Deciding to Go on a Mission and Filling Out the Application – Interview with Hannah Smith – Podcast Episode 16

This video is an interview with Hannah Smith, a young woman in the process of submitting her application to be a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hannah talks about what made her decide to serve a mission and gives information about the process of filling out the paper work and the online mission recommendation system. The transcript of the interview can be found below and an audio version can be found at the bottom of this post as it comprises Episode 16 of the Latter-day Saint Mission Prep podcast.

Jimmy Smith:
Hello and welcome to our latest episode of the Latter-day Saint Mission Prep podcast. My name is Jimmy Smith. I’m the founder of the Latter-day Saint Mission Prep website and podcast, and I’m pleased to have with me today, my daughter Hannah Smith who is on the on the call or on the on the video call with me if you’re watching this on video podcasts, you’ll hear the audio.

Hannah is my daughter and she’s here today to talk about her decision to serve a mission and the process she’s gone through in applying for a mission. She’s in the middle of that process right now. Hannah is a freshman at BYU (Brigham Young University). She recently turned 19. She’s been working on her mission application with her BYU Bishop for the last couple of months.

We’re recording this in January of 2022, and she has scheduled her final interview with her Bishop and stake president, and that’ll happen in about a month, and then she’ll get her mission papers turned in. So welcome to the podcast Hannah. Thanks for being with us today. Is there anything else you’d like to say about yourself by way of introduction?

Hannah Smith:
I don’t think so. Thanks for having me.

Jimmy Smith:
Alright. Thanks for thanks for being with me today and I appreciate it all right. I think, what you’re going to have to say and what we’re going to say to the audience today is going to be interesting and beneficial for a lot of missionaries. The process you’ve gone through with applying for your mission, it can be long and complex and as I’ve run the Latter-day Saint Mission Prep website for the past 12 years, that is one of the biggest areas of questions and concerns people have is about this application process, so you’re really going to be helping a lot of people by just telling them what you went through, what your experience has been. And so that they can help maybe avoid some pitfalls as they go through this process.

So the first thing I want to talk about before we talk about the application process is how you decided to serve a mission. Obviously in the church, young men have an expectation to serve a mission as part of their priesthood duties. Every church president in my lifetime has said that all worthy enable young men should prepare to serve a mission. Young women have also been invited and welcomed in serving a mission, but there’s not that same expectation for young women like yourself. So if you could, let’s start out by talking about your desire to serve our mission, why you want to go? What made you decide to serve a mission?

Hannah Smith:
Well so, I guess the main thing that like made me decide to want to serve a mission, I was just I was like I don’t know. I was thinking about it a lot and like oh it’s like this could be an option for me. And like the more I thought about it I was like wow like putting aside like a whole year and a half, so like just serving the Lord and serving other people and like you know, being able to grow your testimony. I was like that. Seems like a really cool opportunity and like it seems like a really good thing. And so that’s kind of where like started.

There was a point. I think it was like during my senior year in high school. There was a girl in our ward that came home from her mission and she like gave her homecoming talk and they had her give like a little fireside. Like after she got home. Just like telling about like her mission experience and like they like allowed the youth to ask questions and stuff door and I think just like a lot of the things she said about going on a mission like. I don’t know, it just like it sounded really exciting to me, like even if it was like partially like, oh wow, that sounds like a really like cool adventure like, you know going and just putting yourself out there and teaching the gospel for 18 months. It just sounded like she really enjoyed it and that it, like, really helped her grow her testimony.

And so I was like, thought it was just really inspiring to me to, like, hear all of that and then also like just talking to like one of my friends who’s preparing to serve mission and like his reasons why you want to go. That really helped me figure it out and then also prayer and scripture study, but I never had like a really big like moment where I was like. Yes, I want to serve. I was just like little things and I just felt like it was the right thing whenever I thought about it, I was like oh, should I go. I just felt like a good feeling. So do you can’t go wrong with good feelings.

Jimmy Smith:
Well, it sounds like the Spirit of God has moved upon you in many ways. You said it was on your mind a lot, and I think that’s a sign of the spirit. Uh, yeah, you talked about the good feelings you had the, as you’ve heard other missionaries come home and talk to other missionaries were preparing to go, it’s just it felt good. It felt right, and I think all these things you’ve said indicate the Spirit of the Lord working upon you so. So that’s good.

I was just, you know, as your parent, I’ve personally tried not to like…I didn’t want to Make it appear that that we wanted you to go on a mission. I mean, I’m we do want you to go on a mission but we didn’t want to make it appear like you had to go on a mission because your dad runs a mission prep website. So hopefully that’s not the case, because, like honestly, until your senior year of high school, I didn’t even think you were seriously considering a mission. Obviously you grew up in the church, you knew it was an option, but we did. Parents didn’t pressure you, but so I was kind of surprised at some point in your senior year, you’re all of a sudden talking about a mission. It was a pleasant surprise and we’re glad to hear it.

But anyway, it does sound like you’ve been trying to follow the Spirit, which is like I feel like exactly what all of us should be doing.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah, I also want to add, just because it came to my mind, before I came to BYU, I was like I wanted like decide if I want to go on a mission before I come to BYU because I was like I think once I get up there, the people I meet like and talk to him become friends with I’d like know how influential that can be. So I wanted to like decide for myself without any like extra influence before I came up here and it actually like worked out pretty well because like I decided I want to go and then I’ve been able to meet like a lot of my roommates like decide to serve missions too, and so it’s been really cool. Like talked to them and then, you know, talked to people who’ve come home from their missions, and like just every time they talk about it, it’s like they get so hyped and excited. And then like I think about it, and I get so excited and like this. This is the coolest thing, sort of mission so.

Jimmy Smith:
It is cool and you’re going to love it. It’s hard to obviously missions are hard work, and they’re difficult and they can be trying, spiritually, physically, emotionally, you name it.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Uh, they’re not easy, but you know, uh, Intellectually look back on my mission, which was 25 years ago now and I remember that there were those hard times, but I really have to kind of think about it to remember those hard times. You know you’ve heard me talk about my mission, I loved it and most of the feelings and remembrances I have for my mission is nothing but positive and good.

So anyway, you’re going to have a great experience. Alright, let’s move on. Let’s see what my next question is. What have you done to prepare yourself for mission?

Hannah Smith:
Honestly, I think the biggest thing is like trying to change my mindset. I’ve been trying to like do better at my daily prayers and like Scripture study just because I know that’s like a really important thing. I mean, just in general, but like on a mission, that’s like a huge thing like you have hours of study every day and like being in tune with the spirit is really important. So I’ve been trying to, I guess do better at that.

Jimmy Smith:
Right, so Scripture study and prayer. You’ve also when your senior in high school here in our local stake in Texas, you took a class.

Hannah Smith:
Oh yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Uh, which I think helped you, Right.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah, so I took a class they called it Hope of Israel. And it was basically like mission and college prep combined, like our stake just offered it up. But yeah, that was kind of helpful to. I don’t know, just I guess get more like perspective from other people on. Like what serving a mission entails and like kind of it was more of like. The physical preparations I felt like for a lot of it, and if they did talk about like this spiritual side too but like. Just like preparing to live on your own, I think was a big part of that preparation.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
And I guess in that case then part of my preparation to serve mission was coming to college because.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
Uh, my was like, well, I guess if I can live on my own at college and I can do it on mission so.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah, I think that’s a big deal. It’s having a long term away from home experience, but you know, not like a year and a half or two years, that of a mission like a college experience or some other kind of, you know, a few months away from home, I think is great experience just for learning to live on your own, because if going on a mission is the first time in your life you’ve lived away from home, away from mom and dad for a long period of time that that adjustment can be a lot harder.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
So, you did the Hope of Israel class, which was kind of mission prep in our stake as well. You and I and your other brother, Abe the younger brother Abe, went through the church’s mission prep courses like 15 lessons. So I know you’ve done that and did you sign up for a mission prep class through BYU or through your BYU ward or stake?

Hannah Smith:
Yes, so uh I signed up through BYU, so it’s like one of my classes. It’s a missionary prep, so I just started at the start of the semester. Was like 3 days ago so. Yeah so I think I think it’s going to be really good class, though it seems like they really focus on like, my reading like Preach my Gospel and like working through that. And then we also like, uh, required to do like a Book of Mormon, like journal, and we’re supposed to read it like 30 minutes every day. And like report back on that. So I think that’ll be good preparation, even if like.

People listening if you don’t have the opportunity to do that, I think reading preach my gospel and like getting familiar with it and then like getting in a better habit of like Scripture study. I think that’s going to be really beneficial. Just because that’s something I wanted to do anyways and so it’s kind of nice that I have a class that I have to do it for, but yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Then you get credit for college credit for it?

Hannah Smith:
I get a credit. I get religion credit so there you go. So yeah, I’m super excited for that class.

Jimmy Smith:
Cool. So you’re hoping to leave on your mission this summer, so it like I said, we’re recording this January of 2022. You’re hoping in early February to submit your mission papers, and you hope you get your call to go this summer. You know, June is your hope.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Uh, we we know summer is a busy time for a lot of people want to go in there mission so.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
So what are you going to do over the next four, five, six months until you go to continue to prepare for your missing anything else? I mean, I guess the things we’ve talked about you’re going to take your BYU class. You’ll keep you know, Scripture, study and prayer anything else?

Hannah Smith:
I’m planning on taking Temple Prep from my stake.

Jimmy Smith:
Oh, right.

Hannah Smith:
Because you have to go to the temple, get your endowments out for you on a mission so uhm yeah, I guess that’s one thing is. I’m taking Temple Prep and I’m trying to like do a bit of study on my own to prepare to go to the temple, and then I’m hoping and once I do that, I’ll be able to go to the temple a couple times up here before I leave on my mission. So I think that’ll be good preparation. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, uh, I think it was Elder Bednar who said that we should make going to the temple and receiving your own endowment there as big a highlight as your mission and mission call. Because obviously the temple is so important for your eternal covenants and eternal life and salvation.

Let’s see, what would your advice be to other young women who aren’t sure if they should go on a mission or not? Any thoughts on that subject? because I know there’s a lot of young women out there who you know they don’t have to go, but they can go and they’re not sure if they should any. Any thoughts of what they should consider and making that decision?

Hannah Smith:
Oh man. I’m trying to think of like what I’ve told my some of my roommates because my like room roommate she, she’s pretty young like she’s still almost has like another year before she could leave on a mission. But anyway, so she’s like, been, you know, trying to think about if she wants to serve a mission or not. And I think what can be hard is like there can feel like there’s a lot of peer pressure.

Depending on like who you’re surrounded by, I think for her it was. It’s been a little more pressure because. Uhm, like almost all of like our roommates last semester, like all but her were like pretty like set on going on a mission and so I think it was hard because like people would like come up to us and be like hey like are you?

Like oh, you have your mission call and you put in your papers and then I’d be like, yeah, and I’m like playing on putting in my papers and then they’d like get to her and they’d be like, oh like, are you going in Russian? She’s like I don’t know yet and I think it like seems like a lot of pressure.

Jimmy Smith:
Uh-huh

Hannah Smith:
To go and I’m sure it could be the other way around too. Like if you just had a bunch of friends that weren’t going and you like wanted to, then that could seem like kind of weird because maybe you would feel like you’re missing out on something. I think. Either way, there’s like this sort of like fear of missing out, which I think is a big thing for my generation, especially like we all have this kind of like fear of missing out on something.

Jimmy Smith:
yeah.

Hannah Smith:
Uh, which is actually something I’ve been thinking about, but that’s I mean, that’s different conversation anyways. So I guess my advice would be try not to let like peer pressure like what other people are doing like super affect you. I think like for me that was doing.

Like the way for me to do that was to decide before I came to you, because I knew there would be that pressure. So I guess just thinking about like maybe what your goals are in life. I like your long term goals and then when you’re like thinking about a mission, maybe like reading, you know your scriptures like thinking about.

Like other missionaries think like, is that something that is going to help me like reach my goals in life and I think also like reading your patriarchal blessing and I know like my patriarchal blessing doesn’t say “You will go on mission,” but like there’s part of it that I like kind of interpreted as like, I mean, for me, like interpreted it this way. I was like it said that you have the potential to be a really good teacher and so for me I was like I know there’s like so many ways that can apply, but I was like, Oh well, if that means that maybe I could be like a good missionary. Like really good missionary then like why would I not at least like go out and try doing that? And throughout my life I’m sure I’ll try other ways of applying that, but yeah, so I think.

Studying like on your own time, trying to ignore peer pressure and just like listen to the spirit. I’m thinking about like your long term goals and it will help you meet it and then like reading your patriarchal blessing.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah, great no. That’s all wonderful. Thanks for remembering about your patriarchal blessing. So yeah, for those young women out there who are thinking about. And if you haven’t had your patriarchal blessing yet, well, talk to your Bishop and see if see about getting your patriarchal blessing. That is something that can certainly help you in deciding your course in life and whether or mission is in that or not.

Cool, so OK. Now let’s transition to some of the steps and processes you’ve gone through for a for applying for admission.

Again, we are talking to Hannah Smith. She’s a young woman preparing to go on a mission. She’s she happens to be my daughter. I’m Jimmy Smith on the host of the Latter-day Saint Mission Prep podcast and website. And so Hannah, like you said at the beginning, you have been working with your BYU Bishop and you’ve been on the church’s website and you’ve been going through the application process. So let’s talk about that.

So once you decided that you wanted to apply for a mission, one of the first things you had to consider was when you would go, right? We talked about that a little, but you know, you could have decided to go before college, or you could have gone after your first semester. You’ve decided to try and go after your first two semesters, after first year at college. So what factors did you consider? And how did you, basically, how did you figure out when you want it to go on your mission?

Hannah Smith:
I think a big factor for me was, I guess in the summer I was, I’m thinking a lot about like, you know, I guess I’m trying to think because I had to decide before that. I guess one thing that I was really thinking about was I’m leaving home, like how going to college versus going on a mission like right out of high school. I was like kind of like weighing, which would be like a harder transition for me.

For me, the thought of like leaving all my friends at like leaving my family was like really, really difficult and so and the more I thought about it, I was like I can’t imagine like going from, you know, hang out with my friends all the time and like, texting them all the time and like you know having social media like being able to talk to them. I could imagine like going from that so like immediately going so like being on a mission and like only you know, being able to email anyone except my family.

So I was like Oh well, I think would be a better transition, at least away from like my home friends, to be able to go to college and like, you know it was like it, like it seems like a slower transition like away from them. I guess. I kind of like, I don’t know if that really is super beneficial because now I have new friends and like it’s still going to be hard to leave them, but like at least I know that I’m able to make that transition because like a lot of my friends that I thought I was going to keep in touch with from high school like I really like, didn’t keep in touch with. And like I mean it makes me like a little sad. But it’s been OK and so I think.

Yeah for me, just like thinking about what the transition was going to be like was a big deal and I thought that like college was going to be better for me to start with that and then the reason that I did decide to take two semesters before going instead of justice. One was like I felt like your freshman year in college is like, something that’s like kind of special, like you can’t really replicate, and so I wanted to get the full like experience of having a freshman year before I went out, because like once you get back from a mission, like if you’ve already been to college.

It’s a little different because it’s not like you have like freshman orientation and all that and like. They expect you like, Oh yeah, you’ve already like had classes here. You know what’s going on so I just wanted to like I don’t want to get the full freshman experience and I’m really glad that I did because of one semester like it seemed so short, I can’t imagine. Just like leaving right after that so.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah, well I was going to ask you about that because as your parents we encourage you to go your whole freshman year, both fall semester and winter, and for similar reasons that you’ve expressed so I was just curious if you thought that was a good idea. It sounds like you do.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah. Yeah, oh shoot, I had a thought. I forget.

Jimmy Smith:
It’ll come back to you.

Hannah Smith:
Oh I something else though I think like part way through my first semester I was like, I mean, I reach like kind of a point where it’s like kind of hard, like my classes were hard and like there are a couple like social things that were going on that were difficult and I just kind of was like Dang like it would be so much easier just to like hurry and finish my papers in like oh right now. Like after this semester.

Jimmy Smith:
Uh-huh

Hannah Smith:
Uhm, but then like the more I thought about it, I was like OK, well like this might just be like a rough spot though like.

You wanted to do to stressors like just do it. So I mean I ended up, you know, just doing that but first second I was like it might just be easier, but the mission is not necessarily easier than college. I’m sure it’s actually harder, so I don’t know when my logic was there.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah. It’s different. Yeah, well and you know? Uh, I think maybe we mentioned this earlier. Like several of your first semester BYU roommates have are leaving on their missions, so you’re an apartment with six girls and three of the six got their mission. Call the uh, a month or so ago and are leaving on their missions within the next. Uh, you know, month or so. So obviously I mean that that’s a fine route. If you want to take it.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
And a lot of people.

Hannah Smith:
No, definitely yeah. But I just knew for me that that was not what I want to do, and so I’m glad I stuck with it. But it’s all about just like following dispiriting like whatever personal revelation you’ve received so.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah. Well, good so. Right, well and the reason why we’re talking about this is because it’s important to know when you want to leave on your mission because.

You take that date you want to leave on your mission and in the church mission application process, they call that your availability date and so when you’re planning your meetings with your Bishop and your doctors, visits and all the things for the application, all the timing is dependent on your availability date. So that’s why we talk about when you want to go first. So you decided you wanted to leave the first part of June. That’s your availability date.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
So, you know you want to leave the 1st of June but you went ahead and talk to your Bishop, probably in October. How many months in advance is that? That’s like eight or nine months in advance. If you going, you would talk to your Bishop, right?

Hannah Smith:
It was. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Let’s get things started.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah, and I did that because.

Jimmy Smith:
Which I think is what most people will need to do, but go ahead.

Hannah Smith:
I’m honestly I think I definitely like could have opened them much later, like started doing or favors much later, but I wanted to do my like dentist and doctors appointments at home and I also wanted to, like just be able to like be looking at the papers and I was like I figured like if I have them open and like I’m you know working on them like it’ll just like get me more excited for it.

And so that’s why I opened them so early. So yeah, it worked out because like over the two like Thanksgiving and Christmas break, I was able to get some stuff done at home. So end up working out that I didn’t so early. I definitely don’t think you have to open them that early, but definitely. I mean it does take some time to take. Do all your appointments and stuff so.

Jimmy Smith:
Right, I mean, yeah, you may have done it a little early, but not a lot early. So talk about that process of getting started. Your first meeting with your Bishop and him enabling the online mission application system, enabling you to go in. Talk about that a little.

Hannah Smith:
Uhm, well. So first of all, before I met with my Bishop I like had to schedule to meet with him and so I just talked to the Executive secretary in our ward. We have a couple actually because motherboard, but so I just talked to one of them and I was like hey like I’m wanting to like open up my mission papers. Can I like scheduled to meet with the Bishop. [He] was like yeah sure and then we just set a time.

So I went in and did that with him, pretty much like well. He talked to me about during that like it’s kind of like an interview and it’s kind of like he’s just telling you some stuff like my Bishop asked me like why I wanted to serve a mission and like what I think like the hardest part of being serving mission is going to be and like the best part and stuff like that.

And then he asked me like about like I guess my like physical and mental health just like kind of determining if like if it’s a, you know, good idea if it will work for me to go on a mission. So we talked about that and then my Bishop was super awesome. He wrote up this whole like I guess like packet of information that he emailed me that had like the Missionary Portal website and just kind of like the steps to take after you open up your papers. So that was nice.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah, let’s mention what that addresses. So Hannah you mentioned the Missionary Portal. The address is missionary.churchofjesuschrist.org so that’s the Missionary Portal. Anybody can go there, parents, leaders, youth, anybody can go to that Missionary Portal. I think it has some information about preparing for missionary service and so forth. But after you talk to the Bishop he enabled a link that you’re not [previously] going to see.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Unless you’re a youth preparing to go on a mission and your Bishop has enabled you and that’s he enabled the online recommendation system. So like if I was to go to the missionary portal today, I would not see that there’s a big button that says apply for missionary service. But after you talked to your Bishop, he went into his Bishop systems and he basically enabled that for you so that when you went back to this Missionary Portal you can see this.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Big button that says apply to serve a mission. Which if you click on that, took you to the online recommendation system, which you can go to directly. I’ll mention with that addresses as well to help people out. It’s missionaryrecommendations.churchofjesuschrist.org, but only people like yourself, Hannah, missionaries that are applying can get to that online recommendation system.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
So you talked to the Bishop you guys talked about physical and spiritual worthiness and abilities. It’s a serve and he was very supportive and gave you even a packet of information to help you as you prepare to go on a mission. He enabled the online recommendation system. So what were some of the next steps you took after that meeting with the Bishop?

Hannah Smith:
Uh, after that I honestly I just went in and filled in as much information as I could. Read it on the thing I guess I can. Are we going to talk about this specific sections? Do you want me to like talk about overall first or what?

Jimmy Smith:
Ah yeah, I don’t. I mean, I don’t think we need to go into a lot of detail, but do mention you know, at a high level the things that you’ve filled out. I would ask for like personal information. And obviously there’s health stuff as well, but yeah, just at a high level, maybe go over some of the things like that. Then you’re going to have to fill out when you said you went in to the online recommendation system and filled out as much as you could. What were the types of things you filled out?

Hannah Smith:
OK. Yeah. So it was things like, uhm, yeah, personal information. They ask about your education like if you had seminary. If you did seminary how many years you did it where you went to high school? If you’ve done any college they asked me about, like my work experience, so I told him, like the places I’d worked and how long I worked there and they ask about like.

The financial side. So they ask, like how much you’re going to be able to put in every month and like who’s going to be putting in money. So it’s like $400 a month so you just have to say who’s putting what in. Now they ask health insurance. I had to, yeah, to look at like the insurance card and stuff for that. And then yeah, they ask you like general questions about your help.

And then you also have to get a dental evaluation and like a physical valuation. So I like scheduled those.
Uh, and I did them at home and I’m trying to think what else you have to like put in your driver’s license if you have one. I’m so just like scan that in. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
And you have to upload a photo which you haven’t done yet of yourself looking like a missionary that you’ve done. Almost everything except that.

Hannah Smith:
Oh yes. Yeah. It’s like it’s like. Showed it’s like from here up, like your shoulders are showing like straightforward playing background missionary attire.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah, kind of like passport photo but uhm.

Hannah Smith:
So. Yeah, except you get a smile so.

Jimmy Smith:
And they also asked in in the information you filled out about like your family history in terms of where your ancestors were from and they asked about language learning and what you’re desire was to talk about that.

Hannah Smith:
Oh yes. So yeah, they asked about like my top, I guess. Like heritage or something, I don’t know, or I guess ancestry? Yeah, that’s the word they use so I just put kind of from like my biggest like percentage to like a smaller percentage. I listed a bunch.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah.

Hannah Smith:
Uh, I’m looking right now. I listed like English, Norwegian, Scottish, Swiss, Swedish, Irish, Danish, Canadian. So I’m guessing you don’t have to list that many, but I’ve heard that like, surprisingly, that is one of the like parts that. State like look at a lot when determining where you’re going up, like one of my, I mean, this might just be a coincidence. One of my roommates he ready has her call. She has a lot of like German ancestry, and she’s going to Germany, so I don’t know like how big of a factor it is, but I know it’s something they do look at.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah.

Hannah Smith:
Uh, and then for language, what did they ask? Let’s see.

Jimmy Smith:
They ask like your desire to learn a language like high, medium, low or something like that.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah they do, so they ask two things. They say what is like your willingness or I guess, not willing. It’s like Oh no. What is like your interest in learning language on a scale of 1 to 5 and then they ask? Like what is your ability to learn a language well on scale and five? And so I was like, well, I’ll be able to learn a language just fine. because I did in high school. So like I put a 5 and then I also was like oh I really want to learn a language and I put a five I think.

That is definitely something they look at because my roommates, who have got their calls. They put like a higher like a four or five on like interest. And I think they all put five on ability, and they’re all speaking when I’m speaking Russian ones learning Mandarin and once winning German. So I think if you put that, you’ll probably learn a language. Uh, so that’s pretty cool. I also I just noticed they ask about like where you have relatives that have served missions, so I put in like where you served your mission and like my grandparents, their missions and like.

Jimmy Smith:
Oh, right.

Hannah Smith:
Your parents served a senior mission, so I put that up. And they also ask, like if you have any siblings or a boyfriend or girlfriend who are currently serving up so that they won’t put you in the same place so.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
Anyways. Also related to like I guess like kind of location. They ask like where you’ve lived recently. Like the most recent places you go, or if you look somewhere for an extended period of time. So I put Texas in Utah because like I’ve lived there.

Jimmy Smith:
Alright.

Hannah Smith:
Both of those places pretty long so. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Cool, so yeah, I don’t think we need to go in a lot of detail about the dental medical stuff, but you you were home and Texas is our home Europe, BYU and Utah now. But you were home for Christmas for a couple of weeks and you had your wisdom teeth out and you also had your medical physician form anything to say about the about those.

Hannah Smith:
I’m probably just you don’t have to have your wisdom teeth out. I just knew that like the dentist had recommended it. And like you don’t want it causing any issues while you’re on your mission, especially if you’re like in out of the country. And so I was like, well, I may as well just get him out. Now I’m going to have to get him out eventually.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
And then I think, yeah, the physician. It’s just like a pretty much a regular physical like got my blood drawn. It’s pretty chill so.

Jimmy Smith:
Cool, cool you know and I guess I should also say the church is looking for any red flags that they needed to take into account when they’re doing the mission call. If you had a physical or mental health issue, they might take that into account for. I’m not talking about you, Hannah, but anyone in general.

Uh, your health is pretty good, thankfully, but anyway, the church wants to know your medical history and any medical conditions just so that’s that can be taken into account when determining where you’ll serve a mission.

Hannah Smith:
Yeah. Can I can I add something to that real quick? So two things hopefully remember both one is.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah, absolutely.

Hannah Smith:
Uhm Dang it. I already forgot the one. OK anyways the other one.

Jimmy Smith:
Go to the other one.

Hannah Smith:
Is that when you’re filling out just like on your own thing on the website, I’m not like during the physical it asks you to like check if you’ve ever had. Like certain conditions and like same with like mental health stuff so it you know it’ll be like have you had a heart condition or diabetes or anxiety or depression. I like it lists all these things and.

I wasn’t sure for a couple of them what to put because I didn’t have like a doctor’s diagnosis, but I was like I think I like may have had symptoms rose this for like mental health stuff. This is just because I’m sure people have questions about this.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah.

Hannah Smith:
I guess I’ll just say I like have had some like experience with anxiety and stuff, but I’ve never been to a doctor about it. It’s nothing like major crazy, but not that it’s bad if it is. But anyways, I just wasn’t like sure what to put up. Because I’m like, I don’t think that’s going to impact me while I’m on my mission, really. And it’s not going to like impact my ability to serve. I don’t think so.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
But the way that they word it on the application is like have you expand to a doctor had like symptoms?

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
Like in the past or present. And so I was like, not sure what to put it because I was like well I guess like had symptoms, but I’ve never been to a doctor, but when I asked my Bishop about it he was like, yeah, if you haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor. Don’t put it on there because and I talked to you about this yesterday.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
That will just like I guess what you were saying was if you had indicated that you had anxiety, but it’s like minor and you’ve never been to a doctor about it. And then when they’re overviewing your forms after you submit them, then that’s kind of like a red flag to see for them. They’re because they don’t know how major your anxiety is. They go, oh yeah, she puts that she’s anxiety, but she’s never been to a doctor like that’s kind of bad. And then I guess what you were saying was that can really slow down like the process of getting your call. So I would just be like.

Jimmy Smith:
Well.

Hannah Smith:
You, I mean like obviously you want to be honest, and if it’s like a legitimate concern or condition, like you definitely want to put it down just because like.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
If it’s really going to impact you and your service, like, even if it’s like a physical thing or mental thing like you want to put it, but I’m, yeah, like for me it was something that I don’t need to put.

Jimmy Smith:
Right, right I think.

Hannah Smith:
But I just was wondering if I needed to watch I don’t so.

Jimmy Smith:
Right no I think there’s some subjectivity there. There’s a judgment call and that’s why you asked your Bishop and actually parents what they thought and we both, your Bishop and I your father, thought that there’s really no need to put anything there because when the church receives your mission application, they’re going to have they have a team of doctors, there at church headquarters, and they’re going to review the medical forms. And so if they see things that are concerned, you know, medically speaking, it could delay your mission call so. Uh, people watching and listening just need to be aware of that.

So that takes us basically to where we are today in your mission application, you filled everything out. You’ve gotten all your doctor stuff done, and you set an appointment to talk to. Have a, uh, final interview with your Bishop and your stake president the first part of February because your availability date is the first part of June and the church has 120 day rule. You can’t submit your mission application more than 120 days before your availability date and so that’s what you’re planning to do. You’ll talk to your Bishop and stake president in early February and then the stake actually will submit your papers to church headquarters right around 120 days before you your availability date, so you know that’s where we are with you. We’ll probably do a follow up podcast and video after you get your call to talk about the call packet and anything we’ve missed here.

I’m just trying to think is there anything else we need to talk about before we wrap things up? Any major parts of the application process, anything we should have talked about up till this point? You’re at now and your mission application process, anything we we’ve missed that we need to talk about?

Hannah Smith:
Not that I can really think. I think that’s everything.

Jimmy Smith:
One thing I just remembered was when you turn in your papers.

Hannah Smith:
Uh-huh

Jimmy Smith:
Uh, for application to go on a mission a full-time mission, you come. There’s probably a check box, I don’t know. We can confirm this. Maybe next time where you say you know I’m willing to go wherever the Prophet sends me. I don’t know if there’s literal checkbox for that, but it’s definitely kind of part of the church culture and just kind of understood that.

You’re going to be assigned to a mission by prophecy and revelation, and if you’re willing to go wherever the Lord sends you, any thoughts on that?

Hannah Smith:
Uh, I’m trying to. I’m looking right now actually because they have like a privacy agreement. So you have to sign. So I’m like curious if it is in there. I don’t think it is, but I mean that is.

Jimmy Smith:
But the concept in general is going where, you know, the Lord could send you to.

Hannah Smith:
Obviously something yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Utah or Mongolia. Argentina it’s a good place, I think, to serve a mission anywhere in the world go to Europe. What do you think about just going where the Lord calls you to go?

Hannah Smith:
Well, I think I actually think that’s something you need to consider when you’re deciding if you want to go on a mission is like, oh, am I willing?

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
To go wherever because that’s something I’ve noticed. Like when I’m talking to my friends of other religions about serving a mission for our church. That’s like a pretty big difference to them and how they do missions. You know other churches will do missions they’ll be like.

A month or it could be a couple weeks and months, a couple months, but they get up like pick where they go. Generally, from what I’ve gathered, and so whenever I tell people I’m like working on my paperwork and they’re like, oh, that’s so cool. Like where are you going?

All right now, I don’t know where I’m going and I’m like, ah, I don’t know where I’m going to like oh, you don’t get to pick. I’m like no like it’s by like revelation from the Spirit where, who are the words of apostles, decide for me to go, which I mean, I worded a little differently for people that don’t know the terminology but I’m I think that’s like such a crazy concept to them that they’d be like you would put a year and a half of your life like in the hands of the Lord, just like you’re going to trust him to like.

I mean, he could send you somewhere like super sketchy, I mean obviously like they take care of missionaries and make sure they’re safe. I don’t know where I was going out with that, but I think that that was something I definitely I’ve been thinking about a lot more, especially like the closer I get to turning in my papers. And like I really am like going to have to just go wherever they tell me to go. I’m like in that could be. Yeah it could be Utah. It could be Alabama. It could be.

Jimmy Smith:
Right.

Hannah Smith:
I have a friend in Ghana like. I mean I don’t know if they think like girls to Ghana but I’m like it could be anywhere and so I think just having like an open mind and like for me right now I’m not thinking too much about like I’m trying not to speculate too much about where I could go because I think there’s no point until I know where I’m going and then at that point I can prepare myself. More specifically for that, but anyways, yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Well, I, I think it is, as you indicated, a real demonstration of faith, in your priesthood leaders and in your faith in general too. So you said it really well to be willing to go wherever the servants of the Lord would send you for a year and a half of your life.

Uh, and I think, I think that is very commendable I. I think it shows your faith and your testimony. And as your father and friend and I couldn’t be more proud of you and I say friend, that is, friend of the Mormon Mission Prep community because we were really appreciate all your contributions. I think this is been a great conversation and I really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule. I know you’re busy with classes and stuff, so I appreciate your time. I love you and admire you. I know you’re going to have a great time on your mission.

It’s going to be hard at times, but you’re going to grow and develop in ways you can’t even imagine. Now you’re going to have a great experience. You’re going to meet great people. You’re going to help serve the Lord and serve your fellow beings, and you’re going to build the Kingdom of God and you’re going to be blessed for it. And you’re going to bless others eternally by being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And anyway I know that’s true and I again thank you Hannah and any anything you want to say before we end. You don’t have to.

Hannah Smith:
Ah, I don’t think so. Let’s follow the spirit, guys.

Jimmy Smith:
Yeah alright, thank you Hannah.

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