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Hi I'm Johanna

I grew up as a Navy brat. I'm a married stay-at-home mom of three - two adopted from foster care. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I spent my childhood traveling the United States because my dad was serving in the Navy as an aviator and we packed up house every couple of years. It wasn't until I married that I settled down in one place long enough to "grow some roots". I'm a stay-at-home mom of three. I've become a reluctant expert in the emotional issues that attend older child adoptions as a result of building our family through foster adoption. I LOVE to read and am so happy that my "addiction" has rubbed off on my kids. I dabble in crochet and cross-stitch and scrap booking. I'm not much of a cook but I can fix a leaky faucet or refinish a chair!

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Mormon home, daughter in a family that comes from Mormon pioneer families. Though I was often the only Mormon in my school classes, my family had a very strong tradition of church attendance and activity. Everywhere we lived, we quickly found the nearest congregation and made new friends. In many ways, those congregations became our extended family because we lived so far from grandparents and other relatives. My parents encouraged all of us to study scripture and pray daily and seek for our own testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember a number of experiences as a teenager, where I knew that my prayers had been answered. One of the more significant experiences I had occurred while I was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first time I taught the story of Joseph Smith's Vision I remember being nervous - afraid I would forget the few Spanish phrases I had learned, that I wouldn't include something important. And then I had this strong feeling of peace - I knew what I was teaching was true and real and I would be able to share this because it was God's message. I felt particularly confident in God's love for me at that time. As an adult I have faced a number of challenges: infertility, helping a spouse live with a significant illness, unemployment, post-adoption emotional issues, and mental illness. I have been so grateful for the understanding I have of God's plan for me. I know that He has been with me in difficult times and that my experiences have changed me for the better. I am blessed daily by Christ's atonement - because of Him I can repent and be clean each day. When I make a mistake, I can try again because I know He loved me enough to die for me. I can't imagine living without this knowledge.

How I live my faith

I'm currently serving with the young women in my congregation. I am inspired by how well they are meeting the challenges that face them. It isn't easy to be different as a teenager, but they are choosing to dress and speak modestly, they are choosing to be kind instead of gossiping, that are choosing to follow Christ instead of the world. I feel blessed to be able to teach and support them as they are moving towards adulthood. Serving in various positions in my church congregations has given me the chance to develop skills like public speaking, leadership and organization, and teaching. I've been able to use them in the volunteer work I've done in my kids' schools and in my community. I've also had the chance to develop talents as I have been asked to share them in such roles as pianist. One of the ways that I've been able to serve has been as a "visiting teacher" - an assignment to visit two or three women in my congregation each month. I have loved having the chance to make new friends - especially with women that don't, at first sight, seem to have much in common with me. It has taught me that we are actually much more alike than different. It's also given me the chance to serve in meaningful ways, as I've come to know these women and the challenges they face. I love that I'm learning and practicing the charge that Christ gave us to "feed the hungry, and lift up the poor".