Thursday, September 8, 2011


Irene Javier Holding Tight the White Clothing She Would Be Baptized In

Elder and Sister Bird with Joel and Irene Javier Prior to Baptism

Irene Javier was baptized on September 10, 2011, a Saturday evening at the Malaya Branch building. On Wednesday, Joel and Irene traveled to a neighboring city and were married. She could not be baptized until she was legally married to the man she was living with (a rather complicated thing here in the Philippines!). The reason this marriage was possible, since the Catholic Church doesn’t allow divorces, or if one is granted you must pay a very large amount of money, was that there was no record whatsoever of her previous marriage. An interesting note is that upon searching for her previous certificate, she finally located the Priest who performed the ceremony. Now aging, he confessed that following the ceremony, he felt like the man she was marrying was not good for her, so he destroyed the marriage certificate and never recorded the marriage. Thus, there was no record that she was ever married to someone else..... A definite tender mercy for Irene and Joel. Anyway, Saturday we took off for Malaya and ran into heavy traffic and road construction. Elder Bird was a nervous wreck (perhaps a little road rage!!) upon arrival at the branch building, because I was speaking at the baptism and it looked like we would never make it in time several times along the way. We did make it just on time, only to find that the baptismal font was up to about 3 inches of water after running for an hour! Elder Bird asked what the problem was and the full-time missionaries said most of the water was turned off for the day but usually there was more water pressure. That happens here sometimes on Sundays and then the restrooms don't work. Not a good thing!!! Anyway, after another hour, it was decided to start a bucket brigade to an outside faucet at the edge of the Church property. After an hour and a half delay, there was enough water in the font to baptize someone if they laid down on their back to be totally immersed!.....whatever works is okay!! The sweetest thing we were privileged to witness was when Elder Kinikini brought the white baptismal clothing to Irene. She tenderly held it up to her cheek and hugged it.....then she said, "I never want to forget this moment". When she took ahold of the clothing and let it drop to full length, she had the most surprised look on her face as she examined it and looked at the two ties hanging at the side. Then she exclaimed, "This is what I was wearing in a dream I had 2 years ago. I was dressed all in white and walking up this path. There was darkness and scary things at the side, but I just kept walking straight up the path and was very happy. I always thought it had something to do with getting married some time, but this is the very outfit I was was panted and had these two ties at the side." Then she just sat there holding it close for a few moments. It was very touching for us to watch. We always assumed that Elder Kinikini was planning to baptize her when he suddenly asked Elder Bird if he would like to perform the baptism....yup, no dry underclothing or towel with us, but of course he was very happy for the privilege. Now, there was barely enough water to immerse her (water was less than clean), but after two tries she was baptized. A knee sneaked up on the first try. On Sunday she was confirmed and given the right to the Gift of the Holy Ghost. She and Joel partook of the sacrament for the first time together. She has truly been blessed with some sacred experiences........and so have we. We are grateful.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story and your experience. Truly it was a tender mercy that the first marriage was not recorded. Now they can go to the temple in a year.