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I have been married for 13 years to a returned sister missionary from my mission and the love of my life. We have 5 beautiful children who are our joy. Three of them attend the K - 8 charter school of which I am the principal. Being with them every day and being able to shape the environment they are learning in is one of the greatest blessings of my life. We have just recently returned from living abroad in England. It was a testimony building experience for all of us and the source of what will be a lifetime of cherished memories. I enjoy running, reading, singing, dancing, acting, making crazy home video with my kids, spending time with friends, meeting new people, and serving in the church.
I felt and recognized the Holy Spirit for the first time in my life listening to a fellow high school student describe an LDS mission at a party. I read the Book of Mormon when I was 14 years old, and I completely fell in love with it. I grew up in a strict Catholic home, my father's only living son, and was convinced from an early age that my destiny was to serve my God. I truly believed I was destined to become a priest. The seminary was waiting for me after high school, but I couldn't deny what I had felt when I read the Book of Mormon or when I heard my LDS friends bear their testimony. After years of privately investigating the Church, I was baptized when I was 18 years old. My life has changed drastically since then. I have had to part company with a lot of old acquaintances and have been estranged from my family who could not accept my decision. But I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life, leading me, carrying me, and sustaining me so long as I am faithful to the promises I have made to be a disciple of Christ. My testimony has only grown over the last 17 years as I have witnessed the miracle and blessings that have come to myself and my family for being part of this church. I have served a mission for my church, I was accepted and graduate from BYU, I was sealed to my wife in the Temple, we have been given 5 beautiful and healthy children, and we have been sustained and cared for everywhere we go. Throughout all of these experiences and our share of trials and challenges, we have seen the blessing of our membership in the Church. I know the Church is true, and I am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I felt the Holy Ghost the first time I heard about the missions of the Church. I was in high school at a party and a group of young people I knew were describing missionary service. I knew in that moment that I was meant to do that. I could not stop thinking about it. I was a Catholic at the time, but that didn't seem to matter. It was all I had ever wanted. That's probably a strange notion for most teenagers, but I felt a power I had never felt before I had to be part of it. I read the Book of Mormon that year and five times more in the next 4 years before I got baptized. One year after I joined the Church, I filled out my papers applying for missionary service, and soon after that I was called by a prophet of God to serve in the Hawaii Honolulu mission. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I served for two years. I learned to love a new people and a new culture. I ate their food, spoke their language, and taught them what I had learned about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I worked 7 days a week always side by side with other missionaries assigned to labor there. I learned how to serve others, forget myself, work harder than I had ever worked before, and love people more than myself. My testimony of the Gospel grew as i watched other people's lives changes through following the Savior. Likewise, my life change as well. I grew stronger, more self reliant, and developed talents and skills that would serve me to this day. I am so grateful for my mission. I am so grateful for young men and women who continue to serve around the world.
In my current calling I work with missionaries to teach others who are curious about the Church. I also work with members of our church to help them get excited about sharing the truths they know. I teach a Sunday School class to visitors to help get them acquainted with the fundamentals of our doctrine. I am also a hometeacher. I am assigned families from our ward who I visit and look after several times a month. Most importantly, I strive every day to be a good example and ambassador of the Church through the love I show my family, through my devotion to my wife, through being honest in my dealings with others at work, and through genuinely trying to serve others whenever and wherever I can.