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 Ernie Valfre

I'm a Mormon. I became a Mormon this year when I was baptized on March 12, 2011.

About Me

I have considered myself a Christian all of my life and spent many years going to various churches. I have felt God's hand on me and leading me from harm's way. This started during the my four years in the military during the Vietnam War. Afterwards, I went to college and earned a degree in Chemistry - this was amazing to me as I hardly past high school. I got a job with a pharmaceutical company and have been there 32 years. Many times I tried to get other jobs or moved to other locations and the event didn't happen. Then later, I would find out the location had closed or people were laid off. So I have pretty much stayed in the LA area for all of these years. I am currently married to my third wife who is a Mormon. She is a godly woman and i am very grateful to have her as my help meet.

Why I am a Mormon

As I mentioned, I have been in and out of churches all of my life. The last church I went to was Calvary Chapel where I studied very hard about the books of the Bible. I served in small capacities such as being on prayer watch, ushering or working a evangelical events. My second wife and I fell away due to none important issues which lead to us getting divorce. At that time, I met Teresa at work - she was my boss. After the divorce and she left the company we got romantically involved. This culminated in our marriage in 2006 at the stake center in Winchester, VA. In Sept 2010, my wife after several years of a persistent cough, had an X-ray. After several tests, it turned out to be lung cancer. Worst than that, it was later found in the lymph nodes, brain and T2 bone. My wife was crushed. For us, we had finally found the perfect mate and after only 4 years of a great marriage, the future looked very dimmed. Obviously, my wife was very scared and though she had been inactive for many years and she knew my roots were evangelical, she asked me to go to church with her. I agreed because I believe with God all things are possible. At first, it was a little hard to accept some of the things I heard from members but one thing shined out more brightly than anything else and that was the members of the Valencia 2nd Ward love Jesus Christ as much or more than I. While I was taking the investigation sessions with the ward missionaries, the real work on conviction was through a relationship I built with the 1st Counselor to the Bishop - it was there I got the meat and all the pieces fit, all the questions I had from the other church were answered. It was then I made the decision to get baptized and become a member.

How I live my faith

So, there was some good that came out of the tragedy of my wife being diagnosed with 4th stage lunge cancer. As spoken in James, "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." So I knew then as I know now, there is no more lukewarm theology in this household - I told the Bishop, this is full court press and the lovely members of the Valencia 2nd Ward gladly took their places and helped us so much. Now my wife has pretty much beaten the cancer as there is no more macro cancer cells that we know of in her body. While she is still taking cancer drugs and just started long term disability, for a sick woman she looks great. How do I live my faith, like the very air we breathe is essential to life. The next milestone is to get my endowments and for us to get sealed together for all eternities, then if we must depart this estate we know we will be back together soon. Another event that shook my world was my patriarchal blessing in August of this year, which said I have a lot of work to do get get all of my family in the church and be part of the family in the celestial kingdom. This won't be easy as things get really murky at both sides of my grandparents. Still, I figure that Heavenly Father will help me as we get out to their birthplaces in New Mexico and Texas. On another front, we have brought my aging mother from Portland, OR to come live with us and show her the Mormon way of life. I have gotten my firstborn son to take missionary lessons and I discuss LDS with anyone in my family or group of friends where there is a prompting. Close to retirement, we have decided that we want to be Senior Missionaries, the how and when is dependent on many things. But I have a lot to give to my Savior for this gift of life and His atonement for someone that wasn't that worthy.