Hi I'm Kristen
I am a wife to a wonderful husband and a new mom to a baby boy who is almost two years old. I do accounting related work at a local University and recently finished my Master of Business Administration. My husband is currently finishing up his Master's in Accounting. We love country music and country dancing! We are extremely busy but very blessed. I have enjoyed many hobbies throughout the years including painting, scrapbooking, competitive fastpitch softball, and anything to do with numbers, budgeting, and Excel spreadsheets. And I'm a member of the Fightin' Texas AGGIE class of 2006, WHOOP!
Why I am a Mormon
I did not grow up as a member of the LDS Church, or Mormon. I was raised going to the Episcopal Church and I always knew that Jesus Christ was real. As I got older, I struggled to figure out how to find happiness. The college lifestyle was fun at first, but I soon began to feel like the life I was living was pointless. At the beginning of my second year in college, I met my future husband. We worked together at a local restaurant and soon became friends. There was something about him that I could tell was somehow different or special. One of the first thoughts I had was, "He must have had a good mother." He was genuine, kind, and respectful towards me. I was in a turbulent part of my life, and my best friend and future husband was there through all of it. Eventually we started dating and talking about religion. We had some disagreements, and he asked me to speak with missionaries in order to better understand his beliefs. I said no, many times, but he patiently agreed to respect my boundaries. He gave me a Book of Mormon, but I did not read it. After another month of me asking more questions about his beliefs, I hesitantly agreed to meet with the missionaries. I was scared. I thought it would be weird. But when I started taking the lessons, the things they said made sense. It wasn't too far fetched. That helped me to be comfortable. I started reading the Book of Mormon chapters the missionaries gave me to read. At first, I just did it to please others. But after attending Church a few times and speaking with other members and converts people who joined the Church at an older age, I felt inspired. I decided that I really wanted to know for MYSELF if all of this was true. I prayed and prayed for an answer, but felt like I wasn't receiving one. All I knew was that I felt peace when I read the Book of Mormon and I felt happy when I went to Church. I decided to keep going until I got an answer. The more I met with the missionaries and went to Church, the more I realized that what I was learning answered questions I've always had about life and just seemed to make sense. After several inquiries to be baptized and me saying no many times, one time I decided that I could set a baptismal date, and that if I didn't feel right about it, I wouldn't have to go through with it. It was from that point that I started to understand that the Lord had been answering me all along. I HAD been feeling the Spirit testify to me that these things were true. The peace and joy that I had felt were evidence of that. Since I have been baptized, I have never looked back. I know this is true. Jesus Christ has restored His Church, and the fullness of His Gospel, upon the Earth today. He is at the head of this Church and leads Prophets and Apostles to teach us how to keep the Lord's commandments in a world with changing values. I now know that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me unconditionally. That is something I never felt or comprehended before, but I feel now. And that is why I am a Mormon.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
Many Mormons go on missions because we want to share the happiness and joy that we have found. It is not required, but is encouraged! I love the George Strait song that says, "There's a difference in living and living well...you can't have it all all by yourself...something's always missing 'till you share it with someone else..." I think it describes the spirit of missionary work, which is that we love each other and people naturally want to share the good things in life with those that we love. What would Heaven be without our families? What good would our salvation be without being able to share it with others? Shortly after I got baptized, I really felt like I wanted to share what I had found and how the gospel literally changed my life. I wanted to tell people that there was another way, that they didn't have to be unhappy. That they didn't have to think that there was no way that they could change. I wanted people to understand that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins. We call this the Atonement. He did this so that we would all return to Him, if we would but follow Him. I always felt like I was not good enough or could never change. But that is a lie that Satan tells us. I wanted to shout it out, that none of us are ever too far gone! We go on missions for a year and a half to two years, in a place that is not where we live. We devote 100% of our time to missionary work and do not have other jobs or go to school during that time. We are not paid to do this, and support most of our own living expenses. We are with another person 24/7. I believe that missions are done this way so that we can really focus on our purpose: which is to bring others to Christ. We can completely give our all and take every opportunity to share the gospel with those we come in contact with. I served my mission in the West Virginia area. I learned so much about life, people, and the gospel. I wouldn't trade the experiences I had for anything. That was such a special time in my life, and it became ever more apparent that God is actively involved in our lives, and that He knows each and every one of us by name.
How I live my faith
Right now, I work with girls ages 8-12 in our ward. We have activities how to live the gospel, give service, and develop talents. It is really fun to interact with these sweet girls! I try to live the way that Christ would want me to and show others that He loves them.