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Hi I'm Tanya

I am mom to 8, wife to an amazing husband, MSW graduate, an outdoor lover, beekeeper, and gardener, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a family of 11 children. I have eight brothers and two sisters. Many of my friends were boys. I spent a lot of my childhood playing football, building forts, and digging in the dirt. I still like to dig in the dirt - I am happiest when I can spend plenty of time in my garden. I also love camping and hiking and beekeeping. When I can't be outside I like to spend time doing family history, or reading and researching psychology topics. I chose to be a social worker because I want a career where I can make a difference. I really love to witness the change that can happen in people's lives as they heal and grow. I feel really lucky and blessed to get paid for doing something I love so much.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in an active Mormon family. I was always taught that I needed to find out for myself if the LDS church was true. I knew I couldn't just rely on the testimony or faith of my parents or other church members. When I was a teenager I went through a rebellious stage and quit going to church. At first I felt relieved that I didn't have to sit through three hours of meetings every Sunday, but as time went on my life began to unravel. One day I called my mom in a deep despair. She asked me if I was reading the Book of Mormon. When I told her I wasn't she said, "Tanya, if you will read the Book of Mormon every day the darkness will go out of your life and you will feel happy again. Will you promise to read the Book of Mormon every day?" Out of desperation, I promised I would. It wasn't long before I started to look forward to reading the Book of Mormon. Sometimes I had a very busy day and was so tired I would only read a few lines, but I kept my promise to read every day and my Mom's promise to me came true too. Slowly the despair I had been feeling lifted and I began to feel hope and happiness again. I started to gain my own testimony that the Book of Mormon was true. In time I started going to church again. I still love the Book of Mormon, along with the other scriptures. I have dealt with a lot of hard things in my life, but no matter how hard things have been, I have learned that Jesus Christ knows me and knows my problems and will help me get through them. And He has. When I got divorced the gospel and my church family gave me courage and strength to make it through. When my mom died unexpectedly, I felt a sweet reassurance that she still existed and I would see her again. When everything seemed to go wrong in my life, the scriptures taught me to turn to Christ instead of looking for happiness in temporary circumstances. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the goodness that it brings to me and my family.

How I live my faith

The way I live my faith isn't really big or dramatic. For me the hardest but most important ways I live my faith are the simple but significant things like responding with patience and love when I'm woken up in the middle of the night for the fifth time. It is keeping my focus on what is really most important in life instead of getting distracted by temporary interests. It is trying to see the world through my Savior's eyes, hanging onto my faith in God when everything goes wrong, staying consistent with my daily religious practices of family and personal prayer and scripture study. The way I live my faith is intensely wrapped around how I live my day to day life. Although I hope someday to do something like serve a mission to Africa, I believe what I've been taught since I was a little girl - "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." With seven children, that is a big enough challenge to keep me busy full time and then some. I have served in my church by teaching youth, helping organize activities for women, and teaching children's classes. In my community I have worked to create community standards that protect children from inappropriate images, I organized a children's service club for my neighborhood children, assisting them in planning and completing monthly service projects, and I tutored children in reading and writing.