Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!!! I hope everyone stays safe from killer clowns and all the other crazy stuff that is apparently happening. Our mission president has said that everyone needs to be in their apartments by 5 pm tonight so this will probably be a pretty boring Halloween.

This week has been pretty solid, after a long time with no real progress going on things are finally picking up. We have been working with this less active guy named Sherod, he's pretty cool. He even found us a new investigator named Jayson, he is Sherod's next door neighbor. They both have word of wisdom problems but hopefully they will be able to overcome them.

I have been super interested in family history recently, its crazy!!! I found out that my great great great great grandpa, Perrigrine Sessions, was a body guard for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young! He was also one of the early 70. It blows my mind how much information I've found on people who lived so long ago.

Yesterday we were out tracting and this guy opened his door in his underwear!!! It was way awkward and I couldn't think but then I realized they were just REALLY short, white biker shorts, he wasn't interested though. There was another time this week where I was on exchanges with one of the zone leaders and we were out tracting. As we were walking up to a house he told me I had to use the word "Daffodil" when I was talking to the guy. So we knock on the door and this guy answers who already looks like he's in a bad mood, but I'm not going to chicken out in front of a zone leader! So I put on my best smile and ask "Does Daffodil live here?" The guy totally called me out though, he told us he wasn't gonna fall for that trick and that he wasn't interested, then he slammed the door. As we were leaving we were about to burst out laughing but then he came back out and said "My neighbor is a gun owner and works nights, so unless you want to get shot I wouldn't knock on his door," I'd like to think he told us that out of genuine concern for our well being haha.

We also tracted into some crazy big houses, I'll attach a picture that show two of them. We also found this abandoned trailer park or something. I saw some streets on our map that didn't have any investigators or anything in them so I thought we would try them out, except we couldn't find the streets!! So we parked in a nearby parking lot and after 2 or 3 minutes of bush whacking we found ourselves on these creepy overgrown streets. I'll show some of that too.

Well, I guess I'll close with a handy tip, it's "Copies of The Book of
Mormon" not "Books of Mormon" or "Book of Mormons." Just trust me on this one. 


Pictures

1. MTV cribs?

2. Birthday dinner at the bishop's house

3. The lost city












Monday, October 24, 2016

Be careful what you pray for

Okay so this week I have been praying for help developing more charity towards my companion, investigators, and members of the ward. Let's just say Heavenly Father definitely delivered. 

This week I had the opportunity to practice charity a ton. We ran into plenty of people who were way lame and it was so hard to feel a genuine love for them, but I somehow managed to find something good about each of them. Then on Sunday Elder McDonald was super annoying. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy,  but for some reason every little thing he did bugged the crap out of me. I had to keep reminding myself that I'm sure he gets tired of the things I do but he's always super nice so I managed to let it go and we actually had a really good day. 

We talked to this guy and he said something that I thought was super awesome and I've been trying to apply it. He said that we should be grateful even in our trials, and that when we have hard times we should look for the lesson that we are supposed to learn. So instead of freaking out at Elder McDonald I realized that Heavenly Father was helping my practice my charity so I made sure to thank him for the experience when I said my prayers at night. 

The way I look at it, everyone goes through trials no matter what, so you might as well learn something from them and grow stronger, otherwise you're just suffering for no reason!!

On another note, I had my first double dinner on Saturday. We went and visited an inactive and they invited us over for dinner but we also had dinner with this old lady who would be salty if we cancelled. So we had KFC at 4 with the inactive member and spaghetti at 5:30 with the old lady. #StatesideMissions

"Faith means that we trust not only in God’s wisdom but that we trust also in His love. It means trusting that God loves us perfectly, that everything He does--every blessing He gives and every blessing He, for a time, withholds--is for our eternal happiness." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

Elder Critchfield 🙏🏻
6407 Wooded Glen Ct. 
#202
Chester, VA 23831

Pictures
1. Tracting Shenanigans 
2. Fall is finally coming 🙏🏻

video




Monday, October 17, 2016

The Great Drought

Well, as usual, this week has consisted of a lot of tracting, many
member visits, and a whole lot of praying. Our area has been pretty
dry these last couple of weeks and we can't seem to find any
investigators. We have come up with a couple of ideas though on how to
find them so hopefully by next week we will have someone.

I don't know if I've talked about him but we had this golden
investigator name Collin, he invited himself to be baptized on the 2nd
or 3rd lesson. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to contact him for
a few weeks. He either died or he's avoiding us, because we've
probably called him at least 20 times in the past month and stopped by
his house maybe 10 times.

While we aren't having much success the area next to us, MeadowBrook,
is having a ton of success. They have most of the ghetto in
Chesterfield, there's this place called Hillside Court in their area
where missionaries aren't allowed to go because a missionary got shot
there a couple of years ago, and people get shot down there all the
time. That being said, MeadowBrook is rolling in the investigators.
They found this lady that had a dream where she went through the
temple and saw the doors of the D.C temple in detail. She contacted
the missionaries and asked them to teach her! She was baptized this
last Saturday and it was super cool experience to be there. The spirit
was very strong.

On Friday and Saturday Elder McDonald and I helped a family in our
ward lay 20,000 square feet of sod!!! We worked 6 1/2 hours just on
Saturday. I took a time lapse of Saturday that I will include in the
letter. The baller in the grey shirt putting all the sod in its place
is me, since I had "experience" laying sod. (Not really, only did it
once)

I've decided that there is no possible way that anyone can be
converted through logic. My biggest problem so far has been trying to
convince people of the truth through logic. It makes sense that if we
had prophets in the Bible that we would have prophets now, but people
don't seem to get it.

I've noticed that every mission has its perks and challenges. We have
pretty nice living conditions compared to some missions, and we get to
eat regular food (besides grits). But there is a ton of anti here and
people are pretty mean. Granted, there are some AWESOME people that
will invite you in and talk with you, but most people are straight up
savages.

I hope everyone is doing well, I know that missionary work is one of
the best things anyone can do, even if it's just talking to your
friends. Because the gospel is the best!!! So why keep it to yourself?


PICTURES
1. What the members house looked like before
2. What the yard looked like after we tore it up
3. The yard after we finished
4. We stopped by a members house and sent us home with half her pantry
5. Your typical road in Virginia
6. We found a high school game while tracting
7. The new whip








video

Monday, October 10, 2016

Free Cookies


Well, another week down in RVA (Richmond, Virginia)

The hurricane didn't affect us much, we just got a lot of rain. It
rained from the moment I woke up on Saturday all the way until I went
to bed!! It sure made tracting fun though. People are a lot more
likely to let you in when its raining because they feel bad. One lady
even gave us some freshly baked cookies!!

Our Ward Mission Leader was released 5 weeks ago and we still haven't
gotten a new one so that is pretty rough.

Our area has been pretty dry lately. We tract and visit less actives
all day since we don't really have any progressing investigators. Our
ward is actually super dead too. We have been trying to clean up the
ward list because there are people on there that have moved or go to a
different church. One day we went to this less actives house that was
on the most recent ward directory and her son told us she had died
over a year ago!!! And the ward still didn't know!! Its crazy.

Part of me thinks that maybe we aren't finding anyone because the ward
cant even look after the people it has right now. So Elder McDonald
and I have been working hard to help them out. You would be surprised
how many people we talk to that have joined a different church. It
always amazes me how you can be baptized and feel the spirit but still
fall away. Then again, people go through tough times so I try not to
judge them too soon.

Elder McDonald and I got lost trying to find this house and somehow
ended up at the James River, so I'll include some pictures, its huge.

I hope everyone is doing well!! Make sure you watch out for clowns!!

P.s. I had grits for the first time, and hopefully the last. They are way weird

Pictures
1. Your classic Virginia home
2. When the Missionary Squad rolls up for District Meeting
3. When the Missionary Squad rolls up for District Meeting
4. A panoramic of the James River
5. Me and Elder McDonald at the James
6. The new ad campaign for Nordstrom








Monday, October 3, 2016

Killer Clowns?

Okay first off, are there really people dressed up as clowns running
around?? Apparently it's all over the country, we even have some here
in Chester.

Conference was awesome!!! I don't know what it is but General
Conference on your mission is awesome!! One of my favorite things was
what Uchdorf said "we walk a path lined with diamonds but we often
mistake them for ordinary pebbles" I don't know if that was his exact
wording but I thought it was really powerful. I think a lot of times
in life we take for granted the simple and easy things. I've noticed
that especially on my mission.

I also loved how the whole theme of conference was on repentance and
prayer. Juan A. Uceda who gave the talk about sincere prayer also came
and talked to us in the MTC! I loved his talk because I remember
seeing Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. I think we all, especially
myself, get in a pattern where we open our prayers with the same
couple of things we are thankful for. For me I realized that the first
thing I always say is "I'm thankful for this day" when in reality I'm
not even sure why I am, I'm just saying it. So I've been trying real
hard to make sure I take my time with my prayers and really mean what
I say. It takes a little longer to say my prayers now but trust me
I've seen a HUGE difference.

This week it rained a ton, which made tracting pretty fun. You would
think it would make people want to let you inside so you can get out
of the rain but it actually makes people not want to let you in
because you're soaked and they don't want you getting water all over
their house. Most of our investigators have fallen through or lost
interest, even the really solid ones, which is pretty hard. Especially
when the other missionaries in our district are having a ton of
success. One day when I was feeling down I realized that it doesn't
matter if you can see the success, God puts us in the areas we are
needed and we are blessing the lives of others wether we can see it or
not.

I loved the challenge in General Conference to try and read the Book
of Mormon as Joseph Smith, seeing for the first time. I think everyone
should try it. The Book of Mormon is full of amazing truths that we
often overlook because we take them for granted. However, if you read
with a purpose and actually try to learn, I know you can learn
something new each time you open the book!