Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cool Tie - September 30, 2013

Elder Gummow is doing well and is happy!  He sent us a picture of he and his new companion (also from Highland).  I was privileged to meet his mom and little brother last week!  I noticed Elder Gummow's new tie and asked him about it.  He said "Sister Gummow", his sister in the Taipei Mission, sent it to him. She said in her email that she got a letter from him this week.  I love that they are sharing and enjoying each other through this mission experience!

"Family!,

Thanks for the letter this week! It was really good and I'm glad to hear all that happened this week - especially with missionary work.  Missionary Work is the best!

This week was awesome! I feel like I learned so much!  Met some of the best members ever, ran into someone just like Kaz Kano on the street, and also met the cutest old guy I've ever seen. 

This week was filled with lots of good things and activities.  I think I would have to say something I learned this week was that Missionary Work is not necessarily all about working really hard, and that maybe it's a little more about about being focused continually on the Savior and sharing the beauty of the Gospel. 

This week as far as miracles, we had some interesting ones this week.  First off was Tuesday - as we were traveling and contacting and we ran into an investigator that we had been trying to get in contact with forever and he was completely willing to meet said he was out of town and just got back so hadn't been able to get in contact with us yet.  We ate Dinner together that day though and he accepted a baptismal goal!  Right now his biggest problem is that he might have family protest so we are going to try and work on that next week.

Also this week we went to one of our secondary area's last week to visit some less active members.  One guy we met was really really happy to see us.  An older man who's son and daughter are both members.  He let us sit down with him and get to know his family.  He starts telling us stories about his daughter and son and how they joined the Church.  Then the daughter, who lives in another place, calls us and says that she wants to visit (not knowing we were there).  So we got to have a lesson with her and her father together and her father is really awesome.

Last cool experience was  -  I met the Taiwanese version of the Canterbury Band we had and got to jam for a second with them.  There was a guy just like Josh (just starting to learn ukulele) and then his friend, Kent, who was so much like Kaz it freaked me out a little.  They played a couple songs for a us. It was just about the same kind of stuff we used to play.  Pretty freaky experience.

Love you family!  Conference next week for you guys!!  I'm a little jealous! I'm really excited for conference this time! It's like Christmas on your mission.  I'm excited to hear what new announcements they make this time. 

Also Moon Festival was two weeks ago.  Nothing special happened during it though, just lots of people having barbeques.  We went to IKEA last week too and it was really good. - bought a ton of American food (Chocolate Cookies, Hot Dogs, Cinnamon Rolls).  Man, I missed Cinnamon Rolls a lot! They are super good!!

Love, Elder Gummow"

Monday, September 23, 2013

Miracle Bringer - Sept 23, 2013

Elder Gummow didn't even mention the Super Typhoon that hit Taiwan this weekend.  Apparently the Highland winds of home have prepared him to go through crazy weather without missing a beat!  Here are a few pictures he sent this week of their temple trip a couple of weeks ago to Taipei.  This must have been their district at the time before this last move call.
Family Family Hello!

This week was crazy awesome, I have to be honest.  Elder B is definitely a miracle-bringer.  This week the miracles tripled maybe even quadrupled and I'm not sure I'll be able to write them all down. 

First off, the not miracle part, but turns out Elder B and I knew each other more than we knew in high school.  We saw each other a lot in High School we just didn't know it.  For example, after taking his pictures out to show his family to investigator, I realized that I had seen his sister before and that we took the same bus in high school, and so did he on Friday's I just never noticed before.  So Elder B lives close to us and knows a lot of the same people I did in high school.  Pretty cool.  He also read that blog that you guys made before coming out here and he knew all these weird things about me.

So for the miracles, just starting out on Monday  right after we got out the door we run into this awesome kid, his name is xxxx, and his English is perfect.  After talking a little we found out that he's Christian and already understood the whole first vision from studying our Church.  He knew about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, etc.  Through talking he asked us some really good questions, like why is the Book of Mormon important?  and I'm not sure I can really believe that Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ?  Which are just the question we'd like to hear from an investigator.  It was like being back in training in the MTC and you have those fake investigators that ask you taboo questions.  Like too good to be real.  I thought for a second that he could be some set up by the goverment or something....But after Elder B beautifully explaining somethings to him and testifying his doubt kind of changed to a wow this is cool, and okay I'll try this and he was totally willing to read and meet up with us to talk about it.  

Second miracle, was xxx, an investigator we picked up a while ago.  He finally was back in town this week and we met up with him.  We had lessons back to back that night though, and he came late so while we were teaching I had to leave for a second to say hi to the other investigator.  When I got back, I was a little surprised... the picture of Christ getting baptized was on the table and Elder B was saying the words, "are you willing to be baptized?"  I was gone for like thirty seconds but somehow the whole lesson was changed!  Turns out the miracle was though that this guy, xxx, was totally prepared and when we set a date with him is was like "Yes I really want to set a date, I'm super willing." 

Last off was like several miracles on Sunday.  I was a little down because we had 8 or so people confirmed for Church this week and right before Church started, no one was there.  I sat down in the Chapel really discouraged and just wondering what I should've done to help them come and what I could've done better, but as the sacrament came by I hear a guy nearby say to me "Zhanglao"  or "Elder" in English.  I look up and see that one of the Less-Actives we had found a couple weeks ago was there for the first time passing the sacrament, dressed up in a white shirt and tie.  And I mean there's nothing better than that, it was so great to see this man, who was so prepared to come back, and that we were able to help him have the courage to come.

Then along with no investigators coming this week we were sitting in the 2nd hour of Church,  when a good member friend motions for us to come out and talk with him.  We walk out and there are these two kids, twins, teenage boys.  We talk for a second and turns out they recently ran into the sister missionaries nearby and had come by themselves to the Church meeting.  So we invite them and in are they are really prepared and willing.  In all my missionary experience I've never seen this happen.  

So I'm running out of time, but it was great to hear from you guys this week, Mom glad that you are going to meet Elder B's family - they seem really really cool.  Tell them Elder B is a really good missionary and that he has a lot of faith.  I'm going to try and pull out some money today for the glasses, also I had to replace my bike tire this week so that's going to cost a little.  

Also today we're going to IKEA!  They just opened one in Taichung!  We're going to have lunch with the district I'm pretty excited.  Send you guys pictures next week.

Love you family!

Elder Gummow

Monday, September 16, 2013

Surprise "Move call" - Staying in Zhongming! Sept 16, 2013

Looks like Zhongming gets Elder Gummow for at least another 6 weeks!  He loves it and is super happy to stay there!  His new companion is from home - about 2 miles away and he is excited to serve with him!  Here is a picture of his Zone prior to the move call  - reposted from the Mission Blog.


The move Call...

So last week was the move call and I have been here for 4ish months now so I was expecting to leave the area this week. All the other missionaries in the area were expecting it too.  I even started telling everyone I would be leaving.  I don't know what happened though. Move call came on Saturday night and it turns out Elder K is moving and I'll be staying in Zhongming for another move call!  Even better, I got a new companion who - I didn't realize it at first but - I've met before!  Turns out we were in the same Chinese class together three years ago.  Really a small world, well kind of (I feel like about half the missionaries out here are from Lone Peak) it's pretty awesome!  Elder Bean is my new companion's name and his family lives like 10 minutes from our house.  Also he know Sierra Kapp and Taylor Airmet from our ward.  Crazy! 

This week we also cool had exchanges with our Zone Leaders and turns out he was going to be assistant the next day.

I felt a little relieved this week. We finally have found some really good investigators for the future.  We had a really tough week - a few lessons and a lot of contacting,  but it was still fulfilling and fun.  We were spending most of the time we had trying to find new people but at the end of the week we had two new investigators come that we had met during that week, and they were all amazingly prepared people.  So looking towards this next move call, I'm pretty excited.  One guy's name is J... and the other is L...... - both single aged kids and really awesome nice people.

One thing broke my heart this week - one of the members that we baptized mostly recently hasn't been wanting to come to church lately or meet with us.  He just lost his job and has been having a hard time finding a new one and I think that has effected his faith.  It hurts a lot that he's not really willing to meet or talk with us.  I think it'll just be a small stage though.  Luckily, while we were emailing today we met him in the same emailing place and he's doing better, at least it seems so.  He still hasn't found work but he was okay talking with us and getting to know Elder B better.  I love him so much and I want to know how to bring him better in to wanting to come to Church.

Good times recently! Looking forward to more time in Zhongming! I really feel like this area and I have a destiny together and I might be here even longer .... we'll see.  I'm glad to be here though and I'm really excited for this new time with Elder B and I together.

Love You Family! Those pictures kind of freaked me out today.  I can't believe how much Daniel and Bryanna have grown and it's been such a short period of time.  I feel like Daniel is taller than me now, is he? Either way you guys are all beautiful,, and handsome (or "Shuai" as they say it in Taiwan). 

Love you and hope all is going well.

Love Elder Gummow

Monday, September 9, 2013

Insights Sept.9, 2013

"A diamond with a flaw
 is worth more than
 a pebble without imperfections."
Chinese Proverb

Elder Gummow's week was good and he shared important insights that he is learning along the way:

"Hello Family!

Really great week last week!  Lots of stuff was able to happen and we were able to get a lot done. 

This week as far as miracles go.  Lots of the investigators and people we've been teaching were able to get to Church.  It was fantastic! and that Recent Convert who hasn't been in a while came back!  Also, we were able to get 3 new baptismal goals so we're looking forward to helping some good investigators progress towards their goals.

This week also was good as well in learning new things and growing.  This week I think something I realized is that I can get pretty angry.  Especially when I'm stressed or things aren't going well in the work.  I noticed a mistake that I sometimes make is that after these times of short-temper I look at the bad/mistakes of others.  But then I notice a little later that I make the same mistakes too.  So this is something I want to try and work on.

Also, I felt this week really powerfully that one of our roles as missionaries is to give people hope.  Almost every lesson we've taught lately has been centered around the scripture Ether 12:4, "Believing in God means to believe in a better world, etc"  This message has been incredibly powerful too, helping others have desire to read the Book of Mormon more, to want to come to Church, and to keep trying hard to quit smoking.

(Ether 12: 4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.)

There is actually not too much else to say for this week.  I want to try and buy some new glasses today though, there is a place here that is really cheap 6-10 dollars for glass frames.  I think I will try and go there and buy new glasses today if that's okay money wise.

As for the application process to I was thinking about applying to BYU.  It's probably one of my top choices right now for schools. How do I need to start preparing for applying next month?

Daniel, thanks for writing. It's good to hear from you -razy to hear that your starting to drive already. Hope your a lot better driver than me. 

Super Jealous that you guys got to got to the James Taylor concert. :P 

The new paint in the office looks crazy, Seems like the house has changed a lot. Also, sorry to hear about your foot Mom (note from mom: it is really my leg), glad it's getting better but hope it gets even better soon. 

Love You Family,
Elder Gummow

Also the temple in Taiwan still shows the old film. I heard about the new film though, it should be coming to the temple soon."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Power to change - Sept 4, 2013



 "I have long believed that the 
study of the doctrines of the gospel
will improve behavior quicker
 than talking about behavior
 will improve behavior."

 - Boyd K Packer

We just received Elder Gummow's email (It is Wednesday instead of the usual Sunday Night) and were happy he was able to go to the temple this week!  He has a great example of the power of studying the scriptures!  



Family,

Sorry to email late this week, we didn't forget about it, it's just that we had another Temple Day to make up for the last one (typhoon) soo we had our emailing time changed to today.  This last week was great and lots of great things happened.  

First off, this last week was filled with rain, lot of it, and lot more of it.  Actually from Wednesday on it rained everyday all day.  I guess it's rainy season in Taiwan though.  Despite the rain, I felt myself enjoying missionary work a lot - especially near the end of the week.  A lot of our investigators have kind of dropped off so now we're looking at teaching some of the better progressing as well as finding new good ones.   So the last couple of days a large part of it has been spent trying to find new investigators. Monday night we spent the whole night tracting.  

Getting the opportunity to really work hard and dedicate myself more to the work has been really nice and I feel like it's helping convert me better to the work and to the Lord. 

This week also had an incredible miracle in the midst of it.  One of the Recent Converts we have has been having problems with coming to Church because he had problems with a member there.  After weeks of trying to work with him, it seemed that he was only getting worse and that he might be becoming Less-Active already.  Actually, the last time we visited, I told Elder K.... we probably couldn't come over anymore because we had tried a lot to help him and he wasn't changing and it was taking a lot of our time.  The miracle happened on Friday night when we were at Church attending a baptism. Our recent convert called us up and was happy, incredibly happy and started talking about how he started reading the Doctrine and Covenants, and while he was reading it, he felt like the words were speaking right to him and that God's power was in the word.  From there it was a complete 360 degree turn around and he started praying again with us and committed to coming to Church this next weekend.  I was so amazed at that experience and how the scriptures can be such an incredibly powerful tool in converting someone, even to the point of turning them from completely apostasy to believing in God again.

That was about it for this week, lots of rain otherwise.  Plus L........ came to Church again so he's looking good for baptism for this month, we just want to make sure he's sincerely converted when he gets baptized and that his Mom is behind him.  We're planning on meeting with him this Saturday and bringing a good leader from our ward.

That's about all I can write this week time is short because of the temple. 

Love you family, hope this week goes well! Write more to you guys in a couple days.

Elder Gummow

PS. Oh and that's so crazy seeing pictures of your foot and Kaz & Nick in my room! Thanks for the pictures!