Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February 22, 2016

Hey Mom,
These past few days and week have been a roller coaster of emotions.
I feel like I am the guy who has to be strong all the time so I have
been so embarrassed showing my emotions and telling people about what
has been going on.  I am excited to be transferred however.  It should
be a good change.  The area I am going to is starting a program where
we would teach a genealogy class at the library which is a first for
anywhere in the mission. So Ocean Springs here I come. I will be with
Elder Schleip (pronounced Shleep) and I will find my address out
tomorrow for you guys.  Hopefully all of this brings us good change.
I talked to president today before coming to the library.  He came
over and talked to me about all of this situation.  He said he was
going to call you sometime soon so be expecting that.  He also gave me
a blessing and in that also asked for a blessing on you guys and
Meghann which meant a lot to me.  I feel so bad with people looking up
to me and me having sad thoughts.  Hopefully my mentality will change.
I am already all packed and its just weird to think that I will be at
the beach tomorrow haha.   Should be an adventure.  I am in a
disctrict of four now. Two sisters and me and Schleip.  I at least
think that's how you spell his name.  I will know 100% tomorrow.  It
is going to be a long drive there too.  I just want to apologize for
maybe causing some more gray hairs to pop up.  I don't like being a
burden or making people worry too much about me.  If I could I would
just try and handle everything but no one is ever capable of such a
thing.  Life is a crazy thing but I want to be in life so badly some
times.  Being a family man and what not.  Its just what sounds good.
But hopefully there will be some experiences that really are good at
the coast.  I hope you can chat a bit.  Maybe more things will pop
into my head as we do.  I am kind of just rambling right now.  But I
love you guys and hope to hear from you soon.
Love
Elder Crouch


Hey Dad
Just before coming to the Library, President Olsen came to my
apartment to talk and it is like you two said the same thing.  Its all
on me.  These things are my decision but the Lord knows what I need to
do.  I just have so many emotions I just feel like things are going
hay wire sometimes.  I want to be the confident missionary that I know
I can be.  I just have to work on it.  I got knocked down hard and I
guess metaphorically I am catching my breathe to recover and be back
to where I need to be.  Due to this situation, I was not able to get
as many lessons done as I would have liked and I felt so bad because I
was hindering the work.  I felt like "man this is all my fault".  I
have had a lot of things happen where I just ask why which like you
said is normal but I hate those feelings with a burning passion.
But I know where I am going.  I am going to Ocean Springs Mississippi
with Elder Schleip.  He seems like a good kid.  I only thought it
would be appropriate to give him a heads up on the situation so when
President was over I had him call elder Schleip and from what I heard
on the telephone I think I will like him enough to live with the kid.
There are big things going on there is what President Said so
hopefully we have success together as a companionship.  That's what I
need right now.  Success.
Have things gotten any clearer with the job situation.  How did the
interview go.
I said this to mom as well but feel as if I should say this to you but
I am sorry for causing more stress and putting more things on your
plate to worry about.  I know that plate is already the size of a Las
Vegas buffet and it didn't need another chicken wing but I threw a
bucket on.  But thank you for being there for me as well. Its nice to
have a great family.
I love you guys so much
Love
Elder Crouch


My reaction to Elder Vest getting corn rows.






Celebrating Elder Hendrickson and Elder Hainsworth's birthdays













Saying goodbye to Madison Ward.

February 16, 2016

Hey Mom,
This week was pretty good. We had a zone conference on Wednesday were
a lot of the standards of excellence were changed. We no longer have
set goals for tracting and lessons taught. They want us to focus on
people and not numbers which i think will eventually really change the
mission. We are doing a lot of service still and it makes it good to
get out there in the world and get out of the sometimes boring
missionary routine. Today we went and filled up food boxes for the Elderly.

The Alhaltehs have made the week pretty awesome
by feeding us and just being real people to us. And then the good
food is always an added bonus. Thanks for the package as well. It
was pretty unexpected but nice to get at the same time. It sucks that
you have been so busy with work but at the same time it is good that
you can get the hours you want to get the money you need. This week
is week six of this transfer already so on saturday night i find out
if i am leaving jackson or staying another 7 weeks. This next
transfer will be one week longer than usual which might suck but i
cant complain too much. I have been just kind of done with this small
area so i am hoping that i do get transfered. It would be nice to
experience some change. To put it in perspective i have biked the
same main road every day for 4 months and it gets old doing the same
thing all day every day with no fun change in the routine. And we
have been working on member relations with everyone to try and get
some more meal appointments and just lessons with active members and
its been working and i have been getting fed pretty well now. I am
hoping that you guys are having good times at home. I am just
cruising along trying to make time fly by as fast as possible. Six
months should be just around the corner. And then before you know it
ill be skyping on mothers day and ill be 19... crazy to think that.

I am just looking forward to my life that i have in store for me also.
 Like being a husband and father is something that president focuses a lot on
the plan of a missionary when they get ready to go home and thats stuff that
excites me a lot. And i have also been thinking a lot about a proffesion and
i am maybe leaning towards the real estate buisiness.

We are struggling finding new investigators so hopefully that will
change this week. But we cant really control the quality of our
investigators too much until they put in some effort as well. But
other than that we havent had too eventful of a week. Instead of
playing basketball yesterday we went bowling as a district which was
pretty cool. I got a 149 which i was pretty proud of haha. But that
was my highlight for sure. Any cool stuff planned for you guys in the
future. Hope to hear back soon.
Love ya
Elder Crouch

Hey Dad,
Texas huh? Thats a big change.  I want to stay updated but it just
sucks knowing that the family is going to move.  Like if things stay
good with me and Meghann or wanting to see friends I already have on
the west coast.  Thats just going to be a big change.  And it will be
weird too because some of my area of the mission covers texas so it
will be like "Man they are just so close now" if that makes sense.
Yeah i emailed brenden wishing him a happy birthday.  Emailed Jason
too but didnt know it was his birthday either but oh well.  Yeah i
know i could work on my yo yo skills.  Its just something i must
perfect while i am out here in the field.  Other than texas, are there
any other spots that are looking for you?  And what happened to the
offer of working as the program director of the sports medicine in
chino?  That fall through?  But anywho this week has been alright.
There has been a lot of changes in the mission as far as goals or
standards of excellence.  They are trying to get us to focus more on
the people and not on hitting goals of numbers like hours of tracting
or lessons taught in a week. By doing this our numbers of lessons will
go down for sure but the goal is getting the baptism number to
skyrocket.  Hopefully it will happen.  This mission has never gotten
more than 300 in a year.  Its the second lowest baptizing mission in
the USA next to Baton Rouge.  But we have just been trying to focus on
the few investigators that we have that are considered to be
progressing.  If we do that than maybe we will see some more success.
My talk went good by the way.  Killed it. talked on being perfected in
christ which i just focused on the gospel of jesus christ which is a
missionary discussion we teach a lot (Faith, repentance, baptism, holy
ghost, and enduring to the end).  People said it was a good talk but
members always say that to others so who knows haha.  But other than
that we went bowling yesterday for our p day.  Was pretty fun.  I won
the second game out of everyone getting a 149.  Not to shabby i
thought.  Had like 5 strikes and a few spares.  But hope your week
goes good.  I will be on for a bit if you are able to chat.  Look
forward to hearing from ya.
Love
Elder Crouch



Missionaries at McDonalds with the Alhateh Family


The service Crew





Valentine's Day Dinner with the Alhalteh Family


Goofing off at the Bradburns with the Alhaltehs



video

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

Hey Mom,
Hope all is going well for you today.  This week was a pretty okay
week. For My Mission call, I thought it was in the front page of my
packet or I put it in my crate with all my school awards and what not.
Work was rough some days because one day it dumped so much rain and we
were stranded in another city with some elders because their tire got
wrecked and it bent the rim.  I was the only one in the car who could
put on a spare.  Kind of sad but it was true.  So in the pouring rain
I threw on a spare on a car that wasn't even mine one.  The
zoo was alright.  It was only four dollars and I got what I paid for.
Nothing too special but there was a tiger and a giraffe.  Mainly we
saw a lot of monkeys.  Its not that great of a zoo but it was nice to
break the routine of basketball every or whatever we do.
we had a good day working and getting lessons and then
Elder Vest woke up so dang sick.  Like throat killing him
and he couldn't talk and what not so I gave him a blessing with the
help of the Young Mens President and we just slept that day hoping he
would get better.  We have done a lot of service this week at a food
bank.  Just a huge warehouse that ships food to needy people
throughout Mississippi which has been pretty cool.  Did 2 days there
for 8 hours of Service.  Im glad that you were able to text Meghann
and wish her a happy birthday.  Tell me how your little treat goes.
Yesterday in church I got asked to speak for so I will be
speaking on Valentines day on Being Perfected in Christ.  Should be an
interesting topic.  But the Bradburns was awesome.  They invited
us....well like Elder Vest invited ourselves over and they fed us last
night and they had a bon fire and a trampoline and a German Shepherd
that for some reason hated all the other people there but was cuddling
with me.  It was pretty cute.  I did "watch" the superbowl which was
awesome for me.  Bummer that the Broncos won but it was a good game
haha.  That's cool that emmas the mia maids president.  Should be good
for her to grow.  She hasn't emailed me in forever that slacker.  But
anywho that's really all I did this week. we struggled getting good
lessons but we met a lot of weird people that describe Jackson
Mississippi perfectly haha.  But I hope you all have a great week and
I will try to do the same.  Love Ya Tons.
Elder Crouch




A bunch of pictures from the zoo 

A funny truck I saw 


The Bradburns dog




February 1, 2016

Hey Mama,
This week has been alright.  Just one of those where not too much exciting stuff happened but it wasn't boring.  Me and Elder Vest taught a lot of lessons to keep us busy and its made a difference.  Makes me not focus on the things that were rough on me earlier but its hard not to think about home.  I heard two things this week from missionaries that are spot on.  No matter how hard you try, every missionary will miss home at least once a day or think about it.  And second, the mission makes days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days and that's how its all going.  In the moment the days suck but Sunday is my 4 month mark and that's pretty crazy.  I just gotta make it to my 6 month and I'll be a sophomore in the mission field haha.  This week we taught 16 lessons to investigators, 13 of those were with new people so it was a week of a lot of lessons but no solid people as of yet.  We did have Jim text us one day who has been a guy I have taught for a long time and he said that he read the intro to the book of Mormon and all the testimonies and witnesses in the beginning, and prayed about it and feels like its all true which is a big step.  Now we just gotta get him in church and then in some white clothes.  Saturday is Meghanns birthday fyi so maybe shoot her a birthday text or something like that and that would mean a lot to her.  But anywho, back on tract haha, we will teach him some more tomorrow.  We didn't get to teach Jaleal again but he only stayed for Sacrament meeting which was a bummer but its starting somewhere.  But those are the highlights for the week.  This week should be a usual work week.  Nothing too special.  But today we are going to the Jackson Zoo for our Pday activity which should be pretty cool.  Kind of a nice change from the usual "lets email shop play basketball and go teach" routine.  Sucks that Kirk is in a lot pain from his recovery.  Hopefully its a speedy recovery and hopefully your work dies down or at least gets easier so you aren't drained.  I feel ya on being drained though.  A bike area wrecks you.  I have been super tired lately and its hard to wake up on time hahah.  I am looking forward to getting a new area so that I can be in a car.  Just hopefully its a full car area haha.  But that wont even possibly happen until like the 23rd of this month.  But hows everything going.  Anything fun planned this week?  How you handling Allison with a new bf? That must be pretty interesting.  But cant wait to hear back.  Love ya
Elder Crouch


Elder Hainsworth bought a jumpsuit, Elder Vest being himself


January 25, 2016


Hey Mom,
It sounds like you have had a fun week and also a busy one with taking care of the dogs and also the wedding and all of that.  Sounds like you had some good food along with it as well.  We have had a pretty crazy week as well.  Not as productive as last week and it was due to the weather.  On Thursday it was like a hurricane.  We were told to be inside due to tornado warnings and also just the fact that we were the bike elders In that sucky of weather.  The next day the temperature just dropped and we were tracting in the snow.  It was so dang cold and made me appreciate living in California hahah.  The weather here is so bipolar I don't get it.  Like by next week it will be back in the 70s apparently.  But that all made work hard and cold and a little miserable at times. We did have a really good Wednesday though.  We watched a world wide missionary broadcast led by some of the apostles teaching us and demonstrating teaching tactics.  It was pretty cool.  And then while the rest of the district went out for lunch we went to some appointments and had the most lessons taught in a day then I have ever had.  We had 6 lessons.  And one of the guys we taught, Jaleal, went to church.  He liked it but we barely know him so don't know what his true thoughts were.  We will teach him some more on Wednesday.  Today should be a relaxing and chill p day.  Nothing too special planned.  Just kind of hanging out.  We were going to go to a members house and hang out with all the missionaries in the area but that just got canceled so who knows.  I am ready for it to be like my year mark already.  Its getting really long and dragging lately.  And it sucks missing so many people and just wanting to be with them.  I have some moments where I just want to go home to be honest.  Just live a life and do good for my future but I'm torn.  I just have roller coaster emotions out here.  I feel like a hormonal pregnant lady because some days are good and some days just make me want to hop on a plane and be right back in my life in California.  So I might talk to President and see if there are ways to help me cope with it or what his opinion is for me.  But its stuff I don't like talking about to others so it may just suck.  But enough of the debby downer stuff.  Any fun plans for this week.  I don't have too much planned down here.  Just back to the normal grind finding people to teach.  I hope it works out.  I also hope y'all have an awesome week and I cant wait to hear back.
Love
Elder Crouch


Elder Vest and Morgan and my reactions to him










Dinner with the Alhalteh Family