Monday, June 15, 2009

Huge cockroach's, 3 baptism's, shout out to GG 6th Ward, family and friends, 3960 hits

Hey mom, and dad,

I am writing a little earlier than usual because Pres. Cox took away our p-day due to the fact that basically almost all of our time on Friday will be spent traveling to hear Elder Bednar, and then traveling home. So today we only have time to write our families and wash clothes, but I also need a haircut so we are trying to go fast so that we can get to work ASAP.

This week went ok. Elder Whittle and I have been working really hard. There is this newlywed couple we have been teaching but the thing is they don’t get home till 1030pm from work and that is the only time we can find them. So Elder Whittle and I have been getting very little sleep. We were always falling asleep in the lessons, but I guess that’s a part of the job. The best part is that this newlywed couple were both baptized on Saturday. We ended up not baptizing 7, but we did baptize 3. The baptisms went well. We had a family of four that were ready, a single mother and her 3 kids. But on Saturday we went to go talk to her at her house and she had left, she seems to be avoiding us and we cant get a hold of her, we were pretty let down because they were ready and everything.

On Wednesday a member took us out to eat some tacos/quesadillas at a local taco place on the street. We all decided to buy quesadillas and while we were all talking and eating I felt (at first I thought it was my cell phone vibrating) something crawling up my leg. As I scooted my chair back so I could stand up to "answer the cell phone" I looked at my pant pocket and it was a cockroach! But this was no ordinary cockroach!! This thing was without a doubt the biggest cockroach I have ever seen in my WHOLE entire life!! So at the speed of light I jumped up and started smacking my pant leg trying to get this thing off me!! I finally smacked it off into the street. I don’t think there was a single head in the entire place that wasn’t looking at me. Needless to say, I was embarrassed. I also lost my appetite. My companion and the member thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen. There is a common saying here in Salamanca that the cockroaches here are 5x the normal size due to Pemex polluting Salamanca. This type of big brown cockroach that can even fly.

Other than cockroaches and baptisms, nothing too exciting. I am enjoying being a district leader. I really have the chance to help my peers in the mission. It’s a lot more responsibility because a lot more is expected out of me but I think that’s a good thing.

Something happened to me this week that has really strengthened my testimony of the love of god. This last week I got a phone call from a mother in Irapuato. It turns out that at about this time last year I was with my 2nd companion Elder Raya. Elder Raya and I didn’t get along too well, I was a greenie and he was just completing a year. I prayed a lot that transfer, asking the lord to not let us fail, that despite all the problems we were having we could still have success. In that Transfer elder Raya and I only baptized one person. I can’t say we had complete failure that change because we did baptize one child of god, but I came out of that transfer, sad with the feeling of a month and a half wasted. Anyways, I get to Salamanca and a lady calls me from Irapuato, she tells me her name is Paulina and that she wants to thank me because a year ago I knocked her door, she let us in and we taught her the message of the restoration of the gospel. I ended up getting transferred and Elder Raya only went back to teach her one time with his new companion. She never forgot our names or the fact that we had visited her. She prayed that we would come back and a little over four months later, a new set of Elders knocked her door, taught her, and she, her husband and 4 kids ended up getting baptized. I can’t describe how I felt after hanging up, it was an instant testimony to me that the lord does bless us when we pray, always have a good attitude and never give up. I plan on going to visit her and her family the next P-day I have some free time.

I am really excited to hear that Bryce is on his way off to the MTC. This will be the greatest adventure of his life. Colorado will be awesome. I am happy to be here in the Mexico, Leon mission, my time is slowly ticking down and I am trying to do all I can to help everyone I meet here. I know that God lives, he watches us every single day. Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, he truly has "descended below ALL things". Joseph Smith is a prophet of god, he saw god, he saw Jesus Christ, he heard their voices, and he restored the gospel and the priesthood of god in their purest forms. The book of Mormon is another witness of the savior Jesus Christ; it has been preserved and saved for these latter days, a divine purpose, to prove to the world that Jesus is the Christ. I know that it is evidence of the truth of this great church. There is absolutely no way a farm boy of 21 years old could have written that book. Thomas Monson is called of god; he is our prophet, seer and revelator. I am very grateful to be here, to know and to share these things with the people of Mexico.

I love and thank you all. Thank you to my family, Ricky, Justin, Nathan, their wives/gf's, The Crespos, the Traders, the Bowring’s, Bro. Benagas, the Clarks, and all of the GG 6th ward for all the love and support, I feel the power of the prayers you give in my behalf.

Love Elder Salazar!

I will now answer your questions...

1. What makes Salamanca so beautiful?
------It has some areas that are really old and colonial, and then there are the new houses which are really nice. It’s the best of both worlds.

2. Is your ward a strong ward? How many members are there?
------My ward is pretty strong, a lot of the members have really strong testimonies. There are over 150 members but only about 75 active members every Sunday. A little smaller than normal.

3. Tell us about the ward leaders, and the young men/women programs.
------I still haven’t seen them do too much. I know the YW, just got home from their week long campout, it looks like it went well, and they put up a bunch of pics in the foyer. The YM, usually play soccer on Friday, other than that I haven’t seen too much from them.

4. What food and shopping places are in Salamanca?
------The only big food place well known I have seen here is KFC. There is no Carls Jr. =( or B-King. There is a really big mercado here, a big swap meet, where they sell a lot of stuff. There are a TON of shoe stores here.

5. What do you like best about Salamanca?
------Probably because the city changes a lot, we never get bored or tired of seeing the same things because like I said, there are nice new houses, and there are really old colonial houses. I guess it would be that I like the variety of Salamanca, just not the smell =/. It smells really, really bad here.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ben,

Hello, I just want to tell you how much your story moved me tonight as I read it. The power of God is so great we can't even understand it all. It is amazing to know someone loves us so much. I am so glad for all of your success out on your Leon Mission. Your stories are inspiration for all of us at home. I am so thankful that this church found me and held on to me until I had my own testimony of Jesus Christ. I do believe this is the true church of Jesus Christ and I am very proud to be a member. The cockroach story freaks me out. They are so gross. Keep up the good work with the new couple you guys are teaching. Hopefully soon they will have there own testimony to. I hope your trip on Friday to hear Elder Bednar will be great. How is your foot doing? Well, I hope. This week we are leaving for vacation to Washington, Utah to see my parents new home and to be with my dad for Father's Day. I am looking forward to having sometime off from work. I am going to visit the temple in St. George and I am very excited. Keep well and we miss you.

Love Lori

Anonymous said...

Hola Benjamon,
I love hearing your stories. they brighten up my week and make me realize the importance of what you are doing. They also inspire me to live the life of a good christian as God intends us to. Your truely an amazing person and we are all blessed by hearing your adventures. Maybe you should harness the cockroaches there to use as transportation vehicles. I miss you and Love you very much. Keep up the excellent work your doing. You are changing lives and my God, how important is that. Tony C.

Anonymous said...

Elder Salazar:

How sweet it is to read your testimony. I am sure it will be further increased, if that's possible, after you sit at the feet of Elder Bednar.

And how about Sister Crespo's testimony. You can take credit for assisting in that. She's a wonderful addition to our ward.

Tony is a wonderful father and Christian. He has been a terrific supporter of Matthew and the other young men in the scouting program. We all hope and pray he one day decides to join the Church.

Your cockroach story was funny (to us, not to you). Don't worry, it won't eat much.

Bishop Bowring