Pato, Pato, Gonzo!
Today we checked out our assigned ward in Santa Cruz. While we allotted an hour to get there, it took about 40 minutes, which was fantastic.
When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the Bishop, Bishop Spaulding. He said, “wait a minute. I know you. Let me guess….” and proceeded to name us all. I don’t know if we could have felt more welcome.
We then went in and found our seats and saw a lot of the people I work with at the co-working space in Tamarindo and the Bishop’s Wife. Nothing drives me more crazy than referring to her as “the Bishop’s wife”, but in full transparency I didn’t even remember the Bishop’s last name. I had to look it up in my email and his first name is easy. It’s Bishop :) . But she let me know they came 5 years ago and her husband, who surfs, fell in love with it. They came back to build a rental home and were told,”well, you’ll want to be here while you build” after which he was quickly called to be Bishop and had to stay another 5 years. They are from Alpine, UT. He’s a surfer and started learning Spanish just three years ago. She says she doesn’t know any but knows way more than I do. She even gave a talk today, which I’m sure was great.
What I love about church here is the pura vida attitude, people wearing whatever, and a spirit of,”it’s just great that we all made it here today.” It truly is all about showing up, worshipping, being there with family, being there with friends, taking the sacrament, and that’s it. Jeans, pants, sports shoes, no sleeves, whatever. It’s all good.
I promised my kids I would stay with them through primary to get comfortable. Little did I know how the next two hours would unfold. The Bishop’s Wife, let’s just call her BW, was the Primary President but was released to go be full-time with the group in Huacus (that’s a whole different story). So she was in there for 30 minutes but then had to leave. So the first 30 minutes were just her, me, and 14 kids from nursery age to 12-years-old. I asked her if there was anything I could do to help and she said, “We are just winging it today.” I’m looking at these cute little kids waiting patiently and looking at my kids getting acclimated to drastically different circumstances and looked up a song that I knew we could all learn regardless of the language barrier and have some fun doing: Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas y Pies (Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.)
After that there were still no plans so had the kids put their chairs in a circle and we played, “Pato, Pato, Gonzo!” It took a bit of showing how to play and before you knew it, we had smiles and laughs and all of the kids involved.
Thankfully, two sister missionaries (one that was bilingual from California) came in (pictured below) and threw together an awesome sharing time. They knew exactly what would speak to the kids and nailed it.