Yesterday we attended a baptism of an eight-year old in our branch (The youngest you can be baptized in our Church is 8 years old. We believe that at that age a child begins to realize the significance of his baptism and that he can begin to be accountable for his actions.). As in all the baptisms I have attended, it was a sweet time of commitment which actually only took a total of about 30 minutes. This is a copy of the program we were given as we entered:
It may be a little hard to see this clearly but the amazing thing was this young eight-year hand wrote his own program and then his mother printed it. The first page (top) gives the date and time of the baptism. The next page on the right gives a few pictures of him and some captions he wrote next to it. I think the top pictures was a baby picture and actually gave his birth height and weight. The other pictures tell a little about him, where he goes to school and what he likes to do.
On the left side is the program: Opening hymn, prayer, 2 talks, 2 songs by the other Primary (children's organization) children, the actual baptism, short remarks and thank you from him, the closing hymn, and prayer).
Several of the people attending gave Yuuta (this young boy's name) a small gift in congratulations. Yuuta and his brothers (ages 4 and 11) had baked cookies and put them in little bags and then when someone gave Yuuta a gift, he thanked them and gave them a cookie as additional thanks. The whole thing was so amazing because this mother had taken the time to make Yuuta a real part of his baptism.
I look back and think that I tried to involve my children in the special events of their lives but maybe I didn't do as good a job as I could have. I am not advocating that every child handwrite his own program but maybe we lose patience and just do everything ourselves. This was such a learning opportunity. I guess there is a time for not giving them that opportunity (a surprise party?) but there are so many times that we can show our children and grandchildren what a wonderful accomplishment they have made by involving them in the celebration.
NEXT: Driving in Japan
I thought I would tell you a little about driving in Japan:
1. I already mentioned that you drive on the left side of the road and not the right side.
2. The roads are narrow and wind a lot.
3. One of the main ways to tell if cars are coming when you turn is to look at the big round mirrors in front of you which are pointing to both sides of where the traffic is coming. It is impossible to tell if there are cars coming (on the side streets) from either direction because the buildings are too close to the road. So you TOTALLY depend on the mirrors!
4. There are tons of bicycles and pedestrians.
5. When you park, you BACK into the space!
6. The turn signal and windshield wiper lever are on opposite sides than we are used to so you are
always turning on the windshield wipers instead of your turn signal.
7. Because of number 1 above, a left turn is easier than a right turn.
8. There is no road rage (we have only been passed once) and the drivers are usually very polite and let you in if there is a long line of cars and you need to turn.
9. There is a lot of traffic and the traffic signals are pretty long.
10. After a month and a half of being here, we saw our FIRST car accident yesterday. It was basically a bad fender bender.
Hope your week is good. We are looking forward to a great one!