Making Friends:

Ruymán David Hérnandez Montero of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Written by Julie Wardell

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    Nine-year-old Ruymán delights in taking an active part in caring for his baby brother, Brandon. As a big brother, he is always eager to hold Brandon, feed him, change his diaper, and sing him to sleep.

    Something else that brings great pleasure to Ruymán’s life is music. He likes to dance and loves to sing, especially Church hymns. “I Am a Child of God” is his favorite song. When he grows up, Ruymán would like to be a professional singer.

    Basketball, fútbol (soccer), skateboarding, and swimming are the sports Ruymán enjoys. He also likes to watch TV and videos as well as talk on his walkie-talkie. Art is his favorite subject at school, and he likes to draw all kinds of things.

    Ruymán loves his parents very much. His mother (Carmen) works in the governor’s office, and his father (Dalton) is an English teacher. They often go to the mountains or beach for a picnic or barbecue. The black sandy beaches are a unique sight on the island.

    Tenerife Island is one of the thirteen islands that make up Spain’s Canary Islands. Anciently, ferocious dogs lived on the islands, so they were named Canaria from the Latin word canis (dog). And because the canary once lived on the islands, it was named after them (the islands). The islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles (97 k) off the northwest coast of Africa. Members of the Church live on at least five of the seven inhabited islands. Missionary work has been so successful on the islands that a separate mission was established for them.

    Ruymán and his family attend the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Branch, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Canary Islands District. Mother is the Primary president; Father is the district Scout leader. Ruymán knows that it’s important to attend Church and learn about the gospel. All the children in his branch attend the same Primary class. Ruymán eagerly looks forward to fast Sunday each month. He has borne his testimony in their little branch every fast Sunday since he was three-years-old and is often the first one to do so. The other branch members have told him that he inspires them to bear their testimonies.

    Family home evening is an important family activity. Ruymán likes everything about family home evening, especially the food! Potaje (stew) is his favorite dish.

    The family enjoys celebrating Christmas each year on December 25. Then on January 5, Ruymán puts out one of his shoes for the Wise Men to leave him a gift inside it. He also puts out water for the camels, and milk and cookies for the kings. Another fun celebration on the island happens around the end of January, when a huge carnival is held with a parade at the beginning and the end. One night during the celebration, a dance, a party, and a costume competition is held at the meetinghouse for all the members. Ruymán dressed up like a turtle action figure one year.

    Ruymán is a happy boy with a contagious smile. He brings a lot of happiness into the lives of his baby brother, his parents, his friends, and the branch members.

    Photographed by Julie Wardell

    Feeding Brandon

    Performing at the meeting house with Claudia

    Santa Cruz rooftops and the sea

    Playing at the park

    Watching the talent show