What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Mario

I grew up and was married in Southern California. Today I work as an actuary in Georgia. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Born in Utah Raised in Southern California Served a mission in Argentina B.A. in Mathematics Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society Life is an adventure. It seems there is always something abnormal going on. I was once asked by an employer where I expected to be in 10 years. I was 23 at the time. My response, "Not sure where I'll live or what I'll be doing for work. But if it is Sunday, I'll be with Katie [my wife] at church." After the normal ups and downs of high school, college, early marriage life and post-university specialization, things have stabilized a bit. Today I'm a husband, dad, actuary, Boy Scout leader, and occasionally an angry motorist. I spend lots of time traveling for work. In the past couple years I've been to the Middle East a few times - that was cool. I do capital modeling for insurance companies. It helps them understand the likelihoods of different financial outcomes and that knowledge helps them determine whether and how to spend or save their money. When home I enjoy mountain biking, jogging, playing Lego Star Wars with my kids, and doing yard work.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother's family and my biological father's family had both been in the church for at least 2 generations. So to some degree I was born into the church. However, we did not regularly attend church. Later my mother remarried and my step-dad joined the church, these were very big events in my world. I think it was about this time I started giving very serious thought to what my own personal beliefs were. In the church we are taught to confirm all our beliefs through prayer and study. To seek an answer from God. I knew I believed in God. I also knew that with so many different doctrines and beliefs in the world that God must provide some way for us to sift through it and follow him. One day in seminary (LDS religious study for high school students) we read a verse in the New Testament, John 7:16-17. "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Jesus was speaking to an audience of people that knew of his history. That he was not a scholar like the other clergy. Anyway - this verse spoke to me. I needed to experiment. I needed to do more than casually think and pray. I needed to live the commandments and read the scriptures. So I did. I put more effort into it - I read, I prayed, I changed attitude and behavior. I was not visited by angels or anything but I can tell you, I _felt_ it was true. I had an assurance that God would indeed help me in life. That the Bible and the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were true. That I could place confidence in what I was being taught. I was 17 yrs old at that time and life changed a lot after those few months. Not 180 degrees but there was an internal course correction. The way I fit in the world changed a bit.

How I live my faith

I love serving in the church. At age 19 I was called to serve a mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina. What an experience! Many people in the US have probably seen Mormon missionaries going around on bicycles. In Argentina we walked - a lot! I was there for two years and learned a lot of things. I learned what it feels like to share your heart and soul. To watch other people change their lives and grow closer to God, to feel his love in their lives. I've been home long enough now to have finished college, gotten married, have children and settle into life. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a volunteer organization. Being a Mormon in every day life involves serving in the church. I've had a bunch of different 'jobs' in the church. (we call them callings. not really a job since you don't get paid.) For many years I worked with the young men in the church - ages 12-18. That involves lots of camping, scout activities, and teaching Sunday lessons. I have also done other more clerical duties in the church, helping out keeping records straight, attending organizational meetings, and meeting with individuals to help them resolve issues they were struggling with. Being a father is the most educational experience I've ever been through. I'm so grateful to God for blessing me with the opportunity to be a husband and a dad. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to be patient and kind. Reading the scriptures you feel the spirit and get a feel for how things should be theoretically. In a family you get to put Christ's teachings into practice and see first hand the difference that a little kindness makes. My mom gave me a book mark to keep in my scriptures while I was in Argentina. It said "I never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it." It had a picture of Jesus on it. That thought carries me through lots of minor day-to-day struggles.