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Hi I'm Athena

I am from Greek, Swiss and Danish convert heritage I am a working mother of 9 children, 5 birth and 4 step-children. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up with a love of music and sports. I played the violin and played many sports. I shared these loves with my children and we went to countless practices, performances and games throughout the years. After my 5th child I was not in very good shape, so I committed to exercising and working my way back to close to the same shape I had before I had 5 kids. I started running and on those first few attempts, I could barely wheeze my way around a 1/4 mile block loop. I would run early in the morning while my kids were still in bed and run around the block so I could be close by. I persisted until I could run about 6 miles. I then set my goal to run a marathon. I trained many hours and months and joked that they would have to repave the neighborhood loop after I logged 80 laps around my block for my final training run. The day of the marathon came; it had rained the whole night and a strong wind was blowing. The course had to be redrawn as most of the course was on a canal that was now very muddy. We ran a 6 mile loop, 4 times, plus another 2.2 miles there and back. Each lap the wind was at your back on one leg, blowing you sideways 2 legs and trying to halt any forward progress on one leg. As I ran, I sang church hymns in my mind, the words to the "Lord is my Light" kept me going and I finished the race. I now work as a mortgage consultant, but I have worked as Med Tech, Personal trainer, retail sales, police officer, soccer referee and the best one, stay at home mom.

Why I am a Mormon

I have been a member of the church all my life. My father, who immigrated from Greece, was baptized when I was young, my mother was from Swiss and Danish immigrant convert heritage. As a young child I was always interested in learning about the gospel. It always felt right and there were answers in the scriptures for many of my questions. I don't think I have ever doubted the truthfulness of the gospel. I have felt the spirit lift my soul with indescribable joy when I have listened, read and prayed about spiritual decisions. I mentioned that I enjoyed sports. I also felt it strengthened my testimony, because it taught me many important things about life; working hard and enduring long hard workouts, teamwork, setting and achieving goals and how to pick yourself up after you fall. One of the quotes taped in my locker was, "Our greatest success is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall." I was also inspired by other athletes. I remember as a 16 year old, watching the Deseret News marathon(26.2 miles) race in Salt Lake city and seeing a man nearing the finish line running the race despite not having any feet. He ran on his padded stumps. I read an article about him in the paper, about how his mother had escaped from Hitler's Germany to save his life, because of his birth defect. I wrote in my journal that I wanted to run a marathon because of his inspirational story. Another story that I feels ties in the gospel with lessons is the story of a runner named John Baker. http://artiekamiya.wordpress.com/john-bakers-last-race/ is a link that you can read about him and a poem he wrote. I am a Mormon because everything makes sense. Not only does it make sense, but the spirit confirms it to my heart. I have not served a mission; however my oldest son served in Mongolia, a daughter is now serving in Utah and I have another daughter who will be going on a mission to Guatemala soon. I love the gospel, so it is easy to send them where the Lord needs them.

How I live my faith

I have a love for music. Music can lift and inspire and testify. I have always enjoyed singing in our choir at church. All of my children have also sung with the choir making it a great family activity. Last year I was asked to be the ward choir leader. I have no training in choral instruction and I am not all that good at keeping the right beat pattern, but if they needed my to be choir director I would give it a try. My favorite part is deciding on what we sing. It is a way to share my testimony through song to the members of the congregation. I think the choir members get the most testimony building, so I am always encouraging more people to come sing with us, especially the youth. I had to make a huge decision in my life and the lives of my children a few years ago. I relied on the Lord to help me through the difficult times and I have been so greatly blessed. One of my great blessings is my husband Jack. We have been married 2 years now. He has suffered through deaths of his wife and 2 children and his own physical disabilities, but has endured all these trials with a testimony of the gospel. It is so great to have someone who loves and supports me. I have continued to work and he stays home and helps with the children, since we only have 2 left at home, he has it pretty easy! I hope to serve a mission with Jack after we retire. Until then I will continue to try and be a missionary and friend to those around me. I never shy away from questions about my religion, but I also am not good at starting those discussions as I should be.