Wednesday, May 4, 2011
This was quite a day. We got out pretty close to on time. We went down to the Jordan River, to the site of the traditional baptism of the Savior. It was beautiful. No one else was there. We set up in a little pavilion they had with a nice mosaic of a dove. We went down to the river to take pictures. Then we had a beautiful little service for my little Alexia. As BJ spoke about the Holy Ghost a dove flew past. We went down to the river’s edge. The birds were singing, a gentle breeze was blowing through the rushes. The water was muddy, which made Alexia nervous for a minute, and then she was okay. The baptism was wonderful, and she was so happy. As she changed clothes we filled out little cards with our testimony on them. Then she came out and was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was peaceful. It was perfect.
We cleaned up. As we left a tour bus and several cars came. But while we were there, we had it all to ourselves. You could never, ever ask for a more perfect or beautiful experience. I am so proud of my little Lexie. It is amazing to think of what she had done. I think she understood the covenants she was making. I think she wanted to make them, to do what was right. She was really washed clean, she was really given the Holy Ghost. She was made clean because of those things we celebrated during the last few days, because of what Jesus did in Gethsemane and Calvary. She is clean, pure, blessed with the Holy Ghost, and a member of God’s kingdom. This is a blessed day.
From there we went to Jericho. On the way we found some camels to ride. Then we stopped at the Zaccheus tree, visited Jericho and saw the bricks that are to be seen of the walls there and went through the story together. Then we went to Elisha’s spring, where we retold the story of his healing the spring. We all had some drinks from the water.
When we left there we went to Qumran. That was nice enough. From there we drove to Wadi Arugot, and ate lunch happily, playing in the trees while Julianne showed her parents up the canyon just a ways so that they could see the likely spot for Lehi’s trail. Very cool. From there we went up Ein Gedi, and saw a waterfall and talked of Lehi’s vision. We saw caves and spoke of David being in that canyon when he had the chance to kill Saul. It was great.
Finally we went to the Dead Sea. Many floated there while the rest of us waited, baking in the sun. When some took much longer than we had agreed we would take, and the rest of us baked and had a bad time, I let myself get a bit miffed. Then, on the way home, the kids were too crazy, and the noise really got to me. When we had to stop for a long time to go shopping, they were so crazy I could barely stand it. And when we unloaded and I saw the destruction they had wantonly made in the back of the van, I got very upset. I chewed them out for a while, and ruined the ending of what had been a good day. Too bad, very silly of me. There is no doubt that I was very tired, that I have a ton of things I need to do now, that they were out of control and bad, and that I was very unhappy that they were so tired, needed more rest to start school the next day, and we had not been careful enough to get them to bed on time. But none of this was an excuse to put a sour ending on a good day.