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Hi I'm Sam Gunderson

I'm a husband & father of 6. I'm a HS Principal. I am fluent in Spanish. I like wrestling, MMA, & football. I fish. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a lucky guy. I have a beautiful, wonderful wife and 6 healthy children - each with their own unique talents. I have been raised in the conservative and liberal extremes, and [thus] have developed a loving, global perspective with regards to the diversity of people. This tends to happen when one moves from a cattle-ranching community (Burns, OR) to a large city (Portland, OR) between the 9th and 10th grade. My mission call to the Dominican Republic, Santiago Mission only added an additional - very rich - layer to that perspective. I currently serve as a high school principal. I love working with the youth; they have shaped me as a father, a husband, and an educator. Before becoming a school administrator, I taught Spanish and ELL; I also coached football, wrestling, and track. I am a wrestling junkie - having wrestled from 3rd grade through my freshman year of college (at BYU). My other hobbies include art, guitar, singing, road trips, camping, hunting, electronic repairs, learning, bird watching, and boxing. My dream is to be an educator in a Spanish-speaking country. I absolutely love Latin American culture. I love the simplicity and humble happiness of this wonderful people. I would love my family to experience this lifestyle and gain this perspective.

Why I am a Mormon

Though I was born into the LDS church, I (like everyone) had to develop my own, personal testimony of its truthfulness. I had a good foundation; but, (in my later youth) chose to flirt with unrighteousness - ultimately deceiving myself into questioning my beliefs. Reflecting on these poor choices, I’ve recognized that my own selfishness and puffed-up pride were instrumental in all cases. My father's words, "Doing what's right is always so much easier than doing what's wrong." continuously ring true in my mind. A testimony is a living thing. It requires stimulation, nourishment, regular-use, prayer, knowledge, and an opportunity to grow. My testimony went undernourished – lazily relying on others’ testimonies; it was ever-so-slowly atrophying – lacking any initiative on my part. Because of my selfishness and deceitfulness to myself (and, of course, to many others); it, too, reached its “crossroads”. The Atonement of Jesus Christ, along with the principles and ordinances of His gospel, served as the ONLY medium for my dilemma. Through the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ – the LDS Church – I was able to finally realize what my father had told me about choosing the right. The Atonement of Jesus Christ - the “nucleus” of one’s own testimony – can only be understood and realized through its direct healing power. This understanding requires a personal desire to find true and everlasting happiness – realized through scripture study, prayer, and, ultimately, one’s personal experience of the Atonement’s cleansing power. This deeply-rooted testimony of the Atonement most naturally takes place as a person responds [positively] to their own “crossroads". I am grateful to have reached a point in my life where the Gospel has personal significance in my life. My faith and hope have been restored. Fear has been replaced with eagerness and optimism – even in the face of adversity. If I can come to know this, and overcome what I have overcome – anyone can.

How I live my faith

Currently I serve in a calling that allows me to work with families and other young adults. I have the special opportunity to check-in on families that become faced with unique needs. Once these needs are assessed, they are disseminated to church leaders - who develop a prioritized plan that will provide refuge and promote self-reliance (when applicable). This plan coordinates efforts of specific, able members from the ward (of the person/family in need) in an organized fashion. The efforts of the ward, therefore, become prescriptive and collective in the manner in which they are executed. Whether the needs be due to financial loss, infirmity, tragedy, etc.; they are always addressed. Having been on the receiving end of this compassionate service, I've developed a great love and empathy for those facing life's struggles. It is wonderful to have the chance to renew hope through sharing my personal experiences with those that face hardship. This chance to serve others has been a wonderful blessing in my life. I have had many callings in the church – from being a teacher of nursery-aged children (18 months – 3 years), to teaching Sunday School to people of all ages (many of whom know far more about the lessons than I do). With each new calling, I gain a deeper conviction of The Savior and His perfect Gospel. It is truly amazing how the Lord – through His perfect knowledge of who I am – makes me the ultimate beneficiary of each of my church callings. He knows my potential and knows where things are lacking – which explains why I grow exponentially, as I am [somehow] entrusted with “congregations” of equally important souls. This is another beautiful example of the Gospel – it builds capacity in ALL its members. The best part of serving in the church is SERVING. Anytime I am sad, afraid, or in anyway doubting; I know I can alleviate these negative feelings through serving my fellow man.