Monday, June 16, 2014

Última carta (muchos últimos y algunos primeros)

I don´t know what to write now.  Seing as this is my last letter for the blog, I wanted to fill it with all sorts of spiritual wisdom, but I still don´t feel all that wise and the small wisdom and experiences that I DO have, I will be sharing with all of you in person very soon.

All that I want to say is that finishing the mision is a strange experience.  It was somewhat sad as yesterday, I finished my last complete week in the mission field, went to my LAST sacrament meeting my LAST ward council meeting, and saw many people for the last time.

On the other hand I am excitited to see all of you again for the FIRST time after a long time, or for 3 of my nieces and nephews, simply see them the FIRST time.

While I am happy to see al of you again, I will be doing my best effort to not think about any of you until Friday.

If anybody wants to see me you can come to my house Friday at midnight, or Saturday in the morning.

Elder Jack Casdorph

Monday, June 2, 2014

Simples testimonios

Last week a wrote about a lasseon that we had where a few testimonies changed everything.

When we visited that same investigator again we asked her: "Did you pray to ask God if our message is true."
"Yes, I prayed and .... I felt very calm, then I had a dream .. and in my dream somebody told me that it's true."
"Do you think that that was an answer from God?"
"Will you continue preparing to be baptized on June 21?"

(a bit later) "Will you attend church with us this Sunday"
"Yes, but I went to church Sunday and you guys weren´t there, and I felt uncomfortable so I left."
With excitement and confusion, we asked, "What church did you go to?"
"Where you guys told me!  The bus stop of bus number 4!"
"No sister, our church is next to the bus 53 stop."
"Oh, that expains why I didn´t like that church!"

She did try to go to church, but she was a bit confused and went to the Jehovah's Witnesses. Yesterday, she went to the right church and liked it a lot. Her son didn´t want to leave the primary because he was having so much fun coloring in a CTR sheild.

Helen will be getting baptized June 21st.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, May 26, 2014

Unos Simples Testimonios

This week, I saw how it is that a few simple testimonies could really make a difference in somebody. In the second visit that we had with a young, single mother named Helen, we somehow managed to bring 3 different young adult members with us to the lesson (normally, we are extatic if 1 member goes with us) which was especially suprising because it´s cold here right now, and when it´s cold, the people here don´t leave their houses, sometimes not even to go to work or school.  These 3 valliant members walked about 10 blocks with us, and 2 of them completly soaked their shoes and feet in cold puddles of muddy rainwater.

We arrived at the appointment, and asked Helen if she had prayed to know if our message is true or not.  She started to tell us that she didn´t pray nor did she intend to do so, because she was catholic and had every inention of being Catholic the rest of her life because she was raised catholic and was rather content with catholicism. She told us that she was only listening to us because a good friend of hers had asked her to listen and that she thought that many of the things we taught were wierd and against her upbringing.

We decided to make use of the 3 members that were with us, as well as the other 2 members that rent a couple of rooms in the same house as Helen and had given us the referral to teach Helen.  We asked them to share their testimonies because 4 of the 5 were converts in the church and 2 of the 5 were returned missionaries.  They shared their testimonies and we almost didn´t even talk.

"Will you pray to know if our message is true?" we asked.


"Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptised by someone who has the priesthood authority of God?"

"Si" she replied, "because I want to have the same change in my life that they had."

"We will be having a baptismal service June 21st. Will you prepare yourself to be baptised on that day?"


At first she didn´t even want to thing about the possibility of our message being true, but thanks to a few simple testimonies from a few faithful members, she decided to accept getting baptized June 21st without the missionaries saying hardly anything.

Please share your testimony with somebody.  It will make a difference.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, May 19, 2014


I honestly don´t know what to write about any more.  The missionary work is going fantastically in my new area. We don´t have many investigators, but I feel like we are really helping a lot of members and other members.  The whole missionary thing is pretty much the same as it has been for these last 22 months, so I thought I´d talk about something a bit different today, el carpir.

"Carpir" is a word used in the eastern part of Bolivia which basically means "to mow the lawn by hand".  There hardly aren´t such things as lawnmowers and weedeaters here, so the work is done with machetes and a tool similar to a hoe which is called "azadón".  In my time in Bolivia, I have become an expert carpidor.  We had a service project Saturday where 3 other Elders and I went to carpir a lawn.  The other 3 Elders are really new misionaries and never have carpido before.  I felt pretty awesome as they all asked me to show them how to cut the lawn with a machete. As I started to show them with my "hard-aquired machete skills" I stated to cut away at a bunch of tall weeds.  About 1'0 seconds later, my machete struck something hard and I heard "Pssssssssst" and found that I had taken a big chunk out of their water-line which was now spraying water everywhere.  We had to shut of the water in all their house, and then in addition to mowing ther lawn with machetes (which is no easy task) we had to fix their water line.  The family felt very thankful, even though I broke their water line and they went to church yesterday.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cupesi y Cartagena

I got transfered this week.  I am now in Cupesí, which is in like the 8th to 10th ring on the East side of Santa Cruz (as shown in the map, Cupesí is the blue thing with a little church inside of it.

My new companion is Elder Garcia.  He´s from Cartagena Colombia (the same city and even the same ward as Elder Jaime, one of my companions like 8 months ago).  The area is fantastic and my new companion is awesome.  He´s the only member in his family and was baptized only 2 years ago because he had to wait to turn 18 to get baptized because his parents didn´t give him permission.  I´ll let you know next week  more about the new area.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mudanza de Casa

This week we moved our house.  I have helped many people move, but this was the first time in my life that I have moved (other than the whole Utah-Indiana and America-Bolivia thing....and all of the misionary transfers)  It was wierd to move all of the stuff and arrive at a completely different house, in a completely different place....with the same furniture and all or the same stuff.

In other news, the Rivero family went to church for the second time and everyting is on track for their baptism May 10th.  The kids really like the primary and the father has started to say "when we get baptized" rather than "if we get baptised".  The sad thing is that is like a 95% probability that I will leave the area May 7th.

I wanna share something that I learned this week and that I wrote tomy mission president, but I´m out of time so I´m gonna copy and paste it in Spanish. I hope it makes sense

8 (Pues sus discípulos habían ido a la ciudad a comprar algo de comer.)
31 Entre tanto, los discípulos le rogaban, diciendo: Rabí, come.
32 Y él les dijo: Yo tengo una comida que comer que vosotros no sabéis.
33 Entonces los discípulos se decían el uno al otro: ¿Le habrá traído alguien de comer?
34 Jesús les dijo: Mi comida es que haga la voluntad del que me envió y que acabe su obra.
35 ¿No decís vosotros: Aún faltan cuatro meses para que llegue la siega? He aquí os digo: Alzad vuestros ojos y mirad los campos, porque ya están blancos para la siega.
37 Porque en esto es verdadero el dicho: Uno es el que siembra, y otro es el que siega. Juan 4:8, 31-35, 37

Comida del hombre: nuestros propios deseos
Comida de Cristo: Hacer la voluntad de Dios


8 (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)
31 Meanwhile, the disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 And he said to them: I have meat to eat that ye know not.
33 Then the disciples said one to another, What man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus said unto them, My meat is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.
37 For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps. John 4:8, 31-35, 37

Man Food: our own desires
Food of Christ, doing the will of God

-Elder Casdorph

Monday, April 21, 2014


Not much has changed in the last week.  The Rivero family has been progressing quite well, and want to get married and baptized, but they couldn´t go to church because they had to go to the hospital with their 11 year old daughter that was sick with dengue.

I learned an important lesson in the book of Mormon this week about the need for member missionaries.

Alma was Preaching in Amonihan, but the people rejected him saying:

 Who art thou? Suppose ye that we shall believe the testimony ofaone man, although he should preach unto us that the earth should pass away?


Who is God, that sendeth no more authority than one man among this people, to declare unto them the truth of such great and marvelous things?

Afterward, however, Amulek, a great member misionary, bore his tesimony with the people and the following succeded:

And now, when Amulek had spoken these words the people began to be astonished, seeing there was amore than one witness who testified of the things whereof they were accused, and also of the things which were to come, according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them. (Alma 9:2,6; Alma 10:12)

Try helping a missionary out by offering your testimony and you will see miracles.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Familia Rivero

I can finally put the name of some investigators int he subjest line again.  We were struggling a bit in out area, but now we are doing a whale lot better, and the Rivero family came to church tis Sunday and will be getting baptised May 3rd.  The success with them has very little to do with us, and a lot to do with a member family that is helping them a lot.  (all credit of course goes to the Lord, not any of us)

I don´t have time to write anything , so to see what happened with the family you will have to translate what I wrote to my mission perisident:

El Sábado tuvimos una cita a las 6 con la familia Rivero (familia de oro) y pedimos a la familia Rodriguez que nos acompaña (sus hermanadores que ya conocieron la casa porque no habían acompañado antes). Llegamos MUY tarde a la cita, porque la menos activa ni los miembros que nos acompañaron en nuestra cita a la 5 dejaron de hablar para que pudieramos terminar la lección. Decidimos ver primero sí los investigadores estaban en casa (porque ya era las 7), y luego llamar a los miembros y pedirles que vengan.

Llegamos a la casa, y el padre salió a recibirnos. "¿Hermanos quieren pasar?"
"Claro que sí, hermano," dije, "pero vamos a llamar a la familía que vino con nosotros el otro día para ver si pueden verin tambien."
Respondió, "Oh, ¿el hermano Ausencio? ya vinieron. salieron justo antes que llegaron ustedes. Dicen que van a venir mañana para llevernos a toditos a la iglesia en su auto." 


On Saturday we had an appointment at 6 with the Rivero family (golden family) and asked the Rodriguez family with us (their hermanadores already knew the house because they had not joined earlier). We arrived very late for an appointment, or because the less active members who joined us on our date to the 5th stop talking so we could finish the lesson. We decided to first see if the researcher were home (because it was 7), and then call members and ask them to come.

We got home, and the father came out to meet us. "Brothers want to spend?"
"Sure, brother," I said, "but let's call a friend who came with us the other day to see if they can also verin."
Replied, "Oh, Brother Auxentios? Already came. Came out just before you arrived. They say they're coming tomorrow to toditos llevernos to the church in his car."

Elder Casdorph

Monday, April 7, 2014


It´s getting harder to find new and exciting things to write about every week.  We hada pretty good week, and I enjoyed conference a lot.  We made a whole ton of plans to help our investigators go to conference, but despite our best plans and efforts, only 1 investigator came....and due to his age(62) and health problems, he ended up sleeping for most of conference.  Sometimes the missionary work is that, way, sometimes we make plans and goals with no results, and other times we see miracles that we never could have planed or even imagined.  While being a missionary is sometimes hard it is always rewarding and while I´ve thankfully never had to go through experiences quite as dificult as those poor sister missionaries in Elder Holland's talk, I'd happily go through them for the Lord.

In respect to general conference, I would actually like to share a story with you all that I shared with my zone a few days ago  (Credit for the story goes to my old companion Elder Aquino, and he probably stole the story from someone else):

There was once a group of ducks who every thursday gathered together for their duck club meeting.  Every week they shared experiences that they had had in the week as well as thing that they had learned.  One week, one of the duck-club members stood up to share what he had learned:

"Fellow ducks!  I discovered this week that if we take our right and left wings and move them up and down simultaneously, we can fly!"

He then demostrated his newfound knowledge by flapping is wings and lifting himself off the ground.

The room soon electrified with emotion as all of the ducks discovered that they indeed had the capacity to fly!

After a about half an hour they all calmed down again, fineshed the meeting, and then went back home walking.


In general conference we all heard or felf spiritual impressions about what it is that we need to fly.  We felt it!  We learned how to fly!

and then many went home walking.  If you liked a certain talk, apply it.  If you felt that you should do something, do it.

I personally liked what Elder Ballard said about writing about what one is learning in Preach my Gospel to a missionary in the field.  It made me notice that I, as the missionary in the field, am not doing my part to write what I have learned to all of you.

Don´t go back home walking.  I'm gonna do my best to fly by sharing the things that I have learned with all of you, so stay tuned for next week.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, March 31, 2014

Compañero nuevo

Sorry, I'm hardly writing anything for the blog now.  It seems like there´s always someone else to write or general conference invitations that I want to make to print out and give to everybody, or information that I have to send to the mission offices for my zone of missionaries.

I should at leat tell you all that I have new companion.  His name is Elder Esquivel.  He´s from San Juan, Argentina and has the same amount of time as me in the mission- 21 months.  He´s actually my 4th companion from my same group (in missionary jargon "group" refers to all of the missionaries who started and will end their misions on the same day).

Elder Casdorph

Monday, March 24, 2014

Elder Grow

We had a special conference with Elder Grow, a member of the 1st quorum of the seventy and member of the preisudencia of the South America Northwest Area.  It was powerful and very spiritual.  He congratulated the members for the work that they have been doing. In the last 4 months in the area (which includes Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela)  there have been 8,000 rescued less-active members who are now active in the church, which is the equivalent of 3 new stakes.  Everyone is really excited for the work of salvation.

I personally am super excited for the upcoming General Conference.  The last general conferences have changed my entire mission with the announcements of reduced ages, new missions, and a whole new focus in the work of salvation.

Please watch conference April 5th and 6th....


....and please invite everyone you know to watch it too.

Elder Casdorph

p.s.  I had a baptism Saturday. Jaime Muñoz (24 yrs.) got baptized, but I forgot the SD Card with the picture in my house, asi que no habrá foto.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Apresuraré mi obra en su tiempo

Sorry, I didn´t have much time to write last week.  I have a ton of things to write all of you, but I´ve got a bunch of other things to do too, so we´ll see if I have enough time.

My mom recently asked me for ideas about how to have more refferals to give the missionaries.  I wrote this to her, and then later decided that it´d be something good to put on the blog.

The idea is:

1.Make a list of all of your friends, family, and aquaintences that don´t know the gospel, and might be interested in listening (when someone doesn´t know that many people, this list should basically be all of the non-members that you know within the ward boundaries).

2. Pray and ask for help from the Lord to know which of the people in the list is prepared to recieve the Gospel (D+C 88:73 "Behold, I will hasten my work in its time" - the Lord is hastening is work and SOMEBODY in that list is ready to recieve the Gospel).

3. GO with the missionaries and with Dad and try to teach, invite, inspire, or get to know better the person in the list.  (Call them and say, "hey Elders I have a referral for you")

Trust me, this works.

You can also read this article, especially the Section "Bringing people into the Church" for more ideas.

If after doing the 3 steps and reading the powerful words of President Hinckley, you still don´t have anyone to present to the missionaries.  Go and visit a less-active member and invite him to go back to church.  Ask him who he knows that could receive the missionaries.  The less-actives always have a bunch of non-member friends.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, February 24, 2014

Casi Carnival

Next week is Carnival, a Catholic, Latin American holiday that celebrates giving up carnal desires before the start of Easter.  Well...... the idea is giving up or denouncing carnal desires, in reality it is 3 days of giving in to such desires such as drinking (a lot) and basically every other type of iniquity and immorality, and well.....carnal desires.  The point that I am trying to illustrate is that it is 3 days of stuff that a missionary should not have anything to do with.

During carnival, the missionaries aren´t allowed to leave the house at all, which means that I won´t be writing next week.

All is going well here, we don´t have many investigators, but we have recieved some pretty good references fom a couple members (something that the missionaries in your ward surely need as well).  We will have a couple of baptisms in the next couple of weeks, but they don´t hardly count, because they´re just re-baptisms of members who for some reason don´t show up in the church record system as being baptized.

I know that this church is true and that this is His work.  The Lord is hastening his work right now as the members and missionaries work together.

The missionaries worldwide are extremely able, but sometimes clueless as to what it is that they need to do; just a tiny bit of help from the members can make a big difference in a missionary´s mission experience.  Please help the missionaries to change that experience so that you and they can change the lives of many.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, February 17, 2014

Las Misiones

I got transfered.   :(

I am now in Santa Cruz again.  May ward is calles las Misiones.  My companion is Elder Laura and he has 21 months in the mission.  The ward seems really strong, partially because my last 2 areas have been wimpy little small-town branches.  There are more active priesthood holders in my ward than in the last 2 branches combined.  Among those members are the 2nd counselor of the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission and the former president of the Bolivia La Paz Mission.

Despite the strength of the members, the area is pretty weak.  There have not been any baptims in my area for the last 5 months, and we currently have next to nothing as far as investigators.  The only investigators that we do have is a young couple, the Hinojosa family.  They are from a tiny, rural town, and speak very little Spanish.  They mostly speak quechua, a common native language here.  A member who also speaks quechua accompanies us in the lessons to help translate.  They understand about 75% of what we say in Spanish and we understand about 50% of what they are saying when they speak Quechua, and the member tries to make up for the rest.  They came to church Sunday and really enjoyed it (or what they could understand of it).  Thay are progressing slowly, but surely, and if we can help them to get married, they will be getting baptized in mid-March.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, February 10, 2014


I don´t have much time to write, but what I will write is that Paola got baptised and Alex Rodriquez (the 19 year old that got baptised 2 weeks ago) baptised her.  Last Sunday he recieved the Aaronic Priesthood in the office of a Priest and Saturday, he performed his first baptism.  I´ll write more next week.  The tranfers are in 2 days and it´s pretty likely that my days in Bermejo are over, but I´ll let you all know next week.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, February 3, 2014

Paola y Alejandro

Alejandro (Alex), the investigator who got baptised last Saturday is doing REALLY well. He is now the #1 miembro misionero in all of Bermejo (and I know all of the good member missionaries in Bermejo).  He´s given like 8 referrals, and has gone with the missionaries to teach those referrals. Friday, he went with one companionship in the morning, another in the afternoon, and with us in the evening.  Yesterday, he brought his girlfriend to church.  Two weeks ago he gave her a Book of Mormon and a couple of days ago watched The Testaments with her.  In church yesterday, a couple of members mentioned baptism to her, and she asked, "Who do I have to talk to to get baptized?"  Today we are going to have our first lesson, but it looks like thanks to a couple simple efforts of a recent convert with a powerful testimony, she´s ready and willing to receive the Gospel in her life.

We will be having another baptism this Saturday.  Her name is Paola.  She´s a single mother, who really likes the church and the Gospel because she feels like it will help her to be a better mother (and she´s right).  She was also a referral from a member in our branch.  Her whole journey in the Gospel started when Bro. Meriles gave her a copy of The Family:a Proclamation to the World about a month ago.

The prophet recently said: "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work."  I can see the Lord fulfilling His prophetic promise here as the members and missionaries work together.

My mission changed June 23, 2013, because of what the prophet said.  I don´t know how things have changed back at home, and if they have not really changed much, I invite you: Go and find the missionaries and ask them how you can help them.  Share your testimony with a friend. It worked with Alejandro, it worked with Bro. Meriles, and it will work for you.

Elder Casdorph

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Alex Rodriguez

I though that you all my like to know that I am teaching an investigator named Alex Rodriguez (sorry, he´s not A-Rod the famous Yankee Baseball player).  Actually his name is "Alejandro", but he gos by "Alex".  He is actually going to get baptized this Saturday.

He told us Monday that he had been praying for a couple of weeks to know if the church is true and that he had had a dream that he thought might be his answer.  He told us that in that dream that he was reading the book of Mormon, when a group of teenagers came up to him and wanted to fight.  In his dream, he decided to pray for help.  He said that as he was praying that I and a group of other Elders that he didn´t recognize appeared and started to talk to the angry teenagers.  The group of teenagers dispersed and a few of them decided to enter a nearby church while others simply left from his sight.  Later when the teenagers left the church, Alex decided to give them his Book of Mormon.  They accepted, went on their way and the dream ended.

"Do you feel like that dream was an answer from God to your prayers?" I asked.
"Do you think that the book of Mormon is true?"
"Si.  Sé que lo es."  (Yes I know that it is)

Sorry, I´m out of time, but I just wanted you to know that Alex is awesome and that he will be getting baptized this Saturday.  And that he decided to go on a 2 hour trip to Oran, Argentina, where his girlfriend was with her family for summer vacation, so that he could give her a Book of Mormon.

Elder Casdorph

Monday, January 6, 2014

Seguimos en Bermejo

The transfers came and I´m still in Bermejo! (which is what I was hoping for by the way)  My companion is still here in the same area too.  This is my companion´s last transfer cycle which means that I will get the chance to "kill" him (they say ´kill´ or ´die´ when someone finishes their mission and ´birth´ when someone arrives in their first area).  That also means that it´s pretty much a sure thing that I will stay in Bermejo for 2 more transfer cycles so that I can show my new companion the area after Elder Galarza leaves.  Right now, we´re in Santa Cruz for an important meeting, but our flight was many hours before the meeting, so my companion and I asked for permission to go to one of my old areas (Jardín del Sur) because my companion also served in the same area, and we want to go visit our converts.  The whole ´Noche Blanca´ thing has been working really well here in Bermejo, so we decided to program another one for January 25th.  Anyway, we want as much time as we can get to go visit our converts while we are in Santa Cruz, so I´ll have to write more next week.