Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 3: MTC Choir and General Conference

The SurinaMEN getting ready for four square
Elder Muller's District with the Danish District

Elder Muller and his District outside of the Provo Temple
Elder Silva finding the hidden "Hayden" picture!
Elder Muller saying goodbye to his Zone Leaders, or something like that!
Elders Reber, Hunter & Gudmunson. Elder Hunter is the Scottish Elder who sang the solo in the last song in Priesthood Session)
Saying goodbye to the Danes - Elders Reber, Silva & Gudmunson (Zone Leaders)So three weeks down, three to go. Pretty crazy. 

First I would like to share something about a Sister in the other Dutchie district. Sister Twiggs had been having health problems before she came to the MTC, and was struggling with pain in her stomach almost every minute of the day. She was always hungry, but it hurt to eat. Last Wednesday night it got really bad, enough to call paramedics. 

All the Elders of our Zone that night decided to fast the next day for her, not so that she could come back to the MTC, but that she could be healthy. After the day we fasted, for the first time in years, she has not had any pain. Miracles are real, and if you have enough faith, you can make them happen. 

Something else cool that happened the day after our fast: the cereal challenge. In the MTC cafeteria, there are towers of cereal. We decided as a Zone to empty the Rice Crispy tower. Because all of us Elders had fasted for the Sister, we were even hungrier than usual. We ate three and a half towers of cereal. At one point one of the cafeteria employees came out to refill it, and everyone started yelling at him not to. It was pretty funny. About 40 missionaries stuffing their faces with cereal, Elders and Sister alike. I ended up eating a plate of steak, and 9.5 bowls of cereal. As a zone, we ate 232 bowls of cereal. That's insane. It shows just how much cereal is in those towers though. 

So much to talk about this week. Of course the big thing was General Conference. All I can say is that it was amazing. (General Conference is our semi annual meeting that is held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  It is broadcast around the world so all members can participate.  It is broadcast via the internet, radio, cable, and satellite transmission.  It is open to the public to listen to as well.)

We got up early and watched the first session together as a choir, and then bussed us over to Salt Lake where we practiced for two hours backstage in the Conference Center. They fed us a quick lunch, and then brought us to the choir loft. We ran through each song once before Conference started. So we only practiced with the organ once for each song before we sang them. Pretty crazy. We were all sure that there were angels helping us when we sang, because we were all singing flat during practice for some reason. 

When we were up there it was pretty crazy. The Conference Center is HUGE!!!! From where I was sitting in the choir loft, I couldn't even see all the seats. We actually had more Elders than seats, but they brought in extra chairs so that everyone could sing. 

So the two things that were really cool about what we did, is that there has never been a medley of Primary songs sung in General Conference, and normally they are not allowed to have solos in General Conference. Brother Eggett had to get special permission from the First Presidency to let Elder Hunter sing. By the way, I share a bunk bed with the guy who sang a solo in General Conference, pretty cool. And he's Scottish. I don't know if I've said that or not. 
Still Photo of Elder Muller in Choir

We were all sure that "Ye Elders of Israel" was going to usher in the Second Coming. Those chords at the end just melt my heart every time we sang them, they are just perfect. Of course it didn't, but we were all crying at the end. I couldn't even see Brother Eggett to know when to cut for the Amens. 

Anyway, it was kind of a shock to see Brother Rojas and Brother Bailey outside. (Two members of our congregation here in Florida!  They went to see Conference live and saw Elder Muller!) I don't know how they found me, but I wasn't allowed to stop and talk. One of the Elders in my Zone actually saw his dad and had to walk right past him. Must have been hard. 

On our way back to the MTC we had a testimony meeting on the bus which was pretty cool. The Church also provided us with a boxed dinner. 

When we got back to the MTC we were all still pumped full of adrenaline. Singing for five million people will do that to you. Elder Hunter decided to jump from the top of our bed to the top of Elder da Silva's and Matos's bed. Somehow he made it, but more on that later. (Elder Muller never got back to this story, so I will have to ask him to let us know about that next week!)

I am including links to the songs the the MTC Men's Choir performed at General Conference.  I hope you will take time to watch.  Elder Muller can be seen in the videos!  He is in the middle section of the choir loft. He is the 8th row up from the bottom - almost to the top - he is in the last seat on that row. He will always appear on your right hand side of your screen.  This is the Choir Loft where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs from!  Quite and honor and experience!  If these links don't work, please go to and look for General Conference October 2014, Saturday Night Priesthood Session.  Remember to click on icon that says to include music.

Opening Hymn:

Missionary Medley:

Hymn song with congregation:

Closing Song:

So something really sad happened this week. The Danes left us. They were our first Zone leaders and just awesome guys. Elders Reber and Gudmunson. They will be remembered. Sadly we will not be getting any more Danish Elders, just Sisters, so that will be a gap in our zone for a little bit. 

The pictures from outside the Temple, and with Reber and Gudmunson are from the night we said goodbye to them. We also took a district picture outside the Temple. 

While I'm discussing pictures, let me explain a few things. The video is of Elder Silva trying Pop Rocks for the the first time (the elder giving him the pop rocks is Elder Dixon a Swede). It was pretty great. I also added some pictures of the SurinaMENs. They are also Dutch speaking missionaries going to the West Indies mission. They live in the room next to us. The pictures are of them getting ready for four square in the morning. I wish I had a picture of the next day, cause they all had mustaches as well as headbands. 

Link to Pop Rocks:

(I am having trouble getting this link to work, so forgive me if you cannot access it!)

The picture of Elder Silva holding a picture of a girl has quite a story. It begins in our classroom. I've been reading Jesus the Christ in my spare time, but one day Elder Matos found a copy of it in our classroom. Thinking it was mine, he just skimmed through the pages. The picture of that girl fell out. He thought it belonged to me, and started joking with me a bit. Of course, I've never seen that girl before in my life. We asked all the teachers if they knew whose it was, but they had no idea. It's a ghost picture. So we've started a new thing here. We plant it on someone, either in their suit jacket, under their pillow, etc. It's kind of dumb but it's funny. That picture is right after Elder Silva found it on himself the first time. His face is priceless. 

We now have two onderzoekers. (people we are teaching) "John" and "Tony". They are both moving along quite well, and we taught them both about the Atonement last week. We are close to asking "John" to be baptized, but we have to teach him how to pray first. We ran out of time in our last lesson. :( 

So I would like to share one more story. This happened last night, on the hallowed "P-Day Eve". It started with a spark that ignited into a war. 

So our Zone is made up of all Dutch speakers plus Swedes, Nords, and Danes. We've been having a grand old time together, but yesterday, a war started. 

Early in the morning, we were still sleeping. We hear a knock at the door. My comp, Elder da Silva, still 75% asleep goes and answers it. It's the Swedes in full battle array with squirt and dart guns. They totally blast him in the face as he opens the door. They lit the flame that began the war.
All day we plotted our revenge, if you mess with one Dutchie, you mess with all of us. We enlisted the help of the Surinames (Dutch speaking 
West Indies Mission) who the Swedes thought were their allies. As soon as we got home from devotional and changed out of our suits, we prepared for war. Elder Silva and Elder da Silva painted their faces with shaving cream, and Elder Silva donned a hood from a winter jacket (it looked hilarious) Elder Hunter filled several water bottles in preparation for a good dunking on a Swedish head. I prepared our diversion to draw them out of the room.
As I began the diversion, the Swedish lookout spotted my companions as they left our room and alerted his Swedish brothers. They all piled into the Zone Leader's (a Swede) room, and barricaded themselves in. This is where the Surinames came in. After sweet talking the Swedes, the Swedes opened the door just a crack to let them in, thinking them to be their allies. That was all we needed. We pushed the door open the rest of the way and began unleashing our fury upon those who dared squirt a fellow Dutchie in the face at 6:15 in the morning. Elder da Silva smacked a Swede upside the face with a handful of shaving cream, while Elder Hunter dumped bottle after bottle of water on the enemy before being taken out by a cookie launched by one of the Zone Leaders hiding behind a bed. The leader of the Swedes, Elder Dixon (he was the one da Silva smacked with shaving cream) grabbed my companion in a headlock, so I did the only thing I could. I threw a donut at his face. It smacked him right in the cheek icing side first. This shocked him enough for my companion to slip away. As we ran back to our room, the Swedes, filled with fury at their defeat began to storm after us down the hallway. When we got back to our room, we realized to our horror that we were locked out, with an army of angry Swedes 10 paces behind us. Luckily Elder Matos had a spare key, and we tumbled into our room. One of the Swedes (Dixon) wedged himself in the door and started spraying us with a squirt gun. We batted his hand down with a shoe and closed the door. As he turned to run away down the hallway, Elder Hunter burst from our room and rat tailed him with his towel. The Swedes will never attack us again. 

It was an epic night. 

Everyone had a great time, and right afterwards, the Zone Leaders invited us over for chips and salsa. The whole thing took like 2 minutes. We have several war trophies, including the donut that smacked someone in the face, and we are planning on handing out Medals of Honor tonight. Our Zone is the best. 

Anyway, I hope this email was long enough ;) I had more time today because we got our laundry done early. I'm going to go grab lunch and get ready for the Temple. 


Elder Muller

No comments:

Post a Comment