Saturday, June 2, 2007

Left in Las Vegas

We left our daughter Julie in Las Vegas--not by accident really, but certainly with some degree of surprise. I'm going to see if I can get Margaret to tell the story, which is very, very interesting. So stay tuned . . .

(Note: Margaret's brief version of the story and Julie's longer one both appear under the comments on this post. Julie's version--WHICH YOU HAVE TO READ--also appears on her blog:


MJBY said...

We knew we would be in Las Vegas when Gladys Knight was holding auditions for the Saints Unified Voices Choir--the first time open auditions have been held in three years. I didn't think Julie would get in (since I know they were specifically looking for African American singers), but we saw no harm in letting her audition.
SURPRISE!! She made it!
Suddenly, our plans changed. I called Institute the next day and found an apartment near the chapel where Julie will be rehearsing for the choir. She's living with five LDS roommates--several years older than she is and really lovely.
Now she needs to find a job. So there she is, in Las Vegas, a member of this remarkable choir. (They tour often, and each performance brings in about 700 missionary referrals.)
It was traumatic and harder than I thought it'd be to leave her there, but I feel very good about it.

Garry Wilmore said...

Wow! That's quite the story! Congrats to her, and to you for helping to make this possible.

myartisfashion said...

HAHA I like the butt shot, that's hot. Makes me miss Guatemala!

I didn't know you wrote anything, but I just wrote a much longer, strangely humored story of the move. said...

Julie's report, which can be found at, is as follows:

Saturday, June 16, 2007
My Parents Left me in Vegas

Can you believe that? We go to California and Mexico, then stop in Las Vegas, and what do they do? They leave me here all alone with nothing but my suitcase. Would your parents ever do that to you? I don't think so. But how could two wonderful, brilliant, and loving people just leave their daughter in another state all by herself?

Alright, I'll admit it, it's my fault. You see, I have this black heritage that no one knows about. Externally, I appear Swedish, right? But we all know that saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover!" so that would be foolish to believe that just because I'm white I'm from Sweden. Ok, so maybe I am from Sweden, but blood and soul are not the same thing. We all know blood is purple on the inside and red on the outside, but does that make me purple-red? No, you see, my red-purple blood is what makes me white. Basically, my soul is that of a beautiful African, not a cow-milking Swedish girl. Maybe you're wondering why I wasn't dropped off in Africa or the Carribean or something. Out of all places for this externally-white, internally-black person to settle, why Nevada? I'll tell you why.

Ever seen Mission Impossible? Mission Impossible 2? Well, I too am on a mission. Only my mission is more like Mission Definitely-Possible. Alright, alright, I realize you're probably sick of all this confusion in my story. Let's rewind...

As my family and I were driving from San Diego to Las Vegas, we were aware that Gladys Knight would be holding open auditions for her Saints Unified Voices choir. The issue about whether or not I should audition had caused a bit of contention, and I figured I wouldn't be able to audition, which was completely fine with me at this point. The reason for the contention, however, was quite justifiable, because if made the choir, I would have to stay in Las Vegas to attend the first three mandatory rehearsals, but not only this--I would have to live within two hours of the choir. Only, I wouldn't have a car to drive, so I would have to find a place within 5 miles or so of the chapel. Sounds quite ridiculous, doesn't it? Trying out for a choir that changes every detail of your life? I'm sure you're wondering why one would even consider something like this.

Yet as we drove to Las Vegas, I warmed up my voice for the heck of it. I had this really good feeling about things in general, not knowing why or if I'd even audition for this choir. I knew, though, that if I were to make the choir and have to suddenly move--everything would be worked out perfectly. 6:39pm, we exited the freeway. I was already late for auditions, but somehow, it all felt ok, and everyone was ok with me auditioning. My mom didn't think I'd make the choir, because Sister Knight's open auditions had one main purpose--to increase the diversity of the choir. My mom didn't think my internally black self would show itself enough to Gladys, but as my family went to dinner while I stayed at the auditions, I got Gladys to feel what my soul felt, and my whole world changed.

Ending line of song: "Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee." (eyes closed, definitely feeling the music.)
Gladys: huge smile on her face
Julie: Even huger smile on her face, "My heart is like bu-buh, bu-buh"
(while using hand-actions to demonstrate the intensity of my heart beats.)
Gladys: Still smiling, she says, "Would you be able to make rehearsals?"
Julie: "yes" (with confidence.)
Gladys: "I'll see you Friday." (happily.)
Roshina (accompanist): "Congradulations"

And we all exchange big smiles.

I didn't expect to have my answer that fast. I couldn't even think about what this meant, I felt so happy and so good about everything, but it made no sense, and I was a bit worried about my parents reaction. Would they allow me to stay in Las Vegas?

mom: "You made the choir?!" (in shock.) . . . "I feel really good about it."


After a lot of chaos, confusion, disbelief, and panic-- everything started to work itself out. I know I'm supposed to be here, and I know there have been people who I can't visibly see who have been helping me out immensely. We found the perfect house, which I share with four other girls, and my missionary's family lives in Las Vegas & they have done so much for me. I have a laptop being shipped to me, I bought a car the other day, and I can actually handle 109 degree wheather. It's amazing. Though I'll have my car to drive on Tuesday, I have gotten to really enjoy walking all over the place, it's what has gotten me used to the super dry and super hot climate. (Though my feet aren't in the prettiest condition and I have yet to find a job.)

So I lied, my parents didn't want to leave me all alone in another state, but it's what they did, and I think we're all happy about everything.

I love having such an exciting and random life! What would life be without these kind of adventures?

Posted by myartisfashion at 10:39 AM 0 comments