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Hi I'm Gareth

I grew up in Maidstone, Kent before moving to London to start my family. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife Nicole and I live in South East London. We have three girls, ages one through four and I love being a father. Presently I work in local government, managing the office for an Executive Director in a local authority. Contributing to the organisation and delivery of the London 2012 Olympics is a recent highlight of my professional life. I have a number of hobbies and interests but many of these revolve around my involvement in miniature wargames. I've got an extensive collection of miniatures and enjoy assembling, painting and playing games. I've recently branched out into economic strategy games such as Puerto Rico and PowerGrid and find these really diverting and have enjoyed making a new group of friends. I'm also just getting into outdoor fitness after receiving a double lumbar interbody fusion in 2010 (three of my vertebrae are bolted together). This is a significant change for me. I completed a 125 mile cycle ride last year and loved it, this year I'll be doing my first half-ironman and I'm excited about the changes that running, cycling, and swimming have brought to my life. I'm also planning on a 250 mile ride and a half marathon before the year is out.

Why I am a Mormon

I joined the church when I was eight years old. Missionaries were visiting my parents' home to teach them about the Mormon faith and while they were clearly there to teach my parents I appreciated being treated as an individual. The missionaries took time to answer my questions and I could see that my opinions and thoughts mattered to them. We were all sat at the dining room table when the missionaries taught us about the Plan of Salvation. I had no idea what salvation was or why it should be important to me, but as they taught us about where we had come from, who we were, and why we were here on Earth I began to feel reassured about what they were saying. It felt as though what they were teaching were things that I already knew, almost things that were obvious if only I had thought about them a bit more. I believe that these feelings were from God, sent to help me understand that I was hearing something important and true. My family and I were baptised in 1990 and since then I have had many good experiences which echo that first one. These experiences are some of the most meaningful and tender experiences of my life and I don't think I would be who I am today were it not for some of the spiritual experiences I have had serving others and participating in the church.

How I live my faith

Until recently I served as the Bishop of my ward with overall responsibility for the ward and its members in my area. I loved this responsibility and when it came to an end felt both elated and dismayed. Serving as Bishop represented a tremendous learning opportunity for me and provided many opportunities to help and serve others. I especially enjoyed conducting marriage ceremonies, attending youth camps, teaching the gospel and working with other local leaders to organise activities, lessons and events. I am now responsible for coordinating the missionary work in my area under the direction of my Bishop. I have a fantastic group of ward missionaries to work with, nearly all of whom are young men preparing to serve their own full-time missions. I really enjoyed serving as a missionary myself in Leeds, England and the surrounding area and I am excited to have this chance to help prepare these young men for their own missionary experiences. I am also involved in a number of community groups and committees, providing websites for a number of groups and organisations, participating in meetings and organising local events. The area in which my family lives is very diverse and I really enjoy learning about other cultures and helping to bring people together.