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Hi I'm Anna Joy

I’m a college graduate. I'm on a mission. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Texas and lived there until I was eight when my dad’s company transferred him to small town Tennessee. I really hated it at first, but looking back, I understand the gifts and opportunities I was blessed with because of my parents’ attentiveness. I just graduated from a small liberal arts university in Indianapolis, and I studied music performance and recording industry studies. When it came time to decide where to go to college, I spent a lot of time praying and reading the scriptures, including my patriarchal blessing, to understand what Heavenly Father had in store for me. When I decided to go to Butler, it wasn’t just because I thought the programs offered were better suited to what I wanted to do with my life, but also because I knew it would help to better prepare me to be a great missionary and serve an honorable mission, which I’ve wanted to do since I was very young. It continues to amaze me how the Lord’s plan works to bring people and opportunities into our life to guide us. Because of my experiences at Butler, I have realized what I really want to do with my life, which I may not have realized anywhere else. This year, I graduated and turned in my mission papers. I love serving the Lord!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born to great parents who are above all else faithful, dedicated to the Gospel, and serving Heavenly Father’s children. They raised me to believe in the Gospel and set a good example for me to follow. We had the missionaries over for dinner, we went to church each week, we helped clean the chapel, we did service for others, we read scriptures together after blessing the food each evening, and so on. To me, it was always obvious that the gospel made sense and was true. I did all the things that I should because I was expected to. But as I grew up, I had opportunities to slack off. Several summers in a row I went off to summer long camps far away, and it was up to me to stay faithful. I did. There was never any question that it was the right thing to do. One Sunday, someone gave a talk about being truly converted to the gospel. I listened intently because this was a lifelong member, not a recent convert. He spoke about the first time he realized that the gospel was true, and also about the first time he took Moroni’s challenge (Moroni 10:4) to pray and discover if the Book of Mormon is true when he was a college freshman. I had taken Moroni’s challenge, but was I truly converted to the Gospel? I decided to find out for myself, to make sure that I knew the gospel was true and this was the path back to Heavenly Father. That night I prayed not only about the Book of Mormon, but about the commandments and modern prophets, temples and eternal families, and above all else the truth of Jesus Christ and the Latter-day Saint church. I finished my prayer and felt nothing but comfort and joy, confidence that I was on the right path. I knew that Jesus Christ had set up his church and Joseph Smith restored it to its fullness, and though I was blessed to have the gospel in my life from birth, I was a true convert to the message of the gospel.

How I live my faith

Recently I was thinking about recognizing missionary experiences, and how a lot of spreading the Gospel is more about embracing those opportunities than noticing them. In an instant I was struck with a thought that I have long known because of the importance of setting a good example of my faith, but this clear revelation inspired hope and excitement. “My whole life is a missionary experience.” I’m not perfect. Sometimes I say mean things, think critically of others, or simply don’t do what’s right. When I look back on my poor choices, I realize that I am hurting myself, but I also feel that I am hurting others because I am not living the best example of our Savior’s Gospel that I could. What if it is because of my actions that someone chooses to ignore the promptings of the spirit and disregard the Gospel? This is why I believe I wasn’t placed on this earth at this time just for myself, to prove that I can stay steady and true, but also so that others can see me and maybe find the light that will lead them to the Gospel and the path that leads to eternal life with Heavenly Father. I live my faith to the best of my abilities: by going to church and keeping the standards suggested to keep my body clean and my path bright; by loving my family and participating in life as much as I can; and by staying positive and never shying away from an opportunity to answer questions, whether curious or vicious, about the Gospel. I try to live with my faith on my sleeve and ready to share.