What an awesome experience.
To be part of the premier showing the British Pageant was an amazing experience, a memory that I will always keep. There were too many highlights to name but I really enjoyed being able to meet many of the visitors before and after the show, the reception we got from the audience was breathtaking and it seemed like everybody loved it. There were many people touched by the spirit and when we got down from the stage it felt very natural to greet and embrace them.
Leading up to the Pageant was another tough day, we rehearsed from 8:30 am to around 5 pm. During this time there was an air of fatigue, some of the kids were struggling to redo the scenes over and over again, we let Charlie rest for much of the afternoon. However as we broke for dinner and were changed into our costumes there was definitely an increase in the nervous energy amongst the cast.
Around half an hour before the start of the Pageant, the nervous energy got a bit too much for me and I had to go to the toilet. After doing my business, I went to wash my hands I pulled up the tap and put my hands into the water. However, the water was absolutely boiling hot, my body's instinctive reaction was to pull my hands out of the scalding water stream, in doing this I splashed a large amount of water onto my costume directly over the crotch area! Now I no longer had any nervous energy but blind panic, I did not want to be referred to as the cast member of the Pageant who had peed their themselves. In a scene that wouldn't be out of place in a Mr Bean sketch, I went into one of the cubicles took my trousers off and waved them in the air vigorously to dry them off, after a few minutes they still felt quite wet, but the large wet patch seemed to fade quite quickly. I put them back on and nobody was any the wiser (or at least no one said). Phew!
The show itself was so much fun to do, everyone seemed to get their second wind. Lynne, Charlie and I all got our cue's at the right time. The Primary children in the cast were amazing, they are an example to all of us. I felt very proud of Charlie, to be brave enough to do something like that.
Tonight I really learned, that music, acting and dancing are all tools to help teach the gospel. As a missionary I focused mainly on speaking and service to teach the gospel, but while I was on the stage I wasn't acting, I was teaching. I only tried to amplify the feelings I had in my heart, whether those feelings were joy, pain or of spiritual awakening. For me getting on the stage to do something like this is not natural, but I can react to how it would feel to be taught by Heber Kimball, or going to docks to leave your native land forever, or seeing the pain of children who just have lost their mother.
My feelings now that the first show is over are very similar to being told I have passed one of my exams - relief. It is not so much a feeling of elation, probably because of the tiredness that I feel. There are three more shows to go and I hope they just get better this feeling grows and grows.
I don't want to drive back to Dunfermline on Sunday, I want to float back.