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Hi I'm Anna Louise

Growing up in rural Idaho, my father raised purebred Herefords. A former nurse, generations of united families are my priority.

About Me

Growing up in rural Idaho, I often dreamed of going to far off places and of doing great things. Living on a cattle ranch and being severely asthmatic, my outdoor activity was somewhat limited, so I lived in the wide world of books. I grew up loving the history of this great nation and often imagined myself living in earlier times, trying to live with courage and integrity in the face of hardships and turmoil. I was drawn to nursing, desiring to serve with calmness and compassion, supporting and comforting those in difficult circumstances. After graduating with majors in both Nursing and Child Development/Family Relations, I intended to pursue a master’s degree in family therapy. God, however, had other learning experiences in mind. I served as one of the first health missionaries in Colombia. My companion and I taught at a clinic that served the poorest children. An infant had died of malnutrition the previous night and the parents had not yet been successfully contacted. The stronger children (some with congenital deformities who had been abandoned by their parents on the doorstep of the clinic) played and climbed on the rails of the crib where the wrapped child lay, unaware of the tragedy and of the many infants slowly dying in the next room. My companion said, with foresight, that we could never go home and live comfortably on a cul-de-sac, thinking only of which flowers to plant and what to cook. We had seen too much.

Why I am a Mormon

One of our church leaders taught that God can make more of our lives than we can. My life and career have not always gone according to “my plan.” A loving Heavenly Father recognized lessons I needed to learn and tailored my life experiences accordingly. I recognize now that in my determination to achieve certain goals, day by day opportunities to love and serve others might have been overlooked. Had I pursued more formal education, I might have been tempted to view myself as knowledgeable by virtue of academic degrees and to have been patronizing toward others who did not have to same opportunities. I rejoice in a loving eternal Father who will speak to each of us through his Holy Spirit and through living prophets if we are willing to listen. I am thankful every day for the Savior, Jesus Christ, who atoned for the sins of all men, providing opportunities to repent and learn. A statement from Mother Theresa hangs in our kitchen. “We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love.” This, to me, is the essence of Christian living and the source of the greatest joys in my life. Although it’s currently fashionable to criticize organized religion, belonging to an active group of believers encourages and provides so many opportunities to serve that would be hard to duplicate while acting individually. I am so grateful for every opportunity I have to learn and to give as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

How I live my faith

Since seeing the poverty in Colombia I have never been at ease with a “comfortable” lifestyle, but have tried to serve whenever I became aware of an unmet need. For a time, I worked as a nurse practitioner, teaching the principles of healthy living as I treated ill bodies. My husband and I reared five children, trying to teach them the importance of being contributors in the world. When our oldest child started school, a friend taught me the “golden rule” of education: if you want credibility when you have a concern, you must first be known as a contributor. I spent many years trying to be a builder and supporter of our local schools. Over the years we have been blessed to provide a home for ten teens besides our own, coming from various circumstances and staying for periods ranging from three weeks to ten years. So many unexpected, challenging and wonderful experiences have come to us through involvement in our church. In every experience, I am deeply humbled by the goodness I see in others as I try to understand the yearnings of another’s heart, helping in whatever way I could. My husband and I led an addiction recovery group for our church for over four years. As we met each week with good people who had great challenges to overcome, we were repeatedly reminded of the value of every human soul. There are many heartbreaking things in this world, yet whenever I try to step outside of myself and show kindness to another, I am blessed far beyond what I am able to give. Happiness comes as we give freely. wherever our lives may lead.

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Anna Louise
Families provide the foundation for a child to enter this world with the strongest possibilities for growth and development as individuals and as members of a larger society. No other relationship, group or entity can adequately replace the nurture provided by a father and mother who are committed to each other, to their children, and to the Father of us all. That sense of commitment and caring extends beyond childhood and youth, continuing in various ways throughout mortal life and into the eternities. Because all children do not experience this, it is important that we love and care for one another as brothers and sisters--children of infinite worth to Eternal Parents. and part of the family of God. When we someday return to the God who gave us life, His greatest concern will be how well we learned to be loving individuals during our mortal experiences. The kindness with which we live and the service we render are the greatest measures of success in life. Show more Show less