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Heeding the Call Leads to Internship in China

February 2019

Matthew Tyler

In 2018, BYU student Matthew Tyler became the first American to complete a genealogy internship in China. Tyler spent six weeks processing genealogy records in Guangzhou, China, and is now intimately familiar with the unique research methods developed specifically for these documents. He returns with knowledge, records, and reports that are invaluable for future research.

Tyler’s desire to serve the people of China was born in 1979 when, as a child, he heard President Spencer W. Kimball invite members of the Church to reach out to the Chinese people. (The same address motivated President Russell M. Nelson to learn Mandarin.)

For Tyler, the internship requirement for BYU’s genealogy program seemed a perfect opportunity to reach out. The costs associated with a research trip to China, however, were prohibitive. To make his dream a reality, Tyler, a husband and father of five, applied for a scholarship through the Center for Family History. On Christmas night 2017, Tyler opened the letter approving funds for his research. “This internship is my gift to the Chinese people,” Tyler says, “a representation of my faith and willingness to sustain the prophet.”