Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25,2013

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.
So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, 
it means that it's going to launch you into something great.
So just focus and keep aiming!
-John Edward

 Elder Gummow's little sister had a birthday last week and received the beautiful bow and arrows that she has been wanting since she has been into archery for the the last 8 or 10 months!  This quote reminded me of what Elder Gummow has experienced the past couple of weeks and that despite some of the setbacks, he is keeping his focus and it could launch him into great things!
This is the Chair Maze that they used last week
 to teach about the Holy Ghost

"This week was good-ish, we had a lot of good things happen, but had one really sad thing happen.  The most sad thing first - so I can get it off my chest...the L..... kids will not be getting baptized this weekend.  We talked to the Mom a couple nights ago and she said it was too quick, that she didn't feel they were ready.  We've been meeting with them since the beginning of December, they've been taught all the lessons and are ready but in the end it's all up to the Mom, especially since it's going to take her coming back to church for enduring conversion.  So we decided to let the Mom decide instead of pressuring her into to anything.  It was a very sad and disheartening for me, but last night they set a goal for the beginning of May that I really hope they'll hit even if I can't be there for it.  Man I love that family so much, I really really hope they'll make their goals.

Hmm...but on the upside of this week we had some really good new investigators pop up.  One of them is  W...DiXiong. Someone contacted him on the streets.  He's an interior designer so his house is super super nice and cool.  He's got tons of collectible models of transformers and Batman figurines - super cool.  He's really interested in the Gospel too and super honest and open with us right from the start.  He says his mom and sister are Catholics but he didn't want to be pressured into following them, He's looking for a "Xinlijituo", which means an emotional crutch, meaning he's looking for something to help his life become more positive and happy which he felt like this Gospel could provide because when he meet us on the streets he was really down about his day, but after meeting us he realized he felt a lot more happy and positive.  Super Cool Guy and good potential.

Also another great guy we met this week, B.......  Cool thing about him is that he went to the same school as C...DiXiong, which is a high school for all the smartest boys in Gaoxiong.  So naturally his English is amazing! His first contact with the Church was through English Class, and then we had him come eat with us on Saturday with C...DiXiong.  After that we invited him to Church - which was really the key.  At Church he listened attentively to all the lessons and was super interested in everything said. Since he's never really come in Contact with Christianity before, he was asking tons of questions after second hour, which from what I've experienced up til now is a really good sign of a good investigator.  All the good ones are the ones that ask questions.

Miracles everyday here in Zuoying! It might be my last week here though.  Maybe, but I kind of feel ready to leave now.  I was telling Elder B.... the other day that Zuoying is too happy of a place and that I don't really feeling like I'm growing as much as I could, so I'm pretty ready to go to a new area and experience new growing experiences.  We'll see what happens this Saturday though...."

This was a wonderful man that they baptized a couple of weeks ago!

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.
Chinese Proverb

Elder Gummow had a bit of an up and down week.  He shared some great teaching tips and is developing his gift of being able to relate to people and discern their needs. He said that with the new email policy he is permitted to email friends now, but will probably still be limiting themselves to the 1 hour per week time period.

Phew...so this week...was...interesting...tiring...Happy Birthday MOM and BRYANNA!!!  Thanks for the pictures! They were great - looks like you guys had a lot of fun.  An interesting thing I just realized was yesterday we got to celebrate L.. C....W..'s birthday (the 14 year old boy in the L...Jiating) right along with yours Mom.  You guys both have the same birthday - on St. Patrick's day!  We actually had a mini-birthday party last night with the family too! The Mom bought this super super good chocolate cake, and we made them brownies and gave them M&M's to teach them tithing. It was super fun! That family is so so great and the Mom reminds me a lot of you, mom.  I love being with them and am so glad that we could know them and have the opportunity to share the gospel with them here.

Oh ya... this Saturday was really fun with them too, we made a life-size maze in the church and blindfolded them and had them try to navigate through with lots of people yelling at them- telling them which way to go. When they couldn't do it, we gave them as guide ( the Holy Ghost) to help them through, and they were able to make it through.  We felt like since many times in previous lessons they would get bored or not pay attention.  This time we decided to use a game or example to help them learn the Gospel. It turned out really fun too and I really hope it will leave with them a lesson they can remember.

So, a Couple hard things happened this week.  First the L... kids aren't able to come to church for the next couple weeks, because they have big tests coming up and need to study.  If this is the case. then that means...they won't be able to get baptized this March :(  They still have to come 1 more Sunday if they can hit their goal.  I still have hope and we will try and talk with the Mom about it soon. I think she will understand and if they can come for at least the first hour this next week, then they will be okay for baptism. We'll see this week.

Also, the even bigger bummer this week was M....  We have to give him up :(  We just figured out this last week that he doesn't actually live in our area so we have to give him to the neighboring area's missionaries. We were really tight too and he was already made good friendships with a lot of members :(  I mostly just hope the transition won't mess him up or anything.  We just recently taught him Word of Wisdom too, and he has a smoking problem but Elder B.... and I think it is very likely that he will be able to overcome it.  He has by himself in the past, but now he has the power of the gospel to help him quit for good.

Other than that, a lot of things didn't go as planned and it was really hard to find people willing to talk with us, but it turned out to be an okay week in the end and we ended it really happy and well with the L...Jiating's family birthday celebration.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saving Daylight - March 11, 2013

"Anything you do, do it well. The last thing you want is to
be sorry for what you didn't do." - Chinese Proverb

Elder Gummow's email this week was pretty short today for two reasons.  One, because we almost forgot to send him the email we wrote that morning and didn't realize it until his time was almost up and two, because he has a busy day ahead!  We are so happy the work is keeping him busy - we just wish he could type faster so he could include more details!

Sorry today has to be faster than usual, at 11:30 we're going to travel around GaoXiong with that investigator, M....., that I told you guys about before.  He's super super cool and has made a lot of progress these past weeks. He came to church last Sunday for the first time even though he's super busy.  Also even better news is that I'M NOT MOVING!!  I have at least three more weeks left here since this next move call is shorter.  It's so great too! Zuoying has been growing so much lately and there's so mant good things going on here.  Plus I'll get the opportunity to see the L... Family baptized this month!!  The even greater things is the oldest less-active son is turning 16 this next month so he can baptize his brothers if the ward is okay with it!!  Zuoying is the best place ever!

So this week we met with the guy named --- or C....DiXiong, the guy that we met twice on the street and he's is amazing! a miracle!  When we met with him he told us he has a cousin that's a member in Taipei who's been really good at sharing the gospel with him, so he already knows quite a bit and has some good interest.  Plus the paper we gave him says "Families are Eternal" on the front which really hit him because he's a sailor that leaves 8 months to go sailing and the comes back for only 2 so he doesn't get to be with his family that much, but he loves them a ton.  He super cool and willing to accept the gospel.  The only problem though is he has to leave this next week to sail again so we won't see him for eight months.

SOrry that's it.  I have to go... love you guys tell your more next week!! LOVE YOU

ELderr GUmmow

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

Elder Gummow (Wen Zhang Lao - is his Chinese title) had a great week this week!  Another baptism and more people to teach!  The Church news announced the new mission president for his area that will be arriving this summer!  He and his wife are from California and he was a doctor previous to this calling - his current mission president was a cardiologist.  It sounds like he will still be in good hands!  He has really loved his current mission president and I think he will like the new one too!   Here is some of Matt's email:

Sounds like a lot went on this week!  What a surprise! I didn't think you guys would head back to St. George so soon!  Lone Peak Basketball won Nationals really?  Bryanna congrats on making SSA!  Sounds like you're growing up super fast, I hope you make the yearbook too - that would be super cool!  Dan tell me when you beat gramps at bowling, okay? but don't get too good.  I want to be able to beat you when I get back :)  

This week was so good!  H....DiXiong was baptized!!! It was a really good baptismal service too. He was so ready! He kept saying,  "I have been Christian for 40 years but never did I get baptized".  Unfortunately, he lives out of our boundaries apparently.  (Well he spends most of his time in his shop, which is where we visit him, but he sleeps in a different ward's boundaries.  So on Sunday we had to hand him off to that ward to get confirmed.)  We'll still get to see him this Tuesday and congratulate him though.  I have really high hopes for him now that he's in the other ward too. Apparently he already knew someone in that ward (a friend of ten years ago) and he was so happy when he found out that his friend was a member too.  He'll do a lot better over there with a good friend that can help him through the stages of new membership.  

Also this week I was able to see another amazing miracle!  Last Saturday we we're heading home and I contacted this guy.  He was really excited to talk with me and I invited him to Church and he's said he would come for church.  He seemed super interested and excited about coming to church so I was really happy about meeting him.  At the end of the day though I pulled out his contact card and realized there was a number missing on his phone number, so there was no way to further contact him...a big bummer.  Last night though, we were riding on our way to L...Jiating's house, when I hear someone call out from behind me "WenZhangLao"! I turned around quickly and saw this guy walking up to me...It was dark and I wasn't sure who it was though, so I asked him how he knew me...I soon realized it was the same guy I talked to the Saturday before and he was more than willing to give me his phone number again, and now he's coming to our English Party this Wednesday   Such a miracle!!  I prayed to be able to see him again and then Sunday I was able to, and there are like a 200,000 people coming and going in Zuoying - Zuoying (my area) is the most populated area in the Taichung Mission!

That's really all I have time for to write this week but it was a really good week this week and I am really glad to be in here in Zuoying. This might be might last week here. Next week I'll know for sure.  We have this really good family that we're trying to complete and get coming back to church though (we rode bikes with them to church last week - so much fun!) we'll see next week though.

Love You Guys, thanks so much for the letter this week (Mom) and Bryanna thanks for the picture, it always cheers me up getting letters from you guys!!