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Hi I'm Jesse Young

I'm an unabashed nerd with an insane family, a mangled accent and slight autism, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a returned missionary for the church, and I served in the England London Mission. I began in October, 2011 and finished in October 2013. I served in Ashford (the one in Kent), Wembley, Lowestoft, Gravesend, Wembley again, and Whitechapel. Before that I was completely entrenched in computer games, videos of computer games, podcasts, webcomics, etc. etc. Since coming back I've been less entrenched in those things, but I've been enjoying reviewing and writing about them on my blog. I was diagnosed with a form of autism at the age of fourteen. Autism is a complex condition with many degrees, and I'm pretty low on the spectrum. In a nutshell, social situations and adaptation can be very difficult for me. It's kind of funny that those two things are central aspects of missionary work. Two years really did a number on me, in the best way. My father is from America and my mother is from England. Beyond that, even my immediate family gets a bit complex, and involves countries such as Ireland, Wales, Malaysia, and Korea. I've got a crazy family, and they're just as imperfect as everyone else. They've done a number on my accent, too; No-one has ever guessed that I'm from Wales! Oh, one more interesting thing. I gained a fair bit of weight before my mission (long story) and entered the training centre at nineteen stone (multiply that by fourteen for Pounds). I went down to thirteen-and-a-half stone thanks to my mission, and I'm still keeping up the running.

Why I am a Mormon

Because I was born into it, right? Wrong. Both of my parents may be members of the church, but if I didn't have my own conviction - if I was simply going through the motions, believing because someone else believes - then I wouldn't be writing this. I wouldn't have remained away from all of the family, friends, and technology that I love for over a year. I wouldn't have survived the hard times, and believe me when I say a mission isn't easy. I've given up on too many things in the past, things of varying degrees of importance. But I know this is the most important decision I've ever made. I know, because I stopped being the kind of person that expected a testimony to just come to me. I started seeking, and putting things into practice, and gradually - not immediately by any means - I saw the results that were promised in return. When I pray, when I teach, when I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, I feel the influence of God. I feel the feelings that the scriptures identify as fruits of the Holy Ghost. Many times, it's mild and subtle, and I wonder if it's just me. But there are also the times when it is simply unmistakeable. It's given me strength to cope with familial difficulties. It's given me the power to teach with authority and boldness. On occasion it's brought me to tears. After some of those experiences I feel exhausted, but exuberant. I love it, and I want others to feel it. I want to make the world just a little bit better, and I've found God's way of doing it.

How I live my faith

Since coming home I've been put in charge of the local missionary work and the Branch Mission Leader. That means that I meet up with the full-time missionaries every week to discuss and implement ways in which the congregation can help in the missionary effort. On top of this, I was just recently made the PR representative, and so I'll be getting our name out there in the local community via newspapers and such like. Considering I'm working towards a career in journalism, it's perfect for me! I've always had an immense desire to share things I love. Chalk it down to the autism, if you want, but I can never stop raving about my obscure webcomics, websites and games of all shapes and sizes to anyone who will lend -or pretend to lend- a listening ear. I channeled that desire into sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it payed dividends, but even though I'm not doing it full-time anymore, I've had plenty of opportunities thanks to my responsibilities.