Sunday, September 2, 2012

Baptism Day

In our church, we believe that a person reaches the "age of accountability" at eight years old. This means that a person is able to distinguish right from wrong, and they have the opportunity to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We believe that this is an important step along our mortal path; one in which we commit to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ and do our best to keep the commandments and live the gospel. At baptism, two separate ordinances are performed; the first is baptism by immersion to wash away our sins and to make special covenants, or promises, to our Heavenly Father.  After baptism, we are able, through the authority of the Priesthood (the power to act in the name of God), to be confirmed a member of the church, to hear special blessings that the Lord has in store for us if we are faithful, and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe that the Holy Ghost is the 3rd member of the Godhead and is a personage of spirit who can inspire and direct all people at different times in their lives. However, when given the "gift of the Holy Ghost" through the ordinance of confirmation after baptism, a person has the right and privilege to call upon that gift for guidance and comfort, through  his/her faith and obedience.

Today was a special day in our family. It was our daughter, Tessa's, baptism day! She will be the only member of our family to be baptized in another country and in another language (unless we move somewhere else in 2 years...don't get any ideas, Tom!)

Tessa was so excited for her baptism day and was eager to have this special ordinance performed. She was able to have a member of our bishopric interview her a few weeks ago. He asked questions of Tessa in Portuguese, she answered in English; with Tom translating for each.

This afternoon, we had a special program, along with the baptism and confirmation. Many people from our ward and other surrounding wards (people who didn't even know us) came. All of the missionaries serving in Sao Carlos came. There were 3 American Elders. We had fun talking with them, and they had fun speaking in English and comparing stories about the transition to life in Brazil. Jaden gave the opening prayer. Tom told him he had to do it in Portuguese. He was a little concerned. He ended up offering a very nice prayer (in English). One of the American Elders gave a talk about baptism (in English). I then bore my testimony (in English, of course). The Relief Society President spoke in Portuguese. Tom whispered the translation in Tessa's ear.

Tom performed the baptism in Portuguese. Tessa had a huge smile on her face when she came out of the water. She told me later that she felt good (and, that the water was like an American hot tub!). I went into the bathroom to help her dry off and change clothes. The primary president came in to help us. I spoke to her in complete sentences! (more or less). It was cool.

Marissa played the prelude music before the baptism and the interlude music while Tom and Tessa were getting dressed. She did a fantastic job!! She hasn't played the piano since we left Logan. They want her to play in Sacrament meeting next Sunday.

Tom also performed the confirmation (this one was in English, so Tessa could understand the blessings given). All of the men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood were invited to join Tom in the circle where they layed their hands on Tessa's head to perform the ordinance. Afterward, she shook everybody's hand. They all offered her "parabens!", or "congratulations!"

There were 2 more talks given in Portuguese--one by the Primary President (the leader of the children), the other by a member of the Bishopric. A special musical number was performed by 2 men in our Stake. They sung in English, which was very special.

Some of the women in the ward had made cupcakes and a special cake for the occasion. Everyone sang "Happy Birthday" in Portuguese. They sing it over and over, getting faster and faster, while snapping their fingers. My kids can't sing "Happy Birthday" to each other here--they can't snap their fingers! Tessa was wearing a beautiful white dress that Grandma Huffman got for her special day. Have any of you ever seen Tessa eat? We now need to find a dry cleaner.

We missed our family and friends very much, but were very grateful for the support of our new ward "family". It was a special day and unique experience that we will all remember.

  Special Day

 Beautiful Tessa

 They had one huge white jumpsuit for Tessa to wear, It was an adult size small. We rolled up the legs, and it worked. The crotch hung down to her shins. haha

 Tessa did not want to stop eating her cake to pose for a picture.

 "Mmmmm!" Yummy Brigadeiro cake

All of the men who stood in the circle for the confirmation


  1. That is so neat you get to have all these cool, unforgetable moments! I love the picture of Tessa in her dress! She looks so much taller, and beautiful!

  2. How very cool! What a special experience for Tessa and the rest of the family. As Aaron would say, you are making some great memories that will be cherished forever. Keep smiling and posting! Your posts brighten my day and often bring tears to my eyes (both from the laughing and the Spirit of your testimony). Thanks!

  3. What a great experience. She will remember this forever. I love your blog. It will be a great missionary tool as well as a travel log for us:) Miss you.