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Hi I'm Garrett

I study arachnology. I love Japanese and music. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

like learning. There is something really exhilarating to me when I try to recall a piece of information and it's there, whether that be a Japanese word or kanji, the scientific name of an arthropod, or a bit of church history. There is so much to learn about! In high school I liked Japanese anime and that got me into studying Japanese. But after studying the language on my own in high school, I really came to love the language for the language's sake. That evolved into a love of the culture when I went there on my mission. (And I've always loved the food!) But something that struck me when I was in Japan was the amazing diversity of the arthropod fauna, especially the spiders. That got me thinking a lot about the amazing biodiversity we have on this planet so I decided to study entomology. I'm now working on my dissertation. I've really enjoyed my graduate studies. One of my favorite courses was about the history of the origin of the theory of evolution. I found it fascinating. After that class I decided that the next time someone asks me who I want to meet when I get to the other side, I'm definitely saying it's Charles Darwin. I'm married to a sharp and faithful woman and we have two charming daughters. I love spending time with my family and teaching my two-year-old words like beetle and pseudoscorpion. Lastly, I wouldn't be completely honest if I didn't admit that I am a huge Star Wars fan.

Why I am a Mormon

The Book of Mormon contains a powerful promise: if you read it, ponder it's message, and pray to God, asking Him with "real intent" if it is true, he will tell you it is true. I knew that as a missionary I'd be sharing this promise with others so I needed to know for myself, but no matter how many times I prayed, I just felt like I wasn't getting a clear answer. Sometimes I would think I felt something warm in my heart, but was that the Holy Ghost, or was it just me? I was worried that because I wanted to know and get an answer that it was true so badly, my mind was making me feel things that weren't real. I tried to have faith, but the doubt kept creeping back in. I finally got to the point where I knew I needed to stop lying to myself: I had to pray with "real intent." I learned that what "real intent" means is that you're willing to accept the answer that God gives you and then act on it. The truth was that I had made up my mind about being a missionary and was going to go through it no matter what answer I got. I finally had to lay my pride aside and ask sincerely. I prayed so fervently and I finally bore my heart out to God. I told him what I was feeling after I pray and that I just wasn't sure if it was coming from me or from Him. I asked God if he would answer my prayer in a way that I would know there was no way I was making it up. That prayer was probably the most exhausting prayer of my life. Afterwards I felt completely drained so I sat there for a while. I couldn't think of anything. Finally I got up and sat down at my desk. It was time for me to read my scriptures. I opened the Book of Mormon and before I could read a single word, I felt a warmth and power flow into my heart. It was the most miraculous thing I had ever felt. Not only did that experience teach me the truth of the Book of Mormon, it taught me that God really knows who I am and he answers my prayers. I know I can never deny the truth of the Book of Mormon.

How I live my faith

I have no formal music training, but somehow I've been asked to be the ward choir conductor before and now I'm the sacrament meeting music leader (that means I lead the music during church). This was a hard thing for me because I knew that so many people in the congregation could be doing a better job than I could. Rather than giving up, though, I trusted in God and began studying the hymns and practicing leading music at home. I've finally come to the point where I'm confident at leading the music during church. It's been so wonderful to learn how to do something I would probably never have learned to do of my own volition. I'm also trying to learn how to play piano so I can play hymns at church. I've only been playing for 2 years, so I've got a long way to go, but it's totally worth the effort. Playing the hymns at home really helps bring a feeling of peace into our home. I also like to go out with the missionaries. I don't do it as much anymore, now that I'm a dad, but it's really special to me. It's easy to think of the missionaries as bothersome young men and women that want to push their religion on other people, but it's not that way at all. They're just looking for those people who do want to learn more about Jesus Christ. They're out there, and we just have to find them -- which means talking to lots of people. Watching other people learn about and accept the Gospel reminds me of all the ways God has confirmed to me the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The thing I'm really working on these days is trying to "be", rather than just "do". This is something that's been on my mind a lot for the past couple years. It's easy for us to do the things typical Mormons do and lose sight of why we're doing it. The purpose of "doing" is really to help us "become." I'm really making an effort in my life to "be" the kind of person Jesus was, instead of only focusing on "doing" the things he's asked us to do.

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Following Jesus Christ really does present us with a better way to live. Missionaries want to share with others how they can experience a more fulfilling life by following Jesus Christ. Show more Show less