S: Mia Celestina Tovar's Baptism April 23, 2011
BC: We Love You, Mia! | With Love, YourFamily
FC: Mia | "You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. His work is to bless His Father's spirit children with the opportunity to choose eternal life. So, your calling is to bless lives." ~President Eyring
1: Baptized and Confirmed April 23, 2011
2: "Faith and repentance lead to the purifying waters of baptism, where we covenant to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and walk in His footsteps." President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
3: Entering In At The Gate by your Mom with love | Remember the time you wanted to play in your friend's backyard? You tried to get into the backyard through their gate. Unfortunately, the gate was locked! Neither you nor your friend had the key to open the door. All the fun that you knew was in the backyard could not be reached without someone else's help. Heaven is a wonderful place. You know how much Heavenly Father wants you to choose the right so you can live with Him again. You try very hard to live righteously but, just like your friend's backyard, the gate to Heaven needs to be opened through baptism by one who has the Priesthood keys. Thankfully, your daddy has been given those Priesthood keys to open the gate. And, because you desired to follow the Savior's example and be baptized, you can enjoy the blessings which Heavenly Father has for you in this life and in Heaven. "For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:17-18
4: Love, Daddy | My little piece of heaven, I am so proud of you! The little baby that would not sleep if you weren’t lying on your belly in my arm is now a beautiful young lady. And now the time for one of the biggest events that will ever happen in your life has come, baptism. I have to confess that I don’t remember much about my baptism. I remember that I received a little book about the bible and a He-man toy. I remember sitting in the church and listening to a talk about baptism. But I don’t actually remember being baptized. Write about your baptism in your journal so that you can always remember that moment and talk to your children someday about it. I also remember going to the baptism of a little boy 8 years old while I was in Argentina on the mission. I remember watching the boy getting baptized and looking at the little crowd of family and friends gathered and imagining all the people in heaven that were also watching and were so excited and happy for him. I imagined how happy our Father in Heaven was that His son was following his commandment and entering in the gate. You are doing the same thing. Heavenly Father is so happy to have such a wonderful, obedient daughter. He is waiting to give you a big hug and kiss. And imagine all the people in heaven who are rejoicing for you right now. All our family that has lived and now are in heaven, all of your children and grandchildren and many others are cheering you on right now. I wish you could see all of them just jumping with joy. As you enter the gate and start on the path to the tree of life, always hold fast to the iron rod which will safely guide you home. You are being a wonderful example for Tiago and Talia and the other baby soon to become you little brother. Thank you so much for who you are and the blessing you are for our family.
6: March 11 2011 | My dear Mia, I am the first person in our family who was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It all began when I was seven years old. My father, your great-grandfather, used to tell me a strange story of when I was born. I was born on Friday, February 3, 1948 at 8:00 p.m. and I cried the whole night and the whole day Saturday. My parents came to the conclusion that I was born sickly and that I might not live for long. Your great-grandparents were Catholic and they believed that if babies were not baptized before they died, they were going to a place called Limbo, where they would not be permitted to see God. So, a couple of their neighbors volunteered to become my godparents. On Sunday, February 5, I was baptized into the Catholic Church, when I was only thirty-six hours of age. Well, after hearing this story so many times, I wanted to get re-baptized, and when I was old enough, I requested my wish to one of the Catholic priests. He said that it was not possible because I already was baptized and that was enough. Therefore, I began to go to other churches, but I did not feel good about any of them. In April 1969, I came to the United States, and I felt very sad. I missed my parents, brother and sisters, and the rest of my family. So I started to pray to Heavenly Father to help me in this big, new country. I also prayed to learn where I came from, why I was here on earth and where I was going after I died. I prayed every day for three years. Then, in February 1973, on one very rainy day, I got the answer to my prayers.
7: Two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints knocked on the door of the family I was working for. My boss answered the door and told me that two young men were looking for me. This surprised me because we had just moved to this house one earlier and not even my own family knew the address. They told me that a woman had called the Los Angeles Mission home and had left my name and address, stating that I wanted to be visited. I felt that this was the answer to my prayers from Heavenly Father and I accepted to listen to the missionaries. On March 24, 1973, at the age of 25, I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This baptism fulfilled my wish to be baptized at an age when I was old enough to know what I was doing. My dear Mia, you are so blessed to be born under the covenant, to wonderful parents who love you and have taught you the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, you are going to be baptized by the right authority and in the correct way, by your own daddy. I give you my testimony that this is the only true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth and that Jesus Christ is at the head of our Church. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and if we live and obey it, we will be very happy. The Prophet Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. The prophet Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. If we live and obey all the commandments of Heavenly Father, we will be very blessed and one day, we all can live together in His presence in heaven. I am very happy that you chose to be baptized. Please do all that you can to live close to Heavenly Father, so He can help you always. I love you very much. Mama Clara
8: Love, Grandma Cromar | Dear Mia, I am so happy that you are being baptized. It is the most important step you have made in the 8-years you have been on this earth. Baptism is very important for two reasons. Reason one, you become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Reason two, you begin on your own personal path back to your Father in Heaven. Jesus came to earth to show you how to walk back to Heavenly Father. The path you started when you were baptized is a path that is designed just for you by a loving Father in Heaven. He wants you to be just like Jesus, and come back to live with Him. So on your personal path you will have experiences that are made just for you. Because Heavenly Father and Jesus love you perfectly they know exactly what you need to learn and the experience you need to have so you can learn the lessons you need to know. Some of those experiences will be happy experiences. Some of those experiences will be sad experiences. Some experience will be easy and some will be hard. But if you rely in Heavenly Father and Jesus and pray to them for help, they will help you learn from every experience you have. Trust in the Lord with all your heart especially when you don’t understand the experiences you are going through. Pray to Him with all the energy of your soul. He is always near and will always answer you in His own perfect way and in His own perfect time. Be patient and wait for His answers. I love you. I am so proud of you. I am trying very hard to be like Jesus, and I want to go back to Heavenly Father and be with you.
9: I love you with all my heart
11: Love, Aunt Tirsa | Dear Mia, Not so long ago, in a place not so far away, you lived in heaven with Heavenly Father as a pre-mortal spirit. You loved living there, learning the gospel of Jesus Christ and growing in your knowledge of the world around you. It was also a fun place to explore, full of beautiful gardens, rivers, and mountains. Most of all, you loved living with all of your family and friends. The time arrived, however, when you had learned and grown all you could in this pre-mortal spirit world. You understood that in order to continue to progress, you would have to come to earth. Heavenly Father called you to Him and told you that your time had come to leave and come down to earth. You would not stay there forever, just for a short while. He told you that reasons you were coming to earth were to get a body and be tested to see if you would live by faith to follow His teachings obediently. You were born to dedicated parents who taught you the gospel of Jesus Christ. They patiently explained and showed you those things they had both learned from their parents while growing up. One of the most important lessons they taught you was that of being baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As you grew in your knowledge of Christ’s teachings, you knew you wanted to be baptized into His true church and looked forward to that day. Mia, now that you have been baptized, you have taken the first steps on your way back to Heavenly Father. Through your baptism, you have demonstrated your obedience to Heavenly Father’s commandments. He will bless you as you continually as you strive to keep the covenants you have made with Him. Throughout your life, you will have tests of your faith, but you will have the companionship of the Holy Ghost as your guide to help you overcome your trials. I testify to you that this is the only true, living church of Jesus Christ here upon the earth. It is only by living the commandments and following His example that we will all be able to return our heavenly home, to live together with our Heavenly Parents, our Eldest Brother, all our family and friends, forever. What a wonderful life we will have! I love you so much Mia!
12: A Masterpiece by Aunt Angela I loved the time we spent together doing fun artwork. We sat together and drew "big head" pictures of each other. We also sat on the computer creating beautiful, silly, and creative pictures from photographs of people we love. I think about the wonderful artist you are becoming. You have a natural gift to see the beauty that is all around you. Heavenly Father, the Master Artist, also sees the beauty in each of us. He wants to create our lives into a beautiful work of art. Through our obedience and faith, we allow Him to make the Masterpiece of our lives that He desires for us to become. What does He want us to become? "...Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." 3 Nephi 27:27
13: "Remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination." President Uctdorf
14: Papa Juan Tovar | Especially for Mia Celestina Tovar Dear Mia, In the hope that this testimony will touch your heart someday, help you stay in the path of the Gospel, and help you be better as a person and as a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ, I share with you what I know to be true. I testify to you that the decision you made of being baptized in the church of our Savior, is the best decision you will have made in the short days of your life. This decision will help you make even better choices as you progress in life, choices that will have a great impact in your life and in the lives of those around you. I testify to you, Mia, that Jesus Christ lives and He paid the price so that you, I, and everyone else in the world could have the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father. I do not know how He did it and I will probably never know, but through faith in Him and His sacrifice, I know we will be saved. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church, the only true church here on the earth. If we follow His teachings, He will help us throughout this life and help us in every need or problem we encounter. You are just beginning your precious life in the Church and you will have many challenges in your life, but stay close to Jesus and our Heavenly Father, and everything will be all right. I love you Mia. Again, I testify to you that They live and love us and are always watching over us. It is my desire that you will be happy in your life and stay close to the Gospel and I testify of these truths in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, amen.
15: "Now my young friends, always have the temple in your site. Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there." President Thomas S. Monson
16: "I know that through the Holy Ghost we can learn what God would have us do. I testify that He can give us the power to do what He asks of us, whatever it is and whatever trials may come." President Henry B. Eyring
17: I went for two months to the Language Training Mission (LTM) at the Church College of Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii to learn Cantonese Chinese as a new missionary before going to my mission in Hong Kong. A missionary is called to be a witness of Jesus Christ. I worked hard as a missionary to be spiritually prepared. I felt close to Heavenly Father as a missionary in Hawaii. While in Hawaii, President Marion G. Romney of the First Presidency and an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ came as the visiting General Authority to the Oahu Stake Conference. I was sitting in the congregation at the back. When President Romney bore his testimony of Jesus Christ at the end of his talk, I felt the Holy Ghost in a way that I had never felt before or in such a way since that time. I felt a burning like fire from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. My whole body was consumed with the Holy Ghost. I knew what President Romney witnessed about Jesus Christ was true by the power of the Holy Ghost. In the afternoon, after conference, I was assigned to be a missionary at the Hawaii Temple Visitor Center. The influence of the experience I had with the Holy Ghost that morning remained with me. It was as though I were a container of that light or fire. Those around me could feel it. One visitor commented on it, wondering what it was. I find the Holy Ghost is gentle and quiet. It is like a still, small voice. I have had the feeling sometimes of the Holy Ghost like the gentle waves of the ocean washing over me. Through the Holy Ghost, I could feel the arms of the Savior around me. The Holy Ghost sometimes has called me by name, “Kevin,” to warn me. It has revealed to me many times knowledge. It was through the Holy Ghost that I was taught, as one of many examples, about a higher level of meaning about the Good Samaritan being Jesus Christ and His Atonement. When I have felt lonely, I have had the Holy Ghost stand with me, so I do not feel alone (See Acts 27:22-25). I love you Mia and am very proud of you choosing to be baptized and that you are worthy to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I am glad I could come to San Antonio to be with you and your family as you are baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Love always, Grandpa Cromar.
18: Dear Mia, When you are confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you will hear four very important words “Receive the Holy Ghost.” I have learned that it is our responsibility to make choices, and act in a way that will invite the holy ghost into our life. If we want the Holy Ghost in our life we need to invite by making good choices. We cannot force the Holy Ghost to be with us. Instead “we should invite Him into our lives with the same gentleness and tenderness by which He entreats us (see D&C 42:14).” What kind of choices can you make that will invite the Holy Ghost to be with you? You can make and keep covenants with Heavenly Father. You have just made an important covenant by being baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When you use your agency to keep the promises you made at baptism, the Holy Ghost can be with you. Pray always and not faint. Prayer is a great way to have the Holy Ghost with you. The prophet Brigham Young said that when we don’t feel like praying, we should pray until we do. Prayer is so important. It is so important to remember to say prayers morning and night; but also take time during the day—maybe at recess, or while you are brushing your teeth to thank heavenly father for your blessings. I like to pray when I am driving—but I keep my eyes open :0) You can also search your scriptures everyday. Don’t just read the words, but try to focus on what heavenly father is teaching you by the mouth of his holy prophets. Reading the scriptures is a great way to feel the Holy Ghost.* You can be kind. Especially to your family; focus on what you can do each day to make your family stronger. When you act like Jesus would and treat people as he would if he were here you will feel the Spirit. You can be virtuous. Protect your mind from evil. Don’t be afraid to use your “delete key” when a bad thought comes into your mind. Here is how to use a delete key: choose a small action—maybe touching your ear, or clasping your hands, or touching the rim of your glasses. If you see, or think something that is inappropriate, in your mind say “delete”and do your action. My bishop taught me this trick, and it has helped me when something slips into my mind that shouldn’t. Keep your mind, your thoughts and your actions holy and pure so that you may be worthy of the Holy Ghost. Another great way to feel the Holy Ghost is to Worship God; and keep his commandments. You can worship in your home and at church. When you turn 12 you will also be able to worship at the temple. You and I should strive to become like the stripling warriors described in the Book of Mormon, who did “perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto themAnd they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments continually” (Alma 57:21; 58:40).”
19: On the other hand, if we don’t keep our covenants, if we don’t pray and study the scriptures, or if we have inappropriate thoughts or language or actions, the Holy Ghost will withdraw from us, or avoid us altogether. As King Benjamin taught his people, “And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved” (Mosiah 2:36). Mia, always remember that every moment of every day you are making choices. Those choices will either invite the spirit of the Holy Ghost into your life, or drive Him away. When you make a mistake, repent. Repent quickly. We all slip: we sin, and we make mistakes. Heavenly Father knew we would, and he gave his Son to make it possible for us to become clean again. Mia, I testify as we live worthy to have the spirit as our companion, we also are living worthy to be prepared to live with our Heavenly Father. Celestial glory is your destiny. The Holy Ghost will guide you safely there. Love, Aunt Emily PS-These thoughts were inspired by a talk I would highly recommend: David A. Bednar, "Receive the Holy Ghost", Ensign, Nov. 2010
20: Confirmation Talk given at Mia's Baptism by Mom Thanks for sharing your special day with all of us. It isn’t often that we get to witness someone receiving a special gift from our Heavenly Father. This gift along with the gift of agency and the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ will help you continue on a path back to your Heavenly Father. As I was thinking about the Gift you have received today, I was reminded of a time our family went to Florida. It was very beautiful, but it was hard to appreciate the beauty because our hotel didn’t have air conditioning. It was unbelievably hot. We were so uncomfortable and grumpy that we wanted to leave. Then we got a fantastic gift: a box fan. You can imagine what we did when we got it in our hotel room. We plugged it in immediately, turned it on as high as it could go, and stood right next to it. Even though we couldn’t see the wind, we knew that the wind was what made us feel so comfortable and made our stay in Florida much more enjoyable. You have been given a gift today that can bring not only comfort and make this life much more enjoyable, but can also help direct you while using that agency of yours. Just like the fan, you can only benefit from the Gift of the Holy Ghost if you are as close as you can be to its unseen but very real power. Learn to listen and feel after that Gift. Keep yourself close to the Holy Ghost and you will be blessed. Heavenly Father needs you Mia. Your life and light was needed now to help all of God’s children, including me. We have all benefited today to be here because of your decision to be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Use this gift. Rely on its guidance and power. Become who Heavenly Father needs you to be. In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.
21: Destin Florida 2007