Escorting David Archuleta

I was sitting on the stand before Edinburgh Ward’s sacrament meeting on Sunday the 22nd of March, when I heard the two counselors in the bishopric discussing an announcement that was to be made at the end of the meeting. I glanced over and saw that they were going to announce that David Archuleta was presenting a fireside for the youth of our stake that very evening. I knew he had performed a concert in town the night before, but I knew nothing about the fireside. Later I found out that no one knew about the fireside until about 9:00 Saturday night when David’s father made contact with Pres. Cambron, the first counselor in our stake presidency, to see if we would be interested in hosting the fireside.

The announcement was very specific about who was invited to the fireside: the youth and youth leaders of our stake, and each youth was allowed to invite one youth not of our faith to attend with them. This was to keep the stake center from getting overwhelmed with people. So, I wasn’t sure if I was even going to attend until I got a call later that morning that they wanted the high council to serve as ushers for the fireside.

In the afternoon, after our ward’s meeting block, I was about to leave after helping set up chairs for the fireside when I saw Pres. Cambron in the foyer. He was looking for the assistant executive secretary, who had already left for home. I asked if I could help with anything, and he then asked me to give David’s dad a call to finalize the arrangements for the evening. That’s how I ended up sort of being his escort for the evening. I ended up not getting to go home for dinner until after everything was done later that night.

We had announced that the doors would open for the 7:00 fireside at 6:30 so that we wouldn’t have people camping out in the chapel as soon as our ward finished at 4:00. We cleared the building and locked the doors at about 5:30. Right about then was when people started showing up and lining up at the doors. We ended up letting people in a few minutes early around 6:25. David, his pianist, and his dad showed up with some friends from the area at around 6:40. We had him come in and meet with the stake president to finalize what was going to happen at the actual fireside. Then he and his pianist went to the Relief Society room to work out what he was going to sing. Nothing like preparing ahead!

Shortly after 7:00 David entered the chapel for the fireside. After an opening hymn and prayer the time was turned over to him. He started out by singing “I am a Child of God,” and then he started answering some of the questions we had had the youth write down on little slips of paper. He only ended up answering a couple of them. He said up front that he didn’t feel that he was very good at public speaking, and that was definitely true. In spite of that, there was a great spirit as he shared his experiences on American Idol and shared how his testimony had helped him get through it all. He ended up by singing “Be Still My Soul,” which he said was one of his favorite hymn, and then an a cappella rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”

Afterward, we brought David down to the Relief Society room where David had graciously agreed to shake hands and greet those who wanted to meet him (which I think was pretty much everyone there). In order to help the traffic flow, we had them line up down the hall, and after they shook hands with David we had them go out the back door to the outside. I ended up getting the duty to man the back door and keep people moving outside (where it was quite nippy that night). It was pretty funny to stand there and watch the faces of many of the young women after they had just had the chance to shake hands (or, for those brave enough, hug) DAVID ARCHULETA! Some of them looked like they might faint, and some were practically in tears.

All in all the youth behaved very well, and David even commented afterward that he felt a special spirit being with the youth of our stake. We ended up only having the cultural hall filled about half way back, so the concerns of getting flooded with people didn’t come about, which was a testament to the obedience (for the most part) of our youth who had been asked to NOT text all their friends or put anything on Facebook about it.

David appears to be just what he seems on TV, a humble, nice, clean young man with a very talented singing voice. I think it was a great opportunity for our youth to attend this fireside. Oh, and Pres. Cambron gave me permission to invite Liz and Erin to come sit with me (they’re the real American Idol fans of the family), and they enjoyed it too.

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~ by archuletafanscene on April 7, 2009.

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