It's all right, we're doctors!
by David N. Muxo
My second companion,
Hugo Boren, was a district leader or something, and from time to time I would
be dispatched to work temporarily with an elder who was getting ready to go home.
Some were already on their trunks, and some were still red hot. But there was
one who was just plain. . .
Allow me to explain. Names will be changed to protect the innocent, in this case
me, because I can't remember the elder's real name. Anyway, Elder X I'll call
him, had spent almost his entire mission working up in the mountains with the
indian population. Suffice it to say that his social skills had dulled somewhat.
He was, however, a voracious tracter. He loved to tract. Only one other time in
my mission did I tract so much. I was glad to get back to Elder Boren, who was
no slouch himself in the tracting department.
Elder X, however, was unsurpassed at his ability to get in the door. We got into almost
every one! Apparently he had honed his considerable skill in the cauldron of
the Quiche indian temperament. He had learned to overcome objections, sometimes
at the expense of the, dare I say it? The Truth! . . . There, I feel better.
I will illustrate by recounting one incident out of many. We approached a
nondescript door. Nothing special about it. He sprang into action without even
giving me a chance to take my turn! He lived to triumph! This man had obviously
never known the agony of defeat!
Knock! Knock! The maid came to the door. He lit up, obviously already having
planned the whole conversation after only a glance at her indian face. He asked
for the lady of the house. The stock response was, "No esta. Se fue a hacer un
mandado" (She's not here. She went out). His next move left me in the dust. He was
obviously ready for that maneuver. In his best military voice he boomed
"Go and tell her that we'll be back later!" The maid dutifully disappeared into
the interior of the fortifications to relay the message to her commander. Now he
had her! The lady
of the house, realizing that her maid had blundered, sent the following counter-attack.
"Tell him I'm sick!"
My companion sliced into her excuse with the precision of a scalpel-wielding
surgeon. Without hesitation he said, "Its all right,
we're doctors!" The maid disappeared into the plague-infested sick rooms to relay
this miracle to the patient. Nearing the end of her rope, the lady of
the house said, "Tell him I'm dying!" and she prepared to die.
She had obviously never dealt with a Mormon missionary on a mission. His mission
was to get into that house! And he would not be denied. With supreme confidence
he announced, in a voice loud enough for the neighbors and the angels to hear,
that we were...
I hesitate. Thirty years later I cannot formulate the words without shuddering. I
hasten to add that I did NOT in any way encourage my companion. I shall proclaim
my innocence before the Final Tribunal!
"It's all right, WE ARE PRIESTS!" The words hit me like a lightning bolt! Then
he said, "We are here to give her a blessing!" I think the maid may have crossed
herself, I'm not sure. She backed slowly away into the
darkness, then turned and ran, carrying the coup-de-grace to her mistress. The poor
lady of the house gave up. What if he really were a priest? She sent the maid to
invite us in.
I asked him in English, "What if she doesn't recover?" You see, I was as quick as
the maid was. He smiled and said, "Its OK. If she dies then it won't matter, and
if she recovers then she'll think it was because of us."
And with that he strode into the house, conqueror of all he surveyed.