Monday, August 31, 2009

Celaya. Reached goal, 417 baptisms for August. 4770 blog hits

Hey mom, dad and family!

Congrat-ulations to Scott Sornbutnark, I am glad he's found someone that he can be happy with.

Things are going very well here in the mission. We are back to normal pdays and even better, we reached our goal of 400!!! We actually baptized 417. Elder Toutai and myself have been traveling a ton trying to seal deals on all of our remaining baptisms and trying to fill our goal of 30 in the zone. We worked really hard and honestly did all we could but we only reached 28 baptisms for the zone and our goal was 30. We are going to figure out what we can do better for this month and improve. Not much news here other than that.

As you know there are 4 of us living in one house. We decided to open another area here in Celaya and the assistants told us to send Elder Gutierrez and Elder Richards to open it. So they will be moving out and Elder Toutai and I will be all alone in our two story house. The house will be a little cleaner, a little quieter and the bathroom will be more accessable.

Some good news, Elder Maxfield and his companion broke the baptism record for a companion ship in one month by baptising 23 people in one month! The old record was 22 held by Elder Holt and his comp Elder Lopez. Congrats!!!

Here's a picture of Elder Holt my ex Comp, Elder Ditto my MTC comp, and Elder Maxfield from the MTC. We are all at concilio here.

Love you and miss you all.
Elder Salazar!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celaya. Zone Leader Conference. 4695 blog hits

Hey mom and dad,

I am in Leon, Guanajuato for a zone leader council. I don't have anytime to write, but I plan on writing you most likely later today or tomorrow because Elder Toutai also has to write. I am doing well, spending lots of $$$ because Elder Toutai's ATM card has also been cancelled. I sent a picture of Elder Lopez, who completed his mission, and went home last week.

All is well,

Love ya!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trip to Leon to hear Elder D. Todd Christopherson speak. 4 Elders, 1 bathroom. 4630 blog hits.

Hey Mom and Dad,

Things are going ok, this last week has been very hectic. Life as a zone leader is hard. I not only have to worry about myself and my area, but the other Elders and Sister missionaries and their areas. I am trying to balance my zone while making sure I have success in my own area. All the while keeping them happy and enthusiastic. I am very tired, but happy.

Elder Christofferson was here in Leon yesterday with Elder Daniel K. Johnson of the 70, (the New Mexico area president). They both spoke to us and it was great. Elder Christofferson served his mission in Argentina, so he speaks Spanish really, really well and Elder Johnson was born in the American colonies of Chiuahua Mexico. He gave a few missionaries the opportunity to ask him questions. I stood up and asked a question. I told him that the scriptures tell us we need to be one or have unity, I then asked; In the quorum of the 12 how do you all maintain unity if there are 12 of you and you all have to come to a decision? He explained that each member of the 12 has their strengths, their opinions and they all come from various proffesional backgrounds. He shared a funny experience he had with President Eyring, where Elder Christofferson shared an Idea he had (which he thought was a great Idea) and President Eyring completely disagreed and completely shot it down. But he responded that when we share our ideas and opinions in love and respect, and focus on what really is the will of the lord in any situation, we will all come to an agreement and be one on a decision.

As for Celaya, I am really struggling in my area to find investigators. This truly is one of the harder areas I have worked in and I am still trying to figure out how I can have success.

Elder Toutai is doing well. He really isn’t that tall but he is a giant. He is a really strong guy. We have a lot of fun because he is really dedicated and truly depends on the lord, he honestly puts his trust in the lord and not himself. We are still living 4 in a house. It’s really fun, sometimes it’s crazy, and sometimes we live like little pigs =/ but we have fun. We only have one bathroom which is hard, lol. But we all manage. We all get along well. It’s funny because there are 3 Californians in one house, myself, Elder Toutai from Rancho Cucamonga/Fontana and Elder Richards from San Diego. So we have a lot in common. I am happy and enthusiastic about the work, it’s very hard and tiring but it brings a lot of satisfaction.

I forgot to tell you, my first companion Elder Velez (in picture) ended his mission today. he will be in his home today at about 1pm, he will be missed. Also my other companion Elder Lopez G. went home on Saturday, he also will be missed. Also, the other day I was going to use Elder Toutai´s hair clippers, I grabbed what I though was a number 6 but it was actually a number 2. So my hair is really short... oops! Lol.

Elder Christofferson said that every time we write our families we should always share at least a small part of our testimonies....

Yo se que dios vive, el no ha dejado de hablar con nosotros. El no puede ni dejara de hablar con nosotros porque el nos ama. Sigue llamando Profetas para guiar su iglesia. Desde Adan a Thomas Monson dios nos esta guiando. Jesucristo es el Salvador de toda humanidad, ha efectuado un sacrificio expiatorio perfecto, lo cual nos permite ser limpios de nuestros pecados y vovler a la presencia del padre!

(Editors note: Below is my poor Spanish to English translation. Rick.)
“I know that God lives, he has not stopped speaking with us. He cannot nor would he stop speaking with us, because he loves us. He continues calling Prophets to guide his church. I accept Thomas Monson as a prophet of God. Jesus Christ is the savior of all humanity. His sacrifice allows us to be washed of our sins and to return to the presence of our father!”

With much love!

Elder Salazar

Monday, August 10, 2009

Celaya, Elder Holt transfered. New companion; Elder Toutai. Now Senior Zone Leader. 4530 Blog hits

Hey mom and dad!

Things here are going ok here. Elder Holt and I have been working like dogs!! So we are really tired. We got a call from President last night and Elder Holt got transferred. It turns out that Elder Holt is leaving this morning. I will be getting a new companion named Elder Toutai from Fontana California. His name is pronounced “TOE-TIE", he’s a big Samoan kid. Since he is from Fontana California we will have a lot in common.

Pres decided to make a few quick changes because we are going for 400 baptisms’s this month and he didn’t want to make a lot of changes all at one time because baptisms would drop due to all the changes.

I am sad to see Elder Holt go because we worked really well together but I am very excited to be with a Samoan elder! Elder Holt was a really fun companion, even though we didn’t have and aren’t having much success we had a lot fun being together. Elder Holt is headed to Aguascalientes and will be with one of my old companions from San Luis Potosi named Elder Kay. I will now be Senior Zone leader.

Anyways, we are working really hard. In the mission right now we have around 200 baptisms so we only need 200 more.

It has been pretty hot here lately, I have been trying to drink a lot of water throughout the day and it helps a lot. We get around by walking, or taking buses and taxis. We use a lot of taxis which cost 25-35 pesos ($2.50 - $3.50) because a lot times we have to travel from one side of the city to another to do baptism interviews.

Congratulations to Jarom Olsen and Colin Price who are starting the Journey. Jarom will be very close to me when he gets here to Mexico. The Guadalajara South Mission borders with the Mexico, Leon mission. =D. Actually the Mexico Leon mission used to include all of the area that is now the Guadalajara South, but to make it easier for the mission president they cut it off of this mission and named it Guadalajara South. Right now here in the mission we are all very enthusiastic because since May till now The Mexico Leon mission has gone from being in last place in baptisms to number 1!! So we are very enthusiastic!

I am very, very excited for Nate and Jen, that is awesome! I am even more excited that the baby is due in April and I will be able to be there for everything.

I am a little out of time but my foot is well, my spirits are up and we are working hard. THANK YOU for ALL the love and support.

Gotta run! Love ya!

Elder Salazar

P.S. Put this on the blog...Congratulations Jen and Nate!!!! I’m guessing a girl!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Celaya. New Mission goal 400 baptism's for the month of August. 4455 blog hits.

Hey dad!

This has to have been one of your most eventful emails yet! That’s awesome Nathan and Jen are going to be having their first child. I bet mom can’t sleep at night, thinking about it. Let’s hope it’s a girl. I watched the video on YouTube and that was a typical mom expression, lol. In the mission we often talk about when we opened our mission call and how we and our families reacted and I often tell people how mom and Grammy just about jumped out of their socks when I read my call.

Sounds like Vegas was fun. That picture of Nathan with the SAW (squad automatic weapon) looks awesome! What caliber is it?

Things here in Celaya are going ok. Actually Elder Holt and I are now officially companions. He and I were both struggling to have success in our areas so we asked president if we could rearrange the zone a little bit and be companions and he gave us the ok. So Elder Richards has a new companion and Elder Holt and I are comps. Things are going ok. We are working really hard. This month the mission is going for 400 baptisms and we are sacrificing our Mondays again.

If I have a few minutes of spare time these next couple of weeks I’ll try to send out a few cards or at least an email or two to the family and Gma, gpa and the brothers.

I DID get my bank card and it works great, I bought 2 new pairs of shoes, a pair of dress shoes for church and some really comfortable proselyte shoes!

I have to be a little short because I am out of time and I received a lot more emails than usual and would like to respond to them all.

Thanks for everything.

Love and miss you!

Elder Salazar