I don't know how to even put into words the events of today! I can guarantee the words I do use are going to be many because today has been Spiritual, amazing, outstanding and terrific.
Today Katy was baptized.
Katy has been and will always be an amazing example. She is born a little missionary. Today she talked to her cousins that have not been baptized (either by choice or due to age) and made sure to ask each of them to think about doing it.
The day started off totally chaotic! The people to open the church and start the font never showed up!!! So at 8:00 this morning I was frantically calling around trying to find and get in touch with someone who could help us. I finally was able to get in touch with President Walker and he drove over and opened up the church for us. Ben stayed at the church while the font was filled.
Once the font was filled Ben headed home where I was trying to bake cinnamon rolls, frost cinnamon rolls, get myself ready, get Katy ready, get Elyse ready, make sure all the milks were in the cooler and all the baptism stuff put in a pile to be loaded into the car once Ben got here. It was CRAZY!!
As we loaded up the car and drove the LONG way to the Stake Center (the quickest and fastest way was BLOCKED due to Midvale Harvest Days Parade) I was frazzled. I said a quick, silent prayer asking for me to have peace and help bring the Spirit and the peace that comes with the comforter.
When we got to the church I was SOOO grateful for the Spirit cause I would have burst into tears had I not had peace that it would be okay. We were doing a brunch before the baptism in the Stake Pavilion and the sprinklers were on DRENCHING that same place! I could NOT believe it. The Spirit brought peace and I simply told Ben and the girls we would go in and practice our song and come out in a few. It was only 9:30 and the Brunch was set to start at 10:00.
After practicing the song for a bit we went back out and water was still sprinkling around all except a few tables. People were starting to arrive and I had NO clue how I was going to feed the masses with no where to feed them. I made an executive decision and just started unloading the car full of food onto the few tables that were not getting drenched in water. I was so grateful for family members that were willing to laugh and roll with the punches as they dodged water sprays while filling their plate with food!
At about 10:45 I took Katy and Lyse into the church and changed Lyse into her dress and Katy into her baptismal suit. There are certain times as a mom that your heart is full...that was one of them! My heart was so full as I watched my girl walk around in her all white jump suit. What a HUGE day in her life this was.
The program was as follows:
Conducting: Brother Mike Peterson
Pianist: Sister Becca Staker
Chorister: Shaylece Smith
Opening Song: Army of Helaman
Opening Prayer: Shaylece Smith
Talk on Baptism: Debbie Hawker
Song: "A Child's Prayer" by Katy and Tauni Hawker (more on this later)
Talk on Holy Ghost: Launa Smith
Baptism of Katlynn Ivie Hawker by her dad Benjamin Dee Hawker
Witnesses: Kevin Whitear Smith & Duane Kummer
Primary Remarks by Becca Staker
Stake Primary Remarks by Karen Carin
Song: "I am a Child of God" by Katy, Elyse and their cousins
Bishopric Remarks by Bishop Grant Pullan
Closing Song: I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Closing Prayer: Erin Sare
Katy was the one that made all the decisions in regards to who was doing what and when. The only thing that we changed was Bart was unable to be at the baptism and so we asked my uncle Duane if he would be a witness. Both Bret and Jason were there but we didn't want them to feel left out when one was asked and the other was not...so we just went the neutral ground! :) The other thing I changed was Katy wanted her cousins to sing "Army of Helaman". I agreed up until Friday when I realized that Katy didn't know the words that well which meant each of the other kids would also struggle. I decided to just switch the opening song of "I am a child of God" with "Army of Helaman"...all the kids know "I am a child of God".
The talk by Debbie was wonderful and she did a great job of talking about baptism and the importance of it all. Once she was done, it was Katy and my turn to sing. As we got up, I could sense that Katy was nervous. I told her to hold my hand and if she needed help with her part to just squeeze and it would be ok! I was the one that needed her help in the end! She sang like a pro and it was GORGEOUS. That girl has a voice and it is beautiful!!! When it came to my part to sing I BARELY got the words "Pray He is there, Speak He" and I just lost it. I couldn't sing anymore. I tried but I was overcome with emotion.
I wish I could say what emotion it was exactly I just felt so many. My baby was being baptized, my baby had just sang beautifully, my baby was picking up and singing where I was struggling. All those things played a HUGE part. Another part was the Spirit. The Spirit was so strong! As I looked out on all the people in our lives that we love so much and their eyes were filled with tears, I lost it again completely! I tried to pull it together for the 3rd verse in which Katy sang "Heavenly Father are you Really there?" While I sang, "Pray He is there" but I just couldn't do it. My mom, sister and Ben all stepped in and helped. What amazing, supportive family I have!! Katy sang like I pro and I bawled like a baby while squeezing her hand.
Even while I write this I feel those emotions and I remember the Spirit. I KNOW our Father in Heaven was so proud of Katy and her decision to be baptized. The Spirit testified of that!
When I asked Ben to describe his experience while we were singing and his perspective on the baptism as a whole, he said,
"I don't know. It was pretty Spiritual. Katy was really cute with it. Katy was trying really hard but she made a couple mistake. She would forget where she was at and the only times you were able to get words out was when you were prompting her (this was during the 3rd verse). While baptizing her I was trying to get the words right (in English) and not translate them to Portuguese. It was a great experience. It was very special and it was touching. She was excited about it which made it a greater experience for me. I don't know but I felt a lot of love for that little girl."
After Katy was baptized I took her back into the dressing room and got her out of the cold, wet clothes (the font got cold fast I guess). Katy was freezing so I fixed her hair a bit while she was wrapped in the HUGE white towel my mom had given her. I got her dressed in her beautiful butterfly dress and then I gave her the special baptism necklace that Ben and I had purchased for her a few days before. She loved the necklace and put it on immediately.
We walked out and finished the program. All the cousins singing, "I am a child of God" was beautiful and touching! What sweet kids that I love with all my heart! Becca Staker got choked up as she mentioned the Spirit she had felt that day and how grateful she was to have felt that Spirit. She said 2 very specific times were: when Katy and I were singing and then when Katy was baptized. I would have to agree 100% with her on both of those! Those were the 2 times I felt the Spirit the VERY strongest...testifying to me the truthfulness of the gospel and the Happiness our Father in Heaven felt in the decisions Katy was and is making.
Bishop Pullan said a couple things about how wonderful Katy was. He challenged her to write down the day and to try and read her scriptures daily and then the meeting closed. It was VERY touching and very Spiritual. What a beautiful girl my Father in Heaven has blessed me with!
The hardest part of the day for me was balancing family, friends and helping Katy balance out the same! Everyone being there for my special girl and trying to make them all feel loved and welcome was more of a challenge than I originally thought it would be. I hope they all know how much I appreciate and love them! Today would not have been the same if we had not had such amazing family and friends to share it with!
Here is a list of all the people that came today: Ben (Dad), Tauni (Mom), Elyse, Grandpa Kevin Smith, Grandma Launa Smith, Grandma Debbie Hawker, Aunt Shay, Uncle Bret, Aunt Nat, Addison, Aunt Nanner (Jana), Uncle Darin, Brooklyn, Dustin, Uncle Jason, Aunt Hazel, Keira, Aunt Ethney, Kellie, Spencer, Isaac, Eric, Aunt Erin, Uncle Tony, Ethan, Oakley, Aunt Jan Kummer, Uncle Duane Kummer, Aunt LeAnn Smith, Andrea Brown, Andrew Brown, Hadley Brown, Audrey Jacobsen, Becca Staker, Morgan Staker, Karen Carin (stake primary pres.), Bro. Mike Peterson, Tami Peterson, Tanner Peterson, Alex Peterson, Sophie Peterson, Peyton Peterson, Bishop Grant Pullan and I know a couple more people snuck in but that was all I was able to get down on paper!
Katy was blessed with many gifts from many of the people. She got: a porcelain girl praying (Bret, Nat and Addie); $5 and a card (Aunt Jan and Uncle Duane); a necklace, bracelet, $40 and a book (Aunt LeAnn); A Jenny Phillips Book and CD (Audrey Jacobsen); Book of Mormon with picture from day of baptism (Karen Carin, stake Primary); CTR ring with birthstone (Grandma and Grandpa Smith); CTR ring, journal and Primary Song Book (Jason, Hazel and Keira) and then of course the necklace from Ben and I. Aunt LeAnn gave the same necklace so Katy went an exchanged the necklace from LeAnn for a mustard seed necklace (a mustard seed inside a glass/plastic casing put on a necklace). I am only writing what she got because I want to have a record of WHY these items are important! Katy is surrounded by people that LOVE and ADORE her! What a HUGE blessing she has been in so many lives, not just ours! I hope and pray she will always be the amazing example she has been thus far in her life!
Today Katy said after her baptism, "You know that feeling inside when you feel like you are going to cry but it isn't cause you are sad at all? I have that feeling today!" I think she summed it up perfectly!!!
And last but not least, an "I told you so" moment for me and overall just funny experience from the day. Ben mentioned he wished he had remembered to bring DRY garments for after. See the night before I asked him to put all his stuff he was taking in the pile with all the other clothes. He said no he would just get it in the morning to which I said I was afraid we would forget important stuff if we didn't get them in the pile. He was tired and so instead we went to bed and put off getting his stuff for the morning. Well as I mentioned above our morning was CRAZY - I didn't have time to even think about Ben's clothes so he grabbed everything as we ran out to the car...I figured it was all there. It wasn't! After baptizing Katy he wringed dry his garments and put back on the cold, wet ones. Poor guy...never did say I told you so - just didn't feel right at the time...HOWEVER totally gonna say it now ;)