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Hi I'm Joseph

I'm a missionary in Texas, from California, I love music, bombing hills and xbox... and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My first name is Joseph, but I'm currently known as Elder because I'm serving as a Full-Time missionary in the Texas San Antonio Mission. I have a lot of interests, and I can enjoy doing just about anything. I love to ride longboard skateboards, read books, and go camping. I dislike getting hurt, but my experience has been that it kind of comes with the longboarding. My favorite thing to say before I go down a huge hill is "I don't fear death!" ...but that might not be entirely true. Some of my favorite bands are Pierce the Veil, Circa Survive, A Thorn for Every Heart and Ice Nine Kills. Don't worry if you haven't heard of them, it's a dying genre. I love to spend time with my family, and I have a very close group of friends that I spent a lot of time with before I came to Texas. I'm very interested in Biology, Chemistry, and Anatomy, which are some of the reasons that I hope to be a medical doctor after my mission. My lifestyle is very different now that I'm a missionary than it used to be, but I love it more than anything I've ever done. My days are filled with bike riding, talking to people I don't know, teaching the Gospel to those who have accepted the invitation to learn about Jesus Christ. The people of Texas are very open and warm, and I love being here. My personal goal on my mission is to help those who are weighed down with the sorrows and trials of life to find peace, and I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real way to do that.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up as a Christian, without any particular denomination. I was raised by my Grandma for most of my life, and I always saw her strong faith in God. I knew He was there, but I didn't know who He was, or what He wanted from me. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my family and I had moved to a new part of town. My Grandma wanted to find a Church for us to go to, but didn't know any in the area. She was driving around one day, praying and asking God where to go, when she felt that she should turn onto a particular street, and that if she did she would find a Church there. She turned, and sure enough, she saw the steeple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My family took the missionary lessons, and we joined the Church. Life caught up with us quickly, though, and after the first year or so of our membership we were only attending Church scarcely. By the time I was 14 I knew very little about what the Mormon Church taught or believed, and had no testimony of my own. I hadn't been to Church in a few years, and I remember vividly the day when I thought to myself "I'm not a Mormon, I don't even know what a Mormon is." Friends in our local Congregation tried stopping by from time to time, but I had gotten to a point where I was no longer interested in Religion at all, and didn't give their invitations much thought. The Lord hadn't given up on me, though, and when I was almost 15 years old I started working for a man in our Congregation. He told me of the importance of the Book of Mormon, and challenged me to read it. I was having trouble finding peace at that time in my life, and felt in my heart that he was right, and that I had to know for myself. I read the Book of Mormon, and knew that It was true. I started coming back to Church, and truth upon truth, the Lord taught me about His plan of Happiness. My life took a big change, and I was happy. Now I am trying my best to bring to others the happiness that I have found in the Lord's Church.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by dedicating my life to to service of others. Being a missionary is a difficult calling, and I know that there is no way I could do it without the Lord's help and guidance every day. He tells me where to go, with whom I should speak, what to do with my time, and what I should say. My purpose is to find those who desire to hear the Savior's voice, and invite them to come unto him.

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

When we visit in a person's home, we share a message about Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father's plan for us as His children. This message is scripturally based, and we are free to adapt our teaching according to people's needs or interests. Our purpose is simply to help people understand and live the teachings of Jesus Christ, and to understand and find out for themselves that Jesus Christ has restored His Church, and that he is at the head of it today. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Its the best! As missionaries, our goal with everyone that we work with who has not yet done so is to help them prepare for baptism. Baptism is the way into the fold of God, where we make a binding commitment to serve Him and keep his commandments, and he promises to bless us with the Comforter to help us in difficult times and lead us to truth, to forgive us of our sins, and if we endure faithfully to the end of our lives, grant us Eternal Life. Baptism is a serious commitment, though, and requires some preparation. That's where the missionaries come in, we help people to understand the basic teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church, and we help strenghthen them to live the commandments. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

We have a great time! When I was in high school, my lifestyle as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints was pretty much the same as the lifestyle of any other non- mormon friend that I had. We spent a lot of time watching movies together, playing xbox, longboarding down hills at dangerous speeds, sneaking around after dark like we were breaking the law without actually doing so... we pretty much do whatever we enjoy or whatever we think is fun. A lot of people notice the things we DON'T do, like drink alcohol or coffee or tea, or smoke. To be honest, I think the only impact not doing those things had on my life was to allow me to really enjoy myself. Each of those substances has negative effects that only take away from whatever else you want to do. Drunk longboarding sounds pretty dumb to me. We also make things like the study of the scriptures and prayer a priority, just like most other Christians in the world. I've personally been able to see that having a strong relationship with God helps us to be happier in every aspect of our lives. We respect others' desires to do what they like, but we we live in a way that keeps us healthy and well, and close to our Father in Heaven. Show more Show less