Elder Matthew Gummow

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012

Ni Hao Jiating!!!!
Gosh it sound like you've had an exciting week!  I'm sad i missed John coming over but it sounds like it was a lot of fun.  That's crazy about the cars! I can't believe all of that happened at once, bad timing, I guess.  Satan's just trying to work on you for supporting two missionaries.  A similiar thing happened to one of my roomates, but a lot worse.  He got his account hacked right after he left for his mission and now his whole mission fund is gone.
So this week has been crazy exciting for us new Mandarin missionaries.  We have been really blessed and lucky since we got in here.  First off there hasn't been one of the Quorom of the twelve speaking here all summer -but the first week we got in, Neil A. Anderson came to speak to the missionaries!!!!  It was amazing! So awesome and spiritual!  I can't remember ever seeing one of the twelve speak in person before, but it was a great testimony builder to me to see this witness of Christ bear his testimony to us and teach us.  Since it was on Thomas S. Monson's birthday he told us a lot of things about the prophet and shared a lot of amazing stories.
So Chinese has been fun!  I've been overwhelmed everyday by the language though.  The kids that are learning with me are all geniuses and I actually mean geniuses...Like most of them scored around 30-34 on their ACT.  So they are picking up the language like crazy, plus mostly all have had really good previous experience in Chinese.  So I'm really trying hard to keep up when we are teaching and stuff.  But as bad as that sounds, I haven't gotten down about learning the language yet, I just look at how much I've progressed since I first got here and it's been incredible.  I'm starting to understand more and more everyday what our teachers say when they talk in Chinese and I'm starting this SYL program (speak your language) hopefully it will help me improve my ability to speak Chinese. 
The packages were awesome too! Thanks Family and Aimee and Ben.  I have plenty of snacks now...thanks, and the statue was awesome :) Oh and the sheet music was perfect, me and my comp go to the pianos at least once a day now, during mealtime.  He doesn't play but he likes to listen... The food here is disgusting.  It doesn't taste bad but it does weird things to the body.  Lots of people have been getting sick from the adjustment and just last night one of my roomates spent the night throwing it all up.  Also, I have some trouble staying awake during the day...our classroom is really hot and it's hard to stay awake during the long classtimes, but I'm really working on it...finding creative ways to keep myself awake.
But other than those thing the MTC is amazing.  We get some AMAZING speakers on Sundays. Last Sunday the whole day was back to back amazing talks.  After the day was over basically everyone was so excited and so happy to be in the MTC because of the spirit they had felt that day.  It was pretty cool.
Also another exciting thing that happened was during lunch one day President Baker, the president of the MTC, sat next to my companion and told us that the General Authority that was coming to speak Tuesday night wanted to speak to just the Mandarin-speaking missionaries and the missionaries that were from Mandarin-speaking countries.  This pretty much freaked everyone out that maybe China would be opening...we don't know yet but we'll find out at four-thirty today.  Although I'm pretty sure it's just a General Authority that served a mandarin-speaking mission that wants to talk to us.  But it was really exciting to think about!
So that's about all that happened this week.  I'll be sending you pictures soon, haha that reminds me, I shaved my legs because my socks were hurting the hair on them.  Thanks for the temple cards too!  Hopefully I'll be using them today.
GuZhongLao Gummow

Elder Matthew Gummow
Provo MTC Box #90
TAIW-TCG Nov5-2012
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Utah 84604

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Letter from Elder Matthew Gummow

Matt's Companion - Elder W

 Matt set apart as "Elder Gummow" for the next 2 years

 A last sibling photo

 Elder Gummow was met by neighbor and friend, 
Elder V

Brother and Sister
 - soon to be reunited when Sara goes in on September 26th

Jaiting, Ni hao Ma?
Wow, I can't believe it's almost been a week already!  It's gone so fast yet sooo much has happened.  That's awesome bry's starting school! It's already weird to think back to regular life and everything that's happening.  I'm so glad the separation has been good.  It must be the spirit... I have been having the same experience from the moment I was welcomed into the MTC by Spencer.  Things have been really good.  I mean sometimes at night and in the mornings I miss you guys but it hasn't been near as painful as I thought it would be.  I think it's because of the wonderful purpose I feel here at the MTC and how much comfort it gives me to know I'm doing something so good. 
Oh gosh, so much has happened so fast, I'll have to start from the beginning.  So after Spencer picked me up, we went and checked in and I got my nametag!!!! It was crazy to think that that tag showed that I was a representative of Christ.  Right from the start I saw Nicole.  She was near the lines as we were checking in and ya she's leaving in a week.  I also just saw Sis Sandstrom.  I bet she'll say something to you and she took a picture. 
So after checking in, they took us to class and all they were speaking was Chinese (Zhongwen)!!!!!  I was so overwhelmed because almost everyone there was pretty good at Chinese and I couldn't understand anything... We were soon introduced to our companions- my is Elder W!!! I think that's the one dad was talking about.  It would be a crazy coincidence if it was.  He is great though, definitely chosen for me by the  Lord.  We are really alike in a lot of ways and so far we haven't anything close to conflict.  He's an incredibly smart kid and is way better at Chinese than me. During our lessons I kinda just sit back while he talks to the investigator :)  I mean I try to add things but I'm still so behind on everything.  However, I'm learning incredibly fast.  Our last lesson I could understand most of the conversation and it's only been like five or so days of lessons!!!!  I can really tell the lord is guiding me.  Oh ya on friday we taught our first practice investigator!  It was crazy and overwhelming but an incredibly good learning experience.  We pretty much teach her everyday now. Her name is Linjeimei. 
So all the guys I room with are awesome, incredible!!!  They all are so devoted and incredibly positive and none of us had a really hard time with the change.  I think it's because they're all so devoted.  Elder C is from Hong Kong and went to BYU Hawaii.  He already is basically fluent in Chinese but is here to learn the tones - quiet but funny and very devoted and respectful.  Elder C from Saratoga Springs...super enthusiastic and positive also funny and very compassionate.  Elder P is from Layton, Utah and is really funny and kind and obedient.  Then my companion who personally I think is the best. He is from Colorado Springs, Colorado... I think... but he is really smart and insightful, nice and thoughtful. Oh, also he has a twin brother that is going to Taipei.
So basically I love it here, the food is good but gives you indigestion...speaking of which if you get time a package of just like sweets and stuff would be awesome and a good pick me up.  Just like chocolate stuff and mints and maybe jolly ranchers.  Thanks Sara for the food and the letters you guys put in my journal I'll try and write back today.  Hopefully I didn't miss anything important. The talks are amazing here. The spirit is strong. My Laoshi is amazing return missionary from Taiwan.  Sara, I can't wait to show off my Chinese to you.  Miss you guys - but don't miss me, I'm doing awesome!
GuZhangLao (Elder Gummow)

Oh also DearElder.com is awesome if you guys want to send letters and thanks for the letter this week mom :)