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.


Kristin said...

The people of Cardenas will never forget you as you valiantly serve to teach them the "simple" principles of the Gospel. You are helping prepare the foundation for their roots.

We are so proud of you!

Much Love,
Kristin, Clint, Ryder & Reese

dbanagas said...

Hey Elder Salazar,

I was reading an older blog and put my comments there. What a dummy. So I cut and pasted and now I have it in the right place.

Glad to hear good things are going on with your missionary efforts. Sorry about your foot and leg pains. Glad to see it's getting better.
Hey, did you hear the Bryce Shearer is going on a mission? He just received his call a couple of weeks ago. He is going to somewhere in Colorada...I think. Kinda cool huh?
All the cool guys are at Leo Carrillo surfing this week. You know...the Hickens, The Johnsons, The Lee's, The Brodowski's. I usually go but couldn't make it this week. What a bummer. It's so much fun.
Well, I know you're busy. Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you. I am very proud of you. You are such an awesome example to the young men...and women.
Take care and keep working hard for the Lord. Mucho blessing in store for you amigo.
Siempre tu amigo,

Brother Banagas

Anonymous said...

Elder Salazar:

I, too, was sorry to learn about your foot trouble. I'm surprised the pharmacist was more help than the doctor. No fun when your sole means of transportation are your shanks ponies (feet, for you young men).
With, I assume, most of the townspeople in Cardenas of the Catholic faith, there will likely be some peagentry for the days leading up to and including Easter. I hope you and your companion and others in the mission get well fed on that day.
Of course, it isn't about the food, it's you teaching the members and investigators the true meaning of Easter and what the Lord did for all of us.
God bless you in your efforts to bring to the people of Cardenas the true gospel

Bishop Bowring

Anonymous said...

Hola Benjamon,
Sorry to hear about your foot. You are lucky your not a horse, cause then we would have to put you down.(HA HA) Wel I am glad that it is feeling better. Just think Ben, not only are you gaining all these expierences and adventures, but you are making the world a better place to live in for some of the people in Mexico. How COOL is that!! Your the man, and God is speaking thru you. I truely truely feel God has blessed us with your presense. Don't know if I spelled that right, but you get what I mean. Love and Miss you. Take Care-- Tony C.

Nathan said...

Benjamin aim for the stars because if you fall you will land on the moon. 223 baptisms is unacceptable next month i expect you to reach 300! Just kidding WOW 223 is amazing keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Hola Benj,

300 baptisms - get on with it coz I want to hear all about Bro Bednar :)

I hope you feel better soon with your foot, what a pain! Sounds like you have a great rapport with the people in Cardenas.

I have never forgotten the missionaries that taught me the gospel, I was baptized 30 years ago on April 6th (great day eh!) and think of my missionaries when that day comes around.

We went camping to Leo Carillo also and got rained on and flooded out in our tent it was quite the adventure, but we all had a blast. Adam did not want to come home so he is still up there with Kyle and Laura having fun.

Cuidate, con carino

tu amiga mejor (not mayor) lol

Sue C

jeff trader said...

Elder Salazar,

We have been vacationing in Leo Carillo - lots of fun and good times. Many of the ym came up and your uncle scott was good to take them out surfing. For a beginner, Jacob Olson was really tearing up the water; he's a natural.

I was struck by Elder Bednar's offer to spend some time with you all if you make a goal of 300. Wouldn't that be a treat! We had a great time at Priesthood session of conference. Afterwards we all went to In - N - Out. The boys favorite address was President U's about the L-1011 that crashed because of a burned out light bulb and a crew that did not pay attention to the important things. Likewise, in our lives we must not lose track of the important things and I am glad you have chosen to serve.

Jeff Trader

Anonymous said...

hi ben jammin'! That picture you posted of the baptism was so powerful I instantly felt the spirit and it also made me super proud to be able to call you my cousin. I'm sure the families of mexico absolutley love you! I hope you had an enjoyable Easter though. Much love and many prayers. Love always, Leah Hicken