Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to work hard, be obedient, and keep a strict schedule. Following the missionary’s daily schedule as prescribed in the Missionary Handbook is an important aspect of being in the right place at the right time. This schedule is a major part of mission rules and obeying these rules as a missionary will keep you safe and blessed. Abiding by the schedule will also help you to do the things you are supposed to do at the times you are supposed to do them. Here’s a quick overview of the daily routine:
- 6:30 a.m. Wake up, pray, exercise, and do other preparation for the day.
- 7:30 a.m. Breakfast.
- 8:00 a.m. Personal study: the Book of Mormon, other scriptures, chapters from Preach My Gospel, etc. with an emphasis on the doctrines of the missionary lessons.
- 9:00 a.m. Companion study: share what you have learned during personal study, prepare to teach, and confirm plans for the day.
- 10:00 a.m. Language study for 30 to 60 minutes, if necessary and approved by your mission president.
- 10:00 a.m. Begin proselyting: teaching appointments, finding people to teach, open your mouth, etc.
- Lunch and Dinner: You may take an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner at times that fit best with proselyting. Normally, dinner should be finished no later than 6:00 p.m.
- 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. Return to the apartment and plan the next day’s activities. Write in journal, prepare for bed, pray.
- 10:30 p.m. Go to bed.
- This schedule may vary a little in some countries and missions. For example, in the Rosario Argentina mission, where I served from 1995 to 1997, we were expected to be out proselytizing by 9am and we had our companionship study after lunch when the rest of the country was taking a siesta (nap).
Schedule Modifications on P-Day and in the MTC
Missionaries are expected to follow this schedule every day, except on preparation day (P-Day), which has some minor variations. On p-day, missionaries get up at the usual time, get ready, and do their personal and companionship study, but then, rather than going out to teach and proselytize, they use the day to do laundry, go shopping, write letters to family and friends, and perhaps have some recreational activities. P-day ends around dinner time (6:00 P.M.), after which missionaries are expected to carry out their normal proselytizing schedule.
When in the Missionary Training Center (MTC), missionaries also follow this same basic schedule, with some variations. Wake up and bed time are the same, and missionaries are expected to spend the prescribed amount of time in personal and companionship study. But instead of proselyting in the morning, afternoon, and evening, MTC missionaries, including Home MTC missionaries, are in classes where they learn the gospel of Jesus Christ, how to find people to teach, how to teach the gospel to others, and how to speak a foreign language, if applicable.
The Importance of Following the Missionary Schedule
It is important for missionaries to be out of their apartment, meeting people, and sharing their testimony at the most opportune times. If it is mid-morning, 10:30-ish, and missionaries are still in their apartment, then they are not where you are supposed to be. But if, at that time, they are knocking doors, meeting people, and sharing their testimony, then the Lord will bless their efforts and help them find people he has chosen to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Even when it is hot, or snowy, or rainy, or cold, it is important for missionaries to keep this schedule. As missionaries do so, the Lord will bless them, for God “doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you” (Mosiah 2:24).
If missionaries linger at a member’s home after a dinner appointment and have been there for long past the prescribed hour, then they are not keeping the missionary schedule. If, rather, missionaries keep their dinner appointments brief, thank the members for their hospitality, and get on their way to your next teaching appointment, then they are working hard and being obedient and the Lord will bless them to be a better instrument in His hands.
Finding Juan Carlos Lopez by Keeping the Schedule
Had I not been obedient to the missionary daily schedule, I would have missed out on many opportunities to meet families and eventually see them join the true Church of Jesus Christ. Once, when I had just been transferred, I arrived in my new area around 8:30 in the morning. It would have been easy to justify lingering longer in the apartment to unpack my suitcases, but by 9am we knew we were supposed to be out working, so we hit the pavement. It just so happened that within minutes of leaving the apartment, my companion and I first met Juan Carlos Lopez, who eventually got baptized. Had we chosen to disobey the rules and not keep the missionary schedule, then we may never had met Juan Carlos.
As missionaries are obedient to the mission rules, including the daily schedule, they will have the Spirit in greater measure. They will be guided by God and be more successful in their important labors.