Monday, February 9, 2015

Traveling, Choirs, and Elder Mazzagardi


So this week was super busy! We went to Santa Maria (45 mins in a bus there and back) four times this week! (Once is usually more than enough) But all the traveling definitely value a pena (was worth it). 

To start it off last Monday I got a call while we were chillin "Oh Elder Pierce you knew about the choir that you're going to direct for the special conference we are going to have with Elder Mazzagardi this Thursday right?" ... ummmm nope thanks for telling me, hahaha. So we had to go to Santa Maria on Tuesday (#1) for a zone meeting but more for the purpose to organize the choir. I have to say it was pretty fun leading the organization of the choir. President Parrela wanted the best that we had to offer in a small group performance (no more than 15) to the hymn "Brilham Raios de Clemencia" (I'm forgetting the English name for it but its one of the men's voices hymns). I had the 30 or so elders that volunteered divide into the voice parts and then each part gathered around the piano and sang while I listened in the middle writing down names of who would stay or go. I called out the 13 or 14 who would stay and we worked out standing arrangements (power! haha). After we had run through the hymn a few times and switched around some people and giving choral tips and singing directions I got a call from President Parrela. He said it was for me to sing with the choir and sing the second verse as a solo... alrighty. After lunch we had an extended practice where I and Elder McMaster (who plays the piano Jon Schmidt level) put our heads together and worked out the arrangement of the hymn. We decided that everyone would sing in 4 parts the first verse acapella, then I would sing the second verse as a solo with the choir doing hums and ooos, and for the last verse the choir would sing all together and Elder McMaster would sneak to the piano and work his magic to really bring it home. 

With all of the expectations of President Parrela (who said he wanted a Madison Garden performance) and my reputation on the line, after the practice which went well, all I had left to do was pray. And that's what I did pray pray pray that the Lord would bless the voices of the elders who would sing that we could have a good performance but more over that we could bring the spirit through the music. Until the big day on Thursday the mission tour in Santa Maria (#2) with Elder Jairo Mazzagardi of the 70, counselor of the Brasil Area presidency. After Sister and President Parrela gave a few short remarks and before Elder Mazzagardi, it was show time! All the elders got into place and it went... Awesome! Super cool and super strong, my companion even said that President Parrela teared up during the performance (yes!). And when Elder Mazzagardi went to the pulpit to speak the Lord had answered my prayers in a very specific way. Elder Mazzagardi thanked us for the beautiful music, for our talents and preparation, but more over for the spirit that he and all present felt through the music. Mission completed job well done :) 
Elder Jairo Mazzagardi

And just WOW the conference was just awesome. Elder Mazzagardi has a big deep booming voice( similar to Big Joe, haha) so it was just too cool to hear him talk. And the inspiration (he had nothing planned to talk about I think) and knowledge and power with which he spoke was very cool. Here are some of the topics he touched on: our pre-ordination to serve in the exact place we are, the literal and frequent guidance that the apostles and prophet receive from Jesus Christ, our need to study the doctrine of Christ and to practice challenging people for baptism every day and a lot of other stuff. The next day feeling very content and uplifted after the conference (like everything was over) we get another call "Hey Elder Pierce, Elder Mazzagardi liked the musical number so much he wants you all to sing it again for the Saturday night session of Stake Conference, alright? Alright. tchau (bye)!" ...ummmm OK, didn't even know we were invited to the conference and just filled with joy that we were going to have to pay for yet another trip to Santa Maria (#3), we made the plans and thankfully worked out at least one car ride back to São Pedro. Everything went smooth on Saturday with the choir and we got another chance to hear Elder Mazzagardi who talked a lot about self reliance and preparedness and cool after we sang our hymn he had all the wards do a mini ward counsel. Then on Sunday was the Stake Conference (#4) where the stake presidency was reorganized and again we got to hear more from Elder Mazzagardi. 

So yeah, that was my super busy week, I love you all and pray for your well being every day!

Elder Pierce
                                        THANKS Grandma, Grandpa & Brett for the package!!! :)

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