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Hi I'm Jennifer

I am an artist, a substitute teacher, and an equine therapy volunteer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

"Life is like a box of chocolates," as Forrest Gump's mother told him. "You never know what you're gonna get." I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Idaho. Met my husband there and eventually ended up in Minnesota. I started out as a teaching major, but quickly dropped that, declaring to myself that I didn't like kids all that much. Instead I got a degree in art, but ironically have spent the past decade substitute teaching pre-school through senior high because, I discovered, I love children more than everybody else. I still create art, but not for a living. Another irony of my life is that I hated running in my youth. More precisely, I was terrified of it, of that burn in the lungs when I just didn't think I'd live another minute. In recent years, however, I became a runner, and even ran a half-marathon in one of my favorite cities--Dululth, Minnesota. I miss many things about my east coast life, as well as the home we once knew in the Rockies. But I love the expanse of the Midwest as well: the people, the land and the weather that forever keeps us on our toes. So many experiences that my youthful self would have never dreamed up as a part of my future: travel, horses, children of all ages and abilities, snow up to my hips and races that take me farther than I ever knew I could go. I'm so thankful for the adventure that is life.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother was ready to be baptized into this faith when I was 12 years old. She had studied it before and upon seeing the missionaries that one August day, was most anxious to join ranks with this church very quickly. I followed in her footsteps willingly but naively as well. I learned what a Mormon was as I grew up in the church. Going from twice-a-year attendees of our former church to living the gospel daily was a huge change in our lives, but a welcomed one. My faith gave me courage to stand up to bullies and learn how to pray to my Father in heaven, and know he was there for me all along. As I chose to continue in the path of my growing faith, all the greatest blessings of my life have been unfolded unto me. Where there have been challenges, I've found hope. When it seemed all would be lost, the power of prayer showed me that tomorrow is still a gift waiting to be opened. No covenant I've ever kept with the Lord has led me astray. No promise made has ever shackled me with an unwanted burden. The cleanliness of my life-- regarding my body as a temple not to be used by any worldly filth of deed, habit or thought--has afforded me a peace of mind few people have who choose otherwise. Some wonder how I could live a life of temperance, while I wonder, how could I not? And knowing that God loves all of his children, no matter their creed or station, gives me great comfort in this life. Though I'm under obligation to share his gospel with all who would hear it, simultaneously, the babe who dies in his mothers arms is not damned to hell, nor is the heathen who's never heard of Christ. Knowing that Christ is the Savior of all mankind, and knowing his love and sacrifice for me personally, as well as for you, fuels my desire to press on and be all that I can be to please Him.

How I live my faith

My career as a substitute teacher plays well into the roles I fill at church as well. We have a small congregation, 'out in the sticks,' as some might say. There's a frequent need for flexibility in filling all the various post that would be more easily accomplished in a larger group of people. I've been formally assigned to every position I could hold, and I'm on my second round. Each position has challenged and taught me. Twenty years ago, I would've been uncomfortable doing many things that I'm called upon to do regularly now. Today, confidence follows me in most assignments, both the planned ones as well as the surprises. My acceptance of all that came before plays a large part in my ability to press forward with faith, come what may. So, what specific things I have I been asked to do? -I've taught Sunday School to every age group of children and adults. I taught early morning bible study classes before school to teens 5 days a week for a 2.5 years. I've been in charge of the women's organization, as well as played supportive roles under others in that same position. The same goes for both the young women's and children's organizations as well. I've been activities chairperson. (Gotta confess--ironically, not really my favorite post). I've filled in so much in leading the hymns during our sacrament meetings, I can't recollect for sure if I was ever actually called to that position or not. Seems like I was, ha! Being in a branch is like being a part of an extended family. We all work together to get the job done, whatever that might be. Our ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere conducive to feeling the presence of the Holy Ghost, that we might edify one another and be edified ourselves. When that occurs, peace and joy are felt, regardless of however humble our circumstances may be. For, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be also."