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Hi I'm Carmen

I'm an undergrad at BYU planning to study Linguistics. I speak Spanish and K'iche'. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the middle of a big family. My siblings are my best friends. I love learning Spanish and K'iche' (a Mayan language spoken in Guatemala) and learning about my European, Guatemalan, and American heritage. I plan to study Linguistics, though I'm still figuring out what I want to do with my degree. I played the flute for eight years and loved it. Now I play guitar (mostly Beatles songs). I could talk about Harry Potter all day. I was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety as a kid. Both have been a struggle, but I've learned a lot about myself and others through it. I also recently struggled with depression. This drove me to seek help from a therapist, which was how I overcame my fear of therapy and be far more understanding of the people who use it.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a Mormon. I grew up having the basics in my head. But over the course of my life, I've had experiences that have caused me to need to really know for myself—in my heart—that it's true. The biggest challenge (and growth) that I've faced has happened in the past year. Last May I began struggling more with my anxiety. I was trying to do the things that I needed to do, but found that I still felt sad, scared, or even empty inside. It was one of the loneliest times in my life—most of my friends were serving as full-time missionaries, including my older sister. It was hard to have her leave, because we're really close. I spent most of the day alone. I was behind in my classes. I lost my job. It was just a rough, lonely time. I struggled with self-deprication and depression. For me, the worst part was the fear of what I might do to myself if things continued to get worse. During that time, I learned to turn to my Savior. His grace, power, and love were the only things sustaining me. Church went from being routine to being a refuge. I spent more time studying the scriptures. I sung a lot of hymns to myself, and they all became much more meaningful and heartfelt. I began to see that I was really being watched over by those around me and by God. Eventually, with the help of medication and therapy, I've been able to get healthier emotionally and spiritually. I wrote down my testimony before all of that happened, and I recently got to reread it. The basic message was, "I can't say that I know, but I believe." Now, because of what I've gone through, I can testify of Christ. I know He lives, and is our Savior and Redeemer. We can only return home to our Heavenly Father through Him. He knows you and loves you more than you could possibly imagine. I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that Thomas S. Monson is also a prophet. This is Christ's true Church—the only one with His power and authority.

How I live my faith

I'm attending a ward (congregation) for young, unmarried adults, where I serve as a visiting teacher: I'm partnered with another sisters in my ward, and we're assigned to visit, serve, teach, and befriend a few other sisters. I'm also the visiting teaching coordinator for my ward right now, which means that I help organize assignments for all of the women in the ward each month. I also help remind the sisters of their callings, find out how they did each month, and help them get to know each other better. This also helps us to be aware of who is struggling or in need in the ward—whether they need financial help, help moving in or out, or just need a friend.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

We believe that we can only be saved through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sins. Along with that, we believe that obedience to the commandments is crucial. It isn't enough just to be saved by grace. We also strive to be changed by grace—to learn and grow, and become more like the Savior. It only helps us change if we're doing good works. Those good works and changes of hearts are what allow us to become more Christlike and better suited to live in God's presence for eternity. The saving power of grace is the only thing that will allow us to return to God's presence. The changing power of grace, along with our choice to be changed, is the only thing that allows us to stay in God's presence for eternity. Show more Show less