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Hi I'm Aarika

I am a wife and a new mom. I spell my name funny. I love teaching yoga and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

It's Aarika like Erica. About half of the time someone reads my name, they get it right. But most attempts come out in a variety of pronunciations: Aareeka, aRe-icka, Annika. Even though it's tricky, it would be weird to just be an "Erica"! (The spelling makes sense if you think about the male version of Aaron. Not too far off, huh?). Well, I grew up in Utah and yes, I'm Mormon. Those facts, cliché as they may be, shaped my life when it took an unexpected turn. Our family moved to Hawaii the summer before I started high school. I discovered that the "melting pot" of America was far different from where I had come from. However, (as those who have been transplanted know) it doesn't take long to feel an inexplicable love for the islands and the people there. Lahaina felt like home in many ways, but I also found myself in new circumstances that helped me to find out who I really was . . . see below for more details. In 2005 I returned to Utah to study History at BYU where I met my husband. In 2008 we were married and our adventure together began. After graduation, we moved to San Antonio, TX where my husband started work. We've been here a year and have LOVED the winters (summertime is another story). In March the sweetest baby boy joined our family. Life is crazy and wonderful and I just can't get enough of my two boys.

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wasn’t always easy or appealing. In middle school I felt it was necessary to make myself stand out. I was raised in a community where almost 90% of our friends and neighbors were members of the church and unfortunately, I took it for granted. I began hanging out with a particular group that went to a lot of parties. Even though I knew I wasn't on the best path, that didn't matter much to me. Being "good" didn't seem as fun as the alternative. Shortly after my 14th birthday my parents announced that we were moving. While adapting to my new environment in Hawaii, I realized that I could no longer be half-hearted about my beliefs. At my new school there were only a handful of Mormons. I was faced with the decision of doing what the “cool” kids were doing or I could do what I knew was right. Over the next couple years I searched to find my own testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My testimony materialized as I saw many of my peers flounder in a sea of poor choices. Sure, my weekends in high school were mellow and sometimes boring... but I was happy; truly happy and at peace with myself. I look back and am so grateful that I had faith to turn my life in the right direction. At that pivotal time I learned what mattered most. As I continue to live life, I find overwhelming peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As my mom used to say... “Real happiness comes from making right choices.”

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith daily by being a positive influence in my little sphere. Since Benjamin was born, I've learned that genuine smiles and making acquaintances come easily when you've got a little one with you. Now that baby and I are much more mobile that we were six months ago, we venture out to try to help others and visit friends. I think that service is one of the best ways that we can become more like the Savior. I also help the young women at church as one of their church leaders. They face the same types of challenges that I struggled with ten years ago. I know they will find themselves in moments where they will have to decide who they are and what they believe. I want to help them to develop a desire to follow Jesus Christ and make good decisions for themselves. I have learned so much from these girls. I love being involved in something so great. I couldn't imagine what life would be like without my faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.