Elder Matthew Gummow

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Off to Taiwan!!

*This is from Elder Gummow's Mom*

The Elders - all heading to Taiwan today.
Sara will stay for 6 more weeks in the MTC
Tuesday, October 30th -10:40 am:  I just got the phone call from Elder Gummow at the Salt Lake Airport!!  It was so wonderful to hear his voice and to listen to his excitement and nervousness all mixed together!  This is his third time on an airplane, but his first time out of the country!  He spoke some Mandarin for me at my request and told me about the Book of Mormon in Chinese!  Wow!  I can't believe how much he has learned.  He told me that when he arrives at the mission home, they put each of the missionaries up on a soapbox and give them 30 minutes to preach about the gospel in Mandarin.  It seems inconceivable to me (he would have had a hard time doing that in English even), but he actually feels pretty confident that he can.  If he thinks he can, I believe in miracles too and who knows, they may be telling him to please wrap it up after an hour.....!

Elder and Sister Gummow with their awesome companions!
He said he made it through baggage check with everything but the Nutella I sent for him to take.  Darn!  Oh well, he will still survive and things have come along way since the early days of the church when missionaries were expected to travel without purse or script.  His grandfather (also an Elder Gummow) served in the Southern States Mission in the Texas area and tells stories of how when they attended zone conferences, they had to hitch-hike from their area back to the mission home and knock on doors in hopes of finding food and lodging.  If they were unsuccessful, they would go to the hardware store and purchase a plastic garbage bag which they would use as a sleeping bag in the park to sleep in through the night.  I bet they would have liked some Nutella!

Elder Gummow said it felt strange to leave the protected environment of the MTC and venture out into the world again after 11 weeks. He said it was hard for him to say "good-bye" to Sara.  They have really enjoy sharing this mission experience together thus far.  He said she is doing great and has done really well with the mission transition.  He also sounded a bit overwhelmed as he embarks on the next leg of his journey.  Luckily, there are 8 elders from his district headed to the same location.  There are more headed to Taiwan, but some will stay in Taipei where they all fly into and the other 8 will continue on by bus for another 3-4 hours to the Taichung Mission Home.  They are flying Delta and have Layovers through LA and Tokyo.  They will arrive in Tokyo at about 5:00 in the afternoon Japanese time - which is about 3 am our time - and it is possible that he will have a few minutes to make another call, but not likely especially considering it is an international call.  Then they arrive in Taipei about 9:30 pm - so if you add a 3-4 hour bus ride onto that, he will be either be exhausted, or living on adrenalin when he arrives at 1 am!

Both generations of Mandarin Speaking Missionaries

Elder W. of Springville and Elder Gummow

We were able to talk for about 15 minutes before they began boarding the plane and of course it wasn't long enough, but I did get to ask all of the questions that we brainstormed in FHE last night.  We pray for his safe travel and success and look forward to his next email!

Mom Gummow

PS The pictures were sent this week by Sara and another missionary from his district!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23,2012

Chinese Proverb:
Age and time do not wait for people.
Life is short, move quick, or you get left behind.
Alma 13:27, Alma 34:33-35


My last P-Day at the MTC!!!! YES!!! I'm so ready to get in the field, even if I still barely know the language.  The MTC has been a great experience, but twelve weeks is just a little too long.  I feel like I'm coming to an end of what I can learn here.  But just finished my last temple trip. It was great! -got to go with Sara this morning.  Also two guys have left from our district already.  It was really, really sad to see them go.  But we're all going to keep in touch, and they're gonna be awesome missionaries.  One's family lives here in Provo and the other is going to BYU Hawaii after the mission so hopefully I'll get to see them again sometime.

Sounds like things are pretty busy back home.  Has the Japanese exchange student come yet? How is he?!  Hope everyone's doing good still.  And Dad good luck with the test, I'll be praying for you.  Sounds like you're working hard on studies and I know you'll do great on it.

Oh so I'm feeling better now, strangely I've had a cough for the last week, but it's not bad at all just kinda of annoying that it won't go away.  But other than that my health is back to normal, so glad!  Getting sick here is the worst!  Also travel plans...I'm leaving next Tuesday morning eight o'clock!  Then flying to LA and then Tokyo.  Tokyo will be our longest layover so I'll probably call then.  I'm really not sure what time that is our time but I get there like four fifty Tokyo time so I would expect a call around then, either that or around ten-thirty before our flight leaves out of Salt Lake.  It's gonna have to be short too, cause there's still a bunch of stuff we got to do there, I think the MTC makes sure your always busy cause they don't want you talking to your family too long...it's probably gonna be just like 5-10 minutes, so if you have any questions you really want to ask, make sure you think about them before hand.

But for the items, I would love to have my old glasses! That would be awesome if you could send them to me.  I think I'll be okay without a sweater though, If i really need one I'll just buy a cheap one in Taiwan.  Plus I don't really have much room for it.  By the way thanks you so much again for the packages, you really are an amazing mom, and I truly feel loved here.  The cookies were amazing too, I'm not sure if I have the recipe to them or not but if you have time could you send me the recipe for them.  They were sooo good. ** And maybe it's also because I'm used to MTC food.

Ahh email writing time is soo short, but good luck with everything this week, love all of you guys.  I'll be sending that package back probably next Monday.  If you have questions just ask.  Hopefullly I'll get time to write one more quick email next Tuesday morning.

Love you

Elder Gummow

**Note from Mom - the cookies I sent were in honor of their upcoming departure to Taichung.  This recipe came from the Taichung mission home in the 1980's.  My roommate's sister served there and brought home the recipe. (It probably came from the mission president's wife) Here it is:

Chocolate Drop Cookies:

1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. shortening
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs 
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
Optional:  Add chocolate chips or any kind of flavored chips

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and milk.  Sift flour, cocoa, salt and soda together.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Mixture will be rather stiff - drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hey Guys!!

Only Two more weeks left in paradise!!!  MTC=Paradise, at least that's what we call the MTC here:)  We're all super pumped this Thursday we all get our travel plans!! Hoping we get Korean Air- it's supposed to be the best airlines in the world!  But we get to call at the airport too so be prepared for that!  I've already got my phone card!

This week was...exciting!! First, Tuesday night, for our nightly devotional we had none other than Elder Bednar come speak to us at the MTC!!!! It was magnificent!!  It's everyone's dream here to get to see either Elder Bednar or Holland come speak at the MTC! They always give amazing talks and are probably the most missionary-minded Apostles.  Plus, they often do the pounding the pulpit stuff which every missionary here loves.  Elder Bednar reviewed conference with us that Tuesday night, and taught this awesome pattern of how we can study the scriptures, and the words of the prophets.  He says it's the way that he studies the scriptures.  But simply the formula is - look for the doctrine, then what invitations are being extended and then promised blessings.  Study, and even teaching in this way, so far, has proved to be really effective and makes all the gospel really simple, like it should be.

Unfortunately though, after Elder Bednar's talk another round of sickness set in upon the MTC.  I got sick Wednesday night and am still sick today, although almost recovered, and Sara's companion has been sick for about a week now too, with about the same thing I have I think.  So this week was somewhat not fun. Luckily I was able to get to pretty much all of classes and haven't really missed anything but gym, but I'm really looking forward to being fully recovered.

The Mandarin is going well, I am so surprised at how it comes.  This week I could really understanding, pretty much everything and in lessons I could say what I wanted to say, however this only goes for the Gospel part, daily life stuff I still struggle to talk about, but at least I can fulfill my purpose now.

But gtg, thanks again for everything and the wonderful support.  Good Luck this week, love you guys.

Elder Gummow  

Chinese Proverb:

One cannot refuse to eat just because
there is a chance of being choked.

Meaning: Don't let fear of failure keep you from success.
D&C 68:25-30

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9,2012

Hey Family!!!

The Big Announcement
Ya Mom, I got your Dear Elder! they sent the dearelder's yesterday but not the regular mail because of Columbus Day.  But I know I can't believe it...Saturday we all got to write home so you guys should be getting a letter about the announcement soon.  But the reaction at the MTC was pretty crazy, the whole MTC was in a huge room together, and after they announced it everyone was cheering and clapping, and we we couldn't believe what the Prophet just said!!! It so crazy to imagine kids right out of high school coming to the MTC and working in the field.  I'm kinda of glad that they announced this after I was in the MTC, because I don't think I would've been ready to go at eighteen years old. But they're are plenty who are...like my companion. He's only eighteen years old & I can see why they changed the rules -cause of guys like him too The eighteen year old missionaries really are top class!

But speaking of my companion, I'm guessing your gonna meet his family today!! How awesome!!! I'll probably get the chance to meet them too, pretty exciting, but mostly I'm excited for my companion cause he hasn't seen his dad since his senior year in high school!! Crazy! Unfortunately I don't get to go off campus with them...my companion is probably gonna get real food too!! So jealous!!

Chad Lewis -
NFL Football Player
Oh this weekend after conference, Chad Lewis came and talked to us for the Sunday Night Devotional!!! The best thing was that Chad went to this same mission that I'm going to, and he told us a lot of stories and stuff about his mission.  It's sound amazing there!!  He was really positive to us about his mission too, saying that their will be some real hard times but if we dig deep and rely on the Atonement then we can endure them well.  Also some of the Mandarin Missionaries got to meet with him after too. I was pretty jealous but mostly just satisfied to hear someone talk about our mission...Oh and also I talked to Travis that Sunday night and he was saying that he heard  ELDER BEDNAR was coming to the MTC for this Tuesday night devotional.  I'm still kinda of skeptic, cause his source was kind of iffy, but it would make sense that one of the Apostles would come to the MTC after the big announcement...if he does though, that would make this MTC experience, epic!!! Perfect!!! We'll see tonight though...

Well the weeks are winding down here at the MTC (3 more left today!!!!) It's kinda of intimidating but mostly we just can't wait to get out of the MTC.  Personally I can't wait for the freedom of not living in a small area and the ability to exercise and eat real food.  We've been watching some Mormon messages from Taiwan in Class and the food there looks so good!! I can't wait!!

Pres. Holland's Talk
The rest of conference was amazing!!! President Holland's talk of course was spectacular, I'm gonna try and listen to it as many times as I can while I'm here.  It was so powerful.  Sara and I got to sit next to each other during the sessions.  We had some nice relaxing time here at the MTC, so that was nice  We even got to go back to our dorms early on Saturday night!! Probably the only time I'll get to do that on my mission.  Things are going good here though...the language is... coming...,but I hope everything is going good back home.
 Best of luck with everything, and have fun meeting the Wesemanns!!

Zai Jian, Ai
Elder Gummow

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2, 2012

Hey Mom and Family,

What a fast and eventful week!  Looking back I have to say it was all quite a blast.

The Elders from Matt's District who met Sara at the curb
to escort her in.
So of course Sara came in this last Wednesday!  Blew my mind seeing here again!  It was like a warp back in time. Its kinda of funny because ever since I have been here and been busy all the time, I haven't really thought about my life before the mission and I kind of forgot that I had one!  So seeing Sara was like a flash from the past!  It's so crazy to have her in this environment with me - like a mix of the old and the new. It's really cool.  Sara's doing great though.  She's adjusted super fast to the MTC, and she already seems super comfortable with the rigid schedule.  I've been so surprised at how much Chinese she's knows already, I'm sure she'll catch on with the language here super fast, if she's hasn't already. I get to see and talk with her about once a day now so that's been really nice...I see her more now than I did at home, kinda weird.

Matt's sister about to enter the magical world of the MTC!
All the new missionaries are really cool though.  All super positive and friendly and funny and some of them already know Chinese better than the older generation.  It's kind of intimidating being their older generation because really they should be our teachers and examples.  The new districts are really small too - like three or four kids in each group compared to the twelve in our district.  It's nice for them because they get a lot more one on one time with their teachers and better teaching opportunities too.  Oh and mom, my district has only boys by the way.  Our group only had three girls come in so only one of the districts from our generation have girls in their group.  Crazy weird, kinda bad too because we don't get any girls to moderate the things that guys can do when they get in groups together :)

Taking a break to enjoy the sunshine at the temple grounds.
So I saw Travis again this week and we took a picture together, it's on his camera though so I don't have it.  But I think his mom is going to try and send it to you.  I'll try and get another one before I leave too.  Oh and Sara and I still have to get a picture together too. We haven't really had time to do that yet, sorry.  I saw Craig Tongish too, haven't really talked with him yet but we said hi.  Thanks for the package!  It was great, (I've already eaten all the food in it :)  Oh and they took away the salsa because it was unsealed or something :(  But we got all the temple names done this morning - and also if you could- the pictures you sent are great...but if it's possible can you find a way to print it so it isn't so pixelated, my friends want to see a clear picture of the family.  But if that's not possible then it's totally fine.  Uhh...going to send the pants in this next week. If Sara hasn't asked you yet, you should send us some of the Chopsticks. Like around four pairs if possible -  me and my companion want to practice for Taichung!  If you see Grandpa and Grandma Gummow, tell them thanks so so so much for the package it was awesome! I'll probably send them a letter too.  Thanks for the notes on Sara's setting apart. I wish I could've of been there. If Elder Holland's talk is short enough then you should totally send it, otherwise I can read it online during lunch or something.  Thanks for the letters! Love You Family! write you next week. Good Luck with everything!

Elder Gummow