Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, January 27, 2014

Guonian! 2014

Elder Gummow's Baptism worked out this week!  So happy for them!!  Its like finding a treasure and its a great way to end the Chinese Calendar year.  January 31st starts the Chinese New Year.  This year is the year of the Horse and should prove to be an amazing year!Chinese New Year decorations

Hey Family!!!

This week was great! amazing! perfect!  A great end to this year...as far as the Chinese Calendar goes.  It went super well on the weekend with M.... getting baptized.  He was with us pretty much every day of this week and was super nervous, but super excited for his baptism as well.  The baptism was great...tons of people showed up and it was probably the smoothest baptismal service I've ever been in.  M.. shared his testimony afterward and it was awesome, he's had so many cool experiences and miracles from acting on his faith is crazy and he's so happy to be a new member.  He went with us to the Sun Moon Lake today and talked about how missionary work is so awesome, ("you can share a super happy message with everyone and get to know lots of new people")  This is what he said.  He wants to be a missionary and we're going to have him work with us a lot this week before he goes back for vacation.

This week as far as miracles.  I have to make it short because we don't have lots of time to email but,  Friday night we were heading back after a meeting and Elder Jiang said he wanted to pray.  Just really suddenly...  So we stopped and prayed, then continued on our way to go tracting.  The first house we knocked on lets us in.  We find out they are Christian (one of the families)  and the other isn't. There are two separate families in the house.  Elder Jiang introduces himself and after the one family shocked says...wow! we're named Jiang too.  What a coincidence!....Then after that the other family introduce themselves and she says...oh our family name is Wen....and Elder Jiang and I looked at each other and we're like...no way...my name is Wen too.  So it just happens that these two families' last names are the same as both of ours, and it just felt like such a coincidence (fate) that they set up a time next week that we could come back and visit them.  So Cool!!!

Also, today I am emailing late and don't have much time to email because we ended up going to a Lake for P-day.  We just got back and Elder Jiang and I still need to buy groceries and stuff.  It was a good p-day though, super relaxing....I have a bunch of Pictures and stuff that I want to send you guys but I left my camera in the Car we were driving...it'll have to wait till next week..  Love you family and thanks for all the help and support.  I got a letter this week from you guys.  So scary to read Josh's letters and think he only has a month-ish left.  

Love you family and Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Awesome Week!

Elder Gummow has great news this week and continues to be happy and busy!

Happy New Year!!!

I feel like it's kind of just started - even though January is almost over, but I guess the "New Year" has just begun here in Taiwan.  Chinese New Years is coming up and you can feel it here.  People are happier, the kids are off of school and everyone is getting ready for the weeks off.  

The Chinese New Year is bringing some miracles too.  This week was topped of with an amazing miracle as M...,  our investigator before who was having problems finding time to meet with us etc.  He finished up his test this Wednesday and then he was more than willing to start meeting with us again.  So crazy - this Saturday we met with him for the first time in awhile and asked him if he was willing to set a new baptismal date.  He has to go back in February for Chinese New year, so was next week too soon?  No it wasn't. (We hadn't even started teaching him some of the commandments yet.)  But as soon as he made the goal, he was committed to it.  So Sunday we finished Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, and Tithing with him and he was ready for the interview.  Zone Leaders (they're so awesome) came down right in time to do an interview before they could announce it in Church.  We're super excited!!  It's going to be Elder Jiang's first baptism on the mission and he really deserves it, he's such a motivated, determined missionary.

This week, that was really the highlight.  Otherwise we were running around like crazy, trying to work everything out as Elder Jiang had to leave for two days to do training.  Plus we went to the mission office on Wednesday for another meeting.  So we didn't actually get that much time doing missionary work together this week either.  I almost died Thursday night trying to keep everything going with a weird winter cold.  I feel a lot better now though.

So this week we're just a little nervous and excited for preparing for M....'s baptism.  I really hope he's ready and he has a strong testimony so that his baptism service goes well and he stays active for the rest of his life.  He's a great guy! lots of leadership qualities and charisma so I think he could be a great leader in this Church in the future.

But new move calls start next week! No big changes on our part, but it'll be a good new start for this new year.  I can't believe you got Sara's mission release date!!!  That's so crazy, I didn't think she would be going home so quick the time is way to short. and Josh too that's super crazy.  Best of all though was to hear about Chase (becoming an elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood), almost makes me cry.  I can't believe things have changed that much.  When is he planning on putting papers in, etc.  So awesome!

Love You Guys,

Elder Gummow 

Oh also crazy awesome news!!!!!!!  A family that I taught in the last area I was in, the son just got baptized!!!!!!  So excited for him!!! I love that family so much!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Purification challenge

Elder Gummow had a great experience from following the Mission President's challenge this week.  Still learning and growing!!

"Hello!

Wow love the pictures!  Looks like a super cool place...I've heard from a bunch of people here that America is super cold right now.  Like colder than it's been in a long time.  It's been all over the news and stuff I guess.  How is the weather like in Utah right now?  Lots of snow and stuff.  Lately it's been really sunny and warm over here - like I can wear short sleeves pretty much all day :P

So this week was great! Its slow but the area is progressing.  I feel like we have so many awesome great investigators right now but they are just having different sort of challenges that we need to help them through before they can get baptized.

W.......: 24, super cute guy and loves us visiting him.  His problem is commandments.  His body is not very healthy so he has a hard time finding desire coming to Church.  He was originally going to be baptized at the end of this month.  But we had to change it back.

M......:  Visited with him this week, but only for a second.  He's going to finish test this week and then hopefully be back on track for everything!

W.......:  Super awesome and really really golden.  Comes to all the activities and always stays even after we leave.  Loves studying the Gospel.  His only problem is that he lives outside of our area.  He's just not willing to go to the other Church.

L........:  16 year old.  Dropped out of school.  He is pretty new and super cool. Lots of hard times in his life. His problem is he has to work on Sunday.

This week I think the miracle and lesson I learned is how important the spirit is in Missionary Work.  It's something I'm not sure I completely believed in before my mission.  Being able to be guided by the spirit, but it is so true.

This week the Mission President gave us a new challenge.  It's called the "Purification Process".  You can look it up - it comes from a missionary on his mission talking about an experience he had.  Basically it ends up that after dedicating himself fully to the Lord he is blessing with the guidance of the spirit.  President challenged us to find those things that were blocking us from the spirit by fasting and prayer and then decided to leave them behind for 40 days.  After that, there would be no desire to go back to them.

So we did and there were awesome experiences for it.  The spirit is so important in teaching.  We were teaching a less-active this week that told us that he decided he wanted to go to a different Church.  We didn't know what to say to him.  But felt it was necessary to talk about the feelings he had at baptism and the Holy Spirit.  Turns out he had a ton of experience with the spirit, which led to talking about the importance of the sacrament.  Turns out that none of the other Churches he was going to offer the sacrament, and this is something he wanted.  There is no way we could have known that if it wasn't for the spirit.

Anyways, the weeks are going by faster and faster and I need to be doing more. Time is too short.  Love you family and hope all is well.

Love You Family

Elder GUmmow"

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year 2014!

Elder Gummow is looking forward to 2014.  His email says it all!  but just a side note from his mom - I added a few links to some of the past posts.  One is by the mission picture and it is a video of the missionaries singing Christmas carols at their mission activity.  I also added a link to the Mormon Message Elder Gummow recommended in last week's email.  We were able to access his mission pictures on dropbox this week and this is a picture he took.  He gave no actual explanation, but I think he thought it looked cool and he is right!  Chupas make great giant bouquets!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

What a good new year's it was and a good week on a mission as well!!  This week seemed to be filled with good miracles and surprises.  

First off - this week was a little interesting since we had companion exchanges twice this week, so I was only with my companion 2 days of the week.  Pretty weird.  That's what usually happens when you're first getting trained though.  It's been a while since I've exchanged with the Zone Leaders though, so that was pretty fun. You can learn a lot from your leaders!

I feel pretty inadequate as a trainer sometimes.  It's really fun and a great experience but it's a lot more like being a father than I realized.  I guess I'm more thankful than ever for my trainer and the great role model and father he was to me.  Training is kind of like the "break in" for missionaries and that's where you really grow and learn to depend on God in those first weeks so it's been fun sharing the lesson and experiences I've learned from on a mission.  My trainee is super excellent and focused though, so I'm hoping I can help teach him stuff so that he can be a better missionary than I ever was.

This week the biggest miracle happened, we showed up Friday night for a meeting with ward members (we're starting a new ward mission plan!)  but when we showed up that night,  the members told us there was a guy here looking for us.  Turns out there really was and he is super awesome.  He met with missionaries years ago, but because of sickness and stuff he wasn't able to keep going to Church.  He's super willing for baptism this time though and set a date with us this week as well attended Church.  

As far as M, we're pretty scared for him.  Maybe you guys can pray help us pray for him.  He was super good but then school finals came and he's just been incredibly busy.  We met with him this week and he seems okay - I just don't understand why he's not coming to Church.  Originally his baptismal date was for this Saturday, but it's going to have to be moved back now.  Sounds like he's been really busy lately though and we might just need to give him some time.  He says he goes to bed sometimes 2 or later lately and only has 4 hours of sleep.  Xinku him

Good to hear about New Years and all the festivities.  Hope Dad is okay, sounds pretty bad.  New Years was pretty average here. Normal - in bed at 10:30, to be honest holiday's aren't really a big deal on a mission. But it is nice to make new goals and plans as the New Year arrives.

Do you guys have a dropbox folder?  You could share it with me and then just update it, it should be really convenient.  I put the pictures from my whole mission in there so you guys can see them all.  Man I need to take more pictures... sorry about that.

Well love you family,  Hope this new year is a really good one and has lots of good changes for the better. This is my last year as a missionary, sad to think...and Sara is close to coming home too, crazy!!!  

I know what you mean about December, I had the same kind of feel in missionary work - but now that's is the start of this new year I
feel that cloud is really coming off.  I'm super excited for all that this new year brings!

Love You Family!!!