Friday, May 7, 2021

A FIFTY YEAR "IMPOSSIBLE DREAM" AMONG MY PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA - Part 1: The Mysterious Cause & Preparation to Act; Part 2: The Risky, Breathtaking Pioneer Journey in 1967 to the Jungles & Mountains of the Maya; and Part 3: The Complete Final Report

 

CLICK FOR:   Toby Pingree's Passing 

All updated in April/May 2021 with exciting new details, especially in

Part 3:  The FINAL COMPLETE REPORT

THE HISTORY IS NOW A BOOK

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT ALL ONLINE

or
 DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION
 FOLLOWS  ALL 3 PARTS IN THIS POST: SCROLL DOWN
All three Parts combined in one 538 page book.   Click below to download the printable version of the entire book. I have just finished carefully tweaking, correcting, adding many  new sections with exciting adventures never told before, and  photos never seen before, with a finished product much better and complete than previous versions, and is now in harmony with  the version you will see by scrolling down.  
CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING TO DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION

NOTE: To download the book click on the following link: :  

 https://1drv.ms/b/s!AoaOxahyUVnKnSUQGM5EPNKIZh6x?e=BlaLFF

Which now includes in APPENDIX 1

The entire book, with 5 APPENDIXES, is available on a thumb drive for $25

APPENDIX 2  has the COMBAT HANDGUNS article about us.

APPENDIX 3 has the letter from the LDS Financial Dept. authorizing our Group at Valparaiso  to operate a system saving lives, includes receiving financial aid from the Guatemalan Foundation

APPENDIX 4 has all the documents from my Church TRIAL

APPENDIX 5 has my letter concerning interest in returning to the Church


It will also be  available as a beautifully PRINTED BOOK like never seen before
 ABOUT THE LAND OF THE MAYAS "WHERE COLOR WAS INVENTED!"

CONTENTS : 
Part 1:  The Mysterious Cause & Preparation to Act..............43 pages 
Part 2:  The Risky.....Journey to the Mountains of the Maya....48 pages
Part 3:  The Complete "controversial"  Final Report.............346 pages
Plus APPENDIX and over 800 color photographs 
Part 1
THE MYSTERIOUS CAUSE and PREPARATION TO ACT:  Nine Years Finding the Faith to Make the 1967 RISKY…JOURNEY to the LAND OF THE MAYAS
By Cordell M. Andersen, life-long volunteer Field Director
We will now launch ourselves into trying to understand the lifetime efforts of the Cordell Andersen family,  in making what later was called:
The 1967 RISKY, BREATHTAKING PIONEER JOURNEY  TO THE JUNGLES & MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA....
….moving to rural Guatemala—literally  heading into the teeth of a dangerous storm, where the death rate for children was 50%, where we would be isolated from modern essential services, and where had exploded a Cuban/communist supported GUERRILLA WAR targeting those thought to be wealthy, like landowners and people from the U.S.—all  making difficult to understand the move  to the then... 

DANGEROUS & MYSTERIOUS JUNGLES and MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA 
NOW THE CRUCIAL QUESTION:
In all frank honesty, what had happened in our lives during the previous 9 years—from the end of our LDS missions to our leaving for Guatemala in mid-1967—motivating  such a seemingly perilous, but faithful move?
The spiritual foundation of it has been described in
PART 1: 0-22 years of
Cordell M. Andersen

THIS ENTIRE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT IS FOUND IN APPENDIX 1

The rest of the difficult reply to the question is found in
Part 2: 22-31 years - PREPARATION
Nine Years Finding the Faith to Make the  1967 RISKY....JOURNEY to "GUATEPEOR"* 
*GUATEPEOR is a derogatory term for Guatemala used in jest! 
You’ll see it used in a bit as I also laugh at myself calling myself a “Rodeo Clown”
It will basically be this post on the Guatemalan Foundation’s website

and Part 1 of the printable book.

 

PREFACE
But, why bother with this history of a
 “sort of crazy” family?
A quote from the RISKY…JOURNEY post might help:

Two other returned LDS missionaries from Guatemala had quickly responded to the feeling had by  many—that something had to be done to respond to the urgent “CAUSE” but had failed within 6 months and have been forgotten.

Our effort …. wasn't expected to last very long either, but our Andersen 
family pioneering endeavor was different—first  achieving a 14 year "Ammon-like"  period, but then persisting and was still going strong after 50 years, and so perhaps is historically of great value to report about fully and honestly.  It didn't work out being just another crazy, flash in the pan, ill-prepared undertaking as everyone but my father had predicted, but honestly reporting the truth of the effort has strangely ruffled feathers. 

BUT WHY?

THE LONG-TERM POTENTIAL OF OUR EFFORTS?

Three years after we started my father and friends organized the Foundation for Indian Development to help us and  one of the promotional firesides dad presented a few years later was to his LDS Stake High Priest Quorum members and their wives.  One of them, a brother Paul E. Felt, previously the Director of the BYU Lamanite Development Program, who was by then the ex-Mission President of the Church’s  Southwest Indian Mission, and afterwards a Professor of Religion at BYU, after the fireside he published a report  describing the long-term outcome of the Foundation’s work: 

“It is not unlikely that within a few decades it will be recognized that the most significant work among the Lamanites of our century is that being undertaken by the Foundation for Indian Development and the Cordell Andersen family!”

WITH THE ABOVE POSSIBILITIES IN MIND, IT MIGHT BE WORTH LOOKING FURTHER TO SEE WHAT DEVELOPED

********

IMPORTANT EXPLANATION

In the above explanation 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.

 NOW BACK TO "THE STORY"

On digging into my files, and those of my father, to accurately write  "the rest of the story"  I became convinced that more details of the history had to be told in frank honesty, including that of my family and personal life that--some Foundation leaders had said didn’t need to be told, rather they felt we should just stick to the work and accomplishments of Foundation projects. 
Yet, due to gossip and all kinds of rumors that surfaced over the years, I felt that in the end the truth should be known, removing the burden from my shoulders and let the truth take us where it may. 
It couldn't be as bad as where gossip and rumor has taken the history causing the loss of many friends.
THE DIFFICULTIES OF “the rest of the story”
As explained further along, it would be…..


“……….a risky challenge as demonstrated by one LDS General Authority, William Bradford—who  had heard a scandalous version of my history and demanded I confess—so, as I began an honest 2 hour long recounting of my history....his first response was, "The devil was deceiving you," but I continued undeterred, with him later shockingly injecting, "Satan was trying to destroy you!"  But unbothered I continued with him gradually changing his attitude, eventually saying, "Well, there might be something to this."  For a brief moment he comprehended some and counseled  me, saying,
“Don't tell anyone as no one will understand!"

I went on to say in that section:
One unique man, Harold Brown, showed that it was possible to understand fairly by having an .......
 .....unbiased open mind, an understanding heart, a spiritually perceptive spirit, and courageously honest soul.”
Brother Brown is sadly gone. But, I hope and pray a few such individuals still  exist and will be interested as it was a story worth living and of great value to understand fairly as did Brother Brown.   

So, I will now begin to stick my neck out and give all a chance to understand this PART 2 of my autobiography entitled PREPARATION, but in this book, A FIFTY YEAR “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM” IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA, will be Part 1: THE MYSTERIOUS CAUSE & PREPARATION TO ACT, followed by Part 2, The RISKY….JOURNEY, and concluded in Part 3, with   the “rest of the story” in the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT that comes last.

 

DIVINE GUIDANCE
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.
A brief summary follows:
I saw myself invited to speak in LDS General Conference but told not to worry about what I would say as it would be on the teleprompter.  Nevertheless, I felt like I had to prepare in my mind a special message just in case.
Through a lot of interesting and informative details in the actual dream, including being shown the technically complicated control room where it was explained to me how they could quickly edit out unacceptable remarks.  I finally got to the point of standing behind the pulpit looking out over the vast sea of 22,000 souls plus millions of TV viewers. 
 At that moment I recalled my experience as a 17-year-old—known at that time as a very timid soul--in the old Provo Tabernacle in a Stake Conference in 1953  when looking at what for me was "a vast sea of 3,000 souls," I bowed my head thinking a brief  prayer and was then guided by the Lord to speak His words.
In the Conference Center, after a brief silent prayer, I looked at the teleprompter to know what I was supposed to say. It had a message in bold letters clearly from the Lord, saying:
"SPEAK THE TRUTH FROM YOUR HEART!"
That ended the dream…so,  I was disappointed not being able to see what happened by attempting to give my own special message. I interpreted the message as guidance from the Lord in writing my history,  and this section on The MYSTERIOUS CAUSE & PREPARATION, the RISKY...JOURNEY, then the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT.
Likely an honest recounting of history will....
"ruffle a few feathers," but "we have all sinned and fallen short...."
....and all, including the LDS Church’s Leaders, 
need to have an honest chance to have
"a broken heart & contrite spirit,"
and
HEAL OURSELVES and THOSE HURT.

Are you surprised I infer people were “HURT!”
Misunderstanding & believing false reports 
were sadly responsible for…
 SOME INFANTS DYING! OTHER GOOD PEOPLE CAUSED 
TO LOSE FAITH!

CAUTION THROUGHOUT THIS HISTORY!  The author refers to  serious mistakes, that literally caused loss of life,  spiritual destruction and loss of faith that cannot be ignored by HONEST and TRULY HUMBLE PEOPLE—perpetrated  by individuals and groups of individuals—REVEALED  IN HOPES OF MOTIVATING REPENTANCE!  I NEVER INTEND TO INFER THAT ARE IN DOUBT THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, or all the wonderful programs of the LDS Church, and inspiring organizations like the Spoken Word & the Tabernacle Choir,  the Missionary Program so critical in my life, BYU, etc.

MISTAKES and FAILURES are excellent teachers as long as those making them have a chance to learn about them and ARE WILLING STUDENTS!

************************************
INTRODUCTION

A KEY PART OF THE FOUNDATION OF MY LIFE

 Part1—of the "Checkered--Faith & Works"....Autobiographical history 0-22 years old, just takes us to the end of my mission and that of Maria in late 1958.  Our leaving for Guatemala was in mid-1967—so there is a nine year gap I call PREPARATION that will help us understand and appreciate  the RISKY….JOURNEY section that will follow.

I will now  summarize very briefly that critical portion of “the rest of the story” to give all a chance to understand what we were going to attempt, and crucially WHY, then how we came to have the courage and the faith to make what some called  
“a reckless and crazy move.”

First, THE MYSTERIOUS  CAUSE

 The Sacred Book of the Mayans, THE POPUL VUH, states that anciently their people had a darkness come over them, causing them to lose their original sacred book,  and bring upon them all the terrible problems they suffer today. LDS people call this “a curse,” described in detail in 2 Nephi 1, of the Book of Mormon, which for you who might not be LDS, is considered by us as the sacred book of the indigenous Americans, newly revealed to the world.

But, the Mayans have ancient prophecies of a day when they will solve the problems and prosper.  Correspondingly, LDS people believe in scriptures that say, paraphrased:

“They will awaken, come out of darkness into the light, and blossom.”

OUR CAUSE WAS TO APPLY A FORMULA TO HELP THEM OVERCOME “THE CURSE” & “BLOSSOM”

A CHANGE WAS URGENTLY NEEDED:  As an LDS missionary in 1958 I was sent to the remote area of Coban in Guatemala with a special purpose given by the Mission President. It was an area known among the missionaries as The Siberia of Central America, due to its remoteness, rain thirteen months a year, and difficult missionary work.
The area’s missionary work was stagnant and difficult, and the missionaries would evolve into a pattern of hiking out into the mountains, and not actually do a lot of missionary work. When one would be changed and a new one sent, the one having been there for a while would soon infect the new missionary with the same discouragement continuing the pattern.
I had a different mind-set due to a prophecy about my life a month earlier in Managua, Nicaragua by Church leader, Hugh B. Brown, inferring a future that would be among the Mayans, and the Mission President Wagner knew this and so I was chosen and was sent in fresh with a new missionary, both of us un-exposed to the discouragement, so we would take seriously our mission. On arrival at the grass landing field in an Aviateca DC-3 two engine war-surplus airplane,  I was seeing for the first time in my mission Q’eqchi’-Mayans  in their typical colorful clothing, and to me the area became my  Shangri-la.   

We quickly knocked on every door in town and had no success with traditional missionary methods.  We seriously took a long look at what we were doing—on what we were supposed to be doing, and concluded we were going about our job wrong.  NOTE: My Checkered autobiography explains we were encouraged to seek the Lord’s inspiration to discover more effective methods of missionary work. We realized our main purpose, especially among the Mayans was to find an understandable way to get back into their hands  their newly found Sacred Book, and let it take them where it may, rather than being obsessed with baptisms.  If we could have them accept the book, and find an effective way to help them understand, it would guide them to an awakening and blossoming. 

Consequently I was inspired with a strategy to do that, FIRST, telling them with pictures how progressive their ancestors were who some called “The Greeks of the New World,” THEN read to them from the Popul Vuh about a darkness that had come upon them bringing all the problems they still suffered, and LAST, prophecies about the latter days when “They will awaken, come out of darkness into the light, and blossom.”  But they would need their Sacred Book, which we would tell them has now been found, which would help them overcome “the curse & blossom.” 
So, our new system would first have them feeling great about their ancestors and therefore feel good about themselves and their ability to improve their lives.  Next,  accepting their book and help them to understand  it and have the confidence to find a new life.  Then I realized that the method had to outline the steps they would need to take to really blossom. 
So….. THE FORMULA that had come to me in the “visions of the night”  as a missionary in 1958,  came to be called 
The Philosophy & Principles of the Good life.

Our PURPOSE then was to awaken the interest of  Mayans to overcome “the curse” and organize projects to help them apply the  principles of the Good Life,   which was our 
 MYSTERIOUS  CAUSE.

**************
 PREPARATION-1958 to 1967
Before the 2nd leaving for Guatemala in 1967 we had a 2 hour long “heart to heart talk” with my parents, ending with him giving me a Father’s blessing.  I quote (in outlined form):

For better understanding I’ll quote a few paragraphs of that future chapter—THE RISKY…..JOURNEY, as it mentions clearly our reasons and what would be our necessary preparation.

“Our final leaving for Guatemala was after having failed the first time, and we had to return to Provo, go back to work for Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service, and wait for authorization to go through Mexico with our huge load.  I'll quote a paragraph or two for complete understanding, coming out of it with a list of our reasons for making the move. 

“Two weeks or so later a telegram came and we packed up for the 2nd time and headed for Mexico. But this time, before leaving, had a 2-hour long heart-to-heart talk with my parents who had been understandably doubtful and scared to death about what we were to attempt.  Dad had previously tried to talk me out of it in what at times almost became heated conversations.  Once he shocked me saying,

"No cursed people in the history of the world have ever been able to rise above it! You will be sacrificing you and your family in vain!"

I was shocked that a true believer in the BOOK OF MORMON would say such, and decided to not debate the matter anymore, rather quietly continue our preparations.  Eventually, Dad,  seeing my resolve decided to support us even without full understanding.

We had left the first time without any further discussion, but having to return "with my tail between my legs," as elderly Sister Cannon had predicted, I felt strongly there was purpose in it, and believed I had to have a heart to heart talk with mom and dad.  

I requested they let me talk without interruption, but to jot down any comments or questions to deal with afterwards.

“I described emotionally the long chain of spiritual experiences had since I was a young boy, including my  
(1) NDE at 16 convincing me I had to dedicate my life SAVING PEOPLE, then me following Dad's example achieving 
(2) spiritual conversion to the Book of Mormon, then I went on to explain 
(3)  my mission experiences, focusing on 
(4) Hugh B. Brown's prophecy about my life, then  as a missionary 
(5) seeing Indian babies dying that I had to do something about, and later  
(6)  profound experiences when I was President of the Spanish American Branch in Provo, including  
(7) critically  on the snowy slopes of the Henry Mountains when, as had happened  anciently to Enos, then to Ammon and his brothers from the Book of Mormon--I literally had "the spirit of the Lord work on [me] .....," and I had my encounter with the Lord giving me the courage to make the move--and was supported by Maria and the kids.”

But, it involved impossible challenges we have to describe to fully understand.

MY TO DO LIST FOR RETURNING TO GUATEMALA

1.      Marry the right companion to support me in the adventure.
2.     Fulfill my military obligation. 
3.     Graduation from BYU
4.     Work in Andersen Samplers, building up the business and accumulating capital for the Guatemalan Adventure, as well as investing capital to make enough money for our new life.
5.     Do research, investigate and make exploratory trips to prepare the way for a move.

THE CHALLENGE & KEY EVENTS PREPARING US
My last day in the Central American Mission was memorable described in my autobiography, but it boiled down to my Mission President, Edgar L. Wagner, taking me to the airport.  I was hoping to insert here a picture of him, but can’t find one—my camera was stolen during my mission (in Managua). One of his chores as a Mission President was to talk to the missionaries in a way to hopefully prevent them falling in love with a local girl—so his preaching  became pretty extreme even calling one of us gringo’s marrying a Lamanite girl “a sin.”  He especially seemed to pour it on during the last months of my mission when I was Secretary of the Mission. He claimed knowing my girl friend, Maria, who had spent a year or so in the Mormon Colonies in Northern Mexico before migrating to the U.S.  This forced me to analyze his arguments, and it was quite easy—but I was respectful of his intentions and resisted any debate or getting him in a strangle hold.
But on the way to the airport he said,
“I know who your girl friend is, and you are fully aware of my extreme preaching on such a mixed marriage, but want you to know that on getting back together with Maria, if you both feel the way you did before your missions, ignore everything thing I’ve said and MARRY HER QUICKLY!”



At the airport a very special woman was there to say goodbye having made the long and difficult trip from Coban on the bus.  It was Sister Carlota de Yalibat mentioned often in my writings from my mission, and in the RISKY….JOURNEY  history.  I had already said goodbye to President Wagner, and last of all had a tearful parting with this very special sister, not saying “ADIOS,” rather “HASTA  LUEGO,” as I knew that as soon as possible I had to PREPARE and then RETURN TO THE “LAND OF THE MAYAS.”

Maria, was still in Mexico, remaining there to help her mother acquire a Resident Visa to come to the U.S.  and so I used the time to check out three other very special young ladies I had on my list—but, even though they were all wonderful women, it was quite easy to perceive that being my wife in a pioneer adventure in the “jungles & mountains of the Maya,” would be out of the question for any of them.

WHO WAS MARIA BERNARD?
She was from Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, Mexico with a tragic, but interesting past for  our possible future together. She was the 3rd child born to Angela, her mother—Graciela was her sister, and brother Albert.  But when Maria was a baby their father was killed by cattle rustlers on their ranch.
His widow, Maria's mother, was emotionally wounded seriously, and soon was swindled out of their property, all of them ending up literally starving in a thatch hut.  They were saved by aunt Clementina, mother of Aurora, who years later would marry Jim Penrod, and be the ones to start AYUDA’s project in Cunen, Guatemala.
So, Maria was raised by her aunt, in Tierra Blanca, and they were all early converts to Mormonism we see in an old photograph of the LDS branch members.

I’ll first insert a picture of the group with a picture of Maria as a young lady superimposed. 
 
Maria is the little girl shading her eyes on the left, next to her brother Albert, and then Graciela, also shading her eyes.  I’ll insert below the complete group picture with a special purpose as in it we see on the back row, far left, one of the young—but very tall, full time LDS missionaries, who good fortune would have it was HAROLD BROWN, who years later became one of the most key actors in our entire history. 
He was—about 33 years later,  in 1973 the LDS Regional Representative who surprised us with his visit at Valparaiso —as though he was an ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, when we were going through the roughest period in our history.

He had known us for years, and even for a time lived a crossed from the Andersen home on Ash Avenue in Provo.  In 1973 from his home in Mexico City, he explained he had kept a close eye on what we were doing, hearing some very negative reports, but also some very positive ones—and figured out what was happening—we were being “laughed to scorn” –or criticized by some of our own LDS people, as had happened anciently to Ammon and his companions, criticized by their people. 

He surprised us with a visit and was the only Church leader to come and investigate with an open mind, and spiritually perceptive heart, and when hearing what was happening at the hands of the LDS Mission and Leaders from Salt Lake City, he literally broke down in tears and in significant ways encouraged us to continue.......and, even later when I became more controversial, he listened with an open mind and became my supporter throughout his life, rather than turn against me as so many friends and family did.  He was the first to begin calling me a…
“Modern Ammon,” and us “A Family of Ammons.”

NOW BACK TO THE HISTORY AFTER MY MISSION
Soon I was asked to  present a Welcome Home Sacrament Meeting Program, resulting in a friend and local businessman, Tom James, asking me to work with him. I tried, but soon determined it best to work with my father who had recently published in the Journal of Bacteriology a report on the Andersen Sampler and was getting tons of inquiries from all over the world.  We established  the family partnership,
 Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service. 
Dad soon discovered that I was the only person he had found to that point who could drill with a jewelers drill press the 2,400 AIR jets in each sampler—all the way down to the smallest about the diameter of a human hair. 

After my Sacrament Meeting, I was also asked again—as happened when I was 17, to speak in Stake Conference in the old Provo Tabernacle, and again had an unforgettable experience talking about my mission experience to a very large congregation—and congratulated by many, some saying I then spoke with an accent as though I was a Mexican trying to speak English—which was a compliment for this guy who had failed Spanish in high school, but discovered at the beginning of the mission--no Language Training Center yet-- my own system for learning that had me  speaking faster than the average missionary. It was one of the great spiritual experiences of my life.  I actually went on to major in Spanish at BYU, and on graduation was offered a fellowship to get a Masters Degree at Kansas State University, but Guatemala and preparing to return was my priority.

“1.  MARRY THE RIGHT COMPANION”
In December I received my induction  papers to report to the Army in January, but not
wanting to be away from Maria for 2 more years I panicked and joined the Army Reserves on December 31st, signing up to be trained as a Medical Specialist, which turned out to be for our life in Guatemala, an inspired move.  
 Maria arrived that same day.

 
I was finally obedient to my Mission President, and Maria and me quickly decided to get married on January 20th—her birthday, in 1959.  NOTE: I’m joking about finally  being obedient!
DISASTER STRIKES—AFTER THE HONEYMOON A NEW CHALLENGE
A week after the honeymoon, I was going to have to report for Basic Training at Fort Ord, California, after which I would be sent to San Antonio, Texas at Fort Sam Houston for medical training.  Once settled into our apartment in Provo I began excitedly talking to Maria about our future plans which would eventually be to leave the U.S. and migrate to Guatemala to live and work among the rural Mayan people—with  Coban as the target area.  Somehow in the excitement of marriage and the honeymoon, that subject hadn’t come up—A BIG MISTAKE!
Her reaction was never imagined—I was so naive—She was ready to explode and said,
“If that is your plan, it will be best for us to immediately get a divorce!”
I was a very orthodox Mormon and “divorce” was not part of my vocabulary. I launched myself into a step by step recounting of all of my spiritual experiences as a young teenager, then as a missionary,  including the prophecy of Hugh B. Brown—all adding up to my “Ammon-like” mission and future that I assumed a good Mormon girl would be excited about.
But my explanation fell on deaf ears and she replied,
“I didn’t struggle all my life to get out of Mexico to just go back, especially to live out in the sticks in Guatepeor!
I began again very emotionally reviewing everything, but then it was clear it would get me nowhere, and besides, I thought, “The truth is that it is going to take quite a while to PREPARE properly and somehow during the years it would take, she will come around,”  so I backed off and privately laid out a subtle plan of PREPARATION—a bit more complicated than the one I already had.
A day or so later I talked to a Mexican friend, Benjamin de Hoyos, who knew Maria and he told me that “She came to the U.S. with the plan of marrying a rich gringo and living in a big house  happily ever after!”  Poor Maria!  She had got a bad deal with me…to say the least—except, as I joked years later, she got the big house  when living in the haunted Central House at Valparaiso!
 
OFF TO THE ARMY TO BECOME A MEDICAL SPECIALIST
My autobiography will tell a lot of interesting details, but after initially hating and
fighting all the vulgarity and immorality surrounding me in the Army, I found a way to turn it around and “next to my mission experience it became to that time the greatest experience of my life.”  It was so much that way that afterwards I was used by Church leaders to speak to youth groups and help prepare them for having positive experiences in the Military.
 
In the San Antonio part of the six months of training I took Maria with and we associated with Spanish speaking people in LDS branches  where I was given callings.  That was part of my plan:  ASSOCIATE WITH LATIN AMERICANS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY.

THEN BACK TO BYU EVENTUALLY GRADUATING IN 1963
Of major importance we got together with other Latin American students and ex-missionaries to study the Gospel in Spanish every Sunday afternoon.  Eventually that was converted into the Spanish American Branch.  I became the Elder’s Quorum President.  Importantly the Branch Presidency believed all those attending should forget Latin America and remain in the U.S.--having gathered to Zion, but I held exactly the opposite view and initiated a monthly fireside to promote us all preparing to go back and be of service where it was needed most—Maria, indirectly was my target.

AT BYU….I COULDN’T FORGET FOOTBALL &
MY ONETIME DREAM OF THE NFL....
—injuries reducing my
DREAMED OF SUPERBOWL* to
THE BYU“Flag Footall” CHAMPIONSHIP 
*The Super Bowl didn’t exist for 8 more years in 1967 but that is what I call it today   
--AN EXAMPLE OF DETERMINATION & NOT ACCEPTING BULLYING--
Quoting first from….FROM  PART 1: 0-22 YEARS  of my autobiography.  

Note:  This is important if you want to understand me and who I am.
I had also been pressured by Chuck Peterson and the BYU Cougar Club,  to go out for Freshman football, along with Grit Young (Steve Young's father) and others and did so, but my ankle was hurting me—from the serious injury in my senior year in high school,  and I protected myself too much. I just couldn't play football that way, and so after two weeks dropped out. I was then asked by my old California friend, Tom Green, to join him in forming a flag football team to play intramural football, and so 
one tough bunch of little guys registered a new team,  
The MACCABEES.
 WHERE DID THAT NAME COME FROM AND WHAT DID IT MEAN?
A bit over 2000 years ago the mighty Greek army attempted to conquer the Jewish people and wipe out their culture. Incredible brutality was unleashed on the Jews and they were going through a great period of darkness, when one family and their leader, Judah Maccabee, created a revolt against the unbeatable Greek army. He was a fearless leader and a brilliant strategist who inspired many to take up arms and eventually saved the Jewish people and way of life. So….
….Maccabees are unbeatable mavericks!
As MACCABEES—to  win, we had to play hard and rough, but flag football would put much less pressure on my “football ankle” than would have been the case playing football for BYU.  I was made the captain and outlined our basic plays, and we won the championship that year—1954.   Note: Interestingly that had several people ask me why I hadn’t gone out for football at BYU, and had me thinking I should have had corrective surgery on my ankle after the High School injury and been on the team with Grit Young!  
Soon we all went on missions……

On returning we got the MACCABEES going again, but things had changed as in previous years there had been too many injuries so there were all kinds of rules and regulations. In 1954 and before there was just one narrow flag down our back which was very difficult to grab so we just played tackle football acting as though we were reaching for the flag. From 1959 on, as seen in the picture, there was a flag down each side and strict penalties for knocking down players.  BYU had doubled too in size from 5,000 students to 10,000, and so rather than just two intramural flag football leagues, there were 4. 
To have a bit of advantage, and run faster than anyone else, I played barefoot even when on frozen turf—with thick socks taped around the ankles to not fall down.
We won our league, and in the playoffs beat another league winner, and then came the CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, against a bunch of giants—all athletes on scholarship from the baseball and  track teams, captained by Bob “Andy” Mostellar, all-star pitcher on the baseball team who later went on to play in the Major Leagues.  He was tall, 6’+ and their quarterback, so became my man on defense, and I his when on offense.
Prior to the game they were vocal making fun of us as a bunch of midget football players, and so we decided to teach them who we were on the kickoff which they would receive.  Each of us had to take out our man—literally! 
I remember that play so perfectly it is incredible, but Mostellar got the ball and swung to his right while each of our guys surprised their guy knocking them down. I was the only one left to get him.  As he came charging down the side line I launched myself into him hitting him on his hip, lifted him into the air, and slammed him to the ground—totally surprising him and knocking the wind out of him.  He was so mad at my flagrant foul he tried desperately to get to his feet and punch me out, but couldn’t get his breath and was helpless—it was really funny!  The same happened all over the field and penalty flags flew everywhere.  It was likely the only play in the history of any kind of  football when literally every player on a defensive team was called for a flagrant foul!
That moved them down the field close to the goal, and our zone defense didn’t work and they made a touchdown.  We came back with our own touchdown, and then decided  on defense to play man-for-man, so it turned into a strange game—rather than rushing quickly Mostellar, I carefully stalked him to keep him from getting around me.  After their first touchdown, we matched them touchdown for touchdown, and ended up losing by their initial touchdown.
But it was a memorable way to play basically my last football game.  If nothing more we showed them we wouldn’t accept bullying and fought them like true MACCABEES to the end…..just as you’ll see in my Guatemalan adventure I resisted and fought bullying to the end, refusing to accept injustice and unrighteousness.
  
SORRY ABOUT THAT, BUT I COULDN’T RESIST REMEMBERING--WITH A SMILE, MY LAST FOOTBALL GAME—
WOW I LOVE FOOTBALL!
NOTE: On honestly analyzing what happened, it occurs to me now that my attitude to instantly react--taking no guff from any bully, perhaps cost us the championship. Our insistence on getting instant satisfaction on that first play had  them scoring easily the first touchdown that won them the game. Otherwise, we might have—during  the normal game--taking no guff,  WON THE GAME & HUMILIATED THE ELITE ATHLETE/BULLIES! But, I have to admit that 
I remember that first play with a smile.
In the Guatemalan Adventure, you'll notice I usually controlled myself in the face of unrighteous bullying, and rather—retained  my calling, letting the bullies leave or the interview to end, and then showed my tenacity by going to work and showing the bullies with great success that they had been wrong.

I THEN  LAUNCHED MYSELF INTO THE TASK OF PREPARING MY RETURN TO THE LAND OF THE MAYAS WITH  TENACITY.
BACK TO GETTING AN EDUCATION
I majored in Spanish, taking the easy way to graduation, along with a minor in History, as well as in Geology, and even Speech--winning the Speech Contest one year, but actually trained to become a Seminary Teacher with the idea of maybe one day being the one sent to Central America to establish the Seminary system, and even did my Student Teaching, but then I was turned off by an orientation that emphasized how lucrative it could be by being “especially spiritual!”   I dropped that plan, still planning to in some way establish the first Seminary Class in Guatemala, but do so as a non-paid volunteer.  Getting paid for teaching the Gospel, just wasn’t right—for  me.

I was first working part-time as a janitor early every morning, and then in my extra time working at Andersen Samplers which I began to see would be my ticket back to Guatemala so, even though able to graduate in 1962, I went an extra year to have as my minor Business Management, and while doing that worked part-time as the Administrative Assistant to Raymond Beckham, of the BYU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION as well as part-time with Andersen Samplers.
RESEARCH, INVESTIGATIONS & EXPLORATORY TRIPS
At the BYU Library I devoured every book they had about Guatemala, and began forming different business schemes for our life in Guatemala.  I shared all with Maria, preparing her more and more to think positively about Guatepeor. 
We always attended ex-missionary Reunions at LDS Conference times and eventually stimulated separate meetings talking about us returned missionaries doing something to help as Brother Hugh B. Brown had prophesied.  I was elected to head the movement and contacted an ex-missionary, Gary Cooper, who had gone back to hustle one of the O’Donnal daughters, and had a proposal he made to our group.
I investigated as best I could and had my contacts in Guatemala checking out the proposal, but there were serious questions and so I began making plans for a trip—after my BYU Graduation in the summer  of 1963.
THE SPECIAL FIRESIDES
At the Branch several firesides had been presented by groups from Latin American mission areas, but they didn’t do well, and I prepared a fireside to show them the way and convert Maria.  My camera had been stolen during my mission so I didn’t have slides, so I took slides of pictures from National Geographic and other magazines and presented a pretty good result.  Maria began softening. By then I had graduated and was planning my first trip back to Guatemala, along with an ex-missionary companion, Frank Lawton, and a couple of friends from BYU, Garth Norman, being one of them.
FIRST EXPLORATORY TRIP IN 1963


Frank drove his car with us to El Paso.  From there we took a Pullman style bus to Mexico City. Then we jumped on the train all the way down through Veracruz and on to Tapachula, and from there took Guatemala’s narrow-gauge railroad to Retalhuleu and John O’Donnal’s rubber plantation where we were supposed to find Gary Cooper.  
 Some of O’Donnal’s rubber trees seen on the right.

O’Donnal said that Gary  had given up several months prior and gone back to the U.S. without ever notifying us. That’s when I had the discussion with O’Donnal who criticized the research I had done and shared with Gary about his proposal being against the law in Guatemala.  O’Donnal just laughed and said I didn’t know how things were done in Guatemala, and that the project proposal could have been done by paying bribes to government officials, etc. He made fun of my resolve to be honest and not give in to the bribe system. That was the beginning of me having serious doubts about the honesty and sincerity of the man who would become a leader for the LDS Church in Guatemala.

Frank and me rented a car and did some touring and I was able to get a lot of pictures of my own for the slide show, as well as having very revealing experiences, and meeting some very fine people. 

 
   Frank headed home alone as we had come, I remained for a while doing more research, and eventually flew home. 
THE NEW SLIDE SHOW BEGINS CONVERTING MARIA
I was able to vastly improve my slide show, showing Indian Guatemala, but also showing the O’Donnal’s living in a very nice home, with swimming pool, as well as many views of Modern Guatemala City.  Maria, of course always went with me to the firesides, and after this one remarked, “Living in Guatemala City would maybe be alright—living in a nice home and having three maids!”     In four years some progress was made—more needed described next.

WORK TO BEGIN ACCUMULATING CAPITAL
After my graduation in 1963 from BYU I became the first full time employee of Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service.  I was also  released early from my Army Reserve duties as an Instructor in Utah Valley in Emergency Medical Treatments, due to pressing orders for Andersen Samplers  considered of National Security importance as dad’s sampler had become the cornerstone of the Government’s Biological Warfare Detection System.

I produced the first formal brochure for the business, seen to the right, and put adds in scientific magazines and journals and sales increased quickly with sales in all 50 states, and in 30 foreign countries.

CALLED AS BRANCH PRESIDENT
During 1964 I was called to be the President of the Spanish American Branch that had by then more than 120 adult members, representing 11 Latin American countries, as well as Canada and the U.S.
I called as my counselors Efren Flores, from Northern Mexico, and David Buist, an ex-missionary also from the mission in Guatemala and Central America, who was married to a Latin American woman from Texas.
SUMMERTIME 1965—THE 2nd EXPLORATORY TRIP & CLINCHER FOR MARIA
The Branch was mostly composed of BYU students, so summertime was a time of a lull in the action.  So I chose it as a time for a much more serious exploratory trip to Guatemala—this one specifically for Maria’s benefit.  By then we had three children:  Julie, almost 6, David 2-1/2, and Cristina  18 months.  Cristina was too small to get much out of the trip, so my mother volunteered to take care of her for 1 month.  Julie and David, both understood Spanish, but wouldn’t speak, so we would leave them with Maria’s relatives in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz and be forced to begin speaking.  Maria would go with me on a 10 day whirlwind tour of Guatemala, including Coban and the remote area from there across the country. 
With Maria we first visited the O’Donnals so she could see a sort of gringo family living well in Guatemala and being of help. Then on to the City, seeing.... 
MODERN GUATEMALA.
 
Then to  INDIAN GUATEMALA at Patzicia  where I was able to show her after a Sacrament Meeting, malnourished babies that needed help.


Then we made a visit to the home of the most outstanding LDS family, the family of Branch President Pablo Choc, his home seen on the right—with  dirt floor, soot blackened interior from the open cooking fire, etc.  Sister Choc, we see in the picture, along with the older daughter to the right, were both killed in the 1976 earthquake, when the adobe walls were instantly turned to dust, with the heavy roof of timbers and tiles crushing our friends.   
 Daniel Choc, as the first Mayan to become a full time missionary for the LDS Church, also was killed in the aftermath of the quake that killed 25,000 in the country.

We then continued to Lake Atitlan that some believe to be



“the most beautiful lake in the world.”











From there we drove up to Solola, and on the outskirts of the town  had a hair raising experience getting pictures of  REAL INDIAN GUATEMALA....











  .....along with legitimate recordings  all of which helped make my next slide show  professional quality.





  




We continued to Chichicastenango, and then back to the city and....

 








........down the Atlantic Coast Highway to visit the magnificent ruins of QUIRIGUA, getting more wonderful photographs.

After a wonderful experience at Quirigua photographing the amazing ruins that interestingly had been discovered while Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet was still alive and had him speculating it could have been “Zarahemla,” that at least had him placing the BOOK OF MORMON history squarely in Guatemala.

 

 
Then a quick trip to Lake Izabal, almost getting caught in a monsoon in our small aluminum boat........
 
....and on to the mountain stronghold of remote Coban—COLONIAL GUATEMALA where Maria was able to see there was one General Store, one Dental Clinic, one pharmacy,  an old government Hospital and schools.

Then quickly across the country through what would two years later be my CINE CHAPINLANDIA—the traveling movie tour....
 
.....then to the ruins of ZACULEO, and down to Quetzaltenango and a District Conference seeing some of my converts from 7 years before in the leadership.  Then back to Mexico to get the kids who were by then speaking Spanish like the natives.


After that trip, Maria was saying, 
“WELL, COBAN WOULDN’T BE SO BAD, 
BUT NOT OUT IN THE STICKS!”
With that, I was all of a sudden under the pressure of finding the courage I needed to do what I’d been talking about so much and  knew I had to do.  I would have to  abandon what had become a very comfortable and lucrative future, and plunge me and my family into the mysterious and dangerous “jungles and mountains of the Maya” that by then were in the middle of a vicious Guerrilla War trying to convert Guatemala into another Cuba.
It had taken me 5 years to brainwash…..I mean, mentally condition Maria into accepting my vision, now I had to quickly strengthen my faith to be as strong as, or even stronger than was Ammon’s in ancient America--he didn’t have a family to also worry about!

 

Soon after our return from that exploratory trip and just prior to the busy school year beginning,  my older brother, Marlo and Wydonna got married, and at their reception I took a most beautiful picture of Maria and Julie that I have to include in this history…..you see them to the right. It was on August 20, 1965, Julie 2 months short of being 6 years old.

 

 

INTERESTING PROBLEM FROM TESTIMONY MEETING
Soon after returning from our trip to Guatemala having made a lot of headway with Maria, one of our Guatemalan members of the Branch, who along with her family had been converted by John O'Donnal in Retalhuleu, had also made a trip back to Guatemala.  She stood in Testimony Meeting, and described how she had literally been tortured in Guatemala to witness all the poverty and suffering, and said it was so depressing that she had made the decision to forget all that human misery and never return to her country.  I of course thought, "What a disaster!  Rather than be concerned for her suffering people and wanting to do something to help, she rather put blinders on, and turned her back on her people." 
Gratefully, Maria also reacted as I did.  Interestingly years later when living in Guatemala I learned that said member's younger brother, Julio Cesar, an LDS University student in Guatemala City had become the leader of the main Guerrilla rebel group in the country.  Somehow, as far as I know it never became public knowledge that he was a Mormon.  Eventually he, and his brother, Alfonso, were both killed by Guatemalan security forces. 

Years later  I attended in Salt Lake the Missionary Farewell Sacrament Meeting Program for the mother in that family, and it was fascinating to hear leaders in that meeting talk about how that family had suffered “the murder of the two sons” called “Freedom Fighter  martyrs!”  It was interesting to see how the family defended two that created such mayhem, chaos and loss of innocent lives in Guatemala--almost mine!
Now back to more pleasant developments.

THE CHAT WITH MY PARENTS POINT OUT MORE KEY EVENTS
That brings us to what is described in my heart to heart chat with my parents in 1967,
(6)…… profound experiences when I was President of the Spanish American Branch in Provo, including (7) critically  on the snowy slopes of the Henry Mountains when, as had happened  anciently to Enos, then to Ammon and his brothers from the Book of Mormon--I literally had "the spirit of the Lord work on [me] .....," and  had my encounter with the Lord giving me the courage to make the move…..”

REDEDICATING MYSELF AS BRANCH PRESIDENT
…THEN AWAKENED TO DO MORE …
To begin the school year in September with even a larger membership in the branch, Maria and I, along with my counselors, rededicated ourselves to do even better than we had the year before.  Maria was now more supportive than ever as we had gradually moved onto the same page about our future.  We were in all respects the  
“perfect marriage” – finally.
I knew that to find the courage to now actually move closer to the dream of getting back to Guatemala, it was a spiritual matter as had been the case anciently with Ammon and his companions. 
I began my day always being up early—no later than 6:00 AM, beginning with scripture study, and then going to work.  I would dedicate my evenings to as quickly as possible interview personally every member of the branch to get to know them, and be able to get the branch organized, fitting every member into a calling they were best qualified for. 
My plan was to then quickly do a second interview with everyone as part of a plan to solve what had been our greatest problem in the past—chastity, and marital relations. This would culminate sometime in October with a Special Sacrament Meeting focusing on that, followed up in the evening with a Special Fireside with a panel of experts with  questions,  answers and discussion.
On September 28th I got a call from one of our members from Guatemala who had a friend just arrived  needing a place to live, and a part-time job.  Her identity will be kept confidential, and for the purposes of this history we will call her Nora.
That evening I was actually exhausted from all the activity and needed a rest, but I told the friend to bring Nora over.  When they came I recall vividly coming into the living room with an instant knowing of this young 21 year old.  There were profound feelings of knowing and love.   I instantly reacted as had the General Authority, 12 years later,  and as would be normal for many active Mormons, thinking,  
"The devil is trying to tempt me!" 
I recognized I was going to have to be very careful and said a silent prayer.  The beautiful feeling continued, and I made arrangements to help Nora. 
That night I was up late,  after the family had retired, studying the scriptures and praying.  My love for Maria in no way was diminished, but the profound feeling for Nora persisted and I couldn’t help but think, “Is the Church going to restore plural marriage--again?”   I was pronouncing the PROHIBITED “P” WORD that importantly was once in Mormonism a badge of honor as the  “DIVINE, ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLE OF THE FULLNESS OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL,”  but in modern Mormonism, 
HAD STRANGELY BECOME POISON!
Note:  From this point on is the area of my personal history that some in the Foundation leadership--20 years later when the matter surfaced,
felt didn't need to be revealed to the public, rather just focus on the positive work among the needy done in the name of the Foundation. But, now on my own, I felt it best to tell the rest of the story myself, rather than be ambushed later by those who dont understand.
I had just read Jacob 2, pretty strict about the idea of multiple wives, and replied to my question, “There is no way such comes back officially by the Church!”  The Church was enjoying too much the acceptance and even admiration of many in the world.
 I knew well by that time that the famous Manifesto,  that orthodox Mormons believed was a revelation--the Lord stopping that principle, however just a simple glance made it clear it wasn’t the Lord talking.  And, while not widely understood,  even the Leaders secretly continued the principle until being caught by the government in their deception by 1904, when there was a 2nd Manifesto, and to show they were serious this time, excommunicated in 1905 a couple of the Apostles.  One, John W. Taylor, President Taylor’s son—known then as the Prophet’s prophet,  who happily accepted the punishment continuing with his three wives throughout his life, knowing it wouldn’t stand in the eternities and there was no need of repentance nor returning to Church membership.
The Church was tired of persecution, and entered a new phase to become acceptable to the world,
So I had questions and needed greater understanding, while realizing too clearly the possibility of this being an “attempt by the devil to destroy me and render me useless in the work of the Lord.”
I put into service the alarm clock I had used in the last part of my mission to get up an hour before the other missionaries,  now arising at 5:00 AM. as I had done in the Mission. Then drive to the chapel to spend a few hours of study and prayer.

The old chapel, on 1st West & 4th North, had an altar—like the ones in the temples, and I would kneel at that altar and pour my soul out to the Lord for  greater understanding and strength I needed and
then go to my office for study.
 


My office window is the open one on the right.  The prayer room was just down the hall with a window looking east we see on the left under the gable. 

 
 
 
I knew that the General Authorities had instructed Bishops to do away with such, but there it was for me to use and it intensified the spiritual feelings while praying.
At times I would go down to the chapel and play some hymns on the piano and then continue my study of the scriptures. By 8:00 I would return home, have a quick breakfast and then go to work.  This went on for months, seeking to leave no stone unturned in my effort to cleanse and purify my life seeking the courage I needed for the move to Guatemala, and multiplied many times in intensity by this young lady who had entered my life who I felt a divine love for equal to what I continued to feel for Maria.  In a sense I was living the spirit of the higher law of Celestial marriage.

In the beginning of the struggle for understanding I naturally considered all the normal  explanations that would occur to a person of faith—that Satan had something to do with this, but time after time, the wonderful spiritual love persisted inspiring me to do more in my quest, adding to my agenda of duties with the branch members a weekly temple excursion filling my car each time with my youthful members.
I realized that in a very pure spiritual sense I was living with my feelings the higher law of marriage, or Celestial marriage as it was originally called. Never was there any hint of temptation or carnal thoughts.  Eventually it was revealed to me that one day I would lose Maria in some way, with the possibility of Nora taking her place.  The only way my orthodox LDS mentality would permit me to interpret losing her was her all of a sudden passing on—which would only be a temporary loss, but we would be together in the eternities.
But, I had to keep an open mind about what that losing might mean.
But, whatever that might mean my prayers then became pleas with the Lord to permit Maria and me to begin the adventure among the Mayans together.  We had come so far and I didn’t want that to be in vain.
 
THE HENRY MOUNTAINS THEN BECOME 
CENTRAL TO THE DRAMA
Maria and I had planned a great adventure in Southern Utah for the weekend of the mid-October deer hunt.  I had an outdoor magazine interested in the article I would write:  About a great outdoor trip to Southern Utah—driving to Bullfrog Bay on Lake Powell, just then filling up where there was only a boat launch ramp.  Then after a great day of spectacular scenery and fishing, we would drive up into the Henry Mountains for a great deer hunt.
I awoke that Thursday morning, October 21st,   filled with ominous impressions that if Maria went with, as planned, there would be a tragedy. Perhaps my faith was weak, but I didn’t want that to happen yet, and had silent tears rolling down my cheeks when Maria awoke and noticed. “What’s wrong?” she asked.  I replied I had a feeling of tragedy about the trip and told her, 
“You aren’t going with. I’m going alone!”
That evening I had another “chastity interview” and it was with Nora. 
I then in the dark left for Southern Utah keeping myself awake during the long drive with a continual prayer to the Lord. I arrived at Bullfrog Bay finding myself alone, but rather than sleeping, I pulled out my Spanish Book of Mormon, and just flipped it open with no chapter in mind. It opened to the Book of Enos, and I read,
“And I will tell you of the wrestle I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins. – Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests;  and the words which I often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sank deep into my heart……..”
I knew in that instant that I had to go through on this trip the same kind of spiritual transformation  experienced  by Enos and decided I would fast. 
I continued studying carefully the Book, reading up through the discourse of King Benjamin in Mosiah 5. On finishing the 21 page section, I knelt in prayer, and then began again the same section feeling even more powerfully the spiritual messages.

 All of a sudden the day dawned, October 22nd,  without having slept, but something very profound had changed in me. 
I wrote at that time:  “Some profound changes had happened during the long night—everything was so beautiful!  The Spirit of the Lord had unlocked to my understanding the secret wonderment of my surroundings.  I was left in humble awe at the beauty of the rock formations, the shadow effects, the reflections on the water, the cool morning breeze, the desert plants—even the tiny ones.  There was a new sensitivity, a new joy in truly being alive!”

 While focusing on the spirituality of the days alone I was determined to also fulfill my outdoor purposes for the trip.

So, I boated down the lake to Lost Eden Canyon getting the photographs I needed.  I didn’t fish as I already had good photographs for that aspect of the experience I would write about. 
I then headed for the Henry Mountains that were covered up high by a new mantle of snow.  I drove up the west side past hunter’s camps in the aspens, until I was into the snow, and parked for the night and lit my propane gas heater to keep warm.

I got out my Book of Mormon again, and after a word of prayer, carefully read through the 21 page section from Enos to Mosiah 5, then knelt in prayer.  This was repeated a number of times until 1:00 AM, Saturday October 23rd  when I knelt again, but this time it was different.
“I was flooded with the Spirit of the Lord and filled with a love I had never known before.  I felt clean and filled with unspeakable joy and happiness. As I was embraced by the warmth of His love, fear fled and I spontaneously began making promises to the Lord in whose presence I was kneeling.  I covenanted to do what I had known for several years I had to do.  I now really believed, I really loved and  I was more than willing to stake my life on that conviction, and promised to leave with my family for Guatemala as soon as possible and the Lord promised me that as long as I faithfully persisted in serving those He called, ‘MY LITTLE ONES,’ I would  be protected and guided by Him.”  Fear had been overcome by love.
I slept peacefully as never before in my life.
In fact I slept too peacefully, as when I awoke it was light, and I was supposed to be on  top of the mountain.  I struggled up through the snow and about halfway to the top noticed a hunter coming behind me several hundred yards who all of a sudden began shooting at a herd that gradually moved between us, and he then let off another shot that whistled by my right ear, and I yelled hitting the snow. 
As I lay there I envisioned that if Maria had of been with me, she would have been standing to my right and would have been lost.  I said a heartfelt prayer of gratitude to the Lord for having answered my prayers preserving her life to help me lay the groundwork for something of importance among the Lamanites in Guatemala.
NOTE: Later I talked to the hunter who had almost shot me—in fact when he heard me yell and I hit the ground, he had thought he had hit me, and was grateful when  in a moment I got up and continued up the mountain.




In spite of feeling weak from fasting, I continued to the top of the mountain having seen silhouetted in the early morning sun two huge  bucks. 
From there I shot the biggest mule deer of my life, but he kicked himself down  the wrong side of the mountain.  So I had to de-bone the deer and   along with the antlers  struggled to the top with a 150 lb. load and slid down the other side to my van.
I rested during the remainder of the day and towards evening headed for home, but as I got to the pavement I felt the need to pray, so walked along the river and knelt in prayer, and there was filled with the impression from the Lord that I had to talk to Nora in some way about what I was experiencing.  That filled me with a natural ominous feeling that such could be harmful to her, so I had my wrestle with the Lord, who persisted with even stronger impressions of what I had to do.  I finally gave up the debate and promised the Lord to do it, but added that if in any way I was being deceived, rather than doing anything that would hurt Nora, I would prefer giving my life, and told the Lord I would give him all the chance he needed to take me if  that would be best.
To give Him a chance to take me, I did something that would be considered crazy, and determined to drive home at full speed, only slowing down going through one community  along the way.   As I raced through the mountains—once I couldn’t make the turn and left the road—it  all of a sudden became like a dream—seemingly  as though the van had wings that somehow got me back on the road.  While it took me about 5 hours to get to Southern Utah, I made it home in 3 and was alive. 

It was late, but I was greeted by Maria and my mom.  Mom,  during the week had a dream that there would be a tragedy on that trip to Southern Utah—that was when she understood Maria was going with me, but later learned I had gone alone.  She was with Maria anxiously waiting for me. They were both convinced the tragedy would be me, so when I walked in I got a wonderfully emotional and loving welcome.

THE GREATEST SUNDAY OF MY LIFE
 
I continued my fast, and the next day, October 24th  had the Sunday of my life.  In Priesthood meeting, there was some kind of discussion going on, and the Elder’s Quorum President, Roque Quiroz, turned to me and said, “President Andersen, can you help us?”  I gave a simple explanation.
For Sunday School I was sitting up front observing all who entered and wished I could have been the greeter to be able to hug all as I was overwhelmed with a great love for everybody, including even one or two that were problems.  After the opening exercises something strange happened, as all came forward surrounding me—all  wanting to give me a hug. Nora was part of that very loving scene.  I had never experienced anything quite so wonderful and humbling before.
Afterwards I got a ride home for Maria and the kids, and remained in my office doing the final chastity interviews.  Then the Sacrament Meeting, and the Special Fireside, followed by a whole line of members who wanted to talk to me again—to clarify inaccurate things they had told me in the interviews.  I finally finished the last draining  interview  at 11:30 PM and headed for home, feeling very strongly that I needed to share openly with Maria everything I had been experiencing—prior  to the next day talking with Nora.
I did my best, but was frustrated at being understood by her.  She was understanding my guarded explanation to be about plural marriage.  She had experienced in the Mormon Colonies in Mexico, when only 15 years old, the advances of Joel LeBaron of  that infamous Fundamentalist family, and no matter what I said, it didn’t matter. By 3:00 AM I gave up, expressed my deep love for her,  and tried to sleep concluding I couldn’t talk with her again about what I was experiencing.  But, I was restless, and by 5:00 AM when my alarm sounded, decided to drive to Salt Lake and attend a session in the Temple, convinced that if in any way I was being deceived in all that I was experiencing, it would be there where clarity would come. One of the modern Apostles once said:
“At the temple the dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can see things that we were not able to see before and find a way through our troubles that we had not previously known.”
I returned home more convinced than ever that I was being guided by the Lord and had a guarded visit with Nora relating some of the background in my spiritual conversion and development, including many of my missionary experiences and my conviction that I had an important work to do among the Mayan peoples of Guatemala and was preparing to return as soon as possible. I also had felt strong impressions she should go on a mission, and told her with her comment that she had been approached before, but cool to the idea.   I also had envisioned some of her future that would be very difficult and  troubling, and told her that if she ever felt the need of advice and help of any kind, she should not hesitate to look for me, and I would never fail her.
NOTE: The next Sunday after Sacrament Meeting, Nora asked to speak with me, and in my office said, “How do I make it known I accept the call to go on a mission?”  I immediately filled out the Application to begin the process.

WHAT HAD REALLY HAPPENED ON THAT SPECIAL SUNDAY?
Two weeks later, on November 7th  in a Testimony Meeting, the Elder’s Quorum President Roque Quiroz, related the experience in the Quorum meeting when asking me to clarify whatever, and said, “As President Andersen spoke to us, his words penetrated my soul as never before, and as he spoke he was surrounded by a heavenly light!” 
My counselor, Efren Flores, had learned some of what my challenge was, and also confirmed that he had noticed a very evident spiritual transformation in me and made some very nice comments that confirmed the good spirit I felt that special day and through this entire period.  I only mention these two, to indicate that something special was happening to the extent of other’s witnessing it,  and it was all good.
As it worked out, Nora, ended up leaving Provo in early November with a very emotional parting between us.  The day before she was to leave for San Francisco she had sent an envelope to me with one of her roommates that had $160 for tithing for the wages she had earned doing work for Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service, and requested I write a letter of recommendation introducing her to Church leaders in San Francisco informing them she “had been called on a mission,” which apparently she was taking very seriously.
I went to the apartment where she lived with other students and members from Central America to give her the letter.  We were outside on the porch to say goodbye  and there was a warm embrace, hesitating a bit as we separated,  then the whole matter was left in the hands of the Lord. 
After getting back to my car I all of a sudden realized that after separating slightly from the embrace we remained for a moment our noses separated by ¼ of an inch, when it would have been natural to show love—but I didn’t even notice, much less felt temptation as was always the case in spite of the deep love I felt for her and at times demonstrated subtly by her too.

MORE TEMPLE CONFIRMATIONS
A few weeks later I had ominous impressions about Nora living in San Francisco, and again fasted and prayed for her and went to the Temple, and there had revealed to me the reason why I had to have that talk with her—important for our future.

WHAT REASON?
One purpose of prophecy is....that when what was predicted begins to be fulfilled, there is immediately a growing of faith.  When at some future date there would begin a quite miraculous fulfillment of what was inferred, Nora's faith would have a chance to be multiplied and increase the chance of total fulfillment and pave the way for her having the confidence in me necessary to help the attainment of our purposes.
   
 But,  seemingly wanting a more sure confirmation from the Lord, a month later I

attended a special Priesthood session in the temple on Saturday, December 4th.  I was in the Celestial Room, looking into a small sealing room with its altar—similar to the one shown,  when a heavenly vision was opened up to me filling me with overwhelming love such as only can come from God and the whole experience was confirmed by the burning in the bosom, and I shouted within myself to the Lord, 
 “It is enough Lord, I will bother you no more on this matter.” 
For  sure, the vision clearly showed me for whatever reasons, I was chosen to live Celestial Marriage in some way,   but the whole matter was left in the hands of the Lord and, along with Maria, we prepared to leave for Guatemala as soon as possible.
Twelve years would go by with neither me nor Nora  having any knowledge of each other.  It was left confidently in the hands of the Lord, but as you will see it was far from over as eventually the Lord intervened again in our lives as all of a sudden she had desperate need--which I had foreseen, but she didn’t know what had become of me—so the Lord helped her as will be explained at the right chronological point in the FINAL REPORT.  But,  it was without me taking any initiative while never going through a day without feeling the love for her and Maria, and having both of them always in my prayers. 
CRUCIAL HISTORICAL NOTE:  As you will see this matter was of critical influence both in my relationship with the Foundation leadership, and also with LDS Church leaders, so it will be briefly blended into the  history described in the FINAL REPORT. It became a seemingly unending drama—or as our friend Carl Jacob called it, “A never ending soap opera,” that he planned on writing about and becoming famous, but the truth is that MY REAL LIFE WAS BETTER THAN ANY SOAP OPERA.....and with each complication, Carl sort of cheered me on!

  From the beginning going through a period of 12 years "leaving it in the hands of the Lord," and then quite incredibly renewed with a period of 8 years of struggle—attempting  to understand and do what the Lord wanted all three of us to do—and we should have made it then, yet again it would "be left in the hands of the Lord" and unbelievably 30 years would go by without neither Nora nor me having any knowledge of the other—but always loving, never forgetting and always believing. During those years the plot would thicken somewhat and I would actually be given the opportunity to fulfill the covenant of Celestial Marriage, and in a tragic sense “loose Maria,” not as anticipated, but nonetheless sadly lost!

So, it still wasn’t over  but left faithfully in the hands of the Lord and after 30 years of knowing nothing, out of the blue there Nora was again for the third time over nearly 50 years.  Our relationship could of, and maybe should have been realized at that point, but 30 years of growing apart--each in our own way, took its toll--and me especially growing sort of old with related complications had again our relationship put on hold, and so our union seemingly remains for the future as I had seen clearly in the vision. Some detail will be woven into the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT. 

THE FIRST LEADER TO HEAR RUMORS IN 1978
The details of the vision in the temple are not revealed here, nor were they revealed to the Leader, William Bradford,  mentioned at the end of the RISKY….JOURNEY writing, who  was told my story—taking two hours, so there were a lot of details related then, except for the details of the vision—only  telling him basically as I have also related here, assuring him “It was a revelation in the Temple confirming what was happening was from the Lord,”  and who concluded  counseling me,
“Don’t tell anyone--no one will understand.”
But, within six months  he had broken the confidence and related the matter to six others in a distorted way—for  said leader it  had become “a dream.”   The main one  told was Apostle Boyd Packer, who  in two long 1979 interviews with me, to get a recommend for my daughter Julie's wedding, began weakening my confidence in him by demonstrating he still believed I was guilty of what is described in the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT--the debunked,“illegal adoption work that destroyed the missionary work in many rural areas,” plus other comments—like labeling the rumored Nora as “a tramp,”  as well as trying to get me to admit the temple experience he called “a dream,” was  from the devil, and repeatedly all of a sudden accusing me of adultery, which I calmly told him each time was not true.   He then insisted I tell him the whole history, but with his uninspired condemnatory attitude I replied, 
Sorry, it's not possible because my Priesthood leader counseled  me,
‘Don’t tell anyone.........’”

That didn’t help in my relationship with him, however his negative attitudes and lack of inspiration had me unconcerned, but he couldn’t deny me the recommend.
 
…I had seen a vision, and I knew that the Lord knew he had given me a vision, and it couldn’t be denied without forfeiting my future in the eternities.

THE WISDOM OF REPORTING NEGATIVE CONTACTS WITH LEADERS?

In the above summary of experience with a General Authority, along with others that will be mentioned, especially in the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT, we are dealing with leaders believing lies, using lies, and pressuring lesser leaders to lie about reported events.  General Authority Scott once reportedly said the followsing regarding allegations against another General Authority accused of sexual abuse of children, saying simply:  “Don’t take action, just forgive, forget and most importantly, BE QUIET!”  Elder Packer himself is well known for giving the sane advise.  What has the Lord said?

“Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.”  Doctrine & Covenants 121:16

Yet, the Lord said further along in the same revelation:

“Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? – Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven,  and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled, nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. – That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves;  the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.” D&C 121:34-37

In another revelation the Lord even said:  “For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. – And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.”  D&C 64:38, 39

So, for leaders to lie, believe lies, and use lies for whatever purpose, they are, could we say, “disqualified” as being apostles and prophets, and cease to be “the Lord’s anointed.”

Throughout this historical writing, let’s keep in mind all of the above spoken by the Lord, because as you will see time after time good faithful Latter Day Saints, even supposed outspoken and courageous ones, ALL WENT SILENT when confronted with this kind of “unrighteousness!”

I remember now the Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who said, “WHEN THE WHOLE WORLD IS SILENT, EVEN ONE VOICE BECOMES POWERFUL!”  

 That would be my hope in this historical writing doing as the Lord instructed me to, “SPEAK THE TRUTH FROM YOUR HEART!”  Hoping my sort of lone “voice in the wilderness” will be a blessing in helping to fulfill prophecy that in the last days “THE HOUSE OF GOD WILL BE SET IN ORDER!”  D&C85:3-8

THE DIVINE POWER OF A HEAVENLY VISION
The outcome of that Fall of 1965 was  profoundly positive  for our future.  As we LDS have seen, like in the life of Joseph Smith, a literal HEAVENLY VISION, is powerful like nothing else.  But, for such a risky, faith motivated move—our  God appointed mission  to the dangerous LAND OF THE MAYA was so profoundly serious—actually  a life-long risky cause, that it would  require one more year of PREPARATION, I will describe next.
SERIOUS PREPARATIONS FOR “THE JOURNEY”
During 1966 I focused a lot of my attention on working and promoting Andersen
Samplers, and investing all of our surplus money acquiring first, the vehicle we would need—a Ford 150 pickup, seen on the right,  equipped with a special camper with a modified interior.  I installed overload springs, and got tough Michelin tires that would withstand heavy loads.  Then began acquiring other equipment we would need for our first project in Guatemala:  4 - 16mm. movie projectors, a public address system, 2 large 9’ x 12’ professional movie screens, 3 – portable generators, etc.



 The THIRD EXPLORATORY TRIP
In the summer of 1966 I was approached by archaeologist Garth Norman for an\
expedition in Southern Mexico—to sites relative to the Tree of Life Stela between Tapachula and the Guatemalan border where we were to end up.
 I was doing some work  as a free-lance photographer and had professional 4” x 5” cameras and capability of doing night photography to make visible the relief on stelae.  
I converted the camper into a dark room to be able to immediately develop the 4” x 5” —color and black & white film. I would be the driver on the expedition, and after finishing with Garth would travel to Coban for more exploring and investigations prior to our family move.   

We see to the right Garth examining one of the negatives in my camper/darkroom, with containers of all the chemicals I had to use to process daily the film—to make sure what I was getting was professional quality for Garth’s purposes. 
In my RISKY….JOURNEY history I mention that expedition, continuing to Coban,

actually Garth and me together as he was interested in seeing the mountainous area from Coban to Huehuetenango as he believed it important in the geography of the BOOK OF MORMON. Note:  That will be explained in Part 2.  Then, after a few days in Coban he took the bus to the city, and from there flew home.

Later I came  down with malaria resultant from my night photography,

  and  drove  home alone—unable  to eat, treating my malaria, and spending more on soda pop than on gasoline! Gasoline was then very cheap in Mexico, like .15 cents/gallon.
I returned with many more professional quality photos and was able to upgrade my slide show which became quite popular in the Utah Valley area
THE OCTOBER 1966 CENTRAL AMERICAN MISSION
EX-MISSIONARY REUNION
Those in charge of the Reunion had heard about my program and invited me to show it at the reunion.  This was a great opportunity to begin waking people up and remind them of Hugh B. Brown’s prophecies about the Mayan Indians in Guatemala and our prophesied participation.  I reorganized the program especially for them, beginning with all the color and beauty of Guatemala and the Indian culture, then showed them the other side of the coin—the poor and suffering even among those we had converted and claimed to love.  
 They needed help, and… 
….if not from us as ex-missionaries, from whom?
Among some, it irritated the heck out of them showing the needy and suffering. President Wagner was there and seemed to be fine with the program, but President Hancock, who had replaced President Wagner, came charging at me like an angry bull, and I learned there  that telling the truth was not always well received.  I mentioned this in the RISKY..JOURNEY  history, and don’t need to repeat, except to say...

....MARIA & I WERE IN AGREEMENT  TO TALK NO MORE, RATHER ACT.

***********************
 
 
OUR FOURTH EXPLORATORY TRIP—THIS TIME AS A FAMILY

That 2-1/2 month trip—from mid-November to the end of January 1967,  is mentioned in the RISKY….JOURNEY  report, but so important in our long history that I will now insert a description of the highlights of that crucial exploration:

Our 75 day exploratory/investigative trip prior to actually making the big move, was eye opening in many ways with  a couple of memorable, scary and dangerous experiences that helped prepare us for many years of residency—as one friend described it “living from crisis to crisis!”  among the Maya.  It was also a  vacation for the family which was likely to be our last—as it worked out, our last in seven years before we were able to make a trip back to Utah in 1974.  I’ll just recount here one series of learning experiences on our way down, and one scary one on our way home, along with mention of investigations, and experimentation with projects that could support us.   The first I’ll begin calling it……..

……DAVID & THE WHITE HORSE

As we were accustomed to for our first years, we headed due south from Utah to cross the Mexican border at Nogales, Arizona.  NOTE: Eventually we changed our route to and from the U.S. avoiding Mexico City, driving less in Mexico, and more in the U.S. on nice highways with safe Rest Areas.   From Nogales to Guaymas  and then slowly enjoying the many wonderful spots along the Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez, and then inland through Guadalajara—to there all those areas a few years later became famous for the drug cartels’ production and trafficking of the narcotic drug trade.

From Guadalajara, we are inland beginning to climb into the mountains working our way towards high altitude, 7,350 foot high  Mexico City.  But, first we approached very large Lake Chapala—with its murky/muddy waters. 

NOTE: This brings to mind a few years later when I was invited to make my every two month trip to the U.S. with some friends in their private plane.   After spending the night at Tikal, we proceeded to Veracruz, Mexico where we found the mountains towards Mexico City all socked in fog which had them going up and down the coast, testing canyons hoping to find one open and low enough as our small plan couldn’t cope with altitudes over 15,000 feet.  I went to sleep when they had found one, and woke up a while later seeing the pilot and his supposed navigator in deep conversation pouring over maps.  Then the pilot turned around and asked me and my seat partner,  

“Do either of you know where we are?”


Shocked I finished waking up and looked out the window, and luckily down below us a bit ahead and to the south was a very large lake with murky/muddy waters—I immediately recognized it  as Lake Chapala and told them.  Note: Directly above we see the Lake, and north of it Guadalajara.  Veracruz is on the far right, the Pacific on the left.  With that they found us on the map and made it safely to Guadalajara, let out a passenger, and finally we  made it to the U.S. In northern Arizona we came to  Flagstaff.  The pilot was apparently navigating by following the highways below us, and from there was to head north following the highway to Page, and Flaming Gorge Dam, then to Kanab and then north to the west of the Wasatch Mountains to avoid bad weather.

At that point I went to sleep, awakening a while later and sensing we were heading east rather than north  I looked down to notice the highway entering a town which wasn’t supposed to be there, and I mentioned that to the pilot, and they pulled out their maps and I showed them it was Winslow, Arizona to the east of Flagstaff.  They had turned east rather than north at Flagstaff!

So we turned north and crossed Lake Powell mid-lake, flew over the Henry Mountains and Hanksville and soon were approaching Price with north Soldiers Summit locked in a storm and had to land st Price   and have someone come from Utah Valley to get us home in a car!

After so many stupid errors we were lucky to have made it alive.   That friend and pilot not surprisingly a few years later crashed his small plane unwisely trying to make an emergency trip in a storm from Provo to Nevada—the crashed plane was found the next day on the mountains east of Springville,  with the pilot and the  entire family he was taking dead!

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

Back to 1966 as we approached Lake Chapala 3 year old David was upfront with me. I had chewed him out quite harshly over nothing, and was making up to him with a hug.  Ahead on the right were a few horses, facing away from the highway, but all of a sudden a white one wheeled abruptly jumping right in front of us and we crashed!

Our radiator was pushed into the fan that chewed up a portion with water squirting everywhere. Instantly I knew what I had to do.  Off to the side of the road I pulled up close to a phone pole, and turned off the motor.  I jumped out, got a chain….part of my emergency equipment, attached it to the radiator and the pole, then started the motor and slowly backed off separating the radiator and the fan so all functioned normally. 

Yes, we lost most of our water and gradually losing the rest.  I went to our emergency water, filled the radiator and quickly drove along the lake finding a place we could camp

out as we weren’t near any town. Lake Chapala is not in the least scenic, so I got  no photos, except a few representing our emergency camp-out!

It would take a few days, but I had to plug up as best I could the many leaks using more of my emergency equipment—a large tube of liquid aluminum.

I quickly marked the leaks with chalk, then drained the radiator, ran the motor just a little so the warmth would dry the radiator,  and plugged the leaks, then waited for the liquid aluminum to dry.

 Then filled the radiator, warmed the motor, and marked additional leaks, and repeated the procedure a number of times taking several days while we had a great family camp-out.

Luckily this was one trip when I bought at the border insurance that would cover a repair, but we had to make it to Mexico City.  My repair job was far from perfect so we had to have extra water to fill the radiator a number of times before making it to the City.  The repair took several days, so we finally got to do a little site seeing in the giant City, with a few pictures to remind us of visits to museums and tourist spots.  We finally continued 

south.

 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We finally made it southeast to Veracruz and on to Tierra Blanca, Maria’s hometown, visited relatives and then on to Guatemala where our investigations got serious making our way to Coban.  

 
We  camped out at the soccer stadium—one of the most picturesque I’ve ever seen.  Too bad I can’t locate the left portion of the panorama shot showing the grandstands, and the  whole bowl surrounded by pines that fill up with spectators.

We spent at least a month in the Coban area, made many new friends, including the governmental leaders, business and plantation owners and learned all we could.  But we could have  never guessed while camping out on the edge of the stadium, and even attending a soccer game won by Coban’s team, COBAN IMPERIAL, that one day our VALPARAISO-CENTER FOR INDIAN DEVELOPMENT students would actually be parading around the stadium for the Annual Fair presided over by Guatemala’s President Lucas who would award our CID’s participation—

1980 THE BEST OF THE FAIR! 


 

 
 
 
 
 

We visited often the one General Store in Coban—EL GALLO, seen to the right, viewing here the textile/clothing/.footgear side, with the grocery section in the middle, then the hardware & agricultural sections on the other side.  I met the owner, Carlos Daetz, one of a unique group of residents of the area of German descent from the two German migrations to Guatemala—in 1875 and 1925..  The Germans adapted well to the area and freely mixed with the native population, and contributed to the development of coffee and cardomon plantations, along with processing plants and exporting businesses.

By the time of the World War II, there was a well established German culture in the area even with a German language newspaper, and it was common to see sympathy manifested with them greeting each other with a Heil Hitler salute, and there was fear by the government of sabatoge—as Guatemala was one of the first, along with the U.S. to declare war on Germany. This resulted in plantations and properties being confiscated by the government and the Germans being sent back to Germany,  or to concentration camps in the U.S. 

Carlos Daetz was one of them spending the war in the U.S. and spoke perfect English, as well as Spanish,  Kekchi and of course German.  He was one who was able to recover his properties and businesses after the war.  I learned a lot from him, and other acquaintances we established during that important period. 

Later I met an LDS convert sister who was pure Q’eqchi, but who had married Wellman, and along with her husband and family spent the war in Germany, returning to Guatemala speaking perfect German.  So it was common to see pure Q’eqchi speaking natives in the market who obviously had some European blood as seen below.

 Many of our associations during that period of investigation was with those few who were LDS, and the pictures I have used showing the early pictures of the  LDS branch were taken during that period, as seen below:
 

One thing that was missing in Coban at that time was entertainment.  There had been a movie theater, but twice it had burned down.  We put on a number of slide and 16 mm. movie shows using the chapel, but inviting our many friends who weren’t Mormons.  Several shows were to give people a tour of Utah, along with some of the trips we would we take as a family every Christmas, celebrating that sacred day in  non-commercial ways, inviting for tiny Christmas celebrations  the poor, nomad-like fishermen along the  Sea of Cortez, and teaching our children to share simple little gifts and food with needy people.  I also showed them the slide show I had shown to the ex-missionary groupo in Salt Lake—showing the beauty of Guatemala, but also the many serious problems that we were planning on doing our best to solve.  For Christmas Eve we invited all to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Program I had as a 16mm. movie, and a color movie about the Savior’s birth and life, I rented from an agency in Guatemala city I had established a formal relationship with for the future.  All of them were smashing successes.

The basic idea would be to locate and rent a large house or building where a wall or two could be knocked down creating a large hall, such as the Church does to establish a chapel in the beginning.  I’d rent 16 mm movies from the agency in the city, as well as always include  educational movies from embassies, and hope it could  be a business 5 or 6  days a week.

Christmas was celebrated in our camper, just as a family with a few simple gifts you can see below.

We see in these two pictures, Cristina who would have been 3 years old, David, 4 years old, Julie 7, and Rich 3 months. We also went on  picnics and fishing trips to the lake at San Cristobal.


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nothing was off-limits for me in my explorations and investigations of every aspect of life in the area, as you can observe in the following set of photographs from that trip—from getting to know better some of the most well-off  families of the area, like  “The Sisters de Leon.”
We see to the  to the right  a portion of their home.  I had got to know them well on my 3rd exploratory trip when, after getting the photographs Garth Norman needed at the Izapa site near Tapachula, Mexico, I had continued to Coban and spent a couple of weeks investigating actually telling people I intended to publish an article for the National Geographic Magazine.  I had previously contacted the NG Society and they had expressed interest in my proposal.  So I got into all kinds of places.

An important contact was with said Sisters and I was invited to visit, have lunch a couple of times.  They were four sisters who had never married, each of them in charge of different family businesses.  Dona Matilde had a private school, where Julie studied for one year when we finally moved to Guatemala.  They also had properties, one of which I tried to get them to sell to me towards the end of 1967 when we were living there. 

I poked my nose everywhere during these explorations like in their Churches where the wealthy mixed freely with the Indians as seen below.

  
  
 Then in Indian Guatemala where the Q’eqchi natives practice a mixture of Catholicism and their Mayan traditions. 

 

Even of more importance was exploring the countryside—where we did not go as missionaries sent with a special purpose to Coban, but now it was critical as that was where 80% of the Indians lived where my projected work had to beNow, nothing was off-limits for me as I needed to really understand the people and the cultures of the area.
 

 


Of prime importance I visited the schools, and learned that Coban was the educational center of the Alta Verapaz area.  Of course that included their sporting events, like you see below. 

HEADING FOR HOME

After NEW YEARS, we bid farewell to all of our new friends assuring them with a “hasta luego” that we would return to establish our residency there before the end of 1967 and be ready to go to work.

It turned out to be a most unforgettable trip home.


All went well getting out of Guatemala and into Mexico at Tapachula, and then continued up what some BOOK OF MORMON believers call “ a narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea by the  sea on the west,” basically a narrow strip of  flat land—light green, along the Pacific Ocean, separating it from the interior that is made up of rough, almost impenetrable mountains. Years ago, before there was a highway,  there was the railroad and for cars to get to Tapachula and to Guatemala your car would be put on a railroad flatcar.  I’ll insert a Google Earth view to the right (flat area along ocean from Tapachula northwest to Arriaga).

As the highway leads towards the Isthmus of Tehuantepec you pass through an area called La Ventosa (windy)—where the constant winds from the Pacific side have the trees growing sideways pointing east.  Night was falling and the area was being buffeted by the tale end of a storm we heard on the radio had come from the north leaving snow on Mexico City.  Traffic was moving slowly and carefully through the area where here and there trucks had been blown over and on their sides along the highway.

We came to the junction where we had to turn east to go up into the mountains and cross the Isthmus.  It would be about 1 mile to get away from the flat and into the hills and mountains that would reduce the danger, but for that  mile the wind was hitting us directly on our left side with gusts that would literally lift our left wheels off the ground.  I yelled at Maria and the kids to all get on the left side of the camper adding their weight.  Twice more gusts hit us and lifted our wheels off the ground, then let up and we settled back with a jolt.  With panicky prayer we finally got into the safety of the hills.  But, it was SCARY TO SAY THE LEAST!

From there we crossed the Isthmus, through Veracruz and then began our assent towards Mexico City, but stopped to rest for the night at a place called Fortin de las Flores, and parked for the night in a nice residential area.   As you will see we had lessons to be learned still.

About an hour later we were awakened by the flashing lights of a police car. I opened the back door to talk to them.  They warned us that it was dangerous for us to park in such areas as there was high danger of being assaulted and robbed.  They suggested we park out along the highway where we would be in view constantly of trucks and other vehicles going by.

We did that and soon were trying to go to sleep again, but about an hour later heard voices behind the camper.  A thick fog had moved in hiding us from the vehicles going by whose lights we could see dimly but we were hidden by the fog.  There were 3 or 4 men behind the camper and soon they got closer and began knocking loudly.  I yelled, “What do you want?”  They didn’t reply, rather knocked or rather pounded on the door!

I yelled loudly in Spanish, “MARIA, PASS ME THE GUN!”.…….which we didn’t have.

With that they backed off 30 or 40 feet, still dimly visible through the fog.  I told Maria to keep an eye on them, and if they moved towards us to immediately let me know.  In the meantime I was silently reaching through the boot between the camper and the front seat where Julie was sleeping, and moving her over so I could get behind the steering wheel.

All of a sudden, Maria said, “HERE THEY COME!”

With that, in my underwear, I was through the boot, immediately started the motor, and we screeched out of there and up the highway, leaving our visitors trying to catch us but empty handed.

In spite of it having been a long, tiring day, I was wide awake driving through the fog, up to Mexico City and skirted around the city that was covered by about 6 inches of snow, then in the daylight began the descent to the northwest, finally stopping at a Pemex Gas Station to get dressed and fill up.

 I mentioned to the attendant at the gas station what had happened, and he gave us some advice for the future:  “When parking for the night to sleep in your vehicle, always do as the truckers do, park gathered around a Pemex Gas Station where there is always an armed guard!”

Sort of like the pioneers did for the night circling their wagons and have some protection. With many important lessons learned we finally made it safely back to Utah—now READY FOR THE BIG DECISION

   That experience convinced us it was time to go and we announced to our parents we would leave in four months. I promised my father that during those months I would produce a 2 year supply of Andersen Samplers so he could continue the business without me.  I trained my younger brother, Howard, to do the office work and shipping, and then worked an average of 19 hours/day six days a week--almost ruining my health, but finally put in dad's storeroom hundreds of Samplers

NOTABLE
From Part 2 of my autobiography, “THE PREPARATION,”  

Maria and I had patiently and lovingly….. 

…moved from “DIVORCE,” in January 1959 to us being united TO ACT TOGETHER by 1967

 I knew that in some way I would eventually lose her for this life, but in the meantime we had to make the best of what time the Lord would give us together.

SACRIFICED A LOT TO MAKE THE RISKY MOVE

In the upcoming RISKY…..JOURNEY chapter, I explain how we had to get rid of a lot of our, sort of opulent life, and I explain:  NOTE:  Prior to leaving I had sold all my firearms including my first 30-06 deer rifle, my beloved Ruger Single-Six revolver, etc.  gave away all our furniture and excessive clothes, dishes and cookware, etc. to needy families, but did take my fishing equipment.  This for me was a big deal as I loved to that point activities like deer hunting, and even bragged about getting a big buck every year in my first 11 years of the hunt.  During the years of PREPARATION, I justified getting my first four-wheel-drive vehicle—the first International Harvester 4 x 4 called a Scout, rationalizing it would be our RISKY JOURNEY 4 x 4 vehicle, and in my spare time built on the tiny vehicle a camper—

I’m still proud of the beautiful camper, building it with only an electric drill, and  saber saw.  I’ll insert a picture of it I used on one of my last successful  hunts before leaving for Guatemala.

As leaving for Guatemala was approaching as a real possibility I had to honestly conclude my beloved Scout was just too small for my entire family, and so I tearfully sold it, and invested $2,150 in a new Ford 150 pickup, bought a camper and built into it cabinets, table, etc. and used it the first time with Garth Norman on our archaeological “Tree  of Life Stela” expedition in 1966, and by mid-1967 had it modified more—with a boot giving access between cab and camper, and with a handmade equipment rack on top of the cab and we were ready.

 
 WE THEN PREPARED & BID FAREWELL
So, on July 12, 1967, with a lot of faith, we headed south the FIRST TIME to Nogales, Arizona/Mexico to cross the border.  Then on August 9th,  we had our heart to heart talk with my parents, then received a “Father’s blessing,” and left for THE SECOND ATTEMPT and soon we were legally driving carefully south through Mexico towards Guatemala.
  
 It would not be easy, but we knew that the Lord would be with us as long as we heeded His promptings and did the best we could.  That JOURNEY was successful the...
....ANDERSEN FAMILY PRIVATE PEACE CORP...
...crossing the border into Guatemala on  
AUGUST 19, 1967, then 50 years later on AUGUST 19, 2017 
I celebrated alone the amazing 
GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY
  with a Hot Fudge  Sundae at McDonalds and retired the 
GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION
That was a group of generous brothers & sisters, spearheaded by my father, Dr. Ariel 
A. Andersen, all of whom cared deeply about the
Lord's "little ones"  we lovingly served for 50 years
in the Mountains of the Maya, and whose loving donations are said to have…
“Saved thousands & aided many tens of thousands acquire an education!"
To all those selfless people that made up the Foundation we send our love
and appreciation for your generosity over these many years.
*************

 Part 2  the epic history 

THE RISKY, BREATHTAKING 1967 PIONEER JOURNEY TO THE JUNGLES & MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA
By Cordell M Andersen, for 50 years the volunteer Field Director

Beginning with an INTRODUCTION TO:

YEAR ONE of THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY
The 50 year Anniversary   of our work in Guatemala was celebrated with no fanfare on August 19, 2017, at which time the Guatemalan Foundation was legally retired. No "fanfare" as our effort was never to get any credit for what was accomplished, and publicity received was never by my initiative.  Fifty years ago I just wanted to quietly...

...disappear into the jungles and mountains of the Maya and with my family serve the Lord and his "little ones"  in my own simple way--following the example of one of my heroes from the Book of Mormon history, Ammon,  from ancient America...

 ...all in harmony with the inspiration, guidance and the opportunities 
the Lord would give me. 

"The mountains of the Maya" look pretty good in this beautiful photo, but......below we see the harsh reality of Indian Guatemala, the colorful clothing of their women actually being a disguise for their misery and suffering.  It was into this world we would go in 1967 that was also in the beginning stages of a communist backed Guerrilla War trying to convert Guatemala into another Cuba.


A few very orthodox Mormons told me that the only proper way to do as I intended was to wait and hope to be "called by the Prophet."  

On the other hand I believed in the Lord's words when He said,

"....men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.....he that doeth not anything until  he is commanded......is damned." (D&C 58:26-29).

 I didn't believe in "polishing apples" and cultivating the right friendships as I noticed a few doing to increase their chances of being "called," but  rather thought,
 "If the Lord was ever to speak to his Prophet calling me to whatever, 
he more than likely would be perplexed exclaiming,  
 'Cordell....who?'

 The Prophet would have to Google my name and learn I had a High Uintas Wilderness Project that saved lives, was an expert on "tie hackers,"   & on "Pioneer Timber Slides that made Provo and Springville,"   published a book about the  High Uinta Mountains,  and, if he went deep enough in his Google Search,  learn I had something to do with a Foundation responsible for having "saved thousands of Mayan Indians, and helped many tens of thousands get an education,"  plus, following the links, read about a Harold Brown--one of the "called and chosen" by him who insisted us Andersen's weren't crazy to live close enough to the Indians to actually help them, and even in 1973 was
 the first friend and  LDS leader to begin calling me

"A modern Ammon!"


If the Prophet searched deeper he would learn  that in that year--1973,  when facing opposition from sources we never anticipated, to give us encouragement to persist, Brown told us paraphrased*: 
"Your efforts have stimulated world-wide welfare services! You must continue the experiment, and will have my continual support!"
* Harold Brown's exact words were blunt and to the point, and will
be used in the--RELIGIOUS HISTORY FOR LDS  PEOPLE  in the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT
Then he would likely be even more shocked to learn that later, when my life became quite controversial, Brown was told the whole story and was one of the few who understood--so much so that he even volunteered to be a trustee for the Foundation and persisted until age related issues made his normal life impossible. 
And, if the Prophet really wanted to understand why the Lord had mentioned my name to him, he would dig deeper and learn that in 1977 some important people in his Office Building in Salt Lake City had decided to ask the Church’s Bonneville Corporation to make it’s first full length dramatic movie about the Andersen Family’s life in Guatemala centered on a “miraculous performance” by BYU’s Lamanite Generation, and the aftermath in which our precious Michelle, “Pepita,” was tragically lost, and how our family reacted to that horrible accident.
The Prophet would learn that those people who hatched the movie plan had interviewed  me for 7 hours in the Church Office Building, knowing that my life had become controversial, but decided it best for the Church to tell the story in a nice way to avoid others doing so in a way that would hurt the Church—so offered a contract and paid for an option to do the film.  

Digging even deeper he would  likely become angry seeing how the film was squelched by the unrighteous intervention of one of his leaders, leaving the way open for me to write about our history as I'm now doing.  
He would hopefully  become more interested to learn the details, as Harold Brown had done.
That and much, much more will be described in this history of the family’s JOURNEY to THE LAND OF THE MAYA, followed  by the  
COMPLETE FINAL REPORT.
MY  SAINTLY PARENT'S SUPPORT  
Most of the publicity received came from my father's initiative who felt proud of what we were attempting and believed all should help and thus greatly multiply the good accomplished. I believe strongly the Lord was guiding both of our efforts. He eventually, three years after we left for Guatemala,  spearheaded the organization of the Foundation to help. It will be mentioned later at the right chronological point.  

A PROPHETIC TOUR & CALL TO ACTION
I should mention that after what was called "a prophetic tour of Central
America"  at the end of 1957 by LDS General Authority Hugh B. Brown, it was common for many missionaries to believe we had a continuing responsibility for the people, especially for the critically needy Indians of Guatemala who he explained clearly had "A PROPHETIC DESTINY" in which some of us were to play an important role.

I especially was impacted by Hugh B. Brown as in a missionary meeting in Managua he called me by name and prophesied about my future that would be among the indigenous people Mormons call Lamanites.    This was another crucial link in a long chain of personal,  spiritually transformative experiences that dominated my life in a serious way and influenced me to be very deliberate and dedicated about my future.
 
So, early on there were  two efforts by ex-LDS missionaries to return to Guatemala to be of some help--Vernon Webster & Gary Cooper-- but, they hadn't lasted more than six months and have been forgotten.
  Our effort likewise wasn't expected to last very long, but our Andersen 
family pioneering endeavor was different--first achieving a 14 year "Ammon-like"  period, but then persisting and was still going strong after 50 years, and so perhaps is historically of great value to report about fully and honestly.  It didn't work out being just another crazy, flash in the pan, ill-prepared undertaking as everyone but my father had predicted, but honestly 
reporting the truth has strangely ruffled feathers.
Above, at the 14 year "Ammon-like" point you see me putting the finishing touches on the government school we constructed in the midst of the Guerrilla War, and dedicated with heavily armed Guatemalan Army troops on the perimeter using Israeli weapons, seen below...


....to protect the celebration from any possible attack. During this critical time in Guatemala's history, only Israel was willing to help Guatemala from becoming another Cuba.

While it began as a very personal family project, it three years later merged with the  Foundation organized to help our altruistic efforts........supported over the years by literally hundreds, if not thousands of contributors, and we owe it to them to report honestly the history in  the FINAL REPORT. 
NOW BACK TO THE STORY
The eventual "retirement" date of the Foundation was 50 years after I and my family crossed the border into Guatemala  in 1967 to begin what for nearly three years was just a family effort to help the needy Indians out of faith and love--no foundation yet, nor was it an LDS Church effort--although motivated by faith in the spirit of the Gospel law of consecration.  Only the Lord asked us to do it, and no one offered to pay us anything. We would work to support ourselves and our effort giving freely of our time, talents and all that we had.  We called our endeavor:
THE ANDERSEN FAMILY PRIVATE PEACE CORP
Above we see us Andersen's ready to leave Provo, Utah in 1967.
As I was putting this history together I couldn't help but remark repeatedly,
"Now, in 2020, I can’t even begin to envision again 
having the guts to do it. Whether you're in favor or not, 
understand or not, it was a 
JOURNEY OF SIMPLE and PROFOUND FAITH--born of the Lord 
speaking to me in Coban as a missionary in 1958, and then on 
the snowy slopes of the Henry Mountains in fall 1965--
--giving me the courage to do as I knew I had to do!

Our team included my wife Maria, and children Julie, David, Cristina and Richard
******************************
This story, 
THE ORIGINAL MOVE TO GUATEMALA IN 1967...  
...was in brief eventually added onto the end of the FINAL REPORT a year or more after initially being posted, and not likely seen by hardly anyone, and not written well enough to be worthy--for our family,  of such a monumental faith motivated move.
This family history will now be told in greater detail than ever before in an improved version with 80+  photographs.  This will include, I believe for the first time, the description of our FIRST FAILED EFFORT, due to our promise to the Lord to be honest in all of our dealings.   Nevertheless it began a whole series of MIRACLES--that led to the 4th one that got us finally into Guatemala on August 19, 1967 and literally minutes later we were on our way to Guatemala City.
THE FINAL REPORT -- after its original introduction, was tweaked and added to many times and, in its final version  had much of what I have called "the rest of the story," but wasn't likely noticed very much either--so, you missed your chance--as it has been removed for the present while making necessary improvements, additions--including the essential controversial historical aspects of this 50+ year history without which many things don't make sense.  It will have over 400 photographs, and maybe more as—
--I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHS, especially for a subject known as......
..... THE LAND WHERE COLOR WAS INVENTED! 

Above is seen the color of Guatemala in the typical dress of over 100 candidates for the INDIAN QUEEN OF GUATEMALA, or as they call her in all of the 23 different indigenous languages,
"DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF HEAVEN!"
**********************
When, along with Part 1: THE PREPARATION TO ACT, and this Part 2:  THE RISKY.....PIONEER JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF THE MAYAS,  and Part 3: The COMPLETE FINAL REPORT is completed--all of them will then be translated into Spanish for all of my Guatemalan brothers and sisters--who also deserve to know the truth of the history in which they were a central part.
Será luego traducido al español para todos mis queridos hermanos Guatemaltecos.
When and if the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT is ready to publish in its final form it will be built around this family history guided by a very spiritual experience,  related in some detail in Part 1: THE PREPARATION wherein   I was told to:
"Speak the truth from your heart!"
***********************

PREFACE
I will now go to the story of us leaving Provo, Utah, then failing to get through Mexico on the first attempt--because I had sworn to be totally honest in everything in our Guatemalan adventure, and specifically 
not give in to the "bribe system."  
 It is important to keep  this  in mind as I was eventually 
accused falsely of being dishonest, untrustworthy  and 
involved in an illegal project mentioned below.

HONESTY THE BEST POLICY?
In my 4 exploratory trips to Guatemala, and research over 9 years in preparation for the move,  I mentioned my resolve to a gringo who had lived many years in Guatemala. He made fun of my intentions indicating that doing anything in Guatemala required using "the bribe system" and other under-the-table business practices-which he claimed were  "necessary to have success in Guatemala."
By strict gospel standards, his questionable attitude was later of dire consequences in the history--he apparently rationalizing that lying and deception were justified and necessary to defeat our effort which he considered of no value and even dangerous. 
This was, as far as we knew, the beginning of what came to be called 
"a spirit of competition rather than cooperation." 
 Sadly he was able to convince key leaders of the same and lies were believed,   repeated  and then repeated widely to many. I have not been liked by mentioning this, but the TRUTH MUST BE KNOWN.
Years later in his autobiography, he was careful to not mention our methods and successes.  He avoided like the plague mention of an international adoption scandal he was responsible for which had our friends, Carl Jacob and Ortensia Ovalle go to prison, as well as my manager, Miguel Max, and supervisor of the Central House, Florencia Rivas, be put in jail, but all blamed on me as the ring-leader with a warrant out for my arrest at the borders, and was believed by LDS Leaders, except for our friend Harold Brown and, at that time LDS Regional Representative, Enrique Rittscher.
Perplexingly--even after being told the truth, the lie continued to be repeated-
-likely still believed by many today.  Other critical historical inaccuracies and omissions are troubling to say the least in the autobiography, all of these raising doubts about his entire book. Some details are related in the 
COMPLETE FINAL REPORT, item #20, etc.
I gratefully was able to maintain my resolve to be honest in all my dealings and maintain our integrity over all those years and be blessed time after time by key individuals--like Harold Brown, Enrique Rittscher, Oliverio Guerrero and a few others who--seeing how I worked hard alongside  my Mayan employees and treated all as brothers and sisters -- trusted me completely and helped make possible us persisting over more than half a century of unceasing efforts to lift up as many of our needy Lamanite brothers and sisters as possible.

NOW TO THE CHALLENGE!
Many of you likely don't know that we failed  to get through Mexico on the first attempt--what then?
What did we have to go through to finally get to the
"Land of the Mayas?"
Above we see our GOAL – live among and be of effective help to the needy Mayan people,  like the LDS family from Patzicia we see above still living together in a very small dirt floored hut—years after their conversion to Mormonism. We are literally seeing in this picture the kitchen, dining room, living room, and for the bedroom at least it would have straw mattes on the dirt floor, but no potable water.  And, as was the case in 1967,  most Indians had no outhouse—making their homes and home sites  
INCUBATORS FOR SICKNESS & DEATH

How many of us “desire for our Mayan brothers 
what we desire for ourselves?”
But, someone had to do something about that...and if not us, who? 
************************
Below is the story of how we first failed to get through Mexico, then made it, along with a brief summary of what happened during those first exciting years and brief mention of most of the history with much greater detail in the
COMPLETE FINAL REPORT.
***********************

1/2 MILLION MILES OF TRAVEL & ADVENTURE:
Utah to MEXICO and on to GUATEMALA, then later--back and forth between Guatemala & Utah every two months for many years--to keep alive the family, & THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM!

THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO MOVE TO GUATEMALA & MIRACLES

This chapter of the book of our life began with our first attempt to get through Mexico with our pickup 2,000 lbs. overloaded with 3 generators, four 16 mm. projectors, a P.A. system, two 9' x 12' professional movie screens, aluminum boat and outboard motor, etc. 

Note:  I had installed overload springs & bought Michelin tires--both effective in getting us to Coban, but then I noticed that all of the 4 rims were cracked!  But, we did make it.......finally! -- 

We were not going half-cocked but only after 9 years of quite dedicated preparation--mentioned briefly in early 
Foundation historical reports (2nd page),  and in Part 1 of this writing.  

We were finally ready and drove to my parent's home in Provo, Utah to say goodbye. Below we zoom in again to remind us. 

Our Ford 150 pickup with the modified camper was this 

"modern pioneer family's covered wagon." 

It was a tearful parting, except for an elderly neighbor, a Sister Cannon, who sarcastically smiled and said something like,
"I'll give you 6 months, and you'll come running home with your tail between your legs!"
I just confidently smiled and resisted getting her in a strangle hold as I had learned to do with bullies in my youth, and we headed south.
The camper on the back of our Ford pickup was loaded almost to the ceiling, just leaving enough space for us to crawl in on top to sleep on cushions that covered our precious load--everything we had left on this earth.  

NOTE:  Prior to leaving I had sold all my firearms, including my first 30-06 deer rifle, my beloved Ruger Single-Six revolver, etc.  gave away all our furniture and excessive clothes, dishes and cookware, etc. to needy families, but did take my fishing equipment.
We couldn't afford to stay at motels, as the total cash in our pockets for the life-long journey was only $4,273.  But, as mentioned we did have a load of valuable equipment and the pickup/camper--in all of which we had invested $10,000--some of it mentioned in the initial paragraph, with which we were to begin a business venture that hopefully would support us, as well as place us in rural Guatemala where the need was critical, and where we would be able to learn and do a lot of good while preparing for even greater things.
NOTE: $10,000 would be a joke by 2020  standards, perhaps not even enough for a down-payment on a pickup, but the economy was different then. The Ford 150 pickup brand new cost $2,150--of course no 4x4, nor electric windows, no A/C, only a simple radio, etc.
The $4,273 of cash, plus equipment I will admit sounds pretty quixotic .... as emphasized the year before (1966) when I presented the program at the

October LDS Ex-Missionary Reunion for Central American missionaries.
  I showed them graphically with slides the beautifully colorful Guatemalan culture, but then shocked them with the other side of the coin--the desperate life and death needs of the people we had worked with and claimed to love, then suggested something had to be done.  An ex-Mission President in attendance was terribly offended I had mentioned sick and dying LDS Indian babies and converts and angrily rushed at me to argue.  That was the beginning of realizing that telling the truth was perplexingly dangerous, yet it had to be reported if anything positive was to eventually be done.  The FINAL REPORT will describe a whole chain of such events with one very hopeful outcome, but a steep price was paid!
That visual presentation provoked a discussion afterward, some of the group being supportive of doing something, but saying they were in no position to do anything, then telling me, 

"You be the guinea pig. If the experiment works, we'll follow!" 
  
But the overall reaction paraphrased from two who would become  LDS Church leaders was:
"You don't have the necessary capital.....nor qualified with sufficient education."
To all of them, I suggested that:
If we have the Spirit of the Lord to guide and bless our efforts, our basket will be replenished from time to time enabling us to do a lot of good among a very worthy and needy people, and added that if we didn't at least attempt something we would be somewhat responsible for additional deaths among the Indian babies and children.
****************************
With that experience,

 WE AS A FAMILY DECIDED TO TALK NO MORE, BUT ACT
 A month later we left on one last 2-1/2 month exploratory trip to pave the way for the move. It became an awakening and adventurous experience that properly prepared us for a life-time of progress and success.
Here we are on that last exploratory trip--my 4th one,  camping out near the soccer stadium in Coban. During those 75 days, only once did we stay in a motel. Our 2-1/2-month-old Richard, by the time we returned had spent half of his life as a pioneer camping out.

SEE THE INTERESTING, SCARY & ENLIGHTENING EXPERIENCES OF THAT FOURTH EXPLORATORY TRIP

in  Part 1: THE MYSTERIOUS CAUSE & PREPARATION……

That experience convinced us it was time to go and we announced to our parents we would leave in four months. I promised my father that during those months I would produce a 2 year supply of Andersen Samplers so he could continue the business without me.  I trained my younger brother, Howard, to do the office work and shipping, and then worked an average of 19 hours/day six days a week--almost ruining my health, but finally put in dad's storeroom hundreds of Samplers.
--THEN WE PREPARED FOR THE MOVE--
SO IN MID-1967, WITH A LOT OF FAITH, WE HEADED SOUTH TO NOGALES, ARIZONA/MEXICO TO CROSS THE BORDER

When the Mexican border officials saw our load they just shook their heads, hinted for bribes, and seeing my refusal, said it wasn't likely possible to get through Mexico. One suggested we look for a Customs Broker to help us.  I talked to a number of them explaining everything had to be done legally with no bribes, and they all shook their heads.  I returned to the Customs House and was told that I had to keep looking and was assured there would be one willing to help us.

We finally found that "one"  who requested authorization from Mexico City to pass through Mexico, and said it would take a while--from one week to six months! 
So we unloaded all the prohibited stuff in the Broker's warehouse and drove south to San Carlos Bay for a week-long wait on the Sea of Cortez.

There’s nothing we could do but relax for a week, so we had finally a family vacation, swimming and playing in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez.  David and me used some of the time to experience some great fishing for Spanish mackerel, and other tropical fish, and so ate a lot of delicious freshly caught fish.


And were even lucky enough for the first time in my experience from our own small aluminum boat catching an exotic Dorado, even though small for these famous fishing treasurers.

But of most importance we experienced  there  the FIRST MIRACLE when David and Julie were saved after having been set adrift alone on the open ocean in our aluminum boat when the anchor rope was cut by a surging sea!  I had been skin diving and when returning where the boat had been--found it gone, and went into action.

Seven-year-old Julie and 5-year-old David, in the meantime all of a sudden noticed the anchor rope trailing behind and realized they were adrift and tried unsuccessfully to start the cold outboard motor, then knelt in the boat and prayed.  
Then after failing again to start the motor, prayed again, and as they raised their heads they saw me 200 yards distant swimming to their rescue and made it just seconds before being dashed onto a rocky shoreline by the large waves. I climbed aboard, immediately started the motor and got us out of danger, then we had an emotional moment  all of us hugging each other with grateful tears and we then knelt embracing each other and offered a humble prayer of gratitude to the Lord.

Then,  the SECOND MIRACLE

The next day, with Maria helping me,  we recovered  the anchor from the depths--which we see to the right today painted gold, which   became a symbol of our  "faith"  for our entire 50+ years in the Guatemalan project, which was our Savior. 

By the way, Maria, did an incredible job helping me recover the anchor, which required her to operate the boat, backing into the spot so I could jump out and start the search, and while I searched head out to sea and hold the position waiting for my signal to back in and pick me up.  The print version of this story goes through all the details of her great effort. 
NOTE: On returning to civilization the first thing I did was add a length of galvanized chain to the anchor, replacing the nylon rope that had been cut.
We returned to Nogales but no authorization had come to travel with our load through Mexico, so we had no choice but leave our stuff in the warehouse, return to Provo and go back to work for Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service while waiting for the news of authorization from the Customs Broker.
This meant facing my parent's neighbor, Sister Cannon, who had predicted we would only last  "6 months and come running home with your tail between your legs,"  but all of a sudden we were returning "with our tail between our legs"   in ONLY TWO WEEKS! 
When she came out to welcome us home, she wasn't able to contain her laughter and for a moment I thought her heart would fail.  She, eventually would pass on and become one of our "guardian angels,"  with eyes wide opened--easily seeing thru all the gossip and rumors mentioned further along that evolved soon,  and I believe she became an avid supporter over all these years!

 


I went back to work producing Andersen Samplers, earning enough in a couple of weeks to pay for all the losses due to extra travel,  enough for the Custom's Broker, and the bond he required. 



SECOND ATTEMPT & MORE MIRACLES
Two weeks or so later a telegram came and we packed up for the 2nd time and headed for Mexico. But this time, before leaving, had a 2-hour long heart-to-heart talk with my parents who had been understandably doubtful and scared to death about what we were to attempt.  Dad had previously tried to talk me out of it in what at times almost became heated conversations.  Once he shocked me saying, "No cursed people in the history of the world have ever been able to rise above it! You will be sacrificing you and your family in vain!"  I was shocked that a true believer in the BOOK OF MORMON would say such, and decided to not debate the matter anymore, rather quietly continue our preparations.  Eventually, Dad,  seeing my resolve decided to support us even without full understanding.
We had left the first time without any further discussion, but having to return "with my tail between my legs," I felt strongly there was purpose in it, and believed I had to have a heart to heart talk with mom and dad.  
I requested they let me talk without interruption, but to jot down any comments or questions to deal with afterwards.  I described emotionally the long chain of spiritual experiences had since I was a young boy, including my NDE at 16 convincing me I had to dedicate my life SAVING PEOPLE, then me following Dad's example achieving spiritual conversion. I went on to explain  my mission experiences, focusing on Hugh B. Brown's prophecy about my life, then  as a missionary seeing Indian babies dying that I had to do something about, and later profound experiences when I was President of the Spanish American Branch in Provo, including critically  on the snowy slopes of the Henry Mountains when, as had happened  anciently to Enos, then to Ammon and his brothers from the Book of Mormon--I literally had "the spirit of the Lord work on [me] .....," and I had my encounter with the Lord giving me the courage to make the move--and was supported by Maria and the kids.  
Additionally I explained the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life Method of helping Indians that had come to me as a missionary in the Coban area in 1958, and believed the Lord wanted me to experiment with it and perfect its application among the Indigenous people, while also experiencing the struggle of surviving in rural Guatemala--along with our Indians, all of us learning and rising up together.  And, in so doing also be available to help the local members of our Church in any way the leaders in Guatemala felt appropriate.

It was a humbling and tearful experience for all of us. On conclusion of my explanation, they were humbly quiet seemingly understanding--at least accepting.   I  then asked my father for a "Father's Blessing," which he tearfully gave me--and was faithful doing his part in helping its fulfillment for the last 16 years of his life.
It still took time at the border to do all the red tape, pay off the Broker, etc. but I stuck to my covenant to be honest and not give in to "the bribe system" south of the border--and was suffering the consequences for my principles, but I had to be loyal to my faith believing the Lord would help.  We finally headed legally south towards Guatemala. 


  To the right, Maria is playing with Dave and Julie on the Veracruz beach where began my "CANTINFLAS...comedian ordeal" 11 years later, described at the end of the FINAL REPORT.


The trip through Mexico took us a week as we had to travel slowly with our big load and did some visiting of relatives along the way. 

 As we traveled we observed as always fascinating typical scenes.  One memorable one was of a pickup after a baseball game loaded even more than ours.

Another in a village with a burial ground surrounding a Catholic Church, that was sort of a preview of what we would fight against for all our years in Guatemala--a very high 50% infant mortality rate that would be scandalous in the U.S.  Most of the grave mounds were tiny from babies--like some I had literally seen die when in Coban as a missionary whose deaths nobody cared about which aroused righteous indignation in me that  I had to do something about--or be held responsible!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We finally made it through scary Mexico City--where we visited relatives, then down to Veracruz and Maria's home town of Tierra Blanca with more visiting.  
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Then across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to the Pacific Coast and south to Tapachula, then to the Izapa archaeological site where we parked and spent the night preparing for crossing into Guatemala the next day.
This was where the year before in  1966, using night photography,  I had got for Archaeologist Garth Norman the 4"x 5" professional quality photos of the Tree of Life Stone and others he has used in many publications since. 

On that 1966 expedition we afterwards continued to Coban together following the backcountry road from Huehuetenango passing through the remote towns where a year later I would be operating a traveling movie.  Garth was interested to see the area including Coban he was sure was a key part of ancient history described in the BOOK OF MORMON. 

THE BOOK OF MORMON’S NARROW STRIP OF WILDERNESS

Both Garth and I believed the geography of the book’s peoples was centered on Guatemala.  It’s Central Highlands was the book’s “Land of Nephi” with a primary river beginning there and flowing northward into the book’s “Land of Zarahemla.”  The river was named “SIDON.”

A major river in Guatemala begins in the Highlands near Santa Cruz del Quiche, named the “Rio Negro.”  When reaching the Sacapulas area the name becomes the“El Rio Sacapulas.”  There the river is turned westward by a chain of mountains—believed to be “the narrow strip of wilderness”  that stretch eastward all the way to the Caribbean. Then bordering on Alta Verapaz the river  turns northward through the deep Chixoy Canyon, and there is named the “Rio Chicoy,” until downstream, joined by other rivers becomes the mighty Usumacinta River forming the border with Mexico and eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico. I’ll insert below a Google Earth view of the area.


 
With Garth, I drove to Huehuetenango to follow the backcountry road through my eventual traveling movie route, going through Aguacatan, then on to Sacapulas where we crossed the river, and continued eastward through Cunen, Uspantan, and Chicaman, then down into the deep canyon crossing the Chixoy River where it continued north.  We climbed out of the canyon to San Cristobal Verapaz, and about 20 miles further arrived in Coban.  I’ll insert a photo of the Chixoy canyon near Valparaiso.
 After a few days in Coban Garth took a bus to Guatemala City from where he flew home.  I remained investigating more how we would establish ourselves and support us there.  
When I finished my research and was ready to head home I decided to relax and go fishing at the lake near San Cristobal Verapaz, and was having great success, as seen below--actually catching and releasing 10 like this one. 
One of those 10 became an astounding experience when fishing with top-water lures the large-mouth black  bass all of a sudden erupted out of the water in a spectacular leap and came down with mouth wide open on the lure and the fight was on, becoming one of the great fishing experiences of my life!
NOTE: Years later a skin diver with speargun got a 27 lb. large mouth black bass here that a week before I almost caught on fishing equipment.  If I had of been successful, it would still be a WORLD RECORD.

I then decided to try skin diving and fishing with my speargun as I was noticing others doing there, but after a little while in the cool water I began feeling sick--like the flu was coming on, and decided to get my boat up on top of my camper while I still had strength. 

I headed for Guatemala City, passing through Valparaiso for the first time--of course never imagining at that time that I would eventually spend 26 years of my life there.  

I bought flu medicines in Tactic and continued to the City where the next afternoon I had a date to have dinner with Berkley Spencer and his wife, Carolyn--he was considered by me to be the  greatest missionary from my time, and was back in Guatemala working on his PhD. During that dinner I all of a sudden had my first attack of malaria resultant from the photo shoots in the jungle at night 15 days before.  Berkley gave me medications. 

 The next day I headed for Mexico City where I had to go to the National Anthropological Museum to retake a couple of photographs for Garth, then continued north stopping at what we called...

.........Andersen Cove  near Guaymas where I wanted to put my boat in the water and fish and skin dive some, but was too weak.  So continued north and near the border at night--a black cow all of a sudden appeared out of nowhere taking out my headlights—so I couldn’t drive at night anymore.
I slept right there until with first light I heard a bunch of angry voices.  I  looked out to see people  examining the dead cow, then heading for me with machetes.  I got out of there fast and  finally  made my way back to Provo, Utah—finishing safely the famous trip through Mexico treating myself for malaria and unable to eat anything, and......
...spending more money on soda pop than on gasoline!
NOTE:  Garth still owes me for the soda pop--the cost for all the great photos I got for him that made him famous!
I'm of course sort of joking!!!!
NOW BACK TO MAKING OUR WAY TO THE GUATEMALAN BORDER in 1967 --  with some fervent prayers in our heart but actually with no nervousness about confronting border officials to leave Mexico, and then enter Guatemala.  I was calm and confidant.
At the Mexican side of the border with Guatemala, I parked on the railroad bridge we had to drive across and the customs officials came out and I showed them the detailed list they had to check to make sure something hadn't remained in Mexico, and so we could get our bond back from the broker (which he never sent anyway).    They said we'd have to unload everything, and I replied that would be fine as we had all the time in the world.  

But when I opened the camper door and they saw it loaded right up to near the ceiling--which would take all day to unload and then load, and a train was behind us and had to get across--so then occurred the THIRD MIRACLE--they just read each item on the list and asked if it was in our pickup, and with my,  "sí  señor,"  they took my word, checked each item and in 10 minutes--with no bribes, we crossed the bridge into Guatemala on

 Saturday, August 19, 1967.


At Guatemala's Customs, I set before the official my folder of invoices, and list of everything we had, saying "I know it will likely take some time, and we'll have to pay import duties on some items, but we have lots of time--so let's get to work!"  

It was Saturday afternoon, and apparently they didn't want to work too hard, and besides, they were blown away by my frank honesty.  The official went down the list, and with each item asked if it was new or used.  With the "new" items, like a couple of three generators, and  2 16mm. movie projectors, I said they were "new."  But the official seemed irritated by my honesty, and came back saying, "But didn't you at least turn them on, or start them up to see if they worked?"  I agreed I had done that, so--he concluded, 
"Then, they are used!"  

Within 45 minutes of having arrived at the  Mexican side of the border, we were on our way towards Guatemala City without having to unload anything, no payment of duties on anything--only paying a $4.50 fee to have crossed the bridge, and NO PAYMENT OF BRIBES.

ARRIVING IN 
 "THE LAND OF ETERNAL SPRING"
The FOURTH MIRACLE had happened, and all the trouble caused by being honest, and ignoring   John O'Donnal's advice to    "pay bribes,"   was more than made up for.  We only had to eventually pay duties on the pickup, but considered a work vehicle, so duty was cheap.
Then on to Guatemala City aided by one of the outstanding men of my earthly experience, Enrique Rittscher, who invited us to stay in one of his apartments while doing business in the city--visiting a lawyer to get the process started to get a Permanent Resident Visa, getting the duty paid on the pickup, etc.
While there doing business Enrique and me had the evenings to talk about what we were going to attempt.  He was sincerely interested, saying, "It's about time that some Latter Day Saints became interested in helping the needy Lamanites,"  and made the comment that he felt that "one day we will be working together."  The FINAL REPORT will explain that.
I couldn't attempt the trip to Coban with the entire load, so the family stayed at the Rittscher apartments, along with having in storage half of our load--which now also included a propane gas stove, two 100 lb. propane gas tanks and a small refrigerator.
So off I went alone to Coban--leaving behind MODERN GUATEMALA & plunging into MAYAN/INDIAN GUATEMALA-- to find a place to rent, unload, and then return for the family and the rest of our things.  Soon the contrast of culture between the city and Indian Guatemala were stark to say the least, seeing Indian women loaded with giant loads of firewood headed for home.  The men and boys, with their giant hoes, out working the steep, rocky fields to produce corn and black beans.

The 120 mile trip was halfway on the pavement--the Atlantic Highway, then on rough mountain roads, fording 11 streams before getting to Coban.  

The trip to Coban took around 10 hours, and I was always amazed after such a long, slow drive to find civilization--in Utah such a trip would end in one finding great deer hunting! 

At Coban's Texaco gas station I continued a life-long friendship with it's owner, Luis Gonzalez Borja.  I had met him there in 1958 when I was a missionary.  He was then a young boy working for free washing customers' windshields, and hoping to get a paying job.  Nine years later he was the owner and years later became President Lucas' Transportation Minister and one of only two in the Lucas government that didn't end up going to jail for corruption.  The other one was Rafael Castillo, Lucas' Secretary of State, who I had worked with as a janitor at BYU in 1959, and years later helped by him to get established in Guatemala.  
 At that time Coban--COLONIAL GUATEMALA, was a sleepy little town where you rarely saw other vehicles--
There was one General Store, one pharmacy, one dentist,  an old rundown government hospital, and government and private schools.

TODAY --53 years later --March 2020,  there are stoplights and traffic jams all over the town which now includes a Shopping Mall, McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Payless Shoes, and everything good &  bad you can imagine!  

I first looked for Alfredo Rodas, the LDS Branch President.  I wanted to hire him as my assistant and guide.  For years he had worked for the Post Office delivering mail all over town and not well paid.  I offered him more and he gladly accepted. We found a home to rent, and unloaded our stuff.

 In our conversations I learned that two of my new friends on the 4th exploration trip, who had attended my slide and movie shows, had grabbed my idea of a movie business.  One ran the Red Cross and he was showing 16mm. movies to raise money for the Red Cross.  The other one had a more formal movie theater using commercial 35mm. movies.  Both were showing movies of doubtful morality to attract big crowds, and their big day was Sunday.  Neither of those ideas were part of my plan, so I had to hustle and come up with something different—which worked out being the traveling movie I’ll describe in a moment, but first I had to return   to Guatemala City to get the family and make the second trip. 

 A FEW GLIMPSES OF THE FAMILY HISTORY IN RURAL GUATEMALA
From 1967 seven exciting, even breathtaking, adventurous years would go by before being able to make a trip north in 1974.  A friend visiting during those years--Kay Franz, characterized them as "living from crisis to crisis,"  but also by me as "miracle after miracle...after miracle--blessed, guided and protected by the Lord." 
CRISIS TO CRISIS....MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE!
During those 7 years--1967 to 1974, four more children would be born:  Joe "Joey," Marcia "Nita,"  Daniel "Danny,"  and Michelle "Pepita." Maria was a beautiful mother,  incredibly courageous having each with the help of a midwife at the government hospital in Coban, most of those years living in a rental house in Coban. 
In the meantime, I worked hard to get profitable business projects functioning to support us. First the traveling movie venture--
Cine Chapinlandia (item #1 in the FINAL REPORT)…….. 
……which was an unbelievable experience showing over nearly 6 months educational and commercial movies to 50,000 rural Guatemalans......below we see the patio of the Catholic Convent in Sacapulas where I would spend the night with the priests and nuns.   Other towns didn't even have electricity and I would use a portable generator.  The remote towns were:  Chicaman, Uspantan, Cunen, Nebaj, Sacapulas, and Aguacatan.
For many it was their first movie ever.   The camper also became a traveling medical clinic as in that entire area, 200,000 people didn't have one doctor, and only one medical clinic--but poorly supplied.  So I quickly began learning about treating serious problems I hadn't learned about as a Medical Specialist in the Army.  That eye opening adventure was later gossiped about as our "first failure,"  that still has me smiling at the poor souls who didn't know what they were talking about.
Then on December 5, 1967, it blended into
Granja & Tienda La Cabana.....
....the poultry enterprise (item #2), that became the first commercial poultry farm in North central Guatemala--and later gossiped about as our "second failure," which had me laughing all the way to the bank!  In the picture below we see our first Guatemalan baby, Joseph "Joey" Albert Andersen, born on January 2, 1968.

That in turn on February 2, 1968 blended into the
 Paradise Valley Plantation-
-Finca Valparaiso (item #3)......



.........with a visit sandwiched in-between from my parents,  sister, Jolene, and brother, Howard seen above at Coban's grass landing strip, having flown on an Aviateca DC-3 taking 30 minutes, rather than on a bus taking 10-12 hours.



Above we see the entrance to the Central House area, and below a portion of  Valparaiso as seen a few years later  after creating a lake, then clearing and mowing an area that revealed mounds that along with the rest of the property was discovered to be an ancient  fortified city--by the way mentioned in the BOOK of MORMON and speculated by some LDS archaeologists as 

The City of Helam.

NOTE:  Directly above is the peninsula of land circled by the road  where  years later the LDS Church would build a chapel, which in a scandalous move  would later be destroyed by bulldozers.

Until then I had continued every two weeks the traveling movie, but now with two properties to manage and develop, plus a large debt to pay off, I finally had to end the traveling movie--Cine Chapinlandia.  Then,  7 months later, realizing that everything we were doing at the Farm could be done even more effectively on the plantation, we sold the poultry farm.   For the next 26 years, I focused on Valparaiso.
 
HARD WORK AT THE VALPARAISO PLANTATION -- 
THE FAMILY IN COBAN
During the week I was separated from the family as I was working hard to manage a 600 acre property that was mostly undeveloped, but with 39 resident families--each head of household of whom I had to give employment  for two weeks each month, while at the same time we needed profits to support ourselves, and begin paying off a lot of money we owed on the property.
 
On Sundays I would take my family to the plantation.  The older kids would 
go with me to visit the families in their huts, and almost immediately we had to begin treating the sick.  On those Sunday evenings we began trying to awaken the Pokomchi-Mayans with the first movies they had ever seen. 

Maria had moved with me to Guatemala with the agreement I wouldn't force her to "live out in the sticks," but soon all the children ganged up on her and insisted they all move to the plantation to help me 100% of the time.  We first lived in the warehouse we used as our movie theater.

THE CENTRAL HOUSE FAMILY
The old haunted”  Central House was fixed up a little with us moving in, along with those that helped us manage everything, and soon our family grew as we had to begin helping abandoned and orphaned children, then needy mothers with their children, volunteer helpers from Guatemala City, and from BYU—USA, as well as Vocational Students from other areas, such as Patzicia and other parts of the country, plus the sick that needed intensive care. 
Visitors puzzled by what we were doing called us  
“THE MOB.” 

 Other critics accused Maria and me of.... 
 “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.  By mid-1970 the Foundation began helping us with some of the expenses.
 
 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 Arnold's, was reversed by 1974-76 when he 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 that follows the report of this Risky...Journey.


To be able to house in some descent way up to 50+ in the old “haunted” Central House, we had to clean, disinfect, gun-down and set traps for the critters--and the ghosts disappeared,  we then remodeled, painted, furnished, and of great importance had to create a whole new potable water system along with an interesting evolution of our electricity systems—all of which will be covered in the FINAL REPORT.   

The Vocational Education Program we called "learning with a shovel"...or a hoe,  a chain saw, poultry,  etc. was started immediately as I had to train those interested in how to work with poultry, hogs, cattle, carpentry, etc. None of the older workers called "colonos" would accept, so I made a juicy offer to their teenage boys and soon had a great group preparing them to manage profit producing projects.
Next came elementary education, started by Julie as mentioned in a moment, then a legally authorized school, along with adult literacy classes--and the plantation became known as:
THE CID--the Center for Indian Development—El Centro Indigena de Desarrollo (item #7), specializing in what we called  
A PROGRAM OF TOTAL DEVELOPMENT.
From here we extended out all over the country with aid projects.
All the while applying the.......
....Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life--
--to awaken and help those we met on the movie tour, then our people at the farm, followed by the plantation and arousing everybody's interest not only in helping themselves improve their lives but also in saving their own.  
-- Keep reading to learn the details of the GOOD LIFE METHOD of helping Indians--(item #3 in the FINAL REPORT)
*****************
HELP FROM THE U.S. BEGAN FORMALLY
From August 19, 1967 to mid-1970 we were on our own as a family -- then family & friends from "the land northward" began making possible doing more on all fronts.
THE FOUNDATION--Where did it come from? 
The Foundation--spearheaded by my father, Dr. Ariel A. Andersen, unbeknownst to us in Guatemala,  along with a group of friends interested in helping the effort,  applied for legal recognition in Provo, Utah and was accepted mid-1970 --3 years after us Andersen's launched ourselves on our own into the mysterious 
"Land of the Mayas." 

Dad worked tirelessly as a non-paid volunteer promoting and funding the Foundation for the last 14 years of his life--his 14 YEAR "AMMON-LIKE MISSION" -- for which he refused to even accept expense reimbursement, much less some kind of  "modest living allowance."  He was rather the major contributor in time and money--this was Dad literally living the Gospel law of consecration he had promised to do as is the case with all active Mormons.
  
To be able to do so he sold their home in the Oakhills area of Provo, and rather lived in a less expensive rental home as well as also selling the culminating work of his life,  Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service--mentioned previously.  The Foundation and helping the needy in Guatemala then became his  "labor of faith and love."
My father was the most unassuming, sincerely saintly, virtuous, honest and generous man of faith I have ever known and sadly went down to his grave in 1983  perplexed by a pattern that would soon evolve--not just one or two problems, rather continual repetition over the years of confusing...

  ...misunderstanding, injustice, misjudgment, a spirit of competition rather than cooperation, faulty inspiration, and a lack of gratitude that developed among some people of influence.
I'm not referring to an occasional mistake, problem, or offense--as none of us humans are perfect, but rather a continual recurrence over decades of  actual cruel injustices that were spiritually destructive to many very good people, and deadly for innocent infants--all requiring contrite recognition, and profound systematic changes--otherwise, according to the scriptures:
"....the powers of heaven cannot be controlled or handled only on the principles of righteousness. -- but when we undertake to cover our sins or gratify our pride....or exercise control....in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves;  the Spirit of the Lord is grieved....and Amen to the priesthood or authority of that man." 
D&C 121:34-42
The words of the Lord--above certainly indicate the gravity of such.  It  was 
no joking matter as many in my family and early converts in Guatemala--who knew of the confusion and injustice, without having a strong spiritual foundation, were even tragically moved away from the faith community and, in their eyes what was supposed to be "the work of the Lord," became a mockery and a cruel joke.

At best, the work of the Lord was slowed--at worst many were lost and enemies created.  The Lord will be merciful towards those hurt , and judgment of those responsible is in His hands, but a continuance of such must be reversed by the truth being known for the good of the living and future generations.
Others were confused and discouraged from continuing their support of programs that were  saving lives—and by them discontinuing their help, caused loss of life of untold people.

CAUTION!  The author refers to  serious mistakes—that literally caused loss of life,  spiritual destruction and loss of faith—perpetrated  by individuals and groups of individuals  REVEALED IN HOPES OF MOTIVATING REPENTANCE!  SUCH ARE  NEVER INTENDED TO INFER THAT THE RESTORED FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IS IN DOUBT

The COMPLETE FINAL REPORT will give a recounting of these serious injustices, that need to be understood so as to not persist in multiplying them on into the future and destroying spiritually the innocent, and cutting numberless infant’s lives short.

NOT PLAYING THE VICTIMS 
But, Dad refused to play victim and  generously and humbly put up the good fight until his passing in 1983, having started helping from the beginning in 1967--several times giving me bonuses for the work I had done before leaving, and then selling the family business, providing me with my share that we invested in our  life saving work in Guatemala. 

 Out on the front lines, we didn’t meekly roll over as victims either, rather found ways to confront bullying and injustice, and rather multiplied our efforts to do good and save lives! 

The Foundation immediately  began helping in THE ALTRUISTIC ACTIVITIES OF OUR FAMILY which we were already doing on our own as the PRIVATE FAMILY PEACE CORP  supported from our own agro-business profits while using all of our surplus to help the 240 resident Poqomchi Indians on the plantation, plus accepting invitations to treat the sick and dying in nearby villages--like Najquitob, as well as reachig all the way to Patzicia..

During all of our first years we performed thousands of medical treatments every year like we see above Julie helping me do at Valparaiso.  Julie at 10 years old learned quickly and when I had to be gone for a day or two, she would continue with all the treatments, including giving antibiotic injections--all a great preparation for her to eventually become a Registered Nurse.  

With the Foundation's help we were able to expand our efforts to many areas.
 Our family efforts, prior to the Foundation,  also included long trips to Patzicia to help the LDS members who were literally suffering and dying.  Travel out of our isolated area then was difficult and eventually  I decided we could help most by  bringing to Valparaiso as "vocational students"  Daniel Choc, his sister, Carmela, and Gonzalo Cujcuj and his sister, Carmela, as part of our Vocational Education Program, in which they would be prepared best to help themselves and their people through our "program of total development" -- the only such LDS oriented program in the whole world at that time.
 

A LIST OF OUR FAMILY PROJECTS WHICH IN MID-1970 THE FOUNDATION BEGAN HELPING WITH, follows:   

1. Elementary, vocational education, and adult literacy programs.
2. Support of orphan children, and needy mothers and their children.
3. A home for vocational students from other areas.
4. A home visiting program of all families in the area to report sickness in time to save lives.
5. Medical and sanitary services-including the building of outhouse floors and seats for all families who took the initiative to dig the hole.
6. A Home Improvement Program doing our best to convert the huts into "healthy homes."
7. A “welfare program” including  “A cooperative welfare vegetable farm.”
8. A recreation program: Soccer, swimming, fishing, dancing, etc.
9. In my official calling as a Local Missionary—authorized by the Mission President to act “like a District President” I did so personally (and as a family), not with Foundation help: Religious services for those interested, including the 1st (unofficial) Seminary Class (Book of Mormon) in Central America, then a Sunday School, followed by a Relief Society.
In addition to beginning to help with medical treatments, I recall the first actual Foundation project was to help our Vocational Education Program, by getting us a tractor we see below being driven by Daniel Choc from Patzicia.  His big dream for his life had been to be able to drive a tractor.  
He arrived as a barefoot 16 year old, never having even brushed his teeth, nor given a speech in his LDS Chapel, but I sensed great potential in this  humble  Cakchiquel Indian teenager and  chose him to be the first to learn to operate the tractor.  He caught on quickly and eventually became the "Tractor Supervisor" teaching 26 other vocational students how to use the tractor plus much, much more explained more fully in the FINAL REPORT. 
    
When Daniel returned to Patzicia 2-1/2years later he amazed the LDS members in Patzicia when  giving a speech, one of the elderly leaders remarking, "He left here a boy, but returned a man!"  He soon would become the first Mayan Indian to become a full-time missionary for the LDS Church.

At Valparaiso he had been a local missionary for around two years, him and companion, Carlos Valdez, accounting for 26 baptisms—which became his real mission, never mentioned by those who later wrote about him.
  On leaving Valparaiso he suggested that the best way to help his people would be to expand and formalize our Program of Total Development to reach more of his people, and together we hatched a plan for after his mission establishing a Center for Indian Development--CID #2 in Patzicia with him as Director.  Sadly his life was cut short by the tragic 1976 earthquake that killed 25,000 of his people. 
Back to Valparaiso, 1970 had already begun a miraculous period of 3 years with no death at the Valparaiso Plantation--when previously at least 50% of the children were dying before reaching their 5th year--an average of 8 infant deaths/year.  With the Foundation's help we were able to achieve outhouses for every one of the 39 families--previously with NONE, and continued with no deaths--of babies or  anybody, and improve and expand our projects and eventually extend our efforts to other areas of the country.

A major part of eliminating death at Valparaiso was in 1970 achieving 100% of the 39 home sites with outhouses. They had to dig their hole, then we provided the floor and the seat. They would then build the structure around it.

The Foundation help for altruistic activities made possible using our profits to expand our business projects and employ more needy Indians in helping them become independent and even be able to help their own people. The Foundation offered to help with our children's education, paying for Calvert School correspondence courses in English and we accepted that. 


With the English correspondence classes, Julie again became my “right hand man,” tutoring herself, as well as doing so for David and Cristina. They in turn tutored Richard and Joey.  Julie also was the first to begin a class for 6 little barefoot Indian children—including THE FIRST LITTLE GIRL from Valparaiso to get an education.  Eventually that evolved into us formally starting our own elementary school. 

Maria was busy taking care of the little children, eventually after Joey,   Marcia, Danny, Michelle, Cindy and Celestina.

See the FINAL REPORT for a complete view of educational efforts, as well as below in the panels of photos.  Also the tragic loss of Michelle. 


THE COMPETITION?  Strangely those who apparently looked at us as competition started a rumor that all was a scam for us to get rich.  Just the opposite was true as from our work and business profits we were always contributors to the Foundation using our time, property,  equipment, vehicles and more for Foundation projects, and often over the years sold old cows, pine trees, and even pieces of our property to be able to contribute the cash needed for Foundation projects.

How grateful we were and are for the amazing support and encouragement we received over these 50+ years. Thanks to each of you from the bottom of our heart.

Initially, the foundation was called the Cordell Andersen Foundation--but soon I insisted on changing the name to reflect better what we were doing, so for the next 40 years it was the Foundation for Indian Development.  In 2010 the name was changed again so that Google searches would guide people to aid projects among the Mayans in Guatemala, rather than leading them to altruistic activities among Indians in India--the name becoming the 

GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION.

On retiring the Foundation in 2017, as mentioned previously, an effort was made to do a FINAL REPORT of the 50 year-long adventure to experiment with an idea—

Much greater and colorful detail will be given in the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT
THE PHILOSOPHY & PRINCIPLES OF THE GOOD LIFE -- 
-- explained in item #4 of the FINAL REPORT, but summarized below:

THE PHILOSOPHY:
          1. The present Indigenous Mayans are descendants of a onetime progressive and advanced people described today by some as "THE GREEKS OF THE NEW WORLD."
=2.  As described in their own writings, the POPUL VUH, they lost an original "Sacred Book," and fell into a period of darkness with consequences they still suffer today.

         3.  The present indigenous peoples have the same potential for greatness, and are promised in their own writings a future of blossoming and prosperity.

THE PRINCIPLES of THE GOOD LIFE:
A formula of concepts they need to apply to
"Come out of darkness into the light and blossom."
1.  Be clean in all aspects of life
2.  Care properly for your body and nourish it well
3. Live in a clean & cleanable home & home site
4. Have a united family, parents and children loving each other
5. Education for all 
6.  Be industrious, but learn how to work productively
7. On achieving the Good Life, share with others.
 
  For those Mayans interested in religion, there were other principles:
1. Believe in and follow the God of this land who is Jesus Christ.
2. Believe that anciently they had a Sacred Book that had been lost, but now found.
3. Be obedient to Him and unite with others who believe in the same principles of progress.

The "idea" was designed to help effectively needy Mayan-Indians and other poor Guatemalans--not a band-aid fix, rather a 
PROGRAM OF TOTAL DEVELOPMENT.  
 It was a method that was believed could have world-wide application to help any needy people.   The effort was made to employ and save as many needy Mayans as possible, but on a broader long-term scale, we hoped our effort would:
Awaken other's interest in helping needy people--especially Individuals and institutions that would have the finances and expertise to apply the proven ideas on a very broad scale.....  
.......at which time we would happily fade away, and continue quietly as a family--living and working among Indians in remote areas not reached by normal altruistic institutions.
******************************
NOW....BACK TO THE EVOLUTION OF HISTORY

IMPORTANT NOTE: As described above our work involving many people, added to greatly by all the following developments, all requiring great quantities of potable water and electricity, none of which existed in the beginning.  THOSE DEVELOPMENTS WILL BE DESCRIBED IN DETAIL IN THE COMPLETE FINAL REPORT.

 ************************

Exactly four years after purchasing Valparaiso, on February 2, 1972 we became the owners in a sweet-heart deal of a bankrupt dairy in Coban..... 
......La Lecherias--Dairy--las Victorias
....that for 1 year was operated at its original site in Coban while we built  new dairy facilities at Valparaiso that included a modern milking parlor, processing facility, cold storage room, 5 new homes for dairy workers, new potable water system, and a diesel electric plant to operate the dairy & area--and later after we finally got line electricity, for emergencies.


On February 2, 1973, exactly one year after becoming owners of the dairy, and 5 years after purchasing Valparaiso, all was moved to Valparaiso and, me being in the cattle business--had a BYU Animal Husbandry professor, Keith Hoops,  visit and label me as a "rodeo clown"  because we didn't have alfalfa nor produce silage.  We rather had our livestock on high quality pasture 12 months a year rather than eating expensive hay and silage--and..... again had me laughing all the way to the bank and quickly paying off the large bank loan, while employing full-time 39 Guatemalans with much better than average wages, and supporting the family giving us time to dedicate ourselves to altruistic projects all over the country. 
 
It became the largest dairy in Northern Guatemala,  eventually with two of our cows and a heifer all defeating in a Livestock Show the Grand Champion of the Jersey Breed in all of Central America.   From the "bankrupt dairy's" production of 3.5 liters of milk daily per cow when we took over, we quickly solved serious problems and increased production per cow to 16.5 liters/day/cow, said to be the best in the country.  
I smilingly continue to have fun calling myself 
 "RODEO CLOWN!"

THE OPPOSITION
The author, or inventor of the gossip about our early failures, and he who said "To have success in Guatemala you had to use the bribe system .... and other unlawful business practices," for incomprehensible reasons couldn't see anything  good happening at Valparaiso,  and said, "Close down the Foundation, sell Valparaiso and go to the South Coast, buy a plantation, and make some money!"  
Since we didn't have a luxurious home with a swimming pool to entertain guests from the U.S., or go on nice vacations, etc., etc. we were still failures for him.
 "Saving thousands, and helping tens of thousands of Indians to receive an education," 
 wasn't apparently on his priority list. 
Up to mid-1970   we were on our own as the Andersen Family Peace Corp (1967-1970)--supporting ourselves and the projects previously listed.  Then from July 1970 on we continued with the help of the Foundation for Indian Development  that covered most of the altruistic projects.   The Foundation had never been part of our plan, nor requested--but much appreciated.  It was all an initiative of those in Provo, Utah interested in helping, spearheaded by my father, and is important regarding item #3 of the FINAL REPORT about the rumors and gossip that people conjured up in their minds.
GOOD PUBLICITY but also GOSSIP EVOLVED....
....FASCINATING TO SAY THE LEAST 
For the first 6 years, we were appreciative of a great deal of positive publicity we received from our own people--mostly from Utah, but also perplexed, and often amused by criticism of our efforts that all seemed to come from what we began calling "friendly fire."  It wasn't actually very friendly at all, but it did all come from our own people--LDS U.S. citizens living, working, and/or visiting in Guatemala--and interestingly all from people who had never visited us, but thought themselves to be experts and sadly believed by some important people. 
It was from them that came the gossip about my failures mentioned above and in the FINAL REPORT, items #1, #2, #3, & #10, etc. 
It seemed like certain people who admitted would never do what we were attempting, and who never even visited to see what was going on, were obsessed with finding something wrong in what we were doing and criticism got out of hand. I'll leave the psychological analysis in your hands.
I had come knowing there would be opposition but was pretty naive about not expecting it to come from my own people.  I should have known better as one of my heroes, whose example I was attempting to follow, Ammon, from the BOOK OF MORMON, was "laughed to scorn" by his own people for wanting to go on a self-appointed mission to help the Lamanites (as Mormons call the Indians).
ENCOURAGING VISIT FROM SPENCER W. KIMBALL

By 1971 I was reminded about this when LDS Apostle, Spencer W. Kimball, on a visit to Guatemala City for Conference of the Guatemala City Stake, requested a visit with me. I made the long trip to Guatemala City taking with 4 of our youths called to be local missionaries. In a private visit Brother Kimball  congratulated me for what I was doing, suggested ways to promote the Foundation, and then warned,
"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 we could call low level "friendly fire,"  but I'm not sure whether he also perceived it would come from some of his companions in Church leadership.  I soon was prepared for almost anything—although I’ll admit years later that I wasn’t a very good diplomat, as I had ingrained in me what I learned as a young, very short kid bullied by everyone, TO NOT TAKE ANY GUFF FROM ANYONE  and be HONEST calling a SPADE A SPADE.   
Bullying and dishonesty fired up my competitive genes--especially when it was hurting our life saving work.  If the perpetrators thought such would shut me down and end my effort, they were very mistaken.    I'm still working hard to find a way to report the truth in a way that will awaken a spirit of decency in honest people, and end up being a blessing for justice and truth because..
...DESCENT PEOPLE APOLOGIZE WHEN THEY ARE WRONG. 
I could not accept false stories, lies, and injustices no matter who they came from nor whether their motives in some perverted way had some noble objective in the perpetrator's imagination.  Strangely--telling the truth time after time got me in trouble, but interestingly, in the words of Harold Brown, "embarrassed" the leaders into taking action. In fact "telling the truth...and getting into trouble,"  is basically what had me putting on hold the original FINAL REPORT, and presently doing my best to improve it so as to result in even more necessary change.  
 “Something was wrong”  repeated many times over the years,  presenting the need for change, but also the dilemma:  How to write honestly the FINAL REPORT and have it result in GOOD?

HAROLD BROWN'S SURPRISE VISIT
In 1973 we learned from friend and LDS Regional Representative in Central America, Harold Brown, who surprised us with a visit  and in a Church meeting explained it was being rumored that: 
 1.) I was crazy for what I was attempting (and I guess my wife, Maria, just stupid);
 2.) That so many years had gone by because I was afraid to return to the U.S. as I would have to face prosecution for something horrible I had done, and, 
3.) I was giving a charitable appearance to our life, but it was a scam as my real purpose, according to the gossipers, was to build myself a business empire using the Foundation and the LDS Church TO GET RICH. 



As explained in the FINAL REPORT, Harold Brown, revealed to us the above criticism, then went on to explain in that meeting that he didn't believe any of that, told the Ammon story, and began calling our effort "Ammon-like" and described forcefully his heartfelt belief in our effort, having the packed congregation all in tears.  He became our supporter and friend all of his life, while many others failed. (item #12)
More details of this visit will be described in the RELIGIOUS HISTORY, as part of the FINAL REPORT.
UNFOUNDED CRITICISM..
..BASED ON MISINFORMATION...& ITS OUTCOME!
Until all of that reached an important climax in January 1973--saved finally in November by the angelic visit of Harold Brown, I was having such an incredible time realizing my dream--beyond anything I had imagined possible so quickly, my previous intense interests in BYU sports,  hunting, fishing, and the High Uintas had been pushed into the background of my life. However, the unfair ambush by people I had never dreamed would be our opposition, had me reacting as I did as a child and teenager to bullies, "to not take any guff from anyone," which unfair, untruthful, and unjust bullying motivated me to do more.  Yet, eventually, as it persisted, I'll confess I was affected deeply, my wife much more so, along with my kids, and  I became very disappointed resulting in me all of a sudden wanting more contact with the world of Utah.
So, first, I bought a roll of copper wire and installed it as a radio antenna from the Central House at Valparaiso 150 yards up to the top of the tallest pine above us.....hoping even to pick up at night KSL radio from Salt Lake City. 

 Later, when the Utah Jazz moved from New Orleans to Utah, with games on KSL radio in the beginning, I found that I could pick up the last quarter of night games on my pickup radio by driving way up the mountain into guerrilla territory on the edge of the Chixoy Canyon where I had a direct line on Salt Lake. In the spooky darkness, I'd listen to "Hotrod" Hundley announce excitedly the last quarter of games--and I became the...... 
......Utah Jazz fan who risked his life most to support the team.
Later, at the Farm of the Holy Man, from 1994 until 2002, our dish antennae made possible us watching those great games against the Chicago Bulls for the NBA Championship as seen in the picture on the right with John Stockton on the TV in our living room.  (see item #28). 
With me are my five children from the 2nd marriage--I'll explain clearly in the FINAL REPORT.  From 1994 on as a Mr. Mom I spent 20 years alone raising these 5, who are:  Cordel Ammon "Lito," Nephi, Mahana, Aura, and Jesse.
But, back to 1973-74 and the disappointment of amazing success being ambushed by "friendly fire," and the beginning of the renewed interests mentioned--we began thinking of making our first trip to the U.S. in 7 years, take in BYU football games, do a little fishing and go deer hunting. 
 With Maria,  it had almost ended our marriage, but  for all the rest of her years in Guatemala it resulted in her wanting to go to Coban often with our delivery vehicle and associate with relatively educated, high-class Ladino women and other friends.  
By 1981, when I moved her back to  Provo, Utah because of the guerrilla war, she admitted that unjust criticism and lack of gratitude from Church leaders--and especially the blaming of us for "illegal adoption work," while letting those actually responsible, who had lied--  go unscathed and afterward even given higher callings, had her concluding that her years in Guatemala had "been hell,"  and she never wanted to live there again. 
 Note:  The international adoption scandal story is told in item #18 in the FINAL REPORT.
However, in some ways, this change in reverting to previous interests maybe wasn't such a bad idea, as perhaps it helped us have a little more balance and variety in our lives--and did give us the experience we never imagined would be part of our lives dedicated to the Lamanites. 
So, by 1974 we had our business projects functioning successfully with our original Vocational Students--now employees--running the business.  We began thinking about making a Fall trip back to Utah.  But, we only had two work vehicles so had to consider flying--with the Foundation promising us a vehicle for a return trip if we could get to Utah on our own. 


So--we did as always when Foundation money was lacking for a project,  we sold a bunch of old cows for slaughter, got on a Pan American 747 jumbo jet and made our first vacation trip--and,  rather than be put in jail for whatever, we were treated like war heroes returning from the front lines.  From then on we usually made a trip each Fall, and sometimes in between, like I did in 1978 when needing to get a delivery van for our business-- a funny story told at the end of the FINAL REPORT.

On the 1974 trip, the  Foundation provided us with a Plymouth Van for our family transportation as well as for everything else we were doing.  We see it below on the left after our return trip, which included driving all the way up to Seattle, putting a Fireside on arranged by my brother Marlo, and then down the coast, putting on several Firesides along the way and ending at my sister Gayle's home in San Diego for Thanksgiving.  Then entering Mexico and driving down Lower California and from La Paz took a ferry to Mazatlan and on to Guatemala--thus adding to our original trip and beginning to accumulate over the next 30 years many, many miles traveling through Mexico and having some very memorable, and scary experiences.
The pickup is loaded with my Vocational Students on the way to some activity.

A GUERRILLA THREAT ENDED MARIA'S & THE FAMILY'S 
14 YEAR AMMON-LIKE  MISSION.

In 1981 a "death threat" from  the guerrillas led to me quickly taking Maria and the kids back to Utah--ending Maria's exceptional "Ammon-like 14 year mission"  helping to make possible a great work among the Mayans, as well as great contributions from all of my children who never faltered in being with me in the adventure. Without their 14-year contribution, laying a great foundation for success, I would likely have never been able to do very much.
After establishing the family in a rental home in Provo, Utah and getting them a car for transportation, I was quickly back in Guatemala as I had to keep the business going that supported us, as well as continue the Foundation projects.
But, I had to do so clandestinely--disguised and armed as there was evidence that a rebel group of guerrillas refused to obey the main leader in our part of the country who had told his troops to leave me and the plantation alone.  But, the Central House Family ended as threats from the rebel group of the house being torched had no one wanting to live there anymore.  I had to hustle to find safe homes for everyone.
I also had to keep the family going in Utah, so I began spending two months in Guatemala, then 2 months in Utah, making 5 to 6 trips a year to keep everything going in both countries.  At that time I also became AYUDA's  (see item #23) representative in Guatemala as that aid organization's representatives from the U.S. decided it too dangerous to travel to Guatemala, and eventually AYUDA disappeared and we kept their projects in Cunen going on our own for the next 10 years.
During all those years, with traveling back and forth every two months,  I accumulated around 500,000 miles of travel.
Below we see the family back in Utah, including for 18 months the outstanding student and member of the Central House Family, Moncho, or Victor Ramon Yat Valdez, we see him to Maria's right in the background.  Today in 2020 he is Bishop Victor Valdez, of the Valparaiso LDS Ward.
And it seemed like on every one of those trips I narrowly escaped serious accidents and likely death, as well as having many dangerous experiences.
During my months in Guatemala--over 10 years, I quite miraculously escaped from the guerrillas a few times and once at Valparaiso we were in the middle of a shoot-out between the Army and guerrillas after which my Dodge delivery van was used to carry dead and wounded to Coban--all Army and guerrillas, with nobody from Valparaiso ever injured.
Previously me and   my Indian brothers literally had to fight off invaders and put many in jail;  Then  in the 90's--when we were  back in the Central House, with my new wife, Maria Elena,  we had to deal with a well organized "mafia," called "Los Colitas,"  murderous bandits--posing as guerrillas,  who assaulted us, catching me off-guard and threatening to take my wife into the mountains unless I gave them all our money and weapons--they got a sub-machine gun, and a couple of pistols, but I talked them out of taking my dad's Browning .22 rifle,  but, because I reported the assault  to the police and Army, the thugs promised to kill my family and burn down the Central House!
But,  I was determined to not let that happen--re-armed quickly and night after night I was waiting in ambush to eliminate them--the ambusher always with a tremendous advantage, each night in a different position.  I was armed (this will sound quite Quixotic) with my father's Browning .22 rifle--but loaded with deadly "Israeli Terminator bullets" (not available to the public), plus my Para Ordinance .45 pistol and  back-up .380,  and fully intended to become a "MODERN AMMON"--who killed 7 rustlers of the King's flocks and gained the confidence of the King and people.

 NOTE:  The "Colitas" were saved from me by being arrested by government security forces and I got back my sub-machine gun!  I  participated in the trial and have the only video VHS tape of the  "Los Colitas" trial of those who were captured.

CONCLUSIONS

Well, to say the least, our family, and this "RODEO CLOWN,"  had the time of our lives with adventure after adventure and a bit of success along with Harold  Brown informing us that we achieved our objective of awakening the interest of helping needy people among individuals and institutions that would have the finances and expertise to apply the proven ideas on a very large scale. He explained our efforts  had....
 ....stimulated the organization of LDS world-wide welfare services....
.....which he admitted we would never get credit for--except from him, and now almost 50 years later has me smile gratefully every time I see a TV report by the LDS Church about their World-wide Humanitarian Services projects all around the world.  The step by step evolution of our influence in that will all be explained in good detail in the FINAL REPORT--mainly in item #11--of which, as I now look back on the 50+ years of effort, has me almost incredulous that it could all have happened--while at the same time feeling profoundly grateful for the blessing it all was in my life, that of my family, and importantly among many thousands of Guatemalans.  
You'll get that point once you see the complete FINAL REPORT. 
For example,   In doing thousands of medical treatments every year, especially in the first 15 years,  3 times dealing with deadly rabies, then treating almost  every tropical and deadly sickness known to man-- tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria, dengue, typhoid, typhus, tetanus, amoebic dysentery, and all kinds of intestinal infections, etc. and a continuing epidemic of malnutrition, kwashiorkor (protein deficiency)-- 
--and I even did an emergency hernia surgery that I  had a lot of fun retelling at BYU's 1977 Education Week in item #17, that tells the story of receiving that year the
 BYU Distinguished Service Award--and,  while saving others from those serious diseases and conditions at times  found myself coming down with the same,  and then..... had to save myself. 
I yelled for my kids to bring me my medical bag!
******************
For a number of years, we also helped sponsor the.....
....NATIONAL INDIAN FOLKLORE FESTIVAL...
.....but then decided our local area needed our help most, so for 14 consecutive years we sponsored, along with the Foundation,  the INDIAN FOLKLORE FESTIVAL in Santa Cruz Verapaz,   and I was privileged each year with crowning the new queen and blessed with unique opportunities to participate in their private religious ceremonies and I was even permitted to take rare video footage.
Below we see a photograph of the country-wide Mayan candidates for the
National Indigenous Folklore Festival,
called by some
"THE MOST COLORFUL INDIGENOUS EVENT 
IN THE AMERICAS"
......each with their distinct typical clothing, language, and customs.

The FESTIVAL is held in Coban on the last Saturday in July each year.


As explained near the beginning of this post..........the FESTIVAL is to show to the world the colorful and fascinating Indigenous cultures of Mayan-Guatemala and to choose the  INDIAN QUEEN, or as they call her in all of the 23 different indigenous languages, 
"DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF HEAVEN!" 

On one float we see a very significant statement composed by a Mayan Priest  who told me how through visions he was prepared by ”Nahual Gwinak,”  the white, bearded Holy Man who had visited them anciently.
Princess Carolina Moran
Princess Norma Laj

 
Marta Elena Hun, above, 15 years old, in her competition for “Daughter of the King of Heaven,” in 1985, shocked all by appearing dressed in a quipil made from  a flour sack, and a tattered skirt, both over 100 years old, and in her speech explained:
 “I’m  dressed in the legitimate clothing of my people, while the very colorful and beautiful ceremonial clothing used by all the candidates, is rather a disguise for our misery and suffering!  Those who really care about the Mayans should be doing something about the sick, the malnourished, the poor suffering masses!” 
She went on to tie in the competition with a 21 year old school teacher from San Marcos who was able to give a more complete reply to a question and won, Marta Elena taking 2nd place, but for me she was the
“Daughter of the King of Heaven”
Princess Marta Elena Hun
***************************
For us Andersen's and the Foundation it was a blessing to help in these great activities along with an unending chain of projects in every one of the 33 villages of Santa Cruz Verapaz, as well as surrounding areas, all the way down into the Polochic Valley, and across the country in the Central Highlands, mostly centered on Patzicia and Patzun having fulfilled the goal of......

......."SAVING THOUSANDS, & MAKING EDUCATION AVAILABLE TO MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS," 
which blessing we will always cherish.
*************************** 

I have now finished the COMPLETE FINAL REPORT with the  unvarnished story--

 "before it's too late."   

For more details my extensive files and many journals

will be be donated to a University library, and will have to be used to unravel more of the life-long 

"Checkered Faith & Work Journey"--
if anyone is interested in the challenge. 

And, it will be a risky challenge as demonstrated by one LDS General Authority--who had heard a scandalous version of my history and demanded I confess--so as I began a 2 hour long recounting of my history....his first response was, "The devil was deceiving you," but I continued undeterred, with him later shockingly injecting, "Satan was trying to destroy you!"  But unbothered I continued with him gradually changing his attitude, eventually saying, 
"Well, there might be something to this,"  
as for a brief moment he comprehended and then counseled  me, saying,  
"If you tell too little, or too much they won't understand.
Don't tell anyone as no one will understand!" 
On the other hand, one unique man, Harold Brown, showed that it was possible to understand fairly by having an.....
 .....unbiased open mind, an understanding heart, and 
a spiritually perceptive spirit.
Brother Brown is sadly gone. But, I hope and pray a few such individuals
still  exist and will be interested as it was a life worth living and a history
of great value to understand fairly as did Brother Brown--so I  will now  stick my neck out and give all a chance to understand as part of the 
COMPLETE FINAL REPORT which follows.  
****************************
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT,
YOU ARE DEEPLY APPRECIATED AND LOVED. 
************************

FOLLOWS THE

 Part 3  the critical  conclusions   

*******

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 #29. 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.

 
*****************************************
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."
***************************
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."
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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 "

THE LONG-TERM POTENTIAL OF OUR EFFORTS?

One of the promotional firesides presented by my father was to his LDS Stake High Priest Quorum members and their wives.  One of them, a brother Paul E. Felt, previously the Director of the BYU Lamanite Development Program, who was by then the ex-Mission President of the Church’s  Southwest Indian Mission, and afterwards a Professor of Religion at BYU, after the fireside he published in a report the following describing the long-term outcome of the Foundation’s work: 

“I is not unlikely that within a few decades it will be recognized that the most significant work among the Lamanites of our century is that being undertaken by the Foundation for Indian Development and the Cordell Andersen family!”

To give proper understanding to this amazing prediction we’ve got to keep in mind not only the direct work undertaken, but also the stimulus it was for statements you’ll read about  by Harold Brown, referring to the work stimulating LDS Church leaders to organize what today is LDS World Wide Humanitarian Services,  and work that was started in areas like Guatemala’s Polochic area, so far creating among rural Lamanites 2 LDS Stakes (Senahu & Chulac), and possibly by now a 3rd – (Sacsuha),  and methods—The Good Life,  and teaching techniques all described in this FINAL REPORT.   In addition  seeds were planted all over among the tens of thousands helped get an education that are sprouting everywhere—all with an unending potential future

READ ON TO SEE IF THERE MIGHT BE ANY TRUTH IN HIS PREDICTION.

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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

 The original idea of creating a simple movie theater in Coban had been acted upon by several of my friends by the time we arrived, so the plan changed to a traveling movie visiting four of the most isolated communities in the country, but expanded after the first tour to six:  Chicaman, San Miguel Uspantan, Cunen, Sacapulas, Aguacatan and Nebaj,

By the end of August I had the family into the rental house, needed furniture on order with local carpenters, and I moved fast for our first project—the traveling movie—CINE CHAPINLANDIA.  

Over 5 months we achieved 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 wasPRIVATE 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.
Alfredo Rodas, in the dark sweater was borrowing benches from the Catholic Church.

HOW & WHERE IT ALL DEVELOPED

  Early in September, with my partner, Alfredo Rodas, I left Coban heading west  scheduled to visit Chicaman, San Miguel Uspantan, Cunen and Sacapulas. 

CHICAMAN:  From San Cristobal it took us a bit over an hour to descend into the Chixoy Canyon, cross the river and switchback up to 4,823 foot elevation Chicaman—a small town with no electricity.  After arriving we went directly to talk to the mayor, explaining our project and asked if there was a place we could use as a theater.  He was excited about a movie coming to town and explained that the only place available was the abandoned Catholic Church and promised to put some workers to cleaning it up.  Another of his aids took us to the school and our suggestion of educational movies was immediately accepted and soon we were entertaining the children.  We used the free movie to have the children let everybody know that at 7:00 PM there would be  movies costing .10 and .15 cents.


As soon as we got set up for the show we drove around town and with our public address system, a speaker you can see on top of the camper, we announced the show.  It was a smashing success some bringing their own chairs, and we announced that in two weeks there would be two showings:  5:00 & 8:00 PM.

 

San Miguel USPANTAN:  It took about another hour to get there.  A much larger and more developed town than Chicaman.  At nearly 6,000 ft. elevation, and with electricity.  A village of Uspantan within a few years would produce a NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER, an Indian woman, Rigoberta Menchu.  Uspantan today is well known for the archaeological site of Chitinamit, believed to be Jakawitz, the first capital of the K'iche' Maya.

We immediately looked for the mayor who was happy to let us use the Municipal Hall, except that there were basically no benches.  Soon we were showing educational movies at the school, then had the evening show at 7:00 announcing that next time there would be two showings, and suggested they bring their own chairs.

Santa Maria  CUNEN: On Wednesday we traveled west about another hour and came to Cunen, at about the same elevation as Uspantan—6,000 feet.  It is a small town with no electricitry found in a valley with wheat fields, as well as corn carpeting the valley



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was here that a few years later Utah based AYUDA INC. established their project under the supervision of Jim Penrod, his wife Aurora, and kids.  They spent 18 months here.  Fifteeen years later when AYUDA disappeared, we took over and kept the projects alive for 10 years.

We immediately talked to the mayor who was happy to let us use the Municipal Hall, but which had no benches.  We would begin to remedy that problem, as I’ll explain in a moment, and eventually supplied all our towns with benches.

We showed movies at the school, and then went around town announcing the evening movie which was again a great success.

SACAPULAS:  On Thursday we left Cunen, climbed up to a low pass, and dropped down to the Sacapulas River, and the town located at about 4,000 ft. elevation. The Catholic Church and Municipal buildings had been damaged by earthquakes and so we found the mayor in temporary quarters.  He was happy with our project but had no where to show a movie, but sent us to the Catholic Convent.  The priests and nuns were happy with our project and invited us to use the patio when the weather was good, and their temporary chapel if there was rain.  They invited us to pull into their compound and spend the night there.

We had great success there as you can see with my photo of an outdoor show.

 

This is Cine Chapinlandiain 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. 

I had a most memorable experience there 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!

RE-EVALUATING OUR PROJECT

On Friday morning we reviewed what had happened and decided that we had to add on two more towns to make it six for the week and take advantage of the long journey to increase the income..  It would be exhausting but we would then have a week off to do any needed pickup repairs, make a quick trip to the City to get more movies, and have time to cut out wood for benches we would pile on top of the camper and assemble in each town—one at a time until all had benches.

The head Priest suggested we add on AGUACATAN, about another hour west, and NEBAJ, a fairyland town on the north slope of the Cuchumatanes Mountains.  It was accessed from the pass between Sacapulas and Cunen, the road then climbing a 10,500 foot pass to then drop down to Nebaj at 6,200 feet, the home of the IXIL Indians.

So on our next tour, on Friday, after Sacapulas we  headed west to:

AGUACATAN:  It is located at 4,480 ft. elevation, and is unique with a language called Awakateko .  It was a fairly large town and had electricity.  Talking to the mayor we discovered that a Catholic Priest was showing movies, but the mayor encouraged us to go ahead as we promised good quality movies, plus the educational ones, including free movies at the school. The mayor interestingly was an Evangelist, so liked the competition for the Catholic Priest. We would use the Municipal Hall, that had no benches, so on our next tour we were assembling benches in the street as you see Rodas doing below.


We had great success here, mainly because we found a very enthusiastic 16 year old, Miguel Ishmael Chavez, who spoke the native language and as we plied the streets of the town he would grab the microphone and with great enthusiasm go to work promoting the movies in Spanish and in Awakateko

Miguel Ishmael would later join us at Valparaiso as a Vocational Student, and got involved in everything we were doing.  Then one day he disappeared to only return later, when we sent him to work with Carl Jacob in his strawberry project.  Miguel would eventually be baptized into the LDS Church in Patzun.  Later he joined us again with his
wife Elena.

 

To the left we see Miguel with Rodas after joining us. To the right we see him a few years later helping with a drunk.

In recent years I got back in contact with him from Atlanta, Georgia where he was for a while, but is back in Coban and now, 54 years after we met,  are still in touch.

From there, on Saturday, we drove back to the pass above Sacapulas.  There we had a unique experience related to the modern Sacred Book of the Indians—THE BOOK OF MORMON.

COINCIDENTAL EXPERIENCE RELATED TO THE GEOGRAPHY

OF THE BOOK OF MORMON

At what let’s call “The Cunen/Sacapulas Pass,”  we met two Indians with huge loads on their backs.  They said they were coming from Santa Cruz del Quiche and hiking to the Peten to sell their products.  NOTE:  A careful study of the BOOK OF MORMON, to determine how long it took to travel following the mountain trails from the “Land of Nephi,” to the “Land of Zarahemla” I came up with the journey taking them 20-21 days.

 Now back to our chat with the two Indians hiking from the Highlands to the Peten.  I asked them how long it took them.  Their reply, “Twenty-one days!” PERFECT  HARMONY WITH THE BOOK OF MORMON.

 From there we  began grinding our way up to the 10,500 foot pass, and started our descent to all of a suddewn have appear like a vision the Ixil town of NEBAJ appeaing way below surrounded by fields of wheat.

Santa Maria NEBAJ:   The Municipal Hall was large and part of a town complex that occupied a rectangular building with a large patio in the middle surrounded by a corridor, and offices. The patio had become a basketball court, and had been roofed over with a high oval roof.  The mayor told us that would be our theater.  They had a lot of benches that could be arranged there.  We somehow installed two pulleys up high and with rope would hoist our movie screen frame up so all could see the movies.  The Police Station was on the far side, with jail cells opening onto the corridor, so those in jail could watch the movies for free.

We had great success here with only an evening show as it couldn’t be darkened for a daytime show.  After the movie we would pack up and by 11:00 PM head for home, usually arriving by 5:00 AM, so we could rest a little and then direct the Church services.

PROBLEMS:  Several times when there were heavy rains, the road to the pass was blocked by large fallen trees  and we couldn’t get around the blockage, and had to backtrack to Nebaj to spend the night.  We sent telegrams advising our families, and Maria and the women had to take over and hold what we called a Sunday School.  Each of those two times the road was eventually cleared and we would finally make it home by Sunday afternoon.

  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 towns, 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, plus paying Alfredo Rodas his salary—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. 

 Important NOTE:  This approach was in harmony with what Ammon did to have great success in his missionary work.  When captured and confronted by the Lamanite King he didn’t instantly call him to repentance preaching the Gospel of Christ, rather told him he wanted to live among them and was happy to become a servant helping taking care of the King’s animals. In time, by doing an exceptional job helping the King where he needed help, the way was opened up for him to preach and did so with incredible success.  On the other hand his brothers tried the direct approach and ended up in jail

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 
              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!

MANUEL HAD A SERIOUS ALCOHOLISM PROBLEM &

WANTED “the pill” TO SOLVE IT

For the first two months at the Farm we continued every other week with the traveling movie and Manuel had to be totally responsible, including daily taking the  egg production on the bus to our store.  Maria informed me that sometimes it was Julia who brought the eggs.  Something was wrong and one Sunday I found him drunk with Julia trying hard to do all of his work.  We had a serious talk and I gave him one more chance to get control of his life.  He failed and according to my word he was to be fired.

He came to me still drunk and cried like a baby begging me to give him “the pill” he assumed Rodas and me took to keep us from drinking.

I told him the “pill” was found in my faith in Jesus Christ and being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He said he wanted to learn, so I began giving him and Julia lessons and  there was a positive response and all went well. 

ANOTHER AMAZING COINCIDENCE AMONG MANY

For the litter in our chicken coops, we used the dry coffee shell, called “cascabillo” we would get for free at the coffee beneficiaries.  At the one we went to on the outskirts of Coban, I would work with the workers there to fill and load bags that weighed around 150 lbs. Among the Indian workers there was a young man 17 years old who looked more European.  He was Miguel Angel Ortiz Rossi, of Italian descent, called in Guatemala a “Ladino, “ but he was different working hard alongside Indian workers as friends.  

We came to know him, and even invited him to Church in Coban and he came.  But all of a sudden he and his mother moved to Guatemala City.  I told him whenever he returned he would be welcome at Valparaiso we had during that period become owners.

He would a year or so later appear at Valparaiso when I had lost my manager, Alfredo Rodas, to serious sickness and wasn’t expected to live.  I was struggling to manage everything without knowing the Pokomchi/Maya language.  Miguel became my partner in training as a Vocational Student, learning from me how to work with poultry, hogs, cattle, and do accounting.  We managed the plantation together as luckily again, as had been the case with Alfredo Rodas, he was originally from San Cristobal and he spoke Pokomchi.  He is seen in the first “Mob” picture with our Joey in his arms.

A year later when 18 I made him the manager.  He would be with us for two critical periods.

FARM SOLD TO CONSOLIDATE ALL EFFORTS AT VALPARAISO 

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.  Manuel and Julia wanted to go with us to Valparaiso which they did and  there they lived in the Central House and he took charge of the poultry.

 

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