Monday, August 26, 2013


It got cold again here and weather was a bit tough for my companion.  Where he comes from (Cartajena, Colombia) it´s never cold, so the cold here has been pretty unbearable for him. Just when it was starting to get hot again, and he was feeling a bit better, the cold and rain came back.  The cold here isn´t all that bad, but the rain is miserable because all of the streets flood with water and become like rivers.  As we left the house to proselyte Friday, we found ourselves in the bitter cold and pouring rain. As we arrived at the only paved street in our area, we found it completely flooded with absolutely now way of crossing on foot without the cold, rushing water filling our shoes completely.  As I tried to call a taxi to offer him 2 pesos to take us to the other side of the street, I noticed my companion walking away.  I ran to him and asked him where he was going.  "I´m going to the house," he said.

After trying everything I knew how to do to convince him that we weren´t just gonna give up and go home, I found that I couldn´t do anything because he had decided that we were going back home and as I tried to reason with him he just ignored me kept walking back to the house.  I decided to give my companion some time to warm up back in the house and as he did so, I helped our landlord change the mosquito nets on the windows. Afterward, when he still didn´t want to leave the house, I decided to call the zone leaders who then called the mission president.  We later received a call from the mission president who said that he wanted to talk to Elder Jaime.  I don´t know exactly what the mission president told him, but the next day we got back to work as normal, and I´ve been spending the last few days trying to lift my companion back up from his discouragement. He´s doing better now, but it´s been tough.

In other news we have an investigator who will be getting married friday (her husband is a less-active member) and getting baptized Saturday.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jardín del Sur

Everything is going fine here.  The baptism that we were supposed to have Saturday with the Maribel and Sabina Ziñany ended up not happening because they want to be more sure that this really is the true church before getting baptized.  They almost have testimonies, but it will be a few more days before they are completely ready for baptism.  We are going to do all that we can to help them to be ready to get baptized this Saturday.  My relationship with my companion is good and the members of my ward are finally learning to pronounce "Casdorph" (which probably means that I will soon be transferred to another area).  There is honestly very little to report now.  I keep teaching and helping people every day and the days are starting to pass by faster and faster.  The winter has now passed and I will be experiencing nothing but heat and humidity until June 2014.  I´ve gotten so used to being a missionary that the thought of going back to the States and being a normal person who can sleep in, watch movies, and use facebook seems extremely foreign.  It will be interesting to see how the world has changed when I get back and especially how much I have changed.

Now it´s time to focus in the time that I have here so that I can keeping changing myself and keep changing the world (or at least Bolivia).

I´ll let you all know a bit more next week about how it´s going here, and probably send some pics, but until then...

Elder Casdorph

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Comidas, misioneras, y Flia. Ziñany

Tuesday was Bolivian Independence Day an my ward decided to do a couple of activities to celebrate it.  The Relief Society (the women) had an activity where the all brought a bunch of typical Bolivian foods and then assigned 3 people to judge which was the tastiest.  I, as an American have a different taste in foods, so the one that I liked the most, didn´t even get 3rd place.  The one that I liked the most is Chorizo  Chuquisaqueño (Sausage from Chuquisaca) and is what you see in the photo.

Also in this week, a sister from my ward left on her mission.  She is now in the MTC in Sao Paulo, Brazil and her family is super happy and proud because she is the first missionary in her family.

We should be having 2 baptisms this Saturday (Sabina and Maribel Ziñany).  They came to the activity this week as well as church on Sunday.

We asked Maribel (18 yrs) how she felt about baptism yesterday, because before, she wasn´t sure if she wanted to get baptized.  She said that she definitely wanted to get baptized, but she wasn´t sure when.  I felt like I should just be bold and direct with her and said, "Good, if you don´t have any objections then, you are gonna get baptized this Saturday because we can tell that you´re ready."  She smiled, accepted and is now super-exited to get baptized Saturday.

I hope that all is going well back in the states and that I can hear from all of you soon, but I hope that all of you know that everything is going great here, the days are flying by super-fast and that I am enjoying every moment that I have with the people of Santa Cruz.

Elder Casdorph

Friday, August 9, 2013

Jardín del Sur (South Garden)

Por varias meses ye, yo he querido escribirles en español, pero por algún razón, nunca lo hice.  Andrea, por favor cuando pone eso en Google Traducir, ponga el original en español, junto con la traducción en ingles.  Espero que éste tendrá sentido cuando se lo traduce, especialmente porgue todavía no escribo muy bien, y si algo esta mal-escrito, Google Traducir no lo reconocerá, pero por eso hay spellcheck.  

Todo va bien aquí tenemos una mamá y su hija de 18 años que se van a bautizar el 17 de Agosto.  Tenemos también dos parejas que se van a casar y bautizarse.  Los miembros están apoyándonos mucho mejor ya en la obra.  Martes van a hacer una actividad en la iglesia.  Van a comer comidas típicas de todos los departamentos de Bolivia y hacer una noche de talentos porque martes es la día de independencia boliviana.  Mí compañero estamos trabajando y enseñando bien juntos, me gusta estar con un Colombiano; la gente de Centroamérica es muy alegre.

Enseñamos a en joven que casi no cree en Dios.  Le leí Alma 22:18 y le ayudamos a que pudo orar par saber si Dios realmente existe.  Nos arrodillamos, y el no quería orar pero por fin lo hizo.

"D-..Dios............ Dios por favor bendice a estés hermanos por haber sé a quien estoy hablando....
"No sé a quien estoy hablando, no sé a quien estoy hablando, si estoy hablando a ti o solamente a mi mismo o a la pared o no sé que.....
"Quisiera saber si tu existes.....quisiera que..te des..a conocer..a mí.
(ya hablando mucho mas rápido)"No sé que estoy haciendo no sé si estoy orando o hablando no mas.  Cuando era chico, creía en ti; creía que existes, pero ya... ya no sé.  Por favor, a-amen."

El estaba preocupado de que hizo mal la oración.  Le dije yo, "No se preocupe. Es unas de las mejores oraciones que he escuchado en mi vida."

Le dimos un Libro de Mormón y le preguntamos si podría lee un poquito. Nos dijo, "No, no voy a leer un poquito.  Si lo leo, lo loe todo."

En el próximo, estaré dándoles noticias de él, pero hasta el próximo...

Élder Casdorph 

For several months now, I've wanted to write in Spanish, but for some reason, I never did. Andrea, please when you put that into Google Translate, put the original in Spanish, along with English translation. I hope this will make sense when you translate it, especially because I do not write very well, and if something is wrong-writing, Google Translate does not recognize it, but that's spellcheck.

All is well here we have a mother and her 18 year old daughter to be baptized on August 17th. We also have two couples who are getting married and baptized. Members are relying much better already in the works. Tuesday we'll do an activity in the church. They will eat traditional foods from all departments of Bolivia and make a night of talent because Tuesday is the day of Bolivian independence. Me teaching partner and I are working well together and I like to be with a Colombian, Central American person who is very cheerful.

We taught a young man who almost did not believe in God. I read Alma 22:18 to help him know you could pray even to know if God really exists. We knelt, and he did not want to pray but he finally did.

"D-.. God please ............ God bless you brothers for having e-......... do not know who I'm talking about ....
"I know who I'm talking about, do not know who I'm talking about, if I'm talking to you or just myself or wall or do not know .....
"I wonder if you exist ..... want .. you know .. you know .. to me.
(Speaking and much faster) "I know I'm doing I do not know if I'm praying or talking no more. As a kid, I believed in you, believing that you exist, but ... I do not know. Please to-love. "

He was concerned that the sentence was wrong. I said, "Do not worry.  It's one of the best sentences I've heard in my life."

We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked if he could read a little. He said, "No, I will read a little. If I read it, I love all."

In the next email, I will send more news about him, but until next ...

Elder Casdorph

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mas sillas de ruedas

In this last week, we started teaching Miguel Angel.  He is a 27 year old man in a wheelchair who works making both acoustic and electric guitars.  He has has meningitus, and tuberculosis (or at least I think that´s what he told me, but I´m not sure because the names of the diseases were in Spanish), and is now in a wheelchair and suffering from a bit of memory loss.  When we found him, he told us than every night he prays so that he can pass on from this life and wonders why God wants him to keep on living.  We taught him the plan of Salvation, and the purpose that God has for him in his life.  At the end of the lesson we asked him to pray. In his prayer, rather that asking to pass away like he usually always did, he asked for more time in his life to fix the mistakes that he has made and put his life in order.  He came to church yesterday, and gave us the news that he will be going to La Paz for 2 months for physical therapy and other medical stuff.  It's awesome that he will get the medical help that he needs, but my companion and I are pretty bummed that we won´t get to keep teaching him.  We are going to give his info to the missionaries in La Paz and they are going to keep teaching him and hopefully baptize him.

We´ve got some other great people that we are teaching, but I´ll let you know about them next week.

Until Next Time,
Elder Casdorph