Hi I'm Samantha
I grew up in Scotland and I am a daughter to wonderful parents who moved to the US for a better environment. I recently got back from serving a full-time mission in the beautiful islands of Hawaii - and yes, I miss it everyday; not necessarily for just the weather, but for the people, the memories, the experiences and for what it symbolizes to me. It was there that my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was strengthened. It was there that I saw the miraculous power of God change the lives of people. And it was there that I changed. I LOVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is such a great part of me and of who I am.
Why I am a Mormon
At some point, everyone is backed against a wall of faith and we need to be the ones who make the choice of where we stand. I grew up Mormon; my parents were converts to the Church when they were teenagers in Hong Kong. Growing up I took the Church for granted and I guess you could say I lived off my parents' testimonies. My mission was a turning point for me. Being blessed with the opportunity to study 2 hours a day everyday for 18 months and to testify each day and share with people the Gospel has helped me to grasp the Gospel principles and understand the reality of the Savior's Sacrifice for us. Once I knew that - once I finally realized that I had a testimony of my own, there was no going back. I know why I am here, I know what is expected of me and more importantly, I know that following Christ is the ONLY way to true peace, joy and happiness. I know Jesus is the Christ, that I have a loving Father in Heaven who listens to me and knows on a very personal level who I am and what my needs are. I've seen it over and over again how He has catered lessons to teach me and strengthen me. I know the Holy Ghost is real and will guide us when we let him. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book and that the principles it teaches and testifies of are true. I know the Atonement, or the Sacrifice the Savior made for each and every one of us, is real. I have felt it and experienced its power of forgiveness, repentance and love.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
I pray quite a lot. I pray every morning and every night. I pray over my food. I pray when I'm nervous and terrified. I pray before a test and after a test in gratitude. I pray for guidance about school. I pray for others. I talk quite a lot too. I talk to Heavenly Father when I'm on the bus, I talk to Him when I'm walking on the street, I talk to Him when I'm out on the balcony, looking up at the stars when I'm troubled. I share with Him my desires, my dreams, my hopes. I let Him know the decisions and choices I've made. Sometimes, I'll even rant to him a bit. I ask for His approval, I tell Him about the things that make me happy and I ask Him for help to be better.
How can your talents and gifts bless others?
You know, I use to think I wasn't talented or gifted in anyway *compared* to my other friends. But then, I realized how foolish that thought was. Everyone has gifts or talents that touch someone - someone who needed you specifically. Now, I still haven't amounted to much, but I do recognize that I have some gifts that God has blessed me with that can help others. I love hugs! I know that my hugs have brightened someone's day before and I know that because of them, even if it didn't mean much to everyone else, it meant something to someone in particular - because now we're friends. There's trust because she knows I care. Gifts and talents don't need to be fancy or big, but God does give each and everyone of us gifts AND talents.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
Because we see how much it has blessed our lives and how it can change us, as individuals, we want that for everyone else too! Most of all, it is because we love our God and it is something that He wants us to do - so we'll go do it, at any cost.
How I live my faith
I attend church every week and I take institute (religion) classes on campus twice a week. I am a leader in the Young Women's organization - which is a great program for girls from the ages of 12-18. I have the blessing of teaching them every month, developing friendships with them and helping them with their personal progress. Personal progress is a program that helps them prepare for the greatest blessings Heavenly Father has in store for His children; the Temple - where we can be united to our families for Time and all Eternity and not just "till death do us part".