Elder Matthew Gummow

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'm Back!!!!

Well it's been 4 or so months since I've been back.  I realized that I missed writing in this blog and hoping that at least some people would see it and be effected in a good way by the miracles God has shown me.  I figured I needed to find someway to keep tracking my progress in the Gospel on a week or daily basis, so I picked this blog.  I hope that any sort of experiences I share will be able to help others.

4 Months, I can't believe it's only been 4 months. In this amount of time I feel I've learned a whole lifetime of experiences.  Adjusting to life was a million times harder than I ever expected and it still is hard.  I'm still trying to adjust and i hope in some ways that I never fully adjust.

Today is short I just want to share this...

From my experience and from being home, I always feel the spirit the strongest when someone talks about the Atonement and Christ’s sacrifice for us.  I can’t believe what he was willing to sacrifice for us and I can’t believe that he was willing to take up on himself all of our weaknesses and mistakes and every sort of suffering we go through in this life.  I honestly can’t believe it when I think of all the things I have done to misuse or neglect the Atonement in my life, I feel sad and I want to embrace this gift of love that Christ gave to us.

Being home I feel the Atonement is more vital than ever in my life.  There's a lot of emotional struggles we go through and weaknesses and just everything and if I can't have the Atonement there to help cover up for these things than I would just give up, it's to hard to keep going sometimes.  

But again the Atonement is there I feel it in my life, in my veins.  It provides hope and love and helps me to keep going.  It's provided to me when I choose to do God's will.

I love this Gospel, I love everything about it and I love that through the Gospel I have the solid hope that I can change and become better!!

I know that the Gospel and the Atonement are true as well.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Homecoming! August 20th


Elder Gummow came home on August 20th 2014!  It was an awesome day and we prepared with balloons and banners!  The only crazy thing was trying to check out the kids from school to meet him at the airport.  Somehow the communication didn't get through and we were late getting away.  In the end it didn't matter because the plane was delayed 45 minutes and we made it there in plenty of time.  One of his sisters was unable to get off of work for the airport welcome, but we met her back at home for dinner that night.  (Cafe Rio take-out, of course!)


There were several RM's from the mission that came to welcome the group home as well!


Together again after 2 years!!  So happy!!



Monday, August 11, 2014

Two Year Mark this week!

Two years!!  Can you believe it?  On the 15th of August, he will reach his two year mark!

Here are some pictures from the mission blog of Elder Gummow that I reposted.  I think they are at a Zone Leader Training Meeting.  It is hard to believe that his two years is coming to an end, but we are excited to welcome him back next week!  He will arrive on the 20th and on Saturday, the 23rd we will be holding an open house from 7:30-9:30 in our backyard.  You are all invited if you are in the area.  He will be speaking in church the following day at 9am at the Canterbury Chapel in Highland, Utah  (10417 North 6750 West, Highland, UT)


Family!

I don't know what to say.  This is the weirdest feeling.  My last week emailing on a mission.  I can't believe it's coming to an end.  I don't really know what to feel either. I'm excited for the future. But I want to cry at the same time because I have to leave Taiwan, leave the place that I've grown so much to love.  

I didn't think it would be like this. I didn't think the end would be like this. I feel like I would get to a point where I'd feel everything is finished.  My two years are up and it's time to rest. but I feel like I still have much farther to go.  In perspective I really do.  The mission taught me the habits and everything I needed to know in order to pattern my life and it would be impossible to learn everything in two years.  There is still a long road ahead.

I'm going to miss it. I can already feel it.  I'll miss these people, I'll miss the work, I'll miss companions, I'll miss the purpose and drive of doing something so righteous and good and selfless everyday. I'll miss learning Chinese and coming in the door everyday exhausted.

Last week was awesome and pretty stressful.  President gave us the goal of every companionship finding 3 new investigators.  We got down to Saturday and we still didn't have enough so we were super super stressed out. Especially because there were other companionships that needed our help.  The Lord gave us a miracle in the end though.  There was a family that we tracted into at the end of Saturday night.  They were awesome.  Former Christian and missionaries had met with their family 20 years ago.  The still had a Book of Mormon and everything and were super willing to meet.  It was a huge miracle.

This next week is the last and we've got plans to do a bunch of cool stuff and I'll see RC's for the last time!

Excited to see you family! This may be my last time writing from Taiwan! I'm super excited to see all you guys and your changes and how much all of you have grown up! It's been quite a long time. Love You Family!!!

Elder Gummow  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Survived the "Fire Swamp"

In Gaoxiong (Kaohsiung) this week there was a leak in the gas line that caused several explosions killing 25 and injuring at least 277.  Luckily our missionaries were protected and actually slept through all of the devastation. Here is a link to an article and some videos of the events:
  Gas Explosions
 (to me it looked like the Fire swamp in the movie "Princess Bride" - minus the forest of course).

We are down to 16 days before Elder Gummow's return!  I am trying not to get too excited to have us all together again for the first time in over two years....





Hello Family!!

It was a pretty eventful week this week as I'm sure you guys heard.  We woke up Friday morning and were pretty disturbed when we realized that there was a bunch of texts that came in the night before talking about some big explosions that happened the night before!!!  It was super crazy!  That day we were in the same area for a lesson and it was horrible.  The streets were pulverized and everyone was crowded around the blocked off areas.  It was a super sad sight to see.

Luckily none of the members were hurt.  There were many that lived by the area that heard and felt the explosions but all were okay.  Another miracle this week.

This week was good despite the disasters though.  We had a couple new really good investigators which is exactly what we needed.  One was H, he was the guy that I told a story about before that we met in the rain and he lives right next to the Church.  Then the other was a referral from English Class and he is super prepared, trying to find answer to the questions he has about life.

Elder B and I are looking forward to a better week this week.  It's "No Companionship Left Behind"  week this week which means every companionship finds three new investigators this week!  This is one of my last weeks in Taiwan so there is no holding back this week, I'm super pumped to help every companionship in the Zone find three new investigators this week!!!

Q, I feel really really sad for him.  We've been trying super hard but he's dying.  He didn't meet with us at all this week and his falling further and further back into his old pattern of life!  We're really worried for him so hope that you guys can pray for him too!  Through faith all things are possible, but we have to see if he's willing to make the right decisions to change his life for the better.

Love You Family!!!!  Hope all is good in Utah!!  Great to hear about the family!

Elder Gummow

Also you guys should check out the new Mormon Message!  It is sooo good!!! (link is below)

http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3701964025001&cid=HPTH073114368

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Surprise!

Family!!!

What THE!!!!!  I can't believe it Sara is engaged!!!!!!!!!!!  I knew it was going to happen I was wondering why it took so long but I can't believe it now that it's happened!!!  John is going to be a part of our family!!!  I can't believe it! So Crazy!!!!

I actually found out before the email.  Jerome and a bunch of other people told me on Sunday night so that was crazy to hear.  Congratulations though Sara!

This week was a good one and a hard one.  It ended really well but was pretty tough near the middle.  This week was the typhoon season!!!  Always exciting time in missionary work.  It makes it hard to do missionary work but at that same time it's exciting to have such a big change in the work and in the atmosphere of Taiwan.

This week we had a lot interesting things happen.  Our main good investigator,  (Q) he had a lot of problems this week.  After failing his interview he got discouraged and lots a lot of faith.  Went to a night club again and had some problems.

After the week and three times of him not showing up to lessons we got to sit down with him again.  He was humbled and really sad.  He asked us "why is it that everything that I tried to do I fail at and quit halfway?"  Touched me really hard.  I feel like I've had similar experiences trying to be my best but falling short and losing faith.  We read the scriptures together Nephi 7 he picked it out for us and of course it was about Nephi and his family leaving Jerusalem.  Laman and Lemuel wanted to go back but Nephi encouraged them to keep going forward or they would lose what they had gain and eventually be destroyed.  It was too perfect, just like Benny.  He had already come so far (quit smoking, found love and faith in Christ, experienced the feelings of repentance)  there was no way he was going back to Jerusalem now.

So ya this was a good week in the end.  Q was back on track has a date now for 8/17 (my last weekend here) and we had another person set up baptismal date and he's looking really good for 8/30.

It's getting weird thinking there so little time left.  I feel as if I'm not willing to face what's back home but it's coming soon so I have to.

Loving being a zone leader and seeing this time come to a conclusion.  Jerome is thinking about going on a mission and just got a calling.  He went on splits a couple times this week with the missionaries in his area. Parsonz is going on a short missionary trip over these next three weeks.  He's so awesome he's been a member less than 2 months and he's already going to be a missionary!!!

Love You Guys!!! Great to hear all the good news about what's going on it's sound like things have really been taking a turn around for the better!

Elder Gummow

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rain and Miracles!

Elder Gummow and his companion are at TGI Friday's in Gaoxiong with his recent convert!  He is having an amazing time and we are down to the last few weeks of his mission!  We received flight plans this past week and he will be arriving on Wednesday, August 20th!!  We will be holding an open house for him on  Saturday, August 23rd 7-9 pm at our home and his homecoming talk will be on August 24th at the Canterbury Chapel in Highland (10417 North 6750 West, HighlandUT)
 (**note that it has changed from our original plan to have it on August 31st)




Hello Family!!!

Good news!!!  This week J.... was baptized!!!  Everything worked out really well in the end and we're super happy for him!!! For the baptism his son came down and joined in the occasion!  His son loved Church too and he kept saying he wanted to join and get baptized too!  So hopefully he's next in line.  Unfortunately though Johnson's family lives in the north so we'll have to refer him to other missionaries!!

This last week we had a couple awesome miracles too.  I think one huge lesson I learned this week was on patience.  This week was super rainy.  It's typhoon season so it's been raining almost everyday and raining hard.  One day when we needed time to contact, it rained...and rained hard!!!  So we had to get off our bikes and start walking to contact people.  I was super bummed because it was messing up our schedule and the effectiveness of our missionary work.  

I talked to Elder Bean and we decided to go around the stores where people were waiting for the rain to stop and talk to them instead.  We find one guy and he invites us to sit by him and wait out the rain.  We started talking and turns out he was really close with missionaries before.  He met with one of our missionaries 10-12 years ago and came to Church a lot.  

We talked more and turns out he's missed come to Church all these years and so we invited him to come back and gave him the address of our Church.  Turns out he's moving next week and he was so surprised to see of all the places he could move to he's moving literally next door to our Church!!!!  He was super grateful to see this miracle and super excited to come back to Church.  

Also I don't know if I talked about X..... last week.  We invited him to fast last week about baptism and he did.  Turns out the lesson was on baptism that week in Church and it DIRECTLY ANSWERED HIS QUESTION!  We talked to him after about it, he knew it was an answer from God, but he still wasn't willing to accept baptism.  It just made me think back to the story of Laman and Lemuel.  They saw an angel.  But afterward still made wrong choices.  Why? Seeing X........ I realized how important is to be humble, a vision won't change you and neither will a direct answer from God.  It takes humility and facing what your weakness is and being willing to act in faith and change!  I just hope we can help him do that!!!!

Good week this week and I love to be able to serve here in Gaoxiong!!! Love You Guys!!!  

Elder Gummow

Oh and I got the Birthday letter!!! Thank you guys so much!!  Love YOu!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

21 now!

Dear Family!!!

Thanks so much!!!!!  Thanks for the video!!!  I laughed so much when I saw, I still have no idea what you guys were doing or why :)  And why the little Buddhist bow at the end????

This week was a good one and a great progress for this area!  It's super sweet to have Elder Bean back!  Missed that guy! I feel after this week that there has been no pause at all and Elder Bean and I have just been companions together for this whole time.

I think something cool is this time after the other mission experiences I realize how good of a companionship Elder Bean and I make.  He's super devoted to learning how we can continue to grow and improve and we work super well together in that way.  It helps when you have a companion that has that kind of drive so then you guys can push each other instead of just you pushing yourself.

This week had a bunch of miracles!  It was crazy I feel like from when Elder Bean came here we just started have tons of miracles!  Just like what happened when we were in Zhongming, he just brings a lot of faith into this area.

This week on Wednesday we were contacting in the city and Elder Bean and I run into this guy and this lady.  I immediately recognized the face but only vaguely...so I asked him...are you Mr. W  ?  He was so surprised!!  and then looked at me a little closer and realized who I was!  I was the missionary that contacted him two years ago in Zuoying!!!  I totally remembered who he was too.  He is the first guy that I contacted that came to Church in Zuoying.  He was super cool too!!!  I remember meeting with him, he said that his family is almost all Christian, when I met him he was having a bad day but I helped him feel happier so he was willing to meet.  I couldn't believe it I was wondering about him after all these years but it was such a huge miracle to meet him on the streets again in a city of millions of people!!! the odds were like .001% that I would see him again! He better get baptized!!!

This week the other miracle!  J.... passed his interview and he is doing awesome and totally prepared for baptism!!!  He's looking good for his service this Saturday and everybody loves the guy!!

Also Brother Q!!  We taught him the word of wisdom this week and he decided right then and there that he was quitting smoking!!  That was it for him!!!  So we went outside and I took his cigarettes!  He hasn't smoked for 5 days now!!!  So proud of him and he's looking great for baptism this 26th!!!  Love the guy so much and he's been such a great example to me.

My birthday was cool.  That day I was actually sick, but it was okay I took some Advil and it was all cool.  We actually had a missionary day in our stake that day so we had two young men that worked with us all day. It was fun and that was the day Johnson passed his interview so I can't complain it - was a pretty fulfilling Saturday!!!

Jerome's movie was super awesome too, that was so cool to see everyone and I was really happy that Jerome was here this year to celebrate with us, it was a good birthday!!

Link to the Surprise Birthday Video

Oh and a question!  What Chinese class am I signed up for right now??

Good to hear from you family!!! Love YOU!!!!!

Elder "Warm Water Gummow"

Monday, July 7, 2014

Last transfer! 21st Birthday on Saturday!

Elder Gummow turns 21 on July 12!  I can't believe he is getting so old!  He was just a teenager when he left!  He has 6 weeks before returning home to Utah and I am sure it will be bitter sweet.  We continue to pray for his success in all and that he can survive the heat and humidity!  Below is a picture of his he and his companion that just finished his mission and the young man that he met in Douliu that was baptized last week.




Dear Family!!!!

WOW what a week!!  I can't believe it Elder C...   is gone!  He finished packing up last night and then that was it. He took off this morning after taking a couple pictures and now he's on his way to Taichung right now.  I'm gonna miss the man.  We had a really good move call together.  Saw a bunch of success, a ton of spiritual experiences and just a lot of good things happened.  It was a good move call and he was a good companion.  I have to be honest - it made me a bit trunky seeing him going, as well as a little bit anxious. There is only 6 weeks left of my mission.  It's such a short time and a move call flies by in mission time.  I only have this much time to finish serving the Lord with all that I've got!!!

You'll never guess who my new companion is!!!!  Oh man it's so crazy!!  Elder Bean is my new zone leader companion!!!!  My first real junior companion and now he's coming back here to Gaoxiong to finish things.  It's really a nice full circle for my mission.  I love Elder Bean as a companion, he's a super righteous, super obedient missionary, so we're going to have tons of fun this move call!!!.  I'm super pumped.  I still can't believe it.

This week went pretty well and smooth.  We had some good progression with our investigators.  J..... is back and meeting with us regularly!  He hopefully will be getting baptized this next, next week.  We finished the law of tithing with him this week so he's good with all the commandments and he's got a really good testimony.  He's sharing with his whole family and his son is going to come here next week so hopefully we can get the whole family involved.  He's really had a change of heart.

Q....... is doing really good to.  This week we taught him about coming to Church on Sunday.  He normally has work the night before so he sleeps through the afternoon but we asked him to come and he was super willing to change.  This week he made it to church!!!!  Although the only problem is he was 2 hours late :)  that's okay though he'll be on time next week.

I'm looking forward to this last move call!  It should be a good end to the mission and I"m excited to leave my last mark on Taiwan and this mission.  It's really an honor to be a missionary.  I love having the chance to help other missionaries and help others in their circumstances and to meet so many awesome investigators. 

Birthday this week -
I'm excited for it! J...... should be getting his interview this Saturday and I'll probably go get something to eat with Jerome.  Although it feels pretty like a normal day having a Birthday in Taiwan on a mission.  

Well love you guys a ton and so grateful for the mail this week!  Great to hear all the news!  Love You Guys!!!!

Elder Gummow  

Monday, June 30, 2014

100th post!!

Family!

Wow this week was a crazy one!! But it was great to hear all the good news today!!!!  Sounds like a lot of good things happened this week!!  Looks like a lot of hope for the future!!  Glad to hear the family's doing well!  Love them and praying for them!!!

This week was,....well it looked really good at the start but then it ended really just okay in the end.  This week we got attacked on all fronts, my companion got sick, some problems with the ward, investigators not showing up to appointments.  I don't know why but ever since I've been here it's been harder to do missionary work.  

But apart from this I know how important it is to KEEP THE FAITH !!!  There is still definitely a bunch of good things going on and it's important to keep focused on what's ahead and keep pushing forward.  If anything at all we saw some great new investigators this week, as well as a self-contact that looks really really cool!!

It's the last week for my companion here. I sure hope he gets feeling better for his last week here. love the guy and it will be really sad to see him go.  He's an awesome missionary and we had a really good move call together!

The great news was to hear about G....!  I'm so glad that he got baptized!!!  We saw him this Monday and he was doing awesome!  I could tell that the Gospel has changed him so much and I was so happy to see it in him!!  He was so much more confident and happy!

His situation...He was actually a former investigator from a couple years ago...I don't know why the missionaries stopped teaching him.  He's loved Christianity his whole life though and was super open and willing to the idea of baptism.  He was of course a little scared about it all at first but after coming a couple times to Church and feeling the spirit there and meeting members he progressed really quickly.  He's a super awesome guy!!!

Q.... is doing awesome.  He's been progressing wonderfully and we're still hoping for his baptism on the 18 of July!!  Also J.... is looking really good too, we met with him this Monday and he has been praying and reading with his family!  He took 2 Book of Mormons from us last time so he could start reading with his family too.  He has definitely been touched by the Spirit!

So things are looking up for these next couple weeks and we are really excited for this last week with Elder Cornilles.  It's time for the last sprint to the finish line!!

Love You Family!!!!

Elder Gummow

Monday, June 23, 2014

Learning about faith - visualize!

Hello Family!

Wow thanks for the great update this week!  That was so crazy to see Chase's email and see where he is now and how much he's changed already.  He seems like a stud missionary!  I can't believe he's the only white guy in his District too, that's so crazy!! Do you by chance have his email?  I would love to write the guy.

Glad to hear things are looking better and looking more up.  It was quite a shock last week to hear the news but prayers and focusing on the work have helped a lot and this week turned out really great!  Tons of miracles which was really good.

This week was awesome because we were able to get 2 new goals and some new investigators which was super sweet!  We've been trying really hard this last week to improve our area and see things like this happen and it finally did!

It feels good.  We were kind of in a rut there for a bit, but it feels like we've finally pulled out of it and now we're back on the path that God's wants us to be.

This week a cool experience.  We had this new investigator his name is Q......Lea.  He taught me a lot about faith this week.  I was super surprised when we first met with him.  His body is covered with tattoos and his nails are long and his hair is died a different color.  At first I was just thinking...this guy is just going to meet with us once, he's just interested in Americans or something like that.  But I immediately realized that was a horrible thought and remembered President Monson's talk about this missionary that had tons of success on his mission because everyone he talked to he imagined them dressed in white.  So i did the same thing.  It was crazy!  We met with him on Tuesday then he came to Church on Sunday for the full time.  We watched the Joseph Smith movie and he felt the spirit and we started talking about Baptism.  He says that he has lot of sins and mistakes that he feels bad for and he wants to be able to get rid of them.  He wants a new start to his life. The spirit was sooooo incredibly strong and his desire was super strong!  At the end, He basically set up his own date in the end 7/18 so less than a month away!

The next was another manifestation of the Spirit and how it can change people.  Johnson an investigator we have right now.  He says that every time he comes to Church he's really happy and he doesn't know why.  We talked to him about the spirit and he asked us if he had been baptized in another Church does he need to get baptized again.  We talked about baptism with him and he's willing to.  His date is also for the 18th

This week Brother X... didn't end up getting baptized :( It was a little bummer.  He says he wants to now but he wants his mother to support him first.  So we're still working with him.  He'll get baptized eventually.  His wife did get baptized this week though which is great news!!!  It was a great baptismal service and she gave an amazing talk on her conversion process.  Super Awesome Family!!!

This week was great and it's great to hear from you guys!!!  Love You guys and praying for you!!

Elder Gummow

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Family!!
.........

"This week there is not too much to report.  It was a okay week for us here but we're still looking forward to some good improvement in our area.  I know that we just need to work hard and the results will come.  God's just trying to teach us that we need to change in someway and we're trying to work that out. It was the same way as when we we were in Douliu.  Also Elder C is going home soon so we hope to see more success before he goes.

Exchanges have been fun though. This week I was able to have a small reunion as I was able to exchange with Elder J (my trainee) and Elder O (old district member)  they are both super super awesome missionaries and I'm so glad to have a chance to serve with them again.  Elder Jiang is awesome and he has progressed a ton lately, he's really an amazing missionary.  And it was good to be with Elder Ogunbote again, he's a solid missionary and has been having some good success lately.

We saw miracles together.  With Elder O

we met a new family.  They were super awesome. A single dad with his two daughters.  The Dad was hesitant but the two little girls were angels.  We asked the family if they wanted to come to Church and the girls said YES!!! Which convinced the Dad that they had to go.  I love the way the Lord works sometimes.

Things are still good lately and we're looking forward to this next week as there is a lot of potential for next week.  We hope things work out!  Pray for us!!

Love You Family and I hope that all is well!  My heart really reaches out to you guys at this time!!!

Elder Gummow

PS  Here is the new suit I had made

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Zone Training

Family!!!  Wasai!!

I can't believe what happened to Dad!!  I hope he's okay!  Keep me updated on him!

So Sweet to hear Chase is going out this week!!!!  I'm so excited for him!!!!  He's going to be a super awesome missionary!!  Do you have his weekly letter, I would love to get it and hear about how things are going for him!!!
   

This week was good.  I feel like I'm still adjusting to be a Zone Leader so there is a bunch I'm still getting used to, exchanges, holding Zone Conferences, and a bunch of other little tasks.  It's good for me though, being out of my comfort zone and needing to be continually changing and improving.

Photo
Exchanges are the best though!  This week I was able to exchanges with 2 of my favorite missionaries.  Elder Gish which is actually Zach Gish's cousin and then an Elder Kim.  We came on the island together.  They are both fantastic missionaries and it was really good to be able to learn from them and understand how to better help this Zone!!

A HUGE MIRACLE this week, Jerome has so much faith it's crazy.  As soon as I got back to Gaoxiong he started coming back to Church. He had a problem with work on Sundays so he's been applying for new work lately. And guess what HE FOUND A NEW JOB!  It was pretty amazing, Taiwan's economy is not the best right now but he found a new job within a matter of a week and was able to quit his other job so now Sundays he can go to Church.  And he loves the Church here and is starting to make some new good friends. I just hope that he'll be able to keep up the progression.

Matthew from Zhanghua has been progressing really well as well!  He's only been a member for over 4ish months but he's getting the Melchezideck Priesthood in a couple weeks!  I'm so excited for him!!!!!

This week in our area, was pretty good.  We were planning on a baptism this next weekend but our investigator had some questions with Tithing.  We're sure he'll still be good we just need to have more discussion with him, he's just a little worried about it.  So we're postponing the Baptism.

On the good side, there is the X.. family from last week. This week the Elders met with them on exchanges again and the wife commited to a Baptismal Date!!!  She'll be getting baptized in 2 weeks!!! The Dad, we're still working with him too but we hope that he'll commit to the same date too. We going to need to pray a lot for him.

This week, I just love being able to be a Zone Leader - being around all the missionaries and learn from them as well as trying to be a good example and inspire the members of our Zone.  It's hard work and more stressful but I feel a lot of spirit being around these missionaries and have grown to love them a ton!

This week was awesome and we're excited for the weeks to come!  Thanks for the update Mom!  So grateful for your sacrifice and all you do in our behalf!  Your really a super Mom!  Jerome loves you too and wants to be your Son!  I hope that all is going well with trying to help out the family and Dad being sick at the same time!  I'm praying for you!!  Hope Dad gets well soon!!!!  Love You Guys!!!

Elder Gummow

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gaoxiong!

Elder Gummow is back where he began and loving it - although he is there when the heat will be at its peak!



Hello from Gaoxiong!!

It sounds like you guy might already have a good idea of what's going on from Jerome, I'm not sure...  Let me just say though...He loves you guys so much and is so thankful that he could stay at our house in America.  I think growing up he didn't have a good family life at all, so staying with you guys for week was like a taste of heaven to him.

It's good to be back in gaoxiong!  I'm still getting used to this place and all this stuff but it's nice to be back where I started and seeing that changes that I've have come because of my mission.  It's nice to see Jerome again and help him out.  He hasn't been really active lately but he came back to a part of Church last week so that's really good.  He just need some friends and some people that can support him in this Church!!

The weather is HOT here, last time I was here was in the winter but now it is the summer here and it is a lot different!!  It's probably been over 30 celsius the past week so it's taken a little getting adjusted too.

I figured this is the first new area that I've been to that has good progressing investigators.  It's a zone leader area so it's been taken care of really well.  This week I got to meet L.., he's probably one of the best investigators we have right now and he's probably going to get baptized.  He came to church this week and loves everything about it we just need to work on getting him more friends.

This week we also had a crazy lesson.  We're teaching a family here, the X.. family. The are awesome, a little quiet but super willing to come to church and be a part of the ward.  They are the relief society president's little brother and he is super awesome. Last week we had a lesson with them and had the stake president helped us teach them.  It was crazy - as we were teaching them the stake president started teaching about the role of the Holy Ghost and what it does and at that moment the father of the family just broke up and started bawling.  He was touched super strongly with a incredibly manifestation of the spirit.  It was crazy and I have never seen such a powerful witness of the spirit in others!

The saddest part though is that he still wasn't willing to make a date for baptism.  They are definitely awesome and an awesome family he's just a little worried about some faith problems.  But he knows now this is where his problem is and he's working to gain testimony.  I just really hope that he'll get baptized before this move call ends!!!

It's been a good week though and a lot of new experiences, responsibilities, and things to learn being in this area - most likely the last area of my mission.

Elder C, he's a cool guy.  Super chill - which makes us two really alike and our contacting and teaching methods are both really similar which is nice.  He's going home after this move call so he's a move call older than me in the MTC so I never knew him that well.  He's from Oregon, his dad his a former movie star and entrepreneur which is pretty cool and he loves soccer and basketball.  Over all he's a really good guy and a good missionary.

This week was awesome and I'm just excited for next week.  As the time get less and less I get more and more antsy about using the time well.  It's going super fast!

Love you Family!  Thanks for all you guys do and the support!!!  Nice to hear from you this week!!

Elder Gummow

Monday, May 26, 2014

Exciting News!

Well, Elder Gummow was right about moving this move call.  He has been in Douliu for 2 move calls - which he has thoroughly loved!  But his last two move calls will bring him full circle - because he is going back as a Zone Leader to Gaoxiong where he began his mission!!  He is very excited  - here are some pictures from Sister Chen of him leaving the train station in Douliu and one from Jerome (his convert that came and visited us in February) who is from Gaoxiong and was excited to welcome him back!

Other great news is that I was able to sign him up for housing at BYU in the fall.  I found out that not only will he be with many other RM's from his mission, but that I randomly selected a room that also has a guy from mainland China signed up to live there!  It should be a great transition and a fun school year for him!





Wasei!!

That's great news to hear!!  I was super hoping I would be able to get into Heritage...some of my favorite missionaries will be staying there so that will be perfect!  Plus staying with a Chinese guy that might not be a member that's as perfect as it could get! Thank You Mother for taking care of that, it should be super fun there and sounds like there is a lot of good people that will live there!!

This week, you're right - sad/exciting/happy/all of the above news. I'm going to Gaoxiong!!! I was in Douliu for only a short time and I thought that I would stay here for a long time but I guess not...I'm going back to Gaoxiong!!!   I'm going to be able to go on exchanges back to Zuoying, the best place ever, and I should be able to see all the people I met with in Zuoying!!  There is a bunch of people that I never got to congratulate or talk with, plus this time my Chinese is good enough that I'll be able to talk with them a bunch!!!  I'm super excited!  I think Jerome is still there too so I'll get to meet up with him again!!!

This was a great last week as well.  Douliu is doing so awesome.  Oh ya I forgot to say, guess who's taking my place here in douliu as senior companion!!!  It's Elder Ward!!! My companion in Zhanghua!!!!  He'll be taking over this area and be with Elder Zhu for the next move call.  I was so happy to hear! He is literally the most righteous missionary I've ever met and I can totally trust him to take over this area and our investigators.

This area has been exploding these last few weeks.  We had 7 new investigators and 14 lessons with members this last week and 6 people at Church.  It's been the best time ever on my mission with Elder Zhu.  Also L...(A...) came for 3 hours on Sunday and he's ready for baptism!!!  He's so awesome, and loves the Gospel. I'm hoping, but I don't think I'll be able to make it back to his baptism! :(  

I think that the Lord's preparing this area for when Elder Ward comes in...It's going to be a good time in Douliu for them.  They are going to do awesome together too.  

I'm super excited to go to Gaoxiong but I'll miss this area too...There are so many people that I've grown to love so much in this area!!!  NO!!!

Well it's down to the last 2 move calls.  Down to the finish line and time to end stronger than ever!  Gaoxiong was literally my dream place to go too.  God has been so loving and merciful to me, I get to go to GaoXiong!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SOO EXCITED!!!

Love You Family and so good to hear about everything going on this week.  Keep me updated!!

Thanks for all you guys do!!

Elder Gummow

Monday, May 19, 2014

We're Building a Stake here in Jiayi!!

Elder Gummow sang and played the guitar in a special Mother's day activity for their ward the week after Mother's day.  I am so glad he gets to use his musical talents!  We look forward to hearing him sing when he returns.  He us accompanied, but didn't sing much before his mission.
Hello Family,

This week was crazy and awesome!  I feel like this week could really possibly be my last week here in Douliu, but I don't want it to be.  This place is awesome and it's starting to pick up like crazy.  This week we had about a thousand miracles, I can't count them all and I'm not even sure why they came at this time and so many at once.

This week we were blessed with a bunch of progress in our area.  A..., the investigator that came last week is doing awesome.  We met with him this week and he's been reading and praying and he's felt something from it.  He absolutely loves Church now and he's looking forward to his baptism on the 31st of this month.  Pray for him!!  We almost finished all the commandments and he's ready for an interview this week.  He also brought two friends to Church this week, they are both super awesome too!!!

This week another huge miracle, we met this guy named D.... on the street one day and he said his friend was one of our members and if the friend went to Church, then he would be willing to go with him.  Turns out the friend is our Young Men's President of this ward and super active.  So right after we met D...., he called his friend and they set up a time to come to Church.  

The best part was that this member gave a talk in Church on Missionary on Sunday and he was so grateful. As he was giving the talk to be able to say that his friend had come to Church that day for the first time.  He could say 1.Through being an example he helped his friend come to know the Gospel and 2. God gives us miracles if we are willing even just in the smallest way to share the Gospel we just need faith.

This week was super crazy! Almost every night we were just packed with new investigators coming in and out.  We don't even know where they all came from, some were self-contacts, some we met on the street, others were just crazy miracles.  

The week ended well with 7 Investigators at Church and 8 total new investigators, (including a new family that Elder Zhu found)  Douliu is crazy right now and we are so excited for it's progress!!  We're building a stake here in Jiayi!!!

Also another crazy thing Nick Smith the Return missionary met one of our RC's we met in Pittsburgh!! I don't know if you remember Chase but he went to Pittsburgh for school and then he just met Elder Smith there.  Chase is doing awesome!!

This week I'm just filled with gratitude and thanks.  I have a new testimony that God is truly merciful and graceful.  He knows we're trying and he's helping us to keep progressing all the way.  I find that I need to be more aware everyday of the blessings he gives us. He is truly a loving Heavenly Father and incredibly patient with us. What a great thing to know!

Oh and I just realized HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA!  Elder Zhu and I just realized that our older sisters are only 2 days apart in age.  His older sister's birthday is on May 18th!  Happy Birthday Sara!

Thanks parents for being so awesome, for being such a good example of faith and solid determination in following the Lord.  You guys have truly paved a way for us kids by letting us know the blessings of living according to the Gospel.  You guys are truly examples and representatives of Christ and that's something I feel I will be eternally grateful for.  Love you Guys.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day - Phone Call!

 We loved our Mother's Day Phone call/Skype from Elder Gummow!  It was bright and early - 6:30 am in Utah (8:30 pm in Taiwan) so we were only somewhat coherent after a late night the night before, but to see him and hear his voice was really awesome!  I didn't tell him I was taking this picture (he was talking intently to a family member) so I didn't actually get his smile, but you can get the idea.


He sent a few other pictures along with his email that arrived last night.  This one is his Zone in Jaiyi, I think.

He only has 2 1/2 transfers left and is scheduled to arrive home on August 20th!!  He will have 10 days or so before he starts the fall semester at BYU!




Family!!!!

It was so crazy talking to you guys yesterday!!!  Literally all you guys have grown and changed so much.  It's awesome to see. Love You Family!!!

This week was a pretty good one all in all.  We had a couple good miracles and I think that the biggest one was on Sunday.  We had these two investigators come to Church.  Both really awesome and one of them was willing to make a goal for the end of this month! Our goal right now is too have another baptism at the end of this month, it's our whole zone's goal so we're working really hard to make that possible.  We just need more faith and it will be done.

Mother's Day was awesome here too.  We had a bunch of good activities and it was a good time to see everyone's families.  It was awesome to see you guys too!  Our family is so awesome!  I hope you realize that.  Being able to talk to you guys just made me want to be a better missionary, work harder and just keep going strong.  Thanks for the support!!!

I don't know if there's much to say since we just talked yesterday.  Basically Elder Zhu and I are just working on the finding and lifting up others and our district.  Oh and it's rainy season here so it rained almost every day this last week except for today and yesterday both beautiful weather days.

This week I feel like my testimony of prayer grew much stronger too.  When the rain comes and maybe some things don't go right in missionary work, the power of prayer has helped me so much to know - 1. God loves us and wants to help us 2. He's sees the best in us and wants us to become 3. God's wisdom is higher than ours we just need to be patient.

Thanks for the email on prayer this week Mom!  I'll definitely try it out.

 Love you Family!!
Elder Gummow

P.S.  Sorry we were going to send the Mother Day song to you guys today but it's not downloading for some reason!!  We're going to have to try it out next week.

Love You Guys!

Below are some pictures of them on P-day at a nearby theme park-

Monday, May 5, 2014

Continually Improving

Dear Family,

Well I don't know what to say much...The news was shocking, but I guess I saw it coming.  I hope Aimee's okay and I wish that I could give her a hug right now or something like that.  I can't imagine how hard it must be for her right now. One thing I do know is though even though I can't be there right now to help or comfort, God is there and very close by her. It's the most comforting and warming thing to know that the Gospel is true and that God is real and loving.  We are his Children.  He doesn't care what happens, what we do, who we are he just loves us.

I think I was super inspired by that thought this week.  God loves us, he sees our potential, and he wants us to change, improve grow better.  It's the whole meaning and the beauty of the Gospel.  Change is often hard though and requires "a load" like Elder Bednar said.

This week was harder for us.  Elder Zhu and I have been trying really hard this week to work towards our goal.  1 baptism this month.  We contacted for the most part of everyday this week.  With almost no able to see results.  But right now I'm just so grateful for the growth it's brought to us...personally and as a companionship.  We learned that in difficulties we don't complain or give up.  We do as Nephi did when he broke his bow.  We think of new solutions, we listen to promptings from the Lord, we humble ourselves, and we seek growth and improvement.  After all this is why God gives us difficulties.  To help us grow.

I just want to be the person that the Lord sees in me, and I want to change and follow the Gospel. Continually improving.  I'm grateful for the Atonement that gives me the opportunity to change, to be a better person.  And I hope to use it in my life forever.

This week I think I should say was hard, but right now - it's awesome!  All I feel is gratitude and hope for the future.  Maybe we won't find new investigators next week.  But we still have the Gospel, the Atonement, the chance to grow and to love others. The spirit to guide us and help us do the work as God would have.

This week ended pretty well with two investigators coming to Church for the first time.  They were both super awesome.  Adam and Ethan.  Both super similar and both looking for a Gospel and a place to feel belonged and loved.  We have great hopes for them!

Today we are going to eat with Tara's Son . He read all of the Book of Mormon this month so we're going to treat him out to a buffet.  What a Stud!!

L.. is doing good too.  He ate with a couple different members this week and met with our branch president for an interview.  The ward here is so awesome!!!

Love You Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Gummow

Monday, April 28, 2014

Baptisms!!




We were happy this week to get some fun pictures of Elder Gummow!  Two are from English class sent by a ward member. Elder Gummow is teaching them to sing "I Am A Child of God"  . Another is a recent picture of a baptism that happened after he left his previous area.  His recent convert was able to baptize one of the investigators that Elder Gummow helped to find.  So awesome to see the work continuing to progress!

















Hello Family!

Hey this week was a good one.  A bit of a mess, but it turned out pretty good in the end.  

This week L... was baptized!  It was a really good baptismal service too.  I never seen so much support from a ward ever.  We had almost all of our ward there at the baptismal service.  So we had to hold the service in the chapel, the ward even sang a special musical number for him as well as the missionaries in our District, so the Spirit was super strong the whole time.  He was awesome and I'm sure he loved everything that went on during the service.  It was just a really good time.

So I'm super thankful for the ward here.  They are super awesome, super supportive and super willing to help out.  They really change the atmosphere of missionary work here.  I've never seen someone so welcomed to a ward before.  The more I think about it too I realize how much of a difference it makes.  All of the Recent Converts here are still very active, and I think we owe that all to the love and the care the ward has for the new members.  

The thing on the bad side...my companion was sick!!  It was a pretty tough time for him this week and it was pretty bad on our missionary work this week.  About Monday he started having a really really severe stomach pains and diarrhea and it just took all the energy out of him.  He couldn't eat or sleep well for about 4-5 days so it was a huge trial for him for awhile.  He's doing a lot better right now though.  We ended up taking him to the hospital on Saturday and then Sunday some members gave him some really good medicine that helped a lot and he says he's pretty much feeling better today!  Super excited about that, it was a tougher week having to work without a fully healthy companion.  Although now I have a large new testimony of how much companions are needed and how much they help out in missionary work...I don't know what I would do without him!!

This week was pretty good otherwise, lots of good things happened and then it ended with the highlight of L 
's baptism.  Just grateful all in all for God' mercy and help in our weakness to give us the needed strength in order to overcome obstacles and for allowing us to serve him everyday here in Taiwan.

The missionary experience is definitely awesome.  There is no better time to improve and grow, learn new things and come closer to Christ.  It's more valuable than anything in this world and I'm sure I'll be eternally grateful for it.  Change is hard and sometimes come slowly but it's the greatest thing ever!  

So crazy to hear about all that going on back home and Sara starting school already!  The summers coming up soon too!  That's the most exciting part of the year in Taiwan!  Sara probably knows...typhoons, mangoes, taiwanese ice, there is nothing better!

Love you guys and so grateful for all your help and support!

Elder Gummow  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter/ the path is not easy



"This was a great week and a great Easter!  President Blickenstaff and Sister Blickenstaff came to our sacrament this week and they gave us nice Easter candy and both bore testimony of the resurrection.  It was a good meeting too.  Our investigator L... came!!!!! He was awesome too!!!  He passed his interview this week and he should be getting baptized next week!!!  He progressed super fast and he's still doing really awesome!!!

This week we also had a bunch of awesome miracles.  We were struggling to find new investigators all week but this Sunday we had two new ones come to Church.  They were awesome too, and one kid feels super golden!!! He said we could meet with him anytime this next week and that he could come to the baptismal service this week!!!  And he has a goal himself for the 24th now!!!

The highlight of all the events this week was probably the H.. family though.  They are a super awesome family.  But they are less-active right now.  The family thought going to Church was too tiring and they got offended by something they saw one of the members doing before and they just left the Church.  Now it's been 10ish years almost...a long time.  Last night we had one of the most powerful lessons I've ever had on my mission and almost the whole family was crying as well as the missionaries there.  There was no doubt that the Lord wanted them back in the Church.  I just couldn't get it though - the Dad still would not budge, he had an unshakable testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Church but he still would not step up and take the plate of an active member.  It made me think of myself and how there were things as a missionary that I was just like him.  I know the what's right and I've felt it in my life and I know what I'm supposed to do but that gap between knowing and doing is huge and it's not easy to cross.  The more we dedicate ourselves, the more we are blessed, but it takes true faith first.

If this man could just take the step of taking 3 hours off on Sunday and going to a Church service, you could plainly see how much it would bless his 4 kids, who need truth and direction in their lives.  How much it could bless hundreds of others if he would just take the step and get his 3 sons on missions.  How much it would bless the posterity of all his Children and the generations to come.

When we were meeting with him, I just remembered too that the path is not easy.   I like the quote I think that Elder Nielson said about the record in the bible of Christ stumbling as he walked the path to his crucification carrying his cross.  He said that it is a symbol to of how far God will push our limits in order to help us become our best selves. This is the plan of God for us. The road is not easy but it's worth it.  Far beyond what we can even see now.  I just feel so blessed to have the Gospel, to have God's help in this work and to be able to work in such a great purpose.

I just learned the powers of Faith and Obedience in this work and I know that they are true principles. There are blessings beyond what we can see sometimes. and they bring miracles.

It was a good Easter all in all and I love Douliu here and we are super super excited for next week's baptismal service.  It's should be good - Douliu hasn't had many baptisms recently so they're super excited.

Thanks family for all the help and support.  This work is true and so is the Church.  Never doubt it, and never fail to represent it either... I was so glad this week to meet an American on the road and after talking to him, he told me how awesome the members of the Church were to him, how well off us and our families were and how grateful he was for our examples.  I  hope that we are that way to everyone that we meet.

Love You family!!!!!  So good to hear about Sara and Josh's farewells.  I wish I could've seen them!!!  I hope you guys got it recorded or something!

Love You Family!!!

Elder Gummow"

Monday, April 14, 2014

General Conference - New Companion

Elder Gummow had quite a week!  We are blessed to be getting some pictures sent to me via Facebook by an awesome member of his ward there!  These pictures are courtesy of her camera and kindness.  Some are of Elder Gummow and his previous Companion and some are of Elder Gummow and his new companion.






Family!!!

Wow what a crazy, action packed week.  Maybe one of the best weeks ever on my mission, as well as maybe one of the saddest, and just filled with change and newness and just...emotional roller coasters.

The sad news first...yes Elder Dawson is moving. I'm going to miss that guy he is an awesome missionary.  Super dedicated, obedient and striving with all his heart to improve which makes the best kind of missionaries.  

He's moving to Hengchun, the most southern part of the mission.  I'm pretty scared for him, he'll be there in the summer (the hottest place in Taiwan during the hottest time of the year).  He'll have a blast there though.

My new companion is a Elder Zhu. He is Taiwanese and the funny thing is that he came on the same time as Elder Jiang.  They were only two Elders that came on at that time and now I'll be working with both of them!!! Crazy!!!

I just heard news from Elder Jiang too...A guy that we met just barely before we left is getting baptized this week.  I am so happy for him!!!!!!!  He was super cool guy, 18, and when we first met him I thought he was just another contact, but turns out he was awesome and he brought his friend last week and loves Church.  Hopefully I'll be able to see his baptism this upcoming week.  Missionary Work is awesome!!  And so worth it!!

This week we also met with L    again.  He is doing awesome and he had this friend that had a super spiritual experience recently and started to have huge interest in the Gospel.  His friend is also super awesome too and he set a baptismal date for 5/17!!!  We're so pumped!!!!

B    is looking really good too.  We shared two commandments with him this week and he was fine with all of them.  He has his interview this next week and he's still super super awesome.  I love this guy!!!

This week we also had an exciting event.  We had two new Elders move into Douliu.  They're are awesome guys too.  One of them, we were together at the MTC for part of the time, the other is an Elder Chad Johnson for Highland, UT!!!  Crazy!!!!

This conference was amazing and went super fast with all the changes and stuff and the anticipation of the future events, and Elder Dawson leaving.  It's been a crazy couple of days, and I just felt like the whole conference was saying to me the whole time that I should step up and be an example of the believers.  I'm so pumped to be a missionary after hearing all their spiritual messages too.  It's my opportunity to represent Christ everyday.

All in all this was just about as perfect week as possible and I feel like missionary work is the best thing in the world.  This is going to be a good next move call too!!!!

Love You Family!!!!

The time is short today because of moving and stuff, but love you guys!!!  Glad to hear all the news this week! Jiayou!!!