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Hi I'm Lauralee

I am a 50-year old gypsy. I've traveled all over the world. One thing that hasn't changed about me though, is I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the midwest, but always longed to be by the ocean. I traveled at first when I was married with my husband in the Air Force. We lived in England for 3 years, then Kansas, then Florida for 20 years. I got divorced, moved to Pennsylvania with my daughter, completed my degree (after 10 years) and became a special education teacher, in part to honor my brother who has Down syndrome. After Philly for 3 years, I lived in Maryland, Chicago, Hawaii, Seattle, southern WA and (hopefully) I've finally seen my last U-haul truck when I came here to Portland. I love it here!

Why I am a Mormon

I found the church when I was 14, through a member, a young girl who attended my junior high. We both had crushes on Donny Osmond, a great missionary(ha!) His mission worked for me, though. I asked Tamia about the church and she started bringing me with her family to meetings on Sundays and many youth activities. I loved it! I especially loved the warm, loving feeling I got when I was more or less adopted as an unofficial member of her family. They had 10 children (2 boys and 8 girls) and I felt like the 9th sister. I really loved family home evening and morning scripture study and prayer. I was hooked. I knew I wanted to feel that sweet spirit in my own home someday. The church has brought me so much peace in the midst of a chaotic world. I love going to the temple, especially. I am so happy that I have the gospel in my life. As I said, I've traveled all over the world and I've seen the highs and lows, the really bad and really good places and people. And I have met so many people who are so lost and depressed, I just wish I could somehow impress upon them the difference knowing Heavenly Father has a plan for my happiness has made during my own times of trial and despair. Through all those places, and the many wonderful people I've met over the years, one thing hasn't changed; my testimony. It's grown even stronger than I ever thought it would. My daughter studied abroad in Florence, Italy and she told me the same thing I have found: the church is the same all over the world. We felt so welcomed and loved in Hawaii. I lost my mom while I was living (and teaching) there. And one of the ways I was able to make it through my grief was the love I got from the members. It's the same here. The people in the church are true Christians in the best possible sense. They are such a wonderful, loving, caring people. I was a convert back in 1976, but my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one thing that will NEVER change!

How I live my faith

More than anything, I think the hardest part of being a Mormon is, you have to really walk the walk, not just talk the talk. People watch you carefully and expect a higher standard from a Mormon. That could also be said of being a teacher, so I REALLY have to mind my "p's and q's" all the time! So, I always try and remember that when I get upset or lose my patience! I really think I've had most every teaching job I could be given in the church. I've taught every age group of children, and started out teaching a "special" class for kids with disabilities when I first became a member! My teaching skills and comfort in front of people at church are what led me to feel so strongly about a career in teaching and that is true of many callings we receive they really help us to develop our skills and find talents we may not even have known we had. Right now I am working on being a really good visiting teacher, something I strongly believe in. This is a wonderful, inspired program that enables women to get to know each other on a really personal level and helps us make friends we might not otherwise seek out. Women are paired up with a "visiting teaching partner", and given a list of other "sisters" we are to check in with at least once a month. This way, no one feels left out or forgotten, and important needs such as financial or spiritual problems are brought to the attention of leaders when necessary. So often, for whatever reason, it is the only contact members have with the church. That's why it is so very important to let the women we visit know how much we love them. Something I have found so often is that as soon as you let yourself get to know someone better, you grow in your love for them. Maybe that is the Lord's plan to let us see others through His eyes, knowing that it will help us to understand how He is able to love us all so much, because He really knows us so well.

What is faith?

Faith to me is the opposite or the antecdote for fear. If we are filled with fear, we are hopeless, full of despair, we have no faith that things will improve. The expression, "take a leap of faith" connotes an act of courage on our part. We must put our trust in the Lord and "let go and let God". It is a release, and a relief to be able to put that kind of trust in Him. I love Alma's test of planting a seed. I have grown enough gardens to really appreciate that example. If we stop to think about that analogy, we really are constantly planting seeds throughout our life, in so many ways. When we send out a resume to a potential employer, we hope they will respond with a job offer. When we get in our car and start the engine, we hope that it will always start! We send out emails or letters, hoping for a reply. We send off our loved ones out into the world, and we certainly hope they will return to us unharmed. We work and hope our employers will pay us a fair wage in return for our time. Learning to trust God is very much like a baby learning to trust his parents. After a few timid steps, with mother and father urging him on with words of encouragement, the child walks further and with more confidence in his new found ability. We must first experience some good results before we are able to truly take that "leap" and know that as we take our own timid steps in life, He will always be there, ready to catch us and encourage us to get back up and try again. Show more Show less