Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Part 3: THE COMPLETE "controversial rest of the story" FINAL REPORT of the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION & the Cordell Andersen family --also now available as a 400 page BOOK

 CLICK TO RETURN TO PREVIOUS POSTPARTS 1 & 2

that also includes  THE ENTIRE BOOK 

 

FOLLOWS THE

 COMPLETE  "controversial rest of the story" FINAL REPORT

First, follows below information on the 3 part 400 page BOOK

The 3 Parts of the Foundation’s & the Cordell Andersen Family’s history among the Mayans is now a 400 page BOOK with over 800 color photographs entitled:

A FIFTY YEAR “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM” AMONG MY PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA

It is available on a Thumb Drive for $25, which includes several extra items. Send your check to:

 Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, UT 84003

It is available as a PRINTED BOOKseen above & below. There is nothing like it on the face of this planet!   Even before this announcement, 3 were ordered by the Ancient American Foundation, and 10 by my family at our Annual Lake Powell Reunion.  For your copy send your $120 check to me at the above address.

*********
THE GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION

& CORDELL M. ANDERSEN

presents  PART 3
THE  COMPLETE  FINAL  REPORT  for 50 YEARS OF TOTAL DEDICATION--of many caring & faithful people
--The TWELVE STRONG & WHAT THEY HELPED  US ACCOMPLISH—
--32 MEMORABLE HISTORICAL EFFORTS, EVENTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
in
THE JUNGLES & MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA
PREFACE to the
COMPLETE FINAL REPORT  

The GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION was quietly retired, with no fanfare,   after 50 years of service, on August 19, 2017—50  years after the Andersen Family crossed the border into Guatemala to begin on our own what was called  for 3 years the
Andersen Family Private Peace Corp
Report by "life-long volunteer Field Director," Cordell M. Andersen,  
   

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some of the beginning will be similar to what you might have seen before, but believe me there is a lot of new, and exiting reports with many photos you’ve never seen before including emotional items of “the rest of the story!”

So, read-on……
I always expressed gratitude and felt overwhelmingly blessed for having been the servant of my Guatemalan brothers and sisters for 50 YEARS—actually  for 64 years since the beginning of my LDS mission in Central America in 1956.  Above, I’m expressing gratitude kneeling at a Mayan altar from the “Religious Center” of the Valparaiso—Ancient Fortified City, interestingly joined by my guard dog, Goku—one day I hope to learn if he really knew what he was doing.  NOTE:  My son Nephi got this incredible chance photo.  Thanks, Nephi
My partner during some of those years was Dr. Carl Jacob who told me of being greatly stimulated in his interest in helping the “Lamanites,” Mormon terminology for Indigenous Americans, on hearing  LDS Apostle Melvin J. Ballard  tell a group of Spanish speaking missionaries, 
"A call to a Lamanite mission is a life-long call." 
By the end of my mission in 1958, I felt that even though I didn't learn about the statement until I was already back in Guatemala living and working among the rural Mayans in remote  Guatemala. Daily I reflect gratefully on the Lord blessing me as He did, and never cease to pray He will bless me to somehow be worthy of such an incredible blessing and help me be deserving of my greatest beloved friends being the thousands of brothers and sisters I was able to serve to the best of my ability for more than half a century.  The love was and is profound.  Thanks.
The following COMPLETE FINAL REPORT is:
 A historical distilling of 50 years of twists, turns, and complexities-
--sometimes humorous, often inspiring-- 
At times  tragic and controversial when perplexing decisions 
& judgments were made based on "erroneous reports"  and 
"widespread misunderstanding."  
Yet, in the end, a fascinating history of human  conflict & triumph 

I have struggled to make a summarized report that accurately portrays the most important aspects of this 50+ year long effort. The controversial history is included for the first time with many details. 

This is a sincere and honest effort to tell what has been called "the rest of the story," it’s need to be told foreshadowed at the 10-year point by the BONNEVILLE CORPORATION, that considered the astonishing story worth telling in their first feature-length dramatic movie as explained in item #28. The next 40 years made it much more compelling and historically meaningful.  But it could only be understood and honestly retold by rare individuals with "open minds and understanding hearts" capable of comprehending fairly and telling the story with integrity.  I am the only one who really knows the history, and am believed to be an honest man by key actors in the drama, like, Harold Brown, Enrique Rittscher, and Oliverio Guerrero who trusted me so completely it was almost scary—read on to see if they were right in their judgment.

THE LORD’S COUNSEL TO TELL THE STORY
To guide me in gradually revealing all—I  had a very profound dream, that two times was interrupted by waking for various reasons, but each time as I went back to bed, the dream continued without missing a beat, convincing me it was much more than a simple dream==it really was A VISION IN A DREAM.  A brief summary of this unique spiritual experience was told in Part 1: THE MYSTERIOUS CAUSE & THE PREPARATION TO ACT...., and needs not be repeated, except for the conclusion, which was a message in bold letters, clearly from the Lord, who said:
"SPEAK THE TRUTH FROM YOUR HEART!"
I accepted the guidance specifically for doing this series of historical reports:

Part 1: The MYSTERIOUS CAUSE and PREPARATION TO ACT and have the Courage to Make the Risky…Journey, 

Part 2:  The RISKY, BREATHTAKING 1967 PIONEER JOURNEY TO THE JUNGLES & MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA. and,

Part 3: The COMPLETE FINAL REPORT

THE THEME OF THE ADMITTEDLY IDEALISTIC

QUIXOTIC/AMMON-like ADVENTURE 

ALWAYS WAS:

"No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself"
See Jacob 2:13- 19,&  D&C 38:25, -- expanded in item #28 and elsewhere
Let me just say that what follows is a testament to the many who encouraged and gave generous support—
like my children & grandchildren seen below at the dedication of the
Ariel & Ines Andersen Chuluc School near Patzicia in 1987.


Likely not much of what I describe here would have happened as it did without them, and
OTHER KEY EARTHLY INDIVIDUALS—such as:
THE TWELVE STRONG & KEY SUPPORTING ACTORS
& CONTINUAL HELP FROM THE LORD. 
Especially were all of them critical for one who really was a "novice," or as some began calling me a "RODEO CLOWN," How  that began is explained in
item #11. It wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I loved it and continue to use it—we have to learn to laugh at ourselves as often as possible, and  some of us are open to that frequently!

Some called the attempt "CRAZY,"  or “QUIXOTIC.”  On our arrival in 1967 the
LDS Mission President, David Clark, was mystified, saying
"I wouldn't ever attempt what you say you came here to do!"   
Yet,  someone once said:  
"IT'S ONLY CRAZY UNTIL IT IS ACCOMPLISHED!" 
and
"GREAT WORKS & GREAT FOLLY MAY BE INDISTINGUISHABLE AT THE OUTSET."  
So, "at the outset,"   judgment should be put on hold, ignoring what rumors and gossip you might have heard—no matter who it came from, and taking time to go over the three historical reports with an open, unbiased mind,
and see if it ended up being a
 "GREAT FOLLY," or a "GREAT WORK"
in its long term effect in the world.

IMPORTANT EXPLANATION

 As explained  in Part 1 I use the terminology “Ammon-like” that will be used throughout this writing, and especially for non-Mormon readers I should explain.  Ammon was an important young man from ancient America whose life is detailed in the Book of Mormon, that Mormons, or LDS people, believe to be the history of ancient America and a companion book with the Bible, both of which we accept as sacred history and “witnesses of Jesus Christ.” Ammon had been a rebellious son of an important leader, but who was converted much the same as had happened to Paul in the New Testament. With his conversion he believed the Lord wanted him to go as a missionary among a rebellious faction of his day the book calls, Lamanites.

Along with his brothers and companions they were criticized or “laughed to scorn” by their own people, but they nonetheless  dedicated their lives to helping the Lamanites and were the first to experience success in such a dangerous God-appointed mission. The first phase of his effort was a span of 14 years, so “Ammon-like” usually refers to a 14 year period.  Ammon himself actually continued among his Lamanite converts his entire life—I believe because he married one of them.

 
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The TWELVE STRONG...
plus supporting actors without whom....who knows?

FIRST and foremost, my father, ARIEL A. ANDERSEN & his wife—my  mom.


Both of whom blessed my life in so many ways, and actually got me started right on our second attempt to leave for Guatemala, when dad humbly accepted my request for a Father's Blessing and was faithful to his blessing, they together giving their all to help until their passing  years later in 1983 and 1986—14  of those years, an—AMMON-LIKE MISSION—dad  organizing & managing as a non-paid volunteer what today is THE GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION.
Others in the family likewise were generous "supporting actors,"  like ALL OF MY CHILDREN, and my older brother, Marlo, one of the major contributors in the first years, who even persisted right up past the Golden Anniversary, with an extra donation. 
I can't mention everyone as the list is long, but other crucial "supporting actors" were those in the first years, like:  The very first contribution from  WESTON KILLPACK,  and his Highland High School LDS Seminary, critical to helping us get started. The organization of the Foundation by my father and friends is mentioned in item #7, which Foundation continued until the Golden Anniversary on August 19, 2017 having:  

Saved thousands and helped many tens of thousands receive an education."
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SECOND, my friend and brother since the first day of my LDS mission in May
1956,  J. Frederick TOBY” PINGREE, who was a big-time helper from even before the Foundation was organized with a $5,000 business loan—turned  into a contribution once the Foundation was organized.  Then continuing over more than 50 years right up to the end,  and who in the '80s brought on board others from his family, especially his brother, Dr. GEORGE PINGREE, joined at the hip with Toby, sharing this "Second" spot on the  critical list of THE STRONG;
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After my parent's passing, others from the family took up the baton:  Uncles, cousins,, and of special note—
THIRD,  my 2nd cousin, JOSEPH JENSEN
He was contacted about our work back before the new century when the Foundation
was kind of desperate and I did a Family Promotion using my mom's old address book from 1986. My cousin Nelda, on my father's side of the family received that promotion and passed it on to her son, Joseph, that led to him making contact and it evolved into him becoming the greatest contributor in the Foundation's history, without whom the last 17-18 years would have been vastly different, likely only with just small, but still important--Educational & Emergency Aid projects.
NOTE:  He was gratefully another of those who made two other large donations after we had completed our 50 years of serving the Mayan people in August 2017.  One of them recently in March 2018 after the special SCHOOL SUPPLIES promotion.  THANKS, JOE.
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FOURTH, a couple who I called "The Most Persistent," DOUG CAMPBELL and his wife Rinez
The Campbells,  since reading about us in the July 1971 ENSIGN have contributed every month with sometimes large extra donations--Breathtakingly for 46 years--even an extra donation after the GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY in August!   
NOTE:  Now in 2018 we can say they've done it for 47 years, as they are among the 5 who have donated in March as a result of the extra promotion among a few to help Federico and me with the 2018 SCHOOL SUPPLIES PROJECT in which we provided 1,560 of the neediest with supplies to get them started right.  THANKS, DOUG &  RINEZ.  
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FIFTH, he we call "The Most Incredible,"  HAL POULSEN & wife, NEVA
At the time of the Great Earthquake of 1976, they gave 6 months of their lives with us,
leaving their vehicle, trailer and tools, then continued as  contributors, and in the end when Hal was able to retire, after beginning to receive Social Security, worked one extra year as a part-time school bus driver,  and  had all of his salary direct deposited into the Foundation's bank account!
NOTE:  We have to add a SPECIAL THANKS TO HAL & NEVA, as they also donated again in March 2018 to help us with the SCHOOL SUPPLIES PROJECT.  Gratefully they are those who "DON'T GIVE UP.....EASILY!" 
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Then, dear ex-missionary companion and life-long friend,.......
SIXTH, C. JESS GROESBECK
Jess  stuck with us since missionary days in 1957, when we called ourselves"Nicaraguan Elders," seen to the right--who inspired me as in my mind he was "the hardest working LDS missionary of all time."   He continued as a friend for decades, with many years as Chairman the Board of the Foundation, including when there evolved a lot of controversies. 
 
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SEVENTH, LDS Apostle EZRA TAFT BENSON & later President of the LDS CHURCH
When an Apostle he also had been Secretary of Agriculture in the Cabinet of President
Dwight Eisenhower, who impressed me, prior to us going to Guatemala at a BYU Devotional,  when he said,
"If I were  young again, I'd go south!"
Then once in Guatemala in 1968 when I was working on one of my purposes of going to Guatemala, which was,   Get out on the front lines combating  the threat of communism that was coming close to turning Guatemala into another Cuba,  which effort, among other things, involved me showing a USIS documentary, "Revolution Betrayed," about Cuba, and  created fear in Mission leaders that the Mormon chapel in Coban might be bombed, and I was ordered to desist.  I rather wrote consulting with two LDS  General Authorities in Utah, that resulted in two interesting replies:
One, from the highest level—from First Presidency counselor, Marion G. Romney,  who told me to just read the Church's statement about communism and then shut up!  The other reply was fascinating, from Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, congratulating me for my efforts and basically telling me,  POUR IT ON—which  I continued to do for the next 49 years!
Years later as President of the Church he made comments about the importance of the Book of Mormon which further endeared me gratefully to him.  He said……..
                              (President Benson, CR, Oct. 1984, pp. 4-5)
My beloved brethren and sisters, for some years now I have been deeply concerned that we are not using the Book of Mormon as God intends. As I participated in the Mexico City Temple dedication, I received the distinct impression that God is not pleased with our neglect of the Book of Mormon. In the eighty-fourth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord decreed that the whole Church was under condemnation, even all the children of Zion, because of the way they treated the Book of Mormon. "And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent," said the Lord, "and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon" (D&C 84:57). “Zion cannot fully arise and put on her beautiful garments if she is under this condemnation.” (See D&C 82:14).
I had come to understand this as a missionary in 1958 when inspired with the Good Life Method  to get the Sacred Book of the Indigenous peoples back in their hands to help them come out of darkness into the light and blossom as I explain in item #4.  
President Benson’s statement, pronounced at the 17 year point of our history, so much in harmony with our effort, further had him become very important during our many years of  effort, because tragically we encountered those who opposed the Good Life Method that effectively had hundreds and thousands of Lamanites accepting the Book of Mormon.  Sadly near the end of his life he joined others in showing he was also human, which also teaches us the lesson how careful all of us should be in judging others.
CONCERNING HIS STUMBLE:  Since all of us humans are “flawed,” as President of the Church in 1988-89, he failed to recognize what might be called "a big whopper" with  tragic consequences  in the Santa Cruz Verapaz/Valparaiso area as will be explained in The LDS Church History for Alta Verapaz in item #12 & #28 of this FINAL REPORT.  
Apparently, he had no way of knowing that what was reported to him was not true resulting in its profoundly disastrous human consequences.  

Some will object to me relating such instances of mistakes and injustice in this FINAL REPORT, but the Lord told me to
“Speak the truth from your heart”
 The Gospel teaches us that all need to have an honest chance to recognize our mistakes and have
"a broken heart & contrite spirit,"
and be able to……
MAKE RESTITUTION WITH THOSE HURT & EARN FORGIVENESS!

Mistakes are not failures if all of us, including Church leaders, can take advantage of knowing about them to be able to repent, repair the damage done, and do better in the future.

But, it is worth repeating that  from early on President Benson was still a giant motivator and supporter—especially  in the anti-communist aspects of our work in Guatemala, and his insistence on the importance of the Book of Mormon, that was so much in harmony with our half  century  effort that we will always be grateful for him and President Kimball, explained next.
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EIGHTH, SPENCER W. KIMBALL, Apostle & later President of the LDS Church.
It has to be mentioned in this  PREFACEthat when  criticism was mounting from
people of our own religious community—with  "a spirit of competition & contention, rather than of cooperation,  and gratitude,"  in 1971 he requested a private interview with me in Guatemala City when there for a Stake Conference. I made the long trip from Valparaiso to the City, taking with me our first four young men to be set apart as Local Missionaries, including Daniel Choc, and Miguel Max—both among my most unforgettable Guatemalans
Elder Kimball congratulated me for what we were doing, gave suggestions how to promote the Foundation, and encouraged us to persist saying, "Don't pay any attention to criticism as such had also happened anciently to Ammon and his companions who were 'laughed to scorn' by their own people."
I know he was referring to criticism from what could be called low level "friendly fire,"  but perhaps he also perceived it would come from some of his companions in Church leadership.  I was prepared for almost anything,  except in the beginning--not for that, but  had to be a quick learner and not be bullied unjustly—not  even by “his companions,” and consequently was able to survive the 50+ year effort, when in the beginning it was predicted we would only last 6 months.  
One year later, in 1972,  he was supportive of a unique effort by the Valparaiso LDS Group that was in our 3rd year with no deaths at Valparaiso, where previously an average of 8 infants died every year, and he helped win its authorization by the Church Financial Department.  It became a key part of stopping rampant death in the area for 3 years and demonstrated a strategy that was revolutionary and potentially applicable on a worldwide scale—as  explained in item #12which item  now includes CRUCIAL EVENTS THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY.   But Elder Kimball's encouragement was of key importance in the 50+ years of history reported in this COMPLETE FINAL REPORT that developed into…..

 "Saving thousands and helping many tens of thousands receive an education."  

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NINTH,  Regional Representative,  HAROLD BROWN for the LDS Church 
He was a true friend and came to us in "our moment of greatest need"  in 1973 and
again in 1986. He understood completely some negative things that were happening, and not only repeated the advice given by Kimball, but was the first to begin calling our effort "Ammon-like," and insisted we couldn’t let opposition, even from the highest level,  stop us.  
He encouraged us to persist and gave us encouraging news—about  a World-Wide humanitarian organization our efforts had inspired.  See item #12.
He promised his support, and gave it faithfully, while others—close friends and relatives who should have known better,  failed. 
Later when my life became even more controversial—some  details of which another leader advised me "Don’t tell anyone as no one will understand,”  Brown engaged with me in a long and frank conversation that included “the rest of the story,”  and not only was he the rare exception—understanding, but promised and actually gave his continual support—including volunteering to be a Trustee for the Foundation and persisted until age-related conditions ended his effective life.  But, for many years he was a lifesaver whose support and encouragement helped make possible achieving our GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY serving the needy in Guatemala!  See details in items #12, #14, 15, 16, 18  & #28. NOTE: In the last item  I will relate my conversation with him that had him understanding and giving his support when many failed.
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TENTH ENRIQUE RITTSCHER,  also a one-time  LDS Regional Representative.  
He was the first key Guatemalan of crucial influence and help, and one of the great
men of my earthly experience who was a genuinely honest man and a true friend—who helped and encouraged us in many ways.  He understood clearly why in the eyes of some I became controversial—he  explaining,
"Cordell is a pioneer helping the Mayan peoples, and an outsider free from the control of the  establishment and thereby a threat to some  insecure leaders and bureaucrats  who felt they had to oppose Cordell no matter how right, inspired and effective his methods were!"  
Brother Rittscher persisted as a sincere friend, eventually volunteering to co-sign for credit purchases for crucial expansion, and becoming my partner in almost introducing Kentucky Fried Chicken into Guatemala. 
On his first visit to Valparaiso, he surprised us entering our crude office where I was busy training a couple of Vocational Students in accounting, and record-keeping, when he saw Miguel Max on the floor under a table with a slide projector viewing in that semi-darkness the Foundation slide show, “The Testimony of Miguel Max.”  Enrique smiled broadly at the scene, and said, “I don’t know who that is under the table on the floor, but I foresee that he will one day be a leader in the Church!”  NOTE: A few years later Miguel became my Counselor in the First District Presidency of the Verapaces, and described last as one of the TWELVE STRONG! He would have become much more than that, but as mentioned when I describe him, he was among many of the best whose faith was damaged by unrighteous leadership.
 Enrique was very sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate, and I can add that  when he perceived injustice in any form he would boldly speak up and refuse to be silenced. This eventually made him controversial too—when he was the REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE for the General Authorities, and he lobbied for more concern and effective help for the needy. He considered the attitudes of his superiors “hard-hearted” that  evolved into what shocked some in the LDS religious community when he wrote a letter to the Church President requesting his name be removed from the membership records.  It wasn’t a shock for me as he had confided to me some details of what he was experiencing with superiors in Church leadership. 
Some in our religious community are bothered by the controversy Enrique and I created by being honest and following the dictates of the Spirit, and automatically conclude something was wrong with him, and me, dishonestly refusing to consider other sources for the controversies.    Brother Rittscher and I both fit into what I believe was said by Aristotle, something like, 
"If you don't want to be criticized, say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing."  
Both of us rather focused on DOING, BEING HONEST—REFUSING  TO BE SILENCEDand doing our best TO BE  what we were supposed to be in defending what we believed deeply the Lord felt was right, true, and just.
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ELEVENTH,  FEDERICO VELIZ PACAY
A dedicated and devout Catholic who became early on my partner in helping his
people—persisting  for 42 years.  He is….
“THE VOLUNTEER OF ALL VOLUNTEERS”
 ….explained with much more detail in item #19 that describes the new approach of Foundation work from 1979 on when we did as LDS leaders wanted and had our work free of the LDS image with my two representatives both being devout Catholics which opened up all rural areas of Guatemala to our work, and multiplied many times our influence in what we began calling “a preparatory work,”  but worthy of mention right here the following about Federico after the Foundation was retired.  
SPECIAL NOTE:  After the Foundation was retired at the end of 2017, he persisted on his own responding to the pleas of 5 of the neediest rural schools in his area, took all of the Emergency Fund of $1,103 the Foundation had given him in parting, plus he borrowed  $414 from a sister, and provided 1,560 students with supplies to begin the 2018 School Year.  Since his monthly retirement pay is only $468, he did ask me if he couldn't get  some help--to at least be able to pay off the loan, so I took the balance of $700 in my Emergency Fund, provided by the Foundation as its final expenditure, and sent it to him to "help a little,"  making his personal donation for the project, $817.   
Afterward, the FIVE mentioned above gratefully responded to a special promotion to help us with $1,295 of the $1,517 spent on the supplies. The generosity of the FIVE has now made possible building back up most of Federico's Emergency Fund, as well as mine.  So in the final accounting, we also donated about $100 each. Federico is profoundly grateful for this help, as am I--since my retirement income is only a little more than Federico's.  But, it is clear that Federico's personal dedication to his people is breathtaking!
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TWELFTH  to complete my list of real heroes, one  who represents the Mayans, MIGUEL MAX
He was one of my first vocational students, but who didn't last long  as I needed help quick, and so he
also became my first Supervisor in charge of a growing herd of cattle, and  my leading companion pursuing cattle rustlers in the mountains.  Then was the one who came dashing in from patrol duty interrupting  our evening Family Hour announcing "the guerrillas are here,"  as well as my companion in fighting off invaders and helping put a  bunch in jail. 
He also was  the first Maya/Poqomchi to be called as a local missionary for the LDS Church, first from Valparaiso to become the Manager of Valparaiso, then elected President of the Valparaiso Cooperative in an effort to help the Indians become owners, and then my Counselor in the new Alta/Baja Verapaz LDS District Presidency.  Tragically in 1989 when “the big Whopper” was believed by Church leaders and they took unrighteous action, Miguel’s faith was also shaken—not in the Gospel, rather in the Leaders,  as happened to many, but I know the Lord understands the total sincerity of his honest reaction and his place in the eternities is assured. 
He also was key in the CHULAC ADVENTURE, and my companion in THE GREAT MACHAQUILA RIVER ADVENTURE in  motorized dugout canoes—another adventure not even told yet, but mentioned in the Note at the end of item #16.  Miguel is seen above with me when meeting him in 2016 after years of separation No other words but to say, I'm grateful for him, love him and have him in my heart and prayers always.

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SPECIAL STATEMENT FROM A SUPPORTING ACTOR STEVE COVEY
I feel moved to  add here a person  I consider an important "supporting actor" whose statement
was unexpected and extremely motivating, who in 1977, when one of the Vice-Presidents of BYU,  attended a special fireside up Hobblecreek Canyon at the home of Phil Christensen—one of the founders of the Foundation, and at the end said:

"I came here expecting to find an Albert Schweitzer, but found someone who just didn't talk theory, principles, and dreams—like  the rest of us do, but more like a modern Brigham Young, who actually is doing what he says he believes."
*********************
OTHER KEY SUPPORTING ACTORS/ACTRESSES

My special daughter MAHANA—who  works full-time to support herself and son,
Ryan, and she also goes to school full-time to become a Registered Nurse.  Nonetheless, after making a large donation in August 2017, she also donated again to help her people, becoming the FOURTH DONOR of the five for 2018.  THANKS,  MAHANA, you are one of the great "supporting actresses." 

BEST FOR LAST—AN  INCREDIBLE SUPPORTING ACTOR WITHOUT WHOM THIS REPORT WOULD NOT EXIST & MUCH MORE

My wonderful son, JESSEwhen we moved back to the U.S. in 2002,  was a junior in high School, but already becoming an expert with computers and the internet.  He was shocked to learn that the Foundation didn’t even have a website, so he created one and forced the rest of us to fill in the blanks, opening up

the modern era of the Foundation.  Of course he became my professor in computer science, and with unbelievable patience has helped me do the impossible over the years with the computer.

He then clewed us in that the name of the Foundation for Indian Development, on a Google search took one to India, so we changed the name to the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION.  He has been my life saver, and I love him a ton and am grateful for him letting me park my Cabin-A alongside of his home in American Fork. 

 

Best give credit also to the FIFTH  DONOR from the special promotion.  It was long-time donor, ALBERT BERNARD, Maria's older brother.  Thanks, Albert.
Others were key "supporting actors"  in crucial ways, like my old fishing buddy, BOB ALLEN & WIFE, LUCETTE, helping right up to the end.

There are so many more, for whom I'm most grateful as all helped in a great cause.  My cause became your  cause too, and  you deserve almost all the credit;
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Last, let me mention  a key "supporting actor,"
MIGUEL ANGEL ORTIZ
He was crucial in the first years, my friend & brother, who came to me in my time of need as an 18-year-old, actually was my first vocational student—at  least my first graduate as in one  year he learned from me how to work with poultry, cattle, hogs, how to drive,  do accounting and business management, and at 19 became the Manager during a critical year of development, then returned later to help make a success out of the Victorias Dairy.....

Miguel is seen to the right with his wife, Miriam, and son, Oliverio, reported on in 2016 in Foundation reports

He was the first Guatemalan to become the Valparaiso Branch Presidentonly  to sadly be damaged in his faith due to terribly mistaken and tragic leadership decisions—said Leaders more than deserving of having the symbolic “millstone hung on their necks!”    He is still my beloved brother, one of the many SUCCESS STORIES, now owning his own cattle ranch north of Coban-- WOW.........I JUST SAW THE PHOTO/ESSAY AGAIN (LINKED TO BELOW ) & I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU TAKING THE TOUR TO SEE  THE AREA, WHAT ITS GEOGRAPHY and CULTURE ARE LIKE & THE SUCCESS OF THE VOCATIONAL PROGRAM AT THE VALPARAISO CID, which helped produce Miguel Angel.  Click on:  VISIT MIGUEL ANGEL'S RANCH.
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A MILLION THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED MAKE POSSIBLE ALL THE FOLLOWING LIST and MORE, & WHO DESERVE MOST OF THE CREDIT. 
INTRODUCTION
The original list  with 23 items, without photographs has been added to many times--now with 32 items that have been organized better and put in better chronological order  with  more than 400 photographs, along with many tweaks  and major additions—and  now what could be called
"The rest of the Story."
SO, IF YOU READ AN EARLY VERSION—THIS COMPLETE  FINAL  REPORT IS QUITE  DIFFERENT & TO UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY – IT   IS CRITICAL TO READ CAREFULLY  AGAIN WHAT FOLLOWS
A part of the new items deal with successful efforts to support ourselvesas  we were volunteers with no living allowance of any kind from the Foundation much less from the LDS Church, for doing religiously motivated leadership and altruistic activities. Without these key business ventures,  the effort would have only lasted the predicted "six months," rather than 50 years. Our business profits made possible us Andersen’s being non-paid volunteer Field Directors  for 50 years!  Rather than as gossiped about as “a scam to get rich,”—the opposite was the truth as our business ventures, time after time provided the money necessary for critical Foundation projects by selling old cows for slaughter, selling pine trees, and even selling parcels of land.
The simple life I now live is a testament to us having given the cause our all, as shown in item #28what you will see is a modern-day equivalent of the simple life I saw myself living while giving everything to SAVE PEOPLE, all coming from an NDE—Near Death Experience I had when 16 years old which started this 68 year history.
The other new items are in the category of “the rest of the story” and deal with my family and personal life as well as the religious history—I finally decided it couldn’t be separated from the rest of the history, even though at one point the Foundation leadership felt like it was unnecessary and that we should only stick to reporting Foundation projects and success stories—that was fine for the Foundation, but   now—being alone, I realize it is  crucial to tell the whole story—so, this COMPLETE FINAL REPORT is a comprehensive history of, like they say, “the whole enchilada!”
The first two business ventures described are also what the "experts," called our first "failures," which has me still smiling.  It was coming from those who presented us with our greatest challenge over the  50 years, which was:
"A spirit of competition & contention rather than
one of cooperation, and gratitude."
I'm not complaining—as  actually opposition & criticism—after we got over the initial disappointment, became  tremendously motivating.   I'm rather adding a couple of interesting points without which the history is not complete.   I'll let you be the judge of the importance of said items.  
Admittedly we were novices—as  you've heard me even joke about being called a "Rodeo Clown," or “a crazy don Quijote,” as I was not a farmer, much less a cattle or dairyman, nor had a Ph.D. in anything.  
Additionally, in 1966 I had made a presentation in an Ex-Missionary Reunion in Salt Lake City proposing something needed to be done to solve the "life & death problems" of those we all claimed to love,  but then told by two ex-missionaries who would become Church leaders, 
"You don’t have the necessary capital.....nor qualified with
 sufficient education."
So I have admitted openly  it was an "impossible dream....against all odds,"  and so, as I worked relentlessly along with my family, I  began having fun characterizing myself as  a crazy Don Quijote de la Manchaand later really liked the "rodeo clown" label,  as well as  proudly, but humbly accepting being called “a modern Ammon,” as I was trying to follow the example of my real hero of ancient America, "laughed to scorn" by those of his own religious community.
But, it’s well to note that I wasn’t so naive as to imagine that me and family alone would be able to save all the needy Mayans, or as Mormons call them, "LAMANITES."  In my historical writings I state that my original purpose was  to go to work on a small scale as a family, do as much as we could, learn from the experience, then do more, and more—and:
 "Hopefully be a catalyst for action on a big scale by qualified individuals and well-funded institutions."   
We were to experiment with the strategy I felt was revealed divinely to me as an LDS missionary in Coban in 1958, known as THE PHILOSOPHY & PRINCIPLES OF THE GOOD LIFE, which began as an effective way to achieve what I believed was our primary purpose among the Indians—get back into their hands in an understandable way their original Sacred Book and let it lead them where it may, rather than just push for impressive baptism statistics.  But having in their hands their book and understanding it—was just the beginning.  It had to evolve into them actually solving their problems—by applying The Principles, coming out of darkness into the light, and literally blossoming!
 THE PHILOSOPHY would supply them with the motivation, THE PRINCIPLES would be what they had to understand and be able to apply in their lives.  We would help as many as we could and by our example lead the way, learn the necessary methods, and teaching techniques, hoping to awaken others with a movement—that would likely  have us forgotten and never given any credit—yet  evolve into large scale, significant efforts, and then we would just fade away quietly, but with a grateful smile watching what we knew our efforts  helped stimulate and hope and pray it could be done effectively.  See item #12

NOTE: Here at the outset we have to mention this was not happening in Indian branches, like Patzicia, where the members were still living in primitive, unsanitary conditions with their homes and home sites literally being “incubators for disease and death.”  Below we see the home of President Pablo Choc of the Patzicia Branch —this is how we as a Church helped the most outstanding LDS family to live in the famous Patzicia area!

    
The members from Patzicia still suffered the majority of the elements of “the curse” or “darkness” outlined in 2 Nephi 1, and among them there were infant deaths.
Our covenant as a Church, and brothers and sisters, was to:

“Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be [friendly] with all and [generous] with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.”
 BOOK OF MORMON, Jacob 2:16
They still didn’t understand what their Sacred Book was about, their sermons all being from the BIBLE, giving them the appearance of being “evangelicos,” rather than “awakened Latter Day Saint Lamanite converts.” 
At one point I did a study there discovering that one important chapter from the BOOK OF MORMON had 22 keywords they did not understand, sometimes even giving an opposite interpretation—for  example the word “apostasy” they interpreted as something positive associated with “apostoles!” —even though I was dealing with men who all claimed to know how to read and write, including the Branch President.
In a Mutual meeting the week before the GREAT EARTHQUAKE I helped the 160 in attendance for the first time understand 2 Nephi 1 and the elements of the curse.  They were shocked to realize and admit that in most ways they—supposedly as converted Lamanites,  were still under “the curse.”
In launching myself and family into said cause, it was good and critical for me to recognize our deficiencies and weaknesses, just as I had done as a very small-statured child and youth--bullied by almost everyone, yet determined to do something about it—so strengthened myself to not take any guff from anyone.  NOTE:  For those interested enough in understanding to have read my Checkered  autobiography, Part 1—0 to 22 years, you learned that in “strengthening myself” I came to believe that I would kill someone if I hit them with a doubled-up fist, so made my first covenant with the Lord to never hit anyone that way, rather get them in a stranglehold—literally, but later symbolically.
You'll notice by reading on that this, as respectfully as possible, included biting my lip—in the moment at times, or during the interview with some important Leaders who perplexingly became part of the "friendly fire" with whom I soon learned wouldn't accept the opinion or inspiration of this lowly servant—I just wasn’t a called and chosen member of the establishment—no matter how successful my methods were.
 So, I waited for the interview to end, or for the visiting leader to leave, and  then persisted in following the inspiration received within the jurisdiction of my responsibility and demonstrated with success that my guidance had come from the Lord.  
But from 1966 on I believe those of my religious, community failed to understand the power of being spiritually born of God and transformed with a quite well understood divine  mission and calling, with absolute confidence—with, metaphorically:
“The back  capable of being strengthened to carry whatever load was required."
So, in the learning process we struggled, stumbled at times and had our failures—but  not the ones being gossiped about.  But,  with everything we learned—recognizing our weaknesses, and with the help of the Lord plowed  forward doing our best—as  our survival, and that of many Indians depended on us being quick learners.  So  I lit  the candles (or Coleman lantern) at night and studied  to keep one page ahead of my vocational students, and employees, then literally, put on my boots and worked with them, often taking the lead with disgusting and even dangerous tasks....then they would follow. 
Actually working and dirtying my hands had me breaking the Ladino tradition, and that of well-heeled,   and finely dressed gringos,  and earned the scorn of many—except  for a few honest people in my business dealings who came to trust me totally, and because of it, the way continually opened up for even more amazing developments.  So, I will add new sections relating in some detail the acquisition of the Poultry Farm & business, the Valparaiso Plantation and especially the cattle and Dairy business, plus at the end the Farm of the Holy Man.  
NOTE: You might question why it is important to mix personal/family business with altruism, but not only did all of that support us making possible 50 years of managing altruism as  volunteers, but you’ll notice here and there, it was the business profits that made possible Foundation projects, when donations were lacking—like when I had promised the people in Patzicia by a specific date the Foundation would pay for purchasing the property for the school construction—but the funds didn’t appear from the Foundation, but the property was paid for by me selling 5 old cows for slaughter.  Time after time that pattern shot down completely the eventual accusation that all “was a scam using the Foundation and the Church for me to build a business empire and get rich,” but the opposition didn’t care about facts.
At key points throughout this report I’ll insert important details about my family,  my personal life—and, for those who read my history entitled The MYSTERIOUS CAUSE & PREPARATION, I suspect you might even wonder about Nora, who was never forgotten, and will not be left out of this history. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, best go back to PREPARATION--of the Andersen Family: NINE YEARS FINDING THE FAITH TO MOVE TO "THE JUNGLES & MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA "
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Now on to the meat of this FINAL REPORT:

THE  32 MEMORABLE  EFFORTS, EVENTS 

& ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
We'll begin with the item  being gossiped about as our
“FIRST FAILURE." 
1FOR 6 MONTHS, IN THE BEGINNING, RAN A TRAVELING MOVIE--CINE CHAPINLANDIA—IN  THE MOST ISOLATED PART OF THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING:
Chicaman, San Miguel Uspantan, Cunen, Sacapulas, Aguacatan and Nebaj, showing
educational and good quality commercial movies to 50,000 people, with my camper, also being  A MOBIL MEDICAL CLINIC & LIBRARY as there were no effective medical services in most of an area of 200,000 people, and not one library until 1983 when we cooperated with AYUDA to construct and inaugurate one in Cunen. 
This experience began adding to my Army training as a Medical Specialist and preparing me to perform for many years thousands of medical treatments every year.  This literally was a PRIVATE PEACE CORP  of great success. To the right, you see me in Chicaman unloading the frame for our 9' x 12' movie screen and getting ready our theater--which was an old abandoned Catholic Church.




Below is Cine Chapinlandia—in  Sacapulas, with a view of the spectators in the outdoor patio of the Catholic Convent which was our theater and where we spent the night with the priests and nuns.
A most memorable experience was had with a surprisingly  young and beautiful "Mother Superior,"  who one night surprised me in my camper reading the BIBLE.  That stimulated a great conversation. It might have ended up with a great convert if they hadn’t of transferred her back to Chichicastenango—maybe to keep her away from me!
NOTE:  The Traveling Movie—Cine  Chapinlandia, finally had to end as the initial .10 and .15 cents charge was too much for most of the poor villages, so we reduced it to .05 and .10, concerned more for getting a large audience and serving the people, than profit.  However,  the need of supplying every town with benches--made during the off-week, and the rough roads that always required pickup repairs, and also in between it all, a quick trip to Guatemala City  (and back then it was an 8-10 hour journey,--one way,  fording quite a few streams, etc.) to get from the USIS, Canadian, Japanese, & Israeli Embassies more educational movies, and another commercial one—all of which  caused economically a loss. 
But, it was so enlightening for so many people and provided me with invaluable experience in so many ways—that  I became convinced that if I was ever like, say—a  mission president, or supervising the Peace Corp, I would have teams of missionaries, or volunteers, doing precisely that in isolated areas with the goal of bringing enlightenment to every town in my area, all in harmony with my "agricultural approach to helping a needy people"(see item #15) --  cultivating friends all over the country, helping people in whatever way they  needed and were ready for,  and preparing entire areas for even greater things.  

But,  our initial capital of $4,273 was disappearing—but  the traveling movie $500 loss over  6 months was covered by the first donation from Salt Lake City's Highland High School LDS Seminary, directed by my old friend, Weston Killpack.  But, to support the family, I needed quickly to find a piece of land, have a vegetable/fruit garden, and get a business started that would support us.

OF GREAT IMPORTANCE:  The spirit of Cine Chapinlandia lived on for all our years in Guatemala, showing many movies, in many places, to instruct, and entertain.  Eventually we produced our own educational videos to awaken, inspire and enhance the lives of all as explained in item #25 describing the showing of the movie, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS to 10,000 people all around the country.  This was done in schools, chapels of many churches, hospitals, jails, groups of Alcoholics Anonymous, and even in  EL PAVON—the Federal Penitentiary.  In the beginning, this included movies educating the public about the menace of communism—which was one of my purposes, as mentioned in the Preface referring to Ezra Taft Benson as one of THE TWELVE STRONG.

2.  THE 1st COMMERCIAL POULTRY FARM IN NORTHERN GUATEMALA –Granja La Cabana located on the outskirts of San Juan Chamelco, 30 minutes south of Coban.
Gossiped about as our "2nd FAILURE."
 Note: Somewhere in the History Summaries I talk about and quote a friend who
visited us and told us about all the "failure" gossip. See item #12.
My search for some land for a garden and an agro-business to support us abruptly ended on December 5th when just such an opportunity presented itself by a "Captain Penny"  from Florida who had just  bought a 50 acre farm in San Juan Chamelco, 30 minutes south of Coban.
It had a few laying hens ready to produce, but then due to an emergency Captain Penny had to sell the farm quickly and return to the U.S. 
His hobby was orchids  that he determined its worldwide capital to be  Alta Verapaz and had purchased a property in his  Shangri-la.

We took over, and quickly learned about poultry,  doubling the production, only to
learn no one in Coban wanted our white eggs—famous  then for very pale yolks.  I made an emergency trip to the city and with poultry suppliers, I had already come to know, found a solution—mixing  an additive to the feed and producing dark orange yolks and tasty eggs.  After breaking our eggs open in front of potential customers, contracts were made for all our eggs.
A bonus from the family business in Provo, Utah, Andersen Sampler's & Consulting Service, due to work I had done prior to leaving for Guatemala, made possible more than doubling again the production with 1,000 chicks, and creating what was called the 
              First
   Poultry Farm in Northern Guatemala,
By the time our 1,000 chicks had grown and come into production it was the beginning of the rainy season when all the Indians planted their corn and corralled their chickens to keep them from eating the new plants.  This caused many to get sick, and without foraging their production dropped leaving us as the only provider of eggs in the area, with people every afternoon lining up in front of our store  for me to come with the eggs, and in 30 minutes we were sold out every day. 


Our STORE was in the front of our rental home in Coban, 30 minutes north of the Farm.  In the picture: Julie, then Rich in my arms, in Maria’s arms, Joey, our first Guatemalan baby born on January 2, 1968, then David and Cristina.
Note:  As a "Rodeo Clown"  and also a sort of nutty Don Quijote kind of guy, I was soon known--humorously to me as—the
"POULTRY EXPERT"
in a vast area of Guatemala.
My only previous experience was….here comes a confession,  when moving to Utah in 1952,   with my new teenage  buddies from the Oakhills II Ward, we stole a chicken one dark night, took it to my girl friend's house  (Janet Beck) where she cooked it for us--it was awful!   NOTE: By the way, after becoming a convert I repented of having done that!

By February we had the good fortune of acquiring the VALPARAISO PLANTATION and so for the next 6 months I would travel back and forth—The Farm 30 minutes south of Coban on one dirt road, and the Plantation one hour west on the rough road that was the “Highway” to Guatemala City, and I became too divided. 
 Everything we were doing at the farm we could do at Valparaiso even more efficiently—and we were already preparing to do it having built during those months chicken coops at Valparaiso, so in September 1968 I sold the poultry farm for the same amount spent on it, with the profit being:  

OUT OF THE SUPPOSED “failed farm” WE GOT THE FOLLOWING:
 You can decide…..Was this a failure?
1.)  Effectively supporting us for 10 months;  

2.)  Giving us an incredible education in all aspects of agriculture in Guatemala, for example planting our first wonderful vegetable garden in Guatemala….at the farm in deep black soil.

For example, each red potato plant produced an average of 7 lbs. of potatoes, averaging 1 lb. for each potato,  etc.  

3.) Becoming acquainted intimately with the people of Coban and the quirks of marketing in rural Guatemala; as well as  

4.)  Knowing the important suppliers in Guatemala City

5.) Financing our beginning at Valparaiso including importantly the POULTRY PROJECT, with the building of unique chicken coops and transitioning into the broiler business. 

6.) Plus, I became A CATTLEMAN—with  9 cows and a Jersey bull that had come with the farm, which herd we drove overland following mountain trails to Valparaiso, and, as we had treated them and got 100% of them all with calf, soon we had 19 head—all part of the profit from the Farm.  Then,  less than a year later, with a loan from my long-time friend and brother, Toby Pingree, the herd grew to 69 and soon to 100,  and then, as a cattleman,  I failed as a "Rodeo Clown," not being able to save several employees put in the hospital by our mean Jersey  bull--which we soon sold  for slaughter, replacing him—with  Toby's help, with a much better, and gentler Brown Swiss bull pictured further along. 




 NOTE FOR LDS PEOPLE:  Out of the supposed "failure" with the poultry farm, was also harvested, so to speak, a dedicated alcoholic, Manuel Ajanel--seen to the right cleaning eggs, and with his wife Julia, continued with us to Valparaiso where he was nearly killed in a tragic propane gas explosion, badly burned and disfigured.
Years later, Manuel, after a time as LDS District President,  became the Patriarch of the Coban LDS Stake as seen above.
Wow, with all kinds of guidance and blessings from the Lord, what an incredible "failure!"  But, forgive me, you can make that judgment for yourself.
But, about the Farm being our "2nd FAILURE." I hope you’ve noticed all the previous 6 points that had us laughing our heads off all the way to the BANK!

All of the above examples set the stage for more  supposed “failures” of he who soon would be labeled a RODEO CLOWN with many trips smiling all the way to the bank.
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3. THE MIRACULOUS ACQUISITION OF THE VALPARAISO PLANTATION
We had spent every penny of the $4,273 we had saved to make the move to Guatemala, along with a similar amount given me as a bonus for extra work done in Andersen Samplers  prior to leaving Provo, Utah—in  the acquisition of the poultry farm and doubling and quadrupling egg production.  Then in late December 1967 or early January 1968 I was visited by a couple of Garcia sisters from Santa Cruz.
They, along with their mother, were the owners of the Valparaiso Plantation located in
Santa Cruz Verapaz—mid-way to Tactic on the Guatemala City highway, and the road that then went through Valparaiso and on to San Cristobal Verapaz—and today where the road takes off to the Chixcoy Hydroelectric Project/dam.  They wanted to sell me their 600 acre property.  They had been asking $85,000, but by the time they got to me had come down to $35,000.
I visited the plantation and had visions of how I could develop it—along  the lines of a dream I had as a missionary in 1958 seeing myself establishing a rural community that was creating a blossoming among the people.
The only production was from sugar cane fields and a crude sugar refinery.......

   .........the crusher was moved by a 16-foot diameter water wheel, the juice condensed down then put into molds and after cooling the crude sugar called “panela” packed for sale,  but I envisioned the plantation's great potential, with its 39 resident Indian families with  240  Poqomchi Indians who were recognized as the most backward in the country--just what I wanted to test my ideas. 
 I offered them $20,000 and they came down to $30,000. I persisted with $20,000 and they lowered the price to $25,000. I didn't budge and they finally accepted $20,000, when I reminded them it
wouldn't be a cash purchase, rather $5,000 down, 2 years running with no payment, then $200/month until paid off—all  with no interest on the unpaid balance.  They accepted! It seemed as though they were obsessed with us becoming the owners for whatever reasons.
The purchase would be made on February 2, 1968.  My father was prospering in the Sampler business selling the two year supply of samplers I feverishly produced working an average of 19 hours/day six days a week for four months before leaving for Guatemala, and Dad promised to send me another bonus of $6,000. 
In the meantime, I was struggling for our permanent residency application to be accepted as there were complications to be dealt with, one being I had to show I had more than $10,000 in a Guatemalan Bank—and  we only had in the account $1,000 from sales from eggs, a big chunk of which was spent to cover expenses each month.  So the purchase of Valparaiso had to produce a title clear of any mortgage, which would be taken care of in a separate document, implicating double lawyer fees. So we held off paying January expenses, accumulating sales from eggs, and waited for the bonus to arrive.   After it arrived,  before making
the purchase, I got a letter from the Bank showing I had $7,000+ in my account, and with a copy of Valparaiso’s deed showing a value of $20,000, plus that of the Farm La Cabaña, worth $5,000, I would sort of show I owned properties worth $25,000, plus $7,000 cash in the bank, and I guessed Migration couldn’t turn us down—which is how it worked out, after proving that Maria really was my legal wife and mother of the children, rather than as they suspected—a  polygamous wife picked up along the way in Mexico since none of them looked like Mexicans.
The day of the purchase, February 2, 1968,  the sisters dropped by and said I’d have to pay  interest on the balance, that I quickly figured would cost me at least $6,000 more for the property so I told them the deal was off.  They left with their heads hung low.  But, I knew they would be back, and they were an hour later, saying if I could pay  $6,000 down they wouldn’t charge interest on the balance,  That would take my entire bonus, with the $1,000 left in the bank for January farm expenses used to pay the double lawyer fees.  I accepted.
 
 For the first time in my life I was in debt, and I don’t recall how on earth I ever was able to pay January’s farm expenses, but it was for the most just of causes, and we went to work.

From February to September I was racing back and forth between the poultry farm which supported us, 30 minutes south of Coban on a dirt road near San Juan Chamelco—and then to Valparaiso 60 minutes southwest in Santa Cruz Verapaz on a different  rough road, with Coban in the middle with our simple egg store. The struggle was on with a literal infinity of problems and things to learn—FAST!    
Below is seen an aerial photograph of the central portion of the Valparaiso Plantation a few years after acquiring it—by  which time we had created a lake, cleared and mowed an area to the west and above the Central House—we came to call “the colony,” which  revealed a hillside covered with mounds of an ancient city. 

We knew from the beginning that the outer perimeter of the plantation was a large silted in trench, and soon  discovered trenches from the outer perimeter down into the plantation where there were other trenches the last one all-around one of the sugar cane fields where eventually we created our legal-sized soccer field. We couldn’t dig a trench, an outhouse hole, or cultivate for a garden without always finding artifacts.

About 11 years later it was determined that Valparaiso had been  an
Ancient Fortified City
As described in chapter 53 of Alma in the BOOK OF MORMON which states in verses 3-5:
“Moroni caused that they should commence laboring in digging a ditch round about  the land, or city….and he caused that they should build a breastwork of timbers upon the inner bank of the ditch;  and they cast up dirt out of the ditch against the breastwork  of timbers;  and thus they had encircled the city….with a strong wall of timbers and earth, to an exceeding height…and became an exceeding stronghold….”
Some LDS archaeologists came to believe that it was anciently the
City of Helam others the City of Manti

INHIBITING CORRECT UNDERSTANDING
NOTE: Terrible errors in Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon—the word “ditch” is translated as “fosa” which in most of the Spanish speaking world means, “hole” leading to them not understanding the significance of Alma 53 & others. It should be “zanja,” that was the entire perimeter of the Valparaiso Plantation.
OTHER  MISTRANSLATIONS:  The word “wilderness” is used prominently in the Book of Mormon.   The English word has us thinking like “High Uintas Wilderness” a high, mountainous unpopulated area, or in Guatemala a remote jungle or mountaineous   region sparsely populated.  But in Spanish “wilderness”  is translated as “desierto” which in the Spanish speaking world means a dry, arid desert--like Arizona, and in Guatemala could be like the Rancho area which is dry and full of cactus, but would not be thought of describing the perpetually green mountains of  the Central Highlands or Alta Verapaz, or the jungles of the Peten. “Wilderness”  in Spanish would have to be like, “ region remota con poco poblacion” but not “desierto.”  This mistake makes correct understanding in Guatemala impossible, as would be the case in Southern Mexico, Ecuador,  Peru, etc.
The 2nd aerial photo seen below is from a different angle that shows the central part of the valley on the left where years later we would have our soccer field, and then the Dairy and the homes built nearby for those who managed it and then on the upper right the beginning of the area where we would by 1980-81 establish the VALPARAISO COMMUNITY.

Later, as the Central House was reconstructed The MUSEUM of the HOLY MAN was established as seen in item #30

FOREMOST IN MY MIND was to find a place where we could experiment with and develop the GOOD LIFE METHOD of helping needy Indians, all based on the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life—all in harmony with the dream I had as a missionary seeing myself come into this area to a rural community which I had helped develop where Indians, regardless of their religion were living and working together achieving THE GOOD LIFE.
Walking around Valparaiso the first time I envisioned that this was the place, and wrote my dad telling him what I would do here.  He immediately replied, “BUY IT!” 
I replied quickly, “WITH WHAT?”
 That had led to receiving an additional bonus from Andersen Samplers, and becoming owners of Valparaiso—but with a big debt.  It happened to be a place where the Indians were recognized  among the most backward, with serious problems of alcoholism, laziness, and dishonesty—a  people who were the biggest challenge—so  that…
……if it worked there, honest people would recognize the miraculous potential of the strategy almost anywhereI assumed.
ONE VERY CRUCIAL MOTIVATOR & GUIDE FOR MY LIFE
 For NEW YEARS—2019 saw again this great movie—but seen first in 1956 that began to multiply my desire to dedicate my life to the Indigenous people in Central America.
I saw the movie for  the first time as an LDS missionary in Heredia, Costa Rica, when
recently made a senior companion 6 months into my mission in late 1956.  The Mission rule was that we could go to a movie once a month--if we could find one that would inspire us in our missionary calling.
This movie was the perfect motivator to do exactly that.  It was the story of John Clum who had wanted to be a Christian minister but didn't quite qualify and so volunteered to be a government agent on the Apache Reservation in Arizona.  He went to work, against all odds, changing the treatment of Indians to one of respect and love as though brothers—in  fact, he became blood brothers with a key Indian.  All kinds of wonderful things were done, including providing education, giving them work with fair pay, and in other ways treated them justly, even organizing their own police force and along with them capturing the rebel Geronimo, and more.
NOTE:  Little did I know that what I had seen would become a metaphor for my future life among the Mayan peoples of Guatemala—but  for reasons I didn't then understand I was deeply impressed.
I left the theater mesmerized but didn't really begin to  understand  until early 1958 when I was transferred to isolated Coban, Guatemala known among the missionaries as
"the Siberia of Central America."
  For the first time, I found myself in the land of the Q’eqchi’ and Pokomchi  Indians, and rather was instantly convinced that it was Shangri-La Witnessing firsthand the suffering of the Indians, and noting them being treated unfairly helped me put into sharp perspective the movie that took on powerful meaning. 
 During a short stay of only 3 months, I had revealed to me the Good Life approach to helping Indians, and I left there having had spiritual experiences that had me know I had to prepare to return and dedicate my life among those people, and later  before my mission ended, added Patzicia to my future, along with other areas among the Mayas.
The powerful impact of the movie remained with me and influenced me forcefully 9 years later as I began my lifelong work as a permanent resident in the Coban area of  Guatemala, and today as I review my years of dedication among the Mayans, recognize that many of the things I did to help them were patterned after what I observed in the historical movie.
BUT  SURVIVAL WAS FIRST SO WE WENT TO WORK
I quickly learned the sugar cane and panela business to employ my 39 “colonos,” or resident workers, in two teams—two  weeks each,. Soon I learned the profits were small and not enough to pay fairly my workers, and additionally, by helping speed up the harvest with transporting of the sugar cane, rather than it all done as before on the backs of the Indians, the “year-long harvest” that supposedly “never ended,”  was over in 3 months—so we had to scramble to provide work for our 39 colonos, as explained in the sections describing the cattle and dairy businesses.  So, we had to do more at Valparaiso, but continued to be supported mostly by our egg production from the Farm until September when we sold the farm. 
POULTRY ADDED to SUGAR CANE/PANELA 
During that period I  noticed boxes of laying breed chicks coming into the area on buses—people following our lead.  Within 6 months the market would be flooded with eggs, so I just kept the egg production from the Farm going until our newest chickens finished their laying cycle when we would sell the Farm, and already had built new chicken coops at Valparaiso, but not for laying hens, rather broiler chickens, so that by the time the market was flooded with eggs, we had switched our main emphasis to raising  broiler chickens, which project employed for many years, young men, as well as women, who did the dressing and preparing for sale at what time we established  our new store in Coban up near the center of town on the same block as the market, seen further along.

Our chicken coops were unique with wire floors with sloping cement floors underneath to be able to scrape out the droppings for fly control and having them be fertilizer factories  using  the droppings to fertilize our sugar cane fields to double the production, and soon for new pastures for our cattle with improved African grasses. 

Also with a few turkeys were sometimes mixed in with the broilers.
We continued egg production on a small scale, but the broiler business employed many more people.
Quickly we had to turn a portion of the Central House into a dressing facility, equipped with an electric drum plucker, and with our own design of plastic bags for the dressed chickens as seen below.
 
Our new store in Coban for a long time was the only place the residents could purchase eating chickens—or broilers, raised in the area.  A few years later, with the Dairy development, it was much more a popular place every morning at 6:00 AM for milk products that we’ll discuss in item #11.

THEN CATTLE, HOGS, VEGETABLES, CARPENTRY, FENCING, A LAKE & FISH CULTURE, ETC.
You must be thinking…….we needed employees that had knowledge and experience, who could accept employment in all these things.  There were NONE! So, I did have to import a couple, but I first offered to the colonos training them for fulltime employment.  NONE accepted.  They just wanted to put in their two weeks doing menial tasks that required no education, and then be free for two weeks to cultivate sections of plantation land planting corn, beans, sugar cane for their bootleg liquor production and heavy drinking.
All of a sudden their teenage boys wanted their section of land too and be able to continue  the traditional way of life.  I didn’t legally have to do that, and so offered them the opportunity of being VOCATIONAL  STUDENTS in the program I began calling:
“LEARNING WITH A SHOVEL…
.or chain saw, or poultry, hogs, cattle, carpentry, and eventually a garden cultivator, a tractor, fish culture, etc.!”
 
As VOCATIONAL STUDENTS they would go to school half a day, learning to read and write, and have classes with me learning how to work as my helpers……..me learning quickly about all the things we were doing, then bouncing back and forth between the projects teaching and guiding them in working 4 hours a day in the assigned projects on a rotation basis for one month in each of the categories we were dealing with so that in a year they would know how to WORK, and qualify for fulltime employment.  
 They were paid half wages along with giving each useful items they needed, like:  A machete, hoe, rubber boots, a pocket knife, pants, shirt, etc. For those qualified I added the office & business accounting/management, and all received classes in THE PHILOSOPHY & PRINCIPLES OF THE GOOD LIFE which I’ll explain in a moment. 
They all quite naturally accepted the teachings from the POPUL VUH, the Mayan’s

present day Sacred Book,  about their “ancient sacred book that had been lost, but now found,” and after work, volunteer classes soon started for all—teenage vocational students, and  colonos, in their Modern Sacred Book, which I began calling the first Seminary Class in Guatemala!

 

 

In addition on weekends, I was introducing all to the modern world showing a Sunday evening

movie (for many their 1st). And, hiking the slippery trails visiting homes to find and treat the sick, but frustrated because most of them would hide their sick and dying babies from me.  In spite of incredible efforts, they didn't trust me as their centuries of experience with what they called "ladinos" (tricky, shrewd European types)  had always exploited them in one way or another. That would soon change dramatically.

 





THE CENTRAL HOUSE FAMILY—“THE MOB” 
An important part of what developed was at the old "haunted" Central House I moved into, along with a few key helpers. First it was just me during the week, with the family in a rental home in Coban—as I had promised Maria she wouldn’t have to live “in the sticks or boondocks” in Guatemala.  But we would all spend Sunday’s there and the kids would visit homes with me to treat the sick, and in the evenings show a movie or two.
Soon the kids all ganged up on their mother and they all moved to the plantation—first camping out  in the feed warehouse we used as a theater, while I worked on fixing up the haunted Central House……I cleaned, disinfected, gunned down and trapped the critters, and the ghosts went away, and we fixed up and painted a couple of rooms in the northern end of the giant home.
We then went to work gradually to transform the entire house into livable conditions for what all of a sudden was the need of accepting into our home orphans and needy children abandoned by an alcoholic mother, or father, then abused mothers and their children, and soon vocational students from other areas as well as volunteer helpers from BYU, and Guatemala City, and often the acutely sick that needed intensive care.
So the Central House all of a sudden was filling up with what was called the
"CENTRAL HOUSE FAMILY," 
…..but  by negative visitors, who couldn’t understand what we were doing,  calling us,                                                                                                   
"The Mob."
   Above we see the first portrait of the Central House Family.

Worth repeating, mentioned in the RISKY….JOURNEY  history,  is what Maria and I were accused of.  I quote:

 “You don’t love your children as you live with a bunch of Indians who could infect them with incurable, tropical diseases!”   Gospel explanations about us trying our  best to live Christ-like lives,  “loving and helping the needy” fell on deaf ears!  Gratefully there were a few who looked at it differently and began helping.

THE FASCINATING SOURCE OF THAT CRITICISM & IT'S REVERSAL
 Surprisingly the accusation we "didn't love our children" mentioned above was leveled against us by Bob Arnold and his wife when they first arrived in Guatemala assigned to establish the LDS Seminary System in Central America. That judgmental attitude towards us was a big part of the war of criticism against us in the early 70's, but with Harold Brown’s (mentioned in a moment) help, at least with the Arnolds, was reversed by 1974-76 when Arnold was the Mission President and by 1976 said, "Valparaiso is the only place in the country where positive things are happening!"  and much more—described  in the RELIGIOUS HISTORY in this FINAL REPORT, items #12, and #15, #16, #29  and others.

 This, along with the miracle of Elvira—which will be item #5,  had the Indians all over the area begin to trust us for the first time, yet strangely motivating gringos, living in Guatemala City and in the U.S., to increase their  criticism of our efforts as mentioned above.


As you can see  above, soon vocational students and volunteers made necessary enlarging the dining room and eating in at least two shifts.
At times sick and dying, needing intensive care, swelled the Family to 50 and at times, more.
******************************
THE NEED OF LOTS OF POTABLE WATER & ELECTRICITY
--OUR PIONEER SPIRIT TO THE RESCUE—
NEEDED GOOD WATER—LOTS OF IT
In the beginning when I lived in the Central House, along with Alfredo Rodas who became the Manager, since he spoke Pokomchi—the dialect of the area, and Manuel and Julia from the Farm, we had a growing need for water.  Soon the need was  much greater with my whole family and then the growing Central House Family, plus eventually  Vocational students from other areas, as well as volunteers from Guatemala City and BYU and the sick being treated.
I checked out the old system which was a rusted pipe they had inserted inside a rock aqueduct about 4” x 4” that anciently, at the beginning of the plantation in 1875,  had been used. I followed it up to the spring, and we cleaned it and covered it, We replaced the rusted pipe with plastic hose that increased a little the flow, but not enough.  For bathing and for the chicken coups we installed a second system taking water out of the water system that turned our sugar crusher water wheel—water from the creek and not drinkable.  We needed desperately a safe potable water system for us and for the homes we envisioned building in what we called the “colony” where the aerial photos had shown all the mounds.
A friend visiting from Lehi claimed to be able to water-witch and find underground water sources, so with forked branches from a peach tree, we tested him to see if he could find underground water pipes he didn’t know about.  He found every one of them.
So, all of a sudden there was a parade going back and forth above the Central House. First our friend with his forked water wand, then me behind, and behind me Wayne Potts, a volunteer from BYU—each of us with our water wand  hoping we also would have the gift—but we didn’t.
We eventually followed an underground vein of water up high on the property line and drilled a hole hoping to find artesian water.  You see below Wayne playing around with his water-wand where the hole was being drilled.  
 

In the second picture we see David Andersen adding his weight to the drilling rig.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As Julie had become my “right hand female man” in educational and medical activities, 
Dave become my “right hand man” in the work—which he enjoyed much more than book learning. At 8 years old he took charge of 400 laying hens in cages—with his younger brothers—Rich, Joey & Danny  and the Indian boys at the Central House as his work crew, and was getting 120% egg production which none of the poultry experts in Guatemala could believe. I had to find out how, and worked with him checking everything and discovered he was giving like a quadruple dose of a supplement—thus forcing them to lay  their 6 month allotment of eggs in less time, and eventually they got tired of being pushed too much and stopped!

 Later, Dave and his team took charge of the “Rabbit Project,” with up to 400 rabbits. You also see him above doing the accounting for his “120% Laying Hen Project” and working in the carpentry shop building the bunk beds that later collapsed with a chunky President Glade falling on Dr. Mason described in item #12-3.

 


I had to include Dave as a fisherman,with a large Israeli carp,  along with his brothers Danny and Rich, with an 8 lb. large mouth black bass that had in it’s stomach a Tilapia that weighed 1 ½ lbs

************* 

Back to water-witching, in letters home I was afraid to mention to my scientist father the water-wand  or water-witching effort, but eventually did and he replied saying he was a believer having seen it work repeatedly in Australia when he was a missionary, and believed there had to be some scientific basis for it.  But, eventually that effort failed as artesian water wasn’t found,  but it’s a fun aspect of our history to remember any way….and for the “friendly fire” they can have fun saying it was another of our FAILURES!   NOTE:  By the way in the learning process we had lots of them, which had us learning and then pushed  us to many more SUCCESSES and trips to the bank!

MY VOCATIONAL STUDENTS TO THE RESCUE

I sent them into the mountains above the plantation looking for a good water source and


they found one about 1 mile above the plantation, and talked the Indian owner into selling a small section of his land where the spring was.  The purchase included authorization to install a water line crossing his property, and in turn we provided him with a water line and faucet just outside his thatch home—Nesario Caal becoming actually the first Indian in the entire area to have potable water!
 
 We isolated the spring, cleaned it up, including the area above to prevent contamination coming down into it, and let that whole area grow up as watershed.  We then sealed it and captured all the water in a 3” vinyl water line down to the hill overlooking the colony area and built a water cistern on what was an ancient mound of the City of Helam,  9’ deep with the dimensions you can see in the following pictures. 

NOTE:  Sorry, archaeologists, for destroying a mound, but the important artifacts all went into the MUSEUM OF THE HOLY MAN built years later.

 


Inside is one of my favorite Vocational Students, “MECANISMO,” who was from the Peten.  I don’t remember how he ever learned about the CID, nor do I know whatever happened to him.   

But he was a star student and a wonderful person, who in 1975 when our precious Pepita was run over, he held her in his arms in the back of our microbus as I raced for Coban and the hospital. 

NOTE:  If anyone reading this happens to know what happened to Mecanismo, and/or where he is today, so I can contact him, I would deeply appreciate  it.

 

We can say that this could have been our first SWIMMING POOL, and before covering it I wanted to make at least ONE DIVE, but didn’t want to contaminate it in any way.  So we now had abundant water that didn’t need to be treated, and we began running water lines all over the plantation, as shown below.

FIRST, to the Central House and area, but with closed connections ready along the way for homes that by 1976 would be constructed in the colony area for the Welfare Missionary couples, and then others.  At the Central House having abundant water, with tons of pressure, eventually made possible things only dreamed of before:

 

Gradually in our “pioneer life” we were learning how to do all kinds of things that the modern world takes for granted. 

We learned about septic tanks, built one in the area east a crossed the ravine below the
garden area, and all of a sudden had a FLUSH TOILET!  But, even before that we built a shower room with a propane gas water heater—we were really getting soft taking hot showers! That stool you see I still have today in A.F.

One of our first projects was to take a swampy area with drainage ditches where our cattle would sink in and get stuck—so, since we couldn’t beat the swamp we filled it up with water, building a dam and drainage system and created our lake

Eventually we built our swimming area and  throughout  all my years at Valparaiso I tried to keep up my record of always bathing daily in our lake, even once starting an ESKIMO CLUB that to be a member one had to make a dive daily into  the lake even when the temperature dropped to freezing—4  times in 35 years!   I eventually installed electric lights in our “balneario” so when I had to bath at night I’d flip the switch and take my dip in the dark of night—ALL LIT UP.


Once when bathing at night, waist deep in the water, I was ambushed by two guys with guns, but I was ready for them with my pistol underneath my towel! Another of many adventures!

But with the new potable water system, great water pressure and hot water  it finally even

made possible having an automatic washing machine, seen on the right in a picture being used by Soila Chiquin, later one of  “The Mob”  who had escaped the oppression of the family who raised her—who  had acquired her from a father who didn’t want her—the family accepting her to be like a slave for them.    Until about 8 years old Soila  wouldn’t speak a word, then escaped from the family who I had kicked out of Valparaiso when the colono, Esteban Jul,   had first been caught stealing panela and put in jail, then when drunk attacked with a machete my manager,  Miguel Angel, which I couldn’t forgive and removed them,  they went  to Najquitob to live! 

From there at 8 years old Soila escaped and made it all the way down the mountain and asked to live with us.  She finally began speaking for the first time in her life and grew up in the Central House eventually  marrying Hector Poou and having her own family.

Well, with all these modern developments, the friendly fire had new ammunition to accuse me of building a business empire and getting rich.  I would soon give them more ammunition.

To the right are seen two of the eventual 6 homes in the colony,  First, one of the homes


built for the Welfare Service Couples in 1976, but rather first lived in by us Andersen’s as Maria needed more relief from the pressure of the Mob.  Later it became the home of Carlos Valdez who had joined us as a 12 year old, and finished his last 12 years as Manager of Valparaiso

 

 

 

Next comes the “earthquake proof home” built by Hal Poulsen who came, with his
wife, Neva, and daughter, Jeanie, to help for 6 months after the Great Earthquake item #14.

Interestingly 40 years later in 2016 when I made what I thought then was my last trip to Guatemala and Valparaiso, Hal's  home is the only one left in the "Colony area" in good shape.  I'll insert a picture below.

Thanks Hal & Neva for your "long lasting contribution!"

The first vastly improved "rancho" in the "colony" area, along with it's nice outhouse/firewood storage unit, and wonderful interior--first lived in by dona Carmelina & kids, immediately had potable water. I'll insert below a shot of the intertior.

This was an improved "rancho" that qualified as a "healthy & mentally stimulating home." 
Then one of the five dairy colony homes built in 1972 that originally had water from our new system, but eventually from the 2nd potable water system built especially for the Victorias Dairy in 1972.  Item #11.

 The picture below shows that each home--in total contrast to the Indian's hut or "rancho," had windows, a cement floor,  potable water with a pila, and a shower  as well as a woodburning stove with chimney. 



 Above we see one of  the dairy homes that was turned into a “stimulating environement” by Miguel and Carmela Ajpop.


Then in 1981 when we created the Valparaiso Community, item #22,  independent of the plantation,  where all owned their own property and homes, We ran a water line, first with a Public Pila where they could get their water as seen to the right.


Then to a few homes, but the water and pressure wasn’t enough for all the homes—our  system was being spread too thin, so we helped them create their own potable water system from a spring 2 miles back up in the mountains to the south.

We’ll see next ELECTRICITY.  The Indians were getting “rich” too!
*********

FOR A “REAL BUSINESS EMPIRE” & “TO BE RICH”

WE NEEDED ELECTRICITY

It started interestingly in the KAIBAB NATIONAL FOREST north of the Grand Canyon where in 1966 I was trapping wildlife to photograph for the Audubon Society. 
 

My trapping/photographic work was early and late  so during the day I drilled millions of air jets for Andersen Samplers using what became our first electricity in Guatemalaa 500 watt Honda Portable Generator, which I used in 1966 to get night photos of the Tree of Life Monument, then it went with us to Guatemala in 1967,  and in 1968 was our first electricity at the Farm, and then at the Central House in Valparaiso

Next came the 2,000 watt portable generator used for Cine Chapinlandia—the traveling movie.  It was one of the ones we got into Guatemala duty free because  it was used, “having started it to see if it worked.

It also was used at Valparaiso, and many times was carried on the backs of Indians to villages to show movies, such as on long hikes following the mountain trails to Pambach.  It weighed 150 lbs.  To carry it a single Indian would take it using a tump-line as seen, with a paper feed bag to protect their backs.  They would take turns. They were incredible!

At Pambach we see when we first met Federico Veliz—in the green jacket, who was the teacher in the isolated Pambach community that asked

for our help to build their school—we were stopped from using the road by the land owner, and had to follow the mountain trails and both Federico and me suffered DEATH THREATS for our work.  Miguel Max is talking to the group in the picture explaining the first movie ever seen by these Indians.

 

 


That generator was used in the beginning at Valparaiso when we had to operate the drum poultry plucker, and of course for movies.

 

 

 

Then, with the help of my brother, Marlo, we eventually acquired a one cylinder, slow revolution diesel motor and constructed a facility with the belt turning an axle that had other belts turning an electric generator, and also a hammer mill used to make our own feed. With this we had good electricity for work projects, and for a couple of hours each evening in the Central House.  We were getting  real rich—all part of the SCAM!!!

 

 

 

 






ELECTRICITY HELP FROM THE NAVAHO RESERVATION

In June of 1971 the owner of a Trading Post on the Navaho Reservation in Arizona donated a huge used diesel generator to the Foundation.  The Explorers from the Oakhills II Ward in Provo, Utah volunteered to deliver it as their summer Super Activity led by Richard Brimhall, who 10 years later would be Executive Director of the Foundation.  I heard they were coming but wondered how on earth they would ever get through Mexico and into Guatemala.

Accompanying them was a BYU student, Julio Salazar, who was a Guatemalan and apparently a smooth talker who was planning on being Guatemala’s President.  He somehow talked their way through Mexico and into Guatemala.  So one day in June they pulled into the plantation with several vehicles, and the 2,600 lb. generator completely filling the back of one of the pickups—the unloaded generator seen to the right with Maria observing after the difficult job of unloading it.

On the right another shot  with some of the Explorers checking it out after we finally got it onto it's new foundation..

One of the Explorers was the son of Paul Felt who had been in charge of the BYU Lamanite Development Program, and who had just received his call as President of the Southwest Indian Mission for the LDS Church.  Paul wrote a letter to his son sending it to Valparaiso, and saying to his son:

“Observe carefully what they are doing, as we’ll have to do those same kind of things  on our mission, if we are to be successful.”

Richard Brimhall brought me a printed copy of President Ernest L. Wilkenson’s  May 28th, 1971 Commencement Address at BYU in which he described our efforts as an example of what BYU graduates should go out into the world and do.

As it turned out, the generator wouldn’t start, and we had to have it rebuilt before it would run, and for a while it did provide us with lots of electricity,

Soon thereafter line electricity came into the Alta Verapaz area of Guatemala, which was an incredible blessing.  Thereafter we only needed generators for emergencies, or when we would go to remote villages to show movies.

4.  THE EVOLUTION OF OUR EDUCATIONAL EFFORTS & THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHILOSOPHY & PRINCIPLES OF THE GOOD LIFE.

It is a big story that could fill a large book, but depicted in the following photos—beginning with the Sunday evening movies, then classes with my  Vocational students,

then Julie’s effort when 10 years old, teaching 6 little Indian children, including THE FIRST LITTLE GIRL IN HISTORY to begin getting an educvation at Valparaiso.

 

Her effort was  followed by organizing an official school that eventually had 110 students, with all six grades as well as adult literacy classes as seen in the montage below.

 

In 1980 our school was the first plantation school in history to participate in the  yearly Departmental Fair in Coban, led  by our 1980 Championship soccer team, The Lamanite Youth, see item #21, then our float, next the children, followed at the tail end by the adult women’s literacy class.   

We won the President’s award as

FIRST PLACE for the BEST PARTICIPATION.

Twenty-six years were spent at Valparaiso--and if it hadn't have been for some complications and unrighteousness,  we'd likely still be there—as  it became the heart and soul of our work in Guatemala, supporting us for 26 years,  and becoming The Center for Indian Development, as seen in item #8, from which projects would reach out all over the country, all based on the….. 

***************

The Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life

 This "Method" crucial in all of our work for the Foundation's 50 year history is outline simply below

 THE PHILOSOPHY: The present Indians are descendants of a progressive  and great people, some called "The Greeks of the New World,"   but who fell into a period of darkness,  yet have a prophetic destiny in the last days of,  "coming out of darkness into the light & blossoming."   But to do so they have to come to understand and apply……

THE PRINCIPLES:  Which are simply: 

1. CLEANLINESS, 

2. PROPER NUTRITION, 

3. LIVING IN HEALTHY HOMES,   

4. UNITED FAMILIES,    

5. EDUCATION FOR ALL,    

6. INDUSTRY, BUT LEARN TO WORK MORE PRODUCTIVELY, & last, 

7. SHARE WITH OTHERS the GOOD LIFE being achieved.

 

FOR LDS CHURCH ORIENTED MISSIONARY WORK

and those Indians receptive religiously, the philosophy included what their sacred book, THE POPUL VUH, states as having anciently had the original Sacred Book that was lost, but for complete application of the Method, they needed it (the BOOK OF MORMON) to be restored to guide them, which included 

1.   BELIEVE IN & FOLLOW THE GOD OF THIS LAND WHO IS JESUS CHRIST,  

2.  TAKE SERIOUSLY HIS TEACHINGS & LIVE THEM, and 

3. UNITE WITH OTHERS WHO HAVE THE SAME  DREAMS OF PROGRESS FOR THE FUTURE.

EXAMPLES OF IT’S APPLICATION? 

AT VALPARAISO & THE POLOCHIC WHEN I WAS

DISTRICT PRESIDENT

Following are some displays that explain the philosophy and principles

"The Greeks of the New World,"

But who fell into a period of Great Darkness


 Yet have a prophetic destiny in the last days of, 
"coming out of darkness into the light & blossoming."
But to do so they have to come to understand and apply……

THE PRINCIPLES of THE GOOD LIFE: 

 

It was this method that opened Valparaiso and the Polochic area to some of the most successful missionary success in the history of the LDS Church among the Lamanites.  The missionaries said they had never seen, nor used such a successful method. 

You will even notice one who initially was against the effort, but in the end see it bring him success—but which the missionaries couldn’t report to the Mission/Church leaders. See item #15, pages 111-112. 

****************

5. A BIBLE-LIKE MIRACLE OPENS THE WAY TO GAIN THE CONFIDENCE OF THE INDIANS…to begin having really significant success.

In the first nearly year and a half of being owners of the 600 acre VALPARAISO PLANTATION, with 239 resident Poqomchi speaking Indians living in 39 families,  I was killing myself with intense activity trying to help what seemed like a people who were perfectly happy with half of their children dying, as well as adults dying of tuberculosis and other terrible diseases--which was all normal for them. It would still be another year before the Foundation existed. It was still the struggle of the Andersen Family Private Peace Corp.

Accepting the teenage boys as VOCATIONAL STUDENTS, and teaching them how to work and be able to qualify for better paid full-time employment, plus teaching them the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life began changing the attitudes of the adults and Indian leaders. 


Julie beginning to teach 6 little barefoot Indian children, even including one little girl—the first female to received any kind of education, all of which soon had us officially beginning our own private School, with Zoel Gomez as teacher. All of this  helped in gradually changing attitudes towards us.

Then driving away the ghosts from the Central House—us courageously moving in, then accepting needy orphan children, and abused mothers and their children—all as part of our family with no descrimination, as we see in the picture, David sharing a cushion with one of the Indian boys. 

On the left we see another great picture showing how we accepted the people as our family--the picture of the three little boys, the LDS Magazine ENSIGN, labeled it, "Three little Indian Boys," but that was a mistake--the three boys, arm in arm as brothers, were from the left, my son Richard, then in the middle, barefoot Rueben, brother of Carlos and Moncho, then Dave Andersen. 

Many such examples of my family began melting the hearts of even the most stubborn Maya/Poqomchi at Valparaiso.  Then a big step forward occurred as I adopted the family


of Victor Suc with his grandma returning him  to us dieing as seen in the well used photo of him with our son Joey.

VICTOR, in the picture with Joey, both 2 ½ years old, Joey weighing 39 lbs., Victor at 13 lbs. with a blob of round worms on the upper right corner we got out of him—and him growing up and sort of being the SPIRIT OF VALPARAISO…….


All  making up “THE MOB,” or The Central House Family. At the end of item #6 I will insert the complete story of this child with whom we are using his birth name here to respect his privacy.

While we were surprisingly criticized for all of this by “friendly fire,”  what we were doing even had the die-hard Indians softening.  One more undeniable miraculous event got us over the summit of resistance which I’ll now describe as best I can.

THE BIBLE-LIKE MIRACLE

In July 1969 I acquired several gallons of internal parasite medicine and invited all to come one Sunday afternoon.

160 came—about  half of the residents, and we were busy giving the medication when Chavela arrived with her two little girls, Marta and


Macaria—who  somehow we came to call Elvira.  Elvira was a baby in Chavela's arms and we gave her a tiny dose, but all of a sudden she reacted violently, vomiting.  We got her normalized, so we thought.

After the treatment, we invited those interested to see a movie—the  first religious movie shown which was "Man's Search For Happiness," with about 60 who filed into the warehouse to see it.  Alfredo Rodas, my manager, translated it into Poqomchi and it seemed like the message was understood and well received. 
After the movie, I rewound the film and then noticed a group of women surrounding Chavela who had Elvira on her lap but completely covered with her shawl.  All were crying as Elvira had died.
I quickly kneeled before Chavela, uncovered Elvira and sought for a sign of life.  Her tiny body was cold, with no pulse, or signs of breathing.  I picked her up and stood telling all we were going to pray. Generally, my prayers are simple and short, but this time in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ it went on and on as though it was a Patriarchal blessing, promising her life, and good things for her future. Then I finished, opened my eyes to look at Elvira who was softly snoring and there was warmth in her body.
There was a hushed silence of reverence among all.  Chavela, without saying a word, gathered her baby in her arms and they drifted off into the night. Not a word was said as all exited the warehouse and headed to their homes.  I was so weak I couldn't walk to the Central House without help.  Apparently, strength was drained from my body and transferred to Elvira giving her life. 


Elvira's  miraculous life was featured later in a book, THE MAYA LEGACY, by Stanford Robison

The next day the news spread like wildfire all over the Valley, and to the neighboring villages:


"In Valparaiso, there is a new Medicine Man with strange powers.  Something is happening that should be trusted!"

That was a new beginning.  The Indians stopped hiding their sick babies and children from me, even asking for treatments, like above  is seen the well-used photo of Julie helping me try and save Alfonso and Lic's mother.  From those beginning years we went on to perform thousands of medical treatments every year of every type imaginable, and we started keeping track of those we felt had been saved from sure death, but when we got to 160 we stopped counting.

NOW, BACK TO VALPARAISO IN THE EARLY YEARS:  Soon classes started teaching them how to avoid sickness and death, and we discovered effective methods of teaching CLEANLINESS & NUTRITION, explained next—along  with an additional handful of events, and initiatives…..

…..of most importance organizing the Indian vocational students to save their own people by a weekly  visit to every home and then advise me of those needing treatment before they became lost causes, and…..

DEATH STOPPED FOR A PERIOD OF 3 YEARS!

NOTE: This was basically a program of ministering—commanded  by the Lord thru Joseph Smith in 1830 to "watch over the Church,"  but in our case "watch over all our brothers & sisters—none  of whom were LDS," with a weekly visit to every home--initially by our youthful Vocational Students—most  of whom became spiritual converts,  and who then took doubly seriously the  charge to "watch over" the families assigned, and then report situations of need so that adequate measures could be taken to save lives. In the LDS Church for years, it was called "Home Teaching," or "Home Visiting," which apparently the Leaders didn’t take seriously enough, and  was never managed properly—except  for a few cases, like at Valparaiso—where  we took seriously what we felt the Lord had commanded over 180 years ago.  See: Doctrines & Covenants 20:42, 51-53

EPILOGUE:  Interestingly in recent years the LDS Church has claimed a "new revelation" concerning the same activity, but calling it "ministering,"  which is what it always was from the initial revelation, but apparently not taken seriously. However we did, and it was a cornerstone of the effort that produced 3 years with no death at Valparaiso and I can mention that prior to moving to Guatemala when I was first Elder’s Quorum President in the Spanish American Branch in Provo, and then as President of the Branch, we also took the initial revelation seriously, and it worked miracles also in Provo, Utah from 1964-1966.

At the time recently of what was called “a new revelation,” it had some General Authorities giddy “over the “new flood of revelation,” as though there had been a modern absence of revelation for many years and they seemed to hunger and thirst for something they could call “revelation!”  The original revelation was more than enough for us—as we took it seriously.

On the next page, more than 50 years later we are seen back visiting the Valparaiso Community.

Here we are 48 years after the Miracle of Elvira having lunch in Elvira's home in the Valparaiso Community--she is seen to the right.  If I recall correctly she had a son at that time on an LDS mission.  In the picture to the left is me, my partner & traveling companion, archaeologist, Garth Norman, then Federico Veliz, and my daughter, Aura.

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6. CREATION OF UNIQUE  METHODS TO TEACH THE CRITICAL AREAS of CLEANLINESS & PROPER NUTRITION, both Principles of the Good Life.  

The critical need of CLEANLINESS…….

 ……a lack of which, like—not  one outhouse among the 39 original families at Valparaiso—contributing  to homes and home sites being "incubators of disease and death,"  with 40% of the children born to the 39 families dead already for an average of 8 children dying a year.  We found more sick and dying in every home.

NOTE:  The "haunted" Central House did have a 6 holler –all  together like a "community-friendly outhouse" with the stuff dropping down into an underground canal from the sugar refinery that washed it  into the creek that went behind the house, and meandered  its way all  through the valley--where some families got their water, and then into the Cahobon River continuing on to Coban and eventually to the Polochic Valley--So, for years VALPARAISO  DID SHARE WITH THOUSANDS!   The first thing I did was to close it down--that perplexed many as it was known as quite a unique system--except for all those downstream!    We dug a hole below the Central House for the first outhouse in the valley.  The "2nd" I dug myself for Victor and his family when I tried to care for them on their own home-site--story told later.
But, teaching the Indians they needed an outhouse on each home site didn't make sense to them, as that would put an end to the lush, green corn and other plantings around their homes abundantly fertilized by human waste!  

As I started to treat the sick, I became frustrated as they would often relapse--with no end in sight—THEIR  ENVIRONMENT & HABITS HAD TO CHANGE.  I began the attempt to teach preventive medicine beginning with the invisible world of microbes that brought laughter from the Indians. They needed to learn that sickness came from the invisible microbial contamination from their own waste--microbes they refused to believe in because they couldn't see them.   We had to show them the invisible monsters, so began using Petri dishes to grow microbes from dirty hands, contaminated water, dust, a cough, a captured fly walking on the nutrient agar, etc. Then show them the colonies that grew that had a foul odor, then let them see them using a microscope--conclusion being that said "invisible monsters" created nasty odors, rot,  sickness, and death.  The outcome was nothing short of miraculous.


The Petri dishes showing colonies of microbes are along the front of the table.

Obviously, my father, a bacteriologist, helped us design this method

and sent/or brought to us the equipment we needed, including the first microscope seen  to the right, which dad had found being discarded when working on his PhD, at Iowa State—US ANDERSEN’S ARE SCAVENGERS!

INTERESTING NOTE:  Eventually we were gifted 10 microscopes, like the one seen above on the left, by a BYU professor who had been a Trustee for the Foundation, but who had to quit when I became too controversial, see Item #28,  but he  acquired some obsolete microscopes, but couldn’t let on he was giving them to us, so just left them in the dark of night on the doorstep of our rental home in Provo at the time when I had to bring the family back to Provo due to the Guerrilla War, and I was traveling back and forth every two months to keep the family going, run the U.S. Foundation, as dad had passed on, but also manage the projects in Guatemala, as well as keep the business going that supported us.  We were able to provide microscopes for our projects with Federico Veliz in Santa Cruz, for Humberto and our projects in Patzicia and Patzun, and shared with other non-profit organizations.

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We began a program of constructing floors & box/seats for any who would dig their own hole.  Soon after showing them the "invisible world of microbes"  I was advised of the first hole dug—by  Felipe Laj, which tiny news for me WAS GIGANTIC!

By the end of 1970 100% of the 39 families had outhouses, and death stopped for the next 3 years.

 

 

 

Eight years later, Felipe Laj, one of the original "colonos,"  seen to the right with his wife, son, Esteban & a granddaughter,  was named by me as Supervisor of the Victorious Dairy—that, had him shocked,  he reminding me he didn't even hardly know how to read and write.  But he had my trust and I assured him I would teach him all he had to know—all  he had to do was: 

Continue to be special and do as taught, which he faithfully did in that key position until the END.

 

 


Teaching NUTRITION

 And that "we are what we eat,"  we did nutrition experiments with broiler chicks, using 4 pairs, each fed different diets: 

One, WHITE GROUND  CORN—that  nutritionists say "is not capable of sustaining and supporting human life" (representing the typical Indian diet);  

Two, YELLOW GROUND CORN  (that is high in Vitamin A); 

Three, COMMERCIAL BROILER FEED—representing  BALANCED DIET

Four, A PAIR TAKEN HOME BY A FAMILY  and turned loose with their poultry.

RESULTS:  

WHITE CORN CHICKENS small, little weight gain—4  oz,  sickly, anemic in appearance—sometimes  dead,  and an economic loss.  

YELLOW CORN CHICKENS, twice the weight gain—8  oz. of white corn chickens, small still but healthy in appearance, an economic small profit.  

BALANCED DIEThuge—4  lbs. 8 oz. of weight gain, healthy, huge profit.  

HOME CHICKENS, weight loss or dead. 

It was then easy to translate the results to the need of humans eating a balanced diet.  We then taught them inexpensive ways of doing that which, along with greater cleanliness,  contributed to: NO DEATHS FOR  3 YEARS Death only began happening again due to bureaucratic interference in our group working together to solve the life and death problems, see item #12

These methods were used in many schools, repeated every year or so, reaching thousands of people and influencing many to apply these principles in their family lives, the end result being saving literally thousands.

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THE CORN IMPROVEMENT PROJECT SHOWING INDIANS HOW TO TAKE THEIR NATIVE VARIETIES & INCREASE THE QUALITY AND YIELDS.

To help with the critical need of better nutrition we quickly learned we weren’t going to be able to get the Indians to not eat corn, especially white corn—described by nutritionists as “a food incapable of supporting and sustaining human life.”  We tried improved varieties of corn with improved nutrition, but they were too tasty and eaten quickly by worms, bugs, and raccoons. Those varieties were also hybrids requiring the continual purchase of seed corn from suppliers. That would never work with the Indians.

I therefore decided it would help tremendously to improve one of their native varieties of corn….VASTLY IMPROVING THE VITAMIN-A CONTENT, plus  INCREASING YIELDS.  So, the “rodeo clown” with no agricultural education, much less a PhD in anything, went to work for 6 ½ years:

HAVING TONS OF FUN plus, EXPERIENCING MIRACULOUS SUCCESS.

I chose their native summer corn called VERANERO,  that had a yellowish/red color, indicating to me at least some Vitamin A.

NOTE:  The Indian’s white, and black (or very dark purple) corn

HAS NO VITAMIN-A, much less protein.

Over 6 ½  years we increased yields from 50 to 650 lbs. per 1/9th acre, with three crops yearly—rather than one, while more than doubling its nutritive quality—ALL OF A SUDDEN WITH TONS OF VITAMIN-A, all  with no use of chemicals, rather only natural organic fertilizers & methods available to the Indians.  

  The Indians in said  1/9th of an acre had an average of only one plant with two ears.  We began with seed from that plant, crossed it with seed from a superior rare ear that had the right coloration—tending towards GOLDEN-YELLOW,  and patiently developed seed that produced uniformly plants with multiple ears—as  seen above on the left, even with an increasing percentage with 3 and even 4 ears of good size and quality.  Then worked on improving even more the color and vitamin content from the normal red, to a rich golden yellow as seen above on the right side, which we proved, with poultry experiments,  was a vast improvement in vitamin A content.  Then we worked on reducing the normal 4 months to maturity as I noticed a few plans would mature in 3 ½ months so choose from those plants the ones with multiple ears per plant, and the right coloration.  Eventually we achieved a high percentage of plants that would mature in 3-1/2 months rather than the typical 4 months, making possible 3 harvests per year, of a corn with high Vitamin A content, and a 1,300% increase in yieldsall with no use of chemicals of any kind. 

NOT BAD FOR A "RODEO CLOWN!"

IMPORTANT NOTE: As we learned,  the varieties of native corn were very sensitive even to slight geographical changes, so we mainly tried to teach the Indians how to choose their seed corn to continually improve the quality and quantity of their harvests.

 

THE STORY OF VICTOR SUC

An Example of Medical, Nutritional & TOTAL DEVELOPMENT HELP

By 1969 we were learning that we couldn’t leave lying around anything, like happened once with a pair of pliers, and again with a hammer, and they both disappeared.  We soon learned that for the Indians such things left carelessly here and there—even though all knew who they belonged to, for our Pokomchi Indians, they assumed that the owner didn’t want it and so would pick it up and take it home. 

One afternoon a gallon of gasoline for one of our generators disappeared.  It was concerning because the Indians used kerosene to light their fires, burn in their lamps, etc. and not being familiar with the explosive nature of gasoline we feared that someone would use it to get a cooking fire going and there would be a serious accident. I mobilized our employees and vocational students  to visit and search every home and find that gallon before it was too late.

 

I joined the search following the trail up the mountain from the spring, and found a home site I hadn’t seen before, and there found the gallon.  It was where lived a widowed grandma, Isabela Max, with two teenage daughters, Marta and Elvira, a teenage boy, Alfonso, a younger son, Alberto,  and a younger daughter, Margarita, and a bunch of young grandchildren—

The youngest, Victor Suc, sucking at his

grandma’s dry breast as a pacifier. At that time he was about 18 months old, never able to walk yet.

I discovered a horrible situation.  They produced from the maguey plant string, like binder-twine, making it into nets for sale, but their main income was selling to Indian men the bootleg sugar-cane liquor, “boj,” that for .50 cents one could drink all they wanted and spend the night with the oldest daughter, Marta, seen in red upper right.

At night to sleep they would all pile up on a sleeping platform covered by a straw mat with one blanket half-way covering them.

I immediately adopted the family and began treating Victor for terrible skin infections, and sending them food every day, but soon noticed that for the eggs I would send, there were never any shells in the garbage dump.