I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1985. My mother and father are both Srila Prabhupada disciples who instilled into me at a very young age how important devotional service is. They were, and are still to this day, very serious about their commitment to His Divine Graces teachings. I attended gurukula for a couple of years until the family picked up and moved to Seattle, Washington. There I had absolutely no devotee association. I entered public school for the grade three year, and quickly forgot all about what it meant to be a Hare Krishna. Years passed without even attending the local temple program. My father worked a high-powered job and my mom was at home raising my younger sister and I. The only contact we had to Lord Krishna was through our parents. They continued to chant and worship even though we were completely isolated from devotees. But, although mom and dad were so devoted, I could not say the same for myself. High school is a hard place to be different. I wanted to be the exact same as everyone else. When friends would ask what my beliefs were I answered with the religion of the month: Catholic, Christian, Mormon; it didn’t matter as long as I sounded relatively “normal”. Yet even though I constantly struggled to forget who I was; Krishna never left my mind as the Supreme Controller. In the winter of 2008 my father told us that he wanted to move to Mayapur, India. He was done with trying to make material life work and wanted to retire in a spiritual atmosphere. I freaked out! How could I leave my job, friends, and whole world behind? India?!?! No way! Didn’t people die there from just breathing the air? And where was I going to find my hairspray and makeup? Well, I had 6 months to ponder the rest of my life. Would I choose a material existence, working for the weekends? Or, would I choose a spiritual existence, devoting my life to God? Out went yearbooks, $150 shoes, purses, clothes, etc. I had made up my mind; I didn’t want to live a lie anymore. I believed in KRSNA, reincarnation, vegetarianism, and burning incense until my eyes turned red! I didn’t enjoy wasting away in clubs and dating random men like the other girls did. There was no substance there; no nectar. I knew in my heart what the correct choice was and I finally took it. So now here I am. My mother, father and I just celebrated our one year anniversary of living in India on October 17 (my sister chose to stay in America with her long time love). It wasn’t at all what I had expected. Mayapur is not India; Mayapur is the spiritual world. The first thing I did when I touched down in the Dham was take the Bhakti Sastri course. I desperately needed to brush up on my knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita. After that concluded I attended the Bhakti Sadachara course for Vaisnava etiquette… which I also desperately needed. Immersing my self in these courses really helped my faith. I am an eternal spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that sounds a whole lot better than a random girl trying her best to make some money before she dies. I hope that by taking this Pujari course I will not only learn how to properly serve Krsna, but also how to strengthen myself so that I can preach to those souls in need. Krsna Consciousness is hard, but it’s supposed to be because then it would be achieved too easily and cheaply. I struggle everyday to surrender and do my duties, and I even sometimes wish to go back home so I can crawl the malls! But then I attend the temple programs and see the Lords smiling face at me and I remember that my struggle is worth it.