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30 Hours in Colombia with the District Apostle

By Bishop Stegmann:

I was invited to be with the District Apostle in Bogotá, Colombia from October 31st – November 1st. I left my home in San Diego on Friday afternoon. Flying through the night, with a layover in Mexico City, I arrived in Bogotá in the morning and was able to get a couple of hours of sleep before our meetings started. The District Apostle arrived at the hotel around 1pm. At 2pm, we had lunch with the lead ministers of Colombia. This lunch, with approximately 20 ministers, continued into a 3-hour meeting. The District Apostle shared thoughts from the Chief Apostle on spiritual aspects of being a leader and the vision of the Church. Questions from the ministers opened up the discussion on matters of faith and brought new understandings to all. The meeting continued until 7pm. Immediately after this, everyone gathered in another salon for a worship evening, titled “Alegría en Cristo” (Joy in Christ). For an hour and a half, we joined in worship with testimonies and music by an orchestra, children’s choir, and a combined choir of various congregations across the country. It truly was a beautiful preparation for the special divine service the next day. After the worship evening, we had a dinner with the ministers, concluding the day late into the night.

On Sunday morning, we had breakfast and then went right to service in the hotel. Close to 600 members gathered for the divine service for the departed. An hour before the service started, a choir had prepared music in anticipation of those who arrived early, creating a worshipful atmosphere. For the first time, the members in Colombia were able to witness the dispensation of the sacraments for the departed. Three ministers were also ordained in the service; two Districts Elders and one District Evangelist. After service, we had lunch with the 160 members of the choir and orchestra, greeting each other, taking pictures, and talking with one another. After lunch, we had more meetings, leaving just enough time to change our clothes before we were shuttled to the airport to fly home through the night.

It’s hard to believe how quickly the weekend passed, but the Lord allowed for many beautiful moments to happen during this fast-paced weekend.

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