My whole attitude just was to be selfish--was to be looking out for number one, myself. I was a full-blown criminal. If you knew anything about me at that time, you'd definitely be crossing the street to the other side. Within modeling, when I first started, I actually felt accepted. There was this excitement. I wanted to travel. I wanted to see the world as something different. The first pursuit I was looking at, primarily, was money. I felt like everything I was was measured by what was in my bank account. It was all about how much money I could make and how much freedom I could have and the things I could buy with that money. The suits, the jewelry, the cars, the recognition--I was so into that lifestyle that I did not want to change. The more I was involved in it, the more distanced my family became, I became of them. I'm coming out of prison with $128 and a bus ticket back to where I was arrested. No family members, no ties to any communities. I realized the damage that I caused to myself, to my family, and to the people who cared about me the most. I started working here, and the city gets to you. I never forget just walking around in the streets and just looking around and just being like, "This is the biggest city." And I just felt so alone. I can remember going out one night and believing we're going to make all this money. And I wanted to have my business cards made from true platinum, not just a paper business card. It was all about the image. It was something that I gravitated to because it made me feel better, that I had more value. But there wasn't any substance to it. And so it was always fleeting. It never was real enough to hold onto. I could never receive any kind of true peace with it. You had to continue to try to reach out for something bigger and better. I had an encounter with a member of the LDS Church. I had thousands of questions because of my lifestyle. And every question that I asked, there was an answer to it. Every time he mentioned the word of Christ, there was a glow. The more I heard, the more I felt happy; the more I felt at peace. When he added that I would be with my mother and father again and get a second chance for them to see who I am today--you know what? That's all I need to hear.
I struggled so hard to be that 115-pound, 33-and-a-half-inch-hip person. I was miserable, and I know that my friend knew that. And so when she invited the missionaries over, I was skeptical about it. Missionaries came over, and I felt at home. And they invited me to read the Book of Mormon, and without hesitation, "Yeah, I'll read it." It's changed my life. The plan of Bill Grubbs was not getting me where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted something different, but I didn't really know what it was until I was introduced to Christ. And then I finally realized, when I finally asked Him, "What do You want from me?" And what I heard was, "I want you. I want you." Him wanting me was personal. He didn't want my money; He wanted me to follow Him. And it changed my entire perspective. Jesus Christ, to me--what He's done in my life is a small miracle. To bring someone from the darkness--it's amazing what He has done in my life, how He has changed me. Every day I keep it as simple as possible. Whether it's a visit from my daughter, whether it's a conversation with my sister, that to me is excitement, more than anything else I've had in my life. The world will identify you as your occupation. I'm more than that. I know that I'm a daughter of God. And having a son--I remember when Emmitt was born, I would look into his eyes and say to myself, "I was there. I was like this. I came from heaven. I was confident enough to say to our Heavenly Father, 'Send me down. I want to go. I can do this.'" And that's that plan. It's called the plan of happiness for a reason. The things that don't cost anything, things that don't cost a dime, are the things of most value. So it's extending a hand that I hope can lift someone else. Christ always lifts up and is always there. I know that He has created a better plan for me and that when I follow His plan, I am much happier. I am at peace. I guess now the same people that would want to cross the street to avoid me would want to be crossing the street to hang out with me. I truly have found happiness in my life. I have found true happiness. I have finally found true happiness.