Friday, October 10, 2014

JT - So close to Japan!

Oct. 9, 2014

Hello Everyone!

So yesterday was Day 50 in the MTC and of my mission. How does time fly?
Anyway, singing in General Conference was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. We had been practicing for only 7 days. Usually, when choirs are going to sing in conference, they begin practicing at least 4 months in advance and we only had 7 days. That by itself is a miracle. None of us had ever sung together before and nobody has heard these songs before. Most of the people in the choir hadn't even been in a choir before. In all the practices, we didn't sound perfect. Actually in our last rehearsal, most of the choir was not on the right pitch for many of the long notes. I was nervous because we didn't sound as good as we probably could've with more practice, but we all knew that Heavenly Father would help us sound amazing. As soon as we arrived at the Conference Center, I was super excited. This would be a once in a lifetime experience for me. They had us sit in the little theater of the Conference Center. There we rehearsed one last time and was able to eat dinner. Then they led us to a series of underground tunnels until we were at last in the choir loft of the Conference Center. As soon as I stepped into the place that you see every 6 months, I felt excited and a little nervous. Looking out into the crowd of then empty seats, I was overwhelmed. The seats filled your peripheral vision. everywhere you looked there were thousands of seats. Then they sat us down, I was placed in the very front aisle seat, right next to the famous Conference Center Organ. that thing is a beast, super awesome.

Then we rehearsed each song once and It sounded incredible. With the organ, you could feel the energy of the choir as well as the spirit that missionaries bring. I got so excited. Then, after a while, we all stood up because the Prophet was entering the room. I was literally 15 yards away from him. I could feel his spirit strongly. He is truly a prophet of God. Then conference started. We sang the first song "Rise Up O Men of God" I had never sung better in my life. Angels were truly helping us all sing our best and to proclaim the message to the world. Then we sang the "Missionary Medley" which is a really fun song that portrays each of us missionaries growing up. Then we heard the talks. I couldn't take notes however, so much of the priesthood session I don't remember. When President Monson was speaking, I'll be honest, I wasn't paying 100% attention. I was focused on the last song "Ye Elders of Israel." that was our hardest song. Anyway we sang it and it was incredible. I sang my heart out and so did the rest of the choir. The elder who sang the solo at the start did so so well. He was very nervous the whole day. A funny thing about that is, He didn't even tell his parents that he would be singing a solo in general conference! Mom and Dad, imagine if I didn't tell you something like that! What would you do to me haha! Any way the conference was over. Afterwards, we were still standing there, Elder Russell M. Nelson came up to the choir, shook the directors' hands and then turned to us and said how great a job we had done. That was awesome.
Then on the bus ride, we had a testimony meeting and we sang hymns all the way back. Each testimony shared how they had truly been helped by angels. Many of the elders were sick and wouldn't have been able to sing if they hadn't had help. That was an awesome experience as well and I am so, so grateful that I had the opportunity to sing in a session of General Conference.

Screen shot of conference broadcast

Click on the links below to watch the choir

Rise Up O Men of God

Anyway, I am doing great here. I only have 11 days left until I leave for Japan! We get our flight plans tomorrow so I will know then exactly when we are going to leave, what flights we are going to take and any layovers we will have. I am so excited to find out. But at the same time, I don't know if I am ready. I think being immersed in the language and culture will help me tremendously. I am so excited to meet the people of Japan and to see what Kobe Japan has to offer.

So back on conference, I liked Elder Holland, Elder Scott, Elder Bednar and Elder Jorg Klingbat's talks. I found many things that I need to do to improve as a missionary and a person. I am so grateful for Living Prophets and the guidance that Heavenly Father gives through his servants.

Well, other than conference, everything is still the same as past weeks. Study, Study, Sleep (barely) Eat, and Study. I was able to take a much needed nap today. It was only an hour long, but it was much needed and much appreciated. Thank you for all the support you show me and I strive to make you all proud. 愛しています 皆さん!
That was just a really short, really simple testimony in Japanese for you! I love you all!


ラムーロー長老 (Elder Lamoreaux)

Picture with our whole zone. 41 missionaries in all.
Look who I found on the temple walk. Sister Rebecca Wood
 Timpanogos Park 2nd Ward, Orem North Stake

Pictures with Vai Sikahema, who spoke in our Sunday Night Devotional. It was awesome to hear him talk

Madruga Choro and I found an empty classroom with light coming in through a window and thought it looked super cool. I'm reading a Japanese Book of Mormon. モルモン書。

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