David Archuleta lights up when asked about the joys of missionary work.
It’s tough to believe there was a time, just a few years ago, when he drifted from regular Church activity. He was once even reluctant to tell others he was a Mormon.
But the loving guidance of the Holy Ghost and a few trusted friends and relatives brought him back to full Church activity and, eventually, to the mission field in Chile.
Being involved in the Church “made a huge difference,” said the recently returned missionary who shot to fame in 2008 when he was a finalist on American Idol. He spoke of his own conversion during a June 24 Facebook Face to Face online event that was hosted by the Young Men and Young Women general presidents.
David was actually involved in two live broadcasts. First, he participated in a Spanish-language question-and-answer program, which was followed by a similar 60-minute broadcast in English. In both, the popular singer responded to questions from viewers—both in and outside the Church—from across the globe.
Viewers posted questions for David via Facebook or using the Twitter hashtag “LDSface2face,” which trended nationwide for 30 minutes.
Brother David L. Beck, Young Men general president, and Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, moderated the program. Sister Denise Posse Lindberg, a member of the Young Women general board, helped moderate the Spanish event with Brother Beck.
Despite being broadcast to a massive audience, the event felt warm and informal. Dressed casually, David answered a variety of questions in both languages with equal measures of candor and enthusiasm. He also sang several hymns and Primary songs, in both English and Spanish.
Several queries focused on the role music plays in David’s spiritual life. He said he discovered early that he could make others feel good when he sang.
“I realized that people can feel what I feel through music,” he said during the Spanish broadcast.
Music, he added, has helped him better understand himself and overcome his natural shyness. He often enlisted his singing voice to break barriers with would-be investigators during his mission.
He then testified of the impact missionary work has had in his life. It was in the mission field that he found happiness through focusing his thoughts and attention on the needs of others. “Everything you do [on a mission] … is about serving other people,” he said.
He admitted to battling bouts of homesickness in the early days of his mission. And he sometimes struggled to adapt to a new culture and language. But he soon found joy in serving the Lord and loving the Chilean people.
Several viewers asked David’s advice in preparing for a mission. He counseled future missionaries to become familiar with Preach My Gospel long before their mission call arrives. It’s vital, he added, “to be teachable.”
“You just have to be willing to dedicate yourself and to learn,” he said.
David also enjoyed some lighthearted moments during the broadcast. He smiled broadly when he spoke of his cravings for Chilean empanadas and, no surprise, when asked about his dating life.
“I don’t have a girlfriend,” he replied sheepishly.
A recording of the David Archuleta Face to Face broadcast can be found on the Youth Activities page.
David Archuleta talks to moderators of the event in English, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson and Brother David L. Beck.
David Archuleta talks to youth hosts during the Face to Face event.