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Hi I'm Brooke

I'm a mommy. I love Russia. I make great bread, green enchiladas, and hot cereal. I wish I had stuck with piano. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I lived in Utah, Okinawa, and Alaska growing up because of the military. I lived in Idaho and Utah attending college where I majored in English, though I thought I'd try Geology, Geography, Sociology, and on and on for awhile. I also lived in Perm (Пермь), Russia teaching English to Russian children and in Vladivostok (Владивосток), Russia as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months. I could spend all my evenings watching Russian ballet! I worked as Research Analyst/Account Manager/Recruiter for a tech company for two years and then became a mommy. We decided I would stay home with the children and that has been the most incredible decision for everyone in our family. It is such gratifying work. I like Shakespeare, simple sewing, basic knitting, learning piano, musicals (especially Fiddler on the Roof and the Music Man), old movies, walking, eating fresh-baked bread and Indian Tikka Masala, cooking with garlic, shopping on craiglist, and so on!

Why I am a Mormon

I was 15 when I joined the church. Looking back, I feel like Heavenly Father plucked me out of a time and a place that would've led to a less happy life and put me in a place where I'd have an opportunity to really flourish. I remember finishing my freshman year in high school and getting to a point in life that I just wanted change. I wanted my life to be different. I didn't have much of a religious background and I don't recall praying much before this time, but I remember sitting on my bedroom floor one day and saying, "If you are really there, I don't like my life right now." It was only a few months later and we moved from Okinawa to Alaska. After a series of interesting events I ended up listening to the message that the Mormon missionaries were sharing. They told me about this plan of happiness that God has for his children, including me, that I lived with Him before I was born and that I could live with Him again, and that there was great purpose to everything in between. That just sounded so familiar and right that I had to learn more. I continued to meet with the missionaries. They told me that God continues to communicate with His children, just as in Biblical times, through prophets and apostles. That also made sense. In fact, my heart felt so reassured that there was real authority, real sources of truth, real reference points in the world to help clarify all the confusion out there about God and his path. I didn't have to feel so bombarded with conflicting opinions and declarations. It felt so good and right and true. Real apostles and a prophet! I also was encouraged to read scriptures, which testify of Christ and Heavenly Father and their plan for me. I was especially touched by the words in the Book of Mormon. I remember feeling so much joy as I read it, even though I didn't always understand the stories or the doctrine. I will never doubt that the Book of Mormon is also God's word, just as the Bible. You can feel it. You can know it.

How I live my faith

My family and I attend church every Sunday with our two little boys. It's really fun to hear our 3-year old talk about what he learned in his children's class. I have had the opportunity to give back and serve in many different ways. I feel like I get to implement all the things I'm taught about Christ and how to become more like Him when I am serving my family, my community and neighbors, and other people at church. One way I've gotten to serve recently is with the children. There are two hours every Sunday that the children are with all of the other children learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is fun because we get to sing beautiful and sweet songs and talk about the gospel in basic, simple, and beautiful ways. Truly, children understand Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father in ways that can help the adults learn better. They are so pure and teachable. They remind me of what I need to be more like. I've also had the opportunity to work with the young girls (between 12 and 18-years old) for about a year. The programs of the church are incredible. Youth are given opportunities to make friendships based on good principles. They are taught about their potential and heritage as children of a loving and mighty God. They are taught about the principles that will lead to great joy, such as chastity. They learn that saving that part of life for a time that is appropriate and sharing it only with the one they will marry and build a life with will bring tremendous blessings, such as trust, love, peace, and they will never have to worry about STDs or unwanted pregnancies or confidence shattering repercussions, etc. The organization of the church is incredible. It's like a giant family. We've moved to Kansas and now recently to Colorado, but we've had the blessing of our church family to help us go and greet us when we arrive. We always have someone caring for us, especially since that is how it is supposed to be. And we likewise always have someone to care for.