As I am completing my missionary service in the Canada Toronto Mission, the most important story I have to tell is about me. I know that missions are supposed to be for everyone outside of me, but this is the story of how I personally came to know more about my Saviour Jesus Christ.
Prayer and a Hymn Provide Guidance
Before my mission, I was deeply depressed. I disliked myself: the way I looked, the way I felt. I hated that I didn't live up to the apparently successful lifestyles that everyone else around me seemed to be experiencing. Many had earned scholarships and were attending prestigious universities. Some of my classmates already had internships with professional organizations. I, on the other hand, was going to community college and working a part-time job. These comparisons made me very depressed. For a while, I felt that I couldn't take it any longer.
One night, I lay in my room staring hopelessly at the ceiling. I was angry. I started shouting all my frustrations to the empty air around me. After a few minutes, I realized that I was actually shouting at God. I realized that I needed to pray.
I got down on my knees, but with an angry attitude filling my thoughts. Although I was praying, I was still yelling at God and complaining to Him in this prayer. Suddenly, an overwhelming peace came over me. I felt love, and the hymn 'Have I Done Any Good?' came to my mind, especially the lyrics:
“Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.”
(“Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?” (Hymns, no. 223)
The words of that hymn helped me realize that I needed to submit my mission application papers as soon as possible.
The Joy of Serving Christ as a Missionary
From that experience, I learned that if I wanted to be happier, I needed to help others in order to find the happiness I sought. I learned that I needed to turn outward and lift up those hands that hang hopelessly down. And that decision worked!
During my call to the Canada Toronto Mission, I met hundreds of people who were experiencing similar or even worse circumstances than I had been experiencing. I was able to help individuals and communities through a variety of service opportunities, such as home and community clean-up projects or helping at local food banks. I was able to build relationships by talking with others and teaching them in their homes. I felt empowered to help them build their relationships with Jesus Christ and with their Heavenly Father. Such experiences brought me great happiness.
Strengthened through Christ’s Love
Still, there were days when I was depressed. On some occasions, my unhappiness was even magnified. I was naive to think that by serving a mission my depression would completely disappear until I was done serving. It didn't.
Instead, something even more wonderful happened. I learned to rely fully on Christ to help me through each dark time I experienced on my mission. As Jesus taught during His earthly ministry: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Without social media, family, or friends to reassure me, the only one I could turn to was Christ. So, I did, and like the woman afflicted with illness for 12 years, I seemed to hear Him say to me, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole” (Matthew 9:22). I taught people for 18 months that God and Christ love them. Christ has felt all their pains.
By helping and teaching others through my missionary service, I finally knew without any doubt that the doctrines of Christ’s comfort were true for me too. The greatest transformation that happened while I served were the changes that I saw in myself. I can say confidently that God and Christ love not only me but all who have lived, are living, and will yet live upon this earth. Whenever I don't feel like getting up, I remember Christ rose from the grave so that all shall “be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Through prayer, study, and service during my mission, I learned more about my Saviour's Resurrection and His great atoning sacrifice saving me—both physically and spiritually.