Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 79 in the Field: Recording music, Transfer to McMinnville TN, and the Nativity

With the giant Nativity set in the lobby area

What's up y'all?

So a couple little announcement thingys. So first off, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) announced that as of March of 2016, missionaries that will be speaking their native language (for example English speaking missionaries going to English speaking areas) will now spend three weeks in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) vs the twelve days it used to be. The purpose was that it helps missionaries get more training, and it also used to be like that. This change, however, effects missionaries in the field currently in these areas. So now instead of ending my mission around May 18th, 2016, I will be finishing on May 18th, 2017.


Okay I'm kidding. It's just a week later. I will be finishing on May 25th, 2016. Also our mission is getting black boxes in our mission vehicles now, which will monitor how fast missionaries go in cars, So a lot of lead foot people won't be on the roads anymore--probably for the best haha.

Anywho, here's the weekly update.

Recording vocals with Elder Sheffield

Monday we went straight to the Providence elders and then took Elder Sheffield right to Bro. Mortensen's house where I prepared to record like crazy as many songs as I could. We planned for ten, but due to a very, very long vocal session, we got like 6. I was disappointed, but the six we got were really good.  We recorded "Me, My Suitcase, and a Red Chair" (written by Elder Sheffield), "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy", "A Child's Prayer", "I Know That My Savior Loves Me", "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission/I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go", and "Where Can I Turn for Peace." 

The best one was probably "Me, My Suitcase, and a Red Chair." Elder Sheffield sang it, and I played the guitar and did back up vocals. It was awesome.  (If you want listen to the MP3 file of this song, just email my mom, and she will send it to you.)

Recording guitar on "A Child's Prayer"

Helping Elder Ihler get his part down on "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy"

In the evening, we went over to the Gates home and had dinner with them and Timmy. Later on, Tim Gates gave us three of his newer albums, signed them, and then wanted me to play one of the songs I recorded that day. So I played "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission/I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go." He was impressed and said I was a good guitarist. His oldest daughter was also impressed cause she was trying to learn some jazzy stuff too. In case you don’t remember who Tim Gates and Timmy are, just click on the link for a short video:

On the way home Tim made sure I tell my mom that "She's a good woman" for keeping me in the loop about Nashville Tribute and with the guitar. Made my mission.

With the Gates family Tim Gates is on my (my perspective) left and Timmy is on my right

Tuesday Elder Ihler and I loaded up, and we went off to transfers. It was a very different transfer meeting. Normally, it was kinda like a pep rally, but this time it was held in the chapel in the Green Hills building. It was very spiritual. The sister missionaries that came out with me bore their final testimonies and gave their advice. After that I found out that I was going to McMinnville, TN with Elder Harrison. Once more I am covering a very large area with limited miles. We also share it with Spanish sisters, Hermanas James and Lutui.  Elder Harrison is from Syracuse, UT (he doesn't know my old companion, Elder Steed who was also from Syracuse) and is really into video games and stuff like that. He also reminds me a ton of Elder Steed in many ways. When we got to McMinnville, we practically immediately went to the chapel to begin helping out with the Nativity party thingy. It was a three-day event on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where members and non members come to check out loads of nativity sets and see presentations based on Jesus Christ. It's a great idea. But took a long time to set up. We spent most of our time doing that.

Wednesday we met the district. There are four sets including us and the Hermanas that make up the district. Manchester elders, Elders Catherall and Mclain, Tullahoma elders, Elders Partida and Tracy. It's kind of a relaxed district but still has some cool people in it. Elder Partida trained on using the new church video "A Savior is Born". It’s a good video, and I really like the other video on that talks about the need for a savior too. We spent most of the time helping out with the nativity. 

Picture of the angel stand on the giant Nativity set.

Thursday that was also pretty much all we did, too. The hardest thing to set up was the large Nativity. We had to put an angel on the roof of the manger, but the roof was a sharp 30-degree slant. Using some tech theatre skills, I configured a platform out of three small planks and duck tape. It worked for the whole show. 

My favorite Nativity set

Friday we did a little bit of planning but mostly we went to the Nativity and helped out there. It was a good first night with a lot of our investigators coming. I didn't know too many, but it was still cool. President Andersen also came with his wife to see some of the stuff. It was a cool set up. We had an art room displaying a bunch of paintings of Christ as well as a picture location, and a place for kids. It was great all around.

The main Nativity exhibit. There were roughly around 200 or so.  There were also 300 poinsettias

The art room

Saturday was mostly the same thing. We picked out some stuff we wanted for Christmas and then off we went to the Nativity event again. Not too much was different minus a local band that played some Christmas music. It was lead by an elderly guy who was really cool but had an interesting voice. Also that day we got to see two other investigators. One of them knows the church is true; she just can't quit smoking. She had a lot of good questions about church history, which I was able to answer for her. I have really appreciated all the knowledge I've gained in my life. I can't wait to see how I am after the mission.

Sunday I got to meet the whole Ward Council. Turns out the Ward Mission Leader Bro. Caten used to live in McLeansboro, which is in the Eldorado Branch. He went there as a kid and knows some of the members who still live there. It was a crazy coincidence. The bishop asked me to introduce myself both in Ward Council and in sacrament meeting. The ward in itself is a good size. The chapel looks like the one in Asheville, NC, and it's really pretty all around. We only had sacrament meeting since every room was being used for the Nativity. In the evening? You guessed it. We were at the Nativity helping out with it. In the evening we watched the First Presidency devotional. It was a cool experience and we had some familiar faces come.  You can watch it here:

Elder Loveless who is now serving in the Pikeville branch showed up with an investigator, and the zone leaders showed up as well. We ended on a good note. 

Today as I was randomly playing piano, the music director roped me in to play in the Christmas sacrament meeting in two weeks... YAY. I swear I've been asked to play in every location, but it's been worth it. I love the people here, and I really appreciate how kind they all are. I can't wait to see more people.

It's a good area with good people. Hopefully this will continue. I'll talk to y'all next week!

Elder Peery

Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
1646 Sunset Road
Brentwood, TN 37027

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