You know, that guy from the relatively unknown band THE KILLERS.
No big deal.
The Killers are playing for the first time in Russia, and so he graciously agreed to do a fireside (church meeting) for the members here in Russia. Tim and I almost didn't go because we didn't think we'd be able to make it in time, but I'm glad we did. His flight was delayed, so he ended up being about an hour late. What a trooper! Can you imagine how jet-lagged he must have been? He pretty much came right to the meeting. Poor guy.
We passed the time waiting by watching some of The Killers' music videos...which made me want to listen to ALL The Killers songs. And then, after an hour and a half of waiting, he arrived! You should have seen how excited everyone was. They LOVED him.
Is it sacrilegious to say that I think people were more excited to see him than Elder Nelson, who came a couple weeks ago? If I am struck down by lightning, you will know why.
I'll stop jinxing myself now.
That's him with his translator...obviously, he doesn't speak Russian. Most of the people there also spoke English, because there were a LOT of Americans there.
He talked about so many cool things. You just get the impression that he is such an unassuming guy--he seems so humble and down to earth. He was funny and approachable but still sincere and earnest in his testimony. It wasn't like listening to one of the apostles or the prophet--it was a simple, humble testimony of what he believed to be true. It wasn't grandiose or pretentious.
Funny thing: he said that, in his industry, people are known for "sex, drugs, and rock & roll." Everyone knows that about the music industry. But, he said, "I don't do any of those things. I'm a family man. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I try not to swear...so, I guess you could say, I'm a rebel. My rock stars are the the apostles."
He talked about his experiences and how he had opportunities to rub shoulders with people who were wealthy, who seemingly had everything. But they weren't happier. The happiest people he's seen, he said, are those that strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I completely agree with him. It reminds me so much of the Happy documentary I told you about--money doesn't matter, it's turning outward, following Christ, and serving others that will bring you peace and happiness.
He also mentioned a turning point in his belief. He came across an interview with Brad Pitt, where Pitt mentioned that he thought religion was stifling or constraining. Brandon said that, at the time, he was reading a book by James E. Talmage, "Jesus the Christ," and Talmage mentioned just the opposite: that because Christ did not sin, he was truly free. Brandon said he thought about that a lot, and knew that was what he truly wanted: he wanted to be free.
His wife's conversion to Mormonism also had a lot to do with it. She was his girlfriend at the time, and she would go to church with his mom. His mom was the one who gave her a Book of Mormon.
After he got done with the talk portion (which by this time was around 9:30 PM), he graciously answered questions from the audience. It was a small room, but there were so many questions! He got asked about his favorite hymn (I Need Thee Every Hour, and no he wouldn't sing it), his favorite song his band does (he has lots...but Read My Mind is one), and if his lyrics were inspired by the gospel (lately, more and more). It was so cool.
Tim even got to ask a question, which I thought was awesome. He asked about his accomplishments--by the world's standards, you have so much to be proud of. But what are YOU most proud of personally?
I loved his answer. He said that the band and its accomplishments were very meaningful to him, but the times when he feels the most fulfilled and the thing that is most important to him is his family.
After the talk got over, they announced people could take photographs with him in groups of ten. I have never seen people crowd up to the pulpit so fast! The poor dude. They basically swarmed him.
Let's talk about lines in Russia.
They don't exist.
You just push up to the front until it's your turn. Unless you know that, you'll spend forever waiting in the back of a Russian line. I can't tell you how many times I'm "in line" to get on the escalator in the metro, and people just walk to the left of you and cut in front.
In America, we have a very clear sense of "the line" and you do. not. cut. But in Russia, not only is it totes fine, but it's expected. Now, when I'm going up the escalator, I just stay left as long as possible and hop ahead. Eat or be eaten, I suppose.
So Tim and I pushed our way to the front, along with Renat (in the red), his wife Lena (pink), me and Tim, a random girl, and half of Dan, a guy that Tim served with in St. Petersburg.
I was planning all along on getting a signature for Christian, my little brother who is one of the biggest Killers fans I know (I introduced him to them because I'M AWESOME). But it was so hectic and crazy that I felt bad even asking. I asked Tim, "Do you think I should ask for his signature?" He said, "No, you better not--this is pretty crazy." But I decided to go for it anyway--and I'm glad I did. He had a Sharpie there with him, and as soon as I saw that I realized that he would be fine with it.
In our 5 seconds with him, I told him we were huge fans, and asked him for an autograph for my little brother Christian. He asked us where we were from, and when Tim mentioned Springville, he said he had relatives there.
Then--click!--and off to the other side of the room. So fast!
There were so many people waiting I didn't want to monopolize it. But he was so easy going with everything, I half wanted to say, "Hey, do you want to come over for some ice cream or something?" I am so glad we went.
And now I just want to go listen to every Killers song ever.
OMG IT'S BRANDON FLOWERS' TOUR BUS!!!!
Haha no, just kidding, it's just a HUGE RV parked in the middle of a tiny Russian street.
How it got there or why it got there I have no idea. But it was there before we arrived and when we left...at least 3 or 4 hours. Crazy Russians.
So that was awesome. I never thought we'd meet Brandon Flowers, let alone meet him IN RUSSIA. Pretty dang exciting.