What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Charissa!

I'm a student, a teacher, an avid thrift-store shopper and a social butterfly. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have always loved learning and instilling that love of learning in others. I'm amazed at the lessons we can learn from children and constantly strive to be that example they can look up to. I teach 6-8th grade gifted education and English as a second language. I love getting to know people, becoming part of their lives, and understanding how to best help each and every child reach their potential. Besides my students, my parents and my 6 younger siblings are an important part of my life. I love spending time with them in a variety of ways, but my favorites are our conversations (about every subject under the sun), dancing, bike trips, learning languages, and probably most importantly, playing music and singing together. If I'm not doing the aforementioned things, you can probably find me traveling, learning some new subject/instrument/language, reading, planning, or cooking.

Why I am a Mormon

People often ask me why I chose a career path as a teacher instead of another field and I think my response to this question can also answer why my atheist, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and other friends ask why I am a Mormon today. I believe that the truth can in fact set someone free, and I want all those I meet to gain happiness by understanding truths. It gives me great joy to see their progress and the happiness that ensues as I help someone learn to communicate and understand the world around them--whether that is by teaching them fractions and English or that there is a God who loves them, wants to listen and speak to them, and has restored his authority and church to the earth today. Teachers are oft cited as doing what they do because they enjoy that feeling of someone understanding, and as a member of God's restored church I feel the same joy as I share the restored truths with his children. I was blessed to be raised with this knowledge, but as an adult I continue in believing and trying to do the many things God asks us to do because 1) God testifies to me through his Holy Spirit that they are true and 2) I have seen the proof of that as I am happier doing what God asks. I thought I'd share with you our own Family Motto, which has served as a concise reminder of these things since my childhood when we created it: I am an important part of the [surname] family I can be proud of my family and ancestors We are brothers and sisters so we are kind to each other in word and deed We all love each other We want to always stay together so we read the scriptures, we listen to the prophet, and we will do what they say We will seek learning by study and also by faith We value beauty We will share our blessings by serving others I have a tremendous motivation to help others return as families back to heaven because I know that as I share truths with my students, family, and friends, we will be set free and will all be blessed with peace and happiness.

How I live my faith

I recently returned (okay, it was 2009 but it feels like yesterday sometimes) from volunteering as a missionary for 18 months in Sicily and Bari...Fu un'sperienza straordinaria! I taught Italian, English, Spanish, and shared my love of God with some of the most amazing people on the planet, with the most stupendous companions, in the most gorgeous place in the Mediterranean! I contributed my own personal funds towards this experience and couldn't say more wonderful things about it. It was not easy, but I loved the chance to help those I met learn more truths (everything from the fact that you can eat the green part of scallions, to the fact that you can speak to God in prayer with your own words). God has also instructed us through our living prophet that genealogy and family history work is important, as is keeping our bodies safe, choosing good entertainment, and participating in community service. I try to set aside time for these activities as much as I can. One part of that service is the fact that our church is run by a lay/volunteer clergy: no one is paid, even the leaders. For example, I'm serving currently as the leader in our congregation for the 18-30 year old single women in our metropolitan area, which means we plan events, coordinate efforts to reach out to people we haven't seen in a while, and try to get involved in fun community activities. I also try to be a good Christian, meaning (as we covenant at baptism) to 'take his name upon us' and so therefore, do what Jesus would do if he were here, from giving the smallest smile to my 10% tithing donation to the church, the daily scripture study and the hours spent seeking out the proverbial lost sheep. Lastly, below are links to profile pages by my sister who was a missionary in Croatia and my favorite brain imaging researcher. They've influenced me for good and I appreciate the perspective they give: http://mormon.org/me/1WBN http://mormon.org/me/1MC5/Kevin