Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

Here is a picture of our Christmas Skype with Elder Gummow. (He has headphones in his ears because he is skyping from a computer in a convenience store).  His sister and brother in law were able to skype in - he called when we were talking to Sara - his sister serving a mission in Taipei, but it was against her rules to talk to him, so we had to finish up with her call before we could focus on his. (We had a few technical difficulties in getting the group skype to work, but it was great to talk to him!  He had a white Christmas (a baptism on Christmas Day).  He was amazed at all the growth and changes in his younger brother and sister.  He got to talk to his extended family since we skyped him from his grandparents house and he sounds happy and older somehow.  He mentioned a dropbox account with pictures, but he never sent us a link so we can't log into it.

Here is a picture of the "Merry Christmas" Banner many of you helped participate in!  He loved it!

Hello Family,

Hey sorry - this email will be a little shorter than normal.  I spent most of the time emailing today working on Dropbox.  It's still not perfect but it's super convenient and you guys can see most of the pictures I've taken on mission now!  Also you can load the ones you took on the new camera!

Crazy I feel like I woke up a little this week to how much different everything is now that a whole year has gone by on my mission.  This week numerous reminders happened.  First was the skype - Bryanna and Daniel's voices have completely changed! It's so crazy and Daniel is a guitar master now too.  What happened there?

This week I also had new comments on how much different I am from when I left for the MTC.  Physical Appearance wise at least.  the people that see the old pictures says that I'm too skinny now!  and that I look more tired!  Elder Jiang say that I look completely different from the picture I took before I left for the MTC.  It kind of scares me, but I guess that's what a mission does to you.

My trainee is awesome, so pumped for the work it's crazy.  He loves talking and bearing his testimony.  Overcoming obstacles and putting his whole heart into the work.  He's going to start leading the area a couple days next week, he's already ready for it.  I think he's going to have an awesome mission.

It's nice to have him around because it's a new motivation to be more obedient and more diligent.  Sometimes it's kind of over the top though and well...it's just funny.  I love this guy.

He's also my first Taiwanese Companion so I'm hoping that my Chinese will get better in this move call. Also I hope to be able to help his English.

Weeks are just blinking by now, I need to make some more goals for this next year. Time is too short and I've got to make the best of what's left.  I love the mormon message on not turning back this year, so good.


It was really good talking to you guys this Christmas.  I always love seeing the family again.  Although it was weird this time, I almost forgot Bryanna's name for a second and Daniel sounded like he was Uncle Greg or something.  Not meaning I don't think about you guys or anything, just mainly the changes were a lot.

It was a good Christmas though. That seventeen year old, he's so awesome, maybe the whole reason I came on a mission, to help him.  We never taught him at all, well once.  But he was in a different area so we had to give him over to the other Elders.  He is the most active member I've ever met though.

I'll tell you more about the progress of the area here next week though.  This week has been awesome having a new trainee - he brings miracles to the area.

Love You Guys,  Your the best Mom and Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Both Grandmas and Grandpas too..(I will send them thank you notes)!!  Bryanna and Daniel - jiayou!!  You guys are maturing so fast, just make sure to make time for the Gospel. It is definitely the most important knowledge in this world and if you want a sure testimony of it you have to work for it!

Elder Gummow

PS oh and most people call me wenzhanglao, or wenkaishui (warm water)  I actually have a lot of nicknames.

I got the letters too - and Grandma and Grandpa's emails - they were awesome!  Say "Thank you so much" to them!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Training! Christmas Mission Activity

Here are some pictures that were posted on the Taichung Mission Blog of Elder Gummow from their Christmas Mission Activity and a Christmas tree in Taichung.  We are excited to get the phone calls from our missionaries this week, but still aren't exactly sure when they are calling.  We never received an email from Sara this week (maybe they switched their P-day around) and Matt presented another option which we said we would like to do, but he got off the computer we think before he got our reply.  I guess we will just be prepared for both options.


Merry Christmas from Taiwan!

What a surprising and interesting Christmas!  This was one of the most interesting weeks of my mission. It started on Monday.  After emailing we got a call from the President.  I was surprised to get a call from him at a such a random time and we were both worried why he was calling.  I answered and for the first couple minutes President just asked questions about how our area was and how everything is going.  

Then he asked me if I would be willing to train, starting Thursday and the Elder W would have to move out Wednesday Night!!!  

So right now Elder Ward is gone. He moved to a small island on off the coast of Taiwan and now I have a brand new companion. Elder J is his name, he's a Taiwanese from Taipei. Actually, I think he's from the same stake that Sara is serving in right now. 

He pretty great guy, and his English is really good.  Already a really good teacher and he's super fired- up and excited for missionary work too! It's pretty awesome!  I feel so bad - this would be a critical week to send pictures to you guys, but I couldn't find my camera this morning, I'll try and send pictures on Wednesday before I Skype.

Also I was thinking since Elder W is not here, would you guys rather talk on Wednesday or Thursday?  I can do both - it just depends on what best for you guys, I don't want to mess up your party.

This week the Christmas Party was great, I got to see all of our district again, as well as old companions and old district members.  It was a pretty great reunion and it was great to see old friends.  I feel old now going there though since most of the missionaries there are newer and I've never met them.  Weird feeling.

This week M came to English Class, we haven't really seen him since though -he had to go to his Grandma's while she got surgery.  He's doing great still though.  We taught him about Faith last week and he was super accepting of all of it, really willing to put in more study of the Gospel.  

That's about it for this week.  Getting excited for Christmas, you can meet Elder J and speak Chinese with him. He's great.  Love You Guys!!!

Elder Gummow

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas in Zhanhua

Here is a picture I found of a Christmas Tree somewhere in the central Taichung area. Elder Gummow seems to be enjoying the holidays in Taiwan this year.  Last year he was in the Gaoxiong area and loved it there, but was going through culture changes, having recently arrived.  We are looking forward to his Christmas call but are still working out times for sure.

"Hello Family!!!!

I got the Christmas Package!!!  Super excited to get it! Do I have to wait till Christmas to open all the wrapped packages??

This week was pretty decent, nothing's really special but it's great being a missionary during the holidays. There's so many good activities and even though we are halfway around the world the spirit of Christmas is the same.

This week the highlights:  M... (Our Investigator) is doing awesome, he said he's been praying ever night and he feels God is listening and answering his prayers.  He's says he already has Faith in Christ and when we talked about Baptism and Repentance, he's like..."sounds really awesome!".  

This week as well we had some cool new people including a person from mainland China!!!  His name is A... and he's a friend of M....'s - super cool guy.  He's here for a month and a half studying college and he's super excited and willing to hear about the Gospel.  

This week was fun too, one night we had too many appointments so we got to go on splits with the members in our ward.  I got to go with a newer member to the Church while Elder Ward and his member visited an investigators.  It was so cool and the members were SO happy to help out. 

This upcoming week we have our missionary activity, super excited I haven't seen some missionaries since the last activity and it'll be cool to catch up on missionary experiences.  Plus we get to eat at an all you can eat Steak House.

Love You Family!  Hope that Christmas preparations go well!!"

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas - Move Call

Elder Gummow had move calls this week, but he was thrilled to be staying in his area for Christmas and with his same companion!  Here are some pictures of Zhanghua, the area where they are serving that I found.

This week was awesome, I have to keep the summary a little short though in order to save time to write the essays.

This week we had a huge miracle.  During English Proselyting, an Elder ran into this guy that was willing to come to Church.  He's in our area, and he came that night to English.  He is the most prepared person I have ever met.  Almost like God tapped him on the shoulder and told him it was time for him to get baptized.  He is on fire...for example his first time in coming to Church he stood up twice to give comments.  The first time was to say that he was here to understand God's truth, the second was to share the testimony he had after learning the truths that were taught.  After he heard the First Vision, he said it shocked him, and gave him a special power (Holy Ghost).

This week ended with a bang as we had tons of people coming to Church.  We invited people, they invited their friends and it seemed everyone that we committed to come to Church actually came, and they were all super willing to learn.  This was a good week for sure.

So we also had move call this week.  Elder W and I are staying together!!!!  I'm super pumped too, Elder W is super diligent and focused so we have really good unity in the work and I feel like we work at the top of our game together and balance each other out really well.  It'll be a blast having Christmas together - you can meet him!!!  

I love this area too, love the missionaries in the district, our investigators, our leaders, the ward.  This is going to be an awesome Christmas!! 

It's great to hear about the holidays back home and the snow and stuff.  People always ask me if I miss it, and to be honest, I do.  But being here serving it's definitely work the sacrifice and I'm willing to wait.  It's my last Christmas on a mission!!!

Oh also, this week we had a baptism!  There is an RC in our ward whose child got baptized this week. The whole family came!

We hope that the Mom will be next and that will complete the whole family!!!!

Love You Family!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankful/ A visit from Elder Funk

 Here is a picture from the Taichung mission blog! I believe it was from last week when Elder Funk came to tour the mission and met with the Zones in Matt's area.  Elder Gummow had an exceptional week this week and is looking forward to another baptism this coming weekend.  :)


Wow this week was amazing and there is so much, so so much I can be grateful for.  I feel like God really picked us up and set up the holidays this week to bless us.  

This week I'll try and make it short, but there's a lot that happened. First off - starting the week was Elder Funk, a newer general seventy came to visit us, for a mission tour.  It was a great meeting; all about working with the Holy Ghost and working with the ward.  It's exciting being a missionary at this time because the works been really changing and progress all around this Hastening the Work of Salvation thing. I think it's something that Taiwan really needs too and his totally ready for.

When the General Authority came I had the really awesome opportunity of being one of the select few to interview with him.  It was a great experience too, the General Authorities are so completely in tune with the Spirit, it's crazy.  The interview was really short probably 5-10 minutes, but in that time - through the Spirit-he was able to totally assess my situation as a missionary and then tell me what I needed to hear.  Really grew my testimony that our leaders are inspired in this Church.

The next thing...probably was that following Thursday, THANKSGIVING -  We have been struggling trying to find investigators lately, but as we went out that day we talked to everyone in our path. It didn't seem that anyone we ran into was interested though.  We went back to have practice for our musical number in the Thanksgiving Activity.  "Count Your Many Blessings"  When we were practicing, we got a call from this random number.  As he answered he called me by name, turns out that he was someone that we had contacted earlier and left our number with him.  Probably the only person we left a number with.  He called us to say that he could come to Thanksgiving activity that night though.  Turns out he's super awesome and super interested in learning about the Church!

The next  thing was that even though we didn't have tons of time for proselyting this week, we still were able to have the best week ever and there was really good progression in our area.  We have a baptism next week too!!  There is a RC in our a ward that has a really cute son that is going to get baptized next week.  We went over to their house a couple times this week, it was a super fun experience too.  The Dad fed us his mom's soup, twice.  The first one had Chicken Heart and small snails in it, the second was pig's heart...which was actually pretty decent.  It was definitely an interesting experience.  It's all worth it in the end!

Well, love you family... I wish I had more pictures to send sorry.  I don't know if I'll be able to finish the essays this week - I hope that's okay.  I guess in the end it's all God's will anyway.  I got your letter this week Mom, November 30th perfect timing.  Loved the new CD! It is nice being able to listen to Christmas music again.  I love the new scripture chain thing too.  I'm just not sure how it works.  Am I supposed to fold it and put it with the tree or just read one a day?  

Thanks for all your support and love family.  I can really feel it even though I'm halfway around the world.  You guys are the best!

Elder Gummow"