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Hi I'm Mike

I'm a husband, a Texan, an optometry student, a BYU grad, a dog-lover and a Mormon. Not necessarily in that order.

About Me

The first thing you should know about me--I love dogs. I point them out as I'm driving though Houston with my wife, and frequently wave to them. I know the dogs don't see me, and their owners who are walking them are probably thinking "do I know that guy..?" but I do it anyways. I ask my wife if we can get a puppy almost as often as she asks me if we can get a baby. My family moved from Texas to Colorado when I was in high school because my dad got laid off work, and no, I never did get the hang of snowboarding. I did, however, get the hang of football. My coach started me at varsity middle linebacker as a freshman, not necessarily because of my skill but because my coach associated me with Texas football. If nothing else, it allowed me to make many lasting friendships and let out some aggression which seemed to build up from time to time as I pondered on my mother's recent diagnosis with breast cancer. I often found myself on my knees as a teenager thanks to that experience, and it helped my faith in God grow. Not because my mom ultimately got better, but because I felt at peace with whatever the outcome might be. Anyone who is familiar with a disease such as this knows that the absolute worst part is not knowing--not knowing if the disease can be treated, if the one you love is going to fight through it, if it's even worth fighting through, or if it will come back. The strength I felt during this time, my good friends, and my family, I knew, was a gift from God.

Why I am a Mormon

You might be thinking to yourself, "Self, this Mike fellow seems like a proper chap! I wonder what enticed him to affiliate himself with this Mormon religion?" Well, like I'll mention below, it makes me feel whole. I've met so many people as a missionary in South Korea, and at optometry school, and on the streets, and everywhere I go who are looking for purpose in life. I truthfully believe I have found that purpose and calling in my life, and it has helped me find peace during turbulent times. I feel complete and purposeful with this Gospel and this Religion in my life, and I hope to help others find it, too. Yes, it is a commitment and it requires sacrifices. But it's the constant pushing of myself to be a better person, the camaraderie of my church brothers and sisters who are all in this with me, and my choice to be honest, kind, and charitable, which make me proud of my affiliation with the Mormon church. Joseph Smith taught that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” It's never been easy for me, but I strive to keep myself worthy of the blessings God has given me, and this church helps me do that. I know God lives and loves all His children. He wants me and you to succeed and to become our best selves, just like our physical parents want us to grow and be happy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's plan for us to do just that.

How I live my faith

I'm what's called the "ward clerk" in our church. That means I help plan, organize, and track all our local church's expenses, volunteer assignments, and activities, of which there are an abundance. I also keep track of all our church members, update contact information, send out seasonal letters, write checks for welfare/disaster relief, attend leadership meetings, process donations, and all the other quite boring yet very important (I'm biased) clerical work you might expect needs to take place behind the scenes in a church. Luckily, I have lots of good helpers to assist me in this task, but I still manage to volunteer about 10-15 hours a week to get everything done. The more exciting way I live my faith is by what I do within the walls of my own home. In addition to our morning and nightly couple prayers, every week my wife and I have "Family Home Evening," a night dedicated to just the 2 of us focusing on our spiritual progression. Although it usually revolves around family scripture study, a sit-down dinner, and family prayer, it doesn't have to. I think one time I spun watching Batman: The Dark Night Rises opening week as a spiritual activity. You can be creative. Spirituality for me is what makes you feel whole and complete inside--and sometimes that means just spending time with your family doing whatever. Maybe this week we'll watch a football game.