January 3, 2011
Happy New Year everybody!
Sorry for the late email, we were playing sports with Hampton Park ward in the morning and came for emails later.
This week has been very difficult, and there is a lot of work to do to set things right. I’ll explain the difficulties first so I can share the good news afterwards.
Missionary work is like a three-legged race; both participants need to be actively moving to the same destination in synchronization. When one companion runs a little funny, it can throw you off, but you can keep moving. However, if one companion wants to go one way and the other a different way, it doesn’t work. It especially doesn’t work if one companion doesn’t want to move at all. Each companionship in our district has been struggling with this unity, including Elder Savelio and I. We’ve also had trouble pinning people down to teach due to the New Year, so our work has been neglected. I have a new training in mind to try to address this problem in our next district meeting, and I also have to start taking initiative and leading the way to get everybody back on track. We had our holiday with Christmas and New Year, but now we have to get things back on track. It’s not easy being the one to set the example, but it’s also a privilege to find ways to help other Elders keep going and feel comforted in the trials.
On Tuesday, I got a call from the music coordinator in the stake who was arranging musical numbers for the next mission president’s fireside. He asked if I could do a duet. Of course I said sure. So on Wednesday we met to put it together. You can probably find the song on Youtube, it’s called Be Still by Hilary Weeks. It’s about a girl praying for strength, crying for help, and then God’s answer of comfort. So of course, I got to be God. Cool as. It was funny how brother Pinker asked if I could sight read. I said yes. We ran through it, and I got the whole thing just about perfect. He gave me some pointers for style, but then admitted he was surprised I picked it up so fast. He asked, “What sort of experience do you have?” I told him BYU Singers. His eyes went wide and he said, “Did you really?” He poked me and looked at his finger. “I touched someone who sang in BYU Singers.” Normally, when I tell people BYU Singers they think “Oh cool, a choir from BYU,” but it was nice to meet someone who was actually familiar with it and could appreciate it. We then got to perform it last night, Sunday, to missionaries and their converts. It went really well. Yes, I did get a video of it! I’m having trouble finding a computer that can burn DVDs, so it will be a while until I can send it, but it will come someday! I promise.
On New Years Eve, we went to bed at our normal time because that’s how it is, and I woke up later to the sounds of thudding. I thought someone was kicking a ball against the flat wall or something. Then I heard crackling. I bolted out of bed with a soft shout, “Fireworks!” And ran outside. Just a few blocks down was a firework show. We climbed up onto the roof and watched. We could hear some of the nearby houses booming music with celebration. Happy 2011!
I got to see Ellen Blake at the fireside on Sunday! She’s still going strong. She got to do baptisms for the dead in the temple last month, and she’s also engaged to Jamane, her returned missionary boyfriend from back when I was teaching her. It’s so cool to catch up and see someone still doing well. There’s a chapter in Alma that talks about that, I think 26.
Anyway, those are highlights from my week. I really miss you all, but I’ve still got a lot to do and learn. I know it’s going to be difficult, but I wouldn’t still be here if I thought it were impossible. I’m glad you liked the package! I’ll talk to you again next week.
-Elder Scott Baker