“Íngrid Fabiola Martínez Barredo of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, México,” Liahona, Mar. 2000, 2
When the First Presidency announced that a new temple would be built in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, México, Church members rejoiced. One young girl was so excited 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!”
Each time she passes the temple, 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 D.F. México Temple. The trip took 18 hours each way on a bus crowded with members from their ward and stake. Like many members in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Íngrid is thankful now to have a temple just minutes away in her own city.
Even though the long journey 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 Many Blessings’ and ‘I Am a Child of God,’” says Íngrid’s dad, Javier. Several members who traveled on the bus thanked the children for helping make their journey 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, Íngrid’s mother, María Carmelita, gave birth to a baby boy. Later, Íngrid’s parents had a baby girl. “Luis Fernando and Mari Carmen are children of the covenant,” Íngrid says proudly. She explains to her nonmember relatives that since 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,” says her mom.
Her dad says 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 adds. “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 a lot so my children don’t lack anything.’”
Íngrid enjoys drawing pictures of animals, running races, playing ball, and riding her bicycle. She especially loves to dress up in costumes and perform folk dances.
Her bishop, Juan José Albores Gallegos, of the Las Lomas Ward, Tuxtla Gutiérrez México Stake, says Íngrid participates with great energy in Primary and in ward activities. Bishop Albores especially appreciates the care Íngrid gives younger Primary children. “She loves them and gives them her time and attention,” he says. “She plays and sings songs with them.”
Never at a loss for words, Íngrid 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 says, “she tells people about the Church.”
For example, when her family was invited to a picnic one Sunday, Íngrid said, “No, we can’t go on the picnic because it’s Sunday, and we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” When someone offers her a drink that is not in keeping with Church standards, she says, “No, we can’t drink it.”
“Íngrid has learned a lot in Primary and in our family home evenings,” her mother says. “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,” says her dad. “Sometimes she’ll ask me, ‘Are you going to bear your testimony today?’ I’ll usually tell her 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 says. “Maybe she understands the gospel better than I do!”