Monday, November 7, 2011

Campuses, Cousins, Cooking, Conferences, and Choirs

This past weekend was pretty much spectacular!  When I write my journal entry about it (I didn't have time yesterday to do so, so I'll have to do some catching up soon), it'll probably be several pages, long, but I'll try not to be as wordy here.  :)

It started out on Friday.  I missed all my classes that day (first time I've ever done so except in the case of serious illness, which has only happened maybe twice in my life, so it was really weird) in order to visit the campus of Utah State University.  The presidency of the BYU chapter of NSSLHA coordinated with the presidency of the USU chapter of NSSLHA to make this day happen.  The USU presidency set up appointments with various faculty in the Communication Disorders department at USU and even set up tours of the clinic and other facilities there.  I was able to meet many faculty who teach graduate level courses in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and get many questions answered.  Since I've been seriously considering attending USU for my graduate education, this was a wonderful opportunity for me.  Basically, by the time the day was over, I had decided that that is definitely where I want to go to grad school!  :)  It also was a day of firsts for me.  I was the one to drive the group to Logan in a car rented from BYU.  It was my first time driving a minivan, my first time driving that far, my first time missing classes the way I did, and my first time tasting Aggie ice cream (which is quite delicious!).  Over all, it was definitely a good day!

I spent Saturday morning and early afternoon being productive with homework and such, which was definitely a good thing.  :)  Then I cooked a late lunch/early dinner for Jill, her cousin Brianne, and myself.  The thing was, Jill didn't know her cousin was going to be there too!  A few days ago, Jill showed me a picture of her cousin, and I realized that she had been in several of my past music classes and is currently in my choir class!  We laughed at the connection, but that was the end of our discussions on that point.  Meanwhile, I talked to Brianne about the connection the next day, and we decided it would be fun to surprise Jill by having Brianne come over to our apartment.  It's the first time I've planned a surprise event for anyone, and it was quite fun!  Jill was super surprised and seemed pleased, which made me happy.  We had dinner together and then were able to just sit and chat for a while, which was great.  Jill and Brianne hadn't seen each other for a long time, so I was glad I was the instigator that gave them the chance to catch up together.

Then Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon were stake conference for us.  The Saturday evening session was wonderful, as was the Sunday afternoon session.  I felt the Spirit and really enjoyed the messages that were shared.  But the main event that took place for me was the performance of the stake choir.  For two months my co-chair (Jeremy) and I have been working on announcing stake choir and conducting rehearsal after rehearsal, and yesterday was when it finally came to reality.  We performed two Mack Wilberg numbers: "Praise to the Lord" and "I Believe in Christ."  Each was accompanied by a pianist and an organist.  Jeremy conducted "Praise to the Lord" while I helped the organist with all the stops and volume controls.  The number sounded fantastic!  Then I conducted "I Believe in Christ" as the closing number.  Now let me tell you something.  I had been stressing and worrying and agonizing and slaving to make these pieces come to life.  When the practices weren't exactly what I'd hoped, I'd had to just put my faith in the Lord that He would help things turn out as He wanted them to.  But when the closing number began, all my cares and fears melted away.  I conducted that number with more energy and fervor than I've ever conducted a choir number before, and those 70-some odd amazing singers and two incredible accompanists simply blew me away!  I had to fight hard to keep from crying!  (I later found out that the stake president was crying!)  I just conducted with a huge smile on my face, and then when it was over, I sat down and cried.  :)  The Spirit and beauty of that number were indescribable.  I feel blessed and privileged to have even witnessed it, let alone been a part of it.  I will never forget that sacred experience.  I'm so grateful for my callings!  Being involved with music on both the ward and the stake level has blessed my life immeasurably.  That was definitely a wonderful climax to an amazing weekend!

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