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Hi I'm Loni Hernandez

I live in beautiful Northern California. I study and teach English Literature. I love working with the youth. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the suburbs in a mixed family that included half and step siblings. I loved learning as a child. My parents fostered that desire. I worked hard to earn scholarships in high school which allowed me to attend the university of my choice. There I learned much about who I was as an individual and what I wanted to do with my life. It was also there that I met an incredible man, my best friend, and my husband. We were married shortly after we began dating and have given each other the strength to make it through this crazy thing called life. After my husband graduated from a private university, we moved to Northern California, enjoying the beautiful outdoors, warm sun, and beautiful people. We loved it there! Our hearts will always hold it a special place. It was there that after almost 10 years of overwhelmingly difficult trials of infertility, we were blessed with our son through adoption. He is the greatest gift we have received in our lives. He reminds me every day what is important in this life and how much love a person can truly give. We have only recently relocated to Utah. We miss the beauty and peace of Northern California, but we love to be in nature, in the mountains, and seeing the joy in our son as he gets to know his many cousins. I am so blessed in this life. It is a crazy, often challenging and bitter life, but the joy that comes through moments I have daily makes it all worth it!

Why I am a Mormon

Just after turning fifteen, our family learned of my mother's diagnosis with cancer. It was overwhelming. I had been raised in an Mormon home, but had not decided whether I had believed in our church. Earlier that year, I had begun attending Seminary, a daily class focused on the Book of Mormon. For the first time that I can remember, I began to read the book. I read from its pages daily. I prayed alone out loud before I went to sleep. My father came to my basement bedroom one morning before school and told me the news that my mother's cancer treatments had failed and that she would pass away soon. I prayed daily for peace and comfort and I received answers to my prayers. Slowly the sting of grief left me and I felt in my heart that my mother loved me and that the Lord had need for her in His kingdom. It was her time to leave this mortal life. I knew the Savior personally, understood His Atoning sacrifice and the peace that comes through the Holy Ghost. I have never questioned it again because I had received my answer. I knew that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored on the earth and that I could be reunited with my mother one day. As an adult, I have continued to face adversity and to rely on my Savior. I never thought that I would ever again feel the pain of my adolescence, but I have been challenged in new ways that I could not have imagined. As my husband and I learned at my young age of 21 that it would be difficult to have children, we faced the incredible journey of infertility. The longing to have a child in our home was intense and often very painful. Some days, I felt that I relied entirely upon the Lord and His mercy. That mercy came long before we were blessed with our beautiful son through adoption. I felt it every time I literally cried my heart to Him. I felt comfort and peace that could come from only Him. His mercy is there for all to feel. I testify this is true!

How I live my faith

For the past five years, I have had the privilege of working with the youth, particularly the girls ages 12 to 18. I am so grateful to be able to have this opportunity because I learn so much from them. They are incredible young women who often live in difficult circumstances, but remind me daily that they are children of God. I love them and admire them. Living in a world where they are constantly bombarded by untruths and moral grey areas, they have to work hard to live the standards set before them. To be the only girls at a high school prom who wear dresses that cover their shoulders, backs and midriffs is challenging, yet they do it with grace and humility. They attend schools where even the teachers use the Lord's name in vain or vulgar language and they kindly ask for better language to be used around them. In a world where underage drinking and the use of illicit substances is rampant among teens, they abstain from these temptations and do their best to live healthy lives. Each summer, for five days, I have the joy of camping in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with 150 young women from our area. I work alongside them as we hike, sing, craft, work, and try new things. I walk beside the young women who are struggling on a hike and we laugh together as we walk. Finally, at the end of a long week with girls that I love, we end our last evening with a testimony meeting. This is an opportunity for each of the girls and leaders to share their feelings of the Savior, our religion and their lives. It is the one night all year that gives me a new perspective and new motivation to "start over". You could call it my personal New Year's Eve. It is also enjoyable to visit monthly women who live in our area. I have come to know these women that I visit and serve and am grateful for our friendship. Because I love them, I find myself providing little acts of kindness like watching their children for an hour or helping build a preschool for a new teacher.