Thursday, December 15, 2011

weddings and music

We were able to go to a double wedding last Saturday.  The couples got married at the municipal building, then afterwards both of the wives were baptized.  The couples were all Qeqchi and a majority of their branch - about 70 people -  had come down with them standing on the back of a large truck from a communicty called San Francisco, about a half hour away.  The brides wore their Corte and veils, the grooms were wearing a small flower in their pocket.  The weddings took place in the Municipal building by the mayor.  It was very different!  The service started about a half hour late while they waited on the mayor, then began by the marriage couples sitting on the front row in this room in front of the mayor, they started with a prayer and he started talking to them.  A couple showed up late so they pressed in and were married also.  About 45 minutes into the service two more couples showed up - they were supposed to be in the same service but had to wait to do theirs afterwards.  A lot ofthe men showing up for the weddings were wearing their machetes either at their sides or strapped to their backs.  During the proceedings kids would come in and sell newspapers and chips.  We were able to watch with many others through the window on the outside ofthe room, because the room was literally packed with people.  The witnesses signed by using their thumbprints on the documents, because many could not read nor write. 
We went yesterday to visit several families with one of the sisters here in the branch.  One family the children and mother were all working with Cardamon, a product they grow and sell here.  In each home we would have a prayer, sing a song and then present a message.  We spoke of Heavenly Fathers love for his children and his desire for us to return to live with him.  In each home we left a picture of the Saviour to help them in focussing their home on Christ.  The people were wonderful, warm, kind and inviting.  One man is in the process of trying to add a new house on to his existing one, using cement blocks and concrete.  It is a tremendous work for one man alone, especially since everything he uses must be carried up a steep hill on his back before he can use it.  We started piano lessons on Tuesday and gave 5 lessons, more people showed up and were waiting, so we promised to come back and taught another 5 on Wednesday night. 
Our beautiful small miracle of the week was a man cutting his flowering hedges and gave us some of the flowers.  I am so grateful to have flowers in our room!

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