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Hi I'm Tom Hartley

I live in Utah with my wife & 3 kids. We speak English & Portuguese at home. I like statistical modeling & predictive analytics.

About Me

In my professional life, I work at a bank as a financial analyst. It involves a lot of data analysis, statistical modeling, problem solving and team work. My education consists of an associate's degree in Business, a bachelor's degree in Finance, and a master's degree in Predictive Analytics. In my personal life, one interesting event was meeting my wife online. We chatted a lot and did many video calls over the Internet. This eventually turned into "virtual" or "electronic" dating (if you want to call it that). We couldn't meet in person easily since she is from Brazil and I the United States. Eventually, when the time was right and I had enough money, I flew to Brazil to see her in person and date her for real. I asked her to marry me only after 1 & 1/2 weeks of being in person -- and she actually said yes! We then moved to the USA after getting married. We now have three kids. We speak both English and Portuguese at home. For hobbies, I like to garden (vegetables) and play with my kids. I also like to blog about gospel-related topics at http://thesmallplatesoftom.blogspot.com. I also am interested in statistical modeling, predictive analytics, and using data to help understand things or solve problems.

Why I am a Mormon

As background, my parents were already Mormons, so I was "born" into the church. However, the church teaches that everyone needs to know for themselves if this is truly Jesus Christ's church. I sought to do this as I was growing up. As a youth, I remember reading about Joseph Smith and how he was visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I was touched by Joseph Smith's innocence, and I remember feeling peace, excitement, and joy reading about his experiences in his own words. This helped plant a seed of faith inside of me to believe in Jesus Christ and His restored church. As a teenager, there was a time I decided to ignore church teachings and I had a very bad attitude toward the gospel. I later became depressed because of my sins and rebellion. For a time, I pretended to be a faithful church member and gave the appearance of doing good things so people couldn't tell that I was internally in spiritual turmoil. However, during this depressive and rebellious time, one night I had a dream where I was murdered. This frightened me tremendously because I knew I was not prepared to meet God in my sinful condition. After being "killed," I woke up crying and prayed to Heavenly Father with true sincerity for the first time for forgiveness and a desire to change my life. Over the space of a few years -- and through the grace of God -- I had a change of heart, repented, and began to love the gospel again! I became happy and at peace again! I later served as a missionary in Brazil. While serving, I had powerful experiences that solidified my knowledge that Jesus Christ truly is the Savior of the world and that this church really is His. To this day, I continue to have faith strengthening experiences which lets me know I'm on the right path and doing the right things. Overall, I can say like the ancient prophet Mormon that I have "tasted and know of the goodness of Jesus." That is why I'm a member of Jesus Christ's church and intend to stay faithful for my entire life.

How I live my faith

I strive to attend church meetings every week with my wife and kids. Attending church helps nourish me spiritually and also help to strengthen my faith and testimony in Jesus Christ and His gospel. As a family, we try to read the scriptures daily (the Bible or the Book of Mormon) and pray together daily. We also have a family night once a week that includes sharing a spiritual lesson and/or having a fun activity. I also enjoy personal scripture study and prayer. My understanding of the gospel continually increases because of them. Prayer and scripture study are also a great source of peace, comfort, confidence, healing, and happiness. The church also provides a lot of opportunities to serve others and grow talents. Likewise, the church is also a great support system if you are in need -- any kind of need! For example, I live my faith helping the poor and the afflicted. Once a month, the church encourages members to fast (go without food or drink for 24 hours) in order to focus on spiritual things. Then, the money we would have spent on that food during those 24 hours is, instead, donated to the church. This donated money then helps give food, clothing, medicine and much more to those in need. It is a great system & helps our neighbors tremendously during hard times! I also live my faith by striving to live the standards of Jesus Christ's gospel. That is, I don't swear, drink alcohol or tea or coffee, or use drugs or smoke. I try to watch or listen to uplifting, wholesome, and family-friendly entertainment, movies or music.