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I am a wife, mother, stepmother and grandmother. I enjoy healthy cooking and eating, exercise, reading, creative writing, gardening, theater, and listening to uplifting music. My husband and I enjoy dancing and travel. I served a mission in Argentina for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I keep busy with home projects, family, church, and our family-owned business.
I was not raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but I was exposed to many faiths and churches and taught basic values. When the Gospel was presented to me over a period of years through distant relatives, friends, and finally full-time missionaries who taught our family, I was touched by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost to know that I was being taught truth. I know that this Church follows the pattern that Christ established when he was upon the earth. God has not left us alone, but we have living prophets and continued inspiration (scripture) to guide us at this time and teach us the continued truths about the purposes for our earthly life and how we might obtain eternal life with our Savior and our Heavenly Father.
The thing I will always be grateful for is that my mother gave permission for me to join this church. When the missionaries asked her, she said "Yes, she [meaning me] will do it [be baptized] anyway when she's eighteen." I know that she was prompted by the Holy Spirit that day. I was baptized a few days after Christmas. My favorite gifts that year were a pair of red, Mary-Jane shoes and my own Bible. My step-father and I were baptized by the missionaries who taught our family and were confirmed members of the church by his brother (my step-uncle). I wore a pale yellow, pull-over sweater, a plaid skirt, and black shoes to the church. The baptism was held in a small chapel and baptistry, and the room was filled to capacity with the thirteen people being baptized, family and friends. In my case, many of my non-member family attended, and it was a big celebration even though they did not accept the gospel for themselves. Even a great-uncle, who had been away traveling, found his way to the church to surprise my family. I never did find out how he knew where to find us. Afterwards, my mother invited everyone over for a chili dinner. I couldn't eat much and really didn't care to, I was just overjoyed at the blessings that had just come to me.
My prayers have been answered in numerous ways. I know that my daily prayers are answered, many times in unexpected ways. Our prayers are usually answered on the Lord's schedule and according to His will, not our own. Some might feel that answers to prayer are mere coincidences--things that would have happened anyway--but I know for sure that I have received the Lord's protection and guidance when I have sought them through prayer. As newlyweds my first husband and I prepared and planned for parenthood, but instead found ourselves childless as we endured years of tests, medical procedures, infertility support groups, empty hearts and an empty nursery. As difficult as this time was, I believe the Lord answered our many prayers, guided us to find appropriate doctors, helped us in our search for options, and most importantly gave us strength to go on and ways to enrich our lives surrounded by nieces, nephews, children in our church classes, and neighbors. We were able to find joy in being parents to others until the time arrived when we were blessed to bring our own child into our family. Another way that prayers have been answered for me is through obedience to paying tithing. My husband and I know that, even in lean times, we give 10% of our income to the Lord. We know that He is mindful of the challenges we have had, and we know that He has provided a way and answered our many prayers, so that we can meet our financial obligations. Our prayers should not just be for ourselves, and many times our questions or heartaches are resolved because others have been praying for us. One of our sons who was going through some difficulties in employment thanked me for my prayers in his behalf and told me he could tell when I was praying for him because things seemed to be improving.
I was exposed to the church several times before I actually attended, studied, and made the decision to become a member through baptism. I remember the first time I attended church with my cousin I wanted to do whatever she did in order to fit in. As I grew in my own understanding about the gospel and the Church, I wanted to participate fully in order to serve the Lord and follow His teachings. I have taught in the women's and children's organizations of the church. For many years I taught Sunday School to various age groups. I have also taught teens and served as a music leader and a teacher trainer. I also served a full-time mission for the church in Argentina. Prior to applying for missionary service I was pondering how I could draw closer to my Savior Jesus Christ and how I could help others do the same. Through a series of events the Spirit of the Lord impressed upon me that I should go on a Church mission. The primary responsibility of our missionaries is to teach the gospel, but they also serve in leadership capacities, teach various skills, and provide community service hours. I strive to serve in whatever way I can, because I believe this is the way we help build the Lord's kingdom. It helps me develop greater faith, knowledge and talents and also gives me the opportunity to build friendships and help others. I also strive to live my faith by living modestly, loving my family, volunteering in the community, attending weekly church meetings and other activities, and by seeking God's guidance through daily scripture study and prayer.