Hi I'm Rachael
Hi! My name is Rachael, I'm a proud Australian and I love to go to the beach, spend time with my friends and family, and at the moment I'm really looking forward to marrying my fiance Dale in our Temple in January. A little background on me is that I spent 3 years at university studying to be a registered nurse, which I love because it gives me lots of opportunities to help and meet people. I love to go on little adventures around Tasmania, the island where I live, and explore the bays, mountains, waterfalls and rivers that cover our great state. I usually do my exploring with Dale, my sisters or the young adult group of the church, sometimes all at once! I have two sisters and one brother, me and my sisters still live at home with our parents, and we have a lot of fun together. Much of my free time is spent with them, Dale or my friends at church. I just enjoy being an average Aussie girl, I like to shop, watch movies, sew, explore the world, exercise, learn, read books and try lots of other new things. But the most important thing to me is learning how I can be more like my Saviour Jesus Christ and making my life and the lives of people around me better because I'm trying to be like Him.
Why I am a Mormon
I'm a mormon because I've learned step by step through my life that God is real and he loves me. My parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints just after they were married so I have known it all my life, but I'm not a member because my parents are. I've tested the teachings of the church by living them, trying them out, and my heart is filled with peace and hope for the future. Now I love to live the teachings of Jesus Christ, and this church has them all put together in their perfect form with Christ leading us through his prophets. I feel confident in myself when I live what I know, and by being mormon I've learned where I came from, what I'm here for and where I'm going. I've read the Book of Mormon and I know that it's true, I've felt it and every time I read I learn more about myself and Heavenly Father's plan for us all, and all he wants for us is to be truly happy. I've never been hurt by living Heavenly Father's plan, but I have been hurt when I've not been completely true to it. I know that there is more joy and good things out there for me and for everyone if we would only follow our Saviour Jesus Christ. You can't know the joy of the gospel unless you try it, I have and I know that joy, I definitely recommend everyone try it!
How does making right choices help us make more right choices?
Right choices allow us to be free to choose further. When we make wrong choices, like using dangerous drugs or committing crimes, suddenly our choices become limited, we may end up with an addiction or in jail. I could use my education as an example if I hadn't chosen to attend university I wouldn't have the opportunity to support myself and be as financially comfortable as I am now. This is also true for spiritual choices. Choosing God's way is always the right choice, even when it feels hard to do, what's right is not always easy but it is always worth it and when you make right choices you feel your confidence, faith and hope grow, then you want to continue with the right.
Could you talk about your baptism?
Since my parents joined the church before I was born I grew up knowing that I would be baptised at age 8, when I would be able to make my own decision about it. I remember that on the day I wore a beautiful long white dress and all of my family and friends were there. When you are baptised a special prayer is said, you are dipped in the water, covered completely and rise back up again. My baptism was a month after my birthday in winter, and somehow the hot water hadn't been turned on. So I stepped into freezing cold water, I was shivering a lot but I still got in because I knew it was the right thing to do. My Father baptised me and as I rose out of the water I didn't feel the cold anymore, I felt warm in my heart and I forgot that I had been so cold before. I know that the warm feeling was the spirit telling me that what I was doing was right, and though I was probably still cold and shivering when I came out I still can only remember being cold before and warm after my baptism.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
The plan of happiness is God's plan for us all. Knowing that I came from a spiritual family before I came to earth and that after we die our spirits live on comforts me a lot. I have had family members die and I see a lot of death as a nurse, and although I feel sad that they're not with me anymore I don't feel sad that they are gone because I know that they are free from the cares of this life and they're waiting for me to rejoin them one day in the next. Death is not the end for our human relationships and the opportunity is ours to learn about our Heavenly Father and live with him and the people we love again.
How I live my faith
How I am at church is how I am at home and at work. Living as a mormon doesn't stop when you leave the chapel doors, its a lifestyle. My Faith in Jesus Christ directs my choices, it helps me to think of others before my self, to care for and respect the world around me and to feel truly happy even through the difficult parts of life. I go to church on Sundays and an extra religion study class called Institute on Thursdays. At church I have responsibilities, like being the music leader in our general meeting, a teacher in Sunday School, and being a ward missionary which means that I spend time with new members and others learning about our church, helping them to understand what we do and why we do it, hopefully helping them to feel comfortable as they have new and different experiences. As a member of our women's organisation, Relief Society, I am paired up with a wonderful lady who is over 30 years older than me, we visit and teach other women in our area once a month to make sure they're ok and to get to know them better. We are all of different ages and backgrounds but I would still consider them to be as close to me as anyone my age. Also as a young person in the church I spend time with other young single people to get to know them and have a lot of fun. We usually play games, explore nature, have bonfires, eat food we love to eat, and talk about whatever, there's really no end to the fun we have.