Pedro Ayala Espinosa of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico


Pedro Ayala Espinosa of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico

“Pedro is good to Oliver and me,” said his sister, Alejandra (10). “He helps us with our studies and supports us in the things we do.”

“He likes me a lot, and I like to play soccer and other things with him,” added his brother, Oliver (8). Oliver loves his brother a lot. Both he and Alejandra know that they can count on Pedro. The three support each other in whatever they are doing. Pedro likes it that his family works together to help each other to become better people and to reach their goals. He even enjoys helping to straighten the room he shares with Oliver and helping his mother to clean the rest of the house.

Pedro Ayala Espinosa (11) appreciates his family. He loves his parents for the many things that they do for him, especially for helping him with his problems. “Dad and Mom understand and help us a lot with our problems, both mine and those of my brother and sister.” He likes living next door to his grandparents because if his parents aren’t home and he needs help, he can go over to their home and talk things over.

Family and friends are very important to Pedro. Even at school he likes to talk to his friends about their families and how they get along with one another.

Like many people, Pedro sets goals for himself. Unlike a lot of people, Pedro consistently reaches those goals. “If he sets a goal,” his father said, “he doesn’t rest until he has reached it. He fights hard to reach it, and he always gains it. For example, we were talking about what he wanted to do professionally. He said that he wanted to be a lawyer. I made a promise to him that if he worked hard enough to get accepted into Harvard Law School, I would somehow find a way to support him financially.” Pedro knows that fulfilling his dream means getting good grades and learning to speak English well. He is working hard at both.

Pedro also promised his father that if he could take karate lessons, he would work hard enough to earn a black belt. So far he has earned his brown belt, and he is working hard toward his black belt.

Another promise, and perhaps the most important, is that if he prepares himself to go on a mission, his family will support him when he goes. “What I say to one of my children, I say to all three. In whatever they want to study and do, I will support and help them,” said Pedro’s father.

In order to reach his goals, Pedro makes smaller goals along the way. For instance, he committed himself to read the entire Book of Mormon by the end of the year, and he will do it.

One of his favorite stories to read about in the scriptures is of Nephi and of how he obeyed his father and returned to Jerusalem with his brothers to get the brass plates. Even when his brothers tied him up and beat him for speaking the truth, Nephi remained faithful.

Pedro wishes that everyone could live in harmony and that all people would appreciate their families. “Our brothers, sisters, parents, and friends support us a lot.”

Pedro loves going to church because all the members are friendly. He wishes that everyone were a member of the Church. “When we are members of the Church, we feel more sure of ourselves, and it helps us to make better decisions.”

What’s in a Last Name?

In Mexico and many other Spanish-speaking countries, names tell quite a bit about a person’s family history. A child is given the surnames of both parents. The father’s surname comes first, followed by the mother’s surname. The full names of the members of Pedro’s family are:

  • Father: Alfonso Ayala Romero

  • Mother (before marriage): Adriana Espinosa Rodriguez

  • Children:

  • Pedro Ayala Espinosa

  • Adriana Alejandra Ayala Espinosa

  • Oliver Omar Ayala Espinosa

Now can you answer the following questions?

  1. 1.

    What is Pedro, Alejandra, and Oliver’s complete surname?

  2. 2.

    What is their grandfather’s (father’s father) surname?

  3. 3.

    What is their other grandfather’s (mother’s father) surname?

  4. 4.

    What is their grandmother’s (mother’s mother) surname?

  5. 5.

    What is their other grandmother’s (father’s mother) surname?

Answers:

[photos] Photos by DeAnne Walker and Corliss Clayton

[photo] The flag of Mexico waves over the Zocalo in Mexico City.

[photo] The Ayalas live just outside of Mexico City.

[photo] Alejandra is a good student and helps her brothers with their studies.

[photo] Oliver wants to be an actor when he grows up.

[photo] Pedro and Oliver have a measuring tape in their bedroom. Oliver hopes to measure up to Pedro someday.

[photo] Pedro, like many young people, likes to eat hamburgers and pizza.

[photo] Pedro likes to practice soccer and basketball with Oliver. He also plays soccer in school and basketball at the church. And he likes to watch tennis and karate matches.

[photo] “Whatever I say to one of my children, I say to all three,” said Brother Ayala. “In whatever they want to study and do, I will support and help them.”

(1) Ayala Espinosa, (2) Ayala, (3) Espinosa, (4) Rodriguez, (5) Romero.