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Hi I'm Catherine

I am a "Tough Cookie", I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up as the saying goes, poor as dirt. My parents separated when I was 5 and divorced when I was 8, Because my father lived on the other side of the country my mother was left as a single parent, with barely a high school education she had to figure out how to support my younger brother and me. She taught me how be strong, you work for what you want, and that nothing is free. At 17 I joined the U.S. Navy and became a Fire Controlman ( a large scale weapons specialist). I worked on the Ship Self Defense Weapon called CIWS (Close-In Weapons System). My first duty station was aboard the USS Lasalle AGF-3, home ported out of Gaeta, Italy. I lived in Italy for 3 years and spent almost as much time in the countries that boarder the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas as I did in "la piu bella Italia". My next duty station was in San Diego, CA at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. I worked as a Corrections Officer at the Naval Consolidated Brig (a military sex offender treatment facility and at the time the maximum security facility for military females). It was not fun. After 8 years I ended my military service and headed in a whole different direction. I attended Brigham Young University at Provo and studied Art History, a subject I could not help falling in love with while I was stationed in Europe. I also studied the Aesthetics trade in Salt Lake, specializing in skin care & make up. After graduation I returned home to WA, a place I had not lived in13 years...

Why I am a Mormon

Early on in my Naval career I was failing out of school and in the military there isnt any academic probation, they just saddle you with the worst job imaginable and you are "haze grey and underway". I knew why I was failing, it was because I had nothing to anchor to, nothing to be a compass for my choices, thoughts and actions. So I took myself to church. I went to every service offered in the chapel at the Great Lakes Military Training Center. I sat through, sung through, cried through 4 and 1/2 hours of church every sunday for 2 months and still I felt nothing. I was attending three different denominations' services and I never felt connected, I never got my questions answered in a way that both rang true and felt fully believable. One night a friend was lamenting that he hadnt been to church in a while and when I said he should go he asked me to attend with him. When I attended the meetings the next day, two sister missionaries taught me about the nature of God, my relationship to Him and His Son Jesus Christ. They explained about the plan of happiness and were able to answer my questions with scriptural backing in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible. While we were talking I suddenly started to feel better. During the next hour as discussed some of the principles of the gospel with the womens group (what we call relief society) I began to recognize what I was feeling. It was the same feeling I had as a teenager when I went with my youth group to give service to others, or when we were singing songs written from the Bible. I was overwhelmed and humbled that I could feel that same feeling in a room just sitting and talking. I still feel that feeling when I am in Relief Society, and in other meetings too now. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit, testifying of truth and righteousness. I am a Mormon because I feel that spirit, that presence of God in my life now every day, because I have the gift of the Holy Spirit.

How I live my faith

As a member of a Single Adult congregation I have three "jobs" or assignments ( what we refer to as callings). I teach in our womens only sunday school, called Relief Society. Also I am visiting teacher, a calling most women in the church have to help lift up and edify their fellow sisters. My final calling is probably the one that I am involved in the most. I am the Break the Fast coordinator. It is a long title for planning a meal. Every month, on the first sunday of the month we fast as a church. In singles wards (congregations) at the end of our three hour block of meetings we share a meal. My job is to come up with a theme ( this month it is Orange Colored Food, think cheetos and sweet potatoes), create fun sign ups, call people to remind them to bring food, set up on the day of the meal and then clean up after it. One aspect about my faith that has strengthened my life is the knowledge about life after death. Three days ago (from the day that I am writing this) my mother died. She had been sick for more than a year with cancer in her lungs, live and spinal cord. I loved my mother very much, even when I lived over seas we spoke almost everyday and I moved back to Washington to be closer to her and my brother. She was diagnosed less than 2 months after I moved back home. Everyday as I pray and read my scriptures the peace I have knowing that this life is not all, that there is not only life but further progress after this time here on Earth, holds me together.