Monday, April 15, 2013

Easter Pageant Wrap-Up

The Easter Pageant was a huge success, attracting 78,672 visitors from all over the country. 
Of that number we counted 25,521 who came into the Visitors' Center.  Yeah!

This handsome fellow posed for a quick photo before the play began.

I was fortunate to snag this picture when the Roman guards were off duty.

This intimidating soldier wanted me to know he wasn't putting up with any monkey business!

Sisters Lewis and Hubmann worked outside in the bowl, talking to as many of the pageant guests as possible.  Their happy smiles were infectious.

Some of the guests waited over 5 hours for the play to begin.  Now that's dedication!

Sisters Noble and Vargas enjoy speaking with the pageant attendees.  Sister Vargas has only been in the mission a few days, but she hasn't let her newness slow her down - already she's a great asset to the Visitors' Center.

Sister Ellsworth was here every night with President Ellsworth.  They didn't just relax and watch the performance - they actively talked with people.  President Ellsworth garnered an on-site referral - now that's what I call setting a good example!

Inside the Visitors' Center Sisters Avila, Hamstead, Larson, and West wait outside the theaters to show the 'Witness of Christ' movie to guests who come into the center.

We had a beautiful art exhibit showing scenes from the life of the Savior.  This was a perfect place for Sisters Schwartz and Hartley to visit with guests and bear testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ. 

The final scene of the pageant was amazing!  All of the cast came on stage and sang, "I Know He Lives!", repeating it over and over.  The angelic choir overhead repeated the refrain.

It was especially inspiring when the Savior rose through the midst of the angelic choir and stood suspended in the air above the stage.   It was a moment that brought tears to the eyes of most of the pageant observers.  I feel so blessed to have been here for two years to experience this event.

After the pageant many guests came inside the Visitors' Center.  Sisters Cottrell and Schwartz introduced the Christus presentation in Spanish.

We loved the busy, chaotic, wonderful two weeks of the pageant.  Hearts were touched and lives were changed.  Our hard working sisters were able to obtain 430 referrals during the 10 days of the pageant.  What a blessing!

But all good things do come to an end.  Monday morning the trucks were at the temple grounds beginning the dismantling process.

The towers that held the spotlights were lifted off their concrete supports and hauled away.

Down to just the steel skeleton, the work proceeds more quickly.

After the last piece of stage was removed the gardeners quickly moved in and cut out the grass in the sections that were beneath the stage.  By noon they had put down new sod in the first two areas.  Piles of sod at the back of this bare piece show that more work has yet to be done.  The temple grounds are always beautiful, and we're continually impressed at how hard the gardeners work to maintain it.

With the advent of spring I've really enjoyed the beautiful blossoms on these trees.  The bright read 'flower brushes' look so pretty.

There are hundreds of narcissus and petunia plants.

What's more cheerful than the color yellow?

All along the west side of the temple the flowers are glorious.

 We walk in front of the temple every day on our way to the Visitors' Center.  I can't imagine a more beautiful place to live or to work!  We literally live and work in the midst of a heavenly garden on sacred ground.
This sign, made by Sister Larson, welcomes our new senior couple to the Visitors' Center.  The Andruses arrived in the mission on April 11th.  They will be a tremendous asset!  Elder Andrus was a professor at BYU in the School of Business.  Sister Andrus is the mother of 10 children, 9 of whom served missions.  They are truly a missionary couple!

Welcome to the Arizona, Mesa Mission, Elder and Sister Andrus. and especially to the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center. We're so glad you're here! 
You may have heard from the sister missioaries that we're shooting for an "Above Average April".  Our goal at the Visitors' Center is to increase our baptisms from the average 15 per month to a whopping 30 this month!  Wow!  That's an amazing goal!  With the hard working missionaries we have here at the center I am confident that we can achieve this goal.  On April 12th there were 17 names on the left side of the chart.  Only half way through the month we're already over half-way to our goal.  We can do this!  No question!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for keeping this blog! I report to the MTC May 29th, and will be at the Visitor's Center speaking Spanish. I can't wait!

    Shelby Orr