Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Birthday Baptism!

Hi everyone!

This week has been nuts. I do NOT think that the adversary wanted Ruby to be baptized, we were hit by just about everything that could be thrown at us. Not in chronological order, these trials include physical maladies, multiple doctor's appointments, exhaustion, an emotional roller-coaster, a semi-defective water heater at the church, a completely defunct baptismal font key, a broken down car on Sunday morning, and Monday morning mildew in the washing machine (I'm not from a place where mildew grows. My reaction: What is this gook?), making all of our clothing smell like armpit with a hint of spoiled broccoli. Lame.

However much the devil was in the details, I saw God in the details even more. Ruby experienced a decline in memory in the middle of the week that we felt pretty worried about. On Friday, we were just praying that she would rebound to her normal self. On Saturday morning (the day of her birthday and baptism) when we called to wish her a happy birthday, she told us that she felt this incredible peace and had a sense that she didn't need to be afraid of the water. She was completely back to her normal level of memory retention when she walked in with Sister Edwards, her member friend. I almost cried right then, but I knew that I didn't have time to cry because we had to go boil more water to put in the font. Even though the water was a little chilly, Ruby went down and came up glowing. She had such radiance in that moment, and it only increased the next day.

Ruby had her birthday dinner in Baltimore with her son, but his car broke down so she had to stay the night. His car still wasn't fixed in the morning, and sweet Sister Edwards drove all the way to Baltimore to pick her up. They were only twenty minutes late to the second hour of church, which is truly remarkable considering the traffic blockage. According to the handbook, confirmations are only to occur during a sacrament meeting. Bishop Burciaga decided that we would have a special sacrament meeting after the normal meetings were finished. We filled up the first five pews on the far left of the chapel, right in front of the sacrament table. After the opening prayer was said, Ruby was invited to sit in a chair which had been brought to the front. As she stood and walked to the chair, I felt the great weight and sacredness of the moment. Ruby sat, and commented that she needed a blessing, thank you. That made us all chuckle. Five worthy, wholesome men who are holders of the priesthood, the power to act in God's name that we talk about so much, gathered around Ruby and gently placed their hands on top of her head.

As Brother Glunt spoke the words, receive the Holy Ghost, shivers went up and down my spine and I cried tears of joy. Heaven felt so close, like the boundary that separates the living from the dead and the angels of God was no longer able to hold the enthusiasm of our unseen companions back. I felt such joy, and I knew that those on the other side of the veil were rejoicing with me. I also felt my Daddy very close. He's proud of my hard work, and he shared in my joy, so close I felt as if I could almost hug him. Someday I will again, but for now, it was enough to know that he was there with me and he is watching out for me still. What gratitude I feel to my Father in Heaven, who has allowed my Daddy to be one of my guardian angels on this journey.
Ruby's blessing ended, and she was effervescent. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who publish peace! Ruby shone and Ruby glowed as she partook of the bread and the water of the sacrament, renewing her covenants with God for the first time. An astounding peace settled over me, and I knew that it was good. Ruby was baptized on June 25 and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on June 26, and Heavenly Father was pleased with her decision. I went home utterly exhausted and full of exuberance, which makes for a strange combination. I ended up sleeping through lunch and woke up still carrying the good feeling with me. What a day!

Anyway, I better let you go. Check out https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/jesus-christ if you want to know more about baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, you have to scroll down a little bit, but it's there!

Love you always,

Sister Naomi Rapier
Ruby Baptism: After

Ruby Baptism: Before
Ruby Confirmation Day

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