Hi I'm Natalie
I married my best friend less than a year ago. We met in high school, but were more acquaintances than friends. When we met up again two years later, we became fast friends. After a long courtship, with a short intermission while I lived in Peru as a missionary, we were married. We don't have children yet, but I am so excited to share that journey with my best friend. I'm a university student studying Early Childhood Education with a minor in teaching English as a second language. I speak Spanish, so my minor also includes learning how to teach in bilingual classrooms. Teaching is my passion. I love every part of it and can't wait to have my own classroom with my own students. I finish my degree this year. My personal favorites: The symphony is not only music to my ears, it's peace to my soul. Reading children's books, Harry Potter and Jane Austen takes me to other worlds where I relax and have new adventures. Chocolate and peanut butter make my mouth water. On a Sunday night you'll find me playing card and board games with my family--my brothers and sisters (there are 8 of them!) and/or my in-laws.
Why I am a Mormon
I'm a Mormon because being so makes me feel complete. So what do I mean when I say it makes me feel complete? Being a Mormon fills in all the gaps. For example, life isn't perfect, bad things happen (even to good people). Knowing about God helps me feel peace during those times. The world has a lot to offer, good things and bad. Being a Mormon helps me know what things I should stay away from and what things will help me be happy and successful. I could mention more gaps, but my point is that being a Mormon fills them and makes me feel happy about the present and hopeful for the future.
Can you think of a specific challenge in your family that Gospel Principles helped overcome?
When I was 10 years old my mother gave birth to my baby sister, Bryanna. She had been diagnosed with Hypo-Plastic Left Heart Syndrome, which essentially means only half of her heart was fully developed and properly functioning. Doctors told our family she would only live for a few hours or a few days. Miraculously she lived longer than that, but after four months she passed away. Without the faith in Heavenly Father's plan for families, we would have been grief stricken and torn apart. However, because we had faith that we can live together as a family forever, even after death, we were able to cope. It was hard, but we felt peace that four months wasn't the end of our relationship. It really was only the beginning. I have faith that I will see my baby sister again.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
Mormons go on missions to invite other to learn how to have faith in Christ, how to repent, how to be baptized, how to receive the Holy Ghost, and how to endure to the end. I went on a mission to share these things because they're what make me happy. I left my family, friends, job, college studies, etc. to serve my Heavenly Father and to help others (who I consider my brothers and sisters) to have the same happiness I have. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
The Book of Mormon teaches me more about Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ is God's son and was perfect just like God is, when I learn about Jesus I also learn about God. Learning about God makes me feel closer to Him, just like learning more about a friend makes you feel closer to him. The Book of Mormon also tells about people just like me and you who wanted to do the right thing. When I read about how those people did the right thing and came closer to God, I feel like I can do the same thing. I know that if God cared for those people He also cares for me and will help me.
How I live my faith
Once a month I teach the women's organization (Relief Society) about the basic principles of the Gospel. At first I wasn't sure I'd have anything to teach them because they already know so much. But I pray and read my scriptures as I prepare and God always opens my mind to new insights or specific principles I should share. Sometimes I feel like the lessons I prepare teach me more than they do the women I'm supposed to teach! I also regularly visit two of the women that go to church with me. We talk about the Gospel and watch out for each other. They are not just people I go to church with, they are my neighbors and friends.