When our ward merged with another ward, we were all left not knowing a TON of people. My committee decided that a get-to-know you activity was much needed. Our activity was in February, and so I thought a soup bar would be a fun thing to tie into the activity. Here are the cute invitations I made….
I printed them out and handed them out individually to sisters as they walked into Sacrament Meeting a couple weeks before. Giving each sister a personal invitation helps our turn-out at activities a LOT! I highly recommend it 🙂
I started out the evening by giving a little talk about the importance of sisterhood. I shared the story of Ruth and Naomi, and how their sisterhood enriched one another’s lives. Here is the spiel that I gave (I pulled a lot of my ideas for the talk from this blog):
President Boyd K. Packer gave a really impressive promise to all of those who are part of relief society:
“This great circle of sisters will be a protection for each of you and for your families. The Relief Society might be likened to a refuge – the place of safety and protection – the sanctuary of ancient times. You will be safe within it. It encircles each sister like a protecting wall.” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 81)
That is a really incredible assurance that Relief Society offers to us. We have many inspired women surrounding us who are ready to act.
Ruth is a woman who Heavenly Father included in the scriptures for us all to study in depth. What is it about her that we are to understand and become?
Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi. Naomi and her husband and two sons left their home of Bethlehem into the country of Moab which is east of the Dead Sea. At some point Naomi’s husband died and she was left in the care of her two sons who then married and lived in Moab for ten years.
We do not know how, but both of those sons also died. Imagine the grief of a mother who lost her husband and two sons. Not only must she grieve their loss, but she must also wonder how she can survive and get by. She is a widow during a famine. She is truly destitute.
Naomi decides to Bethlehem and tells her daughter-in-laws (Orpah and Ruth) to return to their mothers in Moab. Even though Naomi told her to return to Moab, Ruth knew that wasn’t what Naomi really needed, she needed help– so she stayed with her.
In order to get by, Ruth “gleans” in the fields of Boaz, which means she would go gather pieces of corn that the workers had dropped and left behind – something only the extremely poor would do. Ruth recognized the true needs of Naomi, and then she acted on it – even when it was hard and inconvenient. Ruth had the charity to offer Naomi exactly what she needed – at all costs.
Everyone one of us will have Naomi moments in our life. We will have times when we need true service from others, we will need a Ruth. We will need her to discern our needs and act on them, even when we are saying to “go back to Moab” – because we, like Naomi, don’t want others to be inconvenienced or disturbed because of our trying times.
We will also have many times when we need to be a Ruth. Where we need to learn how to discern other’s needs and then gain the glorious gift of really knowing how to serve that person – how to give them what they really need. And then we need the gift of acting on it until it is finished. Those are three separate things: 1- discerning the need, 2- knowing what to do for them, and 3- acting on it through its completion.
Discerning requires having our eyes and hearts open to our sisters around us. “First Observe, then Serve!” This is mortality-we know everyone experiences trials.
In many parts of the world, women gather together near a water source to scrub their clothes and do laundry. This is similar to the women in the scriptures gathering at the well. These places of laundry and these wells are more than just places where water is available. They are places of healing, of hope, of help. Places where women gather and lean on each other, laugh with one another, and weep together. This is where people learned of others, what was happening, and who may need help.
Here, we have indoor plumbing with water supplied directly to our houses. But that does not change the deeply rooted characteristic of women: that women need each other.
Although we no longer have a well to go to, we have been blessed with a Relief Society. In Relief Society, we can learn about one another and how to help each other. As we get to know our Sisters, we will learn how to be like Ruth and meaningfully serve others.
Afterwards, we did some get-to-know-you games. Here is a printable get-to-know-you game that the sisters went around and filled out. They really liked this.
The get-to-know-you games that I found online (I can’t remember where, or I’d cite them!) that we considered using are:
Ooga Booga: Have all company members stand in a circle with their arms around each other’s shoulders. All participants will look down at the ground and say, “Ooga Booga, Ooga Booga, Ooga Booga, look!” and look up at another person in the circle on the word “look”. If two participants look each other in the eye, they will leave the group and talk to each other. Repeat the game until two to three people are remaining. Make it fun by giving the participants a fun topic to talk about. For example: “Talk about your favorite music/ice cream flavor/vacation.”
Do I Know You? Begin by numbering the company off by ones and twos. Have all ones create a circle, and have all twos stand in the middle of the circle. Have all twos find out a fact about another number two. Then each two will find a number one and tell each other the fact about the other number two. Ones will then go around the circle and try to find the person whom the fact is about by saying, “Do I know you? You like to read/are a twin,” etc. When all ones have found the person they are looking for, play another round. Remind them to ask and remember names.
Two Truths and a Lie: In groups of three to eight (depending on how much time you want to devote to this exercise), have individuals take turns making three statements about themselves—two that are true and one that is not. After an individual makes three statements, the other youth in the group discuss among themselves which statements seem most plausible and which one is most likely to be the “lie.” After giving the group time to talk about their decisions, the individual who made the statements not only tells which one is not true but also provides a bit more background about the truths.
Near the end of our activity, we opened up the food! For our soup bar, I made a huge batch of potato soup (yummy, but also cost efficient). One of my committee members made chicken noodle soup with gluten-free noodles. And I also made about 70 Rhodes rolls and a couple batches of chocolate chip cookies. Delicious, feel good food!