Saturday, February 28, 2009

Koncert (or Concert) by the Russian-speaking missionaries

Last Saturday evening we took a bus into downtown Riga, to the building the Church uses for a meetinghouse for two branches there. The Russian-speaking missionaries had prepared a concert to which they had invited the public. What an impressive group of missionaries, and very talented. Elder Eddington played a piece by Rachmaninoff, with such feeling and, later in the program, sang in Russian "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." He truly bore his testimony of the Savior as he sang. One sister played a few numbers on the violin, including one fiddler number. Another sister played the piano--2 or 3 numbers, including one for which she laid on her back on the piano bench, reaching over her head, to play "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin. She said afterwards that she had seen that done once and decided to learn how to do it. She also played a beautiful classical number. Another young elder (the one who accompanied us to Tallinn) played the piano beautifully. He told me he took lessons for 5-6 years and just enjoys playing. Two other sisters sang a duet. One of them has a beautiful, rich, trained voice and just radiated joy as she sang. The other sister has a very nice voice, too. A Latvian young man who will leave for his mission to Russian soon, played the piano. He plays by ear and taught himself to play--a very gifted pianist. Three other sisters sang a medly of Negro spirituals. All of the missionaries gathered together at the end and sang a hymn in Russian. It was a great concert.

We had been told they expected 70 people there. Skeptic that I am, I thought they would be doing well to have 30 there. I had forgotten how much the Latvian people love concerts. There were 98 people there!!! They stayed afterward and mingled and ate cookies and fruit.

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