Below is a selection of activities that encourage missionary service and appreciation of missionaries. They are good activities for use in many different settings.
I’ve tried to list a source for each activity idea at the end of the activity, but some of them have been modified by me. Any items without sources are my ideas.
When planning a missionary activity remember that: “Recently Church members have been counseled to not have children pretend to receive callings as full-time missionaries or wear pretend missionary name tags. However, preparing for full-time missions and being “member missionaries” is encouraged. Have a large world map or a globe available. Have a few children come up and choose a place where they might someday serve a mission. Ask what they might need to learn about their mission locales? What preparations might they need to make to serve a mission anywhere? (learn another language, to cook, to work hard, to talk to people, to be kind, to sew a button and mend a rip, to wash clothes, to lead music, to conduct a meeting, to offer prayers, to tell the Joseph Smith story, to know what we believe [the Articles of Faith], to know the Book of Mormon, to bear testimony). Let each class choose a few things they think will be important and present one to the rest of Primary by pantomime, reciting, singing a song, role-playing, etc. (1 minute each). A “Right Here, Right Now” class should be last and should include the things we should all be doing every day to be good examples and to share our testimonies and invite friends to Church meetings and activities. Conclude by singing “The Things I Do” (CS, pp. 170-171) and sharing your feelings about the missionary work we do by example and by calling.” (Friend, October 1999)
- Ask the missionaries for copies of the Book of Mormon to put your testimony and photo in for placement with investigators.
Commit to giving a copy of the Book of Mormon to a friend during the next month.
MISSIONARY APPRECIATION PARTY – “I have done this in two different states and it was a success in both. We threw a surprise party for our missionaries to show our appreciation for them. We told the children it was a surprise and they couldn’t tell the missionaries. (They love being “sneaky”). Our ward mission leader was in on the surprise. He told our missionaries to show up for a training meeting. Instead, the missionaries found a party waiting for them. We had a large box for each missionary that the children put small gifts into (cereal, toilet tissue, home made bookmarks etc). Some activities were:
- 1. Write letters to our missionaries
2. Pin the tie on the missionary
3. Mission twister (write ways the children come up with to be a missionary now on the spots)
4. Tri-cycle/Bicycle relay race
The kids had a blast and the missionaries were touched.” KELLY, MARYLAND (Source: Primary, Etc.)
MISSIONARY CHRISTMAS – We’ve done this activity twice in our Primary and we sure loved it! We can have 2 or 3 different groups for this activity. You’ll need to:
(1) Call the full-time missionaries serving in your area and invite them. Tell them three groups of children will come and ask them questions about ways they can be missionaries now, the missionary life, Christmas spent in the mission field, their families, their feelings about the mission, etc.
(2) Call two people from your ward who have served missions. They will bring things from their missions, such as pictures, books, dolls, etc., and will set them up in separate rooms. They will talk to the children about their time serving the Lord while as missionaries.
(3) Prepare a flier for the children’s families announcing the activity and asking each child to bring to the missionaries, wrapped as a Christmas gift, items they can consume quick, such as pens, pencils, envelopes, notepads, stamps, canned soups, canned food, candy bars, breakfast cereal, dried fruits and nuts, peanut butter, jelly, jam, crackers, flavored oatmeal, napkins, toilet paper, soap bars, microwave popcorn, fruit drinks, soda pop, etc.
(4) A few weeks before this activity, bring to Primary a basket with some of those items to show to the children. Explain to them how each item will benefit and bless the missionaries. Bring one of the items also wrapped as a Christmas gift.
(5) Decorate a small Christmas tree with yellow paper stars. Each star will have the children’s and teacher’s names on it. We also prepared a paper chain to put around the tree. Each circle of the chain has one of the children’s names. (We’ve asked each class to sign the star and the chain a few weeks before.)
At the activity:
The children will be welcomed at the door by one of us and will receive colored small stickers with the Primary colors.
Each group will have an assigned color, an adult leader and together they will rotate from one group to the other. One of us will ring the bell every 15 minutes for the rotation to happen. As they arrive, they will put their presents at the Christmas tree.
After the 3 groups were able to visit the 3 presentations, we all meet again, sing some Primary Christmas songs and tell the missionaries all those presents are for them. We invite them to open some, and it’s just wonderful to see the joy on their faces! We provide them with boxes or big plastic bags to take home all the presents and the small Christmas tree.
We call this activity also a “Service Project” from the children to the missionaries. We all have such a great time as we prepare and participate in this activity! Since we have different missionaries every year, this is still a new experience to all of us, every December.
(Source: Primary, Etc.)
I CAN BE A MISSIONARY NOW – “Before the activity day, we found some pictures in our primary closet of missionaries out from our unit when they were Valiant age. We made a scrapbook page with the pictures of the missionaries when they were younger, along with photos of them in thier missionary clothes, with the caption: “I can be a Missionary NOW”. At the activity we talked about the things that the children can do to be missionaries NOW. We had a globe and pointed out where each missionary was and talked about how they don’t have to be far away from home to be missionaries. Then they went to the tables where the pictures were on display and wrote letters to as many of the missionaries as they could. We encouraged the children to write down what they could do to be a missionary now. ” JANIENE, IDAHO
(Source: Primary, Etc., significant changes by me)
My branch did a missionary activity when I was in Primary. Each child received an assignment to talk to a family member who had served a mission or visited another place so they could talk to that family member about a foreign country or mission experience. We also recieved a mission bank to take home — it was an emptied vegetable can with “I Hope They Call me on a Mission” on it and a Book of Mormon to give to a friend. I can still remember the activity and how excited I was to place a Book of Mormon! – Jenny
Every Member a Missionary Relay – Each team member dresses in a suit/skirt, knocks on a door, undresses, tags next “companion” to do it all over again. The team who completes the race first wins. (Source: Primary, Etc.)