In Nicaragua, Holy Week is observed with a week’s holiday for school children and a three or four-day holiday for adults. Stores and businesses are closed, and the streets are often blocked by processions depicting Christ’s entry into Jerusalem or soldiers arresting Him or taking Him to Golgotha.
A group of young people in Granada decided to spend the week at the church reading the Book of Mormon. They sat in the 99 degree heat for six days, taking occasional breaks to go outside and play soccer and, in this picture, drink ice cold smoothies that we made for them. The tall young man in the picture is the Young Men’s president, a 17-year old who we are helping with his mission application.
It is especially wonderful for us to celebrate Easter this year. As we walk through the town, visit with people, or teach training classes, we are constantly aware that we wear the name of Jesus Christ on our shoulder “placas.” Our testimonies are basic, and our lessons here are foundational. We teach that Jesus is our exemplar, Savior, and strength. We teach that God loves all of His children and wants them to have the blessings of the gospel ordinances. And we teach that Joseph Smith was an instrument of the Lord in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ. It is easy for us to be bold in telling people that they need to forgive one another, obey the commandments, and follow God’s revealed plan of happiness.
Yesterday we went to the baptism of a young girl, and we thought about what a wonderful experience it was to see her buried in the water and born anew during this time when we were commemorating the burial and resurrection of Jesus, which her baptism represented. We testify that He lives, not only to give us eternal life, but to bless our daily lives with the rich gifts of His love and guidance.