"Dear Elder Crandall: you are hereby called to serve as a missionary
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You are assigned to labor in the Colombia Barranquilla Mission.
It is anticipated that you will serve a period of 24 months...
You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish Language."

FAVORITE SCRIPTURE

FAVORITE SCRIPTURE:
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God,
that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb,
and upon the covenant people of the Lord,
who were scattered upon all the face of the earth;
and they were armed with righteousness
and with the power of God in great glory."
(1 Nephi 14:14)

Monday, April 6, 2015

SEMANA SANTA

April 6, 2015

Santo Tomas Branch
Hipodromo Stake
Companion:  Elder Conti

Hey everyone!

I hope all is going well!  So this week was Semana Santa, the celebration of the last week in Jesus Christs mortal life.  Here in Colombia, and in most of south america, people have the whole week off of work and school; its a pretty big holiday.  It was nice because it was easier to schedule lessons and everything.  On Friday, the people celebrate the Atonement of Jesus Christ, but in a terriblly painful way.  Imagine a parade where the people walking in the parade take their shirts off, put bags on their heads, and whip themselves in the butt cheeks every step they take.  That is indeed what happened. And they do it for like 5 km!  It's really insane.  I'll send some pictures.  



There also are people carrying crosses on their backs the whole way and everything.  Supposedly it's to recieve some sort of blessing from God, but the whole thing just looks crazy.  It makes me think of how grossly the Atonement of Jesus Christ is misunderstood.  I have seen a lot of both ends of the extremes of these grossly misunderstood ways.  1) people sinning and saying that in the end Christ and his grace will save them, and  2) people whipping themselves to remember that Christ also bled from every pore.  We must understand that neither of these is true. President Uchtdorf spoke about this in conference actually which is really cool!  Go look up that talk to find a better explanation than mine!

Also this week we were teaching a super awesome investigator named K--------.  So we went to her house to teach her with a member that is her friend and when we get there we realize we can't teach there due to the large obnoxious speakers next door (that is normal here).  So we decide to see if we can teach her in the house of J--------, a less active we are also teaching, that lives around the corner.  It was a win win situation!  So we get there and start teaching and the spirit was super strong when out of nowhere J--------´s daughter comes out and literally yells at us and J-------- for about 45 minutes.  I was afraid she was going to hit me!  So that lesson was kind of a disaster, but the cool part is that K-------- went to conference with us!  It was cool and I know she felt the spirit so strong.

This week we are preparing D-------- again for his baptism.  We are going to try and do everything we can to help him not fall into temptation again.  We even fasted last Friday for him.  He struggles a lot with the temptation to drink alcohol and it doesn't help that his Dad is in the business of selling alcohol, but he is doing really well.  It's really so neat to see just how much that gospel can change one's life!  It's a testament that the Atonement works and that repentance is indeed a divine gift.  Too cool!

I'm also very grateful for conference this weekend!  We did get to listen to conference.  The way they do it here is in the church building with a projector and everything.  But since we are in Santo Tomas and don't have a church building, we got to go to another ward building and watch it.  I watched all of conference in Spanish this time.  I especially loved President Eyring's talk during the priesthood session.  He talked a lot about the power and rights we have being in the true church of God.  I know that this is God's church and that Jesus Christ is at the head.  He has restored his church and again called living prophets and apostles to guide us.  How lucky are we!



Well I love and miss you all!  Have a great week!!

Elder Crandall