Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, August 26, 2013

Finding - August 26, 2013

 Great week for Matt!  Lots of up and downs, but still progressing:

"Dear Family!

This week, as far as area progression went, was a really good one!  We have been struggling lately trying to find new, good investigators that are willing to progress, but we're incredibly grateful that this week went really well in finding 10 new people - the highest number of new people we've found in a week since I've been on my mission!  This week we felt incredibly blessed coming out of it with so many new investigators, including a new family and a Mongolian man.

The family is super awesome and we met them for the first time Saturday night.  The boys are twins but not identical, actually they are like complete opposites.  They feel really prepared though.  Also the Mongolian, he's the coolest guy ever and just kind of randomly showed up to Church on Friday afternoon so we rushed over there to meet him.  He doesn't speak Chinese at all and his English is still in the process.  But he came to Church that Sunday and he loves the feeling and peacefulness about it all so we're really hopefully for him.

This week on the not so good side was that we had a "week A" drop out, L.....  Meaning L...... was supposed to get baptized this week but because he didn't come to Church, he can't.  We're still not very aware of what happened, but we confirmed him coming  3-4 times this week and then went to pick them up at their house on Sunday afternoon.  However we were incredibly surprised when they weren't home and weren't answering their phone.  After waiting for a half hour we were finally able to get a hold of him over the phone.  Turns out his Mom (who knew he was coming to church) took him to the mountains for a hike during the time Church was.  We're still not really sure why or how it happened, but we're going to try and work with him and his Mom this week.  Make sure that the Mother doesn't have other concerns towards her son getting baptized.

Also one of our Recent Converts, G......., had troubles with one of his friends at Church and since then he hasn't been willing to come back to Church.  We've met him twice since then and talked about it and the principle of Forgiveness, etc.  But he's still not willing to come back, we're not really sure what to do, but we still have lot of faith in helping him.

The Chinese is going well, I learned to not care too much about my accent, especially since a lot of people will say that it's really Foreign-sounding and others will say it's very American.  Most of my study time lately has been on reading the Book of Mormon.  Chinese has such a large character system -it is incredible, but I found lately that I can read and understand a good part of the Book of Mormon - which is really nice.  It feels really cool to be able to actually understand what was just scribbles before.

That was about it for this week. It was a little shorter time period since the last time I wrote.  Exciting to hear about Kaz's homecoming talk!  Kind of wished I was there to see it and see how much he has grown/changed.  Does he have a copy of his talk or was it all just on the spot?

Mom, I'm sorry to hear about your leg.  I hope it heals fast and that's it's not anything as severe as an Achilles Tendon breaking.  I also hope that it gives you more time to study Chinese though :)  Praying for you.

Thanks for the wonderful update this week family, love hearing from you guys.

Elder Gummow"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Typhoon the 2nd, August 20,2013

Elder Gummow's email came late this week, but we were happy to hear from him today even though his original plans were changed because of Typhoon Fanapi!  We were happy to hear from him!


"Sorry I never told you guys last week but ya this week was temple day.  The normal plan was that we were supposed to go there at 6.00 this morning, but yesterday they canceled the trip because of a typhoon. (The temple closes on typhoon days)  So right now it's raining like crazy outside, the typhoon has arrived, luckily it's just like normal rain down here in the middle of Taiwan   This typhoon is supposed to be smaller than normal and plus it's mainly hitting the north part of Taiwan.

This was a great week last week as well.  The highlight of which being a really good baptismal service.  Colin was baptized this week a long with another investigator the Elders were teaching.  It was a great service and went incredibly smoothly, with a nice celebration afterward, a great way for C... to start his membership in the Church.  

C.... is probably one of the most prepared people I've ever met,and he's filled with love for others.  Really has a desire to serve and help other people.  He's had a lot of difficulties in the past, and the Gospel, especially prayer has helped provide comfort to him in times of need.

So crazy to see Kaz's coming home pictures! I can't believe he's back at his home now.  It just doesn't make sense in my head.  Looking at him being back and changed so much is really inspiring though.  Kaz really does look like he's a grown man now.

Other things that happened this week:  we've finally been able to pick up some really cool new investigators.  One of which has a member friend in Taipei that is in a popular acapella group called "Silence".  When he was a kid, he attended his friend's baptismal service which created a lasting impression in his mind.  Pretty crazy miracle!

Also something that happened this week; we were meeting with L...., a 14 year old part member family.  He just passed his baptismal interview and now his mom is kind of scared that he is going to join Church for fun and games and not because he is committed to keeping the commandments.  So were are going to have to keep working with him and help him understand the commitment of baptism better.

That was about it for last weeks events. We're really looking forward to this coming week and all that is going to happen.  Plus this long awaited P-day is nice.  We're going to try and watch "17 Miracles" today. 

Love You family, so great to hear from you this week.  Good Luck this next one too, the kids should be starting school this week right?  Jiayou

Elder Gummow

Monday, August 12, 2013

Halfway - August 13, 2013

Elder Gummow got to say "good-bye for now" to a some awesome missionaries who headed home last week, his trainer and a fellow missionary from his hometown area.  Hopefully he will see them again in a year or so.  He had a good week and is surviving the heat!  It was one year ago that he dove into a pool that was not as deep as he thought on our last family vacation just days before his farewell and scraped up is mouth and chin.  Miraculously, the wounds that normally would have taken weeks to scab over and heal took just days and the scab was off in time for him to give his farewell talk. The miracles continue!

"Hello Family!!!

Thanks so much for the letters this week and the other things.  I got the year mark letter and it was great, I loved the camel analogy and the letters from you guys and especially Kaz's last letters.  So awesome that he was able to go home with a baptism. I really can't believe that's it's been a year since I was getting ready to go to the MTC! It goes by so fast here.

Thanks also for the Language tips and helping me out Mom.  I guess sometimes I set my expectations really high for language ability and that I should be looking more at how much I've been blessed with the language. 

This week was a great one! Lots of big changes and new things happening, plus our investigator passed his baptismal interview last week so that was really cool.  It's C...., I think I've talked about him before.  He's a super active investigator and comes to the Church about everyday - helps us teach investigators all the time.  I'll tell you more about him next week after the baptism  

The Mission President changed some big things this week.  One is that we don't have follow-ups at night anymore.  Follow-ups was that I would call every companionship of the district, every night to follow-up on how their missionary work was going.  Now that's all done away with, so I have a lot more time at night to do missionary work, write in journal, etc.  It's really nice.

This week we had a lot of good things happen.  Good is that we found a lot of new LA's to work with and they're all really good and really willing to come to Church and participate.  We also had some new investigators come to Church this week and a couple investigators that are progressing really well and gaining stronger and stronger testimonies. 

Something I realized this week was how much a mission is about personal growth and progress as well as helping other people.  I feel like the mission experience might be more for the missionary than it is for the investigator.  Usually prepared people are prepared and you do all you can to help them but ultimately it comes down to the Spirit converting them above all other things.  The great part is that we, as missionaries have a chance to be apart of it, to convert ourselves more to the Lord, to see many miracles, and to share a message of peace.  It's pretty awesome.

Thanks again for the letter this week.  Love you Mother and Family, you guys really are the best.

Love, Elder Gummow

Monday, August 5, 2013

Move Calls! August 5, 2013

It was an exciting week for Elder Gummow!  33  new missionaries entered his mission and he was able to assist in their first week in Taiwan and the famous "Dan Jones" experience in the night market. There is a youtube link to the video they do for the families and friends of the new missionaries.  Matt is in the last part as he welcomes in the New Mission President and his wife with flowers.  Here is the link if you want to check it out:   Dan Jones moment in the night market

 He also has the privilege of being with his trainer for a few days before his trainer heads home to Idaho.  It was a short email this week but power packed!

"Dear Family,
Good to hear from you guys this week!  This week was quite an eventful one for us.  First off this was the end of the move call so we had 33 new missionaries, come in.  Two that are from the same Chinese class we (Sara and I) were in in high school.  Because we live really close to the Mission Office, Elder K.... and I got to take the new missionaries around "Dan Jones Night".  I got one of the most inspiring missionaries ever, his first day in and first time contacting and he was getting people's numbers and adding people for Church right from the start!  What a great example of strong faith. 

This week was also a good one as far as getting new investigators progressing and becoming more involved in Church.  We had our English Party and a Family Home Evening for the singles ward in which we were happy to see many new investigators come and have really fun experiences with the ward members and organizations of the Church.  We're also looking forward to another FHE activity tonight, in which many investigators should be attending.

The last thing is Elder B... is my companion again, at least for a couple days until he goes home. We are in a tripod for a few days. You're right - time flies!  I feel like he was just barely my trainer in Zuoying (Gaoxiong) and now were back together doing missionary work.  It was sad to see him put his bike away for the last time and packing up his stuff.  So many missionaries are leaving tomorrow it's so sad, My trainer, Elder A, my other companion Elder M.  Such great missionaries and they offered such great service and dedication to the Lord these last 2 years!  So crazy to hear about Kaz too! It seems not long ago at all that he left for Japan and now he's back in like two weeks right?  Man that is sooo crazy!

Love You Family,  Your the Best!

Elder Gummow"