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 Karen

I grew up in Santa Barbara, California. I'm the owner of a hair salon. I'm an independent, Italian, single mom. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was raised in beautiful Southern California by a single dad. My mother died when I was only 11 years old. I am half Italian, and half Mexican. I am especially close to my mother's side of the family. We are a loud and proud group! While other kids dreamed of going to college, I knew that I wanted to be a hair stylist. I have always been an artist and saw this as the perfect career for me. I attended cosmotology school in Seattle, Washington. Today I own a hair salon. I love my job and find great joy in expressing myself through it. But my greatest joy comes from my two incredible children! My son is currently serving our country as an army paratrooper. My daughter is working hard to get a good education at the University of Washington. Of course, life hasn't ever been easy. After many years of marriage, my husband took a job 3000 miles away and never came back. He relocated to Tennessee and left us here. It was a very dark and depressing time, but as I focused on my children and their welfare I was able to pull through it. Today, my faith in God continues to strengthen me and help me press forward. I am a proud, independent, single mom. I am a mormon.

Why I am a Mormon

I wasn't raised Mormon. I actually grew up attending Catholic schools. But my conversion process began when my son was nine years old. He was invited to attend church with the neighbors. When he came home, he proudly announced to me that he wanted to be a part of their Church. I blew it off because I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown. I didn't think he understood what he really wanted. But he didn't let it go. Soon after that some nice people began stopping by to visit. They were the Mormon missionaries. I remember telling them the first time they came over, "You can talk to my son but don't ever talk to me because I will never ever be a part of your church." Well here I am, almost nine years later, a member of this great Church. It didn't happen quickly. Over two years, I met a lot of different missionaries, and listened to a lot of different discussions. Finally I decided to pray and ask God how I could know if I should be a member of this Church. As I was thinking about it, I imagined in my mind that the leaders of the Church came to my door and told me all the Mormons had to pack up and go. I knew that if they asked me, I would go with them, no matter the sacrifices. As I envisioned this scenario, I realized that I wanted to be Mormon. I knew it was the true Church and was where I wanted to be. This was an answer from God, speaking to me in a way I would understand. I decided then and there that I wanted to be baptized. As I was getting ready to join the Church, everyone tried to convince me this was wrong. They told me Mormons were part of a cult and they worshipped Joseph Smith. But from the first time I met the missionaries, I knew they were good people and there was something different about them. Besides that, I had received a witness for myself that this was the Lord's Church. This was where God wanted me to be. This knowledge was enough, and despite opposition I was baptized and continue to remain faithful today.

How I live my faith

Heavenly Father knows my heart, and gave me the responsibility of teaching his children. In my church, I teach the 5 and 6 year olds. This fills the void in my heart of missing my own two kids. When my kids were that age, we didn't have the Gospel. I didn't realize then how much they needed the teachings of Jesus Christ, or how this could affect them. But now I look at the kids I teach through the eyes of the Spirit, and recognize what they need to help them remain close to their Savior. It is a blessing to share my testimony with them, and help them learn what they need to find true joy in life. I use the tools I have from the Gospel to help me teach the children. I listen to the Spirit to know their needs, and use the teachings of Jesus Christ. Being a mormon gives me the tools that I never had before. What these kids learn now will greatly affect the rest of their life, so it is essential that we teach them about their Heavenly Father.