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Hi I'm Kelli

I love music and psychology, I live in China, and I'm a Mormon!

About Me

My name's Kelli, I'm 25 years old, and I can still remember not too long ago when 25 years old sounded...well, OLD. I love chocolate scones, curly hair, and spontaneous roadtrips. I also love dancing, playing the piano, singing, blogging, and especially traveling. I have a degree in psychology, but currently I work as a university teacher in China where I teach English majors. When I'm not teaching, I am wandering the streets and sampling Chinese food or working hard to improve my own Mandarin speaking abilities. I've had lots of career ambitions since the time I was little...these included being a spy, a movie star, and even Miss America. So far, however, the most fulfilling thing I've done with my life has been serving for 18 months as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I had so many amazing experiences in South Florida. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I love sharing it with others!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so I've grown up in the Mormon faith. But that's not the reason why I'm a Mormon today. I've known plenty of people who were also raised in the Church but have decided that they don't want it to be a part of their lives anymore. For me, however, it is such an important part of who I am--and I'm a Mormon because I've seen the way that this gospel has blessed my life. Being obedient to all of God's commandments, including partaking of the Sacrament weekly and not engaging in sexual relations before marriage, has kept my life on track. The restored gospel is such a stable foundation, and it provides answers about what will bring us the greatest happiness. If I wasn't Mormon, I have a feeling that I would be trying to find stability and temporary happiness in pursuits that might cause regret later on. But because I am Mormon, I don't find myself running around trying to figure out "who I am." This church provides answers to all my questions about life, death, and my purpose here on Earth. It gives me a direction and helps inspire me to be a better person. The things I learn at church teach me how to have a better, more personal, relationship with my Savior, and as I put these principles into practice, I can feel myself coming closer to Him. And, as I become closer to Him, I am better at noticing His influence in my life. It has become easier for me to feel His love and understand what He wants me to do.

How I live my faith

Like I mentioned above, not too long ago I finished serving a full-time mission for the Church. This means that I studied and taught the gospel basically 24/7. I set aside further education, job opportunities, and even dating (gasp!) for a year and a half to teach people about the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Honestly, it hardly felt like a sacrifice. There is no feeling that compares with helping others receive the blessings that can only come from Jesus Christ's restored gospel. These days, I live my faith personally by taking time each day to pray to my Father in Heaven and by setting aside time to study my scriptures. I am constantly trying to improve myself, specifically by working on developing attributes exemplified by Jesus Christ such as charity and humility. I try to be a friend and example to those around me, whether they are Christians like me or not. Before moving to China, I wondered if my church life would look very different from my church life in the United States. I was surprised to find out the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints actually has a fairly strong presence in China. Although there are definitely fewer congregations than there are in the States, there are many members of the Church here and we still have weekly church services as well as other conferences and activities. Although proselyting missionary work is currently not allowed in mainland China, we have the opportunity to live what we believe and show through our example that we are followers of Christ.

What is being a Mormon like?

Kelli
Being a member of the Mormon Church is a lot like being a member of any church. We have activities where we socialize and get to know one another, we have church services on Sunday, we have youth activities during the week, and we even have summer camps that are oriented on teaching the principles of the gospel. One thing I love about this Church is that it is the same wherever you go. I've moved around a lot in my life, but the Church and the doctrines it teaches stay consistent. This is a luxury that not many churches have. I currently live in China...and the Church is exactly the same here as it is in America! Because of the Church, I automatically had a family here, even though I am thousands of miles away from home...which is another great thing about being a member of the Mormon church. I know I will always have a group of people I can turn to, no matter where I am. Church members are encouraged to be very friendly and inviting, and I feel like I could always ask a favor of another member, even if I didn't know them that well. A lot of people might have weird ideas about being a Mormon; for example, some people think that we don't drink soda, don't watch TV, can't cut our hair, have to wear skirts or dresses 24/7, and practice polygamy. None of these things are true! Most of the things I do are probably similar to the things you like to do. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Kelli
The word "grace" generally refers to the divine help that we can receive through Jesus Christ's Atonement. We know that none of us are perfect; our mistakes make it impossible for us to return to God's presence without the mediating power of Jesus Christ. Through His grace, we can be purified and cleansed from our mistakes. Christ's grace applies to every person who has ever lived; however, there is effort required on our part to receive this grace. We need to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ just as He has commanded us to. Following His teachings means that we exercise faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. Still, we know that even with out best efforts, we still aren't perfect; and that is where Christ's grace comes in. He makes up the difference so that we can be purified and eventually return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Kelli
Since we go to church to worship God, we like to present our best selves. Thus, we encourage people attending our Sunday worship services to wear their "Sunday best." This means that I wear a skirt or a dress to church, and most men wear either a suit and tie or a white shirt and tie. Because Mormons are Christian, we celebrate the two main Christian holidays: Christmas and Easter. Jesus Christ is the center of all we do, and so we recognize the importance of these two historic dates because they were crucial events in the life of Jesus Christ. Like most of you, we also celebrate other holidays! Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, etc. Since I'm an American, I get excited every time Thanksgiving comes around, and I always loved getting dressed up for Halloween as a kid :) Show more Show less