Sunday, February 5, 2017

October 10, 2016. Happy Hump Day to Me! And One Squirrel Eaten.....

Hey Everyone,
With one year now completed of my mission, I find myself thinking a lot about what has happened and what I have to come and the decision to serve has been something I am really glad about doing.  It was never something that I had planned and I think I probably surprised a few of you by my decision to serve but I am glad that I am here  right now in Ruston Louisiana serving the Lord.  
This week was a week filled with just good luck with Members. We went out with Brother Randall two days this week for a few hours and each time we were able to contact a few referrals and we also were able to just stop in on a lot of less actives me and Elder Vinson did not even know exist.  It is way cool seeing someone who really knows who lives in their community and has a care for each person he meets. That is why the prophets talked about building up the church where you live. He is a great example of that.  We also were able to teach a few of our investigators on our own throughout the week and we are starting to get an investigator named Devon who is a student at the college here in Ruston pretty serious about the gospel and we are hoping we can soon commit him to a baptismal date.  Me and Elder Vinson are getting along really well and we are having the right amount of fun while teaching with unity with everyone we are talking too.  What more can you ask for.  
Crazy story for the week.  Me and Elder Vinson were at a College Students apartment for a meal appointment and he said that he was going ot get us something when he was out hunting.  He pulled the food out of the oven and it was two baked squirrels still perfectly in their squirrel shape.  Not the thing I was dreaming to have on my plate but it did not taste too bad.  The only weird thing was the fact that it still looked like the squirrel as you were picking at it.  But hey it gave me a good memory.  
But i hope you all have a great day and week.

Hope to hear back from y'all.

Hey Momma and Dad,
First of all, thanks so much for the package.  The suit was not wrinkled like you were worried about and that floral tie was sick!  Way to set the tie standard high haha.  You gotta beat it every time.  The pictures with the camel hat cracked me and some of my friends out here up.  I was surprised you got Jared Gunderson to wear that hat.  And everyone down here keeps saying me and Dad are twins.  I dont think we are twins but I can see the resemblance haha.  
This week has flown by and been pretty darn fun and succesful.  Crazy firsts and just succesful teaching days.  We had a Zone Meeting this Wednesday and it was fun too see a bunch of people.  I really like who all came into the Monroe Zone this transfer.  A lot of my good buddies and we just had a good time.  In the zone we had this thing where randon companions would get called out and have to sit in front of everyone and one of the Zone Leaders would pose as an investigator with a hard question and we would have to simply answer their question with a scripture and short powerful statements.  Everyone that went up there sucked and their questions seemed so hard and them boom me and Vinson get called up there and we are like "Oh Crap Here it comes" and we get up there and get a question and we just rocked it.  Everyone in the room was laughing at everyones practice until we went up there and silenced everyone with our practice.  We just did way good and the Zone Leaders pulled us aside afterwards and said we killed it and so it was nice to have everyone know that two goofballs in the Mississippi Jackson Mission actually can teach and teach well.  
We went out with Brother Randall a few days this week and he just has a really good positive attitude and knows everyone in Ruston and so we just drive around with him and he will be like "I havent seen this person in years lets stop in on them" and we end up teaching them.  I now know why the Prophets say "Stay in your area and build up the church" because knowing your community really helps the missionary work flourish.  We were able to contact a lot of bible refferals this week and that made it so that we could have a little bit bigger of a teaching pool,
I am so pumped that I finally hit my year mark.  That was one day that just seemed far away and now I feel like an old misisonary.  I have been out longer than half the mission.  Pretty crazy to me.  We had some fun.  We just kind of chilled with a member and we ate just soaked it all in I guess.  It didnt feel like a big day when it was actually there.  Just made me feel good that I finally made it.  
Weirdest thing this week though happened to me at a members house.  A college student comes up to us and says that he is going hunting and that he will have some food for us when he is back.  So Saturday we go over to his house so that we can eat dinner.  He opens up the oven and it is two baked squirrels.  Like legs stiff as a board and you can totally tell it is a squirrel and it was sooo gross looking.  He just chopped it into fourths with a butcher knife and slapped it on our plate and said had at it.  I mean it wasnt gross tasting but just the fact that you could tell exactly what you were eating was not what I liked. But it was a good story for sure.  
Thats all the crazy things this week.  I will end the e mail there so we can chat a bit.  Love you and hope you have a great week. Oh I am actually supposed to ask about the story of Emma and the Gated Community while she is driving. But Love ya
Elder Crouch

Hawtest zone around..

October 4, 2016. General Conference and Year Mark Coming up!

Hey Everyone
Sorry for not emailing yesterday.  Me and Elder Vinson got so busy and had so many people last second asking to help them out whether it be helping with some service or giving a member a blessing or even hiking the tallest peak in Louisiana.  A whopping 532 foot mountain.  Took all of 15 minutes to climb.  That is one thing I really miss.  It is weird but not seeing mountains every day is not my favorite.  But its all good because.....FRIDAY IS MY YEAR MARK.  One year down, one to go.  And I even found out that this transfer coming up in December is going to be 5 weeks instead of 6 because they church does not want people flying on Christmas week, so I get home October 4th of next year if nothing else changes now.  Thought that was pretty cool.

I hope you all enjoyed General Conference.  This Conference was a really good one and it focused a lot on member work whether it be member missionary work or Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching.  There was also a big emphasis on the Gospel of Jesus Christ mainly on Repentance which is always a good thing to hear.  Scary sometimes but needed.  Me and Elder Vinson this week worked pretty hard and got some good lessons in.  We were able to take the investigators from both of our areas since we are combined now and we just saw them all and there are some cool people.  I could see us getting a baptism by mid November which is exciting.  We are also emphasizing the college because that is our key into talking to people who are constantly questioning things and open to knowledge.  On Wednesday, a member going to LA Tech named Joey got us in to the campus for a Gumbo night and it was cool just talking to people my age.  We also had some investigators invite us to a place for dinner and they paid for us which was way nice of them and we just talked about Adam and Eve and became pretty good friends.  The people here in Ruston are way nice to us.

We were able to watch the first sessions of General Conference on Saturday and Sunday at the Church and then we had two members who let us watch the evening sessions at their house and each day they fed us.  Brother Randall was one of the members and he calls us his Boys and always feeds us Fried Chicken.  Never in my life have I eaten so much freaking fried chicken haha. And then the other family was the Stuckis and they are just way cool.  We were able to mess around in the back yard a bit and I was doing so flips on the trampoline and their daughter plays volleyball and she had a net in the backyard and so that was fun too.  I really liked General Conference and because the first of October next year is on Sunday, I only have one more general conference on my mission.

One Miracle this week was that we went to help a Less Active move some furniture because she is handicapped and so we did that and she had two non member friends at her house and they asked if one day we could help them with some service.  We said sure if we can share a lesson and then they stopped talking about it.  Later that night, the lady called us and said that they both loved us and after she talked to them more, she said that both ladies would like a Book of Mormon and a lesson and so we will be setting up a time to teach them soon.

Other than that nothing exciting really has happened to me.  I am just pushing on through.  Hope you all have a great week.
With Love
Elder Crouch

September 26, 2016 Staying in Ruston

Hey Everyone,
Things are going good.  This week is going a lot better than last one too because we finally are getting fed because the meal calendar was getting passed around.  It will be a lot better this month.  But first of all, I found out about transfer.  My area is getting closed down but that is not as bad as you think.  There were two sets of missionaries in Ruston and now there is only going to be one and it will be me and Elder Vinson (the Australian) which I am so excited about because he is like my best friend in this mission so these next six weeks are going to be a blast.  Kind of a bummer losing Elder Cox but I think he will do good in a new area.  
This week we had a feeling that we were going to lose an area so all we really did was go through all of our potentials and see how many good investigators we could get out of it so that we could have a good head start for next week so me and Elder Cox taught a few of our potentials and our investigators and did not tract as much as last week but still got out there and stayed busy.  One cool thing we did was we got a call to help a non member with some service.  She is neighbors with the Relief Society president.  Two years ago her husband died and she has agreed to have her member friend to temple work for her husband and so we are going to try and use that as an in to teach her.  And then we also set a person named David with a date for baptism.  Not sure if I have told you guys that yet.  Other than that, those are the real high lights for the week.  I am now officially FULL CAR YAHOOOOO
Hope y'all have a great week.  Thats really all i have today.  Hope to hear from y'all soon.  With love.
Elder Crouch

September 19, 2106

Hey Everyone!

I hope you had a great week and that it was something that made you somehow come closer to the savior.

First of all we did get the pizza and everyone was very much appreciated.  Everyone was like "We Love You Momma Crouch" so there you go haha.  Sounds like you all had a fun week as well.  A little bit more fun than me but my week was not that bad.

We started off the week with a pretty eventful P Day.  There is a member in the ward who we help out most Mondays painting the house he is making and we did that in the morning and then I got a haircut and we played basketball and then we taught some lessons and then boom the day was over.  Tuesday we had a Zone conference in Monroe and that was really long and uncomfortably hot.  I hate it when I cant move around when the Chapel is steaming hot.  It just sucked haha but we learned about how we can be more bold in our commitments and teaching and having more awkward moments like approaching more random people on the street which I haven't had too much of a problem with but it was still good to practice things like that.  Then the rest of the week we just hit the ground running as best as we can.  I had another exchange on of the days with Elder Vinson from Australia.  He is one of my favorites in the mission right now.  I am crossing my fingers he stays another transfer here because we find out a week from today what happens with transfers.  Crazy how fast that flew by.  We have been knocking the doors of the colleges a lot and I am sure I have said this already but I really like teaching people the same age as me.  It makes it more like talking to a friend then awkwardly telling an old person about Jesus.  So that is one really cool thing about Ruston is the environment of the people at least near our apartment.  However because it is College, people are not always home and so it is really hard catching people for the second time we visit them.
I had to speak this sunday in the Ruston ward and it was the first time i had even been in the ward.  Like I was introducing myself to the Bishop and then got on the stand and spoke which was pretty interesting but it was what happens when your ward is only like 60 people on a good Sunday and a new missionary comes on in.  I had to speak on Service and how it could bless our lives as we continue to seek to find it.  So far a decent week and Hopefully it carries on into this week.  Look forward to talking to y'all more.
With Love
Elder Crouch

September 12, 2106. 11 Months Down

Hey Everyone.
This week has been an alright one. Pretty slow still but at the same time we got a good bit done.  First of all, I hit 11 months this week and so one more month and we are at the year mark.  Things have just been draining though.  All types.  Emotionally physically spiritually.  I am pretty tired and just kind of have the idk mentality.  We have been trying to hit the colleges hard and we are tracting them like crazy and it is sometimes really nice having some people that are the same age and all of that but at the same time it gets a little hard because it is on a college everyones schedule is so crazy it is so hard to find a time that most people will be home.  There was a home football game this Saturday and the whole city was dead which made work hard for us.  We just went and cleaned the church because everyone was at the school watching them play.  It was cool to see so many people but almost impossible to teach anyone.  It has been really hard though filling all of the time of the day because knocking doors all day everyday gets pretty old especially when success is not coming that much and so we are trying to find ways to make it more enjoyable to make the time go by faster like we will take all four elders to a dorm building and every floor we will switch companions and you get to see how everyone tries to get into doors and you learn tricks.  But we have also been doing some service for a member.  He is in the bishopbric and he is building his own house and so we have been helping him paint it as well.  Sunday we had Stake Conference and a member from the Quorum of the 70, Elder De Hoya was there and I was sitting front row and so that was pretty darn cool. Also on Thursday, I went on a tour of the Louisiana Center for the Blind because a member is a student there and it is like the best school for the blind teaching them how to live and read braille and things like that and it was really cool to see.  Other than that, I havent done much this week.  Just trying to live it day by day. But that is about it from me. Hope y'all have a great week.
Elder Crouch

September 6, 2016

Hey Mom and Dad,

This week has been alright.  I have been trying to get as much work as I can done here in this area because the Sisters before have left me with basically nothing.  We are in a college town and all the students move in next week though and so there should be like a doubling of people moving to Ruston and so that should be cool. We live right across the street from all the dorms and just half a block from all the sororities and then another half block from the Football stadium for Louisiana Tech and so that is a perk to where I am at.  This first half of the week we were just trying to organize all of our records and call everyone we could and all the people that the sisters before hand have taught but its been a slow process.  Finally on Saturday we were able to get some teaching rolling a little bit and hopefully something more will come out of it this week as we are trying to find and as more people are moving into the city of Ruston.   
I went on an exchange with Elder Vinson from Sidney Australia this week and he is like my favorite missionary I have met so far.  We were supposed to switch at 930 Friday night and then go until church on Sunday but Saturday night he was feeling super sick and he ended up puking and all that and so we were not able to go to church and that was a bummer since it would have been my first sunday in the Ruston ward.  I was stuck at home babysitting another missionary and hopefully I stay pretty healthy.  Dont want me getting sick now.
We have a member down here in Ruston named Brother Randall who we call Pops and we are his boys.  He goes out with us all the time and we basically are with him every day but other than him I dont think the ward efforts are too good when it comes to missionary work.  We did have dinner with a girl who is like 2 foot tall and like 90% blind.  She is a member and she is here in Ruston for a blind school since Ruston is the number 1 blind communitly and education in the country haha.  Pretty funny driving downtown actually.  Like there are signs saying if you see a blind person trying to cross the road not at a cross walk to call the police.  But it is pretty impressive how much Makala, the blind member, could do.  She is a superstar.
Elder Crouch

Elder Vinson

Duck Commander Office

Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29,2016 Sooooo Big Change!!!

Hey Mom and Dad, 
I have a lot of people I have to email and am running on like no sleep because of what happened last night so it was best to email you both.  There was a situation in Ruston with the sisters there and a stalker that got arrested and the missionaries got scared that and couldnt sleep and did not feel safe and so last night at 945 PM President Olson called me and Elder Cox and we are both getting Emergency Transferred to Ruston Louisiana tonight.  We stayed up way late packing so we could have as normal of a Pday today as possible.  So if you think the girls would want duck dynasty stuff I would need to know today haha.  We are swinging by that store after emailing.  I was so mad when I got the call but there isnt much I can do about it but go down there.  

Other than that terrible news last night, this week was all right.  We had some good lessons and we set people with Baptismal dates and had people really getting excited about the gospel which makes me kind of ticked because I wont see those people really progress anymore.  President has given us permission to come to West Monroe to teach those with the most potential still that we have found but it will still be hard to see them really grow because we won't be able to go to their sacrament meeting. 

On the good news, about my bike, I bought a nice bike off of an elder for like 40 bucks since he is going home soon and is currently in a full car area and so I got lucky with one that should last me well the rest of the mission.  Its cool how things happen like that when you need them.  Its like a 300 dollar or more bike so score for me.  

It is horrible to hear about what happened to Phil Honable.  He was an awesome guy.  He will definitely be missed.  As for Angel Larson.  The paper mill does good thing I am getting out of there for that reason. 

That's really all the crazy stuff for the week.  The other stuff was pretty same old same old other than me playing football again and making some cool throws.  I think my hip is torn because its killing me on certain movements but I am fine biking and walking and all that missionary stuff.  

Hope to chat a bit and hopefully you dont stress too much about me and the girls first day of school today.  
Love ya
Elder Crouch