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Hi I'm Donna

I'm a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, widow, aunt and friend. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I live in Arizona and was born in Oklahoma, but I grew up in Austin, Texas and it will always be home. At the tender age of 20, I married my high school sweetheart. Although he was baptized years later, at the time he wasn't a Mormon (and I'd always thought I'd marry within my faith) but he was a great man. I grew up knowing that a certain religious background doesn't make you a good or bad person ... that there are good people everywhere, so was confident in my choice to marry him. We have two incredible children. When the children were young, my husband passed away suddenly from acute leukemia. It was a shock and we were devastated. I'm so grateful when I think about how our story could have turned out so differently ... had he not gained a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ; had we not made it a priority to attend the the temple to be sealed together as an eternal family. Shortly afterward, our little family moved to Arizona to be closer to family. As much as I may have wanted life to stop at times ... it didn't. It goes on and we adapted to our new reality. While the hole in our family was still there, eventually, joy returned to our lives. My children grew up surrounded by love and have now left home. I'm blessed to be able to spend my time with family and friends, serving where I can, traveling as much as possible, either with family or to see family, because for me, family IS my joy and that's what it's all about.

Why I am a Mormon

I could say I'm a Mormon because I was born to Mormon parents or grew up in a Mormon family, but I'm a Mormon because I searched for answers to 'who am I' and 'what is my purpose' and received answers for myself. The answers didn't come easily or early in my life; and they came in stages. As a teenager I followed the example of my parents and went to church because it was expected. When I got married and was responsible for getting myself to church, it became less of a priority. I attended sporadically but It wasn't until my daughter was born that I began to feel the need for more. My husband felt formal instruction wasn't necessary, that they should be allowed to decide for themselves as teens or adults what they believed. While I agreed that our children should be allowed to choose for themselves, I felt it was my responsibility to lay a foundation of faith that could be a starting point. As I taught my children that they were children of God, that they could have a personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ that begins with prayer, that by being kind and serving others we learn how to be more like Them, I gained my own testimony that what I was teaching was true. Through prayer and reading the scriptures I began to internalize these truths and they became part of the foundation of a faith that would be tested to the very core a few years later when my husband died. At that point I had a crisis of faith but because of the love I felt I gained a 'perfect brightness of hope' that all is well and He is mindful of me. I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for the trials he's given me. I'm grateful that my husband and I were able to take our children to the temple and be sealed together forever. God's handprints are all over my life. I'm most grateful for the knowledge I have that this life is not the end; that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I don't believe blindly anymore, I believe because I can see.

How I live my faith

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of serving others and lifting people's burdens. I think this is why service is such an integral part of our lives and beliefs as members of His church. When we serve others we learn to appreciate their circumstances and hopefully come to love them. We are encouraged to not only serve others through callings or jobs within the congregation but by reaching out into the community. While I believe all service is of value, whether it's visiting one-to-one or as part of a large community outreach project, I sometimes think we, and the world in general, discount the service we give within the walls of our own homes. While most of the service I give today is to my family and friends, I'm grateful for the opportunities I have because it helps me forget myself. If I can ease someone's burden or lighten their load, even for a minute, I'm happy to do it. Although I'm a long way from achieving it, it's my goal to be more in tune with the needs of others and be quicker to act.