Dear Elder Archuleta
Posted by ronaleem on Thursday, February 21, 2013
I wrote a letter to Elder Archuleta!
When I made my first comment on The Voice on January 9, explaining—or maybe I should say, exclaiming—my discovery of David, both Abrra and Dayzee urged me to write him a letter. That was a novel thought. David was brand new to me, I knew nothing about him, and I had no idea what I could even say. I had never written a fan letter in my life, unless you count my letter to the Mattel Toy Company back in the late 1950’s thanking them for my Shirley Temple doll. So, I’m thinking, are they serious about me writing him a letter?
I mulled it over for quite a while, and then during one of many sleepless nights, I started it. False start. So I mulled it over some more and got back to it about a week later. This time it flowed pretty well. I told him I wanted to thank him for sharing his singing talent with the world and for serving a mission. Then like a good English major, I stuck to my two main points and kept it one page long. How can one page adequately thank someone for the profound effect they’ve had on your life?
Three days before Christmas, I had only the vaguest idea who David Archuleta was. Two days before Christmas, I became acquainted with him as I watched his performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Video credit MormonTabChoir
I was blindsided! The music was so compelling I couldn’t stop listening! When I could finally tear myself away from this Christmas concert, I found the Christmas concert from Chile and I was even more enraptured. A glorious voice had suddenly shown up in my life. It pierced my heart and saturated my soul with music. I was filled with light and I felt like fire was shooting from my fingertips!
Video credit Alejandro Angulo
This glorious voice came from David, who was a most endearing young man in the first concert, and a humble missionary in the second. In both concerts, he sang several songs celebrating the birth of Jesus. What struck me forcefully was that he wasn’t just singing the words, but that he believed what he was singing. His facial expressions, his emotion, his joy, and the power–and at the same time, the tenderness–of his voice, all revealed a devotion to God. This is what drew me to him, because I had just had a spiritual reawakening after years of depression, sadness, and slogging through life at half-power.
So, in my letter, I told him how his singing had come at the end of a year of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing for me. In one dramatic and very sweet moment, his singing had cleared my heart of the remaining bits and pieces of junk that were still in there. My heart had been healed and was now able to absorb light, and to give and to receive love. I believe anyone or anything could have finished healing my heart. But it was David who did it, and for that I am very grateful.
I thanked him for sharing his talent. Although David sings to the world, he also sings to the individual, which is the reason I have had this marvelous experience for myself. I have puzzled over what it is exactly that he gives the world. It took me awhile, but I have an explanation that works for me–love. As I was being healed spiritually and my heart was being opened, I was able to feel God’s love all around me. I believe this love is always there, but we have to be open to receiving it. I think David is very open to God’s love, absorbs it, and reflects it back to anybody else who is receptive. David’s music carries this love to the willing listener, with all sorts of favorable outcomes. In the past two months, I’ve read several accounts which are similar to mine. Burdens of sadness, despair, loss, any number of difficult circumstances, are all made tolerable or even healed by David’s music.
I also thanked him for serving a mission. My own healing has been facilitated by the love, concern, and teaching of several missionaries over the past year. As these young men have taught me, I have had to marvel at their maturity, their commitment, and the pure love they have for others. Based on my experience with them, I am able to imagine what Elder Archuleta’s life as a missionary is like. I am fascinated by this aspect of him, because missionaries have become very dear to my newly tender heart. I am positive Elder Archuleta is having an experience in personal growth that could not come in any other way. I didn’t tell him this, but I am in awe of the person he is now, and even more in awe of the person he is becoming. He will still be David when he returns, but a more refined and a deeper David. I can’t wait to hear the music that will come from him then!
I mailed my letter at the very beginning of February. If it got to Florida on time, it’s probably lost in a package of valentines and well-wishes for his new album. I have seriously wondered if he would even read my letter, but I’ve been assured that he does try to read everything he gets. That makes me feel sort of weird. Here I am listening to his music as I write this, and he might actually read my letter! I’m talking about the same person who, as a teenager, came in second on American Idol; who, as a sweet-faced young man, sings “Forevermore;” and who, as a very handsome young man, models in the Bench photo shoot (there are no words!). This person is famous and known by millions of people all over the world. I can’t fathom that he would actually handle the letter I handled—it’s too surreal. But the missionary currently serving in Chile, yes, I could see him handling my letter, reading it, and appreciating where I’m coming from.