Monday, March 2, 2009

Hey dad,

This week went well, very tranquil and relaxed. We were able to baptize two people this week. We baptized them in a river, it was awesome. I’m actually in downtown SLP right now, but I don’t have my camera cable with me. Next week I will definitely send pics. I will be receiving a new companion today, but I STILL don’t know who he is, or if he’s American or Mexican. He will be arriving in Leon today. Tomorrow he will go back with me to Cardenas. Elder Verdeja actually received a special assignment in Leon, he will now be a secretary to the president in the mission offices, he was very excited.

Things in Cardenas have been nice. Oddly enough, I seem to be meeting a lot of Americans here lately. Some are little kids visiting family here. I met one man Friday who was visiting a friend. The man I met Friday was from Lake Tahoe, California. He knew all about the church. He actually recited from memory the promise in Moroni 10 "And when you receive these things I would exhort you to ask God the eternal father in the name of Christ, if these things are true..." He wasn’t a member, but told me as a young kid he investigated the church, but never became a member. We had a very nice talk. I must say that speaking english has become EVEN harder for me. Sometimes, days go by before I realize I haven’t spoken a single word in english for several days.

You mentioned me having one year in the mission, I too cannot believe how fast time really flies. I have been reflecting a lot on my past experiences, areas and companions. I’ve come to a lot of conclusions and realized that there are a few things I need to better about myself. I am satisfied with my first year as a missionary, I think it has been successful.

As for my most treasured experiences, I have too many to write in one email, but there is a treasured feeling that with diligence every missionary comes to feel. I would say it’s the feeling of accomplishment. When I feel like I have worked hard and have accomplished much I don’t feel far from home, I feel closer. My favorite days are the days when even though we are tired, and hungry and have been walking ALL day, days when I know that I have tried or done my best, I feel like we have accomplished much, that’s when I rest well. Times of that feeling are my most treasured.

As for my least favorite time in the mission, there are only a few. But in general it’s when due to the free agency of others, people deny themselves of the blessings of the gospel. As missionaries, we come to know it as "rejection". It’s very frustrating, but its something we must deal with and learn from. But through all the rejection and hard times, I have never told myself that I would rather be anywhere else in the world but here in the mission, because I know that this is where I need to be right now.

Thanks for all the love and support, gotta run!

Love ya!

SHOUT OUT to the Cub Scouts. Thanks for the letters, I DID get them!!

1. Do you see Hondas, Yamahas, or Bultacos running around? -Clint
------ In Cardenas people have a lot of 4wheeler Hondas and Yamahas, they use them for daily transportation. As for Bultacos, I don’t think so. I have seen a ton of really old motorcycles here but I haven’t recognized any CZs or Bultacos

2. Do people like you missionaries?
------ Some do, some don’t. A lot of people judge us before knowing us, they think we come to criticize them, so some people don’t even give us 5 seconds to speak, its rough.

3. Are there any local customs that you've had to get used to?
------ A couple, suffice to say that the Bathroom situation here is different, its outdated. I have had to get used to that and also we only have water here certain times of the day, so we have to plan some things out.

4. Are the small town kids of Cardenas any different than the SLP or Irapuato kids?
------ Yes, In Cardenas the kids are a lot more respectful, in downtown SLP and Irapuato they like to say things to us and throw stuff at us.

5. You've had all Mexican companions, as an American, what effect have you had on them?
------ I have had 4 Mexican companions, and with all four I have always tried to be respectful and treat them as I would anyone else. I have never tried to act like I’m better just because I’m from the US, nor have I made negative comments about Mexico.


Anonymous said...

Hola benjamon,
Como esta usted? I guess I should start writing to you in spanish, since from ALL accounts you speak Spanish just as good as the locals. I am happy to hear of your lastest Success. I am constantly thinking of you and my admiration for the Works you are doing. I have been really getting into "my" studies of the Bible and have come to realize what devotion you have to be able to do what your doing. You have stepped up to the plate and are accomplesing what God wants us to do. You are a Hero in my eyes and I am a better person for having the pleasure to getting to know you. The work you all do is fantastic. Keep it up and Take Care. Until next time, love You! Tony C.

Anonymous said...

Hey Benj,

I love to hear how you are doing and also read the comments...Tony Crespo YOU ROCK! Its great to know there is a lot of love and support that goes out to you.

You are in our prayers and I am so happy that you are on your mission, you are blessing your family and a great example to the other YM in the Ward.

Con Mucho Carino, cuidate y trabajar fuerte.


Robinsons said...

Hi Elder,

I am dying for a good mexican dinner, so I'll tell you what! How about a trade of some White Bavarian sausage for a few good tacos????
Elder and Sister Robinson
Germany Munich/Austria Mission

Robinsons said...

Hi Elder,

I am dying for a good mexican dinner, so I'll tell you what! How about a trade of some White Bavarian sausage for a few good tacos????
Elder and Sister Robinson
Germany Munich/Austria Mission

Dan Banagas said...

Hola Elder Salazar,

I!! It seems like just a few weeks ago that you and I had lunch with Bishop Trader asking you about your missions plans. Remember that? And here you are, an awesome missionary. An awesome worker for the Lord. An an awesome example for our young men (and women). You rock dude ( I'm sorry, that should have been Elder Dude).
Hey take care. I love your comment that said even when your tired and beat up, you still put the time in. The Lord has a perfect memory Ben. He will remember you and the amazing work you are doing in the mission field.
Siempre tu amigo...Brother Banagas

Anonymous said...

Elder Salazar.

Tony you really are the best, thanks for everything you do for me!! Bro. Robinson, I miss you, a que tenga mucho exito ahi in austria! Well share some tacos later. Sue clark, thanks as always!
And bro.b thanks dude for everything!
- Love elder Salazar