Sean Rostrom of Rye, New York
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“Sean Rostrom of Rye, New York,” Friend, Mar. 2002, 20

Making Friends:

Sean Rostrom of Rye, New York

Sean Rostrom (6) was born in Tokyo, Japan, where his father, Dean, worked for a bank. Sean lived there three years before his family moved back to the United States. Sean fondly remembers a little bit about Japan, but his favorite memories are the ones he is making now.

His family now lives in Rye, New York, which is a thirty-five minute train ride from New York City. Sometimes his family rides the train to the city to see a play or a musical. At Christmastime, they went to see the Nutcracker ballet. They have also gone to Central Park Zoo and visited museums. Sean’s favorite was the Museum of Natural History. He liked the huge dinosaur bones that filled a whole room.

Sean’s father works in the city and rides a train to work every day. Sean likes New York City, but he is glad that his kindergarten is just a five-minute car ride from his home. His mother, Laura, drives him and his older brother, Ryan, to and from school Monday through Friday. His school building is three stories high and is made of red bricks. Sean and his friends call it their “castle school” because it looks like a real castle!

Most of the children at Sean’s school have never heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is one of only ten Church members attending his school from kindergarten to twelfth grade. But he and his brother and sister are good examples and take advantage of missionary opportunities whenever they arise. Their father is the ward mission leader, and the missionaries visit them often. Sean likes having the elders over for dinner, and he wants to serve a mission when he turns nineteen.

One day he told two school friends, “When I grow up, I want to be a missionary.” His friends didn’t know what that meant. He explained, “A missionary is someone who tells people about Jesus!” At age five, Sean was being a missionary!

Ryan is in second grade. He likes to draw and is taking Tae Kwon Do. He is only one year away from becoming a black belt! Sean and Ryan are good friends, and they like drawing pictures together. Ryan likes school and has many friends. His first year in Rye, he was invited to several birthday parties that were held on Sunday. He told his friends that he could not go to parties on Sunday. He said, “Sunday is our church and family day.” It was disappointing to miss the parties, but the next year, two of his friends held their birthday parties on Saturday just so Ryan could come! Ryan was glad that he had told them why he couldn’t come before and that they respected his religious beliefs.

Sean’s older sister, Amanda, is in fifth grade. She likes ice skating and practices at the same rink as the New York Rangers hockey team. There are no other members of the Church in Amanda’s grade, and she has many opportunities to set an example of what a Latter-day Saint child is like. She remembers one party at which several girls were choosing a video. They wanted to watch a PG-13 movie. Amanda said, “I’m not allowed to watch PG-13 movies.”

One of her friends said, “But your mom will never know.” Her friends went ahead and watched the movie, but Amanda didn’t. She left the room. Soon her friend Kaitlyn joined her, and the two of them found something else to do. Sean is glad that he has an older sister and brother who set a good example.

His mother volunteers at his school several days each month. She has had two children’s storybooks published, one about the Bible and one about the Book of Mormon.

Sean’s kindergarten teacher noticed during his first week of school that “his voice really carries.” That’s good because he wants to be a professional singer someday. Maybe after he serves a mission, he’ll come back to New York, and people will take the train to the city to hear him perform.

Photographed by Laura Lee Rostrom

1. The Rostrom family pause during a hike in Canada.

2. Amanda invited a nonmember friend and her mother to this Achievement Day activity.

3. Sean’s skating at a nearby park with Dad.

4. Sean and his visiting grandparents return from a trip to New York City.

5. Ryan, Sean, and Amanda enjoy the Christmas season.

6. Sean’s “castle school”

7. Ryan shows off his volcano masterpiece.

8. Sean and his dad at a Church activity

9. Ryan practicing Tae Kwon Do

10. The family and grandparents on Ryan’s baptism day

11. Sean’s mom volunteers at his school.

12. Amanda and Sean visit the Nutcracker ballet in New York City.