Submitting Mission Application, Receiving the Call, and Preparing to Leave – Interview with Hannah Smith – Podcast Episode 17

This video is part 2 of 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 submitting her mission application, receiving the call, preparing to leave, and receiving the temple endowment. The transcript of the interview can be found below (it’s automated, so I apologize for any typos) and an audio version can be found at the bottom of this post as it comprises Episode 17 of the Latter-day Saint Mission Prep podcast.

Jimmy Smith:
OK. Well, welcome to the latter day St Mission Prep podcast. My name, Jimmy Smith. I’m the host of the podcast and this is my daughter, Hannah. And we are here on the video podcast and on audio podcast. For those of you without video support, we’re here for Part 2 of my interview with Hannah about her mission about preparing for applying for mission and preparing to go on a mission.

Let’s see. Let’s start Hannah by introducing you to to the the library sync mission prep audience, and then we’ll review what we covered in our last interview and then we’ll go into some new stuff. We’re gonna talk about today. So Hanna introduced yourself.

Hannah Smith:

Cool well. Like you said, I’m Hannah. I went. I just finished my freshman year at BYU up in Provo. It’s super great, super fun, great experience. I’m studying studio art. Hope you are you and that’s also been great. I really like to play the piano. I like to go hiking. And lots of good hikes in Utah. Yes, so many great, like national parks. Highly recommend. But yeah, that’s that’s kind of me.

Jimmy Smith:
That’s great. Great. And so we’re we’re here at our home in Texas recording this. Hanna just have great freshman year. So we’re glad to have her home. We have her home for just one month before she starts her MTC (Missionary Training Center) experience with two weeks of home MTC followed by four weeks of Provo MTC. And then she’s off to Portugal. So.

In part one we talked about uh deciding to serve a mission, which isn’t required as as a young woman. And what made you decide to go? We talked about the application process of filling out the paperwork. All the online paperwork. Yeah, the missed the medical stuff and the dental staff and all, all the other forms you have to. Fill out. So we talked about that last time we check out the previous podcast. Uh, if you’re interested in that. So when we when I talked to Hannah last, she had finished all the online application process, but she hadn’t hit the submit button. So like literally the next day after we had our last interview, the next day she hit submit and that submits her mission application not to the church headquarters but to her Bishop and stake president.

So tell us, Hanna, if you can about your final interviews with the Bishop and stake president before before your application was submitted to the church.

Hannah Smith:

Yeah. So let’s see. For segment with my Bishop, I don’t know. It was nothing crazy. He basically was just asking me about. Like how filling out my papers want. He had me bring my all of my like medical forms and like my dental stuff and I’m trying to think if there is anything else. Think so? That sounds about right. So yeah, so you have me bring those? Umm, he looked over them. Just like checked. They’re all correct. And then we went through what I had submitted. Umm to him like on the churches website. So we looked through that together and he just kind of went through and double check that everything was right. Like names, addresses, all that stuff. And then there’s a part where like he can add a little comment if you wants so.

I had felt like I really wanted to serve internationally. That that would be like a good experience and something that I would like be able to do. And I like really wanna learn a language. So I asked my Bishop if he thought it’d be OK if he put a comment that like. I wanted to do that, so keep it a little comment. We like wrote it out together. Had just said. I would love the opportunity to learn a new language or like go. Serve internationally if I can. Because I like love learning about other cultures and I think it be great. So I don’t know if that actually had any factor in the decision. Do you mean never know. I don’t think I will ever know. But one of my friends did that and I was like, you know what? Why not? Because it doesn’t hurt that. But it’s asking it. It certainly worked out in your favor this time. Yeah. So. Yeah. So I had. Yeah, that was great little interview.

You just talked about anything I was like, nervous about or what? I was excited for. Basically, just like double checking. Like my worthiness too. Umm, he asked me a bunch of questions. He was really similar to the temple recommend questions. You just have to explain a little bit more. So like he asked me like to share my testimony about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ and like. Maybe like Joseph Smith, I there’s somewhere online that, yeah, has a list of the questions. So I went over the questions and he didn’t ask me all of them, but he asked like, yes, for most of them cool. They explained most of them. So then you had to meet with the state president after the Bishop and that you had to wait a little longer. Right. Yeah. So I think I’m being involved too weeks apart.

So yeah, the big thing was. You can only submit your mission papers. Like four months, four months before your availability availability date. So my availability date was June 2nd and so I had to wait until February 2nd to submit them. So that was the earliest I could submit them. You could submit them anytime after, but I just wanted to get them like quick. Again, it worked out. Interesting, but that’s fine anyways so.

Yes, I met with him like a February 6th. I think, right? So like a couple days after on I went in, it was basically. It was way more chill. I felt like than the Bishop won. Not that my Bishop’s not chill. It’s just like he was reviewing all the technical stuff and they were more like. They asked similar questions I just met with like a counselor in my stake presidency. Ohh, cause your stake president. Yeah, well, something so you I think. With my stake, our stake is like the biggest stake in the whole church. I think just for like number of missionaries being sent out. Ohh for number of missionaries being sent. Yeah, not not a surprise with the BYU. Exactly. And it’s, you know, on campus. So everyone’s pretty much pre-mission. Yeah, so. They like allowed it, so you don’t have to interview with the stake president. You can interview with counselors. Umm. So I think normally you would have to wait to meet and do with the state president. Yeah. He was out of town. I think you’re right. So I just met the counselor. Yeah. And he did at the same time as your mission. And your final mission. He did my temple recommend interview live and Downt Temple Records. Right. I did that with my Bishop too at the same time. Yeah. See, I was like a interview. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:

So you met with the Bishop. You met with the state president, and then a lot of people don’t realize this. It’s actually the stake, generally the stake clerk, who submits your application to the church. So, and probably the next day or so after you met with state president, it got submitted to the church.

Hannah Smith:

Yeah. So I met with them on, like, Wednesday or Thursday. Or maybe it’s a Tuesday. I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday anyways. But I asked them. I was like, so when will? You submit these papers because they still have to double check everything because I want it to be right so it doesn’t get sent back. Right? So I think they submitted it. They said they’d submit it before the weekend. Yeah. And I think they did. They did. You got some kind of alert that it was in, in process or something. Well, the next week I guess. I asked my Bishop cause your Bishop can check your status of your. I guess this kind of is this OK if we can. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So your mission papers go through, like, different phases.

Umm, I don’t remember what they used. Yeah, I have them written down somewhere. It’s like last one in process. Yeah. In process. Ready for assignments. Like one of the last. Ready for assignment / assigned. Ohh. Assigned is like the last one I think. Right. And there’s there’s probably there’s another. There’s another one. But basically like a week or two after they had been submitted. I asked my Bishop to check on the status of them and I expected it to be like ready for assignment and it was still in process. And so I was like, what is going on?

And like not the next day of the stake, president called me and said like, hey, we need the name of your eczema cream. Yeah. Ointment. Medication. Yeah. So like what? I never used that, but OK. Because I’d put, I had eczema on my health history because I have gone to a doctor for it. Yeah, this is like, legit. I just don’t super use the oil. Yeah, it’s no big deal.

Jimmy Smith:

And you kind of put it on your application just in passing because it asks your full medical history and you just put, oh, I have eczema. And it takes some cream for it. Every once in a while. And like the church literally would not move your application forward until they found out, well, what’s the name of the medication?

Hannah Smith:

Yeah, like taking. But anyway, you got that. I see. Yeah. As soon as I told them. Yeah, it went through and I think they were ready for assignment after that. Then I’m trying to think so. It took like three weeks for me to get my mission call. Hmm.

Before can I talk about like the e-mail thing? Yeah. Yeah. So. So you it was about three weeks. And and from the time the the stakes submitted it until you receive your call right. And and for some it’s it’s even faster like it’s like a week. Yeah. My friends got hers literally less than a week. Yeah but three weeks isn’t bad. So then yeah. Talk about what you’re gonna talk about with finding out that the assignment had been made yeah so. Normally.

And the way that you like officially find out that you’ve got your mission call is like the day you get it, they church sends you an e-mail and a text. I’ll talk about that in a second. Get an e-mail. And that’s like, ohh my calls here. The way you can kind of check though, if it’s if you have been assigned like if you have your mission assignment and it’s not just ready for assignment is you can go to the missionary e-mail website and. Sign in with I think just your church login and if it signs you in and it shows your missionary e-mail, then that means that. Your assignment has been made. Yeah, you’ve received the call. Yep. And possibly give your call. They’ve signed you to a mission, and they’ve star missionary e-mail is set up. Yeah.

So I think it was the Wednesday before. Usually I was checking like every day, even though I think generally what I’ve heard, I don’t even know if this is true, but I’ve heard they assign them on. Thursdays and then on Friday, if you check your e-mail, usually it’s there like Friday or Saturday, but I was checking it like every day because I was super anxious about it. Yeah. And so I was checking it on a Wednesday night and it, like, popped up. That it was ready and I was freaking out. I was super excited. Yeah, so.

Jimmy Smith:
So then, but then still you’re waiting still e-mail to come?

Hannah Smith:

Yeah, with with the call letter and all the official stuff and mission calls. Come on, Tuesdays. Yeah, 99% of the time. So, yeah, so so on Wednesday or so you knew it was coming the following Tuesday and the following Tuesday. It did come to your e-mail. Yeah. So in the day it did. Yeah. Usually they come at like 910 in the morning. You what happens is you get a text. From the church you’ll get it says like your mission call is ready to be viewed at, and then it inserts a link and then so you’ll also get an e-mail that says the same thing. OK yeah, so that if you have a phone and an e-mail, then yeah, application system. They’re gonna send it to both. Yeah, both stuff. So once you click on that link, it won’t automatically pull up your call. It just says, Are you ready to view your call and you can click like? Yes. So it’s not like you open it and it’s immediately there. Yeah. And they do that intentionally because a lot of people they wanna. Have have have a moment with their family and friends where they kind of a reveal of of the call and so they don’t wanna accidentally spoil it for you by you clicking on a link and it right up. Yeah. So yeah, a lot of people.

Some some people just read it by themselves. They want to read it by themselves, and then they read it with a group of people. I just read it for the first time with a big group of people cause. I don’t know. I wasn’t. I knew I’d be OK wherever I went. So I was like, I don’t have to brace myself. Yeah. So to react properly. So what you did was you downloaded your mission call PDF, but you didn’t read it. You sent it to a friend, had them print it, and then then you read it for the first time in front of your friends. Yeah. So it came along. I was at work at, like, four or five PM Super late in the day. I had given up hope that I would get it. I didn’t think I was gonna get it that day. I was like, there’s no way. It’s too late. And it came.

So since I was at work, we had a printer and the person I was working with them get friends with and I asked him if he’d printed out for me. And like, cover it up and stuff so I could have like a paper want to read out. So he printed it out. And so he knew where I was going, which is kind of funny. And then everyone I worked with found out where I was going, but I didn’t know the paper. Yeah. So it’s funny. But yeah. So then I came home. I set up a time that was gonna read it. I went live on Instagram Live.

So all that friend record it just normally, yeah. Even though Instagram live takes the recording, right, right, right. And so you send the Instagram live well basically just tell all your family and friends, hey, I’m going on at this test time and then they can join the Instagram live feed and watch you. That’s how I did it. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, I think that worked well. Yeah. It’s fun. Hanna was at BYU doing this with her friends and at home here in Texas. My wife and I and and and Hanna siblings were all were watching. And it worked great. So yeah, I just invited like. My close friends and to my apartment when we and I opened it. Mm-hmm. Umm, I was super anxious that I only had to wait a couple hours to open it. Some people wait the whole day to open it. Yeah, and they open it in the evening. Yeah, so. But yeah, it was great. It was cool experience. We can sing a little song before. Yeah. Or instead of prayer, I think we said a prayer and then.

I read it. I’m going to. Drum roll, please. Umm, the Portugal Lisbon Mission, I guess Dad already mentioned. Yeah. Portugal. No, that’s OK. Portugal has been mission. I start home MTC on July 25th. So that’s three weeks from tomorrow. If I guess. We’re filming this on July 3rd, 2020 222. So yeah, so I do in my. They send you your call. You have, like the call letter. That’s what my friend printed out. And then they also give you, like, a call packet that has all the information about what you need for your specific mission.

At the time it you it told you what your MTC plans are. What I’ve heard is that it no longer says that, a little more on the fly. It’s the church wants to be adjusting right now with online and stuff. Because, yeah, there’s a there’s a figuring out, but mine said online for two weeks and then four weeks in Provo, right?

So yeah, so so OK, so that takes us through. You got the mission call. You read it to your friends along with the mission called letter, which is the letter from the Prophet assigning you to a mission and the start date. There’s all kinds of other.

Jimmy Smith:
Uh, I think the call other paperwork I they call it the the general instructions checklist or something like that. There’s. Uh, I was pleasantly surprised that there’s tons and tons of documentation on just what to get ready do to get ready for a mission in general. What you needed to do specific for going to Portugal in terms of getting a passport and visa and all that stuff. I think there was a letter from your mission president or contact information from your mission. I think you heard from him shortly thereafter. Yep. So tons of information highly encourage everyone to read that carefully and follow those.

Hannah Smith:

We’ve tried our best. And again, yeah, I mean and it’s it’s it’s a lot of work to get someone ready to go on a mission just from physically getting ready like suitcases and clothes and stuff and but also. Yeah, the the the legal requirements of a passport and visa and so forth.

Jimmy Smith:

So let’s talk a little bit more about that. I know you had to get like an FBI background check and talk about getting your passport and visa and take us up to the point of just last week where you went to the Portugal consulate to finalize all your visa paperwork. So take us through that.

Hannah Smith:
OK, so yeah, after I got my call on the Missionary Portal website. Mm-hmm. It had instructions on what to do for my passport. How would highly recommend getting your passport before you get your mission call, though, because. It all goes. It’ll it go my. It would go much quicker and smoother if you’re in your passport and there’s no reason as a high schooler, you can’t go ahead and get a passport. So if you get that done with, everything else is gonna go smoother. Once you work on your visa and other stuff. Yeah. And even one of my friends, she had a passport. She had to get it renewed because it was gonna expire while she’s on her mission. But that’s still.

I mean, you still have to wait for your passport to come, but it’s a little less passport renewals pretty quick. Yeah. Easy though. Yeah. So, yeah, I had to get my passport. I mean all the regular passport things. Nothing too crazy there it took, I think, like two months to come in the mail, which was kind of really long for your passport to arrive to you. Yeah. For my passport to come from the government to me. Yeah. Took a while. There is an expedited process which I expedited that that was, yeah. But the church says they say you need to pay the expedited fee. Yeah. It was like 60 or 70 bucks.

And I think just at the time like it was just, it was a bad time to get a passport because that it was, it was middle of COVID, you know, like coming back from COVID back from COVID. Yeah. OK, because yeah, I got. I got my mission calling in February. End of February. Let’s see. So yeah, I had to wait. Till my passport came to submit anything with my visa stuff. So visa. All the visa stuff, I think varies a lot from mission to mission well, based on the country you’re going to, because each country has different requirements for like what documents they want from you and like how they want it done. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:

Just I guess for maybe high schoolers watching this at the passport is what you need as an American or U.S. citizen to be able to come back to the United States after you’ve been abroad. A visa is basically permission to live in another country for a time. I went to Argentina on my mission. I had to get an Argentine visa for the two years I was there. Hanna going to Portugal. She has to get a Portuguese visa, so she has to make an application to the country of Portugal to get permission to live there for a year and a half and be a missionary.

Hannah Smith:

Yeah. So the church in my, they sent me an e-mail, I think, like two or three weeks after I got my call with a packet with very specific instructions on all of my visa stuff. And they said follow this to a tee basically. So I’m not going to go too much into like what they specifically required just because I think it varies from mission to mission. Right. But basically I gathered everything up I had. Yeah, get an FBI background check. I did my passport and then a visa application in a couple other things. I gathered that all up. Umm and mailed it to the church travel office. And then. Let’s see. I was in contact with the lady who works at the Church Travel Office who’s like in charge of the Portugal visas. So we should. Any questions I had, I just would e-mail her and be like, hey, is this right? Yeah. So that that’s just important to mention work with the Church Travel Office and they’ll have someone reaching out to you. Someone who’s got some expertise in getting visas and in making travel arrangements and so forth. So there’s been someone at the church we could work with. Uh, with with. With all these steps? Mm-hmm. So it was kind of a whole thing with, like, the actual getting of my visa. Like, I sent in all the stuff to the church.

And then with, I don’t know about with other countries, both Portugal, you basically have to appear in person at. Basically a fancy DMV. Yeah, so it it’s it wasn’t the actual Portuguese consulate. It was just like a third party that gives all your stuff to the consulate. Right. So in theory, you can mail in your visa application to the Portuguese consulate or empty whoever. But I think the reason we didn’t was because it could be sitting in the mailroom for 60 up to 60 days. It’s gonna say. And we were like in a time crunch. Yep. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:

So it’s faster if you go there in person. The person said so the church was willing to send. Hanna to San Francisco to go to the the office there to do it. So they arranged flights. It was the whole thing. We don’t need to do it.

Hannah Smith:

Yeah, but it was winter. We just go there crazy. Yeah. They paid for my flights. Told me, alright, this is step by step. What you’re gonna do. Like we’ll pay for your Uber school. I need to send them my receipts. They’re like we’ll pay for Ubers and food and your hotel and your flights, and like, basically they were like, we’ll reimburse you for anything. Umm so I think usually it’s a one day thing you fly in in the morning, have your appointment and then go home that night they didn’t have any direct flights for that morning. So I wouldn’t make my appointment. My appointment was at like 9:30 in the morning in San Francisco. So I flew in the night before, stayed in the hotel and downtown San Francisco by myself and then had the console thing the next morning and then.

That went it all went super smoothly. The people there were like ohh man. Like you’re a missionary. And I was like, yeah, I am. And they’re like, ohh, great. Sadie always knows what she’s doing. Shout out to Sadie Cordelli. She’s awesome. She’s the the church channel office. Yeah, for Portugal. OK. Umm yeah. They’re like she always just gets everything totally put together. So I had no issue. I took. I had to wait for like an hour. But then the IT only took like 10 or 15 minutes. I designed a couple things super easy.

Umm. Yeah. And then I flew home. Yeah. So so the the application for the visa is all done now. We’re just waiting. They said it should be a month or two and it’s shouldn’t be any problems from here on. Yep. And they’re sending it to the church and they’ll send the visa to the church service. So they’ll either send it to me here or maybe just to the MTC. Yeah, in Provo. Yeah, I don’t really sure, yeah.

Jimmy Smith:

Cool. Now we’re just waiting for that to come. They said take like 30 to 60 days. Yeah. So which is will be good timing because that’s that’s right around the time she’s still be in the MTC. Yep. So hopefully the visa will come before she’s done with the MTC so she can go straight to Portugal. Otherwise that’s you might get assigned temporarily temporary mission somewhere else. Cool. So let’s talk about a couple more things before we wrap up. I’d like you to talk a little bit about.

Shopping for clothes and stuff. This is something I, as your dad, not involved with. I know you and mom have been doing a lot of shopping for dresses and and shoes and stuff and yeah, and so maybe talk about that. And then also before we end, I wanna talk about your receiving your own endowment at the Temple. So let’s we’ll finish off with the temple. So let’s go into now getting ready to go and maybe also Oh yeah the your pre MTC. I forgot about that so talk about. Getting all the gear you need and ready to go, and also about the MTC.

Hannah Smith:

Yeah. So the church gives you a list of all the things you need to bring. Umm, like we talked about and they have a couple missions specific things. The only like I think weather specific things for my mission. Where rain boots and like a raincoat because it rains a lot in the winter. Uh. So depending on what mission you’re going to. Umm. It all different things. One of my friends went to Africa. They said don’t bring any suits so he didn’t bring any suits. And then my cousin’s going to the Philippines. They said the same thing. He got like water resistant shirts or something. Cool, they said, like bring Crocs and stuff to walk around. And because it’s just like flooded all the time. Yeah. And if you go somewhere cold, they’re gonna tell you not only definitely bring a suit, bring an overcoat, right, other winter gear. So it’s just a lot of, like, the really, like, winter cold missions. Like one of my friends is supposed to go to Moscow on her mission, didn’t end up happening. But they said, wait until you get to Russia to buy your coats and stuff. Just because they’re more prepared for the specific weather there. So anyways.

I the church recommends like you bring I think 6. Like for me it was like 6 to 8 like church outfits basically like dresses or like top and like Mm-hmm. Skirt or pants combos they have on. I forget what website, but they have like links to. (Here’s the link to Missionary Dress and Grooming standards.) Like they have pictures where they show mission clothes ideas, right? Like what shoes you could bring or like dresses and tops would be appropriate. And pants, right. Pants. I’m very. I don’t know what I’ve heard. It varies a lot from mission to mission. Oh, what kind of pants are kind of pants you can wear? Yeah. And I think a lot of the clothes. And this is more for a girl. Thanks, guys. It’s pretty straightforward. Yeah. I think a lot of, like, how casual you can be really depends on your mission and the mission president. Yeah. Like a lot of European missions, I want you to dress nicer because. The people there have good fashion and they dress nice and if you go to South America, they say don’t bring nice clothes because makes you target. Yeah. OK, so. Long story short, I’ve been shopping. It’s hard to find long sleeve dresses in the spring and summer, but I think I will need some. Ohh yeah, I bought rain boots.

Umm, something that’s been really helpful for me for shopping for clothes and other things and has been talking to people that either just got back from the mission I’m going to or like Argo like are in the mission right now. Yeah. So I’ve reached out to some people to like, ask them what kind of shoes they would recommend. I found out that. In my mission, you can have backpacks. And you don’t have to bring side back, so that’s nice.

Other things like that, any people who are in Utah, if you for sisters, if you go to the sister missionary mall, they have a nice little binder. At least someone in Provo. Or am I don’t know they have a binder that has all the missions and people can go in and write like what brands they used, what kind of things they like. Any mission specific like gear or like clothing that they recommend. So I went there and looked at that and that was good to get kind of a idea what my mission looks like more specifically at that great.

Jimmy Smith:

Great. And we had bought you luggage before you went out and BYU. Yeah. So hopefully that that will do. Otherwise there are some specific requirements to church recommends for what kind of luggage to to have. It’s all in your mission packet. Yeah. It’s all packed in the paperwork that it’s all church is all pretty good. Yeah. Specifically thorough. Yep. Yeah. OK, cool. Let’s see. Ohh and and the worse. There’s like a couple other shots. You need to get before you go that. Yeah, it gives you the list of immunization. Yeah. So again, the church will tell you. COVID booster. Yeah, that’s good stuff. You need to get. Let’s see. OK. Anything else in terms of of of that before before you tell us about your pre MTC experience with the pre MTC is something new to me. They didn’t have that when I was a missionary 25 years ago, so.

Hannah Smith:
I don’t know. Just talking to my friends has been good. Getting like, different recommendation recommendations of where to shop because we’re all. Yeah, a lot of us are going on missions. Yeah. So that’s fun to, like, talk to each other about that. So if you’re going right out of high school and don’t have a lot of friends go on missions, find people on Facebook. Honestly. Yeah. And talk to them. Oh, this is fun.

Umm, a girl that’s going to my same mission, same day as me. Reach out to me on Facebook and we were chatting on Facebook and then she said that she was gonna be in Provo for weekend. So we went and like, got smoothies and chatted. Nice. So that was fun that I gotta meet her like before we start the mission. I’m guessing she’ll be in my MTC district, so it’s it’s. It’ll be nice to like, go and like, you know, a familiar face. Yeah. Yeah, that’s. That’s awesome.

Ohh and sorry. One more thing. With the visa stuff usually. I think they send you in a group. They don’t usually send you by yourself. Right? Right, right. They the week before they’re there had been a group. There’s a group of six, five or six missionaries that all the way out for you. And you went by yourself. Yeah. So you either, like, I think a couple of the missionaries that went. They were in the MTC at the time the Provo MTC and they sent them from there. Some of them were home MTC and some of them hadn’t started MTC yet. Yeah. So I think for me, they’re they’re trying to send us before the MTC because they knew it would take a while. Right. But. Some countries aren’t as strict. So yeah, alright, cool. So tell us about the pre MTC.

OK Pre MTC is super cool. I didn’t realize it was a thing and till I guess I mean I knew before I got my mission call. I had some roommates that got there mission calls and they were like I couldn’t e-mail about doing pre MTC and I was like, what is that? I’ve never heard of that. So basically what it is is. It’s someone who teaches at the MTC, UM reaches out to you through like e-mail and is basically like, hey, do you want to have some language lessons and training before you go out on your mission before you start the MTC. So honestly, like I don’t. I don’t know how. Like necessary it is and it’s totally optional.

But for me, I was like ohh, I’m trying to, you know, prepare. It’s hard for me to learn how to speak Portuguese on my own. Umm, because a lot of Portuguese, like on Duolingo. It’s Brazilian Portuguese to the pronunciation is totally different. So for me, I was like, yes, I totally want this opportunity. I think it depends on who your teacher is, how early they reach out to you, my reach out to me like right before I think the week I was leaving Provo. So like a month and a half before I started my mission. Umm. On my friends it was like two or three months before. OK, but it just depends. So I’ve been meeting with her just on zoom.

And she’s, I don’t know, just teaching me gospel basics in Portuguese. Pretty much it had it had a speak gospel basics. How to pray, how to conduct a church meeting, stuff like that. Yeah. So we’ve gone over. There’s this app called embark and that’s an official church. It. I don’t know if it’s official church, but the church uses it for all the missionaries. OK, for learning languages. So we’ve just been going through on embark. It has. It’s it’s really cool. You should like attach a link to it or something. Yeah, we’ll just put a link in the in the. Yeah, show notes. It talks about like it has a little things. It’s like how to pray, how to testify, how to meet someone. And I think it goes pretty in-depth. It has like, a little grammar things and listening things. I haven’t explored the app too much.

So in pre-MTC like we’ve just gone through like how to pray, how to meet someone we’re starting on how to testify. And so I can do a little that yeah and so so this MTC teacher reached out to you and said hey do you wanna meet over the the online video conferencing and you’ve done it two or three times a week for the past couple of weeks or tried yeah it’s just basically you sign up for a time whatever they are they have times so a lot of mine have been conflicting with work.

But I’ve done it. I’ve done it like four or five times. Cool, cool. And it’s been fun. Yeah, well, it’s it sounds like a great, you know, program that they put together just to give you a head start because you’re only gonna be in the MTC two weeks at home, four weeks in Provo. That’s only 6 total weeks. You know, when I went Spanish speaking and I was in the Provo MTC for 9 weeks. So you were. You were. Yeah. So you’ll have a lot less in missionary training set of time than I did. I know that. So the free MTC really helps. You get a head start since you can have more limited time, yeah.

Jimmy Smith:
Cool. Alright. So let’s spend the last few minutes talking about the temple. We mentioned that when you have your final mission interview with your Bishop and stake president, they also gave you a recommend for a living ordinance at the Temple to receive your own endowment. So in February or March, was it you came home and February and you and Mom and I went to the Dallas temple with you to receive your your endowment. So talk a little bit about that experience. And I think that will be a good way to wrap this up on a spiritual note.

Hannah Smith:

Yeah, for sure. Umm. Let’s see. So I scheduled to do that. It was the weekend before I got my mission call. So I went to the temple on Saturday. I got my mission called following Tuesday. Ohh. In in years past. I know you had to have a mission call before you could go to the temple. That is no longer the case. Yeah, you can go to the temple before you have your mission call. And. And that and Hanna’s was like a week or two before she got her call. But he was literally like, three days before. OK, but yeah. So I have a lot of friends who did go, like, several months before they got their machine call. A lot of them. So after yeah, and just as you know, personal. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So I went. Yeah. And back in February.

I’m trying to think I tried to prepare as best I could. You took a class? Yeah, they my steak at BYU. Or maybe it’s just my ward. I think you’re just my ward, offered Temple Prep. For it was like 3 Sundays, they did just three lessons for like an hour. It’s very hard, I feel like. When older adults try and prepare you to go to the temple because it’s been so long since they’ve gone to the temple, it’s hard to get very vague. It’s hard to remember what it was like that first time. Yeah.

Well, and with the temple, you have to you can’t give you details too specific, so it makes sense. But it’s just. For me like. I was very anxious about wanting to prepare just because, Umm, I had no idea what was gonna happen, but it was hard for me to prepare because you can’t know exactly what’s gonna happen. So it requires a lot of faith. Yeah, but yeah, so I did temple Prep. I tried to do some research on my own I found. A bunch of like, great things that churches website has some good stuff. Umm.

Just like after this is kind of random, but after I got endowed something that I’ve like told all my friends that are preparing, I’ve been like just let me know if you everyone like talk about stuff. I’ll send you all these links and I always tell them, like, reading the Old Testament stuff. Yep, old test is great. Great prep because it kind of just literally says old stuff. Yeah. And that you do right there. Yeah. And it’s great because then you can, like, draw that comparison a little better when you’re in the temple. And it doesn’t seem as. Interesting, right? Right. I mean, not as interesting as. New and strange. Yeah. Yeah. And then after. Yeah, we went through the temple.

Jimmy Smith:

I was just gonna say, yeah, you went back to Provo and yeah, you’ve been going. I mean, luckily at BYU, you have four temples within 30 minutes. Distance. Vicinity. Yeah. So you’ve been going back to the Temple Weekly or roughly since then. Trying. Yeah. So the first time you go to the temple and receive your endowment, it’s probably a fire hose kind of a metaphor. But, but you’ve been able to go back many times since then. And and and and be more contemplative about it. And. Yeah, and. And. And you’ve learned a lot more as you’ve gone back again and again.

Hannah Smith:

Right. Yeah. And yeah, for sure. And something great for me was. Going back to Provo and talking to my friends who had already been through the temple, I was like one of the first of my like mission aged friends like the ones that are all going on missions, but I have some friends who are back from their mission and it was great to talk to them about it and they were just kind of validating me and what I was feeling and like saying, but they’re still like learning stuff and understanding. So it was great to to talk to them about it. Yeah, because I felt.

Like at home I was like, whoa, this is crazy. And I was kind of like in shock and you and mom were just like, well, yeah, it’s like how it is, but it’s and not. Not that you weren’t validating me, but it was just like hard cuz that was like, well, they’ve just been in the temple so much and I haven’t. So it’s great to talk to people who have been like more recently, like for the first time. Yeah. But yeah anyways, but the actual endowment it was, it was good.

Jimmy Smith:

And you had. Yeah, you had by garments, obviously. Yeah. 4 You went and received your endowment. Yep. And try them on, though. So you have to buy a lot of new garments. Well, yeah, that’s gonna say. And plus you have to stock up for your mission. Yeah. And yeah, and so forth. That’s part of getting the gear ready. So there’s that. But anything else about? The temple, or about anything else? I mean, we’re we’re wrapping up here. Yeah. Anything else? We’ve talked about that you wanna add to or maybe that we forgot to mention that you can briefly add here as we conclude, yeah.

Hannah Smith:

Well, I’d say that the temple definitely for me has been. It’s been a faith building thing to like go back and I don’t know. It’s required me to put a lot of trust in God. That what he’s asking us to do is like, really what he wants, yeah. Umm, I also think going to the temple I would encourage if. You feel like it’s the right time to go. A decent amount before your mission. Yeah, so that you can go back a bunch. Yeah, before you leave on your mission. Yeah, because the temple, like, going to the temple like, you know, after you go for yourself, you’re doing it as like proxy work. And so it’s honestly great missionary work.

The temple is and you know our whole. Your whole goal is missionaries is not just like baptize people but to prepare them to receive the ordinances and temple right so that they can, you know, have exaltation and eternal life and go back with God. Yep. And so going and like understanding those things a little more yourself that you’re trying to prepare people for is great. And then also like being able to. Kind of be a missionary in, you know, doing that proxy work. Yeah, and helping them learn more through you going. Yeah, is great.

I’m trying to think if there’s anything else. Yeah, I don’t know. That’s I think that’s a great way to prepare for a mission. So it’s going to the temple because, yeah. Spiritual thing. Yeah.

Jimmy Smith:

Yeah, it is. And so you start the home MTC in about 3 weeks, and if possible, I’d like to do a third part of this interview series before I believe before. After you’ve done home MC before you go to the Provo MTC. Be a I’d like to do that to to to give the audience an idea of what the the home MTC is like and maybe also talk about your final preps before starting your mission. So so we’ll we’ll try and schedule that and I certainly appreciate, Hannah, you taking the time to do this. I think it’s helpful for the audience who comes to the Latter-day Saint Mission Prep website to get your perspective and to learn more. I think this will help a lot of people.

And I want to leave you with my testimony as well that this is the work of the Lord, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the the Lord’s true church on the earth were led by living prophets of God. The temple is is the House of the Lord, and a place where you can go and and be endowed with power from on high. I know that you know there’s no greater work to be involved in than the work of the Lord and in the temple, helping yourself and and those beyond the veil to receive the ordinances they need for salvation and as a missionary to, to preach the gospel, to further the work of the Lord. There’s no greater work to be involved in. It’s a blessing for us to be involved in this work. And I know that’s true, and I leave that testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thanks everyone for joining and we’ll talk to you next time. Bye.

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