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Hi I'm Lucas Van De Graaff

I enjoy playing the flute and piano, film, and acting. I'm on a mission to Taipei, Taiwan, and I'll return on June 27th, 2018.

About Me

I enjoy lots of different things, like playing the flute and piano, soccer, filming/editing videos, acting, blacksmithing, service, lots of movies and TV shows, video games, long board games, role playing games, and card games. I just graduated high school and the IB (International Baccalaureate) program, which is often described as a harder version of AP (Advanced Placement) classes. I took 10 college level courses in my junior and senior years in everything from world history to chemistry to film. When I was 13 my dad and I went to the Philippines to a city called Dagupan in Luzon to deliver 3 suitcases full of various supplies and over $2,200 to help repair and renovate an orphanage for my Eagle Scout project. When I was 17 I went to Nepal with my dad to a Buddhist monastery on a mountain about an hour's drive from Kathmandu to teach English to the monks there. I got to play as the principal flute player in a concert with other youth musicians with the Utah Symphony in a performance called the All-Star Evening, where every year they feature prominent youth musicians in Utah. I've played the piano for 13 years and the flute for 7 so far, and I played the viola for 1 and the oboe for 2. I love music and want to minor in orchestral performance when I return from my mission. I love my diverse group of friends, from theater kids to music majors to video game nerds to jocks to the science geeks to the "Mormon kids", and I hope I can keep up the diversity my whole life.

Why I am a Mormon

Since I was born a member of the church, I never had any kind of conversion. I've always been a member and I plan on staying that way. But just because I was born in the church doesn't mean I don't believe in it. I have studied it out for myself, and I really truly believe it. I believe that this church is the church that Jesus Christ organized more than 2000 years ago. I believe that there is a Heavenly Father and a Holy Spirit that, along with Christ, help to guide and teach us and have not left the earth to fend for itself. I believe that God is good and has created this earth to help us return to Him with our families, which are central to His plan for us. I believe in the modern teachings of the church, like the Word of Wisdom, and the sound advice that they give us to help us throughout our lives. I believe these things because I've seen them work in my life and the lives of others. I have seen people become happier because they follow the church's teachings and have seen the sorrow, pain, and confusion that comes when they leave it or never had it. I know how much this church and its gospel can help anybody, which is why I'm dedicating 2 years of the prime of my life to go tell people on the other side of the globe about it.

How I live my faith

As the oldest youth in my ward, I was often placed in leadership positions, starting from when I was 12 years old. For nearly a year, I was the only boy from the ages of 12-18 in my ward. When other youth finally starting coming, I was always the oldest, so I was often put in charge of them. This kept up in the Boy Scouts program, and I was actually invited to a week-long leadership training camp called On Belay when I was 14. After I was a participant, I returned the next year as a youth staff, then the next year as the Co-Captain of the entire course, then the next year as the Captain. As Captain, I was literally in charge of the entire camp, including the adult staff. I organized the schedule and planned activities, recruited, taught lessons, and solved every problem that the camp faced. Now, I have been called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and am preaching the gospel to the people in Taipei, Taiwan. I'm going for 2 years, and I plan on doing the best I can do for the whole 2 years, no matter what challenges may arise.