Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012


Family,

Taken soon after he arrived in Taiwan
He could barely keep his eyes open!
So good to get to talk to you guys, went so quickly sorry I feel like I wasn't able to hear what was going on with you guys so much.  So glad to hear Christmas was good though, and thanks so much for all the pictures, although I have to say I'm a little jealous of the snow, it's looks crazy, perfect weather for the Christmas season.  And computer with adobe sounds awesome, I bet Daniel was way excited for it.

So glad you got the package, I got yours as well this week the second one, THANK YOU SO MUCH!  It was perfect, Elder B and I were talking about what it would be and we totally guessed it.  Thanks so much - it reallywas perfect, and I'm totally going to get a guitar today so the sheet music should be pretty useful soon!!!

I got to talk to Sara for like thirty seconds, it was soo fast!!  Really good to hear she got through the first weeks well and all is okay.  Do you have her updates though? I'd love to hear what's going on in Taipei.

Christmas was probably the highlight of this week, everything else mostly went like normal.    Started Phase 2 of the language program which is mostly common vocabulary so I'm starting to pick up a lot more on what people are saying.  It's helping a lot!!  I'm finally starting to feel like I can express myself a little more.  At first I felt like I was trapped in this box where I could breath and survive but not stretch and feel really comfortable.  But with the Phase 2 and everyday studying I feel more and more comfortable.  It feels really good.

Lets see this week we also met a drug dealer that wanted us to go with him to a place so he could give us free bikes. Don't worry Mom we didn't.   Oh and I almost forgot the best part, we added two really good families a C....Jiating and a H..Jiating.  Both are super excited about learning and both already have really good relations with the Church.  One in C...Jiating the wife has cancer and was supposed to die years ago, but is still doing great and last year the church went to her house and did service for her.  She's super nice and asked us to come over again and eat with her family,  We are super pumped!!

Well Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!! Today is New Years Eve for us but I guess it's not til tomorrow for you guys...weird.  Anyway love you guys, Dan and Bry, You're awesome! Have a good winter vacation!

Elder Gummow



The Skype Call!

Elder Gummow called us on Skype on our Christmas Eve, his Christmas Day from a member's home in his area.  He said that they had been stranded at the Zone leader's apartment for their Christmas Eve and ended up spending the night there because they couldn't make it back to their place by the time they were supposed to be in for the night.  They had shared hot chocolate or spiced cider and memories and it turned out to be a fun and memorable evening.  
The Zone Leader (who is from Matt's High School)
That morning they returned to their place and opened up the first package I sent with candy and present filled stockings and hats for both of them,  and CD's and a bike repair kit for Matt.  I also sent hot chocolate and muffin mix for their breakfast.  They made the muffins into pancakes and burnt all of them but ate and enjoyed them anyway! It is amazing how much you can fit in one padded envelope!
We then gave Matt a tour of the house (we had him on an iPad  and showed him the snow we had received that day. He really wanted to see all of the Christmas decorations and such.)  He told us more about his bike accident a few weeks ago where he was riding a bit too fast down a hill but felt confident he could make it around a lady in the path until she freaked out and turned into him.  He slammed on his brakes and did a flip over the handle bars.  The lady was fine and able to give him a nice lecture about going to fast, he escaped without a scratch, but the bike sustained some significant injuries - but is still ride-able.  He planned to pass of phase I of his language study program that day which earned him the privilege of buying a guitar so he can share his talents in teaching people through music.
The rest is a bit of a blurr but in essence he is doing really well, loves it there, has a strong testimony and desire to improve each day.  He is grateful for the love and support he feels from friends and family at home and wished everyone a Merry Christmas!

PS.  We recieved a package a from him a few days after Christmas with some wonderful surprises!  Among them were stamps he had professionally made for each of us with the characters of a chinese name he named each of us!  It was really thoughtful!
Dad = strong and faithful 
Aimee= Beautiful and Smart
Mom= Thousand loving  Wen QianCi
Dan=Wise Dragon - Wen Zhi Long
Bryanna=Just and Loyal - Wen Zhen Yi

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