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Nathan Vankatwyk, from the Hidden Lake Ward, has been called to serve the Lord in the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo West Mission. He leaves September 11. He requested "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" for his arrangement.
I realize that it doesn't SOUND like "Joseph Smith's First Prayer", ok? That's because if you go to the back of the Hymn Book, there's a section called "Meters". You can do tricky stuff like singing the WORDS from one hymn, to the TUNE of another hymn. So this audio will sound like "Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah"...but that's totally on purpose.
I've asked Nathan to share his testimony with you.
"I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I have a testimony of the Savior and of the atonement that he graciously fulfilled. Through this and living the gospel, we can be happy in this life and in the life to come. I know that families can be together forever. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, that it brings us the fullness of the gospel. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know that the decision to serve a mission was one of the best decisions of my life. I'm very excited to be able to share the gospel with the people of the Dominican Republic. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen."
Now this is MY "Ode to Nathan".
Nathan and I have known each other since he was knee-high-to-a-grasshopper, and I was his "cool" piano teacher. Let me tell you, this kid was (and is) gifted. He can play the piano like nobody's business. And over the years, he has learned to really make the piano sing. You know what I mean? Have you ever heard anyone play the piano like it was an extension of their heart? That's Nathan, and I love listening to him play.
Nathan has been an invaluable resource in the making of my arrangements. I don't know if you guys know this or not, but I have a Board of Directors. I have an Editor-in-Chief (who I'll blog about at some future date, but you'll love her!), and 2 grunt-editors. One being my little sister, and the other, NATHAN!
Really, each piece I've sent him, there's been one or two parts that he gets that look like you've just sucked on a really sour lime...and he asks me to fix it. And I do. Cause I trust him that much. OK...maybe there's been one time that I've told him I disagree and he gets-what-he-gets-and-doesn't-throw-a-fit...but really, he comes up with REALLY good suggestions! And he's only a teenage BOY!
So I'll tell you that when it came time to make HIS arrangement for his "farewell"...I met this challenge with a little bit...no...a LOT...of trepidation. This thing needs to be AMAZING. He's helped me so much and given so much encouragement...I gotta do something that will show just how much I love this stinkin' kid.
I hope I've done that with this one. Cause when it comes right down to it, Nathan...I love ya. And you're awesome. And that's all I have to say about that.