Monday, January 30, 2017

Moving and Mansions

Well I think the most memorable until that happened this week was
helping a member move out of her apartment into another apartment in
the same complex on the third floor. We had to carry up a ton of
stuff. Including 2 huge boxes that had sectionals in them, that was
fun haha. We also had interviews with President Smith this week, and
that's always awesome.

A couple of days ago Elder Griffin and I were reading in Acts 12 about
Paul and his missionary work, it was cool to see how much it relates
to us today. Paul and Saul go talk to this random lady by the river
and while they are someone else overhears them. That person ends up
being baptized along with their whole household!!! So you never know
how your efforts effect people!! Then they end up getting put in jail
but they convert their jailer and are set free. So Elder Griffin and I
are going to try to get arrested so we can convert the Sheriff, we're
pretty desperate.

The houses here are huge, whenever we are tracting and no one answers
I'll joke with Elder Griffin and say "they probably can't hear us from
the bowling alley downstairs, try the doorbell".

We are going to sit down with the Relief Society President tomorrow
and talk about some part member families and how we can work with
them, so Elder Griffin and I are really excited, something good should
come out of that.

We have also been working with this lady named Ellie from Albania
recently and things have been going super well!! We have a family and
the dad is from Albania and Ellie is his mom who is just visiting for
a couple months. She joined when he did in California but once she
went back to Albania she went inactive, so we are helping her regain
her testimony. They don't have a Patriarch in Albania so last week we
invited her to meet with the bishop and get her recommend for her
Patriarchal Blessing and she said she will!! It was awesome. Ellie's
daughter in law speaks Albanian as well so she translates if Ellie
doesn't understand, most of the time she gets it though, she speaks
pretty good English.

I know this gospel is true, and when people do accept it, I've seen
first hand the amazing difference it has in people's lives. We had an
investigator in my last area who shared an experience with us that
truly showed me how the gospel changes people, even in little ways.
This is what she said: "Yesterday I was going to go steal some food
from the gas station, and usually I don't care, I mean my kids are
starving so who cares. But yesterday I just felt really bad about it
so I decided not to. Then I woke up this morning and there were a ton
of grocery bags filled with food at my front door!!" I know from this
and other experiences that Heavenly Father knows and takes care of
each and every one of us!!

1. Your average Midlothian house
2. A destroyed BMW we saw

Monday, January 23, 2017

Doors Knocked: 347

Hey y'all, things in Virginia are going pretty slow haha. I haven't been counting but I would say we've knocked a couple hundred doors this week. It's all good though, we are staying positive and literally doing EVERYTHING we can to find people. We walked into a funeral home to try and put our names on the list of clergy who will talk to people, you should have seen the look on the receptionists face, she was super confused haha.

So we had a funny experience and the best way for me to describe is just to walk you through one step at a time. Okay so we are tracting in this super rich neighborhood, really nice houses, and lots of old people. We go and knock on this door an old dude answers and says "hey there boys!! How's it going, come on inside its cold". So at this point we are super excited, I mean when someone invites you inside it's almost always a good sign. Notice I said almost haha. So this guy invites us in and asks us who we are, we introduce ourselves as missionaries, and then he says "Well boys, you've found probably the only person who's not Christian, I'm a Jew". Now I don't know why people out here always think that we don't want to talk to them because their not Christian. Anyways, after he said that he dove right into his life story. He talked about how he was a golf caddy when he was younger and how it built character or some bogus thing like that. We made a joke and said "there were no golf carts back then?", and he got all upset and said "golf carts are for *not nice word*" it was hilarious. He then proceeded to give us a 45 minute history lesson (we timed it) on his Jewish ancestors who survived the holocaust, escaped to Russia, and then fought in WW2 with Patton??? I don't know he was really confusing, I probably would have failed if there was a test at the end. After that he talked about the election and here are his exact words "Now Trump, thats a smart man right there, he might be a little rude but who are else are you gonna vote for? Certainly not Hillary, she's a loser. I know these people, I'm a chemist, they're not going to brainwash me". You also have to read all of what he says with your best Jewish accent for the full effect.

Other than the crazy Jewish dude this week was pretty uneventful, but I'm sure we will start to find some solid people. When we do I'll be sure to tell y'all all about them!! I've decided that the trick to a mission, life, and pretty much everything is positivity. And theres a quote from President Hinkley that I absolutely love, it's probably one of my favorites. I'll include it in the bottom. Anyway, I love you all, I love Virginia, I love my savior, and I love my mission. Talk to y'all next week!

“When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: ‘Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.’" -Gordon B. Hinckley

1. Savage investigator named Harold
2. The new album cover for "Griffin & Critchfield: Legacy"
3. The District
4. When you just can't decide what material to use (totally knocked it)
5. Scripture humor with the Zone Leaders ( you have to read the scriptures)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Experience > Opinion

Hey y'all, this week has been pretty sweet and a lot of stuff happened so I'll just jump right in.

So we went and visited these members who are apparently in-active and against the church and it was a crazy experience. So we knock on the door and the dad answers, his name is Thomas, and invites us in. As soon as we stepped inside both Elder Griffin and I got a weird feeling, that Elder Griffin named "Nega' Spirit" because it was pretty much the exact opposite of the feelings the spirit gives. He had us come sit down and we got to know him. Elder Griffin had to go use the bathroom soon after we started talking so it was just me and the Thomas. He told me how they had stopped going to church about 3 years ago because he felt the church leaders weren't being honest. Elder Griffin came back and he told both of us how he and his wife had read the Gospel Topic Essays the church put out, which address a lot of church history stuff like polygamy, race and the priesthood, and the papyrus Joseph Smith translated. So pretty much all the anti-mormon topics, and after reading those and other material they didn't believe the church was true anymore. Here was a man who had served as Young Men's President for 5 years, and now his entire family believes that Joseph Smith made up the Book of Mormon and that the church is corrupt.
   The thing that stuck out to me the most about this whole experience is the fact that he kept saying they had read "other material" as well, which pretty much means anti. Thomas was really nice to us but it was heartbreaking to see how a once strong member allowed his testimony to be poisoned by reading stuff like that. It doesn't matter who you are, just how reading scriptures can bring you the spirit, there is definitely literature out there that will bring in "Nega' Spirit" and destroy your testimony. As Elder Griffin and I left we both felt terrible. We said a prayer when we got back to the car and we felt a little better. Elder Griffin told me once we had left that he had knelt down in the bathroom and prayed. I really can't explain the feeling that we got in the house but it was something I've never felt before and I hope I never have to feel it again.
So the moral of this story is a quote I heard once, "A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an opinion". People with real spiritual experiences, like Joseph Smith, will always have the upper hand when people with opinions, like those who told Joseph he didn't see God and Jesus Christ, try to tear down their faith. So when people with "opinions" try to tell us we are wrong, I hope we can all remember the "experiences" we've had with the Book of Mormon.

I love all of you and hope you have an awesome week!!

1. The Midlothian Zone
2. Me, Elder Payne, and the Walmers
3. I tried sliding down the ice and it didn't quite work out haha

Monday, January 9, 2017

§ (Email formerly known as weekly)

Well, I got transferred the the Midlothian area, and it is definitely a lot different than Belmont. My new companion is Elder Griffin, he's from Blackfoot, Idaho and is really good at writing poems. He also crashed on a bike a couple of weeks ago and nearly died so thats cool.

This week we had an Elder staying with us who was going home early so we didn't get a lot done because we had to be at the mission office a lot. Hopefully this week will be better haha. The Midlothian area is notorious for being a pretty dead area, we have 0 solid investigators and the ward hasn't had a baptism in over a year, so theres a ton of work to be done.

It snowed this weekend (finally) and the entire city shut down. It made it pretty nice because everyone was home but our car couldn't make it so we had to walk everywhere, it was freezing. Anyway, this will be a super short email because literally nothing happened this week, but I'll be sure to create some cool stories for next week!

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why it is called the present" - Master Ooguay

(We tracted into this old Asian dude who looked exactly like Master Ooguay)

Elder Critchfield 🙏🏻
13310 Enclave Creek Ln.
Apt 305
Midlothian, VA 23114

1. Pro Ice Skating
2. Random road
3. Cliche railroad picture


Monday, January 2, 2017

Voted off the Island 🌴

 Well, transfer calls came in and I'm leaving Belmont this Tuesday. At first I was pretty bummed but I know that it's time to move on because the Lord has bigger and better things for me! This past transfer with Elder Payne has been amazing!! He is honestly the coolest guy and we had a ton of fun. 

       I don't know where I'm headed off to but President Smith told me it will be very very different.....which probably means I'm going on bike 🚴. That will be interesting haha, I'll be sad to say goodbye to the good old Chevy Cruze. 

       New Years Eve Elder Payne and I mad a lot of goals for 2017. I'd challenge all of you to try and have some Christ-centered goals for this year, maybe finish the whole Book of a Mormon or read Jesus the Christ (it's super good). I know that if we ask for Heavenly Fathers help in achieving our goals then by the time we get to 2018 we will be able to look back and see all the progress we made!!!

        "Only through the Holy Ghost can we see people and events as God sees them" -Henry B. Eyring

         I love this quote and I try to apply it every day, as we strive to see things as God does we begin to see how much he really does care about each and every one of us, it's amazing! I try to imagine every investigator in baptismal clothes and as I do the Holy Ghost helps me see what they could become and what I can do to help them get there as a missionary. 

         I'll find out where I go on Tuesday so I'll let you all know where I'm at next week!!

P.S I'm including a video or two documenting the most uneventful New Years Eve you'll ever see, enjoy!

1. Christmas Eve
2. Hey, it's the missionaries
3. Bringing the house down with the Gospel
4. New Years Eve Timelapse
5. The Celebration