Hi I'm Sarah
BYU student, marathoner, + a returned LDS sister missionary from the Brazil Recife Mission.
Throughout my entire life I have always loved trying new things and coming up with new hobbies, which is probably why I love them all but am no expert in any single one. (: I tried just about everything pre-college (tap dancing, softball, cheerleading, color guard, track + field, and theatre, to name a few), but theatre and running ultimately emerged as my two favorites by the time I enrolled at Brigham Young University in the fall of 2009. Once I arrived at BYU, my love for running really started to take off and led me to run and compete in 5Ks and half marathons. I even ran my first marathon (Utah Valley) in 2012. I dream of qualifying to run Boston and the more I learn about and get involved with running, the more excited I get about the idea of helping others become more physically fit and fall in love with the sport, as well! I returned home in January 2015 from my 18-month Latter-day Saint (church) mission to Recife, Brazil. It was a life-changing experience and I have absolutely fallen in love with everything Brazil/Portuguese-related. I learned so much about my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the joy that comes from selfless service. I can't wait to go back and visit within the new few years! I am currently studying English Teaching (BA) at BYU with a minor in Theatre Arts Studies. I plan to graduate in April 2017 and shortly thereafter be a high school English teacher & cross-country coach!
Although I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints my entire life (my parents are both converts to the Church), like anyone else, I have also had my fair share of trials, disappointments, and doubts. About 6 months after returning home from my mission in Brazil, I had a few different episodes of depression and anxiety that I didn't understand. I had always been such a happy person and had loved my mission, so I was confused, disappointed in myself, and started to doubt my faith. However, the one thing that kept me going and has continued to keep me going through my highest highs and lowest lows is my testimony of The Book of Mormon. While my mind can sometimes get caught up in discouraging thoughts, when I think about The Book of Mormon, I have an undeniable belief that that book is true, because I have received a witness of that personally. I know that the promise found on its title page is real: if you ask God, He will testify to you through the power of the Holy Ghost that it is indeed true. And if it is true, then Joseph Smith (its translator) was a true prophet; and therefore the Church that he restored is the Lord's true Church here on the earth today: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I love this Gospel simply because it makes sense. The principles taught therein and the standards that I have developed as I have studied and learned over the years keep me safe and bring me more joy than I could possibly express! This, combined with my full-time missionary experience in Brazil and many experiences with friends and family has changed my life for the better. I know that God, our loving Heavenly Father, loves us all SO much and knows us each individually. I know that He answers our prayers and when something is important to us, it is important to Him. If we but ask, whether it is to know if the Book of Mormon is true or simply for comfort on a difficult day, we undoubtedly shall receive.
I am without a doubt a "people person." I absolutely love being social, all day + every day. Because of this, I've loved every calling I've been extended in the Latter-day Saint (LDS) Church. One of my favorite callings thus far has been serving as the leader of a group of college-aged young women at BYU during the 2012-13 school year, mostly because I had the opportunity to get to know these girls really well + serve them on an individual basis. Another one of my favorite callings was in the summer of 2013, when I was the Sunday School teacher for a small group of 5- and 6-year-old children in my congregation. Having the opportunity to teach these kids every week was an incredibly fun and eye-opening experience, because overall I feel that they definitely taught me way more than I taught them. In between all the jokes, activities + snacks, of course. (: One of my favorite callings to date was as a full-time missionary for the LDS church. I served for 6 weeks in Detroit, Michigan while I was waiting on my visa to be processed, and then served the remainder of my 18-month mission in Recife, Brazil. I learned and grew SO much in such a short period of time about my Savior, Jesus Christ, and what He would do if He were in my shoes. I learned how to love and give EVERYTHING I had, even when it seemed impossible. I know that the Lord strengthens our weaknesses and lifts us up, even when we think we can't take one more step. We just have to invite Him into our lives and ask for His divine help, and He will always be there! I have always loved music, so as I currently am serving in my ward as the ward choir director it has quite honestly been a dream come true! I love practicing with and directing the incredibly talented musicians in my ward. I believe that the music we sing in church meetings brings the Spirit in so strongly and I feel so lucky to be able to select the songs for the choir to sing and practice and (eventually!) perform in some of our church meetings.