During this first week of November, I have been reflecting on a few life-changing spiritual events that occurred in my life in early November: my baptism, my confirmation and the commencement of my missionary service.
On Friday, November 5, 1982, I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Two days later on Sunday November 7, I was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost in a sacrament meeting. Here are a couple of pictures of my baptism — the first one is of my dad (Kent) and grandpa (Dick); the second is of my immediate family on that exciting day back in 1982:
I remember that baptism day very well. I wanted to make sure we performed the ordinance correctly so it wouldn’t have to be repeated. My dad and I were both dressed in white and we rehearsed in another room just before the actual baptism. The water felt very warm and comfortable. After my dad offered the prayer, he immersed my 8-year-old body completely under the water for just a short moment. As I came up out of the water, I felt clean and pure. I made a personal goal at that time that I would never sin again! 🙂
While I was unable to keep that goal, it was the beginning of a spiritual journey that led me to missionary service for the Church 11 years later. On November 3, 1993, I entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah to prepare for two years of service as a church missionary in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Here’s a picture of my MTC district in front of the Provo Temple (I’m on the far left side):
These events shaped my young life profoundly. My baptism put me on a path of church activity and participation that eventually led me to missionary service. On my mission, I taught the gospel to hundreds of Brazilians and, in the process, became ever-more converted to its truths. My love for and devotion to the Church were cemented during this formative time in my life, for which I am deeply grateful.