Showing posts with label baptism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baptism. Show all posts

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Getting the Most Miles from that Long Drive



          There was a Relief Society luncheon yesterday afternoon.  The tables were decorated so nicely.  There was LOTS of food.  I'm quite certain that there were leftovers, but I had gone back home to give Roland a message as he wasn't answering his phone.

          I had returned to assist with the clean-up but was told I wasn't needed.  There were several who had helped clean-up the food table to redecorate for Vanessa's shower.  It's fortunate that both were scheduled so closely together as I don't believe the luncheon would have received the turn-out that they did.  At least half who had attended were there for Vanessa's baby shower - which received a good turn-out as well.

          I almost didn't go to the shower as we are down to only one car and Roland had a need greater than my own.  But Sister Neilson said she would follow me home and bring me back again and return me home after the shower. 

          The shower turned out to be really fun.  There were several games - one involving math and baby product knowledge.  I was off ten dollars on the diapers and five dollars on the wipes.  But good grief - most of my guesses after that were either way over or way under.  The list included several items which featured a grand total.  I was 4.50 under the grand total price.  I won the biggest prize that was given.  Wow.  I don't think that has ever happened with me before.  Especially about baby products and math.  But I did it.  Jenna was quite crushed that she hadn't received a prize.  But I shared.  She took a selfie with the prizes that she had claimed from my basket.




Silly Girl!

           I have so much admiration for many of the members who live in this ward and the great distances that several of them make to the Church each week. 

          I thought Aurelia traveled the furthest distance to get to church, but I was wrong.  Cindy, our librarian, actually spends a longer amount of time of the road.  Yesterday she came for the luncheon, stayed for the shower, stayed in town to do laundry as there was a baptism scheduled at 7:00 and remained in Myrtle Creek for the better part of eight hours - the same amount of time as one would spend at a full work day on the job.  Aurelia and Cindy are always the first to arrive and the last ones to leave - by choice.  Both have the attitude that since they're in town, they might as well make the most of it - always making the hours they spend in Myrtle Creek last longer than the time spend on the road.

          I know several members who aren't willing to travel 10 - 30 minutes because of inconveniences.  They come up with all kinds of excuses, and yet I look at the dedication of these two sisters and feel so blessed to share in their wonderful strong testimonies.

          Melanie was baptized last night.  The service was so wonderful, and her attitude was beyond description as she glowed and demonstrated such upbeat behavior.  There was a lot about her baptism that reminded me of Jenna's.

          Primary baptisms are usually so much different from convert baptisms.  When I was a youth, our confirmations took place on Sunday during Sacrament meeting.  Today the youth are confirmed as soon as they have changed from their wet clothes.  I miss seeing those confirmations done at the Sunday meetings. 

          Converts are confirmed on Sunday.  Those that did not have an opportunity to see Melanie get baptized last night will get to see her confirmed this morning as she is receives the gift of the Holy Ghost (who has obviously been with her for a very long time)

          I'm grateful for the opportunity I have of attending baptisms - both primary and convert - as I don't remember my own.  I do remember Jenna's.  And I do remember the one in which a friend was baptized - each on a stake level and conducted by the Spanish ward.

          It was quite the awesome day.  I am grateful for how it has made such a positive influence in my life.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Another Baptism, Another Discovery


      
            We went to a primary baptism on Saturday.  I was surprised to see Azure’s dad dressed in white. According to Hannah, her husband had been inactive for eight years.  Evidently Azure had talked him into coming back so that he could baptize him – which he did. 

            The baptism was a lot more reverent than the last primary baptism Jenna and I had attended.  Roland actually went with us to this one. There was still the visiting between the confirmation and the baptism though everyone seemed to be more respectful and non visiting the two times we had waited in the chapel.  I don’t know why the visitation bothers me so much, but it does. 

            Jenna had brought along an activity book to keep herself entertained.  I didn’t think that was all that respectful either – especially when she took the program and drew a tic-tac-toe while the bishop was speaking and nudged me to take a turn.  I gave her a hard crusty which I’m certain was not in harmony with the Spirit either. 



            The activity she had was from the story about Saul/Paul.  She said it was one of her favorites and said she wanted to watch the video but I told her I didn’t think we had it.  She was actually looking for the video of Alma’s conversion and accounted the story which she wanted to watch.  She was thinking that was the activity book she held.  I hadn’t even given a thought until then how many similarities both Paul and Alma shared.



            Both were bullies who seemed to be involved in gang related activity.  Though Alma appears more as the ring leader (Mosiah 27:8) while Paul appears more to be one that is taking orders from the leader (Acts 9:2).  Both Alma and Paul persecute the righteous (Mosiah 27:10, Acts 8:3 ).  Paul is left blind after Christ calls to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:8) while Alma is left in an almost comatose state (Alma27:19) after having have seen an angel.  Both are called to repentance (Mosiah 27:24, Acts 9:6) and completely turn their lives around and become heavily involved in missionary work (Mosiah 27:32, Acts 9: ).  Both are persecuted for their beliefs.

          After Azure's baptism and confirmation, Hannah had all those who were seated to please stay for pictures.  A few pictures were taken of the entire group (everyone in attendance)  What a great idea!  Wish I had thought of it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reverence? NOT our primary


I don’t know who suggested to the primary children to stand at the front (in Sacrament meeting) with their arms folded to set an example for those that were entering the chapel. I didn’t have a problem with it – except when Parker would try to outrun whatever other child was headed to the stand.  But as long as the children were on the stand with their arms folded, there really was a reverence there – though it seemed to vanish the minute they sat down.

A visiting high councilman had given the command to the bishopric that he didn’t want the children up there.  Maybe because he knew on a first hand account that some of those standing there ordinarily do NOT represent reverence – though the three in particular (the three most irreverent – actually there are four – which is just about half of the primary) come from very devout homes, it’s just that reverence has taken a back seat.  The more we try to enforce it, the stronger the misbehavior becomes. 

I say “we” as I am a parent of one of the instigators, though Jenna generally keeps her irreverent activities to herself. Examples: twisting her bracelet, moving her fingers, or sliding her hair band (as mentioned here) but has not misbehaved as poorly as the three boys.  Two of them brothers. And I don't mean to put down the entire primary as it is basically just those four.  But in our ward, that truly does account for just about half.

Now I don’t know that anyone from my ward even reads this post – but because of our really small primary and the descriptions I use, the children will be more easily to identify than I am.  But I will still change the names of all the children who are/were involved.

Yesterday Jenna and I attended a baptism for two of her friends – not good friends, but she has played with each of them and sometimes both together – though it hasn’t been often.  There names are Wesley and Jorge.

Wesley is an only child.  I can fully understand.  If my child had Wesley’s personality, I would not be trying for more children.  He reminds me of one who has had too much caffeine.  He climbs the walls (literally) and lands himself into all kinds of mischief.  He’s definitely not focused.  I don’t know what kind of grades he gets.  I know he goes to some kind of a therapist – or at least he used to.  He has improved a lot – or so I believed until yesterday.

Jorge and his mother are from Mongolia.  I often pick them up and give them rides to and from church.  We don’t communicate much except for, “Would you like a ride?” and “Thank you.” 

She likes to give him snacks and keeps him entertained with his iPad (or whatever it is) during sacrament – which I think is not right – but who am I to judge.  It does keep him quiet – so long as it’s just him focused on the screen.  But I remember one time both Jenna and Wesley stuck their faces just as close to the screen as Jorge’s – and I think Wesley actually took it over.

Okay.  So our ward was in charge of the stake baptism.  It is actually the first time I remember going to a stake baptism in which our ward was conducting. The program was nice.  And then came dismissal to the font.

So the first ward was dismissed and told to meet in the primary room.  Anna played the piano.  The music would have been nice if those attending would allowed themselves to just listen and to meditate – but the conversations started among the adults.  Some about the children being baptized, but most of the ones that I heard were irrelevant and surely could have waited for 45 minutes to an hour.

The next group goes.  I don’t know what room they announced to go into following the baptism – but I think they should have been allowed to return to the chapel as they accounted for more than half of everybody in the congregation.  (They would have been squished in the primary room)
Our ward was last.  We had two that were being baptized and ironically the smallest group left. 

So the primary children go towards the font and are banging on the glass (two boys in particular; Jenna was actually reverent – well as reverent as one in a dress can be while squatting down) At that point, I don’t know who was worse: Wesley or Hunter. 



Wesley should have gone through the door that leads to the font, but was too busy giving headlocks to the other boys who had come to watch.  I don’t know if it was before the baptism or after (I think it was after) that Hunter took his rolled programs (he had two of them) and started using them as drumsticks as he beat on the heads of those who sat ahead of him. And Parker started using his rolled up program as a sword.

I thought I heard some adult laughter which only encouraged the children.  I honestly did not see what Jenna was doing as the bad behavior of the two boys outshined whatever anything she has ever done.

Nick and Vickie were great.  I had no qualms with them whatsoever, especially Nick, who truly was being reverent.  Jorge’s behavior was about the same.  But I think it was right before the confirmation that Jorge’s mom came across an entire lute of treats in her bag (I wonder if it was the only thing in her bag) and called Jenna over and doused her with an arm full and so Jenna continues to pass the treats along and I look back behind me. Jenna (who had moved to the back row) and three boys are munching on these goodies (the crumb producing kind) during the program.  Are you kidding me?

But the treats did come from Jorge’s mom – one of the moms whose child had been baptized.  I don’t know how long she’s been a member of the Church or if she decided to move to the states after becoming a member or what.  She did it with love.  She had snacks for all the children. 

Hannah was in front of me with her son and didn’t want to appear rude by not taking it, but I’m guessing may have felt the same discomfort that I was feeling.  And yet there’s my husband, first counselor no less, that I don’t think would have had a problem with it (I know because he’s given Jenna messy treats in sacrament meeting!)

Actually, that “small talk” and visitation has become a popular thing between the baptism and the confirmation - especially this day as the waiting time between baptism and confirmation took longer than normal.  Jorge's mom didn't think to pack dry underwear and so someone was sent to the store to purchase a dry pair to wear for his confirmation.  

The conversations seemed to stir even louder.  I didn't want irreverant (and irrelevant) conversation at Jenna's baptism which is why I had asked Bill and Corey to sing at Jenna’s baptism found here so that the spirit would not be lost.  And it wasn’t.  At least not to my understanding. 

I had been in the dressing room with Jenna, but from what I understand, everyone in attendance listened.  They did not visit.  They did not distract from the Spirit – not even Hunter and Parker who sat on the front row.  And Parker, actually caught up in the Spirit, was trying to sing along with them.  That was awesome to watch.

I think every baptism ought to have an intermediate between the baptism and the confirmation – more than the background music on the piano (which it seems most people seem to tune out – at least in the baptisms that I’ve gone to) but something that will hold the attention of those in the audience – that the Spirit will continue to be present. Or else have the youth confirmed in sacrament meeting as it was done when I was in primary.

Our bishop said he felt the Spirit strongly.  I did too, when we were in the chapel.  I think the Spirit must have followed the bishop into the men’s dressing room and the font, for I did not feel the Spirit in the RS room AT ALL

And I realize that I’m just as much to blame for not having felt the Spirit’s presence (as it is up to me to invite Him in).  I really had tried to find the awesomeness, but the conversations around me seemed to be much louder than the Spirit (provided He was actually there) and I suppose my griping about it on this blog post isn’t going to help matters either.  Well, maybe not entirely.

 I can’t change the events of yesterday.  Perhaps one of my blog readers can change the outcome of baptism reverence to come.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What do you Remember about your Baptism?



          My mom said that when she was baptized, she wore a white slip and panties.  She said it was embarrassing. She was almost nine.

          I find it odd that mom has no such records of the baptisms of her own children.  I don’t recall having seen a single photograph of any of us.  And yet it seems like it would have been important enough to get at least the two younger of my sibs. 

          I remember what I was wearing.  How pertinent – huh?  Mom had made a pair of white culottes – they were short, not the standard length they have today.  She might have made them because she didn’t appreciate having only worn a slip and panties herself.

          She also made a yellow gingham maxi dress which I wore to Church the next day. That is the sum of all that I remember.  No words, no people, not even my dad holding me in the water.

          I’m told that there were 25 kids that were baptized from our stake – five from just our wardI remember the names of two of the boys my mom said were baptized also.  I asked the mother of one if she had any memorabilia.  She never responded.

          My parents did give me a Bible.  I don’t know when exactly.  If it was on Saturday or Sunday – but I think it was for my baptism.

          The only thing I recall about Corey’s was that there was a small girl who was being baptized that day, also.  She was the smallest eight year old I have ever seen.
          At Kayla’s baptism, I do remember her smile as she and my brother, Patrick entered the water. 

          That’s all that I remember.  No talks.  No musical numbers.  Nothing.

          I have been to several baptisms in the last two years that happen to stand out more than mine did.  At least certain talks do.  And I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to share in the baptisms of others as I cannot remember my own.

          Corey and Kayla both seem to remember theirs.  They shared their experiences with Jenna.  That is cool.  To remember.  I hope that Jenna remembers her special day.  And it was special.

Unlike my mom however, I have tons of Memoribillia.  Uncle Bill took lots of pictures of her.  And I have been keeping a journal for her since before she was born.
          I’m grateful to be a part of baptisms – especially when I am called upon to participate.  It opens new doors for me.  Helps me remember things that I had forgotten.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

So Much to Be Grateful for



          This month started off with a funeral.  Roland’s eldest sister had passed away unexpectedly.  But our final moments with her were spectacular.  We had gone to visit the family to celebrate mom’s birthday (which I have mentioned in an earlier post.) 
               
We are all so much grateful that Roland was able to return and that we have been able to meet our expenses – though it has set us back in other ways.  We have been blessed.

And yesterday represented new life as Jenna entered into the waters of baptism.  Something she had been looking forward to for well over five months, as we have attended several others.  She didn’t think it fair that all her friends were getting baptized before she was – although that hasn’t really been the case.  (Have I mentioned that my little girl is quite the drama queen?)

The Spanish ward was in charge of the program.  The opening hymn was “Choose the Right” which was sung in English. The opening prayer and first talk were given in Spanish – with translator for the talk.

Ironically, Jenna just happens to be learning Spanish with her schooling.  Each morning she spends the first three hours receiving instructions in Spanish – so she didn’t really need the translation.  She understood the talk.  And I watched her listen with understanding.  And it was marvelous.

Her oldest brother, Biff, baptized her.  What a great experience for both of them, as he had never had the honoring of performing a baptism before.

I assisted Jenna with getting dressed while Roland shuffled those in attendance to another room (there were four primary baptisms for four different wards;  You may wish to refer to this post  if the words ward and primary don’t make sense to you) and introduced two of Jenna’s uncles who I had asked to sing a few primary numbers in order to maintain the Spirit.

A book of Jenna’s memoirs was passed around so that her friends and family could add their thoughts and advice.  And after everyone was accounted for (Biff had taken a little longer at changing and getting to where the rest of us were) a circle of priesthood holders stood around her, and Randy confirmed her a member of the Church.

It was a beautiful ceremony.  And I am so grateful for the outcome.  And for the strong Spirit that we all felt.

Next week we have a wedding.  Busy month.  And it has just barely started.