Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bueno Chiste

"Whole district with our new jerseys"

Not much new has happened this week. Everyday, I just learn Spanish, practice teaching, eat, study, and not play anywhere near as much soccer as I want to.  I am excited for the teaching to be real and meaningful, but also a little bit worried about the field. The excitement definitely outweighs my worries though.    

"This is just a picture that I really like because Nephi isn´t
ridiculously ripped like he is in every other picture.  I also
like that it is a picture of the boat actually in progress." 
On Friday, Elder Christopherson of the quorum of the 12 is coming to speak to us and the 5 missions in Lima.  I will be singing in a choir for that and the whole experience should be pretty awesome.  A few days ago, some of the teachers convinced us that he had come early and wanted to talk to all of us.  We franctically cleaned our district room, organized all of our books and straightened our ties in preparation for his coming.  After doing so, the teachers informed us that they had lied and were happy that we did such a good job of cleaning our room, but Elder Christopherson was not actually there.  They laughed at us a little bit, and we congratulated them for their bueno chiste [courtesy translation from Andrea: good joke, although according to Google, he should have said "buen chiste"].  It should be pretty sweet when he actually comes though.

Sorry for the short email, but that´s all I´ve got this week. 

 Until next time,
 Elder Casdorph

[Good thing he sent me lots of pictures. - A]

Top: "An armored police car thing and a random guy who walked in front of the camera."
Bottom: "The fattest flying bird I have ever seen."

Some of the sights of Lima.

Left: "Elder Cann, my American companion"
Right: "Elder Franco, my awesome Latino companion who I miss now"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I´ve Got Scriptures and Pamphlets a-plenty

Things are going just fine here.  Last Wednesday we got to go out into downtown Lima and see some of the big cathedrals and governments buildings.  They were pretty cool looking of course and had a bunch of sweet statues and fountains.  We also got to go to a market type place where there were a bunch of small soccer jersey shops and also some shops where they sold Peruvian bags and leatherworked stuff. I got 2 nice soccer jerseys (one for Peru and a cool bright orange one that I´m honestly not sure what team they are, but I think it´s Italy) and a nice leather camera case/ holster for about 16 American dollars.  The missionary handbook says that we are never to look like a tourist at any time, but we were definitely tourists that day and it was a lot of fun.

Everybody´s humor here is gradually getting more missionary-like as we start referencing scriptures and Preach My Gospel in our jokes rather than referencing movies and songs.  Sadly, the transformation became complete for me when as I was showering as I thought of how to change the words of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid to apply to a missionary in the MTC.  I´m not sure that I want this cheesiness posted on an internet blog, but many of you will probable enjoy it, I will type it anyway.

Look at this stuff, isn´t it neat? wouldn´t you think that my training´s complete? Wouldn´t you think that I am the Elder with everything?  I´ve got scriptures and pamphlets a-plenty, testimonies galore. You want experiences? I´ve got 20! But who cares? No big deal, I want more!

I wanna go where the people are. I wanna see investigators progessin', walkin around on those what do you call em? Pies (pronounced pee a´s Spanish for feet). Out where we´ll talk, out where we´ll teach, out where we´ll bless, baptise and preach. Proselyting, wish I could be part of that world.

What would I give if I could live outside CCM (say-say-emmay, MTC in spanish)? What would I pay to spend a day in Santa Cruz? I bet that out there that they don´t care if you head the ball in soccer.  Tired of teaching the same fake people, ready to stand.

Repeat chorus

I had some sweet pictures of Lima as well as my district all in our soccer jerseys, but I apparently lost the flashdrive that I had in my pocket with all of them. I´ve still got them on my camera, but I don´t have my camera right now, so it will have to wait until next week.

Until then, if anyone wants to write me, use 'cause physical mail doen´t get here.

Until next time,
 - Elder Casdorph

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Avoid Pedestrians When It's Convenient

On Saturdays, my Latino companion and I, as well as a field missionary or member from the area go out for about 4 hours and teach less-active members.  My companion and the other guy honestly do most of the talking. The first time, I only understood about 1/3 of what was being said and the second time, I understood a little over half.  When people are actually home and decide to answer the door, they have always let us in and we have had a nice lesson. Many of these lessons have actually been quite powerful and the spirit has been very strong.

The city is kinda crazy. There seem to be very few driving rules other than try not to get hit and avoid pedestrians when it´s convenient.  The houses are pretty much all concrete walls and then depending on how nice the house is, it may have a legitimate ceiling or just some aluminum siding or plywood resting on top of the walls.  There are dogs about every 12 feet in the part of the city where I was.  Some of them are grossly dirty, but a lot of them look happy and friendly.  I am not allowed to touch them however because they might bite me and give me rabies.

The Latinos and experienced Americans all left yesterday, so now my group is the experienced ones.  Last night, new Latinos and Americans started pouring in, but I haven´t really had the chance to talk to them yet.

For P-day today, we get to go into downtown Lima and go to a couple soccer jersey shops and some other shops where they sell like Peruvian bags and stuff.  I´m probably gonna get a soccer jersey or two cause they are pretty cheap here and they will be nice to wear on P-days and to gym.

I hope to keep hearing from people whether by email or, but physical mail doesn´t really get here, so you probably shouldn´t try any of that.

Until next time,
Elder Casdorph

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I don´t have much to say this week other that life here is difficult, and there is a TON of Spanish, but it is great.

We went out into the real world on Saturday to teach less-active members.  I went with my Latino companion and an actual missionary in the field, so I definitely relied on them a LOT.  I only understood about 25% of what was said and only spoke about 10% of the time.  I can understand the Spanish-speakers here pretty well, but Spanish with an old-person accent is basically impossible to understand. People kept rambling off large amounts of Spanish and then out of nowhere just turn to me and say, "Usted?" which means "you?"  Then I would struggle through Spanish trying to answer the question that they may or may not have actually been asking, and the Latinos would resume speaking at a million miles an hour.

Despite all of this, my Latino companion says that I am the best Spanish speaker out of the Americans at the MTC, which was really nice to hear.  I will miss him when he goes out into the field in a week.

I wish I time to say more than that, but I don't, so bye.

-Elder Casdorph

Picture Updates

The four headed to Santa Cruz: at the Provo MTC, then showing off alpaca ties purchased in Lima for $5.72

(Recounted by Andrea)  When Jack called home during his layover on the way to Peru, he told me they'd invented a version of basketball that they would play in their room.  After discovering that a hole in the top of the drawer unit led conveniently to the top drawer, they used a few tennis balls someone had found to create an in-room game.

(Left to Right): with Elder Merrill - Provo MTC Companion; with Elder Casperson - wearing surprisingly similar ties; with  Elder Chronister - the recipient of about 100 fat jokes in the MTC, 70% of which were delivered by Jack

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Peru CCM

The Peru MTC, or CCM in spanish, is Awesome!  The first day was crazy, they made us all get buzz cuts, do a bunch of paperwork, and none of us could understand anything that the people in charge were saying.  I couldn´t even understand my own companion.  As the days rolled along the Americans have learned a lot more Spanish and are now actually able to understand real Spanish (except when 2 Latinos are talking to each other, cause that is still way too fast).  Now, I am able to communicate easily with my Latino companion.  He usually speaks in English and I speak in Spanish, that way we both practice the language we are trying to learn.  The Latinos are all going to Spanish speaking missions, but they are still trying to learn as much English from us as they can. I actually have one of the best English speaking companions in the whole CCM, and he says that I am the best Spanish speaker out of all of the new American missionaries, so we have a much easier time communicating than most of the companionships.

I have an American companion as well for class and for teaching "investigators", but there is nothing new about working with a white guy who speaks English, so I don´t really have anything to say about him.

The food here is actually pretty good.  I haven´t been so adventurous as to eat everything in sight, but I have eaten a lot of semi-gross-looking things that I would have never tried in America. Most of these have been pretty good and the ones that weren´t good, I ate anyway.

My favorite time of the day by far is gym time.  Usually during this time, I play soccer with the Latinos, but I have also done basketball and volleyball. As expected, the Latinos are very good at futbol. I have been able to hold my own just fine though because while almost all of them have me beat in skill, I have them beat in speed, and for the first time ever in my life, I have the upper-hand in strength and height (by upper-hand I mean that I am average strength and height for a Latino, but compared to what I´m used to, I feel like a giant).

The Latinos have a suprisingly large knowledge of American culture. They frequently sing songs such as "We are the champions" and other American songs.  They also have knowlede of "Forest Gump", "The Avengers", "Rocky", "Tarzan", "The Karate Kid", and seemingly every major American movie.

We have so much more freedom here than at Provo.  They were so many people at Provo, and it was so self enclosed that it honestly felt like a prison. Here, although we are definately sheltered from the real South America that lies just outside the walls, it feels so much more open and free.  The windows here actually open, and we are actually allowed to leave the classroom and even go outside to study.  The weather here is also fantastic. It is suposedly winter here, so it is always between 60 and 75 degrees.

Sorry, I was gonna send some pictures home, but I forgot to bring my camera into the computer lab, so no pics till next week.