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Hi I'm Valerie

I am from Florida and am currently a college student studying Horticulture. I love working with youth, and I'm a Mormon!!!

About Me

I'm a college student studying Horticulture, so consequently, I love the outdoors. Gardening is one of my favorite past times and therapies, and I love to travel to places I haven't been. I grew up in Florida where Mormons were definitely the minority, but I always loved the missionary opportunities that brought me. My most recent craze is cooking, which I have found to be so enjoyable and satisfying. I love trying out new spices and recipes that are out of my comfort zone. One of my life-long goals is to start my own small farm that the local community can buy groceries from, including produce, milk, cheese, eggs, etc.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised Mormon from birth by two wonderful parents that were great leaders and examples to me and my siblings. My mom is a convert, and my dad was raised in the church, and the two of them have strong testimonies that have endured many trials that I could only hope to survive. Although I was raised in a Gospel-centered home, I definitely had to make a daily choice as to whether or not I would live by the standards I had been taught. I had my times of growth as well as times of doubt and fear, so building my testimony has been a gradual process rather than a huge life-changing event that made me who I am today. Often, I would get tired of doing the simple, daily spiritual tasks that we are told will keep us on the path, but I have now gained a strong testimony of the small and simple things as I've looked back on my life and seen what a huge difference they have made. I know that I am happiest when I live the Gospel compared to when I choose to disobey. When we take the blessings, trials, people, etc. that have been placed in our path and search for the Lord's will as to what we should do with them, we will see miracles happen. We will come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ, and become more like him. You may not see that change instantly, but you will be surprised when you look at how far you've come in time.

How I live my faith

One of the most important ways I've learned to live my faith is to DIVE IN! Don't wait for a leader to see you out for a calling or to fellowship you. Reach out to THEM and show your willingness to serve. I love working with the youth and have had callings including Music Leader for the children in my home congregation, Girl's Camp Assistant, and have substitute-taught multiple times for youth Sunday School classes. I've been a youth counselor at an LDS camp called Especially For Youth, a "big sister" on youth Pioneer Trek, and a mentor for incoming freshman at my college. All these experiences have been a HUGE blessing in my life to not only learn from them and see their inner strength, but to see the potential they have by getting a small glimpse of who they are in our Heavenly Father's eyes when I work with them. I also believe that living your faith DAILY is so important. I know I'm not perfect, but I'm trying the best I can to be an example in all I do to those around me. Being Mormon is more than just believing; it's a lifestyle choice that will set you apart from the world. If you're living it the right way, people will start asking questions.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Are all Mormons required to serve an official mission with a name tag and specific area they are called to? No. However, we know that every member of the church is a missionary. We are encouraged to open our mouths and share the Gospel with those we interact with as much as we can. When people ask me if I have served a mission, I want to say "Yes, for my entire life!" Show more Show less