized as soon as possible. It was really amazing.
We also started teaching some guys that were drunk the first time that we met them and marked to come back and teach,. One of them went to church with his son and really liked it.
The wedding of Francisco and Francisca didn't work out. We went to the Cartorio on Thursday and waited 2 hours for them and they showed up right after it closed for lunch. They didn't go to church on Sunday either so we are going to have to talk to them about that.
We had 14 investigators at the church on Sunday and we loaded up the sacrament room. It was really good.
That is about all that I have to say about this week. I have been buying some Souveniers, and I was thinking about sending them home but I think that it might be a little bit expensive to send home but I will see what I can do. Also that guy is asking me about those oil viles that he would like, if you could give me an answer as to whether you found them or not that would be great.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, June 13, 2011

e-mail of June 13th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
Well to start off when I first started reading this letter I just laughed a lot because of what Danielly probably said that she was going to feed us is called Panelada or she said Buchada, which are two foods that they eat here which are okay but not my preference of food. Panelada is the intestines and some other inerds of the cow that they take out clean really good, add some spices and then cook it up to serve you, which isn't too bad. It has a good flavor but it is the thought of what you are eating that gets you. Buchada is another part of the cow which is actually the stomach that they also clean really well, fill it full of vegetables and spices and then cook it up to eat is another Brasilian North Eastern dish. I have already tried Panelada but I have yet to try Buchada, and I would like to try it before I go home. But Danielly did not feed us either of those two foods. They made us rice, pasta, and chicken and it was a really good lunch.
So my week was pretty good. We didn't have any baptisms but it was a pretty productive week. We had our zone leaders meeting on Tuesday and we talked about some new methods of teaching and our training went well.
So this past week my comp and I and the other two Americans that live with us, Elder Bailey and Smoot, since we will all 4 be staying here for another transfer, we are planning our 4th of July bbq that will just be for some all American duplas. We are going to make hamburgers and hotdogs and have potato chips and soda and some other American foods. It's going to be a great 4th of July and the best part is that it falls on a Pday.
Yesterday was Elder Smoot's Bday and as a Brasilian tradition we broke eggs on his head yesterday morning when he woke up. It was awesome. I will attach a photo of that.
This week should be pretty good. We are going to go to Campo Maior tomorrow for District meeting and do a division there with them.
On Wednesday morning we are going to take Francisco and Francisca to the Cartorio to get them married and then here in about 15 days they are going to get baptized. We are also teaching a lady called Douracy and she has a really strong desire to be baptized but she is just waiting and looking for a house so that she can be. She lives with a guy who is a member and they unfortunately are going to seperate.
I talked with Irma Jaqueline this past week too and was asking her what she believed to be true about our church and she shared some really cool things with us. She told us that she knows that we have to power of God to cure, because one time when she was really sick and with back pains for almost 2 days without leaving her hammock, Elder Moraes and I showed up and asked to give her a blessing and she let us. After the blessing she said that she was feeling 100 percent better and was without as much pain. That was an experience that strengthened my testimony alot, and she also told us that every time that we pray with her, she feels something different. I know that those two things have helped her and I know that one day she will be baptized and that I am probably just here to plant some seeds with her. I would really like to see her and her Husband be baptized but I don't think that will happen while I am here. I have faith that it will and I will keep working with them.
Well that about sums up my week. So what all are you doing at our home or what has been done. I think that you should send me some pics of the basement or our yard, send them by email or something. Well I love you all very much.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

e-mail of June 6th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
So this week I am doing pretty good, these weeks just seem to be flying by here in the mission and although I am trunky I am continuing to work and baptize. The past week was a really crazy but good one. We went bowling on Monday with some of the Elders from our zone and it was awesome. On Tuesday we visited our Poti District and did a division with the Elders from there. I was with Elder Banks from my group and it was a real good time to talk about our missions and think about how little time that we have left. We talked about how weird its going to be getting onto the plane going home and what not. It was a really good time.
I also finally got to talk to Jaquelines husband on Tuesday night with Elder Banks and I think that he liked the message. I hope that he will be baptized and accept the gospel so that Jaqueline can also be baptized. We are going to have family home evening at her house tonight and hopefully he is there for the lesson.
We had to do another division on Friday with the Elders from Taquari and I was with Elder Bezerra, who is really cool. I liked him a lot. He has almost one year in the mission and he is from Manaus, from the same ward that my son Elder Azevedo is from in Manaus. We had quite a few baptismal interviews to do in our zone that day too so we didn't get much work done in our area.
We had another baptism this past week of a girl that was a members reference, Karliene is her name.
We were supposed to have the baptism on Saturday but when we went to the chapel to fill up the font we found out that there was no water to fill it up with for some reason unknown. So we rescheduled it for Sunday to see if our chapel would have water. So Sunday was a really good fast and testimony meeting, Irma Jaqueline went to church and her daughter Aline who is a convert since December, bore her testimony about the church and that she hopes one day her Dad and Mom can be baptized into the church one day and it was really powerful. After sacrament there was still no water at the chapel so we had to talk to bishop and we decided to take the baptism up to Taquari and organize rides for everyone to get up there. We finally got all of that figured out and the baptism went through perfectly.
So we had a 5 week transfer this week and I and Elder Gessel we stayed together as zone leaders here in Teresina and Elder Bailey and Smoot also stayed here with us so we are going to pass the 4th of July together as four Americans and we are going to invite two other companionships and have a bbq at our house. It's going to be fun.
Tomorrow I have a zone leaders meeting at 8 in the morning and then we have divisions afterward.
Oh something else that happened this past week, our washing machine broke and so this week we're washing our clothes by hand.
I was thinking the other day and if you wanted to you could send me some more American candy. I would like some more of that. Elder Smoot today is sending home a box with a hammock and some other things so I am going to see how much that it cost him and decide whether I will do that or just carry it home with me. I also have a guy here in the Ward that is looking for a glass oil vile for consecrated oil and supposedly you can only buy it in the US, so he wanted me to ask you all to look for it and if you could send one for him. He said that he will pay for it so let me know next week if you could. I could also use some more deodorant if you could send me like two sticks of Old Spice deodorant. That would be awesome.
I am going to have 7 and half months in this area after this transfer, the longest that I have stayed in an area.
I love you all very much and cant wait to hear from you all next week.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, May 30, 2011

e-mail of May 30th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
I can't believe that it is still that cold in Utah and that its still snowing. It's also crazy to think that you are already almost out of school for the year. I am afraid that when I get home here in a little bit it's going to be still cold and I am going to freeze and get sick when I get back because I am used to the heat.
Here in Brasil they don't really have a day to honor their dead like we do in the US. (In answer to a question about Memorial Day)
So this past week was really really good. On Tuesday we divided with the Elders from our Campo Maior District and we watched their district meeting with them. That was a nice 2 hour bus ride there and back. I was with an Elder Rudophi from Colorado. He is a very good Elder. I liked doing a division with him. Then the rest of the week was pretty normal. We didn't get as many divisions with members this week but it was alright.
Friday was a crazy day. We had lots of interviews to do in our districts and so we basically lost a day of work to doing interviews but that is the life of a zone leader. We also had 3 baptisms from me and Elder Gessel and the other 2 Elders from our ward baptized 2 more people. It was a wonderful week here in the ward and our zone for baptisms. We have alot of investigators and not enough time to visit all of them.
We are teaching a couple called Francisco and Francisca and we are trying to get them married but I am afraid that the Bishop won't help them out with the money for the wedding because they usually only come for sacrament meeting cause they work on Sundays sometimes, but we are going to talk to him and see what we can do. We also have a couple other families that we are trying to get married and baptized but unfortunately they aren't showing much interest in going to the church. We had a few troubles finding new people to teach this week because we are teaching so many people that our week was just full of appointments.
Tomorrow we are going to District Poti and we will divide with the Elders there. I think that I will be with Elder Banks here in my area and I am way excited because he is from my group and it will be fun to be with him.
Today for pday we're going to go bowling at the mall here and maybe eat in the mall. We are going to have probably only 1 or 2 baptisms this week. As for being trunky I am a little bit. I have already been thinking about what I am going to bring home and I have been using a bit of my personal money to buy some stuff and also I have been needing a little bit more to catch busses and what not for interviews but I am already thinking about these types of things. It's really hard for me to believe that I only have 4 months left here in the mission. It's kind of a surreal feeling, the thought that I am going home here in a little bit. I was thinking the other day about a Job for when I get home and if someone could go up to the Soldier Hollow tubing hill and fill out a job application for me and hopefully I can get a job right when I get back to start getting some money saved up. Well that is about all that I can think of for this week I love you all very much.
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, May 23, 2011

e-mail of May 23rd.

Dear Dad and Mom, OK to start off, I only got three stitches and it wasn't even that big of a cut. It just looks really bad. The doctors at the hospital treated me really well and there is nothing to worry about. Yes they gave me an antibiotic for infection and my finger is healing fine, in fact I took out one of the stitches today. So to talk about the week. It was really good. We had a division with the assistants on Tuesday and I went to their area while Elder Gessel stayed here in our area with the other Assistant. It was really good. When I got back on Wednesday I found out that we were going to have a baptism that morning of Leunice. President was coming to do the interview and the baptism would be at 11:30 that morning. So everything was ready and we baptized Irma Leunice and her daughter Gabrielle that day. It was a really cool baptism. It was something that she had been wanting for a long time and she decided to finally kick the guy out who was living with her and get baptized. It was really a miracle that happened in our area this week. We also did a service project on Saturday at Wallas´ house and we talked with Maria and Heleno about marriage and baptism and it looks like we may have a wedding and baptism here pretty soon. We also taught Irma Jaqueline and hopefully I can talk with her husband and get them married and baptized. We are going to baptize this week Rafael and two other little brothers of Rafaela that Elder Moraes and I baptized so we should have another great week. We are going to go to another districts meeting tomorrow from our zone that is in a city called Campo Maior and its about 2 hours from here. So we are going to leave tonight and stay for their meeting tomorrow. Elder Gessel is going to stay there for a division and I will come back with another Elder to our area tomorrow called Elder Rudolph. We will trade back on Wednesday and hopefully Elder Gessel and I can get some time teaching together. We have been dividing a lot not just with the Elders from our zone but also here in our area with the members. They help us out a lot, they give us references and will go out to teach with us and just help out a lot. Well Danielle is doing alright. She is still going to church and what not, but not too much progress on the baptism. Last night Elder Gessel and I went to her house to teach her and her cousins and we taught them a lesson about keeping the commandments and we kind of burned her cousins because they were just being lazy and not wanting to go to church, but that lesson was really powerful with the spirit. One of Danielle´s cousins has already prayed about baptism and had a dream about her being baptized but she doesn't want to follow the answer that she has so that is why we burned her spiritually hahaha. That is about all that I have to tell you all for the week, I am doing fine. I will add a couple of pics for you all to see of some of the happenings from this past week. Oh and it rained a lot this past week love you all. Love your son, Elder Crittenden
Just a small afternoon rain shower Brazilian Warrior

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Got a letter from Sister Smoot, the mother to one of James companions / roommates. She said she thought we might want to see James' hand before he got stitches. I called her to find out what happened. Seems he punched a brick and split his knuckle. He hasn't told us anything about it yet in his e-mails. A few weeks ago James mentioned a new roommate they found while cleaning their backyard. Here are a few photos of the roommate he was talking about.
James and his companion found this caterpillar while out working. James carried it home in a leaf so they could get a photo. He said that if the hairs are touched, it gives you flu like symptoms. Glad he didn't touch it.

e-mail of May 16th.

Dear Dad and Mom,
WOW I can't believe that Wasatch finally won a state title in Boys soccer. I am so happy for Coach Wheatley. Tell him and all of the boys Congratulations for the win and that I wish that I could have been there.
My week has also been pretty good. We had 2 baptisms and we are going to have probably 4 or 5 more this week. It should be a really good week.
We also are going to baptize a guy that I have been working with the entire time that I have been here in this ward. He is going to be baptized next week hopefully with another lady that I have also been working with this entire time, Sister Jaqueline. We had lunch at her house yesterday, I am really close with her and the baptism part, but she needs to be married. We have also been working a lot with Francisco and Francisca. They didn't go to church yesterday because he had to work but they are progressing alot.
This past week we have also found a family that owns a Cartorio (notary's office) which is where you get people married here in Brasil legally, I don't know what that is in English but anyway we started teaching them and hopefully it works out because it would help us out with weddings.
We have a whole bunch of families of investigators but unfortunately they are not married and therefore they can't get baptized until after marriage. We have been dividing alot with the members here and doing lots of interviews here in our zone. Tomorrow we have a division with the assistants and on Friday and Saturdays we have interviews and baptisms, so Elder Gessel and I haven't been able to work together very much, and we will continue not being able to work together too much but I love our house and the Elders that I am working with. It's amazing.
I am going to add some pictures to this email that I promised that I would send to you all last week but the computer wasn't working too well so today we are at a LAN house that works.
Walan went to church yesterday and we had him talk to some members and had them help him out with his problems and I hope that he will stay strong in the church.
I don't really have much else to write for this week. The time just seems to be flying by faster and faster these days. I love you all very much and keep praying for our investigators and I am always praying for you all.
Love your Son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9th. The day after the Mother's Day call

Dear Dad and Mom,
It was really nice to talk to everyone on the phone again and for the last time. I really enjoyed hearing from everyone and to know that everyone is ok.
We had a good mothers day here. It was clear the whole day and only started to rain when we were walking home so that was nice. (It has been raining a lot and running 80 to 90 degress with 100% humidity)
We got a lot of visits done and marked a wedding for Francisco and Francisca and a baptism too. Like I said on the phone, we are going to have 2 baptisms this week and most likely more next week.
We have zone conference this week we found out today and my comp and I have to give a training at it but only for 35 mins so it's going to be easy.
Today we were cleaning up our backyard and we found a new roommate that lives with us that we didn't know was there. I will send a picture for you all to see. (watch for a future picture, we hope)
We went to the baptism of a member's son who helps us out all the time and the birthday party is tonight so we are going to that too.
I don't really have much else to say either, other than I can't believe how fast that the time is flying by here in the mission. I am so happy with the area that I am in and the companion that I have. Until next week
Love your son,
Elder Crittenden

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2nd.

Dear Dad and Mom, So I still don't have my package but I think that it has already gotten to the mission office, I hope. I will probably get it this week after our meetings with the leaders of the mission Tuesday until Thursday. Something else happened this past week, we had transfers and although I wasn't transferred, I was called as a Zone Leader again for Zone Horto, which is here in Teresina. I will stay here in this ward and my new companion is Elder Gessel an American, my first American comp. I am a little sad that Elder Moraes was transferred but Elder Gessel is really cool. To talk about my face book, I didn't enter into it but I had a member here enter for me and add all of the people that wanted to be my friends that I knew. I am not using it so don't worry. Helton from the Ward here told me that he is talking with you on Facebook Dad. He told me that you said hi. As for the mothers day call I still haven't had time to set up a place or get a number for you all to call me at but I will get onto that and later this week I will send you another email with the info. I am going to try and use the telephone at the church. It is kinda funny that you say not to get washed away with all of the rain here in Teresina, because here in my area that is a big possibility. When it rains here in front of our house it becomes a river and lots of water passes by. I have made some videos and will just have to wait until I get home to show you all but it is really crazy. Well that is about all that I have to say for this week but I will send an email again with the times and everything of the call.
Love your son
Elder Crittenden
Street in front of our house, after a rainstorm

Monday, April 25, 2011

25th. of April e-mail

Dear Dad and Mom,
This past week was alright it was a little bit difficult to teach and find new investigators because everyone was traveling or visiting family for Easter so the city was really dead. Here in Brazil the whole week was dead because it is what they call Semana Santa here or Holy Week. It is a Catholic tradition and they spend the whole week thinking about the last week of the life of Jesus Christ and how it was, but a lot of people just use it as an excuse to take the week off and Drink and Party.
On Friday my comp, Danielly and I were going to a friend of Daniellys to teach. We passed a parade of People, really it was a walking theater of them re-enacting Jesus carrying the cross and the Roman soldiers beating him and we didn't get to see them crucify him but I did film it a little bit.
Another thing that they do here in Brasil is they make a stuffed dummy with clothes and what not and they hang it off of a light post or off of their house or somewhere and it is Judas who betrayed Jesus. Now that it is past Easter we are finding all of these Judas´ lying in the road run over.
I didn't get my easter package yet because the Post office was closed for the past week and the secrateries didn't have the chance to go and get it but it should be here.
We also talked with Danielly and it looks like her Mom isn't going to let her get baptized. She may just have to wait until she turns 18. She wanted us to give up on her, but we told her that we would never give up on it and that her baptism would work out. Her Mom had her talk to her cousin, who is a Priest in the Catholic church, and he printed out a bunch of papers talking about our church and it had some really ridiculus accusations in it about our church. My favorite was that up until 1990 our church would cut the throats from ear to ear of members who dishonored their temple covenants. I laughed quite a bit about that one. My other favorite one was at the very end it talked about the missionaries of our church. It said that we send out young, charming, good looking, and uneducated men to teach about our church and to be careful not to be tricked into following our religion. My comp and I laughed alot after that one. This article also had a whole bunch of false accusations about the Prophet Joseph Smith, like he was a rapist and other horrible things that are clearly not true.
We are all praying for Danielly and hopefully her Mom will allow her to be baptized, she really wanted to be baptized on Easter but it didnt work out.
We also visited Leunice and her baptism also fell through The father of her youngest child moved back in with her so we had to postpone it, but she still wants to be baptized a lot.
We also found out about one of our newest converts that had some problems this past week with his prior addictions and we are going to have to work with him because he didn't go to church yesterday.
I was studying this morning in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12 and 13. It is really amazing to me, how much Nephi had seen and how mind boggling it must have been for him to see all of that. My comp and I got discussing about whether or not the prophets today like Thomas Monson, if he has also seen some of the things that Nephi or Lehi or Isiah or however you write it. I bet a lot that he has, but what do you all think back home? Let me know in the next letter.
I was also wondering about what you have found out from Doug's dad about my shoes and what he can do or if you have even sent him the pictures. If you could answer that in my next email because I would like to get rid of those shoes and some weight in my suitcases.
Well that is about all that I have that happened this past week with me. But I love you all and if you all could pray for Danielly and maybe a miracle will happen. I will let you all know where I will call you for Mothers day as soon as I know.
Love your son, Elder Crittenden