Photo courtesy of Steven Thrap
What is their schedule like? What do they do all day? What are they eating? Let’s face it. Sometimes missionaries’ emails can be a little lacking in detail.
Whether you're sending a missionary to the MTC, or you already have one there, check out what they're up to while in the MTC. (Note: every missionary’s schedule varies according to classes and language training they need.)
Here’s what you (and your missionary) can expect as daily life in the MTC.
6:30 a.m. – Arise and Prepare: missionaries wake up, get dressed, and head down to the cafeteria.
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast: missionaries get half an hour to eat the most important meal of the day. Depending on the country the MTC is in, they could eat anything from cold cereal, bacon, and eggs to rice, beans, and sausage.
7:35 a.m. – Gym Time: missionaries generally take 30 minutes a day to get their heart rates going keep them in good health. This time at the gym can actually fall anywhere in a missionary’s schedule depending on the facilities and the number of missionaries at the MTC.
8:25 a.m. – Prepare: missionaries shower and change to get ready for the rest of the day.
9:00 a.m. – Classroom Instruction: missionaries are instructed by teachers in both language and doctrine. They are separated into districts according to their mission language and their specific assignments. Their teachers are usually returned missionaries from the same mission your missionary is headed to, or from another mission that speaks the same language. For example, an MTC teacher may have served in Guatemala but be assigned to teach missionaries headed to Mexico. Missionaries generally have 2-3 teachers over their district with each teacher rotating in 3-4 hour shifts.
11:55 a.m. – Lunch: missionaries head back to the cafeteria for their next meal. MTC's are well-known for having a lot of good food, and it’s all buffet style. For example the Provo MTC has everything from healthy wraps to Chinese food to ice cream.
12:45 p.m. – Zone Teaching: teachers from the missionaries’ MTC zone come in to help the district teacher. During this time, more missionaries are helped on an individual basis with their specific concerns and questions.
1:45 p.m. – Personal Study: missionaries are given an hour to delve into the scriptures and other approved materials on their own. This is a good habit that missionaries should master in the MTC since it will be a part of their daily schedule for the rest of their missions.
2:45 p.m. – Companionship Study: companions spend an hour discussing what they’ve studied and other missionary topics. This is when missionaries will discuss investigators’ concerns and the topics they’re planning on teaching that day.
3:45 p.m. – Doctrinal Study Time: missionaries are taught the basic lessons (Restoration, Plan of Salvation, the Gospel, etc.) early on in their stay at the MTC.
4:30 p.m. – Dinner: missionaries head back to the cafeteria anytime between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. for the last meal of the day. Once in the mission field, missionaries are encouraged to eat dinner around 5:00 p.m. so that they can focus their evenings on teaching lessons. However, due to cultural norms, that time may change based on their mission.
5:15 p.m. – Classroom Instruction: missionaries spend more time with their districts as their teachers instruct them.
8:15 p.m. – Doctrinal Study Time: missionaries continue to learn the basic Preach My Gospel lessons (Restoration, Plan of Salvation, the Gospel, etc.).
9:00 p.m. – Daily Planning Session: companions plan out the next day of events and discuss what they will be studying. This is another habit that missionaries will carry over into the mission field. Planning the next day is essential.
9:30 p.m. – Personal Time: missionaries get ready for bed, chat with fellow missionaries, and have time for journal writing or other personal pursuits. But missionaries are only allowed to write family members letters on P-days (preparation days).
10:15 p.m. – Quiet Time: all goes quiet in the MTC as missionaries start to pile into bed after a long day of learning.
10:30 p.m. – Sleep/Companionship Prayer: missionaries pray and go to bed.
*There are also occasional devotionals and larger group meetings where missionaries are instructed by Church leaders. Certain times of this schedule may change according to the needs of the MTC, but this is the general outline of what your missionary can expect!