Íngrid Fabiola Martínez Barredo of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico

“Íngrid Fabiola Martínez Barredo of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico,” Friend, May 2002, 39

Making Friends:

Íngrid Fabiola Martínez Barredo of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico

When the First Presidency announced that a new temple would be built in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico, Church members rejoiced. One young girl was so excited that she told the news to almost everyone she knew. “Temples are where dads and moms can be married for eternity!” she told them. “Temples are where families can be sealed together forever!” And each time she passes the temple now, she announces, “That’s where I’m going to be married someday.”

Seven-year-old Íngrid Fabiola Martínez Barredo knows something about temples. When she was five years old, she and her parents were sealed as an eternal family in the México City México Temple. The trip took eighteen hours each way on a bus crowded with members from their ward and stake. Like many members in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, she is thankful to have a temple just minutes away in her own city now.

Even though the long trip to the temple was uncomfortable, Íngrid and the other Primary children accompanying their parents to the temple did their best to make it pleasant. “They sang their favorite hymns and songs on the way, such as ‘Count Your Blessings’ and ‘I Am a Child of God,’”* her dad, Javier, said. Several members on the bus thanked the children for helping make the trip more enjoyable.

Traveling a long distance wasn’t the only sacrifice Íngrid and her family made to get to the temple. Although her dad gave his employer plenty of notice when requesting time off from work, he lost his job because he left on the temple trip. However, after returning home, he was able to get a better job.

While Íngrid was waiting to be sealed to her parents, she helped the temple nursery workers care for the younger children and babies. When it was time for her to leave, the workers said, “Oh, don’t take her! She helped us so much. She put the babies to sleep.”

A couple of years after they went to the temple, her mother, María Carmelita, gave birth to a baby boy. Later, a baby girl was born. “Luis Fernando and Mari Carmen are born in the covenant,” Íngrid says proudly. She explained to her relatives who are not members of the Church that because her family was sealed in the temple before her baby brother and sister were born, the babies are also members of their eternal family. Íngrid loves her brother and sister and helps her mother take care of them. “She often puts them to sleep by singing Primary songs to them,” her mom said.

Her dad said with a smile, “She tells us that when she grows up, she wants to be whatever she is thinking of at the time—a doctor, an artist, a teacher.”

“But mostly she wants to be a mother,” her mom added. “Besides helping me with the babies, she holds her dolls and hugs them and sings to them. She has told me, ‘When I’m big, I’m going to get married. And I’m going to study the gospel a lot so that I can teach my children everything they need to know.’”

She enjoys drawing pictures of animals, running races, playing ball, and riding her bicycle. She especially likes to dress up in costumes and perform folk dances.

Her bishop, Juan José Albores Gallegos, of the Las Lomas Ward, Tuxtla Gutiérrez México Stake, said that Íngrid participates with great energy in Primary and in ward activities. He especially appreciates the care she gives younger Primary children. “She loves them and gives them her time and attention. She plays and sings songs with them.”

Never at a loss for words, she has told her nonmember friends and relatives about the Church and has invited several of them to attend. Although none of them have joined the Church yet, she isn’t discouraged.

“Wherever we go,” her dad said, “she tells people about the Church.”

For example, when her family was invited to a picnic one Sunday, Íngrid said, “No, thank you. We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we can’t go on the picnic because it’s Sunday. We try to keep the Sabbath Day holy.” When someone offers her a drink that is not in keeping with Church standards, she says, “No, thank you—we believe that Jesus said that we shouldn’t drink that.”

“She has learned a lot in Primary and in our family home evenings,” her mother said. “She is often the one to remind us to say our prayers before going to bed. ‘Did you say your prayers, Papi, Mami?’ she will ask. And at mealtime, she will say, ‘Let’s bless the food before eating.’ She is teaching us all the time.”

“On fast Sunday, Íngrid is the first in our family to get up and bear her testimony in sacrament meeting, and she bears her testimony like an adult,” her dad said. “Sometimes she’ll ask me, ‘Are you going to bear your testimony today?’ I’ll usually tell her that I’m not sure, because it’s hard for me to speak in public. And she’ll tease me by saying, ‘If you don’t, I’ll call you from the pulpit to come up and do it.’ I’ll say, ‘Don’t you dare!’ She smiles happily if I do go up.”

Íngrid’s parents are thankful for her strength and example. “She makes sure we obey the commandments,” her dad said. “Maybe she understands the gospel better than I do!”

Photographed by Marvin K. Gardner

With Papi and Mami near the meetinghouse

Riding her bike

Top: Family home evening. Bottom: Drawing an animal