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Hi I'm Jefferson

I'm an American diplomat. I have worked and lived in Jamaica, Cameroon, Ireland, and Tanzania. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a husband and a father of five. As a diplomat for the United States, I am assigned to work in a new country overseas every three years or so. We have lived as a family in Jamaica, Cameroon, Ireland, and Tanzania. Where ever we go, we know we have each other. My family is the center of my life. I love language. I have enjoyed learning German, Spanish, Swahili, French, and even a little Jamaican Patois. The variety of languages around the world reflect a beautiful diversity of culture and rich human expression. I love to see and hear this richness in new ways. I enjoy being outdoors and enjoying the natural world, hiking, biking, swimming, and sailing. Whenever we can, we keep chickens and goats and try to keep up a vegetable garden. Enjoying homegrown eggs, cheese, and vegetables reminds us that our daily food doesn't just come from a grocery store, but is a gift and blessing from God. With a large family, life is busy (which is good!) but whenever I have a little free time, I really enjoy a good book. I like to read non-fiction (especially history, politics, and theoretical physics) and fiction (especially Wendell Berry, Tolkien, and Tolstoy). One of my prized possessions is the full 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, an English language masterpiece.

Why I am a Mormon

There are many ways to gain knowledge - reading books, watching others, personal experience, the scientific method. I value greatly my education which has taught me to think critically and use logic to solve problems. I also value my religious heritage, which has taught me that knowledge also comes to the mind and heart through spiritual means. Neither logical thought nor spiritual inspiration are complete without the other. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages and nourishes all ways of seeking knowledge. We read and study, learn from the examples of other faithful members, experience love and service, and find inspiration through prayer and worship. Even faith itself is compared to an experiment - like planting a seed to see what grows. I have tested the teachings of the Church, I have tried to live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I have found great peace and happiness. I have found answers to my questions and knowledge that is precious to me. The seed planted in me as a child has grown into a firm and sure faith. To me, the Church is like a hospital with the tools and ability to heal spiritually. We all need that healing from time to time. But when we come to the Church, we realize that the doctors are all patients, too. And as new patients, we are immediately asked to work as doctors, to assist in the work of healing. In fact, it is exactly when we begin to love and serve others that we feel the healing power working within ourselves. The Church has taught me as a patient and as a doctor. It has taught me the ways of happiness, and has given me opportunities to walk those ways. They are the ways of Christ, and they are found in his true Church.

How I live my faith

In my small branch of the Church in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I teach a class in Sunday School about the New Testament, and I love it. I'm not a trained teacher, I'm really just another student. We discuss the words of Christ and his disciples together, and I'm sure I learn more than my class does. My Swahili is definitely getting better! At home, we read from the Bible and the Book of Mormon together before bedtime, and discuss its meaning for us. We give our children opportunities to ask questions and find their own answers. We pray together, and for each other. For us, love begins at home. I try to be an example to others of a Christ-like life. Honesty, virtue, gratitude and kindness are attributes I try to live up to. I try to forgive as readily as I ask for forgiveness. I try to be a good friend. For me, faith is not just something I believe, and it something I am, and something I do. Living my faith means being more and more like the Savior and doing what he would do.