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Hi I'm Essen!

I am half Japanese half American, and all "Mormon". I love nature, writing, and singing. Every day that I am alive is a gift.

About Me

I grew up with a Japanese mother and a father of Danish ancestry. As such, I love mochi, ramen, and okonomiyaki, but I also love a good pizza. I looove doing just about anything in nature and the outdoors. There's nothing like climbing a mountain or smelling the fresh scent of pine needles. Rock-climbing and horse-back-riding are two things I enjoy when I have the chance. I am currently a college student who has lived and studied in both D.C. and Jerusalem. I am very passionate about learning and contributing to our world. I believe that we need more people wiling to actively engage in doing good, because they love.

Why I am a Mormon

Most simply put, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because it gives me joy. Being able to live the Gospel of Christ in its complete form gives me peace. Like anyone, I have difficult times in my life where I feel alone or I don't know how things are going to work out. As I continue to learn the Gospel and act on it, I am able to see what is most important in the moment, and what I can do next to make life better. Over the years, living the Gospel has given me happiness in knowing who I am and the perspective that life is eternal and not about me but for God. Living the Gospel has also helped me to be stronger in my honesty, gratitude, and courage to stick to my principles, rather than being too afraid or selfish. I am far from perfect and I make many mistakes, but I know that Christ gives us power to become better, love fully, be clean from mistakes and wrongdoings, and at peace. I am learning that through reading and applying the Book of Mormon, alongside the Bible, we come closer and closer to God. I believe we come closest to our best and true self when we desire and do what we can to live as disciples of Christ.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by doing little things everyday to remember God and be a loving and helpful person. Recently, I recommitted myself to praying more genuine prayers - having conversations with God, really - everyday, as well as spending some time in the mornings reading my scriptures. Doing these things helps me be centered on God and my purpose. Although my family is not perfect, as we work over and over to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to our lives we are able to grow closer and experience God's love. I have also felt this love as I worked as a youth leader for the young women in my congregation, and in service opportunities for social causes in my community. Because of the blessings I experienced from living the Gospel of Christ, several years ago I decided to share the principles that blessed me, for 18 months in the Tokyo, Japan area. I met wonderful people who helped me, as I helped them. Since then, I've seen how God can guide me through some of life's toughest decisions, as I stay close to him. I've found that God strengthens me as I stay in the struggle and learn to be vulnerable with him.