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Hi I'm Debra

I studied Spanish in college but after serving a mission to Taiwan I am now a high school Chinese teacher. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm not sure I believe you can "have it all" - at least, not all at one time - but I have had several stages in my life so far. I got a college degree, served an LDS mission, got another degree, and then worked in Washington, D.C. in my single stage. In my earlier married stage, my husband and I raised our 7 children, choosing to home school them and then use dual enrollment to get them through high school Now, with most of the children off on their own, married or away at school or on missions, I have a career stage where I teach Mandarin Chinese to junior high and high school students. I'm grateful for the variety of opportunities I've had in my life and hope that the next stage - retirement, travel, grandchildren - is just as rewarding.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised by loving, supportive parents - one a practicing Mormon and one who has not yet joined the church. They decided to take their children to the Mormon church and I learned foundational principles of the church from an early age. I had a strong desire to do what was right, and then felt inspired to serve a full-time LDS mission. Since I already spoke Spanish, I secretly expected to go to South America, but my call to Taiwan represents a momentous event in my life. I not only learned a new language, and gained a deep appreciation for a new culture and people, I also became more confident in my knowledge of the gospel. My personal testimony was strengthened as I spent time teaching gospel principles to others, and I felt the spirit of God with me on numerous occasions. When I married and we began raising our children, I felt that same spirit guiding me in daily decisions and when I was teaching our children. I believe the joy we have found as a family has come because of our constant striving to be Christ-like, to serve others, to follow his commandments and to foster a spirit of love and harmony in our home. I don't mean that we did it perfectly! I just mean, that in so striving, the Lord blessed us. I believe that the Savior, Jesus Christ, notices each of us and cares about us personally and that knowledge has blessed my life. I have confidence in him - confidence that he will guide me, and lift me and strengthen me and forgive me - and I try to live in such a way that shows him that I love him.

How I live my faith

It seems like my church and community service have mirrored my personal life. When our children were young, I worked with the children's classes at our church, volunteered at the public library (I was the story hour lady for quite a while), and dedicated many hours to groups that interested my children - music groups, dance programs, etc. Now, I work with high school aged youth at church, as well as at school. At church, when I teach a lesson to the youth, I can freely express my beliefs in God and offer comfort or counsel to them when needed. I see many young people at school twho are confused or hurting and wish I could be as open about my beliefs with them. I do try to be the same person whether I'm at school or at church and am very aware that I may be serving as an example to the young people around me. Now that more and more young women are choosing to serve full-time missions for the church, I am always eager to share my mission experiences with them and encourage them in their decision.

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Mormon women are as varied as non-Mormon women. I know Mormon women who are very talented musically, and share that music in professional and church settings. I know Mormon women who can bake wonderful cinnamon rolls and breads - one of my friends sells her baked goods to supplement the family income. I know Mormon women who are university professors, or department heads, who run business meetings. One friend is a judge, another is PTA president. They seem to have in common a desire to serve God and to do right by their families. Those I know best care deeply about children, their own and those of their neighbors. They care about doing their best in all their endeavors. Many are trying to have harmonious marriages, where both parents work together in making decisions and running the home. Some are single, and actively choosing to serve in community roles and extended family roles. Mormon women have full, complex lives that revolve around home, church and career or community efforts. With all their responsibilities, most do not have to question whether women are equally as important as men. They know how needed they are in the lives of their families; they know they are uniquely talented to do the things they do, and they know they are daughters of God and that he loves them. Of course, men and women are equally valued! God does not play favorites among his children! Nor, does his church. Show more Show less