I don’t know how I knew it, but it was a couple of years down the road. Everything had that old soap opera haze. Then I saw her, her blonde hair hangs down to her shoulders. She smiles, today was the first time we’d seen each other in years. Suddenly everything flashes to a night a few days later and we’re walking slowly, as if to savor every minute spent together. I take a breath of courage and finally ask “Would you like to go on a date sometime?” She said no. She didn’t say that her reason was because I used the word date, I just knew that somehow.
I woke up. After a dream like this I was disappointed to see I was in Nicaragua and would be for a year and a half. I was bugged. How annoying is it that despite feeling a certain way someone could be put off by a simple word or label? As I showered I had inspiration. I softly sang the words to myself so I could remember them without anyone else in the house hearing them and making fun of me. I hurriedly pulled out my little notebook intended for lyrics and wrote them down
How come I didn’t see this happening?
She never looked like this before
She stands before me in her beauty now
It’s something that I can’t ignore
Her hands in mine
My hands go numb
I start to shake
And I lean in
She’s more than gorgeous now
(backup: but that’s not it, that’s not it)
She’s my sensation now
(backup: but that’s not it, that’s not it)
She’s everything I want
And more than everything I need
And every time we meet
She makes my world
Within the hour we had a small meeting and I started to tell my buddy about the dream, and the song, and how when I came back to the states I would start a band and this song would be famous. He laughed and then looked at me and said “is it funny that I actually believe you?”
During my stay in Nicaragua I made many friends from many countries, including; Guatemala, Honduras, Chile, and Peru. Among these friends there was Robert Enke (He comes into play a few years later). My first encounter with Enke is kind of funny. There was a big meeting with a lot of missionaries, and we were sitting down to eat. I sat down next to a large, yet young looking missionary. He got up to grab something, and while he was gone I noticed I didn’t have a fork with my plate, so I took his. When he came back he was all distressed. Once he found out I was the one who took his fork he didn’t like me.
A few months later we ended up serving in areas close to each other. We would have smaller meetings and as I got to know him I found out he was pretty cool. He wanted so badly to do everything right and make no mistakes. He was stressed and unsure of himself. I just tried to help him have fun and realize that we’re always going to mess up even when we try our hardest to do everything perfectly, that’s how we learn and grow.
As I was about to head home he made sure to tell my parents how much of an influence I was to help him make the most of everything. I feel like he overstated it, but who knows. Who knew that even though I was a dick to him when we first met, down the road we would actually become good friends? I didn’t realize that I might have been a huge part of his mission, but I had no idea then how huge he would be in my music career in the future. See? Look at that guy with a legit goatee and glasses
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.