My flight made it here on time, and it was smooth. It was great to see the Smiths, and I was glad that it was not hard to find them because I knew that it was going to be next to impossible for me to actually describe them to the persn who was helping me.
I'm staying at Sister Smith (Joanne's) daughter's house. They have nine kids, and this is an absolutely new experience for me. The kids are all very smart, and friendly, and for some reason, they've taken to me very uickly, and after the first hour of me being here, they were climbing on me and trying to tickle me etc. I'd try to write down all of their names, and probably will just so that I can remember them later, but at this point my brain is working too slow for the requirement of quick thinking. They all are musical in some way, so they've got six stringed instruments hanging on the wall, a grand piano in the main family room, a full upright piano in another room off of the family room, and two other pianos throughout the house. Musically, this house is heaven for me.
Today we went to Temple Square. Temple square is in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, and contains the temple, the tabernacle, the assembly hall, and something else which I can't remember at the moment. We went first to the conference center which is where we'll, what a shock, watch the conference at on Saturday and Sunday. We had a really nice tour guide who was very descriptive of everything, the paintings on the walls, the walls, the floors, everything. It's an amazing place. It seats 21000 people, and the thing that amazed me the most was the fact that the conference center has no pillars and allows everyone an unhindered view of the pulpit, and that when we were in there, it was accoustically very quiet. You would think in such a cavernous space, that things would echo. Not the case, because of the acoustic tiles on the walls and the ceilings of the auditorium, it sounds like ... just a big room with no echo I guess. I don't know how else to describe it. The roof is held up by a steel plate that is 30 feet thick and some huge dimentions lengtwise and widthwise. It weighs like 600 tons. After looking at the interior, we went up to the roof. The roof of the conference center is cool because it's not only huge, it's four acres, but it's actually got trees on it. They had pine trees, and even an alpine meadow, so walking through the trees was somewhat like being in an actual forest. There's several fountains, and even a waterfall that flows from the roof to a pool on the ground floor. I'm missing lots of visual details, but I'm sure I will think of something that I'm forgetting later.
After the conference center tour, we went to the tabernacle to hear the daily noon organ recital. What an amazing thing to be able to listen to. I'm not completely familiar with classical organ music, but you didn't have to be familiar with it to be enveloped and consumed by it. They say you can hear a pin dropped at the front of the tabernacle, and as was demostrated by the organist before his performance, it is true. With everyone silent, the organist first dropped three metal straightpins, and then a normal iron nail. You could hear the pins pretty easily. The nail dropping seemed really loud. The guy was about 80 feet away from us, so it was amazing to be able to hear a pin drop. A nail, I could believe before being there, but a pin dropping? Wow! The organ music was very powerful, and took full advantage of the 11000 or more pipes in that organ. Fiona slept most of the way through it until a really dark German piece that ended up being really loud, which woke her up and seemed to scare her to death. I'm sure she was looking at me like, "What are we doing here?"
After that, we went to see the Joseph Smith movie (a movie about the life of the first prophet of the LDS Church and translator of the Book of Mormon). I almost fell asleep not because it was boring, but mostly because of the big lunch we ate just previous. The movie was well-produced and powerful.
We came back this afternoon, I got attacked by kids (as was described above), and then we went to Sister Smith's Sister's house (redundant I know) for a really tasty dinner. Then we went to Provo to meet Denise and her fiance, and Serena, one of my friends from Tennessee in the big family I'm living with. Seeing Denise was pretty cool. She hasn't changed a lot, and I haven't changed a lot as far as how much I give her a hard time. She introduced me to some of her room mates as her former boyfriend (which I was), and so I had to take it a few steps further. So now, I'm the "late boyfriend" I've "passed on as her boyfriend", cards and flowers can be sent to ... Anthony seemed like he would be a good match for Denise, and I'm happy that they are happy. They did have this sadistic game that me, being a crazy person, had to try. Basically you turn it on and hold on to these button thingy. The music starts and you wait for the lights to change. When the light changes, you press the button. Fine Fine, I can handle that, music changes, I should be fine. They told me that the thing would do this to me, but I didn't believe it would be as insanely intense as it was, but if you don't hit the button in time, it shocks you. It's not a tame shock either. I don't see how they can sell such games to anyone with more than two brain cells, but apparently it's a Utah thing. And I wondered what was wrong with these people :P.
We went after that madness to meet with Serena and that was good. We've got all of the conference tickets distributed so all is good for that.
Sorry for the "I did this and then I did this, and then ..." but I want to remember things. Need to get to bed, so I'll write more tomorrow when I get to Idaho.