The energetic chatter of the audience filled the concert hall before the young performing missionary fireside Sunday evening. Missions for young performing missionaries allow over 50 young adults to perform and serve in Nauvoo in multiple ways, including dancing, musical theatre and technology.
Some students in attendance learned about the audition process for the first time and about thirty previously-called performing missionaries were also in attendance. Some made a significant drive to learn about this form of missionary work, such as Kyle Alder, a student from Snow College.
“I had an impression that I needed to come,” Alder said. “I’ve done a lot of theater, and I’m hoping to do stage technician work. I’m like a sponge: I’m just trying to soak everything in from this meeting.”
Other students felt like it would be a great experience to serve a mission as a performer.
“I want to know how performers interact with the people after the shows,” Katie Howard, a BYU freshman, said. “I don’t really want to do a proselyting mission because you are approaching people who aren’t interested. I want to know how different the interactions are with people who attend the shows.”
Once Elder and Sister Crockett, the directors of the young performing missionaries program, stepped up to the podium, the audience gradually silenced. The couple expressed their love for the students in attendance and explained more about the application process and what to expect as a performing missionary.
Nauvoo is a deeply spiritual mission
Elder Crockett invited the former performing missionaries to sing. They stood where they were and sang a reverent song regarding the restoration.
“Nauvoo is a source of inspiration from all over the world,” Crockett said. “It allowed people in the early Church to expand their understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the experience that some of you will carry on this mission.”
Music and performance is the converting language
“As a YPM, you will be speaking the language of music and performance,” Elder Crockett said. “It is especially powerful when trying to convert people to the gospel of Christ. We’ve seen ways that it has transcended people since being on the mission.”
Performing has been a longstanding tradition for Nauvoo, and leaders from the young performing missionary program desire to keep these performances going as a proselyting tool.
It is exhausting but worth it
Sister Crockett spoke further about some of the expectations applicants should have and what selected missionaries would do as part of their new schedule.
“Serving in Nauvoo can change your life as well as the lives of those you meet in Nauvoo,” Sister Crockett said. “I can testify that this is an experience that will strengthen your testimony because of the work you will do here. Elder Crockett and I have been praying for you.”
The application deadline for Young Performing Missionaries is November 30. Applicants should expect to submit several videos demonstrating their abilities.