Alayna’s Baptism

Well the day she’s been waiting for allllll year came on Saturday! She has been anxiously awaiting her Baptism date. Every time we’d go to support one of her classmates from her Primary Class as they got baptized she would get more and more restless!! LOL!

Her smile just BEAMED all day!
Our wonderful friends and Home Teacher’s came. Sister Packard played the piano for us!
Grandma & Grandpa Morrison were so proud of her. 
 Jared’s friend from Jr. High, Milt Lilly and his family came, and he was one of the Witnesses. 
You can’t really see Chris (on the far left) and Ann Marie Watt. We have been friends for years and this past year have become very close. Chris was one of the other Witnesses. 
The Campbell’s came too. 
You can see Alayna still grinning in the background greeting Emmy, one of her friends from Primary! So sweet!
The Switzer’s. Charlie and Alayna are best buds!
Emmy and her Dad Jamie who serves as the 1st Counselor in the Bishopric. Bishop Hawk is on the far right of the picture. He conducted the meeting. 
Monica and her girls, Rayna (on the right) and Brisa (on the left), and Jen came too. Carlos and Natalie couldn’t make it. They weren’t feeling well. Robin and her kids couldn’t make it either. We missed them!
Morgan, another friend of Alayna’s from Primary came. That smile is still holding strong! 😛
Morgan’s family. Raigen, Chad, and Julie Palmer.
Jeff and Bea.
Boog and his family came late and I missed getting a photo of his family. 
Our Baptisms are always a family affair. We don’t have any family that are members so we just put our shoulder to the wheel and get the job done the best we can. 🙂 Walker gave a great talk on baptism. 
“What an exciting day it is for Alayna. Getting baptized. I
was asked to speak to her on her baptism today. As I thought about how to teach
her about the importance of baptism and what it means in her life, the idea of
a treasure hunt kept popping into my head. So today I am going to liken her
journey through life to a treasure hunt.
In the Preexistence she lived with our Heavenly Father. We
had a spirit body and He had a perfect body of flesh and bones. We desired to
become like Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father wanted that also, so He devised a
plan that would enable us to learn the things we needed to learn so that we
could become like Him and receive a celestial body.
The plan He came up with is called the Plan of Salvation or
the Plan of Happiness. In this plan we are all given the opportunity to come to
Earth and attempt to find that treasure that is eternal life or living with our
Heavenly Father forever. The treasure hunt would not be easy. We had forgotten:
(1) Who we really were —Children of God; (2) Why we were here —to get a body
and be tested; and (3) Where we are going —hopefully back to the presence of
Heavenly Father. To overcome these challenges God gave us certain gifts and hid
upon the Earth maps, tools, and guides to help us return to Him.
Each of us is born with the Light of Christ within us. Some
call it a conscience. Our conscience is like a sense of direction. It points us
in the right direction that we should travel. This is very important for us
because it helps us find the necessary tools to find the treasure. Our
conscience leads us to them if we listen. It is also the part of her that
recognized the truth when it was spoken to her or when she read the Book of
Mormon. It is why Alayna is here today, because she knows that being baptized
is the right thing to do. One of Heavenly Father’s guides, the Holy Spirit has
spoken to her spirit and confirmed that this is true.
The treasure chest that holds eternal life is locked. The
key that opens that chest is baptism. Many receive that key when they are eight
and are baptized into the church. Others come later in life and find this key.
The ordinance symbolizes the death of the natural man and his burial in the
water, and the resurrection of the disciple of Christ as he rises from the
water.
Having been baptized we have the key to open the treasure
chest but how do we find that chest? The map or directions to the treasure are
the very words of Christ. He has shown us the way. Has He not said, “Come
follow me”? Has He not given us the scriptures and prophets both past and
present that we might know where to go and what we must do to find the
treasure? For those not in tune with the Spirit, these directions may be
confusing. For those who have only the Bible, the true path is difficult to
discern from the missteps and false trails laid down by men. But with the aid
of the Book of Mormon and its second witness, the trail can be discerned by the
honest in heart when they rely on the Spirit.
Not only do we have a sense of direction, the key and the
map, but after baptism we also receive a compass that always points back to God
so we need never make a misstep or lose the path. That compass is the gift of
the Holy Ghost that you will receive after baptism. Though it always points to
God, we must have the faith to follow its directions or else we will become
lost.
When we take all that God has given us to find the treasure
and distill it into a single thought, we get the following sentence: We must
have faith unto repentance, baptism, keep the commandments, and endure to the
end. Sounds simple, right? But there are going to be times in our lives when we
lose the path; we commit sin and our key rusts; and our compass does not seem
to work. We know we are in danger of not finding the chest and that a rusty key
will not open it. Are we then all doomed to failure? No.
As our key rusts, and it will with sin, it is important that
we do not overlook the greatest gift that God has given us, the gift of the
Atonement through the Lord Jesus Christ. We clean that key through repentance and
partaking worthily of the sacrament each week.
Alayna’s search for treasure in this life is like any other
dangerous task—it requires the proper safety equipment. On our treasure hunt it
is important that we securely tether ourselves to God through constant prayer.
If we become lost, or think that our compass is not working, it is essential
that we pray to God to find out how to get back on track. It is through prayer
that we access the repentance process and can rectify our wrong turns.
Brothers and sisters, I know that God is happy with Alayna’s
choice today. She has found the key and the compass and she is now ready to
begin in earnest her search for eternal life. Remember that the map is
contained in the words of Christ. That He has placed guides upon the earth in
the form of family members and church leaders to help us stay on the path.
Remember to pray always and partake of the Atonement, and she will find what
she seeks and live with God forever.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
After his talk Alayna entered the Water’s of Baptism and Jared baptized her. I was standing in the wings and so I had a bird’s eye view of the whole thing. 🙂 Thankfully I was….her ponytail floated and the witnesses couldn’t see from their vantage point and thought it was complete. I had to speak up and say she had to do it again…LOL! 🙂  It was pretty funny!
While we were busy getting dry and changed we played two videos. “Our True Identity” by Dieter F. Uchtdorf and “Glorious” by David Archuletta. 
Then Eli gave a sweet talk on the Holy Ghost.
“Wow Alayna I cant believe that you were just baptized! As I’m pretty sure that everyone knows you are probably the
most excited person to be baptized ever! I was asked to talk about the Holy
Ghost, I think that the Holy Ghost is one of the most important advances in
your mission to become a pure beautiful lady that I know you will become.
Alayna I guess you’ve heard that baptism is a covenant
right? A covenant a two-way promise. When you get baptized, you promise to be a
witness of Christ and take his name upon you. That means to keep his
commandments and always remember him.Well, when you make this promise to
Heavenly Father, he promises something back. He promises to give you the gift
of the Holy Ghost.
Now imagine Alayna you have a special friend which I’m sure
you do that you really love to be around.
A friend who helps comfort you when you are sad or scared.
A friend who makes you have a warm, happy feeling in your
heart.
A friend who encourages you to do kind things for others.
A friend who helps teach you right from wrong.
You’d probably want to invite a special friend like this to
your home. You’d probably clean your house and plan some things to do that
would make your friend feel comfortable and welcome. When your friend arrived,
you’d listen carefully to that friend. You may even tell your friend how glad
you are to be with him or her. So just like there are many ways I can
communicate with you, there are many ways the Holy Ghost can communicate with
you too. And the Holy Ghost will have a reason to speak to you.
The Holy Ghost is a special friend to you. The Holy Ghost
can bring feelings of warmth, love, peace, joy, and can help you want to do
good. When you feel the Holy Ghost with you, thank Heavenly Father for this
blessing. The Holy Ghost is one of the greatest gifts Father in Heaven can give
you.
Just as you’d like to nourish a good relationship with a
friend, the companionship of the Holy Ghost can be encouraged in much the same
way. We need to be our best and be worthy to have the Holy Ghost with us.
Keep our bodies and minds clean.
Have faith.
Avoid sin.
Pray.
Read and ponder the scriptures.
Once you have done all these things you will have the Holy
Ghost with you the Holy Ghost will protect in the many ways I have explained
before and more.
But how can he do these things? You can’t see him or touch
him or talk to him, and even though we say he speaks with the still small
voice, unless it is a very special situation, you can’t really hear him with
your ears either. The Holy Ghost has many different ways of communicating with
us, and as you grow up and learn and have experiences, you will learn to
recognize the ways the Holy Ghost speaks to you.
There is one final thing I want to tell you about this
special new gift you have. You can take it everywhere with you. Sometimes in
your life you will feel alone, but you will not be alone. The Holy Ghost will
be with you, and if you are righteous and keep the commandments, if you keep
your part of the covenant you’re making today, you will be worthy to have his
guidance, and his warnings, and his comfort. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Jared and the other Priesthood holders in the room gathered around Alayna and conferred the Gift of the Holy Ghost upon her. The blessing was so special. My friend Ann Marie was so thoughtful and wrote down as much as she could and I’ve tucked it away in her Baptism Book for her to go back to and read whenever she wants to. 🙂
It was a beautiful Baptism and the Spirit was strong. I had so many family and friends tell me afterwards how much they loved it. It meant a lot to me and our family to hear that from them. We all did our best to invite the Spirit and share our faith with them. 
We had everyone come back to the house for a brunch. I think I made everything one could imagine! LOL! Everyone was surprised as I kept pulling things from the refrigerator, oven, pantry, or wherever. It was sort of like the scene form Mary Poppins when she pulls things from her carpet bag!!! Hahahaha! No one left hungry that’s for sure! It’s just my way of showing the people I care about most that I love them. I love to cook for them. 🙂
Congratulations Alayna! We are so very proud of you and your decision to be baptized. We know Heavenly Father is very pleased with you. We are amazed everyday with the young lady you are becoming. You are fearless in standing up for what is right. You are a faithful friend and you love unconditionally. You have so many talents and abilities… even in your short 8 years we have seen them bloom. Your artistic ability astounds us. Your sense of humor keeps us laughing, and your feistyness makes you unique! As we’ve watched your testimony grow it has warmed our hearts to see your love for your Savior increase. The excitement you’ve had over making this covenant with your Heavenly Father has been contagious and your friends have watched you and have taken on that excitement as well as they await their own baptism day! We are so thankful to be your parents. We love you so much and know so much more is to come. We are blessed to be able to share the things that will come in your life. We pray for you that you will continue to live the commandments and do what you can to nurture your testimony every day. We know you will do great things in your life and you will be a strength to those you meet! 
With all of our love,
Mom & Dad

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