Week 1: I can be a missionary by serving others.
Encourage understanding (doing role plays): Read Matthew 25:34–40, and explain that when we serve others we are also serving Heavenly Father (see Mosiah 2:17) and that service will bring us happiness and help us be able to live with God again. Have several children role-play some acts of service, such as giving food to someone who is hungry, befriending someone who is lonely, or visiting someone who is sick. Let the other children guess what is happening in each role play. Show a picture of missionaries. Ask how the missionaries are serving God. Explain that when we serve others we are also being missionaries.
Encourage application (playing a game): Make a game board with a path made of six different colors leading to a picture of Jesus. Prepare a spinner with six colored sections to match the colors on the game board. On each color write the name of a person the children could serve, such as a parent, a friend, and a neighbor. Choose a child to spin the spinner and tell how he or she could serve the person it points to. Then have the child move a game piece to the next square that corresponds to the color on the spinner. Repeat with other children until the game piece reaches the picture of the Savior. Remind the children that when we serve others we are serving God. Sing “When We’re Helping” (CS, 198).
Games: Games give variety to lessons and allow children to interact with each other as well as reinforce the gospel principle being taught in a fun way.
Week 2: I can be a missionary by setting a good example.
Identify the doctrine (seeing an object lesson): Before Primary, build a structure with blocks, and cover it so the children cannot see it. (If blocks are not available, you could draw a picture on the chalkboard and cover the drawing with a piece of paper.) Describe the hidden structure and how you built it. Then give a few children some blocks and ask them to try to build a structure that matches what you built. When they finish, uncover your structure, and note the differences between the two. Ask the children to rebuild their structure while they look at your example. Explain that many things are easier when you follow an example.
Take advantage of opportunities to encourage children to think. Challenging their minds with age-appropriate questions or situations promotes learning.
Encourage understanding and application (hearing stories and singing songs): Display pictures and briefly tell a few scripture stories in which young people were good examples (for example, Daniel and his friends refusing to drink the king’s wine [see Daniel 1:5–16]; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego [see Daniel 3:4–29]; and Daniel in the lions’ den [see Daniel 6]). Show a picture of missionaries, and ask the children how the missionaries are being good examples. Explain that when we set a good example, we are being missionaries because our example can help others want to learn more about Jesus Christ. Share some times when you have seen children in your ward or branch being good examples.
Ask the children to sing “Shine On” (CS, 144). As they sing, have them pass a sun made from a piece of paper around the room. Each time the music stops, ask the child holding the sun to tell how he or she can be a good example (for example, by being kind, telling the truth, or inviting friends to Primary).
Invite each of the children to make their own paper sun with the words “I Can Be a Shining Example” written on it. Have the children hold their suns up as they sing “I Am like a Star” (CS, 163), “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” (CS, 60–61), or “Shine On” (CS, 144).
Week 3: I can teach my friends about Jesus Christ and His Church.
Identify the doctrine (seeing a demonstration): Shake the hand of one or more children and role-play inviting them to come to Primary and learn about Jesus. Instruct those who receive an invitation to invite others until all the children have been invited. Explain that the Lord wants all of us to be missionaries by teaching our friends about Jesus Christ and His Church.
Encourage understanding (hearing a story): Share the story President Spencer W. Kimball told about a Primary boy who was a good missionary: A man on a train asked the boy about the Mormon Church. The boy recited all of the Articles of Faith. The man was so impressed that this young boy knew what he believed that he went to Salt Lake City to learn more about the Church (see Conference Report, Oct. 1975, 117–19; or Ensign, Nov. 1975, 77–79). Explain that learning the Articles of Faith can help us be missionaries now.
Encourage application (reviewing the Articles of Faith): Prepare 13 pieces of paper with a number from 1 to 13 on each. Divide the children into groups. Have each group choose a piece of paper and work together to learn the article of faith that corresponds with that number. When each group is ready, have them recite it to the other children and then take another paper. Continue as time allows.
Tip: Consider using the monthly scripture to supplement any sharing time lesson. You might also want to display the monthly theme in the Primary room.
Week 4: I can prepare now to serve a full-time mission.
Identify the doctrine (seeing objects related to missionary work): Prepare a small bag or suitcase containing items that full-time missionaries use, such as Sunday shoes, a tie, and scriptures. Invite a few children to pull the items out of the bag and show them to the rest of the children. Ask the children why just having these items does not make someone prepared to be a missionary. Read Doctrine and Covenants 84:62, and invite the children to listen for another thing every missionary needs (testimony). Testify of the importance of gaining a personal testimony.
Plan ways to capture the children’s attention at the beginning of an activity. For example, in this activity the children will be interested as they anticipate what will be pulled out of the bag.
Encourage understanding (seeing pictures and answering questions): Help the children understand the essential parts of a testimony. Display pictures representing some of those parts (for example, that Heavenly Father loves us, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s true Church, and that we are led by a living prophet). Ask several questions about each picture, such as: What or who is this? What do you know about this? How can you strengthen your testimony of this? Ask the children to name people with whom they can share their testimony. Testify that as the children share what they know with others, their testimonies will grow and they will be preparing to serve missions.