Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter - The Last Days of Christ

I wanted to send our missionaries something that would bring the true meaning of Easter into their lives during Passion Week - or the week leading up to Easter Sunday.  I came up with the idea of an Easter Advent calendar where they would have something to open each day.  There are lots of ideas floating around on Pinterest and on the Internet but Mason comes home soon and I didn't want him to think that he had to haul anything around with him for these last few months.  Totally start to freak out whenever I think about his homecoming = Aahhhhh!!! We're just a wee bit excited around here. Sorry, I'll try to stay focused...

What started out to be a fun 'little' project totally morphed into this 'thing' that has taken me literally weeks to put together.  Thinking that it would be amazing to follow along with Christ's Last Days, I came up with the idea of putting a bookmark with scriptural references inside plastic Easter eggs, each egg would represent a single day in Christ's life.  Opening my scriptures I was brought to remembrance of just how much happened that last week.  The week was full of parables and symbolism and illegal events all culminating in Christ's crucifixion.  It was plain to see that this would not all fit on a bookmark - so it morphed from a bookmark into a bookmark and a handout - which I tried to keep concise and short although you will think that Thursday and Friday are anything BUT short. 

I thought this would be so easy.  Surely someone, somewhere has put together the events of Christ's last days and I could benefit by simply cutting and pasting.  You know the story: Modern technology meets another one of my hair brained ideas.  Alas, where I could find lots of information online, a lot of it contradicted each other and I wanted to insert our latter-day perspective into the mix.  Hence my odyssey of discovery through the four Gospel's, Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage, Life and Teachings of Jesus - New Testament Study Guide Religion 211, and The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim (who incidentally was the first Jew to join the Church 1825-1889 and was a brilliant scholar).   This is NOT my own work.  A lot of it is typed just as it is found in the books and melded together into a cohesive and understandable mix.  In hindsight, I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to reacquaint myself with Passion Week.  This Easter season promises to be a special one for me.

The Last Days of Christ - There are nine eggs each representing a day leading up to Resurrection Sunday.  Inside each egg is a bookmark that has the scriptural events that happened for that particular day.  Also included is a handout representing each day in the same corresponding color as the bookmark.  Label each egg with a number representing which egg to open first.  I also included a little cover sheet telling our missionaries what to do. PDF printable links are below.  Enjoy!


Last Days of Christ - daily handout

Just in case you have missionaries in a foreign land where it is just too expensive to mail a bunch of eggs, I've created envelope labels.  Just print them out and glue onto the front of a business size envelope (to fit 8.5x11 inch paper).  Fill in the date that you would like your missionary to open each envelope and insert the daily handout/editorial and bookmark/egg insert and seal.  Now you won't have to worry about the added expense of a package and when you fill out those nasty little customs declarations you can just write 'letters'.  Win, win!


37 comments:

  1. thank you for going to all this work! I am gratefully copying all of it and sending to my son in Brazil. I appreciate creative Mom's like you who are willing to share! I know you will be blessed for your efforts.

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    1. Hey there, Missionary Mom! This by far is my most downloaded package idea. It was fun to put together and I learned so much in the process. Isn't that the way these things usually work? I would love to hear about your mailing experiences having a missionary in South America. I can't tell you how petrified I was that Matthew would get called to Argentina. I have a friend who mentioned that there are two missions there where the mission president will allow only one package to be sent per year. YIKES!! His reason is that many of the native missionaries don't even receive letters. My husband's comment was, "Great. Matt's one package will be a container (you know, like on the back of a semi?) and will cover everyone in the mission." Scary thought. He opened his call last night and...Washington Seattle. Again, I'd love to hear of your experiences. (missionarymailbag@comcast.net)

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    2. This is such a great idea! I think I will try it this year! You should check out the Easter App called "Easter with Jesus" It is a great tool to teach about the saviors last days before the resurrection. LDS based, talks, videos, pictures, etc. Kids and Adults can use it! It is Awesome!

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  2. I love spoiling our missionary daughter and her companions, and usually send way too much, but they can share with other companionships if that is the case.

    That is so funny Shalan, I have been doing exactly these Atonement & Resurrection Egg Sets for a few years now, gifting them to family & friends, and using them in Primary. I even went as far as asking an egg farm if they would provide me with blank egg cartons so I could scrap book and decorate them myself. Great minds think alike!!!

    Yours are gorgeous, and you have inspired me to get a very special one done this week and off to our oldest daughter and companion, Sister Ashlea Parsons, who is serving in the Australia Perth Mission.

    You are a great Mommy and missionaries all around the world thank us "moms" for being there always for them - Jenni M. Parsons (Sydney) AUS

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    1. Oh, you are too kind! Maybe your great mind inspired my not-so-great mind across the pond. Isn't it wonderful to have a missionary out? Love it!

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  3. THANKS SOOOO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND INSPIRATION! I HAD THE IDEA OF FILLING EGGS WITH EASTER STORIES AND QUOTES BUT YOU WENT WAY BEYOND AND MADE MY JOB A LOT EASIER! I LOVE CREATIVE PEOPLE LLIKE YOU WHO ARE WILLING TO SHARE!

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    1. Yeah, this kind of morphed into something much larger than I was originally planning on. I learned so much though and I'm so glad that I have this forum to share on. Thanks for visiting!!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing Easter idea. I'm a first time Missionary mom, and very NON-creative too! You just made my whole holiday, as I will be making this for our son. Last year (in 2012) we took him to the MTC on April 4th and that same weekend was Easter. Now... almost a year later... I have a "real" gift to send him instead of just a package full of candy.

    Thank you once again for your generosity. You will certainly be blessed :)

    Mom of a TSAM missionary :)

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    1. Don't you just love being a missionary mom? Best ever! I bet you are very creative. Maybe you just haven't tapped into that side yet. You are almost to his "Hump Day"...Wow! What a fun package that can be. I sent Mason two Nerf Machine Guns with extra ammo...I should really post that idea, shouldn't I. I just included a memo telling him to be careful when using inside the apartment and to leave them there when he is transferred. They had a blast!

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  5. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing. I've got a nephew on a mission and 5 sons of my own who I am hoping will get the chance to serve.

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    1. You're welcome! I had six brothers and they all served missions. I even served at the same time as one of my brothers and it was an amazing experience to share with him.

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  6. Thank you so much for the download. I love it! I sent it to my missionary serving in the Mass-Boston mission and also to my college aged daughter. I think they will both love it! Thanks for going to all the work to make it and for sharing it! On another note, although this has nothing to do with missionary mail, if you're interested in seeing my post on a Christ centered Easter dinner, I'd love for you to stop by my blog. Here's the link in case you're interested: http://fhelessons.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/passover-inspired-easter-dinner/

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    1. Wow! You're blog is amazing! I've been happily pinning for...ok, I won't tell you how long because that would just be embarrassing and there is laundry to be done...and vacuuming...and dinner. Thanks so much for sharing and good luck to your missionary! So much fun being a missionary mom. On a side note...you look so familiar. Did you ever work at the MTC?

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    2. Thanks so much! And, no, unfortunately I never did work at the MTC :) I do want to let you know, though, that we read your Passion week stories aloud as a family (with our one daughter still living at home and my sister and her family who happened to be vacationing with us), and they VERY MUCH increased our spirituality for Easter week. We felt the Spirit strongly as we were reading, and I think the kids learned a lot. Some of them I could barely get through because of the emotions they evoked. After reading the stories, we talked about the things we learned and thought about as we read. It really helped our holiday to be more focused on the true meaning. Thanks you again for sharing and great job with the writing of them!

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  7. Beautifully put together! If you don't mind, I would love to use at home for my daughter with our resurrection eggs we use to tell the Easter story.

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    1. Be my guest!! No need to ask. Use whatever you want however you want. Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Shalan,
    I've read through these thoroughly and I just love them so much! How would you feel about me adding this to Pinterest? I didn't see a Pin button on your page, but I would add a link back to your page giving you full credit :-) I know so many people would love this idea.

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    1. I'm so glad! Pin anything you want. If I knew how to install a pin button I would...one of the tasks I should get one of my brainy-ac teenagers working on. Wonder if I could get one of them to hold still long enough...

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  9. Bless you for sharing your talents and great idea! I'm sending a copy to both of my missionaries. Thank you, thank you!

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  10. I stumbled across your project on Pinterest and just wanted to say THANK YOU! I've been wanting to start a tradition of doing something something special with my family the week leading up to Easter for awhile. I love that this is so customizable. I'll be sending one to my husband who is a Soldier in Afghanistan, one to my brother who a missionary in Florida, and keeping one to do with my children in Tennessee. Thank you for sharing your talents and blessing my family.

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    1. Carissa...so glad that I could help. God bless your sweet husband (and your family) for being willing to sacrifice so much for our country. I hope you enjoy your last week of Christ. It was one of my son's favorite packages.

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  11. Thank you so very much! I'm so excited to send this to my missionary and to share it with my entire family over the Easter week! You have done a beautiful job! Thank you for being so willing to share!

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    1. You are most welcome, Camille. Have a wonderful Easter season and good luck to your missionary!

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  12. I am just finding this and I'm going to send it to my nephew, who is a missionary in TEXAS. I'm always going to send him an extra set to give away to an investigator! Love this idea! Thanks for all your hard work, we are blessed because of you!

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  13. I'm so glad you found me! Brilliant idea to print off a set for an investigator. You are truly inspired! Good luck to your nephew. I hope he has an amazing mission!
    ~ Cherylann

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  14. Thanks for sharing your wonderful work!

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  15. I am so grateful for creative people like you that make it so much easier for the rest of us! I absolutely love this and am so excited to send it out to my two missionaries in Mexico and Peru. THANK YOU!

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  16. Thank you for all your work on this! My family will surely enjoy it!

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  17. I'm trying to print out the bookmarks but it is only printing 3 3/4 of them on a page not all 5 of them. Any ideas what is going wrong? HELP please!!

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    1. Sorry, Nicole. I'm not sure what the problem is. I printed them from my computer and they worked fine. If you email me your email I'll send you the file direct to your inbox. Email me at shalanb@comcast.net

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  18. Thank you for putting valuable information together and for sharing your hard work.

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  19. Thank you so much for this! I just want you to know that it will be blessing not only my sweet missionary daughter, but my married kids and their little families as well! So, your efforts are blessing many lives!

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  20. I wanted to finally come back and say thank you for all of your hard work. I found and printed the handouts in 2013, and I love reading through your "summary" of Christ's last week every Easter as I try to decide how and what to teach my children each year. :)

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  21. I was wondering if these files are still available? When I go to download them it says they are no longer available. This looks like a fantastic idea I would love to do for my son serving now. I have to get his box off soon as it takes what seems like forever to get a box there. If they are available you could email them to me at cpanter@hotmail.com Thank you!

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  22. I can't imagine how long this took to put together. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  23. I found this post three years ago. This makes our third year of reading these each Easter Season. We use the pictures from the gospel library and bring out the picture that corresponds with the reading for that day. We leave them all out on the mantel for the entire week. I have seen my children stop and look at the pictures and just ponder. There is such a sweet spirit that fills our home during this week. We start the on Saturday and work our way through the week. This has been a remarkable blessing to our family. I can't imagine the work it took to put this together, but I want to thank you personally. I have since found that I can find video clips on the Bible Videos to go along with almost every one of them! Thank you, so very much!!

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