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Hi I'm Noelle

I'm a wife, a teacher and a soccer coach who is mildly obsessed with the Republic of Armenia. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Born in Georgia, I came to love the climate, wildlife, plant life, Southern gentility, and "Soul Food" of the South, but now I call Utah home. I enjoy soccer, singing, playing the piano & guitar, reading (Lermontov, Doestovsky, J.D. Salinger, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, Jane Austen & C.S. Lewis, Michael Shaara are some of my favorite authors), snowboarding, wakeboarding, rock climbing, running, movies, dark chocolate and finding any excuse to hang out with/visit my family. I adore history and have been teaching U.S. and Utah History at a charter school for the last four years. I absolutely love the students and subjects that I teach. Best of all, I get to coach soccer for both high schoolers and middle schoolers, so you could pretty much I have the dream job (for me!) I have had a very blessed life and I feel like the last ten years have been especially rewarding. In June of 2007 I entered the Missionary Training Center to serve an LDS mission in Armenia. It changed my life forever. I will never forget those beautiful, vibrant Armenian people. Then, just four years after I returned, I met the love of my life, Dane. He is one handsome, amazing man who is both spiritually and physically strong. Life just keeps getting better. Harder, but better.

Why I am a Mormon

Originally, I was a Mormon because my parents are Mormon. There were seven of us kids and all seven of us were expected to go to church, like it or not. But the truth was, even when I was little, I was fortunate in that I had a natural desire to go to church. Even though I have my rebellious streaks, church was not affected by this. I enjoyed it- I love learning and singing and the communion that I felt there. But I still had a lot to learn about the gospel and church... When I was around 4 or 5 years old, my family began reading the Book of Mormon every morning before school. It was through this process that I learned to read, which, incidentally, began a lifetime love affair with the spoken word, in general. More importantly, I grew to love the Book of Mormon itself- for its uplifting stories, exemplar and, by contrast, ignominious! characters, and the universal themes that I found so applicable in my life. I knew deep down that a book that brought me, my family, and others so much joy, consolation, and enjoyment could not be evil or even written by someone misguided. I knew, even from my early years, that this book was and is the word of God. which meant that its author or, more appropriately, its translator!!! Joseph Smith was called of God and, thus, the church he helped to restore was true. Since those early years, this testimony or witness of the Church's truthfulness has only been strengthened. I participated in the church's seminary program in high school, in numerous church religion courses at BYU, and was even blessed to serve a full-time LDS mission in the Republic of Armenia, all of which have steadily built my belief and faith that the Church is true. The people in the church, certainly, are imperfect, but the Church itself is perfect, the organization of a perfect being- our Heavenly Father. And thus, it is with a head held high that I declare that, yes, "I am a Mormon!"

How I live my faith

When I move to a new area, I basically look up the closest branch often called wards of our church for my social life. I will look up their meeting times and locations, arrive on Sunday and try to acquaint myself with the ward leadership. I ask for a calling or duty to perform as a member of what we often call our "ward family" so that I can get to know people quickly but also just to keep myself out of trouble. Rather than feeling passive, lonely, or overlooked, I try to be proactive and introduce myself to members of our congregation and looking for ways to build them up and serve. Something awesome about our church's organization are the home teaching and visiting teaching programs, through which members watch out for each other. Take the visiting teaching program, for example. It begins with the Relief Society, our organization for women, headed by the Relief Society president, who has counselors, who contact visiting teaching coordinators, who contact sets of two visiting teachers who are, in turn, responsible for visiting 2 or more members of that women's society. They kind of perform spiritual, temporal, and emotional pick-me-ups or checkups, making sure that everyone's needs are known and being met! It's awesome! So if your visiting teacher comes and finds out that you're moving or pregnant, or unemployed, chances are that either that teacher will help you directly or, in many cases, let the Relief Society president know so that you can get the help or just emotional support that you need. That was a long tangent, but it was to explain how I live my faith. You see, I try to serve my fellow sisters. It starts with a visiting teaching assignment, due to which I feel "obligated" to befriend a couple girls. This brings me SUCH great joy, just as I am filled with joy when my own visiting teachers come and visit me. But this service to others doesn't end with a formal calling or assignment. It becomes a way of life for all of us- you look out for each other. Not in an annoying, creepy, or pushy way. Rather, we love each other and just try to expand our sphere of influence and love even beyond the walls of our home. And I hope that this isn't confusing. Originally, I said that I looked to my ward for my social life, but this mentality and lifestyle is so much more than a source of companionship! It's an expression of my faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He's my brother. He loves all of us, more than I can understand, and wants me to act in this way- just the way he did while living on the earth, and just as he would, were he in my place. And that is why I try! to live my faith through service. We love and serve one another.

What is the priesthood?

Noelle
The priesthood is the power and authority to act in God's name. Sometimes people get confused and call people or a group of people "the priesthood." That is incorrect- those people are able to "hold" the priesthood, but are not, in fact, the priesthood. It's much like electricity. Electricity is a power that can be channeled or routed with certain devices/gadgets in order to give power to certain objects. Those devices say, the cords of a telephone wire, or the plug that goes in your wall are not the priesthood- they are "holders" of that special power. In the same way, Heavenly Father has given us a way to harness His power. He allows all worthy males 12 years old and older to channel His power in order to bring about miracles. All of the miracles you hear about- in the Old Testament, the New Testament with Christ & his apostles and later with Peter, Paul, & others in the Acts were performed using this special power. The same is true of the miracles related in the Book of Mormon. Even though it tells of a people located on the opposite side of the globe, they were using that same power. Although we don't always see the huge miracles that are told about in the scriptures every day I haven't seen the Red Sea divide recently! this power is still in use today. A great example is the power to heal, using the priesthood. Just as Christ healed the lepers, the blind, and many others, I have seen priesthood holders act in Christ's name to heal certain, faithful individuals of their ailments or injuries. I, myself, have received blessings of healing that have brought almost immediate comfort, relief from pain, and rapid recovery i.e. a dislocated shoulder last May. One last detail, this sacred, priesthood power is what sets us apart from other religions. Although there are many good, even great religions out there, none has this power and the authority or authorization to use it! It is that distinction that makes it necessary for everyone to be baptized in our church and perform other vital ordinances or duties. It is only when we are baptized by someone holding the correct, true priesthood, restored to Joseph Smith in its purity, that that baptism is in effect! Show more Show less