So yesterday was the Missionary Musical Fireside, and it turned out really well. There were a few weird things that happened, but those always happen during a performance situation. ;P For example, during our performance of "I Believe in Christ," there was supposed to be a piano interlude between the first two verses, but half the missionaries forgot, and Elder Swenson, one of the senior missionaries, who was conducting, got thrown off somewhere as well, and it all turned out kinda weird... (Someone afterwards was like, "Sounds like something weird happened in the middle of that one piece. Was that supposed to happen?" "...Yes. Yes, it was...") But for the most part, everything else turned out fine. Mostly... >.> Sister McFate (who was also in Makati Zone last transfer) and I performed a musical number called "A Believer's Prayer," which we'd also performed on transfer day at the beginning of this transfer. On transfer day, it turned out beautifully. Yesterday it also turned out well, especially considering the fact that we haven't been able to practice it since transfer day since we're no longer in the same zone, and that Elder Lillywhite's (our accompanist, who's an amazing sight-reader) music got kind of mixed up, so he tried to fix it while he was playing, but it ended up falling on the floor, so he kept playing with one hand while he reached down with the other and tried to pick it up. Someone came and helped him after a little while. All I noticed was that the left hand dropped out suddenly, and I sort of looked over like, "What happened to the left hand...?" as I kept singing. I admire his ability to keep going in spite of everything. We had a special guest, Sister Hye Won Ko (we all laughed to ourselves a bit, because it sounds like "Ewan ko," which is Tagalog for "I dunno..."). She played "Claire De Lune" and an arrangement of "Because I Have Been Given Much" (the program said, "I Stand All Amazed," and I was like, "Huh? That's not right..."), both of which were beautiful pieces. And hard. She's an amazing pianist. All the other musical numbers also turned out well. ...And then it came to be my turn. I'd been a bit worried about this performance, since I haven't recently had a ton of time to practice "Waterfall", and the last few times I'd played it through, there were a few times where I'd trip and half to pause for a second and restart where I'd left off. So before the fireside, I'd kinda wanted a chance to run through it at least once on the piano in the Buendia chapel, since it's a bit different from most pianos. ...There wasn't time. We got hit by a bit of traffic on the way there, and we didn't get there early enough for me to have time to run through it. So when the time came to perform, all I got was one shot. It turned out amazing. There were still a few mistakes, of course, but nothing serious enough for me to have to stop and restart. It went great. And, of course, it's John Schmidt, who's crazy, so everyone was impressed (have you seen a video of him playing it? It's fun enough to listen to, but it's even more fun to watch! And still more fun to play! :D ) (Napansin ko na parang mayroon na akong pang-chix... >.> Hmm...). A number of missionaries said that they'd been praying for me as I was playing. I think that's what did it.
So, anyway, that was pretty much the highlight of this last week.
Express my sympathies to the missionaries over there... That's rough. I'm, in many ways, grateful that I'm serving out here in the Philippines, and not in a state-side mission.. I may have had to learn a new language, but at least the people here are fairly receptive, if not at least good-mannered (It's got its fair share of rockheads (especially Jehovah's Witnesses and anyone from Inglesia Ni Cristo...). I've had people argue about all kinds of weird doctrinal crap. One guy was like, "The Apostle Paul killed lots of saints. Do you suppose the Lord forgave him?" "...I'd assume so... but what does that have to do with anything??". But for the most part, people are at least nice). Things are more rough over in the States... :P I know. I went tracting there a few times with the missionaries. It's not always the most fun in the world... ^^'' ...Anyway, again, express my sympathies for the missionaries in our ward. Just keep working hard. People have their agency. At some point, if they wanna be rockheads, we just have to let them be... :/
To the marching band, my message is the same as always: YOU CAN DO IT!!!! :D
I still say clip-on umbrellas would be really useful... :/
..A bit of a storm's blowing in and I'm running out of time, so I'd better finish up in case the power randomly goes out. It doesn't usually do that, but it could happen... :/
So, one last thing. Last Friday we had interviews with President. We talked about the things he usually does in interviews, of course, and he went over the Zone Leader recommendations. They recommended that Elder Dela Cruz and I stay another transfer, but President told me that he had a different assignment for me. I'll be transferring to Cavite Zone, and I'll become a follow-up trainer, meaning that my next companion has only been here a transfer or two, and I'll be his second companion (Elder Leavitt was my follow-up trainer). I'm excited (and a little nervous...). Also, Cavite Zone is a province zone, so I'll finally get to see what the province is like! :D ...Though, there is also the slight possibility that I'll be transferred to Cavite City, which is... still city. :P But we'll see. For this week, I'll mostly have to try and focus on this area as much as I can, which is a bit harder now that I know that I'm transferring this far in advance. There's a reason people don't usually get transfer announcements until the day before transfer day.
Anywho, that's it for this week. Mahal ko kayo! Ingat kayo! :D
Elder David Jones