SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a change Wednesday regarding the daily schedules of full-time missionaries.
LDS missionaries serving around the world can now work with their mission presidents to customize their schedules for safety, cultural, health and productivity needs, according to an official news release from LDS Church officials.
“The most significant change in the schedule is to give the missionaries and also mission presidents the latitude to make the necessary decisions and adjustments in the daily work of the missionary,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said.
There are currently more than 71,000 missionaries serving in 422 missions worldwide, according to LDS Church officials.
Typically, the full-time missionaries wake up at 6:30 a.m. to exercise, shower, eat breakfast and study before going out to proselytize for the day. They then return to their living quarters by 9 p.m. each night.
The new change will allow mission presidents to introduce more flexibility to those hours depending on the culture of the country where the missionaries are serving, the statement said. For example, full-time missionaries serving in Latin America may need to leave from and return to where they live later, whereas the culture in some African countries may require missionaries to leave and return to their apartments earlier.
“I think one other thing that’s intriguing about this is that this is a worldwide Church and one size doesn’t fit all,” Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in the news release. “So to be able to make that adjustment in areas and missions I think is very significant.”
Mission presidents will also be able to give their missionaries more flexibility in their weekly preparation days. On these days, missionaries will have more time for laundry, shopping, communicating with family and the mission president, exercising and participating in recreational activities, the release said.