Hi I'm Hayley!
Hi! I'm 21, I currently live in Provo, Utah, after moving back from Hollywood, CA in January. I've been to 3 different high schools, 2 middle schools and 2 elementary schools. Before I lived in California or Utah, I lived in Washington state- both in the Seattle area and in the Spokane area. I'm the youngest child in my family and the only member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Some of my favorite times are sitting in the kitchen after a long day and talking to my best friends about anything and everything. I love music of most kinds, movies that make me laugh and ones that make me cry, musicals and dancing like a crazy person. After spending so much time in different places, I've realized how much I love all the seasons we have on the Earth- even if the snow can be unbearable sometimes. I'm currently enrolled in an online program that will certify me to teach English as a second language and I'm hoping to take that and travel the world with it!
Why I am a Mormon
I wasn't ever a bad kid, I was just lost. I was always wondering "what is the real meaning of life? why am i here?" When I lived in Washington, I began dancing at a studio where quite a few Latter-Day Saint members attended and one of them became my very best friend. Unconsciously, I began dressing more like them by wearing more modest shirts and pants, attending church with them, and I even began praying certain nights- whenever I gained the courage to. It's funny to remember how scared i was at one point to talk to my Heavenly Father when now I pray to Him at least every morning and night if not more and it's the greatest feeling! My best friend invited and took me to Girl's Camp with her when I was 15 which means I went camping with only girls and women for about 4 or 5 days and each day was packed with spiritual and emotional uplifting! I had such an amazing feeling after I had attended the camp and read through much of the Book of Mormon that I actually wanted to get baptized into the church right after I got home! My mom was very skeptical and told me I needed to wait a bit longer and really look into it to decide if becoming Mormon was the correct choice for my life. I'm honestly very thankful she asked me to wait because my testimony is much stronger now. After that, I stopped attending church very much and my parents and I were moved to Utah. Then in my senior year, I again became friends with many Latter-Day Saints and again after attending church and seeing the light of Christ in so many peoples' eyes, I knew the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was true. When I turned 18, I signed my baptismal papers and two days later I was baptized and confirmed a member. It was the best day of my life and though my parents and siblings still don't understand my decision, I know they see my true happiness and how it has changed my life for the better.
Why/How do you share the gospel with your friends?
I share the gospel with my friends because it has been the greatest blessing in my life. Becoming a member of this church has made me happier than I have ever been and I know the only things that can come from it are good. When you live completely by the principles of God you will find true joy because you feel good knowing you've been doing righteous things. I'm a firm believer that you cannot force someone to do whatever it is that you want because everyone is entitled to their own choices- we were each given that freedom when we were sent here to Earth (which is another amazing principle this gospel teaches) and I therefore do my best not to force my ideas upon others just as I never liked when other people attempted to coerce me to see their way as the "right" way. I do my very best to be a great example to others, to show them exactly how this gospel is blessing my life so completely and doing what I know is right no matter what pressures there are around me to do unrighteous things. Usually questions about my religion are just brought up by my non-member friends so it's easy to spread the gospel that way because they're wanting more knowledge about it, they want more understanding which is definitely something I can give and I can relate too considering I'm a convert to this church. I explain to my best ability an answer to their questions along with my own feelings about the gospel of Jesus Christ and let the Holy Ghost take care of the rest!
Think about your everyday activities. What are things you act upon each day where you cannot see the end results? How does faith move you to action?
From this question I thought of two things: working out and brushing my teeth! So random, but they're two things that really we all do/ should be doing. Brushing my teeth is easier obviously because it's a habit, I've been doing it every morning and night for basically every day of my life, but if I were to ever stop I can only imagine what would start to happen. I can tell you what doctors and my parents have told me will happen: your teeth will rott, your breath will smell just awful, and your good health will decrease. Because I've heard the bad consequences that may happen if I don't continue brushing my teeth, I have faith that doing that action every day will keep my mouth to its optimum cleanliness and beauty! Exercising is the same deal- if you quit, not only will you stay the same but your body will start to weaken, gain weight, and you'll lack in energy and vigor. The gospel is much like both of these; if you continue on your endeavors with faith in the Lord, obeying His commandments and doing the things daily that he asks, your spirit will strengthen and you feel better, but if you begin to slack and become lazy or harden your heart against Him, you will not only stay in the same place but you will weaken, you will feel awful, your soul of joy and happiness will slowly rott away without you even realizing it. My faith moves me to study my scriptures each day, feasting on the words of the Lord; to pray each day in order to speak with my Heavenly Father; to do good deeds for others in order to serve and bring others joy to bring joy to my creator. My faith reminds me that if I quit doing any of these things, I not only stay where I am but I fall backwards, I decay.
Could you talk about your baptism?
My baptism was quite honestly the greatest day of my life. It was a saturday, two days after my 18th birthday and all of my friends from high school were actually the ones performing the services. Each gave a different part- the opening prayer, the first talk about baptism, a wonderful song that filled my heart, and then finally it was time for the actual baptism. In my white suit, I stepped into the baptismal font next to one of my best friends who was about to go on his mission to New Zealand just four days after. I was submerged in the water and came up refreshed and feeling so much weight lifted from me. I felt more pure and joyous than I ever have before. I came out of the font and the smile never faded from my face. My four best friends met me in the bathroom and we all hugged and cried with such great happiness! Then I was able to listen to a few of my friends' testimonies along with the stake president's about how true this gospel is before a few more of friends sang another song. I distinctly remember how strong the spirit of the Lord was in that room and my mother- who isn't a member- actually came and sat next to me the entire time. I know she felt something as well, though she never mentioned anything to me after. I'm waiting for the day when she wants to talk and know one day she will. I know when I was baptized it was the greatest decision I could have ever made and it was a huge step considering I am the youngest and only member of this church in my family. I have heard from many others that my baptism was a huge testimony builder for them and I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. I know the Lord was so pleased with me and I never want that feeling to go away.
How I live my faith
When I lived in LA, I was so close with others in my church because we were all trying for the same goal- modesty and staying away from things of the world that would bring us down. We made an effort to help homeless people whenever we had the chance by keeping extra granola bars and snacks in our cars to give away instead of money. I was also a part of the activities committee which allowed me to serve the other members of the church and any guests by decorating and organizing fun and wholesome activities like a film and art festival! My friends and I also tried to stick around and always help clean up after church activities and I take those habits with me here in Utah as well. We've been taught that by serving others we are serving the Lord so I do my best to help out others when I can. I also try my best to dress and act modestly, and without judgement towards others because I know everyone on this earth has a purpose and is equal under God. I try to be the best example of Christ that I can, keeping Him at the front of my mind always and doing as He would want me to do. This gospel has made me a better person and I continue to progress more with each day and I know if is because of my faith and how I live by it.