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!

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