Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Epidemic

Hey ma, Hey dad,

Thanks for the Email. first off, I loved the pics of the desert trip. Especially the one of Uncle Mike and Justin…. classic. I was amazed at how much food you guys cooked, that’s awesome. Every time I have been to Hodge we have only made foil dinners and cooked hot dogs. Sometimes we have had peach cobbler. Sorry about your table, lol. Sounds like the wedding shower went really well too. Erica told me she washed a ton of dishes, hahaha.

Anyways, things are ok here. People are really worried about this Swine flu epidemic. The Area 70s will be making a decision soon about what to do. But church has been cancelled for two weeks, and I imagine they will do something with us missionaries, but we will find out.

From what I have heard, they have cancelled all buses from Cardenas and Rio Verde to San Luis Potosi, so basically we are isolated here in Cardenas. People here are walking around with doctor’s masks on and even we have masks. I personally have been feeling fine and there have been zero cases of the flu here in Cardenas but we are definitely taking all measures of safety here. I am trying to wash my hands and we actually don’t shake hands with anyone because everyone is afraid of this disease. I feel fine and my foot is finally getting better.

Please give Uncle Eddie my support even from here in Mexico. This heart attack comes just as much a surprise to me as to him I believe, I hope all is well.

As for this week, things have been going ok. We had zone conference this week and it went well as usual. This month of May we are going to try to get 300 again, but with these 2 cancelled Sundays in SLP we are already getting off on the wrong foot. Elder Krebs and I have been ok, right now we are really struggling to find people to teach that are sincere. We teach from 5-9 lessons a day but some times find only 0,1,2,3 new people to keep teaching because most people let us in but don’t want us to come back. So we have been a little down about that, we have basically knocked ALL of Cardenas. But my foot is finally getting better and every day I am excited to leave the house to start working, so basically I can’t really complain about anything, I am trying to do my best and be 100% diligent and letting the lord do the rest. Anyways, I gotta run. I am going to try to upload some pics but this computer seems to not be working right.

Love and miss you! Con amor,

Tu hijo,

Elder Salazar

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hey ma! Hey pops,

I am glad you liked that picture of Tomas and I. I too really enjoyed that baptism, it was pretty special for me.

I am glad you had a good time in Utah, here in Mexico they say that Utah is the Mormon factory. Also there is a state here in Mexico called "Yucatan" and all the elders who are from Mexico we say they are from "U-ta-tan." Lol. Anyways things here are well,

How are things? Things here are well, my foot still hurts!! Its really starting to annoy me, I think today I will go back to the member at the pharmacy. She had given me some inflammation pills but only 4 and she said if you like these you can come back and I will sell you the bottle. So I think today I will head back, also the other thing is that she is telling me I have to take an entire day off of work but that’s not so easy to do here. As for stamps, don’t worry about sending any. I just go to the post office here and they send my letters for about 10 pesos so it’s not too expensive. Last night I wrote you and mom, Erica and her fam and grandma and grandpa letters. Although there is a little something I would like, and if you can’t or don’t want to buy it don’t worry about it. But I would really like to have the "Called to Serve" CD by the tabernacle choir. It came out when I was in the MTC and I really liked it, I just never bought it.

Anyways, nothing too new happened this week. Yesterday in sacrament meeting I was asked to give a talk on "How to obtain, grow and strengthen a testimony." Everyone told me they really liked it so I think it went well. Also we had the Director of Seminary and Institute come and visit us in the branch, and while I was teaching my Gospel Principles class he pulled me out and asked if I could teach seminary one day a week in the afternoons. So now I am not only a full time missionary but I also teach seminary! It should be fun, we will be studying the New Testament. Anyways, not much other than that. I will keep this short because the computer is really running slow. I love and miss you all.

Thanks for everything!

Love ya! Adios!

Love Elder Salazar

1. Are there other religions proselyting in Cardenas?
------There are lots of religions here, but the only one that proselytes are The Jehovah Witness. They usually proselyte on Fridays because on Saturdays is when they have their meetings.

2. How's Elder Krebs doing being away from home, and do you have much in common?
------He’s doing well actually. We have a few things in common, he wants to be a pilot after college so we like to talk about planes and a few other things.

3. Have you met any Americans lately?
------Actually we met a Mexican/American. His mother is Mexican and is from Cardenas, but his dad is American and is from New Jersey. He was born and raised in the US for half his life and the other half he has lived in Cardenas. He speaks English and Spanish but just has a bad Spanish accent when he speaks. But it’s funny because he’s a big tall white guy that looks totally American, but he speaks with a Spanish accent. He’s a nice guy, he’s pretty religious also, but belongs to the Pentecostal church.

4. Do you speak much English with Krebs or anybody else?
------With Elder Krebs I have prohibited English. But the members like to have us teach them English, so sometimes we speak English to them.

5. Are there enough kids to have a YM/YW program? How many youth members are there?
------Youth we actually have quite a few. We have about 10-12, but it’s just hard to get them active and participating. What we need is more activities so they are actually interested in learning and participating.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hey pops,

Good to hear from ya... That’s cool to hear that mom decided to take a mini vacation. Our week went ok here, we weren’t able to baptize that kid but its ok he will be baptized soon, I just don’t know when.

My foot today is actually really good, this last week was really hard, my foot got worse and I was starting to have pains in my right knee because I walk awkwardly due to the pain in my foot. The doctor here in our branch didn’t help me at all. He told me I just needed to exercise my foot by running or playing soccer. So I decided to go see another member who runs a pharmacy. She said that I probably hurt my foot or touched a nerve and that it was sore/swollen and because we are always walking and never rest it hasn’t been able to heal, so she gave me some medication to speed up the healing and told me that I needed to rest my foot. Today my foot doesn’t have any pain so I am really happy.

As for my journal, honestly I do not write in it. I do write who my converts are, and all of my companion’s addresses, and significant things that happen to me here in the mission. But I don’t write a daily account of the things we do here.

We were able to watch a little bit of general conference here in Cardenas, we all met in a lawyers office and watched it on a computer, it went well, only the computer kept stalling every now and then to buffer and after a while it got annoying.

Things are well here in Cardenas, the weather has been weird. It has been really, really hot, then really windy, now it’s raining and cold. Either way I really, really love Cardenas, so far in my mission it has been my favorite area. I think it’s because it’s beautiful here, the people are nice and the members are all really humble. It’s really funny because the town is so small that people know us by name, they watch us and sometimes the members tell us that friends and co-workers make positive comments about us. I also love Cardenas because I feel like we are really building the church here. The church is so small, and almost all of the active members are so new that when we teach them something it’s a brand new principle to them. We teach them to bless and pass the sacrament, we teach them about temples, we teach them about the organization of the church and lots of other things and we see how their testimony grows. James E. Talmage in his book Jesus the Christ (pub. 1915) made the comment that The gospel of Jesus Christ wont change the world by revolutionary overthrows of already existing governments or through anarchy, but by teaching all people their individual duty and how to fulfill that duty, also by spreading the love of god among the world. When people honestly learn to love their neighbor as they love themselves, hatred, racism, intolerance and all other injustices will cease and governments will conform, making this world a better place. I think what Elder Talmage says is true.

Love you and miss you,

Elder Salazar

PS. I sent out two letters two weeks ago, 1 to Gramma and Grandpa Salazar and the other to Grammy and Grandpa Hicken.

1. Was Pres. Cox able to baptize the young man in Cardenas?
------No, we originally had planned for the young man and his dad to travel from Cardenas to San Luis Potosi (3 hours) to meet Pres. Cox but the kids dads car broke down and they didn’t make it.

2. What has been your most embarrassing moment?
------One I can think of off the top of my head was when I accidentally made fun of our ward mission leader because his girlfriend cheated on him. We were in a meeting with our ward mission leader (a young kid about 18 years old). I asked him how his girlfriend and her mom were doing because her mom is a convert and I hadn’t seen them in a while. When he said bad, they had broken up because of her cheating on him. I started laughing. I had misunderstood and thought that he said HE had cheated on her, when he really said SHE cheated on him. He just looked at me, and I looked up, and all the other missionaries were just looking at me. I felt bad and apologized because I had misunderstood. But boy did I feel crappy, lol.

3. What did you do to celebrate your one year in the mission field?
------Actually nothing really, that night at about 7:30 we went to our meeting house where the Relief Society was having a get together and watching "The Testaments" church movie. We just kinda took it easy, ate and watched the movie. That was my own personal treat.

4. How is the missions goal of 300 baptism's in a month, to get a Temple, going?
------We actually broke a mission record in the month of March and baptized 223 people. Something that has never, ever been achieved in the history of the mission. Elder Bednar promised President Cox that if we baptize 300, he will come to the mission and speak and interview all the missionaries personally.

5. How do they celebrate Easter in Cardenas?
------So far we haven’t seen much, a few parades here and there where the people walk around holding the virgin. This Friday is the live crucifixion of Christ. I will take some pics.