Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, August 11, 2014

Two Year Mark this week!

Two years!!  Can you believe it?  On the 15th of August, he will reach his two year mark!

Here are some pictures from the mission blog of Elder Gummow that I reposted.  I think they are at a Zone Leader Training Meeting.  It is hard to believe that his two years is coming to an end, but we are excited to welcome him back next week!  He will arrive on the 20th and on Saturday, the 23rd we will be holding an open house from 7:30-9:30 in our backyard.  You are all invited if you are in the area.  He will be speaking in church the following day at 9am at the Canterbury Chapel in Highland, Utah  (10417 North 6750 West, Highland, UT)


Family!

I don't know what to say.  This is the weirdest feeling.  My last week emailing on a mission.  I can't believe it's coming to an end.  I don't really know what to feel either. I'm excited for the future. But I want to cry at the same time because I have to leave Taiwan, leave the place that I've grown so much to love.  

I didn't think it would be like this. I didn't think the end would be like this. I feel like I would get to a point where I'd feel everything is finished.  My two years are up and it's time to rest. but I feel like I still have much farther to go.  In perspective I really do.  The mission taught me the habits and everything I needed to know in order to pattern my life and it would be impossible to learn everything in two years.  There is still a long road ahead.

I'm going to miss it. I can already feel it.  I'll miss these people, I'll miss the work, I'll miss companions, I'll miss the purpose and drive of doing something so righteous and good and selfless everyday. I'll miss learning Chinese and coming in the door everyday exhausted.

Last week was awesome and pretty stressful.  President gave us the goal of every companionship finding 3 new investigators.  We got down to Saturday and we still didn't have enough so we were super super stressed out. Especially because there were other companionships that needed our help.  The Lord gave us a miracle in the end though.  There was a family that we tracted into at the end of Saturday night.  They were awesome.  Former Christian and missionaries had met with their family 20 years ago.  The still had a Book of Mormon and everything and were super willing to meet.  It was a huge miracle.

This next week is the last and we've got plans to do a bunch of cool stuff and I'll see RC's for the last time!

Excited to see you family! This may be my last time writing from Taiwan! I'm super excited to see all you guys and your changes and how much all of you have grown up! It's been quite a long time. Love You Family!!!

Elder Gummow  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Survived the "Fire Swamp"

In Gaoxiong (Kaohsiung) this week there was a leak in the gas line that caused several explosions killing 25 and injuring at least 277.  Luckily our missionaries were protected and actually slept through all of the devastation. Here is a link to an article and some videos of the events:
  Gas Explosions
 (to me it looked like the Fire swamp in the movie "Princess Bride" - minus the forest of course).

We are down to 16 days before Elder Gummow's return!  I am trying not to get too excited to have us all together again for the first time in over two years....





Hello Family!!

It was a pretty eventful week this week as I'm sure you guys heard.  We woke up Friday morning and were pretty disturbed when we realized that there was a bunch of texts that came in the night before talking about some big explosions that happened the night before!!!  It was super crazy!  That day we were in the same area for a lesson and it was horrible.  The streets were pulverized and everyone was crowded around the blocked off areas.  It was a super sad sight to see.

Luckily none of the members were hurt.  There were many that lived by the area that heard and felt the explosions but all were okay.  Another miracle this week.

This week was good despite the disasters though.  We had a couple new really good investigators which is exactly what we needed.  One was H, he was the guy that I told a story about before that we met in the rain and he lives right next to the Church.  Then the other was a referral from English Class and he is super prepared, trying to find answer to the questions he has about life.

Elder B and I are looking forward to a better week this week.  It's "No Companionship Left Behind"  week this week which means every companionship finds three new investigators this week!  This is one of my last weeks in Taiwan so there is no holding back this week, I'm super pumped to help every companionship in the Zone find three new investigators this week!!!

Q, I feel really really sad for him.  We've been trying super hard but he's dying.  He didn't meet with us at all this week and his falling further and further back into his old pattern of life!  We're really worried for him so hope that you guys can pray for him too!  Through faith all things are possible, but we have to see if he's willing to make the right decisions to change his life for the better.

Love You Family!!!!  Hope all is good in Utah!!  Great to hear about the family!

Elder Gummow

Also you guys should check out the new Mormon Message!  It is sooo good!!! (link is below)

http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3701964025001&cid=HPTH073114368

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Surprise!

Family!!!

What THE!!!!!  I can't believe it Sara is engaged!!!!!!!!!!!  I knew it was going to happen I was wondering why it took so long but I can't believe it now that it's happened!!!  John is going to be a part of our family!!!  I can't believe it! So Crazy!!!!

I actually found out before the email.  Jerome and a bunch of other people told me on Sunday night so that was crazy to hear.  Congratulations though Sara!

This week was a good one and a hard one.  It ended really well but was pretty tough near the middle.  This week was the typhoon season!!!  Always exciting time in missionary work.  It makes it hard to do missionary work but at that same time it's exciting to have such a big change in the work and in the atmosphere of Taiwan.

This week we had a lot interesting things happen.  Our main good investigator,  (Q) he had a lot of problems this week.  After failing his interview he got discouraged and lots a lot of faith.  Went to a night club again and had some problems.

After the week and three times of him not showing up to lessons we got to sit down with him again.  He was humbled and really sad.  He asked us "why is it that everything that I tried to do I fail at and quit halfway?"  Touched me really hard.  I feel like I've had similar experiences trying to be my best but falling short and losing faith.  We read the scriptures together Nephi 7 he picked it out for us and of course it was about Nephi and his family leaving Jerusalem.  Laman and Lemuel wanted to go back but Nephi encouraged them to keep going forward or they would lose what they had gain and eventually be destroyed.  It was too perfect, just like Benny.  He had already come so far (quit smoking, found love and faith in Christ, experienced the feelings of repentance)  there was no way he was going back to Jerusalem now.

So ya this was a good week in the end.  Q was back on track has a date now for 8/17 (my last weekend here) and we had another person set up baptismal date and he's looking really good for 8/30.

It's getting weird thinking there so little time left.  I feel as if I'm not willing to face what's back home but it's coming soon so I have to.

Loving being a zone leader and seeing this time come to a conclusion.  Jerome is thinking about going on a mission and just got a calling.  He went on splits a couple times this week with the missionaries in his area. Parsonz is going on a short missionary trip over these next three weeks.  He's so awesome he's been a member less than 2 months and he's already going to be a missionary!!!

Love You Guys!!! Great to hear all the good news about what's going on it's sound like things have really been taking a turn around for the better!

Elder Gummow

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rain and Miracles!

Elder Gummow and his companion are at TGI Friday's in Gaoxiong with his recent convert!  He is having an amazing time and we are down to the last few weeks of his mission!  We received flight plans this past week and he will be arriving on Wednesday, August 20th!!  We will be holding an open house for him on  Saturday, August 23rd 7-9 pm at our home and his homecoming talk will be on August 24th at the Canterbury Chapel in Highland (10417 North 6750 West, HighlandUT)
 (**note that it has changed from our original plan to have it on August 31st)




Hello Family!!!

Good news!!!  This week J.... was baptized!!!  Everything worked out really well in the end and we're super happy for him!!! For the baptism his son came down and joined in the occasion!  His son loved Church too and he kept saying he wanted to join and get baptized too!  So hopefully he's next in line.  Unfortunately though Johnson's family lives in the north so we'll have to refer him to other missionaries!!

This last week we had a couple awesome miracles too.  I think one huge lesson I learned this week was on patience.  This week was super rainy.  It's typhoon season so it's been raining almost everyday and raining hard.  One day when we needed time to contact, it rained...and rained hard!!!  So we had to get off our bikes and start walking to contact people.  I was super bummed because it was messing up our schedule and the effectiveness of our missionary work.  

I talked to Elder Bean and we decided to go around the stores where people were waiting for the rain to stop and talk to them instead.  We find one guy and he invites us to sit by him and wait out the rain.  We started talking and turns out he was really close with missionaries before.  He met with one of our missionaries 10-12 years ago and came to Church a lot.  

We talked more and turns out he's missed come to Church all these years and so we invited him to come back and gave him the address of our Church.  Turns out he's moving next week and he was so surprised to see of all the places he could move to he's moving literally next door to our Church!!!!  He was super grateful to see this miracle and super excited to come back to Church.  

Also I don't know if I talked about X..... last week.  We invited him to fast last week about baptism and he did.  Turns out the lesson was on baptism that week in Church and it DIRECTLY ANSWERED HIS QUESTION!  We talked to him after about it, he knew it was an answer from God, but he still wasn't willing to accept baptism.  It just made me think back to the story of Laman and Lemuel.  They saw an angel.  But afterward still made wrong choices.  Why? Seeing X........ I realized how important is to be humble, a vision won't change you and neither will a direct answer from God.  It takes humility and facing what your weakness is and being willing to act in faith and change!  I just hope we can help him do that!!!!

Good week this week and I love to be able to serve here in Gaoxiong!!! Love You Guys!!!  

Elder Gummow

Oh and I got the Birthday letter!!! Thank you guys so much!!  Love YOu!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

21 now!

Dear Family!!!

Thanks so much!!!!!  Thanks for the video!!!  I laughed so much when I saw, I still have no idea what you guys were doing or why :)  And why the little Buddhist bow at the end????

This week was a good one and a great progress for this area!  It's super sweet to have Elder Bean back!  Missed that guy! I feel after this week that there has been no pause at all and Elder Bean and I have just been companions together for this whole time.

I think something cool is this time after the other mission experiences I realize how good of a companionship Elder Bean and I make.  He's super devoted to learning how we can continue to grow and improve and we work super well together in that way.  It helps when you have a companion that has that kind of drive so then you guys can push each other instead of just you pushing yourself.

This week had a bunch of miracles!  It was crazy I feel like from when Elder Bean came here we just started have tons of miracles!  Just like what happened when we were in Zhongming, he just brings a lot of faith into this area.

This week on Wednesday we were contacting in the city and Elder Bean and I run into this guy and this lady.  I immediately recognized the face but only vaguely...so I asked him...are you Mr. W  ?  He was so surprised!!  and then looked at me a little closer and realized who I was!  I was the missionary that contacted him two years ago in Zuoying!!!  I totally remembered who he was too.  He is the first guy that I contacted that came to Church in Zuoying.  He was super cool too!!!  I remember meeting with him, he said that his family is almost all Christian, when I met him he was having a bad day but I helped him feel happier so he was willing to meet.  I couldn't believe it I was wondering about him after all these years but it was such a huge miracle to meet him on the streets again in a city of millions of people!!! the odds were like .001% that I would see him again! He better get baptized!!!

This week the other miracle!  J.... passed his interview and he is doing awesome and totally prepared for baptism!!!  He's looking good for his service this Saturday and everybody loves the guy!!

Also Brother Q!!  We taught him the word of wisdom this week and he decided right then and there that he was quitting smoking!!  That was it for him!!!  So we went outside and I took his cigarettes!  He hasn't smoked for 5 days now!!!  So proud of him and he's looking great for baptism this 26th!!!  Love the guy so much and he's been such a great example to me.

My birthday was cool.  That day I was actually sick, but it was okay I took some Advil and it was all cool.  We actually had a missionary day in our stake that day so we had two young men that worked with us all day. It was fun and that was the day Johnson passed his interview so I can't complain it - was a pretty fulfilling Saturday!!!

Jerome's movie was super awesome too, that was so cool to see everyone and I was really happy that Jerome was here this year to celebrate with us, it was a good birthday!!

Link to the Surprise Birthday Video

Oh and a question!  What Chinese class am I signed up for right now??

Good to hear from you family!!! Love YOU!!!!!

Elder "Warm Water Gummow"

Monday, July 7, 2014

Last transfer! 21st Birthday on Saturday!

Elder Gummow turns 21 on July 12!  I can't believe he is getting so old!  He was just a teenager when he left!  He has 6 weeks before returning home to Utah and I am sure it will be bitter sweet.  We continue to pray for his success in all and that he can survive the heat and humidity!  Below is a picture of his he and his companion that just finished his mission and the young man that he met in Douliu that was baptized last week.




Dear Family!!!!

WOW what a week!!  I can't believe it Elder C...   is gone!  He finished packing up last night and then that was it. He took off this morning after taking a couple pictures and now he's on his way to Taichung right now.  I'm gonna miss the man.  We had a really good move call together.  Saw a bunch of success, a ton of spiritual experiences and just a lot of good things happened.  It was a good move call and he was a good companion.  I have to be honest - it made me a bit trunky seeing him going, as well as a little bit anxious. There is only 6 weeks left of my mission.  It's such a short time and a move call flies by in mission time.  I only have this much time to finish serving the Lord with all that I've got!!!

You'll never guess who my new companion is!!!!  Oh man it's so crazy!!  Elder Bean is my new zone leader companion!!!!  My first real junior companion and now he's coming back here to Gaoxiong to finish things.  It's really a nice full circle for my mission.  I love Elder Bean as a companion, he's a super righteous, super obedient missionary, so we're going to have tons of fun this move call!!!.  I'm super pumped.  I still can't believe it.

This week went pretty well and smooth.  We had some good progression with our investigators.  J..... is back and meeting with us regularly!  He hopefully will be getting baptized this next, next week.  We finished the law of tithing with him this week so he's good with all the commandments and he's got a really good testimony.  He's sharing with his whole family and his son is going to come here next week so hopefully we can get the whole family involved.  He's really had a change of heart.

Q....... is doing really good to.  This week we taught him about coming to Church on Sunday.  He normally has work the night before so he sleeps through the afternoon but we asked him to come and he was super willing to change.  This week he made it to church!!!!  Although the only problem is he was 2 hours late :)  that's okay though he'll be on time next week.

I'm looking forward to this last move call!  It should be a good end to the mission and I"m excited to leave my last mark on Taiwan and this mission.  It's really an honor to be a missionary.  I love having the chance to help other missionaries and help others in their circumstances and to meet so many awesome investigators. 

Birthday this week -
I'm excited for it! J...... should be getting his interview this Saturday and I'll probably go get something to eat with Jerome.  Although it feels pretty like a normal day having a Birthday in Taiwan on a mission.  

Well love you guys a ton and so grateful for the mail this week!  Great to hear all the news!  Love You Guys!!!!

Elder Gummow  

Monday, June 30, 2014

100th post!!

Family!

Wow this week was a crazy one!! But it was great to hear all the good news today!!!!  Sounds like a lot of good things happened this week!!  Looks like a lot of hope for the future!!  Glad to hear the family's doing well!  Love them and praying for them!!!

This week was,....well it looked really good at the start but then it ended really just okay in the end.  This week we got attacked on all fronts, my companion got sick, some problems with the ward, investigators not showing up to appointments.  I don't know why but ever since I've been here it's been harder to do missionary work.  

But apart from this I know how important it is to KEEP THE FAITH !!!  There is still definitely a bunch of good things going on and it's important to keep focused on what's ahead and keep pushing forward.  If anything at all we saw some great new investigators this week, as well as a self-contact that looks really really cool!!

It's the last week for my companion here. I sure hope he gets feeling better for his last week here. love the guy and it will be really sad to see him go.  He's an awesome missionary and we had a really good move call together!

The great news was to hear about G....!  I'm so glad that he got baptized!!!  We saw him this Monday and he was doing awesome!  I could tell that the Gospel has changed him so much and I was so happy to see it in him!!  He was so much more confident and happy!

His situation...He was actually a former investigator from a couple years ago...I don't know why the missionaries stopped teaching him.  He's loved Christianity his whole life though and was super open and willing to the idea of baptism.  He was of course a little scared about it all at first but after coming a couple times to Church and feeling the spirit there and meeting members he progressed really quickly.  He's a super awesome guy!!!

Q.... is doing awesome.  He's been progressing wonderfully and we're still hoping for his baptism on the 18 of July!!  Also J.... is looking really good too, we met with him this Monday and he has been praying and reading with his family!  He took 2 Book of Mormons from us last time so he could start reading with his family too.  He has definitely been touched by the Spirit!

So things are looking up for these next couple weeks and we are really excited for this last week with Elder Cornilles.  It's time for the last sprint to the finish line!!

Love You Family!!!!

Elder Gummow