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Hi I'm Stephen

I was born in Canada, grew up in the States, and worked in Mexico. I teach 3rd grade and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a person who likes to be a participant rather than a spectator in what's going on in the world around me. In high school I was active in community service and student government. When I was in university I worked for a company that gave me the chance to travel routinely to Mexico. While discovering new areas, I loved meeting new people and helping to make the lives of others a little better. At the end of my undergraduate experience, I became affiliated with a national teaching program. As a member, I have had the opportunity to teach elementary school in a high-needs area of Phoenix. During this experience and my prior life experiences I have become fascinated with learning about different cultures. While it's easy to notice the differences we share, I am amazed at how much commonality there is between two strangers. I love to learn about the ways people live, eat, interact...you name it I'm a people person!

Why I am a Mormon

There's no reason to hide the fact that I was born and raised in a Mormon household. However, most of my life I have surrounded myself by those of other faiths or of no faith at all. As I got into high school, I had the opportunity to experiment with a lot of different things. Each time I saw one of my friends doing something that went contrary to what I had been taught, I would reflect on the things my parents had taught me. One of the lessons my father taught me was the importance of prayer in my life. As more of my friends would jump on the bandwagon of teenage experimentation, I found myself increasingly isolated from my peers. However, through prayer I was able to draw closer to my God. I felt His Spirit and that Spirit would comfort me and guide me throughout those years. That same Spirit guides me each day. I believe in the ability that God gives to all of us to know His will. God is real and he cares about each of us. One night during those difficult teenage years I was able to kneel down and pray to know if the Gospel that I had been taught was God's truth. As I prayed I received a powerful response to my very personal question. The response was so strong that had someone been standing in front of me with the same answer I don't believe it would have had the same impact. That experience has shaped me. I have been guided to make decisions in my life that make me happy everyday. I have been warned of potential dangers and have been directed towards life changing events. That single test of faith through prayer has shown me that when I have questions, fears, doubts, or concerns I can turn to my Father in Heaven and He will answer my questions. The feelings and inspiration that I receive from Him through His Spirit are a couple of the reasons why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith every day of the week. As a school teacher, I expect my students to "walk the walk" and not simply "talk the talk." It's not sufficient for one of my students to say what I want to hear. I want them to do what I say, and ultimately for the right reason. I apply this lesson to the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. I strive to do this by living my faith, not merely by having faith. If asked, I would say that "I am a Christian", but I would prefer for that person to be a recipient of a Christian act of service. I strive to live my life in a way where my words and my deeds are one with the other. Regular study of the scriptures, prayer, and reflection allow me to better understand God's will for me each day. As I seek to better understand His will, I am happier. My faith has brought me a level of joy that the things of the world cannot provide. With that happiness comes the expectation to help those around me. I enjoy volunteering within the community. I like to work with others towards a common goal to obtain something great. Within my faith community, I play an active role in planning social activities and events. We seek to be friendly and accepting of those we come into contact with. Through the events we plan, we are able to reach this goal. There is a feeling of peace and belonging when one is able to have a good time in a faith-promoting and positive environment. I also have the opportunity to visit the homes of many of my friends. As we study the words of the Savior, we are touched by the Holy Spirit. Those experiences uplift us and provide us with greater strength to overcome the challenges we face on a daily basis.