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Hi I'm MaReesa

I'm a single mother, a world-traveler, a volunteer and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am from the Pacific Northwest. I love the weather, the mountains, the lakes, rivers, beaches & especially the Puget Sound. I love nature and am so grateful for the beautiful world in which I live. When I was in college, I wanted to see more of the world so I joined a study abroad program and lived in Cape Town, South Africa for 3 months. I worked in one of the local township high schools and had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. The experience changed my life. After I graduated with my Bachelors, I moved to Christchurch, New Zealand for a year on a working visa. I was able to volunteer with local teenagers and had another life-changing experience. I love New Zealand! It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Now I've been bitten by the travel bug . . . unfortunately that is an expensive hobby I haven't been able to pursue as of yet. Currently, I am the busy single mother of a wonderful little boy who is the light of my life. Being a single mother is not my ideal situation, but we are making it through with Heavenly Father's help. I love being a mom and watching this little boy learn and grow. Outside of work and raising my son, I love to listen to music, sing, read and spend time with friends.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in the church. My family life was pretty rocky at times and having the gospel and a knowledge that my Heavenly Father loved me and was aware of me gave me the strength to make it through. In college, I had to take a hard look at my beliefs and decide if I actually believed what I'd been taught all my life. I read the Book of Mormon again, more seriously than ever before, and I prayed to know if it was true. Heavenly Father answered my prayers, and I knew that the Book of Mormon was truly the word of God. I felt the Holy Spirit and I just knew. My mother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away when I was 23. Losing my mom was extemely difficult, and I still miss her everyday. The only thing that has helped me survive is knowing that Heavenly Father has a plan and that she is in a better place. I know that families can be together forever and that I will see her again. I have not always made good choices in my life (hence ending up a single mom . . .), but I know that Heavenly Father loves me regardless and that the atonement of Jesus Christ applies to me. Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. He understands me, loves me, and provided a way for me to repent and be clean again. As a mother, I am so grateful to have the gospel in my life. It gives me an anchor. I know where I came from, where I'm going and what I need to be doing now. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers and that He will help me teach my son. Knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that my Heavenly Father loves me, and that I can learn of them and how to follow them by reading the the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible gives me peace. I know that I am not alone and that I will always have help. I have seen miracles in my life and I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children, regardless of our backgrounds and our good or bad choices. I would be lost without my faith and the peace and direction I receive.

How I live my faith

As a child, one of my favorite songs was "I'm trying to be like Jesus." The words to this song talk about trying to love people as He did. I'm certainly not perfect (or even close), but I do try to treat people as I know He would. When He was on the earth, He spent his time with the poor, the outcasts, the sick and afflicted. I try to treat everyone around me with respect and kindness, because I know that is how He would treat them. A big part of my life has been community service. I think it is important for all of us to give back to our communities, to try and make them a better place for everyone. I've worked at homeless shelters, volunteered with youth programs, volunteered at schools, kids' summer camps, after-school tutoring programs, and summer reading programs. One of the things I'm passionate about is education. I've worked in a lot of programs aimed at low-income kids and at-risk youth because I firmly believe that these kids deserve a fair start in life. They need positive role-models and extra attention, and they deserve opportunities and options in life. My hope is that if kids can learn the basics - reading, writing, math - and learn them well, then they will have a much better chance of educational success. I also work within my church. I have worked in the leadership for our women's organization, taught Sunday School lessons, worked as an activity coordinator, etc. I believe family is essential to God's plan for us. I can't spend as much time with my son as I would like since I work full-time, but he is definitely my top priority. Being a mother is the greatest calling and responsiblity in the world. My son is still very young, but I am trying to instill in him values and budding faith of his own.