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Hi I'm Julie!

I was raised in China and Switzerland, I love rock climbing, I love to dance when no one's looking, and I'm a Mormon!

About Me

When people ask me where I'm from, I have to tell them my whole life story, and say, "you choose". I was born in Connecticut into a family with an older brother, sister, and two loving parents. Soon after I was born we moved to Massachusetts where my Dad attended MIT. When I was 3 it was time to move again. Colorado was home for 5 years until the opportunity of a life time came. Shanghai. China. AHHHH!! That was a surreal phone call. As an 8 year old platinum blonde, blue eyed kid I was a walking tourist attraction--not to mention my then 4 other siblings, all with the same eyes, magnets to the Chinese. At age 12 we packed up again for Beijing, China. There the last addition to our family was born, making 6 kids total. Ar age 16 once again, the moving trucks came and went, this time headed to Geneva, Switzerland. After graduating high school there I moved to Utah where I attended Brigham Young University (BYU) for 2 years. At the same time my family moved to Atlanta, Georgia where they still currently reside. Phew. What a ride it's been. If you were to ask me what I love doing, I'd say, "anything". I love outdoor climbing, mountain biking, singing, dancing, snow boarding, writing, off roading, barbecuing, camping, wake boarding, painting, drawing and EATING! I love it all :) At BYU I was studying to get into Physician's Assistant school and studying French and Chinese. Currently, however, I've taken a break from all that to serve a mission in Taiwan!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a Mormon family. And once upon a time the answer may have ended there. In Beijing I was apart of our Beijing ward's very strong and active youth group. It was easy to stay strong in the church because I knew I had tons of others my age facing the same problems, holding to the same high standard of living that I never thought twice about following the commandments that Mormonism is so often defined by. Yes, we don't drink, we don't smoke, we don't have pre-marital sex, we don't drink coffee or tea, we pay 10% of our income to the church as tithes, and we attend 3 hours of church each Sunday. Then came the move to Geneva. It was there that I learned what it meant to be a Mormon. I was one of 4 Mormons in my entire elementary, middle and high school that made up the International School of Geneva. I was blonde (which sadly this time seemed to others to mean I was intellectually inferior), American (code for small minded), and worst of all...Mormon (a conservative robot without a personality). With one fowl swoop, my life had changed completely. Suddenly it was cigarettes, beer and promiscuity that were the norm, and I lacked my strong youth group to keep me grounded. It was then that I had to decide if my convictions were truly mine or a tradition passed down from my parents. Were the commandments robbing me of my freedom, or was it true what members of our church said that commandments in fact GIVE you freedom? I began to realize how incredibly simple, and happy my life was because I didn't have to worry about the side effects of drugs of alcohol. I had and have guidance from a perfect source who I never have to question the motives of...my Heavenly Father. He created my spirit and body...if He gives commandments to do with the care of our bodies that HE created, why NOT follow them? He's the ultimate doctor, the ultimate scientist...He is our creator. The confidence that comes from knowing these things is incomparable. And that's why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

For me the lifestyle of a Mormon has always made a whole lot of sense. I mean, look at the world. Look at the poverty, the drug trafficking, the physical and emotional abuse, robbery, dishonesty, homicide...and just think, children are being born into this environment everyday. Some are born to parents who don't even know each other, some to parents who don't want them or love them...and some, never given the chance to live, but are aborted before they can choose for themselves if and how they want to live. And now let's look at why the world has these problems. Drugs, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, disrespect, hatred...and this list goes on as well. The commandments offer a safe guard against every single one of the world's major issues. Ultimately they boil down to love. Love you neighbor, love you Mom and Dad, love your children, love yourself, and love your Heavenly Father. If everyone would follow the commandments, everyone would be independent, and with independence comes an ability to stop thinking about your own needs, and think instead of others. With being a Mormon comes an obligation to remember to serve other people. In our communities we are organized into groups called wards. In our wards we are assigned callings. With a calling comes a responsibility to plan events, prepare Sunday School lessons, serve those members of your ward who need it, and basically think first of others' needs. I love how our church emphasizes these things, and I love that overall our goal is to build up those around us. If everyone had the goal to make sure others were happy, the world would be full of happy people...but when one person begins to think only of themselves, that's when relationships fail, families are broken, and the gospel seems to be a burden rather than a blessing. I am a missionary now and all day I get to buoy others' spirits, encouraging them to leave old habits behind and become the best person they can be. I live my faith every day, and I love it.