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Hi I'm Derek Funckes

I love my family and friends, I´m a convert of 2 years I am on my mission in San Diego, California, and I am a Latter-day Saint!

About Me

I was born in Tucson, Arizona to two incredible parents who are both deaf and with one younger sister and so have grown up knowing American Sign Language as well as English. We lived in Pennsylvania for most of my elementary school years but then moved back to Arizona because my grandma had cancer and we wanted to be closer. Our whole family is really close so growing up family was always really important to us. Going to school in Arizona was an opportunity for me to come out of my shell from my youth and be more outgoing. Growing up we were raised Christian but did not have the opportunity to go to church often, we were non-denominational and most churches did not have deaf services. I always had a faith in God and read the Bible all the way through at a young age yet I never felt comfortable at the churches we went to and had sincere questions. I did not understand the concept of the Trinity, Christ as God and vice versa, for me even at a young age I could not reconcile that idea. Also, I never felt comfortable or very good at these churches, I knew that I felt something when Christ was mentioned or for some other truths but overall I did not feel the peace I desired. In high school I had a lot of Mormon friends and was mistaken for a member often because of how I lived my life. I grew up loving sports as well as reading and learning. I enjoy laughing and having fun and always staying positive. I am currently serving a two year mission teaching the Gospel in San Diego!

Why I am a Mormon

In High School I saw many of my friends who were members of the church, not knowing much of their beliefs, I still could see their faith in Christ in their words and actions. I am grateful for the example of all of those members of the Church who helped me be receptive to listening to the missionaries. I started taking missionary lessons with a member halfway through my Senior year. This was a joyous but difficult time for me as I took lessons with many different missionaries. I studied the scriptures and pamphlets gladly several times, reading over them and pondering their message and seeing the goodness and truth therein. I knew that I wanted a better relationship with God, the opportunity to go to church, to be happy, and to understand how to best follow Jesus Christ and it seemed like this was the path. At the same time, I had doubts and indecision about committing to this huge change, I was Christian before, but I wanted to be sure! Over the summer my family and I drove to the east coast, I read through the Book of Mormon and finished it, and every Sunday I would find the nearest church building and go by myself. This experience helped me so much because I was doing this all for myself and because I wanted to. I was baptized August, 12, 2012 by my best friend. While, this introduction to the church and beginning is important to me, I know that I continue to grow closer to God and try to follow Jesus Christ as I grow more fully converted in my life! I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for so many reasons. I know that it is the true church, it has the power of God, it has revelation through modern day prophets, it teaches the doctrine of Christ, it fills me with the Holy Spirit, every day my testimony deepens and I become more converted. I am LDS because I am happier, because of the truth, because of the blessings, I am a member of Jesus Christ´s church because I believe that He is my Savior and I love Him more than anything else.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to become more like Jesus Christ and developing those Christlike attributes every day! “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep … unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27.) I try to live my life as a representative of Jesus Christ and by shining that light with service, kindness, and love for all people. While on a mission I plan to share my faith as Christ has commanded us to preach His gospel and invite them to come unto Christ. Even before I was a member, in high school I joined service organizations and volunteered for every project. In the Book of Mormon a scripture in Mosiah 2:17 teaches that "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." I live my life trying to think outward, not about myself but about others. I reach out to people who need help, kindness, and the light of Christ in their life. Truly, the doctrine and the church would mean very little if the members did not understand that its purpose was to help us become more like our Savior and to love one another, this is His greatest commandment and working to love others more perfectly is how I live my faith.