Note: While the responses below and the video above give the female, sister missionary, perspective, a majority of the advice is equally applicable to the young men and future Elders.
I asked my panel of returned sister missionaries: What is a typical “day in the life” of a sister missionary like?
Argentina Neuquen Mission, Laura Daniels
“It was probably similar to life as an Elder: get up at 6:30, get ready, breakfast, personal study, companionship study, testimonies and out to work at 9:30. We would work till about 1:00 and have lunch with one of the members. Then we worked from 2:00 until 9:30 when we’d go home, eat a snack, write in our journals and go to bed at 10:30. The one major difference for a sister, at least where I was, was that Elders weren’t allowed to teach women that were alone so we got a lot of referrals from them. My last area was the whole city overlapping 3 other areas of Elders and our sole purpose was to teach the women that the Elders couldn’t teach. We were always busy there and didn’t have to knock too many doors because of it. That was definitely a blessing of being a sister missionary. My mission president begged for more good sisters that could teach all the women. They are certainly needed!”
Texas, Houston East Spanish Speaking Mission, JoLynn Hansen
“Get up on time. Companion and personal prayer, eat, get ready for the day, companionship study, personal study of scriptures, language, discussions etc. Review schedule again, pack a lunch, Book of Mormon, and pamphlets. You then have companionship prayer before heading out the door. Go to appointments. Knock doors if appointments aren’t there. Talk to everyone. Get chased by a dog, sweat, laugh, cry, feel the spirit, perform service. Eat when you can. More appointments. Home on time. Eat dinner, go through schedule for the next day, make phone calls, companionship prayer, write in journal, personal prayer, set the alarm, lights out!”
New York Utica Mission, Kristin Wardle Sokol
“Looking back it was a wonderful break from this crazy thing called life. It was a refreshing break. While I was serving, each day was a challenge. Being too cold, working too hard or long, being too hungry or too disappointed or tired. Rejection was also a big part of daily life. I also experienced great joy. But a lot of it was very difficult to endure. I wouldn’t have changed a moment of what I experienced, but sisters should know what really awaits them if the serve. Sometimes I even miss tracting. I never thought I’d say that.”
Montana Billings Mission, Wendi Condie
“We had a daily schedule that we followed, but each day was a little different, depending on what we had planned. In the morning we got up at 6:30, got ready, had breakfast, and had at least an hour of study. We had individual prayer and study, and companionship prayer and study. We were out the door by 9:30am and gone until lunch time. We’d be home for an hour for lunch, and then out again until we had a dinner appointment. We spent an hour in a members home for dinner, and then were out again in the evening for a few hours. As sisters, we were required to be home by 8:30pm. and in bed by 10pm. In the morning hours if we didn’t have teaching appointments, we would do some tracting. In the afternoon we often did service, and spent time searching out to less active and “lost” members. Of course some of this was specific to my mission, and each mission is a little different, but the components are the same. Prepare yourself in the morning, and go out seeking and serving others. Occasionally the Spirit would direct us in a different direction than we had planned, and there was always a reason. Listening to the Spirit is the key! Some days were mentally and physically exhausting, without anything seemingly positive occurring, other days put you on a spiritual high because of a wonderful discussion, or a new contact who was interested.”
Temple Square Visitors Center Mission, Patti Rokus
“A Visitors Center (VC) mission is quite different from a proselyting mission. and I hear the Temple Square mission has changed a lot since I was there. So I’m not sure I have current information. But having visitors and contacts surrounding you is an amazing difference. But not any different if you don’t reach out and engage them. Many sisters just didn’t know how to start up a compelling conversation. So, learning out to talk to strangers would be a great way to prepare for a mission.”
Russia Rostov-na-Dony Mission, Katie Gividen
“Serving in Russia was a different experience all together. I walked everywhere, and covered a huge area. We had meetings every day all day because there were so many women that the Elders would contact that they could not teach. I rarely knocked doors or contacted on the street. There was a lot of reactivation and shadow leadership opportunities. I served in every capacity in all the auxiliaries ex. counselor in the YW, RS, and Primary. They were in need of guidance because the gospel was so new to the area. I am sure that a typical day would be a little different depending on the mission.”
Arizona Tucson Mission, Emily Craghead
“Wake: 6:30 am. Exercise: 6:30-7. Shower/get ready: 7-8. Personal study: 8-9. Companionship study: 9-10. Language study: 10-11. Teach/tract/find, etc: 11-1. Lunch: 1-2. Teach/tract/find, etc: 2-5. Dinner: 5-6. Teach/tract/find, etc: 6-9. We were allowed to be in by 9:30 at the latest if we were teaching a lesson. Plan for the next day: 9. Journals/prepare for bed: 9-9:30 (ish). Bed: 10:30. These are obviously the times of things but i have to say that missionary work is FUN! The spirit, the people, the knowledge you gain from being a missionary is un-like anything I’ve ever felt again. And honestly, I had a blast!”