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