Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016 Pentecostals, Baptismal Dates, Gators....The Fun Stuff

Howdy Y'all,
This week has been a really good one where you can see that the
hardwork and times that are tough are there to see if you stay
obedient and also turn to the lord.  We pushed through harder times
and we got some blessings this week because of it and some crazy
stories as well.
We taught Latonya, a lady who ran into us at Sonic and asked if we
could talk to her about what we believe in, and she believes heavily
in tongues and even prayed in tongues right before we left that place.
She decided she would do a church swap with us and so on Saturday we
took her into our building so she could feel the reverence and how we
worship and then she came to our church this past Sunday and she did
pretty good but left after Sacrament meeting but we still had to hold
up our end of the bargain and so last night we attended her
Pentecostal church and that place was crazy.  It was a rock concert
with screaming and dancing and running laps around the building and
people trying to bless each other and speaking in tongues.  I am just
glad that I am a member of this church because I could not handle that
every week.  It was too chaotic.
We also had a priest quorumn member ask us if we could teach his
friend Makala and so we taught her before a mutual and she was
awesome.  She had some good questions and the lessons went good so far
and so she has a baptismal date set and it looks like if everything
works out, she could be a member by mid April which is a blessing
right there.  We see Arty this week and hopefully his is on the same
path as Makala but its just nice to see excitment in the Youth to help
us teach and have there friends be happier in a true Gospel.
We also went out with Brother Wolfe on Sunday to see some less active
visits and we got to see 3 members who we havent seen in church in a
long time and hopefully that will spark something in them.  The gospel
is what they need.  But when we were driving home from that we saw a
gator chilling in the bayou which was awesome.  A little on the
smaller side (7-8 feet) but still pretty cool to see.
We also had success teaching our family history class at the Library
with  That had a full class of 8 people and we
should have another full class next Saturday.  Didnt think that family
history would spark such an excitement but it really works so look
into your family history.  Its pretty cool what you can find.
But I hope you have a great week and find something in the scriptures
that you think really shows the true meaning of easter with easter
Sunday coming up this week.  If you find one, i would love to read
what scriptures you love.
Have an awesome week
-Elder Crouch

Hey Hey,
Sounds like you had a fun week and it must be a relief knowing that
you are finally done with the crazy hectic choices of whats next and
you can finally just settle down.  I had a pretty hectic week myself
though and it made it go by fast but it had some ups and some downs as
most missionary work does anyways.
We started the week off by teaching that lady who ran into us at
sonic, Latonya, and we brought the bishop with us.  It was a mistake
because we all got committed to attend her church once for her to meet
with us, like a church swap and she like was pretty rude to the bishop
and i felt bad for the poor old guy buy hopefully we either baptize
her or drop her before he has to go.  But at the end of the lesson she
prayed and of course did it in tongues and you almost feel spiritually
violated when someone does that.  We thought it would be a good idea
to do a church tour with her Saturdayy so that when she came on
Sunday, she would know of the reverence in which we worship and so
that helped out a bit but she still gives me some bad feels.  She came
to sacrament meeting and she was quiet but she was mouthing prayers to
herself in tongues and it was a weird feeling.  We then attended her
church that night with some other missionaries and it was a chaotic
mess.  There was a rock band huge chior, people dancing and running
laps around the place and screaming and waving their arms and speaking
in tongues.  It was just nuts and thats how they worship.  Doesnt
really make sense to me.  But oh well.  I was just glad to get out of
We also had a great investigator fall into our laps however.  A priest
in the ward brought her (makala) to the church before mutual for us to
teach her and she is awesome and committed to baptism and she should
be baptized around middle of April which would be really nice.  We see
her again on Wednesday for our third lesson with her and that should
be a critical lesson to see how serious she is about all of this.
Other than that we just did a lot of service and teaching random
people that got no where.
The Family History Class was a success however.  We had a full class
which we were not expecting and every person there had a great time
finding stuff about their past and some singed up for next week as
well which was nice so it should be a good class we continue to do.
But other than that it has been the same old missionary stuff. Getting
excited to move into the new apartment next week.  Highlight of my
week was I got a package from meghann  this week with pictures a tie
and some goodies which was really nice to get.
I hope you have a good week and hope we can chat as well.
Love ya

March 14, 2106

Week 3 in Ocean Springs

This week has been a pretty slow week with there being a lot of
meetings and a big rain storm rolling through but at the same time we
got some good missionary work done this week and had some fun at the
same time.

Here is the week Breakdown:

After emailing we went and played some sports on the beach with the
Biloxi District.  We were playing some beach volleyball and then we
also got some random people to play with us also and then they had a
football and so we played some football on the beach as well and that
was a fun time.  We got to talk to the high schoolers about us on
missions and what we do and they seemed pretty interested and just
small things like that where they have a positive experience of what
missionaries are, that can plant a seed and maybe they will let
missionaries in when their house gets a knock on the door.

We had a Zone training Meeting where there was heavy focus on working
with the Members and how we can work on getting referrals from them
through practices and them inviting their friends to do small things
like watch a mormon message or come over for a family home evening.
Small things like that is how people can get that social conversion
and be receptive to the Elders or Sister missionaries teaching them
for the Spiritual conversion which will come shortly after that.
After our meeting we went to a members house with the family history
consultants to practice teaching how to use before
our class that we will start this coming saturday at the Library and
so that was a good practice and it was good getting the kinks out of
our system before the real thing.  Should be a good class that we
teach and hopefully there will be some success from that.

Wednesday:  We went out Home Teaching with Brother Gonder and we met a
man named Arty who is married to a member of the ward but is not a
member.  He is a big name down here in Ocean Springs. Basically a big
rock star along the coast and so it was cool to meet him.  He talked
about how he was interesting in learning about how he could be sealed
to his wife and so we are now teaching him the lessons which is
awesome.  Hopefully he will start progressing soon and then he could
have a date and then get him one step closer to being sealed to his
new wife.  That would be a great experience.    Later we talked to the
members of the ward on getting the youth involved with the
missionaries so they will have a desire to serve missions when they
are older.  So we will be doing some missionary related mutual
activities within the next few weeks.

Thursday/ Friday:
These days we were trying to get as many potential investigators from
the past contacted but due to the storm and a lot of people being gone
we struggled finding more people to teach but in our weekly planning
we made a good game plan for next week so hopefully that will change
for us soon.  We should have more success in the coming days.  But
these were pretty slow days.

We went and did a lot of service on saturday.  We volunteered at the
towns spring art festival and that was pretty fun.  We got to greet
people and talk to anyone and that is perfect for missionaries.  We
also did some more service at the Library putting books away and
setting up for some events.  Its good getting out there in the
community and seeing if there are ways we can help.  In the future we
will be helping at a soup kitchen as well and maybe a retirement home.
On sunday we had a good church service and I had to teach Elders
Quorum on chapter two in the Howard W Hunter Book so i would suggest
reading that.  It has some good stuff on having peace in your life and
it has some good quotes and scriptures that helped me a lot this week.
Later we went to see less actives with a member in the ward and did
that the rest of the night.  Good way to end the week.

I hope you all had a great week and found some way to come closer to
the savior because that is how you can find peace in your life.  he is
the way the truth and the light.  Also, it would be awesome hearing
from y'all on how you guys are doing.  Stay awesome and remember the
Book is Blue, the Church is True and Jesus loves you.

- Elder Crouch

These are the elders from the other mission serving in Pascagoula.
There is elder richardson and elder lee-lo

March 7, 2016

Hey Everybody,

Hope you are doing well and that things are going good for y'all.
This week was full of Less Active visits, good food, and some good
Member Involvement.

 Before the Week rundown, Just wanted to give a shout out to the Knoll
and Alhalteh families for being such awesome people in the Madison
ward and they will be missed by me!  Especially the Knoll twins

But on to the Week Rundown

Monday: To have a nice and relaxing P Day we went and walked around
downtown Ocean Springs and we got to check out the shops and see what
things the city had to offer for Service as well which is something
the mission is trying to focus on.  The more service we can get the
better.  We then had some good food at a members house.

Tuesday/ Wednesday:  Me and Elder Schliep went out with Members these
days to go and help them with their home teaching when it comes to
Less Actives And Inactives which was very productive.  Due to it, on
Sunday, three members got back into Church for Sacrament at least
which was nice too see.  Hopefully they will consistently come back
but we will keep working with them all.   Later in the day, Elder
Schliep thought he would try to eat the Mugshot challenge which is a
huge burger at this good place and its 3 Half pound patty burgers and
two orders of fries and you have to eat it in 12 minutes and he
got really close but the time sneaked up on him and so like the paper
said, if you don't finish it, its 20 bucks and a stomach ache and that
is exactly what he had to pay.

Thursday / Friday;
On Thursday we went tracting and got a few new potential investigators
and we also saw Bret, the man in the wheelchair again and it was good
to see him.  He said that they may have to amputate his other leg and
he would have to pay the co pay and so we had a lesson on trials with
him and that helped him out a lot.  He is a good guy and we just need
to find a way to get a ride for him  so he can experience church and I
think he would be a great progressing investigator.  That night, I
tried a craw fish platter for the first time and it was really good.
I would highly recommend it to anyone coming down to the south! Other
than that we just saw some more Less Actives and it was good to see
some with strong testimonies but its also hard seeing some so far off
the path.  The good thing is that we know that because of the
Atonement, we can always get back to where we need to be.

Saturday:  We had a lot of errands to run this day.  We got to do a
lot of Service as well.  We helped 20+ families fill their orders at
the church and it was cool to see the welfare programs of the church
really benefit members that are in need.  We also helped some members
rake up some leaves for a little while and for our payment they gave
us some free haircuts which was really nice of them.  Later in the
evening we attended the Ward Luau which was a fundraiser for the Young
Men and young men where you could auction desserts and what not and
one thing they auctioned was Pies to throw in the face of anyone you
want if you buy it and of course... someone bought one and had to Pie
me so i got whip cream pie shoved in my face then and it burns your
eyes pretty good but it was for a good cause so oh well.

Sunday: We had a good fast Sunday this time and saw some new faces in
church which is always a good sign.  me and Elder Schliep taught
Gospel Principles and we taught on the Millennium which is a great
topic.  It will be a great time for everyone and there will be so much
peace on the earth.  And then later we talked in Priesthood about
discerning the spirit and one thing I remembered is that Elder Bednar
in a face to face thing he did which was pretty cool.  Someone asked
him how you discern your conscious from promptings from the Holy Ghost
and he said "Who cares, if it is good, it is of the Spirit so just do
it and you will be blessed for it"  That was a great thing to hear and
was a big impact on me.  Just do the right things and you will be

I hope you all have a great week and that you remember the small
things that you are given through the gospel.  The Atonement is real
and be sure to use it every day.  One great chapter to read would Be
Alma chapter 7.  I would Highly recommend it!

With Love
-Elder Crouch

Hey Mom
It sounds like you and dad had a great trip and i am glad that you
enjoyed the Birthday card and that you could have a good birthday in
texas with the Boswells.  Their babies are really cute and i bet it
was really nice to see them again.  The area looks pretty nice but
like you and dad are saying, i hope that Vegas works out because that
would be the most comfortable move for the family.
This week was a pretty good week for us.  We really focused on trying
to get Less Actives and Inactives into church and due to our efforts
we got two or three people back in.  Hopefully they will get back
consistently but we will see.  Monday we went and walked around the
downtown area of the city which was really cool and then we walked the
beach and saw some of the shops and some of the people and the boats
out on the water.  There are islands about a mile past shore and
because of that, there are no waves so the water is even calmer than
Lake Tahoe which is a little weird to me but its still nice seeing the
Ocean daily.
Some other cool stuff we did this week is that I tried craw fish for
the first time.  A member took us out to a craw fish boil place where
they just have platters of the craw-fish with whole potatoes and some
corn and holy crap that was good.  It Cajun spices and that made it
super flavorful.  I ended up eating 3 pounds of craw fish haha.
Definitely something you and dad should try if you have not done that
Elder Schliep thought he could be a man on Wednesday and try what they
call the Mugshot challenge which is a burger challenge where its three
half pound burgers stacked together and two orders of fries in twelve
minutes.  he got pretty far and could have finished it but he ran out
of time.  I could tell that every bite was starting to hurt for him
however haha.
We had members come out with us a lot this week and what we are doing
with a lot of the member is we go home teaching with them and visit
the less active and inactive families they have on their list which is
a cool thought and nice to see a new way of getting missionary work
The members are awesome.  Like Sister Doyle takes our white shirts and
colors on sunday and washes them and gives us them back on monday
mornings and then we wash garments at a members house and then he also
lets us work out and lift weights in the morning and then people
always offer to feed us.  Its pretty nice haha.  I am starting to
learn the area more too.  By the time its my turn to lead the area i
should be fine but I dont know if I will know how to get everywhere
else.  Its nice with Elder Schliep having a GPS thats for sure.
But other than that we didnt do too much stuff.  I hope that you have
a great week and I just got on so I will be able to chat for a bit.  I
love ya and if we cant talk then I hope you have a great week.
Elder Crouch

Sunday, March 6, 2016

February 29, 2016

Hey Y'all,
After 4 1/2 months of serving in the Madison Bike Area, I got my
transfer call and am now in Ocean Springs Mississippi with Elder
Schliep.  It is right on the coast of Mississippi which is awesome and
it is a sweet area.  Loving the nice weather that it has so far and
the people are great and we are working as hard as we can.  Me and
Elder Schliep have been working hard on our studies and I have come
across a lot of repentance and what a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day saints should all be about.  That would be found
in Mosiah Chapter 18.  Give it a read and tell me what you think (:

I will kind of give you the week break down day by day so you can see
what the live of Elder Crouch is all about.

Monday: 2/22
My Last full day in Madison was a good one.  I was finished packing
the day before and I met with President Olsen and he was able to help
me a lot through times that I have been dealing with.  He performed a
priesthood blessing on me and it was great.  The blessing helped a lot
and my attitude about the mission and my performance has increased.
My desire to read the scriptures is up and I have gotten a lot out of
each and every  chapter that I have read.  I got to be fed by the
North family that night and they were awesome to be around.  The
Madison ward was a great place and i will miss it dearly.

Waking up early and Saying goodbye to Morgan and Elder Vest was a
rough thing to do.  They were some of my best friends down here and
they have made the Mission life a lot more fun.  But when we got to
Transfer Meeting it was good to see missionaries from all over the
field that i havent seen since i left the MTC.  I saw Elder Stones, my
MTC companion, again along with other MTC district missionaries and a
few other friends that left my first transfer out of Jackson.  We
headed on our Transfer Vans for the 5 hour drive down to Gulfport and
there was a huge storm around us.  Apparently a few tornadoes touched
down and caused a lot of destruction but the Lord was on our side
because the vans holding the missionaries just drove through the
cities with just a little bit of rain.  It was quite the miracle
actually.    I got to the Gulport transfer meeting and met my new
Companion Elder Schliep.  He is from Washington state and was a good
football player back home.  He has been out 9 months and is a hard
worker.  It will be a good transfer working with him.

My first full day in Ocean Springs was a good one.  We had District
Meeting and i met the sisters that are in this district as well.
Sister O'Connor and Sister Poulson.  They came out together and have
been out a little over a year.  I am in what they call a double date
district so they are the only other missionaries here in Ocean
Springs.  When i got back to the apartment, i saw that there were a
lot of random mattresses in a storage area so i thought, why not make
my bed tall with all the mattresses so I have a huge bed haha.  But
anyways, We then had a good work day and met a few people on the
street who were willing to talk to us and we scheduled a lot of follow
up appointments.  The area I am in is a military base ward and so a
lot of the members fluctuate in and out on the regular so one of our
big focuses is seeing if Military Less actives are still at their
current address and reactivating them.  The ocean springs ward has 150
active members on a good day with 500+ members on the Roster so
reactivation will be something me and Elder Schliep will focus on as
much as possible along with activation of new members.  The new focus
of this Mission is Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts.  So we are
really bearing down the the Gospel of Jesus Christ and trying to teach
as much of the basics as possible.  At ward coorelation meeting i got
to meet a lot of the ward leaders and i made an idea of having a youth
missionary activity and that is in the proccess of happening at the
end of the month which will be awesome to see.

We focused on part members this day and we got to see a few families
and teach some of the Preach my Gospel lessons to the Members to help
them refresh their testimony and also teach the non member person in
the family the beliefs of our doctrine.  It has been working pretty
well so far. We also have been working with a girl named Ashley and
she has hit rock bottom.  She has been addicted to drugs and has been
wronged by her church and wants to find true happiness and so we are
teaching her along with her whole family now and they are very
receptive to the gospel and we will most likely have them in church
this next Sunday.  Obedience brings blessings and them as a family
taking the discussions is definitely a blessing to me as well.  We
also worked with the Vermullen family who is a less active family and
they talked our ear off about school and how busy their life is but we
left a spiritual message with them and they saw how important church
is and so the next day, we saw them in Sacrament meeting which was
awesome.  The people and members here are awesome and really
respectful and receptive to the gospel.  We should have great success
in this transfer.

On Sunday I  got to church and the bishopric came up to me and said
that their youth speaker had bailed on them and so they wanted me to
fill time with my testimony and a spiritual thought so on the spot i
spoke for 10 minutes in sacrament meeting and i feel that it went
pretty well.  I also got to attend Gospel Doctrine for the first time
and i really enjoy that class.  I love sundays as a missionary because
you feel so spiritually uplifted and refreshed.  Later on in the day
we worked with a lot of members to help them accomplish their home
teaching with less active members and so we were all over the place
this day.  It was fun though and hopefully we will see some
reactivation come out of it.

This area has been treating me well and I really love the ward
involvement.  The members feed us well and are really wanting to come
out and teach with us which is awesome.  I am learning  more about the
gospel each and every day and am learning to love every page of the
scriptures.  You all should find one thing that you can work on and
like it says in Alma 32:27 , experiment with it, and see if it brings
forth good fruit.  See if you can find a way too make each and every
day like the sabbath.  You will find that you will start to be more
and more receptive to the spirit.

Have a great week and i would love to hear back from y'all
If any of you need my address it is:
2300 Westbrook St. #53
Ocean Springs MS 39564

Elder Crouch

Hey Mom,
This week was a lot better.  It was full of learning the new area and
meeting as many people from the ward that i could.  The ward here is
really good. I got fed 5 days this week which is awesome.  I will be
getting fed on the regular from what i hear.  We apparently are
working with the members a lot which should help us get more and more
meal appointments.  That is my favorite thing.  They are a good break
and they make it feel like i am a normal kid instead of a missionary
which is nice.  I havent really experienced the car yet because it was
the sisters week for the car but this Wednesday until Wednesday
will be a different story.  I am in what they call a double date
district which is just one set of elders and one set of sisters and
that is it.  It is a little different but it still works.  Elder
Schliep is a good guy and makes me laugh.  Only thing is he keeps
saying i look like a chink or the main guy from the matrix.  He cant
decide on which one so he has just been making a lot of asian jokes
haha.  But we work together and we have been working on being as
obedient as we possibly can.  The apartment we are in is not as good
as the last one i was in but it is a mile away from the water so i
cant really complain.  Ocean Springs is a cool little town.  It
reminds me of the nice parts of Madison Mississippi and then a not so
high class balboa right on the water when it comes to the shops so its
a mix of everything which is awesome.  The ward here is a pretty big
ward.  About the size if not bigger than the one in madison and they
are mainly military people so they are on top of it.  Thats why they
feed us so good and come out with us.  Military people are the best.
But holy crap i had some culture shock when i had my first district
meeting and we went to lunch and there was not a single black person.
White people everywhere.  It was like "where did all my brothas go?"
because it took me about 7 weeks to teach a white person in Jackson
haha.  But so far mainly white people here in Ocean Springs haha.  We
are working with the youth to do what the girls did at home.  Like the
get your mission call do some door approaches a missionary obstacle
course and all of that stuff. I have to organize that this week and we
are doing it the last two mutuals of the month which will be awesome.
Other than that i havent done too much.  Just trying to get acclimated
to the area.  I am glad that you had a good week and thanks for the
pictures. I love getting them.  Hope to hear from you soon.

Hey Dad,
Glad that you had a fun week getting to meet Adam Carolla.  Did you
fan girl or anything?  That is just cool though.  Ocean Springs is a
cool place.  Its really cultural and artistic and definitely a beach
town.  Everyone has boats and they all just walk around and bike the
streets.  Its like walking through a poor balboa beach.  And my
apartment is walking distance to the water so its pretty cool
location.  I am the closest to the water than any other missionaries
in the mission.  So thats an added bonus.  I am glad that Allison
chose to have the shorter heels because that chick is a giant.  She
needs to stop growing or else she will be showing us both up before we
know it.  And then poor Emma got stuck with the short genes.  Think
ava will be tall??  I am jealous of you an mom getting to fly to
texas.  I love planes.  Flying here to Mississippi was awesome.  The
feeling of taking off and landing is like the coolest thing ever.
So Elder Schliep is a cool kid. From Washington state.  Fun to be
around.  He is a stocky guy and likes to work out and so every morning
at 6 we go to a members home and we lift and do cross fit stuff.  So i
am getting a good workout in each morning. Before my senior year i was
super weak and could barely bench 135 which was sad but yesterday i
repped it 8 times which was nice.
Heard you are still working hard on the Job hunt.  Mom just said vegas
called you which would be awesome too.  Any other top prospects???
The ward here is right next to an Air Force base and so we get a lot
of Military families who live around it and so the members here are on
top of everything and feed us a lot.  I am loving it.  Good food all
the way around.  And they all want to be missionaries so we get a lot
of refferals from members and so we will be teaching a lot this week
which i am looking forward too.  I am doing much better.  THis comp
wants to work a lot which nice.  We will hopefully be doing some good
things out here in Ocean Springs.
 But I hope you have a great day and week and cant wait to hear back
sometime soon.
Aka Elder Crouch

Saying goodbye to Morgan 

The Transfer Van 

Saying goodbye to the Knolls

Views in Ocean Springs

Elder Schliep