Monday, May 6, 2013

Music in the Mission Field!

Dear Family,

Last Monday it was great to email everyone and hear about Baby Kate, the family visiting Denzel's grave, and the plans to see Erika's dance performance.  And I'm glad my package arrived in time for you to give her my "gift" afterwards.  (He had mailed a large chocolate egg [hollow] and inside the egg had a large plastic container that perfectly fit, and inside that was a smaller wooden box, and inside that there were some straw flowers and a even across the country, he managed to give Erika flowers after her performance!!)
 After our emailing, I made homemade biscuits, then went to the church where I played the piano for awhile. In the evening we had dinner at the Wilkinsons.  Got to play with their huge dogs outside and had to rugby tackle them a few times!  We had a lesson in Oakfield with Storm'e and she's having a hard time deciding who to have baptize her...

I was expecting Tuesday to be a bit rough (April 30th is the date on the death certificate, but we recognize April 29th as his death date due to certain circumstances...) But the Lord helped me.  It was a VERY busy day, with a district meeting in Caribou, lesson with Janice (who always has lots of good questions and is progressing well.) We watched a couple of the youth in the branch play in a rugby match for a few minutes at Woodstock High School.  It was great to see, and I resisted the urge to go on the field and play!
Then we rushed off to dinner at the Peter's home.  They have the most beautiful lake in their backyard, a dock and everything.  So we had a great BBQ there and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.  Storm'e was there and she told us how she decided who to have baptize her.  She took three pencils to one of her teachers...each pencil represented Elder Clark, Brother Peters, and myself...and asked the teacher to pick one.  Well, my pencil was picked, so I'll be baptizing Storm'e, which will be fun because we've really developed a good friendship.
While at the Peter's home we had a good visit with their 28 year old son Ben, and his girlfriend.  She wants to read the Book of Mormon and learn about the church.  They want to do this together so it's even more exciting to teach them.

After all of that we finally made it back home after a long, busy day.  I thought it would be tough, but the Lord blessed me with a busy day, and things kept my mind occupied.  (Although I had "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" from Phantom of the Opera stuck in my head all day!)  I was so grateful for the Lord's blessing of peace in regards to Denzel.  I've been brought to a state of great understanding and comfort, and I know I will see my brother again.

Although sometimes i really miss throwing a football around, having him cheer me on in sporting events, or even just being able to talk to my hero, I know it will all be made up with the joy in eternity.  One of the biggest things I often think about is how Denzel loved to support me, and really wanted so badly to come see one of my rugby games at BYU...but then I tore my knee and he didn't get the chance.  However, with my knee surgery, and then his knee surgery, it provided a situation and time for us to spend what I didn't know would be our last time together.  I wouldn't trade that time for my whole rugby career!  I'm grateful the Lord knows me.  He knew I needed that time with my brother, to help me through it, and to recognize the much good that is coming from it.

On Friday we got some of the things ready for the upcoming baptism on Tuesday.  I also had a little more practice time on the violin since our performance was coming up on Saturday.  We're playing a bunch of classical pieces that I haven't played in awhile, but the one that is a bit worrisome is the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 by Bach.  It's a good thing I had a little more time to practice.  We got transfers today and Elder Clark and I get to stay here for another transfer!  I'm really happy about that!  Also, I made a big roast, with onions, carrots, and potatoes all in the crockpot.  It turned out delicious!  I'm so grateful my mom taught me how to cook well!!  (I'm so glad you paid attention!!)

Saturday we drove four hours to Bathurst, New Brunswick.  On our way we saw a couple of moose, so we pulled over and took some pictures.  The scenery was beautiful!

Once we got there we had a three hour rehearsal at the church.  And the actual performance went really well.  I played in six different pieces:  O Canada, TelemannViola Concerto, Brandenburg Concerto No 3, Mvmt 1 by Bach, Phantom of the Opera, All I Ask of You (from Phantom), then Amazing Grace.  Everything was translated into French for the people in attendance and it all went pretty smoothly.  On  Sunday we went to church in Bathurst, and the whole meeting was in French.  It was really neat to listen to, and I was able to pick up on a little bit of what was said.  During the third our of our meetings it was combined and our string quartet performed O Divine Redeemer with Sister Drew singing.  She's a phenomenal singer and di great!  Elder Call also performed a piece and he was incredible, as usual.  I hope one day, after many years of practice, to be able to play as well as he does.  The spirit was so strong there and I felt so blessed to be a part of it.


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