Give a warm welcome back to a family member or friend returning from LDS missionary work; demonstrate your appreciation for the brave and selfless work he completed while he was away with a special homecoming party. Invite family, friends and members of the community to celebrate with you, or keep the event small and intimate for a quiet but meaningful homecoming celebration.
Tidy and decorate the party space for the homecoming celebration to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for your returning missionary. Place "Welcome Home" signs in the front yard or in a prominent location in the house. Collect a variety of photos pertaining to life before the mission trip to remind the missionary of fond memories with family and friends and display them around the party space. Also consider sharing photos that were sent to you from the missionary while she was away to better inform guests of the mission, as well as display all your loved one's hard work.
As guests arrive, have each one sign a book or piece of mounted banner paper to write words of appreciation and encouragement for the returning missionary. During the party, choose a selection of songs to sing together; these could be religious or serious, or you could do a silly karaoke competition to the tune of songs that have to do with coming home. Another idea is to have everyone stand in a circle for a fireside in which everyone takes a turn to say something they appreciate or missed about the returning missionary while he was gone. Or, consider creating a silly trivia game to give guests a refresher on fun facts about the missionary.
Keep your menu simple to cut down on cooking and prep time, as well as to keep your personal spending low. Make finger food that pays homage to your returning missionary's favorite dishes. For instance, if she is a hamburger fanatic, create a tray of miniature burger sliders for guests to munch on. If your missionary missed a birthday while he was away, have a belated celebration by serving his favorite flavor of birthday cake; adorn the cake with a set of lit candles, and sing happy birthday as you present it to your guest of honor.
Depending on the disposition of your missionary, she may or may not want to speak publicly about her experience. However, encourage him to say a few words about the missionary work he did while he was away. This could simply be to state something she found interesting about the place she went, some of her likes and dislikes about the experience, or a funny story that happened to her while she was away. If your missionary doesn't feel like speaking, respect his wishes and instead ask another family member or a friend to say a few words instead.
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