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.
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.
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.