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Monthly Theme: I Can Choose to Be a Missionary Now
Monthly Scripture: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15An idea to incorporate General Conference this month is invite the Elders into primary to answer a couple questions from the children each week. Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a wonderful talk - Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!
Week 1 I can be a missionary by serving others.
From Preach My Gospel "Your faith to find people to teach is demonstrated through your actions. During His mortal ministry, the Savior "took upon him the form of a servant"(Philippians 2:7). He went about "doing good"(Acts 10:38) and "preaching the gospel"(Matthew 4:23). As you follow this example, you will find those who will recieve you.
Through service, you and those who are prepared for the restored gospel come together in a powerful, inspiring way. Your good works will help people recognize you as a servant of God and will lead to opportunities to teach the restored gospel." (page 168)
* Write some notes and draw some pictures to brighten up someone's day at a local rest home.
* Have the children make birthday cards to give to the Relief Society President for sisters who have upcoming birthdays!
* Prepare lots of paper hearts! Invite the children to write or draw something kind on the hearts. Take a little field trip, make sure the teachers come so there is plenty of supervision and put hearts on all the cars outside!!!
Galations 5:13 "...But by love serve one another."
* Do the missionaries have a car or a bike? Brighten their day by putting some balloons, streamers and notes from the children on them! (Again... another field trip!)
Week 2 I can be a missionary by setting a good example.
* Elder Nelson talks about 6 ways we can be missionaries now, found HERE. You can figure out small objects to represent the 6 things he talks about. Ask children questions about each object and about what he says.
For example have a flashlight- "The light of the Lord can beam from your eyes." Does this mean we should attach flashlights to our glasses? Sing A Smile is Like the Sunshine (CS 267) How can we make our eyes twinkle? By smiling, yes! If we are happy, does it show in our eyes? What about if we are sad?
* HERE is an article from Elder Cook. He talks about 4 different ways we can be a good example. Divide into groups. Have 4 guest speakers come prepared with a story from their life that fits one of the different ways to be a good example. Have the children rotate to hear each guest. The guests could even be children themselves who you call the week before, or parents who tell a story of something their child did to be a good example.
* Whip out some puppets! Let the children come up with short scenes to have the puppets act out and demonstrate how to be a good missionary by being a good example! They might need help coming up with a setting, so you can have them draw papers from a bag like school, family home evening, at the park, on a road trip, at a museum... etc.
* Learn THIS fabulous song, I want to be a missionary now (CS pg.168). While you are learning it, have small hidden paper clocks all around the room. Invite a child to fill in the blank... you sing a part of that song and leave out one word- if they can get the word, they can go search for a clock. On the clocks have questions and scriptures having to do with missionary work and being a good example. When is the best time to be a missionary? NOW & ALWAYS!!!
~And time to stand on a soapbox. I'll just get it over with. I get so annoyed when a child gives an answer and the leader says, "no that's not it" or "not really" or plain and simple, "No. Does anybody else know?". The children are putting themselves out there and now they feel rejected. Don't believe me? Look at their faces. Am I trying to suggest we breed a generation of wimps who can't handle the truth when they're wrong? Absolutely not. I'm saying, take a step back and look at the whole picture. They are disciples of Christ and the world is going to constantly tell them they are wrong and that their answers are "not it". Let's try to phrase things so that these children can feel confident when they participate. For example, we can say, "Oh my!! You are so smart! That is so close!! or Yes! What a great answer, it is a lot like... or
Week 3 I can teach my friends about Jesus Christ and His Church.
* Have the children create Family Home Evening lesson plans on Jesus Christ and His church. Challenge the children to invite a friend over to their home to participate in the lesson they just made!
* Before you teach, you must know what you are teaching! So what do our primary friends know about Jesus Christ and His Church? Let the children make little books all about what they know about The Savior and His Church. Invite them to give their book to a friend or if they feel shy, the missionaries who can pass it along to someone they are teaching.
* "There are 2 ways to spell bear. Bear means to carry... There's another spelling to the word (and I wonder if we don't use the wrong one). Bare means to expose or reveal or make known. So we may carry a testimony but not reveal it! Teach our young people to bear their testimonies instead of saying they have testimonies and then not saying what they are. Teach them to bear direct witness." President Boyd K. Packer (Memorable Stories With a Message pg. 111)
Have children partner up in small groups and come up with 1 or 2 things that people can bear direct witness of. Have them come up front and share their answers with the whole primary after a minute or so. Is fast and testimony meeting the only place and time that we can bear testimony? Challenge the children to talk to a friend this week about something they know to be true.
You could also have a drawing of Testimony Timmy. You can write down suggestions from the children about things you say during a testimony. Examples could include, "I'd like to bear my testimony. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. I know that..."
*Briefly have the children act out the story of Ammon and the sons of Mosiah. Basically, they taught the gospel to not friends, but enemies!! What would be harder?
Alma 26:2-3, " And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell? Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work."
Have a basketful of instruments. Demonstrate how the instrument is just the tool, and nothing without the master musician! Let children come up front and choose and instrument, then say a way they can teach their friends about Christ and His Church.
Week 4 I can prepare now to serve a full-time mission.
* Make a mini-MTC experience!! Have a big picture of what MTC's look like. Have a few different stations:
1. Learn to say I know the church is true in a different language! from someone who has served a foreign speaking mission. Let that person tell a little bit about where they served.
2. Exercise Station. At the MTC exercise is important! Have a trash can they can throw a ball in. Have them do 10 jumping jacks.
3. Service Station. At the MTC they have weekly service opportunities to clean. Have the children take a reverent walk down the hall to see if there is any trash that needs to be picked up.
4. Cafeteria food! Have a little snack for the primary friends to enjoy. Remember, at the MTC, you're away from your family and you might miss your mom's cooking!!
5. Preach My Gospel Station. Perhaps you can have a ward missionary talk about how important this book is and one of their favorite parts!
HERE is a fun poster you could send home with the children.
* "Missionaries need to understand the doctrine, and they need to know how to share it. You can’t take water out of an empty bucket. When missionaries know the gospel and how to teach it, they don’t want to do anything else. They know they can teach anybody, anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances, using their own words accompanied by the power of the Spirit. They have self-confidence and inner strength. There’s great power in that kind of preparation." Elder Ballard March 2007 Ensign How To Prepare to Be A Good Missionary It's a great read!!!
Have a large bucket. Invite children to fill the bucket up with water by saying ways they can prepare now to serve a full time mission.
* HERE is a chapter in the Missionary Preparation Student Manual. It was interesting to note "rigorous and demanding" were used a lot in regards to missionary work. You could have 10 steps to a better mission! Let's start today!
Have a path of stone pictures and on the back, something from the chapter that will help children prepare to be better missionaries along with a picture of that idea. A couple ideas could include:
"A steady diet of high-calorie fast foods, carbonated drinks, and high-sugartreats should not be the norm. A balanced diet that includes the basic food groups, where possible, is preferred.
" Flexibility—These exercises stretch muscles, tendons, and ligaments and should be done daily."
" Teeth should be brushed and flossed daily. Prospective missionaries who are not already involved in a regular dental care program should see a dentist as soon as possible..."
* HERE is a short video clip about the importance of preparing to serve a mission. President Monson has a great quote, "“Missionaries are marvelous. They’re called of God by prophecy. . . . They represent the fruits of all that is good within the Latter-day Saint family.”
Make a real fruit salad! Invite children to come up and add the fruit. As they do so, have them talk about ways they can prepare to serve a mission. Enjoy a healthy treat!!