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Hi I'm James

I'm a farmer in Illinois. I love costumes, history, archery, swordplay, historical re-enactments, animals, and I'm a Mormon

About Me

I grew up loving history. I live in an old house, and frequently re-enact at Fort De Chartres. There I camp with hundreds of others, dress in 18th century clothing, cook over an open fire, and every time I go back, I learn something new. Old technology and artifacts are particularly interesting to me, especially bows and arrows. Somehow, the best handmade bows could fire farther than today's mass produced bows. I can now make arrows, and am well on my way to making my own bows as well. I graduated high school in May of 2014, with a very respectable set of grades. I was voted most individualistic of my graduating class, and made it into the National Honors Society my Junior Year. I am good at making things, and solving problems. I love making and wearing costumes. I like reverse engineering to figure out how things work. My brother and I made a shop vac modification that allows us to capture stinging insects without killing them (my mom is getting into beekeeping). I figured out how to better manipulate paper mache, and make all kinds of fake armor and props. I made an old looking shield, and a convincing sword. For fun, I do lots of things. I love movies and games, the cleaner the better. I live on a farm, and I've seen things a lot of people haven't, so blood usually doesn't shock me. I have a lot of talents and interests, which is great, but this is a mixed blessing. Having so many things I'm good at, I don't know what I'm best at, but In time I will find out.

Why I am a Mormon

I was baptized at 8 years old, but I didn't have a true testimony until High School. I was at a LDS youth camp called EFY, and it was fun, but one day we had set aside for church lessons. I didn't have high expectations, and I remember thinking, "okay, let's get this over with." Then we read the official declaration, "The Living Christ." It was so powerful, so full of truth, and I knew beyond any doubt that Christ was my savior. He died that we all might have a chance to live eternally with our loved ones. I came to have this same feeling for all aspects of the Gospel. Joseph Smith was a Prophet called of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, he Translated the Golden Plates into what is now the Book of Mormon. This Church is the Church that was organized by Jesus Christ when he was on the earth. I found that when I lived the standards of the church, I was better in general. I felt better, I did better in school, I even sang better. It took a while to recognize this, but once I did, I gained further testimony of the truth of this church. For seemingly unknown reasons, I was doing well in things I was struggling with before. I will be a missionary from February 2015-2017. I know that this church is true, and I want to spread the joy and comfort I have found in His Gospel.

How I live my faith

Looking on the outside, I don't think there's much that could identify me as LDS. Apparently it's obvious that there's something odd about me. In the early grades, I didn't understand the concept of different faiths. When they taught me that our church was true, I thought they meant the physical building. I tried to share it with the 2nd grade, and I got in trouble. That silenced me, and I separated my school and church life. I wasn't ashamed, or trying to cover it up, I just didn't share it. However, in High School, I started opening up. I always stood out, but my Sophomore year, I realized that practically nobody knew I was Mormon. In the first day of class, when we stand up and tell three facts about ourselves, that was always my last fact. "I make arrows, love hotwings, and I'm a Mormon," just like in the ads. At this point, I knew the gospel, but I started living it then. Showing more mercy and compassion, opening up, being more honest, and restraining myself. I got baptized when I was 8, but I became converted in High School. I decided to become an example to the school. I tried not to judge people on their lack of knowledge of what I believed, or the way they lived. When they would use foul language around me, I would ask them to not do so when I'm around. It took a while, but eventually other people, who used to swear around me defended me when someone else would. After my "Flanders" phase, when I was kind of judgmental, shoving my faith down people's throats, I realized people weren't going to like me this way, so I became more accepting, and let them come to me. It was unexpected, but I eventually got friends. I told them what I could, without being pushy. I developed a more Christlike attitude. I didn't convert anyone, but I did my part. I gave them information, invited them to activities and church, gave my testimony, and I hope sometime in the future, when a couple of men in suits, ties and nametags knock on their doors, some will listen.