What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Max

I'm from a beautiful island in Washington state. I am serving a mission for the Lord in São Paulo, Brazil. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My name is Max. I enjoy rock climbing, running, cycling, and most importantly, playing my cello. I have been playing the cello since I was five. My dad made my cello out of his childhood tree, it is his profession to make string instruments. My cello is my pride and joy. Music has always been dear to me. In school, I have always done very well with math. It has just always made sense to me. I recently finished my first semester of Brigham Young University as a math major. However, I love helping people and so am doing premed so that I can one day become an anesthesiologist and spend my days using my talents and my mind to save the lives of others. I love the people around me. One thing that defines me is that I always do my best to help others however I can, especially on an emotional level. I have an ability to understand what people are going through and remove myself from personal bias to see things as they do. This allows me to convey a strong sense of understanding and empathy. When someone is struggling, I somehow always know how to tell people exactly what they need to hear. It is this talent that I hope will bring me success as I serve my mission in São Paulo, Brazil.

Why I am a Mormon

Although I was born into the church, I have not always believed. I am the kind of person that needs logic and understanding. I cannot trick myself into believing for the sake of happiness and hope. Two years ago, I tried to find my purpose. It came to me in the form of a girl. Love was the answer--life's true purpose. Thus began the darkest days of my life. After being dumped for being too obsessive, I soon realized there was much more to life. My philosophy was screwed up and would not lead to happiness. I began to study those around me in pursuit of a new philosophy. To my astonishment, I found people in the church who were utterly brilliant. I could not wrap my mind around how such smart people could deceive themselves into believing a lie. And so I watched and listened. Whenever these people talked about the gospel, I could feel a powerful spirit emanating from them. One such person became a good friend. As I got to know this genius better, I finally began to understand. It all came together. Those rational explanations debunking "miracles" became not proof that there is no God, but part of how God carries out His plan. I began to see how the gospel helps people to live in a way that brings peace and happiness: the safety and freedom from addiction and control over our lives that comes through its code of morality; the emphasis on family and the happiness it brings; the hope. Everything made sense. God's plan took on a new light and it is so beautiful.

How I live my faith

I live my faith through example. In the last couple of years I have been able to grow many close friends who I love dearly. I have earned the trust and respect from many through my ability to understand, forgive, and empathize. This is how I live my faith. I am always there for my friends and show them my love and understanding. We form these bonds, these connections that I cannot explain. My friends look at me to see what enables me to be the way I am, filled with love and empathy, and they see the church and the gospel. Now that I am about to serve as a missionary, my friends see how I am willing to sacrifice two years of my life for this cause, and because of their respect and love for me, they wonder what makes this cause so valuable to me. And when they ask, I tell them. And I let the spirit of love flow. Yet I am careful to keep them from feeling like my only goal is to convert them. Friendship must come first. I will only tell them what I feel they will accept and understand. But through this, I show them what the gospel can truly mean to those who live it and they feel the power and know that there is something remarkable there. Now, very soon, I will be in São Paulo with a mission to share this love and happiness. It is through service to others, more than anything else, that I feel God's love. And this defines who I am.