Hi I'm Rayanna
I have a lot of titles right now: in otherwords, I'm really busy. The long term titles are those of daughter, wife, mother. Although my parents have both passed away, I was sealed to them in the temple which means that I will be their daughter for all eternity. I have been married to a wonderful man for over 18 years, and we have 8 children ranging in ages from almost 17 to 4 years. Short term titles include student, Sunday School Teacher, runner, and Mrs. Paroo. This Spring I will finally graduate with my Associates Degree, a double major in U.S. History and U.S. Government. After 20 years, I am finishing what I temporarily set aside for my family. Every Sunday I teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to an awesome group of 12 and 13 years old girls and boys. Most mornings I go for a quick run with my husband and kids. I have run 3 half marathons and have a goal to do a full marathon. Finally, I just got the part of Mrs. Paroo in our Stake's (a group of our local congregations) production of The Music Man. You should come see it. It is going to be great!
Why I am a Mormon
I have always known I was a daughter of God. That is a knowledge that I treasured even before I learned about this church. When I was younger, my parents learned about the church's practice of Family Home Evening. They wanted the strength this activity would give to their family, but weren’t interested in the church. Yet as they learned about family home evening, and the Mormon Church’s emphasis on strong families, they wanted to know more. Everything they learned, they took to the Lord to ask if it was correct. In time they chose to be baptized. But perhaps the greatest lesson they ever taught me was that I also have a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers my prayers. I tested that teaching when I was about 18 years old. Like most teenagers, I began to question what I had always known. Is it really possible for someone to know God, or was I just deluding myself into believing what someone else had told me was true? I needed to know for myself if this was His church. I took the question to God in prayer. As I prayed, an incredible feeling of warmth and security enveloped me. I knew that God heard me and was answering my prayer. This is God’s church. The things my parents had taught me were true. While I have never had to doubt those answers again, I continue to take my questions about His Gospel to the Lord, and he has never failed to answer me. That is why I’m a Mormon.
What is hope and what do you hope for?
Faith and hope are two parts that make up a whole. While faith deals with what you know, hope is what you feel. I know I have a Father in Heaven. The scriptures and the prophets testify this is true and I believe it through my faith. But it is my hope, that desire with all my heart to one day see His face, that trully gives my faith its strength. It is my hope to return home to my Heavenly Father that leads me to act on my faith and to do the things Jesus taught us which He said would allow us to return home.
How I live my faith
When Jesus was on the Earth, he told his disciples “If ye love me, feed my sheep.” I live my faith by trying to do this in my home, in my church, and in my community. In my home: I teach my children the Lord’s gospel and raise them to follow Him. I provide a place of love and safety where they can grow and learn. In my church: I am an active member of my ward (congregation). I attend church every week where I teach Sunday School to an awesome group of youth. I am also a Visiting Teacher. My job as a Visiting Teacher is to go to the homes of several of the sisters in our ward where I, with my visiting teaching companion, share gospel messages, visit, and make sure the needs of the sister’s family are being met. I also serve on the Boy Scout Committee that is sponsored by our Ward. Here I help boys learn the values and skills that will develop them into outstanding adults. In my community: Right now I don’t have as much time as I would like to serve in this arena, but I’m sure that those opportunities will come as my kids grow older. For now I try to look for those areas where I can make my community cleaner, happier, and a better place to live. I do this through participating in activities like The Great American Cleanup, through voting for politicians and policies that uphold God’s teachings, by donating time and money to service projects that provide for the needs of others.