Thursday, December 11, 2014

2012-12-11 MGA TV performance

It is almost 24 hours later, and I just have to write a note because my heart is so full of gratitude for the support of the Lord.  Today was another day of many miracles!

I'll never be able to list them all, but I just want you to know that it really shouldn't have gone well today.  Yes, we had done all we could.  Yes, we had tried our best.  But, no, we hadn't practiced enough.  No, I have never led or organized a real choir.  No...none of us had any clue about being on TV!  I'd never heard of the TV station and didn't honestly have any idea of what we were really getting into.

But, we had felt an impression that having a Christmas Mission Choir would be a blessing to the people of Manila and the missionaries.  So, we'd tried to do what we could to make it happen.  Our efforts, though well-intentioned, were imperfect, limited because of time and lack of knowledge, and honestly....things should not have gone well.

But we had done the best we could with what we had, and we had 260 of the most wonderful missionaries in the world praying for it to be successful, and......the Lord REALLY blessed us.

My video camera had problems, so I will have to attach pictures and videos later (several others took videos and promised to send me them).  But the following link will show you one of the first shots of the missionaries on TV.  It was recorded at about 5am.  :)

Missionaries from all over our mission converged last night upon the mission home.  Companionships did exchanges over night so the singing missionaries could practice and stay overnight at the mission home.  Every missionary could tell you a story of the challenge they had getting to the mission home.  Two sets of sisters spent over two hours trying to get a 15 minute drive distance (if the traffic was good....) But they all got there. They were weary and sweaty, but with a great, enthusiastic attitude.

We had a delicious spaghetti dinner prepared by Angel, then practiced for three hours.  It was an amazing experience.  We had been told many different things by the producers and weren't really sure what was going to be expected of us.  They had changed from saying they wanted three songs to maybe five or more.  So, we started practicing new songs.  A sweet sister, Sarah Castro, paid to take a cab across town after work to come help the choir practice.   She's a choir teacher.  She was amazing.  Between her and our very able conductor, Elder Osguthorpe, the choir quickly learned the music.  Sarah even taught them "Carol of the Bells" which is quite challenging to learn and sing acapella.  Yet, within a half hour or so, she had taught them.  When they sang it through with their music, it still sounded pretty choppy and unsure, so we thought maybe we should just not do it any more, but we felt like we should try it again, so Elder Osguthorpe had them put away their music and sing.  I wish you could have all been there!  They did SOOOOOOO well!  They sang all the words and the right notes.  If you were to ask anyone in the choir, I think they would all tell you what a miracle it was.  Even Sarah said she was amazed that they could learn it that fast.  We felt like we had Heavenly help.

Time was up for practice, so we had to quit before we were as prepared as we wanted to be or needed to be.  We had "family scripture study" together as a LARGE family.  It was a neat experience together, then we joined in prayer to petition the Lord for His care and help so that we could represent Him and His restored church and gospel well.  Almost everyone got to bed by 10:30 or 11:00.  For some it was later.  Then, we woke up at 2am and got ready by 3am.  We were picked up by vans from the TV station and driven to the TV station headquarters.

They took us to the "makeup rooms" where we found out it was the place for us to put on our own make up if we had some.  After fixing our faces, we went down to the front lobby where they have a large, beautiful set of stairs.  That is where we sang for the performances.

Our first performance was about 5am, an hour earlier than they had told us, but the missionaries were up to the task.  They did great and were recorded and sang live three times during the first hour of programming.  Then, they brought us food to eat.  They were amazing hosts in taking care of all of us.  After eating, we talked about what other songs we could sing because they had told us they needed more.  It was amazing to see them get to work and share ideas.  Several Filipina sisters taught all of them the words to "Pasco Na Namaan" in Filipino.  Again, it was miraculous how quickly they learned it.  After waiting for the producers to call us again, we decided to go practice all the new songs we'd added.  After practicing, they had one last chance to perform about 7:25am.  We sang "Pasko Na Namaan and all sorts of people walking through stopped to listen.  They really liked foreigners singing a song that was a favorite, well known one for Filipinos.  After wards the producers and everyone came to get their pictures taken with the choir.  They were very hospitable.  It was so much fun.

I will post pictures and videos hopefully tomorrow, but I just had to let you know what a wonderful Father in Heaven we all have.  It really was a day of miracles!  We all know, stronger than we knew before, that we can depend on the Lord when we do the best we can.  He does not leave us alone.  Our weakness is truly an opportunity for His power to be shown.  Today, we are witnesses.