At the end of my 2 year mission in Nicaragua, the last missionary I served with had a guitar. I would spend every little minute of free time teaching myself, basically a couple hours one day a week.
I had tried a few times to learn guitar but got frustrated and quit. This time I used my knowledge of music theory and figured out fingering for several chords. As I returned to the states I found the best way to stay motivated in learning guitar was to write my own songs. I would play chords in a ton of different rhythms and patterns and then start singing what I was thinking about.
Soon enough I had a handful of original tunes. Despite my dream of becoming a rock star, I had no idea how to do it. I’d sung, taught myself guitar, and even written songs. I didn’t know how to make the leap to playing stadium shows and being played on the radio.
Around this same time I had a class with a high school buddy, David Cline. He was in the process of starting his own band Argyle. They were recording a demo with an independent producer and started playing house shows and coffee shops.
David and I would talk about our endeavors in music. I was jealous of the traction he was getting. I couldn’t even find people to form a band. Check out this song by Argyle
From 2007-2009, I served as an LDS (Mormon) missionary in Nicaragua (No, that’s not Africa, its Central America). You might be asking “What does this have to do with you becoming a rock star?” Well, it has a little bit to do with it. It was a great experience, I learned a lot about different cultures, I had to learn a new language, talk to a lot of people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, made a lot of friends, and served people. Its very taxing physically and mentally. You’re away from your family for 2 years, paying to be there (no we don’t get paid), and constantly moving day after day in the heat (some missionaries in the cold). Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t regret it one bit. It was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.
Here it is
If you’re unfamiliar with what missionaries do, we basically talked to and served EVERYONE; people in the streets, knocked on people’s doors, talked on the bus, in the stores… everyone. If you’re pursuing music as a career you’ll need to approach people to share your music, hand out flyers, or try to make friends (who become your best fans)
Being in Nicaragua was eye opening. I took for granted what I had while in the US. I didn’t realize how much of a luxury warm showers were. You aren’t quite as aware of what you have until its suddenly taken from you. The first time I saw someone open their door, who had a dirt floor, nearly brought me to tears. I was so sad to see that people live in shacks made out of junk they find: tin walls, tin roofs, sheets of plastic, that soft plastic that garbage bags are made of. I hope while I was there that I helped and served people spiritually, emotionally and mentally. One day I want to go back and help people physically, and financially.