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Hi I'm Gabby

I graduated from high school in Brazil. I love eating good food and going on adventures. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My mom grew up in Brazil with a widowed mother and nine other siblings. She first came to the United States as a nanny for another Brazilian family. She didn't speak a lick of English when she met my dad, but somehow they hit it off, got married, and soon after had me! Now I am nineteen years old and the oldest of three. I spent most of my life in the Washington, DC area, but have also lived on and off in central Brazil, where my mother's family resides. As a result, I am in fluent in Portuguese as well as English. I've learned some Spanish but have not had sufficient practice to speak it fluently (yet). I love languages and different cultures! My dream is to get to know the whole world. So far I have only been to places in Brazil, Costa Rica, Southern California, Arizona, and up and down the Eastern United States, but I look forward to the day when my passport is filled with stamps from other countries. Soon I will depart for Cabo Verde, a Portuguese-speaking country consisting of ten islands, located off the western coast of Africa. I will live there for eighteen months as I serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have studied one year at Southern Virginia University, a private liberal arts college, but I am putting my education, dating, and everything else on hold to serve the people of Cabo Verde and The Lord.

Why I am a Mormon

Although I was raised in this church, there were many times in my life when I was not sure that I wanted to be a Mormon. In fact, I really struggled getting along with my family as a teenager because I felt restricted and unconvinced of the Church's teachings and doctrine. I did not want any part of it, and I was sure that when I became an adult, I would no longer attend or participate in church services or functions. My parents went through much strife as I rebelled against them and their teachings. They even tried sending me to a wilderness therapy program, organized by the Anasazi Foundation, to help me get to know myself better and rebuild my relationship with them. It was a great experience, but even after I came home from six weeks in the Arizona wilderness I was influenced and led astray by some of the friends I had kept. Eventually I went to live with my aunt for a year in Brazil, and this was the first time I ever thought to open up The Book of Mormon and read it through, to figure out for myself if it was the truth. The whole process was long and hard, but when I finally started reading the scriptures and praying to God for wisdom and strength, I felt peace, joy, and clarity like I had never felt before. It was like I had been lost for a long time, but I did not know I was lost. By reading The Book of Mormon and praying, I found myself. Since the first time I read and gained a testimony of The Book of Mormon, my life has not been all easy going and smooth sailing, but it has been considerably more enjoyable. Now I know my purpose in this life. I know who I am, where I came from, and where I am going. I have The Spirit of God to comfort and guide me in my decisions. I have Christ as my Redeemer, who knows that I am not perfect and still make plenty of mistakes. I have a loving Heavenly Father watching over me, who has a plan for me. So I know that everything will turn out all right, as long as I put my trust and faith in God and Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

As I have had the opportunity to be raised as a Mormon, I have had many opportunities to serve others in my church and my community. I was a Girl Scout for a few years, I was active in the Key Club at my high school, I have sung in my church choir, and I have been a leader and a friend to other girls in my age group at church. Now that I am a young single adult, I no longer attend church in the same building with the same congregation as my family, but I go to a young single adult service and have lots of friends there. Most of us are still in school or interning or working entry-level jobs, so we are in similar places in our lives. We not only get together to teach, learn, and discuss the Gospel with each other, but we also have great activities outside of church, and I feel like when I need someone to talk to or hang out with, I can find someone from there who will understand me and my personal struggles. We all are assigned certain jobs to do, and mine is to help integrate new members of our church and those who are investigating our church. I love all the different people I can get to know just by being a Mormon.