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Hi I'm Mitch

I'm a husband, a father, and a grandfather. I'm an engineer who builds scheduling systems. And I'm a Mormon

About Me

My wife and I decided to marry while still undergraduates in college, because we wanted to make major life decisions about careers, community and lifestyle from a perspective of family experience. Before finishing a masters in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, we had three children. This was a challenging path to take, and we now joke that we did a lot of growing up together, but each year we gain an even deeper appreciation for this foundation of faith. Over ten years we brought two daughters and three sons into this world, who are now all adults and have completed or are working on masters degrees. So far we have six grandchildren, and love spending time with them. Learning how to support our adult children is now our primary vocation. Our family traveled across the American continent and back eight times (in a mini van), visiting relatives, touring historical sites, and enjoying most of America's National Parks. While the first two days of each trip adjusting to close quarters and shared activites were often difficult for our children, the following two weeks were always enjoyed by everyone and well worth the investment. When our youngest left home, my wife and I started an "Empty Nest Refill List", which has grown to four pages of ideas of experiences to share together, including the stretch goal of taking a vacaton on a Space Station.

Why I am a Mormon

When asked if I'm a "convert" to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I first respond that every Mormon is a convert. Every Latter-day Saint gains his or her own conviction from personal experience feeling God's love and guidance. Even a child whose parents are Latter-day Saints at some point must become "converted" through his or her own choices which build personal faith. My mother came from a LDS family, but did not choose to participate after she left home. My father came from a Baptist family, but refused to participate in church throughout his teens. My father was serving in the Marines when he met my mother. My parents did not feel comfortable with organized religon, and when I and my sisters came, God was not part of our family life. But when I was five, my parents decided their children needed some teaching about God and morality, so my mother started taking us to the nearest LDS congregation. For years I believed that all churches were the same, and any differences were due to style and not doctrine. But when I became a teenager, I finally became aware that the LDS Church claimed to be Christ's true Church restored to the earth, and that the Book of Mormon was an additional scriptual witness of Christ's divinty and atoning sacrifice. I realized that I had to find out for myself if these amazing and difficult claims were true. So I started reading the Book of Mormon and praying about the principles taught on Sunday. My parents challenged me to "think for myself" and "not take things on faith". By the time I finished the Book of Mormon, I had several spiritual experiences and direct answers to prayer, so I knew God exists and knows me personally. Each year since then I have had as many personal experiences with God as the sum of all scientific first principles I've learned about, and applied in, the physical world. I served as a missionary in Japan, and since then have freely shared the joy of Christ's Gospel will all people.

How I live my faith

The first thing I do on waking up in the morning is a combination of yoga and pilates stretches. While the growing list of stretches represents a log of back and joint injuries I've had over the years and am trying to prevent repeating, they are even more valuable for opening my mind and heart for scripture study and prayer. Starting each morning in this way helps me make decisions throughout the day from the ultimate "big picture": We are each a child of our Heavenly Father, with divine potential. I currently serve as a Family History Consultant, volunteering in the local branch of the Church Geneological Library, and helping people learn how to search out their ancestors and learn about the heritage we have received from those who came before us. I have served as Scoutmaster and in other leadership roles for my sons' Scout Troop, and continue to support the Scouting Program in my congregation, while enjoying hiking and camping. I have participated in many community service projects and charitable fund raisers, including building a house with Habitat For Humanity, collecting and distributing food with Foodlink, highway cleanups, and a variety of Day of Caring projects. In the early years of our marriage, my wife and I enjoyed serving together as Nursery leaders so other young parents could attend classes. While it was very much out of my comfort zone, my wife and I were given opportunities to help plan and organize Church socials and Christmas Pagaents. Now we serve together in the Temple, helping people perform sacred ordinances on behalf of their ancestors. We know that after this life, we will continue to build strong relationships with our extended family.