Since my brother beat me to the punch, I guess I’ll go ahead and introduce myself second. That’s pretty much how it’s always been, anyway, right, Joshua? 🙂
My name is Johanna Brown. I’m the youngest of six children. Joshua and I were the last two kids in our family. We hated each other when we were kids and then grew to sort of like each other when we were teens. Since we’ve become adults we’ve become good friends even though I like his wife more than I like him. Ha.
Joshua told you some of our family background, so let me share some from my point of view. One thing that has really impacted my life and the path that I am on happened when I was almost 13 years old. Our mother passed away. She had a disease called Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). She went in to have surgery for a new form of dialysis, but she got a blood clot in her lung and died.
Those were really hard times, and I can honestly say that the only thing that got me through was my knowledge of the concept of Eternal Families. In the Mormon faith, we believe that families can be together forever, not just until death do we part. When a couple is married in the temple, they are sealed or bound together for time and all eternity. Any children they have are sealed to them forever, as well. Knowing that I would get the chance to see my mother again helped me so much. I went through a dark period where I didn’t feel anything at all, and I can’t even imagine where my life would’ve gone without that knowledge. It strengthens me even now when I have moments where I wish she could’ve met my kids or my husband. One day she will because we will see her again, and that is how I cope.
Today I am happily married to my wonderful husband Andrew. We were sealed in the temple, as well, and now he’s stuck with me for eternity. He convinced me to move out of Alabama, where I’ve lived most of my life and now we live in Laredo, Texas, or Northern Mexico, as we lovingly call it. Even though I’m in a completely different climate, landscape, and culture, the good news is that the gospel is the same no matter where I go, and the LDS church can be found anywhere. That is one of the many blessings of being a Mormon–whenever I move, I don’t have to search out a new church that fits me. It’s the same everywhere I go. All I have to do is find the building.
I hope that this new blog adventure benefits someone, and that as we share our testimonies and life stories and what we know, that you will at least see that our hearts are in it. We really and truly believe in what we’re writing about. Thanks for reading, and I hope you stick around for more!
Your Friendly Mormon Neighbor