What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Joyce

I'm a wife, mother of four, grandmother of six, and a high school math teacher. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I met the wonderful, supportive man I married when I was 17. We married when I was 18, and had our first daughter when I was 19. As we were raising our children, I was a "stay at home" mom (who really didn't stay home much.) And I loved my job! When our youngest was going into middle school I decided it was time to keep the promise I made to my father and finish my college education. At the nearby community college, I soon became addicted to the challenge and rigor of mathematics and decided that I wanted to become a math teacher. I didn't know then that my goal would take 10 years to reach, but with encouragement and support from my family, I was able to balance my responsibilities of family, church, and school and complete my undergraduate work and a Master in Teaching program. Our children are grown now and they have spouses and families of their own and I have a new job--math teacher at the local high school. I love my job! I love my students! And I am grateful to my family for encouraging me and helping me to live my dream.

Why I am a Mormon

I didn't grow up Mormon. In fact my parents weren't very happy with my decision to join the church in my senior year of high school. At that time two major things were happening in my life: my parents were getting divorced and I was graduating from high school. For me, high school (academics and athletics) was everything. I was a successful student and athlete. I had good friends and life was good--but that was ending soon. My entire identity was in question. On top of that, my family was crumbling. As much as I wanted to be independent and pretend that it didn't matter what my parents did, it mattered alot. I wanted to be a part of a loving, intact family. I began searching for something that would be a guiding influence in my life. Quickly, religion emerged as that influence. I began going to different churches with my friends and searching for wisdom, understanding and purpose. Some of the churches I attended seemed to tell me what they thought I wanted to hear. Others were great for a time, but when the newness wore off I still had little direction. I did enjoy my study of the new testament and I developed a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ. I grew to understand that he loved me too. One day, my high school science teacher asked me how I was doing. I replied something like, "Great, I went to a 'Faith Festival' last weekend, I was saved--it was awesome!" He simply said, "That sounds wonderful, but I know something better." He was so sure, I couldn't help myself. I told him that if he knew something better, then I needed to know what that was too. He asked if, with my father's permission he could come over with a couple of friends and tell me about it. He brought the missionaries and we discussed all the things I had questions about. They had the answers I had been looking for. They asked me to pray and to know for myself if the things they were teaching me were true. And they asked me to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

How I live my faith

On Sunday I teach the 14 to 16 year old girls. We have lessons that are relevant and challenging to them at this point in their life. Then, during the week we meet for an activity. Sometimes we learn new skills, we do service projects, or we just enjoy socalizing with each other. Since many of these girls also go to the high school where I teach, I have opportunity to see them frequently during the week. If we are really lucky, I get to teach them math too. I know there are many pressures on the youth today. There are many negative and degrading influences. I try to be kind and uplifting to everyone. My classroom is open to everyone to come in and talk, hang out, or just say hi. I want it to be a safe place to feel wanted and loved. That's the gospel of Jesus Christ in a nutshell--Love one another, as He loves you. I know that Jesus Christ loves me, I hope that I can share that love with others.