Dear Elder Hulon,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Taiwan Taipei Mission.

These were the words I read aloud on a cold Christmas Eve, as my family anxiously watched. This day started like any other day…. At the gym with a good friend. Afterwards, I received a picture from my mother of my call in the mail. That’s when the anxiety kicked in.

I waited until the evening to open it. My family went to temple square in Salt Lake City for our Christmas Eve. It was beautiful beyond measure, but the only thing that was on my mind was that envelope that had my future written inside. That envelope would inform me where I will be spending the next two years. The other thing on my mind was the fear that that envelope could say Idaho (no offense), but alas, it did not.

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The next day was the best Christmas I have ever had in my whole life. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was. WE HAD  A WHITE  CHRISTMAS!!!! We had soooo much snow all day. I was extremely tired because I couldn’t sleep for obvious  reasons. But there was so much love in our little family. We also had four dogs roaming about the house… crawling over everyone… and giving us endless cuddles.

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You see, I come from a very broken family. I come from a family that comes from very little, but we make due with what we have. We love our lives, and we strive every day to become better. That’s why I love them. We come from a very difficult past, but here we are. We made it. For a moment during the day I was frustrated with some of my brothers playing video games, instead of visiting with us. This was especially frustrating because the next time I will spend Christmas with them will be three years from today. THREE YEARS. However, I started to  realize something. Each member in my family is very unique. They all went off and did what they enjoyed doing, and believe it or not… That’s what I  truly enjoy about my family. I loved seeing them just be themselves for one last Christmas. I loved just being a family again. All of us, just being ourselves. It was like we were kids again. The joy that filled my heart this Christmas was unlike any other I had experienced. My dear family, leaving them will be the hardest thing of all. Leaving all of their weirdness. But the joy of it all is that I know they will still be those weirdos I love when I get back. My brother’s, my mother, my brand new sisters, my precious nephews that are the bravest two kids I have ever met… And let’snot forget the dogs, Rocky (Brown Lab), Daisy (Pit Bull), Halo (Min Pin/Chihuahua), and Kuma (Australian Shepherd).


I received a gift that I will have to say was my favorite gift. It was from my brother Spencer, and his wife Valerie. I slowly unwrapped a little wad of tissue paper. Inside it was my brother’s suit tag from his mission in Orlando Florida. I tried extremely hard to keep the tears from coming. Now, one may look at it and just see a piece of plastic that just represents a distant memory. That’s not what I saw. I saw proof of hard work. I saw countless numbers of times being turned down.  I saw immense hardship and grief. I saw sacrifice. I saw kindness. I saw a legend being passed down. I saw immovable faith. I saw countless times of doubt. I saw tears. I saw love. I saw my turn.


It’s my turn now. I must go forth with more faith than I have ever previously practiced before, and carry this torch that has been given to me. I must bring the light of love to those  in a distant land. I have to go to the other side of the world for two years, and leave everything I have ever known. It has become all too real to me. I didn’t think this would be happening, but it is. Leaving my family this Christmas night was one of the hardest things I have had to do, knowing it will be the last for a very very long time. I had to fight the tears constantly as I took my things out to my car, but that’s okay. I must do what I need  to  do. There’s a reason why I am leaving, and I intend to find it. There is someone out there… Someone out there that needs me. They speak another language than I do. They look different than I do… But they have a heart, just like I do. So here it comes. March 18th I will enter the MTC to begin learning Mandarin Chinese. A challenge? Yes. Impossible? No. I hope you all have an  amazing Christmas. Thank you for being with me on this ride. My time is coming, and I’m glad I have you all by my side. My own army. Or should  I say God’s army.

He who gives his money, gives much.  He who gives his time, gives a lot. He who gives himself, gives everything.

See you soon Taiwan.

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27 thoughts on “Called to Serve In….

  1. Congratulations! One of the really cool things that happens when you serve, is the blessings that come to your family! It’s going to be good!


  2. It shall be but a small moment, but it WILL be a lifetime of memories, and a heart filled calling to work as a disciple of Christ, in his name you will do all things, wearing his I D badge, showing his love strengthening those feeble knees and lifting the hands of those that hang down.
    LOOK UP 🙂 and LIVE 🙂 Congratulations Elder Hulon


  3. Best wishes to an awesome Elder! You have chosen the right path, and Heavenly Father will lead you to those special brothers and sisters that need the gospel in their life. By the way, I like the new short hair!


  4. 您好 Nín hǎo. Which means “Hello.” Congratulations on your call. The next two years-the good and the not so good-truly will be the best two years of your life! Enjoy.


  5. Dear Elder Hulon,
    Thank you for making our flight delay so much more enjoyable by getting to read this article. I can’t wait to share this with almost 17 year old, son. To my surprise he read your first article in it’s entirety. Please keep them coming and congratulations on your call!


  6. Awesome job! Great blessings are in store…You will be blessed beyond your capacity to comprehend. I’ve been home 35 years now (Atlanta,GA) and my mission has set the tone for my life. The experiences I received there have sustained and guided me. It’s a great foundation for future success. The people of Taiwan will be blessed by your work for generations.


  7. Dear Elder, I joined the church 25 years ago. I came from a drug riddled dis functional family.
    I had been addicted since I was 12 years old. The missionaries changed my life.
    I have served two full time missions ,one in Florida and one in east Germany.
    My husband and I had great success in both places. We are planning another.
    My family are still strung out messes. You will be an example to yours. I am so proud of you. This will be the hardest most wonderful life changing experience of your life. Get ready and put your seat belt on for the ride of your life. They are waiting for you. Love Donna Dixon


  8. Wonderful! Congratulations! Blessings are going to be poured on you and your family through your hard work and dedication. Our daughter has been on the mission field for a month so far and she loves it! So happy for you!


  9. One of my Newphew’s from Arizona served in Japan. He loved his mission so much! The people are really nice there he said, and they feed you lot’s of food! You won’t starve! 🙂 He brought me back a Book of Mormon from Japan once he got off his Mission. I have a 26 yr old Son whom served in the “Texas Dallas Spanish Speaking Mission”. He told me that it was the best experience he ever had and he continually reads his Spanish Book of Mormon daily every day morning and night to keep up on the Spanish lwhich helps him today in his workplace and when speaking to the Spanish people around town. His missionary duties sometimes kicks in as well when he starts talking to others in Spanish around town now that he has been back for a few years. Out of all 4 of my Sons, he was my Only son who went on a Mission. He was a great example to our family and still is. Very proud of you for having a great heart in wanting to experience the Love our Saviour has. You have stepped out of your comfort zone Elder, but it will be one of the greatest experiences you will ever have. Always remember we each are Sons, and Daughters of our Father above. We each learn wisdom, and knowledge differently. Some may take longer to understand, some may accept quickly. Just know that you are there as an Example,l and representing the Lord with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ, and believing he can bring each of us great happiness ahead! Congrads on your Mission call and may your family here in Utah be blessed as you also, in serving for the Lord.


  10. P.S. Also he still keeps in touch with those he baptized several years ago and speaks in Spanish to them all on phone. He took a trip last year to visit them all down in Texas. he really enjoys keeping in touch with those he came in contact with. He just went to a Missionary party with some of the guys he served with on his mission. They had a few good laughs and party fun! (Milk and Cookies, good food). 😉


  11. Jarom, you are an amazing example and I have great respect for you and what you have chosen to do. I also came from a rough background and it has taught me great things. I’m a convert to the Church and went on my mission a year and three months after being baptized and was called to serve in South America; I was petrified, not knowing what to expect.
    You are a great example to me and even we do not know each other, I am so proud of you and who you are and what you have chosen to do.


  12. Having sent a son to far away Brazil and watching him board a plane for 2 years with a smile and a wave of absolute love and faith, it just about broke this mom’s heart. BUT seeing the amazing young man that came back and how hard he worked every minute on his mission has been and will always be a blessing to him and our family and the people he served.


  13. You write with such great words and descriptions. Your Writing will be an amazing legacy for your future children. Bless you on this journey.

    paulaj in SE Utah


  14. Thank you for sharing your story.  My grandson left in September for the Kampala, Uganda Mission.  He has just been transferred to Ethiopia.  It is hard work, and he lives a very simple life…no electronics…only an internet café once a week for a few minutes and then he’s lucky if the electricity is working.  Nevertheless, even though it’s very hard, he loves his mission.  He’s learning the language Amharic, which is a very archaic Semitic language.  He’s already memorized more than 300 characters (like alphabet letters) and their sounds and is learning to read street signs, etc.  The Ethiopian people are very loyal to their brand of Christianity, so they are not very open to lilstening to the missionaries.  Still, he loves what he’s doing and he loves the people.  He’s been sick and he’s been discouraged sometimes, yet he still knows that this is where he belongs.  It was really hard for him to leave his family, too.  But he’s hanging in there.   After all we can do, it’s the power and support of the Lord that sustains all of us.  So grateful for brave young men and women, like you, who literally sacrifice yourselves for the Lord.  Our family prays for the missionaries every night.  And that’s for you, too.  God bless you, young man.  Kathy Napier


  15. It’s going to be the MOST amazing roller coaster ride you’ve ever been on! God bless you and your family!! I’m excited to hear more!!


  16. Elder Hulon,
    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. Proud of your decision to serve a mission. My son has 6 months left in Rio Brazil. He served 13 months in Gilbert, Arizona visa waiting. Finally getting to Brazil in Sept 2014.
    It’s a great work. I wish you all success and happiness and I think you will be awesome.
    Keep the faith brother and Godspeed.
    Missionary Dad
    Tim Schulte
    Cabot, Arkansas


  17. Elder Hulon – I have been reading your blog with much interest these past few months. Congratulations on your call. That is just so awesome. My son is serving in Mexico Monterrey East. He went in the MTC on Oct. 15, 2014 and has been in Mexico since Nov. 24 and he is struggling with the language right now, but he loves his mission and I know he will be able to become fluent and help many people and touch many lives. Your mission will be one of the best parts of your life – you will always remember it and it will bless your life for whatever comes after. God will be with you and help you – just as He is with and helps all those who go forth to serve him. Thank you for sharing this adventure. Will look forward to reading more about your preparation. March will come quickly so don’t waste even on minute of your prep time. God bless you!


  18. I returned from the Taiwan, Taipei mission 10 years ago. You will love it! The people are so wonderful and the food is amazing! The language is difficult, but it will come with patience, hard work and many prayers. Serving the Lord in Taiwan was one of the best things I’ve done and has been such a blessing to me since. Good luck to you!


  19. Awesome call. You will do great things in Taiwan! My brother-in-law and one of my good friends served there. Hope you like seafood! Your journey has surely inspired others, so keep it up. Keep the faith and fire and serve with honor Elder.

    RM Paraguay, Asuncion Mission


  20. We know of two young men who just went to the Taiwan Taipei Mission. You will have to keep an eye out for an Elder Tang and an Elder Wu…both from California. I’m enjoying your mission process. My God continue to watch over and bless you.


  21. May all that is holy, all that is of God ,strengthenyou, preserve you ,energize you, and give you wisdom beyond your own to do this most mighty and important work. Brother Hulon, reverence and love all whom you meet. We are all His children. So happy for you and your new adventures to come.


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