News Release

Missionaries Focus on Sharing the Message of Jesus Christ

Two missionaries discuss their journey in Australia sharing their faith

Shufang Luo from Taiwan and Taylor Durtschi from Utah are currently serving an 18 month mission in Australia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both sisters, as they will be called for the duration of their mission, will teach in Mandarin Chinese. Sister Durtschi has been on her mission for 13 months and Sister Luo for 6 months, they will both serve for 18.

When arriving at the Missionary Training Centre (MTC) in Provo, Sister Shufang was already competent in Mandarin Chinese, but needed to improve in her English skills, so stayed at the MTC for two weeks.  Sister Durtschi found learning Mandarin Chinese a real challenge, as it is a difficult language to conquer.  She and the other missionaries learning that particular language were there for nine weeks, the normal length of time for missionaries unfamiliar with their assigned foreign language. 

While they have been companions here in Australia, to sharpen their skills, they often speak to each other in the language most difficult for each of them to speak. They say that while learning a new language can be challenging, they are both doing well. 

When asked why she decided to serve a mission for her Church and live thousands of miles away from home and family, Sister Durtschi said, “I have seen how much the gospel has blessed my family and I wanted others to experience the joy of an eternal family, and to know what that looks like.

“My parents have always followed the example of the Saviour”, she said, “and that has always strengthened our family.  We have had trials in our lives, but with the blessing of the Atonement, we have been able to overcome them”.  

When asked the same question, Sister Luo said, “I wasn’t baptised until I was 17 years old, I knew the missionaries, I had walked with them. I thought it looked cool to serve a mission.  After taking another direction in my life for a short while, I came back to what I know is true.  I know Heavenly Father, that He is there. I then really wanted to serve a mission.

“On my mission, I see how the gospel has changed lives.  When I study the gospel, I know that it is true.  I never knew how beautiful my life could be until I studied it completely.

“The first miracle on my mission happened soon after I got here.  Two cousins wrote me a letter from home and asked me how to pray. One of them is praying every day now. None of my family in Taiwan are members of the Church, so this really is a little miracle.”

When asked what she liked best about being a missionary, Sister Durtschi remarked that she liked learning to rely on the Spirit for help.  She remarked that in serving a mission and teaching people, “You have to learn to rely on the Spirit because you aren’t sure how to say what you need to, but you know, with help from Heavenly Father, that the people will hear what they need.  It just works, in spite of the language barrier.

“I came on a mission to teach about Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice.  It helps people overcome the trials in their lives, my days right now are about sharing that knowledge with others and it makes me very happy.”

In addition to sharing their faith and beliefs with people, missionaries also provide service each week in the communities in which they live.

The Church’s missionary program is one of its most recognised characteristics.  Mormon missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world as well as in thousands of smaller communities.

The missionary effort is based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching the gospel and baptising believers in the name of Jesus Christ.

More than 88,000 missionaries are currently serving at any one time.

Missionaries can be single men between the ages of 18 to 25, single women over the age of 19 or retired couples. Single men serve missions for two years and single women serve for 18 months.

Missionary work is voluntary.  Missionaries fund their own missions – except for their transportation to and from their field of labour – and are not paid for their services.

Contacts with family and friends during this time of service are limited to letters and occasional phone calls at special times.  Missionaries avoid entertainment, parties or other activities common to this age group as long as they are on their missions, so they can focus entirely on the work of serving and teaching others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Watch a short video about Mormon missionaries.

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