Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prelude to Easter Pageant

It's March, and the Easter Pageant preparations are underway in earnest.  The first Super Saturday on March 2nd brought  the cast out for an all day rehearsal.

The president of the Pageant committee, President West (right) pauses for a photo with his right-hand-man, Sterling Baer.  These two men make sure all of the pageant committees come together for a successful production.  A HUGE job!

Lawn tents and awnings spring up in the bowl prior to the all day rehearsal.  These young men are pageant cast members - the cast consists of members and non-members from many walks of life and many cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Saturday morning, March 16th, trucks start arriving early from the various stake centers in the region with chairs for the pageant.  It is 6:30 am and already there are over 200 chairs in the bowl.

 By 11:00 am the bowl is almost filled.  This sea of chairs (nearly 10,000) wil make if possible for pageant attendees to enjoy the pageant without having to provide their own seating accommodations.  I reflected on the wonderful organizational skills that our church provides.  A letter or e-mail to the stake leaders and voila!  - the thing is done.  Truly amazing.

Inside the Visitors' Center we have been preparing Theater 1 for an art exhibit centered on the life and resurrection of the Savior.  Susan Fuller (on the ladder) is being assisted by Sister Miller in hanging this beautiful painting. 

I love this rendition of the Last Supper done entirely in wood.  Each piece of wood is presented in its natural color - no staining was used to achieve the individual hues. 

Here we see a beautiful rendition of the Savior with children of all nationalities and physical or mental challenges.  He loves them all equally.

This beautiful display case holds various pieces of smaller artwork depicting events in the Savior's life.  We are waiting for a shipment of sketches by Liz Lemon Swindle which are due to arrive from Palmyra any day.  We're hoping they are available before the pageant opens on Tuesday evening.

Saturday, March 9th we held a farewell Prep. Meeting for Sister Kranendonk.  She will be returning home on Tuesday, March 12th.  The sisters need to be at the Udall Chapel at 8:45 am to train the Easter Pageant cast so we held the breakfast at the Visitors' Center so that we could finish everything for our prep. meeting and still be at the church on time.

Here Sisters Cottrell, DeMille, and Valladares share a hug and big smiles! 

During the meeting Sisters Schwartz, Shurtz, and Avila conducted training for the Easter Pageant.  Sister Schwartz will be the new VC trainer to replace Sister Shurtz who is going full field to train a new 'greenie'.  We'll miss her!

Sister Lewis, who was trained by Sister Kranendonk, gave a beautiful legacy for her 'mom'.

Sister Kranendonk responded with her testimony of the Savior and how her mission has changed and strengthened her.  What a beautiful spirit was felt by everyone in attendance.

 Our traditional picture by the Christus was attended by 28 sister missionaries.  We've had 14 companionships in the VC this transfer, with 7 of the sisters being full field sisters.  The president has a lot of confidence in our VC sisters - they make great trainers! 

Another tradition - the group hug.  Everyone gets into it with enthusiasm.

Sister Kranendonk poses with these sisters who have been among her former companions.

Here we snagged a moment to take one final picture before Sister K. leaves for the mission home.  Please note:  Elder Beckstrand is smiling!  Sister Kranendonk has kept after him about remembering to always look happy.

 It's Tuesday, March 12th, and we have a new record for the mission - fifteen sisters have arrived to serve in the Arizona, Mesa Mission on the same day!  That's the largest number EVER!  How wonderful it is to have these bright, smiling young sisters here in our mission.  The two on the front row, right hand side are assigned to the Visitors' Center - the others are either full field of visa-waiters.  ALL are going to be a wonderful asset to our mission.

Sister Brown is a new VC sister from St. George, Utah.  She is assigned to be English-speaking.  Her musical background and her enthusiasm for missionary work will be invaluable to our center.

Sister Brown's trainer is Sister Dashjav, our Mongolian sister.  They will only get to work together one transfer since Sister Dashjav will return home in April.

Our other new Visitors' Center sister is Sister Weedman from Henderson, Nevada.  She also has a musical background (yeah!) and will bring many additional talents and skills to contribute to the success of the Visitors' Center

Sister Weedman will be trained by Sister Javed.  They make a fabulous team!  They have already had a baptism on Saturday, and sang a duet for the service.  Now that's what I call 'hitting the ground running!"  Again, sadly she will only be with Sister Javed one transfer because Sister Javed is  returning home to Pakistan on April 23rd.  However, looking on the bright side, there is much she can learn from this seasoned, dedicated missionary in six weeks time.  Lucky girl!

1 comment:

  1. So many sisters I don't know anymore. Has it really only been 4-ish months?? It's nice to see the pictures!