Elder Matthew Gummow

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012


*Sara found this link this past week of a song that the kids recorded at 3am one morning almost 2 years ago.  It is a cool song about wanting to become more like Christ!  I am pretty sure they are on that journey now!

Some fun at the MTC!

Matt and Elder James - a friend from Jr High/H.S.

Hey Family!!!!
This was an awesome week and we're finally past the halfway point at the MTC!!!  It's so crazy, we got to see the older generation leave last Tuesday. Forty or so people left which was more than half our zone, so our group has been pretty lonely this last week.  Needless to say we can't wait for the new generation to come in!!!! People ask me like three or four times a day about Sara coming in, everyones so pumped to be the "older" generation.  We have been setting goals all week and making plans so that we can be a good example to the new elders and sisters.  
Let's see, also this week was our first week to give talk's in Chinese in sacrament and who would've guessed - my companion Elder W was chosen to be the first speaker!!!  He did great though!  His Chinese is really impressive, one of the best in our zone.  Haha - although he mixed up sixiang which means thoughts and siwang which means to die.  So in part of his talk he told us to grab death and write it down in our journals.  Everyone was really confused :)
This past Sunday we did get the opportunity to participate in the Temple Dedication.  That was really cool and it was great to hear from the apostles and the other wonderful speakers.  We all loved Boyd K. Packer's talk, he's such an awesome guy, and you can tell he loves the Lord and his wife with all his heart.

(Advice he shared with Sara who enters the MTC)

Hey and don't worry, if your still nervous about coming to the MTC and being a good missionary, honestly the change of life isn't near as scary as it seems, and I know you'll handle it much better than me.  It's amazing how much the Lord helps you adjust and deal with all that missionaries experience.  If your anything like me, the new step is probably really scary, but once your there the Lord helps with everything, it's really amazing!
But I'm like twenty minutes over my email time so I have to go but Good Luck with the drop off, I'm hoping someone from the district will pick you up.  I would love to be there but it's not allowed.  Miss you guys and see you soon!!
Wo ai ni
Elder Gummow   
P.S. your companion's name is Sister Bond - from somewhere in Utah

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18th - Week 5

Matt's Awesome District!

Check out his new haircut!

Zao'an Family,
So nice to hear from you guys this week!!  I can't believe the news from the BYU vs. Utah game! That soo insane and disappointing!!  Thanks for the package too - it was perfect, saved my life this week! I really needed some healthy stuff/normal food after all the garbage I've been eating these past weeks. 

So the older generation of Mandarin Speakers are leaving today...I think we're all gonna miss them, they're a great group and have made life real interesting for us over the past weeks...and also now it's gonna be pretty lonely for the next week, up until the new generation comes in!!!  We got new calls on Sunday since the older generation is leaving. Elder W and I got called to coordinate the Sacrament, and his twin brother and his companion are the new Zone Leaders!!! They're an awesome companionship and perfect Zone Leaders.  I wouldn't have chosen anyone else.  Also, this week my companion and I are gonna being moving rooms once the older people leave so finally we'll have space!  We've been sleeping six to a room these past weeks so we're pretty excited to finally have some space for our stuff!!
Oh another exciting thing that happened this week was TRC.  This last Saturday our teacher told us to really prepare for the next TRC because he had a special surprise for us, so we needed to make it our best ever.  So we did, but TRC was normal - great, but nothing different so we were all really confused.  However, afterwards, A, our teacher, gave us a surprise announcement that from now on we would be skyping native people from Taiwan and teaching them from there!!! Apparently we are the first and only district to be able to do this!!  So last night we got to try out Skype for the first time and it was crazy!!! 
 Elder W and I got a lady that couldn't speak any English, so we spent a lot of the time being confused, it was really funny actually.  She told us about Taiwan geography and the landscape, and we taught her a short lesson.  Afterwards, she asked us this question and there was this one word we couldn't understand in it, "xunxi", which means "message".  So we spent at least fifteen minutes trying to figure out the word, and realized she was saying "xinxi" (a word we both knew but because of her accent we couldn't understand it).  As frustrating as that was, looking at it in retrospect it was actually really fun and I'm glad I'm able to know how a little of how it will be when I get to Taiwan.

 Love you guys and good luck with everything this week...Sara I'll see you soon!!! I'll be writing a letter to you today too...
ZaiJian, WenZhangLao

*Here are some pictures shared with us from his companion's mom!!  Thank you! Thank you!!
**Matt has been under the weather a bit this week - he had to get a few more shots so that could be the reason him for not feeling so great.

Matt's Companion and his twin brother
who is going to Sara's Mission in Taipei
At the Piano - his favorite passtime!

"Gummow Marx"

Matt with a goatee!  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012

Hello Family!!!!

This week has been great, but I'm not really sure why.  It hasn't been
that eventful at all, everythings about the same over here we had the
regular schedule and the regular talks.  My teacher had her birthday
and the old generation of Chinese Elders are getting ready to leave
next week so they can make way for the new ones!!! Sara, I can't wait til
you get here!!! I heard that your gonna be coming in with a group of
nineteen mandarin speaking missionaries, which is pretty small.  Our
group has like 26 or something and the group that's leaving has like
30-40 so the Mandarin branch is going to shrink a lot pretty soon.

Our branch is really amazing though. During our devotionals for the
whole MTC we always have an Elder doing something in the presentation,
and this last Sunday about half of the older generation of Mandarin
speakers sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" for the MTC...and it
was amazing! - in my opinion, the best musical number I've heard since
I've been here. The Mandarin Missionaries are awesome!!! I'll be sad
to see them go.

So the Chinese has been going really well and I think that's what made
this week so great.  I hit this point where I can now express myself
pretty well in Chinese.  I mean it's in short sentences and bad
grammar, but I finally have knowledge enough to say what I want to say
and to pretty much understand what is being said.  It feels so good
and makes the class time a lot easier and less stressful. It's amazing
to think I've only been here a month and yet I've learned so much.
It's all thanks to the help of the spirit.

Oh and thanks for the package it was perfect! I loved playing that song
again, and of course I loved the chips. They're just what I wanted!
It's like you read my mind. Oh and that's definitely our family name
right? Elder Cheng from Hong Kong said it was a name on a card for
Chinese New Year...Either way it came just in time and that's going to
be my Chinese name when I get to Taiwan!!!
Anyways, things are going good and I hope things are going good back home too.
Good Luck this week!!!

Zai Jian, Ai

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fun Pictures!

We received a package from Elder Gummow this week and he sent us some pictures!  We thought we would share a few with you -
His place of abode for the next 3 months!

Think Happy Thoughts - in Mandarin, of course!
Matt decided to shave his legs because his socks were catching on the hair and bugging him.
(Good thing he won't be wearing shorts)

Ninja Elders!

My Observation - these Elders are truly of one heart and one mind!
They even have matching ties!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4, 2012

Hello Family,
Hey the Mandarin has been going great this week, just the past couple of days I have been able to start putting things together, and now I have a decently easy time communicating.  The best part is that my vocabulary is enough that I can now mostly understand what my teachers are saying!!!  It feels so awesome to think back like three weeks ago and think that I knew basically nothing and now I can somewhat communicate.  It's all thanks to the Lord and I feel incredibly blessed.
Haha that's so awesome that you joined that  Missionary Mom site. I was gonna tell you about it because all the kids here talk about it and I figured you'd enjoy something like that, but I guess you found it on your own, sweet.  Also, I meant to send a package earlier this week but I just sent it off this Friday, so it should be coming soon. It's got my SD card in it so there should be a bunch of pictures.  
Let's see, this weekend was pretty much normal stuff.  Oh we started TRC, which means were teaching real people...it was intense!!! I felt so underprepared, we asked them if they knew anyone they could help bring into the Gospel and they told us these great stories about people they wanted to help.  Me and my companion really wanted to help but we didn't have the vocabulary to say what we wanted to, it was so frustrating.  Oh, also this weekend we got to watch President Monson's birthday celebration on Sunday.  That was a nice and needed break, being able to listen to all the songs and just relax and feel the spirit of the music.
Oh, and they General Authority that spoke on Tuesday...I have to be honest - that was kind of a disappointment.  Everyone was expecting some sort of announcement, but he just wanted to visit us so that we could talk to us about the culture and our missions.  Everyone was thrown off and a little grumpy at this, it was kind of bad.  However he did share a great message to us about teaching the Chinese people, and he told us that China has been "open" since 1991, it's just that our minds that aren't open to China.  He explained this by saying that all around the world, mainlander Chinese are getting baptized and bringing the Gospel back to their homes, so regardless of the laws of their land, the Gospel is still getting to the people.

 These are pictures from one of the other missionaries in his district
(This is the benefit of joining the Missionary Moms Website!  Hurrah!! and Thanks!!)

I have to go now.  Good Luck this next week all of you, and you should send me Dear Elder if you can.  It's easier to read and respond to later.  Zai Jian
Gu Zhanglao
*Note from Mom:  I really enjoyed watching the segments from a special that KSL News did on the MTC last year.  If you are interested what happens in the MTC from the inside, check out this link:   An Army of Faith: Inside the MTC