Elder Blackham knew it would be a sacrifice to give up his guitar and music while on his mission, but inspiration he felt in the Denver Temple gave him peace, “Give it to me and I can make it so much more.” With the help of other inspired elders and sisters, Elder Blackham was able to lend his talents to what became a beautiful musical presentation, “Meet the Missionaries.”
Presented by the Colorado Denver North Mission, “Meet the Missionaries” toured the northern front range giving 14 performances between February and April. The program is a fun, energetic, and inspiring performance. Through fifteen songs intermixed with video, four elders and four sisters shared their musical talents, their love of the Savior, and what it means to be a missionary.
President and Sister Savage both served as missionaries in Denver in the early 1980s and had the idea to renew a similar musical program that was a success on their missions. Around the same time the Book of Mormon musical came to Denver. Elder Blackham and Elder Brown pulled out their guitars and began singing on 16th Street in downtown Denver, replying to curious onlookers that they weren’t in the musical, but were the actual missionaries. From there 11 original songs were written by Elders Blackham, Brown, Fenske, and Hasse. In 2018 “Meet the Elders” went on tour.
Now in 2019 more musicians and importantly, sisters, were added to the cast. Early on, the Savages began to pray the talent into the mission and their prayers were answered. They discovered Sister Draney’s musical gift with the cello, tapped Elder Woollesen to join after hearing him play piano prelude at a local meeting, and were delighted to bring in a Spanish speaking missionary to the cast, Sister Reatre.
President Savage has stated that the music is designed in heaven and composed on earth. Some of the music is light and upbeat, others heartfelt and earnest. The song “Give Me This Mountain” expresses the mission theme, “Please Stay” a tender answer to prayer, and “New Creature in Christ” offers hope.
Sister Savage explained that the show has three purposes: to build the testimonies of the members, inspire young people to serve missions, and to give members a place to invite their friends for a fun, enjoyable evening.
As she performs, Sister Draney tries to connect with people and look audience members in the eye. “You see so many people with tears in their eyes. The show is inspired.” One youth on the front row at the Arvada show brought his friends along and says he’s seen it four times. A young girl approached a sister missionary after the show and told her she wrote down what she felt. Simply, “You’re enough.”
Download and listen to the “Meet the Missionaries” soundtrack below: