Hi I'm Matt
I represent banks and lending institutions for a living. As a hobby, I translate Chinese publications into English. My wife and I drive a truck that runs on straight vegetable oil. My brother-in-law converted the engine to run that way. In the 1990s, I served a mission sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with Chinese speaking families in the Los Angeles area.
Why I am a Mormon
My mom met with missionaries from the church when I was in grade school. I first read the Book of Mormon when I was 14 years old. In this church, the important thing is to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon for yourself, and pray about them to God for yourself, to decide whether their message is true. I did that, and I am so glad I did. When I first started college, I learned the Greek language and read the New Testament part of the Bible in the original Greek language. A close study of the teachings of the Bible strongly reinforced my beliefs. Everything about my church gives my life tremendous meaning and a sense of purpose. My wife and I had a baby daughter who passed away two years ago. We know that we will be united with her again, because we believe that happy family relationships last forever.
How has the Holy Ghost helped you?
The influence of the Holy Spirit is a very specific feeling - I would describe it as a sensation of power that comes over you - or a spark of pure intelligence and deep understanding that often comes in the form of words in mind. I had worked in a larger, established law firm for five years. The work was stable and the pay was good, and there was never any question that the firm would grow and that I could be part of it. But the opportunity came to me to open a practice on my own, working for other clients. There were many uncertainties, many risks, and while the prospect looked good, it was not overwhelmingly good. As I considered whether to take the leap of faith and gain the small advantage that I could see from making the risky change, the words came clearly into my mind, after prayer, saying: “I have given you this opportunity for a purpose – you should use it”. Taking that risk turned out to be the right decision. It was a much better decision than I thought it would be, and for reasons that I could not see at the time. We can hear the Spirit of God speaking in us. As it says in 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” And as the Lord said to his disciples, “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.” And “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26. What a marvelous gift it is to be able to have a direct line of communication with God Himself – God who created us, and who knows exactly what we need to do, to achieve our greatest dreams, fulfill our most longed-for goals, and to find perfect joy, no matter how hard things may seem at the moment.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
Among my earliest memories is of my mother teaching us how to pray. Late one evening, I remember her teaching us a rote prayer from our protestant church to say every night before sleep. That prayer served its purpose for a few years, but then the missionaries started coming to our house. And with the missionaries came different ways of doing things. She taught us how to pray again, and this time, she was using a chart! We would start by addressing God, then thanking Him for good things we have, then asking for what we need, and then ending in the name of Jesus Christ. --It was the restored gospel way of praying, and the way that the missionaries taught was what finally assuaged my night fears. The Primary song says it well: Pray, he is there; Speak, he is list'ning. You are his child; His love now surrounds you. The missionaries of the Church brought a special atmosphere and presence into our home. I would later learn that what worthy missionaries carry with them is the Holy Ghost, which is an identifiable presence that can be felt and observed.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
We go on missions so that we can share the joy of what we have with others. We have nothing to hide - we love our beliefs and we want our neighbors and associates to know about our beliefs as well - and since we consider all the people of the world to be our neighbors, we serve missions all over the world. We believe we have a very important message to share. We don't force it on anyone, but there is a marvelous, uplifting power in what we have to share. This world needs the message of our missionaries - their message is that living a clean life, a productive life, helps make society stronger and brings peace and prosperity to the world.
How I live my faith
I go to church meetings on Sundays where I have a lot of good friends. One of the great things about my church is that no matter where you go in the world, you can always find good new friends there. I also serve in the church by helping set appointments and keep minutes at meetings for a regional church president, who happens to be another one of my good friends.