Dear Elders and Sisters,
While preparing a talk recently, I read a conference address by Elder Richard G. Scott in which he mentioned the concept of an ideal family. He described what an ideal family might be like and acknowledged that although no family is perfect, many blessings would come as we strive to live as close as possible to the ideal situation. As I pondered this, an idea occurred to me that I will call the “ideal day” for a full-time missionary. I will try to describe for you what an ideal day might be, if I were to join you and your companion for a day!
It would start with getting up on time, or maybe a little bit early. It would include some good exercise, unless it happened to be Sunday:) We would then shower quickly and eat a healthy breakfast. An ideal day would definitely include a good personal study that began on time and took place sitting at our desks (never on or in bed). We would follow with companion study that included strengthening each other and feeling the Spirit together. It might also include preparing together for specific appointments, member visits, finding opportunities, and other activities. Personal and companion study is the time that we put on the whole armor of God each day so that we can go out “in the strength of the Lord” (Mosiah 9:17). Without this good preparation, we are just going out as ordinary young men or young women. Preparation makes all the difference!
We would leave to go out at exactly 10:30am on an ideal day (unless we were in training). Our day would be filled with meaningful activities that would always be centered around bringing souls unto Christ. We would talk with as many people as possible each day. We would try to make effective use of every minute throughout the day. We would always be busy, either teaching lessons or finding new people to add to our pool of investigators. To have an ideal day, we would follow our plan as closely as possible, and follow our backup plan if something fell through. We would strictly avoid hanging out at the chapel or with members. We would work in our primary area, as close as possible to our chapel, so that people would be more likely to accept our invitation to attend church with us. Our lessons would last 45 minutes (or less) and we would finish dinner by 6pm in order to use the prime hours between 6 and 9 pm as wisely as possible.
In order to have a day suan as ideal, we would work diligently until just before 9pm. If, for example, we had a missionary coordination meeting that ended at 8:20pm, we would go out and engage in a finding activity, rather than stay at the chapel and chat with members. To be ideal, we would be home at nine and have prayer to begin our daily planning session right on time. We would use all thirteen steps to plan by the Spirit so that we could have an ideal day tomorrow.
I know that it is impossible for every day to be an ideal day. But I think there is great value in doing what we CAN, through obedience and faith in the Lord, to consistently draw as close as we possibly can each day. We CAN avoid distractions that would divert us from our missionary purpose. We CAN account to the Lord daily and look for ways to improve. We CAN be focused and persistent. We CAN be patient with ourselves and our companions, and strive to be worthy of the Spirit to guide us at all times. We CAN be positive in the face of setbacks or disappointments and always try to lift and inspire those around us. I promise that drawing as close as we possibly CAN to the ideal day will bring us much happiness, great satisfaction and impressive growth as we labor with the Master for this last time in His vineyard.
Mentor of Champions