It occurred to me the other day that I have yet to talk about my brother serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later day Saints, which is a real shame because what he is doing is so awesome. In just an other week or two it will have been a year since Jason Drain left to serve in the Bogota, Columbia North Mission. Jason likes to refer to himself as a 'ginnypig', as he is one of ten American missionaries that has been sent back into Columbia since it closed around 8 years ago. The idea is to watch and see if they survive before the send any more in. As you can imagine my parents found great comfort in this. Here are Jason's top 4 missionary stories, or as we like to refer to them, close calls:
So I guess that you did hear about the earthquake down here. It was thestrangest feeling but way cool at the same time. When the earthquake startedwe were in the church filling up the baptismal fount. I was leaning upagainst one of the walls and felt the wall start to move and everything inmy head was swirling around, I thought that I was about to faint. But then Ilooked at the water in the baptismal fount and it was sloshing around fromside to side with big waves. At that moment I realized that it was anearthquake and my comp. and I started laughing. It was the first time thateither of us had been in an earthquake and it was way cool. Nothing muchhappened I heard that it lasted 26 seconds and ways at 5.5 on the Richterscale but there wasn't any damage done. I did hear about china in fact justthis morning, pretty crazy huh?
What happened was we were at one of the members houses eating lunch and theyserved us a bunch of rice and salad with meat and chicken. I was so happywhen we started eating because the food was way good. While I was eating themeat I cut me off a piece and began chewing when I realized that this pieceof meat was full of the nerve of the cow. These parts are extremely hard andimpossible to chew. So what I ended up doing was to chew this part of meatfor about 2 min without any success. I finally came to the point were I hadto either spit out the meat or try to swallow it. With everyone around Ithought it would be better to pray and swallow it. As soon as I did that Iimmediately thought better. The meat lodged itself in my throat and Icouldn't talk or breathe for a couple of seconds. I tried to force it downeven more and I got to the point were I could breath but the pain wasterrible. I can't describe it. My companion and the sister that was with menoticed right off the bat and tried to help me but the meat was lodged inthere for good. So we called the hospital and they told us to do theHeimlich but that didn't it help at all so we ended up going to thehospital. It was so bad that by the time that we got to the hospital I wasjust about ready to die and give it up but they helped me and with all myeffort I was able to spit up the devilish meat. It was one experience that Ithink I will never forget. So far in the mission I think I have been one ofthe missionaries who has given hma Camargo the most stress hahaha.
Last Tuesday night my comp. and I were walking to the church and we gotmobbed by a couple of drunk kids. It is a long story but all in all we endedup getting in a fight and I got punched in the shoulder nothing to bad. Whatwas sad was that my comp got punched in the face a couple a times andkicked, mainly because he tried to fight back. It was a tough experience togo through but things are alright now. Although our mission pres. said thatwe can’t go back into that area.
Yesterday Elder Santos and I were leaving a district meeting and headingtoward lunch. We were walking down a street searching for the member's housethat we were going to eat at when two boys (about 18 years old) pulled up ontheir bicycles. One of them pulled out a gun and told us to hand over everthing we had. I looked at the gun that he was pointing at us and thought ohman were being robbed by a couple of punk kids with a toy gun. I'm prettysure it was fake because you can't buy guns here in Colombia. So I told themquickly all I have are my scriptures and nothing else. The boy nearest to mewithout the gun asked for a cell phone and started searching through all ofmy pockets. I wasn't to nervous because I didn't have a cell phone oranything else on me except for five dollars. While he was frisking mypockets he never found my wallet which was a miracle. While he wassearching my pockets Elder Santos opened up his bag and said all we have arebooks. The robbers got really upset that we had nothing on us and what wasabsolutely hilarious was that the boy who was searching my pockets said "Ohyeah they don't have anything I know these guys" and he turned to me andshook my hand and said "You've got to be careful around here there are a lotof robberies". Of course there are a lot of robberies you idiot you are theone robbing people. It all happened in about 30 seconds and then they wereoff on their bikes and we were laughing about how stupid they were.
Besides escaping death, Jason also teaches the gospel to tons of great people, and is learning to speak Spanish very well. One of the perks of having only 10 other American missionaries in your entire country means you are completely engulfed in the language. After speaking to him at Christmas and on Mother's Day I can say with confidence that he will return as one of those missionaries that can hardly remember English.