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 Bracken

I was a soldier, am a husband, and am soon to be a father. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I met Katie when I was 16. When I was 17 I joined the Idaho Army National Guard. I signed a 6 by 2 contract, meaning I would serve for 8 years in total, but two of those years I could spend "on call." After graduating from high school I attended Basic and Advanced Individual Training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma (13 Bravo...Hooah). I was officially a Soldier. Upon returning from my training, I chose to exercise my "on call" portion of my contract and serve a mission for the church. I was called to serve the Lord in Piura Peru! I entered the Missionary Training Center on March 3, 2004. Three days later I was informed that my missionary service was being postponed as I was called to serve my country in Iraq. What a change of plans. I went from carrying my scriptures to a Squad Automatic Weapon (Machine Gun). I love my country! I spent 22 months serving with some of the nation's finest. I developed relationships that will remain with me forever. God bless the United States of America. After returning from Iraq, I was given the opportunity to resume my missionary service and did so with a deepened appreciation for my Heavenly Father. I spent two incredible years among some of the greatest people on earth. The Peruvian people consistently welcomed me into their homes as they accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many lives were changed for the good, and mine was certainly one of them. At 23 I became reacquainted with and married Katie. She is my wife and best friend!

Why I am a Mormon

At fifteen, I began to question much of what I had been taught growing up. Did God exist? If so, did His son truly pay the price for the sins of the world? Was it really necessary to go to church each week? Did God really expect me to pay tithing on what I earned mowing lawns? In an effort to find truth and clarity, I prayed each night for answers. When I prayed, I expressed my desire to know if the things I had been taught were true. Time passed and I felt I was making very little progress. Each night as I prayed I felt peace, but I wanted more. Months later, my youth group took a trip to Wyoming to walk where some of the original members of the church walked as they moved west to Salt Lake City. Going into this trip, my prayers intensified as my desire to receive answers grew. One night, while sitting around a camp fire, our Bishop shared his testimony with the youth. He then did something that would change my life forever. He knelt at the campfire and said a prayer on our behalf. As he did so, I felt the indescribable feelings of the Holy Ghost. I came to know, without any doubt, that God is my Heavenly Father and that he loves me. I also felt the love of a Savior that gave His life for me. I knew that the things I had been doing up to that point in my life were pleasing to him. I felt confident that if I continued to live the teachings of the Gospel I would one day return to his presence. Since that unforgettable evening around the campfire, my knowledge has grown. I have taken those same questions, and many more to the Lord in prayer. I have come to know that God leads his children through prophets. If we study the teachings of the prophets of old, and listen to the teachings of the current prophets, we will find our way back home. God wants nothing more than to have each of his children in his arms again and I want the same thing.

How I live my faith

I like to start each day studying the scriptures. After studying alone, my wife and I read together. We have come to realize that having a good morning usually equates to having a good day. Nothing gets the day off to a better start than learning about your Savior. Each Wednesday evening, I get to spend time with the youth of our area. We try to plan activities that will prepare them for the future. We serve those in need, visit different professionals in the area, do team-building activities, play kick-ball, and anything else the youth are interested in. The youth do their best to invite friends from school to help them see what Mormons are like. We have a lot of fun together. I am also responsible for teaching boys, 12-18, each Sunday at church. My goal is to help each of the boys come to better understand their relationship with God. I know how much happiness that knowledge has brought me and I want the same for them. I have also been given the opportunity to teach four different families from my congregation. With my companion, we try to see them at least once a month. We want to make sure the families are doing well both temporally and spiritually. Our hope is that they would call us if they needed anything. We love visiting our families. I genuinely appreciate the opportunities the church provides me to serve. Few things make me feel better than serving others. I have come to understand that God has given me a lot, and as a result, he expects me to give to others.