Monday, March 25, 2013

Borrachito Sanito

[Translation: Drunk sanito... (my guess is 'crazy drunk,' but Google Translate refuses to back me up. -- Andrea]

This week we got to go to Santa Cruz in a big, comfy tour bus to listen to Elder Waddel, who is a member of the quorum of the seventy and the 1st counselor in the South America Northwest Area.  During the 8 hour trip, we enjoyed the rare chance to sleep, and the much rarer chance to watch the pirated DVD´s that they show on the buses.  The next day we went to the conference with Elder Waddel, which was fantastic.  The following day, we took another 8 hr bus ride back to Yacuiba, where we enjoyed more sleep, movies, and a chance to see a whole bunch of tiny Bolivian towns and the beautiful eastern Bolivian countryside.

A couple of months ago, I sent home a story of being chased by a drunk guy.  Yesterday, we were looking for a different person, and having forgotten where the drunk guy lived, we knocked on his door.  We talked a bit, and he invited us to enter and teach him a bit.  As we started to talk to him in his house, I started thinking, "I think I know this guy" then I bit later, I realized, "This is the crazy drunk guy that chased us for like 10 blocks!"  Shortly after this realization, he started to say, "I´m sorry for my conduct the other day.  I was really drunk and I wasn´t with all of my 5 senses.  I felt really bad for how I treated you and your other companion, and I´m actually really surprised that you guys came back."

I honestly did not have the slightest intention of ever returning to the house of that crazy drunk guy, but after accidentally (and probably not coincidentally) knocking his door and then teaching him a good lesson, I´m glad that I did return.  It shows that people really can change and also the crazy, awful things that normally good people choose to do while under the influence of alcohol.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, March 18, 2013

Donatión de Sangre

Not much has happened here in Yacuiba, other than that it is getting cold now.  We only had 1 investigator in Sacrament meeting, her name is Amberly (a surprisingly gringo name) and she is 11 years old.  She is the daughter of a less active and will be getting baptized on the 30th.

They also recently announced the Papa Gaucho (Argentinian Pope) which got all of the Catholics here, especially the Argentinians (of which there are many as we are on the border with Argentina) all excited.

The highlight of the week was that as we were eating lunch, the family that we were with was watching the news, and we saw that in a nearby park, they were asking for blood donations.  We decided to go and donate, and by "we", I mean me, because my companion has a severe fear of needles.  We thought it would be a good opportunity to meet some new people to teach, give the church and missionaries a good name, and most importantly save some lives.  As they were testing my blood, I noticed that they were doing the same test many times and that they were somewhat confused.  I overheard them saying stuff like "the test says that he´s type negative, so I did it again".  Overhearing this, I replied, "yeah, my blood is O negative".  Apparently nobody in this part of the world has negative blood, especially O negative.  They said that there are only like 7 other people in the whole department of Tarija (departments are kind of like States) with the same blood type.  I was then treated as part king and part scientific specimen as they took my blood.  We were able to meet some great new people and now probably all of the nurses and doctors will remember the skinny Mormon gringo with O negative blood the next time that a missionary knocks on their door and be a bit more likely to open the door.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, March 11, 2013

Built upon the Rock

The highlight of the week for most of the Yacibueños and for us as well was a city wide blackout this Saturday in the night/ afternoon.  We were visiting a mechanic who accepted us in his home, but then said that he had to finish something important with an engine before conversing with us and asked us to wait a few minutes.  We waited 15 minutes for him to finish and then just as he sat down to talk with us all of the lights went out.  We then taught an entire lesson (and a pretty good one too) by the light of his little LED flashlight in his cell phone.  As we left his house we found ourselves in the rain in a muddy, dirt road.  We knew that the road also had a bunch of rocks of different sizes from when we arrived at the house in the light, but now we couldn´t see a thing.  Just about the only thing that we could see was the main road far in the distance that we could see because of the headlights of the passing cars.  Slipping in mud and tripping over rocks we managed to arrive at the road without falling, but with many close calls.

I wanted to use this story to teach an awesome object lesson like the General Authorities always do in General Conference.  The awesome object lesson will probably have to wait for a few years, so I can have a better perspective of the experience and maybe a few gray hairs to give me some more wisdom.  The experience did remind me, however, of a part in Preach My Gospel that says that we must walk by faith and not by sight.  I firmly believe that although we may stumble and slip in rocks and mud, that if we are built upon the Rock that is Christ our Lord, we cannot fall (Heleman 5:12)

Elder Casdorph

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dengue Parte 2: La Venganza Del Dengue

In this last month with my contraction of Dengue, Carnival, and my companion´s throat infection, we had just about as much time stuck in the house as we had working.  My companion decided to add to that by joining the not-so-exclusive list of missionaries who have had Dengue.  The only day that I got to leave and teach was when we decided to do a companion exchange with the zone leaders after meeting them in the doctors office and discovering that one of them was also sick with Dengue.  We decided to put the 2 sick elders together so that I and the other healthy one could go out and work.

In this day of work we decided to go out and look for a referral that one of our investigators gave us.  Like many referrals, this one did not include an address or a phone number but rather, "Go to where bus number 2 turns onto this street, ask the lady in the store on the corner where they live and she should tell you."  Despite the unlikelihood of actually being able to find the house, we decided to look.  We took the bus to the described location and got off.  We looked around for a store in the corner and there were no stores to be found.  We decided to ask a lady selling chicken nearby if she happened to know where they lived.  She knew nothing, but a nearby 8 yr old kid said that he knew where it was.  I didn´t trust the kid much, but he was pretty much our only hope for finding the house, so I pulled a couple of candies out of my pocket and announced (still talking to the chicken lady, but in a voice loud enough that the kid could easily hear) that I had a couple of candies that I was willing to give to anyone who could take us to the house.  The little kid, gladly offered to help us and then took us right to the house.  After confirming that our referral actual lived there, we gave the kid the promised candy and he went on his merry way with his mouth full of candy and his hand full of empty wrappers.

I am confident that the Lord had a hand in guiding us to this sweet-toothed, tour guide kid.

Elder Casdorph