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Hi I'm Joni Brailsford

I grew up all over the Unites States, including CA, RI, Fl and Washington DC. I'm a Mom and Grandma, and love it!

About Me

I was born in Coronado, California and with a Dad in the Navy, then moved all over the US. We were stationed in California, Maryland, Hawaii, Washington DC, Florida and Rhode Island. I went to college at Brigham Young University where I met my husband, who is from Utah. We married in Salt Lake City, finished school, then moved to Missouri where we have lived for the last 40 years. I was a stay-at-home Mom and cared for my 4 children during the first 20 years of that time. Because finances were getting tough, I went back to school and got a teaching degree, and have spent the last 20 years teaching AP Biology at the local High School. During that 20 years, with the blessing of my husband and children, I went back to school to earn a Master's Degree, and also earned National Board Certification as a High School Science Teacher. I have loved working with teen-agers at school--they are among my favorite friends. In addition to teaching, I love doing needlework, knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, needlepoint, and quilting. I am also an avid reader, devouring books steadily. My husband and I have been married for 42 years, have 4 children and 8 grandchildren--with another on the way. Life is GREAT!

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon, because after years of listening to Missionaries teach my family lessons about the Church, at the age of 16 I finally got down on my knees and prayed about it. I had a hard time accepting that all churches weren't equally good, and that one Church was true while the others weren't. I also had a difficult time accepting that a 14 year old boy could talk with the Lord and be a prophet. In fact, I pretty much rejected that. When I finally prayed, though, my whole soul was astonishingly filled with such a warm and full feeling that I could hardly contain it. It was instantly obvious to me--as it can be obviously to anyone who prays about it--that our Heavenly Father loves us enough to send us prophets such as Joseph Smith who can help us find our way back to our Father. Once I had that witness, everything else fell in place. I have tried ever since that time to do my best to follow the teachings of the Savior--teachings I learned well in my childhood at Bible School--and the teachings which our Savior has given us in modern times--which we learn by listening to modern prophets and apostles. They have never led me wrong. My life has not always been easy. Like all people on this earth, I have struggled with illness (in my case epilepsy and diabetes), but I remember my favorite Book of Mormon scripture, Ether 12:27 which states if we ask, the Lord will turn our weaknesses into our greatest strengths. That is what I work at every day, trying to become a better person by letting Him guide my footsteps. I believe with my whole heart that our Heavenly Father knows each of us individually and loves us each as separate beings. He is truly our Father. I love Him and know He loves me. What better knowledge could any human being have?

How I live my faith

I'm tempted to talk about my years coaching our High School Robotics Team--which was a great experience--and which helped so many young men and women to pursue their dreams of becoming engineers or programmers. I see that as a time of service to them and their future families. In addition, I Ihave spent many years working with the children in our congregations--both as a teacher and organizer. I have also spent many years teaching the young women in our congregation. I love working with teenagers and love their energy and enthusiasm. They are such fun to be with and so full of potential that it is an uplift to me just to be around them. I also play the piano and so have spent a lot of time as pianist and chorister for church meetings of all kinds. My philosophy is to try to do whatever is asked of me and let the Lord then teach me how to accomplish my tasks. As long as I keep trying, He keeps helping.