Preparation Day

missionary zone activity on p-day

What is Preparation Day (p-day)?

Preparation day (or P-Day as it is often referred to) is a missionary’s once a week chance to do big shopping trips, get together with other missionaries in the zone, play sports, do laundry, and write letters or emails home to family and friends  Preparation day is the one day a week in which missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints get a break from their regular daily schedule of teaching, studying, and proselytizing.

It is called preparation day because it is designed to help missionaries prepare physically and emotionally for the week ahead. P-day, in my mission, was on Mondays, though the day of the week may vary from mission to mission. Preparation day ends around dinner time (about 6:00 P.M.), after which missionaries are expected to carry on normal proselytizing activities.  At least, those are the p-day instructions outlined in the mission schedule in the missionary handbook; when I got to my mission, I found a slight alteration to that policy. 
rosario argentina mission home fisherton

A Shortened P-Day in My Mission

When I arrived in Argentina, it was late December and in the middle of a long, hot, muggy summer (remember the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere). At the airport to meet us were a couple of the office Elders, and they took me and the other new Elders and Sister missionaries to the mission home located in the Rosario, Argentina suburb of Fisherton. The mission home was big and in a nice area of town and soon we met our mission president and his wife.

The introductory meeting with the mission president lasted an hour or two.  He inspired and uplifted us, shared some scriptures, and reviewed the mission rules, both those in the printed missionary handbook and one specific to the Rosario Mission. One of the mission-specific rules was regarding p-day. In the missionary handbook, it said to use preparation day to see cultural and historical sites in the countries where you serve. The mission president told us that there were not many sites worth seeing in our area, therefore he was cutting p-day short by two hours.  Preparation day would end at 4 o’clock for us, and this would give us a couple of extra hours each week to do missionary work. monumento bandera flag monument rosario argentina

This shortened preparation day was a disappointment to me at first, but I soon realized it wasn’t a big deal. I still had plenty of time to do my shopping, write my letters home, and I even got to play basketball a few times. And though there weren’t a whole lot of cultural or historical sites in the places I served, I did make it to the Argentina Monumento a la Bandera (Flag Monument, pictured to the left).


I hope you future missionaries remember to make good use of your preparation day.  Don’t forget to write a letter or email to your parents every p-day.  By making wise use of your time on this day, you will be better prepared throughout the week to do the work of the Lord.

12 replies
    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Yes, you can write friends. I believe the mission rules encourage you to write parents and close family first. Then, if you have time, you may write to your friends. Most missionaries use email for correspondence, but there may be some missions where email isn’t possible or isn’t allowed. In that case, you’d have to write letters.

  1. Haley
    Haley says:

    My boyfriend is going on his mission and I was wondering if it’s okay to email him? Or is that thought to be distracting?

  2. Cassie
    Cassie says:

    I email my boyfriend:) I just make sure I never complain of him being gone, I always tell him to forget his complaints and serve the Lord:) make sure you encourage him, don’t make him feel guilty for being out there.

    • Brianna Kreisel
      Brianna Kreisel says:

      That’s exactly what I do as well (: it helps your missionary a lot to know that you support and love him while he is gone. Never complain about your time apart and try to restrain from telling him to many of your troubles

  3. Why only one day? Even for Seniors? Not enough time to do very much.
    Why only one day? Even for Seniors? Not enough time to do very much. says:

    Why just one day? Not enough time off. Especially for Senior Missionaries.

    • Ridge Dart
      Ridge Dart says:

      It is plenty when you look at the mission rules and see how much leisure time that really is. Idleness can result in a lot of things, mainly bad things. The mission is devoted to spending time towards the gospel so what would be the point in giving them more than an entire day to have to themselves? I actually have 6 days till I head out and I know the general authorities thought long and hard about parameters the church has set in place. We also have a companion with us throughout our entire mission so things like household chores and plenty of other weekly essentials are fairly simple with what we are given.

  4. Ajemina
    Ajemina says:

    My mission call came about a week ago and I have five months before I leave. It’s going to be my first time leaving my country and continent and although I’m going to spread the gospel I would really love to capture each moment.
    Is it possible for me to bring a small camera and apart from Preparation day can I use my camera not while proselytizing but maybe during lunch breaks to take a couple of photos?
    Thank you

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Bringing a camera is acceptable and encouraged. Most missionaries have a smart phone and use the camera built into that. But if you want to bring a stand-alone camera, you can do that. I hope you have a great mission and take lots of pictures.


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