Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Gummow is well and working hard.  He sent us a picture of his shoes - well worn and holey/holy!  Looks like he hasn't been sitting around much.  We were told before he left, that shoes wouldn't need to be all that heavy duty, because they are mostly on bikes, but apparently that is not completely accurate! 

"Happy Thanksgiving Family!!!!

That was another fast week.  It feels like no time at all that I was just emailing, crazy a little.  So good to hear all that happened last week...Did you guys get to talk a lot with Chase at the reception?  How is he?  

This week was a lot like last but still in a good way because every week is good in missionary work, there is just so many things that happen.  This week was focused on finding again. These past weeks we have been finding a lot, but most of the people we have found either became referrals to missionaries outside of our area or they ended up not meeting with us again.  So we just hit the roads...oh ya!

It so worth it though, there has been lots of good that happened from all this work, dedication, and effort we put in everyday.  That guy I talked about last week, the 17-year old kid.  He set a baptismal date this week with the other elders.  He came to English and Church too and he says he loves the atmosphere and the spirit he feels at Church.  I'm so glad he can now feel of the Spirit and grow and be a part of it.

Also, we have one baptism coming up, soon, a part-member kid that Elder W and I have been teaching since the beginning of this move call.  He's 9 years-old and crazy, but also crazy smart.  We're just really excited for his mom to get baptized too so their whole family can be sealed together.  That would be an awesome event.

This week I found that with Thanksgiving coming up I am just becoming so grateful for a bunch of things.  Feels like naturally the spirit has taken me in that direction.  I found that my faith was again strengthened as we had an incredibly miracle this week.  Oh ya so this story is crazy:  

First, it starts out Elder W contacted this old guy at a park one day.  The guy was really nice and sat down with us and we talked about the Gospel with him for a little.  He was willing to talk, but he wasn't very interested in coming to Church or being baptized etc.  We exchanged information though and told him we'd call him up next time we had activities.

Next, that following Wednesday night on our way back from English Class.  The weirdest thing happens.  For the first time on my mission, a five year old kid walks up to us as we are waiting at the light.  His pockets are full of candy or something and his arms are filled with stuff.  But he holds out his hand and introduces himself.  Asks who we are and then asks for one of our Church flyers.  After talking about the experience Elder Ward and I figure it was one of the three nephites disguised as a 5-year old.

The craziest part though is that on our list of phone numbers we called up the old guy, his name is LIDiXiong and he says he can come to Church the next day.  He comes the next day and walks in and sure enough the random five-year old is with him too.  We had no idea they were related!!  They craziest part is that the old guy only came that day because the 5-Year Old kid wanted to go.  He brought his grandpa to Church and now they are going to start coming every week!!!  Crazy Coincidence!!!

It was nice to see this week that God really has his hand in this work, and that he has some humor as well.  Also that there are kids prepared as young as 5-years old.  We figure he's going to be an Area President of Taiwan or something.  What a cool conversion story that would be!

But ya that's about it for the week.  Still loving the finding, it's really a dynamic activity and we always have new places to go, new things to try etc.  This week we have two activities we're looking forward to - a Thanksgiving activity and also a seventy is coming tomorrow to meet with us.

Love you Family, Thanks so much for the letter this week. I'm sorry but the pictures...I asked but they still haven't come.  I'll send a couple this week though. Also I need new shoes, I already took out money for them, I hope that's okay.  I think it's not though since the ATM said I overdrafted.  I'm sorry.  Also what time were you guys thinking about Skyping for Christmas this year?

Oh also Elder B my trainer is getting married?!!  And 3rd companion Elder M is too!!  SO CRAZY!!

Love You Family,

Elder Gummow"

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Here is Elder Gummow's email!  I was thinking it was a bit short, but then I remembered he just emailed on Wednesday, so it has only been a few days since we heard from him.  We are grateful for his emails - whether they are long or short!

Hello! Family!

This week I still don't have pictures.  Sorry :( I asked for them last week expecting they'd come but they haven't yet, maybe soon though.  I totally forgot to bring a camera to the last two events so I don't have any pictures of my own to show off.  Sorry Mom.

This week was great, we hit our goal for finding new investigators which was probably most important and what we put most of our efforts into doing lately.  It's interesting looking back at how we found those investigators and where they came from, and thinking about why they were willing to meet with us.  One thing I found most interesting looking back was that it mostly all came from turning to God and relying on him.  I feel every time we prayed sincerely, and then worked until we felt we were too tired to keep working, that's when we were really rewarded.  

I was thinking about it last week and I think that's why I find contacting so fun and rewarding now is that my perspective of it has changed.  I really liked Elder Holland's talk about how there our people with arms hanging down that need lifting, broken hearts that need healing etc.  When I can keep perspective then it drives me with a huge purpose knowing how much a testimony of the Gospel can help them.

An example of this, one of the new investigators that came to Church this week...We met him outside a college and it was the shortest contact ever, just a quick couple of questions and then asked him if he could come to Church.  He quickly agreed too but he seemed really cold about it and from the quick response I thought that he was lying to us and wouldn't come.  (This happens a lot :))  But on Saturday he showed up, and then Sunday the following day he came to Church. The funny thing is that during all those times he played it really cool, not ever showing much.  But I feel like his life needs a lot right now and because of his trials he's going through he wants to come to Church to change his life.  When we shared with him he listened super intently and was really soaking it all up.

Also we met with this guitarist guy in a band and had a lesson with him.  He's pretty sweet and it was really easy to connect with him.  I've always wanted to help a guitarist get baptized.  His name is xxxx.

That was about it for this week. We're going to try and mix it up next week because the finding is taking a small toll on us.  Hopefully, we'll get some good progressing investigators this next week. 

Love You Family, 

Also I was thinking if there is other piano or guitar sheet music you have I would love to have it to learn on P-day's.

Love You Family,  Elder Gummow

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Temple, Baptisms, "Find and Seek"

We were happy to receive Elder Gummow's email.  It was a couple of days later than usual so we assumed he got to attend the Temple in Taipei.  We were correct!  I have this secret hope that one of these times he will get to see Sister Sara Gummow there.  What are the chances?

Hello Family,

Happy Birthday Daniel!  I totally forgot it was your sixteenth birthday until this week.  That's so crazy, sixteen is super old and mature I can't believe you've aged that much already.  

Happy Thanksgiving as well!  It's great to see the Neighbor Lane pictures.  Kind of weird too, it's seems like every one is getting married soon or on missions, at least out of the people in our age group.  Nick is looking good as well.

This week we had a good time lots of really good miracles and progress in our area.  Our area is slowly growing more and more so that is really good.  We really thankful for all the help God's is giving us.  We've really been blessed with the spirit as well as lots of energy as we've gone out and shared the Gospel.

First and best person I think we were able to find this week is a L......DiXiong.  We found him at a park contacting.  His experience is really special - at first he didn't want to have anything with what we were saying.  He said he was too busy and that he didn't have time for religion.  But Elder W and I decided to exercise some faith to share the first vision with him, afterwards something sparked his interest and he was then super willing to meet.  We met with him a couple days later and he was really really awesome.  He said that lately in his life things have felt really plain and that he feels like he's not doing anything of importance and that there has to be something more.  He says that he really has not a lot of people to be friends with and that he needed to be able to talk with God and tell him his problems.  Really good feeling to know that we we're able to help him with the problems he has been facing in his life.

Other awesome news.  B and S both got baptized!!!!!  I got President's permission to go back to my area last week since it's just right next door and I was able to see Stan's baptism as well as pictures from B's.  I don't have the pictures now but I'll make sure they get sent to me soon.  S's baptism was amazing though. He was super happy and excited at everyone's attendance and shared a really great testimony.  He also got a bunch of his friends to come and his brother which was really exciting for the ward there.  I'm hoping S's brother is the next one to be baptized.

B's baptism was awesome too I hear.  All in English - which was exciting for the single's ward there.

That was about the highlights.  Otherwise we are still just going out there finding, which has been really fun actually.  Somehow I've grown to love the finding.  It's like there is so much potential out there so many prepared people. We just have to find them through the spirit.  Like a massive "find and seek" game.  Plus getting to meet new people is really great!

Oh also cool experience (literally) - my pants ripped while we were proselyting.  There are downs sometimes about proselyting in dress pants:)

Christmas, I really don't have that much I want or need. I really just want new music, I've kind of gotten tired of the stuff I have.  So like a bunch of new music would be awesome.  Oh also I'm running out of deodorant.  That's about it    - I pulled out the cookbook that you made for me before the mission and realized that most of it I can make already so I'm going to start making some stuff in it...CREPES!

Love You Family  Your the Best!

Elder Gummow
Pictures next week Sorry!
Oh and this week was temple week, sorry that's why I'm writing so late.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The New World

Elder Gummow had to keep his email short because of lack of time, but he seems happy and almost well (trying to get over a bad cough).  I wonder how many flat tires they go through in a week....

"This week was a great one! We don't have a lot of time today because Elder W's tire popped and we are behind time now- so I have to keep it a little short today.  

I think the main event this week that was really good is that in this one week I was able to meet almost all of the members especially the leaders of our ward.  Elder W had us set up with visits to the members so we were able to visit a large portion of the families in our ward.  This ward is amazing too! I never seen such a converted, active, and willing to serve ward as this.  The member's testimonies here are on fire and they are so willing to help and serve us and the Lord.

This week also we had a good time finding. This area has a lot of good people that were recently baptized, a lot of really good recent converts but as of now, we are focused on finding some more new good investigators.  We saw a lot of miracles through our efforts as well.  For example we were contacting home Sunday night when Elder W and I see this guy speed by us on a bicycle.  He was pretty buff and looked really athletic so Elder W and I speed up on our bikes to catch up with him and chat (Elder W is a wrestler). He was awesome too! Just really happy and had this glow about him.  Eventually, we told him about our activities and he was super excited to hear about our English Class and told us he'd come for sure.  The only down part is that he's out of our area.

I just got a letter from S, I wasn't able to go to the baptism last week because of meetings.  However, S ended up changing his baptism date to this Saturday November 8th, and said that I have to come.  So for sure we'll make it to his baptism this week.  He's soooo cool!

On the downside, I've had a bad cough for about 2 weeks now :(  But it should be getting better soon.

Well that's really the highlights I'll definitely update you guys on Elder Ward and the area next week.

Love You Family!!!!

Elder Gummow"