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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.