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Hi I'm Derek

I grew up in Oklahoma, where I met my wife, Erin. We now have four kids and live in Arizona. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Hawaii while Dad was in the Navy, but we moved to Oklahoma when I was two, so Dad could take a job in engineering. I loved and still love Oklahoma--rolling plains to the west, wooded hills in the east where I was raised, and the University of Oklahoma in Norman. It was there that I met and fell in love with my wife. We were married in the Dallas, Texas Temple in the summer of '96 and continued our studies in the Fall. We were living happily with a newborn son in a duplex just two blocks from the football stadium as graduation approached. I had studied for a career in museum work, but we began to have spiritual impressions to do something different. So, we packed everything we owned into a U-Haul truck, left the loveliness of our green state behind, and drove to the Arizona desert where I took a job teaching the scriptures to high school-age youth in our Church. God knew what He was doing. We've fallen in love with Arizona and have many dear friends. In rare moments of leisure, I enjoy home improvement, cooking, painting and drawing, and watching Oklahoma football. BOOMER SOONER! My favorite place on earth is home, and my favorite people on the planet are my family.

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up in the midwest doesn't make being a Mormon automatic or easy. I was one of only 5 Latter-day Saint seniors in my high school graduating class of nearly one thousand. Most of my friends belonged to various Protestant faiths and frequently sought to proselytize me. As a result, I had many reasons and occasions to examine my faith in Jesus Christ and my belief in the various doctrines of His restored Gospel. I came to know through personal study and prayer that the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ are true. That witness was confirmed in my heart through the Holy Spirit and has been proven again and again in the laboratory of daily living. I am happy when I live the teachings of the Savior.

How I live my faith

I'm a teacher, a youth leader, a voter, an employee, a co-worker, a brother, a son, and uncle. I currently serve as a counselor to the bishop (like a pastor) of our ward (congregation). I attend planning and worship meetings--sometimes conducting those meetings--and help to coordinate the efforts of others who serve in our congregation. But the most important work I do in the world or for my Savior happens in my own home. My greatest joys and challenges are always somehow tangled up in the things I do as a husband to my favorite person in the world and as a father to the four greatest kids I've ever known. I try to be as entangled as possible!