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

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