Friday, July 12, 2013

Interviews with President, Socialized Medicine, etc

Hello family and friends!!

This week was pretty odd. But pretty cool. I have to start by saying that I AM IN THE JULY LIAHONA!......But only in Central America. There is an article in the Central America local pages about new missionaries and the new training schedule in the CCM and because my group was the first to go straight to Guatemala, our CCM group is the picture for the article. I am super tiny in the picture, but hey, I'm pretty much famous. I bought a few copies and I'll send them home soon (I figured Mom would want a few...). Anyway, when they get there the article is on page P4. The work has been tough in our area lately. We went out with a member, who even had a car, and we went through 6 attempted visits in an hour. No one was home. We ended up visiting 2 member families because they WERE home. The member that we went with is named Nefi. He reminds me a lot of Jerry. He has the same personality, and he is a great guy. And he is also big like Jerry (but not as big as Jerry. No one here is that big...). Our area is a richer area. In some neighborhoods everyone has a car. In Apopa, I knew 2 or 3 members who had cars. Also, you can tell they are richer/more educated by the way they speak. For example, it is much more common here to here the -se form of the past subjunctive here than in Apopa. So something kind of crazy happened this week. We were climbing some stairs that lead up to a neighborhood called Las Brisas (there are 296 stairs, I counted...) and we ran into about 5 dogs. They weren't too happy with us, but we didn't worry too much about it. I always pull off my backpack and put it in between me and any sketchy dog when they are close to us like that, but Elder Vaughan just kept walking by. After he passed, one of the dogs bit him on the back of his thigh! He wheeled around and almost kicked it in the face, and we then had to fight them off a little bit. It is funny because there was someone there in their house and they just told us to move along because the dogs don't bite. Elder Vaughan begged to differ... Anyway, because he got bit and it punctured the skin, we have been traveling around trying to get anti-rabies treatment because it was a street dog. We went to a private hospital, but they just referred us to a local health clinic. SKETCHY. And we learned what socialized medicine is really like. Today we woke up early to go to the clinic. They told us to go wait over by the immunizations place, and we waited there for about an hour. The other departments are all along the same hallway, so in that hour, we saw that NOT A SINGLE PERSON WAS TREATED. Not one. The doctors and nurses were walking around eating and chatting and telling us 'ya los van a atender', or 'they're going to attend to you right now'. After an hour I talked to someone about it because I was beyond sick of waiting and they finally let us go in. BUT, they told us that the consult with the private hospital was not good enough and that we had to go get a consult there in the clinic. We went out to where that line was, and there were over 200 people, and no one was being attended to. So we bounced. I think that if all parents had to take their children to a socialized healthcare clinic like that, they would never even THINK about voting to socialize medicine. But I guess I just got a sneak peak at Obamacare; not impressed. This week we also had interviews with President Glazier. Usually he has a theme prepared, but this week he just let us ask questions so that he could 'minister' to us. It was really a unique opportunity, and I came away with some new goals. Also, I told him about some of the difficulties in our area (like there not being people in the street to talk to) and he chose me to do a little 'pilot project' for him. For two weeks, Elder Vaughan and I have to wake up at 6 to leave the house at 7 to contact families on the way to drop their kids off at school. That way we can get references of families while there are people in the street. After the two weeks I have to give a little report about how it went. So I am hoping it goes well. The sacrifice will hopefully bring the blessings we need in our area. That is the message for the week. I have shared it with investigators, with less active families, and now with you: Sacrifice. Living the gospel is not always the easiest thing to do. It can be tough to break out the scriptures and study a little bit every day. It can be hard to get into a routine of daily personal and family prayer. It can be hard to make good decisions every day. But when we sacrifice our own will, our own pride, our own time and effort to try to live the way Christ taught us to, and the way he expects us to live, we receive blessings beyond that which we can even imagine. As humans we tend to see a very limited scope of how things really are. I think that if we could see things the way God sees them, we would see that EVERY SINGLE sacrifice that we make brings a blessing. Every time we put off a bad thought, every time we get out of bed and go to church even though we feel tired, every time we make time to read the Book of Mormon, we receive blessings. And if we could watch from an outside perspective, we would see that as we make these sacrifices, we are literally guided and strengthened as we go about our daily activities. So lets make sacrifices. Let's be willing to do things we may not want to do. When we do that, step by step we are 'putting off the natural man'. One of the great lessons that I have learned from my Mom, and perhaps one of my favorites, is something that she sent me in a letter a few weeks ago. It is that 'I CAN DO HARD THINGS.' She can do hard things, I can do hard things, and you can too. That being said, let's do hard things. And lets start by reading 531 pages before the end of the year (hint: that is the Book of Mormon!). President Glazier has encouraged that each of us missionaries read it again before the year is over. And lets be honest, you guys are lucky, I am reading it in Spanish and it has 642 pages. I know that the influence and guidance of the Spirit that will enter your life when you begin to read daily is something that you can not afford NOT to have. I love you guys. You're the best. Let's work hard this week.


Elder Andreasen

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