Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'M IN TAIWAN!!! - Nov 5, 2012


I can't believe it this past week has been the craziest of my life!!!! So many things have happened and it's all been amazing!!!!

Actually, one part was pretty bittersweet, that was leaving the MTC.  It was sad to leave the Utah Valley for the next two years, and leave Sara, and my friends at the MTC...they were all super great guys.  BUT now I'M IN TAIWAN!!!, and this place is really amazing!!! The culture is just so so so great and the food is so so so good!!!  They have garbage trucks that play classical music in the streets, and the nicest people I have ever, in my life, met.  Just everything is amazing, I feel so at home here already!!  So on Wednesday we came in jet-lagged and kind of out of things, and we had this orientation, then back to the apartment about one, then up in the morning at six.  Which wasn't that bad cause we had time to sleep on the plane.  President and Sister Bishop gave us a very nice welcome with good food and some orientation, and that night we were able to go out and start contacting!!! :(  It was insane, I've never had so many ridiculous/embarrassing moments.  When I started talking to people I realized I didn't know the language....I guess I knew that before but it was just like reality hit me.  I was just running on pure adrenaline after that point, trying to make conversation.  Most the time I just stood there awkwardly for a sec, cause I didn't know what they had said, and then just ended up testifying and then handing them a card.  We spent about an hour that night though trying to contact people, and the people here are crazy nice, they won't shut you down usually. Usually they listen to you politely and sometimes even give you there cell number. Crazy!!!

First Baptism!  
Next Day though we got trainers..MY new trainer is Elder B!!!!  He's an awesome kid and super pro with the language and with teaching and contacting, I guess everything.  Great Trainer...we're down in the city called Gaoxiong (Kaohsiung) right now, in Zouyin (Zouying District).  And I can honestly say this is the best area ever!!! EVER!! First Day I came in we had a baptism, and this guys is seriously the most amazing man ever.  I feel so at loss here because this member of a day already has a testimony much larger than mine.  He got baptized Saturday and then his wife left him that night. I couldn't believe it!! That Sunday after he got confirmed he came up and bore testimony and just said that he knew he was gonna have trials after the baptism, that this was one of them, and that he knew he made the right decision...amazing...I just feel bad for him though and I wish we could help him, but I don't think there's much more we can do other than support him. Also we have this golden investigator. His name is C..D.X...., and...oh man...he is AMAZING!!! And he speaks really really good English too, so I have actually been able to talk to him alot.  He's is the coolest, nicest guy ever too.  He has a Tatoo and a nice ponytail and he is just amazed by what missionaries do, and their willingness to sacrifice so he let the missionaries teach him.  So far he's been to church four times already (hasn't missed a Sunday) and he's seriously thinking about baptism, like last Sunday he said to me he didn't really understand baptism and asked if I could help him understand it before he was baptized...Amazing, and he's super smart too and plays basketball....we might get to play one p-day together.

The ward here is INCREDIBLE too, they are so incredibly nice...pretty much everyone here doesn't speak English except the younger kids, but they still are so nice and friendly to me. Always politely saying hi & being super nice to me.  The culture here is just amazing like they are always giving and they make sure I'm always comfortable, haha and try to speak English to me.  It's funny cause they can't pronounce their T's...

I have to admit, when I first got to Taiwan I was scared out of my mind.  I've never been in such a big city and with so many people, and I didn't know the language.  I was scared that I wouldn't have the ability to do missionary work.  But God has helped me so much here, and I know it's all thanks to him.  It's still a little hard not being able to speak the language sometimes but I really can't complain at all.  The language is coming fast, a lot of it was just getting used to the way natives speak the words I already know.

Mom, the people all know of you now...they can all tell I'm Hunxie (mixed blood) so I tell them that you're part Chinese.  It's really nice being Chinese-American here, cause I can blend in and at the same time I'm an American, and they LOVE american's here, we're almost like movie stars.  Everything is so good here...I LOVE TAIWAN!!  So nice to hear from home and thank you for the pictures. I love you too...and don't worry I still miss home and your cooking and everything.  It's just so great to be out here in the work.  Love You Guys So Much!!

Elder Gummow

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