Thursday, January 21, 2016

January 19, 2016

Hi Mom

Its crazy to hear how busy you got.  The new companion is just fine.
He is spunky and a little fire ball.  We killed it here in Jackson and
got a lot of lessons and hope to do the same here again this week.
That's so weird that first Allison got her license and that dad is 40.
And that sucks also that the Van needs to be fixed.  I got scared I
wouldn't be able to email today either because the internet in the
state has been down but they kicked everyone off right before we got
there and when we arrived to the library the internet went up and we
have the place to ourselves hahaa.  The 4 runners pump is pretty
tricky to turn.  I struggled sometimes in the early mornings so it
doesn't surprise me that it is a little rough for her as well.

So Elder Vest is from Taylorsville Utah which is right by Brad and
Aimee.  He is 15 months into his mission and wrestled and pole vaulted
in High school.  I have some pics to send in a bit that will describe
him perfectly.  As for volleyball, at transfer point there was a kid
there who played setter in Arizona and we were messing around and when
I am around good players actually playing a game I am still really
good but messing around I sometimes embarrass myself but oh well.  And
dang sucks that they are going to miss the best kid for Jury duty.  Im
out doing my other duty haha and thanks for taking care of the taxes.
I should get a full return.   And Im at church at usually 830 for ward
council meetings.  Sacraments at 10 and I am home by 2.  Theres only
one ward even near here and that's where I serve.  And yeah elder
crisp sent me or added me in his weekly group email so he is doing
good.  Has a companion who is a professional dancer (like hip hop and
pop dancing) and he is originally from the Congo in Africa.

DD is doing alright.  Lifes just rough for her.  Not the best life situation. But
we see her frequently.  If she had transportation and if we had
members near by it would be so much easier but its tough getting her
rides and fellowshippers. She lives right by us and the church is 6 miles away. For some of the
members its more like 15 miles away.  IF you were to drive from one
side of the ward boundary to another it would take you an hour. 

That's cool about dad getting to perform a blessing as well in the
hospital to the family.  Glad the church is worldwide so we can
perform things like that.  We had a broadcast stake conference this
sunday where L Whitney Clayton, Elder Rasband, and Robert D Hales
spoke to 155 stakes over satellite and that made church interesting
but boring at the same time.  They were some pretty dry talks to be
honest.    Yesterday we got to play a lot of sports since we couldn't
email so I was playing basketball and volleyball for maybe 4 hours and
then got to work.  I think me and Elder Vest are going to shatter some
of the numbers that we can report (Other lessons, people in church)
stuff like that.
Do y'all have anything cool planned this week.  This week for us will
be pretty lame.  Just hitting the streets hard trying to teach some
fools haha.  I hope we will be able to chat.  I will be on here for a
few hours so we can talk for a while.  I love ya and hope to hear back
Elder Crouch

 Hey Padre,
Its good to know you had some fun and also did some good on your
birthday.  Its really cool that you got to perform that blessing as
well.  I have done one blessing out here on my mission for a sister
missionary with migraines.  I think I did good but who knows ahah.  It
can be a stressful thing.  This week for me and Elder Vest was pretty
successful.  We put up some of the best numbers the area has seen and
plan on continuing to wreck it down here.  His approach is every
person you see no matter how awkward the situation may be is a lesson.
Heck, we had a lesson and landed a Book of Mormon in the library right
before hopping on the computers haha.  And Emma as a class president
huh.  That should be an interesting one.  She is a little fireball and
likes to do things her own way haha.  I am glad that the patriots are
still in it to win it.  I hear the Panthers are looking tough.  A
member is thinking about having us over for a late dinner on February
7th with the television just so happen to be playing the superbowl
which would be awesome.  He had us over for the national championship
game and I got to see the first quarter haha.  Good stuff right there.
I was scared I wouldn't be able to email today at all either.  The
library had a sign that the internet was down but right when we got in
it got back up and we have the place to ourselves.  It was just the
lords plan to have us converse with family haha.  But as for next week
we should be having a normal missionary week.  Just lessons eating and
sleeping.  Nothing too special.  But who knows.  Maybe I will meet
some crazy fools.  And the volleyball game last week went well.  I got
kids asking if I could hit it softer or if they could be on my team or
for me to just sit down.  Little babies haha.  ON my team there was a
kid who played setter on a club team in Arizona and we tore it up.  SO
it was a good time.  ANy fun plans for this week for you guys.  I hope
you have a great day and can chat a bit.  I will be on here a little
while longer.  Love ya and have a good week.
Elder Crouch

Me and some kids in Jackson

My planner cover

Me setting sights with my sling shot

My new companion Elder Vest

Elder Vest and Elder Henrickson

January 12, 2016

hey mom!
I got my transfer call and I am staying in the Area.  We didn't get
shut down.  But Elder Crisp is getting sent to Shreveport Area.  We
don't get to know our areas or companions until we head to transfer
meeting tomorrow so it should be interesting seeing who I have.  I am
just a jo shmo missionary.  No leadership or responsibility other than
leading the area since I know it geographically.  Morgan is like
destroyed.  He loved Elder Crisp.   So hopefully he still will come
out with us.  And dang, Allison taking her drivers test is weird.  But
life moves on right.  Its going to suck giving up the car tomorrow
because that's been such a life saver.  We were way more productive as
well with it.  Yeah the lady who made those crochet angels was really
nice.  I watched her make them and she makes them sooo fast its
ridiculous. But that was nice of her to send you some as well.  This
week has been pretty good.  We may not have taught the most amount of
lessons.  But we had a very productive week as in terms of seeing more
people who are more interested.  hopefully it stays that way because I
hate starting from ground zero and having no where to really work with
because its either really good or really bad down here when it comes
to the work.  This week we got to go to the Knolls house for dinner
and hang out with the twins and that was awesome.  They are a super
cool family.  And the twins have the missionary system down.  They
know that Elder Crisp could come back to the ward if he is called to
be an AP and that every six weeks is transfers haha.  They will be
good misisonaries when they are older.  But this week has been pretty
normal.  Nothing too exciting.  I was in canton Mississippi for one
day doing an exchange and we were walking and saw a bunch of teenagers
playing street basketball and me and Elder Larsen played them for a
lesson and we won.  They said we couldn't beat them again, so we ended
up beating them four times hahaha.  The power of the priesthood is
real.  That was probably the highlight of the week.  I will be able to
give you info on my companion tomorrow at T Point.  But until then I
hope you have a great day.
Elder Crouch

Some pics of my last couple of days with Elder Crisp

January 4, 2016

Hey Hey
These past two weeks have been pretty good.  It was good seeing
everyone and thanks for the pictures of everything.  Sandy is HUGE
now.  And I like the missionary plaque.  But anyways the baptism was a
success.  We were worried since it was the day after Christmas that
there wouldn't be a good turn out but it was all good.  We had
refreshments after and she was smiling from ear to ear.  DD is a
trooper.  She hasn't told her family and don't know when she will but
it should be interesting when she does.  I did the confirmation the
next day and I was super nervous and had a shaky voice but people said
I did good and so that's what counts right? haha. Throughout the
Christmas week, we tried to do as much service as possible so we did
surprise yard raking and what not and then me and Elder Crisp put up
Christmas lights for our investigator named Jim.  He is large and on
disability so he was super grateful for us willing to get up on the
roof and do some work for him.  Christmas day we just hung out and did
board games and all that fun stuff until 6 and tried to teach lessons
but its hard when people are either gone or really busy with distant
family.  New years eve was pretty fun as well.  A member threw a party
for all the missionaries in the ward and we had a waffle dinner and
played board games and then shot some fireworks off in front of their
property which was nice.  It made it feel like a real holiday.  Some
members took us out the day before Christmas eve and they made it feel
like the Christmas season as well and It makes me grateful for members
because without them, these past two weeks probably would have really
sucked.  The Christmas eve missionary party was a success as well.  I
got the monkey bread you had them make for me and at the white
elephant party, everyone got a shirt or jacket or blanket or hat from
the colleges around here so I got an Ole Miss t-shirt so it wasn't to
bad of a grab.  Im super excited for this week because two
missionaries went home a few days early for school and so for the rest
of this transfer, me and Elder Crisp get their car!!! Driving from
appointment to appointment is so nice haha.  Im a little nervous for
transfers because there is a rumor our area might get shut down
because its so small and there are too many missionaries in our ward.
So this Saturday should be interesting getting the call.  I know for
sure Elder Crisp is gone but it would suck if I left as well.  But
whatever happens I gotta roll with it.  But I hope you all have a
rocking week.  I will look forward to talking more next week.
Elder Crouch

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Day at the Bradburns 

The cool things we saw when a member took us out the day before Christmas eve

Christmas Eve Party 

Me and my new Santa Hat 

DD's Baptism

December 21, 2015

Hey Hey
This week should be awesome! Super excited to see all of yall and I am
really pumped because more than likely we will have our first baptism
on this Saturday, the 26th with our investigator named DD.  She is 19
and has a son and is super willing to get converted and start her new
life as a Mormon haha.  She has come to our Christmas party and came
to church this week as well and was like "So is this where you are
baptizing me" and so she is super ready and preparing herself so I am
pumped on that.  We are having a big get together Christmas morning.
6 other missionaries are coming over to open presents and it should be
awesome.  I will be on the lookout for your packages today.  I had a
pretty usual week however.  We didn't teach a whole lot of lessons but
all the lessons we did have were really meaningful and got somewhere.
I tracted a lot and we got kicked out of a complex because apparently
we were trespassing.  Who knew that's what the gate up front really
means hahaha.  But we are doing good down here and are super pumped to
get to see our families.  Its a good week to be a missionary.  I have
had some rough times emotionally though.  Freaking Morgan played the
song "Two years" and it made me cry.  But I got over it haha.  That song wrecks
you though.  Time is going slow this past week because like we got zero lessons
 it seemed like but we will be so busy this week it will fly by.  I feel like it
varies every week. One week fast one week slow. Its so weird.  And
yeah we have gotten along well. You learn a lot every day down here and
its making me excited to progress but time is going by slow lately.  But this week
should be a blast. Bummer of the week is president telling me that Elder Crisp isdefinitely getting transferred beginning of January and so I only have
a few weeks left with him.  Makes me wonder what will happen to me. Hopefully my
companion next isn't super weird and drives me crazy.  But most likely I will stay in the
spot I am in for another 3 months is my guess but you can never know
when it comes to transfers.  
But anyways I hope you have a great couple of days and I will see all
of y'all Friday morning!
Love you lots
Elder Crouch

Our Christmas Set up 

A Map showing how small our area is

Us Tracting 

Mississippi Landscape

Me stuck in one of the roads of Mississippi

Us and our investigator DD

December 14, 2015

Hola Everyone!
This week has been very interesting.  I have met some of the weirdest
people of my life. On teusday, since we knew we would be driving to
Hattiesburg the next day and to save some miles from picking us up, we
went to double work the Canton Elders area all of Tuesday and we met
some cool people in that area and had some good lessons to help them
out but the interesting part is what happened that night.  We went to
a Pentecostal bible study and holy crap those people are ridiculous.
We got there half an hour early and apparently that was the prayer
hour and so people were praying on their knees or laying on the floor
straight screaming and clapping and speaking in tongues and saying
so confused and I was trying so hard not to laugh.  Then the preacher
came in to give his sermon or whatever and he was screaming and saying
how being reverent is a disgrace to god and how we need to scream
praise the lord and that stuff while we are in church and he would
randomly speak in tongues.  Then at the end he called some lady to the
front, got some oil, and gave her the holy ghost and the lady started
shaking and had convulsions and was screaming and shouting and
everyone was screaming in tongues and so the Nigerian elder, Elder
Clement, started screaming in Nigerian and so everyone thought he was
going crazy too which was so dang funny haha.  But that was an
experience I will never ever forget.  Then the rest of the week was so
dang slow when it came to teaching.  We hardly had any lessons.  But
the zone conference with Elder Kapischke was really cool.  He
basically had an open discussion and me and Elder Crisp were in the
front row.  He also came to our stake conference and so we heard from
a general authority three times this week.  Another crazy person we
met this week was named Sprite.  He asked us if we could listen to his
message and we said sure, as long as we could too.  His message was
basically that he is a perfect person and knows how to become perfect.
We just need to follow the ten commandments.  He kept going on and on
about how he is the son of god and he believed in reincarnation and so
I asked him straight up if he believed in a past life if he was Jesus
Christ.  He looked at me in the eyes and said Yes and in the life
before that he was Moses.  I was trying hard not to laugh at that one
too.  He then kept going on and on about how we were false prophets
and all this crap but oh well.  His loss for not truly being saved by
the gospel.  We have had some good lessons this week however.  DD, our
best investigator, is scheduled for baptism on December 26th which
would be awesome if it happens.  I hope it does actually happen.  We
met a few cool people this week who possibly have potential so we will
see how this week goes.  I don't have too much more for this week. I
am just super excited to see all of y'all on Christmas and hope you
have a great week.
Elder Crouch

Night With Canton Elders

Zone Conference 

My new room decor

December 7, 2015

This week has had its ups and downs teaching wise.  We started off
killing it getting three lessons a day tracting and then once Thursday
hit......absolutely nothing the rest of the week.  Its because the
people in houses suck and the people in apartment complexes are like
"Hey you talking about Jesus? I like Jesus." and boom we have a lesson
and they take a book of Mormon. But we have been doing a lot of
service as well.  The float that you saw for the parade was basically
built by Me, Elder Crisp and a Young Mens leader named Greg Allman.
It took us 20 hours in two weeks.  But hey it turned out really good.
We went and saw the parade and it was a great success.  We wanted to
have people down here realize that we want to be a part of the
community and that we are Christians as well and so that's where the
whole nativity theme came in.  We had young men dress up as wise men
and walk the parade and hand out pass along cards with candy canes on
it and they handed around 500 out and ran out half way through so lots
of people saw the float and it won an award I think and the Mayor said
it was her favorite.  So that was a big success.  And we built it in
reusable pieces so the Ward can be in the parade every year.  We then
went to Callie Knolls baptism (Brother Knolls niece) and that was a
good service and I got to hang out with the twins and have some
awesome desserts.  Immediately after that there was a funeral at the
church building and so I was guiding people on where to leave the body
for a viewing which was a little weird but at the same time it was a
old lady with Dementia and was in a wheel chair and it was more of a
blessing for her passing because she wasn't miserable anymore but I
set up for the funeral and went home to go work some more.  The next
day in church, because we had set up, the husband of the lady who
passed away gave me and Elder Crisp all the leftovers from the funeral
and the food is so dang good. We have food for a few days because of
it.  Teaching wise, we got back into contact with Monte.... kind of.
Whenever we have saw him this week, it was him outside smoking and him
trying to hide the cigarette because he knows about the word of wisdom
so that's another obstacle to add to the challenges of getting him
baptized.  We also taught Jim this week and he is a little cookoo but
he understands baptism and the importance and I think he is now the
closest to getting baptized.  He looks like an homeless Santa Clause
and he wont cut his hair because he made a promise with god a few
years ago that he wouldn't do it again.... People now a days.  Other
than that there hasn't been that much going on with me.  I had canes
for dinner on Thursday so the girls really did miss out that day
HAHAHA.  Sucks to suck for them.  This week should be fun.  On
Wednesday we are getting a ride to Hattiesburg for a mission
conference where a member of the 70, Elder Kopischke is presiding and
talking to us.  That should be fun.  And this weekend is Stake
Conference for the area down here and he will be at that as well.  So
it should be a spiritually uplifting week.  Hope you all have a great
week.  Love you lots!
Elder Crouch

So first one is there were these yard decorations that looked like

gnome hats so I had to put them on.

   Second, there is a cat that

follows me EVERYWHERE so I named it Ether and its pretty legit.  Has

sat in on some doorstep lessons.

This is the tree you sent to us 

The rest is from the Christmas Parade

Hey Padre,
This week has been a hectic one.  We have had so many things planned
like Christmas devotionals and parades and what not.  I have gotten a
little urked though because there have been a lot of things that I
would really have liked to go see but because the AP's don't ever want
to go to things and we cant get rides from the Sister Missionaries, I
have been stranded and left out of things like a night in Bethlehem
play/choir concert and the First Presidency Christmas Message. But its
alright.  I will make up for it next Christmas season haha.  Im glad
that you have been able to get on some dates with mom this week.  I
saw the pics of you as buddy the elf at canes.  You goofball.  I was
thinking about taking a similar picture at the Canes near me when I
went to it this past Thursday but Ill do it next time I go.  Teaching
wise, we haven't really gotten anywhere with our investigators except
Jim.  He is really thinking about coming to church and baptism.  Monte
is moving backwards since we caught him smoking....twice.  The world
is becoming a crazy place.  Its sad to think that the shootings really
happened this past week.  It will be alright though. And that really
sucks about the Patriots.  Hopefully they can still have a good play
off season.  There will be a really spiritually uplifting week next
week with us going to a conference as missionaries and listening to my
first general authority out here.  Elder Kopischke.  (Kapishkee is how
its pronounced apparently). And then we have stake conference where he
is presiding over our meetings as well.  Should be fun.  Hope you have
a great week.  Love ya!
Elder Crouch