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Hi I'm Holly

I'm a marketer, a teacher, a volunteer, and a quirky 6' 2" Scrabble enthusiast. I'm simply me, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a lot like you--life hasn't exactly turned out the way I planned. I expected to be a mother many times over now, with well-behaved kids, two dogs, a picket fence and some random job in the PTA. But somewhere along the way my life headed in a different direction, and though there are days I wish my childhood expectations had come to pass, for the most part, I love where I'm at. I have an astounding array of wonderful friends--single and married--who make me laugh, think, cry and laugh some more. Those friends are scattered all around the world, and half my heart is back in Russia, where I lived for 18 months as a proselytizing missionary for the Mormon Church. Before serving that mission, I earned my associate's degree in art, and when I returned, a bachelor's in public relations. And since I had "nothing else" going on, eventually found myself earning a master's degree in mass communications. I've worked for years in the "real world", but have decided that teaching is the career that brings me joy, so I'm gathering nerve to go back for a Ph.D. I likely won't ever have children of my own and rue that empty spot in my life, but there's something so marvelous about being able to impact lives--those students will have to suffice as my legacy. In my free time, I sit on a school board and volunteer with a large choir. I don't sing well myself, but joined a community Gospel Choir--a fact that makes my friends and family chortle. I have a tendency to color my hair oddly, laugh far too loud, and cannot pass up a delicious meal. I lead the grocery cart from the front, compulsively round my gas to the nearest dollar, pray night and morning, adore the Bible, and gave up my running list of U2 and Smash Mouth to listen to religious podcasts while I exercise. I've seen the dark side of life and watched people I care for struggle with the demons of mental illness, addiction to drugs and pornography, and other destructive forces, but I'm learning to dwell in joy. I love my family, I love my church, and I love my God.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents are Mormon. Their parents were Mormon. And their parents were Mormon. Some would (and have) accused me of being Mormon more as a result of the law of physics than a choice. Hardly. Every honest member of the Church has to face the choice at some point--is it true or isn't it? It's not always easy being Mormon, just as it's not always easy to stay committed and true to any belief you hold dear--you will always be challenged. My own belief in God has built over the years, drop by drop, as He has blessed my life, guided me, healed me and given me hard moments of growth. Even in my darkest moments--and they've been dark for me, just as they've been dark for you--I have never doubted that God loves me and knows me--Holly--better than I know myself. Most of the world, though, believes in some higher power--why do I choose Mormonism? 2009 was probably the hardest year of my life. I was shaken down to my foundation as I dealt with issues--both my own, and the troubles of people very dear to me. I felt disconnected and broken and angry and hurt and all I wanted to do was rebel and leave. I railed at God. Every day. During that dark time, I forced myself to go to the Open House tour of one of the newly built Mormon temples nearby. Alone, silent, angry and hurt, I distinctly remember walking slowly up the stairs in that crowd of people, telling myself I didn't belong amongst all these happy families. And without warning, this warm flood of reassurance and love came over me, and something in my heart whispered that--whether or not I felt I belonged amongst any group of people--I DID belong with God. I belonged with Him, and TO Him. This church has taught me that God is my Father (yours too), and He wants me to eventually come home to Him. The path back home is what the Mormon Church is all about. I'm a Mormon because this Church teaches me how to have a relationship with God and with Jesus now, and how to return to them after this life--to a place I can be forever with my family. I knew it already with my head, but at that moment on the stairs, in a crowd of people and swimming in my own pool of anger and hurt, I knew with my painted and tired heart that God loves me, and that the Church is true. It's the place for me.

How I live my faith

I love teaching--it brings me to life. In the Mormon Church, members are asked to volunteer in a variety of positions in their congregation--in fact, everything is organized and run on a volunteer basis. These positions are referred to as "callings", and whenever anyone asks me "what my calling is", I give the same answer--the "BEST calling in the Church". I teach. I've taught Sunday School for years. I've taught children in the organization for kids ("Primary"), and currently teach in the women's organization ("Relief Society"). The best part of teaching is helping people to consider their faith in a new light, and to learn something new about their relationship with God. I am perpetually amazed by the thoughtful answers and insights of the women with whom I interact. Aside from teaching, there are always an abundance of activities going on in my congregation--dinners, dances, parties, service projects, trips to art shows, temple service, even a good pinewood derby from time to time. The Mormon Church is, for me, a spiritual center. But it also offers plenty of social interaction with people who believe the same things I do. But by FAR, my favorite thing about the Mormon Church is the emphasis on building a personal relationship with God. Yes, we have a president and prophet who leads the Church--he receives guidance for all 14M of us. But God is infinite and loving, which means He has both the time and the desire to have a personal relationship with me. Isn't that amazing?