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Hi I'm Melissa

I'm a Mormon, and I love it!

About Me

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two young kids and one busy schedule! We spend most of our time at preschool, playdates, running errands, cleaning, and playing at home. I love to go on dates with my husband, spend time with my extended family, read and get together with my bookclub friends, sing, watch shows about cooking, and try new recipes. One thing that seems to surprise people is that I do not blog, or use Twitter, and I am not on Facebook--I would love to catch up with past friends, and look forward to joining those social networks in the future, but for now I'm barely keeping up with my own family:)

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a strong Mormon family and was baptized a member when I was 8 years old. My mom and dad and most extended family members are all Mormon, and following the teachings of Jesus Christ is definitely part of our traditions, heritage, daily lives, and outlooks on the future. We attended church together weekly, and I remember enjoying the friends I had there, singing beautiful hymns, and learning about our loving God and Jesus Christ. I was taught at a young age to recognize the warm feelings in my heart as the Spirit testifying of truth and I felt those most often when learning the gospel and when around family. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace...gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." (Galatians 5:22-23) One of my younger sisters is significantly handicapped both physically and mentally, and growing up with her in our family made our childhood experience different than most; we are so grateful for her and all that she teaches us. My parents have incredible patience and undeniable integrity--they are compassionate and caring at church, at home, in the community, whether amidst strangers or friends. The values they believe in have become a part of them, so they live these values every day, the best that they can. Although some might say it was a natural transition for me to absorb these beliefs, I do not continue to practice them only because they do; I choose to take the time to read the scriptures and pray daily, and try to apply what I learn from the examples of ancient prophets to local leaders, to family and friends. My faith has grown because doing these things has brought me happiness and I feel closer to God. The gospel gives us simple and profound answers to important questions: that we are children of a loving God who sent us to live on Earth in families to learn to love each other and to show our faith. Because of the Atonement, death, and Resurrection of our perfect Savior Jesus Christ, and if we live the commandments, we can return to live with our families in heaven again. Knowing that each of us on Earth is a child of God, helps me to treat others kindly and choose a positive attitude. But knowing this does not make my life "picture perfect:" I have daily struggles with my own shortcomings and frustrations at circumstances beyond my control, our family experiences times of chaos and tension and health concerns (our son was born 3 months premature and has special needs), and I worry sometimes about raising children in a world with so many harsh realities and shifting values. However, during those times when I feel stressed, disconnected, impatient, or disgruntled, I'm even more grateful that I can also find strength and peace. I just have to choose to slow down, listen to my heart, and focus and reflect on "the big picture." Being a Christian has always made sense to me, in good times and bad, and even amidst disappointments and difficult hardships and tears, in my heart I have sincerely always felt a fundamental peace knowing that God has a plan for me and for everyone. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

How I live my faith

The Mormon church encourages us as members to be actively serving and participating as much as possible in whatever capacity is needed in our area. We feel most everything on this Earth has been given to us from God, and the little we have to give back to express our gratitude is ourselves--our time, efforts, and our willingness to help others. In our community our family tries to help support teachers at school, be good neighbors, volunteer on hospital parent boards, coach little league teams, and participate in charity walks, etc. I personally have enjoyed helping in our church by teaching members about Jesus Christ through scriptures and songs. I have taught children from 18 months old, to elementary school kids, to teenagers, and adults and always learned more from my students than they learned from me! Currently, I am part of the leadership in the church's organization which looks after charitable needs of women in our community. Every week, in addition to church services, I meet with a few women and we discuss how we can help the women in our church feel the love of God and how we can help in their daily lives (for example providing meals for someone who recently had surgery, coordinating lesson plans for Sunday services, checking in on widows, or visiting women to lift their spirits and share their burdens). It is humbling to serve with such selfless and dedicated women. Even when I do not have these specific responsibilities, I enjoy participating by simply showing up to Sunday meetings, making new friends, being prepared by reading the lesson materials, singing with the congregation, and supporting others as they share their feelings and teach me. As a family, we read scriptures and pray together every night, attend church together every week, and reserve Monday nights to spend time with each other. We try to "practice what we preach," and show kindness to those we meet and be generally helpful, responsible citizens of our community. My husband and I find strength in our faith, and our greatest desire is to teach our children to know for themselves that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind and though we are not perfect, He is! We will make mistakes every single day, but as we try to learn from them, and change ourselves little by little, we can improve and become better family members, friends, and Christians. By following the example of Jesus Christ and His commandments, we will be most happy here on Earth and because of the Grace of Jesus Christ and our righteous choices, we can be worthy to live together in heaven, in eternal happiness, one day.