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Flexibility added for missionary daily schedules


bsjkki

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I thought this was always a thing. Mission Presidents have always been able to alter the rules. Mine shuffled our schedule around a little.

I surprised by this as well.  I went on my mission 25+ years ago.  Most of us had the regular schedule, however there were missionaries that mainly taught students because they were close to a campus.  They had permission to arise and come in later.

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8 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

It will be refreshing to missionaries that might miss out on scenery..culture and some basic enjoyment.  It is time to take some extreme out of missionary work in schedules etc.

Not sure I agree. I know missionaries who tried to maintain a work/life balance and it never seemed to end well.

Not denigrating cultural activities. We did several and often tied them to our duties. Nothing like climbing a hill where they used to execute witches or going to an abandoned castle to hold meetings. :) 

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14 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Not sure I agree. I know missionaries who tried to maintain a work/life balance and it never seemed to end well.

Not denigrating cultural activities. We did several and often tied them to our duties. Nothing like climbing a hill where they used to execute witches or going to an abandoned castle to hold meetings. :) 

Out of rep points, so, +1. ;) 

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I'm puzzled as to why this would be news.

My mission had a different schedule than what the missionary handbook said.

By the end of my mission, We as a companionship had made up our own schedule that was different from what was encouraged by the mission.  

There was, and still is nothing sacred about the particular time of day that things have to be done. 

I always viewed the recommended missionary schedule as sort of a default to give you things to do until you figured things out enough to make your own schedule.  

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14 minutes ago, Danzo said:

I'm puzzled as to why this would be news.

My mission had a different schedule than what the missionary handbook said.

By the end of my mission, We as a companionship had made up our own schedule that was different from what was encouraged by the mission.  

There was, and still is nothing sacred about the particular time of day that things have to be done. 

I always viewed the recommended missionary schedule as sort of a default to give you things to do until you figured things out enough to make your own schedule.  

I think the mission schedule came into existence based on the admonition in the scriptures to be early to bed and early to rise.  But, it seems silly not to take cultural norms into consideration.  I had friends who were serving and it was useless for them to be out as early as they were supposed to be, and it was a disadvantage to be in so early in the evening as well.

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31 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think the mission schedule came into existence based on the admonition in the scriptures to be early to bed and early to rise.  But, it seems silly not to take cultural norms into consideration.  I had friends who were serving and it was useless for them to be out as early as they were supposed to be, and it was a disadvantage to be in so early in the evening as well.

The main problem is getting missionaries to think for themselves. Many at that age have to be told everything they have to do.

When we made our own schedule (P day spread throughout the week instead of one whole day, stay out a little later to teach) the mission president was more than happy.

I have had a bit of a struggle convincing the missionaries to go outside the "rules" (Spanish Elders teaching english, Teaching people outside the ward boundaries, or people who lived outside the mission boundaries).  Each time they asked they were told to go for it.  The biggest trouble has always been getting them stop viewing administrative rules as absolute commandments.

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4 minutes ago, Danzo said:

The main problem is getting missionaries to think for themselves. Many at that age have to be told everything they have to do.

When we made our own schedule (P day spread throughout the week instead of one whole day, stay out a little later to teach) the mission president was more than happy.

I have had a bit of a struggle convincing the missionaries to go outside the "rules" (Spanish Elders teaching english, Teaching people outside the ward boundaries, or people who lived outside the mission boundaries).  Each time they asked they were told to go for it.  The biggest trouble has always been getting them stop viewing administrative rules as absolute commandments.

Part of the issue is that every mission president is different.  Mine was more of a 'spirit of the law' kind of president but i've heard about some that would have lost it had a member been trying to convince the missionaries to go outside the rules.

Even in my mission with my laid back leadership (we were allowed to listen to Enya for goodness sake!), leaving the mission boundaries without express permission from the Pres. was a good way to get an early ticket home!

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I would love for our missionaries to have more flexibility in their dinner schedule.  Right now they have to eat dinner at members' houses at 5pm and my husband is almost never home at that time. So we're told we can deliver it to them.  OK, but then what dishes do I use for that?  Or they can take it away.  I had them eating in their truck last week because my husband wasn't home on time.  They had appetizers in there and then finally came in for dinner.  And if they don't get fed, then the lady who schedules it gives us a guilt trip.

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4 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

I would love for our missionaries to have more flexibility in their dinner schedule.  Right now they have to eat dinner at members' houses at 5pm and my husband is almost never home at that time. So we're told we can deliver it to them.  OK, but then what dishes do I use for that?  Or they can take it away.  I had them eating in their truck last week because my husband wasn't home on time.  They had appetizers in there and then finally came in for dinner.  And if they don't get fed, then the lady who schedules it gives us a guilt trip.

This ward has been the only ward i've lived in where they dictated the time the missionaries must eat dinner.  Every other place it just depended on the member's schedule and what the missionaries had planned that night.

When i was serving, we would eat dinner anywhere between 5-6:30.  I wonder if the change to 5 is a local thing for each of our missions or if it's a new general missionary requirement?

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1 hour ago, MorningStar said:

I would love for our missionaries to have more flexibility in their dinner schedule.  Right now they have to eat dinner at members' houses at 5pm and my husband is almost never home at that time. So we're told we can deliver it to them.  OK, but then what dishes do I use for that?  Or they can take it away.  I had them eating in their truck last week because my husband wasn't home on time.  They had appetizers in there and then finally came in for dinner.  And if they don't get fed, then the lady who schedules it gives us a guilt trip.

LOL!  My mission we were advised to keep the dinner appointments to 1 a week so I don't really have much sympathy for a missionary having to cook dinner for himself.

 (it was more a suggestion than an absolute rule, In Italy, dinner with a guest was a 3 hour affair and after 3 hours of eating, we could barely get ourselves home, much less get any missionary work done)

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

Part of the issue is that every mission president is different.  Mine was more of a 'spirit of the law' kind of president but i've heard about some that would have lost it had a member been trying to convince the missionaries to go outside the rules.

Even in my mission with my laid back leadership (we were allowed to listen to Enya for goodness sake!), leaving the mission boundaries without express permission from the Pres. was a good way to get an early ticket home!

Well, since the mission president isn't my presiding authority, I really wouldn't care if the mission president lost it or not.

However, it has been my experience that Mission presidents are generally reasonable people who are more concerned with bringing people to Christ than enforcing arbitrary rules.

I even told the mission president in our mission a little while back that I wished he would restructure the zones to mix the Spanish missionaries with the English missionaries and he actually did it!

We have an unfortunate situation in our ward in that our area is at the edge of the mission boundaries.   The missionaries can't cross the mission boundaries, but we bring people from outside the mission boundaries to our house for them to teach.

We have so much missionary work going on in our ward that we have to suggest that missionaries  be more flexible just to get the work done.

Sometimes we forget that the missionaries are just kids without much life experience and we need to help them be creative and think outside the box.  

If you are bringing people to Christ, you are following that rules that really count. 

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I think this has always been in place but now it's official sounds like. Our mission we had to be out 930am to 930pm and no going back to the pad for any and I mean any reason, we were cooked alive in the So Cal heat and the rain and everything else-it was a struggle but I did it somehow! We used to have these "push weeks" and "push months" which meant being out even more, some missionaries pulled 100 hour weeks, that wasn't me mind you. Once we saw a very pregnant lady who looked in distress and we asked if she needed help and she asked if we could drive her home and we were like well.............sure, thinking she lived nearby. She didn't. She lived like 10 miles outside of the mission but you can't leave her so we drove her home. I still remember the drive back, my comp. and I never said one thing to each other and never spoke about it and I never felt bad about it. I never said anything to the Mission President or the Zls. I like the idea of flexibility, if you trust the missionaries enough with XYZ then why not with how they spend their time as counseled by their Mission President?

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6 hours ago, Danzo said:

LOL!  My mission we were advised to keep the dinner appointments to 1 a week so I don't really have much sympathy for a missionary having to cook dinner for himself.

 (it was more a suggestion than an absolute rule, In Italy, dinner with a guest was a 3 hour affair and after 3 hours of eating, we could barely get ourselves home, much less get any missionary work done)

The best was when my kids were all little and once again, my husband had some emergency at work and I couldn't get anyone to come over and eat with us, so I had them go on the back porch.  It was SO hot outside and the sun was beating on them, so I brought them a pitcher of water.  I opened the back door so we could talk and then one of them had to go to the bathroom.  I said, "Everybody outside so the missionaries can come inside to pee!"  Had to take a child out of the highchair.  Because nothing puts me in the mood for seducing 19yo boys like having three toddlers! 

I want to go to dinner in Italy!  That sounds awesome.  Without toddlers though.

Edited by MorningStar
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  • 2 weeks later...
On Friday, January 27, 2017 at 0:35 PM, Danzo said:

The main problem is getting missionaries to think for themselves. Many at that age have to be told everything they have to do.

When we made our own schedule (P day spread throughout the week instead of one whole day, stay out a little later to teach) the mission president was more than happy.

I have had a bit of a struggle convincing the missionaries to go outside the "rules" (Spanish Elders teaching english, Teaching people outside the ward boundaries, or people who lived outside the mission boundaries).  Each time they asked they were told to go for it.  The biggest trouble has always been getting them stop viewing administrative rules as absolute commandments.

Each time I purposely disobeyed rules on my own I found a reason to obey them. I would no problem asking my president for permission. I wouldn't feel guilty if a good discussion went over bt 5 or 10 minutes, but I would have and still would have a problem with going against the rules. They are not commandments, which is why I would feel comfortable asking permission, but there are reasons, which young people may not see, for the rules. 

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On Friday, January 27, 2017 at 1:16 PM, MorningStar said:

I would love for our missionaries to have more flexibility in their dinner schedule.  Right now they have to eat dinner at members' houses at 5pm and my husband is almost never home at that time. So we're told we can deliver it to them.  OK, but then what dishes do I use for that?  Or they can take it away.  I had them eating in their truck last week because my husband wasn't home on time.  They had appetizers in there and then finally came in for dinner.  And if they don't get fed, then the lady who schedules it gives us a guilt trip.

I understand the timing problem. I have the same problem myself even while I understand why it is.  

The dishes? That I can help with. Start saving cottage cheese/sour cream/yogurt etc. cups/tubs. Different sizes. I've even put food in zip lock bags. Or buying cheap aluminum disposable pans when they are on sale. Good not just for missionaries, but anyone you take a meal to.

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On Friday, January 27, 2017 at 1:22 PM, bluebell said:

This ward has been the only ward i've lived in where they dictated the time the missionaries must eat dinner.  Every other place it just depended on the member's schedule and what the missionaries had planned that night.

When i was serving, we would eat dinner anywhere between 5-6:30.  I wonder if the change to 5 is a local thing for each of our missions or if it's a new general missionary requirement?

My understanding of it was that it was a general requirement. Not new though. It started at least 10-20 years ago. I remember being put in charge of finding homes when it changed and where I lived at the time. I do know though that how it is followed has varied in the stakes I have lived in or heard about even when the missions said 5. 

When we had sister missionaries here they worked about half their days in the visitor's center so that sometimes changed their times. If they worked in the morning the meal was at your house at 5. If they worked in the evening it needed to be given to them before they went or taken to the center before they ate.  Sometimes their shift started at 5 and sometimes 6 so while that usually didn't affect the member, the missionaries were eating at different times -they staggered.  

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On 1/27/2017 at 3:51 PM, bsjkki said:

My mission no longer requires the husband to be home but I'm not sure if that is church wide and if that is only if you have others home with you too. It's a good change--my husband has always worked late.

Our area changes the rules all the time.  We have never had the "husband doesn't need to be home" rule.  So as a youngish widow, I can only have the sisters over.  

But we have both sisters and elders.  Sometimes families are allowed to feed both and sometimes not.   Sometimes they are allowed to go outside their specific small area for meals (like to me since I can't have elders) and sometimes not.  

They change the rules often enough that I am never sure if when I sign up I am allowed to have the sisters or not.

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