Thursday, August 14, 2008

When I was baptized

When I was about to turn eight, my grandparents were serving a mission in Nauvoo, Illinois, which was only 10 hours away, instead of the usual 24 hours away. I'm not sure how I came to this decision, but I decided I wanted to be baptized in Nauvoo by my Grandpa. This meant I turned 8, and had to wait two and half weeks to go to Nauvoo as a family.

I remember my Grandpa telling me he found the prefect walking stick to measure how far we had to go out into the river so the water would be deep enough. I remember thinking my dress was beautiful, that the clear gelly shoes were the best idea ever. I remember being devastated when I couldn't find the shoes and had to wear ugly white tube socks. I remember going shopping with my grandma and getting a journal.

The morning we had scheduled for my baptism was stormy and cold, late September can get that way. I remember it being very very dark and cloudy. We were sitting in my grandparent's living room and the phone kept ringing. The other missionaries where calling to find out if "she was going to go through with it." In my little eight-year-old head I had already waited too long, and no thunderstorm was going to stop me (poor Grandpa!).

We went down to the end of Parley Street where the road seemed to go into the river. The missionaries gathered, the rain had stopped but I remember trench coats on the elders and pretty wool full-length coats on the sisters. We sang a song, we said a prayer, I talked about what I knew about baptism, and grandpa and I walked out into the river. It was cold, very very cold, but I remember my excitement more than the cold. Grandpa didn't complain at all, he just steadied my hand, and walked out with is walking stick. My parents yelled at me to tuck the skirt of my dress between my legs because it was ballooning up as we got deeper and deeper.

Grandpa baptized me. I am convinced that the clouds parted and the sun was allowed to shine down on us. Grandpa gave me a big hug, and we made our way back to the shore. I was wrapped in blanket and rushed to a car. I don't remember actually being cold, just shivering. We all went over to the Seventies Hall, where I changed into my pretty pink pastel stripped dress with the white v-neck collar. Mom tried to curl my bangs. I walked down the stairs and was so happy to see Grandpa changed as well. My sisters and I sang, and I was confirmed.

I still had the gap in my teeth then. Grandpa showed me how to hold a toothpick in the gap and suck on it. Grandma scolded him for encouraging such a habit. I think that trip was the first time we had oatmeal with vanilla icecream on it, something I am forever grateful to my grandma for introducing me too. Grandpa was carving birds when they weren't hosting tours in the Brigham Young home, my grandparents are a great example of avoiding idle hands, but with the sweet easy going way that they had.

3 comments:

Matt, Rachel, and Madden said...

That's a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it!

Tammy Lorna said...

I love the story of your baptism :)
I had to wait for mine too, because were living in Papua New Guinea at the time, and I wanted to get baptized in Brisbane so my aunts and uncles and grandparents could be there. In my eight your old mind, I didn't want to get baptized until I knew the church was true for myself, so I decided to read the book of mormon when I was seven, so that I could pray about it before I got baptized - and I did!

You plunged into a cold river even though everyone else was willing to put things off, and I read the Book of Mormon by myself every night for a year. Sometimes I marvel at how wonderful we all were as children. It's hard not to feel discouraged when I realize how much more we all struggle now, but I guess that's what life is all about :)

So glad you were able to get married there too :)

Love you girl!
xo Tammy

Lark said...

Your Mother prayed the weather would change. It did.

Everyone sang "Baptism" Children's song book.

The song you and your sisters sang in the Seventy's Hall was "I Am a Childed of God?

Your Grandpa liked to say after two service missions he had one baptism. That was his granddaughter in the Mississippi River at Nauvoo.