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Hi I'm Theresa

I am a Swedish astronomer who lives in Canada and is currently doing research in New Mexico at a large observatory. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I recently graduated with a PhD in astrophysics in Canada and am now working on my first postdoc. Outside of astronomy (which of course is a great interest of mine), I am a birder, and in particular I love parrots. I have two very tame and affectionate budgies, but hope to increase the bird part of the family at some point... I love ballroom dancing, photography, travelling and flying. I am married to a pilot, which I find to be an excellent arrangement. I play the flute and love music. Going back to astronomy, one of my greatest interests is to teach and do outreach - to teach children (and adults) and see a glimmer of interest be lit up and cause loads of excellent questions. Doing research is a great challenge, which keeps my brain alert. But I always want to keep the perspective of my occupation, which is best done through teaching astronomy to others. I miss my family back home in Sweden immensely, and try to go back to visit them a least once a year. Sweden is an amazing country, with amazing nature and a rather exotic location latitude-wise (I never fully realised this until I moved abroad). I have grown to love Canada as well, and while I'm working in New Mexico, I love how I have come to see Canada as home.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was 18, I for the first time came in contact with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, through a very good friend and class mate (I invited myself to a church meeting). After teenage years filled with questions about my role in life, and why I had a life, what it all was for and what happened after death, finally every single question I could think of posing, was given an answer (and I had many questions and discussed the answers thoroughly). With all the answers came however an openness to room for additional information, and this was very important to me - I could never trust anyone who claimed to have complete knowledge, the entire spotless truth, understanding everything of life and universe - not with our incapable brains. I don't think that is (currently) possible. But that is part of what we're here for - to learn and apply, and learn more, incessantly. To learn to love. So, I kept researching the church, its beliefs and practices. I really *wanted* it to be true. But it took me some time to realise how to find out how to believe it - to have faith. I could see that it was all good, and would not hurt me, but I refused to live in a lie, no matter how good it might be for me. Alma 32 in the book of Mormon gave me part of the answer - you follow the scientific method. You plant a seed (do an experiment), take care of the plant and observe the fruits (the results), to see whether they are good and how they affect your life (evaluation). Thus I learnt of the power of faith and prayer. It took me five years before I finally realised that I could not be part of two worlds anymore, but that I had to merge them, so I was baptized and became a member of the church at age 23. After the 12 years that have passed since then, I still consider it the best decision of my life. Living the gospel is not something you just learn and do - you keep learning more and more as time passes. There have been miracles of many different kinds during these years.

How I live my faith

One of the many things I love about the church, is how it makes you develop in diverse areas and do tasks you never thought you'd be able to do, through church callings. Throughout the years I've been given many wonderful callings, which at first scared me half to death. These callings taught me how to teach (how important wasn't that!?) and to talk in front of people. To lead a choir, to organize events and conferences, and even organizing concerts. I'll never forget my first Young Women lesson (teaching girls from age 12-18) - I was shaking with fear. Fear turned to love, both towards the young women, and to teaching. These challenges force me to develop and to serve others. There's nothing that makes you feel more worthwhile than service. And there's no better medicine to remove melancholic feelings.