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:
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