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!


  1. Mom Gummow,
    My name is Shannon Gish. I have been following both Elder Gummow's and Sister Gummow's blog ever since my son, Elder Sam Gish, received his call to serve in the Taiwan, Taichung mission last month. He enters the MTC this Wednesday. Your blog is wonderful and has been a great resource for us. Prayers and gratitude to you and your family.

    1. Shannon, Thank you so much! I was talking to your brother in law, Merle, yesterday and he told me about Sam! I don't know if you knew that we are friends with your relatives. I even taught Zach to play the guitar many years ago. Anyhow, we are excited for Sam and know he will love it! Best of luck this week with the curb drop off! Kelly