Sisters Abroad

April 20th, 2011 by admin

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Julia Klebingat grew up in Riga, Latvia, which was then part of the Soviet Union. Introduced to the Church when Brigham Young University’s Legacy Dixieland Band performed in her hometown, she married at 19 and attended Ricks College. Julia recounts the culture shock she experienced getting married, joining the Church and moving to the United States in such a short time, and the blessings that have come into her life since that time. She is preparing to move from Frankfurt, Germany, to Kiev, Ukraine, to serve alongside her husband, who will preside in the Ukraine, Kiev mission.

April 6th, 2011 by admin

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Swarupa Katuka was born and raised in India, joined the Church in 1988, and currently lives in New Delhi. In 1995, as the mother of two children, Swarupa decided to give her third child to family friends who couldn’t have any children of her own. In this interview, she shares an intimate look into her daily life, the state of the Church in India, and the relationship she has with her adopted daughter.

March 23rd, 2011 by admin

15 Comments

In Perfect Harmony

In Perfect Harmony

Liz Shropshire

Liz Shropshire is the founder and director of the Shropshire Music Foundation, which provides free musical instruments and instruction to former child soldiers and refugees in Kosovo, Uganda, and Northern Ireland. Since 1999, more than 10,000 young people have participated in Shropshire Music Foundation classes.

February 16th, 2011 by admin

15 Comments

Shu-Chih grew up in Taiwan, came to the United States by herself as a teenager and joined the Mormon Church. She had to overcome many obstacles, including family disapproval, living in a foreign country and raising three kids as a single mom. Shu-Chih is an accomplished artist and owns her own art school where she teaches a growing Chinese population in Irvine, CA.

December 1st, 2010 by admin

6 Comments

Enthusiasm and Endurance

Enthusiasm and Endurance

Kovács Ildikó

Introduced to the gospel as a teenager in her native Hungary, Ildikó had to wait four years to be baptized due to her family’s disapproval. Ildikó discusses the challenges of joining a community that is still small in Hungary, marrying another Hungarian member and raising her three children in the Church there. She expresses confidence in the Savior’s role as head of the Church, the practical and spiritual safety that comes from living by its principles, and benefits of raising her children in the gospel.

November 24th, 2010 by admin

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After graduating with her master’s of public health degree from Yale, Trang Thach moved to Romania to research drinking water with the aid of a Fulbright Grant. Her search for a career, along with her family history and temple work for ancestors from Vietnam, has helped strengthen her testimony of God’s love and mercy.

November 17th, 2010 by admin

43 Comments

Peace Through Conflict

Peace Through Conflict

Sahar Qumsiyeh

Raised near Bethlehem, only a few blocks away from the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Sahar Qumsiyeh intimately knows places that are considered holy by many religions. However, this significant area is marked by conflict and war, and as a Palestinian, Sahar faced barriers (both figurative and literal) to joining the Church. In this interview, Sahar describes how her introduction to the Church and understanding of the gospel enabled her to overcome the feelings of anger and frustration that accompanied her life in this turbulent region.

October 27th, 2010 by admin

12 Comments

I Am Home

I Am Home

Heather Willoughby

Heather Willoughby discovered she had a destiny: To study ethnomusicology and return to teach it in the beloved country of her mission, Korea. Now a professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, the largest women’s university in the world, Heather teaches comparative culture classes, as well as classes on gender and human rights. She has a special appreciation for Pansori, a traditional Korean music, and feels a deep spiritual connection to this country she loves.

September 22nd, 2010 by admin

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On June 10, 1990, Galina Goncharova became the first member of the Church to be baptized in Moscow, in what was then the Soviet Union. In this interview she describes her journey to the Church, the ravages of alcoholism on her family, and how the gospel has helped her to forgive and given her power to change her relationships with others.

September 1st, 2010 by admin

2 Comments

Kimmie is featured in our first photo essay. After a difficult childhood, Kimmie joined the Church in Korea. Now a successful business owner, Kimmie talks about how the healing properties of the algae supplements from her cosmetics company help people overcome debilitating illness. She has started a non-profit to help those who can’t afford the treatments have access to their benefits.

July 27th, 2010 by admin

9 Comments

From Dublin, Ireland, Gina talks candidly about her struggle with infertility. A lawyer by training and a convert to the Church, Gina overcame a fear of doctors and hospitals to complete IVF treatments, resulting in the birth of her daughter Ella. Gina reveals a deep gratitude for her supportive husband, although not a member of the Church himself, and their precious daughter.

June 30th, 2010 by admin

3 Comments

The Spirit of the Islands

The Spirit of the Islands

Safalaia Arvay Si’ufanua

Born into the Church in Samoa in 1944, Safalaia attended Brigham Young University, Hawaii, and was among the first group of dancers to open the Polynesian Cultural Center in 1962. Safalaia describes how the PCC helped her gain a greater appreciation for her own culture and for the church’s missionary program.

June 23rd, 2010 by admin

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As her name suggests, Ruth epitomizes wise, eternal choices: After being the only one in her family to join the church in her native Bolivia, Ruth came to the United States to pursue additional training as a dentist. The death of her first child was crushing, but she chose to endure two more pregnancies, each resulting in a healthy child although requiring months of bed rest. She is currently pregnant a fourth time. Ruth discusses how she uses her time while on bed rest, how she uses her dental skills for good, and how she appreciates being able to spend time with her children.

June 9th, 2010 by admin

3 Comments

After serving a mission in her native Venezuela, Ines Pinate married another returned missionary only to have the marriage end three years later in a divorce. Now, with an 8-year-old son, this single mother is attending medical school. In her interview, Ines expresses her love for her Heavenly Father and explains how being a doctor helps her be a better Christian.

May 12th, 2010 by admin

8 Comments

“Just Call Me Ruth”

“Just Call Me Ruth”

Ruth Lybbert Renlund

After being able to have only one child, Ruth Renlund became a personal injury trial lawyer. At the peak of a long and fulfilling professional life, Ruth has now become the wife of a General Authority serving in South Africa. In her interview, Ruth discusses the challenges of having an only child within Church culture, and how she’s transitioned from being an independent professional to to serving with her husband in a foreign country.

April 20th, 2010 by admin

12 Comments

As Joseph in Egypt

As Joseph in Egypt

Thérèse Kanyanga

In 2000, Thérèse Kanyanga was living in the Republic of the Congo as a wife and the mother of seven children when her husband, Gilbert, mysteriously disappeared. Thérèse discovered he had been accused of treason and exiled to South Korea. For the next six years, Thérèse raised her children alone. In 2006, she was able to join Gilbert in Seoul where she was baptized into the Church.

December 11th, 2009 by admin

4 Comments

“They Came!”

“They Came!”

Dominique Lam-Yam

A 1983 issue of Reader’s Digest introduced Dominique Lam-Yam to the Church while she was living with an abusive father on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. She spent the next three years searching for the Church organization, with no success. Finally, two missionaries knocked on her door, launching her on a path of hope and triumph over challenge.

November 20th, 2009 by admin

7 Comments

A Blog of One’s Own

A Blog of One’s Own

Michelle Glauser

An American student at the University of Leipzig, in Germany, Michelle has spent the last two years studying “mommy blogs” and writing her Masters thesis on the subject. Michelle describes what motivated her to study in Germany, how her church experience is different there, and why Mormon women have special justifications for keeping blogs.

November 13th, 2009 by admin

3 Comments

The first time Faustina Otoo went to church, in Nigeria in 1985, the members’ love made her feel like she was in a “wonderland”. Since that day, Faustina’s journey in the church has taken her back to her native land of Ghana where she now serves as the front office receptionist at the Africa West Area office complex at the Accra Ghana temple. As the single mother of two children, Faustina is especially proud that her daughter is about to graduate from college.

November 3rd, 2009 by admin

2 Comments

Lost in Learning

Lost in Learning

Eva Koleva Timothy

As a teenager in Sophia, Bulgaria, Eva sought for truth and found the restored Gospel. Now a mother of three living in the United States, Eva’s passion for learning continues to drive her personal and professional pursuits: “Lost in Learning”, the culmination of her work as a professional photographer, features the original manuscripts and objects used by the world’s great discoverers as they too sought for truth. Eva homeschools her children so that they can share in her search for knowledge.

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