Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013

聞wén 之zhī 不bù 若ruò 見jiàn 之

"hearing is not as good as seeing"
 - Chinese Proverb

 We love seeing pictures and this week we were surprised to see a Facebook post of Elder Gummow with one of Sara's Friends from working at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. When I asked him where this was taken, this is what he said,
 " it was taken at Zhongming chapel. its right after their English class. it was funny, cuz i came to the class for another friend (and for some nice food too, cuz Costco is rite next to this chapel lol), n Matt found out that i just came back from Hawaii. then he asked me if i knew Sara. i was like yeah. i was a tour guide, n Sara was a photographer back in PCC. it was nice too meet him, n his chinese is getting pretty decent. impressive i would say. this is also the day they went to temple."  
- Thank you, Sara's friend,  for sharing this picture with us!!

Elder Gummow  also sent a few pictures this week!  This one was taken the day he arrived in Zhongming with one of the members.  The one at the bottom of this post is with a couple of the boys in the Fengyuan area that he taught who got baptized after he left near the beginning of May!  He was so happy that they finally were able to be baptized and enjoy the blessing of the gospel.  Here are some quotes from his email this week:

"That was fast!  It feels like I was just writing at this internet cafe- but a couple days have passed already.  I'm not sure there is much to update on yet,  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all really good days.  Had lots of lessons and good finding times.  This area is still doing good but the problem I feel like we had this week was finding progressing investigators.  We had a lot of recurring problems and scenarios with investigators the past couple days and it's been a little hard trying to get them to keep progressing in the Gospel.  So next week our focus is going to be on getting more members at lessons plus focusing on baptism goals and sacrament attendance so we can get these investigators progressing.  Right now we have two really good investigators that are looking pretty solid for baptism.  One is a W........ that we met the first day I was here, he is super cool and loves Church and comes to all the activities but his two biggest problems are that his parents might oppose him getting baptized and he still doesn't know if the Church is true.  The other investigator is C......... who is preparing for baptism next month, he's really cool already and already keeps all the commandments except Keep Sabbath Day Holy so we have a lot of hope in him.  

It's getting pretty hot here in ZhongMing too, same as it is with Sara.  Lately it's been really rainy one day and then really hot the next, so pretty bipolar.  I like the heat here though because it's also really humid which keeps you pretty cool when your riding your bike.  Sounds kind of like the heat dad was just in, I heard about the tornado too because Elder R......'s family lives in Oklahoma so it was a pretty big deal for him.  Sounds pretty crazy!

Let's see, ya we eat at Costco a lot about 3-4 times since I've been here. It is really convenient and the pizza is pretty cheap there.  I really want to buy a card there though so I can get their Chocolate muffins :)

We also did have a huge grave sweeping activity in April sorry I must've forget to write about it.  It was really cool though and we had the news there interviewing President Bishop and some of the other Elders. 

Thanks for the pictures, so cool that Daniel was playing in a concert with Mr. Hinton/ "Joshua Creek".  Super Classy.  And I'm super glad you  found that deal at" The Homestead" and you guys all got to on a mini-vacation.  Glad to hear you guys got in touch with Peja!  He's a super cool kid. 

Sorry if this letter feels a little boring this week I don't really have a lot to update about.  I think I'm going to buy a voice recorder today.  Probably a really nice one so I can record my voice speaking Chinese, my Guitar and also so I can start sending some letters as recordings instead of writing.  Thanks for the idea mom!

Hmm for miracles, this one didn't happen these last days, but Elder R..... ran into a Less-Active member on the street about a week ago, he was super super happy to see us too, and started talking about how he's been smoking and drinking lately and that it's made him really unhappy but he's been trying to hide the guilt.  However seeing Elder R..... that day made him realize that he can't be that way and that maybe it's about time he started to change and start coming to Church again.  Really cool that's something I think I learned last week is that as missionaries we really represent a lot to the world and to the members of Taiwan, and that we provide kind of a light to those without hope.  Even though we are young, only 19-24ish, people are still looking up to us. It's a lot of pressure sometimes but pushes us to be better people and representatives of Christ.

That's about it, thanks for the letter and update this week! You're the best family!!! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Temple Week! May 22, 2013

Elder Gummow's P-day was changed to Wednesday this week because they had the opportunity to venture north to the Taipei temple.  They can only go on their P-day and the temple is closed on Mondays so they have to switch their P-day so they can go. This is the first time since he left the MTC that he has been able to go.  We were hoping that by some miracle, he would get to see his sister Sara who is serving currently in the Taipei Mission, but she was just transferred a couple of weeks ago to the southern part of her mission.

I was wrong last week about the location Elder Gummow was transferred to.  He is in Zhongming, not Fuhsing - they sort of sound alike... right?  Well he loves it so far and is doing well!  He even sent a few pictures! Looks like he got an extra short haircut - glad it wasn't me cutting his hair this time.  I would have been in big trouble!  Somehow, I don't think hair length is a priority to him anymore. And it is starting to heat up there so it probably feels good.  Here are some excerpts from his email:

"I'm in the south part of Taichung City right now in an area called Zhongming, which I feel like is one of the best areas in the mission.  People are really nice to us and they are willing to listen and admire missionaries and their hard work.  Also, there are some really good investigators here that I just walked into that are definitely prepared people.

Another good thing about this area is that my companion is super cool.  His name is Elder Rxxx and he is a really hard worker and has a great love for the missionary work.  He's only a move call ahead of me so we are both about the same place in missionary work which is really cool because this way we have really good companionship unity, etc.  The only bad part is that we make a lot more mistakes this way though because we both are really young in the work still.

This week, as far as miracles go...we had an amazing member referral from a bishop in another ward.  This guy, ....DiXiong. His parents just died at the beginning of this month and he found out after that they were members of this church, which spark his interested in us.  After talking to the Bishop, he referred them over here because they live in our area.  We met him and his wife this last Saturday and they both came to Church that Sunday   They are super cool and area still really young at heart so it was fun getting to know them.  Elder Rxxx and I are super excited about teaching them, especially about the Plan of Salvation and temple ordinances and we are pretty sure that they will be baptized as well.

Hmm these pictures I'm sending are of the first day of being in Zhongming, this is an RC's wife's BuXiBan (extra curricular "prep" or "cram" schools), the kids are super cool! During that visit we set up a time to go visit them and teach them English for an hour.  Really excited for that opportunity!

This week was filled with a lot of miracles but as well, very tiring. I think I'm still getting adjusted to this new area, and we skipped Preparation day this week, so I was a little extra tired but I was really ready for the temple and some rest today.  It was a great visit and I enjoyed being back at the temple again after such long a time.  

This area is looking really great and Elder Rxxxx and I are really looking forward to what's coming up these next few weeks.  It's going to be a lot of fun for sure.  I just hope I'll stay in this area for awhile. I'm ready to settle down in a place for a bit.  

Thanks for the update again this week, glad to hear how good the kids are doing.  Sounds like Dan is doing awesome too, I can't wait til he's a missionary himself  - I can't imagine how awesome of a missionary he would be!  
Well, love you guys so much and thanks for all your love and support.  Happy Birthday to Sara!!!"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day! and Skype!!

 We were so happy to talk to Elder Gummow on Skype!!  The wait was a bit sleepless because in his email he told us he would be calling on 6:30 Saturday morning, but he miscalculated the time difference and in reality it was our Sunday morning.  We had re figured it correctly during the week, but weren't really sure if he would realize it or not and when he would actually call so we woke up both mornings at 5:30 am in anticipation of a call.  It was worth both waits and we loved seeing him on Skype and talking to him.  His transfer had already happened and a cute family that had just been baptized the day before was there at the church where he was using the computer!  The kids were attempting to talk to us and made cute faces and noises.  We also met his new companion from Oklahoma and his third companion who is going home this week!  We happen to know his grandparents who live in the ward Elder Gummow's grandparents live. We think his new area is called Fuhsing and is just south of Taichung, but we aren't exactly sure if that is what he said.  We will double check with him this coming week.

Elder Gummow is happy and still loving his experiences in Taiwan.  He feels that the Lord has really blessed him and even though things have been challenging, he has received the help he has needed along the way. When asked what he misses most, it wasn't the food or the bed or American living - it was family and friends.  Other than that he is happy to be in Taiwan and truly loves what he is doing. He loved hearing about home and wanted Daniel to play the trumpet for him, but we decided that our neighbors may not appreciate that so much at 7am on a Saturday Morning.  His favorite area has been his first in Fengyuan and he continues to stay in touch with the people there.

We ask him if he had any messages that we should pass on to family, ward members and friends and he said with conviction, "Go on a mission"   Simply and beautifully said.  It has truly had a positive impact on his life!

After the phone call, we received a quick email on his P-day with great news about the family of boys that he got so close to in Fengyuan and taught while he was there.

"The XXX Kids got baptized yesterday!!!!  The best part about it too was their mom came back to church after 5 or so years of inactivity to see her kids get baptized.  Such great news!!"

Elder Gummow

His previous companion, Elder B...  was there to witness it and he returns home this week!  What a great way to end a mission!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinco de Mayo, 2013

Elder Gummow is prepping for another change this week!  We look forward to the Mother's day call and can't wait to see his face and hear his voice again! Here is an excerpt from his email this week!

"This week as far as miracles go, we had a great one but a very simple one as well -this past Sunday night. So last night we had an hour so we went and visited xxxxx at the hospital.  His dad is the guy I talked about last week, that came to the Church last Sunday by himself.  He told us last week that his hasn't seen his son for years and that he heard recently that his son was in a car wreck and wanted us to go see him at the hospital.  So we went last night, kinda of nervous because we didn't know this guy at all,  but when we got there and we started talking to him it was really good.  He was laying in bed and his leg was badly injured and he had a bunch of scars all over his body. He looked pretty bad.  Said that when he was hit he passed out and didn't know anything that happened afterwards.  Pretty Crazy.  We started talking and he told us how he always wanted to come to our English Class and our Church but never found time before.  He says he really likes the Christian religion and thought before about becoming a Christian.  So we're really hopeful that we can help him and his dad come to church and hopefully through the gospel help heal their relationship.  Above all it was just a really good meeting and we had a really good spirit-filled visit with him.  He's a super chill super nice kid.

Also this week we got a notice, my companion is going to be training his last two move calls.  So I'm going to be kicked out of Fengyuan already :(  It's okay though I was expecting it from the first when I got there, but I'll be really sad to leave Fengyuan so soon, the members here are solid, some of the best I've seen in Taiwan   Including one that is featured in the "I am a Mormon" videos, Mao Kai Ping. 

As far as Skype goes, I'm hoping that I'll be able to Skype you guys Sunday night like at 8:30 after we are done for the night so like 6:30, Saturday morning for you guys.  Sorry I wish I could do Monday, but that's the day I'll be moving so I probably won't be able to Skype then.

That's pretty much it for this week though.  Glad to hear the updates jealous of Dan's Jazz Band looks pretty sweet.  You'll have to record them jamming sometime so that I can listen to it later.  Dan your crazy for wanting to go to Prom :) Sounds like your getting pretty crazy on the trumpet though, maybe you can play something that I can hear when we Skype? 

Bry, glad to hear your having friend drama :)  Well glad to hear your being a good and loyal friend.  That's something I'm always glad of here are the people that don't judge us but treat us as equals here. 

Dad hope that your work stuff will keep getting better and better, can't wait to hear the update.

Mom, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, excited to Skype you guys this Sunday, remember to think of questions and stuff! I only have 40 minutes like last time.