“Medgine Atus of Miramar, Florida,” Friend, July 2004, 26
Medgine Atus doesn’t remember the first time she was “baptized,” but her family does. When Medgine was three years old, a friend of the Atus family was getting ready to enter the font for his baptism. Medgine followed him and fell right into the water!
“I had to jump in with all my clothes on and rescue her!” says her father. She wasn’t hurt, and now the family jokes that Medgine was so active in the gospel that she was “baptized” twice—once when she was three and once when she was eight. Medgine, now 11, is a member of the Haitian-speaking Morningside Branch, Hialeah Gardens Florida Stake.
The gospel is important to the Atus family and to Medgine. She says it has helped her become more obedient and has taught her the importance of praying often for help.
Her favorite Book of Mormon story is about Nephi going to get the brass plates from Laban. Even though his brothers were scared and didn’t want to go, Nephi was brave and obeyed Heavenly Father. “It’s important to be obedient to Heavenly Father,” Medgine says.
Medgine takes obedience seriously. Brother Atus says Medgine likes to laugh, but she can also be very strict, especially when she sets up “school” for her younger sisters, Christie, 6, and Ann, 5. Medgine likes order. And it has paid off! She has taught both her sisters to read and write. She has also taught singing and dancing classes.
Medgine is close to her father, Oriol; her mother, Mireille; and her four siblings. Her younger sister Christie likes to read. She speaks French and Haitian and is learning English quickly. Her family says she always asks questions. When her youngest sister, Ann, makes a decision, it’s final! She won’t change her mind. Ann is also creative and likes to pretend to be an actress. Her father says she makes regular tasks seem fun. Both Christie and Ann like to draw pictures for their father.
Medgine’s older brother, Joseph, 17, likes to play basketball. Her sister Christelle, 15, has a beautiful singing voice and won first place in a singing competition.
The family enjoys playing sports at a park near their home. They also hold regular family councils to talk about the importance of following the Lord, serving a mission, and getting an education. One of their favorite family games is called “cric-crac.” They sit in a circle and quiz each other about dates, names, and events from Church history and the scriptures.
Medgine enjoys sports, especially basketball. She plays basketball every Friday with members of her branch. But her favorite things to do are sing and dance. She makes up her own dances, and she also taught herself to play the piano. She even wrote her own song, “God of Love,” in French.
Singing is something the whole Atus family likes to do. When someone turns on the stereo and music begins to float through the room, their toes begin to tap. Soon they’re up and dancing, moving their arms gracefully in unison. Medgine smiles, and her eyes light up. When she begins to sing, she bears her testimony through song.