Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, February 25, 2013

Power week! Feb 25, 2013

 A great email from Elder Gummow this week!  Power week paid off!

Thanks for the updates Mom and Dad!!  I finally was able to get some pictures downloaded, sorry I wish I had more, but I just realized how few pictures I have taken in the past months.  Actually- these are all the pictures I've taken in the past months.  Sorry, I am going to repent! 

Phew...Power Week is over...I kind of feel like that whole week was one exhausting day, mostly because it didn't feel like we had that normal study time to break up the days, so it just stretched into one long one.  This week was another good one though, first off we had an investigator, this H......... pass his baptismal interview!  He is this super super cool Old Guy!!  ahh man I wish you guys could see him, but he owns this antique shop with all these cool wood sculptures and Buddha statues and what not.  When we started meeting with him we showed him some pictures of Christ, and he thought they were so pretty. So he blew them up, framed them and posted them all over his shop.  He now has pictures of Gethsemane and various portraits of Christ all over.  He is soo funny.  Recently, he took a picture of himself in sunglasses and one of the Russian hats (with the earmuffs and fur and stuff) and then used Photoshop to put his face on various places.  One is of his portrait over President Obama in a big meeting, some with him in the background for some crazy action movies.

Hmm that was the biggest event for this week, we also had stake conference which was really good, and we did Dan Jones again with some Elders from the neighboring area.  That's everything special up to now, I'll keep you updated on how H........'s baptism goes, I can't wait to show you pictures this guy is so cool!  Hmm that's it for now...also pretty soon we're going to this Haagen-Daaz all you can eat place, with live shrimp and hopefully all you can eat ice cream. I'm so excited!  Taiwan is the best! 

Love you all and good luck this week!  If there is anything else that I'm missing or you would like to know about just ask!  Good Luck Dad on your test! Happy Birthday this week!  Hope all goes well!  Daniel so awesome to hear how much your getting into jazz band and Bry glad your making new friends as long as they aren't boyfriends :)  Mom thanks for being so amazing and supportive, I got your letter this week.  I can't believe how the mission field is changing so much and how many new missionaries are coming.  Things are going to change alot here soon.  Last Monday President Bishop announced that 60ish new missionaries will be coming to our mission by June-ish which will increase our mission from 150ish to 200ish, Crazy!,  also I saw a sister missionary last Monday that I knew from my Chinese class in high school...so weird.  Anyway - Love You Guys, thanks so much for the great updates, support, etc.

The Valentine's Day baptism of the person Elder Gummow and Elder B taught!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A surprise baptism!! Feb 20, 2013

Elder Gummow had a mission conference on his usual Monday P-day, so we had to wait until last night to receive his email, but it was worth the wait.  He told us of some wonderful experiences!

Sorry that last week's email was so short.  Last week was our Power Cleaning P-Day so we were a lot shorter on time that day. Also I'm emailing on Wednesday today!!  This is because on Monday we had a General Authority come to the Taichung mission!!  So everyone in Gaoxiong took the train up to Taichung (2 and a half hours),  So the whole day was spent on the one meeting, and now today is our P-day!!  

Exciting for this week is "Power Week" meaning - we are out the door at 9:00 instead of ten-thirty and language study and lunch and dinner are now "on the go".  Pretty exciting!! - everyday we have a goal we try to accomplish like give out 15 Book of Mormons or drop in four baptismal dates.  It's a great way to energize the mission!

Chinese New Year... the last part went well, actually really well.  We had a lot of opportunities to eat with members, etc., and the greatest part of all....Ch.............. IS BAPTIZED!!! (On Valentines Day too :))  I'm sorry up to this point I haven't really mentioned C.................., but he is this awesome kid about 22.  Elder B.... and I were working with him but then he had to go back to Tainan for military stuff (he's in the navy).  He had a lot of cool experiences during his investigating which led him to set a baptismal date for Guonian (Chinese New Year) (we didn't know it was Guonian at the time).  Because it was Guonian last week, I didn't think it was going to go through because most of the ward members were out of town.  But Ch............ wanted to get baptized then, so just about last minute we were able to put together a baptismal service and find a member of the Bishopric to conducted.  It was a really good service too.  Very small because most ward members were out of town, but all of Ch...........'s friends in the church and S..Jiating (Jiating means family) (Sara knows them) came.  The missionaries in the Zuoying ward all sang "How Great Thou Art", and I got to play guitar.  It was amazing, and the spirit was incredibly strong when Ch............ got baptized, I don't think I've ever felt it that strong before...So sorry to I have pictures but I can't put them on the computer because I forgot my adapter.  Next week for sure.

Hmm...so things have been really good out here lately and Guonian turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I'll make sure to send a picture of my companion too.  Thank you for the Valentine's Card the CD was really good, love it...got the pictures, congrats to the girls in our ward going on missions!  So jealous of the concert btw :(  Thank you for the quotes from the CES fireside too! They are really really good and at a good time too.  Lately I've been thinking about what Elder Uctdorf was talking about.  Especially the role of the Holy Ghost.  One of the best parts of being on a mission is the opportunity to be led by the Holy Ghost and feeling it influence your life and the lives of others.

Do you remember M....?  He was the guy that came to English because he accidentally went to the wrong floor twice, and we gave him a B of M after English and he agreed to meeting with him...?  Well, lately we've been meeting with him really often about 2x a week.  IT's Crazy -  his wife read the Book of Mormon in 2 days (Unfortunately it was not for the right reasons)!!!  But this M.... he has been pretty good at reading everyday and he's not trying to discriminate against the Book of Mormon, just reading out of curiosity mostly I think.  Yesterday we met with him and he started right off with this question about Nephi 4 where Nephi has to kill Laban.  It made him confused, so we helped him answer it through reading a little more of the Book of Mormon.  After that he had some more question, which we helped refer to him answers through passages in the Book of Mormon.  After this discussion, he sat there for a second and then he was like... this feels weird, like I feel different and I don't know how to explain it.  Elder B...... and I looked at each other and we couldn't help but smile. (It's because it's the truth)  He told us how at first he was reading the Book of Mormon not because he was looking to find the truth of it but for other reasons, but now...now he's starting to feeling the seeds of testimony and it was so cool to be there to experience it with him, I wouldn't give a mission away for anything. Anyway it really shows the power of the word of God, and the Holy Spirit testifying of truth.  Reminding me again of  some really powerful scriptures Mosiah 4:9 and Alma 32:28.  Also a verse in Alma about the word of God is more powerful than the sword.  I don't really have time to write them out though.  Anyway Love You family!!! Happy Valentines Day and Happy Birthday Soon DaD!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Xin Nian Kuaile Feb 10, 2013

Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.
-Chinese proverb

We received a short email this week from Elder Gummow with news of the "Guo Nian"  
(Spring Festival/New Year's Celebration)

Happy New Years Again!

"It's definitely the new years season, lots of burning paper money, fireworks during the day and the middle of the night, and best of all eating at members houses.  This week was actually comparatively tough, during the New years season most people return to their parents houses, so pretty much all of our investigators our gone.  This weekend was a lot of time spent contacting and just traveling to find different Less Actives houses.  The highlight though is having the opportunity to eat with the members here.  We've gotten to eat with two members so far and they are so cool, crazy to see the sacrifices they've made to live the Gospel and the blessing the gospel has given them, pumps you up for missionary work!

So glad to hear you got to go to the Lehi Chinese Festival thing, sounds pretty accurate to what is going on here, although I haven't seen any dragon puppet dancing yet, I think that's this Wednesday   The biggest differences this holiday season are all the shops are closed and the streets seem almost empty because most people are inside, napping and eating.  There are decorations but actually not that many, and no really special activities or festivals yet that I've seen, but I guess I'll see here soon.  Also during "guonian" everyone cleans there houses so today is our Power Cleaning P-Day!"

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb 4, 2013

Elder Gummow had a busy and productive week this week!  It sounds like he is getting through well and has great examples to learn from. He just need some more time in the day so he can write more details and send a few pictures! ( but we are happy that he is happy and busy!) Here are some quotes from his letter:

"Sorry I have to write a little shorter than usual today.  This week was great though, best thing one of our investigators last Sunday in Church, bore his testimony twice!!  He said that he had gained a testimony of prayer because he owns this shop that sells antiques and he rarely has customers because of the economy and stuff, but he said that last week he said a prayer that someone would come and buy something at his store and the soon after it happened, this happened two or three times I think  (I couldn't tell exactly what he was saying), but he was so moved by this experience that he wanted to bear his testimony in Gospel Principles class and Priesthood.  His name is H... Dixiong and he is so so so so so coool, I wish you guys could meet him.

Hmm other stuff, new companion - he's awesome and we get along really well!  This last week took a little to adjust to the new situation (finding a bike, finding his lost luggage, getting lost on the way to a less-active's house, etc.)  But we got a lot done, and we are going to work really hard together we have some great plans ahead.  One of them, which I love, is playing basketball with our recent converts, which we started today.  This morning we got to play with  C....DiXiong and another new member that just moved in D....DiXiong.  So much fun, and we hope it will make the new members better friends with the ward members, etc.
Other than that it's been good! The switch went well and we have some really good things to look forward to these next couple weeks.  Mom, I got your letter and the valentines! Thanks - they're awesome!  Also, well I think that's it. Love you guys! Have a good week.

Elder Gummow"