Title: Semana Santa
Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone had a good one. Here in Guatemala traditions are huuuggeee, especially in holidays that have a religious background. So Easter was a big deal here! But here, its not just something that is celebrated on Sunday, it is for an entire week. Its called "Semana Santa" which means Holy Week. The catholics have a tradition of putting alfombres (there isnt a work for it in english) but what it is is a ton of dust from wood that they color and then decorate the streets with it. They put designs in it like crosses, or write scriptures, or basically anything that has to do with Christ! I wish I had pictures, but we didnt have the chance to go to one because it was out of our area. Anyways, Friday is when all the streets are decorated and no one is allowed to drive around there or anything. Catholics then carry a cross with a Jesus figure on it and carry it for hours during the day. Anyways, that is the Friday of Semana Santa, then on Sunday they start doing fireworks at like 5 in the morning and there are a ton of people in the streets singing Hallelujah. Its pretty cool all the traditions they have, but its not very fun to be a missionary during these days because there is absolutely no one home! Everyone goes on vacation or they are in Huehue central where all the alfombras are. But we visted members and ended up having a great Easter. :)
Saturday we went to the Stake Center to watch the General Women's conference, and oh my gosh it was so amazing! It was super cool because one of our investigators came with us and she loved it too, and after talked about how happy she felt listening to it. Her name is Faustina, I think I have talked about her before, but she is going to get baptized on April 9th. We are so excited for her! Anyways one of the greatest blessings about the conference was that I was able to watch it in english haha. When we got to the church they hadnt set up a room for us gringos to watch it in english so we hunted them down so that we could. I am finally to the point that I can understand mostly everything in spanish, but the conference just isnt quite the same when you can't here the actual voice of the speakers. My favorite talk of the womens conference was by Cheryl A. Esplin. She talked a lot about serving. She said that when we serve we need to through away our mirrors and look through the window. If we are thinking about ourselves when serving others, they are not our focal point and we are not truly serving them with all of our strength, with all of our love. But if we truly focus on them, they will be able to feel the love that we, and that Jesus Christ has for them.
We are so excited for this weekend to have the great opportunity to listen the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and the twelve apostles, speak to each and every one of us. It is such a priviledge that we have to hear them speak every six months. I invite EVERYONE reading this to watch it! It doesn't matter if you are a member of the church or not, the prophet is the prophet of the world, not just the prophet of members of the church. He recieves revelation for the world. The speakers who will talk this weekend have prayerfully prepared talks so that they can give us the message that our Heavenly Father knows that we need to hear. We live in a world where there are many temptations and a whole lot of evil, but if we humble ourselves, and follow the direction of the prophet, who is an instrument in the hands of the Lord, we can resist these temptations, and we can find our purpose and happiness in this life.
I hope everyone has an amazing week! Thanks for all of your prayers and your support. :)
Con mucho amor de Guatemala,