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Hi I'm Jessica Smith

I'm a small town girl and college graduate with Tourette Syndrome and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I recently graduated from BYU-Hawaii with a degree in International Cultural Studies with an emphasis in Communciation. I love people and watching how we interact and experience differences in our lives. I loved my time in Hawaii and everything it taught me and hope to go back one day. The islands make me happy, as do music and people. I love to sing and dance and I love talking story with people, learning about them and the things they have learned and experienced. I like to share my own experiences with things that make me different and unique. My Tourette Syndrome has provided a lot of learning experiences, as well as fun times. I started "squeaking" when I was 17, and it has been fun to watch my noises evolve and change over the years. I have been known to squeal in church, in class and, well, anytime really, giving me plenty of opportunities to make new friends!

Why I am a Mormon

I am a mormon because of the challenges and trials I have been blessed with. I was raised with parents who were members of the church, but when I was young we didn't go every week. As I grew older, I had a desire to attend more often, and occasionally went by myself. As I grew older, I had a lot of fear about leaving my small town home to attend college. I had never known anything else. I needed something I could take with me, and began to pray and seek a firm knowledge of the gospel. The strength I received as I went to college and studied music testified to me of my Heavenly Father and His love and involvement in our lives. In gratitude I dedicded to serve as a missionary and was called to the Hawaiian Islands to teach the gospel in Spanish. My Spanish may not be perfect, but considering where I was and learning on my own, I speak quite well. I also gained a firmer testimony of the importance of prophets and revelation during this time. God doesn't change, though people do. As people accepted and rejected His prophets throughout time, there have been cycles of apostacy (a time without prophets and revelation from God) and the restoring of His truth on the earth. Joseph Smith was one of those prophets. Even after all of this, at age 24, I found myself in a situation where I lost everything. My boyfriend and I had just borken up, my friends had all gone home for the summer, my job hung by a thread, I got very sick, couldn't pay my bills and couldn't sleep at night. I became angry and began to question why Heavenly Father was not taking care of me when I had always been obedient and done what He asked. I questioned my testimony, and in so doing, felt I had even lost a part of my identity. More out of spite than belief, I asked for a preisthood blessing. During that, I felt empty, but knew that God was there, and that I would have to fill that empty space with scripture study and prayer and church in a way that I had been slacking on. God is always there.

How I live my faith

After the experience I had when I was 24, I knew I had to be more diligent and work harder to keep my personal relationship with my Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. I study my scriptures, pray and communticate with my Father, not just a fall-to-my-knees-to-say-it-and-be-done prayer. I continue to attend church weekly, and try to visit the temple as often as I can. I continue to be blessed with challenges that make me stronger, and each one, I make a specific choice to follow my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have recently broken off an engagement for that very reason. To do such a thing was very difficult, because I loved this young man very much. Certain events happened during that engagement that forced me to make that choice once again. Once that choice was made, I have had the most overwhelming peace and love from Heavenly Father and a comfort that could not be found without His presence in my life.