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Hi I'm Jihan.

I'm a Balloon Artist in Downtown Los Angeles. I'm Half-Turkish, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Hello! I'm Jihan. I'm a designer in Los Angeles. My life and interests and have been shaped by the very strong matriarchs of my family who have taught me the value of hard work, independence and goal-setting, but also the importance of sacrifice, service and kindness to others. It has been my mother who has been the most profound influence of religion in my life, and it is through her continued example of faith and love for the Savior that I have gained the confidence to seek truth and light for myself.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm half-turkish and the daughter of a muslim father and mormon mother. I was raised in a very multi-cultural home in which we spent summers abroad, often traveling to third-world countries, journeying low to the earth and with the people, developing a love for all people. I continue to travel and spend my free-time planning my next adventure. On a recent trip to Istanbul I was walking down a street when the only other person in sight, a street vendor, fell to the hard cobblestone with epileptic seizure, his cart also falling and stacks of bread flying everywhere. Processing and in my own near fear-paralysis, my hands fumbled around him to to help. Soon a group of shopkeepers flocked to us on the street. Joining me as I sat next to the sick man, a woman put her hand on me and without sharing a single word, conveyed an immense amount of love. She brought me to my feet and motioned for me to leave, but in her expression in her face and eyes , I felt the most genuine kindness and compassion for me, the least important person on the street at that moment. When I think of the gospel, the love I feel from our Savior and Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, I feel the same attention and compassion that has the ability to soften my heart, fill me with support and provide me with the companionship I need. And for however insignificant, unremarkable and undeserving I feel I am, Christ has always been with me. The Mormon faith does not hold a monopoly on the Savior, but in what I've learned in being mormon has been how crucial he is in our ability to progress and achieve happiness from his example. It is through our Savior that I have gained an understanding of my purpose in this life, as well as the answers to my questions regarding life after death.

How I live my faith

I have a sign above my work desk that reads, "Work Hard and Be Nice to People", and it's with this simple motto that I feel I best live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each day I have a decision to focus on myself or find ways to help those around me, and it's when I forget myself and love those around me that I am my happiest, satisfied and filled with love. To me, this is the way Christ lived-- living not for himself but for those around him, serving and loving unconditionally. I want to be like Christ in this way, and I will continue to work hard and be nice to people.

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

My lifestyle as a mormon is not unlike any other faith or group of people. I have relationships- my closest relationships being with both men and women inside and outside of my mormon faith. Especially in the creative industry, I have found great friendship with people who have very different or no religious background, and I enjoy talking about my own choice in religion as part of what influences me emotionally and creatively. My life is not different from most people: I meet my friends for dinner. I look forward to new films. I love fashion. I enjoy going to museums and following art openings and new galleries. I drive a vintage car. I listen to NPR and I have a subscription to The New York Times. What might differentiate me from many of my friends is that I attend church each Sunday for three hours. This is a really vital part of my week, and it's something I look forward to, plan for and enjoy. My choice to abstain from harsh substances like drugs or alcohol has always been respected and understood by the people I surround myself with, even if their own views differ. I feel lucky to have a diverse friend base, and live in a city where I have a choice in how I live. Show more Show less