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Hi I'm Jakob

I'm half Austrian and grew up in Kansas City (great BBQ). I love creativity/innovation and work in human resources. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Although I grew up in Kansas City, I only spoke german until I was 5 years old. I learned english once I started school. My family didn't have much money when I was growing up, so instead of buying lots of toys, my parents bought me modeling clay, which I used to make my own toys. As I got older I continued to develop my sculpting ability as a hobby. I also like to play sports when I have time, and have recently taken up archery. Currently, most of my time goes toward either work or family. I am a grateful husband and a father, and work in the talent management department of a financial services company. I love great books and great works of art. A pivotal experience in my life was a trip I made to Florence, Italy while on study abroad in Vienna, Austria. While in Florence I was able to see the "David" by MIchelangelo. It's hard to explain, but to be in the presence of a true masterpiece of the human race was an awe inspring moment. Another key experience in my life was the two years I spent in Switzerland as a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). I still remember looking over the skyline of Zurich the night before I left to come back home to the USA. I had grown to love those people through serving them for two years, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with many who had been changed by the hope Christ's message gave them. I believe that service is always a precursor to love, and is the key to sustainable happiness.

Why I am a Mormon

The first recollection I have of recieving a witness of the truth of the Gosepl and of this church came when I was about 8 years old. A neighbor friend of mine was at my house for a sleep-over. For some reason, as young kids we got talking about religion as we talked late at night. My neighbor friend was not very religious, and at one point he asked me point blank, "How can you know that what you believe is true?" At this young age I had no experiences or scripture references to draw from in my mind. It was just me, and a sudden warm feeling of peace and confidence that swept over me. My reply was simple, yet imbued with absolute conviction. I said, "Sometimes you just know something." I realized that although I had probably always known it was true, now I knew that I knew. Let me explain what I mean by "it" when I say I know IT is true. I know that God is our Father in Heaven. He is a living being with a perfected body, who loves us. We have been sent to earth for this brief period of mortality for a divine purpose. Jesus Christ was sent as our Savior. He has overcome death and sin, and I love him. I want to be more like him. I know Christ established his church and Gospel during his ministry on the earth, with apostles and prophets. God has not stopped speaking with His children. Athough the complete truth was lost from the earth for a time. The Lord has restored his church to the earth, and it is led by a living prophet and apostles today. I know the Book of Mormon is (as the Bible) a testament of Jesus Christ. In the final chapter of the Book of Mormon, you will find this invitation, "And when ye shall recieve these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, if these things are ... true; and if ye ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." I personally invite you to put these words to the test.

How I live my faith

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I do a number of things to live my faith. Outside of church I try to be helpful and serve those around me. I can't say I've done anything huge to "save the world," but I find it's mostly through the simple acts of kindness to my family, friends, and strangers that I get opportunities to live the Gospel. Within the church there are a number of ways I stay busy and strenthen my faith. One of my main responsibilities in the church is as what we call a "home teacher." This means that I visit the homes of a few families in our ward (we call our congregations "wards"). During these visits I share a brief spiritual message and make sure all of their needs are being met. Home teaching is a way for us to support one another and make sure everyone has someone they can go to should they need help (I have home teachers who visit my family as welll). One practice encouraged by our church is called "Family Home Evening." This entails dedicating one evening out of the week to spend specifically engaged together as a family. We generally start of with a prayer and sing a song/hymn together. Then we will have a short lesson of some sort, and then we usualy have a fun activity planned together. Of course no family night would be complete with out some sort of refreshments at the end. Family life is very important to us in the church. A prophet of the church a few years ago once said, "No success can compensate for failure in the home." I want to do my best to be a good husband and father. I see this as a key component to living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Families are at the center of God's plan of happiness for us.