For our joint (all-girls) activity this week we had a special Sister Missionary night! We had heard from several recently returned Elders (and a newly called Elder on his way to the MTC) within the past few months, but nothing specifically for the girls. Since there are so many more girls going on missions now, I thought it would be good to have a special night focusing on full-time missions for women.
Since we always seem to have at least half of the girls showing up after opening exercises, I started out by (stalling) teaching the young women 2 principles that I feel are important for missionaries (and just anyone, really): #1- How to shake hands properly (no limp fish, no breaking bones) and #2- What to do if you are given food you just don't like (such as at a dinner appointment)? (be polite and just eat it). I kept this part of the presentation short, like 5 minutes - and by then most of the girls had arrived.
I had asked one of the young single adult sisters in our Stake (not in our ward) who has received her mission call to come and speak to the young women for the main part of our activity. I asked to her answer questions about preparing for a mission, talk a little bit about what kind of clothes Sister Missionaries wear (and why), and whatever else she wanted to talk about.
I had also planned an elaborate mission-theme relay race and a game of scripture-mastery tic-tac-toe if we had extra time, but our speaker was very animated and fun - she kept the girls attention for the entire activity, so we never even got around to the games!
Here is the display area that I set up for the young women to look at:
(I had contacted some of the ladies in our ward who are returned-missionaries and got photos from some of them to display on the wall - this was nice because it showed women that they know in the ward serving missions)
I used pictures that I printed out from lds.org (the section on sister missionaries, here) to show that Sisters dress modestly and conservatively, but also are now more modern and cute than in days past (ie, the jumpers and long skirts of my mission days).
Some of the topics that were covered/questions that were asked:
- Do women have to go on missions? (No, it is not required, up to you and God whether you go!)
- Sister missionaries don't have the priesthood, so who does the baptizing? (nearby Elders, local Bishop or other Priesthood holder)
- How did you (the soon-to-be-missionary) that you wanted to go on a mission? (prayer)
- Do you get to pick where you go? (no - assigned by the General Authorities)
- How is a Sister's mission different than an Elder's? (one is 18 months, one is 24 months; Elders have the priesthood authority to baptize/other ordinances; other than that they are the same - both are called by God with authority to preach & teach. Sisters are "real" missionaries - despite what a small minority of people still seem to think)
PS- To make the cake, I used a square cake pan and frosted it with light purple buttercream. I added "skin" color for the neck and then buttercream piping & other decorations. I printed out the "future missionary" nametag and covered it (front and back) with clear contact paper (like lamenating, but cheaper) to keep it from getting soggy & weird when it touched the frosting. I just stuck the nametag to the cake with more light purple frosting. I got the clipart for the nametag here (free) and I used it for a non-commercial purpose, of course.