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Hi I'm Brian

I'm a Mormon who converted to the church in 2007. I live in DC and work in the Foreign Service.

About Me

Because I joined a Psychological Operations unit of the Army Reserve my sophmore year of college, it took me 9 years to graduate with a bachelors degree. During that time I learned Arabic in Monterey, CA, spent a year in Afghanistan in 2002, deployed an additional year to Iraq in 2004, and attended numerous schools and international exercises. After graduating I took a job teaching Middle East Cultural Awareness to various military units, then went to Ecuador for a humanitarian de-mining operation. Soon after I returned to Iraq to support the Marine Corps as a Human Terrain Analyst. While in Kuwait awaiting transportation I received a message that I'd been hired into the Foreign Service where I now work. My wife and I recently served a 2-year assignment in West Africa where she became pregnant with our adorable baby girl. The three of us are living happily in Northern Virginia.

Why I am a Mormon

I had 5 near-death experiences while serving in Iraq. I thought I was fine, but noticed some significant symptoms of PTSD about a month after returning home to the U.S. To cope with these issues, I did what many soldiers did and drank excessive amounts of alcohol. After over 2 years of this behavior I was eventually arrested for DUI. While in jail I recognized the event as a wakeup call from Heavenly Father that my life was going in the wrong direction, so I made a plan to change my life style. I visited many churches as a key component of that change but was discouraged when I didn't find one that provided the support I would need. Then I remembered an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician I worked with in Afghanistan who was injured when a device exploded in his hand. When we got him loaded on a MEDEVAC plane he said, “I don’t know where they will take me or what will happen to my things, but I’d like you to promise me that you’ll get one thing to my family.” Then he handed me his Book of Mormon. When I remembered how much he cared for this symbol of his faith, I immediately got online to research LDS. Everything I read from the social practices to the spiritual beliefs was exactly what I was looking for. I sent away for a free video and had a knock on my door from the missionaries soon after.

How I live my faith

I am responsible for teaching the 14 and 15 year olds in Sunday School at my ward. The class is over 15 students and has become the high point of my week! I get a lot of ispiration when I choose my lesson and pray for guidance how to present it. I begin by studying the teaching topic for the month and trying to determine the needs of the students. I read the materials provided in the lesson then rely on promptings for a specific direction. Then there's a lightbulb moment where it all comes together. That's when it feels like the spirit is helping me along.