Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Pageant 2012

The much anticipated and  (to be honest) stressful day has arrived - the opening night of the 2012 Easter Pageant.  Sister Tejada and Solorzano explain to Sister Lewis the way the new posts will work during pageant.  Everyone is excited to get this year's event underway.

President and Sister Ellsworth join us for prayer meeting before we begin our night's work.  The sisters are raring to go!  This year our sister missionaries will have the entire responsibility of greeting people and looking for those 'golden' contacts because the Elders won't be working here.

The sisters working inside the VC depend on the sisters working outside to bring in the guests.  During the pageant we have the help of full field sisters from the Arizona Mesa Mission as well as the Arizona Tempe Mission.  We are thrice blessed!

Across the hall the cast missionaries are getting into costume to work outisde in the 'bowl'
along-side our full-time sisters.  These wonderful volunteers come every night to help encourage people to come inside the Visitors' Center to have their pictures taken with members of the cast.

When the sisters write down their names and addresses, the guests become a "Top" Box, which means that the guest has agreed to have the missionaries deliver the picture to their home and share a short message about our church.  It has become a very effective way to get quality referrals.
Sisters Schwartz and Dashjav encourage guests to go into one of the theaters to watch a short video presentation on the Savior's life and ministry.

 Outside, the chairs are beginning to fill up.  Some people come very early to get the front row seats. 

 The cast receives last minute instructions before going outside to get ready for the show.  There are over 400 people in the cast and at least that many working behind the scenes to make sure everything goes smoothly.  There are even animal trainers who come each night to take care of the live animals that are in the show.

Sister Shurtz and Sister Burton greet the people who have come into the Savior of the World exhibit.
The diorama of Old Jerusalem in the center of the room is a favorite gathering place of guests.

These are two of the guests who came into the center to have their picture taken with cast members.  There were over 1200 pictures taken during the ten days of pageant.

Brother Jon Jackson (left) and one of the Roman soldiers pose for a photo.  Brother Jackson and his wife have been doing the pictures for the past three years.

 Sister Slater explains "God's Plan for His Family" before starting the video presentation.  This is one of the favorite exhibits in our center, depicting a family who live gospel principles in their home in order to earn the privilege to be a "Forever" family.

Elder and Sister Nilsen from the Mission Office came every night to work with the sister missionaries.  They were untiring in their zeal to meet and greet the pageant attendees, and Elder Nilsen even got a Top Box!  Way to go, Elder Nilsen! 

The Jenkins' smiles show their enjoyment at being part of this year's event.  The attendance, though down from last year, still totalled over 70,000 people.

Sisters Schwartz and Carlson pause to smile for the camera.  It's probably the only time all night that they took a break.  We have such dedicated, hard-working sisters!  We are so privileged to work with this caliber of young women.

This Roman Soldier gave me his flogging implement - how's that for brave?  (He probably knew I was much too soft-hearted to use it.)   This has been an incredible two weeks. 

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