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Hi I'm Jessica

I'm a new mom from Utah. I live 2,258 miles from "home." I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am 26 years old, almost 27. I am married to my best friend, a tall skinny social worker and researcher with thinning, curly dark hair and gigantic blue eyes. We met in high school and were married 5 1/2 years ago after he served his mission in Ukraine. Together we have the most beautiful baby boy. He is nearly a year old, and is truly a miracle baby who came to us after a 3-year struggle with infertility, through the miracle that is IVF. We love to go for walks together, camp and hike, explore new places and make music. I grew up in Utah, with loving parents and 5 younger brothers. We never had much money, but as my mom always told me we were "rich" with love. As a kid I loved to write stories and draw pictures to go along with them. I would spend my summers reading endlessly, book after book. I remember telling my parents I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, and my mom asking if I also wanted to be a mother. Ever since then, being a mom has been my fondest dream, as I realized the joy that came from being surrounded by family surpassed the joy I felt even when writing or reading. I still love to read and have recently discovered a love for the classics. I don't write as often as I should, but when I do, typing never seems to fill me up like a pen and a notebook do. I also love to dabble in Arts and Crafts. I have had seasons of sewing, painting, drawing, felt-crafting, jewelry making, and making-over furniture. I have a BS is Health Education and a minor in Art Ed.

Why I am a Mormon

As a person who was born into a family already practicing the Mormon faith, it is easy to say how I became a Mormon. Why I am still here is more complex and beautiful. Most of my childhood I just went with the flow. I was baptized at age 8, though I didn't really understand the importance of that ceremony. My teenage years were fairly smooth sailing. As the church requires that we stay away from habit-forming substances and pre-marital sex, I was able to avoid many of the pitfalls those things often lead the youth of the world into. But once again, I was just going through the motions, somewhat blind in my obedience, though I was starting to see the fruits of following the gospel. I feel that I finally gained a true understanding during my early college years, away from home. It would have been easy to stop attending church meetings and find false happiness in all the wrong places, but I found peace and joy in attending church, and thankfully, I was surrounded by good friends who encouraged the best in me. The blessings of living the gospel were slowly turning my everyday life into a burning testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It didn't happen all at once, and the fire still has the potential to burn brighter, but the every-day choices add oil to my lamp and keep it burning. There have been miracles in my life, like those that led me to marry my husband and be able to conceive our son, but the true miracle is in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This Church has led me to a knowledge that my Savior lived and died for me so I can return to God's presence when I die. I can ask His forgiveness and feel his cleansing power in my life. I can pray for comfort and know that he has experienced my pain. He speaks to our prophets today, who hold his power and authority -- the priesthood spoken of in the scriptures. He allows me to know the truth of their words through the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. That's why I'm still a Mormon, & always will be.

How I live my faith

Because we recently moved to a new area, I haven't been asked to participate too heavily in our local church group yet. I have three sisters who I am assigned to get to know in particular (a church program for women called "visiting teaching"), so that we are able to watch out for each other and let our leaders know if any of us needs help with anything. It's a huge blessing to know that there are people in the area who know who I am when I am nearly 2,500 miles from my own parents and extended family. My husband has been placed in charge of coordinating missionary efforts in our area. He works closely with the four full-time missionaries who have been assigned to our ward. We have been blessed as a family to attend new member baptisms and have these young and enthusiastic missionaries in our home every week. This isn't my responsibility, but supporting my husband in his calling is a big part of my religious life. In the past I have had teaching responsibilities, which I love because of my background in education. It is truly inspiring to have meaningful discussions about the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ with members of the church. Organizing and conducting these discussions brings further light and knowledge to my own mind and strengthens my testimony. The best way to describe how I live my faith is in the simple day-to-day things, like being able to speak with God through frequent prayer, singing children's hymns to my son, studying scripture and the words of our Prophet and other leaders, and living the way Christ has taught -- with faith, hope and love for others.