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Hi I'm Charlene

I've lived in Portugal & Jerusalem. I love to travel. I teach Spanish & Ukrainian egg classes. I'm the Mom of 4. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the Mom of four kids, ages 12 and under. I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, we now live in southwestern Michigan - and in spite of the snowy winters, I LOVE it here! I went to college at BYU in Provo, Utah, where I studied Spanish, then taught high school Spanish for a few years. At age 21, I served a mission to Portugal, so I speak "Por-tu-guezh" (a little different from Brazilian Portuguese - tho' I can almost pull off a Brazilian accent if I'm workin' at it!) ;) I also had an incredible opportunity to participate in a study abroad program and lived in Jerusalem for 5 months - AMAZING! I married a terrific Idaho guy and feel like the luckiest girl on earth to have found him. He's the best Daddy I could have ever been blessed to raise children with! I can't imagine my life without him. And it's tough to imagine our lives without the gospel of Jesus Christ to guide us as parents, and to help keep our family bonds strong.

Why I am a Mormon

Some people who look into Mormonism are perhaps 'put off' by what seem to be 'rules and restrictions' that the Church of Jesus Christ 'requires' of its members. The 10 Commandments seem sensible - even necessary - to keep a society's foundation strong; yet some still object to them. Are those overwhelming or restricting? Only when they're inconvenient, I guess! :) 'Commandments' are the same today; principles we live by, every day. Dressing modestly, caring for my body, not smoking or drinking, respecting the Sabbath Day; these don't feel like restrictions to me. They're principles that BLESS MY LIFE. I say that with wholehearted sincerity - & gratitude that I discovered these principles early on in my life, before I could do damage to the gift God gave me - my body. As a Mormon I'm free to do as I please. No one tells me what to do with my life or my time. We study the Bible & other scriptures on Sundays with other church members. We also choose to study at home as a family, as a couple when possible, & individually. We love to learn, but we do NOT study all day long! :) But I'd say we're well-acquainted w/ them. Our children share Bible stories in their own words. They give 'talks' or mini-sermons in the childrens' meeting (called 'Primary') beginning at age 4. At 12 our youth give brief sermons in the main Sunday service! Adults might be asked to give a sermon in the Sabbath service annually. I love it that we're entrusted with that responsibility. I love being a Mormon!

How I live my faith

I've been volunteering in our community teaching parenting skills to young, single mothers and 'unemployable' people - HS dropouts, convicted felons, etc., all of whom have children at home. These wonderful people - often blunt, crass, and even mean from their hard lives and upbringing - teach me so much. I so enjoy the time I spend with them, even though it's not always easy. I've grown to love them over time. I was a Nursery Leader for a couple of years, which gave me the incredible privilege of teaching our youngest (18 month-old), sweetest, purest angels from Heaven about Jesus and their loving Father in Heaven, and to help them understand that they are His precious children. Now I teach the teenaged girls on Sundays. These are top-notch, confident young women. They handle the challenges that life throws their way with amazing strength and great faith in God. They are fantastic examples to me in my own life, and will be amazing wives and mothers someday. Life is preparing them for great things ahead. Also, each month I get to visit the homes of three wonderful women as their "Visiting Teacher". We discuss principles of the gospel together, and share ideas of how we might improve on our path to becoming better disciples of Christ. We laugh, as well as share tears and hugs, as we acknowledge the painful bumps in the road of life and how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses our families and helps us through our difficult moments.

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

I know this question often refers to the use of our fast offerings to help people financially (and you don't have to be a baptized member to be a recipient of such assistance). Others can answer to that in greater detail. But I would like to offer a different perspective, using the term 'help' in the sense of how we SERVE others. So, do Mormons render service to those of other faiths? While I thoroughly enjoy my service experiences within the Church, I feel great satisfaction in my involvement in our broader community here in Michigan. I am a member of a Moms Club in which I am the only Mormon mother, and we work together on service projects that benefit children and families in our area. It is incredibly rewarding. Also, I have taught parenting classes to young single mothers (not of my faith) at a women's shelter, as well as at a work program for the less-employable (felons, highschool dropouts, etc.) It's been a VERY fulfilling kind of volunteer service for me, as I share important things with these young parents that I have gained through trial and error with my own kids. These people struggle to meet their family's most basic needs, but they learn from my class that the MOST important things they can offer are LOVE and TIME. I try to seek out ways to offer my time in our community wherever I see the need - and time is limited with 4 young children! But it is a priority for me to be involved in our community, and aware of the needs of the people around me. Show more Show less