Monday, September 24, 2012


It rained for the first time since I´ve been in Bolivia a few days ago.  By rain, I mean that a thousand forest-fire-fighting helicopters flew by and dropped billions of gallons of water over Santa Cruz.  It was honestly the hardest rain I´ve ever seen, and a lot of the residents say that it´s the hardest rain they´ve ever seen too.  Every major road here has a canal that runs down the midde as a median.  They are on average about 5´ wide and 5´ deep.  Every single one of these was overflowing so much that a couple of the handrails on some of the canal-crossing bridges broke from the water flowing against them.  The streets were basically flooded and there were no taxis or buses on the streets, because nobody wanted to drive in all that water.  This was rather unfortunate because we has a conference that we had to go to about an hour away.  After doing a bunch of calling, trying to find a way to get to the conference, we found that the zone leaders had a brave taxi driver who was a member of their ward who was willing to take them and pick us up as well.

I got to play racquetball last pday...kind of.  It was like racquetball, but in a bigger court without the back wall and ceiling (for you "Most Interesting Man in the World" fans it is the sport that he is playing in the very 1st commercial).  This sport is also fun and I was able to beat the ward member who went with us 2/2 times.  I was also able to beat my companion, but that was easy considering that he is the worst racquetball player in the world.  He would completely miss the ball 3/4 times, and when he did hit it, it would go over the 35´ wall.

On a completely unrelated note, I asked Elder Garcia, my companion, if they have KFC in the Dominican Republic (where he is from).  He responded that they do, and then said, "¡Todos los negros les encanta KFC!" (if you can´t understand that, use Google translate, but I think most of you will be able to understand it).  He then said that if you saw a black person walking down the street and asked them where they were going, they´d say "KFC".  This made me laugh because it fit perfectly with the American stereotype of black people loving fried chicken.  If anybody was wondering, my companion is black as well (with like 1/4 latino).

That´s what I´ve got for this week, so until next time,

Elder Casdorph

Monday, September 17, 2012


I´m gonna get straight to the most exciting part of the week which was that my companion and I had some baptisms on Saturday! I´m not sure why, but for some reason 2 of the 3 of them wanted me to do the actual baptism even though I´ve only said like 10 words to them. I baptised the oldest kid who is 12 and the youngest one who is 8.  My companion baptised the gordito who is 10.  Having some baptisms was awesome and I hope that it´s an experience that I get to enjoy many times.

Speaking of gordito, apparently in Latin America, it´s not rude to call someone fat.  People refer to those of the chunkier persuasion as a gordito all the time, often times to their face.  I find it a little bit comical, but at the same time I kinda like it.  It´s way better that how in America we try to avoid offending somebody.  Here, its just like: they´re fat and everyone knows it, so you might as well say it.

The Spanish is coming along and my stomach is feeling better.  Every time that I tell a member that I am from Utah they say, "la fabrica" which to loosely quote Taledega Nights means, "the fabrica".  What it actually means is the factory which is funny because they are saying that Utah is a missionary factory.

[Editor's note: the pictures Jack has sent since he's been in Bolivia won't open on my computer.  They have no ".xxx" file extension and just say "file" under file type.  Hopefully I will get usable versions of his pictures soon, because the descriptions he sent below seem very entertaining.]

I feel like the "niple canter" photo needs a little explanation.  There´s a store here called "niple center" that sells hose fittings and such. I thought it was funny, so I took a picture. That´s basically it.

In another photo is Optimus Prime made out of crap. I thought it was cool, so once again, I took a picture.

In the photo with me wearing random tratitional stuff, a member had a bunch of random traditional Bolivian stuff, so my companion and I donned the stuff and took some pics.

I have so much more that I wish I could write, but sadly, there´s no time, so until next week,
-Elder Casdorph

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Worth It

I`ve been in Bolivia since Tuesday, spent a day and a half doing paperwork and orientation and all sorts of boring stuff like that. I got my companion and entered my area Thursday night.

My companion is from the Dominican Republic.  He likes baseball and basketball and telling jokes.  He has a bunch of jokes that he tells that other people seem to think are funny, but I can`t understand what he saying.  A couple of his jokes I have practically memorized, but I still have no idea what they mean.

I rarely know what`s going on. I never know what people are saying, where I am, where I`m going, whether the person I`m talking to is a member or not, or what I`m eating.  Despite this, things have gone fairly well.  The members seem to like me and are actually impressed with the amount of Spanish that I know considering how little I have studied it.  We have had some pretty good lessons and contacts, and I have personally extended 4 successful baptismal commitments, so I should theoretically have some baptisms in a couple weeks.

I have eaten basically everything that people have given to me except for a few glasses of bad water. As a result of this, I (like many South American missionaries) have had pretty bad diarhea for the past 20 hours, but I`m sure it will pass eventually and even if it doesn`t, the missionary work is worth it.