Tuesday, October 11, 2016

In a tight situation

Getting the door panel off.

Elder MacGyver to the rescue!

Okay, so I want to say before I start, all of this happened to me two weeks ago. The story that goes with this experience is crazy!!

So, it is Wednesday and we have just eaten lunch. We are getting ready to leave a bit early so that we could get a head start on the service project that we had already started at the kindergarten where we are painting a small mural. But, before we head out, we stopped by the church to meet with the elders quorum president to talk to him about some of the people that we could maybe help him with. We are going through a pretty large list with him when Bryan shows up with his grandmother to the church to take care of an activity that they would be having in another hour or so. While we are conversing about the different families that we could help, Bryan had a couple questions about his missionary folder and asked if I could help him with it. I told him I could for sure help him and we went back to the secretary of the church. The secretary is a room where the computers, all the electronics for the wi-fi, and a television are kept. They are kept there because the secretary is a sort of metal vault. I'm not sure of the exact reason why it is so heavy duty. Two guesses are one, because there is private information about members of that particular church stored in that room like phone numbers, addresses and other things. The other guess is because it is kind of necessary to keep electronics like computers, routers, and televisions under lock and key.  They still aren't super common in South America.

A quick side story to help y'all understand this a little better. Right before I got to Chile last January the church in which I was assigned was broken into and the secretary was cut open with like an industrial blow torch. I'm not sure exactly what it was but it left some huge burn marks on the walls. This was all done just to get a TV, a computer,and the monitor to go with the computer. So that's why it is necessary to have the vaults as storage. Anyways, back to the story.

I help Bryan finish up his work as Elder Gali is finishing talking about the list. As we are leaving, I thought it would be funny to shut the door behind me and close Bryan in the room. I did it, and it was funny. I let him out and all was good in the world. But then,  I had to grab something out from the secretary before we could head out to do the service project. I got what I needed... but as some pay back, Bryan closed the door on me and locked the vault door just like I had done to him. But this time, when he tried to let me out something happened with one of the rods in the door and it got stuck in place. That is how I got stuck in a vault last week...... And everything after that went something like this. The president of the branch coming and trying to tackle the door down, which didn't work and just made a ton of noise. The mammita that we eat lunch with telling me to stay relaxed and just watch a movie on the computer (which I didn't do). Some maintenance workers or contractors that came and then cussed at the door because it was some fancy German brand. I never actually saw these two guys. And then, the fire department with the big saw they had that they didn't actually get to use.

Back tracking a little bit, as soon as the door was found out to be closed and not opening on its own I started trying to find out if there was a way that I could get out that wasn't the door. I checked the roof, it was solid metal. I checked the walls, concrete. And so once I started to realize that I was only going to get out through the door, I started to think of ways that I could ether break the door more or fix it enough to get out. The biggest problem I had was that I had no tools with me. Most of the stuff that was in the secretary was too expensive for me to want to break. So of the stuff that I felt comfortable taking apart I had, an old radio, my watch, a fork, and some older ether net cables. After a ton of trial and error with these things, (I had taken apart my watch to use the metal band as a flat head screw driver)  I used that to open up a door panel that showed the mechanism of the vault door. With the antennas from the radio and the fork, I found out which pin was broken and started to take it apart. The pin that did go bad was part of a dead bolt that you could lock from the inside if you were working in there, but had broken off inside the door. So with the antenna and fork, I got the dead bolt taken apart from the inside as best as I could. I couldn't see a ton because this was all inside the door. Once it was loose, I used the Ethernet cord to pull down on it enough to get it out. Keep in mind all of this took me about 3 hours to get done while all of that other stuff was happening outside. Just as they were about to cut through the roof with the big saw, I got the door opened!! The next day, the same contractors were able to come back and replace the deadbolt with a new one. Now the door works fine. The members still tease me a ton for getting stuck in there and Bryan even more for closing the door. But seeing as he leaves today for his mission in Mexico, it won't matter much for him. So everyone in the Mexico, Cancun area look out for Elder Valencia!!! Okay that is my story for this week, and I will probably go back to the normal updates next week.

Until then, Everyone stay safe!!
Elder Brayton

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