Monday, November 30, 2009

Arbide. Elder Maxfield. New assignment: Assistant to the President. 5850 blog hits

Zone Leaders (Click on image to enlarge)
Hey Mom and Dad,

First off, HAPPY BDAY MOM!

Thanksgiving was great here. Sis Cox made a great Thanksgiving dinner and the table was beautiful. We had the opportunity to meet their son Matthew and his wife. They are really nice people. He wants to be a doctor and is studying at BYU, they were married in February. They are great people and you can see a lot of President Cox´ attributes in his son, but more so Sister Cox. We all had a chance to talk of one thing we were grateful for. I expressed my gratitude for having come on a mission because reflecting back I was really on the fence about coming. Coming here on the mission has been one of the greatest decisions of my life. It’s a blessing to have great parents whom have instilled in me a love for the gospel. I think of all the blessings I have had as a small boy, how heavenly father sent me to a loving family whom has embraced the gospel and without the gospel the people here may never enjoy even 10% of the blessings I have enjoyed.
I am glad to hear all the brothers are doing well. I GOT YOUR XMAS PACKAGE, thank you!!!

Now for the big news...Last Monday I wrote you about a meeting we had with the stake president and all the bishops. Just to let you know, I reported on what was spoken in that meeting to President Cox so he would know. While we were talking on the phone he told me that he wanted Elder Maxfield and me in his office on Wednesday morning for a meeting with the stake president because we were going to discuss a few things about what was said. Wednesday morning came and Elder Maxfield and I showed up on time ready for the meeting but president really didn’t want us there to talk about the stake, he had tricked us. Instead he extended an assignment to Elder Maxfield and me to be his personal Assistants for the remainder of our time here in the mission. Obviously I didn’t want to, nor could I say no, so I accepted. Also Elder Callen will be an Assistant with us. The current assistants are Elder Schow and Elder Hatton but they will both be leaving on the 19th of December so they are training us on a few of the duties of being assistants. Some of the basic duties of being an assistant are having success in the mission, being a good example to the other missionaries, and making sure that the mission is progressing and having success. Some of the small benefits of being an assistant are having increased contact with President Cox, eating with President and his wife and being able to drive mission vehicles. I am excited, a little overwhelmed and honestly I feel under-qualified. But I know that if I am diligent and pay attention to the council that President Cox, Elder Schow and Elder Hatton give me. I can become the assistant that I am expected to be. Now I will be living in the mission home from here on for the rest of my mission.

Anyways, I love you mom and dad. I hope all goes well and you enjoy the real spirit of Christmas which is the birth of the savior Jesus Christ. He was born in the most humble of circumstances and as Isaiah says "he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death”. He was crucified among theives yet layed in the tomb of the richman Joseph of Arimatea.

I love you all and appreciate your support! I can’t write much today because we are having a zone leader council and we have to prepare capacitations.

Love you!!!

Love Elder Salazar

Miriam's baptism (Click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Arbide. Elders Maxfield, Granillo. Baptism. 5790 blog hits

Elders Salazar, Maxfield, Granillo
Click on image to enlarge

I was sorry to hear that Lou Stokes passed away. I remember that he was always really loving, and he always kept a light, loving atmosphere.

As far as my foot goes, I am not taking anything right now. When it hurts a little more than usual I take an Ibuprofen.

This last week went well. Miriam was baptized and the baptism went off without a hitch. We had kind of an interesting meeting yesterday with the stake president and all the bishops in the stake here. Ever since the Mexico Leon mission started to baptize over 250 people every month the bishops have kind of had a hard time dealing with so much progress so fast. They have found that since we are baptizing so many people, they are having a hard time handling retention, callings, ordinations, visiting teaching, interviews, and preparing people to go to the temple and so forth. They seem to feel that whatever little problem happens in their ward, for some reason it’s the "missionaries fault". So last night the bishop asked (with the permission of President Cox) that elder Maxfield, myself, elder Callen and elder Trejo (the other zone leaders in Leon) to come to a meeting with ALL the bishops in the stake. Basically for 2 hours we were asked to defend every little decision we have made and explain why our elders do what they do. They question whether we are baptizing because it is what the lord wants or we are baptizing just to baptize and reach a goal. It was an interesting meeting to say the least.

This Thursday President and sis Cox invited elder Maxfield and me over for thanksgiving dinner. She bought a 22 pound turkey from Costco; the word for excited in Spanish is ANIMADO!! President’s youngest son is in Leon with his wife for thanksgiving so we will get to meet him. He is 23 and served his mission in Brazil. He was just married a few months back, in March I believe.

Anyways, gotta run but I am going to send a few pictures.

Love ya!

Elder Salazar

click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Arbide. Elders Granillo, Maxfield. 4 baptism's. 5705 Blog hits

Hey Mom, and dad,

This last week went really well. We were able to baptize 4 people, we have 9 baptisms this month with one more for the end of this week. We baptized the husband of Juana (the lady that contacted us in the street) and lately we have been working really hard to get her 14 year old daughter baptized, finally, this sunday she told us she wanted to get baptize but only if I would baptize her! So this thursday, Miriam will be baptized at 7pm.

All is going well. We are getting ready here in the mission for December. In December we plan on baptizing 1000 people. We started a very great referral program with the members, and we have received over 1000 references and names of people we can visit. So right now we are beginning to visit all them, so we have a ton of work! We also have to make sure that our elders are following through with the program. My foot is doing ok, Elder Maxfield is doing alot better. I may have not told you but Elder Granillo has 23 months, in the mission and it turns out he is going to have to leave the mission early due to schooling. He will probably leave the 20th or the 21st. We will miss him. Elder Ditto is doing well, he is zone leader in Aguascalientes.

My package still isnt here, and I suppose its not going to get here, because the seceretarys just went this last week to get pacakages and its still not here =(.

Anyways, I dont have much time, but I love and miss you. Adios!

Love Elder Salazar

A couple shoutouts...

* Felicidades Weston! Deacon, or in spanish Diacono!

* Felicidades Leah! Homecoming queen! In Mexico they dont have homecoming but if they did it would be something like this... Reyna de la escuela!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Arbide. Elders Granillo, Maxfield. 5650 blog hits

Hey Mom and dad,

Things are going well. Elder Maxfield and I are back to working. I am still experiencing pain in my foot, but I am still working till the end. This last week went well. My zone did pretty well in baptisms. Elder Maxfield, Granillo and I baptized 4 of the 5 we had planned. The 5th that didnt get baptized will be getting baptized tomorrow. That was a pretty interesting story you told me about your baptism. Lots of times thats what we do as missionaries. We usually interview the people though. In cardenas The one person I have personally baptized (the picture of me baptizing) was named Thomas. He was in the same situation you were in. His whole family are members, he supported the church and believed in much of the doctrine. One sunday I was sitting in priesthood and his name and his face just came into my mind. After church Elder Krebs and I walked straight to his house woke him up (because he was sleeping) and told him that he needed to get baptized. He agreed and was baptized two weeks later. It was probably one of my most special baptisms, maybe because hes the only person I have actually baptized. A member from cardenas wrote me two weeks ago and informed me that Thomas and his family are all active in the church. Yesterday (sunday) was the last day of the change, it turns out Elder Maxfield, Elder Granillo and I will all be staying together. This came as a surprise because we all thought elder maxfield was leaving. Elder Maxfield now has 14 months in this exact same ward! He was in Arbide 2 then was assigned as financial seceratary to pres.cox in arbide 1 for 10 months, now he is a zone leader back in arbide 2!

Anyways, not much going on here on this side of the border, we are just getting ready for christmas. The Elders in the mission offices are already listening to xmas music, makes me sick!! I would send pics, but I am on a good old 56k I am sure youll understand.

Love and miss you all.

Love Elder Salazar

Monday, November 2, 2009

Arbide. Elder Maxfield. Knee hurts. 5585 blog hits

( click on image to enlarge)

Hey Mom and dad!

My week was pretty crazy. Let me start from the top. When Elder Maxfield was 14 yrs old he had two knee scopes on his left knee. On monday of this last week his knee started to swell up causing him pain and difficulty to bend his knee and walk. So he decided to rest his knee on Tuesday to see if it would do him anygood. I decided to go work with Elder Schow one of the AP´s on Tuesday . We were working really well but as we started to come down from the 5th floor of an apartment building I accidentally tripped and smacked my foot on the guard rail causing me extreme pain! I honestly thought that I had broken something or had done more damage to my foot, so much so, that I couldnt walk. We had to grab a taxi and head to the offices and grab some crutches. Long story short neither Elder Maxfield nor myself have worked this entire week. My foot is actually back to where it was before. I can walk now but still feel pain. Elder Maxfield hasn't improved. We actually took him to the hospital on Friday and he got an MRI. The doctors at the hospital told us that the cartilidge in his knee is deteriorating and its causing his body to send liquid to the knee, which causes him swelling and pain. We still dont know the exact results because we sent them to the LDS mission doctor, he will examine the MRI and Elder Maxfield will know what his options are. WE are praying that he doesnt need a surgery, because Elder Maxfield and I both go home in 4 months. He is happy and has high hopes for the future.

Other than that, not much news this week because we really havent been working. We didnt baptize this last week but this week we should be baptizing 5 people. A family of 3, and 2 others. To answer your question about me traveling. I do travel alone, but elder maxfield always accompany me to the bus depot. Being a zone leader and when we are doing a division we are authorized to be on the bus alone, but when I arrive to my destination there are always another set of elders waiting for me. I also have my own personal cell phone in case of emergency or if anyone needs to contact me. Dia de la muerte here has come and gone, very few children trick or treat here, but some do. Most people just put on their costumes. But the tradicion here in mexico is that on dia de la muerte, many families go to the grave sites of their loved ones and have a small picnic, they also share memories and I have even heard that they speak to their loved deceased ones as if they were present but I am not sure about that. We didnt do anything special here. But Sister Cox made Elder Maxfield and I chocolate chip cookies and small halloween treat bags, thanks sis cox!

I am doing well and for the moment I dont really need anything, I dont know why but my package still hasnt gotten here.

I love you all and miss you!

Elder Salazar