Hi I'm Ruben
I'm a Mormon.
I grew up as a young Hispanic mostly in southeast Texas. It wasn't the easiest thing growing up there. As part of a military family, we moved around a lot so it was sometimes hard to make and keep friends. My parents helped get me through those sometimes difficult years. I am so fortunate to be where I am. My dad, as a child, used to pick fruit in Texas and California, with his brothers to earn money for the family. My grandparents were mostly laborers in the fields or as custodians. I was able to go to college and law school on scholarship, and now work as a regulatory attorney. It's amazing how much God can bless generations of a family! I am a wannabe foodie, love working in my garden (my wife teasingly says I'm obsessed--but hey I can think of worse things to be obsessed with), and love traveling to the Pacific Islands. My wife was born in New Zealand and of Hawaiian and Maori descent, so luckily we can visit those lovely places! I am a father of three fun-loving children and am happily married to my lovely wife.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born into a Mormon household. But during my teenage years, I started to have a lot of questions. For example, how could people really know--i mean KNOW, that God lives, or that he had a true Church? I thought you could believe it, even believe it very strongly. But I didn't think it was possible to actually know---like you know the sun is there. I finally decided to ask God. I remember reading the Book of Mormon over a period of three months, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, as a teenager. I would repeatedly ask him if what I was reading was true. I would ask if this Church was true. I felt so good but still needed to know for sure. I remember the specific moment when I knew it was. I don't know how to explain it. It is like trying to explain what salt tastes like---you can give examples of what it might be like, or what it is not, but can't exactly explain it. But you know it when you taste it. That knowledge has helped me through the challenges that we all face in life---loneliness, job loss, illnesses of a loved one, etc. I don't always know why things happen, but my knowledge that this is His true Church, that he loves me, that he loves us all, helps me find answers or be okay when the answers don't always come quickly. Knowing that I have a Savior that can help be be a better person, that can literally carry me through difficult times, and can guide me, has made all the difference in my life.
How I live my faith
I just try to be loving and kind to others. Growing up in the south, I sometimes faced racism, some more hateful than another. It was hard for me as a child to not have a lot of hard feelings for some people. As I grew up I realized that I needed to let go of resentful feelings, even if they were justified. I just needed to love others like the Savior loves us. It is not always easy, but I have been able to get better at it through the years. I try to be a good neighbor too and accept others' differences. I think our world would be a better place if we just learned that good people can have differences, and even serious differences of opinion, and still be good people. I try to remember this whenever I get annoyed by someone. I especially try and be a good husband and father. I figure that with all my faults, if I can just be good at that, then life will be happy.