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Hi I'm Malissa!

I'm a second grade teacher, who loves encouraging students to believe in their abilities. I also love to sing and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I never knew that my life would take me to Utah! While spending most of my childhood in western Pennsylvania, I had always wondered about my future and what kind of person I would become. It was not until I became a sophomore in high school when I realized that my "obtainable" dream included becoming an elementary school teacher. How lucky am I to have finally reached that goal and to be who I am now. As I was figuring out my career plans in high school, I was also trying to figure out my beliefs. I was raised in a Christian home (more specifically, Presbyterian), but was not active in attending or participating in church-related activities (including Sunday service). Due to unfortunate circumstances that took place in my home, I yearned for something more in my life - security and peace. Since I had felt those feelings during church services, I thought that would be the best place to search. I was lucky at the time to have great, Christian friends who invited me to participate in their church activities. I began attending an Assembly of God church with these friends, and also had opportunities to explore other denominations including Catholicism, Baptist, Lutheranism, and Non-Denominational. I became the most interested in a Non-Denominational church, and was baptized there. Several months after my baptism, I began baby-sitting for a family of the Mormon faith. Their example and faithfulness influenced my decision to investigate the LDS Church.

Why I am a Mormon

The family mentioned previously were the most influential in my decision-making of becoming a Mormon. The light that shone so brightly in their countenances truly caught my attention the most. I knew that this family truly loved the Lord and one another. This family invited me to attend Church services with them and participate in family activities (including family scripture study and games). During these activities, I felt love, peace, and comfort - I never wanted to leave. When the time did come for me to leave, I would go back to my own home and notice those feelings I had felt were not as strong. I finally built up the courage to ask the family if I could learn more about their faith. While first investigating the Church, I did not feel comfortable. I was nervous while meeting with missionaries and I felt awkward in a new church setting. Nonetheless, many members of the Church provided a warm welcome and helped me feel appreciated. I began to make friends who continually invited me back to participate in Church services and activities. In addition, I began to have questions answered by the missionaries, which made sense to me. I questioned them regarding the "after-life" and my purpose on earth. The missionaries helped me learn about the beautiful plan God has for each of us. As everything began falling into place, I decided to tell my own family what I had been learning. Unfortunately, they were not pleased in my activity in the LDS Church and had wanted me to quit learning. I prayed earnestly to know what to do and felt guided to continue learning. Against the wishes of my family, I decided to be baptized. I was baptized at the age of 18, and am still proud of the decision I had made. Since my baptism, I have been the most happy, have seen many miracles, and have endured many trials. Because of the grace of God, I have been blessed. I will always be very grateful to the family who took the time to teach me about the Lord's Church.

How I live my faith

While investigating the Church, I learned about many characteristics I wanted to see in myself; I wanted to be a woman of honesty, trustworthiness, and good cheer. As I participate in my Church callings, I become more of this woman through my responsibilities and actions. Currently, I play the piano for the sisters in our ward while singing the hymns. In the past, I have had opportunities to serve in different venues. These responsibilities have included that of serving the sisters in my church through emotional and spiritual support, promoting and participating in missionary efforts, and serving a full-time mission for 18-months in Salt Lake City. In general, these service opportunities have taught me how to love and serve those in need, place others before myself, and how to accept differences in other people.

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Prayer. Prayer is a two-way conversation that requires effort from both participants; you and God. A prayer does not need to be fancy or eloquent - a simple prayer that is sincere and full of intent is all that is required (meaning, you will act on the feelings you receive in your heart as you pray). Prayer begins by addressing Heavenly Father ("Dear Heavenly Father"). Next, you thank Him for people and things He has provided you ("I thank thee for..." i.e. my family, friends, job, peace, etc.) Everything good in your life has been given to you from God. Next, you ask Him for things that you need ("I ask thee for..." i.e. guidance and direction in my life, health for my parents, to know if what I am being taught is true, etc.) Finally, you close by saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." We close in Christ's name because he is our advocate with the Father. Other ways of knowing God include going to Church and reading the scriptures. As we go to Church, we are taught principles that Show more Show less