Friday, July 3, 2009

Another Prophet Sighting: Missionary Sings to Prophet at Mission Presidents' Seminar

Sister Sallie Wilson's family shared a great personal encounter she had with President Thomas S. Monson last Sunday following the mission presidents' seminar:

...I met the Prophet :)

No, seriously, I MET THE PROPHET!!!!!!!!!

So here's the run down of the last week, since I know that you're DYING to hear!

So Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings, we sang for the NMP seminar devotionals. That's pretty much all we got to do - we'd file in, sing, then file out and be on our way for the day. And every single day I was just dying to be able to stay and listen!!! But we couldn't. But it was still amazing! Apparently this has been the best small MTC choir they've ever had - Bro Brenchley (our director) told us that several times, and also told us on Sunday morning that E. Holland told him the same thing: that we were the best sounding, most professional/missionary looking group they've ever heard. In fact, he (E. Holland) said that our rendition of Pres. Faust's "This Is the Christ" was the best he'd ever heard, and they requested the recording from the devotional!!! Holy cow!

Thursday morning, President Eyring and Elders Holland, Oaks, Perry, Cook, Christofferson, and Anderson were all there. Friday morning we had Pres. Uchtdorf and Elders Holland, Perry, Oaks, Bednar, Christofferson, Anderson, Scott and Cook. Saturday morning it was Pres. Packer and Elders Holland, Oaks, Perry, Ballard, Scott, Bednar, Cook, Christofferson and Anderson. And then, yes, on Sunday (not the morning devotional, but the special 1st presidency sacrament mtg), all the 1st Presidency and quorum of the 12 were there except for Pres. Packer. Apparently he was scheduled to be there, but had to do a stake conf. broadcast from SLC. Is that not INCREDIBLE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! My companion and I were talking to Pres. Clegg (a counselor in the MTC presidency that we've become good friends with), and he said that this was really an unprecedented event, to have that many of the presiding brethren (not to mention LOTS of seventy and other general aux. leaders) here at once like that. AND I GOT TO SING TO THEM EVERY MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not to mention all of the incredible new mission presidents and their beautiful wives - you want to talk about spiritual priesthood power in a room? That's what I felt every morning. It was wonderful! The neatest thing though, was that it wasn't all about THEM. It was actually all about US - the missionaries. It was interesting to be there, with the tables kind of turned - THEY were all watching US come in, THEY listened to OUR message and testimonies (through song), THEY were so happy, excited and overjoyed to feel of OUR spirits, and then THEY watched in quiet reverence as WE left. I could really feel their love and appreciation and respect for us as I participated. And each morning, as we would file back out, I always looked over to the Apostles on the stand (we sang just in front of the stand - maybe 5 feet away from right where they were sitting), and tried to make eye contact and smile. And I did! Elder Cook and Christofferson both looked and smiled right at me a few of the mornings as I left! It was really amazing! Then, on Sunday morning, after we sang in Sacrament meeting, they made special arrangements for us to watch Pres. Monson speak from another room (they just broadcasted it into the room we were in - there was no room in the actual room)! We stayed for most of it, but then had to go for our other meetings. It was so neat to hear him speak to all the new mission presidents! I felt so much overwhelming gratitude as we began to watch, just because it was such a privilege and a tender mercy to even be in the choir in the first place, and then to get to hear the prophet speak - even from another room - was wonderful!

So when did I actually meet the prophet??? ...I know, I know, I'm getting there! Sunday morning we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" for the special Sacrament Meeting. Afterwards, we went back for our regular Sunday meetings, but had a break for lunch and study time before OUR sacrament meeting. Since we had seen the 1st Pres. cars' parked up on the sidewalk (and security was TIGHT, let me just tell you! It took us 3 tries just to get anywhere close to the doors of that building, and we were the CHOIR!), we decided to go sit on the benches outside the building and study, hoping that maybe, just maybe we'd get to see them when they left. We waited out there for a good 45 or so minutes, and then FINALLY they came! Pres and Sis Uchtdorf came out first, and left pretty quickly, but they waved to all of us (there were probably about 15 or 20 of us out there waiting...) and told us we were wonderful and that they loved us, then left. Quick side not, can I just tell you what an incredibly beautiful couple they are? Really, they are just stunning people!

Anyways, a few minutes later President Monson and President Eyring and their wives came out! There was a bigger crowd by now, and it definitely continued to grow! As they came out, we were all standing, and began to sing "We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet". After a moment, Pres. Monson came over and just stood and looked at all of us. He just stood there, not 10 feet away from me (I was right at the front of the group), and just watched us. I barely finished the verse because I couldn't help but cry as I stood there, as a missionary of the Lord, looking right at His chosen prophet, seer, and revelator, and sang "We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter-days! We thank thee for sending the gospel to lighten our minds with it's rays! We thank thee for every blessing, bestowed by thy bounteous hand, we feel it a pleasure to serve thee, and love to obey thy command." It was really funny though, because as we got to the end of the verse, Pres Monson smiled really big, and lifted up his arms to direct the last line or two! It was just wonderful! Then he stood and talked to all of us for a good 10 minutes or so, asking about where we were going, and telling us stories (of course!). He even sang some funny little song to us in Spanish! He didn't shake our hands because 1)there were too many of us, and 2) the whole swine flu thing. Stupid swine flu...

Speaking of which, it's pretty much taken care of here...there are still some sick missionaries, including a few in sick bay/quarantine, but the best news of all with this is that THEY'VE LIFTED THE HANDSHAKING/HUGS BAN!!!!!!! It's been against the rules to shake hands or hug anyone since before I got here, but Pres. and Sis. Clegg told us last night that they've officially lifted it! Our elders were all really excited to shake our hands today after we told them, and our teacher hugged us all (hermanas) twice! :)

Anyways...after Pres Monson talked to us for a little bit, he moved around to the other side and talked to all the other missionaries who had gathered by that time; then, as he went to go to his car, we all sang "We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet" again, and he turned to all of us, and directed our singing! He really just waved his arms - he doesn't actually know how to direct music - and smiled, chuckling to himself a little bit, but I can now say that I've sung in a choir directed by the prophet!

The thing that hit me more than anything else was his genuine love and joy. He and Pres Eyring both just radiated that joy that the gospel brings, as well as the love of the Savior. What an awesome thing, I really can't even begin to tell you, to be a missionary, taking this incredible gospel message to the world, and to see it, up close and personal - the living prophet, called of God to lead and guide us; to sing and learn and teach, feel everyday these amazing truths! And the best thing about it is that I'm not the only one who gets to have it!!! That's why I'm going out to serve - so that EVERYONE can know, and feel and follow the Savior! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really love her enthusiasm and devotion. It is a joy to read her joy in sharing her talent with the mission presidents, General Authorities and others. She is really sets an example for me to be a better person. Also she is a credit to her parents. I have no doubt she will be an exceptional missionary.


Whitney said...

My brother met the prophet and spoke with him as well! He sang at the MTC Sunday night devotional. I don't know how to add blogs, but his is He has spoken of swine flu in almost every letter and then the prophet if the second to last one.

Tanya said...

I have a friend who I believe was in that same choir. I have yet to hear from him yet on his experience but I look forward to getting his letter soon.