Monday, May 25, 2009

304 Baptism's - goal achieved, Foot x-rays, transfer, district leader. 3760

Hey mom and dad,

I loved the wedding pics. Everything looks like it went really well. That’s funny you took my graduation pictures =D. I am excited for Nathan and Jen; I know they will be great together.
Here’s the big news:
We reached our Mission goal of 300 baptisms yesterday. We have 304 right now, with one week left! WE DID IT!!!! Things are well here. Elder Krebs and I didn’t reach our personal goal of 4 baptisms yet, we only have 3. BUT we still have 2 scheduled baptisms for next week, so in the area of Cardenas we may be able to fulfill our goal still, even though we already have 300 in the mission.

I am being changed from Cardenas to.....Irapuato Guanajuato! AGAIN!!!! But to another area there called Salamanca. My companion will be an American named Elder Whittle with about 6-7 months in the mission. I will now be a District Leader! =D!

Cardenas threw me a huge going away sacrament meeting, people gave me gifts, made me a cake, sang to me and a lot of people were crying.

I had to go take x-rays of my foot. Luckily nothing is broken. But I did get a call from the mission doctor; he says I have a Cyst in my foot and that I opened it/caved it in. He wants more x-rays of my foot, and then he will decide what to do. My foot continues hurting.

Sorry this email is short.

Love you all!

1. About how much money do you need per month to provide for food etc? (Questions 1-3 submitted by the Trader family)
------If we don’t spend like crazies, about 600 pesos ($60) lasts us a whole month (Strictly food though).
2. What would you say to someone who might be serving a mission one year from now - what should they do to prepare?
---Learn from three gardens.
1) The Garden of Eden.
2) The Garden of Gethsemane.
3) The Sacred Grove.
You will gain an understanding of the gospel, and a strong testimony, and with that testimony comes a strong desire to share it with others. Even if your're not a great speaker or don’t know the language well, people will be able to feel the spirit of your testimony and message.
3. Do people there listen to pop music or Mexican/Mariachi?
------People here listen to all kinds, but mostly: Reggaeton and ranchera (Mexican country music).
4. I have a question for Ben please. He talks about the goal to baptize 300 people, what time frame does that entail? Is this by region, does he have a personal goal for his 2 year period of missionary work? I can see in the pictures he sends that he is losing his little boy look. (Question submitted by Maggie)
------Good question. Our goals in the mission are usually entailed in a one month period. Our goal of 300 baptisms was limited to the month of May. We also usually break our goals down into weeks, days, even hourly so that we are able to achieve. I have my own personal goals of people I want to help baptize also, when I achieve it, you will all know =).

Monday, May 18, 2009

241 Baptism's, water pipe repaired. 3685

Hey mom, Hey pops,

good to hear from ya. Things are shakin’ back home?? I bet Sasha was freaked!! That’s really sad to hear about Sis. Byers. What a tragedy and terrible thing to happen to her. This last week we were visiting a recent convert here in Cardenas who happens to be epileptic. We were talking when all of a sudden he started having one of his attacks, and he began vomiting and shouting. It was very sad also. I guess we can all just trust in the lord and his resurrection, that one day these types of tragedies won’t exist.
First off I still haven’t gotten the medication, but I will today!! Right after we go eat... The reason I haven’t gotten it is because we have soo much to do, we are 100% work here, there is 0 time to relax or take it easy. Even this month we haven’t had p-days, that’s why I have to write so early, because we only have till 11am as our p-day. Things are basically back to normal here in Cardenas , the water situation is over and today the kids are going back to school. Although, all kids must wear doctor masks, and must bring their own hand sanitizer. Also, all teachers have to wear doctor masks.

Things here are well in the mission. If I heard right, we baptized 91 people this weekend so that brings us up to around 240 in the month of may, leaving us with 2 weeks to baptize 60 people. President told us that if we baptized 90 people last weekend he was already going to call Elder Bednar! This week Elder Krebs and I baptized 3 people, the baptisms went well. We need just 1 more to baptize our goal of 4! But we had kind of a hard week. We had over 15 people who were going to get baptized, all but 3 backed out at the last minute. It’s hard going from 18 scheduled baptisms to 3, but that’s how the lord works sometimes.

Sorry to hear about your truck, at least now you have a good reason to buy a new one! There is a Ford F150 in the exact same style as yours here in Cardenas , same color and everything. Sometimes I think it’s you coming to give us a ride somewhere.

Anyways, things here are well in Cardenas . This is our last week of the change. So by the next time I write you I could be heading off to a new area, today I fulfill 4 months here in Cardenas so I wouldn’t be surprised if president changes me. As for the packages, I haven’t seen President Cox in over a month but last night I was talking to Elder Verdeja who works in the offices and he told me that I have quite a few packages, he asked me if he could open them to make sure if all the candy was ok and wasn’t damaged, I told him NO! Other than that, I am excited for Nathans wedding. I hope all goes well. Erica will be there for me in my place, I will be there in spirit. I will answer your questions.

Love ya mom, all is well here in Cardenas !

Elder Salazar

1. I know you are there on Mission , but do you get time to do your own thing, such as go sight seeing or anything like that? Question submitted by Tony Crespo.
------Yes, at times. Usually when we are not in a sacrifice month, our p-days start Monday morning till 5 in the afternoon, and during that time is when we head downtown to check things out. But here in Cardenas there isn’t much to see, a dog, a few cows, things like that.

2. How's Elder Krebs Spanish coming along, and do you speak English to him?
------He is still struggling but is making progress. I do speak English to him sometimes but the majority of the time I speak Spanish to him.

3. Do any of the people that live in Cardenas speak English?
------Actually there are a lot of people who speak English. Cardenas happens to be one of the major stops people make before trying their luck at crossing the border. Also when people get deported from the US a lot of them come here. So there happens to be quite a few people who speak English. It's the weirdest thing, basically 90% of the people here who have family and/or go to the US on a regular basis always go to Oklahoma .

4. What kind of food do you get at your "own little Fantastic Burger" there in Cardenas ?
------I usually get 1 of two things. First, these type of tacos called "Gringas". They are flower tortillas with carne asada, cheese, lettuce, tomato,avocado and sour cream. They are delicious. Or I get what’s called a "Torta de lomo". It’s basically a sandwich, that comes with a shredded beef, lettuce, sour cream, and avocado. They both cost 15 pesos, or about $1.50. But they are really good

Monday, May 11, 2009

Swine Flu, Mothers Day 3599

Hey Dad,

It was really nice hearing from you guys yesterday. I know you guys had a little bit of trouble getting through. But I know you always pull through and are able to make it happen. Your voices never change but everyone keeps telling me that my voice has changed. Lol, that’s pretty funny.

Things here in Cardenas are ok. There have been 3 cases of the swine flu here, so we are all being careful, but slowly things are going back to normal. The water is slowly being restored, and we are allowed to wear ties again, but they have cancelled school here in Cardenas for another week.

I took pictures of our house, and kitchen, and the hardware store we live above, like you asked. As for the package, I can’t really think of anything else I need. Whatever you guys feel like sending, just send it. I use everything.

My foot still hurts, but I plan on going back to the pharmacy and buying the medication she offered me. I think that Mexico is pretty good with medication, they sell a lot of medication for really cheap.

Anyways, I am out of time and this computer is really slow. Right now Elder Krebs and I are going to go to our usual Monday brunch. We have our own little "Fantastic Burger", it’s awesome. Afterwards we have a service project at a members house. We are going to clean up his back yard in preparation for the baptisms next Sunday. I will take some pics. Thanks for everything!

Love Elder Salazar

1. How do people celebrate Mothers day in Mexico. A man was telling me, it's celebrated on a different day than in the US.
------No, they celebrate it here on the 10th of May too. Not too much different from the US. Although I was asking a lot of female members here what their children were going to give them for mothers day and everyone looked at me weird. Apparently it’s not too common to give gifts to your mom on mothers day. Although we did see a lot of mariachis playing and some people were bbq'ing.

2. Were there big Cinco De Mayo parties, or celebrations this past week?
------Not really, just mothers day, but nothing too crazy. Although, on July 6th Cardenas will be having its town elections. And right now all the candidates are driving around blasting their announcements, and giving out bags, stickers, etc.

3. This past weekend the mission baptized another 78. So right now we are at 156 with 3 weekends left to baptize! If we keep baptizing 78 till the end of the month we will have 300 and Elder Bednar will come visit and interview us.
The mission is asking that all companionships baptize 4, Elder Krebs and I should have our 4 this weekend, pray for us!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Flu epidemic, and no water

Hey ma, hey pops,

Elder Krebs and I are doing well. Cardenas is in quite the crisis right now. Many city services are closed due to the flu, and everyone is scared to leave their homes due to the flu. Secondly a pipe broke around here somewhere and the whole town is without water, and they still haven’t fixed it. Water sometimes arrives to the houses at about 630am to 700am, but it's not enough. A lot of people are suffering. There is very, very little water. Many people have to go to the local pozos(wells?) and water springs around here and are carrying water back to their houses, its pretty sad. It definitely has been a wake up call to me, to heed the counsel of the church and have at least a 2 week supply of food and water. I have seen first hand how a town reacts when they don’t have water. We are doing ok, because we use very little water. Because we are never home, our tanks fills up when we are away.

Other than that the work is going forth. Elder Krebs and I found almost 20 new people to teach this week and we taught over 40 lessons and we put over 10 baptism dates for the 16th of May. We also found 2 families this week, so we are very excited. Pray for us that these families and people keep progressing towards their baptism.

Good to hear that Colin and Bryce are doing well. I am excited Bryce is making it to a mission. I think him going on a mission is by far one of the most critical decisions he could make in his life, now he can depend on the lord to make him into the bishop, husband, responsible father that he will need to be in the years following his mission.

It was funny to hear about Mike Corona. I say funny because at one point in his life Mike Corona was in charge of the jails, now he’s going to be in jail. Weird how that works. And ouch for Chad Reed, losing the title by a mere 3 points. I bet he won’t do as well in Outdoor motocross because Reed is a Supercross rider and I think Bubba excels in the outdoors as a motocross rider. I like the pics you have been sending me, seeing those pistols makes me homesick!! Elder Krebs likes looking at them too, I dont think he’s ever shot a gun before.

Anyways...I will answer your questions now.

tu hijo amado,

El Elder Salazarrr!

1. Are there any senior couples serving in the Mexico, Leon mission? Do they speak Spanish? (question submitted by the person formerly known as Bishop Robinson)
------At the current time no there aren’t. But In Cardenas I had the opportunity to meet a Humanitarian Aid couple serving for the church here in Mexico and they were actually from Southern California. Their names were Brother and Sister Olsen. They weren’t from the Garden Grove stake but were from, I believe, the Brea stake?? Nevertheless, they were good friends of President Lewis, and knew gramma and grampa Hicken. They also knew many other people from our stake.
2. What precautions is the church taking because of the flu?
------ I am not 100% sure but I believe almost all church sacrament meetings in Mexico have been cancelled the last two weeks and this next Sunday. I am 100% sure that here in my mission all services in SLP, Guanajuato and Aguascalientes have been cancelled.
3. How is the missionary efforts being affected by the flu?
------We are taking advantage! Many people strongly believe this is a plague sent by god, and that the world is ending. People are inviting us in to ask us if that is true and we happily answer their questions, and teach them the truth. Also, many people are trying to stay home and avoid leaving the house due to the sickness. So when we knock doors, ALOT of people are home and willing to listen.
4. Think of something to put here, I'm out of
------This last weekend we broke the mission record of baptisms in 1 week. Our mission baptized 80 people! And we still have 4 weeks left, to get to 300!!