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Hi I'm Daniel

I was a United States Air Force Academy Cadet for 2 year. I am a Mandarin speaking missionary serving in Taichung, Taiwan.

About Me

Ever since I was a little boy I wanted to join the military, as I grew older that desire developed into a more focused path in-which I hoped to attend The Air Force Academy. I have always been an extremely motivated, organized, type A personality. I knew a personality like mine would flourish at USAFA, and I knew if I put my mind to it my goal could be realized. I was accepted to USAFA as a part of the Class of 2016, whom I completed my 1st and 2nd years with. The Academy was brutal, but worth every minute. While at USAFA, although not always the perfect Mormon (or even the most active), I learned about my own limits and how to push myself to them. The Academy stripped me down to the bare basics and built me up on the foundation which is the USAF core values, "Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do.". It was from this foundation that I discovered what I really wanted in life, what really mattered most to me. Integrity, service and excellence are all attributes that I think most great people aspire to develop, so I had to ask what better place to develop those attributes; what better example to learn from than the most perfect example himself, Jesus Christ? That's why I decided to serve an LDS mission, seeking to improve myself up, in order that one day I might help build others up too. I still hope to return to USAFA and finish what I started, only I want to return as an improved version of myself, I feel a mission is helping me accomplish that.

Why I am a Mormon

If that's not a question I've asked myself hundreds of times, especially since deciding to place my dreams of attending The Air Force Academy on standby for a while to serve a LDS mission. Honestly I could talk to you for hours about why I've decided that I want to be a Mormon, about why I want to continue to be a Mormon, but for sake of time it can be said simply enough in, being a Mormon makes me happy. I have security being a Mormon, security that I can be with my family not matter what, that people will be there for me if I ever fall on hard times, that no matter what I do, no matter how badly I mess up if I am truly penitent I can have as many chances as I need until I eventually get it right. I'm the type of person that tends to think on his feet, I'm quick, I'm decisive and I try to do the right thing but I'm not claiming to be right all of the time, I'm not even claiming to be right half the time. I mess up daily, sometimes I look back at the mistakes I've made and can't help but think, "Did I honestly do that? What was I thinking?". However, it's comforting to know that I can fall back on Jesus Christ and that he knows how imperfect I feel. So why did I choose to be Mormon and not some other sect of Christianity, it's all the same Jesus right? I guess it took a while to really decide for sure that Mormonism was what I personally wanted, but in reflecting back on my choice I would have to say that reading a book of scripture that is unique to our church, The Book of Mormon, really helped me feel like I had a Savior. I really was able to believe that Christ connected with me and feels my pain when I'm hurting (emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually). Similarly reading the Bible helped me feel that Christ is an all powerful, understanding being, but the Book of Mormon really added it's own unique testimony and helped me still my doubts. I still have some doubts, I still make some mistakes, but being a Mormon makes me happy.

How I live my faith

At the Air Force Academy it wasn't always easy to live my faith, so many different aspects seem to compete for my time; school, athletics, military and a slew of other duties. However, when I really buckled down and got my act together I was able to see the difference that incorporating small and simple bits of faith really could do. Simple basics like: making the time to say a heartfelt prayer now and again, reading a story from the bible or other scriptures, putting aside time on Sunday for church regardless of the homework load. Personally when I feel like I'm being pulled in 100 different directions I begin prioritizing my time on what seems most important first and then let what seems less important to fall into place where it may (if things like that have room to fall at all in my busy schedules). Admittedly that this pattern of living has pushed church duties to the bottom of my priorities list more than once. Yet time and time again I find that when I return to the simple gospel basics that our church offers I do better in nearly every, if not every, aspect of life. When I put my faith first I tend to be a happier, more productive, better organized, harder working guy. It's just really cool to me how taking care of myself and doing a few simple things can make that much difference. So really, in a nut shell, that's how I live my faith. I follow the gospel basics, I make a few minutes to read my scriptures daily, I try to remember to offer sincere prayer as frequently as needed, I try to make time for church (and then try and pay attention during it rather than just playing on my iPhone), and by doing those simple things combined with just trying to be an overall good guy my life is better. Happier. Contented.