LDS missionaries live by a very intense and rigorous schedule that begins early each morning and does not stop until late each night. The day usually begins at 6:30 am and does not stop until 10:30 pm. Each day is cram packed with a slew of activities that involve multiple things including meetings, performing service, proselytizing, instructing other missionaries, preparing for meetings and appointments, teaching investigators, personal development, interviews, leadership experiences and in personal and companionship study.
This demanding schedule, day-in and day-out for two years is intense and can take its toll on the missionary and his health. Since the missionaries rigid schedule is not what most young men are used to when they leave for their mission it is very important that they be prepared not only for the spiritual challenges that await them but also the physical challenges that await them. In order to handle the real stressors of mission life it is imperative that all prospective missionaries begin as early as possible in preparation both spiritually and physically.
Complete fitness for missionaries, therefore, is about being both spiritually fit and physically fit. Most missionaries understand the importance of the spiritual fitness and are usually somewhat prepared for the spiritual challenges but what about the often-neglected physical fitness. This component is just as important if not more important because if your body can not withstand the physical challenges you will not be able to withstand the spiritual challenges.
Each of these components – both the spiritual fitness and the physical fitness must be developed through a systematic process of hard work, sacrifice and determination. The spiritual fitness preparation should begin with studying the Gospel and the scriptures, praying, attending seminary and / or institute and serving others on a regular basis. The physical fitness preparation should include daily exercise about 4-6 days a week, a well planned, whole-food based nutrition program and sufficient rest and recovery each and every day.
Neglecting one or both of these components will result in a less than ideal experience once out in the mission field. Poor fitness with any of these two components will make serving an LDS mission more difficult and limit any missionary from reaching his full potential. By exercising and preparing both spiritually and physically a missionary will have the necessary knowledge and strength to share the Gospel message and will have a better chance of maximizing their full potential and magnify their calling as a full-time missionary .