Recently, our youth decided to plan a mutual activity based on missionary work.
With the missionary age change, we have had a lot of youth talking about going on missions.
The purpose of the activity was to help the youth feel the spirit
and prepare them to share the gospel in the future & NOW.
Honestly, it was such an awesome activity --- one I think the youth will remember for a long time.
Thank you Sisters in Zion for the original idea (see here)
I wanted to show some pictures from the night and highlight some of the sweet moments from the night.
I would suggest this activity a hundred times over,
especially if you have youth who are considering serving a mission.
(I think it could also be fun for a family home evening!)
Prior to the activity the young men dropped off invitations to every youth member.
The invitations where very simple (see above on right), and reminded the youth to dress up for the activity.
Having the youth dress up really set the tone for the night.
We began the evening by singing as a group, "Called to Serve".
After a prayer, there was a brief thought on the importance of missionary work
and then the youth were introduced to the activity...
Each youth member would receive a mission call, missionary tag, companion, and mission schedule.
There would be four rotations throughout the night that each youth missionary would get to experience.
We challenged the young men and young women to think about
how they could prepare to be missionaries throughout the activity.
After explaining the activity the youth received envelopes with their mission calls.
Prior the activity we had prepared mission calls to various countries within three countinents...
United States, Europe, and South America.
We used these three continents to split the youth into districts.
Once a young men or young women had opened their call, they would go to a designated spot for their district.
(We hung flags up on the walls with all the different missions so they could easily locate their district).
Once they had found their district, they found the person who had a matching "call".
The person who had the same call became their "companion" for the evening.
(we matched up only sisters with sisters and brothers with brothers)
The youth decided that they wanted to be able to open up their mission calls as a group.
It was most certainly an exciting experience.
Even though the mission calls were pretend,
it was fun to see their faces light up as they read where they were going to serve for the evening.
THE DISTRICT OF EUROPE
THE DISTRICT OF THE UNITED STATES
THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH AMERICA
Each district had a different missionary schedule with rotations at various times.
There were 4 total rotations, each one provided the youth with opportunities
to learn about different aspects of a mission work.
1. P-DAY: LETTERS & REFERRALS
In the P-Day rotation we talked with the youth about how one of the things
the missionaries get to do on their Preparation Day is write letters/emails.
We talked about the importance of writing missionaries and providing support from home.
We have several missionaries serving in our ward and created folders for each one.
We had small note cards for the the young men and young women to write notes to them.
It was great for the youth to be able to share their testimonies with the missionaries
and express their gratitude for their faithful service.
In the P-Day rotation, we also had a table where the youth missionaries could fill out referral cards.
We have seen a lot of miracles in our ward with missionary work, especially among the youth.
It was another great way for them to the youth to participate in the missionary work going on.
2. RETURNED SISTER MISSIONARY:
The Importance of the Spirit
We had decided that we wanted to have 2 returned missionaries come
and speak to the youth about their missionary experiences.
We wanted to invite a sister and an elder.
The youth (especially the young women) loved hearing from a returned sister missionary
The sister was a returned missionary from the Tucson, Arizona mission where she taught in Spanish.
She talked about the importance of always having the spirit.
She explained how the spirit guides missionaries but also how having the spirit NOW could bless the lives of the youth.
The young men and young women loved hearing her testimony and were captured by her experiences and faith. It was a great way for the youth to recognize how they could prepare for their missions now.
3. RETURNED ELDER MISSIONARY:
The youth also loved hearing from a returned elder who served in the Paris, France mission.
He talked about having the courage to always bear testimony. It was awesome the way he related to the youth. He talked about how often we feel scared to share our testimonies with others.
He shared a few experiences of how he overcame those feelings on his mission and
was able to share his testimony and change the lives of others.
He encouraged the youth to prepare NOW
by sharing their testimonies with others.
4. MISSIONARY LESSONS:
How to Share the Gospel Now
In the last rotation we gave the youth the opportunity to actually practice missionary work.
The young men and young women came up with questions as a group that their friends asked them about the church.
The youth were separated into two companionships where they role-played and practiced answering questions.
It was a great experience and the youth took it very seriously.
Sometimes, the questions asked couldn’t always be answered,
but we explained to the youth the power of their testimony in these situations.
It was definitely a great experience.
After the rotations, we came together for a quick “Zone Conference”.
We wrapped up the activity by having a few of the youth share their testimonies.
They all mentioned how they could not wait to serve missions.
It was such a powerful experience, and overall the activity turned out to be a real hit.