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 Wayne

I'm a professor of bicultural-bilingual studies. I research language and educational policy. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a Caucasian American, the husband of a wonderful Cambodia woman, and father to three beautiful Cambodian American children. I was a humanitarian volunteer in Cambodia in the early 1990s working the human rights and education sectors. I was an ESL and bilingual elementary school teacher in Long Beach, California. I have a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University, and am currently an Associate Professor of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I train generalist, special education, ESL and bilingual teachers at the undergraduate and Masters-degree level, and train future researchers and professors at the PhD level. I'm the author of books and many published research articles related to issues of language and education policy, and providing equitable and effective education for language minority students. I was a Fulbright Scholar, and have traveled across the United States and many other countries to conduct and present research, and provide training for educators. I'm an amateur musician, and have played the French Horn and its variations in concert bands and orchestras in California, Arizona, and Texas. I love my family, I love teaching, I love conducting research, I love music, I love the Lord Jesus Christ, and I love his gospel.

Why I am a Mormon

While I was raised in the church by amazing parents in a loving family with 5 siblings, as a teenager I knew I had to gain my own testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ I learned growing up. Raised in Southern California, I was only one of a small number of Mormons in my high school, and had many friends of other faiths who frequently challenged my beliefs and offered differing points of views. These challenges forced me to reflect on my own beliefs. Through studying the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other scriptures, and through sincere prayer, I have obtained a strong testimony that the things I were taught as a child are indeed true. As I continue to strive to follow the Savior, keep his commandments, and raise my family in his Gospel, I have had numerous spiritual experiences that tell me God lives, that he knows me, and loves me, and that I am following the path to return to him. My understanding of the Atonement, and the eternal nature of families, motivate me to strive to live my life in a such a way that I will be worthy to live with him again someday, and to live with my family forever. I am a Mormon because the gospel makes sense. I know who I am. I know why I am here. I know what my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ have done for me and for all their children. I know what they want, need, and are helping to do here on the earth. And I know that there is much more than simply our life on earth.

How I live my faith

Despite my busy work schedule, God and family always come first in my life. I have had the privilege of serving the Lord in numerous volunteer callings in the church, each of which bring both challenges and blessings. One of the most challenging callings, but also one that brought great joy, was the time I served as a branch president over the church's Cambodian congregation in Long Beach, California. Despite working as a full-time teacher, while simultaneously completing both a teacher credentialling program and a seperate MA-degree program, the Lord opened the way for me to be able to dedicate the time needed to serve the congregation. The struggles, resiliency, and faith of the members of that congregation--most of whom were refugees and survivors of genocide facing the challenge of learning a new language and culture and adapting to a new country-- were a constant source of strength and inspiration for me, and which has had a profound influence on me. I am currently teaching the Old Testament to sleepy but dedicated high school students each school-day morning at 6:00 a.m., through my calling as an early morning seminary teacher. While I was concerned at first that my work and travel schedule were too demanding to fulfill this calling, once again the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he will prepare the way for his children to accomplish the things which he asks us to do. This calling has been a great blessing to me, and hopefully also to my students who in turn also teach me and increase my understanding and strengthen my testimony of the gospel. My faith also has a profound influence on my professional career. My work in education, particular in the sensitive areas of linguistic and cultural diversity, educational equity, and language minority students is driven by my knowledge that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, that he loves each of us, and that he wants each of his children to reach their full potential.