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Sender's Note: For my ward I digitally altered the logo from Tom Cruise's "Mission Impossible" to show a Young Woman's profile, instead of his. Due to possible copyright infringment, it cannot be posted here For a forwarded copy: email sender
(I have updated this skit to represent current Personal Progress Program)
Here are 3 components of an easy but cool New Beginnings (keeping most of it a surprise adds to the fun!):
1) New Agent
2) Mission Possible Secret Agents Skit
3) Bad Guys Video (videotape of girls' fathers personifying obstacles to
completing personal progress goals)
plus, (Optional) 4)
Acknowledgement of those who earned their Young Womanhood
Recognition/Medallion during the past year.
We had each new girl (Beehives & Move-Ins) fill out a questionnaire (listed further down). When they filled out the questionnaire, the only information we gave them is that it was for New Beginnings. Then we used the answers to write a spotlight on each "New Agent." Feel free to spice it up a little. In the examples below, I put the original questions in parenthesis near the info we extrapolated.
Optional Text to introduce the New Agent spotlights: Listen up! Our 2 newest agents have just arrived from the Primary Academy (and some have recently transferred here from other agencies [move-ins]). Let me brief you on our rookie agents. It's important that you learn their profiles, so that their immersion into our operation will go smoothly. You will see that they bring a lot of skill and talent to our agency.
"Agent: Brandie Smith [show picture]
Here we have Agent Brandie Smith. Her code name is Boopsie (nickname). Our agency scouts discovered Agent Smith when she was 1 ½ years old. By that age she knew 10 signs in sign language. At 2 ½, she could read (something unique about you). Her skills include painting ceramics (talents / hobbies) and rollerblading on kitchen floors. She is an extensive collector of toys and is also an expert at computer games (describe your idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon). As Agent Smith's body is finely tuned to sleep during daylight, she will be assigned to our nighttime operations. Currently she is working on a sleep study using herself as the test subject (we added this ourselves!). Agent Smith exhibited bravery in the academy by rafting down the Green River at boot camp and also by navigating the Magic Carpet ride at Lagoon (most daring thing you've tried). When contacting Agent Weaver, use the Secret Password: "Time to Go", to which she will reply, "I call Shotgun for the front seat!"
Jones [show picture]
Next, we have Agent Vanessa Jones. Her Code Name is Ness (nickname). Even when Agent Jones was a baby, her mother knew she had a taste for danger when Agent Jones got a hanger stuck in her mouth (something unique about you). Our agency scouts first discovered her at Lake Powell when she jumped off a 20 foot rock (craziest or most daring thing you've tried). Her area of expertise will be in mountain terrains, canvassing the slopes on her skis (talents / hobbies). She adds to our agency the skills of dancing and basketball (talents / hobbies). Also of note is her intellectual prowess, as she graduated from the academy with straight A's (something else you'd like us to know about you). Her experience with the agency may lead her to teaching or to a professional basketball slot (what you'd like to be when you grow up). When contacting Agent Jones, use the Secret Password: "Oh my!" (favorite saying or exclamation), to which she will respond by making noises in her throat (weird thing you know how to do)."
You can go easy or elaborate with the New Agent Spotlight presentation, depending on your time, budget, or accessibility to technologically-skilled people and equipment. Here are some options: 1) The easiest way to present the New Agents is to just read each girl's spotlight text while they are standing with you up front--but it's more fun to show one or more photos of them instead and let them remain in the audience. 2) You could use an overhead projector with the photos on transparencies (make black-and-white or colored transparencies at a copy center or buy transparencies that print on your home computer printer). 3) I had fun jazzing up three or four photos of each girl on my computer, including an 'agent mugshot' in black-and-white using school portraits. Then I had a friend who has media equipment make a videotape complete with photo slideshow and corresponding audio of the New Agent Spotlight texts. We played the video on a large t.v. with a VCR from the church library. 4) You could put the photos onto a PowerPoint presentation on your laptop computer. This can be projected onto a big screen only if you have the data projecting equipment/LCD projector, and some church libraries do for projecting General Conference onto a big screen. I highly recommend trying out the set-up in advance by getting the help of your stake media specialist or the person in charge of setting that up for each conference. Your PowerPoint slideshow can also be shown on a large t.v., but only if your laptop has a video output (most don't) or if it's burned onto a DVD (special equipment different than burning a cd) and played on t.v. with a DVD player.
Q: What is your nickname? If you don't have one, what is something you were called as a child, or what do you wish your nickname was?
Q: What would you like to be when you grow up?
Q: What is something unique about you? i.e., broken bones, a part in a school play, something you did as a kid that got you into trouble, etc.
Q: What are some of your talents or hobbies?
Q: Describe your idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon.
Q: What is a weird thing that you know how to do?
Q: What is your favorite saying or exclamation?
Q: What is the craziest or most daring thing you've tried?
Q: Tell us something else you'd like us to know about you.
MISSION POSSIBLE SECRET AGENTS SKIT
NOTE: Someone is already placed inside the room with the SECRET AGENTS SCRIPT (below) and a microphone. (Or you could record the SECRET AGENTS SCRIPT on tape ahead of time & play it.--The microphone method is recommended.) You will also need 7 girls, plus one leader. Keep the skit secret from the rest of the girls, so that when the lights go out, most people won't know what it's about. (Also, it's fun to keep everything a surprise by telling these girls that they are in a skit and they are to get up for it when the lights go out, but don't tell them about the rest of the evening.) I highly recommend picking a leader as the Senior Agent who is a good actor/ham/and/or someone funny and delegate that skit to her. Have her get the girls together in advance to show them what to do (takes about 1/2 hour).
reading text on the microphone)
7 Young Women, any age, as the Secret Agents
1 Young Women leader as the Senior Agent (see note above)
The 7 girls' instructions are to get up from their seats & go out the door (without breaking a leg) when the lights go out. In the hallway they quickly put on trenchcoats (missionary overcoats, long coats) and sunglasses and grab their props. We used the music from Mission Impossible. Play the Mission Impossible theme, beginning with the opening, where it sounds like a fuse is burning. When there's the burst of sound that sounds like a match has just been lit, flip on the lights in the room. Then when the beat starts, have all of the girls come in (doesn't matter if it's one at a time or all together) and position themselves around the room. They will look around like secret agents trying to be icognito and sneak up to their spot (placed throughout the room, with most or all of the action at the front of the room, like a stage). One girl can pull out a cell phone and then freeze in a pose. The next can open up an umbrella and hide under it. Another can come in with a briefcase & hide it under her coat. Yet another can hide behind the curtains, peeking her head out, or behind a plant, a newspaper, etc.
After they are all in place, the Senior Agent comes out with the confidential envelope containing the mission papers. The music fades out. She moves to the first girl and sneaks a mission paper to her. Then the Senior Agent turns, takes about two steps away from the girl and freezes (until it's time to go to the next girl). The first girl breaks the seal of her mission paper & pretends to read it--Right then, a voice on the microphone reads a paragraph from the Secret Agents Script (one paragraph for each girl). Then the Senior Agent moves to the next girl and sneaks a mission paper to her, steps away, and freezes (Be creative on delivery methods--I laughed out loud when our leader ran out of different sneaking methods and got down on the floor to do an impromptu army crawl.) That girl then breaks the seal on her mission paper, freezes, and the next paragraph is read aloud on the microphone (and so on, until all of the "missions" have been delivered and read). At the end of the scene, the girls take off their trenchcoats & sunglasses and lay them down or tuck them away to hide the evidence. Then they simultaneously wad up their mission papers and stick them in their mouths to destroy the evidence. They return to their seats to enjoy the rest of the program (and take the papers out of their mouths). (In one ward the girls chose to end the scene by striking a "Charlies' Angels" group pose.)
(Note: For the mission papers we used blank pieces of paper cut in ½, with no printing, folded in 1/3's, and sealed with a sticker. This is so that the papers can safely fit into their mouths at the end of the scene.)
SECRET AGENTS SCRIPT (to be read aloud during SECRET AGENTS SKIT) [This is derived from goals for each value in the Personal Progress book--feel free to replace with different value experiences.]
mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the value of
faith. Understand that you are a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves
you, and seek to have faith in his eternal plan, which centers in Jesus
Christ, your Savior. You current objective is to:
Learn about faith by reading two general conference talks and scriptures on faith. Exercise your own faith by having morning and evening prayers regularly. After three weeks, discuss what you learned about faith and daily personal prayer with a parent or your leader. Also record your feelings in your journal. (FAITH #1)
mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the value of your
divine nature. Understand that you have inherited divine qualities from
your parents and from your Heavenly Parents, which you should strive to
develop. Your specific instructions are to:
Make your home life better. For two weeks make a special effort to strengthen your relationship with a family member by showing love through your actions. Refrain from criticizing or speaking unkindly, and watch for positive qualities in that person. Write notes of encouragement, pray for this family member, find ways to be helpful, and verbally express your love. Share your experiences with a parent or Young Women leader. (DIVINE NATURE #3)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the value of your individual worth. Understand that you are of infinite worth with your own divine mission. Your mission is to:
Participate in a dance, speech, music or drama performance at school, in your community, or at church. Think about how your participation in this activity strengthened your feelings of individual worth and self-confidence, and record these thoughts in your journal. (INDIVIDUAL WORTH #4)
mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the value of
Knowledge. You are to continually seek opportunities for learning and
growth. Your new assignment is to:
Learn about an area of work or service that interests you. Talk to someone who works in that field, and find out what that person's job responsibilities are, what training or education the person obtained to do the job, and what contributions this person's job makes to society. Record your findings in your journal. (KNOWLEDGE #5)
mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the values of
Choice and Accountability. You are to keep yourself free by choosing
good over evil and to accept responsibility for your choices. Your
specific instructions are to:
Establish a wise pattern of money management by making a budget for saving and spending your money, including the payment of tithing. Live within your budget for at least three months. Set priorities that allow you to meet your most important needs before satisfying your wants. (CHOICE & ACCOUNTABILITY #7)
mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the value of Good
Works. You are to nurture others and build the kingdom through
righteous service. Your current mission is to:
Help plan your family's menus, obtain the food, and prepare part of the meals for two weeks. During that time help your family gather to share mealtimes. Report to your class what you have learned. (GOOD WORKS #2)
mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the value of
integrity. You are to have the moral courage to make your actions
consistent with your knowledge of right and wrong. Your specific
assignment is to:
Study the lives of several individuals in the scriptures who lived with integrity. In your journal identify the ways these people demonstrated integrity. Think of a time when you had the courage to show integrity, especially when it was not popular. Share your experience and your feelings about it in a testimony meeting or lesson or with a parent or Young Women leader. (INTEGRITY #3)
girls take off coats and sunglasses and hide them. Then at the same
time everyone wads up their papers and stuffs them in their mouths.
Everyone returns to seats.)
BAD GUYS VIDEO:
Optional Text to Introduce Bad Guys Video: Now, let me brief you regarding the enemy. These bad guys are not to be underestimated. Sure, when you see this footage, they may not seem like a real threat to you, but let me assure you that they can be very effective in their evil plots to destroy our personal progress. Many 'secret missions' have been aborted because of them.
[Ahead of time, we secretly recorded five of our young women's fathers personifying the following roles on video tape. The more animated they were, the better! Then we played it on the large t.v. and VCR from the church library.]
They call me Forgetfulness: I forgot to work on my goals. I forgot what goal I was working on. I forgot where my Personal Progress book is.
I'm Procrastination: Lots of people call me "Round to-it". At first I thought they were saying I was overweight--which I won't be when I get around to exercising, but then I realized it's because my motto is, "I'll get around to it someday." That's because I'm always busy. If I look hard enough on cable (or satellite) t.v., I'm sure I can find something that's remotely interesting enough to watch before I start working on my current goal. Why let good television programming filter through the airwaves right past me, I always say.
I'm known as Too Busy: I've got lots of great projects going on. They're lots of fun and are helping me grow, but I'm not sure I've got time to take on any missions or goals right now. What? (looks away as if someone else is calling him, then looks back at camera.) I'm sorry. It's just that I'm feeling kind of distracted with everything I've got going on.
I'm just plain Laziness: Give me a Playstation (or name of current popular system) in my lap any day. I don't want to plan anything, I don't want to carry out a mission, I don't want to do anything. After I wake up at 3 p.m. on Saturdays, you'll know right where to find me--at the worn spot in the carpet in front of the t.v., playing (name of current popular video game).
I'm best known as Apathy: Improve myself? Improvement-shroovement. I am what I am. Like me or lump it. Besides, I'm a fairly decent person.
[End of Video]
Optional Text to Summarize: Agents, be on high alert for these guys. Thanks to your training from the Personal Progress 'Operations Manual' (hold up Personal Progress book), you too can formulate and carry out a plan to allude the bad guys. Whenever you grow weary, remind yourself of what you stand for. And this is what we stand for. Young Women, please stand to recite our theme:
[lead the young women in reciting the Young Women Theme: We are daughters of our Heavenly Father . . .page 5 of Personal Progress Book]
YOUNG WOMANHOOD RECOGNITION (Optional)
Recognize all recipients of the Young Womanhood Recognition from the past year. Include an invitation to those who have graduated. Ask each to wear their Young Womanhood Medallion. You may also include Young Women leaders who have earned their Medallion (although their requirements aren't completely the same as those described below).
Text to honor YoungWomanhood Recognition Recipients: And now it's time that we announce the agents who have earned special recognition. This past year these individuals have become top agents, and all have been endowed with this special insignia (hold up Young Womanhood Medallion)!
During their time at the agency they have dilligently carried out six missions in each of the seven Young Women values, as listed in the Personal Progress 'Operations Manual' (hold up Personal Progress book). Half of these missions are the same for every agent. The other half of the missions were chosen from several options by each agent
Plus, through their devoted service, they have masterminded and helped carry out seven different ten-hour value projects.
Also, to become a top agent, they needed to keep a log, or personal journal, plus write down their convictions, or personal testimony.
And most significant--our Director, the Bishop, has verified that they have been faithful to the agency's personal code of moral conduct--that is, the standards listed in For the Strength of Youth (hold up For the Strength of Youth booklet)!
Because they have done all of these things, they have earned our agency's highest honor--the Young Womanhood Recognition! We say to these agents--Congratulations. Now, go forth and serve--not only can you take on more missions, but you can also contribute by helping your fellow agents (referring to all other young women in the ward) successfully complete their missions! (This is your chance to plug the 'Continuing Progress' program on page 64 of the Personal Progress book)
We used the Mission Possible logo (described in the first paragraph) on our printed programs that were handed out at the door that evening. For an e-mailed graphic of this logo, go to the first paragraph of this page and click on e-mail sender.
If you would like an e-mailed copy of what we did for invitations, go to the first paragraph of this page and click on e-mail sender.
Mission Possible New Beginnings Skit Idea by D. Atwood, originally done in Price, Utah 9th Ward.