Sunday, August 2, 2015

What You Should Know

My dear friends,
I didn't want you to be surprised or find out through someone else, so here is what you should know. You will no longer find me in New York. You will no longer find me in Utah. I am in Texas. 

On March 18, 2015 I entered the Provo MTC as excited as could be, having done everything I could to be prepared. I had waited and hoped for this moment! And it was fantastic. At the MTC I was the only missionary learning Haitian Creole. With my prior French knowledge, pre-MTC study, and praying for the gift of tongues, I quickly accelerated in the language. With just me and the teacher we moved swiftly and I left the MTC 2 weeks early for New York.

Now comes the hard part. In the MTC I had learned that God trusted me much more than I trusted myself, to learn the language by myself and then leave early. In New York I had to learn that God's plan for my life is much different than the plan I had made for myself. We know that "[his] ways are higher than [our] ways, and [his] thoughts than [our] thoughts" Isaiah 55:9. I know that his plan will be better for me in the long run, but oh boy can it be painful sometimes. What you should know is while in New York I developed anxiety and depression. It broke me. I gave every last piece I had to try and make it just one more simple task at a time. On Saturday July 18, 2015 I returned home to Salt Lake City and a loving family. The next morning I was honorably released for my medical conditions. The next Saturday I moved with my family to Houston, Texas. 

*Anxiety and Depression are real illnesses. Like diabetes, like a broken leg, like cancer, they need to be treated and taken care of. I am not crazy, I have not "lost my mind". In fact I had to learn to accept and remember that I have 'emotional pneumonia'. It's gonna take some time and treatment and real work to be okay again, but I'll get there. Please if you've had a stigma attached to mental illnesses take this as an opportunity to melt it away.

I do not know what God's plan is for me now, nor do I know where it will lead me. I do know that I was supposed to go on a mission, and I figured out it was his plan for it to be shorter than I expected. I thank all of you for your notes, letters, emails, thoughts, and prayers while I was on my mission. Each made a great impact at a fragile time. If you have any questions, please please just ask me whether than wondering. I love you all ❤️

Amanda Hardman