Monday, May 7, 2012

Singing for the Prophet

My sleep schedule is all amiss from the weekend that is behind me now,
but it was all worth it. I am going to write what I can in the time I
have about my experience this past weekend in Kansas City and the
like. I don't think I'll be able to accurately portray the power and
spirit that has been with me, but I will do my best.

On Saturday, the 5th, we left Hutch to arrive in Wichita at 10am for a
zone meeting with the other missionaries and to catch the bus that
would be taking us to KC. Another zone also met at that building and
we all headed to Salina to pick up 4 Elders and to Juntion City to
pick up the remainder of the missionaries out here. I got to chat with
Sisters Payne and Porter which was great. It was 90*+ over the weekend
and the bus' AC broke. With a motorcoach full of missionaries, mostly
young men, in 90 something degree weather, I quickly wilted... but my
spirit would not! The anticipation for this event has kept me going
for weeks now! We finally arrive in KC at 3:40 pm. As I get off the
bus at the side of the Marriott hotel, I held out my hand to see it
shaking. We probably should've eaten more. We walk around into the
Basse Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the marriott hotel where the entire
mission, all 200 young missionaries, would meet with President Keyes
and the like. It was unreal to think that all 200 missionaries were
there. That doesn't happen in this mission. We are exhausted but the
Assistants ask us to get into our zones and sit down to start our
meeting at 4pm. We would be entering the event at 5pm. Being in the
Wichita zone, we are dead last. but I couldn't have been happier. We
had been practicing "We'll Bring the World His Truth" for weeks now.
President Keyes gets up and could hardly speak due to his emotion of
seeing all 200 of his missionaries together. He tells us they changed
what we would be singing a little bit. Instead of all 3 verses of the
song, we'd be singing the first verse and then the chorus 2 times to
end it. Not only that, he said that the youth that would be performing
right before us will part, like the red sea, for us to walk into the
stadium. We went through how to line up and continued to practice. It
was really moving, but I really had no idea what we were in for. We
received tickets as memorials for the event. President also announced
that we would get to actually watch the celebration. Thanks to Elder
Deschler, the area seventy, he got us seats. One hundred on one side
of the stadium, and one hundred on the other side. Each group of one
hundred would follow one of the Assistants. So we begin our trek.
Since Wichita was the last zone, I was literally 2nd to last in the
army of 200 strong. On our way from the Ballroom to the Municipal
Auditorium, we only had to cross the street really, but our zone got
lost so many times. The first time was walking across the street due
to the light. Second our our way to our seats. Going through the
tunnels was an adventure and I ran more trying to keep up with the
group than all month it seems. The public was starting to come too and
it was difficult to maneuver around them. We get to our seats and
wait. The youth start flooding onto the stadium floor at 5:45pm, and
kneel. Since we were in the nosebleed section, I was trying to see
where the prophet would be sitting since we were supposed to sing TO
him once we got on the floor. Right before 6, the entire stadium
arises as President Monson enters the arena. it was incredible. I was
literally 50 yards above him. He just glowed. They start the event by
having President Monson address us. He spoke of many things, but the
one thing I do remember was how he loved seeing the youth dance
together. To see boys ask girls and to see girls get asked to dance.
How important it was to respect each other and to build friendships.
he said that we might see an event going on. He sees friendships being
made. And then it commenced! Because of where I was sitting it was
difficult to get any pictures. The lighting was bad. I'm sending home
a few of before the event started. That was special. The theme of the
event was "Of One Heart in the Heartland". There were 12 stakes
involved and each was involved in something devoted to the area. The
early saints were mentioned a lot, as well as the early settlement of
the area. The most powerful that I witnessed before going on the floor
myself was from the Joplin Stake. If any of you remember, last May I
took a group of Young Single Adults from the Joplin stake through the
Visitors' Center and instantly fell in love with them. The very next
day, the devastating tornado hit. The youth's program was completely
devoted to the errand of angels in response to the tornado last year.
it hit home so greatly with me. Each dance was introduced with a video
presentation and narration. There were sirens, 911 calls, recordings
of youth retelling their experience of not knowing where loved ones
were located. As the narration played, they came on the floor. There
were wooden frames of houses laid flat on the floor. Eventually, the
EFY song, "Broken Things" started, sung live by Kenneth Cope himself.
Another song called "Rise Up" by Spencer Lee was played during their
performance. And actually, Rise Up is on iTunes and all proceeds to
towards the Joplin Recovery. Go check it out if you can. I was so
moved by the performance I could not hold back my tears. I'm sure I
made the Elder sitting next to me feel a bit awkward. Youth in Helping
Hands shirts came out. A family, broken by the disaster, ran out on
the floor and I saw a little girl jump into the arms of her father.
The stadium went mad. It was beautiful. After this performance we made
a mad dash to the tunnel from our seats to prepare to go on with all
the youth stakes. Again, we booked it, literally sprinted down 3
stories of ramps. Because I was at the end of the group, I didn't get
to see much. But I heard everything. As the army of missionaries began
to move, the crown up roared. We began to sing. The youth parted and
knelt to make way for the Lord's servants and sang with us. As I
entered the floor, I looked up to the video screen and saw President
and Sister Keyes along with one of the Assistants singing. We had
people on either side of us cheering and rooting us on. We stopped,
turned toward the Prophet, who was standing, as well as the entire
stadium, and sang. At one point I had a camera man straight in my
face. As we finished singing... "We will be the Lord's missionaries to
bring the world his truth". We stood there. The feeling of love I felt
at that moment is really indescribable to put into words. The entire
stadium was still in an up roaring, standing, cheering, for several
minutes after we finished. As we walked out the youth stood and
clapped for US. For US! We should be cheering for THEM. President
Monson grabbed his suit coat and tugged at it, and you could see his
face full of emotion from the power of the Spirit. As we left the
stadium, I glanced up at the monitor one last time and saw a side view
of each and every missionary walk past. It was so POWERFUL. We went
back up our 3 stories of ramps and sat down to finish the event. I
can't describe the feelings and power that was there adequately.

We made it back to the bus, they fed us, and we rode all the way back
to Junction City, Salina, and Wichita. I think I had said last week we
were going to stay in KC for the dedication. That changed. We left KC
at 8:15pm. Got to Wichita at 1am. We just all chatted on the bus. No
one could sleep although we were all going loopy due to what just
happened and our minds start to fade. It was wonderful to bond with
the missionaries on our zone. it's great to say that we really are
close and I consider them family. It was a long day. The sister
missionaries that we stayed with wanted to go to church so we woke up
at 6:30am, got ready, studied, and went to a 9am church. I bore my
testimony in that ward. It was bizarre not to be in my own ward. I
missed Hutch. A young couple from the ward took us to Salina where we
watched the 3rd and final session of the Kansas City Missouri Temple
Dedication. It was beautiful. Elder Holland, Elder Rasband, and Elder
Walker all accompanied President Monson. When it was finished, I saw a
returned missionary from the mission. He came back to see it. It was
fun to see him. There were quite a few missionaries that had served in
the MIM come back for either the dedication or the Youth Cultural
Celebration. We got a ride back to Wichita from Salina, where we met
at the brand new Stake Center for the Seminary Graduation, where our
ride back to Hutch would meet us. That didn't get finished until 8:30.
We didn't get back to Hutch until 9:30. We were so tired. We are so
tired! However, before going to bed, President Keyes sent out another
voice mail to the mission. He told us of all the comments we received
of the missionaries at the Cultural Celebration. He told us one
story... when the missionaries marched out onto the stadium arena, the
men in the van that controlled the camera feed to the satellite, for
everyone else worldwide to see were so touched, that it made their job
difficult. They were weeping because of the power and spirit they
felt. President Keyes told us that he arranged for each and every
missionary to receive a copy of the cultural event and we should be
receiving them next month. What a blessing! I'm so grateful for the
church. I'm so grateful for a charitable and devoted Mission

Here is a link that the church put out for the whole deal.
My pictures and words are inadequate for the power that was there. It
was the best day of my life. We may have had a warm bus ride there and
back in one day and not get any sleep this weekend, but I would do it
again in a heartbeat. I know the church is true. I know President
Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I know that Jesus is the
Christ and that He lives.

I was contemplating what I would answer if someone asked me, "Why are
you LDS?" There are many answers and testimonies to answer that. But
after this weekend, I discovered mroe to the gospel. I discovered more
of the love our Savior and Heavenly Father have for us. I understand
more of the Atonement and the sacredness of the family. So next time
someone asks me, "Why are you LDS?" I reply for them would be,
"Because I believe in beauty. Truth has always been more interesting
to me than fiction".

We are going to be working hard. I will do my very best for the Lord
these last few months. I will stand and I will not fall for truth.
Arise and shine forth, my friends. The day has come.

I love you all.
Sister Moore

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