Thursday, February 26, 2009

Manuel's Big Day

This post has been a long time coming. But when one has over a hundred pictures to go through, it takes a while to get the post out to the blog.

So here we go....

Who is Manuel?

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Manuel es mi primo.

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What was his big day?

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January 17th, the day he got baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Why was this such a big deal?

Because in my church kids usually get baptized when they are eight years old. That is because at the age of eight children have a knowledge of right and wrong. They are also capable of having a testimony of Jesus Christ. I know this is true because I have an eight year old...she knows right from wrong and she knows Jesus is her Savior.

Well Manuel is fourteen. He has been raised from birth in our church but his dad is of another faith. To honor his father's wishes Manuel was not baptized at the age of eight even though he had the desire to be. As the years have gone by it has become more and more important to Manuel to be baptized. Right before Thanksgiving Manuel asked his dad once again for permission to be baptized and this time his father's heart was softened and to everyone's delight, he said yes. This was truly a miracle for our family, but not a surprise to my Tia Ines, Manuel's mom. She always had faith that this day would come.

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Manuel and Tia Ines

Who came to support Manuel?

Everyone!...Duh! Have you not read my previous posts about my family and how we support everyone and everything!

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Tio Marco, Dani and their kiddos. Uncle Al and Tia Ana

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My brother Jason, his girlfriend Beth and my niece Zoe.

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My Abuelita Hernandez and my mom and Joe.

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The Parrea Family

(my brothers lovingly call them the "puh-tay-tah's")

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Us...of course and my brother Eric (aka Tio Rico)

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All of the little cousins were there to support. They sang this precious song called "If the Savior Stood Beside Me"

(listen closely to the words. when your kids are taught these principles at home and at church how can they not know Christ)

IMG_2765 These are the sister missionaries that taught Manuel.

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These are Manuel's friends who have been so supportive.

I have been to a lot of baptisms in my time. When I was the Primary President I went to dozens of them. This one was definitely one of the most special I've been to.

Why was this one so special?

~Maybe it was because Manuel is my cousin.

~Maybe it was because my family has prayed and fasted for this day to come.

~Maybe it's because Manuel has prepared himself for years and patiently waited, never complaining.

~Maybe it's because he was baptized by his uncle Joe, confirmed a member of the Church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by his Tio Marco and then given the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained to the office of Teacher* by his Uncle Al.

~Maybe it's because my sister gave the talk on Baptism and my Tia Ana gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.

~Maybe it's because I was the chorister...then again maybe not.

~Maybe it's because his sweet little cousins sang this precious song that is playing on my blog.

~Maybe it's because I know the spirit of my great grandma, my Abuelita Tina, was there. She herself was baptized at the ripe old age of 90.

~Maybe it's because I made a very cool video tribute to Manuel that we played on a projector. (I'm still trying to figure out how to load it onto my blog.)

~Maybe it's because there were over a hundred people there, including family and friends. Some of which are not members of our faith.

Well, I believe it was all of these reasons that made it so special. It was a wonderful day. I am so grateful that I got to be a part of it. I love Manuel so much and I am so proud of the young man he has become. He is a great example to my children. I look forward to watching him grow up into a fine man who will not only use his talents to better the world but to also build up the kingdom of God.

*Teacher

An office of the Aaronic Priesthood. A worthy young man is normally ordained a teacher at the age of 14. Some of a teacher’s responsibilities are to prepare the sacrament and to teach the truths of the gospel from the scriptures. Those who instruct classes are also referred to as teachers by virtue of their assignment not related to a priesthood office.

**This is only part one of Manuel's baptism. It was a fun filled weekend with lots to document.

13 comments:

calibosmom said...

That's AWESOME!!! That song gives me a lump in my throat every time. WOHOO!!!

AMY said...

It's so great to have family to support you! He looks soooo happy.

Mrs Ana said...

That was so beautiful and what great memories we all have. It was so special to be part of it not to mention so much fun to be together. I wish I could be there for everything! I love you all!

kthom said...

What a fantastic documentation of a special day. He's a cute kid that made a mature decision at a tough age, very impressive. I was the chorister when I taught this to the primary last year and have never gotten through it w/o the lump-in-throat/ ugly singing face so I wouldn't cry -love it. Anyhoo, those people, who I'm sure are lovely...I do not know..sorry. They are in my stake and live in the next town over (according to the stake directory). Small world- Enjoy your Thursday night!!!

Jean McKendrick said...

I had to wait until I was 12 to be baptized for the same reason. It was very special and I can still remember the way I felt that day. That's exciting for Manuel and the rest of your family. I love "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" I am sure it brought a special spirit to the meeting. Congratulations!

Lauren in GA said...

I am so, so, happy for Manuel and your whole family. He waited so long and was so patient and valiant. As I read this and heard that beautiful Primary Song I couldn't help but cry. Congratulations to Manuel and your family.

Sheesh, now I have to blow my nose ;)

Erin said...

What a heartwarming post! Totally made me tear up. I needed that!

Also, the answer to the question, "Who is Manuel?" could be "Erin's dad.". That's my dad's name. :) If we get a boy, it will also be his middle name...it's my grandpa's name and my great-grandpa's name too!

Bridget said...

Yeah for Manuel!! That is so awesome. Congrats to him and your family.

just the five of us said...

What a great day! I think that is what is so neat about our faith. Families are Forever! And they are always there to support you. And when your family lives states away, you always have that wonderful ward family! We have had some wonderful ward families!!

Natalie said...

I always love your family posts. Such a beautiful spirit in your familia! Congratulations to Manuel. What a noble example to so many!

P.S. I have said it before, and I'll say it again, a chorister can make or break a baptism;).

Natalie said...

Jessica, i need your expertise on a few things. Would you mind emailing me? (I know how much "spare time" you've had lately so if you don't get around to it, no worries!)

nataliekidd@cox.net

Thanks!!!

Elena said...

This was definitely worth waiting for. You did an excellent job. As always.xoxoox

Kathleen said...

So I am avoiding the millions of things that I need to do tonight and decided to catch up on some blogs that I have not read in a while. Thank you so much for posting this story. It seriously gave me chills and made me cry a little. It is so nice to see a young man that is so serious about the gospel. His story is such an inspiration. It made me realize that I take for granted the fact that my baptism was relatively easy. I am glad there were so many people there to support him!!

PS- Did you comment on my blog about "Rich Girls?" I don't know many other Jessicas... so it was either you or someone super-creepy!