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Hi I'm Hannah

I grew up a homeschooled only child. My dream was to be a "jack-of-all-trades," as I love learning everything. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a college freshman studying bioinformatics. As a kid, I disliked all things technology; I thought that they wasted people's time and ruined sociability. However, I fell in love with computer programming, and my major is the perfect combination of programming and the biology that I already wanted to study. I now realize that computers sure are amazing and good- but I still refuse to waste my life with them! I'd rather be out climbing a tree, reading a book, or playing a strategy game. I love to read. Right now, I'm trying to get through Les Mis. but it's kind of hard to find time what with all of my schoolwork. I also work part time in early morning custodial. I thought it would help me become a cleaner person, but my room is still a little messy as always- I just have a trained eye to notice all the dirt in whatever building I'm in. I love choral and classical music; most of my favorite songs are oratorios. Someday I'd like to travel the world. I'd also like to be a background pianist, but that sure doesn't make a lot of money!

Why I am a Mormon

I choose to be a Mormon because the joy that it brings into my life outweighs the work that it takes to be a member. I have gained significant peace in my life from the teachings of the scriptures and of my church. I have always found answers within the church to my questions and doubts. I feel like the doctrines make too much sense, spiritually and scientifically, to have been made up. I love to learn, and as a part of that, I love to question everything I hear so that I can prove it wrong or else learn more about it. Again and again, I have questioned parts of the gospel, often based on anti-mormons' arguments about why the church isn't true. Although I always have understood, and often believed, their points, I have also always found evidence that their information could be right and conclusions wrong or that their information is wrong to begin with. I have also run "experiments" of sorts- taking a teaching of the church and making it a bigger part of my life to see the effects that it has. For example: as I pondered the scriptures, I found my general thinking abilities increased. As I learned to keep the sabbath day holy, I was able to finish my schoolwork in a more timely manner and felt more relaxed and prepared to deal with life. I also have noticed times when I have ignored the church's teachings and done things that they warn against, and my life has been full of anger, despair, or other negativities. To top the experiment off, I have heard numerous similar experiences from others of my faith, confirming to me that people benefit from living the standards taught in my church. I may not be able to promise that this church is entirely perfect, but I know that many things that it teaches are correct. Because I have yet to find a fault with the church, and because of the way its teachings make me feel, I choose to believe that it is entirely true. I feel that our experiences prove of its truthfulness as much as science proves its hypotheses.

How I live my faith

I go to church for three hours every week, where I have the opportunity to learn from formal talks given by other members, formal lessons, and from group discussions. The congregation sings regularly in our church, and as a pianist, I love volunteering to accompany as needed. I also help to put together a pamphlet each week which lists who is giving talks, the songs that we will sing, any activities that the church or members are hosting that week, service opportunities, or any other announcements. I have made a habit of praying to God and reading His words in the scriptures every day. Each month, I skip two consecutive meals (called "fasting") and contribute the value of those meals to a fund to be used for those who need assistance with food, housing, or other basic living expenses. I begin this period of time with a prayer, in which I ask the Lord for help with a specific problem or express gratitude for His blessings to me. The focus of this time is to learn self-control, choosing to focus on the most lasting aspects of life, instead of more menial things. For example, when I was young, my dad got cancer, and were warned that he may only live for a few months. My family prayed that the cancer would be curable. Each time I felt hungry, instead of worrying about food, I instead was reminded of more important things, such as the blessing that my parents are in my life and the fact that God was controlling whatever happened with my dad. Because of this, I had a chance to deal with my fear and grief and replace that feeling with peace and acceptance. I pay a portion of my income to the LDS church. In addition to fast offerings, I pay 10% for tithing that goes to a general fund to pay church expenses, and I contribute to a humanitarian fund that helps in areas that have experienced traumatic events such as earthquakes. In a few days, I will be an official proselyting missionary, spending 18 months of my life as a full-time representative of my church.