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Hi I'm Keith

I am a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy. I am a pole vaulter. I love wakeboarding and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Ever since I was young I have been competing. From football, basketball, and baseball to wrestling, pole vaulting, and power lifting. I love snowboarding, wakeboarding, and just being at the lake. I love being involved in athletics. My parents have helped me be very diverse in my life. From a young age I learned the piano, violin, and guitar. I also enjoy singing country songs especially Rascall Flatts. When I was about 16 years old my Dad and I were watching a space shuttle launch on TV. He turned to me and said, "You could do that." I took him seriously and asked him what it would take to get to space. Because of this desire I decided to apply to the United States Air Force Academy and was accepted as part the class of 2013. However, I decided to postpone my schooling and military service to serve a two year mission in Taiwan. I plan on going back to the Academy after I finish my mission.

Why I am a Mormon

Although I was raised in the church, I always felt that the rules were too restricting. I wanted to live my life my own way, but it was just easier to go through the motions by going to church and listening to my parents while I lived at home. I saw going to the Academy as my way out of the church. My plan was to go with the flow of the military life and just do whatever I wanted. I now testify that the Lord had His eye out for me. It all started in Basic Cadet Training. Going in I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. On the second day I found myself wondering what it would be like to just go home and forget all my dreams of flying and going to space. I was physically beat and emotionally drained. I was broken and I knew it. When the upperclassmen told us that it was time for us to go to church I didn't really know what to do. I didn't want to go to the LDS service, but I had a feeling tell me, "Go, just this once." I remember slowly walking down the stairs of the Cadet Chapel to the basement where we met. Right before I arrived at the door I wanted to turn and go back but for some reason I just kept walking through the door. I don't think I will ever be able to accurately describe my feelings when I walked into that holy room that day. It felt like I was walking into God's loving arms. I literally felt warm and comforted just as if God was holding me. Ever since that day I have known that God literally does love his children. He wants us all to come back to Him just like He wanted me to come back that summer day in 2009. Because of the testimony I received, I decided to put off my schooling and military service for two years to serve a full time mission. I am happier than I have ever been and I owe it all to Him.

How I live my faith

I am a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am assigned to the Taiwan Taichung mission from July 2010 to July 2012. I teach people every single day about how great it is to be a Mormon! I really cannot see any way to have a better life than by living the way that God would have us live. It is a privilege to be counted worthy to represent Jesus Christ in everything I do and say. Every day I love reading the scriptures. I have gained so much knowledge and experience from reading The Book of Mormon and The Bible. I love prayer because it makes me feel like Heavenly Father is near. I want to be on a continual path of coming closer to God. I want to, as Peter says, "...be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you..." I hope that every day my actions show that I have faith in and hope through Jesus Christ.

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

In Chinese we say that as missionaries we are 自願自費. This means that we go on missions out of a personal desire and that we pay our way to do this missionary work. Many missionaries have saved money since they were very young to go on missions. Though family members can help pay the cost of mission expenses, there is really such a great feeling of accomplishment and responsibility when a missionary pays for his or her mission on their own. Show more Show less