18 June 2013

Baptism and Father's Day

Saturday night we celebrated a baptism and Father's Day with our ward. The baptism was for Emily, who is 11-years-old. It turns out that her mother joined the church years ago and then stopped attending because of personal challenges. Janet, the mother, said that she had always planned to go back to church, but "things" kept getting in the way. The sister missionaries contacted her in a re-activation effort and Janet began attending church again. Her daughter, Emily, loved it and asked for the missionary lessons.

Emily in the middle with Hermanas on each side and Janet behind in the aqua blouse.

The missionaries made the baptism very special with posters, special music, and talks by the Primary presidency. At the end, we all wrote Emily little notes of congratulation and encouragement, which she took home with her. She was so happy to be a member of the church!

An interesting twist to this story is that Janet, the mother, has been dating a man for a few months. She invited him to come to the baptism and gathering on Saturday so she could broach the subject of religion with him. She was very surprised when he replied that he would love to attend--that he was a member of the church and had wanted to start attending church again. Our Bishop chuckled and said, "Well, the end of this story hasn't been written yet."

After the baptism, the barbecues were pulled out and the coals started. While the High Priests watched the coals slowly, very slowly turn white, everyone else found friends to play with or talk to. 

The Sunday School President hung up a poster he had made wishing the father's all a very happy day and then Claudia and Andrea (1st counselor and Bishop's wives) finished marinating the meat and preparing the quesadillas. 

Congratulations, dads!

Claudia and Andrea

For a real Norteño (the North) barbecue, you need at least one man cooking and one man supervising. There must be at least one pound of meat per person. There must be foil-wrapped onions on the coals and there must be very thick smoke and occasional two-foot flames.

Isidoro and Juanito
Meat "testing" by Hermano Garza

Finally, the meat must be "tested" to see if it is good enough to serve and then cut into pieces just slightly smaller than a plate and temporarily stored in a lidded pot to keep it warm. The hungry herds then pick up a slab of meat, a large pile of tortillas, quesadillas, salsa, roasted onion, a bowl of cowboy bean soup and soda pop--and eat until it is all gone. It makes them ever so happy! Not just the food, but the joy of being together having fun, sharing stories, and enjoying a summer night with a cooling breeze. What a great way to spend an evening!

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