Sunday, January 27, 2013

Music in Tortola Branch

January 27, 2013

Jose DaSilva (that is pronounced Jo-sie) led the singing in church today. Jose is almost 15, handsome and bright, out going, normal young man.  Last week I taught the conducting course in Mutual.  It was not a smashing success, but there were a couple of the young people who caught on.  Jose was one.  He has never had music lessons.  He doesn’t really sing very well.  But he has a sense of rhythm and could feel the downbeat well.  When I asked for a volunteer to lead the closing song he stepped right up.

The singing has been led by Sister Kalama.  She does it well, but she is also the BP’s wife, YW president, and just about everything else in the branch.  The Kalama family took a three-week holiday to Hawaii.  Their two oldest daughters just received their mission calls, so they went back to Hawaii to receive their temple endowments there.  Hina, the younger of the two, is going to a Spanish California mission and enters the Provo MTC on February 13.  Hali’a will stay in Hawaii and work until she enters the MTC in April, on her way to a mission in the Philippines.  So they are away from the branch.  They will be pleasantly surprised to see Jose conducting the singing when they return.

These photos were taken with my iPhone.  Not as good quality as with my Canon, but you get the message.  These are along the place we walk some mornings.

The counsellor in the branch presidency is Brother Andrew Glasgow.  You have met his little daughter Fayth.  When Sister Glasgow was expecting the baby she also found that she had cancer and her doctors told her that she must terminate the pregnancy so they could treat the cancer.  She would not do it.  Fayth was 8 weeks early but she is now normal and active and cute as a bug (think of a cute bug). Anyway, they are originally from St Maarten and their English is different from everybody else here.  He is a boat mechanic and works basically 6 long days per week.  They have one son on a mission and another sending in his papers.  When President Kalama is gone the conducting of meetings is up to Brother Glasgow.  He does not enjoy that experience.  But today he conducted and he did just fine.  He spoke up, he made some comments at the conclusion of the meeting, and it gave him enormous confidence.

The moral is that when we let people do things that are uncomfortable, they grow.  We all grow when that happens.  Our little choir is working on a number for branch conference in February.  They were timid about it at first, but after we ran through the piece a few times they were more confident and it is starting to sound wonderful.  I probably sound like a proud papa, but these people really warm my heart.  We now have one of Gaye’s young women keyboard students playing each week, although she is in Hawaii for the next three weeks.  We have some other students who are almost ready to play.  We have a young man conducting, and we have a branch choir.  We are not as busy teaching investigators as we would like, but I feel that our time here is producing great rewards in the increased feelings of peace and spirituality that are resulting from having more participation in the music of the branch.  Anybody who has thought about it knows that few things can affect our inner feelings as quickly and deeply as good music.

We have had a few hard rain showers in the past few days.  The big puddle at the church parking lot, Lake Tortola, is full again.  I don’t think the little car that went in there was ever recovered.  : ^ )   When it rains it comes down in a gray sheet of water.  The metal roofs really resonate and streams of water flow from the roofs and rain gutters.  But then it stops as suddenly as it starts and the sun comes out, or the moon or stars if it is at night.  The nights are still in the 70’s and the days are mid-80’s.  The warm season is about to start when range of temps goes up 10 degrees on both ends.  Sometimes we have not turned on our AC in the apartment, but I think it will be going most of the time once the warmer weather arrives.  Hurricane season starts in May.  This will be interesting.

We are well.  I think I have gained a few inches since getting here and I am tired of carrying it around.  I was thinking about it a couple of days ago.  I eat things that are not good for me, like bread from Tyler’s bakery and passion fruit jelly, because they taste good.  They really do taste good.  The result is not good, however.  It is just like the rats I have been catching.  They die because they eat the wrong things.  So I am going to eliminate the rat poison from my life.

I visited a dental office in Road Town.  I will try to get some photos and write about it next time.

Stay tuned.

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