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Hi I'm Rachel

I grew up in Utah. I'm a sailor in the United States Navy. I am a Latter-day Saint.

About Me

I lead a very active life. I go hiking, play volleyball and other sports, and exercise regularly. Family and friends are extremely important to me and I often spend time with them playing games or sports, watching movies, and traveling. One of my favorite pastimes is playing made up games with my niece and nephew. I also love traveling and have visited numerous places in the United States, from Niagara Falls to Mount Vernon, Yosemite National Park to the battlefield at Gettysburg, and dozens of places in between. I have also had the opportunity to visit a few countries in Europe and was fascinated by the stories of their past. Reading is another personal hobby of mine. I’ve read hundreds of books in my life and am constantly on the lookout for a new book to dive into. A few of my favorites include As You Like It by William Shakespeare, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. One more personal hobby is a deep interest in learning languages and about new cultures. I have studied bits of several languages and cultures and look forward to learning more. The world is so full of interesting topics to study that I wish I had a brain ten times the size it is just so I could learn about them all.

Why I am a Mormon

It would be easy for me to say that I am a Mormon because my parents are Mormons and I was raised in the Church. But, though I am grateful for that, I have always been given the freedom to choose. Throughout all of my growing up years, I remember reading both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I was very familiar with the facts and could quote scriptures as well as any of my peers. The doctrine of a Jesus Christ made sense to me logically, especially the idea that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I knew that if He could call prophets in ancient days that he could call a prophet today. While my brain understood all of the facts, I often felt like my heart wasn't sure if it was really true. I prayed often to feel a spiritual confirmation that my logical understanding was in fact a spiritual truth and not just some nice ideas. For many years, I felt like I wasn't receiving an answer. But, I kept following the teachings of the restored gospel. I was trying to prove Christ's promise: "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine." (John 7:17) One day as I was pondering on my feelings, I had parts of a scripture passage come to my mind that I hadn't read for years: "He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. . . . If the Lord in his condescension hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow . . . . Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: . . . my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation." (2 Nephi 4:21, 26, 30). But when these words came to mind, I remembered it as "If the Lord . . . hath visited [me] in so much mercy." In that moment I realized that God had been filling me with His love all throughout my life. His love was the reason I was happy. His love is the reason that I will always choose to follow Him. I know Christ lives and will fill us with His love so that we will want to follow Him so that we can rejoice with Him.

How I live my faith

The congregation (or "ward") I currently attend is composed of a group of single members of the LDS Church. We have weekly activities such as a home evening on Monday (with a short spiritual lesson, activity, and treat), sports nights, an institute class (similar to a sunday school or seminary class). My current assignment is to teach a Sunday school class about the basic principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I team teach with a newly baptized member of the Church to help her learn how to teach about the gospel and also give her the opportunity to serve others. Prior to joining the military, I was serving as a teacher for a group of special needs members. Once a week, individuals with physical and/or mental handicaps would come from several surrounding cities for a lesson and activity. Each special needs member was paired up with a high school age student from the area and together we would participate in a variety of activities, such as crafts, games, dances, etc. I also participated on a Special Olympics volleyball team with several special needs friends. When I am around these friends, I don't feel like I am serving them, but rather like I am learning from them how I can become more like Christ. Life in the military also provides many opportunities to share my beliefs with those around me. My military friends learn within the first few days of meeting me that I am a Mormon, I don't drink alcohol or coffee, I don't smoke, I don't engage in any extramarital sex, and I don't swear. None of my military friends have ever invited me to join in those activities and they don't talk about them when I'm around or watch videos they think would make me uncomfortable. Some have even told me they're going to raise their own standards because of my example. It is wonderful to see other people trying to improve their lives.