Salinas, California

    Salinas here is awesome. It is a very weird city. A hefty migrant worker population with some farm land and some Californian suburbia homes stuck in. The culture is fairly lowridered. It is funny when we are walking around we always hear people blaring mariachi music. Never thought I'd see that. Its interesting how different the Mexican culture is from the Cuban or South American culture. The ward here is great and we are blessed with a very dedicated ward mission leader. We are working closely with him to get things with the ward done. The ward council is fairly high functioning as well. There are lots of great people on it. 
    One interesting thing about the mission is we don't do any tracting at all. Elder Ballard came to the mission shortly before President Watkins got here and took the mission off tracting. So far, we are the only mission on this plan. What that means is we street contact a lot more. The mission goal is 140 a week. It is tough to achieve in our area, but the Monterrey elders just got 600. We will work to hit 140 this week. The mission goal for lessons is also 20 a week. This includes actives and less actives. There is a big emphasis on reactivating less actives in the mission. Again, it's a hard goal to achieve in our area, but we'll work for it. 
    After we got to Salinas we immediately got to work. We taught one lesson that night. We taught a lady that is having some real troubles in her life. We are working with her, and she has felt the spirit and feels the value of the message that we share with her. On Saturday I had a unique opportunity to go to a wedding and a baptism. One of our investigators got married to her fiance who is a member. The investigator is getting baptized next week. My companion is super excited for that since he has worked with her for the whole time. After the wedding we went to a Baptism in seaside. It was cool to see both ordinances done in the same day. Saturday was also another unique opportunity. President Watkins and the area authority, President Packer, put on a preach my gospel fireside, in which they asked for members' concerns about sharing the gospel and alleviated those concerns. Hopefully this fires up our ward to be proactive with their missionary work. The ward mission leader said he counted about 10 families there, so we will go visit them and talk about the fireside to see if they have any referrals. I'm doing well here and am excited for the work. We get fed every day. And I can't wait for my Patriarchal Blessing.
Doing work,
-Elder Richards
MTC District

86th Ward Crew

James posing as Samuel Smith

Provo Temple