On Saturday, we had the marriage, baptism, and ring ceremony of Ricardo and Mahara. The way marriage in Brasìl happens (when it happens) is a little ceremony in a courthouse with a man older than dirt in a black robe, a couple of friends to act as testimonies and forking over R$250. So with the civil marriage taken care of we headed to chapel. [Cue Dad singing] ´Go-ing to the chap-el, and I´m, gon-na get marr...` Baptized! Why wait? :) The baptism of Ricardo was an experience that I will never forget. Ricardo has to use a wheel chair, because he has no function in his legs, so a brother from the church who was to perform the baptism, and Elder Yesquen, carried him into the water and helped support him during the ceremony, and helped to immerse him. As we taught Ricardo about the baptism of Christ several weeks ago, he raised the concern about how he would be able to be baptized in the same way considering his condition of being confined to a wheelchair. But with a little bit of planning, it all worked out. Their 5 year old son Rayan wanted to be baptized also, and was nearly crying in his plea. We explained that he needs to wait until 8 years of age but he wasn´t having it... Then Mahara explained that they hadn´t brought a towel or and extra pair of underwear for him, so he decided that waiting wouldn´t be so bad after all :)
Saturday evening we celebrated the marriage and baptism with a ring ceremony in the chapel. I don´t think that Mahara had ever used high heels, but the bishop owns a shoe factory and made a pair for her. Ricardo was in a suit (I believe for the first time in his life) and looking sharp. They invited a bunch of their neighbors and relatives who had been hesitant to accept our invitation to visit church because `they only have fancy people there,` but they wanted to participate in the marriage and party. Yesterday, nearly every single one of the people who attended the wedding, also attended church to watch the confirmation. I have a feeling that we will be helping many more in this family enter the waters of baptism in the following months. With the whole ward supporting these people that we are teaching, there will be many more children of God who enter the Ward Jardim Ipê.
In other news, I have been resharpening my rather dull piano skills in the past weeks playing for sacrament meeting. Everybody is very happy to have a piano to help the ward stay on pitch! :)