Mormon missionaries are expected to work hard, be obedient, and keep a strict schedule. As I have discussed previously, 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 will keep you safe and blessed. Abiding by the schedule will 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 – 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 ciesta.
Even when it is hot, or snowy, or rainy, or cold, it is important for missionaries to keep this schedule. As you do so, the Lord will bless you, 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).
It is important to be out of your apartment, meeting people, and sharing your testimony at the most opportune times. If it is mid-morning, 10:30-ish, and you are still in your apartment, then you are not where you are supposed to be. But if, at that time, you are knocking doors, meeting people, and sharing your testimony, then the Lord will bless your efforts and help you find people he has chosen to hear the message.
If you have been lingering at a member’s home after a dinner appointment and you have been there for over an hour, then you are not keeping the missionary schedule. If, rather, you keep your dinner appointment to under an hour, thank the members for their hospitality, and get on your way to your next teaching appointment, then you are working hard and being obedient and the Lord will bless you and you will be a better instrument in His hands.
Finding Juan Carlos Lopez by Keeping the Schedule
I know that had I not been obedient to the missionary daily schedule then 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 you are obedient to the mission rules you are asked to live by, including the daily schedule, you will have the Spirit in greater measure. You will be guided by God and be more successful in your missionary labors.