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Hi I'm Dave Westerby

I'm a baby boomer, raised in Michigan. Wherever I am, I like to get out and run. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am no longer working at a job for a living. My time is more completely mine now. And I love that freedom to explore my interests. First and foremost, I am a father of four marvelous children and a grandfather of 14 adorable grandchildren from age 1 to 13. Family gatherings are special to me. I love to run, something I have been doing for 35 years. Although I am not doing many marathons any more, I ran in the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996 and have finished 20 Saint George Marathons. I'm maybe good for a few more of those. All of my children are now runners too. I am hoping that next year, many of us can run in a long-distance Top of Zion relay. Houseboating on Lake Powell has been a family tradition for years -- all the years when my kids were growing up. Next year we will have a giant Lake Powell houseboating reunion. I love to take photographs too, especially with my fancy Canon zoom lens that allows me to get in close and candid on people without them being aware. And animals. I took my camera with me on a couple of trips to Kruger Park in South Africa. I took some fun shots of zebra, giraffe, elephant, rhino, and birds of all sorts, among others. I'm in Japan now, and I'm taking plenty of shots of temples, parks, zoos, and kids on the loose. Fun. I am here in Tokyo with my wife. We are on an 18-month mission for our Church. We're not naturally "big city" people, and so we've had to stretch a bit. But it's been worth it.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I feel like I have found my home again. I believe that we all started together as spirits, raised by a loving Heavenly Father. He wanted us all to have the experience of mortality with a body on one of his beautiful planets. But when we came here, our mental slate was wiped clean so that we would have a truly self-directed experience. It started out that way at least. We formed in smaller families down here and began to experience life. Through those experiences, in my own case, I began to realize that I had an earlier history. Things in my life began to happen that brought me closer to the truth. I met my wife-to-be, who introduced me to the Church. She was the first Mormon I ever knew. We met one summer during our college years while we both worked at the Grand Teton National Park. I was from Michigan. She was from California. Coincidence? I don't think so. Eventually I joined the Church, and we were married. I realize that the Church reconnects me to that family in Heaven that I started with. This is God's Church, his Kingdom on Earth. And I have found it. I am so grateful for that. Christ made it possible for us to return some day to our Heavenly Father, based on our best actions and intentions. God still speaks to man today, through living prophets. Yes, we still receive inspiration today for the Church. I want to return some day to Him with my family. This Church makes that possible. It's worth it.

How I live my faith

Right now, my wife and I are what we call "senior missionaries." For 18 months, we have sacrificed being with family so that we can serve the Lord in Asia. We don't get paid. We pay for our own housing, food, local travel, and the like. But it's worth it. Our missionary assignments are rather unusual. Mine is to manage the legal affairs for the Church in Japan, South Korea, and Micronesia. When the Church wants to build meetinghouses, I am there with our local lawyers to make sure that the property is purchased correctly and the construction contracts are good. There are many contracts of all kinds to be reviewed. I look at tax issues, visa issues, lease issues, litigation, corporate issues. You name it. I'm there. My office is at a Church area headquarters in Tokyo, where I work with a cadre of Japanese employees who oversee everything from public affairs, family history, family services, welfare, humanitarian, computer systems and networks, purchasing of goods and services, video, magazine, and Internet production, translation, property purchasing, construction, finance, and human resources. It's a great group to work with. My wife also works with this group, but in a much different way. Many of them want to learn to speak and write English better. Every week, she has one-on-one time with about 20 of them. She even works with one in Korea via video link. It's fun to see the improvement in their skills. We love them. Not only that, but she also teaches a weekly class for Japanese children to learn better English skills. For a former school teacher, that's a natural fit.