How’s the weather there? It’s balmy (58°F as I write) here! It’s nice to hang out on the surface of Temple Square. As much as I enjoy the tunnels, I’m enjoying the fresh air just as much! My diet could not be more than grateful for this gorgeous spring-like weather. As a matter of fact I’ve now lost almost 80 pounds and I’m starting to notice the difference. My pants are really hard to get on, they keep falling down! I guess that’s a good problem to have though.

This week has been fairly uneventful. I’m preparing a musical number for the upcoming GSC mission conference. I really should write my arrangement down on paper, but I never seem to get around to it as I keep tweaking what it will sound like. Anyways, I’m playing a piano rendition of “I Love To See The Temple.”

This week was slow for tours at the Conference Center and it will probably stay slow at least through the last week of February. My guess is that if Doctor Meidl hasn’t been here in some 30 years, then a major portion of the choral directors probably haven’t been here for that long, if ever.

On Wednesday I got a backstage tour. Of chorus I’ve been backstage now too numerous times to count, but it was much more than that. I saw the Mormon Channel studios, the studios where the multi-stake conferences originate from, the attic space and the translation booths.

It’s been a fairly typical week for the Tabernacle Choir, but they are ramping up preparations for the ACDA convention this month. The music on the Spoken Word broadcasts the rest of this month will primarily be the music from the concerts for the conventions. The music chosen for Spoken Word broadcasts have two main purposes: one, to prepare for recordings, and two, to prepare for concerts. After ACDA is done, then the choir will prepare for General Conference, followed by tour music, and then Pioneer Day music.

I heard something the other week that really puts into perspective the purpose of the Tabernacle Choir and music in general in this Church. In preparing for the 2005 tour, President Hinckley called up then-Choir president, President Christensen and asked how plans were coming. President Christensen replied that they’d go to the Baltics, but there were a few details that had yet to be determined. President Hinckley told President Christensen that he was uncomfortable about the Choir going to the Baltics. With that, the Choir was making arrangements to travel to London, England instead and President Hinckley had that same uncomfortable feeling about the Choir going there. Finally the Choir made plans to go to the Northwestern part of the United States and President Hinckley said that was fine. It wasn’t until 10 days before tour that hotel arrangements had been made. It was during the tour, July 7th to be exact, that the Choir had learned of the London bombings. The Choir would have been in the subway the exact moment the bombs had gone off. At the Choir Christmas dinner later that year, President Hinckley said that if anything happened to the Tabernacle Choir, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would not recover. How inspired our Church leaders are!

Yesterday, I tried to donate plasma again, but for some strange reason, the center manager didn’t sign me off. I’ll now have to wait another week until I can donate again.

Today I got my groceries and went to the organ recital in the Tabernacle. Afterwards, the sister missionaries that are assigned to my stake invited me to see ‘Meet the Mormons’ with one of their investigators. The missionaries here are amazing. We have two senior couples, the Andersons (they’re from this stake) and the Porters (they’re also from this stake and are serving in this stake). We currently have a companionship of three sister missionaries: Sister Quiles is from New Jersey, Sister Spijkerman is from the Netherlands, and Sister Bates is from California. After the movie I found out or maybe I forgot and was reminded that Kyla Bentley is serving her mission in the Utah Salt Lake City East Mission and knows the sisters here in my stake. She’s currently serving in Montana! Cue it’s a small world after all!

Elder Blodgett