Monday, August 25, 2008

Ohla Madrita!

The blog is really cool, it’s fun to read the comments. The mission is pretty good here. I’m definitely blessed. My comp and I were talking about Gregory (Bowden) last week and the differences in our mission’s. We both have our battles. Besides the Catholic Church, the Jehovah Witness’s are strong here. We have been working like crazy knocking a ton of doors looking for people to teach. When my comp and I knock doors we knock separated, he knocks one side of the street and I knock the other. This way we can work more effectively and contact more people. Anyways, I knocked the gate of this house and a lady comes out. I introduced myself very politely and said (translation) "My companion and I come here for two years to Mexico to help people and share a message that is really brief but very moving. One of our messages talks of God, Jesus Christ and respectively the family. We help people find more love, peace and direction in their lives and their family." After I invited her to listen, she went NUTS!! She started telling me that the only thing we do is annoy people and how DARE I tell her that she needs more direction in her life, she already has direction. She told me I know nothing about direction. I shook her hand and told her thanks for her time. My companion and I were laughing for a good 15 minutes because of her facial expression. Greg will learn ALOT in his mission. It feels pretty cool to know we are both going through this at the same time.

Well I gotta run, love ya!

Love, Elder Salazar

Yo padre, ¿que dice?(slang)

Things here have been good, its been pretty hot, yet it rains almost every night after about 12. There is a guy that lives here, I’m not even sure if he has a house, but he lives with about 9 or 10 dogs. He buys raw meat, cuts it and feeds it to them. It’s pretty funny when we pass by and he’s hanging out with all his dogs.
To answer your questions.

1. What do the people do for work in Irapuato?
1A. People here work a variety of jobs, but there is a General Motors plant here and alot of people have found a pretty good job with them but lately they have been laying people off, even our bishop got layed off. Other than that, there is a good amount of retail stores, alot of mechanical things cars, bicycle mechanics, waterpumps etc.

2. Do people rent or own their houses.

2A. I’m not too sure, the members we live behind own our condo and the one underneath, they are a little bit more wealthy than the average person here. Other than that I think most people rent their homes.

3. How's the food? Is it different than Los Compadres? (Benj's favorite mexican place at home)

3A. We eat a lot of soup! It’s been driving my comp and I nuts because the weather has been hot lately and they serve us even hotter soup. But sometimes we eat really good food like chorizo, bistec, carne asada, carnitas, the usual stuff we eat at Los Compadres or Los Sanchez, we eat tortillas with EVERYTHING. I still believe that Los Compadres is better than anything I have had here thus far.

4. Do they have fast food in Irapuato?

4A. Yes, but only in downtown. There is Dominos pizza, Burger king, McDonalds and another pizza placed called Lupillos which is really good. My zone has planned a trip to McDonalds the last day of this transfer =D.

5. Do the members feed you good?

5A. Yeah they feed us pretty good, but my comp and I don’t eat very much so they are always surprised when we never have more than seconds.

Well, I gotta run, thanks for the email! Love ya and miss ya!
- El Elder Salazar

P.S. I Enjoyed the pictures, especially Justin in the pic of the whole family.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ohla familia!
Things are going ok here, we have found a good amount of new people to teach and have even challenged a few to baptize. All have accepted. Today has been really cool. My comp and I went downtown, he bought some shoes and we just walked around a little bit and toured. It’s really beautiful even though today was rainy. It has been raining quite a bit here lately, but I like it because when we knock doors in the rain the people are a little more receptive to us, we just have to play the tired, wet and sad role! =D! Well I want to thank you for all the support and love, I look forward to Mondays! Enjoy the pics!Love elder Salazar!

Ohla Madre,
I received your letter! Dated July 3rd, I received it this past Monday (8/11) along with the wedding invitation from the Huffmire’s! It was really cool!! I scared everyone in my zone, when I opened David’s invitation I told everyone that his fiancée was my girlfriend! Everyone was quiet for a minute, but when I told them she really wasn’t they were all laughing. I would write more letters but really I have no way of sending them. There is a place downtown but we almost never go downtown so right now it’s basically impossible =(. I loved the quote you sent me by Neil A Maxwell, I translated it into Spanish and wrote it in my scriptures. Missing ya and love ya.
I’m working hard. Nos Vemos!

Hola padre,

Good hearing from ya. First off happy bday! It sounds like your bday went pretty well. The GPS sounds really cool; our gps here is a map. hahaha. Today was really cool, my companion and I went to downtown Irapuato, it’s actually called " El Centro ", it was really beautiful and really old.
Well I gotta run, but in answer to your questions.

1. Do people drive or walk to church?
2. Why don't you ride bikes in your mission?
3. What kind of family does Elder Velez come from?

1. The members here walk, ride bikes (sometimes 2 or 3 on 1 bicycle, it’s amazing), very few members have cars, and the rest take taxis.
2. We don’t ride bikes because about a year ago the president allowed the missionaries to ride bikes in our area because its huge, and the 1st day he allowed them to ride bikes one elder fell and broke his arm. Since then he hasn’t allowed it. I really, really want him to though, we walk ALOT.
3. Elder Velez comes from a really good family, he is number 6 I think of 8. I’m not sure how many bros and sis he has but all his older brothers have served missions in Mexico. He is from Southern Mexico, the state of Guerrero. His family owns a ranch near Mexico City. The Church owns a school and that is where he attended all of his schooling from the age 12 to 18, it’s really cool because he has a lot of friends among the other missionaries and members here that attended school with him.

Gotta run!

Love elder Salazar

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hola Padre y Madre,
Padrito, tu español esta bien, hay cosas que necessita trabajar pero sin embargo esta bien. Yo tengo que aprender muchas cosas, durante las dias aqui en mexico, cada dia hay palabras y personas que yo no entiendo. Translation ->("Father, your spanish is very good. There are things that I still need to work on but this is good nevertheless. I must learn many things, during the days here in Mexico. Every day there are words and people I do not understand. ") Hahaha, there's my spanish for ya. I really enjoyed both of your emails, I figured because I have 4 of your emails since last week (we must have barely missed each other) I would write one big one for the both of you. This past week, yeah we had the opportunity to baptize the family of 4 and another nice kid name jorge, he's 25 years old but a really good person.
As you may or may not know there is no temple in the state of Guanajuato, the closest temple is 2.5 hours away westward in the state of Guadalajara. Every other Saturday the stake here rents a Greyhound bus and all the members travel to the temple, they are really dedicated, its amazing. When I arrived here in Leon I was talking with the president and he told me he has 2 goals here. The 1st is to baptize 300 in one month (if we do this Elder Bednar promised to come to the Leon mission and speak to us) and the 2nd goal is to increase the number of members who pay an honest, consistent tithe so that they can have a temple here in this state. I told him that I would make his goals my goals and would do everything I could to see those two things happen. Last week I printed a couple photos of the Newport Temple and pasted them in my scriptures, seeing photos of all 3 of our temples really brings me closer to home.
Nathan wrote me an email a couple weeks ago and told me that Yosh was moving out, Yosh has been a friend of Nathan and Justin for almost 10 years, I think since Nathan was a sophomore. I think they will miss his presence. Imagine having a roommate that doesnt speak english, ahahah.
Congrats to Nathan for his job promotion, he lives in a land of opportunity. I have seen very few people with real success here, partly because its so hard to come by here. Well, things here have been OK. I am doing fine personally, but the work here is really tough, we started this transfer with 0 investigators so we spend our days knocking doors in the sun and contacting people in the street. It sounds crazy but we knock more or less 100 doors a day, and sometimes teach no more than 5 lessons a day. But on Friday we found 4 new investigators that are really solid, so we have some hope right now. I dont know if I have explained much about the city i'm in right now, Irapuato. But just to give you a quick description it's alot like east LA. Its very poor (which I knew and expected coming to Mexico). But as of lately I have realized somethings that make me unhappy with the people here (excluding the members). As missionaries of the restored Church of Jesus Christ we offer a message that truly improves the lives of every person we meet in every aspect, yet the people here just do not understand this. They only understand that their parents were catholic, also their grandparents, great grandparents etc., and that's why they are catholic and will not give us 5 minutes to share something with them. Also, here in Irapuato there are TONS of gangsters. The other day my comp and I saw 2 gangsters in the street with their pitbulls. Their pitbulls had chains around their necks and were dragging car tires, these cholos are training their dogs to fight. I have seen lots of things here... Its amazing the things going on here...
Well, to answer your questions dad...
1. We arent in the APT. that much... from 630am to 10am we get up, (I exercise, he sleeps), breakfast and study. And we come home at 9/930 to 1030 we plan for the next day and we sleep. But we talk alot in the street. We talk about everything, movies, family, investigators, things that are happening in the street. etc.
2. My spanish is pretty good, I feel pretty confident. When we knock a street my comp knocks on one side of the street and I knock on the other side, so I feel pretty good. Now and then when we are with members and they talk about things that aren't very common (cars, medical things, etc.) Its a little more difficult
3. P'day, we get up, study, go back to sleep a little bit (because we have nothing to do). We clean the apartment, wash clothes, write our families, and write letters to the president. At 5pm to 6pm we have a zone meeting with all the other missionaries in irapuato. After 6 we usually have an appointment with a member family, or investigators we are teaching, or have a family home evening with the members. It's a really relaxing day.
Well I gotta move on to the next email, thank you for writing me! It really picks me up during the week and gives me lots to think about when we are walking in the street (we walk ALOT). I hope you're enjoying the Olympics, my comp and I heard that there are about 600 american atheletes? Not positive...and we heard there are 86 Mexican atheletes. So I have been teasing him alot... =D.

Love ya!

Elder Salazar

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hola familia Y Amigos!

How's everything going?? I hope all had a really good fast sunday. This week went pretty well for us, our zone baptized and we baptized as well. I have to run because right now I am with my zone leader. I have included a photo of our baptisms and a wonderful dish called baptism by fire, it's bistec with lots of chile! gotta run!!

Hola Madre y Padre,

How is everything going? How was your fast sunday? Mine was pretty good, I went on splits with a member of our ward and it went pretty well, I felt pretty good because I was speaking spanish the whole time, I understood everything and I navigated our area perfectly as we sought out inactive members so I have been feeling pretty good. Our transfer ended yesterday and I will be here in Irapuato for another 6 weeks with Elder Velez, so not much has changed. We Baptized this weekend which was very nice. We baptized a family and a really nice kid named Jorge. It went pretty well. It felt really good walking home knowing that the fruits of all the work with these 5 people is showing. Not much happened this week, our zone is changing because of the transfers and one of our zone leaders is going to Leon because he is going home, so last night his companion (the other zone leader) stayed the night at our apartment. It was pretty fun. We live in a little triplex apartment kinda thing, my companion and I live above a member, and behind another member family. The member family is really, really nice, the past three weeks they have been buying us pizza and we all watch movies of the church in their condo. They really love us, they have two sons both about 12 years old and every Sunday they ask us what movie we are going to watch, it's pretty cool. Well everything is good right now, we recieved our 1000 pesos for the month and I bought tons of cereal, eggs, etc. =D. Well, I gotta run, thanks for all the love and support.


Elder Salazar!