Clara Sumsion

And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that those things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

-Mosiah 2:41

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Clara, the girl with the contagious smile and the infectious personality. It is impossible to escape her presence without feeling better about yourself and about life. It is impossible to flee from her company without feeling like you can change the world.

When I first met Clara, I avoided her, I was scared of her mad photography skills. She is an emerging professional photographer and her work is astonishing, I feared that she would judge me on what is my favorite hobby. I was wrong, when we got together for her to show me lighting techniques, she spent time praising my work. It is such a wonderful thing to have encouraging people in life, people who make you feel like you can conquer the world.

Being that we both love photography, we started our conversation about the joys of using the camera. Clara, since she was eight years old, loved cameras. She loved the look, the sounds, and the size of the camera. She energetically explained, “I love the colors and layout of photos. I love how pictures are a way to remember. It is fun getting to know people and helping them remember their special day.”

I find it inspiring how most of what Clara spoke about goes back to making people happy.

Clara then spoke about her family and how everyone played an intricate role in her life. She spoke fondly of her parents and how they were the perfect role models, “my mom and dad always made the effort for us to have prayer and study. My mom always had us together for family dinner and everyone played a role in the family. I learned from an early age that my family is also my best friend.”

Clara’s stories about her childhood had me rolling on the floor laughing. She painted a beautiful picture of their house on a hill surrounded by huge fields. They had cows and fields of alfalfa. She laughingly told me of a time when she got carried away by a kite, “I was holding the kite and I started getting carried away. I didn’t want to let go because it was Dad’s kite.” She told stories of hiding in the fields, and sledding with the tractor. Clara further explained, “Life was always so much fun. We preferred to play outside over watching movies; that is why my sisters and I are best friends.”

I then asked Clara what her goals for the future are. She told me about an experience she had in ninth grade, “I was able to help out with special needs seminary and was able to be a special needs counselor. I learned that I love working with people, especially special needs children.” Today Clara still works with special needs children and continues to have great experiences with it. She related another story, more recent one, “I was with one of my special needs friends the other day and she told me, ‘when Jesus comes for the seconding coming, I’m going to take him to McDonald’s.”

Clara explained how these experiences have helped her set goals for the future, “I want to get married and have a family. I want to do photography on the side. I want to be well of financially so that I may help people out and not have to worry about it. I want to see that I have made a difference, that I always took the time to serve and that I didn’t waste time. I want to put the Lord first. That is the center of my life, putting the Lord first. I want to share my testimony of Jesus Christ through my life and actions.”

Clara is a wonderful friend and a wonderful role model. She has done many selfless deeds for others, and will continue to help out all those she can. I am grateful for people like Clara, people who can show us the meaning of humility.

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