Monday, March 28, 2011

e-mail for 3/28

Dear Dad and Mom,
So my week was really good. My comp and I stayed together. We found a lot of new families that are really good and we had a baptism. The only bad news is that we are still here in the staff's apartment and I am using a lot of my money for buses.
Well this week we found a new family that lives in front of Armando and Rita, the family that we baptized my first transfer here in Satelite. The Dad is called Luis Carlos and the mom calls herself Raimunda. She was sitting out in front of her house one day as we were going to visit Armando and we started talking to her. We marked a date to come back and visit with her and her husband. We left the first message about the Restoration on that visit and invited them to pray. In the next visit we found out that Raimunda hadn't prayed but would and that Luis had. As he was praying he felt a lot of love for his family and how important that his family is to him. We started teaching about the importance of families in the Church of Jesus Christ and found out a little bit more about them. They weren't able to go to church this week because Luis works on Sunday, but he is going to see if he can get a Sunday off to go to church. They are really liking the things that we are teaching them and it is going really good.
We are still teaching Walan, Heleno and Maria. Walan's baptism is marked for this Saturday or Sunday, we will have to see how it's going to work out with General conference. It will most likely be between sessions. He is really excited about that and is progressing a lot.
Heleno and Maria are progressing more or less. Heleno still has only gone to church one time and is having troubles with giving up smoking. Maria went to church yesterday and loved it a lot, but she has a problem with coffee. We are going to talk to her about that and mark another date for her baptism. She also has to get married to Heleno, so just another hurdle to jump over but we will get there.
We have a couple other families that we began teaching this week but aren't progressing as much but we will still work with them. Morgana got baptized yesterday and that was really cool. Danielly would have been baptized but her mom still hasn't signed the baptismal form and it is really sad because she wanted to be baptized with Morgana yesterday but unfortunately it didn't work out. We went to her house and talked to her mom about how important it is to her to be baptized and we talked with her a little bit about the church, but we are still waiting on the reply. I am afraid that her mom is just going to keep stalling until Danielly gives up or something else but we are continuing to teach her and help her out.
Today was an awesome P-day. We went to this place called Encontro dos Rios which is where the river Poty and the river Parnaiba meet, which are the two rivers that go through Teresina. I bought a souvenir from there and took some pics. It was really cool.
So as I said at the beginning of my letter, I wasn't transferred and neither was my companion. I am still district leader here and my district now has 6 missionaries that will always be there. My district is My comp and I, Elders Landeen and Rodrigues, and Elders Bailey and Smoot. I was with Elder Bailey in Acaialandia for 1 transfer and it's really cool to be back with him. He is a really good friend of mine.
Well, that's about it for my week. We are hoping to move back into our house this week but we will have to see. Well I almost forgot, I am planning on attending the four normal sessions of General Conference and hopefully the Priesthood session early Sunday morning but we will see.
Just some other things in my package would be some twix and snickers candy bars and that's good. Well I love you all very much and I will talk to you next week. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21

Dear Dad and Mom,
Wow it sure sounds like everything really is coming crashing down in the world. We really are in the last days and it's interesting to see that many people still don't realize that.
I am really surprised the thing about Coach North. That is really really ridicules about him maybe losing his job.
Well everybody here has been telling me already about Obama coming here to Brasil but I didn't know about him being rejected and all of that stuff. I am not really that surprised though about everything that is or is not happening. The only thing that I am worried about is the fact that I will be coming home this fall and I will be starting school and I will need a job to pay for that. I sure hope that things start to get better there in the US.
Well, we are still in the staffs apartment building and hopefully we move out this week but who knows. I talked with President and he has already approved all of the things that the guy wants to do on the house but we are just waiting for the guy to start the work now. Most of the houses here in the mission have bars on the windows and all of them have a wall that surrounds them so usually it isn't a problem. But from what I have heard the missionaries have been living in that house almost 20 years and there have been a few robbings here and there but not much was done but now President is getting the house ready and should be alright. I don't even know if I will still be in that house. Today we have transfers and up until now I haven't heard anything. Today is also my 1 year and 5 month mark here in the mission and Elder Daniel(Ashton) from my district in the MTC woke me up saying that to me.
So what are some of the other changes in the Ward or Stake that are happening? Matthew Wheatley is almost done with his mission is he not. I don't remember exactly when he will get home but how is he doing? I sent an email to Lex last week and he responded to me this week. It appears that he is now in Bolivia and he said that they had a mini carnival there too.The people were throwing balloons full of paint at each other.
We would have had a baptism this week but she decided to mark it for this week because she might get baptized with Danielly, our other investigator. We are working with another family right now that is going to get baptized this week and everything is going well with them. They have stopped drinking coffee and are trying to stop smoking and are getting there. They are really progressing.
I don't really have much else to write about for this week. Oh I did think of something else that I would like in my Easter package if you still haven't sent it, A Rubik's cube to play around with. I am learning how to do it. Well I love you all very much. Keep praying for me. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14th e-mail

Dear Dad and Mom, So this week was way better than last week we weren't robbed haha. We are still living in the staff apartments, which is in the center, so everyday we have to catch a bus to our area, which is rough but it's alright. Alright so about the robbery. There are only 4 Elders that live in our house, but on the second night of the robbery there were 6 of us sleeping in the house. It was my Portuguese set of scriptures that were stolen but I already got a new one from another missionary so I am alright for right now. Although I do miss all of the markings and notes that I had written in my scriptures. I was really sad that they were stolen. I think that it was the same guys the two nights because they tried getting in the same way as the night before. So Danielly (an investigator I asked about) is still going to church. Her family is also hearing from us and going to church and liking the visits. She is still waiting for her mom to go to church. The only problem is that her mom is traveling and she doesn't know when she is getting back. We got a reference from a member this past week that is really,really good. It is a family that has 2 men and a women, We invited them to be baptized this past week for the 26th of this month. It was really funny when I got done saying the day for the baptism the guy didn't say anything. He just stood up and went over to his calender and marked the day and then said that he would have to mark the date in his cell phone afterwards. They went to church on Sunday, which was stake conference, and liked it and that night there was a baptism in our chapel and they also went and watched that and enjoyed it and it's amazing to see their progression. So I am doing just fine with everything here. I found out today that there will be another Area 70 coming to visit us this week and we have a conference with him on Thursday. I am excited for that, Elder Godoy is his name. I can't believe that Wayne got married. That is so crazy. It should be fun getting to know my new bishop here in 7 months. (New bishop in his home ward yesterday) I was hoping that Bishop Berg would stay there at least until I got back but oh well. As for a package. I think that I would like some sweets like always. I am really missing your cinnamon rolls MOM. I don't know, I could maybe use some more phase 10 cards and I think tha'ts about it. I would like some new family photos if you've got some I don't know, stuff like that. I think that that is about all my news for this week. I love you all and miss you lots. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

Saturday, March 12, 2011

3/11/2011 Late e-mail because of Carnival, Interesting news

Dear Dad and Mom,
So my week has been a pretty exciting one, not only did we have carnival but we had something else happen that was quite exciting. So the last week was pretty good work wise. We didn't have a baptism but we have a lot of people ready to be baptized. We had something happen on Thursday night, we were robbed. Last Thursday night we had some guy climb over our fence and our roof. He managed to get into our house that was all closed up. First they tried to steal our washing maching that was outside in our washing area. They yanked the washing machine out of the wall and then they couldn't get it out of our backyard so they left it. We had water spewing all over the place. Then they managed to get into the house by opening our back door, which was locked, and stole from me, my mission bag with all my scriptures and some other things like pamphlets. From my companion he stole his camera and from another Elder here they stole his I-pod touch, his camera and his wallet with 10 reais ($5.49) in it. We don't know how they managed to get into our house or even how none of us woke up but they managed. When we woke up in the morning we called President and told him. We went and bought new locks for our house and took some other precautions. President sent a man over to look and make a list of things to make the house safer. On Friday night we had locked everything up really good. We put locks on all of the doors and closed everything up really good. When it was about 3:30 in the morning I woke up as if someone had yelled to me to wake up. As I looked over at our bedroom window I could see two shadows and them using a stick to open up our window. Well, I got up really fast and I started to yell at them to get out of here. When I screamed one ran away in fear, but the other one stayed and started threatening me, saying some things. I just kept on telling him no and argued with him for about 10 minutes of him wanting to come in and steal more stuff. By this time everyone was awake and in there with me and we called the police. The guy saw my companions mp4 player with his speaker system and told us to give it to him. My comp said if we gave it to him that he would leave and he said yes, so he gave it to him and the guy left. It took the police about 15 minutes to get there, which was ridiculous, but what can you do. We also called President and told him and he told us to pack up our bags because we would be leaving the house the next day. So we spent all of Saturday packing up our suitcases and the other appliances from the house and took them to some other missionary homes. We are sleeping in the staff's apartment for right now until they get gratings put on the windows and an electric fence put up around our house. Then we will move back in. But yeah, so carnival also started on Saturday and we had to be home at 5:00 o'clock on Saturday until Tuesday and on Monday, P-day there was no LAN houses open so that is why I didn't send an email. But Dad and Mom, I don't want you to worry about me (As if his mother isn't going to worry, even more). I am fine, nothing happened to me. The Lord fulfilled his promise to protect me and will continue to protect me. I am loving the mission and it's hard to believe that it's coming closer and closer to the end. But I love you all and pray for you all, keep me in your prayers and send my love to the family. Love your son, Elder Crittenden

e-mail of February 28th

Dear Dad and Mom,
So this past week was pretty difficult week to be teaching because it was tough to find people at home and it has been raining a lot down here in Teresina. The weather is pretty good other than the days when it is going to rain because it is really, really hot because of the cloud cover. When it starts to rain it cools down a lot. It is really terrible when it rains for my comp and I because our area has a lot of roads that are unpaved and so it makes a lot of mud for us and we have to clean our shoes all the time and also it makes my pants muddy. I have to wash my pants at least twice a week.
So we didn't have any baptisms this week but we have 4 people that are ready to be baptized and just waiting on two of them to decide to be baptized. We have been teaching this girl called Danielly for about 4 weeks now. She is 15 and has had an answer, she is going to seminary and now we are teaching her family. She is just waiting for her mom to visit the church before she gets baptized because she wants her family to see where she is going. So it is just a matter of time for her and her family.
We are also teaching a woman called Jaqueline that is the mom of two kids that have already been baptized and she started going to church when we invited her and has been going since. She is a little bit different she knows that the church is true and loves the church but doesn't have the desire to be baptized yet. She has some fears about being baptized and not being able to stay strong in the church and fall away or commit a sin and start to fall away from the church. We are helping her out and the only other problem is that she isn't married. She has lived with her (husband) for 18 years but never got married and is undecided whether or not she wants to get married or not so we have some stepping stones, but we are getting there.
This week on Saturday is the start of Carnival and so we all have to be in our homes at 5:00 O clock. It appears everyday and will go until the 8th of March so that's 4 days.
My companion is going to get his patriarchal blessing this Saturday so I am way excited for him and he is way excited too.
Let me think I don't think that I have anything else to write about for this week so I guess that we will talk next week. I love you all very much send my love to all the family. Love your son Elder Crittenden