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 stink...so 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






Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016 Greetings from the Land of Duck Dynasty

Hey Everyone!
Things are going good for me now in West Monroe Louisiana.  I am technically the West Monroe South Elders and Elder Stones (MTC Companion) and Elder Yardley are the West Monroe North Elders and so this should be a fun transfer with them here.  My companion is Elder Cox.  He is from Apple Valley California and he has been on his mission for only 3 months so I am doing what we technically call follow up training.  He's a pretty funny yet kind and I look forward to getting to know him.    
This week has been a lot of traveling and that is not always fun.  I got to Gulfport at 630 in the morning on Tuesday drove all day to Monroe and that was a long day.  I was so tired.  We unpacked and Elder Cox kept saying howthis area is struggling a bit and how we need to get teaching as much as we can so we went tracting there the first day and got 4 lessons in an hour and it was super funny to see Elder Cox's reaction to teaching that much that fast.  We then had district meeting Wednesday and it was a different feel being in a district with no sisters now.  
We worked really hard this week and we got quite a bit of teaching done.  More than this area has seen in a long time mainly because me and Elder Cox worked our tails off and tracted good areas.  It seems like that is the trend with my areas lately haha.  
If the first thing you thought of when you heard West Monroe is Duck Dynasty than it is your lucky day.  I went and visited there store and took some pictures and there is so much memorabilia with guys and huge beards.  From what I hear, all of the people live up in the North Area but Elder Cox has met and has a signed picture of Mountain man which is pretty funny.
The ward here is kind of small and it is a way different feel than being in church on the West Coast or even in Ocean Springs but I will get used to it.  It has rained a whole lot lately and Baton Rouge is flooded but since it is out of our mission we are not helping out with the flood efforts unfortunately.  
We are in a car share and so we only get the car every other week and my bike is bugging me so I am trying to build as big of a teaching pool close to us as I can that way I wont use it as much.  

But that's about it for me this week.  Hope to hear from you soon and that you all have a great week.  Love y'all
Elder Crouch

Hey Mom and Dad,
Looks like y'all had a great week and that Ava's birthday was a success for only being in Las Vegas for a few weeks.  I am sure she was happy to have Hadley there and other friends and some new ones too.  And it is pretty crazy that you have been in Vegas for now your fourth week.  Time goes quick when you are staying busy.  And that does sound like some chill callings for you and mom.  Should work out well for the two of ya.  
Things are going good for me now in West Monroe Louisiana.  I am technically the West Monroe South Elders and Elder Stones (MTC Companion) (and yes he did get a diet coke for dinner) and Elder Yardley are the West Monroe North Elders and so this should be a fun transfer with them here.  My companion is Elder Cox.  He is from Apple Valley California and he has been on his mission for only 3 months so I am doing what we technically call follow up training.  He's a pretty funny yet kind of weird kid . We are kind of polar opposites so it should be interesting but he is breaking out of his shell a bit.  
I know this will upset you a little bit too but the computer here at the library is not reading my card either and so it is not wanting to let me upload pictures so I will have to try and be creative in how I do that.  
This week has been a lot of traveling and that is not always fun.  I got to Gulfport at 630 in the morning on Tuesday drove all day to Monroe and that was a long day.  I was so tired.  We unpacked and Elder Cox kept saying how "this area we bike a lot to get lessons and even then we only get like 5 or 6 lessons a week" and I was like well first of all, my bike is starting to fall apart on me and secondly, we have a neighborhood right next to our apartment and so we went tracting there the first day and got 4 lessons in an hour and it was super funny to see Elder Cox's reaction to teaching that much that fast.  We then had district meeting Wednesday and it was a different feel.  They did not really accomplish much in the meeting which kind of bugged me but I stayed quiet and let Elder Busaker, the new District Leader here who goes home in 6 weeks do his thing.  We worked really hard this week and we got quite a bit of teaching done.  More than this area has seen in a long time mainly because it has had some lazy missionaries in it before me and Elder Cox got here.  It seems like that is the trend with my areas lately haha.  
The girls will like this if the first thing they thought of West Monroe is Duck Dynasty.  I went and visited there store and took some pictures and there is so much memorabilia and so if they want like a five dollar tee shirt or something funny let me know haha. Inside the store there is this big like 12 foot face with a beard on the wall.  It cracks me up. From what I hear, all of the people in the show live up in the North Area but Elder Cox has met and has a signed picture of Mountain man which is pretty funny.
The ward here is kind of small and it is a way different feel than being in church on the West Coast or even in Ocean Springs but I will get used to it.  It has rained a whole lot lately and Baton Rouge is flooded but since it is out of our mission we are not helping out with the flood efforts unfortunately.  
We are in a car share and so we only get the car every other week and my bike is bugging me so I am trying to build as big of a teaching pool close to us as I can that way I wont use it as much as Elder Cox is used too.  
On Saturday a member of the Elders Quorum invited us to a football game he hosts every Saturday with Less Actives a few actives and some non members and it is way competitive and way fun to play.  It was flag and they had me play QB and so that was way fun too to do something different and still reach out to some of the people who need a friend in the gospel or who could be introduced to it.  
But that's about it for me this week.  Hope to hear from you soon and that you have a great week.  Love ya!
Elder Crouch







Goodbye in Ocean Springs













August 15, 2016 Read Yo White Handbook Elder.......No Video Games

Hey Mama and Padre,
Transfer calls came in and I am leaving Ocean Springs tomorrow at 6:30 in the morning but with the new way transfers are working, I have no clue where I will go or who I will be with for this next six weeks so its a mystery.  Kind of nerve racking actually.  I am glad that Ava got her birthday card and it is really weird seeing Allison working.  How much does she actually work and whats she making?  And that is a bummer that the barbecue place wasn't that good.  How was Dad's talk? 

This week was a really rainy one for me and Elder Bingham.  There was a big storm that made it rain every single day and it rained hard and because we did not have the car this week we were only really able to work during the clear hours which were like 3-4 hours a day so that kind of sucked.  We somehow still had a decent teaching week.  Not our best but still pretty darn good.  We were able to teach Betty two more times, once by ourselves and once with some of the Members that are her friends and so that was a cool thing.  She came to church again and she is liking it.  She leaves after Sacrament meeting and so our next goal is to get her to stay for all three hours.  

We were able to get in contact and teach a lady named Kim Bizzack this week and she was someone who a few weeks ago she requested a blessing through a referral and she is not a member and it was for a major surgery she was having and she is pretty much recovered and so we were able to go over and teach her the restoration to her and her husband.  The husband did not like the message too much but she accepted a Book of Mormon and said she really wants to find out if its true and so that will be a good person for Elder Bingham and his next companion to work with.  

We also had a Zone Meeting this Wednesday and so it was a good day seeing all of the Missionaries in the Zone.  It was at the end of the transfer and our Zone did the best in the whole mission and so to reward us we did some funny gospel/things we miss from home Jeopardy.  Like my question was what song froze the city of Arrendale haha. 

Another day a Member took us out to go and try and see all the people on his big home teaching list and we were able to eat some good chicken katsu that he made and then see some less actives and then he was like "have you ever flown a flight simulator?" and he had a whole set up in a spare room and let us fly and the simulator is out of Luke Air Force Base and so I flew all over Las Vegas and did a close drive by the new house haha.  I thought that was pretty cool.
Those are all of the eventful things that I can think of right now.  I hope we will be able to chat a little bit. Cant wait to hear back.  Love ya!
Elder Crouch












August 8, 2016 10 Months Down!

Hey Padre,
I am glad that you are at least enjoying the time you dont have to spend at the hospitals on the weekends and yes the shoes fit.  They make me really tall so I will probably tower over you if I wear those when I get home off the plane haha.  They give me like another inch or two on my height and I wore them to mutual at the church and everyone was like "Dude you look like a giant"  I am like 6'5" or 6'6" with those on.  So I like wearing them haha.  And apparently you saw the picture of JaNae black and me.  Her husband went to Dental school with Brad through the Air Force and so they are pretty good friends.  And then I gave that one girl Allisons information because I knew Allison was looking for some friends and she seemed nice haha. That is also really cool that Allison got a job at Kneaders.  I am glad that the one girl visiting here got in contact with her.  Maybe they can hang out or something.  Thats why I gave her Allies contact stuff that I knew.  And small world even more, Sister Black grew up in Burley Idaho and I said that I have family there and she said what are the last names.  I told her Bowen and Wahlstrom and she said she knew and Aimee and Brad because Brad and went to dental school with her husband and I said that they were my aunt and uncle and so that is why she posted the picture ahah.  And yeah it is getting pretty hot down here on the coast.  Good thing I may only be here one more week and that the summer is almost over.  And Yeah its hot and all but some missionaries complain about the heat and make it sound a lot worst than it really is.  To me, its bearable.  

This week was an alright week for me and Elder Bingham.  We taught a good bit of lessons but not really to new people.  The way we keep tract of lessons is we tally every lesson taught to someone for the first time, second time and 3+ times.  We had 2 firsts, One Second, and 11 3+ and so we are kind of struggling with finding some new people but its all good in the hood.  We got Betty to come to sacrament again and all of her friends that are active want to take her out to lunch or something and then we will teach her with her friends on Friday and hopefully she will accept baptism.  We were also just working on getting some of our investigators progressing more.  We are like at stand stills with everyone and it is a little frustrating but eventually we will get it all squared away and get some more people with a baptismal date.  

Crazy person of the week!: We were driving down the road in a neighborhood and there was like a 80 year old woman walking the street, smoking a cigarette, and bawling her eyes out and she waved us down and we stopped, rolled down the windows and asked if we could help her out somehow.  She kept saying she was lost and that her house was right there (pointing to the middle of the street) and then said it just randomly disappeared and just get saying over and over "I am lost". Then she just walked into a random house and nothing happened for a bit and so me and Elder Bingham just drove away haha. 

Today is the start of the last week of the transfer and so it could be my last week in Ocean Springs.  6 months is usually the longest someone stays in an area so I am almost expecting to get moved but I might be staying another transfer.  Who knows.  I wont know until next Monday.  Hopefully if I do move it is somewhere still in a city.  I really don't want to get transferred into the boonies haha.   But that is all I really have for now.  Cant wait to hear back and to chat a little bit.  Hope to hear from ya soon.
Love Ya
Elder Crouch



Instagram message Allison received:

Hey! so this is pretty crazy and goes to show what a small world this is. I live in Las Vegas right next to the temple and I am visiting my dad in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. I'm pretty sure your brother, Elder Crouch, is serving in the Ocean Springs Ward in the Gulfport, MS Stake and as we were talking, I told him I recently moved to Vegas and he told me y'all had too!!

he was trying to give me directions to where y'all live and he said it was next to the Cheesecake Factory. 😂 Elder Crouch told me to follow you on insta! that's definitely something my brother would do, who is serving a mission too right now in Reno, Nevada. I had such a strong bond with my brother, so I know how greatly cherished emails and stories of him are.

so I hope this brings you so much joy to you and as you share with your family to hear that he is such an amazing missionary. this is my first Sunday being in the ward with Elder Crouch since I'm just visiting. today during fast and testimony meeting, your brother bore his testimony with his companion and a set of sister missionaries.
the Spirit was so strong as he spoke. the love he has for The Savior seemed to be pouring out of him as he bore his testimony. I hope this brightens your day to know your missionary is SO HAPPY and so amazing.


August 1, 2016 Week 23 in Ocean Springs

Hey Mama and Padre,
This was a pretty interesting week.  My ankle is getting much better.  It is still sore but I can still just do my daily routine without it bothering me too much.  Just am not like sprinting down the street now.  I did get the pants and they all fit well.  I like those Izod's. Pretty darn comfortable.  Only bummer with light colors is when I sweat, everyone knows it hahaha.  And I will be on the lookout for those shoes (:  How is the orientation going? Is it pretty easy since it is the same system that you have been working on for like five years now?  Me and Elder Bingham had another really good teaching week but we were worried that no one would show up into sacrament meeting but we were wrong.  One of the ladies we were teaching, Betty (76 years old) showed up which totally surprised me and then also Arty showed up.  Betty sat with us during sacrament meeting and then afterwards she was flocked by all the old people in the ward and they all were like old friends of hers or old colleagues that she worked with at the VA hospital for the past 30 years earlier and so built in fellow shippers. We were teaching as much as we can and in the heat as much as we could be and so there we go.  Blessings from the lord.  We were trying to also focus on finding and so when we were out tracting and trying potentials we had some decent success as well.  One of the better ones was coming in contact with the son of a less active who is not a member and so that would be way cool if we could get him into church or something along those lines.   We have been trying to get on a good eating healthy spree as well.  Pretty creative stuff going on in the kitchen of the Ocean Springs Elders.  So far all of our creations have tasted good so I am not complaining haha.  
I am glad that the girls had fun at girls camp.  I am sure that was somewhat of a relief.  How is the new ward? You like it or is it whatever? And I had no idea that there was a Kneaders in Las Vegas.  Pretty darn cool.  But yeah my week was pretty basic.  Nothing too special.  It has rained a lot and so that is always fun but we are staying pretty dry at the same time which is always good.  Hope to hear back soon.  Love your favorite missionary.
Elder Crouch

Our Creation in the Kitchen 


Had a dog following us all day tracting,

Riding away from the crazy storm

July 25, 2016

Hey Momma and Padre,
It looks like the house is super nice from what I can see.  Kind of hard to tell what everything is like from the few pictures I have seen. Ava sent me pictures of her room now haha.  Looks like a girls room for sure and the pool looks pretty nice.  Is it deep at all?  I am excited to see Gundy when I get home too and that will be nice seeing all of the Vegas homies.  That is crazy that the new ward shattered the record of 37 minutes to unload the pod and the Uhaul.  I think that is unheard of.    Is it nice to finally be done with all of the school and now you can live life the way you want to?  And how was the ward for the first sunday or were you gone because of the farewell?  And hopefully the training at work goes well.  I am sure that it will be fine and that you will pick up on it pretty fast. 
My week was alright.  Me and Elder Bingham taught a lot and that makes up for a lot of things that have been annoying in the past lately.  We at the same time were struggling with getting people actually progressing.  Like people will take the lessons but acting on them is a whole other thing.  We taught a lot of new people and second lessons as well and so its hard for people to really start progressing by that point in time.  My best friend in the mission, Elder Ah Ching went home this week and that was really sad and it made me just miss home a lot and I was thinking about you guys and the move and Meghann and all the people I really miss and so this week was kind of a rougher one.  I just wanted time to go by fast so I could have it P day again so I could say hello to everyone.  I am entering the last week of July and that means August is coming up which means the hottest month of the year too so that should be fun down here in the South.  
I was super mad about my suit pants.  They just wore right through right in the butt seam.  I have a picture i can show you.  It is just pretty ridiculous how many times those pants become a situation haha.  It was quite embarrassing when I found out that there was a whole in them and I had been wearing them all day at church.  Luckily the jacket covered it and so no one saw.  Suit pants arent my specialty I guess.  
But we did have a decent week in all.  We taught the family history class and that was a decent turnout.  About 6 people came and so there was not a lot but enough to where we could get a gauge on who is really interested in this type of work.  I have a feeling that my next transfer is going to deal with something family history related or me having to set up a class or something which is a bunch of work so hopefully that is not the case haha.  I am already half way through this transfer though and my 10 month mark is coming up soon so I guess times going quick but man I am missing everyone. 
But I hope you all have a great week and we can chat some more.  Love you and cant wait to talk to ya.
Love
Elder Crouch




July 18, 2016 Frozone in Ocean Springs?

Hey Dad and Momma,
Sounds like everything is almost done for the move and by the looks of the pictures it seems like you had a really good turnout for your party with your coworkers.  Sounds like everything is almost done for the move and those pictures of the POD were pretty cool.  I never knew how they would actually get a POD too and from a house and what not. This week for us was pretty slow but we were working really hard and some fun stuff happened and some blessings came to us at the end of the week as well.  We were struggling to find people to teach and so what we did is we got a member who came home early from a mission who is way good at basketball to go with us to a park and we played some people two on two for a lesson and since he was on the other team, we made sure that me and Elder Bingham always won and so we got some lessons going that way.  That was pretty fun.  And then he took us out and we finally got to teach some new people.  We were struggling with getting people to come to church though but on Friday, we got a referral from a Wyoming saying that her friend is coming to Ocean Springs and she is right now basically homeless but she loves church and she wants to eventually be baptized.  Her name is Shana and so we got a member to pick her up and she was able to come to church this Sunday which was pretty cool.  She was able to see that she has a ward family down here and that she cant feel comfortable in the Ocean Springs ward.  We also got a long time investigator who has been taught for almost 8 years to finally come back to church and his name is Gary Snyder and so that was cool seeing two of our investigators in church this Sunday.  Those were the big highlights of the week.  I am hoping that we can continue on the high note that we ended off on this week and have an even better week this time.  But I will keep it shorter today so we can chat a little bit more.  Love you and cant wait to hear back.  
Elder Crouch

 inside a way cool car in the ward

 ah ching right before he went home today

​spotted frozone

video


video


video



July 12, 2016

Hey Mama and Padre,
That is pretty crazy that you only have a few shifts left at Corona Regional.  And that by this time next week you will be in the new house.  My week was pretty fun.  Me and Elder Bingham are getting along pretty well.  We only really had like four work days because of meetings and transfers and all of that fun stuff and so with all of that combined we also had a decent teaching week as well.  We taught Jimmy a few more times and I am kind of stumped on him because he is not retaining things like he should so I got to somehow be creative and find a way for him to remember what we teach him that way he can progress and understand the importance of our message.  Honestly, right now that is the biggest problem right now with all of our investigators.  Them having real intent in finding out if this was true and so I was getting ticked and so what I did with all of them (Alana, Clint, Fredrick, Jimmy ect) is right there in our lessons, we read a chapter of the Book of Mormon and I had them all get on their knees and specifically ask God if the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith were true.  The spirit was pretty strong each time an investigator did that and so I hope that they were able to feel what I did.  We will find out this week I guess.  Interviews with President Olson went pretty darn good.  He just said that I am doing really good and that he has seen a lot of change in me and he is excited for the rest of my mission and how this is going the be the best experience of my life and how I will be years ahead of those friends of mine who maybe did not go on a mission.  We just really chit chatted and he just said continue doing a good job haha.  Me and Elder Bingham have been working hard and it is fun being his companion. I think this transfer will go by quick.  Thats all really for me.  This week should be pretty normal as well haha.  Hope that you have a great week.  Love you.  Talk to you soon.
Elder Crouch







video
Fun at the trampoline park on P day


July 5, 2016 One More in Ocean Springs

Hey Hey,
This week has been a kind of crazy one because me and Elder Prater were expecting to spend another one together but its all good haha.  We hope that you had a great fourth of July. I dont know who my companion is going to be yet but I will maybe be able to tell you that tomorrow or tonight.  I did not really celebrate yesterday but Saturday I got to help out on the Air Force base for an event and I will talk about that in a sec but yeah that was weird not going somewhere on the 4th.  
Earlier in the week we were just teaching up a storm with members.  We had one day where we took two priests out in a day.  One in the morning and one in the evening and so in the day we had 5 member presents which is more than most people have in a whole week so we had a good week teaching with members haha.  That is the best way to get people progressing and I really saw that because we had investigators really reading and praying about our message and so I am hoping that we have a week with my new companion where we just see leaps and bounds in the answers of all our investigators.  
We started teaching a guy named Fredrick from the library and he is someone who is really investigating.  he is 17 and knows more about the bible than a lot of people and so that really surprised me.  He is praying a lot about Joseph Smith and just really trying to figure out if he thinks that he is a prophet.
The other really good investigator that we have is named Jimmy who has been taught since 2012 and past missionaries never really pushed hard with him and now that we have we have taught him everything up to the Word of Wisdom and that is what we are trying to help him overcome and then he should be set for baptism if he starts attending church a lot more regularly.  Other than that we are just teaching some people who have a long ways to go but they can get where they need to be eventually.  
On Saturday we got to go on Base ALL day for setting up and breaking down a huge American celebration for all of the people who live on base and so there was blue grass music and some barbeque and fireworks at night and we were on Golf Carts shuttling people and setting up and I felt like I was running a huge event but it was way fun and so I guess I got to spend basically this past 4th (Really the 2nd haha) with the Military which was pretty cool.  
Other than that we were just getting ready for Elder Prater to leave to Bossier Louisiana and I am a little nervous for who I will get and also being in leadership for the first time but I am sure that I will do just fine.  But I look forward to hearing back from y'all.  Have a great week and I love ya.
-Elder Crouch

Hey Hey,
This week has been a kind of crazy one.  As you can see from the subject, Elder Prater is getting transferred and I am staying here in Ocean Springs and becoming the District Leader. Me and Elder Prater were expecting to spend another one together but its all good haha.  We hope that you had a great fourth of July. I dont know who my companion is going to be yet but I will maybe be able to tell you that tomorrow or tonight.  I did not really celebrate yesterday but Saturday I got to help out on the Air Force base for an event and I will talk about that in a sec but yeah that was weird not going somewhere on the 4th.  
Earlier in the week we were just teaching up a storm with members.  We had one day where we took two priests out in a day.  One in the morning and one in the evening and so in the day we had 5 member presents which is more than most people have in a whole week so we had a good week teaching with members haha.  That is the best way to get people progressing and I really saw that because we had investigators really reading and praying about our message and so I am hoping that we have a week with my new companion where we just see leaps and bounds in the answers of all our investigators.  
We started teaching a guy named Fredrick from the library and he is someone who is really investigating.  he is 17 and knows more about the bible than a lot of people and so that really surprised me.  He is praying a lot about Joseph Smith and just really trying to figure out if he thinks that he is a prophet.
The other really good investigator that we have is named Jimmy who has been taught since 2012 and past missionaries never really pushed hard with him and now that we have we have taught him everything up to the Word of Wisdom and that is what we are trying to help him overcome and then he should be set for baptism if he starts attending church a lot more regularly.  Other than that we are just teaching some people who have a long ways to go but they can get where they need to be eventually.  
On Saturday we got to go on Base ALL day for setting up and breaking down a huge American celebration for all of the people who live on base and so there was blue grass music and some barbeque and fireworks at night and we were directing people and setting up and I felt like I was running a huge event but it was way fun and so I guess I got to spend basically this past 4th (Really the 2nd haha) with the Military which was pretty cool.  
Other than that we were just getting ready for Elder Prater to leave to Bossier Louisiana and I am a little nervous for who I will get and also being in leadership for the first time but I am sure that I will do just fine.  But I look forward to hearing back from y'all.  Have a great week!
-Elder Crouch




 Sister Steadman and Sister May


Elder Castrejon


Elder Godfrey, Sister Abril, and Sister Rose


Me and Elder Bingham