Hazel Jane was baptized on Sunday, October 14th.
This little 8 year old has an old soul and put so much thought and preparation into her baptism. She has been on a serious spiritual journey over the past 6 months as she has worked to gain a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and understand what the baptismal covenant is all about. She has been reading the scriptures and writing in her journal and praying and asking a lot of good questions. We’ve helped her along and tried to encourage her, but she’s done a lot of it on her own. In addition to reading a lot of the Book of Mormon and asking questions that have surprised me by their depth, we invited the missionaries to come to our home to teach and review the basic doctrines of the gospel. They also asked her to pray to know if baptism is something Heavenly Father wants her to do. So, with faith and an earnest heart she has built a strong foundation for her testimony of Christ and of His gospel and decided to get baptized. We are so proud of her decision to follow the Savior in this way.
We had quite a day surrounded by so many supportive friends and family members and neighbors. I gave the welcome at the baptism and was so moved when I looked out over the congregation, full of faces beaming love up to me and Hazel and our family. Our neighbors were there, Hazel’s friends from school, people came from far and near to witness this big step for Hazel. I was so thankful.
And I was especially touched when I looked at Hazel that day, all in white, beaming with the good news of the gospel and made bright by her simple, powerful desire to follow Christ.
It was a beautiful service, a talk by Grandma Shumway on Baptism, a talk by Grammie on the gift of the Holy Ghost, my mom and Charity and I sang a rendition of Beautiful Savior composed and accompanied by a member of our congregation who is an amazing musician. Aunt Karen lead the music, Heidi shared her testimony. Hazel was glowing.
Hazel wore the same clothes that Little Ricky, her Grandfather, my dad wore when he was baptized at age 8. My grandmother made them by hand more than 50 years ago. They fit her perfectly, but had to be mended by Grandma Shumway before they’d work. I hope they last for all my children to wear. It was especially great to have them since my dad couldn’t be there.
Our little family on her big day.
I love these pictures of these two sisters. Look at Em looking up to Hazel. I’m so thankful Hazel came first. She paving such a smooth road for her younger siblings. They look up to her so much. I’m pretty sure God knew what He was doing by sending her first.
Family there from my side.
Aunt ChiChi gave us the surprise of our life by flying out from San Francisco for the big day. This meant SOOO much to Hazel and was an awesome surprise (more on our time with her later)
It meant so much to Hazel to have her Grandparents there, coming all the way from the west. They showered her with praise and gifts and most importantly, love. Jeff’s side of the family.
Aunt Karen made a spur of the moment trip from NYC to come see the baptism too, which was so awesome. I love it so much that Hazel has such great Aunt role models. Aunt Kiecu is the best. And of course, our third adopted grandmother (who lives down the street from us), Joyce was there. She gave a beautiful benediction on the service. She’s known and loved Hazel since she was toddling around like Peter. The Kruckenkids are the closest things Hazel has to cousins living nearby. They know each other inside and out. Hazel attended Johanna and Ezra’s baptism and has looked up to them so much over the years.
Here are Hazel’s good friends from school who came. I love these girls. And of course, Heidi. Heidi who has loved hazel with such a huge heart, she has even taught me how to love Hazel at times when I’ve wondered what to do with her.
It was certainly a day to remember. Hazel wants to do it again already. I remember that feeling when I was baptized as a girl. It feels so good but it goes so quickly. Luckily there is a whole life full of discipleship that follows and plenty of chances to renew those covenants made on that baptism day.
Here’s to the new Hazel: disciple of Jesus Christ.