Sunday, June 26, 2011


so this one time i'm serving in a the most remote part of the mission in japan, a tiny and beautiful little seaside town called shingu.  there were two companionships of missionaries down there and the branch was the four of us about a half dozen old ladies.

one sunday we were having our branch conference, and so our meeting was not the familiar group of nine or ten that we usually had, but closer to thirty people packed into our little rented room.  the mission president and his wife were there, as were the district president and his family, the zone leaders, and some other visitors.  by this point in my mission (out about a year) i had gotten accustomed to giving talks in japanese--heck, one or two of us were giving a talk in sacrament meeting every week--but this morning i somehow ended up conducting the music.

i don't got rhythm.
and i can normally flap my hand well enough to pass for 4/4 or even 3/4.  but the hymn we were singing that morning was in 6/8 and standing in front of all of those visitors, i panicked.  i remember my mission president (who had some musical training) sitting in the front row, trying to encourage and lead me along by simplifying it to 3/4.  i don't think i did the greatest, but somehow we still managed to grow the church down there.

i probably haven't thought about that moment since it happened eleven years ago, but when no one volunteered to lead the opening hymn today in sunday school, i was reminded of it as i stood up and tried to conduct "love one another" in 6/8 time.
i've grown a lot since my tim in japan, but there are still some things i can't do.


Em said...

rhythm is certainly something that can be acquired with diligent work in that direction, but I'm not sure I should assume that is the best use of your limited time and energy. If you're volunteering to conduct (or accompany)last moment, you always have the perogative to change the hym to "sweet hour of prayer". aka the "easy" hymn.

Em said...

*hymn* no more typing one-handed allowed.

The Former 786 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Former 786 said...

Just remember: Big triangle - little triangle, big triangle - little triangle.

Also, you should have posted this post a couple weeks ago. :)

Signore said...

In most cases, including Love One Another, 6/8 will "simplify" into 2, not 3.

Hand does down-and-outward for "As," back up and in for "I," and so forth.

--jeff * said...

grazie, signore di fife.