Today we left our apartment a little after 7:30 AM, took the number 59 bus down to the Estados Unidos bus stop, and walked from down Nueve de Julio (“widest street in the world”) a short distance, turned right on Humboldt and left at Salta, to the Congreso chapel.
We arrived at about 8:40 AM, or 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled baptism for Yamelis Diaz. We greeted the bishopric, who were already there. The bishop was dressed in white, ready to perform the baptism of Yamelis Diaz. After we talked for a while, Mom asked about the music - did they need somebody to play the piano?
The bishopric commented that they usually didn’t have piano music in their baptisms, as there is no piano in the font room. We asked if there was still a portable piano in the bishopric office. Brother Tachile (first counselor in the bishopric) was surprised that they did have one. We brought it out and Mom played the piano for the baptism. Later, Mom also played the organ for sacrament meeting, and then she also played on the portable piano again for the last part of primary!
I helped set up chairs in the small baptismal font room. I set them up clear to the back. Not every seat was taken, but it ended up that we needed most of them. There were about 25 of us in all! We thought it was terrific that Yamelis’ husband and family members also attended.
The service was beautiful. Brother Chavez (the second counselor) did an excellent job conducting it. Brother Tachile and I were the official witnesses for Yamelis’ . Excellent talks were given by Barbara Barrera (on baptism), and by Michelle Telles on confirmation. Between those two talks the bishop baptized Yamelis. Before we concluded, Katrina de Andrea de Mendez gave an official and welcome to the relief society – the church women´s group that Yamelis has already been attending.
Even though no music accompanied by piano had been planned and not even the hymns selected, this was one of the finest baptismal services we have ever attended. Later in the day, Yamelis wrote on the ward relief society WhatsApp site:
Buenas noche hermanos (a) quiero darles las gracias por haber estado hoy en mi bautizo un día definitivamente muy especial para mi, así lo sentí en mi corazón y por tantas muestras de aprecio y cariño, el día de hoy quedará grabado en mi alma y mi corazón x siempre... Feliz noche y que NPC cuide de cada uno de ustedes....atte. Yamelis Díaz
[Good evening, sisters and brothers – I want to thank you for being at my baptism on this supremely special day for me (that´s how I felt in my heart), and for your love. This day will always be engraved in my heart and soul forever. Good night, and may our Father in Heaven watch over each one of you!]
The baptism service went for half an hour. Afterwards, we went upstairs, to the room across the hall from the chapel, to wait for our sacrament meeting to begin.
Following our sacrament meeting, there was a special meeting for children eight and above, their parents and all adults – to introduce the new youth program. Mom and I went into that for a little while, before we went to the primary room at noon for the last part of primary. Mom helped the leaders rehearse the children for the upcoming primary children’s program. By that time there were only three girls and one boy in primary, as the rest of the primary children were in the meeting with their families.
After the meetings, the relief society presidency (Sisters De Andrea and Barrera) welcomed ward members into a room and served refreshments to honor Sister Yamelis Diaz.
In sacrament meeting today, Sister Diaz was confirmed by Brother Chavez. I was the only who assisted! After the meetings and the refreshments to celebrate Sister Diaz's baptism and confirmation, Brother Chavez and I gave 2 blessings. What a terrific day!