Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Elder De Hoyos Mission Tour. Baptised family of three. 6650 blog hits

Elders hitchhiking (click on image to enlarge)

Hey mom and dad,

This last week went pretty well. We got a family married here and it was a great moment to see them be baptized. It was a mom, dad and their son.

As Assistants we have been pretty busy. Elder Benjamin De Hoyos is coming tomorrow (Thursday) and he will be here through Sunday doing a "Mission Tour". Elder De Hoyos is the lst Counselor to Elder Johnson the Area President of Mexico; he will be traveling around the entire mission doing conferences, meeting missionaries as well as local stake leaders. We are getting everything ready for his trip so it will run smoothly.

Lately I have been receiving calls from the assistants in the Guadalajara North Mission asking me what it is that we are doing in our mission to have so much success. Ironically the Assistants in Guadalajara North are brothers of two missionaries from this Mission. Elder Barajas (who was an assistant here in Leon and whom I have worked with before) and Elder Trejo whose brother is a Zone leader here. Also, we came in 2nd to Mexico City East for the year in baptisms. =( we are still happy though. We ended the year with close to 3000 converts. This is pretty amazing considering there are only 150 missionaries in the Mexico Leon Mission. Mexico City East has about 30 more elders than us. We did win in % of baptisms per elder, which were about 19 per elder. 2nd place was 16.

Monday and today (Tuesday) we had Zone leader council. I have one more zone leader council and I am done =(. We have some great Zone leaders, very powerful and dedicated to their zones. We decided to make Elder Su'a a zone leader, you may remember him. He is from the City of Torrance. He’s a great Elder, somehow he even knows Michael Aiono. This Tuesday I will be starting my last transfer. 6 more weeks and it’s all over for me. Elder Verdeja is going to be making my travel plans this week. He says he’s going to be able to get me into Long Beach.

Anyways, sorry I can’t write more but next week I can give a better summary of the events.

I sent you a photo. We usually hitch hike rides here in Leon to get around faster. Here’s a ride we hitched one day.

Congratulations to Michael Aiono for making it home safe and in one piece, but more than anything returning with honor.

Love you all!

Elder Salazar

Monday, January 18, 2010

Elder Callen, Maxfield. 150 baptism's. Dos Por Dios. 6550 blog hits.

Elder Callen and Salazar (click on image )

Hey dad,

Things are well here. Sorry for writing late, we have been very busy today.

Last week we got a couple married here in Leon, and right after we had them married we went straight to the church and had them baptized. It was a great baptism. Here in the mission we are busy getting things ready for the visit of a general authority to our mission. It will be a 70 but I can't say who yet! You'll have to wait until the 27th of this month to find out.

We have some great investigators right now. This Sunday we were able to bring 10 investigators to church. We have an older couple we are teaching, the man is named Rodolfo and his wife is named Mati. They really love us. They are already inviting us to dinner. They just need to get married but they are definitely going to get baptized. This past Sunday they paid their tithing and they aren't even members yet. Its amazing how the lord prepares people. I am enjoying my time with Elder Callen and Elder Maxfield. We work hard, all the while having fun, it makes the hours fly by. Some days we dont even realize we have worked 10 hour. The days and weeks fly by now, and we dont realize we have worked 60+ hours weeks.

The mission is doing ok. Right now we have around 175 baptisms and we are hoping to end with 350, we only have two weeks to do it but I know we can. Something weird about the Mexico, Leon mission is that we are alot like the NY Yankees, we come through at the very end. We usually baptize most of our people the last two weeks of the month, making our goal. We are still working on getting the new vision drilled into the minds of every elder here. It takes time and redundance. We constantly have to be reminding them of "Dos por Dios" (Two for God). Once the missionaries start thinking about baptizing only 2 every week instead of 8 a month they wont be so stressed, they can focus on the small goals all the while progressing towards the real goal. As for our mission coming in 1st in Mexico for the year, we still dont know yet. The report from Salt Lake still isnt here yet but I imagine it will be here this week.

Anyways, I am really excited to hear that Seth Trader was called to a Canadian spanish speaking mission. I had the opportunity to work with ex-assistant Elder Schow whom is from canada. Elder Schow was a really awesome Elder who was just great in everything he did. I know that Seth will really enjoy Canada while having the benefit of learning a foreign language. I meet a lot of people here in leon who have lived, or have family living in Canada. He will have his hands full!! I am so grateful for having accepted a mission call. I know that this is what the lord had prepared for me. How great a calling to be teaching people about the restored gospel, and helping them become members of the true church. Lately we have been listening to missionary president seminars, as well as Elder Tad R. Callister, Elder Jeffery R Holland and Elder Dallin H. Oaks last conference talks. They are really inspiring, so much so that we usually listen to one of them before we leave the offices to work.

Love you all!

Elder Salsa

Aguascaliente housing tract (click on image)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Arbide. 21st birthday. 6430 blog hits

“The field is white already to harvest” (D&C 4:4).
Hey mom and dad,

It feels weird to know its 2010 and that I am now 21. Although, it does feel good to be growing and progressing. MY Bday went well. On Wednesday we had a zone conference in Irapuato. When we got back to Leon, Sis. Cox invited us and the Office Secretaries to come over later in the evening for chocolate cake. So after working we went over to president’s house and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me, and I got to blow out 21 candles. It was a special night. The cake was really good. Sis. Cox is everything you think she is, loving, kind and patient. She’s always thinking of the missionaries and she truly does love them. I have been blessed to be close to her and president and I see them in their real character and they are truly loving and thoughtful.

That’s good that Nathan found a nice place to live. Does this mean I get the town home????!? LOL

Sorry to hear that Ski Brodowski passed away, I am pretty sure I met him. Either way the Brodowski’s are a great family and I know he must have been a great person to raise such a great family.

Things went well this week. We traveled to all the Zone Conferences with President and Sis. Cox, and gave some training to start the New Year. It was fun to see some of my old companions that I hadn’t seen for awhile such as Elder Whittle, Elder Krebs and Elder Toutai. The Conferences went really well, everyone came out inspired.

Anyways, the mission is going well. We are working hard and the mission is running smoothly. Friday morning at 5am, Elder Maxfield and I drove president out to the airport so he could travel to Mexico City for a meeting with the other mission presidents and the area presidency. You may not have noticed, but 6 months ago they changed the Area Presidency here in Mexico. The old area presidency was President Mickelson, 1st councilor Elder C. Scott Grow and 2nd Councilor Octaviano Tenorio. Elder Mickelson has been a huge help to the Mexico, Leon mission, he and president were really great friends and he gave president some great ideas to pick up the mission. Now the new area presidency is President Daniel L. Johnson, 1st councilor Benjamin D. Hoyos and 2nd councilor Octaviano Tenorio. The new presidency is coming up with some great new ideas for the New Year. They are taking Mexico in a new direction. It’s exciting to see the plans they are making.

Anyways, I am dong well, and we are working hard. Time is short but we are trying to take advantage of every moment.

Love Elder Salazar

Monday, January 4, 2010

Leon. Baptism's. 370 baptism's for December. 6300 blog hits

Elder Salazar & Elder Robles (click on image to enlarge)

Hey mom & dad,

Things went really well in aguscalientes. There are 2 zones in AGS. One called Aguascalientes zone and the other called Aguasjardines zone. I am in charge of Aguasjardines. Things went well. I helped the zone leaders and a few of the other missionaries baptize. Aguasjardines is tied for 1st in the mission for baptisms right now. As for the mission goal of 1000 in December, we didnt do so well. We fell on our face, with only 370 baptisms. BUT we did learn ALOT about our member referal program and other things we did wrong etc etc. It was a good expierence that will help us in the future. Also, helping 370 people become members of the true church is not anything to feel bad about. We are still waiting for the yearly report for Mexico to see if we are the #1 mission of this 2009. We are hoping and praying we make it!!
That's cool Nate found a place to live, wheres he living now??? Is he closer to Best Buy?? Too bad he wont have Fantastic Burger so close, as we say in spanish "que lastima!" (too bad).
New years was ok for us as missionaries. We worked, came home, and Sis Cox made us a nice dinner and sent it to the offices (across the street from her house). Other than that not much was going on. Elder Pickett and Elder Call were in the offices because the next day they were scheduled to head home at 5am. They are heading home a month early to make it into school. Here in mexico the people get really fired up for New Years. People were partying till 7am. The next day when we got up and went to work, there were still people having partys and there was still people walking around. People shoot off alot of fireworks so its hard to tell if its gunfire.
Anyways, thank you Gma/Gpa Hicken and Gma/Gpa Salazar for the money!! I bought myself a new cologne for my bday. Its weird that I am 21 now, I feel like yesterday I was just turning 18 and graduating high school.
Things are going well in the mission, we are still sacrificing our Pdays. I havent had a pday since October! I think we will have pdays again in February. Also some cool news. I just received my Departure form. I am already filling out my travel plans to come home, crazy!!
Anyways, love you and miss you. Pero nos veremos muy pronto. Me da felicidad y tambien tristeza porque amo la mision y no quiero regresarme a casa!! (editors translation: "We will see each other soon. I am happy and also sad because I love my mission and I do not want to return home")


Elder Salazar

Recent Baptism (click on image to enlarge)