Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, January 28, 2013

Transfers - January 28, 2013


" xiàng zhuàn biàn shí, yǒu rén zhú qiáng, yǒu rén zào fēng chē"

"When the direction of the wind changes,
 some build walls,
 some make windmills"

Elder Gummow was expecting some changes this week and his guess was correct!  Here are some quotes from his email, telling us about the changes:

"Another great but slightly sad week.  This week was in fact Elder B's last, and I saw him off today (that's why this email is so late)  This last week was spent really well though.  On Tuesday I had exchanges with a the Elder's in the district, and an Elder M from Florida came to Zuoyin with me.  We had a awesome time together, worked really hard and it was super fun.  Elder M contacts everyone...Then Elder Baker and I spent our last day (yesterday) together really well.  The highlights were eating with two families, one is a member the other is less-active. The less active gave us cheesecake too, and it's soo good.  I actually like the Cheesecake here too.  Also we got to play guitar and sing with this amazing less-active, part member family of a single mom and three boys.  We love them so much, they are the greatest family ever!!!!!

We saw some miracles here too.  Elder M while on exchanges with me and contacted this guy that said that he had heard about the Church yesterday from his friend.  He was so ecstatic to get contacted by the same church missionaries the next day, he then called up the friend and told him about what had happened and the set up a time to meet the missionaries in the area he lived in!

Also it was really sad this week seeing Elder B off, but at the same time a great opportunity to look back on the memories we had together.  Elder B left this area in great shape and there is a lot to be excited for in these next coming weeks.  And now my new companion is....Elder B!  He's actually half Japanese and his parents live in Taipei   His Chinese is amazing though, he sounds and looks fluent,and he's on the end of his mission.  That's about all I know about him so far though we just barely met each other.  So this next week will be fun. I'm leading the area now and I hope I know how to get around Zuoyin, we'll see. "

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 21, 2013

Elder Gummow had a great week and is gearing up for transfers next week.  He has a new projected release date because of the change in the MTC training time for new missionaries.  It was September 9th but is now possibly August 23rd - in time for school in 2014.  He is also getting ready to try his wings after 12 weeks of training.  Here are some quotes:

 " This morning we got to eat breakfast with an investigator and also with none other than Elder B's trainer or my Grandpa as they call it in the field.  He's from Alpine actually, I think is last name is Mclelland (actually, I think it is McAllister).  His sister is Mckenzie Kapp's best friend, a Brenna Mclelland i think.  Pretty weird being half way across the world but being so connected to home to, but it kind of doesn't surprise me anymore there are so many missionaries from Utah Valley area!"

"Hmm...also an interesting thing this week, Elder B left me to stay in ZuoYin for a day:(  We had zone exchanges and I stayed in our area and led it for the day, I was super scared for it at first but the day ended up going really smoothly, really easy day actually.  Tomorrow, though, I'm going to do missionary work in our area with a missionary named Elder M.  He's been here two move calls more than me, so both of our Chinese needs work...so we'll see how it goes :)"

"Last week of the move call, super intense for us because it's pretty much certain one of us will leave this area.  It's going to be sad to have to part ways with my "father" (Elder B).  But at the same time I'm getting excited for a change in missionary work perspective.  And ya, his sister did get married last week! I think it was a little hard for him, but he's been doing a great job staying focused. "

"Anyway that's about it for this week, Zuoyin is awesome, everything is going good in Taiwan.  Love You Guys, so happy you got to go to St. George this week.  Good luck with everything this week."

I sent him a small package with some homemade Valentines, Chocolate Bars, and a package of Taco Seasoning. He should get the package in a couple of weeks, depending on transfers.  These were his comments:

*Also thank you for the package in advance, I totally was wanting taco seasoning this week, so it was perfect.

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home
 If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world

Chinese Proverb

*Note from mom:  There has been some concern about the re-posting of missionaries emails on social media because of privacy issues regarding personal information and other potential mis-use of information.  While I have always had permission from Elder Gummow to post his emails and have tried to edit out any info which might identify the people he is teaching, I am going to be more cautious in future posts.  I will not be re-posting the entirety of his letters, but will summarize and  post some quotes from his letters. I tend to be a bit unassuming so if you happen to see anything in these posts that could be damaging to anyone, please let me know.  Thanks!

It sounds like Elder Gummow had a productive week this week.  He was finally able to purchase a guitar last P-day and promised to use it as a tool in their work as missionaries, not a distraction:

"Good Evening, thank you so much for the email this week!  First off thank you for the advice on the guitar, it is so true, I forgot how much playing a guitar can distract me, but don't worry either I won't let it distract... :)  The guitar I got is really small, it's like a "want to be" baby Taylor, but it sounds really good.  I got a small one so I could take it around easier and maybe take it home on the plane.  The guitars here are super super cheap though, I played this one that sounded amazing, like a 1000 guitar I played back home, but it only cost 200 here.  Taiwan is awesome!   I think I can play it for when we sing in the morning, in lessons, and on P-day.  I'm going to try to use it more in missionary situations, especially since Elder Baker has a pretty good singing voice.  Speaking of Elder Baker, we probably have only 1 more p-day after this left.  Super sad!!!  Training has gone so fast!! "

The weather has been nice in Kaohsiung, unlike the rain in Taipei, and they have had mostly sunny days and warmer weather.  He tells about going on splits with an elder from Taiwan :

"This week was super good,  I think the greatest experience was this zone splits we had.  I got the opportunity to go on splits with this elder that is a move call younger than me, so he's been here as long as Sara.  But don't worry, it's not as challenging as it sounds.  He's a native, so his Chinese is amazing, and his knowledge of the Gospel is super good too.  It was really fun to have to use only Chinese to communicate, it helped a lot with my confidence in the language and I was surprised how much we could get across with my limited language skills.  We had some great lessons together, and got to paint a house and taken out to eat by an investigator. So despite seemingly crazy circumstances all went really really well."

and an miracle story that happened during the week:

"This week we were able to meet with a couple new investigators.  The best one was there was this guy that worked in the same building as our Church is on.  We see him from time to time and are pretty good friends.  This Wednesday  he randomly showed up to our English Class.  When we asked him why he said that, he had accidentally pressed the button for floor 5 (the floor the church is on) twice today, he figured it was some sort of sign so he decided to attend English Class.  At the end of class they shared the Restoration video.  So after class we talked to him, he said that he felt like he hadn't found what he was looking for yet, so Elder B asked him about the video, he said it was good but that for a story like that he needed proof.  Elder B was like "actually we have proof"  and we pulled out a Book of Mormon and gave it to him.  He was like no way!  After that we challenged him to read it and set up another time with him.  Excited to see how things go with him!"

Elder Gummow sends his best wishes to all and expresses his love!

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013

Family Happy New Year!!!

Thanks for the letters this week, sounds like it was a pretty good new year.  I totally got the first one on the quiz wrong, that was super surprising to me, Tyler Haws is back and better than ever, is he really rivaling Jimmer in scoring?  I can't believe how much has changed in the months I've been gone, 1/4 of the ward is new?  Wow!

Last week I wasn't able to get a guitar, but today for sure.  Last week for P-Day we actually went to a huge mall, it was kinda of boring though, not much you can do as missionary in a mall, (actually I don't know if there's ever a lot of stuff I would do at a mall...).  But today is going to be awesome, buy a guitar and then we are having a pizza party with the Zuoying elders...oh ya

This week was great!  I have to be short about it though, we're leaving pretty soon.  The two highlights is that we picked up this great new investigator, C....... he's actually coming to the party today.  We met him last Sunday  and have met with him like 3 more times since then, he's super sweet and super "Shuai".  His coming with us to the pizza party today.  Also we met with this L..family, and they are amazing.  Since I've been here the L.. family is the most familiar family I've met with, meaning they remind the most like family back home.  The family consists of the mom and three boys.  The boys are super cool, play airsoft, basketball, and grow these huge beetles in their house.  They're half less-active and half non members.  The family has been through a lot, including the death of the Dad/Husband, and we're really hoping the Gospel can help them have peace.  They are soo cool.

View of the city 
Also New Years was good here, woke up in the middle of the night to thousands literally thousands of fireworks.  It was crazy, sound like a war outside but even more intense! Doesn't even compare to the fireworks in america, sadly.

Hmm also tried to cook the brownies, that didn't go well (burnt them)  Other than that, this week was pretty much normal, at least as normal as a mission can go.  Love You Guys Good Luck with the new semester

Love Elder Gummow

P.S.  Also Dad I'm super interested now, what kind of stuff did you do on your mission.  Lots of street contacting, or tracting, or lots of lessons?  And if you have any ideas on how to be a more effective missionary, that would be awesome!  Love You

Note From Mom:  His Chinese must be getting better and better because his English sentence structure is beginning to resemble Mandarin sentence structure