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I grew up in Salt Lake City; never thought I'd leave Utah. After my husband and I graduated college, we with our two small kids moved to Indianapolis for his graduate studies. We thought we would be here for three years and move on with life. Three kids and 9 years later, we are still here. For the first 6 years in Indy, I worked from home as the administrative director of a down payment program. I answered the 1.800 number, received and processed grants for the foundation while at the same time trying to keep track of two, then three, then four kids. I tried to maintain a "professional" atmosphere, at least from what the callers could hear, which was sometimes hard with the kids fighting or whining in the background. Most people didn't seem to mind the extra "helpers" they heard, thankfully. Over the last 8 years, our house has been in some form of remodel. It takes a lot of hard work and patience to demo and rebuild while living in the work project. Sometimes I have a little more patience with the disorder and unfinished projects than other times, just ask my husband. I enjoy listening to music (Billy Joel, MJ, Reba, and other 80's stuff), blasting it and dancing around with my kids. I love playing soccer; I think it's the best sport there is. I love being active and exercising, which most often is running 2-3 miles on my old, very noisy treadmill. I enjoy biking and swimming in the backyard with family and friends. Despite it's ups and downs, life is good.
I was born and raised in the church. My mom and dad, with us 7 kids, always went to church and they did the best they could to regularly have family prayer, scripture study and family home evening. I grew up believing it was true, but mostly relying on what my parents and leaders had taught me over the years. I was in college, deciding whether or not to serve a mission, when I realized I needed to receive my own witness. I needed my own answer to prayer. I had been praying and asking if the Book of Mormon was true, but hadn't received an immediate yes. I went to a young adult fireside where we watched a video of Bruce R McConkie's last testimony in General Conference before he died. I felt the spirit strongly as I listened and pondered my question. Then we sang "Oh My Father" and the feeling, almost words, came to my mind that it was true. It was all true. That was years ago, but I remember that moment. There have been other moments where, if I'm quiet enough and take time to listen, I can feel the Lord directing me, prompting me in one way or another. When I have followed those little whispers, I have been blessed, comforted, protected and guided. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I know following the standards, principles and ordinances offered in this gospel is the only way to true joy and lasting peace. During the hardest trials in my life, when I thought it would have been so much easier to throw my arms up and walk away from what I'd been taught, deep down I knew that such a choice would not lead to a happier life. As I've endured along the gospel path through my struggles, I have felt the Savior's loving arms around me, sustaining and supporting me, encouraging me to press on because the eternal blessings are worth the price paid in this life.
First of all, I live my faith by how I live my life. I don't know what my life would be like without the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know the standards Jesus Christ has set so we have joy in this life. I strive to live those standards to the best of my ability. I'm not perfect, but I know if I press forward with faith in Christ, I can do those things He has asked me to do. I show my faith in how I deal with my family. I try to help my children see a bigger picture than just this moment, however important that moment might seem. One of my responses when my kids come to me with "He hit me" because "She took my Legos" is: "Is that what Jesus would do?" I'm trying to teach my kids, and remind myself, "How would the Savior respond?" then follow that idea. It's not always easy, but I hope I can get better. As a family, over the last four years, we have been an active part in our inner city neighborhood. We have helped build two neighborhood pocket parks, one with playground equipment, and a neighborhood garden. During the summer months, we work every other Saturday morning to maintain those parks. My kids know that before they can play at the park, they have to pick up 10-20 pieces of trash. We hope by doing these acts of simple service, to make this part of the "hood" a better and safer place to live. Currently, I serve the women 18 and older. I oversee the weekly teaching on Sundays and assist with any temporal needs of sisters and families, which may mean getting them food for the next two weeks or making sure someone visits or calls to check up on them. In addition, and with the help of a few other sisters, we organize monthly activities focusing on building faith, strengthening home and families, service and self reliance. Through these activities, I hope the sisters will not only learn something that will better themselves and their families, but I hope that they will feel of their Father's abiding love for them and His desire for their ultimate joy and happiness.