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Hi I'm Serena

I'm a sister and a daughter. I'm a dancer and a writer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

From September 2014 - March 2016 I am currently serving as a missionary for the LDS church in the Vladivostok, Russia mission. Before my mission, I was a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, studying English and ballroom dance. After my mission I hope to transfer to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Although I was born in California, I grew up mostly in Olympia, Washington, where my mom and siblings live. I have one little brother and three little sisters. My dad and most of the rest of my family live in California. I have many hobbies, which make it especially difficult to choose a major at college! I love theater, singing, playing the piano, writing poetry and stories, sewing, painting, and dancing. I've altered many a prom dress by hand, and someday I want to design my own line of ballroom dancing dresses. Really, besides reading and piano, ballroom dance is my passion. The routines help me with my memorization skills, and the attention to detail helps my often windblown mind to focus. The music inspires me to tell a story as I dance with my partner. Nowhere else can you find such a blend of aesthetic appeal, physical activity, music, and emotion. Dancing helps me get out of my mind, and reading helps me to stretch it.

Why I am a Mormon

Life is like a garden. It can be allowed to grow wildly, filled with weeds that suck the life out of the plants around them, overtaking and conquering. Or life can be planted with beautiful, wholesome flowers and cultivated to be a sweet, wholesome accumulation of glorious colors and scents. The thing is, though, that in order to grow this garden, one must first pull out the weeds of distractions and temptations. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the water of life, the water that loosens the soil and makes it possible to pull out stubborn weeds and bad habits. I don't want to let my garden run rampant. I want to choose and better my life, not simply drift along. I want my life to be an explosion of good actions and beautiful things. Look around; there are already enough ugly things in this world, why not try to help make it better? Even though I'm still young, I've lost track of my purpose in life before. Some family events happened in high school that really shook me up, and in my pain I didn't know where to turn. I became bitter and searched for comfort in places and people that only offered temporary relief. Eventually I recognized the path I was on, the selfish and angry person I was turning into, and came back to the Lord. If it weren't for Jesus Christ and his Atonement, I would still be racked with guilt, pain, and despair. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the vehicle by which I drive myself back to God. The most joyful and peaceful moments in my life have been sacred experiences in the temple or reading my scriptures, when God spoke words of comfort and revelation to my mind and heart. Each of us are on a path through life that at times may seem convoluted, contradictory, or confusing. We may think that others have it easier, or, at least, they seem to be enjoying themselves more. But the Book of Mormon perfectly portrays the most direct path to God. I will stay true to the path through times of doubt to eventual exaltation.

How I live my faith

I live my faith in everything I do. This church is not a once a week or once a year casual commitment; it is an eternal lifestyle. I read from the Book of Mormon and other scriptures a few minutes a day to invite the Spirit into my life to inspire and to guide me. I keep myself clean and worthy to attend the temple by keeping the Word of Wisdom (not smoking, drinking coffee, etc. See Doctrine & Covenants 89), keeping the law of chastity, and paying a full tithe. These are things I choose to do because they bring me closer to God and help me to become a kinder, motivated, and altruistic person. The biggest thing I'm doing now to live my faith is serve my mission. I cannot in good faith ascribe my loyalty and joy to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints without striving my hardest to share that joy with others. Every one of us on this Earth - regardless of race, sex, or creed - are children of God, and I have a duty to invite them to come back to Him. Part of my personal purpose in life is to seek out those who hunger both spiritually and temporally, and to impart my substance with them. "And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." (Mark 8:34-35) I sacrifice 18 complete months of my life to the Lord, away from my family and loved ones, so that I can give others the opportunity to be with their families for eternity.

How does the Church finance its operations?

We voluntarily pay 10% of our earned income as tithing for the Church. This money goes to help fund the building of temples and provide assistance for those in need. I am glad of the opportunity to help serve the world through the Church. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

You must first have a sincere, honest desire to know whether the Church is true. Reading the Book of Mormon and pondering on the things it teaches then praying to know of its truth is the way to go. If you pray with an open, sincere heart, the Holy Ghost will give you a feeling of peace or love to let you know that the things you've read and prayed about are true. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

We go to church on Sundays and participate in various activities throughout the week meant to form bonds in our community and strengthen the church. We live in normal families, and believe that families are the essential unit of the Church and are necessary for God's Plan. We respect our Heavenly Father by keeping our bodies clean through not drinking alcohol or coffee and not smoking or doing drugs. This lifestyle of faith and community gives us great joy, and we share it with everyone through service and missionary work. Show more Show less