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Hi I'm Derek

I'm from Visalia, California. I sing. I dance/teach folk and ballroom dance. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I starting singing before I learned to talk, and I've never stopped. At home, at school, at work, during tests, & even while running. I once finished a Cross country meet only to realize that I had been singing Simon & Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence" the whole race. Some of my favorite music is from Les Miserables, The USA Air Force Band, PENTATONIX, Imogen Heap, and Natalie Cole. I personally feel that the opportunity to create and enjoy music as individuals and as a community is an inherent right that far too many people forego or are denied by others. We can't all devote our lives to performance, but we can all have the majesty and wonder of music as part of our lives. With music we can share ideas and emotions with each other that cannot be shared any other way. However, a lot of people I've met don't know this or believe they can participate in this because someone they trust--a friend, a teacher, family member, themselves--has told them at one point that they are "bad" or that they can't do x___. I feel that this is totally bogus, especially as one of the reasons we came to earth is to grow into our infinite potential as God's children. We can do anything with God's help, and so it just drives me crazy when someone lets someone else limit them. As such, I am going to become a crazy awesome music teacher as soon as I get back from Japan so I can put that idea to rest.

Why I am a Mormon

It's pretty straightforward. I had an exceedingly difficult and painful time growing up, and the only thing that I could rely on other than my mother was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Time and time again I have found peace in adversity and comfort in sorrow by following God's commandments. I have had my prayers answered many times, and I know that God knows me personally and cares for me personally. I know that He is always there and always loving.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by doing my best to be willing and ready to do what the Lord asks me to do, whether it is accepting church responsibilities such as directing a ward (congregation) choir, or something as simple as helping someone move in/out. My personal goal for myself is to be the kind of person that God can rely on to look after and care for the people around me. I have found that some of my favorite memories are of when I was the giver or receiver of some simple and sincere act of service. For the next two years I am going to be living my faith by serving a full-time mission in Fukuoka, Japan. I will be teaching and serving people as best as I can.