Why in the World Am I Going on a Mission?

If you would've asked me a few months ago if I was planning on serving a mission my answer would have been, "No way. It's not for me. I can't do the whole mission thing. I'm going to London instead, etc, etc, etc." Now here I am, in the middle of my junior year of college in London, England waiting for a mission call to come in the mail. The one thing I said I would never do in my young adult life is about to happen come January ish 2015.

It took almost two years of pondering off and on about serving a mission before I realized that going on a mission is exactly what I wanted to do. As I've been thinking about why this decision was so difficult for me, I have come to better understand the reality of Satan and the opportunity he took in my life to make an extremely good decision seem like a very bad one.

Satan led me to think, I am a "depressed person." Depressed people don't go on missions. They can't. It's simply not possible and the fact that I was considering a mission was ludicrous considering I would never be up for the task. Satan led me to believe that my emotions were too much; that in order to serve a mission I had to be perfectly well and happy all of the time. Now it seems ridiculous but at the time, it made perfect sense that I simply couldn't serve even if I wanted to.

Then it hit me. All of the reasons I didn't think I was fit for a mission were the exact reasons I needed to serve a mission. I struggle with an emotional disorder but so do millions and billions of people all over the world and one of them might just need me. One person I meet on my mission might just really need my experiences with depression to help them. And for whatever reason, right now, September 2014 is my time to serve.

Depression isn't easy. It is still a present difficulty in my life; however, I have grown so much through depression and through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have found the Lord through my struggles with something that could have ended in my life in a very literal sense.

 I want to go on a mission because I want other people to find the peace and joy that I know only the gospel can bring. I want people to know that there is hope for each of them through our Savior, Jesus Christ. I want people to know that it is only through the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that true joy can be found.

Although there are many different things that help my depression, (medication, therapy, art, etc.) there is really only one thing that continues to help me cope with this mental illness: my faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Because I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and because I know that I have a Savior who died and suffered for me, I know that I can experience true joy. And that's why I want to serve. Not because I'm some Gospel scholar or because I feel pressured to serve a mission or because I am not married and bored, but because I know that this gospel is the ONLY way to find peace in a world full of chaos. And I can't wait to teach people, even just one person, of this beautiful reality.

I know this gospel is true and I simply want to share it.


Hannah soon to be Sister Wood (WEIRD!!)

P. S. Special thanks to a dear friend who inspired and encouraged me to write this post. I love you with all my heart.


I Want it NOW.

"Don't care how, I want it Now!" Anyone recognize this? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory anyone?

Maybe this will refresh your memory:

I remember watching this movie as a kid and thinking, "Man I would never act like that! What a spoiled brat." Boy was I wrong... lately I have turned into Hannah Veruca Salt Wood. Okay so maybe I'm not AS extreme as Miss Salt; however, I have become the queen of impatience. (Well I suppose this isn't a new thing. But certainly prevalent in my life at the moment.)

When I pray I want answers... now.
When I need help from the Lord I want it... now.
When I want my mission call to come in the mail I want it... now.
When I really really struggled with depression I wanted it to be over... now.

How often do we do this? Our world is so full of instant gratification. Basically anything we need can be accessed within three clicks or less from groceries to clothing to even buying a house. With the touch of a button, our needs have been met. However, I have learned over and over again that this is not how the Lord works. Prayer is not the Internet. Sure Heavenly Father has all of the answers but I guarantee they are not nearly as accessible as Google. I often wish they were. But I've also learned that it is through these times of waiting and patience that I become the most humble. I need the Lord desperately while waiting with all the faith I can muster for my prayers to be answered.

I am pretty sure I'm going to regret saying this but here it goes: I am grateful that I have to wait. I am grateful that I don't just get everything I need or want immediately. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who sees a bigger picture. And ultimately I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who continues to see the bigger picture as I struggle with the daily challenges of life.

So as I wait for the Lord to help me find my stupid retainer I somehow misplaced in the middle of London, England (don't tell my mother) I will rely on the faith I have that Heavenly Father hears me and listens to me, no matter how small or insignificant my concerns may be. He cares because I care.

Cheers from London,



Bon Voyage! To London I Go!

If you were to wander into my room at this hour, you would more likely than not experience quite a fright as I am currently sitting on the floor next to my bed because every other square inch of my bedroom is covered in stuff I am taking with me across the pond to a little town called LONDON, ENGLAND! As I have been sitting here "packing," I couldn't help but feel the need to blog. For several reasons:

First and foremost, because I am living in another country for four months and that feels blog-worthy.
Secondly because my whole family decided to all go to bed at 9:45 this evening and I am JUST getting started!
BUT thirdly and most importantly I HAD to blog to express to you of the love I feel for my Heavenly Father. I wish I could adequately concoct the words necessary to convey my love for this perfect, loving and dear Heavenly Father of ours, but alas I know words can only do so much. However, this blog is a blog of many words so here is my humanly imperfect attempt. 

Now you all know by now that I am NOT a perfect person by any means. I struggle with countless self-doubts and inadequacies. And even though there are a lot of theories and questions I am still unsure of, there is one thing I will always know for certain: I Heavenly Father who loves me. 

His love is the kind of love that is unwavering. His love is the kind that moves mountains. His love is the kind that brings us closer to each other. His love is the kind of love that led a person named Joseph Smith to a grove of trees on a spring morning in Palmyra, New York some odd years ago. It is this love, the love of our Heavenly Father and our brother, Jesus Christ, that brings me this joy. 

I'm not happy because I'm going to London (although I'm ecstatic about that!) I'm not happy because I got super lucky today or something really awesome happened. In fact, I am not even simply happy. This feeling isn't happiness; it is joy. Joy because I know there is a God in heaven who lives; it is a joy that comes from knowing that an almighty being loves me and knows me, Hannah Karen Wood. 

My dear readers, if you forget every single thing I have ever written on this humble blog of mine, I hope you will at least remember this: God lives and God loves you. He really does. I see Him in the mountains around my home. I see Him in the uplifting texts I get from people who "coincidentally" knew I was having a bad day. I see Him in the love that I feel for a friend who is struggling. I see Him without even really seeing Him. 

How do you see Him? When was the last time you sat down on the floor next to your bed and really pondered how you've seen God in your life? Is He there? And if you feel like He's not, seek Him. And I promise you will find Him. 

May you find God in your life is my hope for you.