July 2, 2015
We were traveling with the Assistants today – these are three of our very best here in Mexico City. We passed several funeral homes which are not like the lavish ones we enjoy in the states. These were small store fronts with little decoration. I asked the Assistants about funerals here such as where they hold the service. They told me that funerals are held in these small store fronts, with everyone standing around an open casket. There are a few chairs for the “older folks.” They also said that funerals are held in homes. They clear out some of the furniture, place the open casket in the middle of the room, and hold a service.
Elder S. started to laugh as he recalled an incident he had during the first part of his mission. He and his companion were friends with a family in their ward. This family had a grandfather who was not well. One day they received a call asking them to come and give a blessing to the grandfather. They asked how he was doing and the caller replied, “Not so well.”
They hurried themselves to the family home. When they walked in, there was the open casket with grandfather inside. The family expected a blessing for their deceased grandfather. The two Elders had to respectfully tell the family that they could not do that, offered a prayer, and excused themselves as quickly as possible.