I had to play the piano for a baptism at the Fort Lauderdale Ward of a Creole sister and her 12 yr old daughter. It was quite an experience. It was supposed to start at 7:00 but they told me this afternoon that it would probably start at 7:30 so they would like music being played from 7:20 pm. I had been playing about 25 minutes and Tim said to slow down because those being baptized hadn’t even arrived yet. They arrived within about 10 minutes and we got started at 8:00. It lasted until 9:00 because of problems we had. One of the older Black brothers in our ward did the baptism, or should I say tried. He doesn’t speak Creole so our missionary, Elder Blanchard, wrote it out for him and he had been practicing it. The young daughter went first. The first 4 times of trying to say it, Elder Blanchard had to stop him and have him start over because he was not saying it right. The old Creole Bishop tried to help him and he tried again. Again he did it wrong. Elder Blanchard then told him word by word. Next they tried to actually baptize the girl but she and her mother are deathly afraid of water so as soon as he started to put her under the water she jumped up so he had to do it all over. Again Elder Blanchard helped. The second time the girl did the same thing. The man baptizing her tried to grab her head and push it back under as she was fighting him. It made me think of someone trying to drown someone else and making sure that they didn’t come back up. After the 3rd try she gave up and wanted her mom to go first.
Pretty much the same thing happened with the mom only she was bigger. Neither her nor her daughter would lean backwards. The 1st time with the mom, the man lost his balance as she tried to get up and both of them fell against the wall. After about 3 attempts for the mom, they finally asked her to get on her knees and lean forward to go under. It took her a couple of times that way before she finally got all the way under.
Next it was the young daughter’s turn to try again. They also tried her a couple of times leaning forward but she never did make it all the way under. She kept spurting water out of her mouth and trying to get it out of her ears. They will NOT have a good memory of their baptism day. It took us an hour to get them both baptized!