Chat With a Mormon Online
I am from Bolivia. I've been living in the United States for nine years. I am married and have four children; my first daughter, Hannah, passed away shortly after birth. I attended dental school at the University of Minnesota and now I live just outside Washington DC.
I joined the church at age 17 in La Paz, Bolivia when a high school friend invited me to church. Before then I always believed in God but I felt that there was more to learn about Him. I also had a profound sense that I was special, that there was somethings special about me (and everyone). When I went to the Mormon church that first time, my friend's Sunday School teacher told us that as daughters of God we had divine potential, and that we could come to be like our Father in Heaven through Christ's sacrifice. This teaching matched what my heart had always told me, and I knew it was true. There was another thing that drew me to this religion. In the Bible it says "by their fruits ye shall know them." The people I met at church were kind, loving, and gave service without expecting anything in return. I was drawn to this; I wanted to be part of this community of people with such outstanding qualities. All my life I had sought to learn and act according to the best I found around me, and here I had found something perfect.
My husband and I wrote a family mission statement a few years ago on our anniversary. This helped us set up a plan for how we want our family to be now and in the future. We take it one step at a time and we find strength in the basics, like prayer and regular family scriptures reading. We attend church every Sunday, where we partake of the Sacrament (similar to communion). We explain to our children why the Sacrament, and church, are important to us. We also make an effort to do a family night once a week, which in the Mormon church is called Family Home Evening. Each week my husband or I teach a short lesson about the gospel, followed usually by a game. Sometimes we feel like the kids are not paying attention, but then later they mention something from the lesson and we realize they really were listening. Most of all, we try to set a good example. When our kids see us help others, they want to help each other - kids always imitate their parents. Besides family home evening, we have an "executive session" from time to time, in which my husband and I talk about our needs as a family (financial, educational, physical, spiritual, etc.). Sometimes things seem overwhelming, but we try to figure out steps we can take to get where we want to go. In these executive meetings we also review our past goals and talk about how we are doing and what we can do better. It's a work in progress.
I live my faith by studying the scriptures and seeking guidance on how I can become a better person, a better mother, a better dentist, a better companion. I try to improve one step at a time. Everything has its own time and season. Sometimes I focus on my dental skills, sometimes I am focused on being a better wife, and sometimes I just focus on being a better woman, on taking care of myself. I also try to give service. It never matters whether the recipient is a fellow Mormon or not. It makes me happy to go the extra mile for someone else. When my heart perceives that someone is sad, I like to give them a hug; I want them to feel that they are not alone. I also live my faith by caring for my parents. I love and respect them. And I do the same for my brothers, who helped raise me.