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Hi I'm Marianna

I am a mother of twelve children, I have a doctorate in education, and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I love being a mom. I also enjoy learning. I do not think that these two things are exclusive. Instead, I have tried to make them inclusive. After my eighth child, I received my masters degree in special education. After my twelfth child, I decided to work on a doctorate in education. I enjoyed doing a cross cultural study in student motivation comparing American students with Russian students. I was also able to report my results in educational conferences in America and Russia. These educational pursuits help me be a better mother. My children and I get our homework done together. We work around the kitchen table and all of us work towards educational goals together. I hope to be constantly learning my entire life. I hope my children feel the same way.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because my parents were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That was the beginning of my testimony. I was able to see them live a Christlike life and I wanted to be like them. We did not grow up in Utah. Instead, we lived in New York City suburbs. My father worked in the city. I was the oldest of twelve children, which was a source of constant scrutiny and comment. I loved my big family and enjoyed being different. My testimony has changed as an adult. I have studied and lived the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that they are true for myself. Not only do they bring happiness in this life, living the gospel gives me the hope of living with my family eternally and living with my Heavenly Father once more. This hope helps me when life happens--and it always happens. The good and the bad can bring trials and temptations. I am thankful for a spiritual direction and compass that directs my decisions. I can know what I should do as I read the scriptures, pray, and ask for the Lord's help and direction. As I follow His guidance (no matter how difficult), I know that I will find peace in this life.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by serving others. My husband and I recently returned from serving as full-time missionaries in Sao Paulo Brazil for the last three years. We presided over a mission there and helped about 450 young missionaries as they served in Sao Paulo. Most of our missionaries were from Brazil--only quarter of them were from the USA. We loved working with these young men and women and were amazed and awed by their dedication and willingness to sacrifice so much for others. We loved seeing their lives change as they learned to serve and help others. Their own testimonies of the Savior grew as they taught others about the Savior. It was difficult leaving our family for so long. We had a couple of grandchildren born while we were gone and a little granddaughter had a very serious health concern. But, we felt the hand of the Lord watching over our family. As we served the Lord in Brazil, He took care of our children and helped them when we could not. Our service strengthened my testimony and helped me feel more deeply the love the Savior has for me and all of his children throughout the world.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

The Mormon lifestyle is different for each individual. There are people who are married and not married, old and young, rich an poor. Yet, as a ward family, we try to help each other through tough times and celebrate with each other during the good times. I find that the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives my life so much richness and fullness. I would miss a great deal without it. I am thankful for the wholesome and spiritually satisfying (and fun) activities for my children (especially my teenagers). I am able to find people from a variety of backgrounds who also have the same life goals as I do in the Church. Even though my friends are not limited to those in my congregation, I do know that these dear people will help me when I need it. Show more Show less