Sunday, February 12, 2017

Christ-Like Love

We were in the Baptistry again this week and want to share two really tender experiences.  The first was yesterday during the hour committed to families.  A family had reserved the time weeks ago, and last minute another family wanted to join.  This second family had a son with severe Cerebral Palsy and Autism.  It took the family a half hour to convince him to even come downstairs, and he was nervous getting into the water.  His older brother, who was about 14 or 15, stayed in the font with him and helped hold him and calm him while he did three names.  It was very spiritual and there were a lot of tears.  Getting a large, wiry, constantly flailing body in and out took quite a bit of time, and the parents and brother were so careful and patient.   That was a small window into what their lives are like 24/7.  We are filled with such admiration for people who devote their lives to caring for a family member with such demands.  Interesting side note - the family from Scotland who shared their time (and their family name cards) included a son who had served with us in Fortaleza!!!

The other situation was on Tuesday.  That is the P-Day for the missionaries at the MTC here. They are assigned an endowment session either in the morning or the afternoon.  There were four missionaries who went to the afternoon session who asked afterwards if they could do baptisms.  Because there were four we didn't need extra men, but just to free up Craig from what he was doing (covering for others, since his assignment was baptistry) they had to wait for 45 minutes.   Since they are endowed they can do only family names, of which they had none, but someone had "happened" to bring down a bunch of male names to do, so we could proceed.  When we got set up it appeared that the impetus was to help one of the Elders have the experience of baptizing, and doing it in English.  The Elders were from Wales, Hungary, Japan and Hong Kong, all going to London, English speaking.  (In the MTC right now out of 47 missionaries, 17 countries are represented!)  Three of them spoke English at least relatively well.  One didn't at all, and was quite shy anyway.  The three lovingly asked if this one Elder could practice reading the card, and they were so kind and encouraging as they helped him with the words.  (And very cute when they reminded him to read left to right, not downward!)  Then the one he was baptizing got on his knees to make it more comfortable.  One of the others said, "Elder, would it be easier if I got your glasses for you?"  And on it went.  These are young boys at a normally very selfish age.  But they spent their precious, limited free hours on P-Day to rally around one timid, awkward Elder and help him have a positive experience. The joy on their faces, and the love they had for the work they were doing and for each other filled our hearts with such gratitude to be able to witness.  We have not been able to talk about it all week without getting tearful.   If all people were that concerned about helping each other, what a different world this would be!
The temple grounds are kept in such pristine conditions.
Even with our freezing temperatures, these happy flowers
greet us as we approach the front doors of the temple.

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